Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Century Foundation, a non-profit think tank and research organization, found that students who participate in enrichment courses, rather than just continuing regular school year subject matter, demonstrated more positive growth in achievement. Students who don't participate in academics at all throughout the summer tend to struggle with each new year. This appears to be particularly true for high school students.
Of course, studies don't take into account the uniqueness of each child, as we do with homeschooling. But they still bear consideration overall. At CBB, we've discovered a number of reasons why our Summer Enrichment Workshops are beneficial, beyond learning the content offered:
1. Opening Doors - a year of Greek may sound a bit scary, but eight weeks doesn't seem so bad. Summer enrichment allows students to explore topics that they might not be inclined to pursue during the regular school years. This exploration may lead to further study, a new hobby or more knowledge.
2. New Teachers - some of the teachers who offer summer workshops also teach classes during the school year. A summer workshop allows students to develop a relationship with a teacher in a more casual environment prior to the busy school year. For some students, this means starting out the year understanding what the teacher expects and how that instructor teaches.
3. Extra Credit and Honors - workshop subject matter may possibly apply to part of another credit or provide honors for a course. For example, our workshop, 3 Oxford Christians, may also serve to meet the honors requirement for our British literature course. The music history course, Big Bangs: The Five Discoveries that Changed Musical History, might be combined with music/art lessons or other fine arts classes for a full fine arts credit.
4. Keeping the Brain Juices Flowing - so, there's not really any juice in the brain, or I don't think so (Heidi Smith, our Anatomy and Physiology teacher, might be better equipped to respond to that concern), but the benefits of keeping our kids thinking through the summer have been documented many times in many different studies. With CBB enrichment courses, even the creative juices can flow with our Creative Writing workshop.
5. New Skills - learning a new set of skills may be the answer to summer enrichment, especially when those skills can be used for success in full year courses. In the workshop, To Powerpoint and Beyond, students learn how to create electronic presentations. There are many ways students can put such a skill to good use in CBB high school classes!
Positive results can be derived from summer enrichment classes, even if your student isn't into academics. The topics and teachers are unique to the summer, allowing students time to delve into authors, topics, content, skills and more. Even if you're going on vacation, no worries! CBB summer workshops are all recorded and may be made up after your vacation, so your children won't miss a minute of instruction.
Check out our current summer workshops. Explore new ideas and topics, and definitely contact an instructor or comment if you have any questions.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Virtual Classroom Online Open House -
Thursday, April 3rd - 6:30 pm OR 8:00 pm
Experience our virtual classroom
Meet some of our teachers
Q and A session included so you can ask and get immediate answers
Limited seats available - 20 people per session - registration required
To register, email email@example.com and be sure to include your time preference.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A: They're all locations from which CBB students have attended class!
|In case you think we've started hiring models |
for our blog photos, Tori Howard is
actually a CBB student!
The changes in homeschooling over the last decade amaze me. I remember ten years ago teaching my kids, along with a few other children, how to write in my living room. Now I'm meeting with students from all over the country without leaving my home office. We're able to share computer screens, do research online together and even break out into other "rooms" for conferences and group projects.
Honestly, I am not always gracious about technology. It frustrates me to watch companies continually "upgrade" software and products before even fixing the previous versions' weaknesses or to see evil people use it to scam and harm others. But my students have changed that viewpoint for me. Now, I find myself appreciating the unique opportunities that online classes provide and wishing my own children had been blessed with the ability to make friends with classmates from all over the country.
Socialization, a common worldly criticism of the home schooling community and a word that many of us despise due to its distortion, even has a place in the online community. While your children may meet almost anyone online if you're not careful, CBB teachers and students provide healthy relationships from a Biblical perspective. So, kids get to directly interact with one another and other Christian adults in a safe environment. I love that.
As I was watching and evaluating my communication students give speeches recently, it occurred to me that we're not only preparing them to speak well, but they're also learning to use the electronic environment that has become so common in the workplace these days. Our students will be comfortable and confident, even in the corporate world, meeting with other professionals to collaborate and give presentations.
Even though it's possible for students to get distracted while online with Facebook, family life around them as well as other forms technology, practicing the ability to focus provides another benefit I had not considered when moving my course to the virtual classroom. I have students who are now much more attentive that they were in the physical classroom.
Finally, I am impressed with the level of communication I receive from my students since we've moved CBB online. I am not sure if it's because they feel more comfortable connecting that way or if they now relate class to the computer, but students are more likely to ask me questions between classes, send emails and even text than before. It saves all of us so much time in class when this communication occurs outside of that essential hour of instruction.
Are online classes perfect for every family? Of course not. But there are many benefits that I hadn't anticipated when we made the transition to the virtual classroom and I will take the positive surprises from whence they come!
If you have any questions about CBB online classes or comments about how your children have responded to our virtual classroom style, please feel free to share them. I am sure other parents would find them helpful.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
- Make a list of common things on which you procrastinate on. This is a simple as it sounds. Some school assignments are just more fun than others. Write down the ones that you have trouble completing. Your list can include assignments from difficult or boring classes, or even chores that you dislike.
- Schedule your time. This is a very important step. If you skip this step, you will continue to procrastinate. Don’t just mentally assign deadlines or state times that you will work on your assignments. Write it down. Write everything down. Schedule times for school, chores, and other activities. Make sure to prioritize things that you tend to procrastinate on. Then stick to your schedule as much as possible. Continue to tweak your schedule as necessary.
- Break difficult things down into smaller portions. Obviously, (unless you procrastinated) you are not going to write a major essay in one day. Your schedule needs to reflect that. Break large assignments down into smaller parts. For example, in the case of the essay, perhaps write one paragraph one day, two paragraphs the next, and edit it the following day.
- Eat your big frog first. Pick the assignments that are the hardest and most boring to you to work on first. Completing your hard assignments first will encourage you to work on other assignments. Also, you are usually the most motivated when you first start working on your assignments.
- Reward yourself. This step is vital to keep yourself motivated. If you do not practice this step, you will quickly burn out. Rewarding yourself can take any form you desire. For example, after completing a task, reward yourself by spending fifteen minutes on Facebook, reading a chapter in a book, or eating a snack.
- Have others keep you focused. Sometimes just knowing that someone is keeping an eye on you can motivate you to work. Ask friends and family members to occasionally check up on you to see the progress you’ve made. You will find yourself working harder to show them your progress.
- Pray. Procrastination is a major challenge to overcome. Family, friends, and schedules all can help, but only you can defeat procrastination. Praying about it will encourage you and enable you to continue. If you do nothing else, at least pray and try your best.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Tip 6: Give Your Garden Time to Grow
Offer your child a wide variety of opportunities to practice writing well, from journaling to book reviews to letter writing to poetry to lap booking to reports and any other type of writing that comes to mind! The more diverse your child’s writing assignments, the more successful he’ll be in the long run.
Update Tip: If you find that your child tends to lose interest quickly, start with shorter writing assignments and then add a little as the successes accrue. Be cautious about creative writing assignments. While they sound fun in theory, many children struggle with writing creatively because of the lack of structure. Many children respond better to structured assignments that provide steps to completion rather than an open-ended writing plan.
Tip 7: Don’t Harvest too Early
Before writing a paragraph, a child should understand how to write a well
developed sentence. Sometimes parents become concerned that their children
aren’t progressing fast enough and they decide that a book report should be
written before a child can competently write a solid paragraph. Most children
don’t run before they walk and writing development should be viewed the same
way. Transitioning more slowly in the early years and spending significant time
on the basics paves the way for greater accomplishments later.
Update Tip: I often hear from parents about what other families are accomplishing with their children. Homeschooling provides the brilliant opportunity to teach each of our children that they need to learn. Your child has years to learn to write well, so take it easy and build on skills without rushing ahead. The final result will be worth it!
Tip 8: Weed and Prune
One of the most common complaints I hear from homeschooled children is that their parents don’t ever grade their writing. They appreciate that I actually return their work with marks for evaluation. If you assign it, then evaluate it. Don’t expect your child to
complete a writing assignment if you’re not willing to spend time reading and correcting it. Writing evaluation can be truly challenging and it does take time that we often want to spend doing other things (almost any other thing ☺), but it’s important to validate our children’s efforts with evaluation.