History, Math, nature journal, Science, Update

Q&A Time

Several of you have reached out to us to ask questions, and we think that our responses might be useful to the community at large.

Is there a Facebook group or a forum for Ursa Minor Learning?

Not yet. We don’t currently have the time to moderate such a group. UML is our pet project and we both do other stuff to pay the rent, so we are putting our energy into finishing Years 6-8 on schedule. We are considering asking for volunteer moderators from the community if anyone is interested and has experience. Let us know what you think.

Will there be more of a focus on nature study in the younger years?

Yes! We love nature and nature study. We are still working out what this is going to look like. There is a distinct possibility that we will also move beyond the suggestions currently in place for high school with a more detailed plan.

Will you schedule BFSU for Kindergarten aged children?

No. We adore Charlotte Mason’s idea of Masterly Inactivity and will not be scheduling any academics before Year 1. We hope to eventually create suggestions for fun games/fingerplay songs/outdoor time for our, as we’re leaning towards calling them, MI-1 through MI-5s, as well as mother culture ideas for making “letting alone” a bit easier. This is on the 2018/2019 schedule, though!

Will you be offering national histories besides the United States?

Yes. We hope to offer national histories for Canada, Australia, and England in the first round, and then expand as people express interest. If our blog stats are anything to go by the next three popular countries would be France, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. This is also on the 2018/2019 schedule.

Will you being making math suggestions for kids who aren’t obsessed with math?

Yes. Our kids are all math kids. Really, really math kids. We’ve been looking on math curricula as we can get our hands on them, bugging all the moms in our local homeschool group, and reading seventeen-bazillion reviews. We plan to offer three different suggestion: the current one for kids who love and are strong in math, one for kids who may or may not like math but are at grade level, and one for kids who struggle.

Also, please remember that everything on this site is merely a suggestion. Do what works for your family. We don’t know your kids like you know your kids, and we trust that you as parents have got this homeschooling thing.  We’re just here to make things easier if we can.

Will substituting coding for a second modern language mean that it counts as a credit for a language?

No, or at least we don’t think so. How credits work and what colleges want varies widely, and so we generally can’t answer this type of question. We think for many kids that a computer language will be a wonderful new dimension of our world to explore. It also may not be the right choice for your kid, so keep in mind that it’s just one option.

Where are your images at the top of blog posts from?

The Biodiversity Heritage Library’s public domain collection on Flikr. You can also check on Photo Credits page for other images on the website.

Science, Update

Working Away on Years 6-8

We are hard at work on the middle school curriculum and wanted to show you guys what we are up to at the moment.

We’ve chosen the three Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding books (Middle School Science Education for Years 6-8) as the spine of our Year 1-9 Science curriculum. We love BFSU, but it is notoriously teacher intensive, so we are in the process of (literally) deconstructing it! This is us laying out all the lessons to organize them physically.FullSizeRender

We’ve also brought in a long time friend to help with the process. He’s a nuclear engineer who put himself through grad school teaching high school science in an impoverished rural school district. He’s just as impressed by BFSU as we are, though not so much by our lay-everything-out-on-his-floor process. 

He’s also helping us with scheduling high school science and helping us watch all the MIT lectures again. (His actual response was, you want me to sit in the recliner and take notes while smart people talk about physics? I’m in.) We’re still on track to put out the middle school curriculum in December, though it’s definitely going to be late December.

 

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Update

Welcome!

Welcome to the soft open of Ursa Minor Learning. Please forgive our construction dust as we move to the new website. For those of you who are new to us, Ursa Minor Learning is a Charlotte Mason inspired home school curriculum with bits incorporated from Classical Education and our own experience. We are a secular and science focused curriculum.

In the near future, we hope to have our page focusing on Charlotte Mason inspired methodology and techniques posted. At the moment, the four high school years are posted. We are also still adding primary sources, including documents, art, and audio-visual sources to the curriculum (and trying to figure out the best way to add them to the grade pages without making them overwhelming.)

Our tentative posting schedule:

  • December 2017: Middle School Curriculum, High School Week by Week Schedule
  • March 2018: Upper Elementary Curriculum, Middle School Week by Week Schedule
  • June 2018: Early Elementary Curriculum, Upper Elementary Week by Week Schedule
  • September 2018: Masterly Inactivity Plan, Early Elementary Week by Week Schedule
  • December 2018: Autodidact and Self Learning Expansions

We hope that UML will continue to be a helpful resource for your homeschooling experience as we grow to a full K-12 curriculum.