Blog

“Cell” We Dance?

The students at GFT have been working diligently in their biology course over the past few weeks to explore everything from white versus whole wheat flour under a microscope to create their own 3D animal cell with plastic and playdough.

Our youngest students get a taste of the higher-level concepts through hands-on group work while our middle schoolers break-down the concepts into manageable pieces to complete their lab reports.

Our amazingly talented tutors act as facilitators in this world of discovery and assist the students in finding the answers to their questions by encouraging them to go a little deeper into the topics.  The students proudly display their hard work, and we all look forward to what is still to come out of this wild biology bunch!

Upcoming Open Houses!

   Are you wondering if GFT might be a good fit for your family? Drop-in to drop-off and see how we can be partners in your child’s (home) education! We have a few spots left to round out our wonderful community of learners and are excited to welcome you!
Our upcoming Open House Dates are:
Tuesday, October 8, 2019, from 9:00-3:00
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, from 9:00-3:00
Tuesday, December 10, 2019, from 9:00-3:00
   We would love to know that you’re coming so that we’re ready with necessary supplies for all the kiddos! Please fill out a brief web form here.
   Additionally, there may be an opportunity for parent-volunteering to off-set some of the tuition cost. If this interests you, please indicate this on the web form.
   Thanks so much for your interest! We cannot WAIT to meet you!

Getting “Schooled” in Biology

When looking at all the curricular options for this current school year, we at GFT had a lot of information to consider.  While last year’s lessons were a mix of physical, earth, and life sciences pulled from a variety of sources, we realized our demographic was shifting.  Rather than expand the breadth of topics, this year we are going for depth.  This is where Real Science Odyssey: Biology 2 comes into play.

“But how on earth do you teach all those kids with all their different ages/abilities/interests?”, you might be thinking.  Well, in short, the tutors at GFT are very deliberate with their instruction.  With scaffolding and two to three tutors working with the students at all times, the information comes to life!

So far this year, students have explored the parts and operation of a microscope, plotted, measured, and observed a variety of organisms in different habitats, walked through lab reports from hypothesis to conclusion, prepared slides, and got down and dirty with field microscopes.  The questions they are formulating and the teamwork their exhibiting has been exhilarating to watch!  GFT families also get access to all the student pages through our member-only portal to help add to their expertise and knowledge at home!

Interested in seeing if GFT might be a good fit for your family?  Contact us here to be added to our mailing list for upcoming Open House events.  We can’t wait to meet you!

 

 

Why Right Start Math?

I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY guilty of thinking on occasion, “Well, I learned it this way and turned out okay…” when thinking about how we are going to tackle (and, yes, some days it is truly tackling!) homeschooling.  Then there are those other times that crop up where a lightbulb goes off and you wonder where this knowledge has been all your life.

abacus

    This was us with Right Start Math.  Coming from a public school and counting background, I was not even aware that there WAS another way for our youngest kiddos to learn math… and then I got (un)schooled.  Did you know that 5-month-old babies can distinguish between 1, 2, and 3 objects?!  Did you also know that I watched a number of YouTube tutorials on how to use an abacus since I had not a clue?

Joan Cotter, Ph.D and creator of Right Start Math, does a much better job at relaying why and how producing mental images is far superior to counting in laying a foundation for children to understand, apply and enjoy math.  Check out her article, “Math and the Young Child” here.

Our youngest learners are using the math games that are included in the series to hone their skills while our middle-elementary students are doing more direct-and-group instruction in addition to the math games.  Our middle schoolers utilize each other and their facilitator to work on their different levels and curricula that they bring with them to GFT.

We love learning alongside our children at GFT and are thrilled to have you along for the journey!

Back-to-GFT Open House!

    Come to our meet-and-greet for newly enrolled families and Open House for those interested in checking us out! We’re hosting this fun event on Tuesday, September 3 from 3:30-5:00.  Flip through our curriculum, check out our space and campus, and get to know the amazing tutors that make this awesome community possible!
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     Weather pending, we’ll be hanging and playing with the children outside. We look forward to seeing everyone soon!
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Here are a few reminders about important upcoming GFT info for umbrella and tutorial members:
Anyone new to homeschooling: You complete the “Letter of Intent to Homeschool” and send to your county.  You can find the “Maryland Homeschool Letter of Intent” here.  Please complete all pertinent information and mail/email it to your county’s homeschool liaison.  

Anyone wishing to join the GFT umbrella: Please pay $100 to paypal.me/GFTTowson.  Once payment has been sent, please complete the information in this webform to complete registration:  http://bit.ly/GFTUmbrellaInfo
Umbrella information will be sent by GFT to the counties in early September and closed out mid-May.

Enrolled GFT Students: you will receive the umbrella review sheet and Verification of student enrollment once you complete online registration information here: http://bit.ly/GFTStudents

Thank you for staying in the loop and helping us in the transition to less paper!  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.  In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer!!

*2019-2020 Supply List*

The first leaf has yet to fall from the trees and already they’re everywhere… signs of “back-to-school”!  While we at GFT know that learning doesn’t take a holiday over the summer, we know our students and families are excitedly prepping for the new academic year!

If you’re joining us at the tutorial next year, here are some things to keep in mind as those *sales* flash before your eyes:

Here is a list of the items for your child to bring to GFT whenever she/he attends:

1-a backpack with the following:

-a seasonally-appropriate change of clothes, rain boots, rain jacket, reusable water bottle, hat.  In the winter, we can replace the rain gear for snow gear, including waterproof gloves.  Space constraints do not allow us to keep these items at tutorial, and we also want everyone to be able to use them on our off-days, as well.

2-a lunch box/bag.  We will have access to a refrigerator.

In terms of supplies, we use a communal approach.  Items that get used most often can run out, and we would appreciate any donations to the room in this area.  This is not required, and we appreciate anything that comes in for the children’s use:

-tissues, colored pencils, regular (old school, need-to-be-sharpened) pencils, crayons, washable markers

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If your child has “special” art supplies that he/she would be okay sharing with the group, we welcome him/her to bring them, as well.  We have loads of manipulatives, dress-up, and imaginative play items at the tutorial, so thank you for keeping other outside toys at home.

GFT will also supply the necessary folders/notebooks/workbooks for subject-specific activities, and these will remain at the tutorial.

Please feel free to send any questions you have our way!  We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

*Important 2019-2020 GFT Info*

We’ve been busy prepping this summer for an excellent opening to the 2019-2020 academic year and hope everyone is having a safe, fun, and cool summer!  It’s been an exciting and busy time for us, and we look forward to welcoming all our new families in September!  Please read this message in its entirety to make sure you don’t miss out on important upcoming information!

FYI

We’re often asked what is a requirement for families and what the tutorial/umbrella “handles” for the families.  Now that July 1 has come and gone, families with a child new to homeschooling who have not yet informed their respective counties need to do so.  You can find the “Maryland Homeschool Letter of Intent” herePlease complete all pertinent information and mail/email it to your county’s homeschool liaison.  While confirmation is not necessary if you keep a record, as a mom, I like to know it’s been received and will check to make sure they have received ours.  This document needs to be sent to the county no later than 15 days prior to the start of the school year and only needs to be completed once per child (not once per school year).

Umbrella members: you recently received an email outlining the umbrella registration process.  If you were not on that email and would like to join us or missed it the first time around, here is a summary of the important pieces of the email:

“Until August 1, 2019, families pay a flat fee of $75.00 for the year.  After August 1, 2019, families will be charged $100.  Payment can be submitted through the following link.  Please put your name and your child(ren)’s full name(s) in the “notes” section: paypal.me/GFTTowson

Once payment has been sent, please complete the information in this webform to complete registration:  http://bit.ly/GFTUmbrellaInfo

    Your application will be reviewed and, once payment is confirmed, you will receive all pertinent information regarding the umbrella in your email… including the review sheet and Letter of Verification for Student Enrollment.
   The GFT Umbrella will do an in-person, peer-review in mid-May of 2020.  Should this be an issue for your family, please contact us prior to registering.”
Tutorial Members:  While the cost of the umbrella is included in your tuition, you will receive the umbrella review sheet and Verification of student enrollment once you complete online registration information here: http://bit.ly/GFTStudents
In Summary:
Anyone new to homeschooling: You complete the “Letter of Intent to Homeschool” and send to your county
Anyone wishing to join the GFT umbrella: Please pay $75 until August 1 or $100 after August 1 to paypal.me/GFTTowson.  Once payment has been sent, please complete the information in this webform to complete registration:  http://bit.ly/GFTUmbrellaInfo
Umbrella information will be sent by GFT to the counties in early September and closed out mid-May.
Enrolled GFT Students: you will receive the umbrella review sheet and Verification of student enrollment once you complete online registration information here: http://bit.ly/GFTStudents
Thank you for staying in the loop and helping us in the transition to less paper!  Please let me know if you have any additional questions.  In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer!!
Kristin Royce
Global Foundations Tutorial
Director