Ancient Making and Ancient Reading

Last week we reached 3 BC - having come from 8,000 BC and before - we've learned of the man Jesus born under Roman rule; we've studied Cleopatra and her powerful influence; we've followed China's warring states and their 300 years of battles. So not only have we followed the deep history of our civilization, but we reach out a bit in Book Club. Although the middle schoolers have read The Odyssey and are preparing to read The Aeneid, our kids and I are reading an array of literature; including our 4th and 5th grade session on Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and everyone's reading something on their own. -Miss Kati

Some adult reading

Some adult reading

Some favored 4th and 5th grade reading

Some favored 4th and 5th grade reading

3rd grade reading

3rd grade reading

something we all like and can laugh about

something we all like and can laugh about

Middle school (The Aeneid) and a teacher's favorite (Vasari's lives of the artists)

Middle school (The Aeneid) and a teacher's favorite (Vasari's lives of the artists)

A week in Sumeria or Egypt, like a week at GGLC

This week was all about Enheduanna. Who or what is that? Hopefully the kids will reply… Enheduanna, zirru-priestess, wife of the god Nanna, daughter of Sargon, king of the world, in the temple of the goddess Innana!

She wrote some of the oldest poetry ever recorded. Dated back to 2285-2250 BC when Enheduanna the Sumerian High Priestess wrote Inanna, Lady of the Largest Heart she gave depth and soul to the goddess character – equally as passionate and violent as any male counterpart from antiquity.

This week In Art, the kids designed their own tomb walls with what they’d bring to the after life and in Chronos they created moon discs, like Enheduanna’s. (see picture)

Between last week and this week, we’ve covered cuneiform, the poems to Inanna, Narmer’s palette and Narmer’s crown – the Egyptian crown symbolizing Narmer’s unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Check out Simon and Mars explaining how they vacuum form the crowns of Egypt in Make History. (see video)

Happy Birthday to Jude! Thanks to you and your mom for making those awesome Egyptian cookies!

Lastly, this Friday we had our first field trip. Thanks to Mar-Chet Jewelers on San Anselmo Avenue, the kids were able to see in-heated-action the alloys they’d studied throughout the week.

Chess Club - the game of capturing and learning

Chess Club - the game of capturing and learning

Finally after a year of finding the right time and the right leader, Chess Club kicked off yesterday with Chris Major at the helm.  And what a kick-off! The kids hung on his every word and watched his every move. He coached them in the simple pawn game as he slowly introduced the players (pieces). In this game we "capture", we don't "destroy" or "kill". We don't actually ever capture the King, we check-mate him.

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Noel Janis-Norton's Back to School Parenting Workshop

Back to School: Guiding Children to Achieve Their Potential

by Noel Janis-Norton

Learn effective ways to help your children and teens:
·      Improve concentration and attention to detail
·      Learn how to do their best
·      Develop confidence and self-reliance
·      Take more responsibility
·      Enjoy learning

 Whether your children are just beginning school or have been in school for years or are being home-schooled, you can learn simple and effective strategies that will make homework and home learning more enjoyable and more productive. 

In this interactive talk Noël will explain how parents can teach children and teens the essential "school success skills" that lead to academic competence, confidence and independence.  Bring your questions and concerns; Noel has the experience and expertise to help you resolve problems and overcome obstacles.

Noël Janis-Norton, founder and director of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting and Teaching in London, is a learning and behavior specialist and an international best-selling author with more than 50 years’ experience in the US and the UK as a teacher, principal, special needs tutor, parenting advisor, consultant and lecturer.

Date:          Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Time:          6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Cost:          $27 per person
Register here

For more information about Noël Janis-Norton, please visit










Maker Camp: Tiny Worlds

This week in Maker Camp: Tiny Worlds, each camper made a stop motion films!  See their pieces below as well as highlights from the week!


Make the Press - Stamp Rollers!

Make the Press, one of our cool new themes at Maker Camp is being tested out NOW in Maker Club! We're making Stamp Rollers this week and having a blast. Art and making all at once. We've known some bookworms in our day and designed this week of camp to give them something to feed on. Everything to do with the printed page has a maker behind it, even the page itself!


Make the Press. Make Art.

Stop Motion Film in Tiny Worlds

Make History Class on Tuesdays gives us the opportunity to pick a topic and go with it creatively, following the kids, their questions, their instincts...We began this session on Tiny Worlds with teatime in Japan. We experienced this quiet special time sharing with our friends poems and thoughts. In the following weeks we made tiny wooden dolls and their tiny worlds. Imagine Godzilla in tiny Tokyo! Check out this tiny film! And come make your own in Maker Camp: Tiny Worlds July 5-8.


Always erase the white board! An important lesson in multi-age learning

IMG_3688 This morning, when my kindergarten math class sat at the table, I was ready to teach them about polygons and hexaflexagons.  However, they were completely distracted by the exponents lesson left on the white board from the day before.  One boy (my son, actually) said, “Six to the power of two equals thirty-six.” “How did you know that?” “I heard daddy teach it in his Thursday afternoon class.” Another student said, “Can I have a piece of paper?  I want to copy that so I can memorize it.”  I just gave in.  I guess we’re doing exponents today!

Even snakes need tutoring...

Last year there was a high school student whom Daniel tutored weekly, and when after an hour session, the student exclaimed, “OMG!” And there it was, a snake named Charlie coiled in the rings of his binder!

IMG_4641 (1)It turns out that the student had been in Science that day playing with Charlie the snake. While he wasn’t looking, it had stowed away in the backpack and hid in the binder. When he couldn’t find the snake in his backpack (because it was hiding in the binder), he and the teacher gave up looking for it. It was nowhere to be found in the classroom. Notice was out to the school, snake on the loose!

That night Daniel and Celeste offered to take the snake home and then deliver back to the high school in the morning. (Since then, they and their children have adopted their own snake; apparently he's growing exponentially (as should any snake living in this mathematic home.)

And the legend lives on at Drake... Seems the snake really needed some Math tutoring and, of course, came to Golden Gate Learning Center.

Homeschool Classes for Spring Session I (2/22-4/8)


Every morning we start with a life lesson about ROATS (Respect Others And Their Stuff) which flavors much of our guidance during the day.We are so proud to see students watching their attitudes with their tutors & peers!Here’s what we’re covering this session.

On Tuesdays…

Make History

This session we are traveling the Silk Road: making maps, ancient passports, textiles, paper and we’ll practice with some trading and bartering as if on the silk trading route.

Drawing Out Arithmetic

We’re continuing working through Euclid’s Geometric Proofs. We spent the last session exploring the properties of isosceles triangles, if the base angles are congruent their opposite legs are as well, and visa versa, two congruent legs have congruent opposite angles. Euclid's Elements - Book I: Propositions 5-6

This session we're exploring why some triangles can't be congruent and why others must be. Also, we'll be bisecting everything in sight. Euclid's Elements - Book I: Propositions 7-14

Writing Club

This spring we’ll be continuing sentence diagramming, identifying parts of speech and parts of the sentence, phonics skills & handwriting. We are hearing about ancient civilizations of the Americas, taking notes and summarizing what we learn.K-2nd graders are making their own books, one page for each letter of the alphabet!

On Wednesdays…

Art Appreciation

This session we will "travel" to the museum of the bay area: deYoung, the Legion of Honor, the Asian Art Museum, the SFMOMA and the Cartoon Art Museum. Through these museums, we'll study European artists, Pacific Island cultures, Asian art and the history of cartoon art.

Math Club

In Math Club, we are exploring Geometry.We’ll work though the traits of triangles, circles, quadrilateral and even the 5 Platonic solids!We’ll use our new geometry knowledge to drill & reinforce the arithmetic skills as well!

Make Science

As we study great scientists, we recreate their experiments. We are exploring the experiments that brought magnets from a simple curiosity to a central role in the development of modern society. From the Chinese magicians, who discovered magnetic compasses a millennium ago, through Medieval and renaissance natural philosophers Pierre de Maricourt and William Gilbert and into the final steps of developing a mathematical model linking electricity and magnetism during the 1800s. We will carefully study the lucid texts and experiments of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell. Without their discoveries, the modern world would not be possible.

The Perfect Essay

Last night, I spent the last 20 minutes of the ACT prep class teaching how to write a perfect essay in 30 minutes. Here's what my students think:"I think I'm going to start writing conclusions now."Daniel 2 "Now that I've learned this, I can't help but have good structure." "I always wondered why my teachers wanted such a redundant conclusion. 'Restate the thesis!' Now I can give them what they want but it won't be redundant anymore." More on the details of my lesson in an upcoming series of blog posts. -Daniel Ezell