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Need a Self-Teaching Series


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#1 Paradox5

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:59 AM

Son 3 does not like dvd/video/online instruction nor does he like me to teach him. I am looking for materials he can use to teach himself pretty much all subjects for 6th-8th grade. HELP!

 

MATH:

He is currently working through BJU Math 5 by teaching himself using the student book. I do not see this as a good long-term solution (6th-8th) as the series was never intended to be used this way. Or maybe it is. Thoughts? Our aim is Pre-Alg in 8th. He is very good at grasping new concepts quickly.

 

I am looking for ideas for a series that is simlilar (mastery). Spiral has historically not been a really a good choice for this guy, though I will consider it for Saxon Alg 1/2 and above when we get there. (Those pre-lesson 5/4 -8/7 Saxon blocks were awful for him.)

 

CLE drove him batty as, according to him, the explanantions were confusing, not enough practice of new material, too much review, hard to find a concept if he forgot it, and the lessons were horrendously too long. I cannot stand Life of Fred. Just no. Math Mammoth was another huge fail. He isn't a discovery math (AoPS) kid. That one I am sure will frustrate him.

 

I was wondering about Math in Focus. Can it be self-teaching?

 

ENGLISH:

This is one area he has zero choice of Mom teaching him. We are doing WTM grammar and writing. However, getting him to read and discuss is a fight. Any ideas? Like BJU Lit studies but without the BJU?

 

SCIENCE:

No ideas. I am not fussed about experiments at this age and would rather not do them as we live in a small space right now with a 16 month old who likes to get into everything. I would really prefer somewhat secular or at least a balanced view. We don't care about old/young earth arguments. We have done the interest-led for years. I want an actual planned out program.

 

HISTORY:

Currently, he is doing VP Self-Paced but as it was written for much younger students, he is not doing any output. Of course, he loves it. I am thinking to keep it as he doesn't fight me on it, and it gets done.

 

SPELLING/VOCABULARY:

I am thinking of Megawords. BJU Spelling is too easy for him but he still needs some work on this area and vocabulary. Can Megawords fill both of these?

 

EXTRA:

He wants to be an architect. How about some technical drawing ideas? he has done the R&S Create a Sketch book but it did not go over well. He does not free-hand sketch.

 

What did I miss?

If there is a box with lesson plans that might fit what we need (not Calvert!), suggest a way. This kid is a box checker.

 


Edited by Paradox5, 23 January 2018 - 12:09 PM.


#2 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:11 PM

For my highly independent kid, we used a lot of Rod and Staff. The math is very clear. By middle school, she rarely needed me to go over the oral drills with her for each lesson, so I didn't. She did some online facts practice things like Kahn academy occasionally, but mostly just read through and worked the problems from R&S. I have them check their yesterday's work daily before starting a new lesson. They show me how many missed, then correct. I established honestly on this early on. 

 

R&S spelling is very self teaching to a kid that is ok with phonics and spelling. It is more about vocabulary and word roots and language than about spelling by 6th and up. Mine worked completely independently. I gave occasional spelling tests to check her work and checked section D's work (reading comprehension on the history of English) for the years that had it. 

 

R&S English with the worksheets for us is pretty independent. I do like to do the oral drill once a week or every other to check up on the memorization aspects. But for the day to day, my independent kid could work through this. My other who struggles more with spelling and grammar and such, these programs aren't independent most of the time, but can be. She only needs me when new concepts are added. Then she gets going for a few lessons on her own. Then I spend a day and do the oral drill, check her work and we move forward.


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#3 SilverMoon

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:34 PM

On the Math in Focus website you can get a look inside every book if you fill out a form. :) Independent would depend on the kid, I think.

 

Lightning Literature is a popular one for those grades. Not a clue how it compares to BJU.

 

These drawing books ~ https://www.insightt...collections/all



#4 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 01:50 PM

 Maybe Memoria Press for science and history? You could easily pick and choose without having to commit to a full core set from MP.  Those pre-made lesson plans look tempting...

 

Lightning Lit might work well for lit, and also seconding R&S math and grammar, and spelling.   Two of mine have been able to very independent with R&S.  I'm not completely out of the picture, but my time teaching with them is small compared to what they do on their own daily. 


Edited by Zoo Keeper, 30 January 2018 - 07:41 AM.

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#5 Lori D.

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 03:16 PM

MATH:

...I was wondering about Math in Focus. Can it be self-teaching?

 

No experience with it, so I can't help there.

 

Some possible (??) ideas for self-teaching math:

- Teaching Textbooks (secular) -- however: spiral; video instruction

- Horizons (Christian)

- Alpha-Omega (Christian)

 

An aside: I don't think Math (at this young age) can be completely self-teaching, I think you could work out something with DS where he goes over the instruction part solo, then has a "minute math meeting" with you before doing the exercises (so he doesn't spend an entire lesson off-track) where he explains the concept to you and how to do it. OR, if that is likely to lead to conflict, then DS does math at night when dad can be available to oversee. Or hire a tutor to teach (as needed) and touch base with DS 2x/week, and you just do the grading... Just brainstorming some ideas.

 

 

ENGLISH:

This is one area he has zero choice of Mom teaching him. We are doing WTM grammar and writing. However, getting him to read and discuss is a fight. Any ideas? Like BJU Lit studies but without the BJU?suggest a way. This kid is a box checker.

 

Well, eventually students still need to discuss literature. ;) BUT, at 6th-7th grade though, just reading and touching base 1-2x/week informally with you would work fine, esp. if you can spin it like it is a special adult-style "office meeting" with coffee and doughnuts (or whatever snack works for you guys) to discuss the lit. Just brainstorming!

 

- Lightning Literature might work

some of the books in LL7 have old language and are written in dialect, so that may not fly too well for a future year to do it entirely solo -- perhaps have an audio version for listening to while reading

 

- CLE? -- it has worksheets and teaches literary elements and could be done independently (I think)

 

- Memoria Press? grade 6 or grade 7

also worksheets and might be able to be done independently; starting at grade 8 it makes a big jump up in level

 

- Mosdos?

sounds like the teacher book is needed for student/teacher discussion, so don't know how independent...

 

 

SCIENCE:

No ideas. I am not fussed about experiments at this age and would rather not do them as we live in a small space right now with a 16 month old who likes to get into everything. I would really prefer somewhat secular or at least a balanced view. We don't care about old/young earth arguments. We have done the interest-led for years. I want an actual planned out program.

 

- Nancy Larson -- probably level 2 or level 3

those would go with DS's interests; and if you go with level 2, then you have 3 programs (it goes up through level 4) to carry you through all of middle school

 

- Rainbow Science (Christian)

Expensive, but complete, with 2 full years (for grades 7 and 8), AND designed to be completely independently done by the student.

 

 

HISTORY:

Currently, he is doing VP Self-Paced but as it was written for much younger students, he is not doing any output. Of course, he loves it. I am thinking to keep it as he doesn't fight me on it, and it gets done.

 

Sounds great! If it ain't broke, don't fix it. ;) If you feel you need to beef it up a bit, you can always add a book or documentary here or there. :)

 

 

SPELLING/VOCABULARY:

... Can Megawords fill both of these?

 

Yes. It is designed for grades 4-12, so it would carry him for a few years. He likely does not need to start with book 1 or even book 2. You may need to get the Assessment Book (alas, it is expensive), to place him. Or, look at the table of contents of each book (see them at the Christian Book website) to decide for yourself where to place him.

 

 

EXTRA:

He wants to be an architect. How about some technical drawing ideas?

 

Introduction 2 Architecture Creativity Set and Book (gr. 3-8) -- hands on

- Young Architect Experiment Kit (gr. 5+) -- hands on

- Creating Line Designs, book 3 and book 4 -- uses a ruler and following directions

- Practical Drafting Workbook (gr. 6-adult) -- once he does the Creating Line Designs, he could move on to this

- Glencoe textbook: Basic Technical Drawing (gr. 8-10) -- again, for later on, but maybe get it now to have on hand as reference?

- ArchiDoodle -- probably too free-hand for DS 

- Drafting & Design pencil set and Student Architect's Triangular Scale

 

 

What did I miss?

If there is a box with lesson plans that might fit what we need (not Calvert!), suggest a way. This kid is a box checker.

 

Because every child is unique, and because you're using a variety of materials -- not all from the same "publisher" or "box" -- I think you'll need to create a template. Super easy: use a pencil and ruler to make your own to exactly fit your needs, use that as your master and photocopy enough copies to last you all year. Or, download a pre-made template, and work with that; each weekend, write in (or type in and print off) the week's assignments for DS to check off as he goes.  Here are some printable template ideas:

- Mission Minded Mothering blog: 2 homeschool planners

- The Homeschool Mom website: numerous planners

- Amy's Wandering blog: big list of links to free printable homeschool planners

________________

 

Sounds like you are definitely moving into the pre-teen boy thing of pushing away from mom and wanting to assert his independence, so wishing you both all the very BEST of luck as you work to figure out how to navigate these new waters! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 23 January 2018 - 04:04 PM.

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#6 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 04:03 PM

Oh, and science- we like textbooks. I am not a big fan of Apologia, but have used them. We also like the John Tiner Exploring the History of ... series. That is just reading and comprehension checks each chapter, no hands on or writing. You could add something to it once in awhile like a project or a research paper. I liked the new Science in the Beginning series textbook for middle school too. It was almost hands off for me. DD could do the reading, do the notebooking at the end of each section, and even most of the experiments were things she could gather and do on her own. She did it with co-op, so they did one or two a week, but at home she did others on her own too. We wouldn't have needed to do them all if we were doing this on our own at home. I would just pick and choose some. 

 

And lit- we always do together and discuss. R&S won't take care of that. But audio books could have you all listening together and might make it easier to discuss. We do art while we read aloud here. So the kids sketch, paint, do paint by numbers, whatever medium they are into while I read or while we listen a few times a week. We also have books going in the car. There is some assigned reading and required papers too. But the reading together and listening together gets a lot of discussion going which can help fuel those papers that have to be written at some point. 


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#7 cintinative

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 04:43 PM

I can't answer if Math in Focus could be self-teaching but would encourage you to look at the samples that Houghton-Mifflin (sp?) offers on their site.  We are using this at home and I usually go over the lesson and then my son does the problems. I feel like they are explained well in the text and demonstrated though, so if he can follow those explanations, he might be fine.

 
My caveat: you need to be aware of how MIF handles pre-Algebra. What MIF does is it breaks Pre-Algebra concepts into three texts covering three years (plus other stuff). We are doing Course 1 this year which is technically a 6th grade book. IF we continued with MIF, and did only one Course per year, we would not finish with the Courses until the end of 8th, which means Algebra I in 9th grade.  SO, we are not going to complete the courses. We are bailing on MIF after this year and moving to Dolciani Pre-Algebra.  The other option would be to accelerate the three courses into two years and call the sum and total Pre-Algebra. I had considered doing that, but I think that would push my 6th grader over the edge. He is not a fast math worker. Also someone mentioned to me getting the kids used to something more like a "real textbook" before they jump into Algebra I. So that might be something to consider also.

 

 



#8 Milknhoney

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

Almost all of ds's subjects are self-teaching.

 

Math - he self-taught out of Singapore/DM for 6th and 7th, but math comes easily to him. I don't know how well others could do it. And eventually, DM became too challenging for him. So I strongly recommend going with a video program for that one. I think it might be very, very hard to learn otherwise. He is loving Math Without Borders this year.

 

Grammar - Rod & Staff. We skip the writing assignments. Their spelling is also independent. 

 

Writing - WWS. This is one of the subjects that is not totally independent. I am not spoon feeding or anything, but I do have to help a lot.

 

Literature - another one that is not totally independent, but it has been up until this year. I just had him write a summary for me. This year (8th) as we prepare for high school I realized we had better do a little discussion. I have Progeny Press discussion guides for three books, and the rest I am trying to have discussions as outlined in WTM. However, they are not daily.

 

Science - Apologia Physical Science. I only help out when experiments require using the stove and other tricky things. We skip a lot of them.

 

HIstory - Going through SOTW a second time. I bought the comprehension questions typed out so he can answer them on his own. He looks up the mapping instructions in the activity guide himself. He reads and outlines from an encyclopedia and then does the written test.


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#9 AdventuresinHomeschooling

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 08:39 PM

Beast Academy is mastery based and focuses highly on problem solving.  It is self-taught for the most part and would be very good for someone like your son who wants to do something more technical.  AOPS follows it in pre-algebra and also is self-taught, or they have online courses for it.

 

For language arts, he sounds like my son who is in third.  Most of it is that he doesn't like some of the more classical literature selections.  Try some scientific non-fiction for some of the reading selections.  He'll tell me a lot more about bugs than a portrait or a story of a Victorian girl on a farm.  

 

Look into some technical graphic software.  He can even combine something like this with his science, such as robotics or coding skills.  My son likes to do stop motion animation with Hue software.

 

Science:  RS4K can be read as a text alone and then note booking for the science experiments.  It's subject based through 8th grade.  You will want to supervise experiments, but it can be more independent for a middle schooler.  Get lots of science kits and have him do a science fair project of something that interest him.

 

Building Spelling Skills is a traditional spelling workbook through 8th grade, or he could switch to Vocab from Classical Roots for vocal or Wordly Wise.

 

History...if it's working, maybe stick with it and add a couple writing assignments or a notebook requirement for output.  VP is supposed to end in 6th grade and go into Omnibus.  Maybe look at something like Bookshark or Sonlight...more reading independently and note booking,


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#10 Paradox5

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Posted 29 January 2018 - 12:37 AM

I appreciate these ideas. I have been busily checking them all out. 



#11 Jess4879

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:23 AM

My one kiddo is similar for math.  We finished BJU 4 and then she completed Levels 6 & 7 of TT and now she's moving into BJU 7.  For TT she used mainly just the text.  She is not a fan of video instruction either and the only time I made her watch the lecture was if she struggled with a concept and needed to watch the "see how to do it".  If I hadn't already purchased TT to use for my oldest, I wouldn't have even bothered with the CD's.  Just wanted to throw that idea out there. :)

 

I am not much help for the other subjects, sorry.  We do own the Mosdos texts.  I think it's do-able as a self-taught if you assign some of the questions and writing assignments and/or have discussions after the reading.  We have never used the TG's, so I have no idea on that end.


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#12 Mrs. Tharp

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 07:46 PM

Math: I agree with the suggestion for R&S Math. There are complete explanations and worked examples at the beginning of every lesson, and ample opportunities for review. 

 

Literature: I recently discovered the Core Knowledge classics. The books are abridged and the language has been modernized, but it has been well done and the reading level is upper elementary through middle school. Teacher's guides are available to download from the website for free. I've been very pleased so far, and ds1 is now happily reading books he wouldn't touch otherwise. Google Core Knowledge for the website.

 

Grammar: R&S grammar is also great for self teaching. 

 

Science: I second the suggestion for RS4K. Maybe supplement to add more experiments.

 

 


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