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About Seraphina71

  • Birthday 10/26/1971

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    Homeschooling Mama
  1. I find hippocampus.org to be an incredible free resource for high school students. Sparknotes are good, free literature guides.
  2. I'm definitely trending towards liberal, but I totally agree with you about this one. Why on earth wouldn't they be playing WB cartoons? Isn't that their brand? Or they could play information about other fun rides in the park. While I agree that kids (my own included) are too "plugged in" these days, I don't actually have a problem with monitors in the lines. I can remember being six or seven and queuing two hours in 95 degree heat. I think I would have greatly appreciated having something to occupy my mind besides counting the people in front of me. Of course, I'd have much preferred Tweety Bird or a video of the big roller coaster to a gross video of two people sucking face.
  3. My 14 year old still uses and enjoys the 4-6 book. I think they're pretty flexible.
  4. Ellie, Thank you once again for your concern. I think maybe there is some confusion about what I mean by "spine". I am certainly not looking for anything "official" for my little wiggle worm! The Maestro books are precisely what I was looking for: beautiful, concise, living books perfect for snuggling with and reading aloud. They also provide me with a concise chronological outline of topics, which I do find very helpful, indeed. I'm not sure why that seems overly "official" or otherwise undesirable to you. I like to reserve my picture books online from the library each week, and having this framework makes it easy for me to quickly choose appropriate books. In the eight years I've been homeschooling, I've become partial to certain authors and titles for each age or stage. I love the "If you..." series, the "You Wouldn't Want to.." series and the "Picture Biography" series, for example. I don't really mind how much or how little we cover for each topic, but I do like to keep it chronological. With the stress I'm under this year, I appreciate having something to keep me moving in the right direction. From the other responses I got, it seems like I'm not the only one. Normally, I wouldn't *feel* the need to justify my post, but I'm a little baffled by your response. I asked a perfectly reasonable question, and I received some specific recommendations, along with some replies from other folks with the same concern. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you responded at all. I am an experienced homeschooling mother. Why would you feel the need to " help you analyze the situation to see if there was, in fact, another way to go for a 5yo child"? When did reading picture books together become "too official"? Sometimes, it's okay to say nothing. -Michelle
  5. I really appreciate all your replies. Ellie, I certainly can and will read her plenty of age-appropriate books, but it would seem evident by my post that I do, in fact, feel I need some sort of a spine, even for a five year old. I am having a really rough year, and while SHE may not require it, I do. I think farrarwilliams explained it perfectly when she said "but a spine is so useful for me to organize my own thoughts (even if we're loose about how we do it)". Calandalsmom, I think your suggestion of the Betsy Maestro's American Story series is exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you so much! It's a great series in its own right, but it also provides a clear outline of topics for additional reading. I'm so frazzled right now that I really want something that I can quickly look over to know which books I should be getting from the library when, you know? Thanks again for all the great suggestions! -Michelle
  6. I'm a big fan of Artistic Pursuits. Since it's pretty popular, it's easy to pick up used. My friend is just bugeyed crazy over Meet the Masters. I have no idea how much it costs, though.
  7. My 8th grader completed PLATO Earth & Space and part of Life Science this year, and overall, I was pretty pleased with it. I agree that it is certainly not the most rigourous program on the market, but it served our purposes pretty well. My daughter is very good in math, has written several plays and is an avid reader, but she always despised science. I don't know why. What PLATO did for us was to remove that "block", thus allowing her to approach her 9th grade Oak Meadow Environmental Science with, dare I say, actual enthusiasm.
  8. Am I asking too much:tongue_smilie:? My 14yo daughter was going to be doing Sonlight 100 (secularly), but many of the books strike us as too easy, too boring, or both. So, we've decided to use Oak Meadow American History, while reading through the Hakim series, reading and listening to historical fiction and biographies, and making good use of Netflix. My other child is only 5 and just beginning to really "do school" (kindergarten) this year. She is very bright but does not yet read, and she has a short attention span even for five. I'd like for her to study American History along with us, but I'm having a lot of trouble finding a secular spine at this level. I've found plenty for Ancient/World, but nothing at all for American. Does such a thing exist? My two children are starting high school and kindergarten the same year my chronic illness has taken a turn for the worse and my husband has been forced to accept a substantial paycut at work. I know there are plenty of good picture books and such out there, and I have spent hours researching, but I'm having a really hard time putting together a plan this year. I don't suppose any of you have compiled a chronological list of picture books for American History? Has anyone used the Dover coloring books with children this age? Do they have a story, too, or are they just coloring pages? I really appreciate any help you all can offer me. -Michelle
  9. My older girl used Horizons until 5th grade and loved it. She gained a very thorough working knowledge of mathematics, which is probably partially responsible for her complete lack of math anxiety. She is plugging along in algebra with the same matter-of-fact confidence she's always shown. With my 4yo, I received Saxon K for free, so I bought the best manipulative kit I could find and then opened it. Count four bears as you line them up on the edge of the construction paper then count them again as you put them back into your math basket. That was it? Maybe I should have read this thing beforehand. I also had Saxon 1, but with her being only 4 I didn't want to start with that yet. I ALSO had the old Singapore kindergarten 1a and 1b workbooks, which we do occasionally, but they're also a little on the basic side. I'm sure if I had the whole program I might feel differently. Soooo, despite owning three other math programs, I still bought the Horizons K workbooks from a WTMer. They're working wonderfully. I do occasionally use the calendar work (on my own calendar) from the Saxon K or a worksheet from Singapore. Mostly I use the Horizons and Building Thinking Skills- Primary level from Critical Thinking Co for pattern and attribute block work. Oh, and we love Tangoes Jr. for tangrams work at her level. If I were you, I might order just the Horizons workbooks (I think RR has a good price) and really look them over. You can always find a used TM for a good price if you decide you want to use it. If you look the whole year over and don't like the looks of it, you can sell it and not take much of a hit in the wallet. You might even find someone who still has their used K workbooks who would send them to you for just shipping costs.
  10. Ha, apparently only Michelles are allowed in this thread. When my oldest was in second grade, we used a text called World of Language by Silver Burdett Ginn, who I believe is now part of Scott Foresman, who is part of Pearson...so I can't promise it's still in print. I know they usually have them used on ebay. It's reading, grammar and composition combined. We loved it. We just had the text and the Writer's Activity workbook.
  11. I've decided to erase my OP and get right to the point. Can a 9th grade student who has not studied ancient history in depth begin TRISMS with the Ancient level, without having used History Makers? Thanks, Michelle
  12. I don't know what age you are looking at. I think OM would drive me a little bonkers in the early grades, but I'm an artsy-but-NOT-craftsy kind of person. That doesn't mean it's not a good program; it's just too abstract for me. In my opinion, once you get into the 5/6th grade area, it really starts to shine. It still has plenty hands on opportunities for creative and kinesthetic learning, but also requires research papers and higher level thinking and offers lots of suggestions for supplementation. We used the History/English and TM from 5th grade and really enjoyed it. We bought the 6th grade but ended up not using it because I became too ill that year to participate as much as I would want to. (I have it for sale if you need it). It seems like maybe you're talking about younger kids, though. I think if the nature walks and handicrafts sound good to you, then you will probably love it. It is very gentle and very Waldorf. Whether you see that as a good or bad thing is up to you, I guess. My opinion, and it is of course just that, is that in the younger grades it is a little abstract, a little vague, a little light on actual stuff for the price you pay. That's only because I know I would not make the most out of it, though. You might. I believe that in the middle grades it is a very good, balanced program. I've never looked at their high school curriculum, so I obviously can't give an opinion of that. Michelle
  13. I am hoping some of you who have used these books can help me make a decision. I have the opportunity to buy the whole set of 11 for a very good price, but the publication date is 1999. I know there have been at least one if not two revisions since then. I guess my question is how different are the books now? Is it worth paying extra to get the newest editions? Thanks, Michelle
  14. I know my daughter adored Behind Rebel Lines. I think she was about 11 when she read it, though, so I'm not sure if it would be too easy for an 8th grader. I'd guess probably not.
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