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Everything posted by Sahamamama2

  1. This might work for the high school level:
  2. We have had a "homeschool room" for about five years now, ever since we moved into this house. When we moved in, the room we chose was already nicely painted (tan), so we just left it that way. We also had a somewhat middle elementary look to the room -- charts, maps, workbox drawers, and so on -- but after five years, it was time for a change. This summer, I emptied, cleaned, and painted the room. I had read that painting a room a pale yellow helps with concentration. I could use all the help I can get with that, and our winters here (NJ) are long and gray. So I painted the ceiling and window trim a nice, bright white and the walls a sunny yellow. It turned out to be a bit brighter than I had envisioned it, but we all love it now. In addition to a good overhaul with the cleaning and painting, I took out everything that we will not use for this year, except for our history bookshelves and our science bookshelves. But everything else has to justify its presence in this room! My homeschool storage space is on very sturdy (homemade) shelving in the (very dry) basement. I keep all of our work, all of it, and always have, so it just goes in a Home Depot box, gets labelled with the year(s), and stored down on the shelves. Materials that we will use again (or later) are also stored in the basement. It would drive me to distraction to have it "all" in the homeschool room. I have a hard time with focusing, so less is more for me. Also, with the make-over, I wanted an older, more "mature" look to the room, with less stuff hung up on the walls and just an overall more "living room" feeling. We have a nice, cushy recliner and carpet in one corner. I sewed some floral valences to dress up the windows, and softened them with lace panels behind the valences. Most of the walls are basic bookshelves (be sure to anchor them!) full of books and bins. We have four sturdy work tables in the center of the room, one for each of us. This allows each student to accomplish her own grade-level work, but since we do so many of our content subjects as a group, it's nice to be able to have that "rectangular table" discussion. There is one computer at another table, a few lamps, a few CD players, a fireplace we have never used, LOL.... some other stuff that I'm too lazy to turn around and see.... It's nice because this room is right next to a bathroom (convenient and quick!), just upstairs from the laundry room (making switch-outs convenient and quick), and near the kitchen (making lunch and supper prep easy to do while still keeping an eye on things). We have another computer at the other end of the house that the girls use for French, typing practice, and composition, but it's locked out for internet access when no one can supervise them there. I will try to post some photos later. At the moment, my camera battery is dead, which means the kids have been using my camera...
  3. A few more thoughts about CLE Math -- We always skip the #1 book (401, 501, 601, etc.), because it is all review. My kids do "slow math" over the summer, so they don't need the review. By "slow math" I mean that they must complete the #2 book (402, 502, 602, etc.) over the summer, at whatever pace they feel like doing (sort of ;)), just so long as we work through it before we start back up again in late August or early September. What this does is take off some pressure, eliminate the need for the #1 book, and remind them that they really do have it easy in the summer time, LOL. We end up working through Light Units 3 through 10 during the school year. So eight books, instead of ten. Also, we skip these lessons: Lesson 5 (Quiz 1, no new content), Lesson 10 (Quiz 2), and Lesson 17 (Just for Fun or Discoveries or something like that?). I do make them do the drills for Lessons 5 and 10 at the levels that have drills, but otherwise they just go straight from Lesson 4 to Lesson 6, for example. So.... this means we have reduced the workload from 170 lessons (17 lessons x 10 books) to 112 lessons (14 lessons x 8 books), plus a bit of summer work (14 lessons). We do not do this to accelerate math, actually. We are not trying to either "catch up" or "get ahead." We use CLE this way to make math a year-long, manageable, meaningful part of our lives, without sacrificing our ability to do other things that we also value. I don't want my students' days to be hours and hours of math (at this level, at least). If they were math-oriented students and it was a matter of their own choice, that would be fine by me. But since that isn't the case with any of my girls (so far), the best approach seems to be to simply and painlessly get math done. CLE has really fit the bill for us for a number of years, and hopefully the transition from CLE 800 into Saxon Algebra won't be too agonizing for my oldest this year. I hope these logistics will help you as you plan, Hobbes. Have a great year!
  4. The levels for 4th grade and below have flash card practice AND speed drills/mastery drills (as separate components, but the reminders to do them are built into the lesson). So those components do take a little extra time. I think the lessons themselves are kept a bit shorter (than later levels), in order to accommodate the time it takes the student to practice the math facts. I'm thinking maybe 30 minutes from start to finish? LOL, that was the year before last, so it's a blur for me. KWIM? CLE Math 500 drops the flash cards, but still has the speed/mastery drills. By CLE Math 600, the separate drills have dropped out, but have been incorporated into the lessons, which are a bit longer (or seem to be so, to the student). I still think the whole thing took my 5th graders about 20-30 minutes? My oldest completed all of CLE Math 600 (except 601) and all of CLE Math 700 (except 701), and there have been times when the lessons take us 45 minutes to complete, from start to finish. But my oldest has always taken a long time to work through math, not because she doesn't concentrate (she does), but because that's just the way she does math. She just plods. I don't think it would make any difference what math program we were using. We're planning to work through CLE Math 800, along with Saxon Algebra I, for 8th grade and into 9th grade. I think it will help her to transition to Saxon, to have CLE as part of her math course this year, and IMO it's okay if she takes longer than one year to complete Algebra I. The way we tend to work through the lessons is as follows: the student independently (a) does the flash cards, if any, (b) completes the speed/mastery drill, if any, (c) reads through the lesson [new material], but does not complete the exercises, (d) does all the "We Remember" and other review sections, and then (e) turns in the work to me. At that point, we go over the drill (if any), the review/practice sections, the lesson, and work through the new problems. We go over it all to check for correctness and understanding, and that's math for that day! HTH.
  5. If that's the case, you might want to take a closer look at CLE Math. We've been using it successfully for years, and it seems to move at the right pace for my three girls. Not too fast, not too slow, but just right. It's also easy to accelerate or slow down, if needed (but we haven't ever needed to adjust it much). HTH.
  6. I am not from the South, so maybe I'm missing something cultural/regional, but this would set off my alarm bells, too. And no, I would not have my child hug that person. In fact, if I witnessed this person doing the same thing to other customers, I would have reported her to management. Seriously. Perhaps nothing would be done about it, but I would still report her. Too weird, IMO.
  7. Summer Science (2018) = [with me] The Elements [Ellen McHenry] Summer Science (2018) = [with Dad] Snap Circuits Semester 1: Group Work = Botany [Ellen McHenry] + How Food Grows website + Hands-On Work Semester 1: Independent Work = Botany [Apologia] + Science Bookshelf (botany books) + Exploring the World of Chemistry [Tiner] + Exploring the World of Physics [Tiner; reading for review] Semester 2: Group Work = Microscope Skills + Cells [Ellen McHenry] + Hands-On Work Semester 2: Independent Work = Human Anatomy & Physiology [Apologia] + Science Bookshelf (cells; microscope; A & P) + Exploring the World of Chemistry [Tiner] + Exploring the World of Physics [Tiner; reading for review] Summer Science (2019) = [with me] Protozoa [Ellen McHenry] Summer Science (2019) = [with Dad] more Snap Circuits
  8. Go to your local library and ask a librarian to help you find books on your daughter's reading level that are also available as an audio book (CD). Then check out both the books and the audio books, as a matched set. Your daughter can listen to the story while she follows along in the book. Over time, this will help to build her confidence in using the words she learns. Also look in your library for two books: First Thousand Words in English and First Thousand Words in _______ (your native language). If you can find both books, you can use the "native language" book to compare to the English book, since both versions are the same, except for the languages used.
  9. I have no earth-shattering insight into your line-up, but just wanted to pop in to say that I'm doing something similar for summer reading with my rising 8th grader -- that is, giving her a choice of this-or-that book, plus a write-up. I realize that since all the books will be on the shelf, she will probably read BOTH books, but that's also part of the strategy. ;) There must be something about almost-8th graders that makes us feel compelled to give them choices! :) Good luck with your plans and your final homeschool year.
  10. Lexi, I'm always drawn in, too, but to my regret. Plain and simple, MP is boring. However... We do use some of it. We use it for Geography I, but the textbook is so boring. So we add in other things to make it more interesting. We're still going to use it for Geography II next year, though, because it's a simple way to line up a "spine" for memorizing the countries and capitals, doing some map work, doing review, and taking quizzes. I print out "Big Maps" to go along with the continent we're working on, so that adds interest. And the girls are learning their geography. We use MP for Poetry (Poetry for the Grammar Stage). This one is not too bad. We work through about two poems per month, and we'll finish up next year at that pace. I would have to say we've actually enjoyed this resource, so I suppose it isn't all regret with MP. Latin, though... I have a ton of MP Latin in my basement. LOL. At night, I can hear the spiders conjugating. "Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant." MP Literature Guides -- Story Time Treasures was great for 1st grade, but otherwise, IMO, the guides are a waste of time, IMO. I think that if you selectively use MP, it might be okay. HTH.
  11. Wow. After I posted, I went to the top and read the replies. :huh: FWIW, I don't see this as "inconsiderate" to the school, not at all. The school is there for the children in the community, and your child is one of those children. Since the superintendent makes participation an "all or nothing" decision, you can spend seven to eight months of the year on homeschooling, two months on school enrollment, and two or three months on summer break. I really do not see a problem with this. :confused1: Farrar is right -- children come in and out of public schools all the time. Teachers make adjustments all year long, as students flow in and out of the classroom. A decent teacher should have no trouble at all folding in one well-motivated 4th grade student for nine weeks! Sheesh!
  12. Going by all that you posted, I would think of it as free summer camp (in the spring) and send her. My three girls are signed up for one week of summer camp, and it was definitely NOT free. They would go for all five weeks of camp, if they could. School is the hard work, camp is for fun. It sounds like she will have fun. She's done the hard work of academics, she's practiced her instrument, she's been an angel, right? Now she's curious and ready for an adventure. So reward the angel. :Angel_anim: I would take a deep breath and tell myself over and over, "It's just like camp, it's just like camp, it's just like camp." They go, they come home, life goes on.
  13. There's your plan -- keep on doing it all. Why not? One added bonus is that the motivation to do it all is built right into your daughter.
  15. Yes. I absolutely wasn't going to make my students copy those charts, add to them, etc., either in handwritten or typewritten format. Instead, it has been much more helpful to us all for the charts to be typed up (by me), printed out on various colored papers, 3-hole punched, and put in a section of their WWS binders. All three of my WWS girls have these pages. Instead of "copy," we "read and discuss." Instead of "add to," we "review." There are times when I will ask a student to tell me what the chart says, without looking at it first. I'm satisfied with the extent to which these instructions have been internalized. The actual writing days take time -- sometimes two or three days for one "day." I suppose there is a part of me that sees the "analyze the topos and copy the chart" days as quicker lessons. We will not squander our valuable time on copy work at this stage. HTH.
  16. A few thoughts on... 1. Eleven Year Old Girls: Three girls here (11, 11, 13), and perhaps some of the emotion is linked to the age? Seriously, there is something about being 11 (or so) and female that seems to create a wobbly-ness, even in areas that have previously been non-emotional. We get this here, too. My oldest has mostly worked through it, my twins are still in the thick of things. I think we'll work through the assignments, regardless, because somehow doing the work has contributed to their maturity. 2. Writing with Skill: We half-pace it, and sometimes even then... well, we just break down assignments into reasonable chunks, do that, and then call it a day. On the other hand, there are times when I sense some dawdling, and then I simply say, "Keep working on it, Honey." ;) Oldest daughter still needs to work on increasing her speed on sections of assignments -- The Perfectionist. Could this be at play with your oldest, also? They do tend to be perfectionists, right? I tell her, "Just SLAM IT OUT this time, it doesn't need to be perfect. It's just NOTES!" Plodding through while increasing speed/output is a work in progress. I do think she'll become more proficient over time, and that, in itself, will help with the boredom. FWIW, we don't change the assignments or topics, but we do change the "Week/Day" part of it. That is to say, we go at the pace that works for each student, and I guess it's just up to me as the mom/teacher to decide when to push or when to call it enough. But, hey, we did get all the way through WWS 1 and well into WWS 2 (with oldest), so plodding through does work. 3. Reviewing Topoi: What we ended up doing was to type out (in a word processor) all the reference charts (time/sequence, space/distance, point of view, topoi, copia, etc.) in the appendices, and then put them in a folder and REVIEW. So my students have to pull out the relevant chart(s) and really review them before starting the assignment. It helps that we printed all the charts on different colors of paper, so the students know exactly which charts to pull. They've gotten used to starting with the charts, reviewing those, and then starting the assignment. 4. Scaffolding Assignments: This just basically means teaching the student to pull out for herself the assignment instructions the SWB has put into the text. We sometimes will read together the actual assignments, and highlight the main instructions. Then we re-write the assignments into a concise, bullet-point list, so the student can see at a glance the basic expectations. This is not a criticism of the course, but SWB's instructions can tend to get a bit wordy and overwhelming. I think the student benefits from help in learning to pull out the 1-2-3 "to do" list from the bulky instructions. Also, I might say, "Work up to the end of Step Two, then see me," even if the text doesn't tell her that. It's easy enough to check in, and then move the student along. Or, if she's exhausted from Steps One and Two, I'll call it enough for that day. Give yourself checkpoints, so you can assess where she's at before there's a meltdown. 5. Sustaining Composition Hugs: There is no other subject in our household that requires hugs more than composition. I don't believe this is a fault of WWS, but is rather the nature of the beast. Writing demands more independence from our students; it is really a product of what they can do on their own. It requires clear thinking, organizing ideas, finding a voice, using new tools, juggling multiple details, and it's just so challenging, even for "good writers." I consider all three of my girls "good writers," and yet they are stretched by WWS in ways that other subjects don't stretch them. Hugs help them to regain that sense of "all is well." At our house, hugs help. HTH. Hang in there! :)
  17. In our experience, WWE is easy to grasp, implement, and accelerate. If I were in your shoes, I would: 1. Print out the placement evaluations for WWE. Work through them with your children individually, until you have a good sense of where to begin with each student. Here is the link -- 2. After you determine which level would work for each student, purchase those levels and set up your notebooks. 3. Start to work on the lessons, about three days per week, per student. Or, you might want to work two days with your youngest two, and three days with your oldest. We do alternate days for composition, because it's somewhat teacher-intensive. Take your time. Be willing to spend time on the task, but don't worry too much about the "levels." There is no rush to laying a good, solid foundation for writing. 4. Having said that, it is easy to accelerate WWE for some students. With your oldest, you might consider doubling up on lessons (e.g., Day 1 & Day 2 on the same day), or you might want to only work through the odd-numbered lessons. 5. Every now and then, you might want to change out a dictation that seems silly for something more meaningful to you. We sometimes substituted Bible verses. I would say, "Choose two verses from this chapter and I'll dictate that." If the dictations are painful for a student, you might want to guide them along differently than what is suggested in WWE. You could at times replace a dictation with typing practice. I sometimes said, "Skip the dictation and do 20 minutes of Typing Instructor." :party: 6. One thing to keep in mind is that Level 4 is totally "optional." We own it, but we never used it, because my three girls didn't need that much WWE before they were ready to move slowly into WWS 1. What we did was stretch Levels 1 through 3 over several years. I have been very happy with the results of working at a pleasant pace through these three levels of WWE, but if I was starting with a non-remedial older student (12 and up), I'd probably just work through Level 3. 7. IMO, all of WWS 1 in one school year is too much for a 5th grader, unless you take it very slowly, really work along with the student, and sometimes break up a "day" into two or three shorter assignments. Also, we took the time to type, print, and occasionally review the reference charts -- outlines, sentence variety, topoi, time/sequence words, space/distance words, and so on. Reviewing the reference charts was helpful for both my student and for me! :) It helped us to see the Big Picture of WWS -- sort of like reviewing all the tools in the toolbox up to that point and how to use them. 8. WWS 1 could probably be stretched out over 5th grade (if at all then), 6th grade, and 7th grade. With my oldest student, we completed "only" the first 12 weeks of WWS 1 in 5th and the final 24 weeks of WWS 1 in 6th. However, it was plenty, and I'm probably not going to get my twins (5th graders) through more than 10 weeks of WWS 1 this year. They are fine with it, but it's just that there are two of them and one of me. I'm nearly certain we will then split the remaining WWS 1 lessons over 6th and 7th grades. It is truly "enough," especially if they are doing other writing assignments (which my girls are). No rush. 9. Having now taught once all the way through WWS 1, I think that part of the student's (and parent's) "readiness" for this level is having the emotional maturity and executive functioning to cope with multi-step, multi-day, student-directed, complex, layered assignments. It's like the difference between your child making a grilled cheese sandwich and heating up a can of clam chowder (WWE) on the one hand, or your child making cheese souffle and bouillabaisse from scratch (WWS) on the other. The skill level really is higher. The student has to keep so much more "in mind" for WWS. So... it's okay to hold off on it until the student has some tenacity, confidence, organizational skills, and fortitude. Seriously, I am so glad that we stretched out WWE and then took WWS very, very slowly. Otherwise, there would have been more than the two meltdowns that I clearly remember having. :svengo: :svengo: Volcanoes! Marie Antoinette! Just kill me now.... (I'm kidding)
  18. My recommendation would be to work through WWE 3 or 4, in order to solidify the basic skills of copywork, dictation, and narration. Either level is fine; IMO, there is not much difference between them (level 4 provides an additional year of work for those who need it). You might consider doubling up on some days (e.g., complete Day 1 and Day 2 on the same day). Accelerating WWE is quite reasonable and easy to do. Another alternative for accelerating might be to work through only odd-numbered weeks. However, there is no hurry. IMO, there would be no harm in taking all of 5th grade to work on the skills of WWE 3 (or 4). When your son can comfortably manage the skills that are tested at the end of Level 3 (or 4), it might be time to move on to WWS 1. With WWS 1, you will probably want to work through the lessons at a slower-than-scheduled pace. What I mean by this is that one "week" will likely often take more than one actual week to complete (though not always). While WWE "days" can be doubled up, one "day's" work in WWS can often take 2 or 3 days to complete, especially as the assignments become increasingly complex. If you completed the first 10-12 weeks of WWS 1 in 6th grade, you would have all of 7th to finish the course. HTH.
  19. This describes my in-laws exactly -- the older they get, the more impossible and critical they are. It's to the point where no one really wants to be around them, including my husband, his brothers, and the rest of the extended family. It's sad, because you can see that there used to be such a closeness and connection, and there would still be a desire for that, except... they are so impossible. And it's both of them, too, not just one or the other. Like, if a family member visiting their house touches a spoon, but doesn't actually use it, my mother-in-law will put the spoon into the dishwasher -- because it is obviously contaminated. Or, my father-in-law refuses to eat anything at anyone's house or any restaurant -- because he can't guarantee that those who prepared the food washed their hands, didn't pick their noses, didn't touch a dog, or didn't use a pan that had never touched bacon. They never travel, because they don't want to sleep in a strange bed. My children used to write to them, send hand-drawn pictures, little poems, and so on. They never once wrote back, or called the kids, or emailed, or anything. My children stopped writing to them, and I never said they had to do it. It became too pointless, and kind of sad, so....
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