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JessBurs

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About JessBurs

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  1. I am starting to casually look through my book/curriculum options for next year and my older DD will be hitting chemistry (3rd grade). My younger DD will be doing the coursework with us (she will be 1st/2nd grade). What have you found to be the best ways to teach chemistry in elementary school? Science was not one of my strongest subjects (though I did fine, I do not feel as confident in my teaching abilities in chemistry as I do in say, history), so I am looking for something pretty self-explanatory. Both DDs also love hands-on activities in all subjects (our homeschool days are filled with projects), but I do not want to spend a fortune creating my own chemistry lab. With all that in mind, do you have any chemistry curriculum/books suggestions for us? I have one IRL friend who suggested Real Science Odyssey Chemistry, which definitely looks intriguing, so if you have any experience with that I would love to hear your impressions of it as well. TIA
  2. So I posted this last night in the Writing Workshop subforum, only to realize that forum is for actual writing samples... so sorry about that. I am new to the forums so unsure if there is some way to get that thread deleted. Anyway, I am hoping someone can help me here: So my daughter is a young second grader. We are using Writing Strands 2 this year and I have been feeling a bit ehh about it so far (of course, my feelings might change as we progress through the year, haha) but I was hoping people could help fill me in WRT some of the writing curriculum they have seen their children thrive with. I keep seeing people discuss different curriculum options and honestly have trouble tracking which ones are middle school vs. elementary school, what all the acronyms stand for, etc. Background: Elsewhere for language arts we are using English Lessons Through Literature L2 and we are really enjoying it so far (my daughter has really liked the reading selections so far). We also use Spelling Workout and she actually says spelling is one of her favorite subjects, so I do not need anything that incorporates grammar/spelling really. My daughter also loves to read and write. She learned to read early and loves fantasy books, adventure, etc. She also has a very active imagination and has notebooks filled with her own stories that she has created (many of them adopting characters from her favorite books and shows and crafting new adventures for them). Anyone have any curriculum that they would highly recommend? I am looking for something now that will nurture her natural writing and storytelling skills, ideally a curriculum that will mature through the ages and teach more academic writing later on: ie persuasive essays, research paper, etc. Thanks a lot!
  3. So my daughter is a young second grader. We are using Writing Strands 2 this year and I have been feeling a bit ehh about it so far (of course, my feelings might change as we progress through the year, haha) but I was hoping people could help fill me in WRT some of the writing curriculum they have seen their children thrive with. I keep seeing people discuss different curriculum options and honestly have trouble tracking which ones are middle school vs. elementary school, what all the acronyms stand for, etc. Background: Elsewhere for language arts we are using English Lessons Through Literature L2 and we are really enjoying it so far (my daughter has really liked the reading selections so far). We also use Spelling Workout and she actually says spelling is one of her favorite subjects, so I do not need anything that incorporates grammar/spelling really. My daughter also loves to read and write. She learned to read early and loves fantasy books, adventure, etc. She also has a very active imagination and has notebooks filled with her own stories that she has created (many of them adopting characters from her favorite books and shows and crafting new adventures for them). Anyone have any curriculum that they would highly recommend? Thanks a lot!
  4. My kids are young so take what I say with a grain of salt... But if I was in your shoes I would just enroll him in a comprehensive online school (ie not a class here or there, but like k-12), at least for this year. It would make him accountable to others and you would not have to be actively involved with the teaching, taking some of the pressure off of you. It would also give him a taste of what it would like to be in school (he would lose a lot of flexibility) and would also make him fend for himself grade-wise. From what I understand, these online schools also have communities of students for him to connect with/work on projects with/etc. Particularly if his goal is OxBridge, make him research the admission requirements and create a plan for himself to meet/exceed them and set him free for this year. If he flounders, at least it is only 8th grade and not high school and you can help him pick up the pieces next year. If he excels, well, then you reevaluate schooling choices for next year.
  5. I am intrigued by what you are saying about Beast Academy, particularly since it looks like by level 3 they can do the work through an online program. She is loving everything having to do with computers right now (of course, what kid isn't) and I try to limit screen time to educational things. She probably would eat it up-- as on the website it looks like math gamification and challenging problems. How would it work as a supplement course? Do you (or anyone else) know how well the topics covered in Singapore 3A align with BA 3A (I am not totally opposed to switching all together, but it is much more expensive than Singapore so I'm just thinking aloud...)
  6. Thank you, everyone for your advice! Today we just cracked up the 2B book (our fall curriculum) and it went much smoother, so I am feeling more hopeful than I did yesterday when I first posted. I also discovered MathPlayground and she has already found games she really likes. I think part of the reason I had not initially just continued with math was that I was afraid of 'pushing' her. I guess to spell it out, I come from a family of public school teachers (parents, aunts, cousins, etc). To be homeschooling I am really breaking the mold here. My daughter is a bit of an accelerated learner-- she is actually only 6 and has kind of "skipped" a grade in our homeschool. At least in the public school I went to there was always a ton of repetition and review, particularly in math. I think I am having trouble balancing knowing when to move on in a subject and when to hang back and spend more time on review. I mean she does all the math with ease (once she understands it, obviously she needed lessons on how to carry/rename, how to multiply, etc), and I guess I just saw the IP book as way of 'going deeper' with subjects, the way you know they do in 'gifted' classrooms in public school. Right now (based on how today went and what she articulated to me in our conversations) she seems, however, as though she would much rather move on and do new material. How do you balance knowing when to circle back and review subjects already covered and when to just move on?
  7. Thanks for the ideas. The reason I like the curriculum is I like the approach to teaching math-- I have seen her make fantastic progress when things 'click', last year understanding base ten and being able to start adding double digit numbers in her head, this year the whole idea of 'carrying/renaming' just clicked-- it has been so great to watch. And the thing is-- when these ideas do 'click' and she gets something new, she gets really excited about it! I also find the curriculum rigorous without being too repetitive, the right amount of practice for topics, etc. I sat down to speak with her and ask her articulate what her problem was with math: I was going to say, "Is it boring, hard, frustrating, etc" but I barely got out "is it boring" before she jumped in and said, "it's boring, very, very boring". I suggested giving up on our summer math book and just starting our fall math book so that we would cover different things and she jumped at the idea. I think for right now we will try that. Since we are starting the fall book a month early, I will have time to intermix it with some math games etc to try and keep it from being too many workbook problems per day. If we start having problems again, I may be back here for curriculum recommendations.
  8. Good afternoon, all. I am hoping someone will have some words of wisdom for me here. My rising second grade daughter professes to 'hate' math and I feel like a horrible teacher because of it, to be honest. She is actually quite good at math. But when she decides she does not want to do something, she will just fidget, whine, and profess to "I don't KNOWWWW" when asked to solve problems, that I know she very well can solve, because she did them fine the day before. The past school year we had some rough days, but over all pretty good. We follow Singapore math and I do like the curriculum. In the spring we did book 2A, so for the summer I got her Intensive Practice 2A. I wanted to keep the summers pretty light, and my plan was to just have her do like 15-20 minutes of work in the book a day. Since we had already done the curriculum, I thought these problems wold just make her think deeper, using skills she already had. It has been horrible getting her to do it, though. The first few days were fine. Then she started with the whining. I would come over to the book and it would be like a basic addition problem that she had done countless times before. There were several days where she did absolutely nothing during her math time. I discussed the problem with her and asked her what she thought might help. We decided that she might work better if I sat right with her. So we did that and it worked for maybe 2 weeks. Today, however, she did the same thing-- fidgeting with her pencil, whining "I don't knowwww" etc etc. In 30 minutes we got like one problem done. She then walked away saying, "I hate math!" and I am sitting here feeling defeated. I like the curriculum and want to keep following it-- I am just looking, I guess, for tips to inspire her to care? Or at least to try? What can you tell me here, homeschool vets?
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