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Tracy

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Everything posted by Tracy

  1. I think it depends largely on your kids. My ds8 could do it, and might even prefer it. My dd11 could never do it in a million years. She just doesn't have any concept of time passing or how long things take. It would be so exceedingly laborious for me to make her adhere to a schedule in that manner that it wouldn't be worth it. I was talking about this issue with dd11 recently, lamenting that we were entering middle school and wondering how she was going to do it all. She gave me this nugget of wisdom. "I want you to stop telling me what to do all day long. I know I can't go to ballet (or whatever other community thing she has going on) unless my work is done. There is no other greater motivation for me to get my work done. You don't need to worry about it so much." So I am working really hard on setting things up so that it is very easy for her to know what is expected to be done each day. And I am going to try to be more hands off and work really hard on enforcing the natural consequences. Also, your situation is the very reason that we do not participate in co-ops. Yes, it is an easy place to find friends. But I just can't bring myself to do it at the expense of our entire school week. That means that I need to put a lot more work into building and maintaining friendships. But my kids still have way more friends than I ever did in public school.
  2. I agree. Put them in separate programs so that your younger can pass up the older one without either of them noticing. If you can use programs that do not use grades as levels, all the better.
  3. My husband, a physics teacher, really likes Paul Hewitt's Conceptual Physics.
  4. Check out this list of 1000 classics that is divided by reading level. Other Book lists Five in a Row Sonlight Books that have book lists in them Honey for a Child's Heart The Read-Aloud Handbook Home Learning Year by Year Some of My Best Friends Are Books Books Children Love Also, www.livingmath.net has a book list that is especially good for young kids that love math.
  5. I think you are going to find that boxed curricula are not going to work well for any child who has special needs. I have one child that is 2e, and it is especially hard to fit her into a box. The problem is that these kids are asynchronous, meaning that they are at different levels for different subjects. So I have to piece together everything I do with her. I especially avoid anything that has a lot of busy writing work, because her writing is behind everything else. I have used some programs that integrate more than one subject with some success. For example, SWR teaches reading, spelling, handwriting and some grammar. TOG teaches history and literature together, and this year we are going to try adding the writing portion.
  6. Is there such a thing? I picked up a documentary from the library about Revolutionary War heroes. It was made for children and sounded like it would right up ds8's alley. The first thing he said was that they forgot Casimir Pulaski. Then he told me not to get any more in the series, because those videos were for public school kids who don't know any history. I don't have time to preview the adult documentaries. And when I have done so, I learned that previewing them is absolutely necessary.
  7. It sounds like you are already doing a great job with her. In addition to what you have already stated, we also sometimes ask our dd11 if she really meant what she said. "Do you really mean to imply that it is my job to keep every insect in the world away from you?" "Are you telling me that you are not capable of shooing a fly away from your food (because if that is the case, then we have bigger problems than the flies)?" We might also just rephrase what she said into what she should have said. "What you mean is, 'I really hate flies. I guess I will have to either shoo them away or go inside." We have also (very occasionally due to her sensitivity) told her outright that what she said was abrasive, argumentative and disrespectful and asked to her please rephrase it. She never can on the spot, so we may send her to her room until she can think of a kinder way to say it. But that is a once-per-year sort of thing for us.
  8. We also used Typing Instructor for Kids. It is fun and engaging. And cheap. Gotta like cheap. :seeya:
  9. I don't think that there is necessarily a wrong answer here. But I do think that you need to decide what your personal/family philosophy about music education is going to be. Is it enrichment? In that case, the child should get some enjoyment out of it. Is it part of your curriculum to learn an instrument well? Then you treat it like teaching reading or writing. It is just something that you do. If the latter is your philosophy, then you should also have some reason for choosing guitar. Maybe it is because it is cheap and convenient. Maybe there is a cultural reason for it. But in any case, you need to choose your philosophy and stick with it. In our family, we want the kids to learn piano, specifically, because it will be a service at church, where we don't have a paid musical staff. Our house rule is that they can choose another instrument after they become proficient playing the hymns. (My 11yo is very close now. We'll be fixing up my flute for her to start on soon.) Additionally, I understand that all other instruments are easier to learn after learning piano. Now, I have one child who loves music and another who could take it or leave it. Knowing that it is always something we do in our home cuts down on the requests to quit or change instruments. All that being said, neither of my children hate piano. If that were the case, I might have to re-examine my philosophy.
  10. I think it can be a little of all of these. I think it is particularly a combination of age and giftedness. Gifted children can imagine big projects but neglect to take into account their still-growing executive skills. My dd11 starts new projects all the time, and I know that they are too big for her to complete. I have just let her plan away and figure out for herself what her abilities are. And honestly, my husband is this way. He still struggles with executive skills. He tells me he was like dd11 as a child. While he still tends to start projects and not finish them, he does finish them when it really counts. As a teacher, he succeeds in teaching a whole curriculum every year, and he has successfully put on dozens of plays and musicals as a Drama Director and completed many projects with his Science Club. IMO, it is my job to support my dd11 with all of her projects. Mostly, that means that I keep my distance. I might occasionally ask leading questions, such as, "So what are you going to do about such and such?" or "Have you considered this?" But those projects are her time for learning in her own way. Meanwhile, projects occasionally crop up in school or in outside activities that I step in and help her with, mostly with goal-setting and scheduling. Last year, she was in a play and had a substantial part for which she had a lot of lines to memorize, so we put that on her daily schedule. Even though she was the youngest, she ended up being the go-to person when they needed to find something in the script. She also wanted to do Battle of the Books. So for a time, we put that on her schedule. And this year, she is so excited about it that she is ahead of everyone. She even has sample questions written out. So, yes, she is still young, and this is normal for her age. Yes, she is gifted, and this is normal for her intellect. Yes, there are things we can do to help, but mostly it doesn't matter as much as we feel like it does.
  11. So how does that work without an invoice? Do they just give you money, but not for the particular thing they are purchasing? I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around this.
  12. I think I have my PayPal acct set up to sell my curriculum. I have linked a credit card and a bank account. I have listed items I want to sell. I just have some questions that I can't find answers to on PayPal. 1. When I create an invoice, does that go to the buyer's e-mail address? 2. Does the invoice that the buyer receives have a link to pay using PayPal? 3. What are the fees, if any, for using PayPal? Thanks,
  13. I am really surprised at how many people have rules about this. I always ask myself, "Is my goal to get through the book, or is my goal to build up my children?" Now, I do not tolerate much in the way of irrelevant comments. But any amount of relevant questions or comments are completely welcome in my home, even if that means that we stop in the middle of the chapter, . . . even if we stop several times in the middle of the same chapter. When they ask questions, I often respond by asking them what they think. This approach builds their critical thinking skills and their vocabulary (since they can ask about any word they don't know without having to wait). But most importantly, it builds our relationship, since reading is not something I do to them, but rather, reading is a foundation for spending time together. Yes, there are times that I weary of my talkative child's interruptions. But when I feel that way, I ponder the reason that we are doing this. And I see the benefit now as she is getting older and having to deal with the trials of growing up. She has learned that I value what she has to say, and as a result, she comes to me with everything she is dealing with.
  14. I am so sorry that you are feeling so overwhelmed. I know what it is like to homeschool with health issues. I have had serious health issues for the past two years. (And my kids do not sleep, well, either. This is another reason that we really need to homeschool--so everyone can sleep when they need to.) At first, I tried to do everything--not just the 3R's, but the most teacher-intensive curricula out there, as well as history, geography, foreign language, science, fun activities and experiments, etc. But then it became clear that I was not going to get better and I had to come up with a different plan. First, let me assure you that you are exactly the mother that your kids need. No one will be able to understand them like you can. The measure of your worth is not how well you homeschool. Your value comes from just having given birth to these precious souls. Children innately love their mothers. If someone were to replace you with someone else, your children would suffer, no matter how good she was, because it is you that they love and need love from. I think that the most important thing that I do as a mother is to smile at my kids, even when I am in a lot of pain, and spend lots of time hugging them and reading to them as I am physically able. We only have a few years with our kids. Society has tried to make us believe that academics are goal of childhood. While academics undoubtedly are important, they are not the end-all and be-all of a child's life. But building a strong, loving family is really where it's at. Academics are means to that end but not the end in itself. With that paradigm shift, I have allowed my own pain, anxiety, and insomnia to remind me that my children need me to love them, and whatever academics we are able to do is icing on the cake. The first thing that I did was ditch science. My husband is a physics teacher, so we talk science a lot. That, plus occasional library books and YouTube videos, were going to have to be sufficient. Next to go was history/literature. Instead, I did a book basket using my Tapestry of Grace booklist, and they had to read out of the basket for 15 minutes/day. Then I ditched WWE for my ds, who was 7yo at the time. Instead, he and his father started writing a story together. Ds would write during the day, and dh would write at night. He is now typing his story. I also ditched spelling for part of the year since both kids were at or above grade level. I am bringing that back next year. I also stopped keeping records. I like keeping records, but sometimes I couldn't do it, and I got more and more behind. I just had to trust that if I ever had to prove that my kids were homeschooled, I could scrounge together a portfolio. My husband has taken on more responsibilities. He goes grocery shopping for me. He cooks and does dishes on my bad days. He is ready to jump in and help with whatever I need if he finds I am not doing well when he gets home from work. My kids have taken on more responsibilities. They do their own laundry now. I have one putting away dishes and the other cleaning toilet and sink every day. They can get their own meals when necessary. By the way, I have found that some of my health issues caused feelings of anxiety and depression, and as I have treated the root causes, I am able to cope much better. I don't know if that might be the case for you, but I thought I would mention it in case it is applicable. It has taken a whole two years to get to this. I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone, but in all honesty, my kids are better off for it. They are happy. They love each other. They are helpful and cooperative. Although they are sad when they miss out on things, they have been really good sports about it. In short, they are good people who always try hard. You can do this. You just need to adjust your expectations and figure how things can be done in a different (though not inferior) way.
  15. Mostly, you just need to watch your kid, just as you are doing. Very generally, kids who are in the middle of the bell curve (academically speaking) do better with spiral materials, while those on the outside of the bell curve do better with mastery materials. Kids with learning disabilities often do better with mastery materials, because they just cannot process multiple concepts at one time. Gifted kids may do better with mastery materials, because they just don't need as much exposure to a concept to learn it. There is also the issue of how much spiral do you need. Some programs have a very tight spiral in which there is more frequent and substantial review than in other programs. So you may decide that you want some spiral, but for a child that appears to internalize concepts quickly and easily, you'll want to avoid a tight spiral.
  16. Thanks for the responses so far! So it sounds like I need the TB for working with him and the WB for independent practice. Then I think I can get IP and CWP with the expectation that he will not be immediately ready for them. I am definitely going to need to look into Beast Academy. I looked at it when it first came out, but ds8 was not at that level yet.
  17. Anyway, you might want to try a month out and see how it goes. It looks like it has the same or better functionality of the original program. I'm liking using an online planner now because I can login with my phone and check stuff off or record grades without having to get sucked into the computer. Or if we're on the couch and I need to see what we were supposed to read that day in a certain book, I can pull it up on my phone very quickly. My kids like that they can login to any computer and see their own stuff as well. Now why HST Online can't do a free trial for a couple weeks or a month like all the others do, I don't know. Though they also used to require $5 to trial their downloadable software as well. I would have tried a month if I hadn't been wooed by a different planner. If they'd had a free trial, I would have compared the two planners and made a decision. I think lack of free trial is going to bite them in the long run now that they have some major competition in the functionality department. I've tried a lot of planners over the years, and they usually come nowhere near HST+ in terms of functionality.
  18. Yes, there is the free HST Basic, as well as HST+ and HSTOnline. HST+ does allow you to reschedule assignments, as well as many other things that Basic doesn't have.
  19. I have used HST+ for years. Now that we are upgrading computers, I am considering moving to HSTOnline. It bugs met that there is a yearly fee. Has anyone used both? How did you find the transition? Did you feel that you lost functionality? Is it worth the cost?
  20. I have a mathy ds8 who just finished the Miquon series. I think we are going to try Singapore. But I am so confused about all the books that they have! :confused1: I am starting ds8 in 3A. He probably could do 3B, but he is easily intimidated and rather perfectionistic. I think we'll go with the Standards Edition. Can someone tell me what is the difference between the textbook and the workbook? The samples look a lot alike. From the description of Extra Practice, I am thinking we don't need that. What says the hive? What is the difference between Intensive Practice and Challenging Word Problems? Should I considering getting one or both of these? What level? Thanks for all your help!
  21. My 10yo told me that for language arts, she wants to do an etymology study. So I suggested maybe doing a Latin/Greek roots curriculum. She responded that what she really wants is to study ALL of the roots. She doesn't want to leave out the Germanic or Scandinavian roots, or any others that might be overlooked. :confused1: This child has a huge tendency to bite off much more than she can chew academically (and otherwise) and then feel overwhelmed and give up. So I need to help her to delve into this interest in a way that keeps it light and interesting. From an academic standpoint, I don't really care whether she completes this. But from a character standpoint, I want to help her to make reasonable goals and then stick with them to the end. Also, she is 2e and really struggles with the physical act of writing. So I naturally want to avoid anything with worksheets. But I am having a hard time coming up with ways to approach this without actually looking things up and writing them down. She has already devoured all five parts of the BBC's English: Birth of a Language series. Actually, I think that series is was got her wanting to study this. I think it left her feeling like she wants more. Any suggestions for resources or how to go about this?
  22. I am too sick to make that kind of trip. I really need to just buy something online. Thanks for your response.
  23. The tablet is a reward for learning to type. She has done a great job, and now we are stalled on the actual purchase. I am rather behind the times in terms of technology and feeling rather overwhelmed at the options. :confused1: Currently, we have and old desktop, and old laptop, and dh has an iPad for work. But we have never bought our own tablet. I am not sure what to look for. Here is what we want. We offered this to her, because we believe that it will make writing easier for her, so we need a keyboard. It would be nice to find an app that will help her to outline and plan her writing. She will want to take pictures and videos, but that is not of primary importance. We do not watch a lot of TV, so being able to watch movies is not a priority, either. She will want to play some games. I would like to keep the total cost under $150. Is there anything in particular that we should be looking for? Thanks! ETA: I am chronically ill and cannot make a trip to a store. I need to buy something online.
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