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Everything posted by tdbates78

  1. Hi everyone! So my 11 year old 5th grade twins are using EIW this year. Writing is the one subject I've struggled with since starting our homeschooling journey four years ago. One of my girls has higher functioning ASD and is a very, very reluctant writer. I'm thinking we may need more explicit instruction than what we are getting in EIW. Now granted we are just now getting into the actual composition component of EIW but I'm concerned with what I'm seeing. I'm tempted to switch to IEW. I know everyone recommends starting with TWSS, and if we were starting next school year I would absolutely take the time to watch the videos over the summer break and learn the program. But I really want them to start writing this school year. Will it be detrimental for me to start my girls (probably in SWI A) before I have a chance to watch TWSS? Can I just jump in and watch the SWI lessons with them and figure it out? Thanks! Tracy
  2. OKBud, you sold me on FLL! I used FLL 1 when we first started homeschooling. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to give it a look again. I just checked out some samples of FLL 4 and I decided to give it a try. With good ol' Amazon Prime I'll get both workbooks and the teachers manual tomorrow. That will give me time to go over it before we resume school after the holiday. I think/hope this will fit the bill. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Thank you for the recommendation! Thank you everyone for your help! Tracy
  3. My 10 year old, 5th grade twins seem to require a certain amount of review in grammar. We've done BJU for a few years and now we are doing CLE and they are still struggling with retention. I was looking for something with a lot of review but I stumbled upon Easy Grammar in my research. and it looks interesting. I flipped through one of the workbooks at our local homeschool consignment store and I like that the lessons look short and to-the-point. And I'm intrigued by the idea of focusing on preposition and prepositional phrases before other parts of speech. I've seen it raved about on here a few times. Is Easy Grammar stand-alone? is it pretty comprehensive? Does it seem to help most children retain what they learn? It almost seems too "easy", at least in comparison to CLE Language Arts with its three or four pages of daily work.
  4. I looked into R&S today and I'm not sure it would work. There doesn't seem to be enough review? I will look into Hake/Saxon as well. Thank you!
  5. Thank you all. I will take a look at Rod and Staff! I have never used any of their curriculum so I'm off to do some research. 8FillTheHeart, thank you! I know the difference myself but trying to explain to my not-interested 10 year olds, based on the CLE explanation, wasn't working. And based on their explanation there were a few answers to questions that didn't make sense/seemed to be wrong (ex: labeled as a preposition instead of an adverb). This has happened a few times throughout previous lessons, and it frustrates us all. I personally never had any problems with grammar so I find the answers to be obvious. My twins definitely do not! I found some fun worksheets through TPT that I think/hope will help.
  6. Hello everyone! My 5th graders are doing CLE Language arts and we just don't love it. I switched from BJU last year. I really liked BJU, and my girls liked BJU, but retention was a big problem. They did well day-to-day with the lessons, but really struggled with the language arts component of the standardized test. So we switched to CLE at the end of last school year because I liked the constant review and repetition. We use CLE for math and it works wonders for my girls so I had high hopes for their LA curriculum. I just don't feel it always explains new topics very well. Today we were working on adverbs versus prepositions and even I couldn't make sense of some of the answers to the questions. I ended up purchasing a separate bundle through Teachers Pay Teacher so we can work through it before picking back up with CLE again. I'm hoping to find something similar to CLE in repetition and review but maybe more colorful and with clearer teaching. I don't need a spelling, writing or penmanship component, as we do all of those separately. My girls are very much the get-it-done workbook type. I've been looking at Abeka. I skimmed through it at a local homeschool consignment shop and was intrigued. I would only purchase the language component, not the entire package that comes with spelling, reading etc. My girls are strong readers but not strong at grammar. Any suggestions? How does Abeka compare to CLE? Thank you! Tracy
  7. Wow. You both are amazing. Truly! Thank you. You've given me a lot to think about. I need to become more versed in the terminology! I'm sure there is a much more articulate way to express my concerns but you both get it and for that I thank you. She is very smart. At home it's almost easy to forget that she has the diagnosis. When I pulled my daughter out of public school, because she wasn't getting what she needed and had so much anxiety, she immediately thrived and I naively thought I could get a firm grasp on some of her ASD tendencies and work through them with her myself. And in many ways I have. But as she's gotten older, and as the work becomes more demanding, some of those things are becoming more glaringly obvious. I do like BJU but I don't know if it's enough. Funny you should mention it because right now I have four tabs open while I research language arts curriculum. I've checked into Evan Moor in the past, and liked what I saw, but always wondered if it was enough.I I will absolutely look into it again. I don't like the BJU writing so I skip those chapters. She seems to do well enough on the daily work but I definitely have to work with her. She has never been an independent worker. I'm taking notes on everything mentioned and plan on doing lots of research. I will do whatever I can on my part. I am going to get her an evaluation as well. She had an IEP in school, and some therapy before she started public school, but it's been awhile. She was doing speech for years but stopped recently based on her progress. It sounds like we, or rather the therapist, was perhaps focusing on the wrong kind of speech. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I'm grabbing a cup of coffee and will be looking into each one.
  8. Hey everyone! So one of my twins has been previously diagnosed with Autism Level 1. I pulled her out of PS in 1st grade and we are almost finished with our 3rd grade year. She still very much struggles with reading comprehension. She can read just fine, and reads above grade level. But comprehension has always been a struggle. We are currently taking our required annual standardized test, the Iowa, and she bombed the reading comprehension portion. She did okay last year because the answers themselves were usually somewhere in the paragraph, word for word. But this year they are supposed to pull out answers based on the overall context and tone of the story. As an ASD child she sees things very black and white and has a difficult time forming a conclusion on her own. She can't seem to guess or understand the mood of the reading either, so questions about how someone may be feeling (sad, happy, anxious etc) goes right over her head. And she has an inability to guess what may happen next even though, to most of us, the answer would be rather obvious. I'm at a loss as to how to help her. We have a reading comprehension workbook that we do a few times a week. She hates it. Usually I have to end up reading the passage to her and then, sometimes, she can answer the questions. When she reads it sounds like a lot of run-on sentences. She doesn't pause for punctuation or change her voice to coincide with the story. I don't know how to force someone to comprehend what they are reading. I'm wondering if therapy would help, but if so what kind of therapy? Any advice or wisdom anyone wants to share?
  9. For naturally stunning I would hightail to the Swiss Alps. I've traveled fairly extensively and the Bernese Oberland tops my list for the most beautiful area I've ever been. It's a long flight. To each their own. I've flown to Europe for only 3 nights one and 4 nights twice so I wouldn't hesitate to fly for a week. I've never lost a day due to sheer exhaustion but I know how to handle jet lag. Depends on what you like to do though. We all have differing opinions on how we would like to spend a vacation. A beach and tropical getaway would do nothing for me personally. What about maybe somewhere in South America? It would still be in your time zone. Buenos Aires? The Canadian Rockies sounds wonderful as well. If you want a feel of Europe but much closer check out Quebec City and Montreal if you haven't been.
  10. It's difficult even with a family of 4 to find hotel rooms large enough to accommodate us. In Venice that involved squeezing two extra twin beds along the walls in our hotel room to make a "quadruple room". So we usually use airbnb or VRBO to find apartments if we are staying for 3 or more days. This was our second trip to Europe as a family (a few years ago we did Switzerland, the Alsace-Lorraine, Paris and Bavaria) and rented two-bedroom apartments in every location except Paris, which was a one-nighter. As a bonus the apartments are usually cheaper than hotels and come with kitchens. Our two bedroom apartment in Ribeauville, in the Alsace in France, was less than 100 euro a night. as an example https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/13164170?guests=1&adults=1&sl_alternate_dates_exclusion=true&source_impression_id=p3_1559310733_0BPgxcyeb6hwosDv
  11. I'm sorry you have to cancel your vacation plans and it sounds like you made the right decision. I only have my 9 year old twins, but it's been trial and error figuring out what everyone likes. We take a large vacation every year. Just got back from Italy a few weeks ago. My girls loved Rome. liked Venice okay but found the hill towns in Umbria boring. As annoying as that was, I think my 9 year old self would have thought the same. We, as a family, did not like Disney and are not beach people so it is helpful that we have more similar interests. If Colorado was still an option I would have thrown out the suggestion of something like Keystone or another resort where there are plenty of activities for young children (and childcare and day camps) and plenty of hiking, fishing and scenery for your oldest.
  12. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about writing next year for my twins, who will be in fourth grade. They are reluctant writers. We currently use WWE 2 but I want to switch next year. I'm considering IEW but also keep going back to EM Daily 6-Trait Writing. Would the EM be enough on it's own?
  13. I thought I was the only one who actually enjoys turbulence! For some reason it lulls me to sleep 🙂 On our long flight from Venice (Italy) to PHL last week I had 9 hours to do nothing and it was fairly relaxing as the flight was less than half full. I watched a few movies, read from my book and took a nap and my kids did the same. Had a glass of wine and lunch and a snack served to me...it felt like a quasi spa day!
  14. Thank you all for easing my mind. I'm not worried about the test itself. I was dissapointed because it seemed as if we were somehow behind. Now that I know more about the tests I feel better. We spread the test out over a four day period and usually do something fun afterwards like playgrounds, ice cream or lunch. J-rap, are you in NC by any chance?
  15. I don't mind it. I don't love it but it doesn't really bother me too much. The actual getting on the plane before taking off is the annoying part. Dealing with long security lines, delayed flights, last minute gate changes, and the oh-so-fun running through the airport to make your connection...those are the things that stress me out. Flying is a means to an end. I love to travel, particularly abroad. So flying is pretty much my only option unless I want to take a boat. Just flew home from Italy last week. Long day of flying but so worth it.
  16. Maybe I should have just purchased the CAT. I was so worried about the material on the sample (online) test that I went back to Seton and ordered the Iowa. We usually spread the testing over a week so my girls won't get fatigued. Good suggestion about the Spectrum testing workbook. I may pick up a few of those. I don't know why I am so worried about it. I never anticipated homeschooling and when I pulled my girls out of PS (halfway through 1st grade) it was assumed that we would put them back in at some point. Now that I've been HSing for a few years and things are going so well I don't really see us putting them back in. So I guess I should just let it go. For some reason I felt like I really dropped the ball somewhere when I saw some of the questions on the sample test.
  17. My state requires standardized testing for homeschoolers annually, although the results are not submitted to anyone. So each year I dread it. My girls aren't good test takers and need lots of hand holding so I administer the test myself, in my own home, with an old fashioned paper booklet. So I just ordered a California Achievement Test sample and there are quite a few things on the sample test that we haven't covered yet this year and I'm kind of freaking out. We are "behind" in math because I switched curriculum three months into the school year. But otherwise I feel like we are on track and they should at least be on par with public schools for their grade (3rd)...but now I'm not so sure. I'm happy with our curriculum choices and I feel like my girls are learning just fine but I don't like feeling like they are behind. Does anyone else run into this problem? Do I need to be worried? I decided to go with the Iowa Form E, which we've used the past two years, so I do not have a sample of that test. Hopefully it will align more with what we have studied this year.
  18. We are traveling to Europe for vacation next week and this time around we are doing carry-on only. I have a Nikon DSLR with an additional zoom lens but they are heavy and take up quite a bit of space and need their own camera bag. I'm really considering purchasing one of the phone camera lens kits on Amazon. Something like this https://www.amazon.com/Phone-Camera-Lens-Kit-Cell/dp/B07JGQN6VR/ref=sr_1_5?crid=24BP1QMJUBVYR&keywords=cell+phone+zoom+lenses+for+android&qid=1556193198&s=gateway&sprefix=android+cell+phone+lenses%2Caps%2C185&sr=8-5 I'm not a professional photographer (far from it) and just want semi-decent vacation pictures. The reviews are pretty good for most kits. Anyone use these? If so, how is the quality? Are you satisfied?
  19. I'm in Charlotte. There is a very large, active homeschooling community here. There are things to do literally every day. I'm a member of about 15 different homeschooling facebook groups, including a homeschool hiking group, field trips, etc. I'm a secular homeschooler and there is a secular homeschooling facebook group. I believe there is a co-op but its north of Charlotte, too far from me. By and large this is the south and secular homeschoolers are in the minority. I don't let it deter me from doing things, but it can get a little awkward sometimes. I don't do co-ops because of it. We have great museums and there are always homeschooling events around town. Just in my area our local gymnastics studios and trampoline places have homeschool hours during the week. Our local YMCA (I'm in south Charlotte) has a homeschool academy with a lot of classes available each semester. My girls do an outdoor education class and PE and they are taking part in a field day next month. As far as legalities go, its so easy to homeschool here. I follow the guidelines but I've never been asked for anything. Nobody has asked for proof of standardized testing or attendance.
  20. Doughnuts! Sigh. I love a really good doughnut.....or five 😉 We have some really good local doughnut places around here and it's been a test to my willpower to avoid them. And roasted brussels sprouts. I can eat them like candy!
  21. I agree with how it feels inside my house versus outside. Last week it was in the mid-70s here but very humid due to rainy conditions and I turned on the AC. Right now it's low 80s and breezy so my windows are open and it feels great. At night is a different story. I need it to be on the cool side to sleep. So if its above, say, 72 in my house at bedtime I will turn the AC on.
  22. Thank you all. I'm nervous to use Rover but I found a person that has close to a hundred glowing reviews, with many repeat and regular clients. From what little interaction I've had with her she seems really sweet. Fingers crossed it works out. I think that, with any service you are paying for, there will be good experiences and bad. And with hundreds of dog sitters on Rover just in my immediate area I'm sure there are more than a few duds. I think I fielded a few when I first started reaching out. We will be traveling out of the country and won't be easily reachable so I tried to find someone with lots of reviews and that seems to know what they are doing. I will click on the link but I will probably end up tipping her assuming we are happy. I'm hoping $20 or $30 will be sufficient!
  23. We are leaving for vacation next week and are using rover.com for the first time. Our dog will be staying with someone for a week and a half and I already prepaid via Rover. When I pick her up am I expected to give a tip? I never know when to tip anymore and it stresses me out!
  24. I've gone to a few just for the vendor halls. I think if I had another homeschooling mom/friend to go with I would be more interested in the workshops and listening to the speakers. Also we are a secular homeschooling family so not all of the workshops are of interest in the conventions nearby.
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