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MamaHill

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About MamaHill

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. This situation describes my girls exactly. They seemed to do well with the conceptual math components, but they needed daily spiral review and drilling of math facts. I used both Singapore and MM, neither of which were appropriate for my girls. I tried my absolute best to make MM spiral - emailed Maria the creator (she was very kind and as helpful as she could be), I bought more spiral-type add-ons, and I pleaded with the Hive here for help. The bottom line is that my girls all needed the spiral built into the program with drilling of math facts. Period. It did them no good to "understand" the conceptual portion of math, without simple, foundation knowledge that was not regularly revisited. Even though they "understood" at the time, they couldn't remember the concepts when we circled back around weeks or months later. We switched to Rod & Staff Math, which I understand is very similar to CLE in the way it spirals and drills. In my experience, it is much easier to teach concrete, spiraling mathematics as the spine and add the conceptual ideas periodically and as it comes up in day to day conversation.
  2. I, too, am looking for easy American History. These are great suggestions, and I wasn't familiar with either of them. Thank you!
  3. It is Dr. Kevin Dray. Dr. Dray also teaches some classes of Classical Composition and quite a few of the upper level/high school classes. I would have enrolled my rising 7th grader in Chreia/Maxim with Dr. Dray, but it wasn't in the budget this year. 😩 But yes, tuck his name away because he provides an excellent learning environment. You're right - it can be very hard to find teacher reviews and recommendations!
  4. Don't get me wrong - I really like R&S Spelling as well! The way the page is laid out is too hard for my 9yo to process. So I had to go in and re-type the rules for each lesson in a format that her brain could process and actually use. Aside from the page layout issue, I see the value in how R&S makes the student play with and analyze the words each day. That aspect was very successful for my 4th grader. I would have stuck with R&S Spelling (it's cheap! yay! And the layout is predictable, not to mention the phonics drilling and helps.), but my dd needed to have the step before what R&S 4th grade offered her. Once my younger 2nd grader makes her way through TS II, I'll probably move her along to R&S Spelling 3rd grade, and still use the methods of TS plus the other tactics I've gleaned from my reading over spelling curricula. So don't write off R&S for later grades! 🙂
  5. My daughter took First Form with MPOA this year and she has absolutely loved it. I could have muddled my way through FF, but I did need to free up time and chose this class as one of those ways. She, too, is a rising 7th grader. She takes the quizzes independently and reports to me when she's completed it, and she does the recitations herself. I do check her daily work (this goes quickly) so I can stay pretty on top of what she's learning. This is her second year with this particular teacher, and she enjoys him so much. He pulls in a variety of topics (Ancient Rome, etc) to further teach a particular derivative or just to expand their frames of reference in regard to the week's studies. She finds him very interesting and looks forward to this class each week! I will say that my daughter is a very diligent, efficient student that manages her time well. I don't have to stay on top of her to complete assignments, whether they are for her regular homeschool classes or for MPOA. She is very motivated. That being said, I feel other children of mine who have a tremendous amount of trouble with time management and being diligent would possibly have a different experience. I know that I would have to stay on top of them to do the recitations, especially. This isn't an issue that is specific to MPOA, but would crop up for us in any online class they might take. I just signed my daughter up for Second Form for 2019-2020 today, in fact! So the short answer: Yes, MPOA has been a tremendous time saver for me, and has allowed me to devote more time to my youngers.
  6. I am using TS I with my 2nd grader, and I just started TS II with my 4th grader last week. (The 4th grader taught herself to read at 6 without a lot of phonics instruction because she just read. I didn't know she needed explicit phonics instruction and now she can't spell worth a hoot. AAS and R&S haven't been a good fit for her, despite how teacher intensive it's been for me.) I absolutely love TS. I've used AAS and R&S Spelling, and this is by far the most retention I've seen among all of my children. The teaching directions are easy and explicit. I have read a ton of books on how to teach spelling, so that does come in handy. But without any of my prior knowledge, if I'd just done what was in the teacher's guide, I would have seen success in my children. I don't personally have the same issues as Meadowlark. There are a few activities written for the whole classroom, but I feel used to making do with that kind of thing since we use R&S for English and Math. I've done all of the extra activities each week in TS (they're simple), because my 2nd is a struggling reader. They've been quite helpful for her. We do the phonics cards, Classical Phonics reading, writing the words one extra time each day. All the things that MP recommends. As for the dictation on Day 4, I personally feel like that's been a crucial piece for my 2nd grader. She needs to understand that the "wr" in 'write' is the sound /r/. But keep in mind that my daughter has had a lot of trouble learning to read, so I don't know how much of that plays a piece here. I do TS at elbow with my 2nd grader, so it's not independent for her. I do 5-10 minutes of teaching with my 4th grader in TS II at the beginning of the week, the dictation with her on Day 4, and call out the test on Day 5. She can do the other independently.
  7. My oldest boy did about 2/3 of MM 7, and he is sailing through Algebra I. He's a really math-y kid, though, and gets math concepts really easily. I'm not sure the result would have been the same for other children of mine who aren't so math-y. 😉
  8. I'm still undecided on a few, but here is the current plan: Latin: Second Form Latin via MPOA Literature: 7th grade Lit from MP - Bronze Bow, Anne of Green Gables, Trojan War, Hobbit Geography: Finish MP Geography 1 and move into 2 Classical Studies: MP Famous Men of Greece American History: MP 200 Questions and Story of the 13 Colonies & The Great Republic Bible: Christian Studies IV Comp/Grammar/Spelling: Finish Rod and Staff English 6 and move in to 7 on our current schedule of 2-4 times/week; Classical Composition Chreia/Maxim, ACSI's Spelling Grade 6 with lots of phonics instruction from mom Science: MP Birds 1st semester and MP Exploring the World of Astronomy 2nd semester Math: I'm VERY undecided on this and would love to hear suggestions!! She will begin Pre-Algebra the middle of 7th grade (working through R&S Math 6 now). She needs very direct, explicit instruction without a ton of wordy words (ie: Math Mammoth). R&S Math has been perfect for her. Any ideas on where I should look? Eesh. This feels like a lot for this particular child. We will see how this goes!
  9. We were new to almost all Memoria Press this year, and we will continue with them into 3rd grade. My 8yo has been a struggling reader, so we just plug along where she is. 🙂 This sweet girl is my 4th 3rd grader! Math: R&S Math 3 Grammar & Comp: R&S English 3; we might also tuck in MP's Intro to Composition. Cursive: Currently doing NAC from MP, but I'm a pretty big HWT fan. I'm not sure where she'll head next year. Latin: Prima Latina Spelling: Traditional Spelling II Reading: Will do last 1/2 of MP 2nd grade Lit, and then move to 3rd Grade Lit Bible: Christian Studies II with her sisters History & Geo: She's not ready to start MP's Greek Myths, etc so I think we're going to to American Hx unit study-style from Civil War to present. Undecided as of yet. Science: Possibly Mammals with her 5th grade sister. Undecided. I'm trying to decide if I will do the above History and Science or if we will fully do MP 2's Enrichment and call it good. Any thoughts or advice on that? I'm all ears!
  10. Agreed! I have used R&S for years and years (and absolutely love it) BUT I had my son take a whirl through Easy Grammar for a period of time. He did the yellow book (EG 3/4 I think it was?), but it's not on print any longer. Regardless, I think the way EG teaches prepositions first is much more logical than traditional diagramming. So when my kiddos are in the 4th grade and start the 'real' diagramming, I also have the photocopied packet from EG to work through simultaneously. I also have them memorize all of those prepositions from EG. Makes diagramming infinitely more easy since they can start by crossing out the prepositional phrase(s) from the sentence. The skeleton of the sentence is more obvious after you cross out those extraneous words!
  11. Try looking at Traditional Spelling from Memoria Press. It will be more on her level. https://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/phonics-and-early-reading/ For my very struggling reader, the combination of Traditional Spelling and then the Reading program from Memoria Press were an enormous blessing. The amount of writing was just enough to seal the deal for her success without being over the top. I only wish I had known about it with my older girl, which really struggled to read as well. It would have saved a lot of tears! (And I totally agree with the PP that those words seem waaay above grade level. A lot of phonics work comes before knowing -ight vs. -ite, etc.)
  12. I've started all of my children in Prima Latina in 3rd grade. It is a beautiful intro to Latin, and can be done mostly orally. I have no Latin background at all, and it is written so well that I can just pick it up and go. https://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/latin/prima-latina-basic-set/ Memoria Press' Latin has been perfect for us right from the start, so I've never looked elsewhere. My older kiddos are in 1st and 2nd Forms, and it is just so thorough and written in a logical way, designed for mastery. I could not be more pleased with it!
  13. I finally feel really good about teaching phonics, and especially spelling. The first step was learning the rules from All About Spelling. The biggest help, however, was learning the methods in How to Teach Spelling. I don't use that program because my tough spellers work better off of a weekly list (go figure...). However, I teach them the rules for the week, remind them of phonics/spelling concepts, etc as we go over the week's list. HTTS has given me the ability to use those weekly lists successfully. Mastering the different sounds and examples for each letter, blend, digraph, etc. was essential to my confidence in teaching them, and also in their own success. Also, going to a Handwriting Without Tears workshop (Yikes! It was waaay pricey!) was unbelievably helpful in helping me teach my children to write. Of my 4 that write (the littlest is almost 2), 3 of the 4 have had tremendous issues. Not every homeschool mom needs the workshop, but due to my children's issues, it was a handwriting game changer for me.
  14. OK Bud, have you used CLE Math through the 800 (Pre-Algebra) level? I'm looking for reviews on using that as a Pre-Algebra and if it's rigorous enough to be considered such. My daughter will start Pre-Algebra middle of 7th grade year (next year), and she is coming from Rod & Staff Grade 6, which has been a perfect fit for her. My understanding is that CLE and Rod & Staff are quite similar in the way lessons are presented to the student, drill and mastery and required, and the is consistent spiral review. Any thoughts on that? 🙂
  15. We switched to Rod and Staff Math this year, and it also pushes learning conversions. I am thrilled that it pushes memorization of those because I find them to be so valuable in regular, everyday life. I just read last night in the R&S Teacher's Manual, in fact, to literally put a yard stick and ruler on the wall and leave it there (if you have a school room). Also, to leave a pint, quart, gallon container in the classroom for a visual cue. I think it's helpful to see those conversions routinely. If CLE is anything like R&S, and I think it is in this regard, you'll circle back through these conversions over and over again as it spirals, and also in later grades. With my youngers, I printed a simple chart on the wall (8 1/2 x 11 cardstock): 60 seconds = 1 minute 60 minutes = 1 hour 24 hours = 1 day They read it when they're bored or waiting on mom. 🙂
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