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Everything posted by NotesFromTheParsonage

  1. I made independence a big goal for our homeschool a few years ago because of the number of kids I have. For the older ones, here is what works for us right now. - During Dinner, they recap their learning day. We discuss books they are reading, subjects they are studying, etc. this is for all the kids. I count it as narration for the younger kids. It is usually approached as, “Tell Dad what you learned ...” - At the end of each week, we do a sit down review of their work for the week. I sit down with each of the older kids and we go through all the work they completed. I schedule light of Fridays so they can correct any work that needs to be corrected or do additional work as needed. I tried to do this daily, but it was too much. Once a week makes it still applicable but puts it all together so we can all get through it. Once the sit down review is completed, their weekend officially begins.
  2. Books are the only thing I have ever decluttered and regretted. I went digital about 5 years ago, which resulted in a major purge, and my digital phase only lasted two years. I still miss books I gave away or sold during that purge.
  3. I have a very big age range, and switching to a Morning Basket style for those subjects they can do together has helped significantly. I read Story of the World out loud to them for history and then for their more in depth work, we split it up. I still keep all the little kids together for the extras, but the older ones have moved on to independent work in those areas.
  4. Math: TT7 Grammar: Easy Grammar Plus + Diagramming the Scriptures Vocabulary: Word Roots 2 Handwriting: Patriotic Penmanship Jr. High Science: Christian Kids Explore Physics History: SOTW4 + additional work as outlined in TWTM Bible: Herein Is Love Exodus (group) + Journey Through The Bible Book 1 Latin: Latin Primer 1 Logic: The Amazing Dr. Ransom’s Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies + The Thinking Toolbox Writing: The Creative Writer Music: Busy Kids Do Piano Art: 13 Art Techniques Children Should Know + 13 Art Movements Children Should Know
  5. I always administer the COGAT portion simply because I feel like it tests critical thinking skills, which is a subject we focus on. Really that is the only reason I add it. My kids usually test high on it, not because they are geniuses but because we do focus on critical thinking skills. So, it is an area of the standardized testing experience that I know they will do well on. We did not give it after 1st grade, though, because our state only requires every third year testing.
  6. My boys aren’t nearly fitting into grade boxes right now. So I am planning a sort of late K-early 2 kind of year instead of a solid first grade year. Math: unsure Math Mammoth Science: Berean Builders: Science in the Industrial Age (with older siblings) Sassafrass Zoology Language Arts: Explode the Code online History: SOTW 4 (older siblings, this is just where we are in the cycle right now) + Legends and Leagues Bible: Herein is Love Exodus (with the older kids) + My ABC Bible Verses from the Psalms + Big Thoughts for Little People: ABCs to Help You Grow Logic: Critical and Creative 2
  7. We pick a verse each week. I’ve chosen a variety of ways. Lists others have made. A key verse from the past Sunday’s sermon. A verse from our group Bible study. We read it aloud at the beginning of each day during our morning basket. At the beginning of the week, the kids are all looking it up or repeating after me for those that can’t read yet. By the end of the week, they are all saying it from memory. The older ones write it during the week to practice handwriting. But other than that, we are pretty low key about it and they memorize them easily.
  8. We used Modern Manners this year. It was a big hit. It focuses on manners in business, so some of it, the kids weren’t quite ready for (email etiquette) so we skipped those. But they had a lot of fun practicing handshakes and introductions and setting the table for dinner.
  9. I like Prismacolor, but my kids don’t like to be nice to art supplies, so I usually just buy them Crayola. The “adult” version are the exact same as the regular ones, they just have different wood and such, but the color part is the same- so don’t waste your money upgrading from the basic Crayola to the fancy. I also like to have some watercolor colored pencils around because they can be really fun and pretty. They aren’t our everyday use pencils, but we do love them.
  10. My son with ADHD was similar. We used Explode the Code online program. It skips them past things they already know and works them slower through things that they need more help on. It is automatically adjusting. My son went from not reading at all to reading chapter books in a semester. We purchase through Homeschool Buyers Co-op for a very discounted rate.
  11. I think I have settled on starting them on the Latin Primer for now. Maybe we’ll skip to Kraken next year. We’ll see how they do with this one.
  12. I was concerned Prima would be way below level, which is why Kraken was appealing. It is specifically for the Logic Stage as a beginner OR continuing on. That it is for both is what is tripping me up. I’m cool with challenging them. But I don’t want to give them something they realistically cannot do.
  13. I have two 7th graders and possibly a 5th grader who will be beginning Latin studies this year. I tried Song School Latin last year, but it was too far below their level for them to really stick with it. I was thinking Prima Latina, but then I came across Kraken Latin. Has anyone here tried Kraken Latin?
  14. You can start anywhere in the series. We started with the Scientific Revolution because that is where we were in history. My kids have really enjoyed it.
  15. My kids just did better with the timeline format of Berean. It helped them understand the scientific process. Since they follow along with scientific discovery, the kid “discovers” topics as they come up in history. We tried Apologia before Berean. I have a wide age range, so some kids “got” it better than others. (This past year I had pre-k through 6th grade. This year, I’ll have pre-k through 7th grade.) We did the reading together in Berean. We did most of the activities together. And then my older kids did the additional “optional” lessons on their own. I also pulled some biographies and such for them to read on their own. When mine were younger, we didn’t do this type of science curriculum. We took more of a Charlotte Mason exploratory approach. I think that fits the younger ages much better. Getting into nature and finding things out for themselves. My kids seemed to have a good base when we moved into more textbooky curriculum.
  16. I’m struggling to put together our plan for next year. But maybe putting it down here will help me: Math: Teaching Textbooks 5 Grammar: Easy Grammar 5 OR Beowulf Grammar Vocabulary: Word Roots Beginnings Spelling: My own program using his vocabulary words. Science: No idea. But it will be a group thing with the other kids. Berean Builders: Science in the Industrial Age Christian Kids Explore Physics History: Story of The World 4, learning to outline using Kingfisher, timeline, plus additional assigned history reading Geography: Draw the USA plus atlas work for history Literature: Completely unsure what I am going to assign and if I’ll do reading guides or not. We’ll be doing an interactive notebook that I found on TpT along with selected reading from WTM, Ambelside, and SOTW recommendations. Handwriting: Patriotic Penmanship 5 New American Cursive Bible: No idea. We always do one group Bible thing and each individual has their own Bible thing. Herein Is Love: Exodus for group Bible + Walking In Truth for individual Logic: He wants to do Critical and Creative 5. I’m thinking The Thinking Toolbox. Maybe we’ll do both. Latin: I’ve failed on the Latin. I always plan to do it and never get around to it. I’m looking to plan it again this year. Prima Latina Latin Primer 1 Music: Busy Kids Do Piano Classes Art: No sure. He loves art, so I may do more of an art theory class as a group this year than our usual art appreciation stuff. 13 Art Techniques Children Should Know + 13 Art Movements Children Should Know And none of this is even officially decided. I’m so wishy washy on my planning this year. * Updated as things develop.
  17. I love the Barnes and Nobel hardback versions. They are such beautiful books. And as a homeschooler, you can get an educator’s discount card! I buy all my classics at Barnes and Noble.
  18. I think that is a very good point. It is really the only reason I was okay with them slowing down and why they only covered what they did.
  19. I guess I should have said the kids in question will be 5th and 7th graders next year.
  20. These were across multiple subjects. We do morning basket with all the kids that includes read aloud literature, character reading, history, science, and bible. But that is kids ranging from 4 years old to 12 years old. I assigned additional reading that corresponded with their history, science, and literature. Per day, I tried to do timed reading before, but that didn’t work out so well for my two oldest who will do as little as they can get away with. When I started assigning chapters or pages per day, they started reading faster while still keeping good comprehension of what they read. If I assign more than 3 chapters per day (usually broken up over two books), they’d get overwhelmed and fall behind because they would just stare at the book instead of reading it. So, I slowed the pace to what they could handle without melting. My 6th grade boy still only spent about 5 hours on school each day. My 6th grade daughter, it was closer to 7 hours because she gets sidetracked easily. If I assigned all Harry Potter, my daughter would read all day long. They seem to slow based on interest and not so much with difficulty. I’m kind of glad I did overplan because I felt like there were more options to choose from. But looking at the end of the year at all the books not read and compiling the summer reading list made me wonder if they should have read more. We had a really good school year. I’m usually much more bummed about their progress. Just kind of trying to wrap my brain around how the year went. If a couple dozen books falls in the adequate territory or the just fine category. My fourth grader definitely could have read more. He read a lot in the beginning of the year and then slowed considerably. I knew he’d need more time for the more difficult books for his level and I alternated the difficult Reads with easier ones. But he just quit wanting to read this last term. I’m not sure what changed.
  21. How many books do your kids read each year “for school”? My kids only read about half of what I had planned this year, so I am trying to determine if I planned for too much or if I let them off the hook by not making them read more. 4th grader- read 20 books 6th grader 1- read 26 books 6th grader 2- read 29 books This doesn’t include read aloud books or books they read on their own for fun. They still have their summer reading, so that will add a few books to the total.
  22. What do you think? Essential part of learning grammar? Just trying to decide if I want to choose a curriculum that includes diagramming or stick to what is working right now for us.
  23. It is printable from the disc. I just didn’t print the entire thing when I got it like I probably should have done. We have one very old and barely working computer in our house with a disc drive. I almost exclusively use my iPad. I should have printed off two copies when I got it to save myself time, but it got backordered, so by the time it came, I just wasn’t thinking much about it. I looked at it maybe twice to figure out where to fit any of it and just never printed any of it out or put it anywhere in our lessons.
  24. I bought it and never used it. I intended to, but it never “fit” anywhere for me. The disc format is also not a preferred format for me. Definitely unnecessary here.
  25. I really liked our year this year. I still struggle with curriculum choices for the younger crowd. But I’m really loving the logic stage. Next year, I have to figure out the basics for the younger two. I feel like the older ones are in a good rhythm.
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