Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Erielle

  1. Autistic, speech delayed 6-year-old is beginning Kindy tomorrow... We're starting out doing some fun worksheets and working on getting comfortable with writing, letter sounds, and the overall rhythm of school. He already knows his alphabet, shapes, colors, can count, etc. So, reading, speech, and writing our the main target areas. The first half of the year (August-December) is going to be mostly playschooling and just adjusting to a schooling rhythm. In January, we'll reaccess and add in more formal studies if I feel he's ready. It's not a race - he'll get there whenever he is ready. 🙂 AUGUST-DECEMBER READING: Reading Eggs, LeapFrog Letter Factory on Prime, flash cards, playdoh, stamps, + fun worksheets I've found or created WRITING: TG&TB Pre-Writing and transitioning to Level K + lots of art & coloring MATH: Math Seeds & continuing recognizing & counting numbers over 15 using manipulatives, flash cards, playdoh, tangrams, etc. SCIENCE: Magic School Bus, StoryBots, and just learning through living OTHER: continue working on speech, listening, & fine motor skills JANUARY-WHENEVER READING: can't decide between Rooted in Language Pinwheels, TG&TB, or Sound Foundations Bear Necessities. We'll also be continuing Reading Eggs. WRITING: TG&TB Level K or Handwriting Without Tears MATH: Math Seeds & either Kate Snow Math (Math Through Confidence?) or TG&TB Level K Math SCIENCE: continue Magic School Bus, StoryBots, and just learning through living ART: watercoloring with us 🙂 OTHER: continue working on speech, listening, & fine motor skills
  2. BIBLE: daily devotions (maybe from the "Think, Act, Be Like Jesus" or "I Am - 40 Reasons to Trust God" devotionals) + using the Bible app for kids HANDWRITING: continuing cursive with TG&TB MATH: TG&TB's New Math + an advanced level of TT GRAMMAR: TG&TB LA + G.U.M. Drops Grammar WRITING: a mix of Writing & Rhetoric Fables and Brave Writer Partnership Writing + freewriting VOCABULARY: Evan-Moor's A Word a Day SPELLING: SpellingYouSee Americana READING: independent daily reading from at-and-above reading level books + read alouds HISTORY/SOCIAL/GEOGRAPHY: I create my own history unit studies using living resources/documentaries/docuseries/TV shows/etc. We'll also be adding the Horrible Histories books this year. The absolute history & geo basics will be covered through MiAcademy. SCIENCE: MiAcademy + documentaries/docuseries/TV shows & whatever experiments he does with my husband. We'll also be learning about dinosaurs this year, per his request. TYPING: probably Typing.com ART & MUSIC: continuing clay modeling, drawing (Manga & TG&TB), and watercolor courses LANGUAGE: continuing Spanish fluency
  3. We school from Jan-October, so my kiddo won't begin 5th grade until January, but I wanted to play along anyway. He'll actually be in a combination of grades 4 & 5 BIBLE: Apologia's Who is God + daily devotionals that make emphasis on our relationship with Jesus and who we are in Him GRAMMAR: Grammar Galaxy + G.U.M. Drops WRITING: Essentials in Writing (EIW) level 3 HANDWRITING: TG&TB Handwriting level 4 SPELLING: Sequential Spelling READING: independent reading + discussions -- no formal literary analysis. LITERATURE: read alouds from an ever-growing list of books I've pieced together MATH: Teaching Textbooks levels 5 & 6 SCIENCE: finish up Mystery Science + interest-led learning (dinosaurs, the human body & health, and weather/natural disaster/survivalism are in the plans thus far) HISTORY/SOCIAL/GEO/CULTURAL: also interest-led, though I am considering using Curiosity Chronicles. For now, we're planning on continuing with a mashup of ancients & American history, using a variety of sources (BYL booklist, documentaries/docuseries/films/TV/crash course) + art notebooking the most significant or interesting parts. ART: watercolor & drawing course at home MUSIC: continue piano lessons & general music appreciation
  4. We tried the math for 2nd & 3rd grade and stopped using it both years and reverted back to our "old faithful." I felt like it was busywork yet not nearly enough at the same time. My son, who struggles with language arts, enjoyed LLFALE because it was "easy", yet he retained little to nothing and learned more in a week of EIW than he did in more than half a book of LLFALE. IMO, much, if not most, of the LFALE just felt like twaddle and unnecessary. (Though, for what it's worth, our family is all about short, direct, intentional lessons that teach us what we need to know so we can chase rabbit trails and dive deep into what sparks our interest based on what we're learning.) We also tried Rebecca Spooner's Bible curriculum Master Books publishes, and we ended up shelving it the first week. It's artsy and beautifully done - but we believe differently than her. We aren't young earth creationists. It just didn't jive with our family. That's our experience. I don't want to deter anyone from using what could potentially be good curricula for their child. Their "For a Living Education" series is lovely and much more lighthearted than most other curricula I've come across. Many children benefit from a gentler approach, especially when it comes to math. But, for our family, it's a no go.
  5. I have a struggling speller in grade 4. We've been using the online version of SS for a little while now. Both of us really appreciate and are enjoying how the program uses word families and word patterns to teach. The way the program builds on itself without my kiddo noticing such a big jump from easy to more challenging words has been a much needed breath of fresh air for us when compared to previous curricula that left him in tears of frustration. He is actually enjoying spelling now! However, we both hate the online voice that dictates which word to spell. It's terrible, hard to understand, and just all over the place. I, myself, at times have even had difficulty trying to decipher what the word is that my child is supposed to be spelling. For those who have used the online version of SS, does the online voice get better, or should we consider possibly transitioning to the book version instead? And are the books straight to the point without any twaddle or busywork like the online program?
  6. I have a 9-year-old in grade 4 and we're actually just switching from Brave Writer to EIW. While I love BW, the philosophy and loveliness behind it all, and the lifestyle of it (which we just naturally follow in our family anyway), BW's LA & writing programs just weren't a good fit for my kiddo. He is very much a struggling/reluctant writer, who I suspect is dyslexic, and he needs structure and routine to *get it*. BW is very free-flowy and easy to tailor to whatever your schedule looks like, and that's fantastic but it doesn't work well for his learning needs. Though we are making the switch to EIW for our "core" writing curriculum, we will absolutely be continuing BW lifestyle (our normal life) and adding in some fun writing projects here and there. BW Arrow's are the Language Arts program (though most of them have some writing project in it), but you can also purchase one of the separate writing programs they also offer. Have you looked at Julie's blog and signed-up to receive the 7 Day Writing Blitz? There is a free Arrow for download, and you can also order the free sample of whatever BW writing program your child is ready for. Implement some freewrites. I believe there are some prompts for those also on her blog (and def. in the facebook group). I would start there and give it a go with your son and see if it's a good fit before committing to purchasing. IEW gives me anxiety just looking at it. Can't imagine my little guy having to use it. It would be a meltdown & tears followed by a mutiny.
  7. We've been using it for a few weeks now. I sent TT an email asking if they were ever going to have an online version and they almost immediately emailed me an invitation setup an online account. I couldn't believe it was so cheap compared to the disc version! I feel like it is below grade level so we're moving through it quite quickly, but my son enjoys the format and interface so no complaints from me.
  8. I haven't had any trouble locating books from the library. Our local library does have an interlibrary loan program where we are able to checkout books from participating libraries in the state and around the USA. If yours has a program like that then you certainly wouldn't have any trouble just as long as you plan ahead to make sure you'll have the books you need when you want them. I live in Texas and have borrowed some books all the way from Alabama. It never took more than a week to receive them. :)
  9. Thanks for the feedback! :) I went ahead and purchased the first three grade levels of HAS at hs buyers co-op to help my 7-year-old get some artsy-crafty learning time in. My littlest (age 2) will be able to use them in a few years, as well. Saving the other links mentioned above to check out in a bit...
  10. Horrible Science, for sure. We're big fans of the Horrible series in our home. :) Sassafrass Science is another, but it has a lot of mixed reviews. It seems most either love it or hate it.
  11. It's not technically a program, but I purchased a wonderful book a while back called Give Your Child the World. It includes a list of more than 600 wonderful children's book recommendations that are arranged geographically and by audience age that teach geography, culture, and tell about the lifestyles of people who live in the locations you read about. There are also discussion notes for religion and other topics if that is something you want to cover. We're using it as a geography study this year (and maybe even continue into next..). We locate each place we read about on our globe, discuss what we learned, and stop and pursue interest-led learning if my DS wants to. I'm also teaching map skills. It has been very enjoyable.
  12. I feel like TT is probably a year or so behind the grade level it says it is while Beast Academy is a bit ahead. TT isn't rigorous but it gets the job done. I have a young second grader, who prefers online/electronic learning, so he is currently using TT for 3rd grade. I could've probably placed him in 4th grade in TT and he wouldn't have been far out of his comfort zone. We did Beast Academy for a while. He loved the comic guide but hated the practice book. It was more trouble than it was worth for us so we put it aside. We may try again later but for now we're comfortable with where we are. Honestly, you could probably do both TT & BA if you wanted to. TT as a core/spine and BA as a supplement for extra practice and logic.
  13. Is it worth it? Or is there something better you'd recommend? :) I also have my eye on Deep Space Sparkle.
  14. I have kind of a boneheaded question that I'm kind of embarrassed to ask. Would you recommended continuing to teach phonics to a second grader who can read fluently? Or should spelling become the focus once they can read well? As previously stated, I have a young second grader who reads at a fifth grade level. He learned to read the way most of us do: through a good mix of phonics & sight words. Because of how well he reads, I assumed our days of phonics lessons were behind us. Then, I started to read the interwebz and it made me question everything. Now I keep going back and forth between thinking that, by dropping phonics lessons early, maybe we missed something he needs to know. He reads excellently now, but, what if in the future when words become more wordy and texts and language become more complex, he has issues because of something we missed by discontinuing phonics lessons when he was younger? Not sure what to do here... I'd obviously rather correct this now when he is younger than him have an issue when he gets older. Once I felt comfortable with where he was with phonics, we dropped the lessons and switched to spelling using Sound Foundations (Apples & Pears), which we will continue to use for the next few years. A&P does have some phonics in it, and I know that some programs do teach spelling to read and write. Will this be enough or should I add phonics lessons back in combined with spelling (Apples & Pears + Dancing Bears)?
  15. Every Acellus high school level biology class (general, honors, AP) teaches evolution. I checked the S&S and evolution doesn't appear to be taught at any other grade level. If you want to skip evolution, then for sure sign up for Tutor mode instead of Homeschool or the Academy so you can skip the material you don't want taught. You can check out the S&S/course descriptions here for more information: https://www.acellus.com/homeschool-services/browse-courses.html
  16. When choosing a LA program through Brave Writer for a young 2nd grader who reads fluently, would you go with The Wand or A Quiver of Arrows to be used along with Jot It Down? DS reads at nearly a 5th grade level but is just beginning grammar and mechanics, so I'm a little torn on where we should start.
  17. Following... I'm still prowling the interwebz in search of the science curriculum that is a "perfect" fit for us. So far the best I've come up with is self-designed unit studies based around living books, films/TV shows/documentaries, and Kingfisher/Usborne encyclopedias. We're fine with that for now, but I'd like to have something more concrete. I was thinking Truth in Science might be OK, but I've heard an equal amount of both good and bad things about it, sooo... Idk.
  18. BFSU - While it is a fantastic and thorough program, I became overwhelmed every time I tried to put something together from that book. It just wasn't worth it for us when my kiddo ended up getting more out of living books, documentaries/shows, and experiments we did from kits on our own. SOTW - Not fancy per se, but this one was hard to let go of. I LOVE it and had such high hopes but it confused my DS with the way it switched from historical facts to stories and myths. He had trouble deciphering truth from fiction. We let it go after a few chapters of volume 1. I'm hoping to go back to it at some point, if for nothing else than just to read a good book aloud together. Maybe this upcoming school year or even over the summer...
  19. I'm a full-time student again, so we're going to be using Acellus for the core four (LA, math, science, social studies/history) + two electives (engineering & Spanish). It is a way for my DS to work *mostly* independently while still having to be an accountable student. Plus, it keeps track of records & grades without me having to do that. This is what our family needs right now. Acellus lessons are so short and to the point without unnecessary busywork, so I add in supplements to extend our school day (to 4 hours max daily) and ensure my kiddo is still getting exposed to a "feast of foods." It looks like a lot when written down, but it's actually rather simple and fun. We pretty much just read a lot of books, pursue interest-led learning, and keep it engaging. Language arts & math are our focus, followed by science because that is my son's favorite subject. Language Arts/English: Brave Writer (A Quiver of Arrows & Jot it Down!). Mad Libs for fun extras. I have a struggling/reluctant writer, so I'm hoping BW will be the answer to our prayers. It seems wonderful. Not sure if I want to add in an italic handwriting book or stick with Draw Write Now for penmanship practice. Spelling: Apples and Pears. Literature/Reading: Read alouds from living books. Readers from a list of mom-assigned books. Math: Math Mammoth? If not, then Singapore. Life of Fred as a fun supplement. Maybe finish up Beast Academy 2. Science: Mystery Science + read alouds. BrainPOP Junior. We also have a STEM subscription box from Amazon we make the most of. History: Read alouds + Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, and documentaries that compliment what we're learning at Acellus. Geography & Culture: Little Passports + read alouds from Give Your Child the World. Review map skills as needed. Fine Arts: Piano lessons. Doodle diaries. Artsy fun things from Art Lab & the Artful Year. We're still in the years of learning through play, exploration, discovery, and wonder so I don't have a formal art/music history program yet. Still letting his imagination run wild and lead the way. Logic/Critical Thinking: fun workbooks I've purchased off Amazon + continuing to master Chess For Fun: Orphs of the Woodlands (a reading adventure). BrainPOP Junior and other fun, educational apps we get through a co-op we're apart of.
  20. Thanks for the feedback! My husband and I looked at them together and really loved what we saw at Beast Academy. We showed the BA samples to DS and he was excited about the comics and says that it is a math he'd like give a go. Crossing my fingers that this could be a program for us! Still looking into the others mentioned above... For now (and until we decide on a math program/curriculum), I'm dropping Horizons and switching to other worksheets I have from Brain Quest and EM's Basic Math Skills. He is already excited about our school day tomorrow, which makes me hopeful that better days are ahead. :)
  21. I'm not exactly opposed to CC. It wasn't the way I was taught so I prefer to not have to teach using a method I'm not familiar with. I have no issue with using a CC curriculum if that is what is best for him. I can hop out of my comfort zone to meet his needs if necessary. :) Checking out that link now...
  22. He doesn't do an hour of math a day. He will do maybe 30 minutes of actual work. The rest of "math time" is trying to coax him in to working. On days he is being super extra about it, it can take up to two hours of "math time" that includes 20-30 minutes of actual work. If I set only 30 minutes of time for math a day, we would never get any math done ever. Once those dreaded blue books come out, his personality immediately changes. It becomes excuse after excuse, saying he is sick or not feeling well, a million fake bathroom trips, claiming he is starving to death or too sleepy to work, a pencil seems to be perpetually breaking and constantly needs to be sharpened, throwing tantrums, tears, crying, daydreaming, flat-out refusal, etc. You name it and he probably does it. It is only like this with Horizons. He has no issue understanding the concepts and problems. He'll do math for fun on apps or paper and enjoys solving problems mentally. Every other subject is completed in a timely manner and without issue and he'll even ask to do more work. So, no, there is no other issue causing the resistance (or at least none that I can see), except that he hates the Horizons books. (My apologies if that sounded snarky - it wasn't my intention.)
  23. My son is in 2nd grade and working through the second book of Horizons Math 2. He does well in math and Horizons was OK at first, but as the school year has progressed, every day has become a battle when the blue Horizons book gets pulled out. What should take no more than 1 hour a day ends up taking 2+ hours. Thinking the issue was the amount of problems per page, I cut back the amount of work he was doing from 2 pages per day to 1. And still the battle rages on... He has grown to absolutely hate Horizons, both from the amount of problems on each page to repeating the same stuff over and over again. And I get it, I really do. It is the same thing over and over again, which is important for math but sometimes enough is simply enough. He wants more of a mix of things. Originally, I was drawn to Horizons because of the spiral method, but now I'm seeing that just because that's what I like doesn't make it what he wants/needs. The math gets done eventually with mostly correct answers, but it isn't worth it to continue using this program if every day turns into a bad day just because of one frackin' book. So, now that I've rambled enough and have realized that Horizons clearly isn't working, where should I go from here? A new math program is obviously needed. I don't want my child to hate school and say things to me like, "Mommy, I only like the weekends because I don't have to do my math book." Saxon? Singapore? Math Mammoth? Something else? (I'd like to say away from common core if at all possible.) And, then there is deciding whether I should start a new program now or wait until grade 3... *sigh*
  • Create New...