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  1. I will have a 2nd and 5th grader. My 5th grader hasn't done a lot of "structured" science previously. We will be using RSO Life 1, but I'm beefing it up for my 10 year old. RSO Bio 2 is too advanced for her, and she would be miserable (she has some special learning needs, so your child might be totally fine with Bio 2- it's just too much for mine definitely). I'm using some of the reading selections from RSO Bio 2, and will do additional books, activities, writing assignments etc to make it work. The labs seem really fun for both of my girls, and doesn't seem like it will be too difficult to add depth to it for my older daughter.
  2. It is such a lovely program. The books and activities she has in the curriculum are diverse and beautiful. I ended up getting Level K, even though my youngest is in 1st, and we are still able to incorporate the books and certain activities, even though we aren't using it as scheduled. We will definitely be getting level 1 when it is released, as we are planning on doing Ancients next year, and this curriculum is so easily adjustable for a variety of ages (especially since you choose your own Math, Language Arts, etc so go along with it). Torchlight is a unique option IMO, and definitely refreshing to have some books incorporated that aren't the same old, same old that you find in everything else. Not that I don't LOVE classics, etc- but I like being able to do a little bit of everything- and this saves so much time vs trying to put things together myself. There are many books in there that I had never heard of, so I'm excited to see the next levels!
  3. I ended up getting the Torchlight K guide (even though my kids are 1st and 4th), mainly BECAUSE of the booklist. It works great for a variety of ages, and we aren't using solely Torchlight since my kids are older, but we have gone through several of the books so far and I'm picking and choosing certain activities to do, adjusting and adding in some things for my kids (my daughters will read some of the book choices vs me reading aloud as well- all the books that are suggested that we have so far are really lovely- definitely all secular, which is a HUGE plus to us.) Level 1 will be focusing on Ancients, so I'm looking forward to that booklist as we are doing Ancients next year as well. The author is extremely open to suggestions and concerns, and really seems to take everyone's criticism and critique into consideration. I only wish there were higher levels released already, but that isn't anything to really complain about since it's a brand new option out there. So, while I can't use the guide completely as it's meant for, I would still recommend it.
  4. Sounds perfect! I can't think of anything additional I would add to the list, unless you wanted to add a portable water colors set as well.
  5. We are switching things up as well. We were using TG&TB for Language Arts, but starting Guest Hollow's Language Arts tomorrow. We are also starting BYL's Pre-History Unit Study as well.
  6. The time change is definitely a struggle here as well- plus we just moved and switched time zones (so we lost an additional hour there as well). My husband is going out of town for the week, so today I have to: Run some errands (grocery store, etc) Get some more unpacking and organizing done Plan this week's school schedule since we are a bit off track from the move Definitely make sure I'm stocked up on coffee for the week *priority* ;)
  7. If you are planning on homeschooling, then it seems like pulling now wouldn't be such a huge deal if the kids are down for it (and your husband agreed to it). My youngest daughter went to school this first semester and there was *always* lice in her classroom. It was a small, private school, so not that many kids in the classes. She never got it, but I'd always pull her hair up, use tea tree shampoo, spray with hairspray, etc (and I don't like using hairspray on the kids, but I don't like lice even more!). So yea, it's not the end of the world if your kid gets it, but it is a huge, huge bummer. I wouldn't keep her out of school for 2 weeks- it can still go around the class longer than that, so it really wouldn't make a huge difference honestly.
  8. If you plan on letting her attend next year as well, then I don't see an issue. I do feel that enrolling with the intention to *only* do the last 9 weeks if kind of unfair to the school and the teachers, as previous posters have mentioned. Are there any alternatives locally that she could do instead (such as a drop of homeschool program a day or two a week, etc etc)? Also, I'm not sure the school would find it ideal to only enroll the last 9 weeks of every year if she chose to do it again next year, to me, that would send up some odd red flags. IMO, if you do plan on homeschooling her next year, I wouldn't personally enroll her for the last 9 weeks. If you're open to the idea of continuing with the school next year, then that is a completely different situation. If you feel the school isn't strong academically speaking, it might not be a good idea to enroll in those last weeks as well, it definitely could change the dynamics if you chose to continue homeschooling her next year. Just a few thoughts. Good luck with whatever you decide!
  9. We have used TG&TB, and it really is a beautiful program (we are secular, so I've had to make a lot of adjustments in that respect, but it isn't specific to LDS, and I don't feel that it makes a difference as far as the author being LDS- it seems pretty non-denominational IMO). That said, we are currently switching our daughter's to Guest Hollow's Language Arts, and I feel it will provide a more solid grasp on certain things, in a fun way, for them. As far as history, if you are looking for some visuals for SOTW, I found these beautiful timeline cards (although I haven't used them personally): http://olivegroveeducators.com/product/history-cards-for-ancient-times-set-1-2/ I have some other links somewhere for some nice visuals to go along with SOTW, but I'd have to dig them up to find them.
  10. I think it depends on the kids. For example- I put my 1st grader in school at the beginning of this year. She agreed to go for the year, but then wanted to come home again to homeschool. She was determined school wouldn't be a permanent option for her. It was a school that focused on gifted/special learning needs, so I thought she would love it. She DID have a lot of fun, made a lot of friends, BUT- every single day she asked how many days until she could come back home. She didn't think the work was challenging enough, and said they didn't do all the things she wanted to do, but she still loved being with her friends. I ended up pulling her in December. I felt that school was actually sucking the love of learning out of her, and it's not because it was a "bad" school by any means- it just wasn't a good fit for her. Now, if she hadn't been asking every single day to come home..would I have pulled her? I don't know. I probably would have let her finish out the school year there and then bring her home for 2nd. I can say that I do not regret for one second brining her back home. I think that if they are adamant about finishing out the year at school, I would strongly take that into consideration. If they are on the fence or want to come home, then by all means, bring them home. I don't think it's necessarily now or never :) Just my outside opinion though- you know them best! <3
  11. It sounds like I do similar to what you do now. I'd love to be more organized about this as well- I have so many random, unorganized notes on my computer. I'm interested to hear any suggestions!
  12. We plan on using MCT next year (for our 2nd grader) and will be using The Mud Trilogy. With our other daughter, we didn't use any formal literature guides in 2nd grade- we just read a lot of quality literature and discussed in a very informal way (on the couch, cuddling, reading, etc). I tend to agree with Lori D, about the danger of turning the enjoyment of good books into "boring school work" by starting formal studies too young. It definitely depends on the child though :)
  13. I agree with keep doing what you're doing. As long as you're working consistently through the program you should be fine. You could always take a look at the local SOL in your district in the years before high school, to make sure you cover the basis if you feel you need to or at least to give you an idea of what might be important to focus on.
  14. DD (she will be 10 in a week): *Animal camp at the local no kill animal shelter *Math Camp *Camp Invention *6 week summer program at a local school for children with special learning needs- she will be doing academic work with some amazing teachers, along with swimming, horse back riding, tennis, and other fun activities. She did this camp last summer and absolutely *loved* it. Highlight of her summer! DD6: *Spanish Immersion Camp (3 weeks) *Camp Invention I'd like to find her one or two more camps to do, but most camps she wants to do she isn't old enough for..she is my advanced child and a lot of camps for her age are too "babyish" for her..she loves nature, but the only nature camp she's be interested in doesn't start until after she's 7 or 8..so we will see. DS15: *Spanish Immersion program at the end of summer. We have been considering a high school Ecuador trip for him, but we aren't sure yet, mainly due to costs and it might be better to wait until next summer vs this summer, to give him a year to mature a little bit. Maybe he will do volunteer work and get a summer job..just not 100% sure on his summer plans yet. I'd like to get him out and away from the house as much as possible though..summer time is just a chance for me to unwind a bit from the school year, and the kids to get out and have some fun and amazing experiences. We don't usually travel in the summer, as we do that in the "off season".
  15. We are currently using Acellus. I think it's great- my son is currently taking 6 courses, but I am adding additional work/reading/etc for him to do outside his Acellus work. I really like it since my son is the one child that I butt heads with, and us working together just isn't ideal. We really needed something where I could be more "hands off" with him, but he is still accountable for his work. I set the assignment minimum for each week, and can log in at any time and see what he's done, anything he's missed, and what he is working on at any given moment. It has actually made him put more effort into doing his work, because he is able to keep track of his grades etc as well. For college bound, I do feel that more needs to be added (I don't really care for the homework assignments they have available- so he does other work that I assign instead, along with some local, outside the home classes).
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