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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. I was hoping for shorter works that we could read in a sitting, but I can go with one of those if I can't find anything shorter.
  2. Yeah, I think that one is a backward retelling rather than starting in the middle.
  3. My daughter is doing Classical Writing Homer, and she will be soon be covering the writing project where she has to start a story in media res (start in the middle of the action, then flashback to tell how the hero got into that mess). Does anyone know of a picture book or short story that I can have her read as an example before we tackle her doing it herself? Or even an episode of a kids TV show on Netflix or Amazon Prime?
  4. Shutterfly lets you create group sites. The sites have features like calendar, email list linked to an online forum, sign-up sheets, etc. People would need to register for Shutterfly to join a group though, which can be a problem.
  5. When looking at the Hakim concise books, I noticed that there is a one volume US history text by her. It looks like it is based on/written for the PBS series, which is based on the 10 volume set. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it high school level or middle school level?
  6. I notice that they say this is for 5th grade. Would this be appropriate for 8th grade if we are adding in other books?
  7. I would like to do US history with my two middle school aged kiddos using lots of biographies and other in depth books. But I would also like to have a light spine to read to tie it all together. I don't want something with the depth/length/time commitment that a normal one-year US History textbook would have (because I want time for other books). Secular or Christian is OK (so long as it doesn't teach "America is God's favorite country" or the like). It'd be nice if it had short response questions or something to let the student show understanding, but it's not necessary.
  8. I'd love some more ideas for enjoyable writing. (And anyone else that has ideas, please feel free to share.)
  9. I'm unable to get quotes correctly... I want to start by thanking you for the various things to look at/look into. My son is in 7th grade/12-years-old. He doesn't cry every day, but there are more tears than there ought to be, and just because he isn't crying, doesn't mean he's enjoying it those days. Thinking over past programs we've done, ones that were a complete flop had really vague assignments (or made the student pick the topic) or required creative writing. I think my current plan will be to set aside (or permanently drop) WWS and try Writing Skills by Diana King. With regards to typing, yes, he can type. He's been typing or doing orally everything related to his English work since end of 3rd grade. Well, I take that back, he doesn't type diagrams and he didn't type copywork (which we did through 5th grade). Typing is not hard for him, but handwriting can be. He has an odd lefty pencil grip and presses hard with his pencil. We've changed the type of pencil he uses and that seems to have helped some. I've not looked into ADHD, as he's pretty good at managing his time, keeping his belonging organized, and other executive functioning type of things. He was a later talker, but not so late as to need intervention (we had him evaluated at two). When I ask him why he doesn't like writing (which I've done on more than one occasion), he either says he doesn't know or he says that he doesn't like either the topic or assignments. He likes science and history outside of WWS, so I'm not sure how much the topic is the issue. He can handle oral narrations (but could not handle writing the narration down after telling it to me). He loves to read and tests well for reading comprehension (tested at lexile 1495L–1645L last spring). For language play, he plays with rhyming and alliteration with his siblings outside of school time. He'll volunteer to type things for his younger sister. He writes (2-5 sentence) letters to his cousins and short messages to his sisters during games they play.
  10. I don't know if I want commiseration or advice, so I guess I'll take both. My oldest hates to write. I have tried many different writing curricula over the years. Tears are always involved. He's currently working very, very slowly through WWS 1. Today he had to write a description of a place. He didn't read the instructions first. After writing the paragraph, he asks me about one of the requirements given in the book. The first thing I ask him is if he read the instructions. Yes, he claims, he has. I then go over the requirement he asked about (choosing a purpose for the description). When we've finished, I ask him what purpose he wants to choose. Instead of answering, he bursts into tears, because now he has to rewrite the thing (he had no purpose chosen). A single paragraph. That he already has taken notes for. And it's causing tears. And this is how writing goes almost everyday. I drag him kicking and screaming through the assignment. It's not WWS, because we've had this problem with other writing curricula as well. I don't know what the problem is here. Is it pre-teen brain fog? Is it laziness? Is it an attitude problem? It's it because the rest of school is easy for him, and he resents having to put effort into this? Am I a lousy writing instructor? Is there a learning disability causing legitimate difficulties? Are my expectations too high? Have I not given him enough writing practice over the years? I'm about to call this a lost cause and just teach him to write poorly done five paragraph essays and have him churn those out for the rest of his school career. With our current issues, it'd probably take him three weeks to do a single essay. At his age, my middle school expected us to go from topic to finished essay in less than an hour. Please send chocolate.
  11. Thoughts on Dimensions Math 6-8 from anyone who has used all (or part) of it? I know that if you do all of Dimensions 6-8, you've covered Pre-A, Algebra 1, and some Geometry. Do any of the levels correspond with Pre-Algebra? I'm OK with covering some Algebra, but I'm looking for a one year Pre-Algebra course. Looking at the table of contents for each book, it looks like level 6 might be pre-algebra, but the FAQ seems to imply level 7 is pre-algebra. Also, if I have a student that does not need lots and lots of practice problems, can we get away with just the textbook, skipping the workbook?
  12. I like Jacob's Algebra. I think part of it is the fact that it doesn't have the student do 50 rote plug-and-chug problems per topic. But I also like how visual the explanations are and how it walks the student from introduction to understanding. I know some people use Jacob's Mathematics: A Human Endeavor for Pre-A, but I was hoping to find something similar to the style of Jacobs but with more of a traditional Pre-A topic coverage. Any suggestions to look into?
  13. I know that the options I'm looking at are sort of a "step back" from WWS1. But with how WWS has gone for him, I'm wondering if he might do well with a slightly easier curriculum. He's not a kid that shies away from challenge when it's something he's confident he can tackle, but he has really disliked WWS, which makes me think it was maybe too much for him, even at the slower pace we've been doing (spreading some of the "days" over a whole week). I like what I've seen of the WWS series, but I'm definitely waiting until at least 9th grade to start the 2nd book if we continue in the series.
  14. Background: My 7th grader is STEM minded and a reluctant writer. He'll be finishing up WWS1 partway through the year, and I'm looking into what to do next. He does best with the steps of writing being broken down for him and with clear assignments/writing prompts. He doesn't like creative/fiction writing unless it's as a summary or narration of an existing work. I'm willing to teach, help, etc; it doesn't need to be independent. If you've used Writing Skills 2 by Diana Hanbury King, Jump in by Sharon Watson, or one of the IEW Narnia theme books, I'd love to hear from you! ----For any of the options: * What grade(s) did you use the curriculum? Was your student a reluctant writer, natural writer, or average writer? * What can you tell me about the program? Pros? Cons? Modifications you made? * What are the writing prompts and assignments like? * Once the student is a bit into the program, how many paragraphs are expected from the student each week? ----For Writing Skills 2: * Can I use the 2nd book (it's the one listed for his grade level) without having used the previous books? * Is the Teacher's Handbook useful/needed? ----For Jump In: * How easy would it be to adapt it so that he types everything instead of writing in the workbook? ----For IEW Narnia: * Can I use a theme book from IEW without either of us having watched the TWSS or SWI videos? * My son has read some of the Narnia books already, and the 2nd book in IEW's Narnia series would mean less re-reading of books. Can we do the 2nd Narnia book without having done the 1st writing book? * Are both the student and teacher books needed? My son would be typing everything for this and not writing in the book; could I get away with just getting the teacher book? * Would it be feasible to use our own "dress-ups" instead of the ones IEW uses? Thank you so much for any input you can give!
  15. I've looked at some of the theme books before, and didn't like the simplistic models that were used. But that was when I was looking at the younger grades. I'll have to take a look at the upper grade ones and see if there's anything that looks good. We'd be able to work through those without watching the DVDs meant for either the parent or student? I'll take a look at Maxwell's Composition and Jump In. I'm sure he would like to have something lighter than WWS.
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