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  1. If you're confident that it overlaps enough, and your kiddos are elementary age, I'd move on to the next level like your instinct is telling you! We've approached this question differently depending on the kids' ages and abilities and the curriculum. If you're doing Saxon Math, I'd say you can pick up with the next level without completing the previous book until Algebra 1 but after that you should probably finish the book unless your kids are very mathy; not sure about other curricula though. We used First Language Lessons for grammar and always finished those books, but I think you could probably stop at 60-70% complete and go on to the next level. Elementary programs do tend to build in a lot of review. That gets less true the older the kids get 🙂
  2. Both of my kids have done great with Saxon. One of them is extremely task-oriented and appreciates that she knows exactly how to do each problem and "doesn't have to think about it." The other is (I think) naturally mathy in that he generally grasps the concepts with ease. He's got EF issues, so he struggles to get the problem sets done, but he struggles to get literally any schoolwork done, so I don't think the program makes a difference for him. Saxon makes it easy for me to identify where they've gone wrong on tests and homework and to help them fix it, so it counts as a win in my book as well. The incremental/spiral approach is also a plus for me, because it means they can sometimes self-teach the lessons if I'm busy with other work. I don't let them do it very often, maybe one out of every 6 lessons, but they both seem to consider it a little treat. On a personal note, I nearly failed Alg2 in high school, and I'm consistently excited by how easy it seems when Saxon teaches it. I sincerely enjoy our Alg2 lessons... much more than the kid does 😉
  3. Same boat! We'd love to watch the gymnastics but the time difference is...
  4. I just realized I misread your question - I thought you wrote "Which Korean dramas interest you?" heh. I like k-dramas because they are (generally) lighthearted and escapist! They aren't usually trying to make any kind of social commentary or even to "make you think," they are just fun entertainment. I do also enjoy film and tv that make me think, but sometimes I just want to check out and watch pretty people fall in love with each other 😉 Also, they are usually not too explicit with regard to violence or, ahem, tea, so I don't feel uncomfortable watching them in the living room!
  5. I think Prime and Hulu each have a few... if you search "Korean" in their search functions they will probably come up. I mostly use Netflix and Viki, though, so I don't know any titles off the top of my head for Prime and Hulu. Viki has a number of them that are free to watch (with ad breaks), including Descendants of the Sun from my list above.
  6. Oh boy you asked the question... 😛 Netflix has a bunch. Almost all of them are limited series, just one season of either 8 or 16 episodes, so they won't devour your life like if you decided to watch Supernatural from the beginning or something 😄 They span all kinds of genres, but the main plot is almost always romantic in nature. Recent-ish ones I've liked include... Descendants of the Sun (a doctor and a military special ops guy on a humanitarian mission) It's Okay to Not Be Okay (a psychiatric nurse who cares for his special-needs adult brother gets wrapped up in the messy life of his brother's favorite author, who has glorious fashion) Mister Sunshine (c. 1900, a man born into the slave caste who had escaped to America as a child returns to Korea as a military attaché to the American consulate) Crash Landing on You (South Korean heiress crash-lands in North Korea) Startup (two sisters who were separated when their parents divorced meet again as adults competing at a startup incubator) My Love From the Star (alien has been hanging out on Earth for 400 years waiting for his ship to come back) 100 Days My Prince (historical comedy/drama about a prince who gets amnesia and winds up married to a village girl...who also has a secret) One Spring Night (family drama, centered on a librarian who falls for a single dad, but various episodes are devoted to the troubles of different family members/friends) I tried to limit this list to shows I've seen on Netflix, but Viki.com is a streaming service for Asian dramas that has an enormous selection if you binge all the ones on Netflix and want more 😉
  7. I have very little time/energy as well, my schedule looks a lot like yours 😄 there are lots of things I'd like to do, but in reality the main thing I do is to listen to podcasts. Mostly politics, with some science, history, philosophy, and religion depending on what kind of day it is. I like to listen to them while doing my work, which often involves grunt work like uploading bunches of files to my online course website. I go through periods when I binge Korean dramas. 2020 was a fantastic year for K-dramas, but 2021 hasn't produced any that have hooked me so far. Probably a ripple effect from the lockdowns. We used to enjoy board games as a family, but once the kids got their devices, board games dried up. Recently DH and I have been getting back into them as a couple activity. There's a campaign game called Near and Far that is super fun and (I think) could even be played solo. Zombicide can be played by 1-6 players. Where we used to live, there was a game store that hosted a Zombicide campaign league. DH and I also used to rock climb, but now that we've moved, the nearest gym is an hour away (and longer in typical traffic). I also read and (sort of) garden. Used to quilt and knit. Used to play violin. Used to do calligraphy. Used to sing - want to get back into it, but haven't found a group that suits me. Church/Bible study stuff, I don't know if that counts as a hobby but I do enjoy it and it feels like leisure to me. If we had the kind of jobs that offered paid leave, I think we'd enjoy traveling. But so far, we haven't figured out long-term budgeting to take a week off once in a while.
  8. From Algebra 1/2 (second edition), test 33. The answer key got lost in our cross country move and I've never been able to find a 2nd edition answer key for purchase online, so I have been just calculating the answers by myself all year. But these two questions are driving us up a wall today, possibly because I am in an allergy brain fog. Or possibly because they are spectacularly poorly-worded questions? Problem 2. "The product of a number and -7 increased by 13 is 53 more than the product of 4 and the number. What is the number?" My setup: -7N + 13 = 4N + 53. The answer I got was N=(-40/11) DD14's setup: -7N+ 13 = 4N - 53. The answer she got was N=6. This seems more like a "right answer" than the solution I came up with, but I just can't understand how you could possibly interpret the wording of the original problem in such a way that you would subtract 53 from 4N. (-7N +13) is already 53 bigger than (4N), so how would taking 53 more away from 4N make sense? She keeps trying to explain why she set it up that way, but I am so confused by her explanation that I literally can't even summarize it here. Problem 4. "A single die is rolled three times. The first two tries are both six. What is the probability of the third try being a six?" My interpretation: The first two tries being six have no bearing on the probability of rolling a six on the third try. The probability is 1/6. DD14's interpretation: The question wants to know the probability of rolling three 6's in a row, so: (1/6)(1/6)(1/6)=(1/216) Are these questions just so badly worded that they could legitimately be interpreted either way? If anybody happens to have the 2nd edition test answer key on hand, you could just chime in with what Saxon says are the correct answers, too. 😛
  9. John Collier, a contemporary Catholic artist, has an Annunciation and a Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus depicting the characters as mid-20th century Americans. Here's his page. His Repentance of Saint Peter also has one background character in modern dress. Edit: I thought of another one, a cartoonist named Everett Patterson has a one-panel illustration of Joseph and Mary on the road to Bethlehem that fits the bill, although it is a cartoon not a painting.
  10. All the agreement here about phonics. @Baltimore Brian, there are a number of options depending on your son's maturity level, comfort with a pencil and paper, etc. I think a lot of people do "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" and "Phonics Pathways," you might look those up. My daughter (now 14) shakes her head and "tut-tuts" about how abysmal her public-schooled friends' spelling and reading skills are. She knew how to read already from public kindy-3rd grade but we did All About Spelling to remediate spelling, starting in 4th. The same "All About" company makes a reading program too, All About Reading. If your son is verbally gifted, though, those programs might be annoying to him because they teach in extreme baby steps. You could start by just buying the "Bob Books" and seeing if he picks up the phonics rules naturally from learning to read the books. They come in sets like "short vowels," "long vowels," etc. Then, if that approach is frustrating to him, grab 100 Easy Lessons and see if that clarifies things. And read to him. Get The Reading Aloud Handbook and read to him from the books on its lists!!! Read the Introduction to the handbook for some staggering data on the effect of a daily read-aloud hour on students' overall academic abilities. I don't have any knowledge about the tests! Hopefully somebody can chime in and help 🙂
  11. My DD and DS both enjoyed Killgallon's workbooks. DD is a strong writer, DS not so much. Killgallon teaches grammar but in a very writing-centric way; I'd say his approach is to give the name of the feature (participial phrase, appositive phrase, etc.) but to put the focus more strongly on using the feature to strengthen your writing. I teach a foreign language professionally, and to me it makes more sense to learn grammar to make learning a foreign language easier, not to improve English writing as such. I'm a decent writer and never had a grammar lesson in my life until I started using FLL with my kids. Knowing more about English grammar has definitely improved my ability to teach languages, and I've noticed that the kids in my classes who know grammar do better than the ones who've never studied it, but DD is finishing up GWTM this year and we're both looking forward to never diagramming anything ever again 😛 I hope our grammar studies at least give her a little advantage when learning French next year.
  12. Near where we live now, in central FL: Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Miles of walks and up-close/personal encounters with alligators and feral piggies. And so, so many birds including roseate spoonbills, kingfishers, and different species of heron. Visit at your own risk (see above re: alligators) but I've never heard of anybody getting injured and it's a popular spot! Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. We're close enough to go much more frequently than we actually make it. It's a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Everglades City, population 400. Gulf side of the Everglades. I'm almost reluctant to put this on my list because I want to keep it all for myself but it is a fascinating and unique place. We got an airbnb there a few months ago, simply because it said "Everglades," and we are so glad we did. Apparently it was built by an oil tycoon (?) in the 1920s, and some of the original buildings are still standing, although in rather poor condition. An inn in town has canoe/kayak rentals, and guides if you're not confident to go by yourself. A great place to stay while you're exploring the less-traveled parts of the Everglades. Rhode Island, where I grew up, has a number of lesser-known "firsts": Slater Mill, one of the first American mills to be modeled on the English textile factories, and the first property added to the National Register of Historic Places The Great Swamp, site of the Great Swamp Fight/Massacre/King Philip's War. In high school they had us hike 7 miles through it one day, ostensibly to give us an experience "like the Long March" (???) but I think just because the social studies teacher liked the outdoors. First Jewish congregation in America, Newport RI, established in the 1650s. The Touro Synagogue building still standing today dates to the 1760s, I believe. It was this congregation to whom George Washington wrote his beautiful letter assuring them of their religious freedom under the new Constitution. Western MA where we used to live: Emily Dickinson's House UMass Amherst's conservatory The Three Sisters Sanctuary, a very... weird, unique, outdoor art installation type park thing??? It's in the middle of nowhere though in the Berkshire foothills, so I wouldn't bring little ones there unless you have many snacks. We went there when ours were 8 and 10, and DD8 got hangry. It was not a pleasant drive home.
  13. Wow, I love all these ideas, there are so many places I've never even heard of!!! Last year we got a groupon for a yearlong family membership to a botanical garden. It had arrangements so we could get in to some other gardens within driving distance using the same membership. We used the membership a grand total of.... once. I think I am just disorganized 😛
  14. I grew up homeschooled but we rarely traveled or did field trips due to finances and poor organizational skills... and sadly we are repeating the same pattern with our 2 😬 our friend who has five kids and a shoestring budget takes them on big ol' road trips 2-3 times per year and they always make one education-adjacent stop. I'm trying to think of good places to take the kids to in our last couple years before college. Could be places of historical interest, scientific interest, or just kinda cool/unique/memorable spots. Here are three that I've never been to, but would love to go: 1. Saint Augustine 2. One of the national parks out west, like Zion or Yellowstone 3. Montreal And three that we've actually made it to and would recommend to others: 1. Kayaking with manatees (Kings Cove, FL) 2. Mark Twain's house (Hartford, CT) 3. Newport, RI (mansions, Cliff Walk, Black Ships Festival, Audrain Auto Museum) I'd especially love recommendations of places less well known, more likely to have local visitors than out-of-state tourists!
  15. Not speaking out of personal experience, so hopefully you'll get a few more answers, but I'd guess either would be fine. When I began homeschooling my fourth grader, that should have been Modern Times year, but I decided to start her on Ancients instead so she got "the whole story." (We weren't doing WTMA at that time though, we did it on our own.) In retrospect, I'm not confident that she retained much of it or that it really created a "foundation" for Middle ages study. I think it would have been OK to start wherever was most interesting to her. The important thing is to continue onward chronologically from where you start, if possible. She's entering ninth grade this year and begged to skip Ancients and go straight to Medieval. I'll probably have her do Ancients in twelfth, since I think the exposure to that time period is important, but the exposure doesn't have to happen right now while she's passionate about something different. One additional consideration is class demographics. The WTMA courses are mixed-grade, so the Ancients class is likely to have some fourth graders and some sixth graders mixed in, and Middle Ages will probably be a mix of fifth, sixth, and seventh. The first time she took an online course, as a 7th grader, my daughter complained that many of her classmates seemed immature, couldn't stay on task, and sometimes derailed the class by scribbling on the teacher's slides or chatting about unrelated things in the chat box. I'd guess that the Ancients class might skew younger, making those sorts of problems more likely.
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