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JaLeSherman

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  1. We liked Elemental Science. Fairly open and go, along with an encyclopedia the course recommends for reading, plus an experiment a week(out of a Janice VanCleave book). My girls enjoyed it last year and have been enjoying Astronomy and Earth Science for the year thus far. It is "neutral" so nothing about intelligent design ... nothing about evolution either. It's just open for you to make work for you.
  2. 100% here. I hate reading out loud in general, I don't mind doing it for little kids who can't read yet though. But once you can read, here's you a book, Mama has her own book, let's grab a blanket, warm drink, and read quietly together. I can't even listen to audiobooks, they drive me bonkers! Just hearing it spoken out loud messes with me in general. I like to read a couple of paragraphs, pause, reflect, then repeat. I'd constantly have to pause and restart an audio book every few paragraphs and that's just too much work. Subjects that just haven't been successful here: Nature Study of anything. Gym Learning an instrument
  3. And to address you OP --- no. I don't think taking away guns is going to help with this. This is a cultural, societal problem, something that can only be eradicated with time, education, open hearts, and a desire to want to change. Look at how Ronald Reagan passed gun laws in California, it was only because he was threatened by Black Panthers having weapons. We make laws against guns, especially in the realm of seizing them, is going to disproportionately target minority groups like Blacks, Jews, Muslims, etc.
  4. I'm going to echo SeaConquest here, though we are not a Jewish family. (So I do not know much of the Synagogue attack, and my prayers and heart cries for your pain) and people love their bubbles and hate to explore outside of it. And if you don't fall in line with that bubble you are immediately not part of the community. Civility exists as long as you fall into the right crowds, at least by appearance if nothing else. People's words in person, on Facebook, even in passing can be extremely cruel and harsh, especially if you are in an area that doesn't see much diversity. And it seems unfortunate to say, the last four years has really heightened this to new levels that I'm scared for my children. And people from the top down don't address. It's a "both sides" issue, though it's one side carrying the bodies to a six foot hole in the ground. And we are just a minority race here, not even a minority religion or orientation or ability.
  5. This is the first year I didn't go the GHC in Cincinnati (I live 20 minutes away from the Convention Center) and I usually buy all my curriculum then. I love to browse through all the books and games, find things that I never considered to bring home with my girls, and get some roasted almonds! But being on bed rest with this pregnancy I couldn't go to take advantage of 20% off sales or free shipping. I'm pretty sad about it, as usually it's a great time for me to refuel the tank with fresh ideas. I don't listen to any of the speakers, I ask homeschool parents all around me. Though last time I went I got to meet with Jay Wile at the "Science in the ..." booth and it was awesome. He was patient with my daughter's excitement in telling him about some the experiments she did and her thanking him for memories. My husband has a love/hate relationship with going. He likes to go and see new stuff, but he hates the bombardment of Selling Christianity. We are Christians here, but it's like folks are trying to make money out of the religion instead of living it. He also loves roasted almonds. 😉
  6. I only use mine in the summer and various warm days. I don't like all the excess heat from the oven in my house to filter out on those days. But I pack it up and put it away come cooler days and winter. Then that's heat, plus soup bread, or coffee cake, or whatever. I make a lot. So do I think it's worth it? Every July when I want some fresh bread and apple butter, ya better believe it! All joking aside, I paid $30 for mine brand new several years ago, so at this point I think I got my money's worth in preventing higher-A/C bills. But for most people I wouldn't say it is worth it, especially if you have a good kitchenaid or a couple of helpful kids to do the kneading for you.
  7. We had debated between AAR and LOE here and ultimately went with LOE because (1) I was taught whole language and really did needed my hand held navigating phonics (2) It tells me where my mouth should be for most of the sounds, and as someone who is partly deaf and on occasion verbally destroy whatever word I want to say, this helped (3) It was an all-in-one program. I didn't have to hunt down other studies for at least a couple of years! My daughter fell in love with LOE. We split it up as A&B for Kindergarten, C for first grade, D for second grade however she had plans of her own and is going to finish D easily by the end of first grade. The games, phonogram work, spelling, comprehension tests, really made her into an amazing reader, and an amazing speller (and helped my spelling!) They have readers that come with the program and they are certainly just not enough in my opinion. We used the additional readers list and started a rotation (repeating the books over as she passed each lesson) to help build fluency and practice. Otherwise, the program is amazing and I'm looking forward to starting again with my second child come fall. https://www.logicofenglish.com/foundations/book-suggestions (List of Additional Readers that I highly suggest.)
  8. I absolutely love the Kirkland Pacs. I didn't have to use rinse aid until I moved to a different part of town, but I think it is because the water is harder out here. Either way, not complaining about that since Costco either has the Rinse Aid as a BOGO offer or discounts it down to $4 a bottle which lasts about 2-3 months here. But we also do anywhere from 3-4 loads of dishes a day. I don't do much in scrubbing before throwing it in the dishwasher. On the rare occasion it hasn't cleaned it effectively, I just let it run again with the next batch of dishes. Always plenty to do!
  9. I'd have to agree with smarson here. I don't remember exactly where it got more challenging in C but I found myself splitting the lessons into two because of how long it took. We are almost finished with D and we still have them split into two. I think if we did an actual entire lesson in a day it would take us a little over an hour in D because there are reading books attached to it among everything, which I feel is too much for a first grader. I will say, since separating the spelling and reading from the grammar and phonics study, she has became a much more efficient speller.
  10. We eat breakfast together every day, and even when my husband is at work, the children and I eat dinner together. Lunch is a free-for-all lol. Days my husband is off, we eat breakfast and dinners together, with sometimes lunch being together, sometimes not. But when I was kid, when we did have food in the house, I don't recall a single family meal. Even on holidays, people grabbed a plate and then just went elsewhere. My husband's family didn't really eat together either. When they did on holidays, it was strange on how none of them talked and just ate. I always thought there was chatter with meals. Now that I have my family meals, I realize it varies, because my children love to chat my ear off, taking turns in-between eating. Does make me wonder if this will change when they become teenagers.
  11. I think my second child will be starting Kindergarten this year ... we'll have to see. I am hesitant, because she's ready in a sense of sitting down, sitting still, her hand to eye coordination (from coloring and counting) is fantastic, but something feels off. Like she's not 100% ready. But we shall see. September is a long way away, so she may be ready by then! If so, this is the plan. Phonics: Logic of English A. MAYBE B, if she progresses fast. No pressure, no one to impress if she gets there or not. Math: Singapore Essentials A and B. Same guidelines as Phonics. Science: Elemental Science: Intro to Science. My soon-to-be second grader was very happy to repeat this course and then do second grade science, so science will be non-stop this year. But my girls are so happy about it I can't help but be enthused with them! Bible: Coloring pages while listening to big sister read passages. Builds fluency for the second-grader, teaches listening skills for my Kindergartener and gets me off the hook of at least one read aloud. History: Tagging along with big sister and participating in whatever project is going on. Adventures in America, followed by Story of the World 2. She loves hands on and art, so I expect she'll join for just about all of it. Health: Horizons K --- basic introductions she may remember from her big sister's health course, but the course is meant to be fun so she can have her own "Health Train" to be proud of. (Alternating with History) Geography: DK Pre-K and K. Art: (Fridays only, stress reliever for the weekend) "The Way They See It." I don't think either have the coordination to proceed to Book 2 of Artistic Pursuits (we did Book 1 this year) so I think it'll be fun to redo the Kindergarten art for both of them. Neither complained when I asked about repeating it --- they want to play with the smelly markers again. 😉 It sounds like a lot but her actual subjects will be no more than, at best, an hour of work a day. The rest will be just a lot art and craft projects to build listening skills, hand-to-eye coordination, art skills, and just fun to do while listening to music and talking.
  12. I don't have a review of it yet -- but we went through homeschooltestingservices.com to use a Stanford Achievement Test. We haven't received it yet or used it but it was affordable, and up to date. According to the directions, she takes it, I seal it up and send it back for it to be graded. Untimed test (a big plus here) but she has 2 weeks to get it done once we receive it. Figured I'd throw that option out there.
  13. We got about the same amount back as we usually do, but I adjusted our with holdings in February of 2018 when the notice was put out about the surprise that may await most people at the end of the year. We're very low income, so I didn't want to get in trouble for the extra $20 every two weeks we got. I don't trust Politicians, especially rich politicians to look out for me, and I know anything they 'give' back to me, they'll want back, plus more (interest, fees, fines, etc) But then this goes back to the point up above, why do we prefer a lump sum back versus breaking even? Well --- we do live paycheck to paycheck for now. While my husband picks up overtime everywhere he can find it -- as well as additional training that he travels for to make his skills worth more, this is how we live. Even owing $300-$500 would easily devastate us. If we had owed this year, along with my power steering pump going out and my husband needing a crown, I don't know what we'd do. And I imagine for many of us low on the totem pole of finances, it's our reality. I hate to think of what some of my peers may be going through if they end up owing .... The only thing that's irritating this year is that just a couple days ago, especially with the Government shutting on and off, we got a 'missing' form that we hadn't expected. (Local government claims they credited us $14 that we need to claim as income, but then said in the same form that they never sent us the check and sent it to another city, yet we still owe taxes on it) and the amending form is still not available. I've never been so nervous about the IRS busting down our door. 😂
  14. I said yes but it is a very measured yes. We've only done a couple of lapbooks. One was for addition facts to help them stick. She liked having a tab say 2+7 and then 'quizzing' herself. The other ones have been for Science only so far. It's been great in helping her review simple terms and definitions. (Like a skull protects the brain, nothing too egregious, she's only 6) But as far to the extent I've seen some people do them? No. Once we finish our human body study and lapbook, I plan on having her use it to start building very basic public speaking skills, with pictures and a simple sentence here and there to keep her on track. Nothing serious or graded. Just exposure. I like it, but I couldn't see doing more than two or three per year. But that's just us.
  15. Still working on figuring things out here ... 1st grade was a bunch of surprises where she accelerated in some subjects, slowed down in others, and when my husband looked through the curriculum and her strengths/weaknesses, he offered some great suggestions so this will more than likely get adjusted. But so far ... Math: Singapore Standards 1b & 2a. Right now fact memorization is a struggle despite her knowing the concepts and the ability to figure out answers just fine. So we'll keep moving forward and just review 0-20 facts from the 1a series. Language Arts: It was supposed to be Logic of English D. She is blowing through it like it's a joke. We were going to do ELTL a but my husband thinks it won't stick as much, and prefers a different layout for our children. Grammar: First Language Lessons 2 (Do FLL1 over the summer to get used to the program), Writing: Writing With Ease 1, possibly 2 if she blows through it. Spelling: Spelling Workout B. I really struggled between Rod and Staff Spelling and Spelling Workout but elected to let her pick just this one subject. Reading: Reading will be done with Scott Foresman Reading Street 2, but additional literature will come from other subjects and interests. Health: Horizons Health 2. Still wants to be a Pediatrician when she grows up, so we will continue this course. Geography: 180 Days of Geography 2. Social Studies: 180 Days of Social Studies 2. Bible: For now, Calvary Curriculum with Read and Share Bible Stories. I don't get it, it is super easy, way below her abilities, yet it helps with remembering Bible stories and verses. I'm still trying to figure out how that is working. That means I'll need to figure out what to do next year. Far as I see, it's only a one-year thing and then repeats. Eventually we'll need to go more in depth. History: Story of the World 2, eventually. We've combined Mystery of History along with Story of the World 1 last year and still have about 20 chapters to do. We're going slowly and doing a lot of projects. We have learned that Mystery of History isn't a hit here, but we'll finish out this year. Science: Elemental Science: Earth Science and Astronomy for the Grammar Stage. I'm not sure when we'll hit this, since we are going to do Intro to Science with my rising Kindergartner, but it will be immediately following. Art: (Friday Only) Artistic Pursuits 2 after redoing The Way They See It with her younger sisters(K and toddler). Like Intro to Science, she doesn't mind reviewing it because of how enjoyable the year before was. It looks like a butt ton of work, but with the exception of Math and any project/craft days she's doing, she blows through each subject within 10-15 minutes. I also imagine from here on out, History, Science, and Art will just be a continuous blend with all of the kids, no matter the age with variations of jumping back and forth between the highest grade and youngest grade. But we'll see, there's still two more behind my Kindergartner. Still learning this on the fly too. Also, almost all of these are open and go -- and with a baby coming late April/early May, then being forced into moving in June, then DH traveling for additional training on his job later in the year, it'll help with not needing to prep so much. And I think with the step back in many subjects to help the Kindergartner join in the fold, it'll ease some of the stresses of the 2nd grader and make school more fun which will (hopefully) set a good precedence for the year for my two girls. We'll see.
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