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Everything posted by SkateLeft

  1. One of my older kids took a co-op history class that used World History for Us All from UCLA. The middle school student text is called "A Compact History of Humankind" and it runs about $25. https://whfua.history.ucla.edu/
  2. This is for my 13yo ds, who has ASD and OCD and hates all schoolwork. My other kids loved learning, but this kid is so resistant to everything academic. Hits: PAC English Communication skills: I would never have guessed this would be a hit. He does the lessons without complaint, writes in the activity book without complaint, and actually gets really interested in the vignettes sometimes and ends up looking up more information or watching documentaries. Thinkwell 7: He likes videos, and his conceptual understanding of math is much better than his computational ability. Thinkwell lets him move along conceptually without long pages of problem sets tiring out his computation skills. I can separate his fact practice out from the fun part of math. He loves Ed Burger. Crash Course World History: He watches these every day (sometimes more than once) and looks up more info afterwards. He retains more than he ever did with SOTW or anything else we've ever read. Duolingo: He does this every day without argument. Shh. Don't tell him it's not a game. Misses: Everything else I've tried.
  3. My oldest started at full-time dual enrollment at 14. I graduated her at 16, and she went off to university out of state. She'd been taken summer high school classes on the local state university campus since she was 10. She was very ready, academically and socially. She was academic, self-disciplined, and she had great time management skills. The CC was the perfect stepping stone between homeschooling and college for a kid that was ready for more. After two years, she had 60 semester units and a 4.0 GPA and was ready to go off to university. I will say that I don't think she's exceptionally gifted. She's just a very driven, serious, hard working kid. She worked HARD for those grades. The one place where we really saw the effects of her age was her struggles to handle stress. When multiple deadlines piled on top of her, she tended to lose weight, not eat enough, not sleep enough and would just get run down and sick. I wish we'd spent a more time teaching her positive ways of managing stress. It took her a few years to really learn to manage it on her own. So my advice is that if you send a kid off to college young, make sure that they're not just ready socially and academically, but that they have the ability to handle stressful situations also.
  4. For something a little different... My son was admitted to Metropolitan State University in Law Enforcement. It's one of our state's few POST board certified bachelor's degree programs.
  5. Personally, I stopped using Currclick a few years ago, when they started getting flooded with substandard materials from folks who just saw it as an outlet to self-publish. Their search function wasn't very good, and it took a lot of weeding through materials to find what I needed. I tended to stick with the handful of publishers that I knew I liked, because there was so much fluffy junk in their catalog. I'd originally switched to Currclick from DedicatedTeacher, because I liked being able to find homeschool specific stuff. Now I use TpT for digital resources. Materials there are more likely to be reviewed and vetted by the community, and poor quality quickly gets fewer stars, so I feel like it's easier to find quality, tried and true materials.
  6. Oooh! I can answer this! ? We live 5 months out of the year on our sailboat up in Lake Superior (it's in my avatar), and our kids have grown up sailing. We sailed San Francisco Bay and up and down the west coast when the kids were younger, but moved to the Great Lakes several years ago. My oldest daughter raced in high school through ISA, and both her and my husband race weekly at a local yacht club. We've also sailed in different parts of the world. I highly recommend sailing lessons for both kids and adults. For adults and teens, check out the website for the American Sailing Association if you're in the US, and find a Basic Keelboat class near you. ASA is focused more on cruising and recreational sailing, and they're my preference for learning general sailing skills. I can't recommend the ASA curriculum highly enough. I have certifications in Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising, Bareboat, Advanced Coastal Cruising, Offshore Passagemaking and Celestial Navigation. They're especially handy if you want to charter a sailboat, even outside the US. US Sailing is another great option, but their classes are more racing focused. Our local parks and recreation and community sailing center both offer classes for kids. My kids all took dinghy sailing classes when they were little, then took basic keelboat through ASA when they got older. Once you've taken lessons (and if you decide you still like it), then I recommend sailing on as many different boats as you can. Joining a sailing club with a fleet that lets you check out boats for a yearly or monthly fee is great for this. You can also join your local yacht club as a member willing to crew. Making friends who own boats is a good way to get more sailing experience. We love taking people saiing with us. My husband had a friend who owned a boat that he never used. We paid the slip fees and did the maintenance and we were able to sail the boat any time we liked. We did that for a number of years. As a result, we had loads of experience, both in sailing and maintenance, long before we bought our first boat, and we knew exactly what we wanted.
  7. Here's how 7th grade is looking with my youngest. Our day consists of a morning meeting to go over his planner, followed by a math block, then an English block, then lunch and outside time. In the afternoons, we do Latin and then alternate a history/science block with an arts block on separate days. One day a week, we have co-op and on that day, we have morning meeting, math, then co-op. He has special needs, so giving him longer blocks of time to work on a single subject works best, because there are fewer transitions. Math: TT Pre-Algebra Latin: Latin for Children A Life/Social Skills: Model Me curriculum, weekly life skills goals, daily exposures (CBT) History/Science Block: Big History Project with integrated science (I've taught BHP before. We'll incorporate physics/chemistry into semester 1, and life science into semester 2), monthly STEM kits Writing & Grammar: Growing with Grammar 7, Writing Strands B2 (just the writing lessons), daily journal writing Literature: Mosdos Jade, independent reading (meeting the daily goal on his Kindle Paperwhite) Spelling & Vocabulary: BHP Vocabulary, Marie's Words Arts Block: selected weekly projects, art therapy Co-Op: Chemistry Lab/ Painting PE: Gymnastics
  8. I'd do lessons for as long as they enjoy it, then let them go to open skate and have fun. If they decide to get serious and competitive, cross that bridge when the time comes. I'd just let them enjoy learning to skate for now. My middle two kids were competitive short track speedskaters (hence my username!). I skated masters short track, and my youngest skated in Special Olympics. My younger dd (20yo) still does short track, and is actually transferring universities this summer to be able to skate with a better organization. As someone else pointed out, boots and blades are crazy expensive, especially for my older son. He seemed to need new boots every three months, and his growth is finally slowing down now at almost 17. Skinsuits are another big expense, because they're super high tech and ISU/US Speedskating requires them to be made of cut resistant fabric. Add in the cost of helmets, cut resistant gloves and the special sharpening equipment needed for short track blades, and costs of traveling to meets across the country, and it's crazy. I often wished my kids had just gone into figure skating, because it would have been cheaper.
  9. 18+ years here, and lots of changes. The first reason is that there are just way more resources available now, especially on the internet. I have a massive home library now, and when we started we were just a graduate student family living in a tiny run-down apartment with nothing. The second reason is that our family dynamic has changed as kids have grown and left the nest. I went through the phase of life where I was teaching one kid with babies and toddlers under foot, to the phase of life where I was teaching four kids, bouncing between them. I'd ask a question of one kid, and another one would answer. I'd turn around, and one kid would be under the table making her crayons talk to each other. It was crazy. Then gradually we moved into this phase of life where my house is quiet again. I'm essentially homeschooling just one child now, and in a lot of ways, that's so much harder than homeschooling multiples! I spend a lot of time now sitting around, waiting to be needed. It's been a rough transition.
  10. That was actually my point. Sorry if I was unclear. As I mentioned, learning to manage time is a really important part of the ACT. That's also why I recommended the Real ACT practice book, which is pretty much just all practice tests. Also, as I mentioned, test anxiety is very real for some kids, and taking practice tests can help alleviate that considerably. My recommendation was to take actual practice tests and focus on building a strong background in math and English, because that's really what goes a long way towards improving scores.
  11. I second the Real ACT Prep book. We honestly did very little prep apart from a few practice tests so my kids would have a sense of how to manage their time. I made sure they all had very solid math backgrounds. Knowing my son's weakness is grammar, I had him go through EGUMPP (an online grammar program) as a refresher a couple of months before he took the test. That was it. The ACT is a knowledge test. Personally, I think there's not really much that test prep you can do for the ACT, unlike the SAT. With the exception of the science (which is mostly data analysis), you either know the material or you don't. Barring any test anxiety, which I know is a major issue for some kids, getting a strong math and English background and knowing how to manage your time on a timed test will go a long way towards scoring well. (Edited to clarify.)
  12. I think this varies depending on where you live. Even for public school students here athletics are expensive. Our state allows homeschoolers to participate in sports at the public school. My middle two played regular season sports (rugby, track, nordic skiing) at the public high school. We had to purchase all our own equipment and uniforms, and the mandatory athletic fee, which is required of *all* students, including those enrolled at the school, was very high. It shocked me really, that public school students have to pay extra for so many things. I honestly thought that stuff would be included, because it was when I was in high school. So where we live at least, high school athletics aren't any more expensive for homeschoolers than they are for public school kids. They're just expensive for everyone. I'm just glad my kids never got into hockey. That's where it gets REALLY crazy here.
  13. In my 18 or so years of homeschooling, my biggest academic expense has been high school science. I bought the best quality lab science kits I could find, alongside textbooks, supplemental books, resources and equipment. I'm not counting music or sports. I've probably spent more on short track speedskates over the years than on anything else for my kids. I'm sure music and athletic expenses far outweighed any of our academic expenses. But for academics, it was definitely high school science.
  14. Me: "Decky, what do you want to do for 7th grade?" My son: "You're planning that already?! That's like... next year! I'm not ready to plan for 7th grade!" He's no help. ;)
  15. My daughter took physics with Jetta as a high school senior and LOVED it. She had refused to even consider ever majoring in engineering, but she loved physics so much that she switched to engineering just prior to orientation. :D Unfortunately, I've tried unsuccessfully to get my son into the class since with no luck because it fills up so fast. This was his last chance, but the classes filled so quickly. Oh well. :(
  16. It's a 10 month subscription. Right now, it's $39.90 for grades 3-5, $49.90 for grades 6-7, and $59.90 for pre-algebra through pre-calc. That's the price for the whole 10 month subscription, so it's way cheaper than the CDs. I'd already bought the CDs for Math 3-5, and algebra 1 through pre-calc, but we can't use them on our Chromebooks during the 5 months of the year we're on our boat, so an online only option is perfect.
  17. Really? When was this? If you haven't contacted them recently and you're still interested, you should email them again. I was a previous customer, so maybe that's why they extended the offer to test it. They recently started billing those of us using the online version, so I think they're close to releasing it publicly.
  18. TT *does* have an online option now, but you need to email them to get the information. It's still in testing, so it's not on their website yet. My youngest has been using it this year, and it works beautifully on his Chromebook. Since we spend a significant portion of the year on our sailboat, I needed something that would work online.
  19. It gets a lot of discussion lately because it's new and shiny, and homeschoolers are always looking for the next new, shiny thing. I downloaded the grade 5 stuff, and wasn't impressed at all. I noticed a lot of the same issues that Soror mentioned above.
  20. No regrets here. The only thing I really honestly regret was letting my oldest see the movie version of 1984 when she was in 8th grade. She'd read the book and we were going to compare the film version to the book. My husband was supposed to be watching it with her and fast forward the inappropriate bits, but he fell asleep on the couch. We joke about it now, but at the time, I was horrified. Lesson learned! When my kids were young, I tended to hold off on using books that scarred me as a kid, like The Yearling by Majorie Kinnan Rawling. That book DEVASTATED me, so I just didn't include it in anything we did. If my kids had come across it and wanted to read it, I'd have let them, but I wasn't about to voluntarily give it to them. There were a few others in that vein, but I forget them at the moment.
  21. One of my older kids really needed a lot of support with time management and executive functioning tasks. She's now doing great as an engineering student, but it took a lot of scaffolding to get her to the point where she could manage on her own. A 10th grader is still learning how to study and handle their time. I don't believe that all teens develop those skills at the same pace, and some of them won't just figure it out on their own. While I could hand a list of weekly assignments to two of my kids, my younger dd really needed more support. She needed me to model the planning for her. You've gotten some great suggestions, but personally what I'd do is sit down with him and develop a daily assignment schedule. Help him break down the week's work into bite sized daily chunks. Since you've tried a bunch of different calendar tools and they didn't work, the problem isn't the tools. My guess is that it's how your son manages and plans his time. So pick a tool and create a daily schedule for each day of the next week. Then show him how to plan daily assignments. Lastly, help him be accountable for sticking to it. After you model how to do it, he might be fine doing it on it own, or he might need more practice and scaffolding. I think that's totally normal for some kids! My daughter spent a LOT of time sitting across from me at the table. She needed me to break her stuff down into daily assignments. She gradually took on more and more responsibility for planning her work and managing her time, but I still worried a bit when she went off to college! Thankfully, she has the tools and she's done really, really well. They figure it out, but some kids need more support than others. :)
  22. My special needs 6th grader is taking an electrical engineering class at co-op, watches online science videos obsessively, does his Tinker Crates, and comes up with a lot of his own experiments. We do field trips one day a week and they're usually hiking and nature study, or otherwise science related. For actual curriculum, he's using Acellus Life Science (really light), and whatever other resources I can find to facilitate his interests. His science has always been pretty interest led. I used rigorous textbook based traditional science programs with my older kids, and my youngest knows way more content than they did at this age, but he lacks the data analysis and interpretation skills they developed, as well as the textbook study skills. It's been really interesting to see the differences!
  23. To each their own. If I didn't help my kids, they wouldn't qualify for any financial aid. The only student loans they qualify for are unsubsidized. I'd much rather help them now than have them graduate with loads of debt. Fortunately, we started saving for their college educations when they were born, so they each have a nice, but finite, amount of savings to use for tuition. With that said, both of my girls work and go to school. My younger daughter works 35 hours a week because she's adamant about paying her own rent. Last week, I had to convince her to let me pay for her new glasses. My kids all have strong work ethics and appreciate their blessings. They both pay for their own rent, food and incidentals. I cover car insurance. When I was in college, my parents would have LOVED to help me, but couldn't give me anything. I worked very hard to support myself through college. I have no desire to have my kids go through that.I can help, so I do.
  24. I agree with Wapiti. My girls applied to lots of engineering schools, and I can't think of one that would have allowed them to substitute a programming language for the foreign language requirement. I'd be extremely wary of trying to do that.
  25. All of my kids have smartphones, including the youngest, but we've never had any issues with excessive use. In fact, both of my boys (the only two still left at home) forget to charge their phones all the time. We use the phones for Google Maps, occasional texting and calls, checking email and playing Amazon music or audiobooks in the car, but that's it. We're just not big phone users. My kids are more likely to kill time reading on their Kindles rather than goof off on their phones. We don't have a land line at home and we spend our summers on our sailboat, so everyone has a phone. When my girls were younger, they just had prepaid flip phones, but when they started driving, we switched them to smart phones so they would always have access to GPS and navigation. My older ds travels a lot with Boy Scouts and his grandparents, so he's had a smart phone for a long time. We see it as a safety issue. My youngest son has significant special needs, so we got him a phone a few years ago, when his therapy and doctor appointment schedule ramped up a lot. He carries a phone with a GPS locator and we use an app that lets him see where my husband and I are, and lets us see where he is. Obviously, if you've got kids who will use the phone to the exclusion of all else, then you'd want to set limits. We've never had that issue though, so it's just not a big deal to us.
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