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Everything posted by M.K.22

  1. Nevermind. I just realized what today's date is! I shouldn't post before having coffee!
  2. Thank you all so much for your inspiring stories! I know 9 is still young for writing, but it is just so hard to see the big picture when you are in the middle of a temper tantrum or another day of whining and complaining or just outright refusal! I also really have to resist the urge to compare his writing to the work that his siblings did at the same age - or the work that I did. After all, the whole point of homeschooling is that it allows you to customize everything, right? I feel so much better knowing that you and your kids faced similar days but patiently persisted and succeeded. Thanks for the curriculum suggestions, too.
  3. My very bright 9 yr old struggles with every step of the writing process. I feel like I have to pull narrations out of him. Copy work is hit or miss, but he has worked with an occupational therapist on fine motor skills so there has been some improvement there. Some of his spontaneous creative story telling is just brilliant, but he cannot produce anything on demand (at least not without whining and occasional tears of frustration) . I was wondering if someone has a high school student who had similar struggles but is doing fine now. I would love to hear what worked for you and your student!
  4. I find that I constantly want to switch curriculum either because I'm bored with it or because my DS starts complaining more that usual when it is time to work on it. This is my first full year of homeschooling so I'm not sure if the curriculum is just a bad choice (so I should keep looking for something better) or if I just need stop getting distracted by the shiny new thing, calm down, and stick with something for a while. My DS doesn't really like anything we are doing, but there are things that he complains about less than others. He is anti-school, in general. So far this year, only math has been a constant. Anyone else have this issue? How do you deal with it?
  5. Have you looked at Brave Writer? That seems to be the favorite writing curriculum for creative types. I haven't tried it out myself, but I've read a lot about it. The reviews are all glowing.
  6. Have you looked at Core Knowledge's website for free downloads? They have history material for grades 6-8. If the kids have Kindles or iPads, then they can get the student readers for free, too. It's completely secular. They also have literature guides for novels that could accompany the history reading. The guides are free to download. The book are about $10 each. https://www.coreknowledge.org/curriculum/download-curriculum/
  7. My third grader likes the DVDs. He generally does not like cartoons (actually, he hates most cartoons) so I am surprised that he likes it. He didn't learn much Latin, though. Just a few basic words. That's all I was going for at this point in the game. I'm waiting until he's older to do anything serious with Latin.
  8. There are no official lesson plans or schedules for MCT. They recommend you take about a month or two for the grammar book. Then, you are supposed to alternate between the practice book, the writing book (sentence island), the poetry book, and the vocab book. They also recommend reading lots of age appropriate, high quality literature. Except for the practice book, the books are all intended as read alouds. The teacher's book is the same as the student book, but with added discussion points and activity explanations. It took 10-15 minutes a day to read aloud. Then, if we did an activity, it would add about 20-30 minutes. My son needs a lot of prodding and help with focusing, but other children could probably do the activities in the writing book independently. The practice book is just sentence analysis so once they get the hang of it, it is definitely independent work. It's also the only book they write in. I skipped the vocab book because he already learned about Latin roots in his spelling curriculum. My son and I really enjoyed reading the books aloud. Sentence Island is a nice, funny story. It's intended for gifted students so it's more conceptual than other grammar programs. There's not really any memory work. I guess gifted kids don't need that kind of repetition. I like it as a supplement for my bright (but probably not "gifted") kid.
  9. MCT Grammar Island and Sentence Island are really great for seeing the "big picture" of grammar and sentence construction. It might help your kids see why they have been memorizing all those definitions. It's a bit expensive if you buy the whole curriculum, but you can just get the teacher's manual of GI and SI to test it out. There are also free samples on the website. I modified some of the activities by printing out some Montessori symbols for the parts of speech and having my son label the exercise sentences with the symbols instead of writing it all out. I suppose that is a bit like the Winston approach, although, I haven't used Winston myself.
  10. I was on an Android phone and using Chrome, but it seems better now.
  11. I get a black screen for about a minute before a screen loads.
  12. Mystery Science is actually designed for small groups. It would be a perfect fit for what you want to do. You can get a year of free limited access so you could easily use Mystery Science with another curriculum if you want to cover other topics or if you just want to test out the mysteries without spending a lot of money. There is very little prep time. Like blendergal said, all you have to do is print out the instructions and make sure you have all the needed supplies on hand ahead of time. The instructions will tell you exactly what you need for your group size. The videos guide the kids through the activity step by step. You will only have to help them if any of the children struggle with fine motor skills like cutting and folding. The are several mysteries that have instructions for "big kids" and "little kids" so you can have a group of kids of different ages all work together on those activities without any extra work for yourself. I don't have a reading list, but if you click on "extras" on the start screen for each mystery, you will see links to books (usually ebooks), articles, extension activities, extra videos, and tests (if you want to go that route!). We haven't done any of the read along mysteries so I can't comment on that. Sorry. By the way, what a great idea! Good luck!
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