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Everything posted by VaScarlett

  1. Please help me decide on a grammar curriculum for my fourth grader. I purchased MCT Island level and was so excited to use it but he hates it! It is his first introduction to grammar and he stares at me blankly when I ask him to identify the parts of speech. I think it is moving way too fast for him. Also, MCT doesn't give the students the typical questions used to identify parts of speech, like What kind? which one?, etc. So I'm wondering if I need to use Rod & Staff English. I'm introducing my 2nd grader to it and she loves it. I think its boring but she says grammar is her favorite subject. I have the 3rd grade books so I don't know if I need to purchase the 4th grade books. Can he start at that level? To complicate matters, our co-op is using IEW TWSS and many parents have recommended the Fix-It! Grammar series to accompany the writing program. I really want to give him a solid foundation in grammar but right now I'm not sure which direction to go.
  2. Thank you all so much! I am going to read through these in depth tonight and make a school schedule. I think knowing what is coming next will help my kids. I like the idea of reconnecting with my kids throughout the day and bringing in audio books. Thank you for your help!
  3. Please help this tired Momma. Its crazy at home. I start with morning time. I play a nice song to get them to gather but they grumble and complain about leaving their toys. I read a devo and we do SOTW and maps. They like that. Move into math time. My 9, 7, 5 year olds do math sitting at a table but they all need my help and start interrupting me and each other. The baby is crawling around in the middle of this chaos getting into things. Finally put baby to bed and have to wrangle kids to get back to work. More complaining. 5 year old finishes and runs off to play. 7 and 9 year old complain he is too loud and they just can't think. 7 year old cries because she doesn't want to write. 9 year old is frustrated he doesn't understand math. Finally calm them down and we finish. Do English with 5 year old and begin with 7 yo. She cries again because she doesn't want to "do any more stupid work!" 9 year old is just bursting to go play with legos and can't understand why he can't just play all day. This is a sample of a typical day. It isn't at all what I thought homeschooling would be. I purchased a grammar program (MCT) that was I so excited to do with my oldest and he can't stand it. I am discouraged. I don't know what to do. Please give me advice. What works for you? I try to be kind but firm but usually lose it and start yelling at them. Everyday is full of grumbling and complaining and whining. We have a routine and the kids have chores they do every morning. But schoolwork is like pulling teeth. I'm ready to give up.
  4. Thanks for the advice. What curriculum are you using? FLL or WWE or something else? I promise you, my hubby is so supportive. His hesitation in leaving CC would be the $ we already paid, making another change for our children, and me figuring things out on my own which I have expressed difficulty with in the past. I like having a map laid out for me which CC provides. In doing more research, I wonder if Horizons Math, Apples and Pears Spelling, WWE and FLL would work for my oldest. Or R&S English? Then SOTW twice a week. I am all over the place trying to figure this out.
  5. Seeking advice from this tribe of homeschoolers. I am new to the WTM Community online but have been homeschooling for 4 years. I have four kids DS 9, DD 7, DS 5, and DS 6 months. My husband was homeschooled so he is very supportive of what I am doing. For the past three years, we have been in different CC communities (different ones bc of moving). I am disenchanted with CC. I don't want to start bashing CC, it just doesn't seem to be working for my family. However, it relives the burden of art and science and my kids love the social time. I am thinking about talking to my husband about not returning next year. However, we have already paid a deposit. 😐 I know he will be concerned and ask questions if I can do it on my own. Its been a difficult year with the new baby and recovery process. Right now, I only get through Language Arts LOE and Horizons Math every day. I will start Apples and Pears Spelling soon with my DS 9. It scares me when I reread WTM and see everything she suggests. Grammar, spelling, reading, writing, science, art. etc. How do I devote that much time to older three and take care of a baby. I realize history, science, etc. can be taught in a group. But getting my kids to get their math done takes an hour. And its three different levels. After phonics, we are worn out. Okay, so after all this venting a question. How do you do it all?! Teaching multiple ages on different levels with a baby in tow? I wantI to follow WTM but my day to day just has too many people and emotions to deal with. I have looked at MCT for a long time for language arts and would love to do that next year, but DS 9 will be in Essentials next year and starting IEW. I'm nervous it will move too fast for him but I also don't know if I can teach it on my own. Please give me advice, encouragement and tell me what your day looks like with multiple kids!
  6. Anyone please feel free to give their opinion. I need help. Thanks.
  7. I used LOE Foundations as well. My kids can read one and two syllable words easily but struggle beyond that. Spelling is a bust. I am disappointed with LOE. It is so expensive and I feel I wasted time and money and now have to backtrack. I am looking for a simple spelling program. I don't want to buy more letter tiles or flash cards. Just a book. Is Apples and Pears like that? I am going to use Phonics and Reading Pathways to get my kids' reading back on track. Spelling Wisdom looks neat but does it teach rules?
  8. Hi Elizabeth,

    I have been reading your work on the Phonics Page and Don Potter's work on his website. I have been trying to work through his copy of Webster's Spelling Book but I need some advice. Until recently, I have been using Logic of English. It gave my kids a good start but my oldest (9 yr) is struggling with three syllable + words and has serious trouble spelling. My 7 yr old is a good beginning reader but I am hesitant to keep going with LOE because of DS's issues. Also, I have a 5 yr old eager to read but I just am discouraged at this point. I started using Webster but in reading some of the other posts it seems the kids don't really progress in spelling? Should I use Phonics Pathways with all of them? I hate to bring my 9 yr old down to one syllable words again but I don't know where to start. I have spent too much money skipping around. 

    In reading your other posts I see you talk about your Syllables Spell Success program. Should I start my 9 and 7 on that and hope that the spelling also improves their reading? I know you wrote elsewhere that it incorporates the syllabary. I am looking for clear guidelines and Webster's didn't offer that. 

    Any help you can give would be very appreciated. I am discouraged at this point and don't know what to do. 

    Thank you,


    1. ElizabethB


      Yes, I would do the Syllables program with them.  After you get to lesson 6, it has 2+ syllable words, and the first 5 lessons have spelling rules as well as reading.  Actually, the first 5 lessons all have 2+ syllable words at the end with some syllable division exercises.  The Syllables program is actually mainly for reading but with a spelling rules.  The reason Webster did not have clear guidelines was because it was taught in one room schools, if you saw it being taught that 6 - 8 times, no instructions necessary.  The only place I've seen explanations about how it was taught was in the slave narratives, the education sections, I have some excerpts from it: http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Phonics/

       For your 9 year old, I would follow with all of the 2+ syllable words for reading, and some of the spelling work from Phonics Pathways, there are spelling suggestions in it, I think at the end.  You may need something else for your 9 year old dedicated to spelling, perhaps Apples and Pears or Spelling Plus by Susan C. Anthony.  I like Spelling Plus because it focuses on the most common 1,000 words, which are important to focus on for a struggling speller.  Your 7 year old can follow on with a combo of Phonics Pathways and a bit of webster 2+ syllable words.  (Assuming you own Phonics Pathways, if you don't you can use Blend Phonics/Word Mastery for phonics basics instead, both free to print.)  My son needed daily spelling practice, 10 - 15 minutes a day, before his spelling improved.

    2. ElizabethB


      The syllables program also teaches you how to teach Webster and includes several multi-syllable Webster tables.  Webster's Speller is actually mainly good for reading, not spelling, it works better for teaching reading than spelling, there are better choices for spelling, ironically.


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