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Emily ZL

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About Emily ZL

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. I knew someone IRL who used the full grade levels for her kids. Her DH had been homeschooled using Abeka. She had good things to say about the phonics too. My understanding is that they've added video lessons for basically every subject, if that's something people are interested in, for better or worse. A couple of years ago I was looking to teach cursive first, and I wanted something age-appropriate that also started letters from the baseline. Abeka had a cursive-first program and colorful workbooks for pre-K and K that were perfect! Unfortunately, it didn't really take. There wasn't rea
  2. This is our 4th week, since it's hot here so we usually start early. It's been going well. We don't have our normal Friday drop off program so I thought I would school on Friday too... But nope! I can't do 5 days in a row. I'm now just giving my 5th grader some online typing games, some online math practice, and his once a week literature program, and that's it. My younger kids entertain themselves while I do chores. We sometimes manage a tea party if the kids will set it up for me. This year I decided to try never to pick anything not in the lesson plans, though I am combining two sets o
  3. My younger kids do one page per day, and my 5th grader does 1-3, depending on how hard it is, how much practice he needs, and how well he's doing. I used to just look at the number of pages in the book and divide by the number of school days, but that's a bad idea. First, you should know that Maria Miller says in the materials that most kids should only be doing about half the problems, so sometimes you can get through more pages by circling or crossing out half. So that's an option. But honestly, the best possible strategy I have found is: you buy yourself time to really go through
  4. For your needs, I would highly recommend the picture study portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason. You choose an artist and they include some large prints and a little guidebook about the artist and works. You can choose a medieval or late medieval artist like Van Eyck or Giotto or Da Vinci.
  5. Really really really can't say enough about the very real possibility of killing the love of reading. Lots of kids are given "rigorous" programs that boast about the difficult books they include and the "in depth" literature guides, but those kids frequently do the reading like they do their math and grammar. They associate reading with school they have to do. Ultimately it can be counterproductive, because a kid who really loves devouring fun books just for fun will read longer and more, and get all those benefits. I remember one mom I know IRL who uses a difficult, packed curriculum wa
  6. Speaking of output, has anyone else noticed how much people want even the youngest students to do the traditional "lab report" with hypothesis, observation, etc? And how that's such a joy suck? Like, you can't enjoy the thrill and fun of a science demonstration without killing it thoroughly with a worksheet. Or like when those poor PS kids at the children's museum are given the scavenger hunt so they can't just have fun, they need to be occupied filling out a worksheet or else how do we know they've learned? People might think the kids won't learn to "do" science without learning the sci
  7. One nice thing about math mammoth is that you can buy the entire 1-6 grade curriculum with all quizzes, tests, extra practice, etc. for one price, as a set of PDFs. It frequently goes on sale at places like homeschool buyers co-op so you get it all even cheaper. At that point it becomes 100% customizable. You simply back up and look at the table of contents and pick just the subjects you want to reinforce or cover. Then, once they get that, you can move to the next thing you want to cover. That way, you don't have to care about spending money on an expensive "4th grade" program when your kid i
  8. Sure, and of course that stuff comes up in any history course, including slavery and the Holocaust at a high level of abstraction. But you don't want to imply that there are no heroes and play up everyone's vices instead. E.g., you can talk about Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of independence, and mention that slaves weren't included, without going into Sally Helms. In your example, there are heroes of invention, as well as reformers, but none were perfect. Henry Ford I believe was a great admirer of Hitler, but I don't think you need to mention that -- it's pretty awful to drag down eac
  9. FWIW, I bought a big set up for this (one of those 142+ pieces sets) and had every piece laminated before our first official day of homeschooling. It had a weather circle with an arrow, a big weather graph that we used dry erase markers on, a big perpetual calendar with little squares that attached with Velcro spots in the back that had the dates, and it even had special holiday squares for each holiday. It was so cute. I wouldn't recommend that, haha. It got used for a week and then people kept stealing or ruining my numbers and the babies tore it off the wall and people fought over who's tur
  10. Just my two cents, but I personally wouldn't do BA unless the kids were definitely advanced. My son is bright but the year we did BA was a lost math year; there were too many gaps and not enough review. It works great for some kids, but they need to be puzzle-lovers. Math mammoth is written directly to the student, so that might help. Or teaching textbooks?
  11. I forget who said this, but with young kids and history, you should always try to "start with heroes" or at least some positive or interesting stories. For you, maybe that won't be Columbus, or maybe not American history. But there's lots of time later for all the complex, darker, shameful parts of history. That's hard to lay on a kid who has to be part of this society and is really young. Third grade is a great year to do ancients, with Greek myths, and those crazy warmaking Romans and their she-wolf origins, Egyptian culture, and ancient China etc, and those stories often aren't lingered on
  12. Plus you don't actually have to register with anyone or tell anyone you're homeschooling. So as far as the state is concerned they won't even know some new homeschoolers have moved in when you arrive! Lol. Welcome!
  13. Huh. I had never realized this and we've been in Texas for 7 years. I just looked up what most people remember, which is basically the Alamo, San Jacinto, and the six flags/republic of Texas type of thing. If she wants a little Texas history, I feel like you could do the basic ideas in a single week with some elementary-type library books. (Plus the John Wayne movie, lol.) Just from living here, we've been to the San Jacinto battlefield/monument, and to the San Antonio missions and the Alamo many times. They all have beautiful exhibits and being there is memorable! So even if she missed it dur
  14. Math mammoth is great, and the creator Maria Miller specifically says that most kids should be doing only half the problems - the other half are for those who need more practice. She also teaches the same thing in multiple ways in case the child isn't getting one of them - which means you can choose to teach those "extra" methods or not based on what type of learner you have, like if your kid needs more of an abstract approach or more pictorial.
  15. I agree with what everyone else is saying. I just wanted to add that when my girls were in pre-k4 and K together, we would slowly memorize a poem and a Bible verse, maybe 3 minutes per day. That's it! And it was great. They raced in circles around the house yelling "the rain is raining all around!!!!..." When they got the whole thing easily, I put it in their notebook and they could draw a little picture if they wanted. (They usually didn't, lol.) But that was such a great use of 3 minutes. We could do it while the kids were playing with blocks or animal friends. The whole "how many hou
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