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gradchica

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  1. Another MP Latin fan here. Oldest did 2nd Form this year (5th) and with that and going through the MP pre guide pretty informally got a perfect score on the National Latin Exam. He’s definitely retaining what he learns, helps me teach his younger brother (3rd grade/1st Form last year), and is caught up in the joy of mastering the language. This guy reads the MP catalogue for personal academic planning purposes, so ymmv. I use MP’s plans for Henle I for myself as well. My children don’t mind the literature guides, and they do help me with books I haven’t read or have forgotten. I have 3 doing literature now, I can’t keep up with all the books, and the guides help me tremendously. My rising 4th grader has usually read had or more of the books for his grade BUT he has read them “for fun” and we haven’t gone into any analysis whatsoever. Plus, his writing is far below his reading and math, so we focus on developing analysis and writing skills, which is easier to do with familiar books. We follow a mostly MP curriculum (R&S is done independently as review, we use Singapore, and we vary the history a bit) and the kids truly seem to get joy out of knowing the material (and showing this to others—oldest was ridiculous font of astronomical knowledge at space camp last year after MP astronomy, and both kids show adults constellations whenever we’re camping). I also like how it builds a family culture—they get excited when a younger brother gets to read a book they enjoyed, they can talk to and quiz each other on Greek myths or science, and recognize references to these materials in other things we read/watch together.
  2. I mostly went w MP K for my third, but kept Singapore and AAR. He needed some extra practice with phonics and writing, do FSR took care of that. I do prefer AAR though. We use R&S just for drill, and as practice “independent” work. So Singapore and AAR are our main curricula and FSR and R&S are drill/review.
  3. I think the user unfriendly part for me was twofold—following the flowchart of lessons and reading through the lesson for what I should do/present and what was background, and figure out the demo. None of that is particularly hard, but the extra level of decision making (what lesson? Did we do the pre reqs? What do I need? What do I say?) just pushed it to the back burner. That was not our primary science, so even less motivation to get it done. I appreciate that SCI has laid out the lessons in order (so no flow chart angst), with easy list of supplies, what to say/do, links to video that illustrate/explain the concept. As open and go as anything requiring supplies and demonstrations can be. The student companion lab book with worksheets is also helpful and makes it easier to keep everything together.
  4. We’re using it with a 1st grader, a K, and two J.K. kids right now and they are enjoying it. The first grader is definitely getting the concept ms pretty easily and likes to explore to the younger ones. I used the Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding with my older ones at that age and liked it, but couldn’t keep everything straight. This format is much more user friendly—meaning I actually do it.
  5. My 5th grader and I enjoyed the various Legends of the Old West podcast episodes we’ve listened to. Also geared to adults. We tried a few other podcasts on similar topics but we both found too much vulgarity (I suppose some of those characters just invite crass language to describe their unsavory activities, but this podcast avoids that and tedious banter). I’ve enjoyed History Unplugged and History that Doesn’t Suck. I can’t remember anything objectionable, though there are obviously some topics that may be too heavy for younger or sensitive children.
  6. I’m wondering the same thing. My 5th grader is finishing Dimensions 6B now, and we plan to stay with Dimensions for 7&8. He is getting everything pretty easily and the format is working for us. We always run 2 math programs, so I’ll probably have him do Life of Fred pre algebra independently and/or add in some problems from AOPS. 3rd grader is finishing Primary 5B now—I’m thinking of keeping him in Primary 6 next year, but then will be in the same boat—do Dimensions 6 or go straight to 7?
  7. During the school year I do MP’s curriculum at breakfast (we read aloud and talk about the questions). That is usually 3-4 days a week and on the other days I will read Angel Food and whatever Catechism we’re using on a loop. One more good resource—Ruah Woods has a literature based curriculum based on Theology of the Body, now available as a homeschool curriculum. Each grade is only a few (long) lessons, so we will use those in place of MP after we finish that for the year. https://www.ruahwoodspress.com/tob-for-homeschooling-families/
  8. We love Story of the Bible as well. This year we followed MP’s Christian Studies for Bible, and are using Our Holy Faith for Catechism. TAN is reprinting them and they look lovely (https://tanbooks.com/tan-academy/religion/our-holy-faith-vol-3-prince-of-peace/) but I have the version from St Augustine press (http://www.staugustineacademypress.com/brands/Our-Holy-Faith-Series.html). My kids also love the Angel Food series (also reprinted from TAN). My 11 yo said the priest that wrote them “just explains things so well!” (11 down to 5yo listen intently when I read them during breakfast). Little Catechism on the Eucharist (Little Catechism on the Eucharist https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1892875306/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_4V3QTKXKKE1E50V7D6KK) and St Patrick’s Summer (https://www.amazon.com/dp/192883292X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_N9TK3MG7BD94Z11SJ8XY) are great too.
  9. We tried CAP Spanish and it was a big flop here. I speak Spanish, taught it at the college level, and my kids had taken some intro Spanish. That book was torture. Granted, my oldest was in 3rd grade at the time, but the bad taste persisted enough that this year (5th) he refused to consider CAP’s Greek for Children and wanted MP’s beginning Greek instead. He likes MP’s Forms (finishing 2nd) bc they’re cleanly laid out and predictable, challenging enough but not too much, and don’t try and be fun (aka lame)—they take a serious subject seriously and makes it seem worth learning. First Form revamped their WB to emphasize parsing, and my current 3rd grader is doing well with a page a day of WB and once a week class with me. 5th grader does a page a day and MPOA once a week and got a perfect score on the NLE with very little practice other than his regular class work, so we’ll stay the course.
  10. I’m not a dr, but I did marry one during his med school, so got to know a number of different MDs in training. They all had very different HS experiences (all the AP sciences for some, none for others from rural areas), and undergraduate majors (zoology to engineering to humanities, they all obviously took the same pre med requirements, but there was diversity in their actual majors). The important thing for all of them was getting into competitive colleges and making top grades there, which got them into a top med school, which in turn opened up top fellowships. HS was really just a vehicle to get into college—actual coursework wasn’t that important...that was all done in college. So demonstrating rigor in HS and really working on study skills is very important. There will be many many hours of studying—she will have to figure out the techniques that work for her to assimilate vast amounts of information efficiently. Also writing skills, especially technical writing. I edited many journal articles during my husband’s fellowship and....the fellows could have used a few good writing classes in HS or undergrad. It would be useful, perhaps, to speak with some surgeons, if possible (especially female surgeons) to get a taste for what the lifestyle is like.
  11. We have 4 children, 5th grade to preK. Each year is different. As for academics, Last year was co op 1x per week (some years two)—20 min each way. Band 1x week, 25 min each way. Preschool 15 min each way, 3x week. We took a year off from everything bc of Covid, but we will resume in the fall. Currently we have 3 in competitive soccer, 1 in rec soccer, 2 in track, and one in rock climbing. Each child has 3x a week soccer, each 15-20 min away, not always in the same direction, often at overlapping times (so 15 min drive west, drop #1, 30 min East, drop #2. Reverse for pickup, possibly dropping someone else somewhere in the meantime. Husband can usually help by driving 40 min to pick up son from climbing and drive 20 min to soccer, from whence I will pick up and drive home after picking up his siblings). Track is 3x a week, 25-35 min away. Sometimes stacked with soccer. So 20 min to/from twice a week seems very doable. I will usually leave my older ones at home for a bit when I’m just dropping off or picking up, so they can finish independent work then. If you have bigger ones who can be left for your drive time, that will definitely make it easier.
  12. 4th child is definitely my most challenging—this should be interesting. Working on attention span and attitude. Reminding myself he is not his brothers and that’s okay. Character: Myself and Others 2 & 3 Latin: song school Latin Math: finish Singapore K (maybe), start Singapore 1, R&S 1 Handwriting: zanerbloser k, MP handwriting Reading: AAR 1, Memoria Press First Start Reading History/Science: MP enrichment, listening to SOC with brothers, Follow along with Christian Studies3 Co-op: 5 in a Row, STEM PE: soccer
  13. We’ve enjoyed them all as either read alouds or audiobooks. The dramatized audio definitely kept everyone’s attention, and they often listen for fun. We’re reading vol4 together and all the kids enjoy it—5 up to 11. I haven’t really used the workbooks much. I did a few things but it wasn’t my style. Granted, I never did SOTW workbooks or activities either. I used a few tests but didn’t stick with them. One year I used SOC and SOTW, along w Famous Men of the Middle Ages and various read alouds, to do a Medieval Europe class and we all enjoyed that. id definitely recommend audio and/or textbook if you can get them discounted.
  14. Latin: finish Prima Latina. Start LC. Song School Latin w friends Math: Finish Singapore 2B, start 3A. R&S 2&3 independently mindset Math w friends Writing: Primary Language lessons, MP copybook and handwriting, start Writing w Ease 1 Grammar: Finish FLL2, R&S 3 Reading: Memoria Press 2nd grade lit History: MP enrichment, Story of Civilization alongside brothers Science: MP enrichment, Patterns of Nature. Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding w friends Spelling: R&S 3, AAS 3 Music: start piano lessons. Follow along with Christian Studies3 Co-op: US geography, Science (rocks& planets), STEM PE: competitive soccer
  15. My son has really enjoyed her husband for 2nd Form this year (she guest taught a few of the classes, I think, and my son was bummed she isn’t teaching 3rd Form this upcoming year). He also enjoyed Mr Wilhite for 1st Form. So far from my making him take paper quizzes and practice NLE exams, it seems to be sinking in pretty well.
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