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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.
  16. This will be my first go-round with 6th grade. My over planned plan so far: Latin: 3rd Form with MPOA Math: Singapore Dimensions 7, Rod & Staff 6 independently. Mindset Math with friends. LoF Pre algebra for fun. Writing: WWS2 with WTMA Grammar: keep going with GFTWTM Literature: Memoria Press 6 History: MP Famous Men of Middle Ages, All Ye Lands with Homeschool Connections recording Science: Life science with Holt. Also Nature’s Beautiful Order. Story of Science. Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding w friends. Handwriting: continue 15 min/day work in Advanced Language Lessons Spelling: R&S 6 Music: continue piano lessons. Possibly continue clarinet. Logic: CAP Art of Argument, Forensics class at co op Greek: Elementary Greek, hopefully with Scholé/St Raphael online MP Geography 2, Christian Studies3 PE: competitive soccer, cross country, track and field, rock climbing team
  17. Latin: finish second half of FFL, begin 2nd Math: Finish Singapore 5B, pick up 6A. Rod & Staff 5 independently. Mindset Math with friends. Writing: Finish Treasured Conversations, move on to CAP Fable. Grammar: R&S 5 or FLL 4 Reading: Memoria Press 4 History: MP American history reading, From Sea to Shining Sea. Science: Life science/Zoology. Sassafras zoology, quark chronicles, and MP Insects. Special topic: orangutan unit study. Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding w friends. Handwriting: continue 15 min/day work in Intermediate Language Lessons Spelling: R&S 4, AAS 4/5 Music: continue piano lessons. Possibly add band instrument. Art: drawing class at Co op MP Geography 1, Christian Studies3, Famous Men of Rome PE: competitive soccer, cross country, track and field
  18. I only have experience with FSR and AAR. I used AAR with my first two and both AAR and FSR with my third (all boys, two advanced and third a bit delayed at the beginning of K and 1). My thoughts so far— FSR has a lot of writing—too much, I think. It was a struggle and did not prompt any enthusiasm or feeling of “wow, I’m reading, this is great!” from #3. Granted we were ahead in AAR, so this was mostly review/consolidation for a learner needing that extra review. I much preferred AAR—all 3 have worked to get to the stories, which come frequently and make them feel like they are truly making progress in reading real things they enjoy. The little “stories “ in FSR were not as enjoyable and felt like more worksheet and not a reward, if that makes any sense. We slogged through all of FSR and I thought there was a big jump from the last book into Storytime Treasures in both reading level and comprehension level (I think AAR 4 bridges that gap well). We did both Storytime Treasures books, just doing most of the workbook orally, but I don’t know if he would have been ready after just FSR. We’re halfway through AAR4 now in 1st, and I think by time time we’re done, he (like his brothers) will be ready to read most things a 2nd grader would need to read for content. This is my latest reader—the others were done w AAR by the end of PRE K or K, but it is age appropriate and not too young/old for my precocious 4yo and my current 7 yo. As for all of the parts for AAR...we didn’t use the letter tiles. I did for a few lessons for no1 and no2, but neither really seemed to get much out of them and were fine just using a white board for me to write words/change word parts for the teaching section. We didn’t use the flash cards much at all. Again, started and figured out we didn’t need them. No3 used them a bit in level1, but once things started to gel in late level 1/early 2, I dropped them. So the program is entirely useable without the tiles and cards, but they are great to have if you have a learner who will get something out of physically manipulating word parts (mine never really had much use for math manipulative a either, so maybe that’s why they didn’t go for the letter tiles).
  19. I’m still working out my thoughts on this, but I don’t know about the whole trying to make things fun or engaging through a curriculum. I have tried pretty much every math curricula and...it’s still math, dressing it up or down w graphics doesn’t do much to engage. Advancing concepts before they can grasp them has not done it either, just frustrated them (so trying really conceptual curricula wo enough procedural knowledge/practice has not worked for us). Trying to introduce the wonder factor early (reading books on Fibonacci and the golden ratio and such) haven’t done too much because they couldn’t grasp even the lower rungs of those mysteries tight enough to want to learn more. I’m starting to think this is like trying to teach higher science without the math background to fully grasp it, or the frustration of trying to listen to a foreign language movie without having studied enough grammar and vocabulary to hook you enough to inspire more learning and an appreciation of the beauty there. There’s a level of basic understanding (arithmetic) that isn’t very fun or terribly interesting in itself but is the necessary gateway to entering into the beauty of investigating the relationship between these numbers and operations and how they interact when used in different ways. The only thing that has made math interesting to my kids is mastery and the ability to move on to and actually understand the “cool” concepts, plus an attitude of wonder in my part. I can’t say anyone gets super excited about another day of Singapore work, BUT—and this has been huge—my 5th grader has started reading math books for fun after Singapore sparked a discussion on infinity and how the concept of zero developed (I think from a problem in 6A that involved the fun does .9999 =1). I ordered some some books for adults on zero and similar topics and he’s been steadily going through them. Then when someone here mentioned Murderous Maths, I bought them and he and his brother (5B) are going crazy doing all the problems/tricks. They’re really getting into it because they have the foundation, built by not so thrilling daily work. All that being said, We have done Mindset Math before and are going back to it with some friends this week—I appreciate those problems for helping them to find the “ah hah!” of discovering relationships and feeling things gel in their minds. There are more books out than when I started (even one for my 1st grader!), so that might be a worthwhile supplement to a solid but not exciting curriculum to encourage exploration and wonder.
  20. Supplements: I’m on my third Singapore student (currently have students in 6A, 5B, 2B) and although I have all the supplements we rarely use them. I will assign extra practice wb if we actually need extra practice OR if we have hit a wall and are frustrated. I’ll then take a break from moving ahead and use extra practice book for a week or so and then go back to main text/workbook. All of mine are working half a year to two years ahead, so we do occasionally need to slow it down and let everything sink in. pacing: we generally do 1 lesson and one wb lesson per day (exception: long reviews are split over 2 days, textbook practice is done on its own without any additional work bc they usually take a bit longer). I’m not exactly sure how long it takes us to get through a year—Sometimes we need an extra week, sometimes we end early, but I don’t stress about timing. We just pick up where we left off (our summer break is usually about a month), whether it’s mid book or mid year (I will close out a chapter when we’re heading into a big break). My 3rd grader just started 5B this week. He’s unlikely to finish before summer break, but that’s fine. We’ll just pick it up where we left off. Drill/review: my only quibble with Singapore is it doesn’t include a lot of review. It also doesn’t have drill work because it assumes you will be doing that in addition to the main program. Well, I didn’t realize that at first and got rather frustrated. So we added drill/review as morning independent work (I started off with worksheets, but I get lazy printing them off so now they do their grade level Rod & Staff independently, which covers review and math fact/arithmetic drill). Another easy drill option would be something like Ray’s Arithmetic. we used to do that together orally bf I went to R&S independent work. Overkill? Maybe, but they feel confident and capable in math and that’s a win for me. the Singapore Way: I find this more pronounced/different in 4th and up. The way they approach word problems in particular (basically teaching algebraic thinking in a visual way—finding the value of one unit) was different from my hazy memories of elementary math. Going through similar topics in 5&6 simultaneously with two kids lets me see how the complexity ramps up and builds on the modeling/problem set up from earlier years. So definitely don’t neglect teaching the set up! I did at first bc it felt foreign to me (I am decidedly not visual—I just wanted to solve for X!) and had to relearn/reteach it later.
  21. Thanks for that awesome list! A fun series that is probably a bit below level but high interest for bunnies is the Green Ember series. It has some discussion-worthy themes but won’t overtax them on difficulty...so might be a good break between two heavier/longer books. My 5th grader flew through them and passed them on to his 6th grade BFF for discussion.
  22. Bringing this back up to ask for advice: my current 3rd grader is finishing Singapore 5A this week. We’ll move on to 5B and likely get through all (or most) before we break for summer. So next year.....6A primary or 6A Dimensions? I went from 5A to 6A Dimensions with his older brother (currently in 5th grade and almost done with Dimensions 6A, planning on working through so we can start 7A next year). Older child has a good attention span and can work and rework problems with (little) frustration. Younger has intuitive grasp of math—he’s still doing 90% of 5A in his head (correctly) and we’re taking things a bit slower bc he doesn’t have attention span to work as long. As I’m typing this I am in a hour of working through a ton of end of ch practice problems with older son. Younger would have pitched a fit 30+ min ago. Would going to 6 Primary and then going through 6 Dimensions at a faster clip to get used to more mature style be a reasonable plan? Or overkill? Mathy no2 desperately wants to catch up w no1 (and hates the idea of “repeating “ 6), but I don’t think the maturity is there to handle the workload. Also thinking (way) ahead, this would put them both in Calculus in 11th grade, even with taking a full year for Geometry after Dimensions, which seems more doable than no2 going straight on through to Calc as a 10th grader. (Adding that both kids are working Rod & Staff to get drill/review independently. We’re going to start a Mindset Math class with some friends (did one book on our own and enjoyed it), and we do the challenging word problems type books at night with dad, so I am not enamored of the idea of taking a year “off” to do another program or explore different topics, since we’re already doing some of that).
  23. Next year (6th) we will move into note taking (for science first. after doing all the outlining exercises in WWS1, I think we can give this a try together), but for now (3rd and 5th) we are using the MP guides for Literature and Science. I wrote them off as boring workbooks for years, but I am appreciating them as scaffolding for later years—they help students pick out the main points/ideas they need to get out of the selection and write it succinctly for later use in studying. With two younger ones still needing lots of mom time to learn to read/write, the big kids can work independently and just go over them with me later.
  24. After dabbling in far too many math curricula as supplements to my main curriculum (Singapore)—Miquon, Beast Academy, Math Mammoth, Life of Fred, Math Facts that Stick, Rod & Staff, and some even more short lived one I cannot recall—I have finally one to the stunning realization that 1) there is no perfect curriculum that does all the things (fun/enjoyable/engaging, hits math facts, deep on concepts) for all the students and 2) the best one is one I will stick with consistently. That being said, I see that you are concerned about mastery, basic math facts, a program that does not feel scattershot, one that is gentle and likely to help your daughter build confidence, and is teachable by a non math teacher. While Singapore is my main program, I would suggest considering Rod & Staff—a far less “cool” but totally solid program. Easy to teach, gives pretty scripted lessons for instructor, inexpensive, and math facts will absolutely be mastered. It is mastery, but there is constant review. I mean, constant review, but as the instructor you can incorporate as much or as little of that as you need. Everything moves forward in a logical progression and each step is totally drilled down before moving on. Things start slow, but in about 4th grade they pick up and you’re covering most of the same topics you would with a faster moving curriculum (I cross referenced R&S 4 to Singapore 4, and R&S5 to Singapore 5, they hit most of the same topics but often in a different order). I also like how they introduce concepts very concretely (skip counting with coins, fractions by using a ruler). Last year we had a math hiccup with my eldest (then 4th) where he had forgotten some things and was feeling discouraged in Singapore (he was a year ahead, so I think doing 5A). He hated math and thought he was terrible at it. So we took a break and did the last half of R&S 4. It felt easy for him, and after a month or two we returned to Singapore and he was a new child. Confident, flying through the rest of Sing5 with ease. So now I have all my kids do R&S as independent work and Singapore with me, so the extra review and drill actually happens (I had been slacking on that, and Singapore expects it).
  25. Just chiming in looking for a 6th grade recommendation as well! I am considering Novare’s charter school versions for 7th/8th (https://centripetalpress.com/). They recommend life science for 6th, but they don’t offer one. Anyone have a life science they liked? I’m treating 6th as middle school, and I’m ready to start introducing more actual science (as opposed to reading on scientific topics).
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