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  1. Thanks so much. This was my concern for my older daughter, too. She doesn’t have a good, strong foundation in phonics at this point. She’s reading, but when she comes to a word she doesn’t know, she’s just skipping it. I don’t think continuing with AAR is the right answer, either- it’s not what she needs (and she doesn’t like the program at all). I like your idea of continuing to work on phonics on our own, then adding the spelling program. When you described pre-teaching the harder words from a passage, do you just show the child how to sound out the words?
  2. Thank you. I wasn’t sure if abandoning AAR altogether was the right thing to do, but it sounds like moving to phonetic spelling is the way to go.
  3. Hello. Last year I used all about reading with both of my children (1st and 2nd grade). Both of them have now completely taken off with reading on their own. My youngest had only learned the letter sounds, and is now reading little house on the prairie! She only went half way through level 1 AAR. I’m looking for advice as to what to do now- I realize that they still need instruction, but I’m not convinced that AAR is the right program for them now. I’m thinking something more succinct? Switch to something like explode the code instead? My older daughter was a reluctant reader and had more difficulty, but is now able to read some chapter books like boxcar children, encyclopedia brown, etc. She was half way through level 2 AAR. Thanks in advance.
  4. Noted. "Less rigorous approaches"- meaning the approach I personally was taking, which was less rigorous.
  5. Thanks everyone. Switching to classical education model from less rigorous approaches can expose inadequacies and lead to panic!
  6. Thanks for the input. It is a very difficult decision!
  7. I think clarification on my part is needed after reading this response! I am a healthcare provider, currently working two days per week (and telemedicine x 1 year due to covid, so physically at home on those two days). My children are with my husband when I'm working those two days. I am the primary homeschooling parent, I find it way too difficult to try to pass the core subjects back and forth between two people- it doesn't work for us and it's not how I want things to go. However, on my workdays they complete a morning basket that contains a literature read aloud, a stack of library books pertaining to the history we are reading, science (this year they did Thornton Burgess bird study, astronomy, and currently earth science), and sometimes I'll add picture books with math related topics. The afternoons are spent with music lessons one day, and outdoor playdate the other. The reason I asked this question to the group is that I wanted opinions from seasoned homeschoolers on whether covering the core topics three days a week could be feasible. It does mean longer sessions on the three days, but so far it hasn't been problematic. Last year I did not finish the school year by may, so we went into the summer, probably until late June- then took July/Aug off. As the academic load gets more rigorous, I'm feeling that continuing to work two days a week may not be feasible- and I'm considering leaving my job (a HUGE decision! I have medical licensure to think about, and I've been in the practice many years). Homeschooling is my passion now, so if it was being compromised I wouldn't think twice about leaving my medical career to pursue it. But, it also requires some serious consideration before walking away from the ideal job set up that I currently have. Regarding my other post about my older daughter being behind grade level, that had more to do with poor curriculum choices on my part, which wasn't really apparent to me until now. I tried to teach her reading in a more organic way and using a very basic text, but she ended up needing a much more formal approach which has worked wonders. I was seeking advice on how to bring her up to speed as we move into her third grade year (she's on AAR level 2 currently). I'm also changing math curriculum because the program we were using is not enough, and she may be behind grade level in math, too, despite completion of the grade 2 program we were using. I'm still learning and trying to figure things out, too! But I'm not a homeschool slacker. ☺️
  8. Does anyone manage to successfully homeschool just 3 days/week? This is for 1st and 3rd graders. It would mean reading/phonics, writing, spelling, grammar, math, history for longer sessions 3 days per week. It would be supplemented with reading content related library books, science, art on the two remaining weekdays. Is this doable? Or do they really need the reading and math practice more often to make it work? I’m trying to determine whether it is feasible to continue working two days per week and homeschool full-time as the academics start to become more rigorous. I find that trying to use one of the weekend days to homeschool isn’t feasible. Thank you
  9. Thanks everyone, great points. I have such a hard time letting go of “grades”, it’s so ingrained! You’re right- grade should not be the focus, but rather the learning engagement and progress. It’s so hard for me to let that go- it made me panic to think of my daughter being at a second grade level for math and reading.
  10. Thanks for this. I’m also looking into saxon for the reasons you’ve expressed.
  11. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. I should've added that we read stacks and stacks of quality literature, history, non-fiction, biographies, art, music etc. So in those areas we're on top of it! 🙂 This eases my mind as far as trying to 'catch up' in math and reading. I'm not quite sure how to complete the 2nd grade level as well as the third grade level of the books by the end of next year, but maybe as I go along it will work itself out if she is able to move more quickly through some of the content.
  12. I am in the process of completely transforming our homeschool after the realization that what I was providing wasn't rigorous enough. Unfortunately, my 8yr old who is finishing up 2nd grade, is basically a year behind level for reading and math. She has just started level 2 All About Reading (though we should be able to move through the level quickly, as her reading has taken off), and we are switching to Singapore math, for which the placement test puts her at level 2A. How do I manage moving forward? I would like to get her back on track for her grade level, as I already delayed starting academics for a year from the beginning (late summer birthday, so chose to wait a year to start). Any recommendations for how to 'catch up' moving forward? She's a bright child, without learning issues....just took ME awhile to get up to speed and make better academic choices. Thank you!
  13. Thanks so much for the responses, I now have a sense of how to move my homeschool in a better direction. I truly appreciate your insight.
  14. I agree with trying to keep things simple for the sake of sanity! Are the story of the world volumes written with increasing difficulty level? My concern is for the history content in SOTW level 3 to be over my first grader's head and/or not age appropriate? It seems like I will always be doing the history component above her level- the same issue the following year when my older would do SOTW level 4, and my younger would be in second grade. Wouldn't I be doing my younger daughter a disservice? Or are the SOTW books more interchangeable among the grade levels? I'm thinking of all the supplemental texts, too. Thanks for the input, I really appreciate the help.
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