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  1. Thanks for the great suggestions. A phonics test seems perfect for where they are now in their development. Much appreciated!
  2. A part of me felt like laughing but then another part wanted to cry for the kids. Who thinks these things? For our curriculum I've fallen in love with the tied and tested McGuffey's and I can already see great progress with both kids in just 6 weeks. I saw some estimates for which grade each reader corresponds to but I wanted to have somewhat of a rough guideline for where this fits according to some kind of modern standard and then again after a year so that I can get a better feel for how it's going roughly. My wife is a non-English speaker and so Math and English is falling on my shoulders. This unfortunately means I don't have anyone else to discuss their English and math development with so I think some kind of regular test during the next couple of years will a least will give me some kind of feedback, even if imperfect and odd.
  3. @PeterPan, @HomeAgain and @Not_a_Number, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate your help.
  4. Hi. I want some advice on using placement tests at home, especially in the early years, as well as recommendations. We started homeschooling DS8 and DD6 just over a month ago. Because of all the school cancellations and online "classes" (which we eventually stopped doing as our kids simply were not made for it) during the past 1.5 years there are noticeable gaps in their education. I was thinking of using some placement tests in English and math that they can do now and then again in about a year so that I can not only identify and correct current gaps but also have a rough measuring stick for their progress this year. As a parent it seems that it might also help me to do them annually so that I can see where some gaps are and correct them, which seems to be different from the purpose of these exams in the school system, which are meant more for overall school evaluations instead of personalized student evaluation. Here are some questions I have after searching through the forums. I'd greatly appreciate your feedback you may have: 1) Have you found doing annual placement exams beneficial as a rough tracking of progress in different subjects? 2) Do you recommend any (preferably free)? 3) Are Lifepac's placement tests relatively accurate for grade levels? 4) Are there any paid placement exams that do something significantly better that makes it worth paying, especially in the grammar stage? I'm an expat from NJ so I don't need to certify any testing (at least that's what I found online) so I don't need that feature. Thanks!
  5. Thanks for the wonderful book suggestion. Do you use any spines for history?
  6. Thanks so much for the wonderful advice. There was tons of beneficial points in it. I love the card set in particular! My kids would devour those. I think there is a far greater richness in English-based materials for younger kids being produced about just about any historical figure you can imagine, even if only in videos format. Even adult-level videos can be paraphrased and summarized if need be. I'm sure there will be something on Wikipedia even, so I don't worry about that. My kids don't mind listening to me paraphrasing such material. For the Islamic history, my wife can handle that as she's Jordanian and has tons of materials in Arabic for that, so there is no worry for me there. For western history there is no shortage of English material that I can access. I want to make sure I can balance out the rest of history as I go through SOTW with them, especially East-Asian history as I don't know much about that and I want to make sure I do those justice. I have just begun SOTW for the first time, would the names mentioned throughout the book itself suffice as names to add to TWTM list? Right off the bat I can see Narmer/Menes is mentioned right at the biginning of the book but is not on the TWTM list. As the first name and the unifier of Egypt it seems like a good first name from SOTW to have my kids learn. Can I expect many more like this? Michael Hart's list also makes me wonder if TWTM's lists are shortchanging the great modern scientific thinkers. As knowledge is becoming more and more specialized, it seems to become rarer to find a renaissance man so do we do a disservice to their impact on modern life who were great in just one narrow field of science? Just thinking about the discovery of vaccines, I'm sure that must have had greater influence on societal and political stability over the past 200 years than we would have thought prior to experiencing covid. I'd imagine in the long run, that would mean he is more important to include then say even the great Mark Twain?
  7. Hi everyone. I'm looking for alternative lists of great men and women in history from the ones in SOTW. We have started homeschooling recently and are using SOTW for our two oldest kids (DS8 and DD7). We all love the book so far (we are starting right at Volume 1). I'm also going through TWTM for the first time and have found a great deal of benefit in it. That said, I was quite disappointed when going through the lists of “Great Men and Women” in TWTM, which struct me as especially Christian/Eurocentric when compared to the relative richness found in SOTW. Out of nearly 150 names the only Muslim listed after the prophet Muhammad is Saddam Hussein (wt?). There are also only about five Chinese and Japanese total, all leaders. I believe there were only about three Africans and no Hindu other than Ghandhi (Sri Shah Jahan being the only Indian between I noticed). I would expect the list, especially for the second book, to be far more richer in geographic diversity. I went searching online for alternative lists of the greatest people ever. The two most intriguing ones I found are (these lists are from their books): 1) Michael Hart's “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential People in History” https://www.biographyonline.net/people/100-most-influential.html 2) Steven Skiena and Charles B. Ward's “Who’s Bigger? Where Historical Figures Really Rank” https://ideas.time.com/2013/12/10/whos-biggest-the-100-most-significant-figures-in-history/ The latter's underlying data-driven methodology seems promising but is currently highly dependent on English sources, so it doesn't seem to help much with my main issue of the SOTW list, but the former has given me some gems (including many, many overlooked Western intellectuals) such as: Ts’ai Lun (AD 50 – 121) Inventor of paper (arguably just as important as Gutenberg). Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895) French biologist. Developed a cure for rabies and other infectious diseases. Euclid (c. 325 – 265 BC) – Greek mathematician Shih Huang Ti (259 – 210 BC) – King of the state of Qin who conquered and united different regions of China in 221 BC. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743 – 1794) French chemist and biologist who had a leading impact on the chemical revolution. Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) – English scientist who contributed in fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) Scottish physicist. Maxwell made a significant contribution to understanding electromagnetism Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) Dutch chemist – founder of microbiology. Louis Daguerre (1787–1851) French artist and photographer, who is credited with the invention of the camera. Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) French philosopher and mathematician. “I think, therefore I am.” Umar ibn al-Khattab (584 CE – 644 CE) Powerful Muslim Caliphate and senior companion of Muhammad. An influential figure in Sunni Islam. It seems that Ali ibn Abu Talib would be equally important for Islamic civilization as the primary Shia figure and the patriarch of almost all Sunni-Sufi brotherhoods. Edward Jenner (1749 – 1823) Developed the world’s first vaccine (the smallpox vaccine). Known as the father of immunology. … quite important considering the pandemic we are still going through. Mani (216 – ) Iranian founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion which for a time was a rival to Christianity. … especially considering how popular it was during the early centuries of Christianity and Islam and the influence it had as a rival during those several centuries. Sui Wen Ti (541 – 604) Founder of China’s Sui Dynasty and reunifying China in 589 Mencius (385–303BC) Chinese philosopher one of the principal interpreters of Confucianism. Zoroaster (c. 1200 BC) Iranian prophet who founded the religion of Zoroastrianism. Menes c. 3000 BC Egyptian pharaoh who united Upper and Lower Egypt to found the First Dynasty. There were several others on the list that I'm sure I missed as well. All of these seem very reasonable (some even essentials) to include, especially over less important people such as Betsy Ross (sorry for the easy target). Are there any other lists that you have found useful? Ideally I would like a number of lists that will serve as pegs for my children understand the various traditions and histories of important civilizations and people, especially as the world continues to flatten. In particular, it would be great to have a more thorough list from the three other great civilizations that contain over a billion people each (i.e. Chinese, Indian and Muslim) that will likely shape our children's lives more than they have our lives. Thanks,
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