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About Ritsumei

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    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

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    America's Midwest
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    Piano playing, reading, photography, scrapbooking
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    America's Upper Midwest
  1. We're using Rod and Staff, and it includes sections on sentence diagramming. We've been playing around with it, messing with some sentences from Harry Potter and other such games. Today, my 13yo stumped me with this sentence: "Why are there no horses?" I've looked all over, and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do with the word "why". If you drop that out of the sentence, the diagram is a piece of cake. But I have no idea what to do with the sentence when it includes the why, and I've searched the internet, but can't find any of the sites that teach diagramming that deal with why
  2. I agree, art is fantastic. And I've done exactly as you suggest in the past. In fact, on my planning stuff, writing and art are right next to each other for exactly the reasons you're getting at: it's writing too. And it has helped *tons*. Now we're at the point where he needs to get some fluency with letters, too. Airplanes, swords, and Iron Man are fantastic, but you can only go so far... :)
  3. This is so incredibly encouraging. Thank you. Also very encouraging is the book I picked up this afternoon. I've been building a small library of Japanese picture books. Mostly, they're too hard for me, but today Tigress brought me one of them, and I had another go at it -- and understood about 75% of the couple pages I got through before I had to go do Mom Things. So exciting! Thanks so much, everyone, for the encouragement.
  4. Thank you. Now that I've worked through a certain amount of frustration, there is a lot of good encouraging things here. :) I realized, too, that my 2yo doesn't speak English very well. My 4yo has an adorable lisp -a munchkin "accent," if you will, and my 8yo still asks about more difficult words and idioms relatively regularly. Maybe, I might be expecting a lot of myself, lol. I am prone to that, from time to time. So. I guess I'll keep my eyes open for opportunities for real conversations with real people (including checking the websites mentioned), and just keep on keepin' on. Must be
  5. You guys have some great ideas here! I'm all excited to get into it now, and (of course) it's Saturday tomorrow, and the day is full.right.up. Happily, I don't think that picking up the pace with spelling is going to be toooo hard a sell: he's been writing enough little notes to his dad and I that he's become aware that his spelling is non-standard enough to make communication difficult. We're nearly through AAS1, so I'll be looking forward to getting into the next bits. That's pretty awesome. I think I'm going to hold back on too much typing, at least for now. He's done a little, because
  6. Question, for those who have achieved fluency in a foreign language, particularly as an adult: How'd you do it? I can't go live in Japan a couple years; it's not in the cards right now. And I don't have anyone local to chat it up with, other than my kids. So I'm looking for other things. I'm thinking there's got to be something more than curriculum; I took years and years of German in school, but can hardly speak a word (though I used to uderstand a fair amount). Things I am doing: *listening to the news and a food show in Japanese *doing some podcast lessons *endless flashcards *stud
  7. I've done FLL and switched to R&S. I like that it's got more to it, that it goes all the way through high school. FLL just wasn't a good fit for us.
  8. Oh my. Haven't been in for a while, and then come by and find out they're putting you through this. I'm so sorry. I'm a bit late to the party, but I went and checked my threads, too.
  9. My 8yo was slow to develop the fine motor skills necessary to write, so we did all sorts of things to reduce the writing. Verbal narrations, scribing, white boards... you name it. Now, his fine motor is doing much better, and I want to start sneaking in a few more bits of writing. He can do it, but he doesn't care to, and he *thinks* it's harder than it is. I want to kind of ease into putting more of the responsibility of writing on him. Plus, his endurance isn't great with those muscles yet. Our transition is going to need to be gradual. But after all this time thinking about how to get rid o
  10. Who is studying Latin? We just started Song School Latin, and I've discovered that we can choose "Classical" or "Ecclesiastical" and I have no idea what the pros/cons might be. Other than we apparently used Ecclesiastical in choir, and Classical sounds weird. But that seems like not a great reason for choosing one over the other. What do you guys think? Does it matter? (Our church services are English.) Why or why not?
  11. This. is SO true. I'm in the same boat. I'm trying to decide if my 7.5yo is a late bloomer, or is there something going on with him. I don't know. It's kind of stressing me out. He can narrate a lovely little piece, but if I ask him to write the first sentence out, it is so hard.
  12. OK, so I'm looking at this page, from the NCLD site, and I'm seeing that he's got some of the warning signs. Here's some pictures, the ones with the marker board were from February. We were doing a bit of dictation from AAS. It says, "Has an ox." The third one is from earlier this week. It's supposed to say, "The pilgrims were important because they were the first to come to America looking for freedom." The reversals, I'm not super worried about; they're gradually getting less, and he's noticing them now, part of the time, without me having to say it. But this little bit of writing, from a mo
  13. We do lots of this. Across the whole curriculum, and not just math. A "big" writing day probably includes 2 sentences, one for a history narration and one for his journal. Maybe a few numbers, depending on what we do, but we use Miquan, which is very manipulative-driven, so it's not a lot of writing. I tried the timed tests because I remember doing them about his age, and I wanted to make sure that he was *solid* before I let him forge ahead into the challenging stuff that he prefers. We backed off that, though, at least for now.
  14. Are there any really good places to get information about dysgraphia?
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