Jump to content


Mary in MN

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


10 Good
  1. My son used the red without problem--he liked that it was compressed and to the point. HO worked methodically through how to outline, and at first it really did almost seem like the whole paragraph was written out in outline form. But once he got the hang of it, he was producing detailed outlines that weren't just line-for-line rehashes. Anyway, if you know your son is going to have difficulty outlining, why NOT go with the simpler text? Once they figure out HOW to outline, it's easier to outline meatier stuff.
  2. level 2 books--after ancients--make great use of primary sources, which are included in the curricula. It's nice to have the primary source documents and the activities in one place. I particularly like her worksheets for analyzing primary source documents--the work systematically through logic-level thinking. I was just looking back over some of the sheets my son filled out last year and thinking they were some of the most useful work he did last year.
  3. We used science explorer. One way to do it is to just have your child read the chapter, write out or discuss with you the questions from the book (you'll quickly get a sense for which sets of questions you do and don't like), and pick one or two experiments from each chapter to do--the vast majority of them can be done with stuff you have around the house. Our plan was to set aside one day a week to do experiments (a plan that was often ignored by my child, who liked to read the book but thought all experiments were a waste of time). Can't help with Oak Meadow, though I have a friend who used it with her daughter and liked it.
  4. FLL is really as much a gentle writing program as a grammar program. In the early years, I don't think the logic of grammar can really be grasped--but it's a great time to learn definitions and lists of words by heart--things that my kids, anyway, used often when they got older. So I didn't really worry too much if my 2nd grader could pull a verb out of a sentence--but he memorized all the linking and helping verbs and the definitions of the parts of speech, and can still pull those out of his head when he needs to seven years later.
  5. HOM is optional in HO level 4--I don't think my son read it at all that year--just used the Kingfisher, novels, and the primary text documents in the text. Honestly, I think you could do fine without it the other years too.
  6. My son went through all 4 of the level 2 HO books. We subbed out some of the novels, especially once we got to the modern era, and he'd often choose to do summaries instead of the creative activities, but otherwise used it without tweaking. I loved that he could work on it independently, though I also tended to fall behind on checking his work, which sometimes meant that the stuff he didn't like to do as much (the maps in particular) didn't get done in a timely way. However, by far the best thing about HO is that it combines writing, literature, and history into one curriculum. We use Rod and Staff for grammar but didn't do any other writing programs and now, in high school, my kid can handle any writing assignment that's thrown at him with ease. She does a great job gradually teaching students how to write for school, from teaching them how to outline in HO1 to writing essays and research reports in HO4.
  7. SYRWTLL is drier than Latin Prep, but is still infused with a dry sense of humor, and it's more condensed and to the point, which my boy, who hated doing repetitive exercises, appreciated. It's worth going to the Galore Park website and downloading the samples from Latin Prep and SYR--you'll easily be able to get a sense of whether they'll work for you.
  8. We used Galore Park's So You Really Want to Learn Latin. It worked great for my kid, who liked that it was no nonsense and didn't have busy work. The author also has a good, but not heavy-handed sense of humor. Latin Primer might be worth looking at too--same basic approach, just moves more slowly.
  9. We used FLL--minus the picture narrations, which I could never really understand the purpose of. It never took more than 20 minutes tops. My eighth grader tells me all the time how glad he is that he memorized his helping verbs when he was little--he uses that list all the time now. and he can still recite some of those goofy poems too! All in all, I think it was worth it.
  10. My kids were never much for experiments/labs, so we didn't do many, but the Science Explorer textbook is filled with easy hands-on activities/experiments, most of which you can do at home without specialized equipment. We also used the Singapore junior high textbook--sorry, can't remember the name. My son found it interesting, and it had critical thinking exercises that he worked through instead of doing experiments. You can get used Science Explorer textbooks very inexpensively from betterworldbooks and Amazon.
  11. Yes--I was focusing more on the middle years, but hours of reading out loud and lots of time to play were--we both agree--the most important things that happened during the early years. One of the most interesting things to me this year has been my son's blossoming interest in writing personal narratives and fiction--something he absolutely hated doing while he was being homeschooled. He puts more time into his writing than anything, not because he has to (grade-wise, it doesn't make much difference) but because he loves it; he says his goal is to write something that "people want to hear read out loud because of how much I loved it when you read to me when I was little."
  12. I homeschooled my oldest son from kindergarten to 8th grade, then in one of those strange life twists, sent him off to a rigorous East Coast boarding school. After an awful bout of homesickness the first few weeks, he adapted and is thriving at school. Anyway, my rather unusual perspective--a learning environment that is completely different from homeschooling; detailed comments from teachers along with grades; a curriculum at school even more challenging that he was getting at home; teachers who are tough, demanding, and don't take excuses-- has given me some insight into our homeschooling years that I thought might interest some of you. When I asked my kid what he did as a homeschooler that has helped him the most academically (he's doing great--highest honors each term), he said without hesitation, "All the reading I did." So the two hours he spent reading in the morning when I thought he should have been doing his math was apparently okay! :) Also helpful was the outlining and summarizing he did for history through TWTM and HO--he has to read and write a LOT at school and I really get the sense from teacher's comments that his ability to read and write carefully and critically is what sets him apart from other students his age. He says Singapore math helped him the most in math, and he wishes we had used it in junior high (we used TT and then Larson algebra). His Latin teacher commented that his (Galore Park) Latin seemed to actually help him his first term, while most Latin curriculum used in junior high worked against their very rigorous, old-school approach. When I ask him about other curricula--history, science, Rod and Staff, he doesn't recall anything specific (!) This is a kid who went through both the grammar and logic stage history cycles with an exacting mother who made him cover every chapter. His history teacher commented on his ability to think historically, going on to list all of the kinds of thinking HO/TWTM logic stage history fostered. I now wish I hadn't worried so much about covering every chapter--it seems that it was the process of careful, critical reading and writing that mattered more than the specific content learned. Knowing how to get his work done on his own, without a teacher hovering (he was always a "Give me a checksheet and let me learn it myself" kind of homeschooler) has been hugely helpful--and there, he's had a big advantage over kids coming from both public and private school, where their lives were always scheduled by others. Hope that's helpful to someone! I'm interested to know what others of you, having BTDT, think made the biggest difference.
  13. My ds, who has been homeschooled since kindergarten, is headed off to prep school in New Hampshire this fall. He's wanted this for two years and worked hard for it (as have I--boy do I have new respect for people who homeschool through high school--the paperwork is endless!) Anyway, I'm wondering if there's anyone out there who has had a child make this transition, and how it's been. He's so happy and seems so ready, and yet it seems like such a huge step in a completely different direction. I've been searching the boards for over a year and can't find anything, except references to adults who were sent to boarding school because their parents were overseas. Are we just that weird?? :tongue_smilie: Would love a BTDT story or two--preferably positive! Mary
  14. While I agree with the spirit of the preceding posts, our son is a 14 yo Life Scout, and encouraged him to move through the ranks as quickly as he could (by going to Scout camp, each summer, for example). This is because we knew (and we were right!) that his life would get really busy with sports and band and ec's once he got into high school--he's only in 8th grade and had to miss a merit badge extravaganza this month because he had speech meets all three Saturdays. He still makes it to Scout meetings and most service projects, but fitting in time for merit badge classes is becoming increasingly difficult. YMMV
  15. We're in chapter 5 of Larson's elementary/intermediate algebra book (planning to stop at chapter 10 this year) My ds is getting more and more confused by Algebra...entering a "can't see the forest for the trees' muddle in which he gets so caught up in rules and formulas that he's losing sight of why he's doing what he's doing. He's not doing badly with Larson--gets low A's or high B's on most of his chapter tests--but I get the feeling it's all not clicking and that he's forgetting what he's learned as soon as he's done with the chapter (though, again, he did fine on the cumulative 1-3 test; but that material was mostly review from last year). He hates the textbook--the sheer number of problems on the page, I suspect, get to him, even though we only do every fourth. It also takes him FOREVER to get his tests done because he's so worried about getting things wrong and overthinks everything. In short, the math anxiety monster has struck big time...what to do?! He's a humanities oriented kid--not particularly math-oriented but does fine normally. We used Singapore through 6B, which he loved, then TT Algebra 1 last year which was so-so. Is there an algebra text out there that works well with kids who like the Singapore approach? Or should we just keep muddling through, and expect it all to come together at some point? (That has happened before). Also--while he dislikes the math textbook, he likes the chalkdust videos--it would be ideal if we could pair them with a different style textbook. TIA, Mary
  • Create New...