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Colleen in SEVA

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Everything posted by Colleen in SEVA

  1. Any other thoughts? Perhaps from someone who has used it recently? :) :)
  2. I'm looking for input from those of you whose kids did The Rainbow Science for middle school. My oldest DS has completed the red physics section, and is just getting started with the yellow chemistry section. All of my younger boys are doing life science this semester (at home, and 1 in a class at co-op). I am also teaching a life-science-themed memory class, so it would be helpful to have all my kids on the same general topic. Would it be ok if we put the yellow chem section on hold and he completes the blue biology section now? (I did e-mail them directly, but I'm still waiting on a reply.) Thanks in advance for your thoughts! :)
  3. ?? :) I hope to find some as well! :)
  4. THANK YOU (yes, I am shouting that, tee hee) to all who have replied. I have been reading with open ears, as high school looms on the horizon in this house. PS -- I had to giggle at the comments of "Well, I *only* have five kids..." -- only in wonderful places like this can I feel like I have a *small* family! :)
  5. Depends on the kid... The first year my oldest son (the Mythology lover) took the test (he was 9), he chose to do take several of the additional ones (the basic 30, the extra 10, the African 10, the Norse 10, and the Native American 10). He ONLY missed ONE question on the Norse section (!!!!!), but because of that he got a silver medal instead of a gold. He was THRILLED with the silver medal, and was proud to tell the grandparents that he had completed the sections of the test "for teenagers" tee hee. I didn't point out to him at the time that if he had only done the required minimum then he would have won a gold medal, but the following year he reached that conclusion himself and only did the required minimum. My 3rd DS will be taking the test for the first time this year, and I am limiting him to ONLY the first 30 questions. He tends to get upset when things don't go his way, and I could see him feeling stressed about wanting to do well on ALL of it if he tried to do more. Getting the gold medal will be more important to him than being challenged. So... I guess it depends on the kid. You could always present it as an option and see how they respond (explaining that it would affect their overall score).
  6. :iagree::iagree::iagree: The math snob in me turned my nose up at certain programs for YEARS because if their non-challenging, drill-and-kill, etc. reputation. And then out of desperation during pre-algebra, I took my oldest to a homeschool store and told him to pick whatever one he wanted. He chose Saxon. At first I was embarrassed to even tell people we were using it. LOL!! It has made SUCH a difference in his speed, confidence, and overall preparedness for algebra! I had written off the constant daily review as "too much", but now I can see that it was exactly what he needed to internalize all of the things needed before he jumped into algebra. My third son is good at math, but he has 2 older brothers who greatly excel in math, and one day he told me he was "dumb at math" because he was struggling with something in the Singapore 2nd grade book. After talking with a respected friend, she told me how her son who was frustrated in another program really blossomed with Teaching Textbooks, so I gave my DS the placement test for the 3rd grade book, and he did fine. He is SO PROUD of the fact that he is doing THIRD grade math even though he is only in 2nd grade, and he is getting 20-21 correct out of 22 every day. It isn't necessarily that the program is so much simpler, it just explains it in a way that he totally gets, whereas he just didn't with Singapore. Yes, I agree that the scope and sequence is not as advanced in Teaching Textbooks as other programs... but that is not always a bad thing. He is still learning all of the things he needs to know. Not everything that he COULD know, but everything that he NEEDS to know. And... he is motivated to get to 4th grade math before the end of 2nd grade (both of his brothers did 4th grade math when they were in 2nd, but with different programs), so many days he CHOOSES to do a second lesson, and since the lessons are 100% independent, it is totally fine with me (doing 2 lessons per day in another program would NOT work for 5 kids LOL). A long way of saying... don't base a decision this important on what does or does not work for someone else. If the level 5 Singapore books are that frustrating, it's most likely because something isn't solidified from one of the lower levels. Switching now (but sticking with a program, not continuously jumping ship when it gets hard) seems like it will bring a peace to your school day that is needed. Saxon and Teaching Textbooks are both really solid programs, it just took me a few years to admit it. :) MUS isn't bad either, but you would have to add things to it to beef up the word problems and fill up the time (just my personal opinion, of course, but my son was spending about 40 minutes PER WEEK when we tried MUS, and that just isn't enough time spent in math mode).
  7. A friend of mine is thrilled with membean, but her kids are a little older.
  8. FYI: Don't read about it on Wikipedia if you don't want to know the twist at the end. :/
  9. I don't have kids old enough to give any advice on what you should do, but I beg you to please not take a year off. I did this with my oldest, and it took a year and a half to catch him back up. Please learn from my mistake. :)
  10. The dates on the Mythology page are not correct. I was hoping someone else would point it out. :)
  11. So... it seems that my estimate of around 2-4 hours would be reasonable? Obviously there will be outliers on both ends of that, but a "normal" (gosh I dislike that word LOL) late elementary student can reasonably read it in that amount of time, though not necessarily all at once. Agreed? :)
  12. ... and a random thing I just found while searching for the answer online, that I thought others might find cool also: http://publishingperspectives.com/2012/03/staples-asks-do-you-read-faster-than-the-national-average/
  13. My oldest has skewed my view of what "normal" reading ability looks like. How many hours would you say it should take a kid to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? How unusual would it be for a kid to read it in 4 hours? What about in 2 hours?
  14. ... marking my spot to reply later with more details...
  15. Also: Mr. Thompson would probably not like Hake, as it is exactly what he says he does not like about grammar instruction -- filling in blanks, memorizing lists, doing lots of the same thing. However... after teaching grammar to 2 kids with very different learning styles, I can see the importance of this kind of grammar learning. We still love MCT and will use it with my youngers, but there is a lot that it is missing. Even though MCT and Hake are practically opposites in their approach, I think they present a nice balance and between the 2 of them my kids will have a very solid grammar background heading into high school (I'm saving the later 3 levels of MCT for after Hake). Along the same line, I am having my second son use Saxon along side the Beast Academy. It gives him the best of both approaches. :)
  16. I think it depends if you are looking for strictly grammar or all the other aspects of language arts as well. AFAIK, Analytical Grammar contains ONLY grammar. My oldest is using Hake after the MCT elementary series, there are books for 5th - 8th grade. A lot of it is review, but Hake covers the aspects that MCT did not (usage, mechanics, etc). Hake is set up with lots of spiral review built in every single day, which is why I dismissed it when I first looked at it (thinking my son didn't need it), but it has proven to be helpful as he was going through the "I forgot how to do everything, and what is a preposition again?" phase. Many people don't use the writing portion, but I am using it as an opportunity to introduce him to the type of writing assignments he will likely get from outside classes as he gets older (so I view it as an extra layer of writing, not his primary writing instruction). There are copywork and dictation paragraphs at the back of the book to work through as needed. We are not using the journal prompts. Hake can be done completely independently. My son completes the lesson and all of the practice, then we go over it at our meeting at the end of the day.
  17. I just received the following message from Amazon: " Important messages for items in your Cart: 1 item has been deleted from the Saved Items section of your Cart. You've exceeded the maximum number of items that can be stored in the Saved Items section of your Cart." **FAINT** You mean now I have to go through ALL 600 of my "save this item for later" items and decide which ones I am NEVER GOING TO BUY and DELETE THEM so I have room for all the new things people recommend that I MIGHT want to buy one day?!?! :svengo: Side note: Can you imagine if there was ever a glitch at Amazon and all of those things were actually sent to me? Additional side note: It's fun to look back through those really old ones and see what sorts of things we were interested in then. :)
  18. Wellllll... between trying pretty much every math program with my own children and teaching 2 math classes at a homeschool co-op, I have A LOT of math manipulatives. The only things that get used constantly are the base 10 blocks. I sold my cuisenaire rods because I hated them (GASP!!), and my children never used them for the intended purpose. I kept the rods around for years because my older 3 learn so differently that I thought *someone* would use them eventually, but they did not. I also sold my Right Start Math Games set (also not a fan of the abacus).
  19. It's much less overwhelming without the green cards. :) I was planning to type out all of the words for each level on a spreadsheet and use that as a bookmark so I would have a comprehensive list of which words each kid has missed... but they miss so few that the Post-It has sufficed for now.
  20. I don't use the green review word cards regularly, there are just TOOO many to deal with (I have 5 kids in 5 different levels of AAS, I stopped using the word cards when we added in the 3rd kid). Instead: I have them write their AAS tests in the blue level Spelling Power books. We use the right hand side of the page for daily lessons, I write in the new rule or phoneme at the top and we use the 14 lines for tests. If a word is missed, he uses the practice area on the left hand side of the page (so he can still see that day's test) to do the 10-step review (a SP thing). On the lines below that, I combine sentences from the AAS dictation portion into 2 longer sentences. I use a Post-It note to mark my page in the book, and if a word is missed on the test I write it in pencil on the note. Each test, I give him the 10 words from the book plus 4 review words (which can be from the note, or I flip through the book and pick random words). When a word from the note has been spelled correctly on a test multiple times, I erase it. I store all 7 levels of red, yellow, and blue cards in the review box, with only one set of future/review/mastered tabs for each level (I don't have separate tabs for each type of card, it's easy enough to tell them apart). When a kid moves into a level, all of the cards are moved back to the future tab (I combine all 3 colors of cards and place them in order by lesson # so they are ready to go). When a child has a lesson that does not have test words, I use the review box instead, going over any cards that are in front of their current spot. So, for example - for my son on lesson 16 in book 3, I would quiz him on all of the cards behind the "3 review" tab, plus a few random cards from levels 1 & 2 (keeping the cards in the same exact spot, wherever the kid in the lower level is). In theory, I have the green cards stored in a box by level that my boys can quiz each other for fun... but they never have. This format works for my kids because they don't need the constant review. They get some review in the word analysis at the beginning of new lessons and through the dictation, and they get the occasional review of the rule & phoneme cards, and that has proven to be enough for them. AAS is a WONDERFUL program (in fact, it is pretty much the ONLY curriculum that has worked for all 3 of my oldest who have completely different learning styles requiring vastly different materials in every other subject), but I have had to tweak it a little to make it large-family-friendly. I'm sure typing it all out makes it sound more complicated that it really is :)
  21. I teach my kids that W is a 'secret vowel', and explain to them that most adults don't know that it can be a vowel. It delights them that they know something that adults don't know, and also prevents them from being frustrated when someone else tries to tell them it is not. For those who say you can hear the 'w' at the end of few -- do you hear the same sound at the end of glue?
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