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Everything posted by skueppers

  1. I don't identify with a specific homeschooling philosophy, though I'd say there often is a reason based on my internal educational philosophy for my decisions. For example, this year we are using Evan-Moor's "Daily 6-Trait Writing." We are doing this because: 1) My daughter wanted to use a workbook-style writing curriculum 2) I saw no harm in meeting that desire, since something she likes is more likely to be successful than something she doesn't like. 3) I felt this particular workbook approach would get her to do some useful things without a struggle that she probably would have fought me on. So you can see that there's an undercurrent of both wanting to give my daughter input into her educational process, as well as pragmatism in my philosophy.
  2. I read it out loud. I wouldn't want to use the audiobook version because I alter parts of the book when I read it. For example, I omit the Bible stories and add commentary to improve historical accuracy and/or clarify the difference between made-up stories and known facts.
  3. We used the blue series equivalent of MM 1 last year, at my daughter's insistence. She had already done part of MEP 1 and part of Miquon Orange. She was almost six at the beginning of K. I wouldn't generally recommend it for K, but it worked well for us.
  4. We use the blue series (I bought it back when I thought MM was going to be a supplementary math program for us!). Last year, I printed out pages from the various relevant books and gave them to her in whatever order seemed best at the time. So if she was getting bored with addition, I tossed in a page or two of measurement or clocks or money. This year, she asked me to make her a workbook, so I did, interleaving one or two pages of basic arithmetic with a page or two of something else. For example, this week she has done in this order: Clock p. 25 Add & Subtract 2B pp. 14 and 15 Intro to Fractions pp. 6-7 A&S 2B p. 18 It did take an hour or two to figure out what sequence of topics made sense back when I put the workbook together, but now she just does the next 8 pages each week. In addition to her Math Mammoth work, she also does fact drills and a daily problem I pull out of MEP. This is usually on an unrelated topic, like patterns, roman numerals, beginning multiplication, etc. Thus method has been going very well.
  5. I am not doing spelling with my first grader. She is picking up spelling just fine from our routine of copywork, dictation, and writing exercises. I don't plan to introduce a spelling program until second grade, at the earliest, and then only if it seems needed. My child is a strong reader who works best with patterns rather than rules, so if we do spelling in the future, I'll probably try Sequential Spelling.
  6. We are not required to log hours in this state, but I note any significant physical activity under PE. So in addition to organized activities like soccer, diving, yoga, and karate, I also note playground trips, hiking, bike riding, etc.
  7. We're using the grade 2 book this year although my daughter is in first grade; I remember looking at the samples and thinking the grade 1 book would be too simplistic for my older first grader. Anyway, we like it so far. The writing assignments have been amusing and the integrated mechanics instruction useful. To give you an idea of our overall LA program, my daughter is also doing copywork and dictation, but no formal narration, grammar, or spelling. She is a strong reader. Oh, and I like the ebook, even though it cost more. Being able to reference it on the iPad is great!
  8. I'm not sure of the answer to this question, but I've changed Math Mammoth around for my daughter because she was bored with doing one thing day after day after day. I have the blue series, but I imagine this would work for the light blue as well. I have interleaved the "fun" topics of money, time, geometry, and measurement with the "boring" arithmetic. Last year I did this informally, but this year I made a workbook, at her request. I also give her one or two problems from MEP every day; these are typically selected because they review some topic in an interesting way, or because they require a certain kind of thinking.
  9. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. For what it's worth, simply homeschooling a young child is way less stressful than that. And it doesn't need to be expensive, either. Good luck with the charter school!
  10. Remember that you can "report on" just about anything you do for math, whether it's playing games that involve math, talking about math while you build with legos, playing games with Cuisenaire rods, reading math books, etc. You don't actually have to use a curriculum that's defined for you. You can make it up yourself. :) That said, you've gotten lots of great ideas. One other thing you might take a look at is IXL.com, if he likes using the computer. If you buy a subscription, you can get useful information out of it that would be ideal for "reporting".
  11. Well, we stopped at around lesson 118, and my daughter's reading is just fine. I have no concern that she's going to encounter future reading problems because we didn't finish a phonics program, as she currently reads far above grade level.
  12. It sounds fine to me. If it's any help, here's what my first grader is doing: English -- reading books, copywork and dictation each 1x per week, Evan-Moor Daily Six-Trait Writing (2nd Grade). No grammar or spelling. Math -- Math Mammoth, fact practice, one problem a day drawn from MEP. Science -- Kind of incidental. We do Lego robotics, science kits, museum trips, and videos. Social Studies -- SOTW 1, other related books, some mapwork and activities. We also watch a German children's news broadcast, which provides an opportunity to discuss current events. German -- Saturday school, reading books, copywork and dictation 1x per week each, some other stuff. This is where we have been studying penmanship, but we are essentially done studying letter formation in print and cursive, so from now on she'll just be practicing penmanship during copywork. Music -- My husband teaches her piano once a week. We sing German songs during our morning circle time. Art -- She likes to draw; we go to art museums. Sometimes we do programs at art museums. Every now and again, we do an actual art lesson together. PE -- Things are a little nuts this semester on the PE front; she's doing four separate classes/sports. I didn't exactly mean for that to happen... Anyway, I think we are doing plenty, and it looks to me like you are, too. We have the study of German fairly heavily integrated into our curriculum, but I can't imagine we would be doing that if it weren't an important part of our family culture. Anyway,
  13. I wonder if part of your frustration is that you want to get a specific amount done in a day, so you feel stressed and rushed, and then they do this stuff that slows everything down, making you feel more stressed. Or maybe I'm just projecting. :) Anyway, I try to remember that it doesn't really matter if we finish everything I have planned every day. I can always reschedule it. Sometimes learning together how to get through these issues IS the lesson. And sometimes I have to remind myself that it's OK to dawdle if the dawdling is itself productive. For example, today my daughter took forever to do some math I'd meant as a five-minute exercise. The reason she took forever is that while I had asked her to measure in centimeters, she wound up measuring in centimeters and in inches and comparing the answers. I did eventually have to move her along, but I don't want our school to be one where she doesn't have time to do stuff like that.
  14. I've only used reception and year 1 (plus a small bit of year 2), but my experience was that the MEP lesson plan told you pretty much exactly what to say. I did have to look at it in advance to figure out what it was about and why the solutions were what they were. But I wouldn't really think it would matter that much how math-oriented you are yourself, at least in the first year or two.
  15. Putting the comma before the "and" seems to be the most correct current usage, although both are acceptable. I was taught not to put a comma in that position, but have long thought putting a comma before the "and" made more sense. I recently investigated and found that most style guides now recommend the comma.
  16. Seriously, why would you need to color in order to use SOTW Ancients? Read the book, read some other books, do some mapwork, and do some of the activities in the AG (or use the AG activities as a springboard for other ideas). Unless the problem is that you really dislike the SOTW book itself, in which case it obviously makes no sense to use it!
  17. All last school year while my daughter was learning printing, I sat with her and learned the style of cursive she wanted to study. She needed me sitting with her anyway, and I was able to model the process of evaluating handwriting on my own work. Now that she has learned to form all of the cursive letters, I am able to write out models for her copywork. I thought it was time well spent, and I'm sure it aided her learning process to have me doing it with her.
  18. My question is, what do you think you might get out of MM that you're not getting out of MEP? MEP is a lot more fun than MM, because every lesson has multiple different kinds of problems and the lesson plans contain a variety of activities. It has interesting puzzles, too. By which I am not trying to suggest that it's a heavily spiral program -- you spend the entire first year adding and subtracting numbers within 20. They just come at it in many different ways, and incorporate some other topics like roman numerals and patterns. You will be doing basic arithmetic every day. I'm not saying Math Mammoth is a bad program -- we use it here, and my daughter liked it better than MEP last year. But I think a lot of kids will like MEP better, and if your son is doing well with it, I wouldn't jump ship. I remember you had some concerns that there weren't enough problems of each type. This isn't the case with basic arithmetic; those kinds of problems occur in decent-size groupings. With the side topics or puzzles, what your child gets from them one day will be helpful in the future when the same type of problem comes around again. To answer your initial questions, I thought the abacus was necessary, but you could make one with pony beads, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks. I recommend buying the download, which someone else already pointed you to. What I do now is use Math Mammoth as the main curriculum, but every day I pull one or two problems from MEP for my daughter's "math warmup".
  19. More of a Teacher's Manual. I recommend the PDF, then you can print any activity pages you want to use (maps, for example) for both kids. Peace Hill Press also sells just the student pages, if you really want all the student pages printed. I can't see myself needing more than 10 or so pages on paper, so no need for the printed versions here. I like the activity guide for volume 1, the only one I have used. I find it provides a useful jumping off point for me. I may not necessarily do the activity in the book, but it helps me get my creative juices flowing.
  20. My daughter was resistant to hands-on math and math with lots of "teaching," and she gets on well with Math Mammoth.
  21. I get carsick if there's no air blowing on my face, so I immediately start adjusting the vents on my side of the car. If there's still no air, I explain the problem and ask if I can fix it.
  22. We have mandatory K here -- children who reach the age of 5 by Sept. 1 are required to attend school. You can get a waiver for one year by claiming that your child is "immature." The homeschooling requirements are the same for K as any other grade -- "regular and thorough instruction" in English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health, Art, Music, and PE. There are no hours/days required, though.
  23. Miquon is heavy on manipulatives and on figuring things out for yourself, which may be up his alley. It's not scripted like Right Start, though. You would need to read the teacher's manuals and develop a feel for the program.
  24. My daughter, who will be seven in November, wrote this last week. She was not focusing on the quality of her handwriting. She learned manuscript handwriting from a German-language curriculum. She is also studying cursive from the same series (Einsterns Schwester).
  25. Yes, this is my biggest concern about having my younger child at home this year. Last year he was in preschool, but he really didn't want to go back this year, and since havng him there was pretty inconvenient, we decided to let him stay home. He doesn't like to play by himself, so he uses to computer some, and then comes upstairs to use his school area, which is in an adjoining room. I have lots of stuff for him to do -- play-doh, cutting projects, LüK, mazes, etc. He picks whatever he wants to do. I spend some time with him and some with his sister, and I have time set aside in our schedule when I can work with him on reading or math if he wants to. Or we can play a board game or something if he'd rather! I don't feel a need to teach him anything in particular, but I do feel like he needs to be with us.
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