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Everything posted by WeeBeaks

  1. We have gone Lego, history and science successfully with groups of primarily boys ages 8-12
  2. Sometimes yes and sometimes no for us. More expensive often means easier to use though for the parent, i.e., more planned out and tested. Price and quality have correlated though in science supplies and equipment though for sure for us. We are currently in the market for a MUCH better microscope after having tried the free hand-me-downs and the cheaper alternatives!
  3. Have you considered Elemental Science: http://www.elementalscience.com/classic-series/ My 6th grader last year did it largely independently during M-Th, and we did lab and discussion Fridays with our family and a kid from another family. The main bulk of the learning was independent, but the social/discussion was one day a week. Creationist? No, but we haven't gone through the bio yet. We did earth/astronomy for logic stage last year. No huge flags were up there, but again I am not creationist. The program is secular, which was okay for us (Christian, noncreationist). Someone else might know more about bio specifically, which is up for us this year. Looking through my early preview, it doesn't seem to cover that at all (botony, human anatomy, cells, etc). The author does give suggestions for incorporating siblings at different levels with book suggestions and correlations to topics.
  4. Has anyone used the "building blocks" line of books from Real Science 4 Kids? http://store.gravitaspublications.com/elementary-grades-k-4/middle-school-building-blocks.html?inf_contact_key=f3f06d624080d2f354f50d320e7f4a83208222c3fcfa89a952f4cc15c32c285f I have used their other one-subject books, but I have not been able to see these in person. I'm considering them for 2nd grade, an "intro" to all the topics, with the doing more in detail single-subject focus in later grades for her along the lines of TWTM. She used Sassafras this, and honestly we were quite a bit burned out by the end of zoology and ready to talk about anything other than animals. I mixed in some BFSU for other topics, but sometimes it fell by the wayside. I don't want something that has no depth at all though, and not having seen these books, I can't judge that, so .... anyone used them? :)
  5. You might want the teacher's guide to see how they intend for it to be implemented. That book gives the suggested schedule, extra project options, suggested living books, etc. The story book is just that ... the story of the kids and their adventures. It gives a little factual info from the "guide" in the story, but it is just the tip of the iceburg in terms of learning about that animal (thinking of zoology). Then the kids are to read about it in other living books or encyclopedias, do mapping on it (in the case of the logbook), write some definitions, etc. The story itself was interesting to my older child not doing using this as his science. He read the book for enjoyment. My 8yo and 6yo last year did the logbook, story book and I used the teacher's guide. They learned a ton about the animals. We have now started on the anatomy one.
  6. The Discovering Music looks really nice, but more for older (high school level and adult) if I'm understanding right after looking at it. Tempting for me at some point to fill in my own gaps, but not open and go for my middle schooler. If nothing really exists, I guess I'll do like I do biographies of scientists with history or whatever, but adding bios of the composers. I had a high school history course that taught me more in a year than I learned in the prior 11 years. She blended music and movies from each era studied with the historical facts to really bring it alive. We did only WWI forward with her, but that is what draws me, I think, to classical education, the blending of disciplines to make it come alive with living books (or music, movies, etc. for modern eras). I learned art the same way in college (art history). I just wish there existed already planned music to blend with my history lessons. I do know TWTM has suggestions of biographies, etc., coordinated to the 4-year cycle so will just start there.
  7. Yes, previous posters have covered most of it. You can file PSA and become your own school, or join under the umbrella of another school. Those are the two options there in California. There are not "homeschoolers" in the legal sense - you either ARE a school (your children being the only students) or you belong to another school, either public charter (you get curriculum or funds) or private (you usually pay the school to belong to it).
  8. Is there a good boxed/preplanned music curriculum I could get for a middle schooler (age 11, 7th grade in the fall, academically advanced but with ADHD)? He has just in the last few months shown interest in classical music. I honestly know very little myself. We have some CDs, and of course I can just search itunes or whatever to hear the music. I want to take it a step further and teach him about the composers/time period, along with more details than just listening to the music. Does such a thing exist? Ideally DVDs or the like? This is a very weak area of mine so for this one it needs to be open and go type for him, but his time is at a premium. He has no prior music knowledge by the way, has never shown an interest in learning an instrument, etc.
  9. We used just one for nearly 6 years with my oldest (Singapore). This year I added Life of Fred across all my kids with good results. Singapore gives a rock solid foundation I have found, but it isn't much fun IMHO. Fred gives them the fun factor.
  10. BFSU is cost effective if you have a good library. Out of those for a 6yo, I would choose that. We use it here as well. You can pick a topic or two a week, get library books and do some fun projects with it. I use it very much like unit studies with brief units. For a 6yo you are going for exposure not perfection. With that in mind, I wouldn't worry about beefing up Evan Moore if you go that route. That is the easiest to plan on the teacher end. We tried RSO too, and this mama just couldn't do that many experiments. Here my smallest (age 6) does Sassafras with her older brother (8). They did Zoology and started Anatomy this past year. It is very gentle and simple if you skip the extra books (I only use those with my older). The downside is you spent what sometimes seems like forever on one topic. I use BFSU with them concurrently to interject some other topics.
  11. LA: Growing with Grammar 2, Soaring with Spelling and Vocab 2. Stuck on what to do for literature, maybe just some lapbooks/unit studies on a few books. Alternatively I might scrap GWG, etc., and go back to FLL with her (she is my third child and I haven't used it since the first child). History: History Odyssey level 1, Middle ages Math: LOF starting with Cats plus either Singapore 2 or switch to Teaching Textbooks 3. I have 4 kids and mommy teaching time is a premium here. TT would gain me some time but I feel Singapore is stronger. Science: Finish Sassafras Anatomy from this year, continue BFSU interspersed. Might do RS4K pre levels (they call it something else now; I have older books) if she shows interest. Handwriting: Just copywork from other subjects. PE: Gymnastics and homeschool PE class once a week (rotates through sports). She will have a Spanish class on site at her charter plus some fun/unit studies stuff if we decide to do those.
  12. A curriculum or just the books? We used and were extremely happy with Elemental Science's Earth Science and Astronomy for the Logic Stage this year. My oldest used it this year for his 6th grade year. It uses several Kingfisher and DK titles as well as Exploring the Night Sky, which my son particularly enjoyed as a guide for viewing.
  13. My 11yo (6th grade officially) has been using Singapore since K, currently standards edition 6A. Any problems we encountered along the way were either lack of attention/diligence (he has ADHD) or just disinterest rather than true lack of understanding so we have gone along just fine. This year though we are really roadblocking, again I suspect more due to lack of disinterest and attention than true lack of understanding, but really I want to spark an interest. After looking at a friend's Life of Fred book, I want to introduce that. I think I have settled on LOF pre-algebra with biology. My child dislikes math and LA but loves anything science, to the point I don't really even need to teach it as he will read anything and everything available in any science in his free time. With that in mind, those of you with similar children, what is your opinion on my likelihood of using LOF to light up an interest in doing better in math? Alternatively, if there another program completely that might be better? I have no complaints on Singapore at all really. I don't think it is the most fun and exciting program around, but it's solid and learning has been good with all my kids in it (my 6th grader is my oldest). Having a math minor myself, I'm comfortable with the concepts and how they are taught in there, but LOF does appeal too with it's expansion into showing math integrated into the rest of the sciences and life. As I mentioned above, my son is 2E - gifted in IQ but ADHD, bipolar, dysgraphia.
  14. My Ker this year is 4, 5 Nov 1st. She is on the young side, but the same age I was when I started K (I had a Nov. b'day too and started at 4) so feel okay with it as she seems readier than my boys were, who were older.
  15. Thanks so much for the info. Yes, we are doing middle of the week, not the weekend. We are so excited. We have had passes before and done an odd Sunday, drive up at dawn and home late night, but we don't usually do the hotel thing and do it up like we are this year. I'm super excited, probably as much as the kids. I love DL.
  16. Anyone know what crowds are like in Disneyland in Anaheim in Sept? We are thinking of going the first week of Sept (i.e., the days after the Labor Day holiday). DH though has off the first 3 weeks of Sept so we could go anywhere in there. I know it will be hot (we live in So Cal) but what about crowds? Still awful or livable as most schools are back in?
  17. paperbackswap.com for the vast majority of them. I just listed a dozen or so today in fact as I was cleaning out. It is just the easiest way for me for low value stuff.
  18. Yes, much easier to combine. My kids are now 5th grade, 2nd grade, K and a toddler. I did Sonlight until my oldest was 3rd grade. If you think Sonlight is overkill though, you might want to rethink TOG. I feel it is a lot more than SL ever was, and a whole lot more factual and dry, but it is made manageable for me by the combining factor.
  19. We school year round pretty much but much lighter in the summer. We slowly start ramping up from mid August until after Labor Day, where we are then at 100%. So one week I'll add Explode the Code back in, next week spelling, next week math, etc. Beginning about mid May we slow down until we reach our summer light schooling mid June again. As we finish workbooks I don't replace them until we are light at end of the year.
  20. Just a bump as Target has the wider ruled one with hard cover ones on sale for $3 this week, both the wide ruled regular comp style for younger kids and the ones with room to draw and write, again with the hard black covers.
  21. Colorix and Alex Creamy Crayons are a different nature altogether. They are much softer, like a hybrid between crayon and thick paint. They are fun, but we don't use them the same as crayons.
  22. Correction - They were $2.49 and it was in Sept 2011 and again in December. Maybe since but not that I have noticed. I wish!
  23. YES, they do. I saw it for the first time a couple months ago and got several. It wasn't $1 or $2 though ... $2.99 maybe? Anyone else recall this? It's rare though.
  24. Tonight we tried making Nutella ice cream in our ice cream maker ... delicious! And I'm not a fan of nutella honestly in sandwiches or such. If you love Nutella, you have to try it - 2 cups cream, 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup nutella into the ice cream maker until done. I have made coconut milk ice cream in the past, and this would be good with that too instead of milk. The recipe suggested 1/2 cup of hazelnuts in addition, but I didn't have any. You could have it with your cupcake. ;)
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