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  1. I very hesitantly bought it. The price tag was more than I wanted to spend, but DD11 is very very very visual, and the samples on the website looked like a good fit for her learning style. We've made it through nearly half of a level at this point, and it's a winner for us. We had previously tried AAS, Sequential Spelling, and Apples & Pears. All 3 of those programs left her in tears, and I saw no improvement in her spelling. (We used each of those for a year. I think AAS was nearly 2 years.) DD actually says she likes spelling now, and the improvement was almost immediate. My disclaimer is that she has dysgraphia, very low short term memory, and speech/language issues, so she is not a typical learner and I don't know if other kiddos would have the same type of results that we've seen with this.
  2. Have you looked at Spelling You See? It's new this year, put out by the same company that publishes MUS. DD11 is making some gains with it after making zero progress with AAS, Apples & Pears, and Sequential Spelling. It's a bit pricey though.
  3. I almost never post, but I just couldn't resist this one. Why do you want to own instead of lease? I can't think of a single benefit that owning has over leasing. My daughter's 25+ year old horse is bleeding money. Expensive senior feed, expensive vet bills, expensive shoes to correct problems with old legs/joints/feet. If we were leasing, I could have given her back a few years ago. Can't sell her now. Who in their right mind would buy her? She's healthy and could live another 5 years or so. Her monthly expenses are more than both our car payments, and nearly as much as our mortgage. I wish someone had encouraged us to lease. :(
  4. I have absolutely no help or advice, but misery loves company and I could have written your post, except I really did what you said about throwing up your hands and giving up. I've been nagging DD11 since kindergarten and after last weekend of spending the entire weekend reminding her to finish the remaining problems in her math set, I couldn't take it anymore. I told her I'd been trying to force her to learn for years, it wasn't working, and that she was going to have to be in charge of her own education. I told her I was more than happy to assist her with anything she needed me for. Initially, she stomped off to her room and sulked, but she ended up up doing most of the work I would have assigned for the week. She only did 1 math lesson, and I did walk away from her after she asked for help with an English lesson because once I started helping her she started whining "this is stupid. I don't see why I need to do this." She attended school for K and 1, and it was the same thing. Every. Single. Day. She brought home unfinished work that the entire rest of the class had completed. I would sit with her for HOURS after dinner dragging her through it. She got detentions, she lost recess, and she didn't care. Since we've been homeschooling, she still doesn't care. She does have some learning disabilities, but we work around those and work on her strengths. We keep a consistent schedule and she knows the expectations. When she has unfinished work she loses fun weekend activities, but she doesn't care. I've seen her sit all weekend staring at the wall rather than finish 5 math problems. Luckily, she loves to read and learns a ton just by reading, but I really don't know what to do with her at this point.
  5. Beautiful Feet has this one: http://bfbooks.com/Teaching-Character-Through-Literature-Study-Guide
  6. For those grades, you can just buy the student written practice workbooks for Saxon Intermediate grade 3 and grade 4 to go along with what you already have. The content is almost identical, the pages are just perforated worksheets with the review set. Check Amazon.
  7. This is exactly what we do, and it works beautifully for both my kids. DS12 has worked about halfway through Hake 7 this year and will finish the other half next year as a 7th grader. DD10 just started Hake 5 a few weeks ago, and will continue with it next year. One downside to this is that most punctuation usage is covered in the second half of the book. Both kids took their yearly standardized test a few weeks ago and seemed to struggle with commas and quotation marks. They should do much better next year when we get to that part of the book.
  8. My daughter's neuropsych called it an invalid suppressed IQ. Most of her scores were quite high, with a couple of scores near 80. When they use the formula to get an IQ from all the scores, the low scores pull her high scores down to just slightly above average. The neuropsych said that score does not accurately reflect anything about her. She's extremely intelligent with a major learning disability, and she doesn't function at all like a person with a slightly above average IQ.
  9. Wow, I can't imagine my kids doing math for that long! Did you do the placement tests to make sure you were putting them in the correct level? If they are placed too high, it could be torture trying to figure out all those different types of problems. Here's a breakdown of what we do, so you can see where our time goes. Maybe you can see what piece of the lesson is taking so long? Are they getting bogged down in a particular spot? Is it learning the lesson that is taking forever, or is it the review set? DS12 (did lesson 85 in 7/6 today): orally do mental math - 5 minutes lesson- he reads it to himself and then I clarify/teach if he needs help, or he watches the Art Reed DVD - between 5 and 15 minutes lesson practice - usually 5-10 minutes review problems - he does this later as "homework", usually after dinner - 30-40 minutes total: about 45-75 minutes, split into 2 chunks DD10 (did lesson 75 in Intermediate 3 today. Started the year in 5/4 and it got too hard around lesson 60. We backed up an entire book and she's doing great!) orally do mental math - 10 minutes lesson - I teach the lesson to her - 10 minutes lesson practice with me - 5 minutes review problems for homework - less than 30 minutes (Intermediate 3 only has 20 problems in the review set) total: less than an hour, split in 2 sessions They both like math, think it's easy, and are very confident in their ability to do it. We don't do the facts practice, but that wouldn't add a whole lot of time.
  10. What about the Trail Guide to Learning from Geomatters? There are 3 to choose from (I think your 9th grader might be too old, but it would work for the younger ones), and everything is included and tied together so there would be the flow you are looking for.
  11. I'm using the 3rd grade LA with DD10 this year. She's in 4th grade, but we picked the grade 3 LA because she is animal obsessed. The grade 3 book revolves around Scout the dog, while the grade 4 book is detective themed. I figured that a noun is a noun, no matter what grade is written on the cover of the book. So far this year there has been quite a bit of grammar covered. She's done nouns (common, proper, abstract, concrete), verbs (action and being), adjectives (describing, demonstrative, and another type that I don't remember). The workbook seems to concentrate on one part of speech for awhile, then it will have review of everthing already covered. There's a ton of creative writing, and the assignments are based on WP's themed programs, but it's easy to adjust the assignment to your own topic. For example, the assignment might be to write about a famous person, making sure to include adjectives. Then there are suggested people to write about from each of the different programs. Easy to find your own person to write about if you want. There's also cursive instruction throughout the program, as well as spelling. We don't use the spelling (it's Spellwell) because we have a different program. There are books assigned throughout as well, based on the WP themed programs, but you could easily use a different source for literature. We've liked it well enough that we plan on continuing next year, though we'll skip the grade 4 program. My DD10 loves Scout the dog and he is in the grade 5 book as well, so we'll go with that. Hope that helps!
  12. Oak Meadow does civics for grade 8, and it's secular.
  13. DH (37) wrote a receipt for gas in the checkbook as "gass". His recent entries on the grocery list include "vanela ice cream" and "letis". You asked about kids, but so far DS12 and DD10 are horrible at spelling, and I'm blaming DH for that. I'm a natural speller and don't remember ever having to work at it. DD10 does have dysgraphia, so I'm assuming DS and DH probably both have some undiagnosed learning disabilities and are not representative of the general population.
  14. How to receive hot lunch and how to open a milk carton! Our public school does a summer meal program, and serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, free for any children in the school district. While it's not a confusing concept for my kids (who did attend school for a few years before we started homeschooling), I was babysitting some friends of ours who have always homeschooled, and I brought them to school for lunch, and they were hilarious. They had no idea what to do with the lunch tray, how to interact with the ladies serving, and were completely baffled by the milk cartons.
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