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About smfmommy

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee
  • Birthday April 23

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    Western Slope of Colorado
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    Reading, researching, hiking, and the occasional craft activity.

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  1. I'd be hesitant to suggest the Plain and Not so Plain workbooks. I downloaded fourth grade (maybe, its been a while) and there was a whole page of division problems that were backwards. 7 / 14 type stuff. It was to practice the basic division facts so the answer was supposed to be 2 not 0.5. I deleted the file and didn't look at any of the other grades. Maybe she has fixed it, but there are better, more professionally type set options out there, even for free.
  2. Dh will start working from home tomorrow. He brought home his stuff on Friday. He created a desk in our walk in closet as we don't have an office and neither of us have a desk. I offered to make room in our bedroom but he declined. I did insist on him buying an air filter/fan though as I didn't want *my* clothes smelling like him in the very enclosed space. Our youngest is 9 so they are all able to stay quiet for the most part. He will be on the phone full time but his breaks and lunch will definitely throw our usual routine off.
  3. A fun online game that really works the logic side is Lure of the Labyrinth. It's free. We have really enjoyed it here.
  4. I get this a lot. People come in to the homeschool library and want "5th grade". If they are faith based I often suggest Master Books. They are open and go as well as colorful and reasonably priced. When newbies come in, especially after leaving public school, for me to suggest just simply reading and math until she learns more about homeschooling ends with blank stares. I might as well have suggested full blown radical unschooling. They want a book for each subject that they can use tomorrow. And they want to cover what every other kid at that age is covering. Sometimes a mom comes in more informed or with more personal opinion, but just as often they have no idea what is available. Question: I cobble things together in our own homeschool, but tend to use faith based materials. Is there a secular equivalent to Master Books? I'm writing down the suggestions given so far. I need to create a booklet that lists all these along with free options for each (besides EP). A curated list with lots of encouragement for the mom to think of the child in front of them instead of the mythological "average" child.
  5. There are free apps that take you through a 7 minute or 10 minute workout. Most of the time they don't require any equipment. You can also find kid workout youtube videos or at the library. I think those would be the simplest way to have PE each day.
  6. Next year we are going to have the kids trade names. Up until this year the kids tended to give hand made things or toys their siblings like. Not a whole lot was added to the household. But they all have some sort of funds now and the pile of sibling to sibling gifts is considerably more substantial this year. I love that they are generous but none of us really need a bunch of "stuff". Especially since the younger three are still shopping at the Dollar Tree. I think a single, more thought out gift would be nicer. I'd also like to not be missing a loved one that passed away that year (it's been a regular part of the holiday for about 4 years now). Otherwise we already keep things fairly simple and I enjoy our traditions. Although I could give up decorating sugar cookies, so much to buy/mess/sugar for something no one is super excited to eat after the first one.
  7. When my oldest complained about doing the science concepts classes I required (not math heavy at all, not even labs per se) instead of just letting her do more history and writing (her favorites), I told her I wanted her to be interesting at a cocktail party. And not be embarrassed because she didn't understand basic terminology used in a variety of fields. I wouldn't call our style rigorous at all, but I am trying to allow my children I have left to really shine in their strengths while still requiring a general literacy. With my oldest two I think I pushed the general literacy more and didn't encourage/push them to excel in the areas they really loved. It's a balancing act.
  8. Yes, I guess unit studies can be rather contrived to make sure they add in everything. But your description just sounded like a quality interest based unit study since there wasn't a single project that was the foundation. But, like I said, I am not an expert and so my perception may be backward. But apparently what I considered PBL was much more complicated (months long projects where the child had to learn various skills and content to accomplish the project). Your description of science demonstration sounds, sadly, like most of the "labs" we did in high school. To me, demonstrations were things like blowing up balloons with different elements inside to show how you can get the various firework colors. Great fun, but not something the kids actually did. I'll just listen and learn now.
  9. In the 90's and 2000's #4 would have been simply called a hands on unit study. I always considered PBL to be #3. #1 was what people did when they wanted to make learning fun or needed a way for their child to express what they learned without writing. #2 is something the teacher does to, well, demonstrate a topic, but isn't PBL since the child is just watching not creating the demonstration themselves. But I am no expert and haven't read the 'official' PBL books/web sites that have been created. I agree that they all have merit and can be enjoyable. But the level of actual learning is different (and dependent on the child).
  10. I haven't used it yet myself but Layers of Learning would cover all three and you can choose how in depth you can/want to go for your children.
  11. I agree that people don't actually research homeschooling much. I run a homeschool library and most newbies come in wanting "7th grade". Sometimes they have looked up curriculum, but often they have no idea what their options are. Then we have to do the twenty questions game to see if there is something I can suggest on our shelves. Although, mostly I just try to suggest focusing on the basics (reading and math) while they figure out the whole homeschooling thing in general. I wish there was a current Elijah Co style catalog. They defined the different styles of homeschooling and gave suggestions for quality materials in each style. But mostly they suggested quality literature and discussing them with your children. I started researching homeschooling in 1999 and the Elijah Co catalog was the first ray of hope as I muddled through what I though was an overwhelming amount of options back then. In our area we also have the "pleasing the charter school" conundrum. You can get reimbursed for some (mostly secular, state standard pleasing) curriculum. If you want to buy and use your own history curriculum, for example, that is fine, but your assigned teacher may require that you also must check some state standard off. So I often help moms find a simple workbook to fill that need. But it means more (busy)work for the family. It can often lead to overwhelm and stress too. The whole thing encourages buying grade leveled materials. Out of the box scope and sequences are not encouraged in any way, even for kids who are unique (in any direction). Very evident in the 5 feet of Sonlight/Konos/Weaver curriculum binders we have that never get touched.
  12. Did you know she has revised the Home Learning book? It comes out next month.
  13. I am a minimalist, my kiddos and hubby aren't, although they enjoy our tidy home that is easy to find things in. Most professionals suggest starting with your own things and the communal things. Seeing the positives (in the look of the house and your attitude) may encourage them to let go as well. For younger kids offering to buy a single item or event if they "sell" their unwanted stuff to you may be the ticket to clutter freedom. It has taken a while of me not nagging and making room for hubby's stuff while reducing the rest of the house, but he has started going through his things and reducing. It had to be on his terms though. As for how to get rid of your homeschool items. There used to be a web site that gave materials to families in need, but I don't remember if they still exist or not. Is it stuff that could be used in a classroom? If so, offer it to local teachers.
  14. There are fun looking Minecraft math workbooks on Amazon. You can use CLE to teach lessons and use the Minecraft as a fun way to practice/review. (Only do a handful of problems in the CLE book or just do them orally or on a separate paper so that he doesn't see the overwhelming numbers.)
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