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  1. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. DS decided on Notgrass. More than I was hoping to pay for this but the writing just seemed the most engaging. If he can manage to pump out a couple of lessons per day without too much pain and suffering, and actually remembers something of it after he's done, hopefully it will be worth it! He was actually really close to choosing Stobaugh. He really likes apologetics so he was drawn to some of the chapter assignments like "compare the gods of Sumeria with the Judean God". But when we compared the assignments with what he actually had to know for the test, he changed his mind. For people who might have a natural ability at picking out the significant facts to memorize this might not be an issue, but ds isn't comfortable with that. He wanted just the short questions and answers that highlight the specific facts he's supposed to learn. And for anyone out there who might be interested, here's the response I received from Master Books when I emailed them about the British history content: We are in the process of combining British and World History into a comprehensive course with objective questions, similar to the American History course. I believe it will be available by this fall.The current World History volume does not contain a great deal of British history.
  2. Thanks hollyhock2, that was helpful. Now I'm reconsidering Stobaugh. I decided to email Master Books and see what they say about the inclusion of British history. I didn't show that sample to DS, so maybe I will do that. If he likes it then it might be worth using it even if it is Britain-light. Maybe he'll actually even remember what he has learned this time around.
  3. Thanks, I had eliminated Notgrass because of the other components, but you're right, I could just skip them. Narrowed it down to Notgrass, Abeka, and Switched-on-Schoolhouse. Showed my son the previews online to see what his preference might be, and he didn't like any of them! History isn't his favorite subject so I'm not going to find any option he *likes*, just the least detestable. Notgrass seems like it is the most readable. He didn't like the "projects". I'm wondering if just answering the questions in the Student Review is good enough? Maybe make him do a select number of projects instead of one for every week? Thought he might go for SOS since it is on the computer, but he wasn't thrilled. I think he's leaning towards Abeka because it looked like the least amount of work... truly a read the section and answer the questions program. I'm worried the boring factor will end up making it not as easy as it looks... boring history is half the reason I was drawn to classical, so it is really too bad we're having to do it this way. Any feedback on those three programs? Also looking for an idea of estimated time to complete each lesson, since he's going to have to double up. Also forgot to mention - kids had to take an assessment as part of admissions to this school. Both of them placed 3-4 years above their grade level for math, reading, spelling, and sentence construction. Go WTM!!
  4. This is my last year homeschooling, if all goes as planned. I work part time, and high school just takes up way more of my time that I had imagined... there aren't enough hours in the day to give both kids the attention they need, so we're looking at our local private Christian school for next year. We had our admissions interview yesterday, and that's when I learned that their ninth graders all take world history, which ds isn't doing this year. It's a very small school with not a lot of flexibility with scheduling, so it isn't going to be possible to work that course into his tenth grade schedule next year. So, I need to get him started ASAP on a world history course that he can complete before August. I'm looking for something that: ~Can be done quickly and efficiently without a lot of extra fluff. Read the chapter and answer the questions sort of thing. Also minimal parent involvement, since that is part of my problem for this year. ~Preferably from a Christian worldview, although I'd settle for secular non-biased. ~Inexpensive. I already spent my curriculum budget for this school year, so hoping that this isn't going to cost me $200 buying student text, teacher guide, answer key, test booklet, test key, etc. etc. So far the curriculum that seems to best fit the bill is Master Books World History by Jim Stobaugh. I like that it is not only Christian, but incorporates critical thinking on worldviews rather than just regurgitating facts. (Also I'll be dropping our Worldviews course for this year to make room in the day for history, because the school does worldviews in 12th grade.) I like that it is supposed to only take 20-30 minutes a day to complete, which means that he could easily double up on the lessons each day. And I like the price. My concerns are that 1) there aren't very many reviews out there, and the ones that are were written by people who were provided with a free copy in exchange for their honest opinion. I can't tell whether those reviewers even used the curriculum. 2) there is a separate British history book. I can't tell whether or not British history has been left out of the world history book. I don't want to use it if it isn't going to be a comprehensive overview of the world. I'm okay with sticking with Western Civilization, but I don't want British history left out. I'd love feedback from anyone out there who is familiar with this curriculum. Possibly it could still work by supplementing another book on Britain, but it would have to be short. I can't overload him with our time crunch. Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
  5. My son is using the MWOB Geometry this year. He is working through the assignments very slowly and is way behind where he should be in order to be finished by our goal of May-end. Part of the problem I think is the same problem that spans all of his school work this year, which is that now that he is a high-schooler he needs to put forth more effort and time on a daily basis to meet expectations. But I also wonder if the workload expected in this course is maybe beyond what is necessary for one credit of high school, as well as mastery of the topics. Maybe I should allow him to skip problems or sections. He'd be overjoyed if I told him not to worry about doing the "Projects" sections any more. Besides wanting to be honest about awarding him a full credit for a course, another consideration is that he will likely be going into a STEM major in college, so I don't want to cut any corners where math is concerned. Also, way back when I took the SAT, it was geometry-heavy, so I worry about making sure he's prepared for that. I should add that he does complete most sections with an "A", so he isn't struggling with the material so much as not getting through it very quickly.(Although he does struggle with the solutions sometimes not really offering a solution. This usually happens in the projects section). For those of you who have experience with this curriculum - what do you think? Is it more than necessary? If so, what do you suggest cutting?
  6. I work in college admissions and receive this request a lot. Your letter is good; important to include the name of the college she is attending and what she wants to major in which you did. In addition you may as well include a list of the courses she has taken/plans to take including the course prefix and number, or attach a transcript. They can't answer your request without that information so including it upfront will save the step of them having to ask you for it. It's true that as someone else mentioned, they may not want to answer this for her before she is an applicant. Combing through a list of courses to determine equivalency, especially courses that they haven't previously evaluated, is a very time consuming process. So they may not be willing to invest the time for someone who hasn't invested in an application. My university is usually willing to answer this question for a high school student taking a handful of DE courses. Students with a full transcript are usually asked to submit an application for admission to receive an evaluation. Without an application, the admissions counselor might be willing to forge through the red tape on your behalf if you've shown solid interest in the the institution and they view you as a "hot lead". I also advise that rather than trying to figure out which college will accept the most number of classes on a predetermined list, choose the college and program that she wants to pursue, and then develop her future coursework based on which classes at her current CC will transfer and apply towards degree requirements at the specified school. There are many other factors that make a college the best fit for a student, so laying the constraint of "they need to accept all the classes that I already decided I will take" will put unnecessary limitations on college selection. Also, the college will be more willing to work with her if they feel she is committed to attending their institution, due to the amount of time involved in providing such guidance.
  7. My daughter is still nine but I have shamelessly encouraged the collection because *I* like them so much!! All of the sets are so detailed and intricate that it seems to me that adult collectors would appreciate them. I would think that a girl would continue to enjoy Calico Critters even after she has outgrown playing with them.
  8. Oh my goodness, you are describing my life. When I have more time I'll go back and read what everyone else said because I probably need it. A few strategies I've adopted over the years: When it's time to shop, I get up super early in the morning to avoid the crowds. And that's for stuff that I absolutely have to go out and buy, like groceries. We do almost all of our Christmas shopping on Amazon. We've approached several family members and just suggested that we stop exchanging gifts. Or, we've just stopped reciprocating. Eventually they get the message. One person just insists on doing it anyway. When we know we are going to see their kids, they get itunes gift cards. Done. When we aren't going to see them, we don't get them anything. I used to go crazy baking for a bunch of people at church - my husband is a pastor. He was a bit critical of the fact that "all we're giving them is [whatever I chose to bake that year]". So finally I decided not to do it anymore. Let him figure out what to do for these people. He bought his associate pastor a gift card and that's it. I bought gift cards for my two Children's Church helpers. Everyone else just got a card. Nobody seemed to notice they didn't get cookies or whatever. I am so done with the baking thing. Speaking of cards, we usually order photo cards. People LOVE those things. We see them on their refrigerators when we go to their house. Way less effort than baking and people seem to appreciate it more. I don't decorate. The tree is enough. My husband does the lights outside.
  9. Thanks for this. It had some good insights I needed. I will have to go back and reread when my brain doesn't feel like fried eggs. I need to buy the SWB talk too. I have been giving serious consideration to private school for both kids next year. I'm not sure if I even want to be talked out of it this point, but could definitely use some guidance as to whether I'm just being reactive to stress or whether it is truly the right decision.
  10. My kids had a lot of fun with Easy Make & Learn Projects: Human Body by Donald Silver. https://shop.scholastic.com/teachers-ecommerce/teacher/books/easy-make-learn-projects-human-body-9780545406437.html
  11. I work in college admissions. While there may be more selective universities out there that care, we don't. As long as it's not offensive or inappropriate I think it's fine. My university is niched and... you'd know exactly what we specialize in just by looking at the personal email addresses of our students. If we offered herpetology we wouldn't bat an eyelash at "lizard". I'll tell you what we DO care about, and that is that whatever email he puts on his application, that's the email that he 1) checks regularly and 2) emails us from consistently. We track communications that we have with students and it always gets more complicated when they email us from a different address than what we have in their record, or register for an event with a different email. Or, they regularly use a different email than what they gave us, and then they don't read information that we send them. And then they're lost and confused and call us all upset because they think we never gave them the information.
  12. Boys especially have issues with their hand getting tired very quickly when writing. So if he is okay with giving you oral narrations and only complains when he has to write it down, that might be a clue that that's your problem. I really struggled trying to get my son writing things out up until about grade 5. The only exception was science because that was his favorite subject, so he was more motivated. WWE can feel a little too basic so I understand questioning whether he should be doing more now. I find the introduction to the WWE instructor text to be helpful in understanding what you're doing, why, where you're going, etc. for the big picture. You can read it in the sample text https://welltrainedmind.com/p/the-complete-writer-writing-with-ease-instructor-text/. WWE does eventually lightly introduce things like paragraph structure, but for the most part you aren't going to really see instruction on lengthy writing (beyond four sentence narrations) until WWS. My son is at the end of WWS book 2; it took us quite a while to get there, but I'm very pleased with his writing skills. So I trust the process! Finally, regarding dictations... ignore the instructions to only read it to them twice. It's totally unrealistic! Do whatever it takes for him to memorize it. Ok one more thing regarding "prescriptive"... I'm sure there are some kids for whom this is a negative, but if he struggles to come up with things to say, you might find that prescriptive is exactly what he needs. I know this is true for my son. He does great following the prescribed structure of whatever assignment he's on, but any time he's asked for a free flow of ideas, he has no idea what to say!
  13. I wanted to be able to reuse the book with my second, so with the first I made copies of the copywork pages and just gave him regular handwriting paper for the dictation. Now that I'm on kid #2, I'm just tearing the pages out of the back of the book and then saving in a binder. I was worried that the book would be awkward to handle once a bunch of pages were missing, but it has been fine.
  14. Yes, I used to use an actual CARD catalog to locate articles on microfiche! I was totally clueless about what to do nowadays but wanted my son to be able to use articles rather than whole long books to do his WWS assignments, so I actually had to break down and ask our librarian how it is done. It's all right there on the library website after I log in!
  15. No suggestions for other curriculum but... Have you tried breaking down all of those steps into smaller chunks? So that you might spend two or three days to complete one "day"? Much less overwhelming that way. We have been doing WWS for three years - this is year four - and we are still at the end of book 2. The other huge thing is make sure your dd can type! That made a huge difference for us, with all of the revision work that is needed. A much less daunting task if you are making edits on the computer versus rewriting the whole long thing.
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