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Everything posted by Milknhoney

  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. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. Someone in my community organized a monthly "Show and Tell" group for homeschoolers at a local park once a month. I thought this was a great idea for helping the kids get practice with public speaking. The group disbanded a year or so ago, and I am looking for other opportunities. I think we will be okay. Just this year my ds joined a Bible quiz team and went to his first competition a couple weeks ago. That was practice with public speaking. My dd is in dance, and while that doesn't involve speech, her recitals have helped her become more comfortable being in front of people. She's a natural chatterbox, so the skill of coming up with something to say is already well developed...
  16. I work part time four days a week - one full day, and three half days (total 20 hrs/wk). On the long day, both kids have a list of things to do independently. I had to get creative with dd9 but ds13 is able to do most subjects on his own (and was at 12 as well!). Their dad is home with them while I work, but he is not terribly involved with their schooling. He'll help dd with math homework when she asks; ds rarely asks for help. So dh just takes their word for it on whether they have actually done everything I told them to, and I am the one that has to follow up with them to make sure it all actually happened. Most of the time it does happen, but many times I have certainly had to give the kids a very stern lecture that homeschooling can't work if I can't trust them to do things on their own. How motivated is your ds to homeschool? Possibly he needs that heart to heart lecture that he'll have to go to B & M school if you can't trust him to do his work. I agree with RenaInTexas. Absolutely I would not want to use all of my days off to homeschool. I am overwhelmed as it is! If I had to do school on Sat/Sun that would be a deal breaker for me. I think your ds needs some negative consequences for not doing what you've asked him to do. If B&M school is not an option, then removal of privileges. If you can't trust the sitter to ensure work is actually done before fun activities happen, then the consequence falls to the next day... work didn't happen today, so tomorrow you don't get to watch any movies (or fill in the blank on whatever fun thing he enjoys when work is done). Sloppy work must be redone - more work for the next day. (How often have I also given the lecture that it is less work to do a good job in the first place?) This is the first year I have started keeping track of grades for ds (he is now in high school). Just yesterday I went into my Excel spreadsheets for each subject and added in formulas so that he can always see what his average is for each course. Hoping he'll realize that if he never goes back and redoes the work I asked him to, he'll not have an A average for the class. And that it will motive him without me having to remember to keep nagging. I agree that you also need to make sure the sitter is someone you can at least trust to eyeball the checklist and corresponding completed assignment before moving on to fun activities. I wouldn't necessarily expect that person to actually check answers, help with the work or get any more involved unless it was someone that you trusted as capable, and were paying them accordingly.
  17. Last year for Algebra I we used Math Without Borders videos, which uses Foerster's text. My son really loved it, and it is a very affordable video option. The videos include a lesson for each section, as well as videos of him working out the solutions to all of the assigned problems. The answers to the other problems are in the back of the textbook. (I only had him follow the MWOB suggested problems). The only downside is that there are not tests. Well actually, there are tests in the textbook, but not in the MWOB solutions. So if you really, really wanted to do the tests, you'd have to buy a separate solutions manual. I ended up just skipping them.
  18. I'm always trying to drill in the idea that especially with classics, sometimes the book is rather dry early on while the characters and plot are being established. If you push through, eventually it pays off later because so often those boring beginnings set up an even more complex plot and in-depth characters than books that are exciting from the beginning. This proves true more often than not. BUT... occasionally there is that NOT. I usually make us suffer for quite a while before giving up, though, due to my aforementioned position on sticking out books that start out slow. Books we did eventually drop are Hans Brinker, Swiss Family Robinson*, and War of the Worlds. (I would have dropped Wind in the Willows like a hot potato had my then-7yo only asked; however, he was enthralled. He denies this now). I pushed through Treasure Island because *I* was enjoying it, and in hindsight I wish I had dropped that one too. Not because it wasn't a good book, but because I think my ds just wasn't ready for it, and now he's soured. He'll never pick it up and read it now, even though he is now old enough to enjoy it. *As a side note... a friend recommended to us The Long Vacation by Jules Verne as a more enjoyable "shipwrecked" themed story, and I agree. We loved that one.
  19. I really, really love Hymns for a Kids Heart. We own all the volumes. What I really like the most is that I am giving my kids exposure to traditional hymns, and the CD is the perfect mix of kids singing but with accompaniment that doesn't make you gag like most kiddie CD's do. My son is now 13 and his voice is changing. He is having a hard time singing along with us now. I guess I need a new hymn CD to sing with for our morning hymn. I want something that is pretty much just like Hymns for a Kids Heart, only with more adult voices. Or in a lower key maybe? Suggestions?
  20. You need to talk to them directly to find out what they want from homeschoolers. The requirements you mention specifically apply to transcripts coming from institutions to make sure the student hasn't been able to make any alterations. It doesn't make any sense to require a homeschool to jump through these hoops when the "biased" parent has created the transcript in the first place. Most likely the college would be fine with an emailed document from you. The university I work for is. We only strictly enforce the sealed envelope or secure electronic delivery rule for transcripts coming from formal institutions.
  21. All of the recommended literature in the SOTW activity guides. That's primarily what I'm putting on hold every week. MY library doesn't have but one or two Horrible Histories. That's what we need!! The "You wouldn't want to..." books. Little Einsteins videos. Jim Weiss audio CDs. Trailblazer books by Dave and Neta Jackson These are things my library has, but not a complete collection. One of my friends told me she's been talking to our library about setting up a microscope lab with slides. Sounds awesome; too bad we'll be done with bio before that ever happens.
  22. I don't approve at all of ACT sharing accommodation information, if in fact that is what they are doing. I work for a university admissions office so I just want to provide some insight into how a university might use the data provided by ACT/College Board, and allay fears of anyone who might need accommodations but be afraid to do so. Test scores are sent electronically in batch files which get uploaded into our student database. I wouldn't have any idea if the records of students who were given accommodations are flagged in that file, because if it does, there's no field in our information management system for that to upload into. All I as the admissions counselor EVER see is the actual score the student received and the test date. I have no idea if a student received accommodations. Now, colleges can also purchase names from ACT/College Board for marketing purposes. It's been quite a while since I was involved in that aspect of recruitment, but I was at one time. My university bought names of students who indicated they were interested in majors that we offer who also self-reported that they were an A or B student. We could have selected names based on extra-curricular or athletic interests if we wanted to. I don't recall whether disability status was a choice because it wasn't something my university would be interested in for marketing purposes. However, whatever information might have been included with the name buy was not permanently saved by our university. The names and addresses were utilized for mailers, and a record was not created for the student unless they responded and asked for more information. And the record would be based on the information the student provided at that time. I have a hard time seeing any university utilizing this information if it were indeed available, because we're under regulation to honor privacy laws also. If a student mentions a disability to me, I don't make any notes about it in the file because I could get my hand slapped for that. I give them the number for the DSS office and that is that.
  23. Wow, I didn't pick up on that in the text or think to look there myself. Thank you for pointing that out!!
  24. We will be coming upon the Evaluating a Longer Work of Fiction chapter soon, the one that requires reading the Mary MacLeod version of Robin Hood. This is not available at our library. I can buy it from Amazon for $12.99, but given how old it is I was kind of hoping I could find it in the public domain for free download on our Kindles. I found one version, but the formatting was horrible. Curious if anyone here knows where I can get a nice, clean version. Thanks!
  25. I just enrolled ds in the CompuScholar Introduction to Computer Programming C# course. He started it today. Looking through the information in the teacher's portal, it appears that his quizzes and tests will be auto graded, but that his teacher (me!) has to evaluate the projects. I looked at the grading rubric for the first project, and I didn't understand any of it. Clearly, it was written with the assumption that the teacher has computer programming knowledge already. Surely I'm not the only homeschooling mom who knows zero about computer programming. If you used Compuscholar, how did you evaluate your student's work?
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