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Roxy Roller

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  1. Some possibilities of authors from this era -


    Shakespeare - Tales from Shakespeare or Lamb's

    John Bunyan - a form of Pilgrim's Progress

    Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe - probably to mature for my group

    Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

    Charles Dickens - many

    Charles Kingsley - The Water-Babies

    George MacDonald - At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblin, and The Princess and the Curdie


    Any thoughts? Am I missing the point? Should I totally separate history and literature?

  2. I was planning on using parts of Sonlight H this fall, but now I am second guessing all of my plans in light of the discussions here. The discussions that I am talking of are the ones that basically have said we need to concentrate more on literature and not have such an emphasis on historical fiction.


    If you were planning Early Modern and wanted to keep your children more or less together (my children are 6, 9, 9, almost 11 and almost 13), and you wanted to use literature from the Early Modern time period that is compelling for children, what would you use?

  3. Thank you for talking me down off the ledge!


    Saxon seems to be working, and honestly, my four oldest can complete a lesson in about 30 minutes or so, when they focus. Maybe they are working a little under their capabilities, and most of them will get either the whole lesson correct, or just a couple of questions wrong, which they have to rework the next day. We are enjoying the spiral review. Math is not a struggle around here anymore, and I guess that is worth something. I am thinking about adding Life of Fred, although when I pulled out the Fractions book two years ago, my DD12(then 10) did not enjoy it at all.

  4. I really want my children to have a thorough knowledge of math. I feel lost and I am unsure where I should go from here. I am not worried about the grade levels stated on a book, I am more concerned about understanding. If we switch to Ray's, will we get understanding? Do I switch the boys as well? What do I do with my DD12? I feel like I have failed her. Do I finish Saxon 7/6(she needs a good review on the basics), then move onto something like AoPs Pre-Algebra? I had thought that AoPs was for gifted children. My children are average, not gifted.




  5. I have just finished listening to Andrew's lecture, Mimetic Teaching and the Cultivation of Virtue, in which he basically says that any math curriculum can be used mimetically, except perhaps with the exception of Saxon.


    Here is my dilemma - I have just switched all of my DC with the exception of my youngest(who is in MM1A) to Saxon. We were using MUS, but when my oldest(DD12) hit MUS Pre-Algebra last fall, she was lost. We moved to Saxon 7/6 and we are slowly moving through it. I switched my DS10 to Saxon 6/5, and twin DSs9 to Saxon 5/4, because I don't want them to run into the same problem.


    (continued below)

  6. As I reread the OP, it is so encouraging that the entire thread seems to support the notion that, although the "what" (i.e which books, curriculum, etc.) is certainly relevant, the "how" is what is at the core.


    I find that freeing. In the past, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to find the perfect things to use in our homeschool. I have chased other people's ideas, purchased the books that other people loved and tried to school as others did. With all the ideas, inspiration and book suggestions here and in s/o threads I needed to check myself so that I do not start doing that again.


    How much better off I am concentrating on HOW to discuss the true, the good and the beautiful, instead of worrying that I have the "wrong" book or curriculum. In fact, I have experienced so much confidence (and grace) simply by making the decision that this is what I want to do. I am even better off "doing" it and readjusting, learning as I go, instead of worrying about doing it wrong.


    There are a lot of classics out there and only so much time to read them. Better for me to select a few and get to work on them then to agonize over the choices I make. The very fact that a definitive list does not exist is evidence of this, right?


    Better for me to spend my time reading threads like this, listening to the lectures that are linked and contemplating and gazing on the vision of how I want to teach my children.


    This process is also so much more fulfilling. It feels like what I was made to do. I did not find homeschooling very fulfilling this past year- a year in which I selected curriculum (carefully) and wrote lesson plans and my children largely worked independently to complete it. Why was I doing this if I was not offering a part of myself in the process? Something was missing and this thread has been leading me to the answers.

    Equally as encouraging is the fact that I get the sense that we are all continuing this work while we make these adjustments. No one seems like they are throwing in the towel and starting from scratch. We are working with what we have, where we are at, and doing our best to move in a refined direction.


    Thank you all for your continued thoughts. This entire conversation has been invaluable.



    I have been lurking and reading this thread as it has developed and I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted. The above quote really pulls this all together for me. I am evaluating where I want to go from here.

  7. In another thread where I asked about early modern/ modern history for gr 8, someone suggested checking out Sonlight Core H. It's been many moons since I used a SL program, but it does look pretty impressive and well organized. I'm wondering if anyone has used it and lived to tell the tale, though ; ) What I mean is that even when I did use SL, we never managed to complete a full year or read all the materials. Just looking at the Core H book list is a bit overwhelming--I counted over 40 separate books for the year! Is it really manageable to get through all the material? Any thoughts or advice re using Core H (including how you might adapt it to a more classical approach?)







    :bigear: I am considering Core H with my crew for the fall. I am thinking that I will do it over 2 years, adding in Canadian history as we come to it. My younger DC will probably just follow along with SOTW and some of the read alouds. My DD12 will do the readers(adding in Canadian content) in addition to the rest.

  8. We are currently using Children's Music Journey - http://www.adventus.com/store/childrens-music-journey/


    My DC love it and they are learning basic music theory that will transfer to other areas and instruments. One of the cool aspects of this program is that it uses famous composers to 'teach' the lessons, so they are getting a little music history as well, because the composers play their music and tell some background behind some of the pieces.

  9. We have dealt with this this year too. I have found here that is was mostly on the 3 digit x 3 digit multiplication problems and the long division. It seems that even though she has had the facts down and been studying them for a long time that all of the steps involved are kind of overwhelming. When she sees a big number of them, she starts out discouraged. Then she is careless and misses a bunch, and then she got to the point of not caring.


    We handled math class like you with a time schedule and homework (and still do) but I had to make a slight detour in how I handled math to get it back on track.


    BTW, I mentioned this was going on to a friend of mine who has homeschooled 4 of her kids though middle school so far. She told me that all of her kids went through this in 5th grade at around long division. She said they all sat and stared and took long amounts of time at around the same place. It did make me feel a little better that we weren't the only ones going through this.


    I didn't assign less work. I always pare down an assignment though, so I didn't need to. I actually stalled a week on a particular chapter. I told her she hadn't mastered the chapter until she could take and pass the test in under an hour. Obviously she couldn't do it the first time because she wasn't able to even do the daily work in under an hour.


    So after the first go round on the test, we did it daily instead of moving on in math. Each day, I gave her a timed multiplication table warm up. Then she spent the remaining hour taking the test. Wherever she was when the time was up, I graded it, and we talked about what that grade means and how she had improved and how she could improve more. Then in the evening for homework she would finish the test for homework. It really gave her time to just sit on that chapter for awhile and gain speed in the basics, instead of moving on to a new chapter when she obviously hadn't mastered the last one. It was weird to get off schedule and not move on for an extra week. But in the end, it paid off. She also seemed to care more and had that goal to work for.


    Anyway, might not work for you, but it was we needed to do.


    :iagree:with the bolded. All four of my older DC had to slow down at this point. We ended up taking a break for a week or two at that point. I found that the complexities of long division(I am talking 2 and three digit divisors) seemed to be taxing on their brains and taking some extra time off gave them time to process all that they had learned. We then picked up where we had left off.

  10. You could easily stretch GSWL out for a year and a half as a gentle introduction to Latin. My DD12 and I are working through it verbally this year. I am not sure how committed I am to teaching Latin long term, but this has been a great introduction. We are doing one lesson a day and it only takes a few minutes. My DD is retaining everything we have gone over.

  11. I was wondering how this compares to the other phonics programs. Seems like it's more than just readers.


    The word list book is similar to Abeka's lists in their Handbook for Reading. It would be similar to most reading programs.


    We use Saxon Phonics as our main phonics curriculum, but I use the I Can Read It books instead of the little readers in Saxon's program. My DS also reads the Sonlight Word Lists when they are scheduled by Sonlight as we work through the books. We are currently half-way through Saxon Phonics 1 and we are just about finished the 3rd I Can Read It book. I love Sonlight's reader schedules. We start with the I Can Read It books then move through their schedules until we finish the Advanced Reader schedule. It is a great line-up of incremental 'real' books. As my children read through the levels, I move from asking them comprehension questions verbally to having them read the chapter on their own, and I type up Sonlight's comprehension questions for them to answer with full sentences.



  12. Imho, that's about the right age to start seeing some big jumps in their thinking. You're right on the brink, but you do have to help it along.


    I try to "think through" a lot of things out loud in front of my dc. And I ask them to do the same, and we discuss the differences. I try to present them with the tools they need to discuss logic, too - the vocabulary of ideas. Much of this comes from logic curriculum, but also from me sharing what I've read about classical education and logic.


    This isn't going to copy very well, but I'm going to c/p part of a talk I did at our state convention a few years ago on teaching this stage with a few ideas...


    VI) Dialectic

    A) Jr high years – children are full of questions, they are trying to grasp the facts they have been taught and how they relate to each other, they seek understanding

    1) two mistakes parents can make

    (a) allow open-ended and disrespectful questioning

    (b) feel threatened by any questions – assume they are all rebellious

    2) teach them skills of reasoning - how to critically question, analyze, evaluate, and discern causes, motives, means, purposes, goals, and effects

    3) all boils down to helping student see “Why” in every situation

    B) Three things parents need to do

    1) Teach Logic as a formal subject – it is the science and art of reasoning well

    (a) teach them proper argumentation

    (b) teach them vocabulary for the way things relate to each other

    © gives student a set of rules to help decide if he or she can trust the information given (give advertisement example)

    (d) teach them difference between content and structure – look for errors in each

    (e) study informal and formal logic

    (i) formal – because it deals with form

    (a) induction – scientific method

    (b) deduction – algebra, categorical and propositional logic (Wilson/Nance series)

    (ii) informal – everything that doesn’t deal directly with form

    (a) fallacies (good clean family fun!) (Fallacy Detective)

    1. example – appeal to authority – celebrities who tell us how to vote or parent

    2. example – ad populum – “everybody’s doing it”

    (b) statements, terms, definitions, etc.

    1. example – learn that defining terms is important step to having an effective argument

    2) Teach proper use of tools of logic

    (a) parent analyzes the use of argumentation to see if they are being respectful

    (b) Read the Bible daily and talk about current events – relate the events back to the Bible

    © develop different styles of reading well – use either How to Read Slowly or How to Read a Book

    (d) teach integration of all subjects

    3) Teach logic of each subject

    (a) looking for patterns and sets of relationships in each area

    (i) Ask: How are ______ and ______ the same? How are they different? Is one the cause and the other the effect? Are they unrelated?

    (b) use fewer textbooks – they don’t let child discover connections and question

    © Repeat academic material over and over so that student reaches level of understanding and doesn’t just know facts

    (d) history – move from discussing facts to discussing motives and morality (example – Patriot’s History book)

    (e) math – move from arithmetic to algebra

    (f) language – move from copying and memorizing to diagramming, learning how written materials are organized

    (g) Latin – move from drilling paradigms and vocabulary to translation

    (h) science – learning scientific method, good time for real experiments, see relationships and classifications

    (i) geography – why do people live in certain places, how have geographic locations affected history (Why do people settle near water?, etc.)

    (j) literature – move beyond asking what happened and who did it to why did it happen, what else could have happened, and what would you do

    (i) Ask – What is the author’s main point? What proof or premises does he or she use to reach this conclusion? What is his or her worldview?


    Thank you for this! I sure wish Alberta and Ohio were closer! I would love to have you over for coffee, Angela. I get so much information from your posts.:001_smile:

  13. How old is she? Some of this really does just come with age and maturity.


    I approach it from two points of attack: (1.) a formal Logic curriculum, and (2.) a "scaffolding" approach: I model out loud the way I arrive at a logical conclusion, slowly using a question and answer format to require dd to provide more and more.


    I like the idea of modelling logic. I need to work on that with my DD.

  14. I have a middle schooler who is an amazing young lady. I think sometimes she struggles with thinking things out logically? Is there a gentle way I can help her with this? She is my oldest and I can truly see where I just assumed some things would be learned naturally. Thanks for any help:)


    I know I have dropped the ball with her as far as using a formal logic curriculum. That is what I need to add in for her.

    Thank you so much for the second idea. That is great. I will use that for sure.

    She is almost 13, Maybe I am just expecting too much too soon.


    I could have written your posts!


    My DD, who is my oldest, is 12 1/2. We started out 7th grade this year using Fallacy Detective, but I found that even most of that was going over her head. She just didn't seem to grasp the concepts. I have gone to using the Building Thinking Skills books, to work on those skills for the rest of the year, then we will hopefully be able to pick up Fallacy Detective(again) and Thinking Toolbox for 8th. I will probably move into Traditional Logic in 9th.


    My DD is barely starting into puberty, so I really think that it is a maturity issue, here. I think that I was expecting too much too soon!

  15. I did Saxon Phonics K with my DS last year, and I started after Christmas and we did a week's worth of lessons in one day. I knew my DS knew most of his letters, so it was just to see if there was a gap in his knowledge that we needed to fill. It turns out that there were a couple of letters that he did need to work on, and we resolved those problems. We started Saxon Phonics 1 in the summer, and we were doing the lessons as written, but my DS, who is 'bright', started to get bogged down. Within a couple of months, I switched to doing one lesson every two days. I am very happy that we switched. We are having better retention, and if you look at the TOC at Christianbook, it moves really fast. It will mean that we finish Saxon Phonics 2 sometime in 3rd grade, but I have learned the hard way from my older DC that it is not worth it to rush it. I am going for mastery, and I find that the extra day for each lesson gives us extra time to run through the flashcards, make sure he understands the new concepts, and allows us extra time to work on the spelling lists. We are using the Sonlight lists for Readers and working through them at the same time.

  16. For basic practice with arithmetic? No. Where the use of the calculator is used to reinforce concepts not practiced much... or where the goal of the problem is something OTHER than the arithmetic, then yes.


    For example, doing exponents. While multiplying 5 to the 3rd power isn't onerous, nor is 12 to the 3rd, this is a concept that isn't practiced much throughout the year, but still needs reinforcement. The section had problems doing things like 12 to the 12th power. While you might be able to get away without the practice, doing something like 12 to the 12th power w/o a calculator seems like cruel and unusual punishment. I do feel like the extra practice with the concept helps solidify it in their little brains. They don't see exponents very often, it's just a small section, then they won't see them again until later.


    I know there have been other sections that have used the calculator. Many were fairly involved word problems (6A). The goal of those problems was more in the process of how you would figure out the steps, than the arithmetic. IME, understanding the process (especially in more advanced math and more complicated word problems) is just as important as the mechanics of the arithmetic.


    So... yes. We do the calculator problems, with the calculator. IMO, it's not excessive usage, and still relevant.


    Thank you for your response. I can see where one might use a calculator with exponents and understanding processes. I guess I need to rethink my original plans. It is nice to know the calculator is not used excessively.

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