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lisaj

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  • Website URL
    http://gratefulforourgifts.blogspot.com/
  • Biography
    I am an attorney-turned-homeschooling mom of a profoundly gifted 5 year old & darling 2 year old.
  • Location
    Northern California
  • Interests
    homeschooling, gifted education, community service, reading, jogging
  • Occupation
    attorney-turned homeschooling mom
  1. Thank you for your help! I'm going to see if I can get my charter to approve them for me. :)
  2. Hi everyone, DS6's charter homeschool is starting again in 2 weeks, and I'm making some last minute curriculum changes to my order. The charter is great about ordering what I ask, but they haven't led me to gifted-specific curriculum, and I've discovered lots of great things this summer. I'm on the fence with lots of choices, though, so would love it if any of you could just give me that push by telling me something is great or that it's terrible!! Math: We're 100% sure that we're going to continue RightStart D for fun, along with an online math program. I'm nearly sold on EPGY OE, but keep getting bogged down with all those other options. Tell me to just do it, please! Language arts: Please tell me if I should order MCT materials, and if so, which ones. DS has mastered the 2nd grade level (99% proficiency on standardized testing), so we're on 3-4th grade level for grammar, 5th for spelling, and probably 3rd for writing. I have a great 3rd grade poetry comprehension book and we're starting Word Roots. I also have a comprehensive (though dry) Vocab Workshop book by Sadlier-Oxford. I was going to order Critical Thinking's LanguageSmarts D, but I'm really intrigued by MCT after looking at his comments on a webinar. He's recommending Grammar Island and Sentence Island for some of our DYS6s. Is that the best for gifted kids? In all the examples I'm finding online, I see no actual writing exercises. Is Grammar Island/Sentence Island read-only? I don't really feel like I need the teacher's manuals (never use them), so what should I really order if I go his route? Thanks for your help!
  3. My older son recently started playing, and I know he'd also love playing with other younger kids!! I'm not a chess player myself, so I'm not familiar with the ways we could make that work.
  4. Stacy, I actually had to look at your post twice to make sure I hadn't written it myself without realizing it. Our stories and absolutely identical, right down to what our public school told us. :) :) I wish we were closer in person!
  5. I have quite a few ideas because we're in the same situation. My DS6 is between 2 and 5 grade levels higher than age level, and I'm trying to slow him down from accelerating too much faster by filling a lot of our schedule with learning activities that teach "out" instead of just "up." In our main weekly co-op, we're exploring: music appreciation Spanish geography (with penpals from different countries) drama (brought in by a local theater company) fine arts (will be taught by a local artist) LEGO robotics We're also starting Latin (Word Roots and English from the Roots up). In our core curriculum, in addition to the usual math/LA/science, social studies, we also incorporate Story of the World. We're thinking about starting some quasi-academic extracurriculars, such as Odyssey of the Mind, mathcircles, robotics competitions, etc. He wants to start guitar too, but between all this, sports and religion classes, and his brother's schedule, the taxi schedule is full right now! :)
  6. We're a YS family, so if you're trying to decipher grade level for your application portfolio, you're better off getting a standardized achievement test or just writing down what curriculum he's in. The applications committee is well aware of which materials are "above" or "behind" without you trying to figure it out. Trust me, they're much better experts at that stuff than we are! :) :) For what it's worth, most YS children I've learned about (including my own DS6) is working a good 2-3 years above grade level in math. Mine happened to score in the 99th percentile in national placement ranking on a standardized 2nd grade math test (last semester when he was 5 and in Kindergarten), so we submitted that in our YS application to show achievement. (He also did the same thing on the language arts and reading tests, so we submitted those, as well.) You don't have to get him tested across the board, though. Grade level can get very tricky to figure out without achievement tests. For example, when DS was doing RightStart B, it was only considered a 1st grade curriculum, yet he learned multi-digit mental addition that isn't even taught in most curriculums. However, it barely touched subtraction or some other concepts that were in other materials. Thank goodness we were doing a standards-based program (CalMath) as a supplement, because I later discovered that he wouldn't have done nearly as well on the achievement test if he had only learned Rightstart B and C.
  7. My DS6 is reading at a high school level (per several comprehension and other standardized tests), and I've been figuring out options for the past year. First thought... I'm sure we all know that reading ability is different than reading comprehension, and both are different than critical thinking reading skills. The latter is generally what is tested on the SAT and other achievement tests. I just offer that because I've met a lot of people who assume their children are at a certain reading level just because they can physically read books for that grade level. Reading level itself is tested differently, which is important to know as their primary educators. We have consulted with reading specialists to make sure we're not leaving any holes by dropping out of the standard reading group types of programs that they do elem school. While my DS doesn't need "reading lessons" per se, he could still use practice with higher level critical reading/analyzing. When we start 1st next month, we'll try Critical Thinking Resources' Reading Detective, grades 5-6. We also use a lot of middle school reading portals. We found one on Harry Potter, and it not only had the reading comp quizzes, but tons of great creative writing ideas to go with it. Some of them are designed for the classroom, but they're easy to modify. We also tie a lot of our "school reading" in with our study of SOTW. For ex, when we studied Greece, we took a month and read every book on Greek Myths that we could find. You can always find LA activiites to go with these subjects online, too. Finally, we're going to sign our son up for EPGY's online literature course, as well as the math and grammar ones. It looks like the literature piece has them read books on their own and then work on the comp through exercises. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds a lot like the lexile program DS was doing through his elem. school last year when he was in kindergarten.
  8. You should definitely look into the Righstart Math program! When we started HSing in January, our charter recommended it for our PG son. He absolutely loves it, can fly at his own pace, and now claims that math is his favorite subject. We also love R.E.A.L. science, which was also recommended for GT learners. It's very lab-based, with easy fun projects we can do at home and that can include siblings, too. My favorite one last year was making a self-contained water cycle, changing salt water into fresh drinking water. I'm still jumping around on LA. However, SOTW is an amazing program for these kids, too. My DS reads a ton of books that correspond with the history chapters, and we're always making the crafts and activities that correspond.
  9. I think that's great! My DS (just turned 6) loves sudoku, too! Considering that DS has been confirmed to be profoundly gifted and just started the regular 9-square puzzles recently, I would absolutely agree that your 7 year old has a gifted mind for these types of logic puzzles. With the double-digit addition, that is harder to pinpoint. I know they don't teach that in regular math curriculums, but it is covered in Rightstart B, which is meant for 1st graders. Multiplication and fractions are common 2nd grade curriculum. He might enjoy Mindbenders, too. That's a great logical deduction exercise. You can find free samples on the critical thinking resources curriculum website.
  10. I would also love to know to what you're referring. We attend a California charter, and we thank God for it every day. My DS is profoundly gifted, and the regular classroom is not nearly enough for him. We have FABULOUS certified teachers (who came from a Blue Ribbon school), and they have provided everything we need, from the best curriculum to educational workshops and field trips, etc etc. There are several gifted children in ours, and it would be devastating if they didn't have this option.
  11. There are competitive moms everywhere. Unfortunately, our gifted children bring out their snarkiness like magnets. I've learned that there are 2 types of moms I encounter: those who are generally supportive even when our children are studying higher level things, and those who we stay away from. Like 2smartones pointed out, the worst are parents who think their children are gifted (or they might be on the edge) who want to play "who's smarter." My child happens to be PG, and I find that there's never been a time that this type of conversation has ended well. My latest was from a neighbor who has a child same age as my older son. They were in school together, so she knows us well. When I talked about our summer schedule (on various weeks he'll have VBS, summer camps w/ friends, and swimming lessons/soccer/year-long tkd--all at his request), she tried to lecture me in front of him about kids needing downtime. 1) Most of every day is downtime and he fills it up w/ creative activities; 2) he is PG and BEGS to be in thought-provoking activities, and 3) I'm suspicious that her idea of downtime is centered around the tv and computer. BUT I'm not going there with her. LOL! As for science, we do R.E.A.L. Science, but we're also starting Apologia Flying Animals with our co-op. I'm not a "young earth" person myself, so I'm waiting to see how appropriate these are for my family, but they have a very high reputation among many WTM HSers.
  12. I think it's great that your son qualified! I have to honestly say that I cringed, though, when I read about yelling at him after the test and immediately signing up to retest before the numbers even came in. It sounds like something I'd be tempted to do, too, but I'm quickly realizing how easy it is to get too overwhelmed by numbers and statistics. I'm starting to read about parents who are retesting and freaking out about scores to get their kids into Young Scholars. I guess my opinion is that if our kids get accepted into a program, it's because they really need it. If they don't, they'll never know anyhow and won't be missing anything that is crucial to their lives. I keep reminding myself not to become.....what do they call those beauty pageant moms?? LOL!!! (I"m really kidding!)
  13. I probably should've updated my original post. Like Melissa mentioned, I've found lots of information by searching for EPGY and emailing with her and some other moms on the Davidson forum. It doesn't sound like the creative writing is really addressed at this age, but we're going to be signing up for the math and LA programs through OE. The only other question I have is how ALEKS is different than EPSY. ALEKS looks like it might be more kid-friendly?
  14. Could you just ask your public school if they'll administer an IQ test for you? That's how we got the testing for Young Scholars.
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