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About mom2bee

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  1. I have a 14yo boy who greatly enjoyed Animal Farm. He enjoyed Old Yeller more than Big Red, but he liked them both. He enjoyed Animal Farm so much that his dad has decided to read the book as well so that they might discuss it. He requested another lit-book instead of nonfiction. I went to purchase Lord of the Flies for him--I only know the premise, I've never read it--but the font is tiny so I'm going to go look at several copies at the library and try to find one that isn't such tiny print. I looked at The Old Man and The Sea, but I am not as familiar with it and I couldn't judge. The font was much better though, but I don't know if he'd like the story. I'm going to read it to get a better feel for the book. I remember enjoying Of Mice and Men, but I didn't see that book on the shelf either. I remember it being a thin, short book. Any recommendations? Nothing intimidatingly thick or with frustratingly tiny print. Please, I think I have seen lists of short novels recommended by someone ( @Lori D. ?) but I can't find it and maybe it's the wrong user? I'd like to get 5-8 short novels that I can recommend. We'll be blending in lighter 4th-6th grade books, between the "deeper" books. He really liked Old Yeller, The Lemonade War + The Lemonade Crime and I'm planning to do Frindle with him next, but I could use some neat 4th-6th grade books as well.
  2. So you do you want something that offers guidance/support to a teacher or something aimed at the student? You seem to be leaning towards older resources. Any reason why you haven't looked at something more modern/readily available? What made you interested in these particular materials? The SRA Reading Power set is probably a good set to have around, but it gets tough quick, It starts at 1st grade level and hits highschool passages by the end and it's only 100 booklets, but it does include little exercises for each one that make it easy to pull a few for 10-20 minutes of reading practice. Just an FYI: The 1989 version of Open Court--Open Court Reading and Writing-don't have ANY exercises or student questions in them. It's only the TOC, the articles/stories/poems and an a glossary. The 1989 OC series requires the workbooks and teachers guides to be a complete program. The TGs and WBs are expensive and hard to find. The workbooks can be very hard to find. The 1970s version of the Open Court student readers have exercises in them but I've never found the TGs for them. The 1960s edition of Open Court are expensive when they are available. All that to say, I'm not sure that I would choose the older, meaty versions of Open Court. SRA Reading Mastery is an intensive program, though I've read a lot of good things about it. You need the student textbook, workbook and teacher presentation books to do the program correctly. All of those are essential to using the program.
  3. I am specifically making to the effort to make and maintain the distinction between "drawing" and "art". Drawing is the specific fundamental skill that I'm talking about in this thread and art is the broader subject, with many subtypes of art. 3D animation is not drawing. Painting is not drawing. Sculpting is not drawing. Collage is not drawing. Metal working and jewelry making are not drawing. Drawing is drawing. McIntyre specifically talks about "art" vs "drawing" on p. 9 of The Drawing Textbook in How the Art Department Got Its Name.
  4. I've only completed lesson 1 of The Drawing textbook, practicing regularly and already my drawing has improved some. Because I've learned that a foreshortened circle and square exists and are the "heart" of some shapes/images, I'm able to draw other things that use the foreshortened circle. (my foreshortened squares still need work). I can not only draw a decent cake, but am able to draw food and soda cans, canisters, cups, bowls, vases, hats and ponds. Seeing that progress is motivating me to draw more. If there is a drawing that I can't seem to get, I check The Draw Squad (since it has step-by-step break down of all the drawings) and that usually helps me over the hump. Square and rectangular things are getting easier also. I'm practicing by not only drawing old fashioned TVs and block tables that are prescribed in the book but also microwaves, stoves, and boxes--and there are a million different boxes--just look in your pantry or garage and look at all the slightly different boxes. The box that microwave popcorn comes in is different from say, a cereal box or the various amazon boxes that come in the mail. I feel that I can get better at drawing this shape and these things, because I'm learning to control the basic shape and how it fits on the page. The more iterations of the box that I draw, the better I get at drawing the specific picture in The Drawing Textbook.
  5. What McIntyre writes on page 10 of The Drawing Textbook really resonated with me and aligned with what I felt, but couldn't articulate. He goes on to write on page 11 about "Free Expression (creative self expression)" and "Appreciation" which are often the stated goals of a schools art program. I agree with his point about Free Expression being dependent upon an ability to draw. I liked to draw as a child, but I became discouraged by my inability to draw and my lack of improvement as I grew older and I all but gave up by the time that I was in my teens, though my desire to draw didn't leave, only my dissatisfaction with my inability to draw grew larger and larger.Various 'how to draw' books only seemed to make it worse, because I was copying pictures without ever getting better at my own ability to draw. I learned to draw cartoon characters from various "how to" tutorials, but I never could extrapolate from drawing SpongeBob in that one pose, to any other pose. I could never put together a scene.
  6. @Lori D. thank you for chiming in. I really love hearing your thoughts on things. I'm adding Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain to my list. I just want to clarify one thing. For this discussion, I'm specifically making a distinction between drawing and "art". When I'm done with McIntyres' Drawing Textbook, I will probably move on to Drawing With Children, to learn more about the 'alphabet of shape' and how to use them to draw what you see.
  7. I do like the Complete A Sketch: Vision Dexterity Focus book that I have, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. I think that a I would like to have students achieve a solid mix of perspective and technical drawing skills. (Hopefully I used those words correctly. I'm also lacking in the vocabulary of this subject.) The same way that a highschool graduate is expected to how to write a narrative, exposition or argument. I think I'd like to have a high school graduate who can draw skillfully in 2 or 3 "basic" styles, though what those styles would be is not yet known to me...
  8. Can he do spoken word? Its a type of (performance) art. Can he finger paint an abstract work of art? Can he do an abstract "collage" if you give him cut up clips of paper and use a glue stick to make a grid of sticky lines on a big sheet of paper and let him drop, blow, or otherwise place bits of paper, yarn, wire, etc onto the sticky paper? Would he be willing to do toe painting? You can draw facial expressions (simple faces, like emojis) and let him paint his finger prints, arm prints, toe or arm prints over them and make a scene of faces? Can he dictate a report on an artist or art form?
  9. So, as a kid I used to think that drawing was a talent, then as a teen I realized that drawing is a skill that can be taught explicitly and directly. In recent times I've grown to feel that drawing should be given the same priority as writing because being able to clearly, skillfully and fluently communicate your thoughts--whether verbally or visually--is important. I was delighted to find that some artists and authors feel the same way and have began reading and drawing my way through art programs trying to suss out my feelings and thoughts on drawing instruction and piece together what I think might be the basics of a "solid" drawing program for K-12, or any sub-range within. So far I really like the vintage D. R. L. Augsburg New Drawing series and Bruce McIntyres The Drawing Textbook supplemented with Mark Kistlers Draw Squad. (or vice versa? I see Draw Squad kind of like a "revised 2nd ed." of The Drawing Textbook. Not truly it's own separate book/program.. ) McIntrye and Kistler advocate and enable 3D drawing from 1st grade, and gently and slowly teaches it starting with the 1st lessons, where Augsburg advocates 2D drawings until 4th grade. I instinctively like the idea and goal of teaching children how to capture 3D in their drawings from the get go much better, because I feel that its making children aware of and attentive to proper perspective right from day one and teaching them to record more accurately and faithfully what they see and more importantly, it's teaching them the fundamental skills that they need to record what they see. McIntyre/Kistler provide a very intelligently designed progression of drawing tutorials that do help you to see and draw, but it's still a list of drawing tutorials. Take these steps and you make this picture. The teacher has to put in energy and elbow grease to flesh it out into a full drawing curriculum (I feel.) Meanwhile Augsburg includes form drawing, teaches observational drawing, placement/composition and walks you through how to do a lesson with your student(s) and includes some wonderful drawing exercises and explicitly includes drills to build skills incrementally and systematically. As I work through the DrawingTextbook, I'm writing lesson plans and notes to try and pull the best of Augsburg into a program based on McIntyre/Kistlers progression and focused on 3D drawing, I'm still very much "in development" with putting together my full thoughts on an ideal drawing program and philosophy, and am interested how others view and/or have tackled this matter in their own family. If you agree that drawing should be taught, do you have an opinion on when it's "enough" drawing instruction? ie what milestones are you looking for before you'd let your student "drop" or "be done with" drawing as a subject? Do you have an opinion on introducing/teaching 2D vs 3D drawing? How do your kids practice their drawing? Do you think that drawing is essential or extra-curricular? When do you like to start drawing instruction? Do you think that traditional/2D animation should be included in the "drawing progression" or no? What books helped inform your view on drawing education? Any other comments or questions that you'd like to add to the discussion, please do. I'm interested to share ideas and learn from what others have learned or done.
  10. You don't need the TMs or HIG, per se, but in order to get the best out of the program, you should know how to teach numbers in accordance to the part-whole model, and learn to use bar-models yourself. You should also scaffold in the appropriate amount of drill and mental math practice. The workbooks are part of a greater whole, so if you use the workbooks like just any old workbooks, and not in accordance to how they are meant to be used, then you might as well use dollar tree workbooks or print worksheets from the internet. You'll want to search for "2 step" word problems, but aside from having 2 step word problems already there is nothing inherently special about any of the Singaporean math workbooks themselves.
  11. What does this mean to you academically? What does it mean in your homeschool? How do you as the parent/teacher determine that some academic material: concept, skill, idea, task, etc is developmentally inappropriate for your child(ren), vs just difficult? How hard do you work at something that is difficult before you begin to consider whether it is even developmentally appropriate? How long do you think that "developmental appropriateness" of a skill, concept, whatever, is a legitimate concern for a childs education? For example, would you worry about the developmental appropriateness of some academic material for a 10yo? a 14yo? a 16yo? I ask this because the technical definition of developmentally appropriate that I learned (from looking online for all of one minute) is this is a concept that technically applies to young kids birth-8ish, yet I've seen it mentioned even for middle and high school students. Do you think that after a certain age, kids can tackle anything with correct instruction and enough support? Is it teaching methods or academic skills/concepts that are developmentally (in)appropriate? I know that this will "vary with children", but is there a general pattern for what you've found in your family or your experiences with extended family/neighbors/etc.
  12. mom2bee


    Well, they're already several years and grades ahead of the standard curve, next year seems like a reasonable place to pause, provided that you'll have them review the material that they've covered throughout the year. Honestly, it sounds like you're dreading the change almost as much as, or more than teaching physics. Any particular reason why you're even trying to teach physics next year?
  13. OP, I think that OPG is a solid phonics program. Well sequenced and thorough, but I don't like it. I would use it if I already owned it, but I prefer other manuals/learn to read books more. 100 EZ is a seriously rock solid beginning reading program. It gently but explicitly teaches all the phonemic awareness skills and explicitly guides the student into blending and reading comprehension. First kids blend words into compound words, then sounds into words and it spends the first several lessons getting kids to blend. Where other phonics books are designed for the teachers convenience, 100 EZ is really designed for the students convenience. I like that 100EZ starts with only a few sounds. They allow students to learn the skill of blending well first, then gradually ramps up to build their knowledge of letter sounds better. The transition from the special orthography to regular print could be a little better handled, but for many kids it's no problem at all, and for others, there is some minor supplementation that you can use to help them make the leap from 100EZ orthography to normal print. I admit that I didn't really like 100 EZ at first, but the more I use it and study that text, the more my respect for that program grows. Most programs I have tried leave kids hanging re: how to blend, but 100EZ is superb in that regard. It also builds reading comprehension systematically. The reading programs that I've used over the years are Hooked on Phonics, The Reading Lesson, Phonic Pathways, Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, Why Johnny Can't Read and a few others. I've adapted techniques and skills from 100 EZ to enhance my teaching for anything else. In your case, I would use the Direct Instruction methodology from 100 EZ to inform my teaching no matter which phonics manual you wound up using. Just an aside, people abbreviate the title as 100EZ, but the title of the published book, in every edition that I have ever seen is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with all of the words fully spelled out.
  14. If you do, then can you please get me the ISBNs for them? They just might be perfect for what I want them for. Likewise if you're ready to part with your set, please PM me.
  15. Is there another series like the Speed and Comprehension books available from Abeka but secular?
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