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  1. The page states that it is a flat 60% off regular prices. You could look at their regular prices and do the math, but I do agree that it would be nice to see a list of which books are available and the actual asking price. :)
  2. I simply obtained a list of graduation requirements from our local school district and matched her work to those names, along with grades. We got creative for additional work, but listing English 10 for tenth grade was perfectly acceptable, along with American Literature as a separate class, since we thought the amount of work done was sufficient. We also attached a book list of all the books she read in 9th and 10th grade, and that got the principal's attention for the Early College High School she attended for 11th and 12th. Based on her transcript, test scores, and reading list, they were able to award "Principal awarded credit" so that she still gets a high school diploma this spring. Otherwise, she would have only received recognition for her work at that high school, but no diploma because our homeschool wasn't accredited. It made a big difference in scholarship qualifications. Keeping accurate records as you go and assigning all work a class category helps a lot.
  3. I actually did take the homeschooling parent online course, first half. I still haven't seen the upper elementary level available. For background, I was taught Spalding as a child, and occasionally, Mrs. Spalding would come and visit our classrooms and observe. My children attended a Spalding school, where I volunteered as a parent in the classroom for several years, until we moved away. I found the online class informative and helpful, but as I was already familiar with the method and Spalding classrooms, it wasn't a lot of new material for me. I do think the videos of actual Spalding classrooms are helpful. They showed my children how to respond to phonogram flashcards and Spalding procedures. I also felt frustrated asking questions, since most answers were pretty canned and straight from the 5th edition, which was current at the time. I own and use the 5th edition with my children. I borrowed my mother's copy of the 2nd edition, from when I was a child, and I found a lot of helpful insights that have been removed from more recent editions. I would love to be able to look through a fourth edition. From my understanding, the current sixth edition expands more examples of how to teach more complicated material to the upper elementary students, though I have not seen it in person. I have the original Teacher's manuals from Spalding Education, International that go with the 5th edition. I know most of those have been revised to match the new sixth edition and incorporate the newer Spalding readers. I prefer the actual decodable books, using good literature, listed in the originals. They are more enjoyable for the children to read. At this point, I just use the guides as a list of concepts to cover. I supplement heavily with other things for practice because of time constraints. I just can't spend 2+ hours per grade level on language arts one-on-one with five kids every day. Spelling is about the only thing I keep as mostly Spalding, though I do incorporate some Orton-Gillingham from a class I took. The earlier Spalding editions are much gentler and less complicated for the student. My grandmother described the current Spalding as very "Oppressive." Although the goal of Spalding Education, International, was to preserve Romalda Spalding's original method, I feel they have changed too much and made it much more rigid. It is easier for the teacher to teach this way, but it is less flexible and diagnostic as well. Originally, you constantly evaluated the students' learning and adapted teaching to focus on what the children (individually or as a class) needed. Now, everything is rigidly grouped with the attitiude that all must be mastered in the specified time, and then we move on, ready or not. I'm rambling. Forgive me. The classes are helpful if you can use them to figure out how to write your own custom plans to suit your own children.
  4. As others have said, I'd see what the school expects of him. That said, I'd probably get Essentials in Writing, grade 3 (or 4 if you think he can do it), and jump past the grammar to the last half of the school year where the lessons walk the student through writing various types of compositions. I struggle with teaching writing, too, and this has at least introduced my children to the whole writing process of prewriting, drafting/composing, revising, editing, and publishing. They like the fact that it consists of very short video lessons, and the assignment wasn't created by Mom. :) The program was a big lifesaver for my struggling seventh grader who attends 8th grade at a charter school this year. Best wishes with the transition.
  5. I learned to read with the Spalding method in my elementary school. My children did as well, until we moved to an area where it was not available to us. Now we homeschool, and I have used TWRTR, as well as materials from Spalding Education, International. Most of my children have excelled, but I had one son who just struggled. Even in sixth grade, he couldn't get past a second grade spelling level, although he could read well. Someone pointed me to a book: Overcoming Dyslexia, by Sally Shaywitz (spelling?). I realized he had many of the symptoms. (He has never been diagnosed with dyslexia). Because of my frustration and the array of very different programs, all claiming to be Orton-Gillingham based, I decided to go to the source. I took an Orton-Gillngham class from a Master teacher/ Fellows. (or something like that). I learned that Spalding is adapted for a classroom approach. She condenses all the spelling rules to just 29 rules. Most children thrive, but it moves too quickly for some kids. Instead of introducing three sounds at a time for one phonogram, Orton-Gillingham introduces one sound. Then the kids practice reading and spelling lots of words that use just that one sound of the phonogram. Later, after mastery is achieved, additional sounds are introduced. The rules are also clarified and practiced in much the same way. There is a lot more to it than that, but what I learned was a huge advantage in helping my son. I have used both Spalding and pure Orton-Gillingham since then, as my children need it. I would strongly recommend learning about the different methods by taking a class if at all possible, especially if you have a child who struggles with one method or another. Simply trying a different approach to the same methods makes a big difference.
  6. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic are every day. If you want me to be more specific: Daily Grams (five minute worksheet) Grammar lesson--Different curriculum for different kids. Spelling/Phonics Copywork or dictation Read aloud together. They read the McGuffy readers to me as part of their bedtime routine. Funny story: A few years ago I lost my voice for a week, so they thought they should read bedtime stories to me. I never let them stop. :) Math lesson. Flash cards for math facts. Read alouds: For us, that includes History, Literature, and Science. I read to them. Sometimes we do an activity, or narrate back, or some type of assignment. We try to read aloud together every day, but not all subjects are covered each day. History may be 3 days, Science 2-3 days, Literature 3-4 days plus bedtime stories so we can read more without it feeling like school. Some type of exercise or P.E. is necessary several days a week. As long as Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic are covered daily, and we try to do a little of something else, we have had a good day.
  7. Thank you so much for these new recommendations! I've been using Essentials in Writing just because my kids like it and I feel it covers the "Essentials." I am rather heavy on supplementing it (especially for grammar), so I feel better knowing it is recommended here. I love the first couple books of Writing With Ease, and they have been a lifesaver for some of my kids who just hate writing. Again, thank you for the new suggestions!
  8. Check out the book Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz. Then find a dyslexia organization in your area and see what they recommend. Best wishes!
  9. I would suggest Daily Grams by Wanda Phillips. It is intended to go along with Easy Grammar, but I use it along with Rod and Staff. It provides just enough review so that my children don't forget things. As you work your way through the daily worksheets, each time a new concept is presented, it is briefly taught, and after that, it is rotated through all the review concepts. I've even been able to skip a few Rod and Staff lessons, such as combining sentences, because daily practice is given on the worksheets. They only take 5-10 minutes each day. I would suggest that you have your child memorize a list of 30-50 prepositions, though, as the worksheets often have you cross out prepositional phrases to simplify identifying subjects, verbs, etc. Good Luck!
  10. We have used The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier. It has at least one chapter on active vs. passive voice, and it makes the subject kind of fun. http://www.amazon.com/Curious-Case-Misplaced-Modifier-Mysteries/dp/158297389X I'm not sure if it is still in print--I bought it on clearance a few years ago. I know there are other sources as well, but I am drawing a blank right now. Best wishes.
  11. I suggest that you read Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz. I'm not saying your son has dyslexia, but dyslexic kids are brilliant. They are slow readers with slow fluency, and it doesn't go away. Dyslexia often co-exists with ADD. These kids can be helped with simple accommodations like extra time on tests. The book has more information. A good summary of it can be found here. http://knol.google.com/k/dyslexia# Best wishes!
  12. I haven't used Noeo, but I did combine Real Science 4 Kids Biology Pre-Level 1 and Level 1 so that I could teach all my kids at once. We had a great year. I drew up a reading schedule and lab schedule over the course of one semester, and lined everything up so that we stayed together through the books. Since both programs follow the same outline, this was easy to do. My older kids loved the simplified explanations the younger kids had. We used this for K-5th grades. Noeo does look good, and to combine them, I would look at the topics already scheduled for Noeo and then just line up RS4K to match up the reading. You could decide which labs to use or not use. Best wishes.
  13. We are using Prentice Hall's Biology by Miller and Levine. My daughter simply reads the chapter and then does the Study Workbook A that coordinates with the book. I still need to find a separate lab program for her. I suppose I should have her do the tests as well, but she already spends about an hour and a half on biology each day. Sometimes we pull up coordinating lectures or videos from Khan Academy to help clarify concepts she just doesn't quite get. Does that help?
  14. I took the class this last fall, and even though I attended a Spalding school as a child and helped in class while my children were enrolled at the same school, I still found the class helpful in learning how to teach the Spalding method. When I took the class, each session was recorded so we could watch it later, and others were allowed to enroll late and view the recorded sessions. I found it much easier to simply attend the class "live" online. The recordings didn't allow for the interaction that live attendance allowed. The class was an example of how Spalding is taught. The instructor explained the purpose and what she would teach, and then you became the student in her classroom and she modeled how to teach. It went a little more in depth that the book TWRTW went. The class was geared for grades K-3, with which I am already very comfortable. I look forward to the future class for upper elementary. I feel it would benefit me more. The class did not teach how to teach different grades at the same time. I just have to combine my children for phonics review, adapting so the youngest can keep up and the oldest not be bored (I have a 1st, 3rd, 5th, and remedial 7th grades in my home). My third and fifth graders are well-matched in skills, so I pair them together. After phonics, I take turns teaching the various spelling levels, then writing, and then reading. When it is not their turn, each child has either independent work or silent reading. Sometimes they are dismissed temporarily to take a recess and keep younger siblings out of the way. Often, I can combine all the reading lessons and just require more of the older children. I have probably given more information that you wanted, but I think the class is well worth taking. My husband's opinion is that the class is a bargain. Comparable Professional training classes online for him are often cost thousands of dollars. Spalding charges very little to teach you how to have literate, well-educated children.
  15. Since your kids are little, I'd start with the Nursery Manual. I also use the Scripture Readers put out by the church--Just scripture stories with about six pictures on a page--this familiarizes the kids with the stories from the scriptures. We rotate our way through Book of Mormon Stories, Church History Stories, Old Testament, and New Testament. Reading something each day from The Friend helps, too. It seems we can't finish one before the next one arrives. They love to color the pictures and try the activities there. For older kids, use the New Era or even the Ensign. Preach My Gospel is an excellent resource. My teenagers read their way through various biographies of the prophets. My little ones actually loved Boys Who Became Prophets. The old Shining Moments, Vol. 1 and 2, by Lucille C. Reading are a favorite here, as well. As your kids grow, work through the Faith in God books for 8-11 year olds, then of course Personal Progress and Duty to God. If you want to add an LDS perspective through literature to your history studies, try On Wings of Faith by Bruce Babbit (I think). This is the aftermath of WWII in Europe as Ezra Taft Benson toured to offer help to those in need. In the Eye of the Storm (or The Other Side of Heaven) by John Groberg offers a look into the culture of the Polynesian Islands through the eyes of a young missionary. Some people really like historical fiction by Gerald Lund. N.C. Allen wrote a similar series on the Civil War, and Dean Hughes wrote some about WWI and WWII. Other similar series exist on the Revolutionary War, though I don't remember the titles, now. The Family Home Evening Resource Manual is an excellent place to find doctrine with helps for teaching young children. Gospel Picture kits offers an opportunity to just use the pictures and scriptures to tell stories. The list goes on and on. Honestly, though extra curriculum is nice, I think the church puts out more resources than we can possibly cover adequately. I haven't even mentioned that teaching straight from the Proclamation on the Family or doctrines found in The Living Christ (is that what is is called? From the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve--similar to the Proclamation on the Family). Conference Reports are great sources, as well. I know a lot of this is for older kids, but little ones still benefit from you teaching the materials in words they can understand. Best Wishes!
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