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Ali in OR

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Everything posted by Ali in OR

  1. I have no plans to assign grades in elementary and I definitely would give grades in high school. You're in that in-between stage that I haven't figured out yet! I could see moving to assigning grades in middle school as preparation for what's to come in high school. Especially if dd is asking for it. I taught high school math, and in some ways it's a lot easier to think about grading a class of 30 than a class of 1. Most math teachers would grade on a curve, usually combining a couple of classes (60 kids). That way you can write tests that challenge kids and make them think and they don't have to get it all right to get an A. How do you establish a curve with 1 kid? I guess you can just test basic mastery of concepts, but that's not as interesting! I feel like I know what is A work from having taught math classes, but that would be a lot harder if I hadn't done it before. Or harder for me to grade science or English papers. It wouldn't be too difficult to just test facts and use straight percentages (90-100% some type of A, 80-89% some type of B, etc.), but it seems like a classical education would incorporate student evaluation that goes well beyond regurgitation of facts. I'll be interested to read how others are going about it.
  2. We used Bio I last year with a 6 yo first grader and a 3-4 yo tag along. We are using Chem I now and will probably use Physics I next year. I like Noeo a lot, but it won't fit everyone. A few details: -If you want to build your home library with wonderful books that your kids will continue to pick up and read after you finish them, Noeo will fit you. You could do it with just buying the teacher's guide and using the library, but I think one of the big benefits of choosing Noeo is ordering the whole kit and having it ready to go with litttle effort on your part. I also like that if you own the books, the learning continues every time your kids pick them up to read on their own. -As I mentioned, Noeo fits well if you are looking for someone else to do the planning--little effort on your part. For folks who like to select books and plan it themselves, Noeo is not really adding anything they don't already do. -Noeo fits families whose primary learning method is reading. Great choice if you love curling up on the sofa with dc and reading great books. There is just enough hands-on to relieve guilt that you should be DOING science, but I don't think it's enough for folks with hands-on kids who want to be doing experiments every week. I think this is more true with Bio I than Chem I by the way. In Chem they encourage you to keep doing experiments from the Super Science Concoctions book weekly. -Noeo is described as CM/classical in style. Think living books and notebooking. If you are wanting worksheets and tests, this isn't your program. I think this is particularly well-suited to young elementary. Bio I was great for first grade. Not sure it's as good a fit for 3rd grade. HTH!
  3. With my older daughter, we did PP over a year and a half, roughly from the start of K to Christmas break in first grade. We started spelling and FLL in first grade, so she was maybe 2/3 to 3/4 of the way done with PP and reading fairly well. I don't think you necessarily need to be that far along in PP--that's just where we were at the beginning of first.
  4. We did Noeo Bio I for first, snuck in Apologia Astronomy between first and second, and are now doing Noeo Chem I, so next year it will be on to Noeo physics I. After that I'm not sure where we'll go next.
  5. We bought a kit at Target a few years back. Has to be in spring or summer here--no flowers for your hatched butterflies yet! I bought what's called the Butterfly Garden on the website, only when you get it at Target it comes with a certificate to mail in to get your caterpillars sent to you. Looks like if you buy online it just comes with the caterpillars. Definitely use their food. I had a neighbor breed her butterflies and gave me caterpillars and told me to just give them thistles. They did eat the thistles, but all but one died before hitting the pupae stage. When I got the caterpillars from the company, they came in a container with all the food they need and all of them became butterflies. http://insectlore.stores.yahoo.net/
  6. Horizons is spiral and Singapore is not. A not as quick answer...When I was deciding which math program to use, I found the descriptions in the Sonlight catalog really helped me understand the different programs and determine which would fit me. If you don't have their catalog, it looks like they have this information on their website--www.sonlight.com. Try going to the products section, then choose by subject, math, and on the right you will see the different programs. They sell both Horizons and Singapore and you should be able to find the descriptions at the bottom of the pages. They tell you the strengths and weaknesses of each program and you can decide if they fit you. It helped me figure out that spiral would drive me nuts. I ended up with Singapore. This year I have been supplementing with the Horizons workbook too. (There's another option...buy both!) I guess an advantage to Sonlight is you could easily get both workbooks and just have one package to ship. The books for both programs are fairly inexpensive. And isn't the exchange rate greatly in your favor?:) Here's the page I was on for Horizon...let's see if this turns into a link: http://www.sonlight.com/horizons-math.html Go to the bottom of the page for the description of Horizons. Hey the link worked! Editing to add the Singapore page too: http://www.sonlight.com/singapore.html
  7. In the spring of both K and first grade, I checked them out for a 4 week period and we went through the American history (since we did none for our regular schooling) and then read the literature stuff for fun. I peeked at the math and science but felt no need to go through it with dd. This year as we finish Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation we will be getting ready to start in on American history, so I don't feel as strong a need to get the next book. I'll probably check it out for fun.
  8. I use the textbook and workbook. The textbook teaches the material. I actually bought the home instructor's guide and it has ideas for other activities to teach the material, but I've come to realize we don't need other activities. It works fine to go through the textbook and then do the workbook exercises. We are in 2B now.
  9. We were using Noeo Bio I last year when we studied the human body. Their book was the Usborne First Encyclopedia of the Human Body, which dd loved to read on her own after we read it together. We also used the My Body book by Teacher Created Resources which has small kid-sized organs for kids to color and cut out while you read about what the organ does. Then we taped the organs to our butcher paper body outlines hanging on the wall. My kids loved it. They also learned a lot from the Magic School Bus Human Body dvd.
  10. I came to hsing passionate about teaching and learning. I love all of the subjects. Really! Did anyone else here have trouble deciding what to major in in college? Whether to go the techie side (where the jobs used to be) or the fuzzy side? Well I did. I was equally strong in math and English. I ended up with an engineering degree, then got a teaching credential in math with authorization to teach English too. But what really drew me to WTM was the chronological history. I remember taking Western Civ. as a freshman in college and wondered "why was I never taught this???" Why wait until college to learn the fascinating story of the world? In our home school, we all enjoy learning about history most. We enjoy literature and science too. We do the nuts and bolts of math, grammar, spelling, learning to read, etc., but kind of hard to be passionate about learning times tables and spelling rules. Some stuff you just gotta work through.
  11. I just finished Deconstructing Penguins and I have 2 more sessions to watch of Teaching the Classics. Both of these are excellent resources and I highly recommend them. I particularly like the structure of Teaching the Classics (fits my math brain). He uses a chart that provides a systematic way to talk about setting, plot, conflict, etc. I liked Deconstructing Penguins' method of analyzing who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist. I've learned a lot from both programs and I would like to use these techniques with my dd soon--if not this spring than certainly next year in 3rd grade. I can see just doing maybe 3 books per semester that we would analyze and talk about together. Nothing written at this point. I think she would like it a lot.
  12. As far as middle school and high school goes, we'll make detailed decisions later. I will certainly look at NEM, whatever Myrtle uses:) (and I still have a Moise Downs geometry text from teaching it 15 years ago), other texts I used to teach from, Foerster, and whatever else seems to provide a strong background in mathematical thinking. I know there seems to be pressure to push algebra to ever younger ages, but I'm not sure that's necessary. I would like dds to be able to take BC calc AP test their senior year, and when I was teaching the program to do that started with algebra (a good strong algebra) in 8th grade.
  13. Endangered Minds by Jane Healy is an interesting book that talks about how children's television shows (Sesame Street in particular) actually train kids brains to expect diversion and scene changes frequently. So don't watch television--and it is easiest imho to just never watch it at all so they don't even think to want it or ask for it. And then if you read to them a lot, I think the attention span just develops naturally as they get involved in the story. As they get older the books get longer. If they aren't used to t.v., this will be their entertainment and it all works pretty painlessly.
  14. I usually get it as part of a large order ($150) to get free shipping.
  15. Try pressing on the LEFT side of the abdomen. If that hurts where the appendix is located, it is a good sign of appendicitis. She called it "referred pain" and explained that the pressure on the peritoneal lining (I think) pulls on the appendicitis. Something like that. That was her number one way of checking for appendicitis.
  16. Or do you keep up with 2 workbooks a year until you're done? Just wondering as we add writing next year if it would make sense to slow down on the workbooks to have more time in the day for other LA activities. Thanks.
  17. Planning for next year and I'm wondering if we should get this for a read aloud or wait until next cycle. Dd will be 8, loves history, loves reading and read alouds and has done well with most everything I've thrown at her. But I think I've read some people wait on this one. Thanks for your input.
  18. No, seriously! We got ours (World Book 2002) two years ago for $20!! I was thrilled because I grew up always reading a volume while eating my breakfast cereal. That was my best find. I've had good luck with library discards of good picture books still in pretty good shape (Katy and the Big Snow, Marshmallow, The Little Engine that Could, a Jan Brett that I can't remember the name of, etc.) Last year I just parked my kids in a corner by the kids' books and tossed a few books at them to keep them occupied. And lifted my head frequently to check on them. There were several other families (some I knew) doing the same thing! I had no luck getting books on my home school list last year. We got many good reads, but nothing that I had to buy for school. Still, I wouldn't miss it and I will be at ours next month!
  19. My mom passed away in June after 2 weeks in hospice. All her kids and sister were with her and it was very peaceful. Here are a few things I know now but didn't know then... -once you are in hospice, you do not call doctors or 911 for emergencies or anything like that. Your care and meds come from hospice. -hospice can dispense really good meds. I got the impression it was stuff (or maybe amounts??) that Mom's doctor couldn't prescribe. My mom was a lot more comfortable once she was in hospice. -at least where my mom lived in CA, the family and friends needed to have someone there with mom 24/7. This was a hospice requirement. As someone mentioned, the hospice staff came a few times a week and Mom's nurse came when we called her as Mom was failing. -hospice can provide equipment that will make it easier to care for your loved one--bath seat, walker, wheelchair, hospital bed, commode, etc. -I think hospice really helped all of Mom's family through the process of Mom's dying. It was somehow a little easier with a wonderfully compassionate nurse explaining all that was happening.
  20. I know I saw it mentioned here and I now have it from the library and it is about parents running book clubs for elementary kids and their parents. I am enjoying it...learning a lot. Need to return it tomorrow, so thanks for the reminder to get it finished tonight! I would love to be in a book club like the one the authors run (I don't want to run it though!).
  21. ...and we supplement with Horizon. Since you are interested in the reverse this may not help except to give you an idea of quantity of math in one day. I just have the Horizon workbook (just finishing 2A)--no teacher book, etc. I look through one lesson a day and cross out a lot of it. If there are 3 rows of addition problems, dd may just do one. If they've had similar problems on clocks/time many days in a row, I may cross it out. It's all to keep the workload reasonable. We then do Singapore--usually plan for 1 exercise a day and the textbook material that goes with it. Sometimes 2 exercises if they're short. When we finish a section, we will do the CWP that go with it. We work a lot of them together. We'll use some of the Intensive Practice too. My main reason for adding Horizons this year was to expose her to a different approach and some different types of problems. I think we get that without assigning everything in a lesson. I don't worry at all about whether the two programs line up.
  22. We did this as a read aloud, and I would say it was harder than other read alouds, but dd enjoyed it. She's a big history buff. I remember I did have to explain plot details, but since she was enjoying it we carried on. If she didn't like it, we would have dropped it. Viking Adventure by Bulla is easier and she liked that too. Other good ones: Sword in the Tree Minstrel in the Tower Shadow Spinner
  23. We used Apologia Astronomy from spring (end of first) to fall (beginning of second) when we have a chance for clear skies in Oregon. Loved it, loved doing it over the summer. Planned a camping trip just to see the August meteor shower away from city lights. Then we moved on to Noeo Chem I. It is going well. We did Bio I last year--I think I like Chem I more. Noeo makes is easy to get science done. We really enjoy the books and while the girls enjoy the experiments, they certainly don't mind if we don't have them all the time.
  24. I use Biblioplan now at grammar level and am very happy with it. But I will seriously look at TOG for logic stage. I don't have an answer for you one way or the other, but a few things I would look at: -Biblioplan is just history. Are you likely to use TOG for literature, art, etc. (I'm not sure what all it includes), or are you mainly using it for history? If you want the other stuff, it would make sense to go with TOG. -Cost difference. Biblioplan is ~$25 for a year, and I think TOG is ~$225. How much are TQ guides and how many are needed for one year? Do you already have them? Are you on a tight budget? Could $200 help significantly with other home school needs? -Difference in style between TQ discussion questions and TOG teacher helps? I haven't seen either, but this could be a big factor for me. If one set was closer to my philosophy/teaching style, that could swing it for me. Have you been able to see both? I have not really looked at TOG, but from various posts I get the feeling that there is a lot of overlap in books used by it and Biblioplan. Sorry I can't offer more help--let us know what you decide! We'll be there in a couple of years!
  25. We have the attribute blocks and I like them because I am a geek! No two blocks are exactly alike. The attributes are shape, size, thickness, and color. We used them a lot when going through the Building Thinking Skills Hands On Primary. I just glanced through Building Thinking Skills Level 1 (grades 2-3) and didn't see anything where you would need to have them. So if budget is tight, they're not required. My girls like to spread them out on the floor and put the counting bears and/or cuisenaire rods on top of them--not quite sure what skill that is building! I like the game of removing one block from the set and they have to figure out which one is missing. We have a bucket balance and it come in handy for math sometimes. Fun with the bears if the bears are weighted. Our bears have either a 3, 6, 9, or 12 on their tummies and I think that is how many grams they are. Two 3 bears in one bucket will balance a 6 in the other. We have unifix cubes and I too find them hard to click together. But we do use them from time to time. I think the historical documents sound cool. I'll have to take a look at those!
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