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specialkmom

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  1. @lbell my ds is in LA 2 as well! That’s cool. We did CAP Fable and Narrative 1 last year. I plan to do Narrative 2 alongside LA 2 this year because I really like CAP’s W&R series.
  2. @ScoutTN That’s neat! I’ve heard good things about Mr. Reini. My ds is in the T/Th early morning group with Mrs. Pepin. It’s 7am our time!! But it was the only open class that would work with our schedule. He actually doesn’t mind being up early and getting math over with. Some of my other kids are not morning people and it would never work, lol.
  3. I haven’t used BJU or BA 2A. My boys did BA 3-5. BA2 wasn’t out yet. And I used SM Standards Edition 1-5. I would have my kid do Xtra Math (an app or online) everyday or every other day. It’s a math facts app. Not terribly exciting but it does a good job and takes 5-10 minutes. Second, do you have the workbook for BA 2A or just the textbook? Looking at the topics BA covers in 2A, I would say it’s exactly what your child is struggling with. Don’t be afraid to sit with him and help him through more challenging parts and you could even skip some of what might not work with him. I sat with my boys through most of BA3 and let them loose in BA 4, with helps along the way. If you have the workbook, start it. One of the other things I used was the SM Intensive Practice. It gives extra practice and reinforcement. More than the SM Extra Practice. However, since you bought the BJU book, you could use it as an extra practice or reinforcement. Maybe like a constant review as you continue with SM. Although I think BJU is less spiral than Horizon/Saxon and similar programs. But, I’ve not used it before so I’m not sure.
  4. This is our first year doing any live online classes. My oldest ds has done a self-paced course before and two of my dc have done a dvd alongside a subject before. My ds 8th grade is doing 3 classes through Wilson Hill Academy ( Algebra 1, Great Conversations 2, and Greek 1) and 1 through Scholé Academy (Writing and Rhetoric 4). My ds 6th grade is doing 2 classes through Wilson Hill (Language Arts 2 and Ancient Times). So so far I’m really happy with these decisions. I have several other kids, We just moved back into the US and I needed less on my plate. My ds 8th has taken Koine Greek for 3 years and was ready to move on to Ancient Greek. His teacher is excellent and has such enthusiasm that it made me want to take the class. Algebra 1 is going very well (though we are just in the first month so nothing hard yet). But his teacher has been teaching in this format for several years and does a good job keeping people on track and explaining concepts well. As we get into harder topics, we will see about how that goes if he needs extra help or guidance. Although both my Dh and I could figure it out pretty well. He enjoys his GC2 class (especially as they are reading Tolkien right now). I’m happy with his Writing class because he has to do public speaking and I think between this class and his others, he will be exposed to other’s writing will help him to grow. We’ve been using CAP’s Writing and Rhetoric series for a few years and I feel this class will take the same material and move it up a notch. (Compared to what I was able to do with him before.) My other ds 6th really enjoys his classes and appreciates the fact that he can be in a class but not in school all day (if you know what I mean). Typing is the one area we are struggling with as the online classes do require interaction during class as well as most assignments to be typed and turned in. The interaction in class is typed, audio, and visual. So there is a “chat box” where they can ask or answer questions and add to discussion, but they can also activate their microphone or camera to interact in class (when the teacher allows). Anyway, so far I’ve been pleased with these choices. But we are only a month into the school year.
  5. My ds is in LA2 this year. It is our first time using WHA. He is in 6th grade. So far I’m pleased with the class. But we are only a few weeks in. Typing is important, so if you are looking to put your 4th/5th grader in a class, make sure they can type. This is probably the hardest part for my ds. He has done typing for a couple years but is so slow, and partly because I almost never required his work to be typed. My guess is that a parent would be allowed to help with a 4th grader. Every week the students have copywork, dictation (done in class), vocabulary work (from the literature they are reading), grammar work (mostly done in class), and literature study. There is usually what’s called a Practical Practice (I think this is mostly grammar and mechanics) as well as a quiz (might be over literature and vocabulary). Sometimes the literature study includes pages to record certain things from the book reading, sometimes it’s a paragraph they need to write. My ds did his first paragraph with A Wrinkle in Time. He had to summarize a chapter in 5-8 sentences. They also did a shorter couple sentence character description where the other classmates had to guess who the character was. The class is an hour and a half twice a week. Mrs. McGahey is my ds teacher and she is pretty upbeat and does a good job with teaching material and making it interesting. Recitation or memory work is also included. They memorize a new poem or piece every few weeks. He just did Lady Moon and next up is The Secret. For the first semester of writing, there are a few writing projects: descriptive paragraph about a place, making your own character, descriptive paragraph about your character, and indirect characterization of your character. But a lot of basics of writing is taught, including formatting. A lot of foundation work. I don’t have the second semester writing schedule yet, but my guess is that there would be more in the second semester. I think most of his classmates are 6th grade. But some could be 5th as well. Overall I’m pleased with what he is learning this year and am hopeful we will see improvements in several areas.
  6. My older ds finished AoPS PreAlgebra this past school year. He and I worked on it together with the videos (which we loved!) I’ve been considering putting him in an online class to free me up for my younger kids and a new baby coming this fall. I looked into AoPS online classes for Algebra 1, but didn’t care for the setup and thought the pace would be too much for my ds. I’ve since looked into other options and am wondering if anyone here has advice on which direction to take. 1) Dolciani Algebra 1 through Wilson Hill. Is Dolciani a decent choice for Algebra 1? I have heard Foersters get good reviews, as well as Jacobs. Any feedback on WHA Algebra 1? Is the digital writing tablet and the graphing calculator really necessary? 2) WTMA Algebra 1. Haven’t looked into this a lot, but they do offer an AoPS Algebra 1, I believe. 3) Do AoPS Algebra 1 ourselves. With the videos only covering through ch. 13, I believe. This makes me a little hesitant. We enjoyed AoPS a bunch, but it also took a lot of time. 4) Do Foersters or Jacobs Algebra 1 ourselves. Not familiar with these texts, but doubt they’d take as much time as AoPS. Or take the Jacobs course through Veritas Press Academy online school. Thoughts? Also, another thread got me thinking of my ds2. Regentrude mentioned making sure students write out their math work. I’m waffling on whether or not to do PreA with my ds2, and it’s precisely because of this issue. He is very intelligent and does so much math in his head. But he hates to write things down, which of course leads to silly mistakes. (Side note: he’s always struggled with the act of writing, and was “unofficially” diagnosed with dysgraphia by a special ed evaluator.) And when he does write things down, it doesn’t make sense to me. He likes to erase work he wrote, as if it’s clutter he doesn’t need anymore. It also is difficult sometimes in trying to follow his line of thinking- which is usually different, but nonetheless correct and rather creative. He has done Singapore Math Standards Ed. and Beast Academy and done very well in both. I’ve debated entering him in an online class for the same reasons for ds1, but the “won’t write things down” issue is making me think twice. Would an online class help him in this area?
  7. (I'm not sure how to cross post, but I posted this on the Middle School board too for anyone there who can add in their experience.) My rising 8th grader has done W&R books 1-3, 5-6, with a year of IEW in the middle. We've enjoyed the W&R series and I really like the approach. I'm contemplating registering him for a few classes with Wilson Hill- Greek, possibly Great Conversations 1 or 2, and maybe math and/or science. I saw Scholé has an online writing class for books 7&8 and I was comparing that with WHA's Fundamentals of Expository Writing. Has anyone had any experience with either of these classes or providers? I know Scholé seems to be newer in their online offerings and I've read a lot of positive reviews of WHA on here. Specifically- I noticed WHA's Fundamentals class has grammar and literature as well. How much in class and outside class time does the grammar and literature usually take? If my son is also doing a Great Conversations course, would the additional literature from Fundamentals be too much? Does the Scholé course have any Grammar outside of what is in the W&R book? It does cover some, but it's not really a lot. Does it have any literature reading? Or does it stick to the book in what it covers? The WHA class seems appealing because of the incorporation of Grammar and Lit- but he will already be reading a fair amount if he is in a Great Conversations class. And we have been working through W&R series so it would be nice to continue with that. It appears he would do a research paper with W&R, but not really with WHA. I don't know how much writing the Great Conversations class would have.
  8. (I'm not sure how to cross post, but I will post this on the High School board too for anyone there who can add in their experience.) My rising 8th grader has done W&R books 1-3, 5-6, with a year of IEW in the middle. We've enjoyed the W&R series and I really like the approach. I'm contemplating registering him for a few classes with Wilson Hill- Greek, possibly Great Conversations 1 or 2, and maybe math and/or science. I saw Scholé has an online writing class for books 7&8 and I was comparing that with WHA's Fundamentals of Expository Writing. Has anyone had any experience with either of these classes or providers? I know Scholé seems to be newer in their online offerings and I've read a lot of positive reviews of WHA on here. Specifically- I noticed WHA's Fundamentals class has grammar and literature as well. How much in class and outside class time does the grammar and literature usually take? If my son is also doing a Great Conversations course, would the additional literature from Fundamentals be too much? Does the Scholé course have any Grammar outside of what is in the W&R book? It does cover some, but it's not really a lot. Does it have any literature reading? Or does it stick to the book in what it covers? The WHA class seems appealing because of the incorporation of Grammar and Lit- but he will already be reading a fair amount if he is in a Great Conversations class. And we have been working through W&R series so it would be nice to continue with that. It appears he would do a research paper with W&R, but not really with WHA. I don't know how much writing the Great Conversations class would have.
  9. I’ve used IEW and W&R. I prefer W&R. I still use the All Things Fun and Fascinating as a precursor to W&R and I use W&R on the older end of the grade recommendation. IEW has its benefits, but I’ve seen writing from kids who have used it for a while and it’s very predictable and often stilted. If you use it, don’t force all the dress ups if they aren’t going to add to the piece of writing. W&R only uses fables in book 1. There is no 4 years of fables. I’ve used books 1,2,3,5,6. I like the progression and the thinking that goes into the writing process. There are aspects that are more for a classroom, but you can drop or change those aspects. The book is written to be flexible for both home and school use and I think they do a pretty good job. They learn skills such as narration, outlining, identify different types of narratives, dictation, summarizing, amplifying, dialogue, taking a sentence and changing it in various ways, copiousness, revising, thesis, compare, contrast, argument, and if you use the Speak it section: elocution, public speaking, memorization. It does require more teacher time than IEW because you are meant to discuss the narratives and (later) model essays. But there are sections that my kids do on their own and I go back with them and look at what they’ve done, helping them if they didn’t quite get it. I also choose some of their writing to edit, revise, and type out.
  10. The comment about bacteria is probably going to be made in A Beka as well. So, I wouldn’t run to A Beka simply because of that. ABeka and BJU are both Young Earth, Literal 6 day and so would both espouse those views. In my past experience, A Beka is more hardline in their comments. You can check out Novare Science if you’d rather not deal with that, but I don’t know that they have Life Science. A friend of mine is writing their Biology book now. She’s definitely qualified to do it and I look forward to seeing what she’s done. I don’t have experience with ABeka’s new Life Science. I’m glad to see they are finally becoming more serious about science in middle school. One of my kids is using the BJU Life Science this year in a small group setting. I had heard BJU’s science texts were well done and rigorous (in the sense that it prepares well for a future in science). We are using the videos, and the instruction is adequate, though the teacher is not especially engaging. There are “field trips†(with someone other than the teacher), occasional cartoon clips, and “Science News†( two college students acting as news anchors and giving “updates†with more information.) Almost every lesson is different in length, some shorter (when there is a lab or dissection), some almost 30 minutes. But almost every class there is reading, study questions, and/or a lab study page. So, I think the idea is to give the students more time to work on those things.
  11. The videos range in length from 7 minutes (experiment days when the student has an activity to do) to 30 minutes. I have one in Science 6 and one in Life Science. The Science 6 teachers are more engaging than the Life Science. I had heard good things about Mrs. Vick and was a bit disappointed we didn’t get to find out what she was like. The videos are shorter, I think, to give the students more time for the reading assignments, study sections, lab sheets, etc. Almost every class they are doing reading, and study questions and/or lab sheet. So, 45min to 1 hr a day, at least. I think the instruction is adequate. I’ve watched some of the videos with my kids and usually don’t feel the need to add anything else in. But maybe it clicks easier with them than others. They grasp and retain the material and sometimes go looking up more info for themselves.
  12. We have done through Narrative 2 midway. We took last year off and did IEW in a co-op. I too was frustrated by the lack of instruction for the outlining. We ended up doing some sample outlining on our own with me doing direct instruction. It helped. I kinda felt kinda shaky after that about W&R because the instruction up to that point was good and the lack of explicit outlining teaching kinda came out of no where. I think if I had prepared better I would have looked ahead and realized I needed to be ready to teach outlining. Now that I think about it, ClearCreek is right. It does expect that you are going through a thorough grammar program, many of which teach outlining. We were using MCT at the time, which did not teach outlining among other things. Our year in IEW was a hit and a miss in many ways. One of the hits is their explicit teaching and repetition of keyword outlines. It makes a 3 level outline much easier to learn. My older son is begging to do W&R again. We will skip Chreia and do book 5&6 for 7th. My younger son will start Fable this year as a 5th grader. Looking at what book 5&6 teach, and remembering books 1-3, I agree with a previous poster that this series is best at the higher grade that CAP rcommends. I would wait until at least 4th grade, unless your child is really advanced not just in writing, but also in their reasoning. I think my 5th grader is going to get a lot more out of books 1&2 than his brother did in 3rd grade. ETA: my advice is to stick with W&R and add in some explicit outline instruction. Skip Chreia if it doesn't resonate with you. You could even use something else to approach writing from a different angle for a semester and then come back to W&R.
  13. I live overseas and it is a big book and a lot of weight. We went with the online option. So far we have not had any issues using it. It is pretty easy to navigate. Each section in each chapter is all on the same screen, no flipping pages. You just scroll down. Everything is easy to find and get to. Videos are embedded in the book at the appropriate sections. So as you are doing the problems and reviewing solutions, the videos are right there for the student to watch. I don't think the solutions being "a click away" lead to giving up faster than the solutions being a turned page or two away. Alcumus is also linked to each section of the chapter as well. It is definitely more user friendly than kindle books and iBooks. If I had the option of a print book, I don't know what I would choose. I do like having a book in hand. But the online book has been good too. I like that it is all together for us. And it really is user friendly.
  14. My ds 6th grade did Apologia Physical Science this year without having done PreAlgebra or Apologia's General Science and has done just fine. I was concerned about moving him too quickly and that he hadn't started PreAlgebra yet. But it wasn't an issue. He started PreAlgebra in February as we were finishing up Singapore Math.
  15. I will also say you need to have access to a good atlas or look up in books or google of maps during specific historical times. Where certain countries borders were during certain years. Another friend of mine has used it as well but pulled in other resources. She uses it for her high school and middle school children. ETA: We also spread out the readings and research. The first two weeks were heavy on reading and the 3rd week was finishing up their readings and report.
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