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Everything posted by specialkmom

  1. A few of my kids take some classes through Wilson Hill and we've been very pleased with them. We've been very impressed but the quality of teachers they have. My oldest son had GC3 with Mr. Etter this year and loved him. I think all students love him. We were pretty disappointed when he stepped down. His wife still teaches at WHA, but I think Mr. Etter no longer works for WHA in any capacity. Their family has gone through a lot of challenges this last year and I wonder if that contributed to his decision to leave. His replacement Mr. Miles is really good, though no one can really bring the energy that Etter has. But, my son is very happy with Mr. Miles. I think the fact that he lived in Greece and is well versed in modern and Ancient Greek builds rapport. (My son is in Greek 2 and studied Koine before that. He's doing modern Greek on his own.) His Greek teacher from last year left to begin his PhD in Geology. He had so much fun with Mr. Bowden. Mr. Colvin is his teacher this year and is more than capable. He has a dry sense of humor, but my son really likes him. Mr Martin is a favorite. He had him last year for GC2 and this year for Logic. A soft spoken guy, but a Tolkien lover! Any class taken with him will be well worth it. Mr Meyer is the Honors Physics 1 teacher and my son finds him to be knowledgeable and engaging. I think he's new this year, but he's done very well adjusting to teaching online. He adds in more than what's in the book and has a weekly quiz (mini test) beyond the assigned homework. I think that it is very beneficial to the students to help master the material. Mrs. Tammy Jones is probably MY favorite teacher. She teaches several classes, but no high school classes. My younger son had her for Ancient History last year and my daughters are doing LA1 with her this year. I think she also teaches Latin and some lower science courses. She has a natural way of drawing kids into the material and passing her enthusiasm on to her students. My younger son has had Mrs. McGahey (LA2) - fantastic and this year Mr. Lawrence for GC1 and Mrs. Winn for LA3. He loves his classes and I've been pleased with work he's doing. Next year we won't be able to use WHA because we will be living in an internet-scarce area overseas. I was a little put off this summer about some of the teacher turn over. But, they've replaced great teachers with more great teachers. They have had a knack for finding people who not only are highly qualified, but love what they teach. I hope they can continue to do so.
  2. We used WHA for Algebra 1 last year. My Ds's teacher was Kaye Pepin. I thought she did a great job teaching. You can contact WHA to see a sample class for how it works. I thought Canvas and Adobe Connect were very easy to use. I don't know how Geometry homework is graded, but for Algebra 1, the parents checked the homework and gave the student a second chance at a problem if they missed it. At the end of each chapter, the teacher provided a spreadsheet for the homework grades and averages. At least one section homework from that chapter also needed to be scanned and sent in. The teacher graded tests on her own. I think the Algebra class towards the middle of the year started to use discussion boards for questions on the homework (as far as I know you could still contact the teacher with questions too). AoPS also utilizes a message board/discussion board for their math classes and it works very well. Multiple students can get help and work together to think through a problem. I would imagine that it also helps the teacher to answer one question for many people rather than the same question over again for many students. I don't have any experience with VPSA.
  3. I have a couple questions. I'm looking at my first ninth grader and finishing up the plans for this year. This is what I have so far: Great Conversations 3 at WHA : 1 credit history, 1 credit literature, .5 credit theology Accelerated Studies in Physics and Chemistry - Novarre 1 credit science Greek 2 at WHA- 1 credit language/elective Algebra B (Algebra 2) at AoPS (already started and will finish in October)- 1 credit Math Then what do I do? Keep on going with Geometry or take a break for a bit? Introductory and Intermediate Logic by Nance - 1 Credit Writing and Rhetoric books 9 and 10 and some Grammar review - do I pair this with Great Conversations literature for 1.5 credits? or should this be a whole credit of composition on its own? We were looking at the possibility of doing Arabic this year. So that's my other question. Is my 9th grader already full or is this do-able? As far as taking multiple languages, it wouldn't be the first time. My ds has taken Koine Greek for about 3 years, did a year of Ancient Greek last year and will continue on with that. While he was taking Koine Greek, he also was learning the language of the country we lived in. If I add in Arabic then it would be 8 to 8.5 credits. Is that too much?
  4. Hi, I was one of the previous posters in this thread. I have used W&R with my oldest ds through book 8 (with the exception of book 4). I mentioned before that we took a year off and did IEW and some of the pros and cons with that. I am so glad we stuck with W&R even with the outlining frustrations. And now that I’ve used the higher levels (and my ds took Scholé Academy course this past year with books 7&8), I understand how to use the program better. I still stick to my earlier opinion of using W&R at the higher recommended grade level. As a matter of fact my ds was in 8th when he did books 7-8. And most of the kids in his Scholé class were too. In Narrative 3, outlining is introduced but it is not expected for them to master it until later levels. In the Tell It Back section of the upper level books there are 3 exercises: Oral Narration, Written Narration, and Outline. I remember reading in the notes to teachers that it is not intended for your student to do all three of these. So, we alternated or picked one to focus on for a few weeks and then switched. The Scholé teacher doesn’t have them do it all either. Also, as they learn the different kinds of essays, outlining becomes a little more natural. For example, in an encomium/vituperation we know the function of each paragraph and outlining becomes much easier. As I look back I wonder if the outlining instruction in book 3 was more for an introduction and the teacher was meant to walk alongside the student in the outline, not expect them to do it all independently. The higher level books definitely ramp up but it isn’t unreasonable. My ds liked to complain a lot but I think it was because he was a middle school boy who decided he was bad at writing. However, even with that he still liked the curriculum as a whole and didn’t want to switch to something else. He ended up doing really well in his class this year and earned an A. So now he can’t say he’s bad at writing, lol. We will be using book 9 and 10 this year but can’t swing the class. I thought his teacher was excellent and I liked how she drew in a lot of public speaking into the class. That was an area we weren’t getting to very well and I was glad to see him being pushed a bit. If you have more specific questions I can try to answer them. I think there are many great writing programs out there. W&R may not be the best fit for everyone depending on what your goals are for your child’s writing. However, I think it is an excellent program and I’m very pleased with the results so far.
  5. @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.
  6. @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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. (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.
  12. (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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. We used the third volume this year for a group, an eight grader, 2 sixth graders, a 4th grader, and a 3rd grader. It was way too much for the 3rd grader. Ideally, this program works well for at least middle school but more likely high school. I didn't schedule enough time in the weeks for reading. We did this 3 days a week, occasionally we had an extra class. Surprisingly my 4th grader probably read the most of the group and always did well on the tests I gave them. But then he loves to read the Encyclopedia for fun. I think he also had more time on his hands. I didn't feel the program was very complete after doing SoTW. And perhaps that is the nature of the phases and in the fact that a lot of the learning was "on your own." Which is good and yet I felt it was narrow because each child only had so much time to read or research about one topic. We added SoTW Vol 3 and 4 to the readings and did that in week 3 and 4. I thought the first week was like a fire hose of info and often overwhelming for the students. The kids didn't care too much for the timeline. But you can pick and choose what to do. I did like the research and reports. We varied the style of those. The kids loved being able to choose their own topics and own ideas for the hands on week. I did like that they took some initiative in their learning. The audio was good but for kids who aren't audio learners it would be really easy to space out. I had my kids take notes and tell me at least 1-2 things they learned after each track. Anyway, I would be hesitant to use this below 6th grade and would say 7th and up you will get the most out of it. They are just more mature to handle the learning and independence in learning. I made a schedule for each unit to help them stay organized and get the readings, reports, and such some on time. It was good for the older 3 to have that.
  21. Thank you for your reply Amy. Do you find Homer A to be much more time-consuming than CAP? Do you think the grammar work in CW is redundant with also using R&S? How much time do you spend daily on Homer? I'm curious what a week looks like in Homer. For some reason I can't view the samples on CW's site or the Lulu site. I've just re-read through lewelma's older post of her thoughts after reviewing lots of writing curricula and am leaning toward CW Older Beginner with my oldest. Have you used their Poetry for Beginners? For my younger ds, I am thinking CAP 1-2 or CC Fable/Narrative before doing CW's Older Beginners.
  22. I'm looking into writing for my ds 7th and ds 5th. My older ds has done CAP's WR books 1-3 and then we took this last year off to do IEW Following Narnia vol 1 in a co-op class. My younger ds did IEW's All things fun and fascinating this year. It was a nice break for my older ds but he expressed his desire to return to CAP and not do IEW again. There were aspects I liked but others I didn't. I thought maybe we'd go back to W&R, skipping book 4 and picking up at 5&6. But then I came across MP's Classical Composition and then Classical Writing. I've looked a lot on this forum and other sites as well as samples and am wondering how far folks have gone with these programs. I know CAP's program is newer and probably no one has gone through all the books. This year my older ds had a very full schedule and I'd like to not overwhelm him for next year. We live overseas in a rural area and I want him to have a life when the local kids aren't in school. Classical Writing appeals to me since it ties in vocabulary and grammar. But I've had difficulty in viewing samples and getting a feel for it. Also 2 years to cover one book sounds like a lot of repetition and I think my younger ds would revolt. I would probably do Older Beginners for my older ds if I went this route. W&R we enjoyed very much. But it seemed time consuming as well. I wasn't too impressed with how outlining was handled either. We loved the readings and the discussion and my ds liked the word substitutions for sentences. He enjoyed getting to make up some of his own characters and storyline within a model. But I don't know if I have the time to do that with both boys as I have other kids to teach as well. My younger ds is more of a "just give me the facts and let me do it" kid. CC looks a bit streamlined in comparison. I wonder if my second ds would do well with this since the expectations are a little more clearly laid out. That was one of the things I liked about IEW and yet felt was a little overboard. All the dress-ups and having to have all of them. It made for some frustrating times. Often I would say, "I don't care if you are missing this one or that one. Your paper is just fine without it and to add it in would make it sound awkward." However, he did like having some clear expectations. But, I want him to actually think through his writing and not just check off boxes. Anyway, I'd like to hear some success stories of folks who have used these programs long term. Or maybe some advice on which to go with.
  23. Thanks everyone. We're going with AOPS. The online book has been pretty easy to use so far. We're up to the last section in chapter one. Not too bad so far. I think though we are still working on figuring out a good pace for him.
  24. I have been debating these two options for quite some time. But, now I need to choose and I'm stuck. My current 6th grade ds11 has done SM st. ed. through 5B and has done Beast through mid-5b. We're still going to finish through Beast 5C. He really enjoys Beast and does most of it independently. We tried out the first chapter of Tabletclass Prealgebra and we liked it. Didn't seem to have any leaps in that first chapter. The videos explained well. My ds did well on the problems. The test showed that he understood what he was doing, but made some silly mistakes (dropped the negative sign part-way through, subtracted wrong, that sort of thing). I like the scope and sequence. It seems to go beyond prealgebra. Not having a text was a little bit of a drawback. Just video instructions and notes is a little concerning to me. Can anyone address whether or not this has been an issue with your child? I do like that there are chapter tests and ways to evaluate how your child is doing. AOPS Prealgebra. I have read so many reviews and thoughts on this. This is the program that I was planning on moving onto with him for years. We tried out the online sample of the first chapter. At first I thought the amount of text would be a bit daunting. But as I read through it with him, I loved it. The clear explanations, showing multiple ways of solving a problem, getting us to think through a problem, and of course, the videos Richard does are so fun and to the point. My ds loved the videos. I am concerned about the amount of time he might spend on prealgebra every day with the discovery method. And I'm wondering how much direct instruction he will need from me. Not having tests is a bit of a drawback. We never did any tests with SM, but I feel the need for them in higher maths. Anyone else have an issue with this? Because we live overseas, I'd probably try the online book until we could get a hard copy brought out to us. Does anyone have any experience with the online book? Can you use it for more than one child? Thanks for any advice.
  25. OP here. I decided to come back and review this past year with the MCT iBooks we used. We ended up purchasing all these in iBook form: Grammar Town, Practice Town, Paragraph Town, Caesar's English 1, and the implementation manual. I didn't do the poetry book because I felt the Island level book was a little over his head the year before and thought we would go over that this past year again. So, what we did like about it: It did not need to be shipped and I didn't have another several books to juggle with. The texts look nice with iBooks and appear to be very similar to the actual text. The interactive components were really nice. My son found them helpful and interesting, a bit of a change of pace and no pencil required. The Practice Town he could do almost by himself (except asking me on hard ones) and the answer check was right there for him to see as he finished each section with a general review at the end. He got to use the ipad. What we did not like: It was very annoying and frustrating to only see one page at a time. Especially in the CE book with all the nice pictures. These books in print are designed to have pages flow together with the pictures and illustrations and this does not transfer well to the iBook. While we were reading in Paragraph Town there were times the book would reference something on the facing page but we couldn't see it because only one page viewed at a time. Technical glitches. Often we would have problems in Practice Town after he would complete one level analysis and it would "stick". He would have to start the sentence all over again. A couple times we couldn't do the interactive parts with the sentence at all. The CE review quiz at the end of each chapter would not save his typed answers. We had to do them orally because he couldn't type through the whole quiz and then check it or hand it to me to check it because after you moved to the next page everything he typed before was gone. CE just did not go well for us with an iBook. He found it hard to continually review the stems and such in the iBook. I had him start a notebook with all the stems, words, and definitions, which was good for him. But we just felt the CE in the iBook form was not optimal for him. I did not find the implementation manual to be that user-friendly. I understand why they did it the way they did. However, the teacher should have their own device to read the manual while going through the material. \ In all, there were some good things about the iBooks. Despite the technical glitches, I would recommend the Practice books as an ibook. For CE, I wouldn't be keen on it. We have one iPad and I don't like to have my computer open during school time because it is a distraction (for me!). I also have a few other kids that I am teaching and I just didn't feel that the iBooks were that great a fit for my teaching situation. I also realized that we both preferred to have the actual text in front of us. Since we are in the States for a little bit this summer, shipping isn't an issue and we have a lot of luggage space on the return. For this coming year I am looking at purchasing the books in print, except for Practice Voyage. If I wasn't in the States this summer, I would only purchase CE 2 in print as I just felt that the iBook was not good for us. GV and EV would be nice to have in print too, but I could live with them as an iBook. (And shipping is a pain.)
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