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    Hillsboro, OR
  1. Our process is similar to "Classically Minded"'s. We pretest just for the fun of it (she typically gets 0-2 wrong). We then do the full week's activities, although we often drop, simplify, or otherwise modify the final writing assignment. Words missed in the pretest get written five times each, and we add them to an ongoing list of words that are tested as part of future memory work.
  2. We generally try to avoid switching curricula. The one change that we made that we wish we made earlier was switching from History Odyssey to Story of the World Activity Guide, which we did a couple of months into our second year. SotWAG had more things you could do right out of the book without scrambling to find other resources. We still supplement with a pile of library books, but now the history sessions have more activities and structured Q&A around them. If we're still homeschooling when she reaches 5th grade, we'll probably check out HO again.
  3. My contributions as the helpful hubby: * Curriculum research. I do all the research on options w/ pros/cons, where to buy, etc. We sit down, review, select, and then I order. * Math lesson planning, preparation, and grading. It's my strongest subject (I have a math degree plus was certified to teach) and my wife's weakest. I also help write additional problems and create reinforcement activities in those rare cases where we run out of Singapore material. * Piano lesson planning and teaching. Faber makes this painless. * History assistant. I research Usborne links, help locate and order additional library materials, and read aloud from Story of the World on Sunday nights. Last but not least: Scour the WTM Forums and forward threads of interest to the wife. :)
  4. We also switched to Mindware products for logic puzzles. The real plan, however, is to get her onto Dell/PennyPress ASAP!
  5. For 2A, we just used clear colored chips from our Bingo set. We thought they were invaluable for mastering "renaming" in addition and subtraction. I suspect that, by the time we get to numbers large enough that exceed the number of colors we have, we won't need them anymore.
  6. I highly recommend the book Grammatically Correct: The Essential Guide to Spelling, Style, Usage, Grammar, and Punctuation by Anne Stilman. Both witty and informative. Deserves a spot on your shelf next to the dictionary, atlas, and thesaurus. Also, the Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips podcast is usually a good listen, or you can browse the earlier articles on the website linked above.
  7. Had the daughter scrub the toilets clean with a toothbrush and then wash out the catboxes. Oh, I'm sorry, that's what I did with my kids at home today to eliminate complaining about boredom...
  8. I think it's worthy to practice multiple methods. If I were asked to solve the problem 113-47 on paper, I would use "borrowing". If I were asked to solve the problem 113-47 in my head, I would use what we call the "train line" method (113 is 13 away from 100; 47 is 53 away from 100; 13+53=66). We have our daughter use all methods for written work, but we don't force her to use a certain method mentally. Plus, different methods work better for mental math. For 583-199, "train line" works best; for 583-201, I would ungroup the 100s, do the separate subtractions, then regroup. Our math approach aims for flexbility.
  9. We thought Typing Instructor for Kids would be too busy, so we got Typing Quick & Easy from the same company. Good mix of instruction, typing practice, and a few games. Our 7yo is just about done with the complete training plan at 10wpm, and for 2nd grade we will have her go through it again at 20wpm. I like that the program will grow with her without seeming too childlike.
  10. The Home Instructor's Guide encourages having the student create stories about the images. Have you tried nudging her to make her stories more "mathy"? Perhaps you can turn this negative into a positive?
  11. My three Series: Narnia Series: Little House Author: Daniel Pinkwater
  12. I think HIG is the most indispensable resource, and that includes the textbook. Certainly more essential than CWP or IP. [Clarifying edit due to subsequent post: My opinion applies to 1A/1B as well.] Between CWP and IP, CWP is more traditional practice (mingled in with reading comprehension), while IP certainly pushes the limits more in some places. CWP is a better choice if you need more basic practice and you want to mix math and reading. IP is a better choice if your child is good at math and needs to be pushed. So it depends on your child. I would say for most folks that CWP is the better of the two, although I too think the whole package is the way to go if you can.
  13. This was our first year homeschooling. We crammed on curriculum beforehand and were determined to stick with things once selected. Most everything turned out from okay-to-great, and we are sticking with the same choices for next year. There are only two things worth mentioning here: Spectrum Writing: Our daughter is the non-fiction type and we really wanted something more creative she could work on. I love this series (much more than most Spectrum books), but we felt the material was far too advanced unless you pick-and-choose, and we dropped it after two lessons. So we'll stick with just FLL/WWE for now and revisit adding this back in at some point. History Pockets: We will use History Odyssey again next year but will probably forego the pockets for the same reasons given by everyone else who abandons the pockets. There are aspects of the pockets we do like such as vocabulary words, but we'll just work harder to add something in homemade.
  14. When we were doing "subtract single digit from double digit with renaming" (which 45-8 is), we taught her four different methods and gave her homework where she had to fill out a grid using all four methods: a) Split out one of the 10s, subtract from that, then add it back in: 35+2=37. (we call this "shiny dime + grimy pennies"; only break up the dime if you need to). b) Similar to above, split the 45 into 40 and 5, subtract 8 from the 40, then add back in the 5: 32+5=37 (We call this "separate and recombine 10s and 1s") c) Split the 45 into 30 and 15, subtract 8 from the 15, then add back in the 30: 30+7=37 (SM calls this "one less ten", and is the same as "borrowing" as most of us learned way back when). d) Subtract the 8 in two chunks: 5 to get down to 40, then the remaining 3 takes you to 37. We call this "train line". Another train line method is add "5 to get from 45 down to 40", "2 to get from 8 up to 10", then "30 to get from 10 to 40". This is my favorite method, especially for subtracting larger numbers.
  15. In addition to CWP, on weeks where the worksheets (inc. IP & CWP) are light, we give my daughter extra work, sometimes from Mental Math, sometimes we write up ourselves, and make her show her work for her arithmetic drills. For example, we'll give her several problems of subtracting a single-digit number from a double-digit number, and she has to show the answer using four strategies (covered earlier in 1B, we gave our own codenames for them). For example, for 73-8: 1) 73=70+3; 70-8=62; 62+3=65 (regrouping) 2) 73=60+13; 13-8=5; 60+5=65 (regrouping) 3) 73=63+10; 10-8=2; 63+2=65 (regrouping) 4) 73-8 = 70-5 = 65 (stepwise)
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