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Everything posted by Dolphin

  1. First off, don't worry. Your children are young and it sounds like you are ding a lot with them. This first year is all about finding what works and what doesn't. When looking at next year I would start off by listing all the curriculum that you have used this year in three columns. Love and want to keep Okay Hate and need to replace Just change the hate column first. I found that when I pulled my son from traditional school he had a 100% change of curriculum over night. I tried to change slowly after that. It sounds like spelling is a big issue. For your older I would look at Phonetic Zoo. Here is a review I wrote about it. There is no busy work in it, and if she is above a third grade level she should do fine with it. With your younger you could try all about spelling, or if she also doesn't like busy work look at the natural speller. I have never used apples and pears (I think), but there are a lot of people on here who love that. Spalding spelling is also one I hear good things about. I don't thing you would go wrong with any of those programs. I tend to shy away from things that try to teach to many things at once. We have always kept spelling and vocabulary separate. There are some great vocab programs out there, but I like the Evan Moor daily academic vocabulary and it is part of the teacher file box. For Math, have you looked at Life of Fred? Some use it as a main program. We use it as a supplement. It is fun math, and the treat subject my ds finishes his day with. My children are both in different math programs as they both learn math in a different way. However, they both love Fred and the way things are explained in LOF Fred help both kids. Now, onto reading. At the top and bottom of the page you probably see a link to SWB;s MP3 lectures. I would pay the $3.99 and get the Literary analysis one. That is your reading program. If you are doing history and asking questions and discussing, you are fine. Honestly when it comes to science. At this age, you can get kits and have fun. Go to your local children's museum. My dh is an incredibly well respected research chemist. He is very relaxed about the science that we taught during elementary school. He had me but away the books and play. He says that in elementary school they need to learn that science is fun, to ask questions and to experiment. I got the big bag of science and had fun. My older son is taking science classes now that he is in middle school (at our local science museum) and he is doing great. Enjoy the elementary years. Have fun. I hope this helps.
  2. As you have a second child I would strongly encourage you getting the pdf of the activity book. It has all the students pages in the back. When we were doing history the first time around I would print 2 of the maps, or the coloring pages whatever. Little sis would sit at the table and "do history" with us. She had the same sheet as big brother. She just colored and put stickers on it while I was walking through the map work with elder, or reading. We have the text, the pdf file, and the audio on SOTW1. We got the encyclopedia as well, but honestly did not add that in until 3rd grade. I look ahead in the activity book and will sometimes put some books that are recommended and look interesting on hold at the library.
  3. We were running out of room for books, so ds got a kindle for his birthday last year. Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were free to download. We can even borrow books electronically from the library on it. If it helps, my son will not read Gulliver's travels! :)
  4. Someone gave this to my ds one birthday. A ton of his friends really like it. He keeps trying, he thinks the story sound interesting, but for some reason can't get into it. :) (However he just plowed through Huck Finn and LOVED that)
  5. It is really hard to use the cards with 2 kids at once, as soon as you get the program you will see why. However... I would just get the one set. Just do it with dd, she really will fly through the program. Have ds in the room coloring or something or watching if he is interested. When dd finishes you will have an idea if he is ready to start then, or later. If dd is taking awhile going through the program and ds seems like he is ready you can always order an extra set of student cards later. To give you a guideline. The recommend starting AAS1 after they have finished AAR1 and before AAR2. Look at the readiness tests for those programs to see where your ds is in his reading. (the readiness tests also give goods ideas to supplement OPGTR. Best.
  6. Steal it. A lot of libraries have conference rooms. That way the kids can be loud, and run. With 27 kids in a conference room, most of us moms leave with headaches, but it is so worth it. It is incentive during the week to get work done, and the kids leave exhausted.
  7. Homeschooling for the rest of us. Nice, skinny, easy book that explains that homeschool families come in all shapes, sizes, faiths, etc... Really made me feel better about making mistakes and not being perfect. I homeschool but.... I am not a patient person! :) That and TWTM.
  8. The Math is great, but read the intro. You need to spend a little more time planning before using it. It is divided into topics so that you can find each topic. You are not supposed to start at the beginning and go through the book. Here is a direct quote from the forward of the book. " It is not laid out in any teaching order but rather by topic.The author envisages a chapter being revisited during the course of the year." You are supposed to skip around. Just to give an example in Junior maths 1: ch. 1 Place value: Units, tens, and hundreds ch. 3 Addition, pairs that match up to 10 ch. 4 Subtraction from 10 ch. 9 Writing sums of money ch.1 Writing numbers in words and digits. So, you start with one part, then you go back and do the next part of that topic. If they have forgotten it, you quickly review and then teach the new part. We Love GP. We use Latin Prep as our main Latin and I will use Junior Math again when my dd gets to it age wise. ETA: This is specifically for junior Maths. I believe when you get up to the 10+ SYRWTLM you go in sequence.
  9. I found that as we left traditional school at 2nd grade, we were already plugged into traditional activities. We did not do a lot with other homeschoolers, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. That was great for the first few years, but then I realized that the kids and I both needed to spend some time with others who were experiencing this life. As much as homeschool is growing, we are still a bunch of social rebels out on a limb. I talked to another homeschool mom and she had the same issue. Last spring we started a homeschool recess. We started a FB group, very local as most homeschool activities seem to on the other side of town. We picked a day and met at the park once a week. As it got colder we talked to local libraries. Most wanted to charge, but one gives 2 hours free to any non profit children's group (not registered non profit, just no sales). We meet and bring board games and such. We have stayed away from organizing anything. If one or 2 families don't show up, no biggie. No one is relying on anyone. It is purely a time for the kids to play and the moms to talk. Just a thought as it was really not much to set up, and now it just happens each week. Other than that, we do stick with traditional activities. TKD and Dance are great ones. We also have a middle school boys choir that my son does. The director is great with working with them as their voices are changing.
  10. It can be, but the original alcohol in cheese fondu was always kirsch. From what I understand Kirsch and swiss cheese go well together digestively as well as taste wise. It is a lot of cheese and the kirsch helps break it down so it is easier to digest. I think you can make it any old way you like though. Maybe a small amount of chicken stock to just thin out the cheese.
  11. Um, I would love the Wisconsin trio and the traditional swiss please. I LOVE the melting pot. ETA: Sorry for the hijack, that was just way to good of an offer to pass up. :)
  12. So many great books! I will try not to repeat. My son much preferred Huckleberry Finn to Tom Sawyer The Septmus Heap books (Magyck) is a favorite at the moment Enid Blyton: The Famous Five and the Adventure series. Calvin and Hobbes Astrix Watership Down He likes young people biographies (Walt Disney and Albert Einstein are two favorite ones) He plowed through the Hunger Games this year. LOVED those (The 11 year old, not the 8 year old for that series)
  13. We just bit the bullet and bought All About Reading 2, my dd is 6. There are placement tests on the site, if you are considering it, make sure you get the right level. It has made a world of difference here. My daughter loves the games, and has a positive attitude towards reading now. For me, that makes the program worth it.
  14. Not just me being silly then? Thanks ladies. She really was a light of wisdom here. Hugs to all.
  15. I was reading an old post that got bumped. It was February 2013, I just didn't notice the 2013 part. There was a wise post from Kay and now I am crying. I clicked on her profile. 2 days before she stopped posting. Sorry, I am being silly. Crying over someone I never *knew*. It just hit me hard.
  16. I am so up in the air this year with 6th. We just seem to be going with moving to the next thing. I am going to a conference in April, so I am hoping that we get me back on track, but I will be watching this for ideas.
  17. I only wish I had started earlier and had never sent ds to traditional school. This is year 4 and I love it. We only have such a short time with our children, Homeschooling is a gift to all of us.
  18. It might be overkill, but if he is struggling, so other issues with fractions might come up. My ds LOVED Life of Fred Fractions. After that book he feels very comfortable with fractions.
  19. At age 7, I would do this. My dh is a big time research chemist. He says the most important thing at that age is for kids to think science is fun. Keep it chill and have fun, there are great kits out there.
  20. 5-6 year old boy, I would go with "i've got no strings." from Pinocchio. My son did zip pe de do dah for his last audition and that went really well.
  21. So, from what I understand Singapore K is a book that was written by someone else to cater to the American market. The 1-6 is the meaty math program. You said you were only using the workbook. Is there also a text? We used miquon and did some math things from the videos on education unboxed for kindergarten and then moved into Singapore 1A. We find that the text book is very important to use with the workbook. The text book really explains the method of Singapore math and the workbook is practicing what the textbook taught. I find the teacher manual to be helpful, but then I am not a very mathy person. A friend, who is much more into math explained to me that Singapore does make some big leaps that some kids do fine with (my daughter is excelling with it, my son was in tears over singapore), and others struggle with. I heard that Math in Focus is very similar to SM, but doesn't make the big leaps. It breaks everything down more. I just wish I had know about it when my son could have used it.
  22. I would sit down and talk to your son. Explain that he does need to learn certain things, but ask him how he wants to learn. Listen to him. Compromise and make the decisions together. Obviously you are the parent, and make the decision in the end, but try change the course. The two of you together are an education team, and the team is not working at the moment. My children and I butt heads a lot less when they feel that they have some say and some control in their lives. Also, as for the weather, DANCE PARTY! We will blare music and just dance. If you are not up to it with the pregnancy, you would be amazed how happy they can be just having you watch and applaud them. We also use a timer so that we were only sitting for 15 minutes at a time at that age. Then we would do 5 minutes of something. At the moment, they pick, but when we are stuck inside I would have them do jumping jacks, do bear walks around the kitchen island. If you have the energy hide things around the house and then give clues for your son to go find them etc...
  23. Ok, I am late to the game, but this thread has me cracking up. I am not a baby person, but I LOVE teenagers. Stick me with one or 2 littles for a couple of hours and I am hating it. Put me in a room with 78 teens for 4 hours and I have more energy than when I went in. I will even dance around and sing about what the fox said. :) I love Jane Austen movies, HATE reading her books. I am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Gosling etc... I think Ewan Mcgregor is dead sexy! I love having Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant. DH and I are both great cooks, but we like to go out for Thanksgiving.
  24. We just started IEW SWIB with my 6th grade son. It is a DVD that you sit and watch together while he does the assignment. My son LOVED it. This guy is great for boys to listen to. My son was laughing and really enjoying writing. I am going to use it as a carrot. We are doing 1 week of WWS, followed by 1 lesson (about 2 weeks) of SWIB. Institute for excellence in writing. Student writing intensive level b. You don't need the whole expensive DVD program if you go this route.
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