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  1. I'm trying to figure out what to do for writing with my rising 8th grade daughter. We have spent the last 2 years working through WWS (and Creative Writer). She has done well with WWS, I see great benefit from it, but she hates it. (And she actually sees the benefit as well, but still doesn't like it.) My gut says to go on to WWS2 next year, but I am willing to entertain alternative ideas if they are as beneficial as WWS2. Any ideas? She's a good writer and needs something to challenge her. If this makes any difference, there is a chance she'll go to PS in high school. Thanks for your help! Cindy
  2. TarynB and Murrayshire, thank you so much for that information! That's exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to frustrate ds with the reading and he does really like those k12 student pages. One more question: did I see correctly that k12 does American History in 2 years? thanks again!
  3. My ds will be in 6th grade next year and we will be studying American History. We're both very excited about it, but I can't decide whether to go with the Story of US or American Odyssey. Background: My older daughter has been using Human Odyssey for her world history and I really like it - same authors/publishers as American Odyssey, correct? I haven't seen the concise edition of The Story of US, but really liked the 11 (?) volume version - although it's wayyyy too much. Another thing is that my son does much better with worksheets and directed questions in history, ala K12. Any thoughts or advice? Thank you!! Cindy
  4. Thank you for your replies! G, I have had my eye on IEW. I'm a little nervous about using one of the themed books with me knowing the process. I think that I have seen that I can pick that up in a manual (I can't remember the name, but saw it on another thread) rather than the costly DVD's. I'm keeping that in my back pocket. Ruth, WOW! Thanks for pointing me to your post. That helped a lot and will continue to be helpful as we move up grades. SaDonna, I appreciate your encouragement! It was spot on. We are in Week 10 of WWS so I'm looking forward to getting to week 16. And I'm encouraged by the freedom that comes from moving through the course and onto WWS2. I think I'm going to continue with WWS, but become more involved in the lessons and the teaching. I saw this in Ruth's thread and have been thinking about it anyway. Also, while we're still practicing narratives and outlines, let her get that from her content subject. I'm definitely going to check out Kilgallon as a supplement. Thanks again for all of the help!
  5. My dd has been working with WWS since the beginning of the school year. She is a very good writer and absolutely loves The Creative Writer. (we supplement with that.) The only complaints I would have about her writing is that, if she's not completely clear on a subject, she can be disorganized when she gets it on paper and she can get a little too creative and embelish too much. These don't happen too often, but they are there. When she writes from WWS, she almost never does either of these. I love WWS and think that it is very helpful for her. She hates it. She says that it's redundant and teaches her things she already knows how to do. She finds it a bit easy. I don't want her to hate writing. It's one of her strengths academically and otherwise and I don't want her to turn away from it. But I also know that sometimes the best pill for us is the one we hate to swallow. My question is this: Is there another middle shool writing curriculum that does what WWS can do? Is there another way to do WWS that might make it more interesting? Should I just tell her that it's one of those things and to power through? I guess that's 3 questions. Thanks for any advice or suggestions!! Cindy
  6. Stephanie, I only had to modify to fit with the information that we were working on at the time. For instance, last year were working through Hakim's American History, and I created a menu around a Turn of the Century "unit." If you can use a menu that's already there without modifying, go for it! I don't think that there are any group projects. A few other points about my experience with it: I didn't give my dd a menu for every unit. We probably did 3 last year. (We haven't done any this year, and I don't know why. I am completely re-inspired to set some up for this year!) I think that too many of these projects would burn a kid out. The book gives suggested time frames for the menus, but I just used my best judgement based on what was going on. You can just use your judgement and tweak it if need be. If I left a menu open ended with my dd, we'd probably still be doing it now! One of the purposes of the projects for me was to have something for her that was independent and that she had to MANAGE and ORGANIZE herself. So she had regular history work during her history lesson time during the "school day." She could work on her projects during study hall or after school. (Yes, we have study hall. A half hour I set aside for my 9 year old son to read, but since my dd reads on her own for fun, she can use the time to catch up or get ahead on school work. Or read.) I think my only other tip would be to just be open to what happens. Tweak as you go and for the next menu. Oh, and a read through Part 1 is worth it. I think I remember that there are several tips that are helpful. The format for all of the books is the same. And they have the whole series for grades 3-5 and advanced menus for middle school. That is new and I haven't seen how it is different from the regular middle school version. Okay, I'm totally picking this back up for the last half of the year!
  7. I found an interesting resource that I love for history projects. It's called Differentiating Instruction with Menus - Social Studies. It's designed for the classroom teacher, but it has lots of project ideas for history and social studies. Many of the projects are specific to a topic, but I found that they can be modified quite easily. The book also provides a list of dozens project types that can be applied to anything - history or science. Another thing I like about the book is the menus. Basically, it demonstrated different possibilities to create choice menus for the child. Again, it's set up for classrrom use, but my independent daughter LOVED having a choice in her project(s). It took some work putting together the project ideas and menus. I kept thinking how extremely inefficient it was for one child. But I had a blast doing it and we didn't get into homeschooling to be efficient, did we? :) You can get them at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. There is a middle school edition for Social Studies, Science, Math, and Language Arts. Just a thought if you enjoy putting together that sort of thing! Good luck!
  8. I started my 4th grader on Grammar Town and it's going fine. We are taking it slowly, reviewing concepts where necessary. From the posts here, I am intrigued by Sentence Island and will probably pick that up. The combination of GT and WWE have sparked a new interest in words and how they go together. It sounds like SI is just the ticket to supplement that. Am I off base?
  9. My sixth grader loves to write, so she tends to get through the 4 lessons in 4 days. BUT we also are including Creative Writer Level 1. So we might have 2 weeks of WWS then a week or two of Creative Writer. She doesn't love WWS, but does absolutely love CW. I think this gives her the energy to tackle WWS on the weeks she does have it. Bottom line - we won't finish WWS in 1 year and I'm okay with that. As it has been said, there is a lot of content in that book. Cindy
  10. We do have a dedicated room for school. Its secondary purpose is the "formal dining room." Most of our work gets done in that room. We have the white board, books and the big table in that room. My kids are different as far as how they use the school room. My daughter, who is the oldest, pretty much stays in the school room to do her work, unless she finds herself distracted by her brother. My son likes to use all of the rooms downstairs, but each has its dedicated purpose. The family room for reading and discussing literature. The kitchen for science experiments. So kids are different and I agree that a learner can change how they learn a bit. I also agree that certain rooms when used repeatedly for a purpose, invoke the behaviors for that purpose. My son settles in for our literature chat when we are on the couch during school time. It's almost calming or reassuring. Because the reassurance comes from the habit or even ritual, it follows that it might take your daughter a little time to establish those connections. With that said, when we started homeschooling a little more than a year ago, I had visions of doing school in fun places. But, alas, my kids just haven't been able to concentrate. Oh well. Good luck with it!
  11. Thank you to everyone with your great advice and assurances! I like the idea of doing American History. I was thinking about tagging on our state history anyway. They would go together quite easily. Then I could go on to the Ancients the next year. hmmm... I feel a plan coming together... btw, K12's history has quite a classical bent to it for the elementary years - can't speak for middle years. The lessons revolve around stories. The kids provide a narrative after the reading. There is usually a nice project. Timelines are involved starting in 3rd grade. Oh, and Lori D. thanks for the full outline! I was just joking, but wow! I'll print that out for sure. I had a feeling I would get great advice.
  12. I'm a newbie thinking of "converting" to the classical method of educating my kids. Currently, we are using K12 through a state virtual academy for our second year. I'll probably not convert until the next school year, but always the planner, I want to get things in place. Since K12 uses the chronological method of teaching history and since I've been tied to the state virtual academy, my kids are currently studying late ancients to midieval (2nd grade) and 1789 - current (4th grade). When we switch, I'd really like to teach the same history to both kids - just have my older study at the logic level. I just can't decide how to do it. I've read the suggestions in WTM, but it doesn't take into consideration that the kids have just studied periods and every option seems to have one kid or the other repeat a period too quickly. (Last year we studied ancients in 1st grade and the Renaissance in 3rd.) Am I making any sense? Are there any suggestions or pieces of wisdom to help me decide which way to go with this? I am willing to accept, "just pick something and don't sweat it," but would also love a complete outline on how I should proceed! :D
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