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Everything posted by mytwomonkeys

  1. Well I've never used this curriculum, so take my opinion with that in mind (reading something and then doing it are so different, ykwim?). I'd say the grammar is hands down more than sufficient. I'd say the writing also is totally appropriate for 9th grade, as it focuses on quality writing & lays a wonderful foundation. From what I can tell it really focuses on learning to write well over quantity. If you gave your child writing assignments across the curriculum, they will definitely have enough writing. Spelling & Reading are also appropriate for grade 9. It utilizes sentence dictation & the reading is not watered down. Also. the challenge readers are books you choose, so that is perfect. Geography may or may not be sufficient, really just depending on your goals. The way I look at it though, if they learn everything included over the years, my son is going to be ahead of the game. Poetry memorization is also totally age appropriate. And it would be easy to substitute a different poem. Also, for State ladders, you could substitute with Sheppherds software. You could always email the author through the contact page. There is also a placement test you can give your child. What I posted earlier was really just verbatim from what their website says regarding their levels & suggested placement.😊 ETA Here's the assessment.
  2. My son is 13 & going into the eighth grade. I definitely think this curriculum is enough. She said it's for an advanced 8th grader or average 9th grader. She says after Level 7 they will be ready for Honors High School 1, which comes out next summer. If they don't complete Level 7 then in 9th grade they'd take High School Level 1 (not Honors), as that is equivalent to Level 7. It says Level 6 is for 7th/8th grade. And my understanding is there is not going to be a Level 8.
  3. What you describe is my 13 year old to a T. My son is getting ready to come home from public school and I'm so grateful! He makes good grades but only because I have to stay on top of his assignments It's exhausting! A mom on here recommended a book "Smart but Scattered". I'm currently reading it & enjoying it. Knowing that my son is very disorganized (very ADD but no hyperactivity), I'm really trying to get him to become organized. Anyway, not much with advice but wanted to say you are not alone.
  4. Yes, I would definitely choose another curriculum if you are looking for a light grammar year. There is a good bit of sentence diagramming & a strong focus on grammar overall. As for writing though, it seems to be very solid. In-between essays it really focuses on writing well constructed sentences, so the emphasis is more on quality than quantity.
  5. The Level 7 guide says it should be used 4 days a week & won't take longer than 90 minutes a day (that time includes 30 minutes of reading the assigned challenge book too). A mom on TWTM said it only takes her daughter about 45 minutes a day; her daughter used Level 4 or 5 I think. Im not sure if that included extra reading or just the workbook.
  6. My son will be writing with our history curriculum and doing book summaries, so we are not supplementing with a writing curriculum on top of TG & TB. In looking at it though, it certainly seems to be enough on its own, definitely enough if your child is writing in other subjects. The first writing lessons seem to focus on paraphrasing, which is introduced in Lesson 9. In Lessons 19 and 20 it discusses the thesis & body of an essay, topic sentences, styles of writing, etc. And in Lesson 22 the first essay is assigned about nature. The next essay assigned is an informal essay in Lesson 29, so I'd say it moves along nicely. The writing assignments seem to be bitesize though, so it doesn't seem like too much all at once, which I love. It assigns note taking, thank you notes, fictional biography, dialogue, fictional story, friendship essay, editing, short stories, and a literary analysis essay. It is very heavy on grammar. There may be more writing assignments as well, but that's what I see in glancing over it. :-) Hope this helps.
  7. I just purchased and received Level 7. I definitely like this curriculum. My impression so far: The lessons seems short but overall will require my son to really think & apply himself. Nice mix in the lessons, not the same exact thing everyday. Student can work independently If you have specific questions about this level, happy to answer :)
  8. It sounds like my son. I'm sorry, and I do sympathize ((hugs)). The poster who said your firstborn is organized, lol. Yes! That's my daughter! Someone on here recommended a book, "Smart but Scattered". I actually just got it in the mail today!
  9. So, from what I can see, her actual ability to read is up to par but her comprehension is lacking. Is that correct? When you all discuss a passage, article, or book can she tell you about it in her own words? Also, did you specifically use materials in your curriculum focused on testing in comprehension? I know the public schools here use "cold reads" all of the time to train kids for testing. I mean all.of.the.time! For some, this comes really easily, but for other students not so much. The wording can be very tricky and very difficult to decipher. You coujd get a free trial at Time 4 Learning to get practice aligned with common core. Definitely there can be underlying issues, so I'm not trying to be dismissive of your concerns at all. But I just know schools spend a lot of time here on prepping for the test. so my first thought is if she reads okay, and if asked, can discuss with you what was read-- that's a good start. I would look at incorporating cold reads into her curriculum next year. They are very specific to state testing.
  10. In looking at her website, I'm not exactly sure how it works? If it's inclusive of all ages which form would you buy when they're divided by grade levels? I am on my phone so perhaps the website would navigate easier on my desktop. Also, it seems to be a PDF purchase only, is that right? That would make the curriculum quite costly imho. From what I can tell it seems very similar to Simply Charlotte Mason's "Keep it Simple" curriculum. Have you seen that? Its really lovely.
  11. Coastalfam my son does have a phone. We definitely will include using a calendar & reminders (I personally would forget everything without my daily schedule on my phone). At school they can't have phones & in middle school the teachers don't communicate to the parents. It has been a challenge to help my son stay on top of his schoolwork (that he is totally capable of - it's just the remembering part that's hard). Thank God his teachers allow him to turn things in late! Onestepatatime... that book looks amazing! I just ordered it (teen edition) and I can't wait to read it! I just finished the preview at Amazon. It really describes my son. He is genuinely such a smart kid, but oh my goodness, this child is disorganized! I love the idea of workboxes. We used them when my children were in elementary school. I think that alongside a daily calendar will work perfectly. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies!
  12. My son is 13 & is returning to homeschooling (we are finishing up 7th grade in public school now). One thing I'd really like to work on with my son is organization. My objective is to prepare him for future college courses and keeping up with his assignments. In our state he will be able to dual enroll in 10th grade. If you have any kind of system that helps teach your child organization with their school work, I'd love to read about it. My son makes good grades at school, but I can't tell you how many times we've had to write a to-do list on his hand in sharpie (he would lose the paper).
  13. Disclaimer: I've never used this curriculum. However, it was a top consideration & looks wonderful to me. "Visits to North America" by Simply Charlotte Mason.
  14. It certainly can feel overwhelming, we've all been there. ((Hugs)) As for common core, no worries. I homeschooled my children through elementary school. They both went to public school beginning junior high years, and I was concerned because I had not followed the public school scope & sequence at all. To my pleasant surprise, they not only met the standards, but surpassed their peers without issue. My daughter is now in high school in honors classes. My son will be in eighth grade, but he has asked to return to homeschooling permanently. Like you, I felt a little overwhelmed. We are coming up on high school quickly & this is all new territory for me. Before choosing any curriculum, the place I started was with looking at the big picture. Why are we homeschooling? For us, my son has lost his zest for learning and is not happy at school (not to mention, he is learning bad habits). So before I even looked at curriculum, I knew that we needed something he would enjoy learning with. My son is an avid reader, it's his absolute favorite pass-time. Therefore, I knew a curriculum heavy on reading was important. However, he doesn't love textbooks, so I wanted something that would require great literature (or "living books" that bring the subject to life). My son struggles in math, it's his worst subject. Likewise, it is the subject we argued about most during homework time. Therefore, I knew I wanted a lot of hand holding in this area & our curriculum choice reflects that. I agree with the previous posters that said focus on the 3 R's. I would take a little extra time & look over the various styles of homeschooling though (Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason has a great video on youtube called the "Five Flavors of Homeschooling". In fact, all of her videos are amazing). I've found, every curriculum is influenced by a style & knowing the different methods will help you understand what you are actually buying. The worst curriculum choice is the one that doesn't get used or ensues panic or tears. This next year, my sole focus is to foster a love for learning and to develop good character in my son. With that in mind, it will continuously guide how we learn and what curriculum we use. No worries. It will all work out. Have fun together & enjoy this next school year with your son! :)
  15. I have spent hours looking over this curriculum. It's really lovely! Thank you for sharing it. I ordered the level 7 LA for my son just now & Im considering Year 2 History as well. This is totally and completely not at all what I was planning, but it looks so good! I wasn't even tweaking anything in my mind while reading it!
  16. Scroll down to Level 7-9 (this is for history Year 1) Here's Level 7 for Language Arts: Does anyone know when History Year 2 comes out if you can start there instead if Year 1? Does it matter if you go out of sequence?
  17. I really hesitated to answer because I'm by no means an expert. But I will gladly share with you what worked well with my children. I hope it helps you. In lieu of a curriculum, we simply use a method. To teach a sentence, we focus on turning a simple, boring sentence into something better. This is very similar to where we start: I would write several simple sentences & have my children rewrite them a few times, not repeating any words used previously. Each child had a writing folder & at the front we kept a list of adjectives, verbs, adverbs etc. that they could reference. We specifically liked this: Now this method doesn't work with every style of writing, but it will certainly benefit the beginning writer. Once the sentence was mastered, we moved onto a very basic introductory paragraph. I'd usually ask them to write about something simple in the beginning, just to make it easier. So, for example, I might ask, who is your favorite person? We would number the page 1-5 1) Answer the question 2) reason 1 3) reason 2 4) reason 3 5) restate your answer So, it may look like this 1) My mom is my favorite person. 2) She is nice. 3) She takes care of me. 4) She is funny. 5) My mom is great. Now, those sentences put together create a paragraph. However, we would turn those simple sentences into great sentences before writing it all out in paragraph form. My children would stay at this stage until they could easily write a paragraph on just about anything (books they read, historical events or people, etc). To go from a paragraph to a five paragraph paper, we simply added to our method. So looking at the very simple example above, it becomes: A) Introduction 1) My mom is my favorite person. 2) She is nice. 3) She takes care of me. 4) She is funny. 5) My mom is great. B) Paragraph 1 1) My mom is nice 2) Example 3) Elaborate 4) Example 5) Elaborate C) Paragraph 2 1) She takes care of me 2) Example 3) Elaborate 4) Example 5) Elaborate D) Paragraph 3 1) My mom is funny 2) Example 3) Elaborate 4) Example 5) Elaborate E) Closing Paragraph. 1) Just a couple of lines restating that your mom is your favorite person Anyway, this is all very basic. And this post is now very long :-) Once you've mastered the above, I'd recommend Seven Sister's Homeschool ebooks for middle school students on writing. They're cheap & self explanatory. Here's a link to the essay one: My kids are 15 & 13 and both learned this method & write quite well. It served as a nice beginning point for us. Hope this helps you!
  18. When my kids were younger we used all of the Christian Liberty Press nature readers & owned most of the "Lets Read & Find Out About" books. That was our science spine for elementary, and we would add library books and magic school bus videos, nature walks and journaling, etc
  19. Thank you!!! I really appreciate your insight!
  20. Thank you! Do you have any expectations (like compare and contrast, expository, etc) or use a rubric of sorts? I was thinking an essay or two throughout the month based on the people or events we are studying. Does that sound reasonable?
  21. Next year I'm really leaning toward no writing curriculum. I was considering EIW, but I really think treating it as a separate subject will just add more work than is needed. My son is 13 & will be in 8th grade. He writes decent, and I'd like to use history as our main subject for his writing. I'm creating our own American history with living books & we will add map work, geography, projects, a time line, videos, and writing. Having said all this, I've not actually tried this though -- it's all an idea still just rolling around in my head. So I'm curious, if you do this already, what it looks like in your day to day? How often does your child write? Do you only ask for narrations or do you focus on different writing styles? If there is an existing thread on this topic or a blog you'd like to link, that's great too! I didn't see anything when I searched. I've been reading all day & still can't find a good peek into how this would look as far as assignments and expectations. Thank you!
  22. I would let her write with no corrections. However, I would keep track of misspelled words for future spelling lessons.
  23. My son will be returning to homeschooling after being in public school. Here's our plan: History - Creating our own LA - Good & The Beautiful Level 7 Math- Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra Science- Apologia General Science, one day with co-op & other days at home Extra Curricular - Monday - co-op (Science, Bible, Drama, Study Hall) •Electric Guitar, weekly lesson & daily practice
  24. "It's Recorder Time" by Alfred D'Auberge was our favorite. Very easy to understand & by the end of the book you're able to play "The First Noel". I used it when my children were elementary aged.
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