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Everything posted by BBG580

  1. I loved Core Knowledge when I first read about it and I'm not sure why I didn't pursue it?! I really like your idea of using CK for science and adding my own books and activities for the early years. Thanks for this comment, it is so appreciated. I also appreciated the Kolbe recommendation. I've never heard of it before this thread and it is seriously appealing to me. I will be looking into it more for potential use later on. Thanks everyone for replying. We are fine with what we are currently using and very happy (my kids are little so it is hard to go wrong at this point, I think!) but I appreciate the opinions.
  2. Title is supposed to be WHY DID YOU QUIT? No idea how to edit the title of the post?! I'm using PR1 with my 5 year old and liking it very much. I'm curious about the folks who have tried this program and it didn't work? Was it the DVDs? Was it something else? We are not very far into PR1 and I am just curious as to the "negatives" of the program that would make a family stop using it. Thanks!
  3. I heard the choirs of heaven's angels when I looked at this! Wow!
  4. I'm a very ardent and adherent Catholic Christian but I choose mostly secular homeschooling materials because: 1) I do not want to deal with tweaking and, 2) I think faith in Christianity is better modeled than instructed constantly. With that said, I am also finding a serious lack in the science homeschool materials available. Most are religious and seem to have that as the focus which is particularly not what I am looking for especially if it is Young Earth based curriculum. I do have BFSU and it looks good for my little kids but I really wonder about grades 3+ because I would not use Apologia and that is what seems to be largely recommended here at WTM forums.
  5. My parish is largely run by volunteers in the special interest areas (Adoration chapel, youth groups, homeschool co-op and so on) and those volunteer hours are really appreciated and valuable. Even the most dedicated volunteers can only be expected to solicit the participation of those who they believe will actually be interested in the ongoing groups and things that are available at our parish. I guess I just thought it rather presumptuous to assume that very sporadic Mass attendance would garner the invitation to extra activities via the parish when a lot of that is handled by people who are busy with their own families and are helping out generously. I don't begrudge the OP the opportunity to participate I just found it odd that she would assume that they would get an invite when by her own admission her family had not been actively participating in the parish in the most basic way (Mass attendance).
  6. I see, sorry I dragged us off track. I suppose I would think a program with decent academic rigor would challenge the student both conceptually and in core content. If you were thinking of a math program it would allow the student to master basic algorithms while also helping the child meet and understand concepts that are advanced. I've only used Miquon for a very short while but I think that program fits the bill of a rigorous program but at the same time I'm not sure if I would have the confidence to use it independently! A good L/A program would require a child to write, read comprehensively, understand and successfully utilize standard grammar and learn new vocabulary. A good history program would introduce historical data factually but also relate it to larger human themes, how we as human beings relate to the world around us and why the choices that have effected human history were made (whether for greed, the good of a people, etc.). A rigorous science program would not only introduce children to the facts of the laws of science but also make them excited to explore the world around them. I've found that most science programs I've looked at disassociate the scientific theory from the excitement of our human lives and how it effects us. Biology seems to get it the most "right" but the areas of physics and chemistry can be too abstract and... boring... to create interest and long term learning connections. Am I making sense here? I also think the quote I posted from the other thread, upthread here, makes a good point. Are homeschool curricula companies marketing material at "down-level" simply to snag more customers? I understand that not all children will be on level 3 at 3rd grade but some universal standard benchmark of the average is helpful no matter what style and pace of learning a particular child takes. Thanks for replying!
  7. Frankly, I am not sure what I think about CSMP because I have such strong and dramatic emotional reactions to my experience with that math program, and almost none of it positive. No, I do not think I had teachers who were committed to teaching a program that was so different from what was largely being taught in the mid to late 80s. You have the benefit of *choosing* to use that program and being excited about it, a teacher who is not comfortable with the material would have a much harder time using it effectively. When I think of homeschoolers I generally think of parents who are committed to providing academic rigor in their homes, especially parents who are frequenting the WTM forums. Then again there are a multitude of styles and reasons to homeschool so that is a really naive view on my part. With that said, I believe if a curriculum is rigorous it will require some work on the part of the teacher and student. Then again, I'm new to homeschooling which is why I'm asking for advice!
  8. Seriously? Why in the world would the parish think they would be interested if they haven't participated voluntarily in quite awhile?
  9. And I suppose this is where I would step in and refute my own original question by stating emphatically that a curriculum is only as good as the instructor utilizing it. I was a CSMP failure, I was instructed via CSMP in a gifted program from 2nd-6th grade and higher math was a complete failure for me. My transition to higher math was horrible. I've looked at the program as an adult and I can see how valuable and interesting it is, but in my specific case it was nothing of the sort.
  10. I can see how this post could step on toes, as everyone will feel defensive about the particular curricula that they chose and why they chose it for their child(ren). I thought of this question when I read this in the other thread and I think it is worth addressing, which is why I posted this question here in the first place.
  11. As a spin-off from the Parent's General Board about public schools and their academic rigor, I am curious about what you feel are the most academically rigorous homeschool curricula on the market currently for the following subjects. This is not the curriculum you personally love to work with or that your child particularly responds well to, just that it requires hard work from an average student for the grade level it is intended. Math Science L/A History Geography Foreign Language
  12. I'm wondering how accurate the info. is on the site? It lists our local elementary school as having a current population of 750 when it is at 1100 for this year. It started at 750 students in 2006.
  13. 7 for ours. It is seriously overcrowded though, no matter what the test scores I think kids deserve better at age six than being 30 in a class with one teacher.
  14. I agree. Our elementary school tests very well in all grade levels. The children receive Mandarin language education from K forward. There are Smart Boards in every single classroom and the PTO and parent volunteer situation couldn't be better. The school is also seriously overcrowded. There are 7 classes of each grade all of which have at least 25 students. That means there are on average 175 kids in each grade in the school. What gives this school an edge? It's the parents. I live in an affluent area and the parents are involved. Their kids may be in school all day but those parents are working with their children at home. No matter how much money a school has access to and how many expensive amenities the school offers the single thing our local elementary school depends on is parental volunteering and donations and general parental involvement. I'm homeschooling because I think my children deserve more attention than any teacher could possibly provide with 25+ children in their class. I also think it is excessive to have my little children away from home 40+ hours a week beginning in Kindergarten. If I am going to have to shell out $ and volunteer I'd rather keep it "in house". :tongue_smilie:
  15. I was also completely overwhelmed with the choices and knew that I had to find something that had worksheets and manipulatives, even better if the manipulatives varied. I finally settled on McRuffy Color Math 1 with Miquon Orange as a supplement and it has been great! I hardly see anyone posting about McRuffy Color Math here but it is a great program, the IG is clear without being too scripted and my kid really likes it.
  16. I think this is such a good point and it is very true for me. I am so busy with my own children that most of my adult friendships at this point have to be pretty easy and generally involve my children as well. I do have a good friend whose son is allergic to many foods and she always brings food for him or offers to prepare food that everyone can share. I don't think these women were intentionally being mean to you, I think they just need some easy in their lives and micro-managing food and worrying if they've somehow messed up prior to meeting with you and your family and that failing on their part could lead to some disastrous consequences for your son - well, that is a lot of responsibility to ask of other people. I wouldn't want to feel that responsible for potentially causing another child to suffer seriously physically. Anyway, I'm so sorry you feel so hurt. I don't think they are rejecting you personally, I think they are just not well equipped to deal with the special needs of your son or to feel that they have to shoulder some of the responsibility for his allergies when you are all together. :grouphug:
  17. I had to help with this very thing when I was a kid many, many years and I've always thought young girls who romanticize having a baby should be responsible for bottle feeding lambs - even in the middle of the night - for several weeks to see what it's like! I need 8 hours to feel good, I usually get 6-7 and I can function but it takes a lot of concealer under my eyes for me to not look like I've been punched.
  18. A piece by Sharon Astyk in response to an article written about Radical Homemakers: http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2010/07/myths_of_incompetence.php
  19. I am on the verge of passing out just reading this thread. :) Totally not a snake person, but congrats on your new pet!
  20. I read this several months ago and I am still going back and rereading portions! It is in a pile in the baby's room where I nurse and I pick it up more often than not for another read. I love Sharon Astyk's blog, Causabon's Book, as well. Radical Homemakers and CB seem to go hand in hand.
  21. We are focusing more on geography and past versus present for first grade to make sailing into history for 2nd+ a little easier. We are going to use Evan Moor's Beginning Geography K-2 and Expedition Earth by Confessions of a Homeschooler along with Highlight's Top Secret Adventures and a lot, lot, lot of read alouds and finding things on the map and making dishes from around the world. What I like about Expedition Earth is that it is a fun way to introduce 31 countries around the world but it is fun, a lot of coloring and good books and songs and so on so it is hands on for little ones.
  22. I had such a great experience this weekend! My mom is a 40 year public education veteran and has been very unsupportive of homeschooling. She has stated that I would never be able to teach my kids to read without having training. This weekend we visited and she was asking my oldest some basic questions about letter sounds and I handed my kiddo her reader that we've been working through and she sat down and read to my mom. My mom was stunned and exclaimed, "She can read!". What in the world did she think we've been working on the last several months? :) The proof really is in the pudding, as so many wise women on this board have told me before. Thanks for all the support as we've started this venture, it is so appreciated.
  23. Prayers for Ava and Tina. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:
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