Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by HayleyKC

  1. :-) It's always reassuring to find others doing the same thing, isn't it? Yes, change/adjustments can be hard. But in the end, if the adjustments improve the flow and productivity of your homeschool and make it work for your family, it's a good thing! :001_smile:
  2. I work from home and it usually isn't full time, so that's a little different. But this winter and spring my demand at work has really gone up so it's been a struggle to keep up with everything. I have found that the more organized I am, and the more things I have "set up" in advance, the better. I've noticed that as I've gotten busier with work over the course of the school year, the things I planned really well last summer, and printed, and had ready to go, are the things that still happen and get done. Anything that I left for myself to do on Sunday eves or during the week, can totally fall through the cracks if my day gets hi-jacked by work stuff. For TOG we do a block schedule. We do one subject a day with the exception of vocabulary that is spread throughout the week and UG literature reading for my dd. That way, there is more clarity for me. For history, I can think, "okay, all we have to do is read through that book and the box is checked." Often times the kids will do all their independent work during the morning, have free time in the afternoon (because I'm swamped) and then in the evening we do our Tapestry and PR together. I don't actually intend for it to work that way, but realistically, that's what it has taken to get it done. For next year, I'm gleaning wisdom from a good organized friend of mine (who is also on this forum) and printing out everything I need for each student as far as the SAP's, vocabulary, maps, all of it, and organizing it by week, and binding it into a workbook. I think for us, having it all there and ready to go and "in my face" will help us be more accountable to get the work done. This year, we've done been pretty inconsistent with vocabulary and literature worksheets, and then really biffed it on maps for unit 3. I'm just always trying to do better the next unit and remind myself that we'll be coming back around to this a couple more times. Hope that helps!
  3. I was just explaining this to a friend who will be starting PR 3 in the fall. There are a couple of things. First of all, for the first half of PR 3 you have spelling words, framing codes, and literature. (Pretty similar to PR 2). However this time you read a whole book in the first half. The framing codes got a little tiring but then part way through for the framing codes portion of lessons, the student begins going through her spelling words and marking what parts of speech that word can be (N, V, Adj, etc.) using the dictionary. The nice thing here is, that can be independent, so it gives the teacher a little break! Framing codes end with the first half of the year. Here's where it threw me off. I thought perhaps the second half would lighten since we were done with Framing codes. NOT SO! We pick up a new component called Designing codes. That's fine, I thought, perhaps the load would stay the same. NOT SO. For the second half, you half spelling, designing codes and literature (a second book used for the second half. However, literature worksheets now incorporate grammar (replaces framing codes). So where you're used to having 1 or two literature worksheets a week, you now have one every day. That was one thing that threw us for a loop. If we missed 1 day of literature for whatever reason, we found ourselves with a workload that multiplied quickly and would have 2-3 worksheets to try to do in one day which is way too much. Especially because the worksheets are pretty labor intensive most of the time. The second thing that threw me off is, the daily schedule for the spelling/designing codes portion made no sense. (I wonder if she explained this in the early videos and perhaps I was spacing out or something!) It charts it out to do 5 words a day mon-thursday, then on friday she assigns 3-4 designing codes. Those are full pages of work. To give you an idea, Designing codes will have a latin prefix, suffix, or base, that you teach the meaning of. You have the student list out about 6 words that use that latin part. Write out the literal meanings on each, the student then figures out the part of speech for each word, and is expected to use their dictionary to look up and write out the dictionary meaning as well. Can you imagine doing 4 pages of that in 1 day? So it's just really off balance. The remedy here is to simply be aware of that and schedule out your student's work in a more balanced way. For instance 5 spelling words, 1 designing code page, and then literature reading and literature worksheet. For us, we do 10 words monday, 10 tues, and then a designing code each day wed-fri. That usually works well for us. And of course, as we learned the hard way, literature reading and work sheet EVERY DAY m-f. Now that we're adjusted and have figured out how to balance out our work and stay on course, we're feeling much better. My daughter keeps going, "that's it? we're done?" That's what I like to hear. Much better. But we flopped around for a couple of months having trouble keeping up until we got into that good rhythm. Because of that rough transition though, we're pretty burned out and excited for a break! Wow. Sorry for the book. hth!
  4. Hi Shannon- Yeah, I feel ya. It is an important part of our job as teachers/parents to do our best to provide the best for our kids- a big part of that is doing what we can to keep their love for learning alive! :001_smile: So I see your concern there in wanting to insure you don't kill any possible love for language arts. I also would agree that, finding a way to keep incorporating the spalding method is sufficient and cheaper. I have heard that all other spalding programs are even dryer and more boring. (Not sure, I've never looked at one.) But perhaps like you said, taking the rule tunes and phonograms you have acquired so fire and using them might keep it a little more interesting. I think once we finish these last 4 weeks of year 3, I'm just going to take a good close look at year 4 to be as prepared as I can before fall and do some things to lighten the load and mix it up a bit. Based on feedback from other PR users, I'm considering spending 2 school years on it and if so, I'll perhaps rotate with something else writing oriented that will be productive but in some ways a little bit of a break. We'll see.
  5. Hello- I was just commenting on another PR thread about the fact that I was a little blindsided by the second half of PR 3 this year. Then it occurred to me; I should use this wonderful WTM resource to get some words of wisdom on what to expect in year 4. I've never started a thread so it was a moment of enlightenment! :tongue_smilie: How does year 4 differ from year 3? Is there a larger jump in work load (than say from y2-y3)? Do you find it reasonable to go through at the normal 34 week pace or do you spread it out over an entire year or maybe two school years? I would love to hear feedback from you experienced users who have made it this far. Thank you!
  6. Anybody mind if I join in this conversation REALLY late? :-) I've been out of the loop on WTM for the last few months but hopping back in. We are to the last 4 weeks of PR 3 with my dd and PR 1 with my ds. I understand the "lack of love" in the second half of PR3. I think I just wasn't warned that the pace really changes in the second half. I think if I was mentally prepared, I wouldn't have felt so blindsided. If I know what I'm in for it really helps me or at least I could make modifications in advance. Oh well, we're just pushing through it and looking forward to a break! I'm definitely considering breaking year 4 into 2 years before moving into LR. I will probably read up on that thought here in the forum and take a look at it once I order it in order to decide. It was definitely a little wacky starting out this year teaching two levels for the first time. But, as with anything, a little trial and error and feeling it out and we got into a groove. There are lots of ways to make it work. Also there are some parts of year 3 with a lot more student independence that wasn't there in the first two years so keep this in mind. My mindset for the whole thing is that there is really nothing else out there that is so thorough and comprehensive. I really want the best for my kids, that's a big part of my conviction to homeschool in the first place. And yes this is teacher intensive but. . . we are teachers right? So I remind myself at times that it's not asking to much to have to do some teaching and some planning. Fortunately I don't have to do that much in most other subjects. The biggest thing I learned in the second half of PR3 was that we couldn't get away with skipping a day and doubling up here and there. Well, I take that back, we could, but that's when it got miserable. As long as we stayed on a 5 day pace, it was a reasonable amount of work for us. Any more and it was draining! So for what it's worth, that's where we're at. I find the program priceless and plan to use it with both kids all the way through LR. But I'm kind of like that anyway- not a switcher. Once I've decided something is the best thing, I commit to it and get tunnel vision. The thought of switching around and going through a new learning curve each time and risking the possibility that some important component may be left out for my kids from making the switch, puts me on edge. I find security in knowing if I just go from start to finish, we'll have all our bases covered. Hope that helps. Love reading all the insight and feedback from everyone!
  7. Have you considered a classical science curriculum that works for all elementary ages, like Apologia? So simple to just get the book/subject of your choice and go for it. Just wondering.
  8. Good input from everyone. I agree, you're the parent and knows what's best for your child better than she does at 6. I also wonder if you're questioning your judgment or your situation with her because she's your first child to homeschool from the start. Like you said you wonder if she doesn't know what she's missing, etc. I think that's only because that's what you're familiar with since that's how it worked for your older two. While that was their experience and they know why they prefer homeschool, many other kids who homeschool never had that experience to compare to and they do just fine.
  9. When I first started homeschooling, I was scared and unprepared and signed us up for a virtual charter school- Connections Academy. For kinder and 1st grade they used mostly Calvert materials which were great. When we got to 2nd grade, almost everything was Scott Foresman. What I mainly remember was Science and Math. Couldn't stand them. Science was just very typical ps agenda, very spiral, and textbooky and boring. Wasn't the worst ever, but not my favorite. The math however, was horrid! My daughter was gifted and skipped a grade, in fact even while doing this math, always got A's on all tests, etc. However, it was such a wimpy curriculum and had such little drill, that the next year when we started homeschooling on our own, she didn't remember anything she had learned the year prior. So when we started MM, I had her re-do 2nd grade. (It was a bummer too because all the topics covered in MM2 had been covered in her math, just not sufficiently.) And it was tough and stressful for her and took us over a year to recover. She suddenly had this, "I hate math", "I'm not good at math" attitude which she never had prior to that. We're finally doing great on math but it's been a long journey that came from 1 year of a mediocre curriculum. Hope I don't offend with my opinions on this, but it was very frustrating. It seemed that in each lesson they covered such a tiny little bit, and never really dug in to solidify the technique. Kind of like they just danced across the top of a lot of ideas but never landed on them to really do the job.
  10. :iagree: I was thinking maybe many who commented didn't read the question closely and misinterpreted it. Anyway, I would guess at least 5th grade. I will have to take the poll. Do we find out after we respond? Guess I will find out.
  11. We just wrapped up the reformation section. I think it was only 3 or 4 weeks. Perhaps you could skip it, or get completely different history books that offer a different perspective during that time period. But. . .especially for grammar students, it may just be easier to skip it if it's not a key point in history based on your religious views. Or, like FlyingMom and Renaissance Mom, maybe it's not even enough of an issue that you have to worry too much. One of the things that has come up repeatedly for us over Year 1 and 2 is the concept that people sin and so corruption works into religion no matter what. It has since the beginning. We've seen it since creation and all through year 1. So my kids have noticed that theme, and haven't taken it as one particular stream of Judaism or Christianity is all bad because of it. They've just seen it as a theme in human sin nature throughout history. My kids seem to have gained an appreciation for Eastern Orthodox, Catholicism, and now Lutheranism after the history we've learned. They haven't taken the history information and geared it toward being judgmental toward a certain doctrine because, like I said initially, all of these conflicts in the Church throughout history just show man's sin and need for Christ. They don't prove one doctrine is right or wrong. So I think it will be ok. Just my thoughts. :-)
  12. I believe the new year 1 will be available in August, or at least sometime this summer. They do often run sales but I haven't pinpointed when they happen. If you sign up on their website you can get their monthly newsletter which always announces changes and sales. Just a thought. Here is a link to their latest one. http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/company/newsletter.php
  13. I just mentioned this on a couple of other threads. Games! I've struggled a long time with my daughter taking hours on her math and totally spacing out and doodling. It's dreadful. I started doing 20 min of math games before she did her math work. I did this until she picked up pace. Now it's just every so often or as I see her hit a lull again. For math games, I use the MM game links listed at the beginning of the chapter, also rightstart has a book of math games that I've used as well. I also bought "sum swamp" on amazon at one point and even though it was behind her work level, it was still math related and helped her brain get into math. It over all made math fun, built her drill skills and then suddenly she began to like math more and feel like she was good at math again. So it began a positive chain reaction to where today for example she had a longer than usual assignment that was 5 pages and she was done in about 40 minutes. For a frame of reference she's been known to let a 2 or 3 pg assignment take 5 hours!! So things are much improved. Can't say it enough, games really do help. :-)
  14. :iagree: Love Tapestry. There's so much there to work with. You can customize it to your students and to your family but bottom line, you're all on the same page in history and the surrounding humanities subjects. It's been a delight for us and I will be sticking with it through highschool. We're almost done with our 2nd year. Anywho, hope that helps! :-)
  15. Wow. I can't believe how much of what you describe lines up with frustrations I've had with my dd8! She is my oldest and she is honestly brilliant. However, she really struggles so much with not being productive. I believe it's the creative/intelligent side that actually side tracks her from the more practical things in life. This year has been extremely obvious with my ds6 in 1st grade and he's moving through things so quickly. He's the one that's more loosy goosy, fun, class clownish if you know what I mean and yet he's plowing right through his schoolwork no problem. She's my super artistic, hyper-intelligent, extremely mature child and yet she has been known to let a 3 page math assignment take 5 hours!! And yes, her messes are ridiculous! My son will just start slammin' out his cleanup and get it over with and she will be in lala land looking at every little detail and after 2 hours the mess looks the same. So. . . I understand where you're coming from. I've been at my whits end many times. Here's what I'm finding. She'll be 9 in a couple of weeks and I've been amazed over the last couple of months how many things have started "clicking" for her and picking up pace. Her independent work for instance has really picked up. She suddenly seems to stay focused and get her work done much quicker than ever before. I can't say what has brought on the change except that perhaps her maturity is helping her along. Bottom line is we can agree mine and yours are both very bright. I don't know about your son, but my daughter is extremely creative. It's probably extreme intelligence and creativity that causes their mind to wander off and forget what they're supposed to be doing or focusing on. We as parents need to find a way to encourage their strengths but to help equip them to also function in the real world, if you know what I mean. :-) For math in particular, which was our biggest problem for a year or two, I finally started implementing more math game time and drill. I started out by having 20 minutes or so to rotate between drill and a math game before she did her regular math work. This helped make math fun again and helped her get quicker at the basic math facts so she could answer problems quicker giving her less of a chance to get distracted. That lead to her liking math again. Once she liked math, she began to focus and work faster. Like you said, when your son likes something, he thrives. It's when he's not into it, that he drags his feet. You know it's not ability that's holding him back, it's lack of interest. Same with my daughter. Anyway, this was the beginning of a big turnaround for us. Once her math improved, her overall discipline with independent work in all subjects took a big jump forward as well. It's been gradually improving over the last 4 or 5 months. I can only assume it started with math getting better from the games, and then her maturity helping her step it up overall. There are my thoughts. I hope you can be encouraged. I understand it can be frustrating but we have to hang in there and figure out how to harness their strengths and balance out their weaknesses so they can succeed in life. He will improve over time if you hang in there, but he will always be who he is. And that's okay. :-) Don't give up! Blessings,
  16. Oh dear! Well that adds a whole different level of complexity to your situation, doesn't it?? I'm sorry! I wish I was more familiar with resources in the UK but I'm clueless! Hmm. I understand being exhausted and that can be demotivating for sure. Have you looked at the TOG site where it describes the breakdown of each unit and even each week? I'm thinking you could just go by that guide and go to the children's non-fiction section of your library and find books for each topic. Doesn't really matter if they're not the books on TOG list. I admit they've done the work of finding exceptional books which is nice to use, however, if you're just attracted to the classical 4 year rotation and the idea of your whole family studying the same thing, TOG has done the work of creating a wonderful structure and outline for you. You can just check out available books that fall in line with it. You could even just plan on not purchasing any and using what's available at your library and online. Ooh. That reminds me, another great option is to look at getting an ereader of some sort (kindle, nook, etc.) and downloading books, especially for your 10yo and could be used by your others sometimes too. Many of the literature books in TOG are great classics that are often times free to download! Rather than feeling overwhelmed and exhausted over hunting down specific books, we could turn it around completely and feel relieved that so much of the work is done for you as far as organizing what content to cover each week/unit/year for the 4 year rotation. All you have to do is grab a few books off the shelf for that subject. (for example ancient Egypt, renaissance artists, reformation, etc.) Yes you won't be able to use the book-specific worksheets, but that's not a big deal. Also, that is frustrating about the Year 1 revision they're doing. However, I used an older version from '05 I think and it was awesome. S to flip that around, you could save a TON of money and buy a used copy of the Year 1 redesign and just go off of that. Yes you may be missing out on some cool changes they're doing, but really, like me, you won't know what you're missing because it's all you will have. Sorry if I'm going to "Pollyanna" on you, I'm an eternal optimist! Hope you find some of it helpful. Good luck to you!!
  17. Explode the code. Nowhere near as thorough as Phonics Road but great for a supplement as it doesn't contradict it by any means. It's cheap, easy to use, independent, and would change the pace but help to keep stuff and the top of mind for her. Not sure which level but I'm guessing after PR1 maybe Book 3 for Explode the code. (Maybe higher actually) You'd have to browse through it probably.
  18. That's what we do. My ds is on MM1B right now. I'm noticing him gradually get more independent throughout the year but I always start out by reading through the teaching with him and doing the first couple with him. My ds who is doing MM3B does it all on her own including reading the lesson at the beginning. She comes to me when she needs help. I spot check to make sure she's on track and often she does her math nearby me so I can remind her to stop "spacing out" and focus once more on her math. :-) Sounds like everyone on here is doing something similar. I think we're okay! :-)
  19. We use MM and Miquon together with the rods. Seems to work wonderfully. I too believe MM does an outstanding job at really solidifying concepts and helping your child master math skills. Miquon seems to compliment MM well and covers the same topics but in slightly different ways which my kids enjoy. It's true that most of us weren't taught math the way these teach do but I believe they do a better job. I've also noticed that they teach things in patterns which aids in memorizing facts and improves mental math skills. I will say that we did hit a point where my daughter had a rough time last year during MM2 and early on this year. I finally started using the math game links that are included for each chapter. Can't believe what a difference that made as it gave her practice and brought the fun back into math. Now we don't always use the games but her whole outlook on math is so much more positive. So hitting a "rough patch" with your child, doesn't necessarily mean you have to change everything you're doing. Try to determine where the mental block is and supplement with math games to build those skills that are lacking and I think when the fun is added, our kids build a more positive association with the subject. When they get positive about it, it becomes so much easier, doesn't it?!
  20. Hello! I am a TOG user and this year I had an 8 and 6 year old like you will have. To have the 3 ages you'll have sounds really ideal for TOG and I anticipate you guys will all have a blast and learn incredible things. As far as the books go, I do realize there are a lot and it can get spendy. There are many options to work with this in an affordable way. First, decide what levels your kids will be. For many subjects it may be possible to share books, even if they're at different levels. For instance, you may have your upper grammar and dialectic students both use upper grammar history books, you may opt out of history in depth for some of your students, art can often be shared between 2 or more levels, etc. Once you've decided on a final list and consolidated some, then you can begin searching for the best deals. 1. Search your library for all books. IF your library has 2 or more copies, I'd consider it a reliable source. I seem to have huge success for Lower Grammar books especially which would help with your 6 year old. Also, be sure and look on Tapestry's website for replaced books, go back and check the old out of print books as often times that may be what the library carries. Whichever option the library has, go with it. 2. With the books you have left, see if some might be replaced with something the library does have. For instance a youth non-fiction book on Rembrandt. The exact one on the TOG list may not be there but I bet there are several others that would do the job. TOG also has an Alternate book list for most subjects you could resort to as well. 3. For the remaining books, that you may want to purchase, I start by putting the entire list on my wish list on Paperbackswap.com. Once setup on their, start collecting books you need (at a slow pace). (Books are basically $3.50 or less per book) 4. Next I go to powells.com and goodwillbooks.com and see what books they have that are $3.50 or less and purchase them as I'm able to. (Of course for any books purchased here, I take them off of my wish list at pbs.com) 5. With the remaining books that I've decided I still want and can't replace with alternates, I shop around on amazon, Barnes and Noble, powells and of course, Tapestry's Bookshelf central. Many of the books I find are on Amazon's buy 3 books get 1 free list for children's books. I take all this into consideration along with shipping deals and make purchases as I have the funds in preparation for the year. I know this is an elaborate process but it has been sooo worth it for us and has saved us hundreds of dollars just in the 2 years we've been doing TOG. The savings over time will be even more substantial. I have a growing inventory for next year already and am now starting to gather books for the final year as I find them cheap. Another great resource is if you have or make close friends who are doing the program but on a different year. I have a good friend that we do swap books when we can. That is of course a huge resource as well. Hope this helps! I realize I didn't offer you an alternative curricula because I don't know of one, but I did want to share how I worked around the cost of books. Best Wishes!
  21. I wouldn't hold back on what you teach him based on you PS plan for K. Teach what he's ready to learn and since he's on the older side for prek (like my son), he may be ready to learn kindergarten type stuff during preK. If anything, it may make PS kindergarten become an apparent wrong choice when the time comes, which it sounded like you weren't too excited about anyway. Yeah?
  22. Cool! Yes after reading the other thread I realized how lame it was that we have a drive in 45 min away and have never taken our kids! My husband and I used to go when we lived there but it's been years now. We should really go!
  23. Both my kids went to preschool for 3's. Just for a fun experience really. But that was it.
  24. I was like her! My mom had originally said I could shave at 11. But I was so darn hairy! Two weeks before my 10th birthday (so technically 9), I was in the shower and hollered to my mom. When she came in I said, "Since my birthday's coming up. . . can I please start shaving?" I know she felt bad for me and my majorly hairy legs too, so decided it would be okay. She gave me a quick lesson on the spot and the shaving began. Don't know if this is right or wrong, but she never made it an issue that my dad had any say in. It was kind of a girl thing I guess. It wasn't a secret or anything, just something she decided on. Now. . . my 8 yo dd is on the same track. My husband and I both have noticed how hairy her little legs are and I know it's from me! Fortunately right now the hair is super light which was better than mine. That may soon change though. She hasn't made an issue of it but I suppose I should be prepared for when she does. In our case, my husband won't have a problem. He kind of feels bad for her already that her legs are already so hairy, but he's relieved/glad she doesn't feel bad about it. When she does, we will oblige. No sense in letting something small like that cause her to be self conscious. There will be enough things to deal with that can't be as easily remedied. I just want to be sure and wait long enough that I think she can safely use a razor! :scared:
  • Create New...