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Everything posted by ChandlerMom

  1. The following is my personal political opinion on the subject: :rant: ....back to our regularly scheduled programming....
  2. I find it kind of sad that nowadays "christian" means fundamentalist or creationist. I recall when I was a kid the "conservative ones" where the Catholics, now they'd be considered flaming liberals. :lol: I myself am christian, a scientist (which means yes, I believe evolution is undeniable), and a mother of three. I believe studying and understanding the beliefs of people like and unlike me is important to understanding history. I prefer history to view itself thru the lens of the subject, not revised to match with someone else's ideas of good and evil. I'm very excited to be transferring my 7yo fully over to homeschooling in Dec (she has been "schooled at home for 2.5yrs; is 2+ years ahead in her LA and Math), and am obsessively scrutinizing curriculum I choose, knowing from now on I can't whine and moan about someone else's choices. :D I also am HSing a 5yo (kindie) and have a 2yo running amuck. So far, I'm planning on using Math Mammoth, SingSong Latin, and start piano lessons, and am honing down on the science and history (the tough subjects for secular curriculum -- Suggestions??). I'm planning to take a break from grammar (she's so far ahead and I'd like my little perfectionist to find her voice and write and read prolifically instead).
  3. We normally don't take "breaks" but had family over for T'day and the kiddos have been passing a cold around (now, to me) so we took the holiday off. Yesterday was a challenge, I just planned on half the work since we still have sniffles. Today we were *supposed* to do a full day, but DH is home and decided to put the Christmas tree up FIRST THING (insead of after learning and after nap). So, barely a lick of work and no nap for the 2yo. I really needed that nap. :ack2: Oh well, there's always tomorrow, right? :willy_nilly:
  4. Would your DD be interested in TEACHING SS to your younger ones? You could "assist" or have her be your assistant if you aren't comfortable with her teaching it. That way she'll still be practicing some latin, but can take a "year off". Kiddos usually LOVE to be the authority on a subject, so it might change her attitude. You could go to a different curr for her NEXT year.
  5. duplo blocks. Use the different colors for different fractions of a stack of 12.
  6. Actually, you sound like a typical parent new to homeschooling -- you start out rigid worrying about your own competence and as you go you relax and find your own way as you build confidence. :D When our first child was born, I discovered the most important sentence to be able to say was, "I don't know." (First said I said it was when DH asked why the 2 day old baby was crying.) The second most important phrase, "...but we'll figure it out." It's wonderful you've got clear goals in mind, now the trick is to approach them with an open heart and mind. You and your wife will be fine. You weren't professional parents before you started that journey either, but I'll bet you and your wife know your kids better than anyone now. It's that knowledge that will make you superior teachers for your children. I know in an instant when DD is starting to "glaze over" and give me "that nod". I am not being weak when I change tacks -- I am being responsive and an effective teacher. My advice: sit down with your wife and discuss what each of you hopes to accomplish by homeschooling. Listen to each other and write down your common ground. Now discuss what you want to get out of this next year. Discuss the learning styles you see emerging from each of your kids. Discuss your parenting styles. Think about how each child's personality may affect how they learn and how you teach them. For example, DD#1 is a perfectionist, so the way to make her excel is to make her GOOD at stuff. DD#2 is a fearless learner and loves what she loves and doesn't give a hoot if she's good at it or not. Use your knowledge of your kids against them! :lol: (for their own benefit, of course :D). I also agree with others that you want to find a curriculum you AND your wife are comfortable with. My first job as an engineer I learned Johnson controls may be perfect for an application, but if the lowly tech wants Hewitt, you give them Hewitt or your controller will fail. You need buy-in from the "boots on the ground" to succeed. As others have said, enjoy the journey! And Welcome!
  7. If it we me, I'd just go by readiness: is ds2 ready for K? Pros to red shirting: if ps is likely and he's likely to be in sports if your state pays CC costs and you want an extra year of free college coursework Pros of NOT red shirting: ds might feel "smarter" if he's the youngest of his peers (I did, lol) vrs feeling "dumb" being the oldest (dh did), feeling he was "held back" (not so much an issue hsing, but I'd be on top of his siblings if they start teasing) start earlier, finish earlier (I graduated hs @16 and was ready for college where age was never an issue; had BS @ 20 and on to grad school -- easier to focus on school younger) Clearly, I have bias based on personal exp, but YMMV and only you know what's best for your clan. My only advice would be to think about what is best for you NOW and not worry so much about long-term what-ifs. *IF* you put him into ps in the future, deal with which grade THEN. Have you asked ds2 what he'd prefer? If it's a toss up why not let him decide? If he's raring to go, go. If not, red shirt. If he complains later, tell him it was his choice. :)
  8. I think there are two different issues: breadth of literature and depth of study. Breadth of literature means ensuring your children are exposed to a wide range of good, well-written books. Using a program, or for that matter building your own book list, ensures your child is reading a wide range of books from great writers and not just "junk food" books. I recall as a 6th grader having no idea how to pick a book, so to me this is an area that m\likely requires parental intervention. Not saying my kids can't choose their own books, but it is a supplement to the books I choose since I have the perspective of what a great book is. Depth of study means developing the tools of comprehension and analysis. I think the importance of this depends on your style and your kids. You might prefer a rigorous program or an informal discussion of the books they are reading. I'm in between. I like to have DC read out loud a chapter from time to time to practice her oratory skills and so I can hear any words she finds difficult. I like to read SOME books together so we can discuss ideas and literary techniques.
  9. I see a lot on BFSU and BFSUII, but what about NEE? How is it like/unlike BSFU? Is most of BSFU in NEE? TIA!
  10. YES! DD #1 has done K12.com materials for 2.5yrs, but in Jan we're going on our own fully; DD#2 started HSing this year in K. For us what works is school 7 days a week year-round. Just easier NOT having to try to get back into the swing of things (no Monday morning grumpies). I want them to learn that learning is a life-long activity. We usually have 1-2 "light" days each week -- may just be 30min of reading and a math facts worksheet instead of full curriculum -- but we do something (almost) every day. Holidays we only take off if we're just too busy that it'd add to our stress to do lessons. ;)
  11. I recently bought a stereo micro for my little kiddos (Barska trioptic for $200) and have been shopping or a biological one for a while. You can get a pretty nice scope for $100-300. My "dream scope" is a trioptic (binocular viewing plus a 3rd port for digital imaging) with great component and LED light for $399. But I will probably settle for a mono or bi scope for around $200. Unless you spend thousands, they're all made in China, many on the same manufacture line (check out Amscope on Ebay). Important thing is the features. I suggest you look for: 1) all metal (not plastic) body -- important not only in quality but thermal effects (cold/warm room changes optic alignment); an all metal should say so and weigh at least 10 lbs. 2) all glass optics (not plastic) 3) magnification -- 400x is probably plenty. That means for a 10x eyepiece, it should have something like 4x to 40x objective lenses (ones on the bottom). 60x objective is nice (give you 600x mag and the objective is spring loaded to not break), but 100x requires oil-immersion (have to put a drop of oil on sample and lens into that oil drop) -- difficult, messy, hard to clean, and likely to break some slides. So, 1000x is unlikely you'll want to use and max of what you'd both with on a scope for HSing. 4) Achromatic lenses (means corrects for the fact different colors of light bend differently thru a lens); best lenses are plan or semi-plan (how far to edge of image you can look at without distortion) but overkill for HSing. 5) Abbe Condenser with Iris Diaphragm (these are quality components; many cheap scopes use disc diaphrams which is basically a disc with different sized pin holes in it you turn to control the light; an iris type gives you infinite control on lighting 6) Coaxial Coarse & Fine Focusing (means both knobs are on the same dial) 7) light source: LED is my fav (cool, won't burn yourself, lasts forever), halogen would be #2 (expect to replace bulbs at $10 each every 100 hours of use), fluorescent is just ok and tungsten last. Amazon has a decent looking Celestron 4404 for $129. Amscope on Ebay seems to have a pretty good rep on the microscope boards (not high end, but good quality for the low price). I'll probably go for one of the Amscopes myself for my 2nd scope. Price check against their own website. Other things to consider: I ordered Amscopes 100 prepped slide set E (homeschoolers) for $47 (free shipping) from Ebay. Even looking at 40x on my stereo it's pretty impressive. Provides a wide array of pre-stained slides covering plants to frog lungs to butterfly mouth parts to dog cardiac muscle tissue. Lots of stuff I'm not exactly going to make myself! I also plan on ordering a digital imager (connects scope to computer via eyepeice adapter): Celestron 44421 is a 2MP one for $52 @ Amazon. Supposed to work on any scope. A nice way to show your images to a group or younger kids! Should qualify this by saying I'm in the physical sciences, so everything I know about the bio side is just from my spending way too much time research shopping for a scope over the past few months. If we have any biologists around with more/better ideas, please let me know!!! :)
  12. Thank you for the insight! DD's current 4th grade has some intro algebra (up to 2 unknowns, but one just substitution) and it's intuitively easy for her, so I want to keep her playing with that. But I still have my old HS pre-A and A texts (had to buy them so I kept them :tongue_smilie:). I could use those for some "spice". I'm comfortable with math (took about a dozen 500-level math courses in grad school) but want to keep DD finding it easy without realizing she's being challenged. :lol: How easy is it to tweak the light blue series? Math is like a tapestry woven of many strands and I like to be able to jump around in topics a bit if DC hits a topic that is confusing to keep effort level about constant.
  13. Since kindie, DD has LOVED all things science and history. In history, I follow chronologically thru middle ages and then loop back. Both DDs dislike scary stuff, but the ancients aren't as "real" as modern history's atrocities and gives them context. I keep it fun and lighter -- they love the stories and picture books -- rather than lots of writing or analysis. For science, I plan to keep looping thru the biological and physical sciences and hold off on chem until both DDs are old enough. I did get a microscope and slide set and they love to look at all sorts of stuff. Again, mainly broad strokes and then go in depth in anything that sparks an interest. Great subject to discuss how you would find out more on something of interest, plus discussion of how it relates to things they know already. Science is all about systematic exploration of their world, so I couldn't imagine keeping my kids from it, but it doesn't have to be tons of prep or experiments, either! Lot of experiments we use as crafts, too.
  14. The green/yellow covers 7-8 grade topics. Are those useful to extend the light blue? What do folks use after MM? DD is 2-3 grade levels ahead in math -- could I use those for her to slow down when she's completed light blue 6B?
  15. Thank you, but the official word from the listmaster is that Summitview is defunct. Any other groups covering SE Chandler anyone can suggest? As I mentioned, we're a family of faith using secular curriculum, new to the area and homeschooling (used VA before), 3 kids ages 3-7. Or ideas on finding like-minded folks? DH works Sundays (one car), so missing out on church (for now). Thanks!
  16. Anyone have any success recently contacting Summitview? I'm new to SE Chandler and looking for some other homeschooling families. We are a family of faith, but don't like creationism in our science, which tends to push us secular. Any suggestions?
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