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Walking-Iris last won the day on November 20 2012

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About Walking-Iris

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. :( I find it easy to use personally. But I understand your point.
  2. I have a 5 year old this year too. She's happy to be called a "big Kindergarten girl." My plan: -The Wand, Jot It Down, OPGTR as an extra resource, HWOT -She started and got over half of SM K done this past Spring. Then set it aside. So finish that and possibly add Miquon or MM1. We play RS card games and Family Math games as well. -history and science will be an immersive, family pursuit this year. So she will tag along with nature study, science activities, history read alouds/projects etc as she can. -also art skills, art and music appreciation and Poetry Teatime will be a family pursuit, interest led activity.
  3. I'm probably repeating what others have said, but wanted to give my input as well. Some of the resources that we have tried that just bombed for us and I would remove if I had the chance: Plaid Phonics, and Spelling Workout. Just really caused my child to hate the thought of putting a pencil to a page. They are just busywork workbooks imho. And my son really could not retain any of the lessons. They were just a waste of time and money. Other spelling programs that are a better fit are things like Sequential Spelling or the All About materials (All About Reading and All About Spelling). Also Writing Strands. Even I started to hate writing when trying to use this with my oldest. I feel these resources are sort of outdated and out of touch with most homeschooler's desire to have a natural feel in their homeschools. Some resources that I think would be great additions: Bravewriter. Pandia Press science options (just more quality secular options all around, especially in history, science, Latin, and logic) The Human Odyssey (these are just great books and can be found without subscribing to K12) Galore Park materials (especially for languages) Math Mammoth Kilgallon materials BFSU science I also find that a lot of the resources in the high school section are obscure. I just can't wrap my mind around what they are. I'd like to see more current resources for high school. Also I would love some logic resources that were from secular publishers. Other than Building Thinking Skills, finding quality logic/critical thinking books has been difficult. My kids have been turned off by the workbook type busywork of CTP resources. Basically less workbooks, and more project-based resources. I would also love to see the preschool/Kindy section revamped without the unweildy activity books that are difficult to ever implement. Although I do like Mudpies to Magnets, it is a bit outdated. Bravewriter resources such as Jot It Down or The Wand are great for this age. Also things like Five in a Row etc. There are also quite a few Montessori inspired online ebooks that can easily be implemented into a home without subscribing whole heartedly to the philosophy or the montessori school materials. There are a lot of resources for the younger ages.
  4. Very excited for this upcoming school year. Less negativity. More positivity. Less toxicity and more good times. Moving on from things that had no value is going to feel great!

  5. Farrar!!!! I don't post here on WTM much any longer, so I'm only just now seeing this. So glad you joined up! I started out the year thinking I may not like the Alliance, but as the year has gone on, I really truly love it. It is not quite like any thing else. A lot of what members are getting out of it may be invisible to other members. There's a lot of reflection, reading, journaling, and activity I do as an Alliance member that is not posted or shared in the spaces available for that. I'm sure it is the same for others. I have a real burning passion for the homeschooling lifestyle again that Julie has helped ignite. I used to just think in terms of xyz curricula and lesson plans and activities to get through. I've changed so much this year---in my personal life, in my relationships with my family and friends, in my parenting, in my perspective about homeschooing, in my own inner spirituality and self awareness. I attribute a lot of that to Julie and the readings and discussions on the Alliance. It's not a space for random trivial conversation. There's no trolling. No one- up man-ships (did I just make up a word?), no competition or comparisons or arrogance among the members who post. It's not set up as a forum. It's set up as an online classroom of sorts.And there's a feeling of real support and encouragement among the members. There's none of this "here's what you should do, I know best" kind of idea. Members aren't really posting advice and prescriptives and pats on the back for themselves, they're being REAL. It's so refreshing. As far as price, you can cancel at any time of course. But I've found that you get your money's worth in direct proportion to how seriously you take it and learn how to apply it to your specific experiences. It's not a magic Bravewriter bullet.Or as simple as opening up a curriculum manual and following the plan etc. It can be real work for yourself if you dig deep and really get to the heart of what Julie is saying. And she is there to help. I can ask nearly anything and she will be there to support and encourage. I recommend it. It's personal and authentic and honest in ways an open forum really can't be.
  6. Going to be honest. This forum and all of it's posts are visible to the general public with a Google search. So I (personally) share less. The Alliance is a private class type situation. What I and others share there will only be known to the Alliance members. There will be less "fake" and less "snark." I'm nearly positive about it. Also it's set up as a class, with readings, timestamps, discussions, rewards, and so on. It's more private and personal that a general public web forum. But ...but...but... :)I love your Bravewriter posts! I understand what you're saying, but I signed up this morning. I think everyone needs a jump start at times. i don't think it will be just for those starting out, or those needing help. I have high hopes for it being more. Just do it!!! You'll have till October 31st to get the special start price!!!
  7. I think it would be really helpful. It's a good bit of money,but I plan on doing this from Sept to next Aug. And I can cancel if it's not worth it. I cancelled our Netflix DVD plans and the Kindle Freetime subscription to make room in the budget. That way we wouldn't miss any extra money since we had been paying for those already. I have been purging so much this summer and even though we're slowly getting back into our routine, I feel there's still areas I could streamline.
  8. Anyone from the forums signing up for the Homeschool Alliance this week? I'm anxiously awaiting the registration email!!! This website is still in the works and isn't "live" yet. If you're interested you may have to email Julie at the Bravewriter website for more info. I went back and forth about trying this, but then just decided to go for it. I learned so much at the Retreat and BW is quickly becoming my go-to for language arts. I think I could stand to learn a lot this year from this kind of interaction.
  9. Please tellmy kid sthat one priviledge of being homeschooled means they don't have to get up at 6:30 in the morning!

    1. Chrysalis Academy

      Chrysalis Academy

      Maybe your kids and mine could get together and average each other out . . . mine slept till after 9 today!

  10. I'm a WRTR newbie,but i just wanted to throw into this conversation a practical way for the OP to get started without getting overwhelmed by spelling notebooks and OG spinoffs etc. I started using WRTR 4th edition (found cheap used on Amazon) near the end of this past school year. The phonograms are in the book. I simply cut those pages out of the middle of the book and then organized the phonogram cards into lessons. I paper clipped a bundle to start with, then a next bundle, then a next.I moved ones to review to the front of the box. I had already been doing phonics lessons with my ds but we weren't progressing so I wanted to try Spalding. I started from the beginning. He obviously already knew most of the first phonograms (alphabet etc) and could easily handwrite them. So we moved pretty quickly through and didn't need to review much from the beginning. But I had him practice the handwriting and tell me the sounds regardless. I did however write a few words down for him to practice reading while he learned the particular phonogram he was working on. I wanted him to see those phonograms in context. Then we started the Ayres list. We will pick it back up next week when we end our summer break. There are various instructions in how many words to give each day in the manual, I gave as many each day that my ds seemed able to do. 5-10 words were his limit before the wiggles started. I'm not really terribly concerned with how many words he can spell in one sitting. If he can do 10 to 15 I'm happy with that. Words he had a hard time reading or spelling I marked with a check and we reviewed as needed. I continued to have him read aloud some of the lessons in OPGTR (which we had been doing and he hated!). He's begun to read the OPGTR primer better now that he's had the writing/spelling practice. Visual reading alone was not enough for him. There's also a list of books in the back of WRTR to read. I started him on those and have been trying to find others of the same quality for him to practice. Mostly Dr Seuss style Beginner Books and he can now manage some of the I Can Read books (Little Bear etc). He still doesn't have great fluency or a lot of stamina,but I do feel that the spelling lists have helped tremendously. I also have him practice important sight words. I have some phonics readers of various publishers. They have their place in helping the beginning reader. I haven't even touched the spelling notebook yet, and I just completely decided I didn't care for the marking system. YMMV. This coming year I hope to finish WRTR. I only plan on going through it once, and hopefully he will be ready to start a regular spelling program this year. I still feel he needs more for phonics that are not workbook based busywork, so I will add The Wand to our year. But he is reading more, writing on his own, and making progress. For 3-4 year old child. I would simply focus on the first phonograms (alphabet etc) and really work on the handwriting skills, capital and lowercase. I really push learning to write lower case at young ages since that is what they will be reading. You can use Montessori moveable alphabets like the one found on Montessori Print Shop to help them build simple CVC words. My one complaint about WRTR (at least the 4th edition) is how disjointed it is. You really do hav eto read it with a pen in hand. And then basically re write the thing in a lesson plan game plan. It repeats instructions over and over and I find the writing very inconsistent and scattered. But once you get to the main point behind all of that and make a game plan for yourself, I found the phonograms and Ayres list were all I needed really.
  11. Honestly I don't really feel that anyone is co-opting anything. No religious group has a copyright on a method of education. The curricula (actual books available for purchase) that have a "classical ed" tag may or may not even be "true" to the original classical ed model. BUT I don't live in Ancient Rome or Medieval Catholic Europe...I live in the 21st century Illinois There are things about this method of education useful to home educators, secular or otherwise, and other things that I feel one can safely lay to the side without feeling guilty. If one wanted to explore this method of education in their homeschool, I feel it's totally acceptable to adapt it to the family's individual belief values,and the current historical time we live in.
  12. My kids are still too young to read them critically in their original forms. At these ages my kids are familiar with the major Old/New Testament stories. I've used several different children's resources for that. I will use The Bible and Its Influence as a spine in the high school years to supplement Bible readings (I've not settled on a version just yet but I will not be using KJV). Also we have read quite a few picture books by Patricia Polacco, Latkes and Applesauce, It's a Miracle. We will be reading The Tao of Pooh this year, and they will read the Tao Te Ching when older. My little ones enjoy Zen Shorts, and Jataka Tales. When older I would like them to read Siddhartha and some major Theravada and Mahayana sutras. (there are a ton of various collections of these). I would also like them to read Confucius' Analects (excerpts). Under the Ramadan Moon is sweet for little ones, when they are older we will read the Koran. (excerpts). We have several of Vatsala Sperling's Classic Indian (Hindu) Tales for Children. When older they will read the Ramayana and excerpts from Bhagavad Gita. (my Dh actually already has a very nice curricula lesson plan for that one). I try to keep collections of stories from any culture as I come across them. My ds is a huge fan of African Folktales and Native American tales. I would love a good reference for Catholic saints stories for children, and stories for children from Judaism (Talmudic..beyond Old Testament readings). I studied psychology and comparative religions in college, and although I haven't pursued those things in a professional sense after, I'm still very much invested in religious studies of all sorts. This post is likely out of topic for whether a classical education is biased or not, but hopefully it answers the OP's question about studying or reading these books from other cultures. For my part, yes...we do and will. Exactly!
  13. I don't consider myself 100% classically educating. Mainly because I don't identify with most homeschooling labels. I also have noticed that quite a bit of the materials one can find that have the "classical education" tag come from Christian sources. WTM seems to be the most adaptable to a secular homeschool. I haven't read the blog you linked yet, but yes, I do feel that there is a strong bias in some of the materials towards a Eurocentric, Christian worldview. BUT having said that, I have read many posts from these forum members who are identifying as classical educators who don't seem to have that bias slant at all. In my homeschool, we do cover the history and mythology and religions of other cultures. NOT in an apologetic sense. Often I hear that other religions are being taught and it turns out to be nothing more than defense of the faith type nonsense. I find that the big ideas behind this method of homeschooling are appealing. It can be difficult to find materials if you are a secular or non-Christian family however. For history I like K12 Human Odyssey for the middle school years. It goes into so much more detail about Ancient China, India, Japan, etc. We do plan on reading the Ramayana. Actually I wouldn't consider my kids well educated without reading the major holy books. But that's just important to our personal family culture. Joy Hakim writes a wonderful US History series. Pandia Press does its level best to publish history and science materials that are secular. Galore Park is a great source for materials. To homeschool in a secular way, you'll have to get creative. Most of the major curricula publishers, especially those classical ed publishers, are going to have a strong bias.
  14. I'll be the one to ask it: secular, neutral, or Christian based courses?
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