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umsami last won the day on January 13 2017

umsami had the most liked content!


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  • Biography
    Mom of four great kids.
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    Sun and No-Seeums
  • Interests
    Drawing, classic films, hiking, reading
  • Occupation
    Former competitive intelligence professional, now SAHM

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  1. We loved BookShark Level F (reading and history)--but not so much their science. He was not a broad reader before, but loved all of the books. We will be doing G next year. My kid also did a Rube Goldberg science class in person that he loved which involved building stuff with Legos, pulleys, and the like. BraveWriter 101 was actually a really great experience for my reluctant writer, too. We just did it near the end of the year and I had my doubts, but bit the bullet. The encouraging feedback of his teacher meant the world to this kid. I realized that maybe I focus too much on grammar and construction early on and this inhibits him more. We're trying a WTM Academy Exposition I class next year. Hoping it goes as well.
  2. It worked for us. They had audio files of the other ones, but not for this one--so this was what I came up for. Surprisingly (to me), the kids actually liked reading it out loud. Who knew? πŸ˜„ I liked a lot of the books, but we never did them as planned. They were more there just to read as wanted. Years ago, I used to use Sonlight's book lists as my shopping lists. πŸ™‚
  3. I liked it. We used the Middle Ages one two years ago? (Trying to remember...it had just come out and was only digital.) There were a few typos, but other than that, I liked it. It was very diverse in the people they focused on, which I loved. It worked well for multiple ages. For my 6th and 8th grader, they would also look up the guy in an Encyclopedia we had, and write a summary on him. They definitely learned something from it. πŸ™‚
  4. I used Torchlight kind of a few years ago. I bought Level 2, I think...the Middle Ages one. As somebody else said, a very expensive book list. The one thing we did consistently was the history....https://www.curiositychronicles.org/ I actually used it with a 3rd grader, 6th grader, and 8th grader. Kids would role play reading it. Still remember my 3rd grader not knowing what a colon was, so he'd say, "Mona dot dot..." and then read her lines. πŸ˜„The older kids would then look up the person in one of the encyclopedias we had, draw a picture of them, and write a summary. We had a timeline....and a world map....and it worked well for us.
  5. I used CLE for one of my kids who I pulled at the start of 3rd grade but who needed help. Took the placement test, and actually put him in 2nd grade CLE like recommended. Think we started around the 205 Light Unit? Anyway, it worked very well. When he took a standardized test (MAP) he placed in 4th grade math, even though we had just finished the second grade of CLE. This kid needs spiral. Plus, there was a sense of accomplishment with each light unit being completed.
  6. Quoting myself. After a bunch of searching, I ended up going with BJU's Online Math 5 program... and it is really working well for us so far. The lectures are well done. My 5th grader loves the pilot/aviation tie in. We've only used a few manipulatives but they seem to reinforce things well. This seems like a good spiral program for him. They also have an additional fact practice website. I'm thinking about their 5th grade English as this is working so well... but the lectures do not seem as well done...and the weird bunny puppet seems babyish.
  7. Everything else I mentioned is secular. They now do offer flex (one course or more) with FLVS for elementary. I would keep that as a last minute option. https://www.flvs.net/elementary I have no idea how the classes are, though...although there are some sample lessons. Most districts have an option to do Connections Academy and a K12 option, but those are full-time AFAIK. Oak Meadow is secular and pretty complete. It's very gentle for those ages, too.... which may/may not appeal if they're planning to return the next year. I really enjoyed Torchlight. Many of the books you can get at the library and it works well for multi-age groups. https://torchlightcurriculum.com/torchlight/ There's also Build Your Library which is like a secular Sonlight. (Sonlight has their own secular version called Bookshark). https://buildyourlibrary.com/ https://www.bookshark.com/ Rainbow Resources has "secular" kits which may appeal...both a cheap/basic version and more normal one. https://www.rainbowresource.com/category/5673/Secular-Packages.html The "economy" packages are not completely secular as far as I can tell...but might give some good ideas. https://www.rainbowresource.com/category/8769/Rainbow-Curriculum-Starter-Packages.html Math Mammoth is a great, affordable math curriculum, but it doesn't start until first grade.
  8. Six and eight are great ages to combine. :). Torchlight is one curriculum she might enjoy. Honestly, the main focus is going to be math and reading as I'm sure you know. Not much has changed there. All About Reading and Logic of English are two programs to look at. Both are phonics-based. LOE also provides handwriting. For math, RightStart might work. Although it's teacher intensive (all math is at that age), it's also scripted which can help for new homeschooling Moms. Singapore is another favorite for early grades as is Miquon (but IMHO more difficult to teach.) There's always Saxon, too, which is scripted. If she's fine with Christian content, CLE (Christian Light Education) sells those light units which are an easy low cost way to see if you like their approach. Handwriting....I like Handwriting without Tears, but I don't think one needs all of the manipulatives and such. One thing she can do in Florida, is enroll part-time in FLVS. You can do as many or few courses you want as a homeschooler.
  9. Have any of you used Beowulf's Grammar from Guest Hollow? What did you think of it? Thinking of trying it for my 10 year old.
  10. My first dish washer lasted 17 years. It was the standard builder model...so nothing fancy. My second dishwasher is on its last legs at three. One problem is that repairs are so expensive--that the cost of a new one is quite comparable. I do not buy the expensive models, though. So that could be part of the issue.
  11. I also found EIW...the secular IEW as best I can tell. πŸ™‚ https://essentialsinwriting.com/
  12. I'm so sorry about the loss of your grandmother :(. . Covid is making a horrible situation even worse. Sending prayers and wishes for things to go as well as they can.
  13. For both of our sakes, I need to outsource language arts this year. It is just not my forte...and I hate teaching it. I have the IEW Level B course (and videos) which I think I could adapt, but I think it might be a little beyond my 5th grader's ability. So I'm looking to outsource. Two online options I've found are through BJU and Abeka. I'm not adverse to faith based programs if the teaching is good. From what I can tell online, Abeka is very classroom looking and BJU is rather babyish/old school videos with bunnies? Once again, if they do a good job, I don't care. Help!
  14. Not sure what I'm going to do. Homeschooled this kid for 3rd, he was back in school for 4th, now back with me. Need to figure out math--as he needs a spiral program, and his school got way behind last year during Covid. Math Mammoth has been my go-to, but not the right curriculum for him as not spiral. Horizon? Saxon 5/4? Christian Light (used in 3rd grade). I have no idea. English. Will continue with Sequential Spelling. May start him with IEW, but also looking at The Paragraph Book Series. Have IEW's Fix It Grammar and Shurley. Not sure if I'm up for Shurley this year. We will read. What? I'm not sure yet. πŸ™‚ History Have Oak Meadow 5th grade history, so for now, that's what I'm planning. Could easily change. Science Have Apologia Astronomy and most of supplies for labs from elder siblings. May use. Not sure. Handwriting Will continue with HWOT's cursive program Music Taking violin. Will continue with Webelos. Troop meeting online right now.
  15. Yes, it's good! We buy it when we need a kunafah fix. πŸ™‚
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