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Everything posted by Rosie

  1. Try getting books by Ronit Bird from your library. I just discovered these. They have lots of game ideas specifically geared toward kids with dyscalculia, which it sounds like your son might have. Also, the link in my siggy has videos that you might find helpful as long as you can translate from Cuisenaire Rods to MUS blocks!
  2. Could you just have a goal of completing one book per quarter? That's the only thing I can think of. Then if it's getting close to the end of a quarter, you know you need to spend more time on math than usual. I guess you could make a goal for an end date for each chapter, too.
  3. I struggle with the same thing! Last year my baby was 3.5 - 4yo during the school year. Here's what I did to get a little time with her: - Every morning we'd have family devotions, so she was with my husband and me then, cuddling and answering (usually incorrectly, but very cute!) questions. - Then I'd send the older two to do independent work on the computer/iPad or handwriting while I'd read to the 3 year old. After I read to her, sometimes we'd do a little bit of learning to read stuff, but only if she wanted to. - We like to do Tea and Poetry (from The Writer's Jungle) and so she always sat at the table with us during that time and listened in. - Periodically we would play with C-rods together, mostly without naming them as numbers but near the end of the school year we got into naming them and actually doing math with them. You can see what we did if you click the link in my signature. - I'd have my older two read to her for a bit each day and also my husband read to her before bed each night. It didn't fully solve the problem - I still spent way more time with my older two - but it helped. This year I'm planning on the same type of thing, though she'll also have handwriting and more math.
  4. I don't think it's the type of curriculum you can schedule. Some parts will be easy and some parts will be very difficult and take the child a long time for just a few problems. And the easy/difficult parts will be different for each child depending on their strengths. So, if you need a schedule of some sort, I'd schedule an amount of time to spend on math and then just stop at that point each day.
  5. Do the activities in these videos for a couple weeks/months, THEN have him take the placement test. He will place higher (because mental math is the main extra thing that Singapore teaches) and you won't have to waste as much money. If I were you, I'd drop Saxon completely RIGHT NOW. Why make him hate math more? Spend your time going over mental math instead, then move to Singapore (the math, not the country)!
  6. Not in workbook form, but you might want to check out The Writer's Jungle. It teaches you how to teach writing without a curriculum. Basically, you have the kids freewrite several times (no corrections allowed at all by you or them) over a few weeks time, then they choose one freewrite that they want to make better. From there you help them revise. This means that you help them narrow the topic and expand on the part they've narrowed down - basically get rid of unneeded/unwanted info and give more info about the important parts. They do that through more freewriting about the narrower topic. You help them rearrange it to sound good. Then the LAST step is to edit which means check for mechanics, punctuation, spelling, etc. Worrying about that at any previous step stifles the creative flow. There are also other ideas in the book, but that is the basic gist of how she teaches to go through the writing process. It's also a great curriculum to help build up your relationship with your child instead of tearing it down. I know I would easily make writing a battle with my oldest if I don't read this book once per year! I know you're probably looking for something more open and go, but in the long run, having an available and loving real-life teacher will be more effective than just reading from a workbook. If nothing else, I guess I'm giving you a bump! (Oh, and you might want to try the book Unjournaling for writing prompts!)
  7. Math: Miquon, Singapore, AoPS (along with a teacher who would have lovingly pushed me to face challenging work with a good attitude since I'm a perfectionist!) LA: Bravewriter (along with a confident/competent teacher!), Lots of GREAT literature being read and discussed so I could have worked on critical thinking skills in an enjoyable way, Spelling practice only for words I had actually misspelled in my writing, no grammar until late elementary with MCT + diagramming because I loved it so much! Science: Lots of good books, documentaries, and journaling/notebooking (I hated and still hate experiments!) History: SOTW, Sonlight historical fiction books, documentaries ... and a bunch of educational iPad apps (if they had existed back then)!
  8. Logic Games: Chocolate Fix Brain Games 3 in 1 Puzzle Quizzes RPS Rumble Master Minesweeper Sudoku Supremo Trainyard Express The Lorax HD Save the Pencil Power of Logic HD Guess the Character Mancala Kalah Fantastic 4 in a Row Triple Town Visual Spatial Games: Trizen Free Zentomino Tangrams iCut Cross Fingers Unblock Me Sliding Tiles Random Factor Mahjong Math Games: Any by Tap to Learn Any by Everyday Mathematics Any by Motion Math Math Evolve Conundra Math Save the Sushi Rocket Math Sushi Monster Science: iCell iBird Audubon Birds 3D Sun 3D Brain Fotopedia Wild Friends Cargo-Bot Solar Walk History/Geography: Presidents vs. Aliens Stack the States Stack the Countries Other: Brain Pop Kahn Academy ShowMe Notability Art Authority Faces I Make Paint with Time Auryn Ink How to Make Origami Draw Dinosaurs (People, Animals) Pluto Piano Cut the Rope Star Cut Drop the Chicken Silly Owls Fotopedia apps Mini Alphabet (Animals, Music)
  9. We would have huge fits here if I made my (8yo) dd do WWE every day. Here's what we're going to do this year - maybe it will help you get your mind around another way to do things. We'll be using WWE, but just one day per week. Another day (or two) per week we'll do Story Grammar for Elementary School by Killgallon which focuses on creating well-written sentences. We will be doing Tea and Poetry one day per week along with all of us writing in our own copybook from whatever sources we'd like (books, song lyrics, poems, scripture, etc.), and we'll do MCT Island (which we're halfway through) whenever we feel like it. For actual composition, I'll be taking ideas from The Writer's Jungle so she'll do freewrites and then choose one to revise and edit. That whole process will take several weeks from start to finish because we won't do it every day. My main goal is to get her writing a lot this year because the more you write, the better you get. The Writer's Jungle gives me a good idea of where we're going and how to get there so I don't feel like we need a curriculum at this time for composition.
  10. I completely agree with Denise (LetsPlayMath), and, actually, I'm not sure if you understood her completely. Your example of subtracting one from the non-nine number and adding a one in the tens place could very easily be another rule to remember that doesn't make sense to him. I know because I had memorized that rule as a kid but had no idea why it worked. You might want to check out these videos to help him SEE other ways to figure out math facts. YES, they need to be memorized and able to be recalled quickly, but more important is that, like Denise said, he understand various ways to figure them out without counting on. It may take a few weeks to get the hang of this new way (in the videos) of doing it but it will help him to be more accurate and quicker in the long run. I'm tutoring about 15 kids plus their parents this summer and teaching them this way. They are all coming from a public school where they teach counting on and counting back to find the answers to add/subtract problems. Now that they know how to do mental math by making tens (among other strategies) they are more accurate and quicker. They also can actually do stuff like 28+56 in their heads - no paper. This method really does work!
  11. Yes, a workbook for each child. And, yes, I found the HIG essential, but I wasn't taught math this way so I had to learn along with my dd. The HIG is where I really learned the info, not the textbook. I think if I'd just had the textbook that I would have ended up teaching the way I was taught in school instead of the Singapore way.
  12. I think you could start with 1A for both, but not necessarily expect to keep them going at the same pace. From memory, there are two things in 1A that are not in most other math programs (including Saxon) - number bonds and "making a ten." Those two things are the foundation of what makes Singapore different (and better IMO) than most other curricula so it would be worth it to go over that with your 6yo. Also, you may want to click the link in my siggy to see how to teach with C-rods. Most of my ideas for younger kids come from Miquon (which we LOVE) so it will give you a taste of what that would be like! HTH!
  13. Wooden C-rods. Either wood or plastic for the pattern blocks. I think we have 1cm wood, but I've seen .5cm plastic and they seem fine, too. My personal preference is wood, though. I like the feel of them and I think they're easier to pick up.
  14. Any time I think I need to chill a bit about homeschooling, I try to read some unschooling stuff. I can never make myself "go there" completely, but it helps me loosen up a bit and just enjoy my children instead of trying to keep up with the Jones'. I really liked The Unschooling Handbook. I think it gives a good coverage of what unschooling looks like without getting into radical unschooling (unparenting!).
  15. I struggle with the same thing with my 4.5yo. I feel like I spend all my time teaching the older two that she doesn't get even close to what they got at her age as far as time with me and doing fun school stuff. And I hate crafts! So, I'm no help there, but I can commiserate!
  16. Liberty's Kids Magic School Bus Planet Earth Wild Kratts Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? The Little Travelers Families of.... (Israel, Egypt, India, etc.) American Girl Movies The Story of 1 So You Want to Be President? How the States Got Their Shapes I would also suggest that she use read-alouds or audio books as much as possible.... Story of the World Audio CDs (My kids listen to them during quiet time or when they're doing creative stuff in the basement. I think they may have learned more from that than from our Sonlight reading because they hear it over and over and over again!) Audio books from the library Librivox.org Also, there are many great picture books out there! That is something she could do with all her kids! Do you mean, how do you know if you're doing enough if you're not doing everything Abeka lists for you to do? That is a "school" mindset. I still struggle with that, but I'm working toward changing to a "life" mindset. Just have fun learning and check somebody's list every once in a while to make sure you're not forgetting something you think is important. Pretty much everything in elementary and middle school is just preparation for high school learning. Reading, writing and math are the most important along with having lots of real life experiences and being exposed to great literature. (Now I just need to remind myself of that more often!) Does she have internet access? Can she ask questions on here or another forum so she can see for herself that it's not just you saying it's really okay to chill about science and history?
  17. We've used US Edition for 1st-2nd and we'll use Standards for 3rd on up. You would like the Standards HIG much better. The US 1A/1B HIGs are like the Standards ones (because they were written later than the 2A, etc. HIGs) and I love them so much better than the US 2A/2B HIGs! Spiral bound so they lays flat. Organized. Easily readable. So much better. SE has some extra topics so it can line up with California State Standards, but that doesn't mean that US Edition is BAD. It just focuses on less topics at the younger ages, which many people think is a good thing. SE textbooks have more review than US edition. They are also full color and I'm pretty sure US Edition is B&W from 3A onward. SE is more expensive. Those are all the differences I can think of!
  18. Do you HAVE TO have a program telling you what to do? What if you were to buy the SOTW 1 Audio CDs for everyone to listen to, then ask on here or research the very best books/DVDs/etc on the Ancients. Then separate out the books/DVDs/etc into groups - one group for your 12 and 9 yos, one group for your 4/5/6 yos, and one group for everyone. Then have a time to "do history" each day and let them (or you) pick from the resources you've collected. Have them discuss/write/research according to age/level. I don't know. Maybe that seems more overwhelming to you. I just know that if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't want everyone doing something different and I'd try to combine everyone as much as possible!
  19. Out of your three listed, I'd definitely choose Math Mammoth as the main, but, like others have said, Singapore Earlybird IS NOT like 1st grade on up so don't judge Singapore by that. I didn't understand math conceptually when I started teaching my oldest. I've just learned along with her, trying to stay one step ahead but sometimes she jumps ahead of me! The SM HIG's for Grades 1 and 2 really helped me start to understand place value better. Miquon opened my eyes to a lot of different ways to play with numbers, too. I also bought the CWP books 2-5 and went through 2, 3, and 4 so I could understand and know where we were headed. That really opened my eyes, too! Algebra started to make a little bit of sense even though I wasn't using algebra when going through the books. So, my best advice is to do your best to learn elementary math again for yourself, not just go with a program that will baby-step your kids through without any of you really understanding what you did for 6-8 years once you're done.
  20. I don't think I want to add another book right now, but I'll keep that in mind if I do! I do often ask how they mentally solved a problem and then, if I do it differently, explain how I did it, all while emphasizing that both ways are just fine. This topic kind of reminds me of what I read in Marilyn Burns' books (maybe Writing in Math Class?) where she has the class discuss how they got the answer to problems, so they are basically teaching each other new ways of thinking. Maybe I need to find some other kids for us to do math with!!!
  21. Yep, we have PGCM and are about halfway through it, I think. I was going to skip the algebra chapter, but I'm rethinking that now.
  22. Thanks, Bill. I think I need to focus more on the bolded above. I haven't made it much of a priority, but I can see it's usefulness. My oldest tends to be a "get 'er done" type so I'm not sure if she'll be gung ho about finding more ways to do something she already knows how to do, but I'm going to attempt it anyway....
  23. Thanks, Beth! I think I'm just not going to worry about it. We'll do both ways and hopefully my girls won't complain! I think I'm just overly worried about them understanding procedurally and not conceptually, but I need to remember that I went "backwards" and learned it (still learning!) conceptually so they can, too, if they need to. Hmmmm, maybe it's time to try Dragon Box....
  24. LOL! Well, that's probably the next thing on the list of videos to get done... though, I'm not sure when I'll get time to do it. Summer's been CRAZY, we've got family visiting, we're going on vacation, then starting up school again. I do think it would help people, though, even though I'm still learning, myself. I'll do my best to get something up by the end of August!
  25. It sounds like he doesn't understand the concepts. Xtra Math won't help with that. Math Mammoth will. I'm not saying not to do Xtra Math, but he should understand the concepts before you set him loose with that. Otherwise it's just rote memorization with no connection to reality in his mind. The fact that he doesn't remember division is a big red flag, too, indicating that he doesn't understand the concepts. Division IS Multiplication, just backwards. They are the same thing. Try getting some Cuisenaire rods and going over the concepts in these videos with him. He needs to "get it" before you make him practice it. My guess is that his school had a "Here's what you need to learn. Now memorize it." approach to math and that obviously didn't work for him. So, you'll want to make sure you don't follow the school's example! Singapore 2 is where they introduce multiplication. There's some basic multiplication in 3A, but they move on to multiplying larger numbers (615x4), division with remainders, and long division. Just so you know. If you already have Math Mammoth Multiplication, I'd hold off on getting Singapore, too, for now (unless you've got money to spare, I guess!) and just do MM and the videos I posted. Then start Xtra Math once he understands what it's all about. Oh, I'd also try to find living math books on the subject to read together! And play lots of games!
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