Jump to content


Five More Minutes

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Five More Minutes

  1. I feel that MCT deserves a place as an option in TWTM, as it is an excellent grammar / vocab / poetry program for some parents and their students. I have used MCT in combination with WWE (having first tried FLL for two years), and have been impressed with how much the program inspires delight in language. My daughter is particularly word-hungry, and the richness of MCT was exactly what she needed. Like others have said, MCT is to LA what Beast Academy is to math -- not necessarily for everyone (what program is?), but for some it's necessary.
  2. If you aren't already using the Mental Math and additional games in the Singapore HIGs, I recommend starting there. I found that ten Mental Math questions daily made a significant difference in keeping mental math skills sharp. If the difficulty actually lies in understanding of place value and regrouping, you could give a daily warm-up of a couple of three-digit addition or subtraction problems and talk through the mental math strategies for approaching them. Begin by reviewing what each digit of each number represents, using manipulatives if you have them. (I used c-rods and Base-10 hundreds for this.) Work the problems out with manipulatives, and then in writing. Doing this every single day feels slow and redundant, but I've found it incredibly effective. I also use the CWP and Intensive Practice books, lagged a bit, to provide some ongoing review. (I'm sure MM could work equally well.) I would avoid Singapore's Extra Practice books in this case, as they provide minimal extra practice at a simpler level than the workbook for every topic in a semester.
  3. We use BA as a supplement with Singapore (and we use CWP and IP as well). We don't do every problem in CWP or IP, and we've been taking Beast as it's been available, not worried if we're "behind" in Beast vs. the Singapore level. My dds love Beast enough that they do it for fun, so it never feels like too much.
  4. I'm just entering Gr. 5 with my eldest, so this is definitely *not* BTDT experience! Something that isn't just numbers, has words, or graphics ... would Beast Academy be something you'd consider? It's very conceptual, very puzzly, lots of fun art, and definitely more than just numbers. You could start at 3A with a rising Gr. 5 student (others have) and still find it challenging. Or maybe MEP?
  5. I agree with others -- I really would not repeat material with a student who is trying, who scores well, and who is still frustrated. It's possible that it's too easy for him and he needs something more interesting and challenging. Beast Academy would definitely be worth a look; I'd start with 3A regardless of your student's grade level. ETA: I had a similar experience with Saxon when my eldest was in Gr. 1 -- lack of confidence, discouragement, and a daily slog. We switched away and she would now say that math is one of her favourite subjects. She takes Beast Academy to bed with her for fun reading. :-)
  6. I used and enjoyed Singapore Essentials. The key for us was actually *doing* the activities at the bottom of each page before doing the writing portion of the page. The first book starts out easy, but it definitely increased in difficulty before the second. We used Miquon at the same time and were very happy.
  7. While it's not an official Miquon site, Education Unboxed is a good online resource for parents using Miquon. We loved Miquon here!
  8. Congratulations! That's so inspiring -- thank you for sharing!
  9. This guy is not safe. My husband is a PS teacher, and has had lots of training in how to safely use social media with students. (The short version: don't do it, ever.) That this person would be a PS teacher and not be alert to those issues, especially after a parent raised concerns, is a *huge* red flag. On top of the inappropriate behaviour, he is lying to you about his "email problems" and inability to text you. If he can figure out how to text/email students, he can figure out how to include you. A leader who engages in inappropriate communication with minors and lies about it is extremely unsafe.
  10. We love Beast here! I would definitely start with the first level (3A), as it presents familiar topics in atypical ways. You don't want to miss those. I also would not skip the practice books, as they are gold. I have lots of post-secondary math, and still found some of the problems hard. (And am eternally grateful for the very complete solutions at the back of the book!) If your ds finds them easy, great -- he'll get through the program that much faster! My dds vary at their rate of consumption of these books. Some chapters and even books were absolutely devoured in a matter of weeks; others took longer. I would imagine that a strong Gr. 5 student could easily finish 3, 4, and part of 5 in a year.
  11. I've tried both ways of adding in word problem practice (a stand-alone day, and integrating in our daily routine). Our favourite has been to do a bit daily, or at least several times a week. For starters, I don't use the PSPS books at the same time that I am using the CWP. For 1-3 months, I work through a level of PSPS with my student, using it as much as an instructional guide as a workbook. We do a problem together as an example, I assign her one (or two) to do, and we discuss the strategy. We frequently recap strategies that we've discussed so that she's got that list of options on her mind. We do not use every problem in the book. Once PSPS is done for the level, we start the CWP. Again, we don't do every problem in the book. Each day I assign a page on which I've circled one or two problems for her to do. (I circle the hardest ones.) Sometimes we discuss problems before she starts (what strategy do you want to try here?); sometimes we only discuss them if she wasn't able to arrive at a solution. It seems to take about 5 - 10 minutes a day. Right now I stop math after 45 minutes, regardless of where my dds are at in any of their math work. For my Gr. 4 student, any work not yet completed gets moved to her "independent work" period later on in the day. I don't know anything about CLE, but if your son is struggling with word problems, then I would highly recommend the PSPS book to start with, and would recommend starting with a lower level to build confidence. The books have helped *me* teach problem-solving strategies to my dds, and have helped them recognize different ways of approaching problems. CWP is excellent for challenging students with a variety of problems and making them apply all of those wonderful strategies, but it does not have explicit teaching in it. One idea would be to pause doing any word problems in CLE for the time being while you work separately on teaching him how to solve problems and identifying what is causing the challenge for him. Again, I don't know how CLE works, so that just may not be feasible. My thinking is that I would want to isolate something -- like word problems -- that seems to be causing repeated difficulty, figure out why it's causing so much trouble, and then find an instructional method that overcomes those challenges.
  12. I'd agree with others: MM and Singapore are very similar in teaching style and conceptual approach. They're both excellent programs. My dd did not respond well to the look of MM, but she loved Singapore. (She kept calling it "the fun math!") That's the main reason behind our preference of Singapore over MM. And although Singapore isn't as independent as MM, for my dds who think that math is a social event, this is a *good* thing about Singapore. :001_smile: I do find that the multiple books gives me more flexibility to tailor the program. Not trying to change your mind -- if multiple books drive you nuts, stay away! But I was surprised to find how much I appreciated that we could vary the time and depth we spent on topics just by how I used the different books.
  13. I think I posted our plans on the other thread, but I'll give the updated version here. :D Math: Singapore 5, BA (anything available), and supplements like Alien Math, Zaccaro, DragonBox Vocabulary: Caesar's English Writing: W&R Chreia / W&R Refutation and Confirmation Grammar: Grammar Revolution and Killgallon Literature: Figuratively Speaking plus several novels that we'll treat as the basis for discussion. Continue with lots of good books and Shakespeare, both independently and together. Science: Geology, Meteorology, and Astronomy with BFSU, TOPS, documentaries, and books Canadian History: Canada's Natives Long Ago; Courage & Conquest; Canada, A People's History DVDs; a lot of Canadian historical fiction Logic: Logic Puzzles Latin: Latin for Children B Modern Languages: So You Really Want to Learn French, Spanish for Children Art: Mark Kistler and general sketching / painting Music: Continue with piano lessons
  14. We love MCT here, and I think that using it along with Fable would be excellent. I've used Paragraph Town along with some of the other levels of W&R this year and have enjoyed the combination. I wouldn't think you would need to wait to use Fable, but if you find it's rocky, you could always pause and do something with more copywork for the first few months. Fable is designed to be completed in 10 weeks, so you will have lots of time to lead into it next year. (I know nothing about ELTL and can't comment there.)
  15. We just started tomatoes today and expect to harvest lots before the end of the season. Pepper, eggplants, herbs were started a few weeks ago, so I wouldn't bother with those. Of course, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, greens can still be started.
  16. I started Miquon with my one dd in K, and it was a great fit. Education Unboxed has some excellent (free) videos that explain how you can use the Miquon approach to teach math, plus lots of great games. That would probably give you a good feel for the program and whether or not it would work for you. You could just mimic the Education Unboxed activities for a while before getting the Miquon workbooks; however, the latter are inexpensive and allow for a lot of flexibility in use. Miquon is great!
  17. I didn't explain why I liked my choices, either, so ... TWTM, which is my favourite HS resource ever, encourages a gentle K year. Here's a quote from the Preschool section: "We feel that there's little point in following a formal, academic K-4 or K-5 curriculum at home. Rather, the first four or five years of a child's life should be spent in informal teaching -- preparing the child for first-grade work. In about thirty minutes per day, plus informal teaching as you go about your family life, you can easily teach your child beginning reading, writing, and math concepts, all without workbooks or teacher's manuals." (3rd Ed, p. 30) I had an advanced learner who was chomping at the bit, and I was an eager mom who does better with a bit of structure, so I chose to use programs that gave us gentle structure while keeping it fun. Five in a Row was a delightful way to explore literature, art, geography, and science. I *could* have done it myself: selecting good books and creating fun related activities based on those books, but FIAR made it easier. I did end up creating a FIAR-ish unit based on "The Hockey Sweater," but apart from that relied on the book choices and activities in the manual. My girls still talk about the books and the fun we had together. Miquon and Singapore Essentials gave us introductory math. Miquon used c-rods as manipulatives, making it perfect for my students (particularly my second). She was SO excited the day that she saw the rods lined up and realized that she could count to 10 both forwards AND backwards! :001_smile: Another advantage to Miquon at that age was that a child could use rods or cards to represent numbers, rather than having to try to handwrite them. That was really important for one of my dds. Singapore had cute, fun worksheets that ramped up in challenge over time. I was pleased with both for the K year, and recommend both highly. I started our girls out with Jolly Phonics for reading (around age 3 or 4), and then switched to AAS (All About Reading wasn't out then) in K5. For the one, it was because she was LA advanced and needed/wanted to begin spelling; for the other, it was because the phonics weren't solid for her after completing Jolly Phonics. The AAS tiles helped her cement those, just as the Miquon rods helped her figure out numbers. (I guess she likes to move things around to learn!) I liked the AAS approach and how it could be adapted to use for both reading and spelling. The related readers were exceptional. It can be overwhelming when you consider all of the options out there, but you'll quickly find what works for you!
  18. I don't know. Have you used Singapore already and found that the different books are driving you up the wall? If you have, then you are the best judge of how to make these work for you, and if it involves cutting them up, then that's what you need to do. I could definitely see cutting the spines off of the workbooks. I *personally* wouldn't enjoy the textbook ripped apart, nor would my dds. They like it as a complete resource. I would not do well having the HIG pages mixed up with the student resources. For me, that would be an organizational nightmare.
  19. Welcome to homeschooling! The single thing that helped me most at the very beginning was to read The Well Trained Mind. It is usually available at a library, but I found I needed my own copy for reference. It gives a solid framework for selecting programs that will work for you, and some expectations of timeframes for each year. Highly recommend it. In K, I enjoyed using Five in a Row, Singapore Essentials, Miquon Math, and All About Reading/Spelling.
  20. I'm doing this. I hope I'm not crazy! I'm close to the end with my first dd, and so far it's working with my second dd, so the risk of it not getting used is small. I love the program, love the HIGs, and don't want to switch at this point.
  21. Thinking about this (with which I agree), I'd modify my earlier comment about levels: for a student who is not using Singapore (or a related program) as the main math program, I would be strongly tempted to start a full level behind in PSPS and/or CWP. They will be dealing with a slightly different instructional style on top of the problem solving strategies, and they just don't need to deal with challenging computations at the same time. The books can always be accelerated if they're too easy, but it's harder to recover from an unnecessarily frustrating experience.
  22. I purchased the Process Solving books from Rainbow Resource Centre. If I were using them as my only word problem source, I would use them on-level, as the format makes them easy to work with. However, because I use them as an introduction to the harder CWP, which I tend to use a bit below level, I lead in with the related Process Skills book. We blitz the PSPS books, doing just enough of each type of problem to ensure the strategy is understood, and moving on. I'm guessing in a year I might spend 4-8 weeks on PSPS to introduce strategies, and the rest in CWP applying those strategies.
  23. I agree with the recommendation to refer to WTM. Here, once a child was reading well, we switched from using phonics to read to a phonics-based spelling program (in our case, All About Spelling). We combined that with FLL and WWE in Gr. 1 and 2. Because we used SOTW for our history program, it was easy to practice some of the narration and writing skills from WWE in that subject, which really helped. I tried to fit in 5 - 15 minutes a day where my dd read aloud so that I could check comprehension and pronunciation. We also encouraged independent reading time and just casually checked in on those books by asking general questions about the story. We used reading sheets as a way of tracking and encouraging reading more challenging books. I created a sheet with space for 10-12 titles on it, and filled in up to half of those with pre-selected titles. The blanks could be filled in with any book of my dds' choice, as long as DH or I approved it as "sticker-worthy." My dds rated each book after reading it and, when a full sheet was completed, were allowed to purchase a book from an Amazon wish list that I had created for them.
  • Create New...