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  1. We have been using Bob books and the phonetic readers that WTM recommends, and the OPGTTR. We started late last summer, and my boys were 5. They will turn 6 next month and I feel like I'm beating my head against the wall. They hate to do handwriting, and they hate the OPG. We are still in the first section. When we got to long vowels they were not ready, so I started them back with the short vowels and blends again. After reading every day for nearly a year, we can read the 2nd set of Bob Books, but we are nowhere near where I planned to be when we started. Is this normal for boys? Should I give up on OPG and try Phonics Pathways? I feel like we are floundering academically and they just want to ride bikes and climb trees and get muddy. They say the OPG is too hard. I would love to hear from moms of little boys and know what is reasonable to accomplish at this age. I'm not sure they are mature and focused enough to do first grade work, well, I should say they are definitely not there now, and I have serious doubts they will be by September. Thank you! Amanda
  2. I bought the first one, and I haven't studied it in great detail yet, but it seems to be more like lesson plans. It has a list of books and resources for each age grouping and breaks it down into weekly plans. It breaks down the grades a little differently than WTM does, not starting grammar stage in first grade. Since we are just dabbling in K right now, I got some of the books and we are starting slowly, just doing reading and phonics and music every day, and everything else is done for fun, when the kids need something to keep them entertained. I think it will be more useful to me when the kids are ready for more formal schooling. And I think the 2nd one will be more useful in terms of resources, since Catholics have more issues with the curricula when studying medieval/renaissance. If you are looking more for lists of living books, there is a 2 book series called Keeping It Catholic, and the 2nd one is only about history, with lists of books for the different time periods. I think that is one of my favorite resources so far, since the Catholic perspective is very important to me. (We are on the more traditional side and attend an FSSP parish.) There are some old Catholic history textbooks that are reviewed in the history volume of KIC that I think you could use as read-alouds, similar to how you would use SOTW. We will be using some of those when we cover the Reformation era. I'm just getting started at this, so I'm by no means an expert, but my college degree is in history so this is my favorite part of the curriculum. You can get the KIC books from Adoremus books online--they are published by Neumann Press.
  3. I agree with the other poster who said to grow herbs you want to use in recipies! It is fun to be able to run outside and get a fresh snip of something you need, plus fresh herbs in the grocery store are expensive where I live. I took the easy way and got some plants from the greenhouse down the road. I love rosemary and lavender in my flowerbeds and they grow like crazy! I also have parsely, both kinds, chives, oregano, and basil. For some reason my cilantro didn't survive, but the other herbs seem pretty easy to grow. I'm going to try to squeeze some more things in this spring.
  4. I have had a lot of days like this with my 2nd son. The 3s and 4s were horrible, very often, but he will be 5 in May and he seems to be doing better. I'm hoping it is the light at the end of the tunnel. His tantrums lasted for hours sometimes and I had to just hold him until he calmed down or he would break things and pick fights. He complained about being held, but he didn't fight me much, and after he calmed down he would be very snuggly and sweet. I don't have any answers to share, but it has helped me to try to keep him busy, and make sure he eats enough. I think he needed more fatty acids, so I use flaxseeds in food and smoothies. I also think probiotics help a little. Getting audiobooks and Jim Weiss cds for him to listen to while he plays has helped a lot too. I think he got into trouble a lot of times out of boredom, but he doesn't have the attention span yet for much formal schooling. I don't let my kids watch much tv, and it seems to overstimulate him anyway, so the audiobooks have just been wonderful. I think he got into a rut sometimes, when he got off to a bad start in the morning by picking a fight with a sibling, and he needed help to get a fresh start. Standing in the corner didn't help. Sometimes it has worked to create a diversion, by announcing that everyone can have art time, or something else they like that is educational like puzzles or games. Then he gets distracted from acting like a monster and gets busy doing something else. I have gotten better at staying calm, but it can be so draining both physically and emotionally. There are days I just want to beat my head against the wall. It is a good thing I haven't taken up drinking! :tongue_smilie:
  5. My 4 year olds (they are almost 5) love the Jim Weiss CDs and we have 2 unabridged sets of Winnie the Pooh that they also love. My 3 year old isn't very interested in them. We also have the unabridged Frog and Toad and the Tales of Beatrix Potter. I think we have listened to Peter Rabbit until they can recite it! I have recently bought Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but we haven't listened to them yet. I think they can understand those. I've read the Little House in the Big Woods out loud and they loved it. The next set on my list is the complete Chronicles of Narnia. Amazon has a good price on it. It is wonderful to see my wiggly boys listening to the the Greek Myths while playing with their blocks and trains. I would lose my voice if I read as much as they wanted, so this gives them some mental stimulation, keeps them out of trouble, and gives me a break, all at the same time! :001_smile:
  6. Hello! I'm new to posting but I've been reading many of the informative posts here for the last couple of weeks. I've learned a lot, especially about math, the subject I dreaded in school. By way of introduction, I'm a homeschool graduate myself, and I hated math from about the 4th grade. We used Saxon and I still get cold chills when I see one of their math book. I felt like it was drill and kill, but somehow I never understood math, and it was soooo boring. I had to basically teach myself and that just didn't work. I think I'm a reasonably intelligent person and graduated summa cum laude from college, but I guess I needed something different in math instruction than teaching myself using Saxon. I have 4 children and my oldest two (boys) will be 5 in May. I also have a 3 year old daughter and 2 year old boy. I'm thrilled with WTM and the idea of classical education--it is what I wish I had when I was a child! I'm working on getting started with OPGTTR and reading a lot to my kids. We are reading a lot of Bible stories and working on narration a little. We do Suzuki violin lessons (the 4 year olds and 3 year old DD) and lots of messy stuff like fingerpainting. We are practicing counting skills and that is the extent of our math right now. My question is whether there are good reasons to get started with math now, with Miquon or Right Start, vs. waiting until next year. I got Singapore EM for Kindergarten, and Math Mammoth from the HSBC deal, but they can't write much yet, so my plan was to start a math program after their fine motor skills develop more. After reading all the posts about Right Start I started wondering if it would be a good idea to introduce math sooner than I planned since they can learn concepts without writing. If using a program like Right Start, is there an advantage in starting it in Pre-K and K, or to wait and do RS B next year? My mom was a fan of the book Better Late than Early, so that is the thought process I grew up with. I'm confused. I appreciate any thoughts from more experienced parents. :) Amanda
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