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Everything posted by medawyn

  1. I'm on my third round with I See Sam. It's worked for my three very different learners. I do teach all the letter sounds a la Spalding-style programs when they are introduced in the books. One of my kids went through the first three levels of Sam in 3 months; one took a school year; the current one looks like he'll be through in a total of 4-6 months. I find after the first three levels they are ready for "real" books, and we move on to spelling for phonics and lots of Elephant and Piggy or Frog and Toad or Henry and Mudge, etc.
  2. I use and like Libib. It helps me keep track of what I have and lets me sort books into very helpful categories. Even though my books are organized, Libib lets me do a quick scan of our home library and alerts me to where a book might be shelved if it could have multiple locations. In our house, I have my children's books (picture books) sorted into bins by subject, with labels on the bins and colored stickers on the books to help my children re-shelve them (kids are ages 3-8). I have about 25 different bins, all with books sorted in ways that make sense based on my children's ages and interests. We have shelves devoted to early chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. I keep books I would rather my children not read yet on the higher shelves. Outside of my picture books, all of our books are shelved by genre and then by author, with the exception of the adult history books, which are shelved by country and then time frame. Libib shows me having around 4,800 books at the moment. Between three reading-heavy degrees and ten years teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms, we have an extensive library. Homeschooling has not help reduce that.
  3. My favorite books to teach in 8th grade? To Kill a Mockingbird Ender’s Game The Book Thief Macbeth I miss teaching middle school!
  4. Hoo boy, that last thread you linked.... I felt like Alice down the rabbit hole, and I remember it from the first time around.
  5. We just changed things around because we added DS5 to the mix last week. I'm also homeschooling two extras this year, but I'll just share what's working with my kids. DS8 is working his way through Beast Academy 3D. For a long time I sat with him while he worked, but I'm realizing now that I was doing that based on my own insecurities in math and that I don't have time during my actual teaching period to sit with him for every pencil stroke. Instead, I work the whole chapter before he starts it, so I'm confident I know the math, the methods, and anything I might want to highlight or explain differently. He's a diligent worker, but the nature of BA means his progress is unpredictable. We read the guide together when applicable, and then I assign him the relevant pages in the workbook. He works on those independently but in the room, so I can make sure that he's focused. I check his work frequently and then I either sit with him and rework incorrect problems or have preselected a few problems to discuss and have him orally explain his answer/method. This means some days we work together for 20 minutes and others just 5-8. I also have 2-4 problems I write down for him to work daily to keep certain skills fresh or keep working on areas that I don't think BA gives enough time for the concepts to develop. DD6 has a mix of independent work and work with me. Her written work is all independent (although I check it daily with her for mistakes), and we usually have 10-15 minutes together to discuss whatever topic we're working on. She needs a long time with a concept to really internalize it, so I keep two topics going simultaneously to keep us moving forward and her not bored. I give her 1-2 more challenging problems on a whiteboard to solve after we work together, and she often uses manipulatives to show her answer. She spends some of her math time working with DD3, who is obviously not in school but loves to do "school time". They play Hungry Numbers from Tiny Polka Dot or simple counting or patterning worksheets. DS5 is just getting into the school routine and struggles with perfectionism. I sit right with him for his 15 minutes of math. He does all of it orally or with manipulatives; he's still working on writing his numbers correctly and we do that during his penmanship time. I have lots of math games for him to play; they are more busy work than serious learning, but they help re-enforce concepts and keep him busy but still in the classroom. I probably wouldn't use them if I didn't have other students (not my kids) to also work around, but that's how it is this year. We start our day with math, so I get DS5 started on a math game and DD6 started with her sister, and then I work with DD8 if he's doing a parent intensive lesson. If DD8 is going to be working more independently for the day, I work with DS5 because we're less likely to be interrupted by someone. As soon as DS5 is done, he either goes back to a math game or is dismissed from the classroom. I pause to check DS8's work and make sure he's on track, then I work with DD6, who has probably started her independent written math by this point. We go through my lesson plan for the day, then I let her loose to finish the problems I've set/independent work. I check back in with DS8 and work a few problems orally. When we're done I glance over the work DD6 has finished, call her in to correct anything or explain anything if it's necessary, and then get myself a cup of tea and make everyone play outside for 10 minutes before we do Language Arts.
  6. Chicken breasts in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tbsp whole grain mustard until melted and combined. Pull off the heat and melt in 1 tbsp butter. Pour over chicken and pop back in the oven for 10 minutes. Then broil on high for 2-4 minutes. Super quick and easy for week night dinners.
  7. RightStart has an app with their Go To Ten game. It's mostly for making pairs of 10, but that's a start. https://rightstartmath.com/our-curriculum/apps/ ETA: Their corners app would work sums of 5, 10, 15, and 20. We play corners with other sums as well, but I don't know if the app has that flexibility. Corners is on of my kids' favorite games.
  8. My parents gave me the wedding. I actually gave them gifts as a thank you/commemoration.
  9. Activities that have been very successful at consuming hours here lately include building mazes for hex bugs and racing them (occasionally videoing the races) and building Gravitrax. Kids are 5, 6, and 8. I think “themed” camp in a box weeks could be great, if a little exhausting for you to pull together. Another line for a nanny might be finding an older high school age boy who would get your DS outside and active a few hours a week. I think that’s the element of camp I would be missing most - opportunities to move his body
  10. Currently homeschooling and my oldest pupil is 8 🙂 We currently have a school of two, but DS4.5 will join us after his 5th birthday next weekend. That just leaves DD3 to wander about unattended during school hours...
  11. I’m team make whatever makes you feel happy. If I’m asked to bring food and have checked about restrictions, I assume that who ever has invited me is open minded enough to enjoy what I bring and/or had a plan for picky eaters in their household. If a family is really picky or adverse to surprises, than I find they usually ask for things that won’t be objectionable (paper goods, bottled water/soda, etc).
  12. My profile tells me I joined in April 2011 (Happy 10 year to me, apparently), but I know I was reading the boards as early as 2004/2005. I was teaching at a small classical school then, and about 1/3 of our families either came from or left to homeschool, so I wanted to be more on top of recommendations I could give them. I was very single then, but I knew I would homeschool in the future. I joined to buy Wheelocks Latin, because my copy had been damaged. I hadn’t joined before because I didn’t feel like I had anything to contribute, being childless. I’ve definitely learned so much from this board and my homeschool has been shaped by many women here, including some who have moved on. I’m always grateful for the people who share wisdom and support on these boards. My kids are still quite young, so I imagine I’ll be hanging around quite a bit longer.
  13. Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale right now, and Math Mammoth is available for 25% off.
  14. I'm actively looking for daytime lessons for my kids. I currently have 2 kids who I would put in lessons, but I'll have two more coming up. I would also like to take lessons. It would be so convenient for me to be able to bring my family in and do an afternoon lessons all in one go, and of course a 10% tuition break would be awesome. I probably wouldn't do group lessons, but that's because I have dubious experiences with groups of homeschoolers.
  15. DH and I gout our second Pfizer shot at 2:30 pm on Tuesday. Both were fine the rest of that day. DH woke up with a low grade fever and serious body ache on Wednesday and was down for the count. I felt very slightly “off” but had a completely normal day. By Thursday morning we were both 100%, not even a sore arm.
  16. I should have known someone would ask! The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough DS8 has devoured all things WW2 for the last year, so I knew he'd like it, despite the fact that apparently the first 30 words were unsatisfactory. 😜
  17. I'm still undecided for my upcoming 1st grader. She's my second, but so different from DS8 that she might as well be my first. Math: Math Mammoth 2, maybe? Lanugage Arts: lots of reading aloud, working to fluency and hoping to move into early chapter books, Dictation Day by Day for spelling/copywork/beginning grammar Science: SCI 0 with kinder DS With the family: Geography (Asia), 50 states, lots of read aloud, poetry, art and music appreciation
  18. Finally have enough pulled together to put something here... that will no doubt change. Math: Beast Academy, maybe 3D? definitely 4A-C/D, Hands on Equations, MM blue series as extra practice when needed Language Arts: MCT Island, CAP Fable and Narrative 1, Dictation Day by Day, finish Mensa K-3 and start 4-6 History: OUP's The World in Ancient Times Science: SCI level 3 As a family: Geography (Asia), 50 states/capitals,
  19. I rarely require, because he reads fairly prolifically and widely but this book was so exactly something he would like (and fit so nicely with the history HE requested) that I didn’t feel guilty leaving it on the to do list. Is he going to give me the benefit of the doubt next time I suggest a book I think he will like? Nope 🙂
  20. ... has been refusing to read a book because he read the first page and hated it. Alas, today reading was the only thing left on his history to do list for the week, so he had no choice. Whattya know? He’s still reading over lunch because, “Mom, you are right! This book is awesome!” Who could have guessed?
  21. Just under that age, but my almost 3rd grader is allergic to pencils if required for school. On his own, in the past two weeks he has written a list of birds he has seen in the yard with an ongoing tally. At my request, he added some features for male/female, ostensibly so I or his siblings could identify the birds and add to his tally. He has made a bracket a la March Madness for his paper airplanes that he has made this year (he has a plane of the day calendar). This took him three days, but he wrote the names of 64 planes and created the bracket. He likes to draw tanks and military planes, so he usually writes a few specs for each one he draws. Sometimes it's just a few words, sometimes it's a list of 4-5 facts. This happens almost daily right now.
  22. I understand about punishing 😞 My DS would feel the same way. I have a bonus kid this year who is at a completely different level of math than DS, even though they are the same grade. I've been using Singapore Dimensions with him, because he will be returning to a classroom next year, and Dimensions was a good fit for that. However, he definitely gets invited to read the guide books with us, and he's been working some of the puzzles in the Level 2 puzzle book. If another curriculum is necessary, would maybe being able to read the guides and have 1-2 puzzle sessions a week be a possible bridge? How does she do with MM? Could it be the spine and BA be the supplement?
  23. You are a little ahead of us in BA, and I do think BA flies through the concepts of division and fractions. My kid thrives on BA and it gives him access to puzzles and much more challenging problems than I would easily be able to create for him, but I'm trying to really pay attention to how they introduce concepts and slow down/put away the books when I think it jumps too fast. For example, in the division chapter (which I've recently just paused), I think BA leans to heavily on the notion that kids can automatically do division if they can do multiplication and doesn't spend any time having kids build a model for the concept of division. I don't want my kid only thinking about division as the inverse of multiplication, since he needs to be clear about division for fractions/decimals/percentages. @notanumber would be much more helpful for specifics, but what I'm doing right now is giving him 4-6 division problems daily (we're starting with single digit divisor and 3-4 digit dividend and definitely no remainders) and having him talk through how he solves them. Today he had 2569/7 and kind of froze, so I talked him through it. I started by asking if he had enough thousands to give to all 7 groups, then moved to hundreds, etc. Mine has a very solid grasp of place value, so once I talked him through his moment of panic, he was able to talk me through the rest of the problem. Manipulatives of any kind drive this kid crazy, but I would use some if it helped him "see" distributing groups. I imagine that division would be a topic that would make it clear if the concept of place value wasn't solid. Also, I really do love BA for this particular student, but it isn't a good fit for many students. It shows so many tricks and shortcuts. My kid thrives on puzzles and different ways of looking at things. I've tried my hardest to make sure he has a really good conceptual understanding of each topic, which has meant pausing BA to pre-teach or solidify something before we move on to the puzzles or short cuts. I am NOT strong in math, so this has really challenged me. It also means that my daughter is not doing BA, because I don't think it's the right fit for her. She needs a lot more time with models than my oldest and needs to work much more concretely for much longer. He jumped right into BA2 after half of a first grade math program; I'm probably going to use Math Mammoth for her when she starts grade 2 maths.
  24. As others have said, mostly eggs. About once a week I toss veggie odds and ends into a frittata and eat that for the next 3-4 days. I also freeze pieces of frittata to pull out on hectic mornings. When I’m in the mood I make salmon patties from canned salmon and eat that with a salad in the morning. Not breakfast-y but it works for me. I always make double and freeze some. These pancakes are delicious with nut butter and a few slices of banana. I especially love them with Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter, which I don’t share with my children. https://balancedbites.com/content/paleo-pumpkin-pancakes-from-practical-paleo/
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