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Everything posted by Deniseibase

  1. I keep seeing these courses at my local community college in Calculus and Analytic Geometry - what the heck is Analytic Geometry? These are courses listed for technical majors - is this likely to be harder than a regular Calculus I course, or is this some kind of 'Calculus Lite' for technicians? TIA for any help you can give!
  2. Another vote for BBC for Colin Firth here, but honestly if I wanted to introduce Austen to someone via a movie, I'd pick Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson.
  3. Mine only knew half of them, and her response was "Geez, I'm a math person, not a word person mom!" :lol:
  4. You could also get a Prentice Hall Science Explorer book - they are basically like 'mini' public school textbooks on one topic & there are a bunch of them, just check Amazon. You can pick up used ones pretty cheap, and it will give her an experience pretty similar to what her public school friends are doing.
  5. Saxon Algebra 2 gets pretty hard about halfway through. I went through that text myself not too long ago and I remember round about lesson 50 it took a big jump and then another big jump around 75, and then another jump around 95. An hour for the tests, if he is showing all his work, is not unreasonable at all. Is he writing out EVERY step? I think once you get to the algebra 2 level, some steps can be combined. For example, an equation like 3x + 5 = 4x + 2 can be simplified directly to x = 3 without simplifying the variable first, then the constant. Do you feel like he really understands everything? Or is part of the slowness due to having to struggle to remember how to do things? Personally, I had to stop and back up from a lesson in the 70s back to the 50s - they start introducing trig concepts in that range and it took going over it twice for me to really get it, since I never had trig before. Backing up may be beneficial if that's his problem. I also took a break from Saxon and spent some time with Thinkwell Trig - which I did not retain very well, but Professor Burger's videos helped me understand my Saxon lessons better after I went back to Saxon :-) Hope that helps! If not, can you observe him taking a test one time? That might give you a clue as to what the issue is - 15 is a common age to find you are staring out the window without having meant to, y'know? ;-)
  6. Can you use a phonics-based program that also incorporates some sight words? Saxon Phonics is like that, and it is working well for my son, but I don't know what other programs out there are like that. He is 6 1/2 and still reads slowly and guesses, but honestly I think that's pretty normal for this age. I think at this age it's probably more important that you feel like she is making steady(ish) progress rather than she needs to be at XYZ milestones.
  7. Ha, this thread reminds me of when I volunteered in my school library in 7th grade, putting away books. At the time, there was a HUGE controversy over whether Judy Blume was going to be carried in the library - and one of the most popular books in the library was Raise the Titanic, which was so popular because it had EXPLICIT scenes in it. I remember thinking that the grownups at my library really oughta be a little more consistent :-)
  8. Chez J, I'm wondering which edition of Saxon you are looking at with the word problems? The third edition, which is what most homeschoolers use, has word problems that are kinda cute and use great vocabulary, but do tend to be repetitive and somewhat less 'real-life' - for example, "The number of dastards varied directly as the number of poltroons. When there were 800 dastards, the poltroons numbered 9600. When there were 24,000 poltroons, how many dastards were there?" There are some more standard word problems, but it's not what I'd call an impressive amount. usually about 5 word problems out of 30. The fourth edition, which is mostly used by schools, has more real life problems like "Jupiter's radius is approximately 44,365 miles. Jupiter rotates faster than Earth. It takes approximately 9.8 hours for Jupiter to make one complete rotation. If an object is fixed on Jupiter's equator, how far does it travel in one hour due to Jupiter's rotation?" There are a LOT more word problems in the fourth edition, usually close to a third of the problems in the problems set, and they are, to my mind, more interesting and varied, and they definitely make me think more. Unfortunately, the support materials for homeschoolers for fourth edition are pretty bad - the solutions manual is FULL of errors and to my knowledge, no one is doing any DVDs or videos to go along with these. Both the third and fourth edition have samples on line on the Saxon website, which is why I'm wondering which edition you are looking at, so you might want to check. That said, I think Saxon works very very well for some learners. I flunked Algebra in high school and NEVER felt like I understood it at ALL until I went through the sequence with Saxon. Now I really enjoy math, tutor public school kids, teach math at my co-op, and have definitely found that the skills I learned with Saxon have carried over to the other math texts I have worked with since. I am very much a 'parts to whole' learner - you can tell me the big picture all day long and I will. not. get. it. until I get all the pieces figured out individually. THEN I can go back and go "OHHHHH, so THAT'S what the big picture is!" If that sounds like your kid, then it might work for you guys. But it's definitely not for everyone.
  9. I'm with a lot of the posters as far as holding off on some books for age-appropriateness, but there's one category of books I haven't seen mentioned that I'm a little surprised at. I have a lot of my grandmother's old storybooks, so we edit words like 'Negros' and 'pickaninnies' to read 'people' or 'children'. Now, with my oldest, we have talked about these words and their place in history, but I absolutely do NOT want my 6 year old who absorbs new vocab like a SPONGE to drop either of those words into conversation :-)
  10. Not quite the same thing, but I once had an older co-worker who INSISTED that my name, Denise, was actually a nickname for Diane and kept trying to call me Diane. ???????? This was even more confusing because there were already two REAL Dianes in the office, and finally my boss had to step in and insist this woman stop calling me Diane. She pretty much stopped talking to me after that. But that was a pretty strange office anyway :-)
  11. I don't know if Foerster's has a Pre-algebra, but Foerster's sounds right up your alley for Algebra. Maybe Dolciani Pre-Algebra or Lial's BCM?
  12. My DD came to me this morning and asked if she could split her WWS assignment into two days so she could do the planning & organizing today & the actual writing part tomorrow. "I find it works really well to plan first, then I can think about what I want to say for a whole day before I have to write it out," she said. I was so thrilled!!!! I've been trying to tell her this for a long time, and then WWS has just led her quietly by the hand to such a great habit. Definite homeschool success!!
  13. Well, it's sounds like the 'open and go' type of curriculum is actually the part that IS working for you, so please don't think of it as 'open and go' vs 'well planned'. I was in a similar spot at the beginning of this year, I was finding that what we did LAST year led to a lot of things being set aside, and I didn't want to do that again this year. Here's what I did to make my life easier - - cancelled ALL our outside activities except three - karate, Chinese lessons, and park day. (I originally intended to cut down to two activities, but these are all things that my kids have done for YEARS and would have been upset to lose). We dropped 2 other outside classes and stopped accepting as many social invitations - we now limit other socializing to once a week, last year was usually 2 to 4 times a week. - changed most of our curricula to 'do the next thing', 'open and go' stuff. Last year I was trying to do WTM style science with my youngest - I think that got done maybe a dozen times. Same for DD's WTM style history - got done a couple times a week. Now, with a more 'open and go' plan, things get done a lot, well, 'steadier'. - I write a daily list for myself EVERY night before bed for the next day. I send it to myself in an email, because I always check my email first thing every morning. Friday nights, I sit down and make a weekly plan for each of my kids for the next week. My DD is in charge of following her plan, my first grade DS isn't in charge, of course :-) But having that plan in place for ME lets me stay on top of it. - Every night before I go to bed, I pull out EVERYTHING I need for my son's homeschool for the next day - if I find I'm missing something, I've at least got a few hours to think of a substitute :-) All his materials get piled on the kitchen table, everything from workbooks to pencils to coloring pages to read-aloud books. As we finish each thing, we put it away. When the table is clear, I'm done with his homeschooling :-) (DD has a desk in her room where she keeps her materials, and she's pretty good about telling me ahead of time what she needs.) Hope some of these ideas help!! Basically, for me, it boiled down to cutting out outside stuff, simplifying the stuff we kept, and staying ahead of the curve. I worried a lot that all this 'do the next thing' stuff would lead to a less interesting homeschool, but it actually makes our lives so much easier that we have a MORE interesting homeschool. Trying to do everything meant that nothing got done well - trying to do the important things well is leading to more time left over for the interesting stuff. Good luck!!
  14. My 6YO son is really into the Hank the Cowdog books - they are seriously funny, there have been times we have read them aloud and the whole family has started laughing.
  15. Hang in there!!! I taught my daughter what a noun was every single DAY (or at least it felt like it!) from 1st grade to 4th, and EVERY time I asked what a noun was, I got a blank stare. It finally stuck, and now in 7th grade she is at grade level and doing very well. You just have to be persistent.
  16. DD wants to do chemistry next year for 8th grade. She's sailing through Algebra this year, so no worries that she can't handle the math, but I don't think she's mature enough yet to handle a college level text, plus she'll definitely be doing chemistry again in high school, probably two years of chem in high school. I'm looking at Zumdahl's World of Chemistry, but I have NO idea how to break this up into daily chunks :-) Does anyone have a plan, or can point me to a website with a plan? Don't worry too much about labs, we'll probably do some the the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments labs, and I figure once I get a lesson plan worked out, it will be fairly obvious where to throw in the labs. TIA for any help!!
  17. It's pretty simple. Here is the state website - http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/home-school Because she is pulling her kids out of public school, she will need to register her homeschool with the state - it's on that main website, click the Homeschool Enrollment Report Form. This is not required of all homeschoolers, but everyone I know who has pulled their kids out of public has been asked to register, simply so the public school can then prove that the child is not simply truant. Then click on the Homeschool Help Sheet on that main webpage. It tells how to transfer the student from public school to the homeschool, and says you need to notify the current principal in writing. Good luck to her!! Homeschooling in Indiana is pretty hassle-free, I have yet to run into any family who has had serious problems withdrawing their kids, so tell your friend not to worry :-)
  18. I would take a look at Key to Percents, which is cheap & quick & should get her solid on percents in short order. Two years of Algebra I for a young learner makes perfect sense to me, we're doing it too - one year with an easier, more procedure oriented text (Saxon) and next year with a lot more problem solving and theory (although not sure what that will be yet, maybe Dolciani). Your DD should be fine, even if she hasn't had a true 'prealgebra' year - and if by some chance you happen to hit a snag, you certainly have the time to pause and go back and 'fill the hole' before you go onward with the algebra program you decide on.
  19. My DD is 12 & it is just this year that I can give her a whole week of work at a time and expect her to complete it all on her own in a timely manner. Even so, she checks in with me at the end of every assignment to let me know she's completed it, and often to check over something she had trouble with. Before this year I just gave her one day at a time of assignments. I think some very independent children thrive on having the control of planning their whole week themselves, but honestly, for most kids, any thrill they might get from the control aspect is overwhelmed by the work of designing their own schedule and managing themselves :-) Most kids have to be eased into it gently, a bit at a time. I got a lot of great ideas on how to do just that from SWB's audio lecture on raising independent learners, you can find it at the Peace Hill Press webstore.
  20. A couple suggestions - - if your son is old enough to understand, start by sitting him down and having a heart to heart about how routines affect the entire household. He may not agree, but if he is old enough to understand he should at least know what your ideas on this are, even if he doesn't want to follow along. That at least gives you a starting point for compromise :-) - meals - at our house, the rule is I fix ONE meal - if you don't want to eat what I fix, you still have to eat one bite of everything I fixed (this is mostly for lunch and dinner), and then you are perfectly welcome to fix something else for yourself (and clean it up!). Even my 6 year old is perfectly able to wash an apple and grab a cheese stick and make a pb&j. I instituted this after nearly driving myself CRAZY making essentially 4 different meals for every meal trying to please everyone. The end result is that for breakfast, pretty much we all fix our own now, which is fine by me. - don't try to fix all this at once. Pick the one thing that seems to be the most disruptive first. Like someone else said, expect balkiness. Be prepared to stand firm on your core idea, but also look for ways to tweak it. We had an issue last year with DD wanting to play around for too long in the AM before she got to work. I tried to establish a strict 8:30AM school start time. This led to a lot of arguing about stupid nonessential details like whether gathering her books should be done before or after school start time. Finally I realize she was balking at the clock and the loss of control. Now the rule is less a schedule than a routine - she gets up, showers, eats breakfast, and gets to work, she just does it on her own timetable now. I still have what I wanted - she's not playing around all morning - and she still feels in control of her life. Interestingly, she usually has schoolwork started by 8AM now :-) So keep looking for ways to let everyone be a winner. This is not always fast, but it 'sticks' better in the long run than mom trying to impose an outside schedule that everyone hates. You have to keep tweaking a lot at first, just keep your main goal in mind.
  21. If it makes you feel better, we actually have a quart jar full of m&ms, gummi worms, jelly beans & candy pumpkins that we use on a pretty much daily basis. Sometimes it's a reward for finishing a particularly difficult task, but just as often it's a bribe to stop some behavior that is annoying me - at the first grade stage, if it works to get the day done well & smoothly, I don't care if we call it a bribe or not, I'm doing it! :-)
  22. My DD is doing WWS this year, in 7th grade. We attempted it last year, but it led to so many meltdowns that I dropped it because she clearly was not ready for the intensity of it. This year she grumbles about it, and has to be reminded to read directions and re-write rough drafts EVERY SINGLE TIME, but she can do the work and it's clearly improving her writing skills tremendously. We never did WWE with her and she is a reluctant writer. She did need a lot of help at first with the summaries. I think having done WWE beforehand would have helped with that a lot. It was clear that she needed more practice writing summaries than WWS provided, so I had her start summarizing her history reading, one paragraph per section (each section is 4-6 pages, usually.) and she reads two sections per day. This caused tremendous grumbling and whining at first, as she could not find a main idea with both hands and a flashlight and a map :-) But it was just the practice she needed & just last week she was telling me that history was 'easy' because all she has to do is write two paragraphs. And her summaries make a lot more sense now. So yes, it's entirely possible to start WWS with an older child who has not done WWE, even a child who is not a strong writer. Give it a try - it's a tremendous program. If you find as we did that some foundational skills is lacking, it's fairly easy to add more practice. WWS is a lot of work though, and I echo the sentiments of those who said this is the writing program, don't use it with another full writing program unless your child just LOVES to write a LOT :-)
  23. My son can easily read the old Dick and Jane readers and currently has been reading 10 Apples Up on Top. He will be 7 next month, and I consider this perfectly normal. He is a precise little boy and does not consider himself to be 'reading' unless he can easily read EVERYTHING in the book independently. So, if you ask us what he READS, that's what he reads. But I think it can be misleading to think of literacy as JUST what books can a child read independently. He also spends some time most days looking at Pokemon comic books or harder or longer picture books (current faves are The Elves and the Shoemaker and Rattletrap Car), and although he is clearly reading some parts of those (because he'll ask me what a word means, or what this word says), if you ask him he will tell you he is not reading them, he is just looking at them. He also listens to Hank the Cowdog or Geronimo Stilton audiobooks while looking at the corresponding book every night at bedtime. So it seems to me, that even tho he's not reading a lot of books independently, he's still working on literacy skills just as much as if he were reading more easy readers. He's clearly making progress in what he can read and things like his reading speed and fluency, he's just making a lot of that progress from activities other than reading easy readers or chapter books. That seems perfectly normal for a first grader to me.
  24. If you just want to try a different curriculum, you might look at The Snake and the Fox by Mary Haight. It's a little more entertaining than your standard logic text, and is meant to be an intro course for high school students. It's not super in-depth, and more plain English than loads of symbols and notation, but for an 8th grader that's probably more doable than a notation-heavy text.
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