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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. Hmmm....I don't think I have heard of one that does that, but if there is, and its bright, colourful, and lots of silly pictures, advise me, because I would want it too (we use lots of Social Stories I write up on Word with pictures pulled from the internet).


    We have the crotch grabbing when needing to go to the toilet problem here as well as other ones.


    Because "modesty" is not something I think of all the time with him (here we are with a gender inequality thing here, because I am always preaching about modesty to my eldest) I keep forgetting to do up Stories regarding that. Mine are mostly about respecting your toys, being nice to siblings, playing gentle with animals, whisper voices etc.


    I as thinking Pearables for Boys, Little Contenders for the Faith, and Queen Homeschool stuff, but I'm not sure if any of that covers "modesty", its all character, and well-rounded, nice, training, in character quality, but as for issues of modesty, you would have to check out the individual curriculums.

  2. Just bumping this up, I would love to hear about it too. There are no samples on the site :confused1: and nothing much about the program.


    From what I have heard/find out, it sounds quite interesting, I think I really need samples to decide upon anything though.


    it seems they expect people to either go to the conventions or to call them and they will snail mail you a brochure and possible samples? I'm not travelling to America just to view the program (lol :laugh: although that would be nice to do) and I don't really want to wait 6-8 weeks just for a brochure or a confusing sample.



  3. Ecclecticmum - You mentioned Math Art in your post, and the name intrigued me so I did a search and came up with multiple books with that title. Which 'Math Art' do you use? (If you were even refering to a book)


    Right now I use Maryann Kohl's Math Arts book + ideas on the internet (mostly to ramp it up for my eldest). There are lots of good math art books available though, (and of course the internet, lots of people have math art projects on their blogs).


    There is other books like:


    Math-terpieces by Greg Tang (more art appreciation & history)

    Connecting Math to Art: New Activities for whole brain thinking

    Math as a creative Process: Using Arts, Crafts and Cooking to decipher Math Concepts

    Math Art Fun: Teaching Kids to see the magic and multitude of Mathematics in Modern Art

    Object Lessons: Teaching Math through the visual Arts

    Teaching Math through Art - Visual Manna

    Draw Plus: http://drawpl.us/index.html








    Other threads on WTM:






    HTH xxx

  4. We school around projects/interest led, so I am giving my views based on Classical & PBH (which would still have plenty of similarities).


    What that looks like day to day is different for every single day, unfortunately, but theres a common theme.


    We don't really take breaks (long breaks) we won't do formal schooling when DH is home (so if DH takes a week off, we take a week off, but he's pretty much a workaholic, he has a lot of holiday built up). I have found summer is not a good time for us to "school" in the normal sense (it gets too hot) so this year I will be getting seperate shorter programs I can use during this time that won't be connected to our normal schooling (in other words I won't be counting hols. as part of our normal schooling) so summer curricula may be things like RS4K, McGuffeys, Ray's etc. These will be done to keep retention up, but won't neccessaril be done every day during S.


    As for the projects, my childrens work is mainly focused around their own projects. Obviously my eldest childs projects & facilitation looks different from my other two, so this affects things too.


    If the children are particularly involved in a project, then I'll leave them be. If I can't get school done (sick-day) then I will tell them to work on their projects or do stuff in the workbox drawers (this contains stuff like random math worksheets with problems to do circled, Core Knowledge Activity Sheets, Abeka Art Projects, Anti-Colouring Book Pages etc).


    I make sure there is some form of math & language arts being done every day (except weekends, which is optional) usually they will cover that easily. So that means EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY, each child does something to do with LA & Math, no exceptions.


    We have already covered that today via the following:


    Atlas - Wrote some words for her sister, and explained them to her. Taught me on the whiteboard (I had to answer what a bromeliad (sp?) was, 3 things about King Charles the second the 3 ways waves were made, read a book "outloud to the class", answer questions on letter sounds and write words down) (BTW I guessed bromeliad and luckily got it right (lucky, because it was multiple choice, I had no idea what it was pmsl). I got King Charles wrong, and missed one way on the waves). She did some math worksheets, and divided the fruit platter equally between the 3 kids, and played hopscotch.


    Chaos - Watched letter factory, counted counters, played with the hot dots flashcards, tried to see how many times he could jump from the bed to the footstool.


    Eve - sung part of the phonograms, counted the worksheets I loaded into the drawers for the new week. wrote letters on the whiteboard, set up a basic version of a shop (she's excitedly awaiting the cash register (non-electric, hape cash register) and faux aussie money we have coming, so everything is "shop" this and "money" that, lol.


    Today is a very laid back day, our curricula looks more like the following:


    Phonics/LA: We just changed this, so haven't started the new program yet, I was previously working with Fitzroy Readers, we'll now be using LOE-F. (I'm planning to work DS' Speech & language in through this program too, so thats two less "seperated" items)


    Writing: Bravewriter & Jot it down.


    Math: Math on the Level as Spine. Mondays: Verbal Math Lessons, Tuesdays: Mathstart Readers & Funbooks, Wednesdays: Mathplay/Younger Kids Concepts (if Atlas doesn't want to join in, she can use dreambox), Thursday: Older Kid Concepts (Young 'uns have free play with math manipulatives. Friday: Math Art.


    Literature: We have a large library, but I am slowly working through Sonlight P3/4, I base literature around the youngest child's level, and add-on stuff for the older, so she does more lit through Bravewriter ideas.


    Others: The younger two do Core Knowledge Preschool (they prefer doing a weeks worth in one sitting (well they would actually prefer to do both books in one sitting lol, so I have to limit amount done per week), all of us do Konos.


    Fridays: Looks a little different, this is when we do Math Art, my eldest does Pearables Lessons, we work through Wiggle Giggle (Phys Ed for Preschoolers), Read and do Let's Read and Find out about Science, Art (mixture of bits, haven't found a curricula I like).


    Basically we concentrate on the 3R's.


    Math on the Level allows me to bring whatever resources I want in for the concept, use living books (next year I plan to look at Julies stuff as well) but review, and keep an eye on whats happening with each child, re-go over concepts the child needs, but skip stuff they already know (without the "must complete all the pages in the workbook" feel. ) It allows me to use whatever resources/manipulatives/living books I want, and do it however I want without it being "too much" (like using Singapore with all the extras + miquon + math mammoth, or whatever the hot combination is right now).


    Bravewriter is similar, it gives me all the resources I require at my finger tips, but without providing something that can end up being over the top, I can work BW & JID into my schedule however it works for us.


    Konos is great because it includes "all those extras" (of which a lot of mums never get time to do). I use the original volumes so its basically a giant resource of activities & ideas. I get to circle what works for my kids, and even work Math/LA concepts into there. If I had to keep one thing, this would probably be it (I wouldn't be a happy camper, but this would still be the one thing I'd keep....as long as I had the internet still for information to make Math/LA to go along with units).


    As for Phonics/Reading, I haven't start LOE yet, so I cannot comment. Obviously its not uber-scheduled, allowing for flexibility of pace, but I believe in the method, and like what I have seen of her program so far. I plan to use Essentials, and be working with Konos using LOE & Bravewriter ideas in the future. So LOE fits my long-term plans nicely. And its final selling point to me, is it is still flexible, yu are not "behind" your child just isn't "ready" for the next lesson, so you comfortably can sit and review till they are, plus they come in levels (I like that its "supposed" (meaning IRL its varied) be a one year program, but they still decided to put it into four levels, this allows me to do it, without feeling overwhelmed at the amount I have yet to do, I can just concentrate on one level at a time.


    So I choose stuff I believe gets the kind of education I want in the end for my children, and that is flexible enough to work around our lifestyle and PBH.


    I love unschooling ideas and methods, I even belong to a natural learning forum, however I do not agree with the method as a full, total "method". I love classical education, own both editions of the Latin-Centred Curriculum, The Core, creating your own Classical Curriculum & Digital version of both WTM & WEM (speaking of which, I've been meaning to purchase a paperback version of WTM (I want both the 1st edition, and the latest), as I reference it quite often, its annoying to have it in digital format, I prefer paperback for reference books I use a lot. I love Charlotte Mason & Montessori ideals, but again, don't agree with all of it, I'm a fan of brain-gym & move to learn methods, plus singing to learn as well. I like the fact we live in a modern world and have access to all this technology, and use the TV, computer and internet as a tool in my "Classroom", which is completly the opposite of the ideals of Waldorf Education, that I have a deep affinity for, and follow a number of their methods and ways in regards to Early childhood. I like fun learning activities like Konos, and Konos proves that learning can be fun, yet there is little else out there on the market like this (so in my mind, this is the Konos Method, and probably the "method" I follow the closest).


    At the top of all of this is project-based homeschooling. In my mind, this is the "base" of our homeschooling & lifestyle, but on the same hand, has nothing to do with me, rofl. I'm more like the information desk you use in the mall if you're lost. They won't plonk you inside the store or find the item in question you are looking for, but they are always there if you need help, and will guide/direct you towards the right path/direction needed to find the answers.


    My thoughts on the matter gel in some ways with all the above methods. I believe the child should have a rigorous, all-round education, at the same time, children should be left to be children, and not rushed through subjects before they are developmentally ready for them, children don't need busywork, they need nature & sunshine, and will learn more with that, then independant seatwork on matching the leaf to the stem on the workpage. Language & math are the most important subjects. Children should be moving, running, laughing. If the magic schoolbus excites them, they should be allowed to watch it, you will be surprised what they learn. Children learn best through "discovering" the concepts, learning through concrete views, then mastering the facts, and moving onto a more abstract view. Discovery of concepts should be fun, interesting & engaging. A child will treasure a toy or piece of art they made themselves, more than a piece of art or toy purchased.


    What I am trying to say, is my views mesh well enough with PBH, that balancing it with formal curricula is quite easy, as I choose stuff that complements it and also holds to my views.


    Projects have to be counted at least as equal to formal curriculum for this to work, not just as an enrichment or spare hobby, otherwise its just "kids playing in the art room" (which is all fine and dandy BTW, just not exactly what interest led learning or PBH is about (which have many things in common) They have to know help is there when they need it, and that you will listen to there problems (perhaps it could be something like the paper on the tail of the donkey is ripping) and take it as seriously as them missing an answer on their math page (after all, in both cases they are learning, and putting their efforts into it). You have to be willing to put the time into it, and figure out what will happen if you "need" to get "your" school done, and the child is working seriously on their project for their interest-led stuff. Pulling a child away is not neccessarily the best thing you can do. Its okay to give the child a "deadline" (after all there are deadlines in real life) but just letting the child work on something without a time limit, then unexpectedly ripping them away from it without warning can kill a project.




    Have you thought just about "options" instead of interest led.?


    -They can have "electives" they get to choose (from a list you make).

    - They can choose which program they like (so for math, you could write up a list, and give samples of curricula you approve of and let them choose). If you have problems doing this, perhaps "helping" choose. Give them a list, let them narrow it down to 3-5 programs, and you can choose from that list.

    - Letting them choose the order of subjects they learn for the year (perhaps they want to learn about Animals first instead of the human bosy)

    - Give them choices in activties to complete the same objective (show their knowledge of Queen Elizabeth, they can: do a project (their choice of "what kind", or, write an essay, make their own movie or slideshow, etc. Let them know they will be graded, and it taken seriously)

    -Let them choose how their week is scheduled. Show them what has to be completed in a week, and help them through the process of setting up a schedule they like.

    -Another option is to use the very basic classical curriculum (very basic) then do interest-led projects. The child would have to choose a little in advance (say 1-3 topics) in order for you to set it up. You could also use a half-half with this approach. Say you want to Biology, and Middle Ages this year. You can choose a few topics from each subject you want to include, and you child can choose a few topics as well.


    Basically this provides you with control, but your child with choice.


    There are many other ways this can be done, but hopefully I have given some food for thought (that or just babbled on a lot, lol)



  5. Everybody, take your feet off the furniture and make sure your hair is combed. :coolgleamA:


    Nice article, very cool.



    Um. In my house its more "quick everybody put pants on!" Whilst I run through the house bathrobe trailing behind me to go grab the hairbrush. I seem to have upped my record with this, I can do a round the house speed run and be back in clothes, hair brushed in under a minute, apparently I seemed to have mastered the art of getting dresses whilst running and using one hand to brush hair whilst I yank my shoes on with the other, then open the door with a big smile and "what a lovely surprise" :001_rolleyes:



    Oh my, I read your post after posting my own questions about PAL. Perhaps my enthusiasm was premature. My kiddos struggle with reading - one is dyslexic, the other is possibly also but this hasn't been confirmed.


    I have all this OG background but it is very time consuming so I would love something that is more of a kit. I don't need or want a script but want more of a language arts curriculum than just reading & spelling. I have some of Barton and Wilson but those still need other items (I think) to make it a full language arts curriculum.


    I'm curious to know how PAL was time/teacher intensive? What kind of teacher/mom prep is required?


    What about Logic of English Foundations or Essentials, would that work? Its OG inspired.


    I actually have PAL, and planned to use in in conjunction with bits from LLATL. I was looking for a spelling program to go with it (I am not fond of AAS), and came across LOE, and fell in love. I agreed with the videos I saw, and the more I looked, the more I felt myself agreeing with her. The two methods are really not compatible together (if you are going to do them properly, as one is about proper foundations, and the other is about fast-tracking) so I ended up going with LOE-F, I decided to put all my eggs into that basket, as I can see where its going, and the one thing I was concerned about was eliminated by reviews/post from Beta testers.


    It covers a lot more than just reading/spelling.


    LLATL is another option (I put mine away after deciding to concentrate on LOE).

  7. I use BFSU informally right now (the ideas, but not the lessons). We use Konos (original volumes), science experiment books, happy scientist, and are currently making our way through Let's Read and Find out Science. This is in addition to Atlas' projects she does in her own time.


    I'm "planning" on using continuing with this next year (I might begin some of the lessons, I don't agree with how early they begin certain methods though, so I am on the fence with this). I gave up on Science programs, I'm quite picky with both Science and Art. I still haven't found a curriculum in either that I love (I mostly use Kohls books right now for art). I'm thinking of doing a foray into RS4K in Summer (I'm unsure about this, I like the look of the text they use, but I have a feeling the experiments and info will let the kids down)


    Science programs are either boring (reallly boring.....really REALLY boring, dry textbookish, and filled with as much scientific vocabulary to stuff into your childs head, busywork that does that, and long drawn out speeches with randomly assigned schedules) Science is FASCINATING, science is fun (although not as fun as Bill Nye seems to be having, his show gives me a headache, its like watching a man consume 20 cups of coffee then trying to induce seizures with the special effects)


    I'm looking into the possibility of using exploration education as a fun extra at some point (although I have heard things about the experiments in that going south), and maybe E-Science Diamond Package or something for the later years. Honestly, I have no idea. Most science programs annoy me incredibly in one way or another. I have a waldorf method of science (observation & discovery in early years, no critical thinking that removes the child from one-ness), but with more of a modern mum fun "let's blow things up & draw pictures of birds, collect nests, ride an elephant, and build a rocketship" view, rofl. Which doesn't seem to be available anywhere.....imagine that. So we just do it, without a curriculum.


    But if you have any ideas, I'm all ears. I'm going to need to eventually choose a thorough curriculum that doesn't bore to tears, is rigorous (in case my kids want to become scientists), is secular-friendly, and a lot of fun, and makes kids want to understand and do science.


    I've also looked into Ellen McHenry, she might be an option for you? I have looked at her stuff though, so I'm not sure about the busywork, people on here tend to rave about it (I'm just waiting for my kids to get older, lol).

  8. My one's obsessed with sticks/bats and hitting-type objects.....I'm definitely not encouraging that. He's banned from having any sort of pole, tube, stick, handle in his hand, as it becomes a weapon of mass destruction.


    I was actually looking at things like the nerf/water guns (the ones made from pool noodle things), and things like the water balloon launchers. The launchers have this pull back system that requires a fair amount of energy to pull. My son is obsessed with anything to do with his arm strength, we'll play "pushing" with our hands against each others & tug of war etc. I get him to move heavy objects by pushing them across the room (this works on his leg strength too) and we used his obsession with Mcqueen to get him a biker & helmet, so he's slowly getting better with pedalling and controlling the bike (on trainer wheels). He does like those no pedal bikes we have too (flinstone style movement) First Bikes? He's rather short, so he's only been able to use them for the past year, even though he's past the "Age" its recommended for.


    I also got Wiggle Giggle book (Trish Kuffner/Pre-K Phys Ed) and plan to use that. I've been looking into indoor mini trampolines with the holding bars, and the exercise bikes (during Winter & middle of summer we don't get outside as regularly as its either really hot with lots of snakes or the ground is mushy and you can't see a foot in front of you due to the fog).


    He also happily helps his dad out with the car using wrenches, and I set up supervised activities with tools for him like learning to saw, and hammering.


    DS is slowly heading out of his enchantment with Mcqueen. He still loves Mcqueen, its just not the all-over obsession it was before, we had a brief journey into Planes, but I don't think thats sticking. Right now he loves anything Letter Factory/Word Factory (Leapfrog) and Magic School Bus, so I am trying to up his physical activities in accordance with that (after all with the cars he was zooming around the house, now, although he doesn't stay for the entire video, his much more still (which is a plus, I have noticed him listening more and staying still for longer too (although he still fidgets like mad, and will constantly clamber over me like a monkey (the bruises on my body prove this), he is more willing to listen to outside "sources" like the TV, mum and his siblings, and actually comprehend what is going on rather than zoning. I printed out Letter Factory flashcards, and he was saying the sounds of the letters as they were printing (which is a huge brakethrough). I'm hoping to do LOE foundations with him and his siblings (he'll listen more, stay longer, and interact if he's not the one singled out, so I plan to incorporate some of his speech therapy through the phonograms).


    I really just try to work with his interests anyway I can, and if need be work with lesser "interests" (i.e. things he doesn't mind) in order to fix up areas he is lacking in. I found when not adapting curricula or "myself" to his interests, it falls on deaf ears, and he does everything he can to work against me (previous individual speech therapy, trying to get him to do all of Core Knowledge, rather than bits & pieces, and HWOT proved that.)


    I also deleted everything off the IPAD that wasn't needed, put my stuff into a passworded folder, and just left the stuff that I wanted the kids to do (reading raven, reader rabbit, math stuff etc) so no more fluffy busywork, if they are on the ipad, I know they can only be doing something I've approved (which means when DS has had enough movement, and noise, will be excused and go play with the ipad for a break - but still be doing school.

  9. I was reading through old threads and came across your post


    Posted 05 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

    If a person has trouble thinking ahead while still working on a problem in the present, cursive is harder than printing. They must think about the letter they are writing, the letter ahead and which connector to use. That is 3 things to juggle instead of one letter at a time.


    I have known for decades about this problem, especially with LD and 2E boys. Only recently did I notice that this problem affects handwriting alone, as well as general writing and composing.


    I no longer can stay neutral about the idea of cursive first. Some well rounded children without any LDs will do fine with cursive first, but cursive first is a BAD idea in GENERAL, in my opinion.


    Could you look at the samples of LOE (I'm planning to use foundations shortly), and tell me if there is the same problem in this curricula?


    I was really thinking of doing LOE-F as Cursive. I am basically deliberating between introducing the letters via manuscript with the letter stories from PAL(not using anything else from PAL, just the letter stories):


    - (this is the |c|. |C| is a happy letter. He is happy because he is a cookie, and somebody took a bite out of him. To make the |c| I start on the right (relate to object in the room rather than left/right) Go around and up, but do not close it up! |c| |c| cookie!"


    I like the image it provides for the child, along with the little jingle. I showed the idea to my son the other night, and he was quite amused and engaged. I can't think of a similar thing for it, and the way the letters are introduced to write them in LOE-F is *very* dry, and not really remember-able (even with DD I used jingles she still uses).


    I really like the idea of starting with cursive, just because it is more fluid and (apparently) requires less fine motor skills than the start/stopping of manuscript.


    But I don't want to cause more problems for DS iykwim? If I did it, I would probably do cursive with all of them.


    I also was hoping you would expand your thoughts a bit more on this subject. I will be eagerly sleeping whilst awaiting your reply :lol:

  10. Whilst looking for a spelling program for the place where PAL requires it (not an AAS fan, but I do have AAS tiles I use), I came across LOE and fell absolutely head over heels for it. I researched and decided this was the spelling program I wanted to use.


    BUT after researching more, I got iffy on the practices behind PAL reading (obviously sight words, even though they partially decode those sight words using phonograms learnt through that lesson.)


    I ended up purchasing Logic of English Foundations (after all if I am going to be using LOE, it only made sense to use what would come before it for reading, least that was my logic then). Plus it included speech tips, multi-sensory activities and locations of mouth for each phonogram. With all of this I'm thinking I could combine the children (who are all within the recommended ages of the curriculum 4-7).


    I am still going to use PAL-W, and instead of LOE-F formation (apart from gross/fine motor skills) I will use the letter stories in PAL-W to introduce the way the letter looks.


    So thats fine, however, now I have this beautiful program sitting right here (PAL-R) thats taunting me...I'm wondering, would it be compatible for me to do alongside LOE-F? Or will it confuse her. I'm sure the other kids would like the games that go along with it. Would it be too much?


    Basically I'm very very confused and there is not much information out there in regards to these two programs considering they are both so new, so I have not as yet found comparisons between the two (esp since as of now LOE-F is still unfinished).


    PAL-R is taunting me, and so beautiful and fun, plus it includes poetry, fun little farm, lots of file folder games, work agenda, :( Please tell me its compatible with LOE-F, and that it wouldn't be too much to add on (DDs focus this year is LA, so I have more wiggle room & time to spend on that). LOE-F would be for all the kids, so may possibly go quite slow (but would help DS out with his speech, and get him to join in doing things).


    Another option is using PAL-R as Atlas' main program, and using LOE-F as a mop-up. She can "Help" me/be a Teacher's Assistant in teaching her younger siblings, plus get review & gaps at the same time? It really all depends on the complexity of the combined programs and whether they are compatible or not with one another.


    See, I keep going round and round.

  11. I actually like Mrs M.'s guides (I have her form drawing Grade 1, amongst others). It uses the idea of the bird flying by for the straight line across, and trees? i think for the vertical lines. The Guide is $20 PDF from magic of waldorf dot com


    Another option for more of an all-in-one with just forms (although she does have example stories, and a REALLY GOOD LONG FAQ in the book) Is Christopherus Form Drawing.


    In General, you can find Form Drawing books here: http://www.waldorfbooks.com/curriculum-guides/form-drawing-handwriting


    FREE you could try typing "Form Drawing" Steiner , a number of resources come up when doing that. I think Eugene Schwartz has forms on his website?


    Also not in English, but helpful nonetheless (scroll for pictures, theres a good all in one shot of a lot of different forms further down) http://www.lapappadolce.net/disegno-di-forme-esercizi-per-la-prima-classe-didattica-waldorf/


    "Form Drawing" block , gets me another lot of good searches in google too.


    Couple more:




    This lady has a "join along" series of post that is basically a curricula. You would have to tag or search her sit for the rest of it.



  12. You may want to try getting the book, she has some ideas on stumbling blocks and when the project is left.


    I usually just nudge/remind my daughter about the project every now and again, sometimes I ask her to tell me about it (it's happened often whilst she's in the middle of explaining the problem to me, that I ask a couple more questions about the problem (I never give answers, if they are really stuck or frustrated, I may guide them towards a "Resource" for help, but they have to find the answer themselves, if they ask me directly "how to blah blah blah" I'll just remind them thats what google/youtube/encyclopedia/dictionary is for.) so during my probing deeper by questioning, she'll usually have a eureka moment and disappear for the rest of the afternoon to work on her project.


    I don't "schedule" it, I don't turn it into curriculum, I will, however selflessly "Record it for posterity" I'll take photos, ask her if I can have her notes when she's finished with them etc. ;) I around homeschool AROUND the kids projects. And I really mean "around" (for several weeks the atelier was off limits as my daughter created a larger than life "cobweb" after watching Charlottes Web (she researched for ages before building the web, and the web itself took about 15 hours to create). She then wanted to test the effects of damage to the web (how flies/insects and people would wreck it) so she allowed her brother to go in there if he wanted, but her main "subjects" were the cats she was pretending were flies (they happily obliged since the web was made from yarn). This web was room-sized, and left for several weeks. During this time she periodically examined the effects, and compared it to webs IRL, and on the web. She made smaller models using boxes with materials like dental floss, twine etc. At one point she measured the smaller webs and tried to figure out what size the spider would be. She then (after the web was taken down by her and the project dismantled) proceeded to give her father a blow by blow account of all she'd learned (with her poor father not realizing what was going on and being cornered for an hour and a half, rofl). She's 7 and in 1st grade. Her "projects" look totally different from her brother's projects, which look different to his little sister's "projects". But all are equally cherished and respected, and I facilitate them at their own levels (obviously my son needs extra guidance as he's SN and gets frustrated very easily, and sometimes my 4yo wants something done (knows what she wants) but her motor skills aren't quite up to par to complete/do the task, so she'll come to me for something like that).


    If you are wanting to "schedule" or add something to the curriculum, choose something that would suit him. If all he's interested in is science experiments, provide him with a complete textbook or encyclopedia. If you want more of a building/design/thinking option, look into "instant challenges" and similar stuff online. I use challenges for my daughter sometimes when she needs a distraction (sometimes when hitting a "bump" in a project, the best thing can be to do another project, or something completely different) or things are feeling a little stale to her.


    I've said it before and I'll say it again "PBH is not tidy. Its a lovingly messy approach". My kids have projects in various stages all over the place. There are completed ones I have to deal with also. Even in older students who tend to move away from the more knowingly messy activities, there will still be some sort of mess (books all open to a certain page, as if child is mid-thought on it, lots of crumpled paper in the basket or table or floor, various implements around the place, papers strewn over the computer keyboard..) Some of the science experiments are things I never want to see in my life, some models/craft type projects *look* more like science experiments gone wrong, and sometimes I just want everyone to understand that I am not the dictionary/thesaurus/google, no matter how much I may sound like I know, I truly do not know anything. But then, one of the kids does something amazing (even if its just a small random thing, Chaos' speech improving, him sitting for longer periods, Eve wanting to do cutting, and her learning her letter sounds, Atlas writing sentences, and the portrait of me she drew on the board, and the fact she now *wants* to learn to read.) that tells me I am on the right path.


    We are (I really don't fit into a box unfortunately) relaxed homeschoolers, and projects is what makes up our day, everything else works around (or is pretty much covered) by that. Due to my kids I have to have curricula that meets their needs, and figuring out PBH was a lifesaver for me. Konos actually fits quite well into our approach, and is pretty much replacing our online challenges, as their is always something for the child to make/do without it being too scripted (we use the original volumes, so I follow their interest within a topic).


    My main idea/base is to MAKE STUFF AVAILABLE. That's why we have an Atelier (art room) but no schoolroom. Its why there are no longer lots of closed cupboards (only two "locked" doors/cupboards in the house is my room and the storage room. And what I make available is quality, useful stuff (no cheap, rote boring workbooks, dried up markers etc). This even extends to the TV for me. Because of my kids, I use TV as another tool. I supply movies/videos for them to watch, do I schedule it? nope, do I demand they watch it? nope, I just provide it (and if needed, explain the videos available) and let that be the end of that. My daughters happily watched cyberchase, MSB, happy scientist and used those for ideas for projects. When we were doing the ear for Konos, I supplied Helen Keller & Ear stuff. They watched the Movie based on her life a couple of times, the cartoon about the ear another few times, and next thing I know they decided to be vibrations in the bedroom.....on the bed. lol. Atlas then set up her own ear, did experiments on her Bro & sis, wanted to read the book on Keller, watched the yt video of Keller from newsreel, got fascinated about sign language, and is slowly being taught it in conjunction with reading, wanted to read the easy reader on Keller, so (with my help) read that, and it went on and on and on. I had only mentioned one or two things with her "Oh, you could set up traffic signs to play "roads" outside" or "the thing she's doing into her palm is called sign language" and she just took off with the rest. We are basically too structured for unschooling, too relaxed for classical, and too games/fun/modern-world based for CM & Waldorf, and too crazy for Montessori (LOL!). But I'm actually inspired by parts of all of those.


    PBH is one that really more fits with us, but isn't *all* we are.


    I'm sorry if my reply is jumbled. PBH has become so far apart of our homeschool, that its hard to describe or look at from an unbiased and more informational angle, its more that PBH is life/living, with us. It's very much weaved into our day so naturally its hard to seperate it, so I only end up explaining the more odd or larger "projects" than the everyday parts of "life".


    Pickert's book is a gem in my household (in fact its so dog-eared, and I use it so much (meaning that I'm always hunting for where I left it last) that I have been thinking of getting another copy. Like WTM, PBH is a book, where each time I read it, I am always picking up some new little nugget of brilliance.

  13. In return for getting books


    I have a set of bookmarks with ring that I got off Rainbow Resource coming.


    I plan to use them 1. as a bookmark for that book (each bookmark is meant to be for one book), a reading log (since it stores on the ring) and a narration/summary of the book (depending upon complexity either she writes it herself or I write her narration).


    This is for beginning reader, but perhaps you could apply the same idea to index cards? Front of it the child writes information on the book (year/title/subject etc) and back summarisation? And perhaps also adding vocabulary/words the child didn't know?


    To Make Them *Want* to read books


    For every card he hands in, he gets a ticket, a certain amount of tickets is worth a certain "prize" (1 ticket could be spend 2 hours at a friends/watch an hour of tv), 5 tickets could be to see/rent/watch a movie of his choice, 20 tickets could mean a new bike (or baseball glove or whatever) all of course based upon his particular "loves". He could also trade in each ticket when he has a certain amount of single tickets, for a "bigger ticket" (.i.e. higher value) plus a free notebook, or comic etc (reward for saving tickets, rather than straight out spending them)


    Working the rewards for different angles can also help him in other areas. Use pennies instead of tickets, work in math equations (division, geometry, whatever) that to figure out what the "new weeks prizes" (even if he doesn't get anything, change the smaller token items for different things) so "30 minutes of TV requires (math problem) pennies".


    To make reading not too expensive when having to buy books


    Another option when you have a voracious reader is to look at the option of an ebook reader, there are many books that can be downloaded for free.


    If your child is into books you don't feel is particular worthy of being scanned through and left to gather dust, a way to "stretch" that story out of them is to use a similar idea to the reward system above, but a prequel. In order for them to get XYZ Book they want first they have to read 2-6 (your choice of numbers) of the books you select (free books round the web, quality books you managed to nab at garage sales). Not only will this allow you to space out the time between purchasing XYZ, but the child will savour the story more when only allowed it after reading other stories given to them (my mother took this approach with me, rofl.


    I was reading before I entered school, and after being in school, I discovered Scholastic Book Club and was hooked. My mother never limited books, but the rule was I did all my homework, no complaining, and spent some time reading from her library. If I did all that, when it was bookclub time, I was allowed to choose whatever books I wanted (bookclub ordering wasn't *that* often). I spent my free time ensconced in encyclopedias and antique/vintage texts, plus the occasional medical thriller (but that wasn't counted in my "library time", however it did kindle my interest in science, and today I still love any medical books or movies, and I have fond memories of those encyclopedia sets). I was a (still am) very fast and voracious reader, however, but I go through spurts of reading a heap of books, to dragging through one (barely reading, or stopped/paused) and doing other activities, whether this is because of my upbringing or not, no idea, but it is rather curious.


    To get my daughter to do stuff she doesn't want to, I always use the reward chart idea, without a chart. But never give "immediate" rewards (they have to "save" up to get anything, for chores for instance, only 5 days worth of tickets equals a token, and stuff can only be "purchased" with tokens (and purchases are a mixture from items like letting them play on the computer, to a page of stickers, all the way upto purchasing a Horse Model (about $40-60 retail). If they miss morning chores (they have both morning and evening chores) they don't get a ticket for that day, only if they do the full days chores).


    To slow her down from stuff she wants to do, I dangle the "treat" offered towards the end of a big goal/step (for reading, it is once you can fluently read simple CVC sentences (no stutter or pausing) you can join the bookclub. (She couldn't blend, and kept stepping backwards). Shes now flying forward. I am currently doing the same with her math, once she masters the concepts I need her to master, I will remove the last of the "dreaded" worksheets from her math curricula (I want to keep her moving forward and reviewing certain concepts, but I had to back her up a bit on something else because for some reason our old math curriculum didn't cover it) so I'm using the Math sheets as a review of her "current" concepts whilst going back over earlier ones to find the problem spots.


    A bit rambly, but hopefully that helps somewhat :/

  14. Mine will be 9, and I will be using something like the Vimala Alphabet for 3rd Grade, for fourth, I'll be ramping it up with the more Decorative Spencerian.


    Right now I write my notes/index cards/tasks to my daughter in both manuscript and my natural cursive (which is slightly deco) depending upon my mood (I'm one of those people whose handwriting changes from day to day), so she has to learn to read my handwriting, whether it be simple, deco, or scrawled. She uses that and imitates my cursive when doing things, but I don't expect anything, I'm just introducing her to different styles, she picks it up though.


    So if I was a rigorous classical homeschooler who meant to start it way earlier, I would probably get a simple workbook like Pentime or Zaner Bloser for a bit more involvement. Neither of my options are workbook based, but are more involved in spending time with the student, or the student imitating, rather than rote workbooks.


    I happen to be partial to Zaner Blosers workbooks myself (and actually really like their cursive) but, alas, they are hard to get outside of their website, so I gave up on that idea.


    I also have Startwrite, which could be an option for you. Its computer software for creating your own handwriting sheets, which means you could choose the cursive you like from the program (I'm not sure whats available, as I stick to a certain kind right now thats close to ZB Manuscript), and tie your handwriting into your current studies.

  15. One thing I would do, is if you get All About Reading, get the Ziggy Games.


    Have you looked into Primary Arts of Language? (PAL) by IEW. They have a reading/writing program, and the way the letters are presented is a right-brain manner. There is also a right-brained phonics curricula on Currclick.


    Another option could be LLATL (but I don't think its quite "there")


    Hopefully you get some more helpful answers.



  16. Mary Ann Kohl Books (Art): Discovering Great Artists, Preschool Art, Big Messy Art, Mudworks, Math Arts.

    Math on the Level

    Mathstart Books & Stretcher Book

    Living Math through History

    KONOS (covers everything except formal LA & Math) unit studies

    Let's Read and find out Science

    Legends & Leagues (sort of living geography/cartography)

    Business Math from Simply Charlotte Mason

    Spunky Math/Studytime Math

    Bright Beginnings (Preschool Curricula)

    Core Knowledge Activity Books (well worth it) Preschool

    Creativity Express (Online)

    TV Teacher (Handwriting)

    Learn Math Fast (Remedial Math or just for independant study, written directly to the student)

    PCI Education Math stuff

    More Starfall

    AHA! Science

    Sentence Family

    PAL (IEW) Reading & Writing

    LLATL (LA)

    Wordsmith Apprentice

    Dancing Bears (Phonics)

    Apples & Pears (Spelling)

    I love Hands-on Math (Cartoon-style book, good as a reward for kids)

    Anti-Colouring Books

    Connect the Thoughts

    Lentil Science by TOPs Science

    Myths, Maps & Marvels (free history curricula by bringing up learners)

    Mott Media stuff (Ray's, Mcguffeys, Teaching Guides & Workbooks)

    Grammar Punk

    Let's Read Math! Funbooks

    Learning Wrap-ups - Math & 10 days to (addition/subtraction/multi/div) mastery

    Calculus by and for Young People (Ages 7, yes 7 and up)

    Max Axiom Graphic Science Set

    Bravewriter/Jot it down/new Poetry Guide

    Ed Zaccaro Books (Math)

    Philosophy for Young Thinkers (from same place as Michael Clay Thompson LA, rfwp)

    Pink and Green Mama blog - Art Lesson Ebooks

    Confessions of a Homeschooler blog - Geography, Art, and lots of other ebooks

    Noble Knights of Knowledge (waldorf math, no longer available new)

    Cozy Grammar (mentioned in another post above)

    Tin Man Press (mentioned in another post above)

    Hogwarts School of Wizardry Unit Study by the Usual Mayhem blog.

    The Story of Science by Joy Hakim

    Language Lessons for Little Ones by Queen Homeschool

    Mike's Inspiration Station

    Verbal Math Series


    Living LA books (like Language Adventures book Series by Rick Walton, sample title: Why the Banana Split: Adventures in Idioms


    Thats about all I can think of for the moment ;)



    I live in Australia. I ordered Activities for the AL Abacus & Worksheets for AL.


    Its taken longer than normal to arrive, and DH came home with this box that LITERALLY looks like a truck drove over it several times, back and forth. Complete with tread indentations.


    I'm thinking, they are books, so hopefully they are okay....well they are not.


    The covers are pitted (sort of like if you slammed and ground them into gravel), the spines (coil) have been squished and are eye shaped (nearly flattened at one end) skewed and generally nowhere near round. Because of this stress, the covers and a couple of pages have ripped in two (inside binding and outside binding, tearing at the holes-stresspoints.


    Had I been in america, I would of called the company to see my rights there (and to let them kno what happened) then possibly uncoil and fix pages, and re-coil with new coils. BUT Australia works with A4, not whatever sizing the book is, so I would have to order a set of two different sized spines just for rightstart from the US. I can also only email RS, and there's not much they can do from this far away I would suspect (and its not really their fault anyways).


    I was thinking of uncoiling it, somehow figuring out how to fix the edging (really I think the only option would be pocket knife thing and doing it page by page, which could take forever) and putting it into a binder (but I really don't want it in a binder, or at least I don't want the activity one in a binder).


    WWYD? Options? Ideas? I've been thinking about just re-purchasing it (but in a year, after I calm down and be less paranoid), but I really don't want to waste money again.


    Thank you for reading.


    ETA: In case it matters, I took photos, they are currently held hostage on hubby's phone, I have to wait till he's willing to upload them to show/send.

  18. I live there....jokes.


    I've been a member for ages, and purchase off them every now and again. I have the newsletter sent to my inbox, and look through that when it comes, but every now and again I will still go to the site and check what they have.


    The only con is that some of the items (usually the ones I want the most) are US only. (Like Looney Tunes Phonics, PBS Kids, etc)

  19. My daughter got annoyed with the Beginning Geography (Evan Moor, I think) but then our family is sort of anti-worksheet and anti-repetition.


    I've been looking at getting the Leagues & Legends (Legends & Leagues?) book & workpages from Rainbow Resource. Its sort of a "living books" inspired version of a Geography/Cartography curricula.


    Heres the link for Legends & Leagues: https://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?subject=14&category=4692


    Another I was looking at is Maps, Charts & Graphs (for me to use as a resource guide, but obviously would work for others as is (since its meant to be used that way, lol): https://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?subject=14&category=4711


    If you are looking more culture curricula, My Fathers World Exploring Countries and Cultures, Sonlight Introduction to World History, Galloping the Globe, Ultimate Geography & Timeline Guide, and Winterpromise Children Around the World are options, as well as COnfessions of a Homeschooler's World Geography Curriculum.


    For something non-curricula he can play with himself, Leapfrog does interactive globes, and for something a bit more advanced there is the Oregon Scientific Globe. Leapfrog's Tag System also has a flat map.

  20. I actually currently use four different "planners" rofl.


    My kids each have a "my student logbook" which is a weekly checklist of their assignments.


    I have index cards I use for planning (smaller ones I write out supplies I need to get & movies, these go into my filofax pocket, which I take everywhere) larger ones have current "ideal plan" for each day, and are pinned to the corkboard, to give me a visual goal (different colour card for each day, different colour stickers for each child, highlightered (green for group work, yellow for independant group work, and pink for who I am with at a given time).


    I have my filofax which has a simple version of the "ideal week" (but having it on the board saves me from flipping around too much in my filofax.), it also contains records of my daughters projects, field trips and written notes on what I taught (since most of my "school" comes from me, rather than a book lol, so I need to remind myself (and others) what was taught and how, and just have a general record.


    Lastly I have a 5 subject spiral lecture notebook. I use the sections for different things, one for notes/planning/bits on current year, another for next year, school stuff I need to address/do and a section at the back I use for keeping track of stuff I purchased/mail I am expecting.

  21. anyone using something like the student logbook with a younger more independent child? My son will be in 1st next year, and he is always asking what else he will have to do, and what we have going on for the day (activity-wise like sports or library activities). I've been looking for something for HIM to be able to answer these questions, mostly because i can only answer the same 3 questions so. many. times. a day, know what i mean?


    If anyone has, how has it worked? Do the kids LOVE IT? Does it keep them on track? Have they been too obsessed with it? or does it end up with just another thing for mom to do?


    It helps me keep an eye on what they all have left to do for the week, and since its meant for the student, it would help keep them on track, yes.


    He could just look down the column and tick off what he has done, what he has yet to do, and what is not on that day.


    My children aren't independant and two of them aren't reading yet, but they all tick off their tasks, and like to do so. I put a picture beside the words to correspond to the subject at hand, that way, even my non-readers (and my reader if she doesn't know the word, since somtimes I use acronyms) know what to tick.


    We don't have a schedule at all, though, the checklist is really our only schedule (I do have the "perfect week" and "perfect day" papers in my filofax, this is more to keep me on track of what the day "should" look like, not what it does, but thats more for me, not school, as I need a goal in mind.


    My girls have sick days (Diabetes), and my son has needs that mean some days its better to let him be on his own projects, so I work around his schedule, rather then fitting him into mine, plus DH works odd hours (we don't school when he's at home, 1. we want to spend time with him and 2. if we do school whilst he's there, he starts rambling over the top of me, yelling from the other side of the house, and generally being loud and distracting without realizing it, so we don't, lol.) and I have medical issues that cause us to be higgledy piggledy.


    So the custom logbook we had allows us to be more flexible with our weeks/days, but still know what is going on.


    There is also an "About Me" page in the back that he would probably like filling out too. My kids aren't obssessed with it, but they like it, and are happy to fill it out (well 50/50 for DS, but he's that way with everything).


    Perhaps though, it sounds like you need something more like a workbox schedule. Picture Cards of events stuck onto boxes on the wall with velcro, when the activity is over with, the child can take it down and put it in the basket (or if you have the same activities every day, you could do something like the cards just turning around, like an open/close sign).

  22. I am unsure of the scope of CLE.


    We are using the Verbal Math series (Mondays is Oral Math). In summer I will probably use Ray's orally.


    I also have a range of other items I pull interesting bits from (internet sites, yahoo groups, Ed Zaccaro, Living Math etc). I'm also looking at purchasing things like Arithmetrick and similar once the tax comes back for next year.


    As far as puzzles I pull bits from things like Math Mammoth, MEP, CSMP, I love Hands-on Math!, Books I own, and just random things I make up.


    For word problems I use the above sources, plus I just get the children to help me out with stuff I normally think about in my head ("I Need 1/2 can of water and 1/2 can of milk, can you please get it?" or "I only have this amount of biscuits left for the cats, can you divide it equally for me?" or "Daddy has two steaks, and the rest of us have one, how many are left to give the doggies?") I also go above their heads just for exposure, so I will talk outloud about what I am doing (234.53, 10% is 23.45, shipping is 5 times the purchase order which makes it 40%, 4 times 23.45 is 93.80, so the total for my order would be $328.33, whoa.....um....does mummy really need that stuff? We could purchase about 150 candy bars for that....(wait for gasp from child) I know, thats a LOT! (lol). So let's just leave that for a day or two and come back to it. *a few days later* oh look, they are having a sale, its 15% off plus post!, so let's birng up our paper from the other day and work out the new total. ***I then take them through the process of figuring that out. It gives them exposure to that topic (I do the same when banking or at the supermarket) before they encounter it formally.

  23. I would explain the situation quietly, firmly and nicely. They can babble, whinge or say whatever they want after that, but it's pretty much "I have spoken, end of conversation". I won't respond back to any babbling unless its legitimate concerns/questions. I won't waste my breath arguing over something.


    I would do what I can "culturally" to clean, and be a mother hen, and compromise over things less important, but education is one of the most important things, and non-negotiable. If I know I am going to have problems, I would be in a routine of eating breakfast, putting aside the dishes, grabbing my daughter and going inside a lockable room. I would put a notice on the door "homeschooling in progress" and not answer any knocks unless there was a fire or emergency. I would advise the family, again, quietly or firmly beforehand what I planned to do, if this was going to be the case (so they didn't think I was deliberately ignoring them, but that I had advised them, and if they wish to knock, they know why I am "ignoring" them). I would then do the school stuff, finish and unlock door, go out and wash dishes and clean the house. If they try to drag me to the beach or pounce on me once I leave the room, I would explain I need to go clear up breakfast first. Basically, if you are standing there washing up directly after eating, this gives time for child to wander off and in-laws/parents/family/friends to start harassing you. So simple steps 1. Shovel food down mouth 2. Grab child and lock yourselves in a room 3. Do school/ignore everything else 4. Clean up breakfast 5. Go to beach.



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