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Everything posted by sleeplessnights

  1. We have used their 3rd grade Astonomy course, their 4th grade Insects course, and are currently using their 5th grade Birds/History of Medicine course. I think these are great books for elementary school science. They are grade-appropriate, they hit all the major elementary topics, and focus on real-life every day science encounters. It's also nice that there aren't any experiments. I don't know about their middle grade science courses, though. As soon as my kids have a good algebra base I want to get them into more mathematical-based science courses to prepare them for high school science, but until then I believe that science is more about learning about the world around you and figuring out about how things work. Hope this helps!
  2. We would wholeheartedly recommend their art cards. And I believe they are working on a church history course. Maybe their 8th or 9th grade package?
  3. We really like Memoria Press's elementary science offerings. There are no experiments or extra supplies needed. Their focus is on learning about the world around you. My oldest has done their Astronomy course, just finished their Insects course, and is about to start their Birds/History of Science course. These courses are not religious-based; just focused on the specific topic.
  4. We finished up around Thanksgiving and usually take December to do other types of activities. We have designated this month as Hobbit December. We are reading through the book as a family and will meet up with a couple other families at the end of the month to watch the movie. We are also working on having the older boys learn to cook meals & bake by themselves. My youngest is practicing his bike riding and shoe-tying while continuing his reading lessons (AAR2). We also do a lot of crafts and Christmas-related activities. This time of year is always a little crazy. Everyone else is continuing Math and having a quiet reading time. We live in the Miami area, so this is a great time to get outside! We use MP's curriculum and love it! My oldest just finished 4th grade and is starting their 5th grade in January. My second son is starting their 3rd grade. They do three blocks of work in the morning (Math, Latin, L.A.) and two in the afternoon (Literature, Weekly Subject). My younger two don't use MP's curriculum yet because their skill levels don't match up. I plan to start them in 3rd grade.
  5. First of all, you can do almost of the curriculum orally. The questions in the guide do have value, so I wouldn't just skip them. From what I understand, in their classrooms they ask a question, formulate a well-structured answer as a group, the teacher writes it on the board, and then the kids write it in their books. You could just eliminate their last step. We use their flashcards and you can practice these almost anywhere in any way! My second son is about to start 3rd grade too! Good luck!
  6. My 5th grader and my 3rd grader will both be using Grammar Recitation book 1. We plan on: Day 1: go over new rule(s) + copywork Day 2: workbook exercises Day 3: dictation of practice sentences Day 4: cumulative oral review of grammar rules From what I can tell, it should take about 10-15 minutes a day, four days a week.
  7. We are just finishing grade 4, and we are planning to start grade 5 after the new year. We use most of the full curriculum. The good news about the workbooks is that the weekly subjects are only once a week! We plan to use Second Form Latin, Grammar Recitation, R&S Spelling 6, the literature guides, 5th grade science, Geography II, and Famous Men of the Middle Ages. We use a different math, writing, and we do Bible as a family. We tend to break up workbook-intensive subjects. For example, we work through Latin together orally, do the recitation and flashcards, and then about 10 minutes doing the daily worksheet. Then they might practice piano or read before the next workbook, etc. We haven't found it to be too much writing, but sometimes we work through the questions orally. If you were looking to minimize workbooks, I'd eliminate Christian Studies. You could also do Geography without a workbook as long as you drill the locations. maybe the lit guides too? The Latin workbook is a must for drilling in the info, and I feel the same way about the history. But, again, a lot could be done orally. Good luck!
  8. I think All About Reading could be called: "Stand up in front of the refrigerator and learn to read" We like to keep our tiles on the front of the refrigerator (helps keep them out of range of younger kids). This way we could have impromptu blending practice when they were first starting to read and our jumpy children don't have to sit in a chair. The program also includes activities that you could do on the floor or a table and readers that you can snuggle up with. There are no workbooks and no writing in the program. Reading only.
  9. My 4th grade son started First Form in January and we just finished Quiz 32 today. Two lessons + final test left, so I think we're going to make it. Did you guys do Latina Christiana first? At least half the vocab we learned last year, so that helped a lot. It was nice to switch from verbs to nouns to verbs. During the noun units, you can solidify your verbs knowledge before you start them up again later. And then you can solidify nouns while you do verbs again. The second conjugation verbs at the end of the book are very easy, so you've just got to make it over the hump! What's worked well for us this year is to do Latin every day. Start the lesson off with the conjugation/declension recitation and then do the grammar recitation every day. Then we have done every page in the workbook. It's a lot of writing, but it really helps to cement it in your brain. When we've needed to slow down, we took an extra day or two on that lesson. Usually the lesson after a difficult one would be less taxing, so we haven't been overwhelmed. It's a lot to learn, but it's doable if you put the hours in. But it's definitely more important to get this foundation knowledge down before you move on, so take the time you need! Best of luck!
  10. No, I just need the answers. I have found a couple mistakes along the way, though.
  11. We use MP's curriculum and my 4th grader spends about 30 minutes twice a week on history and about 30-45 minutes once a week on science. Then we review for about 30 minutes on Friday. My 2nd grader does about 30 minutes of science once a week, but no formal history other than SOTW in the car. Both of them read science books and historical fiction/biographies as part of their independent reading time, about 30 minutes a day.
  12. We've used part of 2nd grade, most of 3rd, 4th, and we're about to start on 5th and 3rd again. Before we found MP we bounced around to a bunch of different programs, but we've finally found what's best for our family. What we like: We like the simple, well-organized, and deep curriculum. Following the model set out in the Latin-Centered Curriculum, MP's focus is not on more volume, but on really knowing your subject and spending good quality time with each topic. For example, in Famous Men of Rome, you use the one text for the whole year. Each week you read one narrative about a ruler of Rome. The text is full of rich language, so there is vocabulary work (with some Latin derivatives). And there is a timeline and map work, or course. You really get to know what is going on in Rome and why certain decisions were made. You start to relate with the characters. In addition to the typical comprehension questions, the discussion questions start to expand on the ideas in the stories, like why George Washington is compared to Cincinnatus. The flashcards help cement the most important facts and dates. We also use the history reading to do our WWE-style narrations and dictations. Again, one day of history sounds quick, but it is really very deep. I like to have the basics scheduled and then have time to expand on the topics as time allows. There are no crafts or random activities that take hours to prepare. You don't have to get materials for science experiments. You don't have to feel guilty for dropping the "fun" stuff. Over the last few years, though, I have found that my oldest falls in love with a topic and wants to expand on it on his own. He reads lots of period-relevant material, both fiction and non-fiction. They make their own crafts and games. He really observes and enjoys knowing about the insects he encounters on a daily basis and the constellations he sees in the night sky. It's like the world's secrets are slowly being unlocked to him. We use MP's Latin, History, Science, Geography, Literature, Grammar, Spelling, and Art cards. We don't use their composition or math. We do Bible study as a family. I like the looks of their middle school curriculum, so I plan on continuing as is... What we don't like: MP's focus in K-2 is on basic skills, and my kids abilities didn't align with their grade levels. We still use their recitations, enrichment ideas, and art cards, but the reading, writing, and math didn't fit well (which is the majority of K-2). My second son will start their full curriculum in Jan with 3rd grade after doing Prima Latina this year. Yes, there is a lot of writing in this curriculum, and it took my oldest a while to build up to that volume. However, this also helps make it more independent and allows for lots of practice on constructing good, quality sentences. We started out answering a lot of the questions orally and have slowly built up the volume of writing over the last two years. Hope this helps!
  13. My kids have all been early/advanced readers. The main reason we haven't used much of grades K-2 is that the reading/writing instruction didn't match up with our kids' needs. We start using the complete curriculum in 3rd grade. We use their 3rd grade reading program. Even though the reading is easy, the workbooks add in other literature elements and the 3rd grade composition is based on these readings. We also schedule in 30 minutes reading books that I select that are more in line with their reading levels. The literature selections rapidly start to increase in difficulty later in elementary school and they are reading the Iliad and the Odyssey in 7th grade. Also, the Famous Men books are written at a more difficult reading level. The Form Latin program has also helped with reading level & vocabulary too. In your case, I might wait to jump into MP's program until 3rd grade. That's where it really starts to get good!
  14. For levels 1, 2, and most of 3, we can get through a "step" in one or two lessons. When we get to level 4 we spread one "step" over a 4-day week so it will last most of the school year.
  15. We switched our older two over last year after finishing AAS levels 3 & 5. I needed more time to focus on the younger kids, and the older two boys were pretty intuitive about spelling anyway. My daughter, however, needs the one-on-one phonetic spelling lessons, so she will stick with AAS. She's currently halfway through level 2.
  16. I believe that in K-2 the recitations are more general knowledge, but in grades 3+ the recitations follow what you are learning in their curriculum. If you aren't studying Greek Myths, States & Capitals, and Astronomy, the 3rd grade recitation won't help much.
  17. We have a lot of them, but our favorite for that age is Just So Stories. The kids love "The Elephant's Child"!
  18. My oldest was/is the same way. He gets freaked out when the books are thicker than a picture book, though he can read at a really high level. For years his standard was that he didn't like it if he couldn't finish it in one sitting. Oh, and he liked lots of pictures. He's not totally cured, but some things that seemed to "push" him over the hump were: 1. Read aloud longer books over the period of a couple weeks. I think this helped him realize that longer stories are more exciting and can hold his interest longer than an hour or two. 2. Listening to audiobooks on topics he loves. I knew that he'd love Percy Jackson, but he wouldn't go near the books with a 10-foot pole. I got the first two on CD from the library. Once he was hooked, he picked up and read through the next three no problem. 3. Letting him read picture books with higher reading levels. I was concerned that his vocabulary wouldn't be challenged reading lower level books. Picture books like those written by Bill Peet have great vocabulary and nice pictures. 4. Buddy Reading his required reading. This seemed to break down the defensive walls by making it a team effort. When we read the books together out loud, I could see if he comprehended the story, pronounced the words correctly, and picked up some new vocabulary. I think he liked the attention too! 5. I gave him 30 minutes of free reading time after the other kids went to bed. He thought it was cool to stay up late. I let him read whatever he wanted during this time. I was attempting to make reading fun. Like I said, he's much better, but he still would rather run outside and play than read a book any day...
  19. I am curious about what levels MIF grade 6, 7, and 8 math cover. Are the standard Algebra 1 topics covered by the end of 8th grade, or is it more of an integrated approach like DM? I have a soon-to-be 5th grader, so I'm trying to decide on middle school math. Thanks!
  20. We've been working through the current prescribed Latin progression with MP, and everything's gone well so far: 2nd: Prima Latina (not really necessary, mostly covers parts of speech) 3rd: LC1 (gentle Latin intro) 4th: First Form (just about done with this one) 5th: Second Form 6th: Third Form 7th: Fourth Form (1st-4th Form complete Henle I)
  21. Most of their content subjects (history, bible, geography, science) are scheduled for one 90 minute lesson block a week, with a quick cumulative review session on Friday. Both the Astronomy and Insects have about 32 lessons, so it's not that hard to schedule. The recitations are worth the $3-$4, though.
  22. CLE is very repetitive and non-distracting. It has worked wonders for my daughter who needs lots of practice with topics.
  23. Sounds good. My current 2nd grader is using the Literature, Prima Latina (with Copywork Cursive), the art cards, and the recitation. We do our own math, grammar, bible, and then we mix & match the enrichment topics. He also reads a lot on his own. I like the idea of having one science day, one art day, one social studies day, etc. It helps keep things organized around here.
  24. We have used MP's programs for several years now. We've used parts of K-2, most of grade 3, and we're just about done with Grade 4. The K-2 program is completely different from the 3-6 program, and I don't know what grade(s) you need. A quick summary of MP is that it is compact, deep, and efficient. You will spend time really digging into the topics you are studying without all the "fluff." You are assigned 3-4 literature books a year and will really get to know everything about the books. That said, once you do the required work, you have plenty of time to add in whatever "fluff" aka enrichment activities that you'd like. For us, the k-2 program didn't really match up with my kids' skill levels (and at these ages MP really focuses on basic math/reading/writing skills with enrichment activities thrown in for the other subjects. The art cards are beautiful and we use them together as a family. The real meat of the curriculum starts in 3rd grade with Latina Christiana, States & Capitals, Greek Myths, and Astronomy. We are currently using most of 4th grade: First Form Latin, Famous Men of Rome, Geography I, and Insects. The Latin is at a perfect, though challenging, pace for a 4th grader who has finished LC1. It must be studied every day to ensure mastery. This program was very well thought out and organized. We break Famous Men of Rome into two days worth of work. We also use this as a basis for our WWE-style narrations and dictations. This course involves vocabulary study (which often overlaps with Latin), comprehension questions, discussion, timeline, and recitation questions. The pictures are beautiful (my son loves to gaze at them) and the reading level was challenging at the beginning of the year, though he can understand them well now. However, this course really is all about Rome and who they came in contact with, so it doesn't include much about other cultures during the same time period. We have added in a lot of outside books for additional fun reading like "You wouldn't want to be a Roman Gladiator", The Roman Mysteries Series, and a lot of books on VP's literature list to really get into this time period. Geography is short and sweet. We added in the 10 days in Europe game and other resources to really get into the geography. My son likes this "light" day. I have really been impressed by the Insects course. The text/reader is a Charlotte Mason-like narrative about encountering and observing insects in everyday life. The book started with classification and types of metamorphosis, and then you learn about 8 orders of insects in depth. It's gentle, but not dumbed down. The student workbook includes comprehension questions and a sketchbook portion. There's also a recitation section for this course. We don't use MP for math and grammar, but we love their other courses. We do bible together in the morning along with our art cards and we have read alouds going on during lunch. In January my oldest will start with their 5th grade program and my second son will start 3rd grade. If you have any additional questions, feel free to PM me. Thanks,
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