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  • Biography
    Loving the ones we've got
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    Bay Area, CA
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    Reading, cooking, playing with my kids

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  1. For 6th Grade: Math: From MM ==> Saxon ==>CLE==>back to MM==>AOPS Prealgebra, now he seems happy! It looks awful but does it make it any more excusable that the switching happened over a couple years? History: From library books ==>SOTW audiobook ==> SOTW silent reading along with mapwork and self corrected chapter questions from Activity Guide, this has been working great for us. Now finally history is getting done twice a week! Science: He reads Tiner's Exploring Physics book chapter, followed by writing out answers at the end of each chapter. Not as rigorous as I'd like to be with science, but it's getting done 3x/week and he says he learns a lot from it. We'll step up with more textbook-y stuff and labs next semester (outsourced class). This is all I could manage this term feeling tired and pregnant with 6th child. Still doing IEW for writing, CLE LA (love) For 4th Grade: Math: From MM ==> CLE==>back to MM at her request, she's enjoying it a lot more now Same history as above CLE LA (very happy) Science: Apologia Swimming Creatures ==> McGraw science textbook for 4th grade general science topics + workbook and my favorite add-on for the year so far (for both): Abeka's grade level Spelling, Vocab and Poetry student workbook - they do 1 spelling and vocabulary activity per day, and work on memorizing a richly illustrated poem in the back (awesome selection of poems, these are all ones I want them to learn by heart). I've found that with 5 dc, I've really had to make our curriculum be do-able on auto-pilot, meaning as independent as possible and not reliant on me. All our changes and keepers are ones that get DONE every day, the kids learn a lot from them, and they enjoy it, and I can easily pop in and out and check on their progress. They don't wait around for me to come and teach them, they can start and finish on their own and come ask me questions if they come up. I can spot check them, ask them for a narrative or summary of that day's topic in the subject, or just flip through and check their work, but all the teaching is embedded in the text so it's so nice that school runs even when I'm focusing on the littles or cooking or whatever. I lied, here's my absolute favorite change we've made this year: dc self-correct their work after each lesson. This has been fabulous! They take ownership of their mistakes, see what they did wrong and I don't have to argue with them why it's wrong, they can see it for themselves in the answer key, and learn to go back and see what went wrong. They even use the red pencil and everything and mark the top of the page, just like I do. But there's far less arguing with me, and they take ownership of their mistakes. This has rocked my world, things have been so much more peaceful and the kids actually seem to be learning what they're doing wrong instead of repeating mistakes over and over and me getting frustrated with them and them with me. I just handed them the answer keys and told them the rules: must correct their work AFTER the lesson is done and rework it until they get the right answer (this works particularly well in math). I check their pages to see what they're getting wrong and spot teach those topics.
  2. Title says it all. We have 5 kids, ages 11, 9, 5, 3, and 9 months, the oldest 2 kids swim well, the younger ones don't swim at all but can toot around the pool water wearing Puddle Jumpers (floaties). We've rented during all our 12 years of marriage and have been looking to buy a house for a majority of those years (don't ask - this is a sore point in our marriage!). We finally found a good house that seems perfect, except...it's got an inground pool in the backyard. It's fenced in all around to about 5 feet tall, but closes with a regular latch, not the self-latching kind. Hubby doesn't want to buy it because of the pool, paranoid of the unthinkable happening to one of our kids. He wants to fill in the pool (hugely expensive!). My realtor thinks it's not a big deal, suggests we just put a heavy duty chain on the gate with a lock that only parents have access to. Yea, that sounds good to me, but I hear about drownings in the news, how quickly and silently they happen, which scares me (I'm distractable, usually doing a million things at once). The thing is, this house is perfect for our family in every other way. What would you do?? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  3. How do you get the discount price to show up in the checkout page? It says there's a $99 sale, but when I add it to the cart, it shows $199 in checkout. Is there a promo code? Thanks!
  4. the free geography class from saylor.org is great, includes free prinbtable geography textbook that's amazing IMO (it's 1000 pages long so we only print out 100 pages at a time).
  5. Thank you for sharing! Sounds like it would work that way. But our schedule has always been to do history 2x/week, there's no way for us to get to all our other subjects if we are doing 2 lessons of history a day.
  6. Bummer that you can't defer the start date! We won't be starting til August so this doesn't give us enough time to do the course. Will hope for a sale that lets us start in Aug.
  7. love Art Reed, he reminds me of my my own math teacher, but better
  8. Ditto. We do supplement spelling and writing with other programs but those are "extra" for us, and in a pinch (aka busy days), we often skip going to these other programs and the kids have still gotten strong grammar, some spelling, and a little bit of writing (that's the weakest area, IMO, but it's weakest area in most other all-in-one LA programs too). Oh CLE LA, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... -Love the spiral nature (if I can forget what's the difference between indirect & direct object, why do I think my dc wouldn't?) -rigorous diagramming practice -clear teaching embedded into the text -even things like the fact that it's split up into 10 skinny booklets that make it easy to "do the next thing" -few but friendly illustrations -straight-forward and unbusy pages -lessons split up into bite-size daily chunks that aren't too long -and best of all...my dc do it entirely on their own, requiring nothing from me (except to be available to answer questions and check their work) Yup, we're hooked!
  9. We're PH fans here too and would love to see this too! PDF please!
  10. We've used Abeka in the past, love it for their strong phonics, my kids love the color worksheets. At the 3rd and 5th grade level that we're in now, I did a side-by-side comparison with Abeka science and BJU science (we had both sets with textbooks, teacher's guide, tests) - there was no comparison IMO, in terms of rigor, BJU science is much stronger. We're doing CLE for math and LA, which strikes me as much more rigorous than Abeka, with clear teaching embedded into the text, while still having unintimidatingly (is that a word?) workbook-y format. Having many littles including a newborn, I love that it's independent and requires very little from me, and kids get it done daily without complaint while learning tons.
  11. Or buy used for less...last week from this classifieds section, I bought the LOF intermediate 3 book series for ~$10/book, including shipping...they arrived in like new condition. But then there's the hassle and time involved in trolling the classifieds! Might be worth the extra 3 bucks per book to avoid that.
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