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Posts posted by craftyerin

  1. We drove a 2007 Sienna until 2017 and it was fantastic. Super happy, never any maintenance problems, loved it. When we got ready to replace it, I drove every minivan on the market. There were two clear front runners--the Odyssey and the (at that time, brand new) Chrysler Pacifica. I wanted the Pacifica, my husband wanted the Honda. We drove both multiple times, had hours of discussion and debate, and in the end, bought the Odyssey. I don't think there was a wrong choice, and I'm very happy with my van, but I still look wistfully at Pacificas when I see them around town. Our Odyssey has been pretty good. More recalls than I would have liked, but all minor stuff that has been easily fixed. Otherwise no maintenance issues, and we're taking it on its 3rd cross country road trip this summer. 

  2. We went in early June 2019 and got 3 inches of snow our first day in Yellowstone!  We started with 3 days/2 nights in Grand Teton NP, which I wouldn't miss! It's my favorite NP we've visited so far. Then we drove up into Yellowstone through the south entrance. We explored around Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring (definitely take the hike up to see that one from above), and areas around there the first day and then stayed in a lodge at Grant Village. The 2nd day we drove around and did some hikes and stops around the lake and then on up to Canyon Village where we stayed 2 nights. The 3rd day we explored around the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and then stayed back in Canyon Village. The 4th day we drove up to Mammoth and saw things on the north end of the park and then left though the north entrance. So we didn't see it ALL, but I felt like we saw most of the major attractions, tons of wildlife, etc.

    I loved staying in the park. Everything in Yellowstone is so spread out. You can spend hours in the car. I'd hate to spend that extra time driving into and out of the park every day. That said, you're probably too late for in the park accommodations for this summer. 

    It was a wonderful trip, though! I'd do it again in a heartbeat! 

    • Like 2
  3. Boy/girl twins, will be 13 this summer. 

    Math: finish Forester's Algebra 1. We should start 8th grade about halfway through. I don't know if we'll start geometry after Christmas next year or do some one-semester filler class to put us on track to start 9th grade with geometry. I'm not worrying about that until mid-fall. 

    ELA: Reading list largely taken from Build Your Library level 8, with some added short stories & other things that sound interesting, using Brave Writer boomerangs for the books that have them available. Using The Writing Revolution to write across the curriculum, especially from history. MCT grammar & vocab. 

    Big History Project plus additional science & history reading (TBD, list making in progress) for both history and science (non-lab). The writing projects from BHP will be a big part of our ELA, too. 

    Foreign language TBD. They can't decide what they want. She's leaning toward ASL. He's leaning toward Spanish. 

    Various other things including theater for her, taekwondo for him, music lessons (piano for both, also guitar for her), scouts for him, etc 

    • Like 2
  4. Right?! I have one that goes to school and two that homeschool. I bought a used math book last weekend for the kid-in-school so that when school is inevitably canceled, I'll have math for him. I can pretty easily fold him into everything else the siblings are doing. And there's no way the homeschoolers are going to have no school for weeks on end if we're all in this house together. The show must go on! 

  5. 3 hours ago, OKBud said:

    Lively Art of Writing. I can not say enough good things about this old standby. It stretches him without confronting him with a wall of words about theory. There's a great workbook and TG available as a PDF, but we haven't used it yet just because we don't have a printer. 

    Glad to see this confirmed as a good resource. It just arrived last night in from Amazon after I saw many, many references to it in a big stickied thread about writing without curriculum. I've not gotten a chance to look through it yet. 

    Your approach sounds very practical to me. I'm going to look at Hake. Thanks! 

  6. I have twins in 6th grade. One is a STRONG writer, one is an average writer. This year and last, we used IEW (themed books). Before that we did some MCT and some Brave Writer. All that to say, we've been a little random, but I still feel like we're on track and making adequate progress with writing going into middle school. I can't decide what to do next year, though. I feel like another year in IEW would feel stagnant. They've got a pretty good handle on those 7 or so units and formats. My inclination is to just assign writing across the curriculum next year using IEW style formats, but I'm just not sure I'd be consistent with that. That was my problem with MCT and BW and why I started IEW in the first place, for MY accountability. If you were in my shoes with my kids, looking toward 7th grade, what writing would you use? And if you'd forgo writing curriculum and just assign writing across the curriculum, any tips or tricks for making that approach stick and actually get done? 

    Thanks in advance! 

  7. 4 hours ago, daijobu said:

    I'm a big fan of schooling year round because you avoid the "summer slump" and you never know when you will need the extra time for opportunities like travel or for illnesses or other personal issues.  

    I wish we could! I mean, we *could* but because of my other son that doesn't homeschool being on a regular 9 month school year schedule, it makes it harder to be consistent with homeschool work through the summer. We gave up when we put my oldest in school. We're embracing the summers off with travel, camps, etc. They're only 11, though. Things could change. 

    • Like 1
  8. 6 hours ago, Lori D. said:

    Rushing through Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 often trips up students later on, as they have a faulty understanding of the foundational concepts that the higher maths are built on, and they often either have to slow down or even go back and re-learn some of the earlier concepts. So pushing = bad when it comes to transitioning into the higher maths. 😉 

    This is a good to know! 

    6 hours ago, Lori D. said:

    As far as "getting off schedule" for taking online classes -- Derek Owens online math classes are a strong option, and can be started at any time. Or, if you needed to go with a provider who follows the traditional school year, you could just keep working through the summer to complete your Algebra 1. (I would NOT worry about that with the Pre-Algebra -- take that at your students' pace.)

    Good to know about Derek Owens! What started this mini-panic this morning was my SIL telling me that her daughter, who is 2 years older than my kids, is loving her Dr D's pre-A and they're planning to continue using his classes for Algebra 1 next year. I went to his website, saw that all of his classes run Sept-May and thought, "Crap. Have I gotten myself into a bind?! We're very unlikely to be ready for Algebra 1 in September of this year, and are likely to be beyond ready for it by September of next year." I'm feeling reassured, though. Thanks! 

    • Like 1
  9. 6 hours ago, ClemsonDana said:

    I will have a 9th grader next year and am planning to use the best approximation of what we're doing to make a good transcript.  In a sense, it doesn't matter - if you do most of the Alg book in 9th, for instance, I'd just record the Alg credit as a 9th grade class.  I'll be doing that with Alg. 2 - we're doing 1/3 this year and the other 2/3 in 9th, and I'll record the credit as 9th grade since that's when most work was done and we won't be listing stuff done in 8th grade on the high school transcript (unless I have a list of 'courses completed prior to high school').  My advice would be to not rush in an attempt to make the classes fit the 1-year time frame, especially in middle school. Part of why we took longer with some of the books is that we do some Life of Fred - a fun program that reinforces concepts, shows some application, and teaches in a totally different way.  My kid says that it reinforces concepts if he's already learned it in AoPS and makes the AoPS easier if he gets to it in LOF first.  I like that it gives something short to schedule on busy days. 

    That all makes perfect sense, And I appreciate the admonition not to rush to make things fit nicely. We do have lots of time. I need to keep reminding myself of that! 

  10. 3 minutes ago, SusanC said:

    Are they using AOPS Pre-algebra? That scenario happened here, but then ds ended up spending a year and a half in that Pre-A book, so the worry was for naught. If your dc are more mathy and happen to only need a year for Pre-A, you could always do a semester of Pre-Geometry with Patty Paper Geometry or you could work one of the shorter  AOPS books like Number Theory or Counting and Probability.

    I say, just go with it and be sure they are solid as they go, even if that means it takes a little longer than a school year to finish the book - no worries! you have an extra semester to play with! Your students will be happier later with a super strong foundation.

    One of them is using AOPS pre-A. One of them was tired of the AOPS approach after Beast and moved to MM7 for pre-A. Right now, both are pacing to get halfway through by the end of May, but we'll see. I like the idea of a one semester filler course if needed (filler in a time sense, not a fluff sense). Thanks for the input! 

    • Like 1
  11. Hey all! My twin 6th graders both started pre-algebra about halfway through 6th grade this year, since that's when we finished Beast Academy 5. Looking ahead, is this going to create problems for us? Having math classes not start in August/September and run the length of one standard school year? Should I push to get them to start algebra 1 in the fall, or the other option, intentionally take 1.5 years with pre-A and start algebra 1 in the fall of 8th grade so that math classes then fit tidily onto high school transcripts? I'm also wondering about the possibility of our current schedule preventing us from finding good online math classes (although with southern hemisphere homeschoolers, there may very well be some that start in January?), which I expect to want as they get older, possible dual enrollment, etc. 



  12. 5/5/20 first big edit. Ha! The plans are in flux due to having the non-homeschooled kid home this spring and (let's face it) likely home some next year, too. I needed to simplify my initial thoughts for 7th grade. Edits in bold. 

    I've got boy/girl twins headed into 7th grade next year.

    Math: finish pre-algebra (started mid-way through 6th grade), begin algebra 1 when ready. DS will likely continue with AOPS. DD is using MM7. I've not done the algebra 1 research for her yet. Favorites for after MM7? I'm not loving AOPS pre-A as we've neared the halfway mark. I'm hoping DS will be willing to go elsewhere for Alg 1 next year. Still no clue what that will be, though, for either of them.

    Science: probably Exploration Education's advanced physical science (90% sure) Yep. Bought this, let them start it early because they were bored with our current science. BIG HIT! 

    Writing: TBD, maybe continuing with IEW. If so, Narnia vol. 2 themed lessons would probably be our choice. We may use IEW unit structures to write across the curriculum and not actually use a book from IEW. Or we may do something else entirely. Still doing some research. I have a billion tabs open from that giant "writing without a curriculum" thread from ~5 years ago. So we'll see. We dropped IEW at the point that big brother came home for Covid-induced homeschooling. We've been writing across the curriculum and really winging it, and loving it! So definitely continuing that next year. I've got some stuff to read through to help me do that a little better in the fall (Lively Art of Writing, The Writing Revolution, etc) so that research will be this summer's task.

    Literature: probably Brave Writer boomerangs. We used arrows for years, but took a break from BW this year. I think that'd be a welcome return. Yep, had kids work on a tentative book list with me. Excited about it! 

    Other things under the language arts umbrella: no formal spelling (both are strong natural spellers), maybe vocab? I'd like to do some work with literary devices and literary criticism. Brave Writer might offer enough of that in Boomerang units to satisfy me, or we might see what else is available. Maybe Figuratively Speaking? None of this feels important right now.

    Logic? Do I want to do formal logic? Still thinking. Nope.

    Foreign Language: I need to get them to choose one. This year (6th) we've done BYL 7, which is world geography & cultures and they've been doing a world languages tour, changing languages using Duolingo every time we change continents. It's been really fun, and they've enjoyed trying out some different stuff, but I want to start something they can do through high school next year. Again, probably not. It got dropped this spring, and no one misses it. I think we'll take a year off and re-evaluate what foreign languages we'd like for high school after that. 

    History: This is the one I'm feeling the most unsure about. We've done the full history cycle and a year of world geography, so I feel like we've got a couple of years to play with before we have to get down to standard high school history courses. I think we can do something more interest-led and have some fun with it. I'm leaning toward projects under the social studies umbrella, TBD. As an example of what I'm batting around in my head, I think I'd like our first project in the fall to be answering the question "What level of government has the most impact on my daily life?" They'd have to research and read about what each level of government from federal down to our city council does for its constituents. I'd love to see some interviews with city council, maybe a trip to Austin to visit with our state government representatives, mapping our various districts, etc. Who knows what all we could tie it! Ending with a paper, presentation, etc. And then choosing another project after that, hopefully with more of their input once we get our feet under us. And I'd love to see them do some projects separately from one another, too.  Does this sound crazy?! Yep. Crazy. I don't have the headspace to organize and support that. So, new plan! Social studies units from Moving Beyond the Page. They chose some with me the other day and everyone is excited about them. 

    Other: piano for both, taekwondo and scouts for him, theater for her, co-op for art and who knows what else 

    What am I not thinking about?! I'm feeling super scattered about this! 

    • Like 1
  13. On 1/15/2020 at 8:09 PM, SilverMoon said:

    I am 90% sure she'll do Build Your Library 7, Exploring Your World. It's lit based geography year, and covers geography, literature, poetry, art, world religions, vocab. It schedules Charlotte Mason style narrations and such that we'll skip, and chemistry. She's currently finishing up chemistry. 😜

    My twin 6th grader are doing BYL 7 this year and LOVING it! We're also doing our thing with regard to the narrations and such, but I'm finding it easy to tweak. The book selections have been just phenomenal so far. 


  14. I have twins that have been using BA 3rd through now (3/4 of the way through 5th). My son is rocking along in Beast, and I'm leaning toward letting him try AOPS pre-A when he finishes BA5, sometime mid-way through next year.  I *just* moved my daughter out of Beast 2 weeks ago. She had gotten to where it was frustrating for her and she needed more direct instruction and more independence. I was having to talk her through too many problems for her liking.  She was not having any trouble with the MATH, but with presentation and pre-teen angst. 😉 I moved her to MM6. She's able to skip over some chapters because we've covered the content in BA5 already, and I suspect she'll finish MM6 about the same time her twin finishings BA5. I expect her to do MM7 for pre-A at that point. I guess we'll see how the next few months go, though... 

  15. Twin 6th graders in the fall. How did they get this old?! 

    BYL 7 (world geography & cultures) will cover reading, history, geography, art, etc. Really excited about this! 

    ELA: some IEW themed writing course, currently leaning toward Narnia volume 1, plus IEW fix-it, level 2, and some additional copywork, dictation, and writing through BYL and science 

    DS's math: finishing Beast Academy 5 (probably by Halloween?) and then he'll probably try AOPS pre-algebra 

    DD's math: finishing Math Mammoth 6 (again, probably by Halloween) and then probably MM 7 for pre-algebra

    Science: Elemental logic stage chemistry 

    Enrichment co-op on Tuesdays, whatever is offered that appeals to them 

    Other: piano lessons for both, maybe children's choir at church, taekwondo for him, tumbling for her, and 6th grade is confirmation year in our church, so they'll have religion classes for that in the winter & spring

    • Like 2
  16. After a big move, a bunch of going back and forth, securing spots at a classical university model school, and then rethinking that plan, it seems we're back to homeschooling full time for 5th grade. Here's the plan for boy/girl twins who do everything together and are (generally) pretty easy to teach, have no learning issues, etc: 

    Morning Time: memory work and read alouds, mostly historical fiction to go along with history, plus Shakespeare and logic puzzles

    ELA: a mishmash of BW Arrow and Boomerang units for Elijah of Buxton, A Long Way from Chicago, Bud, not Buddy, Number the Stars, Inside Out and Back Again, One Crazy Summer, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, View from Saturday, Holes, Walk Two Moons, a short story a month to practice close reading, lit analysis, etc, and a mishmash of MCT Town level (finishing, as we did some last year), CE2, and Editor in Chief for grammar, vocab, and composition. 

    Math: Beast Academy 5

    French: starting with an introductory class on outschool, then probably Getting Started with French, or maybe L'Art de lire. We'll see.  Switching to French was a really random decision from them, and I half expect them to finish their 8 week outschool class and want to go back to Latin. 

    History: DIY plans that roughly cover the same time period as SOTW 4, using some SOTW, some other resources, maps from map trek for geography, some units from TPT, relevant crash course videos, etc. 

    Science: ES logic stage astronomy & earth science 

    Other: typing, poetry teatimes 2x/month, weekly enrichment co-op, art classes at our local art museum, piano lessons, and exploring our new town!


    • Like 1
  17. On 5/23/2018 at 8:45 AM, rutamattatt said:

    We did a fun study of History of Rock Music and used this book as our base.  My boys (grades 7  and 5 at the time) LOVED it!  We used videos on YouTube and some documentaries to supplement.  It was one of our very favorite subjects in 7 years of homeschooling!

    A mom in our co-op taught a history of rock class using that book this past spring, and it was super popular! I was bummed she taught the same hour I did, so I didn't get to stick my head in and enjoy the fun. ?

    • Like 1
  18. 6 hours ago, Targhee said:

    We were fortunate to find Minimus at our library. It got my child (then 7) a little interested. Not being a Latin teacher I didn’t feel I could flesh it out enough to be a full curriculum. I could see using it in a similar way to how I use Cambridge - a reader/contextual source in addition to our actual Latin curriculum.

    Agree with this. However, you don't need much Latin to figure out Minimus. I had only had BASIC (like, elementary level, equivalent of LFC A&B) Latin from teaching at a classical school pre-kids and pre-homeschooling, and was able to teach Minimus 1. I taught book 1 along side Song School level 2 with my kids, using it as a reader/contextual source like Targhee mentioned, and we enjoyed it. The next year I moved my kids to LFC and taught Minimus 1 as a fun Latin introduction at our co-op. Some of those kids were doing Latin at home, but for some it was their first exposure.  I really like Minimus, but I don't think I'd use it as stand alone full curriculum. 

    • Thanks 1
  19. Twin 3rd graders here. My lineup is VERY similar to Lace's! 


    Morning time with memory work (bible and poetry) and read alouds (random assortment of science, history, and literature) 

    Math 4x/week for ~30min in Beast Academy plus math facts. I take a pause every few chapters in Beast and do some straight up computation practice using Math Mammoth in whatever section best fits our most recently finished Beast chapter. So far, that has meant I'm mostly pulling from MM4, as I grow more and more convinced that BA 3 is NOT 3rd grade math. We're loving it, but it's HARD!! 

    LA using MCT (Satori Smiles' schedule). I try to get them writing daily, either history narration, one of the exercises from MCT, or copywork or dictation from our Brave Writer Arrow unit. I'm using those pretty loosely this year, mostly as a source of assigned reading for the kids and then to pull copywork or dictation from when I have a day that needs some writing practice. They also have a built in half hour to read from their Arrow book mid-morning. My son is doing cursive (LOE's rhythm of handwriting) and my daughter is doing typing (typing.com).


    History is SOTW2, listening to a chapter a week in the car and then spending one lesson time at home doing narrations, map work, projects, etc 


    Science is more of a mashup. We're doing some Mystery Science and some Science in the Ancient World. We're aiming to hit it 2x a week, reality is once. 


    We spend 15-20min on Latin every day. We're finishing up the 2nd Song School book probably in January and we'll see where we go from there. I've assumed we'll just continue with CAP and do Latin for Children, but I haven't really done the research yet. 


    Otherwise, we have an enrichment co-op on Tuesday mornings, we aim for poetry teatimes once/week, and whatever else that strikes our fancy. 

    • Like 1
  20. I do a ton of counted cross stitch, and my daughter (newly 8) is perfectly capable, although not interested enough to keep up with it and finish projects. Hobby Lobby has a TON of small cute kits, though. Michaels and Joann, less so. 


    For just general "craft kits" though, this was ENORMOUSLY popular with my daughter when she got it for her birthday. We've given it as a gift a couple of times since then, and it's always been well received. https://www.amazon.com/Klutz-Make-Clay-Charms-Craft/dp/0545498562/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477748171&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=clay+craft+kit+charms 

  21. Ours was named Cluckmose I. :)

    King Cluck was our dearly departed fowl pharaoh. 😂


    So far this year we have done a contraction paper mosaic on a poster board sized picture of Emperor Justinian. We plan to do the Ren Fest. We are touring a castle nearby with our homeschool group in a couple of weeks. We will go see the Gutenberg Bible on exhibit at the University of Texas the next time we visit grandparents in Austin. I already had plans to build cardboard castles like Farrar suggested, and I'm trying to put together some sort of intro to embroidery project based on The Bayeaux tapestry. None of that really comes close to the scope of the chicken mummy , though!

    • Like 1
  22. I carry a wristlet wallet, as well. It's big, but it can also be the only thing I carry if I don't want to throw it into my big ole' purse. I can fit my phone inside, plus all of my many, many cards (library, costco, insurance, credit card, ID, gift cards, various store reward cards, etc), and a zippered section for cash. I love it. Mine is a Keen Hazel, which appears discontinued. This is similar: 



    • Like 1
  23. I'm on the leadership team for an enrichment mom-taught co-op. We also have 3 classes, one morning a week. Starting this semester, we have had a put in place a rule that people cannot join our co-op if they are also in another full morning thing (like CC) or in a university model school (HUGELY popular here as a part-time homeschool option). We have just had too many moms drop out because of overwhelm, or not drop out but also not be able to really fulfill their responsibilities to our co-op. They're coming late, they're not well prepared for their classes, they have too many absences, etc.  I have come to really believe that more that more than one weekday morning commitment is too many for homeschooling families. 

    • Like 1
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