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Everything posted by unity

  1. Clicknread is really more about teaching reading than keyboarding skills, although there is a little bit of that to it. I rather like clicknread, but it's not amazing. As far as typing v. writing, I think they are both important skills, and it's not like a 4yo has enormous patience with either one. I think I started teaching my kids to type at around 5 or 6 yo, and my preferred program is Ten Thumbs, mostly because it's a downloadable program that has lasted through many computer upgrades for us. It works, too. My 7 yo likes it well enough, and I think he's up to around 15 words/minute. It's a start.
  2. I actually have been using Grammaire progressive (but an older, 1997, version) to supplement Alex & Zoe 3. I don't know how all the books fit together, but this book, at least, doesn't have an initial dialogue or something like most curricula do. It strikes me as a better supplement than main curriculum. I can say that the reason I use it (and not one of the many other French textbooks I have lying around) is that this one does a very good job of making charts that explain the grammar, and has effective, to-the-point exercises.
  3. I think if you're looking for sweet and gentle, then buying yet more curriculum is not going to help with that, even OM. Your kids are so close in age you will be very glad down the road if you combine them for as many subjects as possible. Three years is not that much. I think you should pick to go the OM route or the SL route with both of your kids. They are different approaches, but both could be adapted for different learning styles. Although SL would be super hard to adapt for a kid who doesn't like being read to! If you chose OM 2 or even 3 for your oldest, the younger one could be involved in nature stuff, science, drawing, crafts, etc. Just add in the math you want and a phonics program. If you choose SL B, then the youngest can listen to what is interesting to him and go play for the rest. OM would definitely work for the "tell me what I have to do so I can go play" child, by the way. In my experience it is way faster to get done than SL. OM is available used all the time on amazon and ebay--not sure why you're having trouble finding it. You don't need the newest version of OM--I've seen the new and old versions and they are nearly identical. Or, I agree, you could just do Waldorfy type stuff from the resources already mentioned or _Seven Times the Sun_, _The Children's Year_, or _All Year Round_.
  4. TOG. I'm not as crazy about Y1, but I understand they are revamping it. This is my 3rd year using it, and I definitely feel like it's a good program. For me, to use it, I have to ignore lots and lots of it, otherwise I get totally overwhelmed. But even using the fraction of it that I do, I feel very supported. We've been using the Y4 Rhetoric this year, and the discussion guides are fabulous. Really, it's a fantastic program. Can get very pricey though, if you buy all the books.
  5. Yeah, sorry, I had to tweak a ton. I guess it depends on what level you're looking for. I didn't really tweak the history for 6th grade; that was plenty. The English was waaaay too light for me, I just didn't use the math or science as they didn't seem as good as what I was already using. When I did 3d grade, I mostly used as written (except for math) but not enough to continue with it in 4th.
  6. I was kind of agreeing with jujsky that your requirements sound pretty difficult to meet to me. I am most familiar with the Nashua/Manchester/Concord corridor and none of the places within 15 minutes of the city have what you're looking for when you factor in price. I'm actually within the town limit of Concord, and it still takes me 13 min to get downtown. I used to live in Hollis, a town bordering Nashua (it's next to Amherst, mentioned by a pp), and it had everything you want except low prices. I was a good 15 min from downtown there, too. Bow is a lovely town, but pricey. We found the better prices to be north of Concord as opposed to between Manchester and Concord. If you're willing to be a little farther away (like 20+ min), Canterbury has pretty much all your requirements. A lovely town with an artsy feel.
  7. One of my sons had a brief period of using women's gym shoes, too. You never would have known, though. They looked plenty unisex.
  8. Another one you might consider is the free one at www.msnucleus.org. It's not perfect--sometimes there are typos and poor grammar, but I still actually kind of like the program. It provides 3 lessons per week for a full year of school (K-6). There are online storybooks, songs, lots of handouts, experiments, etc. I, too, am comfortable teaching, so I feel like this is a jumping-off point. I read what topic I'm supposed to teach and then we talk about it, look at books or online resources, do the experiments and/or worksheets, etc. I use this program even though I could afford something that costs money. It's just so straightforward and easy to use. It's fully secular, and in fact would be pretty unusable by ID/YE folks. I prefer to teach a variety of science subjects each year and not use the "classical" method for that one subject until the kids are much older. For younger elementary, this is the one program I've been able to use for more than a year. For older elementary, I've really enjoyed Singapore My Pals are Here, but from the looks of their new revised program, I sadly won't be continuing with it.
  9. Agreed. Without the HOTS I have no interest in this program. In fact, it looks like the new program took out the two parts of the curriculum we use most (Homework and HOTS) and left our least favorite. The textbook has never been the strongest part of the curriculum, and the activity book is so often full of dumb experiments. Since the program is now labelled "International Version" I almost wonder if they're dumbing it down for the rest of us. Sigh. I guess that pretty much derails my science plans going forward.
  10. Super interesting and helpful info about pointe shoes, Diane. Thank you!
  11. Oh--great. I thought we just needed to find the right brand, but it might not even matter? Sigh. 8-10 hrs and they are dead? Boo.
  12. I've seen a bunch that are 2 weeks long, or 3. Ballet Talk is a good forum, or you can also just Google it. NH isn't a hotspot of ballet, but even for me within easy driving distance there is a good selection.
  13. Again, I'm a newbie to all this, but I've been told it's because she has exceptionally strong feet. First they gave her "beginner" pointe shoes (with a softer shank), then regular, then strong, but apparently she needs something even stronger than that. I'm hoping that once she gets the right pair they will last a while. My dd's pointe work varies but at least 1 h a week, and sometimes 2+ hrs.
  14. Janet-- If it were me, I'd hold out for one closer to home. I would figure if she got into one, she could get into another. But YMMV.
  15. Honestly, we're not super serious/competitive about ballet. My daughter chose her SBI because her friend was going to that one, we had several personal recommendations for it, and it wasn't too far. My son chose his 2 SBIs because he also went to MathPath, and those 2 sandwiched around MathPath so he could do math and ballet. My daughter loved her SBI (Bossov) and is going back because she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. My other son is also attending Bossov this year because he has taken some classes there over the school year (driving up with a friend) and he thinks the teaching is incredible. Also, his good friend is going. My son who went last year is not doing any SBIs this year, but hoping to do a 5 or 6 week long math camp. I think something to keep in mind when choosing one is definitely how much they will be dancing. At the Walnut Hill intensive last summer, my son danced basically from first thing in the morning until 9 at night, I think 6 days a week. He found it exhausting. At Bossov they dance from morning until 4pm, and not really on the weekends unless there's a homework assignment or special thing due. Many families in our area rent a cabin or house near Bossov, and then spend the late afternoons and weekends hiking and exploring Maine when their dancer is out of class. My daughter stayed with her friend last year and did this, and both she and my son are doing the same thing this summer. I remember at one SBI audition (Burklyn) they commented that they treat dancers like kids, too, and not professionals, so they take breaks and do things like campfires and hide-and-seek, etc. That may or may not appeal to you. I totally agree about the hidden costs. True! I had to buy many of those things, too. Also a character skirt, yoga blocks, and probably other stuff. As an aside, I *hate* how many pointe shoes she goes through. I have yet to find a pair that lasts more than 3 weeks. At close to $70 a pop, that's a huge hidden expense. I'm hoping to find a double-shank variety that maybe will last a while! And--my daughter came to ballet from gymnastics, too. She had some bad habits to overcome, but teachers love the strength and body control she had developed. Helped her get to pointe early too.
  16. They usually give ages for the intensives; I would say that might be a starting point. 11 is young for a lot of them, and a lot of 11 year olds wouldn't want to live away from home for 5 weeks anyway. (Although my dd did last year at Bossov, which accepts kids as young as 10). The auditions themselves are like classes, so there's no harm in going. I don't know what you mean by new to ballet, and it would be hard to say a level, but if she's really elementary there's probably no real point in auditioning.
  17. My son and daughter attended them last summer, and my daughter and a different son are attending this coming summer. I imagine the "best" ones sort of depend on what's available reasonably near you. Although last summer at Walnut Hill, I met a woman who had flown up from SC...and I know someone from Maine who went down to PA for one...
  18. I've tried WP a couple of times, and I wouldn't buy it again. AW I tried twice and couldn't get it off the ground. QMA felt like a train wreck in our house and I ditched that one halfway through the year for another program. Such, such a lovely website and catalog, and the schedule looks like Sonlight, but to me it feels like something is just not there on the usability front.
  19. I bought the one for the Industrial Revolution to the Depression. I think it's just meh. It's a zillion papercrafts, with a few very complicated other crafts thrown in. We're not super crazy about lapbooks, either, and all the detailed cutting is not fun for us. I do think I've gotten my money's worth, but I regret printing it all out before we started, because we haven't been inspired to use half of it. Also, I bought it used. I think if you're mostly hoping to find other crafts or activities, you might look for another resource, like maybe one of those activity books.
  20. Start at top, slant to left, back to top, slant to right, then sharp curve to make crossbar right to left, with big backwards flourish--sort of calligraphic.
  21. I've got a perfect one for you, if you have a budget for them. You won't find them at your library. Ruth Chew wrote about 25 books that fit the description you're looking for, and they were my favorite books as a little girl. They're easy to get used, and not really expensive, especially if you get a lot on ebay. In almost every single book a pair of siblings finds some kind of magical object that either takes them somewhere or allows them to do magic. It's a different set of siblings or friends in each book, but they are still quite formulaic. RL is about 3. Much easier than Nesbit or Eager.
  22. even though my kids do enjoy building. Every now and then it gets taken out and used, but it's not a huge winner. We have one of the wooden ones. I guess 7-9 is about the right age. It's true that much younger than that and the construction is just too challenging.
  23. I did, and they said it was a known problem. It's definitely faster now after the update, and I didn't change anything. I'm not surprised if you didn't have problems when you were checking it out; I didn't have any problems either until the assignment calendar got very full. Even now I see differences between the children. The ones that have very full assignment calendars (many, many different resources being coordinated) are slow, but nowhere near as painfully slow as they used to be. The ones with very straightforward, lightly scheduled calendars are nice and zippy. I acknowledge that it might be somewhat my problem, but I'm using a machine that's hardly ancient, and this is the ONLY program that I have this problem with. It's not any better when I close programs, etc. I kind of don't want to upgrade computers for this problem on this one program. BUT, that said, I actually have been really happy with some of the other other little changes. I didn't know what they all were, but I've been finding them piecemeal as I have been continuing to input lesson plans. Definitely good stuff. I am feeling pretty happy with the whole deal right now. I also have had good experiences dealing with this company, and to another poster, I had the same problem with the colors/Today calendar. Funny, I thought I was the only one, too! I like accessorizing the courses, too. :001_smile: I agree that this is already good software with great potential.
  24. I'm not overjoyed, but it is a little better. The only update I care a lot about is a reasonably fast Assignment Calendar, and as far as I can tell, they worked on that some but definitely didn't make it anything close to fast. I notice other changes they made, and I guess some of them are nice, but the functionality of that main feature is what I really wanted improved, not a bunch of additional little nice features. That said, the addition of the ability to bump backward on the calendar is actually a really big deal to me, too--so I can imagine that other features that don't matter a lot to me might be really high on someone else's list. I still think it's well worth the money, I just wish they would fix such an important problem.
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