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Everything posted by unity

  1. I haven't read my one book of this series, but the back says read to ages 7-8; read-alone 8-12. A glance through the book suggests that it's much more targeted to the younger end of the range...big print, wide margins, etc. In our case, I wouldn't give it to my 12 year olds because it's not substantial enough for them. I also wouldn't just hand it to my 9 yo because it makes statements that contradict our beliefs. If I decide it will be worth teaching for the history, I'll have to read along with my younger child.
  2. My 12 yo ds's are both involved in dance, and one of them loves tumbling, too. They just have a ton of fun with it, and look forward to the recital and enjoy the practices, too. Right now they dance 3x / week (ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and musical theater classes), and one does a tumbling class. Tumbling is great, because any teasing just stops dead when he just pulls out a trick right in front of someone. I have mostly had to use the line about being surrounded by girls (especially cheerleaders at tumbling) with family members who were less supportive of all that dance. I totally agree about the masculine attire comment. Our studio owner is a stickler about that and I am glad. Funny about how you all say doors open b/c they are boys. I'm almost experiencing the opposite problem. There is a dance team at our studio but I think her standards for getting on the team are a little higher for the boys b/c she knows they will draw a lot of attention and so need to be good. Still, at least one of my boys is hoping he'll get invited this summer... :001_smile:
  3. Oh, my. OK, my kids are too young for hard-core lit analysis, but imo, so are all hs kids. These litcrit studies you mention all have their proponents, of course, but I think it would be doing a high schooler a disservice to teach how to read in exclusively one approach. Some of these are quite outdated and are not exactly cutting edge of lit theory. Feminist approaches are still rather popular, but you know part of the problem with writing from a particular approach is that it's so easy, as a scholarly reader, to dismiss where the author of a paper is coming from if it's too obvious which methodology they are writing from, particularly if it's Marxist or Freudian, but the others, too. I mean, back in the day when I did this for a living, if I picked up a particular scholarly article and could tell within a paragraph which approach they were using, I could predict pretty reliably how the rest of the paper was going to go. They get pretty predictable. I think the formal study of lit analysis in the way you are talking about is more of a discipline for college. But if you really want an overview of it, how about Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction? That book, iirc, is from a rather Marxist standpoint but he does a good job outlining the history of lit crit. It's cheap, too. But to answer your question, the lit crit methodology I am most likely to use and teach my children is best described as "close reading" and I hope to train my dc in how to write a good "explication de texte" or analysis of a brief literary passage. I will naturally bring in other methodologies as we discuss literature, but I don't plan to make a big deal about verifying that they know the names of reading approaches, etc. Actually, as I write this, I realize that my answer is in part influenced by my oldest dc's interest in math/science. I suppose if they were lit fanatics like myself, I probably would go deeper into lit crit as you suggest. So it all depends. :-)
  4. I like this idea. We did both, as well, and I do have fond memories of our time doing Calvert Pre-K. However, I only did Calvert PreK with my oldest; the next two times so far I've gotten to that age we went with Sonlight. I also did Sonlight PreK with the oldest, too; the two really dovetail nicely. Calvert PreK is not very heavy in reading aloud, and Sonlight is not heavy in activities (at that age, anyway). If you can afford it, maybe you should get Calvert Pre-K and Sonlight 3/4. I enjoyed doing 3/4 with my 3rd son (it wasn't available earlier). It was really just a booklist but some nice books. otoh, I totally agree with other posters who say you can just use your own books or the library to get a feel for Sonlight. SL is pretty much about reading. Calvert Pre-K gave instructions like, "practice hopping," or "discuss New York City." Sometimes it seemed random but I followed directions and it was cool. Surreal to try to discuss NYC with children who had never seen a skyscraper. :-) I ditched Calvert midway through K when I realized the whole "boxed" thing wasn't going to work with my hg boys, but even after 8 years of hs'ing I'm still drawn to curricula that package it all and just tell me what to do. Give me too much of a buffet and I get a stomachache. I ditched SL after completing many cores when I realized they were just not learning the history through literature they way they were supposed to be. (They were/are outstanding readers, though....maybe partly thanks to SL? IDK) Anyway. hth
  5. I was going to suggest Coda bows as well. My son plays, and his teacher has always been happy with the Coda bows I buy for him. I'm not sure if the names are the same for violin as cello, but I was told there was some increase in performance between his old Aspire and his current...Conservatory? I think it's called. I got a great deal on the Aspire but even paying full price for the step up I have no regrets. Might as well reward all that practice with quality stuff.
  6. :iagree: My dd 9 is advanced pretty much across the board, but I opted to go OM 3 because I am also using OM 6 now and I see the writing topics do get interesting and, while I knew she could handle OM 4 or really even 5 right now, I'm thinking she will get even more out of it later. But then again, I'm moving more and more away from the "buffet" style of homeschooling (like TOG) and more towards something more minimal, that will give us plenty of time to fill in with other extras that we enjoy. For dd9, that's more art, music, free reading, and free writing. For the older boys, that's more math.:tongue_smilie:
  7. I recently met a woman who had just lost her 9 yo daughter. I had been told of her loss before meeting her, and one of the first things I said to her was simply, "I'm very sorry for your loss." She started thanking me profusely for acknowledging it, and really, her daughter was all she could talk about that evening. (I don't blame her a bit, and I doubt she even realized she turned every conversation to her departed dd). Anyway, it's not like the woman is going to forget the death of her child. I think asking many questions is not really appropriate, though. Just offer your condolences, and if she wants to talk about it, she will. Your job will be simply to listen and support, imo. I wouldn't ask the name or other details, but assume they will come out if the mother feels the need to discuss it.
  8. It sounds like you don't have the Guide pedagogique! That is the heart of the program and you can get it from Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Level-Teachers-Guide-French/dp/2090338180/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295612818&sr=8-1 One copy, used. But that is probably for the first edition; maybe you could use it anyway? Anyway the GP has the entire script to all the lessons, which are what is on the $100+ set. On a budget you could just buy the GP and read the script yourself instead of playing the classroom CDs. Honestly, without the GP or the classroom CDs, you are missing the main teaching component of the program. The workbook, textbook, and student CD reinforce the spoken lessons, but since this program is geared towards younger children the spoken component takes the lion's share of the curriculum. Other sources for this curriculum include europeanbook.com (that's where I got it) and http://www.schoenhofs.com/ (I've shopped there before, too). And don't forget to check just Amazon.com. I managed to get the whole curriculum without once ordering out of the US, and I got it in under a week.
  9. Maybe KISS grammar? The whole program is free so there might be something for you. Sorry, I don't have the direct link but if you Google kiss grammar a bunch of hits come up.
  10. I've used both and I am a total RS fan now. I'm finishing up E and just bummed it doesn't get any higher. But for my little guy, who goes to a Montessori preschool, I use RS for fun. He loves it. My memories of Singapore at that level is that it laid a great foundation but it was really just not fun. However, if you want something very pencil and workbook-based, then Singapore is the way to go. With RS you get a lot of knowledge and understanding, but not, at that level, a whole lot of worksheets. You wouldn't really go wrong with Singapore, btw...no real regrets here for having used it. I just love RS now that I've found it. I didn't like Miquon b/c I could never get past the Cuisinaire rods and how they don't have any markings to determine how many units each one is worth. The only thing I really love about MUS are their blocks. If Miquon had MUS blocks I'd probably really love it, too. :001_smile:
  11. If you have the money to supplement and are drawn to OM, I think it could work. The LA and math will be behind, and I would suggest a different instrument than the recorder, but the arts and crafts are really strong, and the program as a whole does not take a lot of time to complete. Some ideas: * use the arts/crafts/animal/nature studies as written * continue to allow him to read on his own (duh) and don't worry about the LA portion. He's little enough that avid reading is enough imo * continue with a different math program than OM (I'm not impressed with the math at any level) * start him on violin, cello, or piano, and ignore the recorder suggestions. OM is fairly integrated, but you can use pieces of it that work for you, and it would be particularly easy to sub out the math and music. For the LA you may want to use some of it (maybe read some stories but not all, maybe do some of the "letter art" more for the art angle than the LA angle). My 4 yo son reads pretty well (about a 2nd grade level), but I still intend to do OM K with him next school year. He sounds similar to your son, actually. Anyway I know he will enjoy the art portion tremendously... My 9 yo daughter, who is doing OM 3, is loving it, although in many respects it is light for her. She loves creating her own lesson books, and writes many narrations/letters/etc about whatever classic she's reading. (Currently, Anne of Avonlea.) We just take whatever the curriculum suggests and go a little deeper. I'm pretty new to OM but I'm so enjoying it. It has brought some joy back to our homeschool!
  12. I was also going to suggest "The Orthodox Church" but another one that's more of a catechism is The Law of God by Serafim Slobodskoy. http://orthodoxwiki.org/The_Law_of_God_(Serafim_Slobodskoy) I'm pretty sure it's available free online somewhere, too. It is highly readable and I have given it to my children to read.
  13. I think for a typical student, 5 years would lead to a better AP score. In my hs, the kids who did AP language started in middle school, and then did AP French their senior year. But talent and drive definitely can play into it. I took French AP and Spanish AP in high school, but languages were my thing and I didn't need all that time to do well. I needed only 3 years of hs level to be able to score a 5 on each. (I did take an additional year of French and took the French literature AP as well, but I think they no longer offer that). I did "place out" of language at my college, but I remember I had to take a test to prove my competency; neither AP sufficed for my picky college. I actually became a French major. :-) Later, in graduate school, I taught French to (Yale) students who had not passed out of the language requirement. Almost all of my students either had no language or whatever they had had was negligible, so obviously it's possible to get into even a great school with a lousy language background.
  14. We hated the EHE. It just sucked the fun out of the core and not only that, but the material did not sink in at all that way. I found that they weren't actually retaining any of the little factoids they were regurgitating every day from reading WB. I agree about the negative tone of many of the books regarding other cultures...sometimes it felt like we were just studying them to go in there and change it all. Overall, I thought the core was ok, but it was along that year that I decided to move away from SL after completing all kinds of cores. It's not that Core 5 is much different than the ones before it, but as my kids got older I just was feeling the need for a different approach.
  15. My big boys read tons of books on their ipads, and also have downloaded many strategy or imo beneficial games like Sudoku, Catan, Set, chess, mah jong, etc. (They are still limited in their "game time" but I love when they spend the time on things like that.) They also have used the notepad feature to take notes while reading, which works for them b/c they can go into a quiet room and focus instead of having to be in the middle of everything at one of the schoolroom computers.
  16. If your kids beg to do art and love it in theory but hate the program you're using, pick a new one. Personally, I find Drawing with Children to be overwhelming and difficult, although I love the theory of it. I just can't manage to implement it. I recently caved and found an artist willing to come to my house weekly to teach art to my kids. They love it, I love it, and I feel like they are finally getting the art education I've been wanting them to have. But you could just shop around for a new art program. Artistic Pursuits is pretty easy to implement.
  17. I like Alex et Zoe, but the workbook component is very light. I do use the reading book along with the regular textbook. You can see samples of that if you search inside the book at Amazon. You really can't do this program without the Guide pedagogique. It's essential. I also think the CDs are very important, not because I can't just say the dialogues to my daughter, but I think it's a good idea to have different speakers to help with listening comprehension. Alex et Zoe has many different speakers on their CDs. Also the raps and songs are on the CDs and I would never have guessed how some of them go without the CDs. If you get the classroom CD set, though, you don't need the individual set. There are 3 volumes of Alex and Zoe, and then it goes into Amis et Cie, which also has 3 volumes. So theoretically you could have 6 years of elementary level French with this. There are many cool pictures, interesting story lines, etc. My daughter loves it. I do make up my own worksheets sometimes to supplement the workbook, but it's probable that after the first level the amount of writing required increases. You absolutely need to be able to speak French yourself to use this program to teach. But it's really great if it's an option for you. This is one of the real winners for us here and I'm NOT looking for another program.:001_smile:
  18. Actually, we open all of our in-home presents on Epiphany, too. Grandparent presents, etc, are opened on Christmas but we save all the ones to/from kids and me and my dh for Epiphany. (Actually we call it Theophany in a church context or Kings' Day casually).
  19. My kids didn't think they were fun at all. A lapbook, after all, is about writing stuff down on little bits of paper and then glueing it in a folder. Mine looked as if I'd gone crazy when I acted as if that was supposed to be a fun reinforcement of the material. If they liked writing more it may have been more of a hit. The one child I actually got to do it without a fit ultimately balked by the end of the lapbook and just begged to do something truely hands-on.
  20. This year my daughter said she was really stressed out by the thought and didn't want to serve me in bed this year. But she wanted to do something special for me so she made waffle mix the night before so all I had to do was pour it on the iron when I got up in the morning. For the last couple of years though she enjoyed getting all dressed up and bringing me breakfast. No candles here either, though, but she had a wreath and a sash.
  21. I usually use homesciencetools too but if there's something I need that they don't sell I check enasco.com/science second. Nasco is actually a bigger site, but less homeschooler friendly. A few years ago I had some issue where I needed some sulfur or crystalized iodine or something and it was a no-go without a school purchase order. Of course I didn't try calling, either. Also, I've had some luck googling my product and clicking on "shopping" and seeing what random retailer might sell it.
  22. These are 2 books full of handouts and lesson plans to accompany any US history spine, specifically targeted at 8th grade. http://www.centerforlearning.org/c-62-us-historygeography.aspx I've toyed around with using these with Drama of American History.
  23. OK, the additional info makes him look bad, too. Maybe she should chill out about the presents...I mean, how many wonderful things does she need, anyway? But if he knew her well enough to propose, maybe he should have known she'd take it personally and gotten her a dumb gift, too. Yikes. Seems silly to get all bent out of shape over how many gifts. One step from counting dollar amounts of gifts bought. But even if he let it slip that he had originally been thinking New Years...it does make a nice Christmas/birthday gift!
  24. :iagree: My first thought was, cool! Then, you've got to be kidding me. That's the big news? Ugh.
  25. I'd consider it to be about 2.0, or end first/beginning second grade. For other books around the same level, I'd consider other books by Arnold Lobel like Grasshopper on the Road or Mouse Soup, also the Little Bear books (Sendak) are just as beautifully illustrated... Henry and Mudge is another little series about the same level, and also about friendship and animals...
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