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  1. My dd12 has used RS from kindergarten to 6th grade. We are currently in level F. I’m not sure if there are any “holes”—maybe more word problems? Since 2nd edition is aligned with common core, I’m assuming there would be less gaps. We’ve used 1st edition up until this year with level f. I do think this is a strong program that helps the student understand the whys behind algorithms. For example, when learning the area of a triangle, the lesson goes through cutting rectangles in half (into triangles) so you can see why the formula for the area of a triangle makes sense. So you’re not just memorizing the formula, you understand why it has to be so. My dd12 is more language arts oriented and doesn’t love math, but I have to admit she’s pretty good at it. Case in point, today she completed the wrong worksheet in RSF for a lesson I hadn’t taught her yet, and she was able to figure out a rather challenging set of problems on her own. I taught college algebra/calculus for several years, and most of my students wouldn’t have even tried. Having a conceptual math background gives good “spidey instincts” that are harder to acquire later. Just my two cents. For the next few years I am thinking Jousting Armadillos, then Jacobs Algebra/Geometry, then on to Foerster. This is all subject to change, though. For a more mathy kid I would definitely look at Aops or Singapore middle school. Videotext is still on the table for us though, just not my preferred method.
  2. Thanks everyone! I think we’re going to give JA a whirl. I appreciate you sharing your experiences.
  3. Thank you for your response, Plagefille. Is your DD more language arts oriented? Just wondering because my DD loves writing, so that's part of the reason I think this might be a good fit for her. I can imagine that for a more "engineering" type personality, the writing would be annoying. Also what other books did you supplement with on the 5th day?
  4. Thank you so much for your responses. Really giving me something to think about. I wish Jacobs had a pre-algebra! (They don’t, right?)
  5. My dd12 has done Right Start math from K-6th. The recommended next step is Videotext, but it looks so....dry. Thinking about Jousting Armadillos for next year. Questions I have: How long did it take your child to get through one book? A few months? The whole school year? Was your child able to do this curriculum fairly independently? Did your child complete all three books in this series or did you move on to something else? Which curriculum did you do next once this series was completed? If you had to do it all over again, would you choose a different program for prealgebra? Thanks in advance!
  6. My dd was really into birds around that age. One of the best things we did was attend bird walks with our local Audubon society. We were almost the youngest ones there; it was mostly senior citizens, and they were sooooo passionate and knowledgeable about birds. And they were happy to help because they really want to see birding get passed on to future generations. There is really no substitute for being around people passionate about your interest. Also my dd liked the Merlin bird app, bird documentaries, and a bird guide that was specific to my state.
  7. I thought these books looked neat and picked up a few when they had them at Costco. To my surprise, my dd picked up the one for her grade and read most of it on her own! She loves the poetry, the sayings and the snippets of stories. She will browse through the history, art, and science, but I'm pretty sure she ignores the math part. That was 3 years ago--since then every summer she asks me to buy her the next book in the series. I think she takes the title "What your nth grader *NEEDS* to know" quite literally. :)
  8. We actually do a "homeschool pe" class that is one hour/week. It's at a local gym built by my city's nba team. Quite inexpensive, and they do a different sport every month. (I realize not everyone will have a local opportunity like this, but it doesn't hurt to check around. I was homeschooling for 4 years before I found out about this gem!)
  9. I've noticed that the more I limit screen time, the more the games get brought out. This occurred recently (and unintentionally) when dd10 dropped the iPad, shattering the screen. I took my time getting it fixed, and I was somewhat amazed to see all sorts of board games getting played again. I sort of wish we hadn't gotten it repaired, but we "needed" it for an upcoming car trip.
  10. eBay and homeschool used curriculum groups on Facebook might have the guide. The audio CDs for cycle 2 would be nice to have, especially since you are tutoring. You can also get them off of cc connected or with the cycle 2 app on iTunes. Timeline cards are nice and have a good resale value--I think all of our tutors have had their own that they use. The science and art cards are well-done, but must definitely optional.
  11. We quit AAS in level 2. My younger kids would constantly want to mess up the board or play with the cards. I didn't really mind the *amount* of manipulatives so much, but it was a pain to let the other kids play with them. We use Right Start math too, and I don't mind letting them play with the manipulatives when we aren't using them. My fully set up AAS magnet tile board? No way--no one is messing with that. And they wanted to. Everyday. So spelling kind of stopped happening, and I knew I needed to look at other options. We switched to Rod & Staff, but 9 year old was still having a lot of trouble with spelling, so we switched to Apples and Pears. That is working much better for her and I've seen so much improvement. My 7 yr old is a natural speller and loves workbooks so she does Rod &Staff.
  12. We have this one, and it's been great. I see that it has several negative reviews, but we haven't had trouble with it. I'm especially appreciative of the push bar--both my sons have wanted pushing while they learned to pedal. My oldest two had a tricycle without a push bar, so I am really appreciating the difference. The push bar saves my back! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003BWITGG/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1448663943&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=tricycle+with+handle&dpPl=1&dpID=41a7dLboY%2BL&ref=plSrch
  13. I dumped it temporarily, perhaps permanently. It was fun, and my dd looooved it, but I don't think it challenged her enough. And as a teacher, I needed more handholding to give better direct instruction. I think I was captivated by the charming graphics and eye-catching fonts, so we carried on. I'm a sucker for things like that. (Side note: All About Spelling products also have this effect on me. We have since dropped them, but they sure were easy on the eyes!) We are currently working through "The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons" book by Mariconda, and it has been surprisingly good. My dd loves writing fiction, and this resource discusses many pitfalls that children fall into as writers--extraneous details, lack of description for key characters/settings, boring beginnings that don't grab the readers attention, etc. For us it has been a great fit, and I feel like we're having great discussions that she can apply directly to her own writing.
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