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  1. I use a reading curriculum in the very beginning of learning to read. However, with each of my girls I have found a time in reading where the curriculum is still sounding out c-a-t cat, when my girls are reading sentences. At that point we drop the curriculum and just read books. I am sure as they get older we will pick it back up again at some point to learn about plot and such but not for awhile.
  2. My girls (7,9) have 30 minute lessons. I can not see the point at this time to have longer lessons. In this weeks lesson my 9 yo did 5 scales, a Hanon piece, a duet with the teacher 3 songs, and went over theory. It does not seem at all like there is not time to finish everything even though she is working on many songs at once. I did want to say that the above video of a 7 year old playing was pretty amazing to me.
  3. Personally, I would not drop spelling until I felt that my child was an adequate speller to get through life. I grew up not spelling very well I have regretted not learning to spell better as a child. Experiences such as filling out job applications and feeling embarrassed to write hand written notes and other occasions where a dictionary or computer are not near by. I do not feel any education would be complete without having a firm grasp on all commonly spelled words. When that time comes may vary on the child, but I would expect that would take until at least 9th grade.
  4. For the younger grades, History stumped me. Like you, I just wanted the basic knowledge. SOTW did not work out for us. I do not like to read aloud and I do not like a lot of projects. I ended up doing non fiction readers for both history and science for 1-3 grades. They are on the child's level. My girls learned all kinds of things from those books and there are tons of them on every subject. This year for 4th grade we are doing MOH, but non of the projects and she is reading it to herself. I am not sure I will do it that way again as I do not know what she is retaining. For next year I am thinking of trying an audio CD of either SOTW or MOH. Overall, I do think they learn more from just real non fiction books. I tried Abeka last year. It also did not work out. They read the book, then at the end of the chapter took a five page test. Not only did they not do well, they did not learn anything either. I ended up having them read the books more as readers, but not do the tests.
  5. Stack the States, Stack the Countries, Presidents vs. Aliens, Math Bingo
  6. What I have done with my girls when I want them to read a book that they are not getting into, is to start reading the book out loud to them. Then, just as the book is getting interesting I stop reading and give it to them. If they want to find out what happened, they have to finish reading the book themselves. I do not really have that problem any more, but that is what I did in the past when we got into slumps like that. Another idea is the pizza hut book it programs or other motivational reading programs. If you read x amount of books, you get some sort of prize. You could limit it to no repeats. Depending on what your child's individual currency was, you could offer one piece of candy or one sticker per new book read, or even have a treasure box with cheap toys and offer a choice out of the treasure box each time a new book is completed.
  7. I would not expect a 6 year old to have all the scales memorized. Both of my older daughters take lessons and while I think they are very good and even advanced, this has not been expected of them by any of their teachers.
  8. Can you do other things to supplement the math facts without stopping math all together? For example flash cards, math bingo, xtramath.org, or IXL? I would try to work on the math facts as soon as possible because it is going to effect math for the rest of their schooling.
  9. Pippi Long stocking, Winnie the Pooh, Franklin, I can read Little Bear, abridged versions of classics such as The Secret Garden and the Princess.
  10. My daughter is using 5/4 this year. We are writing directly in the test/worksheets book, but for the text book we are copying onto notebook paper. This has been an adjustment as she has made some mistakes in copying that have then made the answer wrong but we are getting used to it.
  11. We came from Abeka from K4-3 and are now doing Saxon DIVE 5/4. Everyone told me this would be no problem but there have been a few bumps in the road. I have a friend that did the opposite. She did Saxon for the last few years and is now doing Abeka in 4. In 3rd grade Abeka is heavy on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing very large numbers. Saxon did not do much division at all in 3rd grade. However, Saxon is acting like negative numbers is review (and not re teaching it, just assuming they know), where as Abeka did not cover negative numbers at all in 3rd grade. All of that to say, those are the only two of those curriculum that I have had experience with. I have heard that TT tends to be a little behind. I have always heard that Abeka is very advanced and that so is Saxon, but they cover different things at different times. I recommend if switching from Abeka to Saxon that you do an intermediate grade in between either in 3rd or 4th grade to get used to how they teach and to pick up any concepts that have not been covered yet.
  12. Thinking back to my own experience with school, I went to a public school. Early on, I missed a few concepts. Those concepts build on other concepts and built on other concepts. Before too many years passed I was truly in a mess with math. I ended up just taking the bare minimum amount of math to graduate and sighed a sigh of relief thinking I was finally done. Not. Next came a college level math class. I was sinking fast. Then DH, bless him (boyfriend at the time) patiently took me back. Addressed the base issues and I learned that I really enjoyed math and was not bad at it. I ended up finishing the college math class with an A. All of that to say, if you skip concepts hoping they will just go away, they probably won't. I do recommend taking a day off of school and doing fun things. Going to the park, playing board games, and such to distress and build your relationship (that it is fun too). Then go back to it fresh.
  13. The grey one is the teacher manual. It has lesson plans and a guide of what the parent should do each day. The other one is the Handbook for reading. It has all the blend ladders, lists of words, and simple work for the child to do. The teacher manual is just for the parent/teacher. The hand book for reading is for the child to use with the parent.
  14. We don't go to CC, but we do go to a church based co-op. While I am YE, I would not expect this to be a subject discussed because it is so decisive.
  15. I also would skip all of the games. My biggest lesson with Abeka was to learn to get rid of all of the fluff. It is still a very solid curriculum without the games.
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