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Everything posted by threedogfarm

  1. Susan Wise Bauer explains the whole process really well in her lecture. It's available from on the Peace Hill Press website for $3.99 I think. After listening to it, I felt like I finally had a good grasp on teaching the whole writing process. I really enjoyed her lecture on teaching science as well.
  2. My son liked the Warrior series (it's about cats. . .) There are many books in this series. . .He liked it because it was told from the cat's point of view. . .
  3. I use the HIG and I go over the textbook with dd but usually ds works out of the workbook on his own. I also do CWP for a change of pace. We have MM to use if a concept needs more work. dd needed it for a few things. I thought that was the most cost effective way to go and it also gave me a different way to present the material when necessary. That being said I did order Life of Fred because I thought ds might enjoy math from a different perspective. Some days he just doesn't want to be faced with a whole series of problems. . .we'll see how that goes. BTW--we went through 1B and 2A this year and are going onto 2B right now. DS is a bit ahead of DD.
  4. I agree with Chepyl. Your son is reading. That's the important thing. It seems like he likes to read. Good. The next step will come. My son was almost 8 before he read a chapter book. Some of his friends were reading the Warrior series and one claimed that he read one of the books in one day. My son was determined to do the same thing--and he did! Some of those books are long--over 400 pages. And he has been reading chapter books ever since. Some boys just take longer than others. (BTW The Warriors series is one that I would have never picked out for him. Yet he has read about 20 in that series. Go figure.) In fact, my daughter (7 1/2 y.o.) who loves to read and is very capable of reading is still reluctant to read most chapter books by herself. She devours the picture books, she can read very well to me, but she still prefers to stay with the picture books. She sometimes reads up to 10 a day. I'm not worried and I do not push her. She has plenty of chapter books available to her on subjects that she likes. She's just not ready to do it. But she will and a whole new world will be opened up to her.
  5. SWB suggests using Janice VAnCleave's books. They use materials you can find around the house (the only things that we didn't have around the house were aquarium tubing and distilled water--two inexpensive and easy things to purchase!). She has books like PHYSICAS FOR EVERY KID and MOLECULES. Your 9 y.o. should easily be able to do these experiments and the books explain why the experiments turn out they way they do. These books will be A LOT cheaper than any kits with a lot more variety.
  6. I personally would pass it on because that it is a long time to hold on to it and then you might not need it/want it when it is time to use it. I need very few things for homeschooling. We have a very good library and it is so handy to use their resources--they keep it organized, cataloged so it is accessible when I need it. Also, I am not storing it! Does your library have these resources/books? If they do then I definitely wouldn't keep those things. My mother recently gave me all of her teacher supplies. I was absolutely overwhelmed--what do I keep? Will I need this in the future? It was BOXES and BOXES of stuff. I didn't know what to do. We had the room to store it but I didn't want to store it and then deal with it in the future. But while planning my curriculum for this year I decided to listen to SWB's lectures. Her ideas and thoughts were so great that I ended up getting rid of 90% of my mother's things. There were some gems like what SWB suggested for grammar stage science and a couple of math things. The rest--not necessary! Good luck!
  7. In the winter we ski at least three times/week. In the spring and fall the kids take springboard diving lessons. In the fall, spring and summer my daughter rides horses and my son does all kinds of boy things. I do try to do a couple of recreation dept things per year as well if there is something the kids are interested. My philosophy about phys ed (and it's easy for me to say this b/c we don't have to do anything formally) is that it is just part of our lives. My kids aren't interested in organized sports so diving is more for the social involvement and the same goes for the rec dept activities (like archery, etc.). We want our kids to enjoy going outside and being physically active without too formal of a component. This way it is a natural part of their lives--for the long term. And I like to think that it is working. . .
  8. We have two tables (that have edges along the sides so legos don't fall off) and then four rolling bins that fit under them. In theory it is a place for my son to build and then put them away. He still needs to be reminded to pick some off of the floor. He sorts them however he wants. There are dividers in the bins (separates them into four compartments each). My son is definitely the type who has a pile for things he made need later, things that he likes to know where they are, things that he will use for this project, etc. Of course there are some rubbermaid tubs that hold overflow. He never wanted to keep "sets" together.
  9. Thanks for mentioning the Activities for the Al Abacus. I didn't know such a resource existed. My daughter uses an abacus for her math and she finds it very helpful. We have an old one that my uncle used when he was young (funny--it has yellow and blue beads too). She uses it in a very basic way--for addition and subtracting. I will order that book as a supplement to our math program. I wanted her to stop counting on her fingers. . .and flash cards were not helping her memorize her facts. Using the abacus has been so helpful to her learning her math facts.
  10. Thank you for sharing! Now I know why I check this forum every day--so I can find out about great resources like this.
  11. Horse books--we have gone through lots of those here: easy readers: The Keeker and Plum series (takes place in VT) books by Jessie Haas such as Runaway Radish, The Birthday Pony, Jigsaw Bryer horse Stablemates series--my daughter started with these. There is 8 or 10 now and she still pulls them out of the bookcase. Cowgirl Kate was mentioned--these were great too. a little more difficult: Pony Pals--it's series of about 30 or so books about three girls who have ponies Horse Diaries--they're historical fiction from the horse's point of view Summer Pony (read 1st) and Winter Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty (your library should have these as well. Enjoy!
  12. Hello! I am hoping some of you may have some suggestions. We started homeschooling this year--my children are 7 and 8 and we are following the WTM for our curriculum. So far, all is going well. My mother, who was a fourth grade teacher, has retired. She has given me all her teacher resources, most of which are teacher's guides and activity/worksheet books covering, language arts, science, history, math, etc. I am overwhelmed by the piles of books and they are currently sitting in my living room and on our bookshelves. I obviously don't want to keep all of them. My first instinct is that I will never use any of them except for a few of the science ones (which go over experiments, etc.) and a couple of the math ones that relate to some math manipulatives and cuisenaire rods (yay for Mom--she did give me a set of those!) Some examples are "Poetry Patterns" which details how to "motivate students to write original verse" and "Polar Regions Activity Book" which "explores the arctic and Antarctic regions through art and crafts". Will I ever use any of these???? How should I evaluate what would be useful and what would not be useful? How much of this which is intended for classroom use be relevant in a homeschool environment? I mean, I was able to eliminate quite a few books that emphasized promoting discussion in the classroom--who needs that around here? I do not need "busywork" or worksheets designed to evaluate reading comprehension. Does that eliminate essentially all the books? I am hoping that someone will come up with a couple of good guidelines that will mark a book as a keeper or designate it to the donate pile. Thank you in advance!
  13. We are using it as an open and go book. Very easy for me. We are reading a chapter a day. We used to do just a section a day but the kids always wanted me to finish the chapter. So we started doing one a day. The kids like it and since I am starting with the kids in 2nd and 3rd grade I am going through 1 and 2 this year to "catch up". We do the narration questions daily, a notebook page once/week and I go to the library to get some of the suggested reading so the kids can read on their own. This system has worked out very well. The kids are retaining the info and they love history (it's their favorite subject). I know that they are processing the info because often times the stories/history is played out: they will play "jumping the bulls" with friends and explain where it came from. Very interesting. We do not use all the other activities in the activity book. We do not do the map pages nor do we do the coloring pages (my son does not see that as fun or particularly helpful. We will look at the pictures together). We reinforce geography using our geography placemats and usually do this at lunch time. The flip side of the placemats have the outlines of the contries, and the rivers, and oceans so they often mark the events/travels/places with dry erase markers. Once in a while we will actually do a paper map just to keep for their portfolio. We are always comparing where the different events happen and the times that they happened. When we get to the more dense histories we will definitely slow down. We do history 4x's/week.
  14. We use geography placemats at our table. They are called "painless learning placemats" and have a colored map on the front and on the back there is just the outline of the countries with the capitals marked (but no city name). The back can be written on with dri-erase marker. We bought them at our local toy/learning store for $3.00 each and I would say they are priceless! (http://www.painlesslearning.com) You can get the whole world, individual continents, Canada, U.S., etc. They also clean up really easy after eating too. They certainly stimulate a lot of conversation at meal time. We do have a large world map but more often than not we just grab the appropriate placemat when we want to review some geography that goes with a book or lesson.
  15. My daughter had trouble with addition/subtraction. I couldn't get her to stop using her fingers to count on (she's 7 y.o.). She would just freeze up with flash cards or when she had to do mental math. The abacus was the answer. It helped her to start seeing how to put the numbers together. If you do use one make sure five beads are one color and five beads are another (ours are yellow and blue) and not the same color on each string. That way she see can see right away the number 14 vs. 16 with the beads. I liked it because I could see how she was thinking with it without being obtrusive or asking her. . .C-rods may do the same thing but boy was the abacus a lifesaver for me. I could see the real difference when we did math sprints after two weeks.
  16. Our schedule: Chores, eat breakfast, etc. before 10 a.m. school starts at 10a.m. math spelling language arts history science (nature walk/project/reading) All done before lunch is served. We do math first (two children, each working separately) because it is the subject that each like the least. Then we do the rest together. Our day goes very quickly and both children work efficiently (most of the time) because then they have free time the rest of the day until we have an afternoon event scheduled (an art class or trip to library). Everyone is very motivated if we plan to ski in the afternoon. Music is rotated in too. 10 a.m. start time was suggested by my son this winter because he preferred to have some "downtime" (which really means play time) before school started. I was reluctant at first because I thought he was trying to avoid school. But for an 8 y.o. he stated his case very well by explaining he would be better prepared to work if he could slowly work his way into his day. And he was right--what a difference! It also gives me a little prep time if necessary first and some time to myself in the morning too (both children are very happily playing with each other). I do not schedule in "reading" time because my children always read on their own several times a day when they take a break from playing. Books on tape are usually played in the car. Hope this helps.
  17. We have a whiteboard, the kind that creates it's own tabletop easel (whiteboard on both sides). I use it mostly to act as a separation between my two children when they prefer to work "privately". We do not use it much as a whiteboard. We tuck it by the side of the bookcase when it's not in use and it fits really well there. My children have learned to look at the calendar on the fridge in the morning to know the date. Also, it's easy to take down when we need to. It came with it's own magnet holder that it slides into and the calendar spans the two pages so it's really easy to see.
  18. All right, this post motivated me to look into the different types of programs for planning. My issues with my paper planner has been all the erasing that takes place and how it doesn't often reflect what we did (which makes it hard to plan the next week). Also I try to fit it all on one page so my space to write gets quite small. I have two children, ages 7 & 8 that do their work together in all subjects except math where my 7 year old is a bit behind my 8 year old. I looked at Scholaric and did a free trial yesterday. I do not need to keep track of hours or do scores (grading) so those areas were not helpful. I did not like how it printed out my lessons. I didn't think that using it would be any easier than using my paper printouts. So I tried the other suggestion on a free trial: Planbook. I really liked Planbook. I put in this week's lessons and I found it very easy to use. I could add things on the fly or change things without all the erasing. I could even add attachments to lessons or websites to it. For example, we do nature walks and the next day we read about what we saw. Yesterday we saw shrew tracks in the snow and picked up three samples from trees. I was able to add that to my lesson plan so easily and then in the evening add the pages that we were going to read next. Today we read two extra chapters for Language Arts and I had the wrong copywork associated with that lesson (somehow I got ahead of myself). I was able to make changes in my lesson plans easily and rearrange the following days' work. At the end of the week I will print out our week's lessons and put them in my plan book. This can replace the original week's lessons. It just makes it neater! I am not sure how well this would work if you have a lot of kids to do this with. . .maybe one plan book for each? So, I am considering using Planbook. I'll see how I like it for the rest of the free trial. My criteria for changing from paper book to Planbook would be if my lessons are more detailed and easier to do. I will be asking myself: Is this taking me more time to do? Are we functioning better with this new tool? Or am I just creating extra work for myself just to have things look pretty?
  19. I didn't have one for 1B when we started this fall and I kept wondering whether there was more than the text book was showing. Now that I ordered on for 2A which we are starting now, I wish I had the guide originally for 1B. It is very helpful!
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