Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by lizbusby

  1. This sounds like a really workable idea. The one thing that concerns me about it is finding the time to find all the books. How much time do you put into planning something like this? As an introvert, I'm finding schooling my kids very draining, especially since I was looking forward to restarting my writing career this year with the preschooler in school. 😔 (Props to those of you who do this full time--it is a job, no doubt.) I really want to minimize planning time so I can carve out some time for me. So I'm very hesitant to embark on something so free-form. But on the other hand, I already spend time going to the library and buying books, so maybe it wouldn't be much more than that. What's your experience?
  2. Literature based? For science? I was planning on using some Brave Writer curriculum for literature and writing stuff, but I hadn't heard of doing that for science. So more about specific dynamics: DS11 is the brightest, taught himself to read at age 2, amazing memory. He could easily work levels above where he is in the gifted program. He's currently finishing 5th grade, but they do a sixth grade level curriculum. However, he is level 1 autistic, so the social stuff is difficult for him, which is why we've kept him where he is. (A lot of other kids in the program are similar so he has a group.) He also struggles with output as he has dysgraphia. He does better with typed work, but still, he seeks to keep every answer as short as possible and does all math in his head. Generally, he is unmotivated to learn unless it has to do with video games or board games which he will research for hours. He claims that science is his favorite subject, so I was hoping to pick a challenging curriculum that might require more stretching for him. As he'll probably be returning to public school when this mess is over, I'm also concerned with aligning with what he would be getting in his middle school science course if he were in school. It seems to still be mixed random sciences, but says it has lab work, which I'm concerned we might not get from a younger curriculum that's mostly demos. Maybe I should write and ask for a syllabus. DS9 is in 4th grade gifted, so working at 5th grade level. He also entered kindergarten early and so is really young for his grade. I feel like that curriculum level is really challenging for him and wouldn't go any higher than 6th grade for next year. He's also much more even across the board in terms of giftedness and much more self-motivated than his older brother. DS7 is in 1st grade, not gifted as our program doesn't start until 2nd. He didn't manage to make the cut off for the full gifted program in reading but did qualify for advanced math. I'm not sure what to think about those testing results. He has some of the pokey-ness of DD11 and a mischievous streak a mile wide right now, so maybe he just blew the test off. He's capable of listening to novels and more advanced reading, but mostly reads comics on his own, though he does have a love for non-fiction. He is just finishing off the 2nd grade math section of Dreambox, and will probably fly through 3rd grade math next year and into 4th. You're right about not worrying about DD4. Good point. I lean towards secular materials as I minored in chemistry. 😄 I'm fine with scripture references, but I definitely want evolution and the big bang to be in my curriculum. My other major requirement is I prefer something that's pretty simple to open and go. I understand science well, so I don't feel like that will be difficult. But I don't have time for fussy crafts (and DS11 and DS7 hate crafts anyway) or lots of gathering of resources or merging curriculums to cobble things together. (I understand I'll need to pull resources together to do labs, but I'd love to buy kits if possible.) I'm looking for plug-and-play for grades 3-7, I guess. Maybe I ask for too much. 😄
  3. Hello everyone. Long time lurker, homeschool-curious mom here. I have dabbled in curriculum since my oldest taught himself to read when he was two. Now I have 4 kids who are various levels of gifted (11DS, 9DS, 7DS, 4DD). My youngest had just been starting preschool this year and giving me some free time when corona virus happened. I was so glad I had my curriculum stash to fall back on while the schools figured things out. (I actually updated my theoretical curriculum and schedule "just in case" the schools shut down about two weeks before they did.) We live in one of the hardest hit areas in Seattle, and there are rumors that schools will not be opening in the fall. Planning makes me feel secure, so I'm planning for next year as if we are homeschooling in case I decide not to put up with whatever the school district puts together. My three month pandemic homeschooling experience has shown me exactly how much energy I have to go around (read: not a ton), so I'm looking to combine many of the "content" subjects into a family school type format that we can all do together and scale up or down to difficulty levels. Does anyone have hints on a science curriculum that could at least interest a 6th grader who's been in a public gifted program (so, learning at maybe 7th grade level) but also involve a preschooler or at least the 7yo? Or am I reaching too much? Would you put the 6th grader into an online class and focus on the other three together? I'd also love any other hints on curriculum you've been able to use for multiple ages for gifted kids. I've been looking at the Arrow/Boomerang lit units from Brave Writer as all the kids are able to sit and listen to read aloud novels. And Story of the World seems like a good fit for history? Thoughts? Good luck to everyone in these crazy times.
  4. Oh man, the Linguistic Olympiad sample problems look fun: http://www.ioling.org/problems/samples/
  5. And for most subjects you could just take the AP test after taking the IB class, with a bit of practice on the test format. But IB Math HL is really different from AP Calc. You would need to take the specific class for each one, I think.
  6. Studying multiple areas of math is typical in the US until Algebra, though actually I believe the new common core stuff combines algebra and geometry. So I guess the real separation starts in high school with calculus and stats. In university, math is much more one topic per class. Those the areas I mentioned would be three separate classes. I guess that I felt lost when I was thrown into stats in college with very little experience. I wished I had done more of it before. Linear Algebra and Multi-variate calculus really followed on from what I learned in AP Calculus BC (which for our school was the first year for those taking IB Math HL).
  7. I have a 9yo DS in the public gifted program who was recently diagnosed with dysgraphia among other things. It's mostly a lack of fine motor control from going on writing/drawing strike for 3 years when little. I am hoping to homeschool some handwriting practice over the summer break. Does anyone have experience/suggestions with what to do when teaching handwriting/letter formation to an older, bright kid? Is Handwriting without Tears the way to go?
  8. From my personal experience taking IB Math HL, I found it to be a mish-mash of topics: an equal mix of Statistics, Linear Algebra & Matrices, and Multivariate Calc, along with other things. I ended up getting a 6 with a moderately competent but not brilliant teacher. I personally think I would have benefited more from taking AP Stats. But really, any higher math/physics class is utterly dependent on a competent teacher. I left AP Physics after two weeks because the teacher barely understood the material, much less was able to teach it. Without one, I would take the class elsewhere or just get out. It's not worth the time. Maybe there are good resources on Khan Academy to do AP Stats from home?
  9. I am familiar with the Mindset and grit ideologies. We definitely talk a lot about it at home. Good idea. He can reapply to test every year, which we probably will.
  10. Most good, relatively urban districts should easily be able to deal with a kid who finishes Geometry in 8th grade. My personal experience was this sequence (I was all public schooled): 7 - Algebra I 8 - Geometry 9 - Algebra II 10 - Pre-Calc 11 - AP Calc BC 12 - IB Maths HL Currently, I believe many schools are integrating the algebra/geometry split, so you may see some sort of generic math course instead. In that case, it might be important to check on exactly what is taught in each grade. They may have distributed geometry and algebra II over those two years, so if you only covered one or the other, that could be a place to catch up. Our currently local school district has the following math progression for gifted students: http://www.bsd405.org/programs/gifted/gifted-math-placement/ It's also possible to accelerate a year or two and fill in with college level math. But we do have a district that really values gifted programs. The rest of their gifted curriculum sequence may also give you ideas of what to look for: http://www.bsd405.org/programs/gifted/gifted-curriculum/ Unless community college classes are specifically designed for high achieving kids, they will be really boring. I took a bunch with summer after my senior year so that I could complete an associate's degree and get a scholarship. They were way below the level of my AP classes. Seek out real colleges for dual enrollment if possible.
  11. So we just found out that my second child didn't get into the local gifted program; his brother got into it last year. They are two years apart in age, but only one grade in school. Anyone have ideas on how to explain this to him? I know that cut-offs are arbitrary, but he was totally looking forward to the program (mostly riding the bus with his brother to the magnet school). I'm worried that it's totally going to crush his self image. We had a similar problem when my older one got into a Montessori preschool, but there wasn't enough room for both of them. The younger one actually asked me at age three if the reason he couldn't go to older one's school was because he couldn't do math yet. Older one is more your typical image of a gifted kid: self taught to read at age 2, does math on his own for fun. Second child is smart as well, but didn't pick up on reading well until 6 years old. He's much more socially aware than older son (who is a typical absent minded professor).
  12. Regarding cursive, his Kindergarten actually switched to cursive first halfway through the year, which was more confusing for him. And now we're back in a district with print first. (Maybe I should find out if they even still teach cursive in this district!) The whole cursive/print switching thing was another thing that threw him for a loop. Thanks all for the curriculum ideas! He definitely buys into that he needs to make his letters neater, and his fluency/output is fine for grade level (4-5 sentence assignments are not painful or difficult). It's genuinely just letter formation I'm worried about at this point.
  13. Yes, that's the curriculum I tried when he was 2. Maybe the upper levels will work better now that he's had some school experience.
  14. My 7yo is just finishing first grade at the local public school. He's working ahead for his age in almost every area, and I had considered a grade skip for him except for one issue: handwriting. He got interested in writing at age 2, just after learning to read, and I freaked out and tried to give him formal handwriting instruction. This resulted in a complete coloring and writing strike from ages 3 to 5. He wouldn't touch crayons at all. His kindergarten teacher slowly brought him back in K, and his fluency has improved dramatically this year so he's finally at or above grade level. But a lot of his letter formations are really wonky. It's there a curriculum, program, method anyone can recommend to try to remedy this over the summer? I also have a Kindergartener who could use the practice as well. It seems like the local public school doesn't do much in terms of correct formation, just encouraging fluency instead. Thanks in advance.
  15. Obviously this is on my mind since I just read it, but try having him read Deconstructing Penguins. It's a book by two people who ran parent/child book clubs for 2nd-6th graders. It's a good introduction to thinking about the deeper meaning of literature and why the author might choose to make certain choices. Maybe you could try following the techniques over the summer. Briefly looking at the online course, I saw listed The Giver and Freak the Mighty. The Giver has material that I would imagine to be pretty tough for your kid (euthanasia of the old and infants), although it also might be a good choice for his sensitivity because of the overall theme of the book. Would you give up all freedom of choice if it meant complete freedom from pain and suffering? Should we stop all the good things in the world because they also bring the bad? Thinking about the answers to these questions might give him a frame of reference to process other sad things in literature. Frankly, it took me a long time to process the death in book 6, and I was in college at the time. I think I actually wore black for a while. Maybe he was just a bit young.
  16. I second getting a moveable alphabet. This one is great and was a huge hit with my son at the same age: http://www.amazon.com/Montessori-Small-Movable-Alphabets-Box/dp/B003BGYB8C Play together at making (somewhat silly) words. Spell names of favorite people. Give them flashcards with their favorite words on them so that they can build them by themselves during quiet time. Just to clarify--I'm not advocating drilling with flashcards. Just treat them like "word toys," similar to alphabet magnets, but for words. My oldest DS had a large collection of his favorite words. He could arrange them to make his own sentences or use his moveable alphabet to recreate them. Montessori style teaching is really appropriate for this age and can allow them to develop reading skills without drilling and direct phonics instruction, which really don't work except with the most focused of 2yos. See this blog for lots of great Montessori language activity ideas: http://livingmontessorinow.com/category/activities-language/ I also highly recommend writing letters on your sidewalk with chalk and jumping around on them to spell things. This is still one of my 6yo's favorite activities.
  17. I completely agree that this can be a real issue. I'm a Mormon, not a mainstream Christian, but there's definitely an issue of dodging the anti-intellectualism that a lot of church goers have. (Although in my perception, it's less in Mormonism than in most Christian denominations, as one of our apostles was a pioneer in open-heart surgery and another was a physicist. There are still some anti-science people, but the vast majority can deal with both science and religion being truth. So you could always send your kids to the Mormon youth programs. :D) I would suggest that the best way to deal with this is to live somewhere close to a university of the denomination of your choice (or attend a congregation near a university). Most of the academia of a religion tend to be a little more reasonable about science and intellect than the mainstream masses, and thus one would assume their kids would be more open to these things. Barring that, try living in a high tech area, where the IQ of the population is higher overall, which would increase the chances of finding other gifted kids in your congregation. I think this is not an unreasonable worry. I always wanted to talk deeper theology and got super bored of the superficial comprehension questions my Sunday School teachers would ask. Even the early morning seminary classes all Mormons attend during high school weren't deep enough for me. During high school, I sought out all kinds of online anti-Mormon message boards just so I could have someone to combat against. Deeper intellectual teaching at home may be a good way to combat this. Demand more from your kids (and yourself). Family book club sounds like a great plan. Another option when they hit older teens is to just pull them into the adult program. I was so bored of the youth program for the last two years. I was so happy to join the adults halfway through my senior year.
  18. Nope. This was one of the things we talked about at Parent Teacher Conferences. He is just super resistant to being told what to do, which works mostly since he's at a Montessori school, where he can usually decide what to do without instruction, but in this case (and probably in the future since we're hoping to move him to a public school Kindergarten next year) is a problem.
  19. We have a bunch of those little golf pencils from HWT, but removing the rest of the writing implements in the house sounds like a great sneaky idea. :D And we have some training chopsticks I'll have to pull out.
  20. I wouldn't mind one of those non-standard but effective grips. The problem is that he holds the pencil underneath his hand, which makes it nearly impossible to write unless the pencil is completely sharp and his lines are super light. It really is a problem, not just a "incorrect" thing.
  21. So I have a very bright but very stubborn 4yo who will not accept any correction on how he holds his pencil. Absolutely refuses. This wouldn't be a big deal if he was just coloring and such, but he is practicing cursive at his Montessori preschool. Any advice for helping kids accept correction on this? He won't even let me put on one of those triangle grip holders and pretty much bites my head off if I try to teach him the "pinch and flip" trick from HWT . . . I'm also afraid of being too insistent, as I did with my oldest at age three, who then refused to even color for 3 years. When did your kids start holding their pencil correctly?
  22. I tried HwoT with my youngest at that age, and between his perfectionism and my handwriting anxiety, he suddenly refused to write or draw for three years afterward. My suggestion is to practice writing silly sentences or words, especially from books or TV shows they like. I finally got mine back into writing by writing sentences from his Pokemon encyclopedia and quotes from favorite video games. Occasionally, I give him formal instruction on how to form one letter or another by drawing it on the board with little direction arrows, underneath the sentence we are writing. Seems to be working well. Especially for a kid that young, make sure you back off the pressure.
  23. I highly recommend your child listen to the Writing Excuses podcast, particularly their podcasts on writing as a career: http://www.writingexcuses.com/tag/writing-career/ on agents: http://www.writingexcuses.com/tag/agents/ on publishing: http://www.writingexcuses.com/index.php?s=publish This podcast is fantastic because it talks a lot about how to be a professional writer, not just how to write (although their advice in that area is fantastic as well). The authors on the podcast are all in SciFi/Fantasy/Horror, but their tips apply broadly and they have guests from other genres. The best way to find a publisher or agent is to find books similar to the book you are trying to publish, books that you enjoy, then look inside the front cover and on the internet and see if you can figure out who the agent was for the author and who edited and published the book. If they publish books similar to yours, they are probably looking for more. Remember that your book is a product and you need to find who is selling your kind of fruit. The classic resource for finding editors, agents, and publishers is Writer's Market, available in book form or online: http://www.writersmarket.com/
  24. Rather than the SAT, I would suggest AP tests as a method for proving language. I did AP/IB Spanish in high school, was totally crappy at it, but was convinced by my father to take the AP test anyway. I got a 4 and received 16 hours of college language credit at my university, so I never had to take it again (which was fantastic for me who hated languages). This was also a fantastic money investment--$100 test for hundreds of dollars worth of credit. Your mileage may vary--different colleges offer different credit structures, and if your child majors in a liberal arts area, more language classes may be required. But the AP language tests are absolutely used to verify language ability.
  25. I highly recommend a Montessori moveable alphabet and a set of blank index cards. I used to write whatever words my 2yo wanted onto flash cards and then he would replicate them with the moveable alphabet. It's a less technology heavy solution and lets it be more of a play experience. Also second Starfall.com. My 2yo would play on it whenever I had to feed baby #2. Also the PBS program Word World, which focuses on blending, letter families, etc. while being way more entertaining than Leap Frog.
  • Create New...