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Everything posted by sweetpea3829

  1. Last piece to nail down...lol. This is primarily for my 8th grade son. Here's what we've done so far... We started waaaay back with Apologia elementary books. Hated it. So much. We did three or four of them before I chucked it. Then I wrote my own curriculum for a few years. Oceanography, Earth Science (and Geology), beginning chemistry, etc. We did a year of Science Fusion which included astronomy, meteorology, and the like. We had a year of open exploration in life sciences, where I had them choose topics that interested them, research, and report back what they learned (often with lapbook elements). This year we did Pandia Press's Science Odyssey Physics for Elementary. It was below my son's level, but I was targeting all four kiddos and needed a happy medium. They all really disliked the program but honestly? It wasn't the program, it was my teaching. Physics is one of my weakest areas. I'm kind of lost for this year. For high school, I'm planning on: 9th: Biology 10th: Chemistry (hopefully DE at the local CC) 11th: Physics (DE at the local CC) 12th: Elective/AP/??? Thoughts or suggestions for 8th grade though? This is a solid student overall. Math is very strong. He will need something that is pretty independent, but it doesn't have to be completely independent. We are Christians but after our experience with Apologia, I have tended to stay away from science courses that attempt to infuse apologetics into the curriculum. I don't mind a faith-based science curriculum, if the arguments that support Creation are solid and well done. Please share! Thanks so much!
  2. Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone! And Lori, mucho thanks to you for your extra effort. ❤️
  3. Just swinging by to say hi!!! So glad to see y'all are still here going strong, lol! I haven't been on WTM in over a year, I think it's been, but needed some curriculum recommendations and what better place to ask? I mean seriously?! My oldest boy begins prepping for high school this year. I can't even believe it. Anyways, hope you all are well! I'd promise to come around more often but...life has me hopping! Much love to you all!!! ❤️❤️ Edited because...WHAT?! Drive by post AND it's a BOO-YAH!!!!!! It's a drive-by BOO-YAH! ❤️
  4. Perhaps you saw my post asking for curriculum recommendations for 8th grade Ancients... My 5th graders (DS 11, and DS 10) finished the Story of the World four year elementary rotation this past year. This coming year, they will be studying World Explorers. I would love to hear any and all suggestions on how you would go about teaching such a course. Do you know of any curricula choices that specifically survey this topic? Can you suggest anything fun, or out of the box? Literature series such as Time Warp Trios, or some such? Video series that I can perhaps rent from the library? Project suggestions? (self-directed is best, but I can help) Lapbooks? I mean...whatever you can think of, throw it at me! I'd love to hear! Thanks so much!
  5. I'm gathering some info, suggestions, and advice for teaching Ancients to my 8th grade students (13 yr old DD and 12 yr old DS). We have completed all of the Story of the World volumes throughout elementary. We had a year of history research...I provided a list of historical topics, they chose one topic per month, researched and presented their findings. Last year, we did a survey of US Geography. My plan is this... 8th: Ancients 9th: Middle Ages 10th: US History I (through Civil War) and Civics 11th: Early Modern 12th: Modern/Current and US History II I wanted them to have Civics in 10th grade, in the event any of them wind up graduating early, or taking DE classes at our local community college. Thoughts on that sequence? Suggestions for a good Ancients curriculum? Bonus if it's part of a series that I can continue into Middle Ages. Any and all suggestions are much appreciated. ❤️
  6. Lori, thanks so much for your always helpful advice. I THINK I'm going to go with the a la carte routine. Again, lol. At least for 7th grade. And, I would love your further advice and help with this. Pretty much, this is how I've run language arts for the past few grades anyways, except for last year. We used LLATL for a couple of years early on but...I hated it. LOATHED it. I hated how dated it was (though the newest version should have taken care of that) and I hated how it only used small selections of novels. After the yellow level, I shelved it permanently and started doing my own thing, which involved four novels a year, plus a short unit on a given Christmas novel. BUT...I burned out from all of the legwork involved in tracking down excellent lit guides, drafting up strong discussion questions, etc. And, on top of that, I am not confident enough in my ability to cover all of the bases of literary analysis at the middle school level. I needed something a bit more laid out. So...last year, I took a break and purchased Mosdos Pearl. It was ok. It got the job done and we'll chalk up last year as a breather year that mostly covered short stories. In addition to Mosdos, I had them choose two chapter books a month from a list I devised (or they could bring me a book to approve). I asked for general book report responses. If the ultimate goal for 5th/6th grade is to get them reading, and to begin thinking more deeply about what they were reading...we accomplished that. But. Time to go deeper. Now..one of the problems I keep running into with some of these grade level specific lit programs, is that often, my kids have already read one or more of the given titles. For example, Moving Beyond the Page's 9-11 and 10-12 years. My son has read some of these on his own, and we've done one or two of the others already at a younger grade. You had mentioned the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He read the series on his own when he was 9. We did Hobbit together (with my daughter as well) that year. I'm positive he could get a lot out of a study guide if we went through the series again, but...he's balking at the idea of rereading something he's already read. This is a kid who started Harry Potter at 6 and finished it by the time he was 7, lol. I almost wish I had set aside a list of novels that I wanted him to wait on. And...that's why Essentials in Literature 7 isn't going to work. He's read Roll of Thunder "Like, a lot of times Mom. It's a really good book but...please don't make me read it again". So...as of right now, I have a short list of titles for his 7th grade year. I chose books from the MBtP 9-12 grade levels. I tried to find titles that were within his STAR Testing's recommended Lexile level 720-1100, and that he has not already read. We would spend 4-6 weeks on each novel (30 week school year, which means I could potentially add in a 6th or even 7th title). They are: Number the Stars (L670). An easier novel, albeit heavy content, to start the year. The Wanderer (L830) Bull Run (L810). I know nothing about this title, and want to look a little further into it before fully committing. The Pearl (L1000). A Single Shard (L920). Obviously, there is not any general theme that links these selections. I have a half dozen Chrome tabs open to various Lit guide publishers and am trying to make decisions on which lit guides to go with. Because the composition and grammar pieces will be covered this year by EiW, I'm MOSTLY interested in solid discussion, a focus on literary elements, and some vocabulary development. For the sake of consistency, I'd LOVE to keep all of the selections with the same Lit guide publisher, but it's really not necessary. Just helps with longer term planning. Thoughts and suggestions? For his 8th grade year, as of right now, I'm leaning towards Windows to the World, and then we'll jump into Excellence in Literature for 9th grade. Thanks again for your help, Lori. ❤️
  7. Super long back story that's not appropriate for this forum but... This past May, I took the Ancestry DNA test to find out who my biological father is and....lo and behold...I connected with a biological Great Uncle. He is a retired Naval MasterChief, and served 32 years right out of high school. Actually, he did not finish high school and ended up getting his GED after he enlisted. During his naval service, he had many roles, but at one point, he was a recruiter. He says that the Navy typically offers the best in terms of long term career options and post-service civilian careers. It can be a rewarding career, if you play your cards right and if you put the effort in. Currently, we are grooming our boys for potential military careers. In particular, my 11 yr old will be a competitive Naval Academy applicant, when that time comes. He's only a rising 7th grader now but...my Uncle is already setting up a meeting with our area Blue and Gold Officer so we can make sure everything is on track. Also..if JROTC isn't an option in your area (it's not in ours), look and see if there is a Civil Air Patrol group. It's an auxiliary of the Air Force and will have the same purpose as a JROTC group. I did find it interesting to learn that they (the service) DO push a lot of these long-serving members out. My uncle wanted to stay on longer but, having been a MasterChief for over a decade, the Navy decided it was time for him to move on and make space for others to promote. That was 14 years ago and he still works for the Navy as a subcontractor SME (Subject Matter Expert). He travels all over the world and financially, he does quite well for himself, having come from very little.
  8. My eldest son is a rising 7th grader and I've been spending tons of time researching language arts/composition/literature programs for his coming school year. I had him pegged to continue Essentials in Writing for grammar and composition, Word Roots, Editor-in-Chief, and possibly Moving Beyond the Page lit guides for the literature piece. That literature piece is where I'm hung up. And for that matter, I'm not in love with the composition/grammar piece. I can be swayed away, lol. Anyways, so today I came across Excellence in Literature. Looks like a great option for NEXT year...his 8th grade year. Maybe even push it out to 9th grade. But...it looks hard. He is a solid reader and writer, for that matter. Very bright. But...he definitely enjoys his 58 Story Treehouse, or whatever that stupid series is. He's probably going to balk a little at many of these classical lit titles. I know I did, when I hit high school it. I'm not feeling like he's quite prepared well enough for Excellence in Lit. Can anybody suggest a solid literature/composition program that we could use for 7th grade? And maybe even 8th grade? Something that will prepare him well for EiL in 8th or 9th, depending on how he does.
  9. Any thoughts on this literature program, Excellence in Literature? The good, the bad, the ??? I just stumbled across it while researching options for my rising 7th grader. He is not ready for this just yet...but I'm thinking 2019/2020.
  10. Meagan, I started off here with a MiFi Hotspot from Verizon and HATED it. That was 7 years ago. It would constantly drop, it only had a 5GB monthly data limit, and it was slower than the satellite. Streaming was definitely not an option. Our cell phone signal here can be spotty (it's inconsistent...one day its perfectly fine...the next its not). Who are you using for cellular internet?
  11. What would you suggest for a solid French program that does not break the bank?
  12. I'm kicking around foreign language for my soon to be 7th grade boy. Likely going to go with French, as it's what I learned for a 2nd language and I speak it best. SO MANY OPTIONS! Here's the thing. We do not have cap-free internet. We have satellite internet. So our monthly data usage is capped at 15GB. After that, the speeds slow way the heck down. But...I can use our mobile data on my cell phone. Still...a lot of the online programs are a bust for us. Which is a concern for Duolingo. If I did decide to use Duolingo, is it enough? Would you recommend anything else to supplement? A workbook, for example? What are your other favorites for foreign language, especially French?
  13. My oldest two have a gap year this year for history. So we're filling that gap with US States and Geography, as well as fulfilling our required NY State History piece. Any suggestions on good curricula?
  14. Favorite lit guides? Primarily middle school but...anything's fine. Must must must have strong discussion questions. Not just regurgitate back, but actual discussion questions. Must focus on literary analysis. I don't care what they have for composition, vocabulary, etc. It's the discussions I'm looking for (without having to do a ton of legwork as I have done in years past.
  15. My ITT friends!!!! Just swinging by to say hi. I'm beginning the process of researching 18/19 curriculum, ugh!!!! I was going through my old posts looking for a thread and saw that I had told you guys about my Ancestry test but never updated you all. So...a quick update for anybody who might be interested. I FOUND MY FATHER! Well....I found his family. He passed away in 1992. He was not a good man. Hell's Angel, maybe part of the mafia, etc. Depends on who you talk to. But...he was one of 10 siblings, and my FB friends list grew exponentially in a single day when I discovered them and we connected. I have many many new aunts and uncles and cousins, lol. Come to find out, my father was Italian. His mother (still living) is Sicilian, and his father was from elsewhere in Italy. So I am half Azorean Portuguese and half Italian. Don't ask me how it makes sense that I could be those ethnicities and wind up a light-skinned redhead with freckles. Who knows these things?! But anyways...I have a half brother and a half sister, too. So that's been awesome. I mentioned my Great Uncle (my mother's uncle...my maternal grandmother's youngest brother). He and I have grown an amazing bond these past few months. He has stepped into the places in my heart where my father should have been. He came to see us last week for the first time and it was amazing. I can't even really put it into words. At the end of August, I'll be flying down to FL to spend some time with him at his place and I am SO excited! The pics I'm sharing are from his trip. The little box he's holding is a gift I had made for him. Inside is a lathe-turned pen with his Navy rank and insignia engraved. So! That's what's new with me! I know I don't get to come and visit very often, but I do think of you guys! I'll be hanging around for the next couple of weeks while I make final decisions on curriculum, lol.
  16. A fair point, Farrar. I had assumed that the discussion aspect of MBTP was a bit more in depth. I'm looking for more guidance/hand-holding in Language Arts, I guess. More of a directed course to follow. Do this, this and this...and you'll have covered the necessary parts of literacy, grammar, composition, etc. LOL! But with good solid books and good solid higher order thinking questions. I like most of their reading selections. I mean...I suppose we could do Hobbit again, lol.
  17. Revisiting this topic, as I sit here with a number of Rainbow Resources tabs open, trying to make decisions, lol. Essentials in Writing Grade 6 for composition and grammar (with Editor in Chief for grammar review and Word Roots for vocabulary development) plus MBTP primarily for literature and discussion. Or...bite the bullet and just go with Moving Beyond the Page. So...next question... We've already read a handful of the books from some of the levels we would be using. And in some cases, we've completed a lit guide. For example, we did Hobbit in 2016/2017 using a lit guide from Discovering Literature. I loved their lit guide, but they have very few book choices. If I did not use all of the lit guides for a given grade level, choosing to skip a couple of lit guides for books we've done already, would we miss important content? Or would that content be covered elsewhere?
  18. I'm wondering if we could keep the composition from MBTP and continue with the composition we're using from EIW? Or would that be overkill? I was thinking of ditching EIW this year in favor of something different for composition, tbh, because they no longer offer pdf files and they have gotten quite expensive. At least with the pdf, I could justify the expense because I could use it with all four kids.
  19. I'm thinking of giving MBTP a whirl this upcoming school year. Primarily for the literature guides/discussions. We use other sources for composition, grammar, etc. In looking at the available samples, they don't really show much in the way of their discussion sections, or literary analysis sections. Can anybody comment on the quality of those specific sections? We would be using some of the titles from the 8-10 level, 9-11 level, and the 11-13 level.
  20. I'm going to do just that, lol. I have a strong lead on my bio father. But I'm hoping it's not this particular guy. I need more evidence.
  21. *Looking around* It's too "new" and shiny! I'll get used to it eventually. Ladies (and gent...wasn't there a gent?)... A little over a week ago, I got my Ancestry DNA results back. Immediately connected with a Great Uncle match from my mother's side. He is my grandmother's brother. And he truly is Great. Love him to bits. I took the test to see if I could find my unknown biological father. And by unknown, he doesn't know he has a 38 yr old daughter and four grandchildren. I had a few cousin matches that I felt must be from his side, as they are Italian (surprise! I thought I was Irish...maybe even a Kennedy...too bad, I'm only 3% Irish). Last night, one of them responded to my message request and I'm so close to figuring out this mystery that has been a huge part of my life! So needless to say, I'm so excited! In the meantime, my VERY Portuguese husband, who is Azorean for several generations back and immigrated here as a 3 yr old...he got his results back yesterday too. Sonofagun is 18% Irish/Scottish/Wales plus another 6% British! He's not even a redhead but he's more Irish than me? (I'm a redhead). WHAT?! I had a grand old time giving him a hard time yesterday. He's not even 50% "Portuguese". He's way more of a mix than I am. Those tests are so interesting! I totally recommend them!
  22. Are we back?! Do I get to be the first to reply on the new WTM?! For the record...I stepped away to deal with a bloody nose the other night, came back five minutes later and BLAM! No more ITT!
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