Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Coco_Clark

  1. Thanks everyone, I will check out those pinned threads. Some of my kids are headed to running start and dual CC enrollment, some aren't. Of my oldest two, both currently 13, I have one of each. So my college bound boy just needs two years of science with me, and my girl needs whatever we decide she needs (not college bound, multiple learning disorders). DS wants to be a computer science major which is technically science but mostly math. So I'm not super concerned about it being extremely beefy, but it does need to be legit. He takes coding online already and will start math online once he hits Algebra 2 and above (I've been pretty confident in Algebra and Geometry). I wish I could afford online science as well but with 6 kids homeschooling I have to pick and choose. I can put a sizable amount of side by side learning in, and I'm used to having to grade. Especially as I combine my oldest several kids in science. But a lot of parent-prep beforehand gets hard.
  2. Science had always been my weak point as a teacher. We've done a bit of everything-curricula (Real Science Odyssey, Apologia, Science in the Beginning...), kits (Magic School Bus, Thames and Cosmos...), clubs (Nature club, Astronomy club...). Mostly the last few years we've fallen into Ambleside-style living science books with a summer lab and science fair entry tacked on. I do feel that in the end my kids have received a fairly well-rounded elementary level introduction to science, but I'm wanting more of a standard textbook/lab situation for high school. Especially for my college bound oldest son. It needs to be do-able without a ton of teacher prep. I do try to avoid online classes as much as possible, because the $$ adds up fast when I've already got one taking online coding l, one online french, and another online math. The subject can be anything- we are open to Biology, Earth Science, Physics, or Chemistry. What have you enjoyed for high school science? Or, even if you didn't love it, what actually got done and produced knowledge?
  3. I finished reading instruction with kid #6 this last summer. He was 8, my latest and hardest to teach reading to. Instantly gave away 100ez lessons and all the stupid Bon books. Then got pregnant in October 🤣 At least I have a good long break.
  4. Has anyone used Adventures with a Microscope? Its in the Ambleside curriculum but I'm just not sure how usable it actually is. Did it work for you? Where the materials hard to find?
  5. I've taken several kids through Miquon in grades K-2, and then moved into other programs seamlessly. Two of those kids went from Miquon to Beast 3, an advanced program by anyone's measure. I taught money and time via life, I've never found either to translate well to worksheet anyways (am I the only one that struggles to identify coins on a printed page?). We didn't worry about word problems in those early years and it didn't seem to affect anyone. Workbooks on those subjects can be found easily, though, if that's how you flight. Kumon has both. My state doesn't test until 3rd grade, and testing is zero consequence, even then. So I don't let it affect my decision making.
  6. I feel like some books could be skipped if needed but I wouldn't work out of order. They build on each other and reference back to previous lessons. For full clarity my oldest has only gone up to book 8 though.
  7. It was a middle grades transition for me. 1-4 was/is very, side by side with mom, we work for x minutes per subject and get as far as we get. I have 2 kids in this stage. 5-8 is a slow transition to subjects becoming more independant (many still taught by mom, but others outsourced and all work done independently). I have a 5th grader that works with me one-on-one for an hour, then finishes up his work by himself from a checklist, with a daily check in at the end of the day. Then a 7th grader that sits with me one-on-one on Mondays with her weeks work written out, to delegate it to certain days together. She then follows that plan with a daily check in. And finally another 7th grader that receives his weekly work list, tells me his plan on Monday, and then gets checked on Friday. Sometimes his Fridays are *rough* because he did not follow his plan. But not too bad. I don't have a 9th grader yet but the goal is to be able to receive a weeks worth of assignments, a mix of both homeschooling and outsourced, and complete it in an organized manner without my help or constant check ins. We will see if that happens 🤣
  8. I go from Treasured Conversations into Writing and Rhetoric. But I only do one W&R book a year, and spend the rest of the time on written narrations in other subjects and "fun" writing.
  9. Math Mammoth is my go-to for remediation (which as a foster parent, Ive been through several times). Even when going with another program, I like their placement tests best. They have grade specific books, as well as topic specific books and it's an easy program to run mastery style or as a spiral. There are a LOT of problems. Many people say too many problems, but I generally make kids do them all, even if it's every other on day 1 and then the leftovers a week or two later to review.
  10. My 6th, most school-resistant child, and the one I'm most laid back on 😉 Math- Keeping trucking with Beast Academy. Should be in 3b, c, and d. Language Arts- Treasured Conversations, followed by Writing and Rhetoric Fables as well as Sequential Spelling and copywork. Daily oral narrations. History- SOTW 3. Science- Astronomy and weather, curriculum undecided. His older siblings are using Signs and Seasons but I don't know how much will be scalable to his level. Typing and Piano. Plus lots of quality books read both independently and out loud, and a morning "riches" of bible, saints, memory work, poetry, art appreciation, and nature study.
  11. Math- Math Mammoth grade 4. Language Arts- Treasured Conversations, followed by Writing and Rhetoric Fables as well as Sequential Spelling and copywork. Maybe transitioning from oral to written narrations halfway through the year. History- SOTW 3. Science- Astronomy and weather, curriculum undecided. Her older siblings are using Signs and Seasons but I don't know how much will be scalable to her level. Typing and Piano. Plus lots of reading quality books both independently and out loud, and a morning "riches" of bible, saints, memory work, poetry, art appreciation, and nature study.
  12. As a mom of an ADHD kiddo, I would suggest also working on the scaffolding he needs to get homework turned in. He is likely incapable of doing so without extra help (be that a checklist system, a routine, a check in call, ect). Medication helps a lot of aspects of ADHD, but executive functioning skills unfortunately aren't one of them. The thread Explicitly Teaching Executive Functioning Skills that's stuck at the top of the General Education Board may be a good place to start.
  13. I don't think so. Place value was the first thing we tacked post adoption. For like, a year, lol. I have enough other kids I recognized it right away. Decimals have actually been a breeze because it's just a continuation.
  14. She is a fighter for sure. We have always pushed that she can do whatever she wants, she just has to work harder for it. Homeschooling has been a huge blessing for this child.
  15. I'm still constantly figuring out what she can and can't do, and what scaffolding does and does not work. Also what concepts and developmental steps are going to come 3-5 years "late" and which won't come at all. Like the other commenter, word problems and real life situations are hard and where a matter of memorizing key words. My daughter can usually tell when to subtract, add, multiply or divide now as long as it's a single step work problem. Multiple steps are beyond her, even in daily life (fold your laundry AND put it away). And yes, she can't estimate or logic out when something is very very wrong. The k-2 early math years were manageable with lots of extra review, and lots of work with blocks and counters. From grades 3-7 it's been harder and we've run Math Mammoth in the am, with mom by her side and lots and lots of physical blocks...then TT in the afternoon for review. We have done this year round, with no more than 1 week breaks, for all those years. The barrier was just a matter of math requiring more steps, more logical thinking, and more abstract thinking. All three of those are hard for her in every part of life. I'd say division was the first really big struggle overcome, the first one I gave up on conceptual. She understands that division is splitting into groups, but she just can't visual it in large numbers. She's memorized the algorithm after Herculean effort, but doesn't fully understand why the algorithm works. For a typical child it makes sense that if she understood it conceptually, she could memorize the steps faster. I don't know how to answer that for her- the concept is plain too abstract. Fractions has been the next. She has to draw a pie every. single. time. in order to remember that 1/3 is smaller than 1/2. Every time. There's been a lot of memorizing in fractions. She CAN add, subtract, and multiply them but she barely understands comparing fractions, let alone adding unlike. The decision for us what sit and hit our head in these blocks, OR move on with the algorithm and see if concept catches up (or doesn't). Or I suppose listen to her neuropsychologist and put her in public school special ed where they never really move beyond basic arithmetic at all.
  16. For our situation it's because learning disorders (ADHD, fetal alcohol and meth exposures, and PTSD officially) make conceptual understanding not attainable. Prefrontal skills like abstract thinking, cause and effect, logical thinking, and so on are incredibly difficult. But, at the same time, I don't want her tied to a calculator in daily life (estimating your bill for a grocery run, adjusting recipes, ect). Not to mention to use a calculator you need to at least learn what to do with said calculator. Nor do I want to decide in elementary/middle school that she's never going to be a high school graduate or college bound (a honest suggestion from several therapists- just stop teaching math). This girl has surprised us time and time again. Learning algorithm based math, tbh the exact same math I leaned in the 90s, keeps educational doors open. She CAN do grade 7 math, even if her conceptual understanding petered out somewhere in 2nd grade. It also gives her the skills to live her day to day life without a calculator, especially handy since said disorders mean she will not have a cell phone while under any control of mine. What will upper grades math look like, with little to no conceptual arithmetic? I'm going to be honest and admit I don't know. We have just started dipping our toes in algebra introduction, and it's a steeply uphill battle. But I do know that being able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, double a fraction, ect, is useful, even if she doesn't quite grasp why we do things the way we do.
  17. My 7yo didn't enjoy the spooky transition, and we had difficulty finding any without it. I personally also noticed an uptick of bratty behavior. We moved on to other books.
  18. Not terribly familiar with Right Start (have seen it and looked through it but never used it) but I have a lot of kids either in or just past this arithmatic to algebra stage. My oldest boy went from Beast to Jacobs Algebra this year in 7th grade. Hes worked it mostly independant, coming to me maybe once or twice a month for help. The math itself was fine, even the transition to abstract thinking was fine. Where he struggled a bit was the transition to high school level work. Jacobs is fairly gently and friendly, but it was still a transition. Going from a workbook to a textbook and loose leaf, going from Beasts relatively few problems to doubling the amount of work, ect. My next just completed Beast halfway through 5th grade. He could definitely use a transition year, both to get used to high school style math AND to get comfortable looking at these numbers in a more abstract way. We have just started with AOPS self paced with mom, and accepting that it will take a year and a half to complete. So far so good, but it's only been a month. We really like Alcimus, their online review. It's free and a good guage of the difficulty of AOPS. You may want to check it out. Another son (6th grade), not coming from Beast, has enjoyed Mr D self paced online Pre-Algebra this year. It is nowhere near as rigorous as Beast or AOPS, but completely independant and has excellent student support. My daughter will also do this program next year (8th grade).
  19. I use TT as a secondary program for my daughter with learning disabilities and ADHD. Like the above commenter mentioned, it's very algorithm based. It teaches how but not always why. This can be great for kids that just aren't capable of deeper conceptual understanding and just need to learn how to get by. That may also be great for review or remedial students. I hesitate to reccomend it for average to above average kids. Another thing worth mentioning is that even besides the hint feature (which can be turned off if you are saavy enough to do so) and the second and third chance feature (again can be turned off) it's just plain easy to cheat this kind of online program. If I had a dollar for every kid I knew who skimmed by a year or more of TT before their parent realized they weren't learning... So I always reccomend at least the quizzes be printed and completed on paper.
  20. My kids are no where near age order in math. More like 2, 4, 1, 3, 6, 5 😂. They get used to it. Using different curricula can help if they are touchy.
  21. A boy and a girl. Trying for a bit more hands off and a bit more relaxed because a new baby is due in July 😬👶, while still prepping for high school next year. Maybe an impossible balance. Math- Mr D Pre-Algebra for DD, Jacobs Geometry for DS Writing- Writing and Rhetoric 8 along with written narrations and copywork Reading- Early Modern focus- Swift/ Dumas/ Austin History- Early Modern focus- Churchill's History along with famous speeches and interest-led biographies (Lewis and Clark for DS for sure). Science- Astronomy with Signs and Seasons and Great Astronomers Latin- Latin for Children C with Lingua Latina Piano lessons for DD, guitar for DS Online Coding Class via Mytek for DS Plutarch/Shakespeare/poetry/bible/saints/nature study riches
  22. I give options, but only options I think will work. And I'll switch things around by request if they have a good reason, but "it's fastest/easiest" doesn't cut it. So I guess I fall a bit in the middle. It's always a conversation for us but I'm the one that decides at the end of the day.
  23. My kids are gobble-readers so I tend to assign books to my middle schoolers to be slow read. In a school year they will read 1-2 geography books, 1-2 science books, 1-2 history books, and 1-2 literature books this way, depending on their length. I assign 1-2 chapters a week from each category, so they can either spread it out over the week or get it all over with in one day. What they aren't allowed to do is read the whole book at once, though. Other than that I let them free read. I'm careful to make sure they have a booklist with lots of suggestions from me, but I tend not to force it unless I notice they've started a series over for the 400th time.
  24. I'll just share my personal experience, with a child that skipped Pre-A in 6th grade in order to begin Algebra. He was coming off Beast, like your DS, and looking over the available Pre-A options, they all felt like review. He tested out of MM7 and the AOPS "do you need this" pre-A test. We looked at AOPS Algebra and decided it was too intense/took up too much time for a child with a lot of other focuses (community theatre 5-6x a week, high school level coding classes, ect). Instead, we went with Jacobs. On the one hand, it went well. He was ready for the math. What he wasn't ready for was the...format? I guess the executive functioning of working from a (dry) textbook, not a (fun) workbook, and the plain number of problems. What I wasn't ready for was the emotional rollercoaster that is 11/12. In the end he finished Jacobs in a year and a half. It wasn't a bad experience per se, but I wouldn't make the decision again. I think he would have benifited from a middle step, or even *gasp* an easier year. Que his brother this year. 5th grade and finishing Beast 5 mid year (we just began D). Already tested out of AOPS Pre-A. But we are just going to do it anyways. One, with AOPS you know even review is rigor. But mostly, I think Pre-A is just as much about the executive functioning jump from grammar school to high school than it is about the math. And I can already feel the hormonal storm starting 😬 *It's interesting to note that the public school boy I have in between these two also had very light 6th/7th grade math years. I do not think this is a coincidence. They know something about kids this age.
  25. You are describing a program that is rigorous and challenging ideally to an advanced standard BUT you don't want your kids to put in lots of work, time, or be frustrated, and you don't want to put in a lot of time or prep as a teacher. In my 8 years of experience teaching grammar stage math...no, that doesn't exist. Not for your average child and your average teacher. Rigorous math will sometimes be frusterating. It doesn't mean it's not working, it just means they are working on their problem solving muscles and tolerance. Kids under 9/10 will not consistently be able to work new material without a parent nearby. That doesn't mean it's not working, it means they are little. And math is almost always time consuming. More so than any other subject. So you may need to prioritize. If you are willing to give on parent time, but want rigor and "fun/interesting/short lessons", I say go with Right Start. You need to be there but it won't take over 30 minutes. Run it 4 days a week for each child, and let them play math games online the 4th. Now you have an hour 3x a week and 30 minutes the other 2. If you are willing to give on "fun/interesting/short" but you want rigor and independence go with Math Mammoth. It's completely self taught to the child and by far the most independant I've used of easily a dozen programs. It's not as hard as you think, and if lessons are too long you can assign every other. If you are willing to give on rigor but want "fun/interesting/short" and independence stick with what you are using. They can begin rigorous math later, when you are at a different place. There is not a large family among us that hasn't had a light season due to baby. All three of those programs work great for non confident moms. And I love the suggestion above about working something by yourself. For years I did khan academy over the summer break. I could do a school year in 4-5 weeks. I had to start in 4tg grade!!! But Ivd made it up through Geometry now and will do Alg 2 this summer!
  • Create New...