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Everything posted by Coco_Clark

  1. I've done it twice, with very different results. The first time was a "sunlight" basement that had teeny tiny windows (so no sunlight). It was only partially finished and while we put up bookshelves and a carpet, it wasn't inviting. I also had toddlers/babies. It lasted a week...maybe. it was dim and cold, and I needed to be able to multitask (watch littles out of the corner of my eye, feed snacks, do dishes, ect). The second time was a new split level home with a large room available off the backyard. It had real windows, a sliding glass door, and good heating. My kids were all 6 and over. I wasnt miltitasking anymore, tbh, because teaching 6 kids was enough!! I adore our school space now.
  2. I have one of those (also 11). Our perfect mix has been Math Mammoth for mastery and Teaching Textbooks for review. At first we did both every day, as a TT lesson only took about 15 min. But then TT started getting harder so we are now doing MM on M/W/F, and TT on T/The. TT does run about a grade below MM, it's worth noting. That works great for us as it's solid REVIEW, but if you want the same topics Id suggest going a grade up in TT. I've tried to use Math Mammoth alone, using pages from different sections to self spiral. It was a total fail, somehow not enough mastery OR review. 🙄.
  3. Probably because in my (relatively short) 7 years homeschooling I've never seen any topic get hysterical and mean faster than the CC debate. 😂 People have STRONG opinions. And moderators don't have time for it.
  4. With 6 kids some independance is necessary. I start giving my kids daily checklists in 2nd grade, with a lot of handholding. By 3rd I really do expect those items done by the end of the day (although I still CHECK every day). By 6th grade I'm checking weekly (and they can move items around). My current 3rd grader has: Daily reading minutes (30) Audiobook assignments Copywork Piano practice Latin review on Headventureland Typing practice Chores Hygene items like shower reminders My older kids have done math facts review either by game, flash cards, or worksheets (he already knows his facts) or written narrations (he's not ready) at this age. We had workbook spelling one year done mostly via checklist (it wasn't successful). I'll also start them off onath or a writing project and write to finish it up.
  5. Im only a but further than you, level 4. I guess it depends what you are trying to improve. For me, in level 1 (fable) my goal was just getting thoughts on paper, and the general idea that you could do so in several ways. It fulfilled that goal well in all 4 kids I've had use it (for the record in 3rd or 4th grade as reccomended). In the next two levels (narratives 1 and 2) I increased my goal to interesting writing. Varied sentences, use of description and dialogue, ect. My natural writer succeeded at this much more than my struggling writer. I can see her using the tools learned in other writing, but he needs to be reminded to use them. I've only used these books with these 2 kids, both in 4th (narrative 1) and 5th (narrative 2) grade at the time. Next year I'll have my upcoming 4th and 5th use them. The next level after this (Cheria) switches gears to essay writing. We had never done any essay writing before so this was the biggest seen improvement. I feel like both my kids can churn out an ok essay using this template with little stress or effort, and a good essay with a couple days and maybe for my struggler some sweat and tears. They were in the last half of 5th grade. The next book is another form of essay, and I'm looking forward to some variety from the praise, interpret, explain, compare, contrast, finish up format. I'm happy with, and plan on continuing the series. For the record I think it works best with kids on the later age of their recomended spectrum, though.
  6. For non-readish 9yo girls I'd reccomend lots of fun books, with an emphasis on longish series. Tuesdays at the Castle series Half Magic series Roald Dahl books A Little Princess The Secret Garden Understood Betsy Little House Series All of a Kind Family series Any Edith Nesbit, but maybe on audio because they can be harder.
  7. That's funny, my same-age daughter (not twins, adopted) is in MM as well. It's not Beast but MM is a strong program imo. It has a good balance of conceptual learning with a lot of algorithm practice and I like the focus on word problems.
  8. I always create yearly booklists for my kids. They are also allowed to free read/pick their own but this cures a lot of "I don't know what to read next". I pull from several sources. Ambleside online has great lists and is my main resource. But I'll also check bookshark and Goodreads lists for their age group. I try to have a wide variety of options. Classics, absolutely. Modern best sellers, sure. Genres I know they enjoy (fantasy for one, mystery for another, "18th century girls" for another). Historical fiction as long as it's also worthy. Next year we're doing middle ages and you bet there's a lot of Arthur and Robin on the lists! I also try to throw in some science and a few audiobook suggestions.
  9. Id pull her. I know this because last year I pulled my 3rd grader in April 😉 Either take an extra month of summer, or do some fun interest based stuff, and a few placement-finding activities and exams for next year, or just do a month of whatever you will do next year and have a head start. Personally I just folded mine into my already homeschooling kids. But don't stay in a miserable situation just to potentially save the teachers hurt feelings and cross some invisible finish line. No way.
  10. Thank you, that's really good to know. Right now she mixes TT with Math Mammoth because while she loves it, TT alone just doesn't seem like enough to me (not deep enough, not conceptual enough). But she's only in 5. It would be nice if she could use it at her high school math w/out a ton of supplementation.
  11. Jacobs MHE? I'm also considering two passes through algebra, maybe doing the entire (or first 7) the Keys To Algebra before starting Jacobs...
  12. My plan is Jacobs (supplementing with Key to Algebra books as needed)....but as for how it will go no one knows. This is my first Algebra student 😱
  13. Just curious what most Beast users use after Beast 5. How many continue into AOPS pre-algebra? Or use a different Pre-Algebra? Or go straight into Algebra? What did you do and how did that go?
  14. Have you decided anything? I have the same scenario. My son is finishing up Beast 5c. Next year he will complete D pretty quickly, but we decided not to continue with AOPS. Neither do I think he's ready to jump straight into Jacobs (my tentative algebra plan). I need something to shore up those elementary math/algebra prep skills. I'm thinking of maybe using the Key to Algebra books and spiraling them myself... To add to the TT discussion: my daughter uses TT. She's only in TT6, but, it's very very simple. Unless it scales way up (which I'm granting it might) I don't think you could jump from Beast to TT to Jacobs.
  15. To be perfectly honest one of my middle schoolers never learned cursive 🙈. But the other one practices with her copywork. If you don't do copywork, maybe spelling?
  16. I would not let a 7yo switch. Particularly one that's already done two instuments short-term. I have let two children switch/add an instrument so I don't always think it's a bad idea. But in both cases they were over 9yo, and had completed 2+ years of piano (mastering basic music reading and quite a bit of theory). The first added guitar. My requirement was that he commit to practice both 6/7 days. This is a huge commitment but reality is anything less than 5-6 days a week will never result in mastery. He has been doing so for just short of a year. I do not think guitar is a good starter instrument, as he uses his knowledge of chords pretty often. Another thing to note is that he's 11, and still struggles a bit with the size of the instrument. So a 7yo would definitely need a children's size guitar. My other did quit piano all together. To be frank he has the thickest, shortest fingers imaginable and always struggled with his finger span and dexterity. He was a committed practicer for two years but was more and more often needing "cheats" for chords he just couldn't play. It was frusterating. He recently asked to quit and join our local homeschool orchestra and I allowed it. He's beginning trombone.
  17. Yes on measurement. No on time and money. That being said, I've never used a curriculum for either. I introduce time using a clock, and money with a baggie full of bills and change. I've tacked them onto Fridays, or hit them over the summer, or when we needed a break from something that wasn't clicking, depending on the kid. Then they just read clocks and count money in life and I make sure when we hit decimals they make the connection to money. From my memory Miquon does include time very gently in orange, and then again in more advanced ways in yellow, green, and purple. And I know it has measurements throughout most of the books as well, but particularly a large unit in green. Miquon doesn't teach money at all. It's so hard to teach money with a workbook, tbh. The coin pictures never look like the actual coin, and even I get confused.
  18. I've taken one child through Beast 3-5, one through 3-4 (will do 5 next year), and started a 3rd in 2 this year. And for full openness a 4th student that did Beast 3 a and b before I decided it was a bad fit. I didn't allow manipulatives during placement tests, tbh, but if he only needed rods on one problem I hardly think it counts. If he needed them for every problem that might cause more of an issue. The teaching is in the comic, but honestly also in the answers! Beast has, hands down, the BEST answer key so don't overlook it as a tool. I find Beast to be pretty Independant as long as the child can read. In the early years I read the comic, they do 1-3 workbook pages, then we do star problems (challenge) together. Then we keep doing 1-3 workbook pages a day until it's time for the next comic. I only re-read the comic if they forget the concept. Eventually, usually mid 4, they do it all alone unless they need help. Miquon to Beast is a very natural progression and what I did with two of my kids. For what it's worth this last boy completed orange and red before starting Beast 2, and then worked 2a and 2b alongside Miquon Blue. I just let him choose which he preffers each day. They are great compliments. My other kids went all the way through Green before starting Beast, but 2 wasn't out back then so they went straight to 3. Neither ended up finishing the Miquon series at all to be honest, though one did finish yellow.
  19. All of the above, honestly. Sometimes I make a decision as a family based on value. Literature is important to me. No one skimps on that. Sometimes I make a decision as a family based on hard reality. They all learn Latin, for example, because I can't possibly teach multiple languages at once. So Latin it is. (Until they can learn independently at least). Sometimes a decision is made for skill reasons. Either as a family or individually. I've taken years off grammar for example because I look around and think, "eh, we're good". Every other year with formal grammar seems to be enough for my goals. Or my natural spellers, for another example, do much less formal spelling than my kids that struggle in that area. They simply don't need it. Or to turn that idea on its head, my great writers do more and longer written narrations than my kids that would rather pull teeth than write a paragraph. It's too much to ask of them. And yes, sometimes decisions are based on interest. I don't push piano on kids that aren't musically inclined, or debate on kids that despise public speaking. My science led kids do extra science reading and history kids do extra history, but as long as you have a baseline of both I don't fuss to much where you rabbit trail.
  20. My kids and I study 2-3 poets a year. By study I mean read a short bio, then read their poetry daily. Our favorite pattern is to read each poem for three days before moving on to the next. We've done A.A. Milne, Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Longfellow, Poe, Carl Sandberg and Walt Whitman. Most of these were from the Treasury of Poetry for Children, which I highly recommend! Who should we do next? The kids will all be 7-12 if that matters, and we'll be doing Middle Ages in history. Bonus points if you can also name a good anthology for said poet. 🙂
  21. I'm teaching Latin For Children to my 3rd, 4th, and two 5th graders. I am grammar heavy and always have been and tbh my 3rd grader keeps up, but barely just. His English grammar oftentimes is hand in hand (predicate nominative, for example, is a term he learned in both in English and Latin this year at the same time. He knew NOUN, but not distinct noun jobs.) That isn't necessarily terrible thing. But you should be prepared to shore up a LOT of grammar. Vocab sometimes also moves a bit too fast for him (and he had two years of Song School to help). I wont say don't try it. But I would go in prepared to slow down to half time and supplement heavily. And I'd be prepared for the younger to quit. It's a fairly dry program. Another option is to have the younger do vocab and derivitive study, but not the grammar. They can just memorize all the first declensions, and not worry about the rest. Oftentimes when my 3rd grader is frustrwted I say we can work together and he translates the root and I do the endings. He knows the nouns, and if it's singular and plural, but then deciding which sex and which case adds 15 different possibilities! Which can be overwhelming to a child under 10.
  22. I'll have two 6th graders. MATH- DS will be doing some Key To books and Jacobs Algebra, what percentage of either to be determined after we start. DD has severe difficulties with math but has found a good fit alternating Math Mammoth with Teaching Textbooks for review, so will continue that with MM 5 and TT 6. LA- They'll both be doing Writing and Rhetoric books 5 and 6 and Sequential Spelling 3. I decided we've been overloading grammar between W&R, Latin, and formal grammar, so we are taking the year off and will just diagram a sentence a week instead. Then of course an hour a day of reading a mix of assigned and picked books, along with daily written narrations and occasional commonplace entries. Latin- moving into Latin for Children B. Morning reading with the group, which includes Bible, saint, poetry, memory work, art appreciation, and nature study. Then alternating by month: History- SOTW 2 with the group, with extra reading assignments thrown in. They'll continue notebooking and their book of centuries. Science- Science in the Ancient World with the group. Then all that ect... DS is super into theatre and will likely continue the crazy-making schedule of auditioning and performing in 3-4 plays a year. He's taking guitar lessons and considering adding back in piano, which he quit last year. He's also considering taking his coding to the next level, but I'm not sure what there is beyond Lego robotics, scratch,, Khan, ect, all of which he's done. DD is extrovert girl and takes classes 2 afternoons a week at the local Parent Partnership. Generally art/ music/ creative writing. She will continue piano and wants to learn baking/cooking at a more independent level. She may also join brother in some local auditions. I'm torn looking at all this because it doesn't seem much. I always imagined middle school as this huge leap but tbh they are so engrossed in their own "stuff" they hardly have time to be piling on all the logic, debate, spoken language, ect, that I imagined for these years. Which is the point of homeschooling! But still...
  23. I started dictation as soon as I felt like the child could handle it. That was at the earliest 6, and at the latest 10. With most of the kids falling between that. I would not dictate to a child that was not fluently reading at the level I was dictating. Neither would I dictate to a child that was still struggling to recognize and form individual letters when hearing the sound. The hearing the sound, knowing what letter that is, then knowing how to form that letter needs to be fluid and easy! Or else complicating it by giving a ton of sounds at once will be torture. If you don't already dictate single words, maybe through spelling, then start there before you get into sentences. If all these skills are mastered (reading, writing sounds, writing words), then I would try out dictation once or twice a week (in replacement of, not on top of, copywork) and watch for frusteration. If it goes well, great. If it doesn't, back off and try again next year. 7 is young and he may not be ready, even if it SEEMS like all the skills are there.
  24. My rising 4th grader is very unbalanced and next years big goal will be shoring up his weaknesses. Math will be finishing up Beast 4 and moving into 5. He's just started 4b so wherever he is in September. Language Arts will be Writing and Rhetoric Narrative and the 2nd/3rd sections of Treasured Conversations. Plus Sequential Spelling level 1. And lots and lots of oral narrations, that get outlined by mom, and then written by ds. Latin marches on, this one joins his olders for Latin for Children but mom scribes the writing. Plus content with the group. SOTW 2, Science in the Ancient World, tons of good read alouds, some poetry, some art appreciation, some shakespesre, ect.
  25. READING- 20 minutes daily in beginning chapter books like Magic Treehouse and building up. Plus read aloud and audio book above reading level. WRITING- Eglish Lessons Through Literature 1, which includes light grammar instruction and copywork, 3x a week. Free journaling 2x a week. SPELLING- considering spellwell A and AA. It's independent and she's a natural speller. MATH- continuing Miquon with blue and above. Morning meeting plus history/science with her siblings. Next year will be SOTW 2, and Science in the Beginning. She will do a daily drawing with oral narration with those.
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