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Everything posted by thebacabunch

  1. This is always a good sign! I just gently correct pronunciation and read aloud till about high school. Thank helps.
  2. Caesar's English is a must have in my opinion. Gorgeous! I also really like Word within the word for older kids. My dd's are both gifted in the LA. The older really liked WWW because it built her vocab for writing. My younger 2E with dysgraphia loves the grammar portion of the lower levels. She intuits the grammar without having to write a lot. The diagramming is the least favorite of both. I actually think that FLL with a supplement of grammar island, grammar town, grammar voyage for the younger kids is great with caesar's english by mct. I like the WWE or IEW for the actual writing component of LA. I think that the grammar books for MCT are so lovely as a socratic tool. sort of a read along and discuss book. FLL, imo is better for grammar written practice and poetry. My kiddos were losing their love of poetry as we discussed the minutia of poetry rather than reading and memorizing poetry. I am a very neoclassical homeschooler as we don't do Latin (too many tears and fights) and the CE and WWW are a lovely compromise. I don't think MCT is great for writing instruction. The literature portion is ok. The parent manuals for the literature are actually pretty good (MCT) in the upper levels. I guess that I am a picker and choser. The only MCT I can't live without and doesn't have an equal is Caesar's English and Word within the Word.
  3. Summer is the only time of year my house is clean! I love summer break and need it.
  4. You should follow up on this. I had many problems with my now 8th grader who dawdled, left things unfinished, whined, complained, etc. I switched her to honors level work (MCT and AoPs with lots of challenging classical lit) and she complains a lot less. I tell her she is doing what the smart kids are doing and now she works to keep up.
  5. My DH is our provider. He is my HS cheerleader. He lifts me up and tells my I am doing a great job! He brags about me and what I am doing for the kids. He also researches the subjects we are studying and sometimes recommends a book or documentary. He watches endless documentaries with us in the evenings and sacrifices his vacation time going to museums and historical places of interest.
  6. I have an autistic daughter going into 4th grade. She is ahead in some areas and behind in others. No big. She is 2E (twice exceptional) and is a gifted student with dysgraphia (like dyslexia but with writing, not reading) and is behind in all writing things. She did really really well with FLL. She is reading at an eighth grade level but needed really gentle grammar instruction. The grammar lessons were short and simple with lots of repeating of past concepts. I am surprised that more people don't use it. We are moving on to MCT and sentence island but staying with WWE for writing practice. I also recommend WWE. It is a great program. I also did lots of 1 on 1 instruction and kept a jar of jelly beans or m&ms for rewarding the smallest victories. ADD runs on the same spectrum as autism so I thought my experiences might be helpful. WWE does a lot of copywork and narration. It helped with retention and handwriting soooooo much and the excerpts SWB chose to use are fantastic. Again, check out FLL. In my opinion it is a curriculum that could work for many grades. Good luck!
  7. I do SOTW for 2 cycles and plan to do these with my high schoolers.
  8. The Botany book is amazing!!!!! We are using the elements and carbon chemistry this year and I cannot friggin wait! She is a master teacher! I learned not only about botany but her explanation of photosynthesis floored me! Honestly, I now understand chemical bonds and how they are formed. I highly recommend anything she does.
  9. I know a lot of people don't like 100 EZ lessons, but I have used it successfully twice and am now using it successfully for a third time. Both of my girls read well above grade level (8th grader reads at a college level and fourth grader with autism reads at an 8th grade level). I am now teaching my very speech delayed autistic 4 year old son to read with it as well. He is doing really well with it and even pulls it out to learn more (as my daughters did). Say what you want, that book works!
  10. A third grader needs math instruction. This is not a subject a kid can learn on their own.
  11. Math and any early reading instruction really need 5 days a week. I have had schedules like you and just fit stuff in. We do some carschooling. I also teach one kiddo while another is doing an activity.
  12. PS, I combine all grades with SOTW through 8th grade. It is so much easier and fun when we are doing a project together. Plus, the whole family watches movies and documentaries together covering the things we are studying in history (and science which we also combine) through the year.
  13. If you are using the Standard edition of SM the grades are a bit off. For example: a 4th grader on target would start the year with 3B and finish with 4A. This is according to their website. THis gave my kiddo a lot of peace when I let her know that. They just need to get out of the public school mentality that the number 4 on a book means 4th grade. Also, they can go as fast as they want through a book. I would suggest starting them where the SM website suggests and let them work through the books quickly. The mental math they will learn early on will make all math so much easier from here on out. The beauty of SM is the mental math so don't skip just because it might seem like the right thing to do. On years we fall behind we do summer school math. No biggie. Some years I do more than 1 curriculum cause the kids are doing so well. One of the best parts of homeschooling is meeting the kids where they are! If they need to work a little harder to catch up, no biggie. My kiddo who I took out is 2nd grade needed to. We worked hard but I kept a jar of m&m's handy to reward her efforts. Welcome to the homeschool world!
  14. This^^^!!!! I have been telling all of the math cc haters that I have been teaching these "new" cc math techniques for years and now have the solid math understanding I lacked in my ps career. Now I read math books for fun. I used to hate math. When the kids are crying at home it is because the parents can't figure out the kids homework and can't help them.
  15. I can speak personally about this issue. We use an umbrella charter so I drag my kids to take the test every spring. My third grader took the test. She has autism so one of her allowances in test taking is having me with her as a support. I do not help her with the actual test. The test was appalling. Seriously awful. It is true that the test gives 3 to 5 different answers that are vague. The student then supports their answer by answering additional questions. I know that 3rd graders are not developmentally ready for this. My third grader is 2E (twice exceptional) and extremely smart. The test had her crying. I was just really amazed at the weirdness of the test. Critical thinking skills are developed past the grammar stage. How are kids to build their confidence in test taking when a clear answer is not available? Also the test for third graders asked for 2 paragraph essays about the vague answer. If only the common core was teaching about logical fallacies. Sigh. I bet the kids who took the practice cc test last year universally bombed it. My 7th grader cried when I picked her up. Honestly, if our kids are struggling so much why are we, as a nation, allowing our schools to further confuse our students? I told my kids not to sweat it. I know what they can and can't do and I find the standardized test scores to be useful as tissues to blow my nose with. A good solid classical education will always have elements of logic and critical thinking. My kids already do Singapore (which cc math is VERY loosely based on), they already read nonfiction. There is a lot of hype about the cc but when I look at it I see nothing that we aren't already doing that either reaches or exceeds the common core. I actually feel a little sorry for ps kids because they will have more catching up to do than the average classical homeschooler.
  16. Don't panic! Educational trends are changing all the time. The tried and the true have been churning out excellent scholars in all fields forever.
  17. I have a few I am going to read. I am doing Modern this year as well. I am going to read The 7 Pillars of Wisdom (Lawrence of Arabia), Gone with the Wind, Animal Farm, I Robot, Mein Kampf, The Diary of Frederick Douglas. I would also suggest a few that I have already read: Fahrenheit 451 and, Uncle Tom's Cabin. I am teaching from Civil war to the Cold War so there are many I want to read and won't have the time.
  18. I never do book reports. I read with my kids and discuss as we read anything interesting or pertinent through the grammar years. I might do copywork as well. In the logic years I discuss and then I have my kiddo write a comparison of a few novels or an essay about 1 in 5 or six books. When we get to rhetoric I think we will do more analysis but not beat the book to death. More like a book club with the occasional essay.
  19. I loved Botany! Not only did I learn about plants, but I finally understand how chemical bonds form and change into different things after her excellent description of photosynthesis. I am actually going to use carbon chemistry, the elements, and mapping the world with art this next year. I think she is an excellent teacher! Btw, I had both botany books but only needed the green one. I just made photocopies of the student pages.
  20. I don't focus on spelling at all actually. I teach phonics and then Latin and Greek roots when older. I use the narration and copy work with youngers and make the kids read read read! I correct spelling on papers and that is as far as I go.
  21. I did FLL through 3rd grade and am now moving my 4th grader into MCT. It is very socratic and especially appealing to kids gifted in LA, although I think all kids could enjoy it. I have an older doing the upper levels of MCT and she likes it. We like discussing the grammar, poetry, and literature together. Plus, MCT has Caesar's English. Woot woot! I love Caesar's English and wish it was required in all schools.
  22. Story of the World is lovely! The activity guide is full of suggested supplements as is pinterest and even facebook. I love love love the audio cds.
  23. WOW WOW WOW!!! Is this JUST happening? I have been getting groans since my kids were 7.
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