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Everything posted by alicai

  1. Wow, and to think of all the hours I've already wasted compiling a tiny fraction of this :) Thank you!
  2. I think it depends on the child. I started it with my oldest when she was in kinder. She had learned to read hodgepodge from preschool, some from me, and some on her own and she had hit a wall where I thought it would help her, and it did. She has great retention for rules and had good handwriting so she wasn't frustrated because she could write the words and phrases as fast as she could think it out. DD5, on the other hand, had solid phonics from the start and took to reading beautifully. I did try giving AAS a go this year and she definitely wasn't ready for it. No retention, couldn't pay attention, struggles with handwriting, and found building words with tiles to be painfully slow. We'll try again next year and see how it goes.
  3. I went and checked it out (very cool) and thought I'd give it a whirl myself. I was very pleased with myself for a couple rounds until the inevitable blow to my pride when I realized how small my vocabulary actually is. Good thing we're starting Latin roots soon!
  4. Here's a few :) MM = Math Mammoth SOTW = Story of the World CLE = Christian Light Education AAS = All About Spelling OPGTR = Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading WWE = Writing With Ease ETC = Explode the Code RS4K = Real Science 4 Kids
  5. Our single most efficient curriculum is MM. We have used levels 1,2, and 3 and my oldest has a rock solid math foundation with very little from me. I am very pleased with it. Also, I like Xtramath.org for drilling math facts. It's fast, free, and it works. For history, I am all about the SOTW audiobooks. We listen to it in the car and discuss. I supplement with books when I can but during busy periods we go through it without and they still learn. I would very much like to find a good science curriculum that isn't teacher-intensive but haven't found it yet.
  6. Mainly MM so far. My oldest has used it for 3 years and has a great math foundation largely without help from me. Also, SOTW audiobooks for causing history to get done and my children to think that history is interesting and cool (the complete opposite of what I ever thought growing up).
  7. We have a lot of books. Presently each of the kids has a bookcase in their own room filled with age-appropriate unorganized fiction. Our school room has a lot of builtin bookshelves. The uppers are all claimed by me for adult books, curriculum, and I have a shelf each for history and science books. That way I can always find what I need for teaching. My oldest is tall enough to get stuff out of there but she is also careful with the books and usually puts them back. I have some lower shelves in the schoolroom mainly filled with more advanced chapter books/read aloud type things. They are safe from the baby at the moment but I will probably have to make some changes as she gets older. Oh, and we also have a library book basket that the kids are trained to return the books to. I can't stand it when a library book goes missing :mad: I would like the books to be better organized and I've been slowly working on getting them all put into LibraryThing with appropriate tagging so that I can pull them out when they tie in nicely with something we're studying. That's a big project though.
  8. House elves, robots, and indentured servants of all forms sound so delightful, but if I had to choose just one thing, it would have to be the ability to self-tinker. I would like to lay myself open on a workbench and fix what needs fixing. More patience, more creativity, more motivation, more selflessness, more wisdom . . . The house can be lacking and the meals uninspired, so long as I am not :)
  9. DDs8 and 5(almost 6) will start 3rd and 1st in July, respectively. Here's my tentative plan: 3rd Writing: CAP W&R, WWE3 Grammar: MCT Island. This is my area of greatest indecision. We started diagramming recently, which she loves, and absorbs easily. I'm hoping MCT won't end up being an expensive duplication. Spelling: we're going to have a go at Spelling Power after 3 years of AAS Handwriting: GD Italic book D Vocab: I don't worry too much about vocab but I think she would enjoy a supplement. I'm looking at casual fun things like Vocabulary Cartoons in addition to beginning Latin roots. Latin: GSWL 1st Writing: finishing up WWE1, we will probably use LLtl1 as a stopgap until she's ready for WWE2 Handwriting: GD Italic book B Spelling/phonics: AAS1. She doesn't seem to be retaining much from her current ETC workbook so I'm looking around for an alternative supplement.
  10. I don't remember if this is quite as good of a discount as their September sale, but I'd rather have my curriculum early than late :) http://www.pandiapress.com
  11. DD8 is a very advanced reader with decent spelling. We've done AAS1&2 and half of 3, but it started to peter out for us and now never gets done. Something independent would be ideal, and not too repetitious. She has great retention for rules. Thanks!
  12. I agree on the RSO Chemistry w/Ellen McHenry. RSO in general is low prep, secular, and has many literature suggestions. I think it could be fairly easily stretched for your older.
  13. This. I think so much depends on where the room is. We have schooled in: 1) Our dining room - poor fit. Nowhere near enough storage, constant mess in our front room. 2) An upstairs loft - better, but still a poor fit. Still not enough storage or space, and nowhere near the heart of the house so I couldn't multi-task and oversee the kids. When baby #3 came along, we converted the loft to her bedroom and took out a wall downstairs to turn our guest room into a living room extension. It is separated by a sort of half wall that we turned into a bookshelf on the school room side. We also built a full-wall built-in. This has worked out pretty well for us. We now have a great room set-up where the kitchen, living room, and school room are all essentially one long room. I can cook and answer spelling questions, clean and remind kids to stay on task. Nobody needs to go upstairs until playtime. The kitchen table stays clean and ready for eating. The schooling space isn't as big as I would like and I could still use more storage, but the increased storage and organization help things stay a lot neater. At times I wish I had a door when company comes over because our work table might be covered in books and papers, but as the space looks like a workspace/crafting area I think it's ok. Books still travel, of course, as books do and I don't expect that to ever change, but projects, art supplies, worksheets, etc remain confined in the space. Does this mean that the rest of the house doesn't somehow get destroyed every day? No, tragically.
  14. I've been thinking about the same thing. I have definitely been tempted by W&R but WWE has worked for us and fulfills an important role, especially for my older dd, while remaining bite-sized, which is important for her. I would try it out with my younger, if she were older ;) As it is, I've got to figure something out for her because she'll be done with WWE1 but not yet ready for WWE2.
  15. In our area there is a secular group that we don't click with and several Christian groups, ranging from fairly inclusive to the opposite. We have religious background but are not churchgoing so we tend not to fit in well. I too get along by far the best with PS moms - until they find out we homeschool and then an immediate wall goes up. It has become really lonely. I've been giving it a lot of thought lately. I consider this a real problem as it is depressing and isolating for me and the kids, but I have no solutions.
  16. I had this exact problem recently and resolved it by wearing orthotic house shoes religiously and slowly investing in quality supportive shoes for wearing out. It took a while but now I'm getting back to being able to wear any sort of shoe out as long as I stick to my orthotics at home. This probably works out because I'm home a lot. These are the shoes I use: http://www.amazon.com/Orthaheel-26GEMMA-Womens-Gemma-Slipper/dp/B005LI5ZUQ/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_0_0
  17. My dd8 loved Evan-Moor Beginning Geography when she was younger. She is currently enjoying The Complete Book of Maps and Geography. They have also had lots of fun and learned a lot playing the games on our talking globe.
  18. We're doing 2nd grade right now: Math: MM3 Writing: WWE2 Spelling: AAS2/AAS 3 Grammar: we did GWG last year and she liked it but retained nothing. This year we've done some random stuff, some Sentence Family, and lately First Whole Book of Diagrams,which has been super fun and has been eye-opening for all of us really. History: SOTW1. We started this last year and have really taken our our time enjoying supplemental books. Trying to wrap up now so we can do SOTW2. Geography: we've done quite a quite a bit of this already so this year I just gave her the Complete Book of Geography as a supplement once a week. She likes it. Science: RSO Earth and Space Both Spanish (Learnables) and Art (those homeschool art DVDs from HSBC) were a pretty total loss. We also did dance, gymnastics, and Girl Scouts. Starting ASL class next week.
  19. Hunter, we have a couple of the Complete Books and they are paperback. I've gotten them at Amazon and Rainbow Resource. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Maps-Geography-Grades/dp/0769685595
  20. Hi there. Homeschool law is very generous in California. Does she want to go out completely on her own or homeschool via a charter? We started with a charter and it was very simple and fast to make the switch. I can give more details if she's interested in that. If she wants to go out on her own, California just requires a letter once a year stating that you are homeschooling. I think they do it in October. No testing is required. Since that period has already passed, I think that she can just withdraw from the school and state that she is homeschooling and carry on until next October.
  21. DH and I are considering whether to buy Kindles for the kids. We wouldn't be interested at all probably were it not for Freetime, which is a huge selling point. Just wondering if folks find that it's worth it for lower elementary kids. How much do they use it? What for? How do they like the digital book format? Thanks for any input!
  22. I'm trying to put together a Montessori farm and I'd really like to find this but it's been discontinued. Anyone know where I can find something similar? Thanks!
  23. I'm not clear on what exactly you're taking the Wellbutrin to help with - is it anxiety? If so, Wellbutrin is a poor fit. I think it took me a good 3 months or so to start seeing real effects but I tapered up very slowly and was taking it mainly for depression. I don't consider 200mg to be a therapeutic dose in an adult so I wouldn't be expecting you to see any mood benefits. Wellbutrin has an activating or almost amphetamine-like effect - this is what makes it useful for treating ADD. That works for me because I tend to be very low energy, and it has never made me have tremors or feel crazy jittery. It has also never given me insomnia, but I know it certainly can in some people. I think my main side effects were headaches in the beginning. I do also have some anxiety and took buspar to offset that. It sounds to me like Wellbutrin is way too activating for you, and I would start tapering it down (working with your doctor) and moving to something that isn't activating. If you're having to take multiple other meds to offset the side effects of the first med, that's not a good thing. Many others like, say, Zoloft or Lexapro, will not be activating and will help with insomnia themselves, rather than make it worse. I recommend the website crazymeds.us for getting more "real life" information on meds, good info on what things work well together and what don't, etc.
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