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Laura W.

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  1. Well, I've got plans in place, but not because I'm a compulsive planner (I used to be, but I like doing other things now). Because my family lives in West Africa, I have to plan starting in late October, so that I can place orders in January/February. Shipping is horrendously expensive, so the organization we are with encourages us to make arrangements (to get our supplies over here) with volunteers coming over to work with us, That can take several months, but most years I've been able to get the last of my materials by sometime in the summer. This past year, though, we didn't get our last supplies until October. It was kind of miserable having to turn around and plan for next year about the same time. All that being said, here are my plans for my twins who will be in 7th grade. Both: Bible/History – Remembering God’s Awesome Acts Science – Winterpromise Animals and their Worlds English – Cover Story Math – MathUSee French – Rosetta Stone Critical Thinking – Building Thinking Skills book 3 Figural, Building Thinking Skills Book 3 Verbal The twin with learning differences will be working at a lower level of MathUSee and will also use CLE Bible (finishing Bible 4, starting the elementary elective) for extra reading comprehension.
  2. I am thinking of using Animals and their Worlds next year. I will have a K'er, 4th grader, and twins in 7th grade (one of the twins has LDs, and is working about 12-18 months below grade level, and both of them love animals). Winterpromise has on their website that Animals and their Worlds can be used as a full program for preK-4th grade or as a science program for 3rd-6th grade, so I am thinking of combining everyone and using it as a full program for the two younger ones, and as a science program for my twins. The two main spines are recommended for up through grades 8/9, which is why I think it might stretch to 7th grade. I can also add in other animal literature appropriate for older elementary/junior high. But I would like to hear others' experiences. Has anyone here used it as a science program for their upper elementary child, and how did it work out? Did you supplement it in any way? If so, how? Thank you for any responses. Blessings, Laura
  3. I'll have two in high school next year. Plans for my 12th grader: Paradigm English 4 MUS Geometry Rosetta Stone French Paradigm Chemistry plus 2 DE classes each semester - will probably be Freshman Comp 1&2, 1 Bible, and 1 Philosophy Plans for my 9th grader: Christian Adventure (Bible study based on Pilgrim's Progress) Paradigm English 2; 3 Progeny Press Lit guides; Lit portion of Christian Adventure Geometry (either MUS or TT, not sure which) Rosetta Stone French Paradigm Chemistry Modern World History Blessings, Laura
  4. My youngest, turning 4 in June, will be in K-4 next year. Because she has six older siblings, I picked things that work for both K-4 and K, and plan to work through it as we're able. I imagine it will take us until partway into her K year to finish it, but that will be fine. My plan: Little Hands to Heaven Get Ready/Get Set/Go for the Code books MathUSee primer Winterpromise Journeys into Imagination Science for Tots set (from Timberdoodle) Blessings, Laura
  5. My ninth grader next year will be doing: Bible - Christian Adventure (a Bible study based on Pilgrim's Progress) Language Arts - Paradigm English II: Composition Skills (technically a 10th grade course); 3 Progeny Press literature guides plus the study of Pilgrim's Progress Math - Geometry, finish Consumer Math Science - Paradigm Chemistry History - History Alive! (complete Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries, and begin World Empires, World Missions, World Wars) French - Rosetta Stone \
  6. My youngest will also be in K4 next year. I can hardly believe it. With my others, my favorite programs have been literature based - FIAR, Sonlight pre-K books. I ordered the Winterpromise Journey into Imagination program. I'm also going to try Little Hands to Heaven. I've been wanting to do it for years. My favorite pre-K workbooks are MathUSee Primer and the Get Ready, Get Set, Go for the Code series. Blessings, Laura
  7. No. We do not use a separate vocabulary curriculum. However, vocabulary is included in two things we do use for language arts - the Progeny Press literature guides and Caught'ya, Grammar with a Giggle. Last year, thinking I might do a separate vocabulary program, I bought Vocabulary Cartoons and Vocabulary Cartoons, SAT Power. My kids have read those independently and probably picked up some of the content. Blessings, Laura
  8. For my 3rd grader next year: Bible - CLE Bible 3 Language arts - Recipe for Reading full program (he's dyslexic), 2-3 Progeny Press Literature guides Math - MathUSee Gamma, Teaching Textbooks 4 Then, for everything else, we'll alternate between two things - FIAR some weeks, other weeks we'll do History Lap-Paks from Homeschool in the Woods and Magic School Bus Science Kits. If possible, I'll add in Artistic Pursuits. Blessings, Laura
  9. Thank you very much, Laura. Your explanation was very clear and helpful. School B uses the US designation for its years. Since they use this curriculum for 10th and 11th grades, I imagine colleges would expect 1 more year of high school afterwards. Also, the information that A levels are generally similar to AP classes helps also. Since dual enrollment is the same level as AP classes, it feels like we're headed in the right direction if we should pick School B. We'll follow up with a few colleges or universities on both those points.
  10. I'd appreciate any input to help think through this situation. We are Americans living in rural West Africa. We are homeschooling our children through 8th or 9th grade, but after that boarding school is also an option, depending on each child's needs. Our oldest child was always reluctant about the thought of boarding school, and is homeschooling through all of high school, but our second is very interested in going and we are thinking it may be the best choice for her. We have two boarding schools which are options at this point. School A is American; School B uses Cambridge International Curriculum with the IGCSE exams given after year 11. While we are American, and our daughter is most likely to attend an American university, we have some concerns about School A. They have a sound academic program, as far as we can tell, but there are some other issues with them (it may be possible to resolve them, and we are trying). School B seems to fit better with our family's goals and values, but here the concern is switching from the American to the British system for 2 years. School B only offers up to year 11. There have been a few American students who completed through year 11 at School B, then transferred to School A for their senior year. If our concerns about School A are enough to keep us from sending dd there in the first place, they will be likely be enough to keep us from sending her there for her senior year. We would probably be looking at Dual Enrollment (we have a good online option available for that) for most/all of her senior work. That's something we're already planning to discuss with School B. First, a basic question about Cambridge Secondary 2 and IGCSE's. I've searched a lot of websites, and there's a huge variety of opinion on its US equivalent. Some say it's comparable to grades 9 and 10 in the US. Others say grades 10 and 11, with maybe a little of the content of 12th grade as well. Still others say completing 5 IGCSEs with good marks is comparable to a US high school diploma. Does anyone here have any personal experience that might help bring a little clarity to this? In light of this situation, what advice do you have? What questions should be on my list to ask School B (or School A for that matter)? Finally, does anyone have experience/thoughts/advice on a student switching to Cambridge International Curriculum when they are in high school? And what about college? I've found some US colleges/universities only require the 5 IGCSE level exams, while others require A levels as well. I thought DE classes would help if she ends up wanting to attend any university with A level or other requirements. She's still several years away from that, and once she zeroes in on a handful of choices in 2-3 more years, we can follow up on that question a little more closely. We have no problem with doing her transcript ourselves, either, if it comes to that. Thank you for any insights you have. Blessings, Laura
  11. We will let our children be involved in the decision. We are living overseas, so our only two options (since local schools here aren't good) are homeschool or boarding school (in a city an 11-hour drive away). Our oldest has chosen to homeschool - she simply did not want to leave home. Boarding school is very difficult if the child is not ready/does not want to go. The next two are interested in going to boarding school, but a final decision has not been made yet. Even if our second child does go to boarding school, she will not go until 10th grade (several reasons for that), so a final decision will not need to be made until next year. Blessings, Laura
  12. We used Biblioplan for 4 years. I was looking for a simple way to combine everyone in history studies. I love lit-based history, but I just couldn't keep up with Sonlight or WP programs. Biblioplan worked well for a while. I thought the content was good, both in terms of topics covered and viewpoints of history. However, over the years we used it, there were also some things that didn't work as well for our family as I'd hoped. Pros: I liked the schedule - 3 days a week. They schedule SOTW and A History of US - a huge plus for me, since I wanted to use both of those. The readers and read-alouds are excellent. It was amazing how many great K-2 books they found, and those were the ones most of my children liked best. It was great to have the Cool History, maps, coloring pages, and timeline figures. A Cons: It still ended up being too much for me to keep up with. It's advantage (being multi-level), became difficult when I had kids in all levels of the readers and history. Some of my children were bored or not grasping a lot - they didn't even like the coloring pages. During the end of our time with Biblioplan, I found that we had 3 children with learning differences, so I started looking around for something that would engage all their senses when learning (critical for children with LDs, but helpful for all children). Also, I didn't care for some of the texts they scheduled (A Child's Story of America, Streams of Civilization) - way too dry, some of the readers weren't a good fit for my kids, and the read-alouds tended to be scheduled at too fast a pace for us to keep up with (though what each family can handle is different). We like a little more freedom in picking and choosing, and have moved toward using a book basket. I have to admit - one other factor in me leaving Biblioplan was my own desire for something different. I do like going through the history cycle, but each time we do it I like it to be fresh - a new way of presenting, different authors, perhaps even different viewpoints of some events that were missed previously. Currently we're using History Revealed, which has a lot more multisensory learning, less that I have to read out loud (some teaching is on cd), and works better with our family schedule. Anyway, Biblioplan is very inexpensive, especially if you can use the library for a lot of the books. You could use SOTW or MOH as scheduled in Biblioplan for everyone. If you use SOTW, you could get the Activity Guide to have some things to do with your younger ones. With your two oldest, Biblioplan would give some of the extra depth needed, with age-appropriate readers and read-alouds, plus more advanced mapwork. Hope this helps, Laura W.
  13. We enjoy Teaching Textbooks and Time4Learning here. Blessings, Laura W
  14. My children are all doing 2 math programs this year. The two oldest are doing Algebra 1 and consumer math. We're doing the consumer math more as a money management/life skills course for 1. The older struggles with math, and we needed an easier high school math so she can complete her math requirements before graduation. Since we school year-round, this is doable. My 4 younger ones are doing MathUSee and Teaching Textbooks concurrently. Two of them have learning differences that really affect them in math - the extra repetition and different ways of explaining a topic help them cement their math learning. A third child does very well in math, and MathUSee provides the drill/mastery that is helpful, while he is working at a higher level of Teaching Textbooks for the challenge and introduction to new topics. The fourth child just needs a little extra practice. Neither program is time-consuming at the elementary level, and they do both programs pretty independently. Within the next year or two, as they move into middle school math, we'll need to pick one program or the other, because doing 2 will be too time-consuming at that point. Blessings, Laura W
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