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Everything posted by karensk

  1. My kids didn't see the point of setting up the bar diagrams in the early levels, either (esp. in CWP-2 and CWP-3). But I told them they'd need to know the method for more difficult problems later. So I didn't make them do a ton of the bar diagrams at the early levels, maybe just several per topic, to show they could do them. The word problems get more complex in the higher levels of CWP, where you'd probably need to introduce variables and the setting up of equations if you didn't want to use the bar method. Here are a few from CWP-5: Anne has three times as many beads as Mary. If Anne gives 55 beads to Mary, she will have half as many beads as Mary. How many beads do they have altogether? Lisa and Ann had 130 hair clips altogether. After Lisa gave away 3/8 of her hair clips, she had the same number of hair clips as Ann. How many more hair clips did Lisa have than Ann at first? Andrew had 200 postcards. 40% of them were U.S. postcards and the rest were overseas postcards. He bought another 100 postcards and the percentage of U.S. postcards decreased to 30%. How many overseas postcards did he buy? I wouldn't have known how to teach these without using variables and equations. But perhaps there's another way? HTH!
  2. My original plan, back before I had heard about ALL, was to have dd do FLL3, FLL4, R&S-5, and R&S-6. She's nearly halfway through R&S-5 right now, and we'll continue to R&S-6, hopefully finishing it by the end of her 7th grade year.
  3. We had done maps and timelines in 6th grade world history (TOG maps and homemade timeline chart), so I didn't mind skipping them in 7th, keeping the focus on reading and writing. It looks like there are tests available for the Hakim series. But I haven't seen them and don't know if maps are included in any. I haven't seen any published daily lesson plans for History of US, so that might be a disadvantage. Regarding a timeline, you could make your own; you'd just need to decide on which events and people to include and leave off. Or, have your student decide which things to include....it might be a good exercise in deciding what's important. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to actually read the books! My impression is that they're more conservative than the standard social studies textbook and more liberal than something like Notgrass, A Beka or BJU. HTH!
  4. Dd did FLL3 and FLL4 over 3rd-5th grades. We took a break from grammar for about 6 weeks, and now she's doing R&S 5 (she's in 6th grade). My goal is to have her finish R&S 6 by the end of 7th grade. I haven't decided what to do after that; she may go to private school for 8th grade. Ds did R&S-5 and R&S-6 over 5th-7th grades (with only a little grammar before that, since FLL-3 & 4 hadn't come out yet). And when he took a practice SAT in the middle of the spring semester of 7th grade (when he was about halfway through R&S-6), he scored well on the grammar section, maybe around the 70th percentile. We do most of the R&S lessons orally, even the "Written" sections. Dd probably does about 20% of the work in writing, especially topics like making words plural and plural possessive, contractions, and diagraming. HTH!
  5. It worked out great! We didn't do any tests, though. He'd read a chapter (or two or three), and then outline or do a list of 5-7 important facts on one of the chapters.
  6. You're probably fine for that type of fraction problem. The procedure shown in ALEXS isn't the most useful for a problem like 2/3 x 12 or even 3/4 x 108 (e.g., where you can easily divide 108 into 4 equal groups, and since you need 3 groups of fourths, multiply by 3). However, it will be important to know that procedure as you approach algebra, since you're reducing fractions by crossing out common factors. It might be easier to explain the longer algorithm with fraction problems like 2/3 x 9/10, where you have to do this: 2 x 9 3x10 ...and then you can see how the algorithm would be more of a shortcut. HTH!
  7. I used both FLL3 and FLL4 with dd who had only done most of FLL1 for grammar before that. FLL3 spends a lot of time with predicate adjectives and predicate nominatives, which was great for us (especially since I needed to learn them). If your son is pretty familiar with them, FLL4 might be fine. You'll still review identifying and diagraming predicate adjectives and predicate nominatives (and direct objects), but there will be less practice compared to FLL3. So, if you skip FLL3, then in FLL4, feel free to spend more time on some topics (e.g., if he needs more time to memorize the definition of a preposition and the list of 40 prepositions; FLL3 directs you to review the prepositions a lot more times than FLL4 does). HTH!
  8. We use most of the books several grades behind the WTM schedule, where the kids read them independently. Ds has read about 75-80% of the "Reading/Literature" books (1st-7th grades), and then several from the later lists. He recently read Heaney's Beowulf recommended in WTM and is currently reading the version of Don Quixote recommended in WTM. We don't really follow the WTM order, but SWB's recommended translations or adaptations of literary works have been a great match for us. I've been very pleased with the results!
  9. other favorites: some read-aloud books from the Sonlight list (pre-K & K) Handwriting Without Tears Building Thinking Skills (Critical Thinking Co.) Artistic Pursuits K-3rd Bk. 1 SM Earlybird Math HTH!
  10. (except I think it's Sleepless in Seattle) Some others (but I don't know if they're on the other list): Flashdance Back to the Future Risky Business Top Gun Mad Max Beverly Hills Cop The Big Chill :)
  11. And if the big-city-ness is not your thing, there are a lot of great suburbs...Katy (and Brookshire and other small towns out that way, out west), Sugarland, The Woodlands, Magnolia, Cypress. We live very close in to town, but it's surprisingly quiet in our neighborhood. Except for all the new construction. The neighborhood was built in the 1950s, with about 1100-1500 sq.ft. one-story houses. Some have been added onto. But over the past few years, it's been experiencing kind of a building boom, where the old house is knocked down and a completely new one (usually ~2500-3000 sq.ft.) is built in its place. I drove down one street a few blocks away the other day, and it seemed like over half of the houses were new homes (over a knock-down) or in the middle of construction. Ethnically, the city is very diverse. I am pretty sure there is no majority ethnic group (i.e., a group comprising over 50% of the population). There might be over a hundred different languages spoken here. It's easy to meet foreign students who come to U of H or Rice U. Last Sunday I met an Iranian grad student who recently took a driving tour of the U.S. -- he absolutely loves America (and especially loved Las Vegas, lol) and would love to stay here forever. Actually, you can regularly meet people from literally all over the globe without hardly trying. Well, the weather isn't so fabulous like southern Cal, but at least it's sunny a lot. And we use a lot of air-conditioning. :) Homeschooling in Texas is easy and awesome! Homeschools in Texas are treated as private schools, and so they are not subject to any government regulation (other than what the government requires of private schools, which is to have a curriculum that you're using and to teach reading, writing, math, and good citizenship). The main challenge might be what to say no to, as far as activities and groups go. Another plus: Texas' in-state college tuition (public universities) is lower than most other states'. It'd be great if y'all could come visit and get a feel for the place! Feel free to ask any questions, too! Blessings, Karen
  12. We pretty much worked on only one topic at a time, doing the Textbook Tasks & Workbook Exercises as laid out in the HIG/TG's. I added in small sets of problems from the IP & CWP on most days, and then we might spend an extra day or few working on more IP & CWP problems. Then, in between topics, we'd often have one or two review days. For example, in the PM-1A chapter, "Numbers 1 to 20," we might do something like this to complete the topic: PM-1A Textbook & Workbook: mostly according to the daily lesson plans in HIG/TG's IP-1A: about 50-75% of the Numbers 1 to 20 topic, leaving the rest for review later; we also skipped most of the Take the Challenge sections, using them later for enrichment or review. CWP-1: about 50% of the Numbers 1 to 20 topic; I didn't use the remaining problems for later review, as there were enough word problems in the IP. Topic test: I had some supplementary materials that I used for topical tests at the end of each unit. It's not necessary at all in 1st grade, but if you really wanted to do that, you could easily use the Extra Practice 1 as a test book (or even the Review exercises in the PM Workbook). HTH!
  13. For 1st-5th science, my kids didn't do a single science worksheet, quiz or test. They had no written work, other than the occasional nature journaling. Their time was spent reading science topics of interest (DK and Usborne-type books; plus for ds, that included an A Beka 5th or 6th grade science textbook; for dd, that included some Apologia elementary science texts), making observations (esp. with nature activities & birds), and a very limited number of hands-on experiments with kits, etc. It seems to me that their retention is much better with this delight-directed approach than it'd be with the traditional textbook approach. Plus, they have more time to develop skills such as making observations (which often requires patience), making connections, coming up with questions, all while keeping their curiosity alive. Starting in 6th, we switch to the standard science textbook and tests. Ds is enjoying and has been doing well in his science courses at school, and would like to go into engineering. If I could do 1st-5th science over again, I'd do the same. HTH!
  14. ...from ds's class: Lab Report Format (9th grade biology) Throughout this semester you will be asked to write a formal lab report for a lab. This will not be for all labs but a few each 9 week period. The following is the format you will use for the formal lab report. Lab report must be typed or written neatly in black pen. Each part of the lab must be in this order. If you have any questions about the lab report, be sure to ask a day or two ahead of the due date. Although the labs are done in groups in class, the lab report is to be done by you. I want your thoughts, interpretations and analysis. I. Abstract This is a paragraph the briefly describes the experiment performed. It is the last part of the lab report that you write as it will also include the type of data collected and a simplified conclusion. II. Information and Question This paragraph will present the background information about the subject the lab is about. For instance, if the lab presents the process of osmosis, this paragraph explains what osmosis is. It ends with the question the lab is going to answer. Be specific about what this question is. This means that the lab itself needs to be read so that you know what you are doing to ask the appropriate question. III. Hypothesis This is the answer to the above question. The answer must be in the “If .... then...†format. This is very important. The statement must answer the question. IV. Procedure This is a paragraph the details the procedure. You are not to copy the step by step procedure but put the procedure in paragraph form. Keep the procedure simple, don’t worry about amounts of items, for example. Also include any safety concerns of the lab, for example, goggle use, instrument care. V. Data Include the data charts and graphs from the lab. If you are going to do these on a separate sheet, be sure that you end the previous page with the procedure and start the page after this with the questions. Graphs must be done on graph paper in pencil if not done on the computer. VI. Questions Answer the questions from the lab to help with the analysis. The answers will be in essay form. In other words, in a paragraph you will answer the questions completely, explaining your answers. Complete and informative sentences are required. VII. Analysis It should discuss the outcome of the experiment, what you discovered doing the experiment. Describe any errors that might have occurred. How might others use this information. Look for connections, relationships, patterns in your data. VIII. Conclusion It should also discuss how your hypothesis compares to the outcome of the experiment. Show how the data collected supports or refutes your hypothesis, not just whether your hypothesis is correct or not. Talk about the extreme ends of the data and how that relates to your hypothesis. Did other groups verify your data? If some data is discarded or ignored, tell why and what would you do differently. In the Questions section, students are to answer questions provided by the teacher. HTH!
  15. Looking at Way2blessed's bar diagrams: the middle bar diagram's segment, |---75----|--30--|, is the same length as the last bar diagram's segment (at the right end of the bar), |--?--|--?--|--?--| . Therefore, 75+30 = the sum of the three |--?--| segments. HTH!
  16. ...perhaps an older edition of Warriner's if you want the diagramming. The more current ones are titled, "English Composition & Grammar" and have dropped off the diagramming, from what I've seen. Emmanuel Books sells the answer key and some used copies of an older edition Third Course (9th grade) which I bought several years ago. The Warriner's I used in junior high looked like this (except it was the First and Second Courses for 7th & 8th grades); diagramming was included. HTH!
  17. The way they weave together the composer's music and a story about him is brilliant! Another great Mozart one is Mozart's Magic Fantasy. For additional music by Mozart, there's a series of CDs called Mozart in the Morning, with an assortment of his music on each CD, usually the more popular stuff. If you're looking into books, Diane Stanley wrote Mozart: The Wonder Child. HTH!
  18. For ds's 7th grade year, he did Hakim's History of US books (read them on his own, plus summarized or outlined some chapters) for his history credit. Also, we did SOTW-2 as a family with 7th & 4th graders (I read the text aloud, plus the review questions & narrations), which I didn't include in his transcript. Dd did some of the SOTW-2 activity pages & timeline cards, but ds only did the occasional map activity, concentrating his time in U.S. history. I'll probably have dd11 do the Hakim books for 7th grade as well. I'm sure it'd be fine to intersperse the History of US books over several years. I did notice that ds really enjoyed reading them and finished the series a couple months ahead of schedule. One option may be to make your SOTW-3 year your American history year....For the supplementary reading, assign only the Hakim books in addition to the SOTW-3 read-aloud time. If you're assigning it as independent reading, then have other activities/books for the younger kids to do/read. HTH!
  19. It sounds like plenty to me! If you take a look at Memoria Press's 6th grade package, you'll see that for their ancient Greece unit they use the FMOG (text & guide), The Trojan War by Coolidge, and Horatius at the Bridge. You've planned several more books than that. :)
  20. Ds didn't exactly enjoy having to write out his answers to the reading comprehension questions in the MP Student Book, so we did some of those orally. But the vocabulary was fine, and I liked having the mapwork. Also, it provided some accountability on keeping up with all the characters, their names, traits, etc. Since ds wasn't doing a whole lot of other work similar to the MP guide, it worked out great. If a student was already doing a lot of other reading comprehension or basic-recall written work in lit or history, this might be too much to add on.
  21. Ds did this a few years ago: Classical studies: Ancient Greece – 5th grade Course description: An introduction to the literature and history of ancient Greece. A range of literature is read – mythology, retellings of epic poems, fables, and short biographies of key figures in Greek history. The student learns about the Greek gods and goddesses, Homer, Achilles, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Jason, the Hero of Marathon, Socrates, Xenophon, Alexander the Great, and others. Methods used include independent reading, discussion, comprehension questions, writing assignments, map work, and tests. Credit: 1 humanities credit. Curriculum: D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths Student Guide by Cheryl Lowe and Leigh Lowe (Memoria Press) Plus: Custom lessons on remaining literature Book list: D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum The Golden Fleece by Padraic Colum Famous Men of Greece: Greek History by John Haaren and A. B. Poland, edited by Leigh Lowe Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick Aesop’s Fables Dd did mostly the same stuff for her 5th grade year, minus FMOG, Archimedes and Aesop's Fables, plus the following: Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick Ancient Greece by Peter Connolly Overall favorites: D'Aulaires' Greek Myths the books by Padraic Colum the books by Rosemary Sutcliff HTH!
  22. We broke up a few of the FLL-4 lessons into two sessions as well. I timed our lessons several times...about 10-20 min. per lesson, about 2-3 times per week. FLL is the best series, IMO, for allergic-to-pencils kids, delivering advanced content with less writing than other programs I've seen (of similar content). Also, I love that there's no independent work -- I don't have to grade/check any work!!!
  23. Have you seen Bethlehem Books? They have a series of historical fiction, "Living History," which we've really enjoyed over the years. Some of our favorites: Winged Watchman, Madeline Takes Command, Hidden Treasure of Glaston, Victory on the Walls.
  24. We used TOG-2 (Units 1&2) when ds was in 6th grade. We used Our Island Story and The Story Europe, but both of the books annoyed me, especially Our Island Story. Ds wasn't as annoyed as I was, so we just went ahead and finished Unit 2 using them. But if I could do it over again, I'd choose the Miller book. Though the Marshall history books are often less dry and probably more conservative than modern history textbooks, the author's tone is just too much for me to take for that long. HTH!
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