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Everything posted by karensk

  1. ...and will continue to use them for the second time round. So I only need to buy the PM Workbooks and the Intensive Practice books (I photocopy CWP as needed). I looked at the Standards Edition at a store and thought they seemed fine-- not necessarily worth switching for. The one possible benefit of the Standards over US edition: topical tests. If you want tests and are using the US edition, you could use some of the Practices and/or Reviews in the Textbooks as tests. HTH!
  2. I won't be able to make it for lunch, but I'll definitely look for y'all in SWB's workshops! Should be fun!!! :)
  3. Yes! I'm going, too! I am so looking forward to going to SWB's workshops. Maybe we could all sit in the same area in the workshops.... :)
  4. The hardcover book has everything you need. It includes instructions for notebooking, experiments, and more. Dd used the hardcover by itself last year and learned a lot! And she enjoyed it, too. The spiral-bound journal is completely optional. It's ideal if you want to have your student fill in worksheets (instead of making their own journal page) and do extra activities, e.g., a crossword, something to cut & paste. IMO it would require more time to complete than the activities in the hardcover book, so it might be a good fit with a highly motivated student who will spend extra time in science. Another option would be to just do some, not all, of the activities in the spiral-bound journal. But then you might not feel like you're getting everything out of it. ;) HTH!
  5. Yes, I wish I had discovered Before Five in a Row before ds was too old for it (he was almost 7 y/o), but am so glad I got to use it with dd. It's one of my all-time favorite curricula. :) And FIAR was awesome, as well!
  6. If the 5th grader hasn't had much formal grammar so far, then you should check out First Language Lessons 4. The content is advanced, much like R&S, but it is non-sectarian. I'm pretty sure that most 6th graders in the US haven't learned the material in FLL-4, so it's fine for most 5th graders, IMO. HTH!
  7. Our elementary science was pretty hodge-podgish and did not at all follow a standard scope & sequence, which I don't regret at all. :) Starting in 6th, we follow a more traditional s&s: 6th: life science 7th: earth/space science 8th: physical science And then they should be ready to do a pretty traditional high school sequence: 9th: biology 10th: chemistry 11th: physics 12th: either an AP science course or else something like marine biology or human anatomy, etc. Ds14 is currently taking physical science at a private school, but I started him in life science in 6th grade (at a homeschool co-op class) so he could end up doing physical science in 8th. I'll probably do the same for dd11, who will start 6th this fall. Another option is something like: 6th: life science or earth/space science 7th: Apologia's General Science 8th: physical science Or you may choose to do physical science in 9th instead of 8th, bumping everything back a year. It's usually recommended that a student has completed Algebra I before he starts Chemistry. And from what I've seen, chemistry is taken concurrently with Algebra II, though I don't know if that's more from convention or necessity. I tried to figure out where I wanted my student to end up at, by the end of high school, and then worked backwards. HTH!
  8. From SM's website.... "The Teacher’s Manual has a weekly schedule and fully worked solutions for the Challengers, Problem Solving, and Investigations. There is a separate solutions manual for only NEM 1 and 2 with fully worked solutions to the rest of the exercises. There are no worked solutions for the regular exercises for NEM 3 and 4." I have both the teacher's manual and the solutions manual, and have ended up mostly using the solutions manual. This has the answers written out in detailed steps for all the problems in the regular exercises. The teacher's manual has the answers only to the extras, which we often skipped. So if you like doing the extra enrichment-type problems that go above & beyond the regular problems, then you'd probably want the teacher's manual. HTH!
  9. ...it seemed to get better when I assigned 20-30 of the same kind of problems to my ds. That way, he'd do the same thing over and over again, and somehow that got into his brain better. The problems at this level are longer than before, so a lot of it is just remembering all the steps. You might try doing that for a week or so before switching to another program, to see if it actually helps or not. Maybe just pick one specific type of problem to work on, and find about 20 of them to assign. Have him demonstrate to you that he can solve a couple/three correctly before sending him off to do them independently, kind of like how we took turns working problems on the chalkboard in math class. HTH!
  10. Just wondering....can you tell if he's missing the problems due to carelessness/forgetfulness (like forgetting to bring down a 5) or due to not understanding a concept? As a kid, math was my strongest subject, but I wouldn't have been able to learn as well with the Saxon format. I needed more concentrated time on one topic at a time.
  11. This is the course description I put on ds's transcript: History: U.S. History, Culture & Government – 7th grade Course description: This textbook-based course covers American history from pre-colonial times through modern times. The student learns about the form of government, political achievements, and the changes and developments that take place in American culture over time. Both primary sources and secondary sources are utilized. Methods include independent reading, discussion, writing assignments, a research paper, and tests. Curriculum: A History of US (11-volume set) by Joy Hakim Colonies to Constitution (Book 1 of “Critical Thinking in United States History†series) by Kevin O’Reilly Plus: Custom lessons Book list (supplementary reading): The Lost Colony of Roanoke by Jean Fritz What’s the Deal? Jefferson, Napoleon and the Louisiana Purchase by Rhoda Blumberg Make Way for Sam Houston by Jean Fritz Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas B. Allen On His Own by Horatio Alger Franklin D. Roosevelt (“United States Presidents†series) by Karen Bornemann Spies The course was actually pretty low-key. His writing assignments were mostly summaries of some of the chapters in History of US, maybe one or two summaries a week. He also did a few outlines, plus one (very basic) research paper on FDR. The use of primary sources was rather low-key...things like reading the founding documents, important speeches, etc., all found in the Source book of the Hakim series. He was given only a few tests...I just used some of the ones from SOTW that were about American history. Some ways to beef it up: more summaries & outlines, more research papers, more supplementary reading (additional biographies, etc.) HTH!
  12. I think the original version may be the cheaper way to go, if you're planning to get the tests and teacher key. Here's a link to a thread on WW that may provide some info on the differences.... http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246632 HTH!
  13. I think the regular SM curriculum (Primary Mathematics Home Instructor Guide) provide instruction on the bar method (for word problems). However, the problems in the CWP series seem to be at a slightly higher level of difficulty and complexity. Does your CWP book have worked examples for each topic? Do those help at all? When using these, I consider the "Practice Problems" to about on-level with the regular SM Primary Mathematics program and the "Challenging Problems" to be like honors-level or enrichment. Another consideration is that the regular SM program is about a semester ahead of some U.S. math curricula. I've found that the best instruction for the bar method has been the worked examples in the CWP series. Other SM materials I use: SM PM series with the Teacher's Guides (HIGs for levels 5 & 6), Intensive Practice, Extra Practice, My Pals Are Here! Tests, and a few other supplements. With specific problems, you might try the Singapore Math forums or even this forum, posting the specific problem and where y'all are stuck. Sometimes it helps to just talk it out. :) HTH!
  14. Dd is currently using and enjoying Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, which mostly introduces the alphabet and has students begin using the letters phonetically with English words. As dd expressed interest in learning more Greek, I looked into several curricula, including Greek for Children, Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek, Elementary Greek Koine for Beginners, and Athenaze. I think the last two are probably for older students (i.e., maybe not for the average 5th grader, who would need more review exercises)....if someone else knows this, hopefully they'll let us know! I ended up finding used copies of the Bluedorn's A Greek Alphabetarion: A Primer for Teaching How to Read, Write & Pronounce Ancient & Biblical Greek and A Greek Hupogrammon: A Beginner's Copybook for the Greek Alphabet with Pronunciations. It seemed to be a bit more flexible in terms of adjusting the pacing of the material. Though I didn't do a thorough comparison, the Alphabeterion seemed to provide more detailed explanations of the sounds for each letter than the other curricula for her grade level. For dd11, I felt that Greek for Children, Elementary Greek, and Athenaze moved too quickly, and that Hey Andrew seemed too young-ish for her. Even though Greek for Children should be the right level for dd, it looked like she'd need more review than what was provided. Which means that I'd have to come up with additional assignments. But it might be just right for other kids! HTH!
  15. Yes, I think it's be pretty easy to skip the diagramming; it's not like it's part of every single exercise in every single lesson. R&S-5 through R&S-7 (which is what I have) contain a lot of other grammar/usage/mechanics exercises that don't have any diagramming at all. From what I remember, you'll still have plenty of non-diagramming exercises in each chapter & topic that y'all can do. HTH!
  16. I love the FIAR series! They taught me about how to teach literature and discuss it, enabling the children to notice things on their own, not simply be spoon-fed a bunch of info about the book. Some others: FLL-3 & 4 - taught me how to present and reinforce grammar concepts Singapore Math Teacher's Guides for PM - taught me hands-on activities that reinforce math concepts This isn't a teacher's manual, but Adam Andrews' Teaching the Classics was very helpful in teaching me how to teach literature.
  17. Sure! Ask anything you like! And here's a booklist from PACES Paidaia, a homeschool co-op. They have a pretty challenging lit/worldview list, IMO. There are at least a couple of university-model schools in the Houston area, too. They started out as homeschool co-op type organizations, and are still kind of homeschool-ish in that they meet only 2 or 3 days/wk. But the admissions requirements are more challenging, like a private school, not like most homeschool co-ops. One is Logos Prep Academy and the other is Trinity Classical. And I have friends whose kids go to both of these as well. :)
  18. I have CWP 1-6, and from what I remember, levels 1 & 2 don't use the bar diagrams a whole lot. Where they are used, there are worked examples provided. Here's a worked example from CWP 3, which shows how to draw and label the bar diagram, then solve for the answer. Each topical section has several worked examples of varying difficulty. If you wanted more detailed explanations of how to teach these, you might want to look into the Home Instructor Guides for the corresponding level. HTH!
  19. In Houston, Kinkaid is one of the top private schools, maybe in the top 2 or 3(along with St. John's School), in terms of hardest to get into. It's a non-sectarian private day school. Kinkaid has their booklists on its website here. "US" stands for upper school, which is high school. To see the course descriptions, click on the Academics tab. Here are some others I've looked at recently: (btw, most private Christian schools seem to use textbooks from the major publishers like McGrawHill, etc., not BJU or A Beka, for most subjects). Houston Christian High School St. Thomas Episcopal School This is the most "classical" private school (that's not a homeschool-private school) I've come across in Houston. All students are required to learn Latin in high school and will read The Aenaid in Latin before they graduate. Here's the page of Latin course descriptions. (Left sidebar has descriptions of other courses.) Also, a lot of times, the school won't have their booklist available online, but their course descriptions will list what novels they'll cover, etc. At times, I've called the admissions offices of schools to ask which math curriculum they use. I have friends whose kids attend or have attended the schools above, so I've asked them about the schools & curriculum, too. HTH!
  20. I like Wordly Wise, too....There are several series: Wordly Wise (original) Wordly Wise 3000 Wordly Wise 3000, 2nd Edition At home we've used the original (starting in 4th grade), which I prefer for the usage exercises, but really, any of them are worthwhile, IMO. My son is using the 3000 series at his school this year (8th). For the original series, I get the student book, answer key, test booklet (which comes with its own key), totaling about $30. It looks like the 3000 series come with more products to choose from. The Teacher Resource Book seems expensive at $47.60. There has to be a less expensive answer key somewhere, I hope. HTH!
  21. Generally, my kids can only play media on the weekends, which is from 3 pm on Friday through about 5 pm Sunday. This includes the ipod touch, wii, computer games, webkinz, nintendo ds (they don't have cell phones). The exception is Wednesday nights, when video games are available to play at church. They might occasionally use the computer to make a playlist on iTunes during the week, but that's about it. For awhile, we had let them play everyday (after 3pm on schooldays), but I felt that it was affecting their concentration and memory. So then we cut it back and have been doing it this way for maybe 2 years or more.
  22. They are extremely sparse in content...primarily a schedule of how many pages to do per day. There may have been a suggested math activity here and there, but nothing even close to the amount of suggested activities in the HIG's or TG's. The HIG's not only have the schedule but also have games and hands-on activities to introduce and reinforce new math concepts. And this is for every topic and sub-topic. HTH!
  23. The explanations in NEM-1 were sparse, IMO. I purchased New Mathematics Counts-1 and found its explanations to be straightforward and clear. So then I went ahead and bought the next two levels in the series. It was kind of awkward, but we still used NEM-1 as our main text (the problems are considerably more challenging than those in NMC), but used the NMC explanations to introduce the topic. Unfortunately, the topics aren't arranged in the same order, so it was a bit inconvenient. I see that NMC-1 is out of stock....you may want to try Discovering Mathematics series, which I've heard good things about. As background....Ds13 did PM-1 through PM-5, then about two-thirds of Chalkdust Basic Math 6 with DVDs, then PM-6. Then we used about 50% of the Chalkdust pre-algebra textbook only (bought a used copy), which has good explanations, too. But if you still want to use NEM-1, you might like the other Singapore texts over a traditional US text like Chalkdust's. Ds recently did some ISEE test prep for his high school application, and we used some problems in NEM-2. This series is still my top choice for the problems! We just had to use other resources for the explanations (e.g., NMC-2, Chalkdust's Algebra textbook). He scored very high on the test, and I believe that the Singapore math approach is the main reason. HTH!
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