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    Austin, TX
  1. MMMMMwhaaaaaah to quark and Pistacio Mom! I am looking all of this up. Very excited that both the Great Courses lectures and the PBS videos are available through out library. Thank you so much; I've never created a high school level course and am finding my way... Darlene
  2. Hi there, Our family went to NYC last month, and my daughter and I went to three Broadway musicals. She LOVES musicals, probably knows most songs to most of the popular shows, and we're planning to see at least three more Broadway shows in the next twelve months in our home city. We were tossing around the idea of creating an elective around the subject of theater and Broadway shows, and I'm wondering if anyone else has done something like this and can offer some ideas. She has on interest in acting or participating in any local theater troupes, but she loves watching them. :) Thanks! Darlene
  3. Thank you, Kareni, for sharing your course descriptions. They are very helpful. I also like the idea of asking for an assessment from the teachers. :) Darlene
  4. My daughter (9th grade) is taking a world history class where the themes of the Giver quartet by Lois Lowry are used to study various historical events. The class is structured to be a 1 credit world history course. In addition, the teachers are also covering literary elements through discussion of the four books, and the students will also be reading additional historical fiction throughout the year. I'd like to use this class for her world history credit and also 1/2 credit for literature. I'm planning to use a subject-based transcript. Would I list the class twice under history and English? Something else that I'm not sure how to handle -- while the material covered is, according to the teachers, a one-credit history course, they are not giving grades. I am copied on all the homework assignment emails so I see what she is doing, and I see her homework assignments. I guess I'm not certain about how to determine grades. She also has an engineering class that is not graded, but that is an elective, so I'm not as concerned. We are relatively new to homeschooling. Her older brother is a junior at a competitive public magnet school, and while he is neck-deep in AP courses and that rigorous track, it's like I'm walking in two worlds for college prep between the two kids. My daughter's math, science and language are traditional, run-of-the-mill courses, and she will take two Bravewriter writing classes to make 1/2 writing credit. History is her least favorite subject, so I was happy to find this class that has a twist. I'm just uncertain how to justify credit for history and literature. Thanks for any thoughts on this. Darlene
  5. My 9th grade son is taking a class for his third year of Latin. He used Cambridge Latin for the first two years. While he's comfortable translating from Latin to English, he's having a difficult time translating English to Latin. What programs have English to Latin translation exercises so he could get some practice? Thank you! Darlene
  6. Is there a good grammar review program for high schoolers that can be done within a couple months? My son's grammar is average at best, and I'd like to get him a "crash course" if you will to help him tweak his writing and grammar usage over the summer. I saw Critical Thinking's Editor-in-chief and wasn't crazy about it. Time4Writing has a grammar usage program which might work, but it seems broader than I'd like it to be. I'd rather not use a program that will take an entire school year to complete. An online program or interactive software program is preferred over a textbook. Thanks! Darlene
  7. My 10-yo daughter really enjoyed Sequential Spelling last school year, but I didn't like that it didn't specifically teach spelling rules. We switched to MegaWords, but it was like pulling teeth to get her to do it, and the rules didn't seem to stick. So a couple weeks ago we switched back to SS, and she's much happier. What I like about SS is that she gets to practice spelling a LOT of words every week. I need to get a good resource with spelling rules that I can refer to when she is having trouble with certain patterns. For her, I think the key is having her write, write, write. Darlene
  8. Dd (5th grade) and I got off to a slow start this year due to a two-week trip to take care of a friend in need. When we returned home we both needed a few more weeks to recover! We are in good shape with Easy Grammar and Math U See, and she has gotten a good start with Writing with Skill and is starting week 9, I believe. I never quite solidified her history curriculum. During the summer I thought I would start History Odyssey Ancients, but then decided to finish reading the SOTW series, and that was as far as I got. For science she has ScienceFusion as her spine, but she's not crazy about it. She attends a science club once a week, which gets her doing experiments and fun activities with a group of kids. Her math is supplemented with IXL and a once-a-week math club where she learns some mental math tricks and practices Math League word problems. We've only been homeschooling for a year, and she misses school and being around kids all day. She shadowed at her brother's middle school a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it tremendously. So, I feel I have to beef up history and language arts so she will be prepared to go back next year. I wasn't prepared for that decision, and aside from test scores I need to provide a narrative of what we've been doing to the admissions committees for the schools she'll apply to, since I don't keep grades. The rest of this school will be interesting! Darlene
  9. I am awful about planning for science. This year I subscribed to ScienceFusion. My dd (5th grade) does online lessons, and she also has a workbook that corresponds to the lessons. For experiments, she attends a science club once a week. Science is so much more fun with other kids, and she enjoys it. Other than that, she enjoys building the occasional kit and will randomly do some independent study based on something that piques her interest. Darlene
  10. Last year I used a book called "Caught 'Ya with a Giggle." There are a few books to choose from, and although it was created to be used in the classroom with multiple students, the author's website offers a downloadable document for homeschoolers to adapt it for home. Basically, the author has created several humorous stories. Each day the teacher is instructed to write one sentence on the board that has incorrect punctuation and spelling. The student must rewrite the sentence with the corrections. This was really helpful for my 4th grader who was brushing up on her punctuation. The story kept her engaged and wanting more. We did two sentences every day. This year we're not doing it, but I really think that the Caught 'Ya's helped her tremendously, and it was fun for both of us. Darlene
  11. My almost 11-yo daughter is spelling-challenged. A former teacher of hers commented a couple times that research has shown there is such a thing as a "spelling gene," and my daughter probably doesn't have it. We used Sequential Spelling 1 last year and she actually liked that okay. We were also using Spelling City, where I would have her study lists from the Caught Ya's that we were doing, along with vocabulary from books she read. This year we are trying Megawords, but we are just not feeling it, and I haven't found a vocabulary program that I like yet. She is writing a lot more, so we do have opportunities to work on spelling that way, but I want something more formal. I'm considering going back to Sequential Spelling, but am curious to know about some other programs. I didn't like the look of Spelling Power or some of the other big names. I just don't know that drills are all that helpful. The Rod and Staff program sounds interesting, but will it include Bible verses or biblical references? I'd really like a secular program. Honestly, I'm wondering if I should just find a good vocabulary program to focus on. At this point I'm willing to let go of the fact that my daughter is just not a good speller. However, I would like for her to build up her vocabulary. Are there any other families who have gone through this and found some good spelling or vocabulary programs? Thanks, Darlene
  12. I'm curious to know how much time your children devote to daily studies vs extra classes and activities? My 10 yo daughter is *very* social, and she likes having several classes a week that allow her to be with other children. My son is in middle school, and yesterday she shadowed at his school. Her immediate response was that she absolutely loved it, misses school (We have been homeschooling for about a year now), and especially misses being with other children all day. Upon deeper investigation, she misses being with other children all day more than she enjoys the daily routine of school. I love classical education but I find it takes so much time. I'm trying to help her find a good balance of work and extra activities. If I add one or two more activities, then we need to figure out where schoolwork fits in. I'd love to hear what others have found works well for their social child. Darlene
  13. My daughter is enjoying Writing with Skill, and I really like what she's learning from it. My question is, is anyone NOT doing the lessons 4 days a week? Are you just planning to go through the whole book and finish when it's finished, or will you skip lessons or weeks if you plan to be done by May? In some ways I feel "behind," (maybe I'm still de-schooling). I'm learning there's not really such a thing, but still... Darlene
  14. Found a few resources to share. The videos were especially helpful and kept my daughter's attention. Printable on the electoral process. Includes some background information and a few worksheets: http://www.icivics.org/teachers/lesson-plans/electoral-process Videos: Started by reviewing the preamble, via Schoolhouse Rock: Learned about the Democrat and Republican Parties: Electoral Process: Electoral College: We went over some of the printables in between some of the videos. Tomorrow we'll go over these set of printables, which has been shared on the forum (thanks!): http://www.greatschools.org/worksheets-activities.topic?content=4313 Darlene
  15. I just took dd to Barnes and Noble and let her choose a planner she likes. We chose a weekly schedule format, and I'll work with her to start writing in all her activities, field trips, etc. Hopefully I'll become disciplined enough to help her keep it up and make schedule planning a habit. It took me years to find a system that worked for me -- I do best with a digital calendar. In addition to it being a weekly format, my dd likes that it has sections to add in her friends' contact information and frequently used websites. I hope this works! Darlene
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