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Everything posted by smg0918

  1. I haven't looked at Oak Meadow in a few years. In the earlier years I wasn't thrilled with their offerings, but I will look into it again and see what fifth grade looks like. Thanks for the suggestion!
  2. Hello all -- I have mostly been in lurk mode on these forums in recent months. I received a lot of great advice from you wonderful moms last year and made most of my curriculum decisions based on all the wonderful information I found here. Now that I'm looking to the fall I am once again turning to you for some advice. My twins will be in fifth grade this fall and this will be my sixth year of homeschooling. (We brought them home mid-way through their kindergarten year.) I work out of the home three days a week and must be in communication with my office on the other two days, so my homeschooling and prep time is very limited. As a result, I really need an "open and go" type of curriculum that does most of the planning/scheduling for me. For first and second grade we used Calvert. I loved the ease of use for me, and both of my kids did really well with it, but to be completely honest we were all very burned out by the end of second grade. Looking back I'm not certain whether that was Calvert's fault or mine. As a new homeschooler I felt it was necessary to complete every single thing Calvert set out in the teacher's manual. A few years and a little more confidence later I now know it's OK to leave out what doesn't work for the kids or me, and I think if I had approached Calvert in that manner back then it might have been better for all of us. For third and fourth grade we took a much more laid back/eclectic approach. For third I purchased a mish-mash of materials from a supplier in Florida, but it did include lesson plans, which made my life pretty easy. The kids did OK, although they fell terribly behind in math. For fourth grade I pieced together the curriculum entirely on my own, with a LOT of advice from this forum. Again, the kids did great, but it was SO much work for me that more often than not things did not get done. I feel like I did a real disservice to my kids last year and they would have been much better off if I had used a more well planned curriculum. So now, as I look to next year, I KNOW that an eclectic/laid-back approach is really not an option. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm just not good at the planning/scheduling process. So I'm looking for something that will do it for me. I'm considering going back to Calvert, but this time allowing myself the flexibility to use what I think will be good for my kids and leave out anything that I think is extraneous/boring/whatever. At the same time I'm open to a more "pieced together" approach, but only if each subject comes with a laid-out yearly plan. Any advice or suggestions for me? We are not Christian, but I am open to a Christian curriculum as long as I can edit/leave out those things that do not match our beliefs. The things that have worked really well for us in the past are Spelling Workout, the Maps, Globes and Graphs series and Growing with Grammar. Of the three Spelling Workout was the best because it had clearly set-out weekly lessons and I didn't have to do any planning on my own. I have purchased SOTW Vol. 1 on CD and the workbook and that will definitely be a part of our curriculum next year (even if we do go back to Calvert). Many thanks!
  3. I voted "other." I never in a million years thought I would homeschool my kids. I didn't know a single soul who homeschooled their kids or had been homeschooled themselves. But halfway into my twins' kindergarten year it became readily apparent that my son was falling through the cracks with no hope of ever catching up to his sister simply because he's a twice-gifted kid that dumbfounded his teacher. We very reluctantly began homeschooling in 2004 and here we are 4.5 years later! I consider myself situational at this point because if the right private school situation presented itself and we could afford it we might very well consider enrolling them in school. But with our finances as they currently are, private school simply isn't an option for us and public school in our district will happen over my d.e.a.d. b.o.d.y. It's difficult for me to envision putting my kids back in school at this point, but I readily admit that I may not be qualified to teach them in the high school years. As someone else here posted, my husband assures me often that I'm doing a great job, but I do worry at times whether I'm doing right by my children. But I just love being their teacher and I treasure the learning that the three of us have shared together.
  4. Have you been tested for systemic yeast? I had a horrible case of mastitis after my twins were born that eventually led to a six month bout of inflammatory arthritis involving every joint in my body. On a whim my rheumatologist decided to test me for systemic yeast and voila -- the root cause of all my troubles. A four week treatment of liquid Nystatin (the type they use in babies for oral thrush) was all it took to clear everything up. Hope this helps!
  5. My avatar is a picture of myself with my twins taken when we were on vacation in 2007.
  6. We've been using Spelling Workout since first grade (my kids are currently in fourth) and both have become very good spellers. I have to admit that I, too, like the looks of the Spelling Skills books that JudoMom posted.
  7. I will second (and third and fourth and fifth!) the recommendation for Nobilo sauvingnon blanc from New Zealand. Monkey Bay is also nice, but Nobilo is just a smidge better in my opinion. If you're looking for something with a less distinctive taste, Clos du Bois produces a very nice chardonnay at a reasonable price. If you like pinot grigio, Cavit is good choice and it's not expensive. I used to hate red wine but my husband prefers it so I eventually developed a taste for it. My favorite reds are Spanish riojas, with Montecillo being one of our favorites (especially the reserva). It's a mild red with a very smooth finish. Pinot noir is also a good choice since it's a lighter red than a zinfandel or a cab. Mark West and Sterling both put out a nice pinot noir. Hope this helps!
  8. Me, too. I'm a newbie here and haven't posted much on this forum but I have to say that these posts have really touched my heart today. What a lucky, lucky little boy to have a new mom and dad and siblings to love him. :::tears:::
  9. We started with GWG4 and my kids had never done diagramming before. They picked it right up and actually enjoy it! There is plenty of repetition so my kids have retained it well.
  10. My kids both enjoy GWG and are retaining the material very well. I teach the lessons, however -- they don't do them independently. I'll read the lesson aloud and show the examples on a whiteboard, and then they complete the worksheets. We go over their answers together and make any necessary corrections. I will sometimes supplement with additional grammar worksheets to further reinforce a concept, but not always. I think GWG is a great program and am so happy I followed the recommendations of the ladies here to give it a try. We supplement with Writing Tales and Spelling Workout.
  11. Thanks so much for this advice, especially about the last 20 lessons not being covered in depth. That's good to know. I think when the materials arrive I'll look everything over and determine at what point in the program my kids do not have a solid knowledge base and begin from there. Even if there are things scattered throughout that my kids have already mastered, it won't hurt to go over them again and we can move quickly through those areas if necessary. I appreciate the advice everyone!
  12. I am using Growing with Grammar along with Writing Tales and Spelling Workout with my nine year old (fourth grade) twins and it is working out very well for us. They really enjoy GWG and seem to be retaining the information very well.
  13. My daughter started developing breast buds about five months before her ninth birthday. She is also starting to sprout hair under her arms and in her nether regions. I don't remember developing breasts that young (I'm actually still waiting at the ripe old age of 44 :laugh: ), but I did get my first period at 11. I am so not ready for my kids to grow up. They're still my babies!
  14. I like this idea. That might help to avoid boredom issues with either program. Thanks!
  15. Thanks so much for posting the Table of Contents -- that helps a lot. It looks like we may have to jump around a bit in Saxon because my kids know some of this and some of that, and not necessarily in the order that Saxon covers it. I hear a lot about Singapore's word problems. Does Saxon have a good amount of word problems? If not, maybe I should include a book on Singapore's word problems. I'm going back a grade in Saxon so it makes sense to go back a grade with Singapore as well. I really want to focus on getting the basic facts down since both of my kids seem to be lacking in that regard.
  16. My twins, age 9, are behind in math (as I've posted about previously). We've been struggling to wrap our brains around Right Start C but have decided to throw in the towel. While my kids do like the abacus, none of us like the lessons and we find ourselves skipping math when we really need to be buckling down. I've finally decided on Saxon 3 to get them caught up and I'm waiting for it to arrive. Both kids need more work on the basics, but I don't think they need to start right at the beginning of the book. Is there any sort of guide that would help me to figure out where in level 3 I should start them? From the placement test I know they weren't ready for level 54, but they already know a lot of what is contained within level 3. I don't want to bore them to tears (and make them hate Saxon) by starting right at the beginning of level 3, but at the same time I don't want to jump so far ahead that I perpetuate the whole "they're behind where they should be" thing. Any suggestions? And for those of you who supplement with Singapore, which Singapore product would work well alongside Saxon 3? Thanks!
  17. My kids have enjoyed the Maps, Globes and Graphs series by Steck Vaughn. We started using it as part of the Calvert curriculum in first and second grade, and then continued with it even after we dropped Calvert because the kids really liked it. It's definitely "open and go" -- geography is one subject that my kids do fairly independently.
  18. This is my problem -- I *did* start in the middle with RightStart and it's just not working for my kids. So what program would you recommend for starting in the middle? My kids are in fourth grade but have very few math facts memorized.
  19. I would recommend that you contact the Judge's Law Clerk (every judge has at least one, possibly several depending on the volume of cases) and explain your situation. Tell him or her that you certainly respect the Judge's rule that infants not be allowed in the courtroom, but that you are nursing a newborn that cannot take a bottle. Make it clear that you want to abide by the judge's wishes but that you are certain, given the predicted length of your proceeding, that you will have to nurse a few times throughout the course of the day. Ask him or her what they suggest. I am certain that if you present your case in a respectful manner the clerk will work with you to figure out a solution. If you need help determining the name of your judge's law clerk, let me know and I will try to find it for you. I work in the legal field and I'll be happy to help if I can.
  20. We have been using Steck Vaughn's Maps, Globes and Graphs for four years now and my kids really enjoy it.
  21. I want to get my daughter a set of books for Christmas that is only available in the UK. I have found them on Ebay but they seem ridiculously overpriced to me (although I could be wrong). I just wondered if anyone here might be willing to purchase the books and ship them to me. I would, of course, pay all expenses up front. Thank you.
  22. It's possible that urine is "refluxing" into her vagina when she urinates, and when she stands up the urine is actually dripping from the vaginal area rather than her urethra. I had a hysterectomy four years ago that wsa complicated by severe adhesions between my uterus and bladder, and ever since then I have had this reflux problem. My urogynecologist told me that this is actually fairly common, especially in young girls. Sorry to be graphic, but a good way to tell if she is experiencing reflux is for her to wipe, then spread her labia with one hand and wipe the vaginal area (with fresh TP) with the other hand. This should take care of any residual urine. I have found that leaning forward when I empty my bladder helps to prevent the urine from flowing backward, so your daughter may want to try that as well. Again, sorry to be so graphic (especially since I'm so new here), but I wanted to post this in the event it might help her. You can google "urethrovaginal reflux" for more info. Good luck!
  23. I envy those of you who have free access to interlibrary loans. Our library system charges $.50 for each book requested (regardless of whether the book is resident in our library or must be obtained from other libraries in our county). It just becomes too expensive to request books when I have to pay $.50 for every single book.
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