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Everything posted by NancyNellen

  1. I never used formal spelling with 4 of my 5 kids. If they spell well in their writing, a program is unnecessary, IMO.
  2. At that age my small ones loved Jim Weiss CDs: especially Fairytale Favorites, Giants, Old Testament stories, and Famously Funny.
  3. Certainly not "no one." I teach philosophy and about 50% of the homeschoolers I know IRL teach it in some form.
  4. I will finish the whole series for the fifth time this year. The 2nd and 3rd times through were worst. Fourth and fifth were easier. In my opinion it is totally worth it.
  5. DS#1: homeschooled K-12 (dual enrolled for 11th and 12th.) DD#2: homeschooled K-10th, charter school 11th and 12th. DD#3: homeschooled K-8th, charter school 9th-11th (current) DS#4: homeschooled K-8th (current) DS#5: homeschooled K-4th (current)
  6. Well, since many of us old folk have been homeschooling with The Well-Trained Mind since before WWE was written, I would say it is not necessary. I began homeschooling in 2001 and followed the recommendations of the 1st Ed. of TWTM. We did use FLL and lots and lots of narration and copy work (more than what is in FLL.) We began Classical Writing in grade 3. That system worked brilliantly. So much so, that even after WWE came out I refused to switch up what we do. I have graduated 2 who are now in college. They each scored perfectly on the English portion of the SAT. I say that simply to point out that any approach, done consistently and systematically, will be successful. So, WWE works great for many people, but it is not the only right way - just like all other subjects and curriculum. Go with what is working for you and yours. Nancy
  7. I personally love Kodaly for ear training/sight singing.
  8. Well, I had the exact same set up a number of years ago. Boy 16 mo. older than girl. Kept them together for grammar, history, science, Latin, etc. Separate for phonics and math. Worked out great! They are now a freshman and sophomore in college. The question is the maturity of the younger. My daughter was mature - so it worked out well.
  9. None of my five children did extracurriculars at that age. They all started something they were interested in somewhere around ages 8-10. They are all capable, bright, well-adjusted humans now. My preference was to be at home or out together as a family when they were young. I would definitely do it that way again.
  10. I used PP with all five of mine. I chose it because we began homeschooling in 2001 and PP was what the first edition of WTM recommended. It is very much open-and-go. There is nothing to "wade through" in the beginning. Just start on p. 1 and do a page or two per day. It is simple and straight forward. The only phonetic symbols they introduce are long and short vowel signs. That is only briefly...they disappear quickly. Each of my kids spent 18-24 months going through the book. They were very solid readers by the end. Personally, I don't think you can really go wrong with any of your three choices. Sometimes the best thing is just to pick one and go forward.
  11. We absolutely adore IEWs poetry and have been using it for about 10 years. We just skipped the poetry in FLL (unless my kids really wanted to do it.) Generally speaking, it took about one year per level, although we did stretch the last level out a bit.
  12. Lukeion classes are really excellent. Mrs. Barr is a phenomenal teacher!
  13. We love Zin, Zin, Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss.
  14. It has been quite a while since my five were as young as yours but I sure do remember the sinking feeling! I will give you a bullet point list of what worked around here - but remember, it is going to be a busy, chaotic time any way you slice it. That's OK. It's just important to try and enjoy the ride :laugh: Wake up earlier - it's amazing what 30-60 minutes of extra morning time can allow you to get done. Have simple/easy things prepared ahead of time for breakfast (frozen waffles, hard-boiled eggs, crock-pot oatmeal, muffins, breakfast casserole, smoothie packs, etc.) Teach during breakfast - for years we have done Bible, memory work, and read-alouds at breakfast time. They are still kinda sleepy and willing to sit still and listen. Stagger chore time - Right after breakfast send one off to do chores and have the others stagger independent work or time with you. Keep rotating the kids through chore time until they are all done. My kids really work during their chore time - vacuuming, sweeping, emptying or loading the dishwasher, laundry, dusting, watering plants, wiping down counters/sinks, etc. Have a place for them to put their work that needs to be checked and then get to it in spurts as you have little bits of time throughout the day. I like using a pretty basket that they can plop their workbooks/papers into. Just don't leave it all until the day is done or it won't get checked (voice of experience here!) Have a 30-minute mid-morning PE time - we used to spend 30 minutes from 9:45-10:15am every morning riding bikes, scootering, running around the block or jumping on the trampoline. This gives them that much-needed exercise and fresh air and gets the wiggles out. Follow this PE time with a protein-rich snack while you read aloud. (apples with peanut or almond butter, almond milk smoothies, cheese and crackers, etc). This will re-invigorate and get them through to lunch. Understand that interruptions are natural and normal for a household of small children. See them less as interruptions and more as the natural rhythm of the day. I don't mind if a child with a question comes and stands quietly next to me until I can give them my attention. Ask the child you are working with, "Work this problem/label all the nouns/practice memorizing this definition, etc while I help your sister for a minute." Or, if I am at a place with child A that an interruption would be detrimental I ask child B to move on to the next problem/sentence/whatever until I can help them. It is unrealistic to expect an "interruption-free" block of time with kids whose ages are in the single-digits. ALWAYS make time for one thing every day that is enjoyable (reading aloud, playing outside, baking, painting - whatever it is for you and yours.) And lastly, I will echo Goldilocks advice above. Simplify. Really. She said, "It is a balance between meeting their needs for academics, play, and having a mom who is available for a game/bike ride/making cookies/etc." Yes and yes! A frazzled, harried mom who is meeting all of the perceived academic needs of her children and making herself crazy doing it (again, experience talking...) is missing the boat. Less is more. Depth not breadth. However you want to describe it - you have YEARS left to meet their academic needs. Don't miss out on the fun and wonder and enjoyment of meeting the needs of your small childrens' hearts where they are right now. Now that I have graduated one and am about to graduate a second, I find it is not the academic needs beingmet along the way that stand out in our homeschooling journey. Those are great, but it is all the other interactions that truly warm my heart and theirs. Good luck, God bless, and may you find your perfect balance.
  15. This was my son exactly. He applied at USNA, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, and three other ROTC schools he was completely uninterested in. After getting the thin white envelope from USNA he chose Texas A&M for their Corps of Cadets program. He really enjoyed the atmosphere far more than the others. He also was interested in a school where the party atmosphere took a back seat to the academics. Because he was a National Merit Scholar, Texas A&M reduced the tuition to in-state and gave him a great scholarship - cheaper than other in-state schools. My daughter is looking for a temperate climate and access to a big city. She has a few months left to actually decide, but these seem to be the big ones right now.
  16. Hi Judy, He took it locally at a charter school in town. The teacher was just out of college and just didn't quite have her wits about her. :-) Good luck to your daughter.
  17. DD (11th): Art History: 5 APUSH: 5 DS (12th): APUSH: 5 Lit. & Comp.: 5 Chem: 2 - super disappointed, but I'm proud of him for taking it. He hated the class, teacher, everything! He learned a ton, just didn't test well.
  18. Well, my first suggestion is always, "Start young." The easiest possible thing is to start them in the chore habit early and be consistent, consistent, consistent. Starting mud-stream is a bit trickier. What has been helpful around here is having a set chore time. For years we have had a morning and evening chore time. I call it and all five if my kids get to work. I have their lists on the inside of my pantry door so I can spot check and make sure things get done. Our rule is that you simply cannot move on to anything else until your chores are done. Period. Then I time other things appropriately. Our morning chore time is after breakfast. My 8 year old loads the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. I run the dishwasher after lunch and my 12 year old empties it at evening chore time. All of my kids over 11 years old do their own laundry (including towels). They each get a day where the washer/dryer are theirs. If they don't do their laundry they are out of luck until next week. They don't typically "forget" more than once :-) The best advice anyone can give you is be consistent. My experience has always been that if I don't require it, they really just won't do it.
  19. I agree. I have five here and have found that being consistent with the daily rhythm and expectations, as well as diligently reinforcing discipline in my kids so that they can work mostly without distraction while I work with others are more important than the curriculum itself.
  20. Yeah, I agree with a pp...just drop the diagramming aspect of FLL3 if you don't want to do it. There's plenty in there even without the diagramming.
  21. If I could like this 100 times I would!
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