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About zarabellesmom

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    Cruise Director
  • Birthday 01/01/1978

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  1. Originally we were working about 45 minutes to an hour a day, 5 days a week on Barton. We don't take summers off. Lately we've moved to 30 minutes or so and about 4 days a week (though the goal is always 5 but stuff keeps happening). We haven't done any RAN/RAS work, but she was evaluated by a vision therapist when we began looking into her reading difficulties. They told me she wasn't dyslexic, so I've not got a lot of faith in much of what they said after that. We've moved to a new area and it might be time to look for someone. She's not extremely slow, just slow enough that you notice that she's working a little harder at it than most people her age would be.
  2. This is an update and a thank you to quite a few of you (not just those in this particular post) who assisted me on my journey. I can't figure out how to add the word update to the topic, but... We are just a few months shy of three years of Barton and my daughter is mid level 8. She's become a successful reader. She's a great decoder even if she reads rather slowly. Her spelling is much improved but still obviously dyslexic. This may always be the case, but she's becoming proficient with technology, so that's a big help. I can't find the posts I made prior to this, when you fabulous people were encouraging me to get testing and then supporting me with my grieving when we finally had results, but wow! What a journey. Annabelle has entered 6th grade this year and while we are only beginning our third week so far, she's sight read A Long Walk to Water and is part of the way through The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. This is such an amazing difference. She's so confident and actually enjoys reading (both audibooks, family read alouds, and sight reading). This is a big deal considering that slightly before testing she told me, "Books just aren't for me." She's in book 3 of CAP Writing & Rhetoric and while she's ok at speech to text in Google Docs, she prefers to type and her spelling is decent enough that it mostly comes out ok. I'm not sure we would be here without the many members of this particular subforum--and not just those who posted in this thread. Reading about everyone else's struggles and successes, encouragement and advice... You've made all the difference and as we continue our journey, I'm sure you will continue to see me hanging around. So thank you. Many times over, thank you. Teresa PS: I also dragged my older daughter who is dysgraphic+adhd, but who is am amazing reader, through Barton. She did all ten levels and is such a confident speller now that if you didn't have the psychologist's report, you would never suspect that she struggled with spelling. She occasionally asks for help with a word that spellcheck can't figure out, but even her handwritten work is mostly spelled correctly. We've come such a long way.
  3. I can't offer any input, buy I'm impressed with what you have so far and can't wait to hear what others say. I've got a subscription to Great Courses Plus and so far we are only using it for one course, so I'd really like to utilize it more.
  4. My daughter is 14 and this is her Freshman year. My first homeschool high schooler! 🤪 We outsourced foreign language (Well Trained Mind Academy) and math (Derek Owens Algebra) last year for 8th and I really felt that helped her understand that the expectations were changing and not just on my part. For those classes she really stepped up her effort. Her desire to do well for other teachers somehow seemed to transfer to other schoolwork. I also really tried to get her buy in this year. We talked about what colleges expect and then I let her choose an elective in addition to the pretty standard required courses. We then worked together to find curriculum that she thought she could enjoy this year and that I felt was rigorous enough. I've been creating a checklist for her of weekly work tasks and have tried to show her how to keep organized (ADHD at work here), but she's been working really hard independently and has totally impressed me with her output. She's really putting in her best effort as opposed to her usual "good enough" approach. I think a lot of it is just maturity. Things really changed a lot over the course of 8th grade. Can you afford to outsource an academic course that is fairly rigorous? Maybe having her see that expectations are high at this level will help her see what the path going forward will look like. At the same time, let her know maybe that you are willing to cut her some slack? 8th grade is really the last year before things kind of "count" and I tried not to make it super stressful by including some serious rigorous work with some easy breezy stuff that she could still just enjoy because I knew that next year would be more intense and I really wanted to enjoy the last more casual bit of our homeschool journey. High school seems so serious, you know? Again, soooo not an expert so take my two cents for just that.
  5. LOL, I think you are right. My daughter is more of a get it over with history student and I'm the one wishing we could take a slow path through history. I should just buy myself the books!
  6. My daughter will be turning 11 shortly into the school year. She's going to be a 6th grader, but a pretty young one. She's dyslexic so we've been really focused on catching her up in reading and spelling the last couple of years. Because of that, we've not really covered any history outside of some (very few) documentaries and short youtube videos. Science has been kind of spotty but she still seems to know quite a bit. We are a sciency (is that a word?) family and things just sort of get picked up. That said, I'm really hoping to have time to do World History and Biology with her this coming year, but I really need to focus on writing (she's behind) and continue with our dyslexia tutoring so those things might continue to be on hold until we can bring her up to speed skill wise. So 5th/6th Barton Level 8 (I think we will be there as we are about halfway through 7 now, but level 9 would be fantastic) Essentials in Writing 5/6 (we are starting this now and plan to continue through the summer so when we finish this next year, we'll just continue on) Beast Academy 5B-5? (I'm not in a hurry to finish this because I'm not sure she'll be ready to tackle AoPS pre-algebra and I really like that text...having worked through it with my oldest) And if we can fit it: Oak Meadow Biology and World History (but this feels like a stretch)
  7. I've been considering Oak Meadow for my daughter who will be in 6th next year. Nice to see someone has used it and like it.
  8. I always sit with my kiddos while they do math so I know right away when they are struggling. She finishes all the lessons with each chapter online and attempts the trophy problems. I've only needed the workbook once and it was obvious at the time she needed more practice because she was really frustrated. She had to repeat the lesson online because she didn't get enough stars which had never happened before. As Noreen mentioned, my daughter is a bit of a perfectionist as well and likes knowing right away if she's wrong or right. I enjoy the immediate feedback as well because if I get up to get coffee, and comeback to a full workbook page that's been done wrong, (as has happened in the past before the online portion was available) there are lots of tears.
  9. So I've used both and also Mystery Science. Just background information, I have a bachelors in Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. My husband is a chemist/chemical engineer. I've never been able to find a science program I'm completely satisfied with, but haven't had the patience/confidence to put together my own thing. I used Nancy Larson 1, 2 and 3 and yes, it's very scripted. I didn't mind and frequently departed from the script. I felt like the science was really solid and my oldest daughter really enjoyed all three levels. Level 4 wasn't out at the time so we moved on to something else. My youngest daughter didn't like it as well, but she did love the lady bugs, butterflies and we grew a tadpole into a frog. There are workbook pages that accompany each lesson and, though I didn't know it at the time, youngest is dyslexic so the reading/writing portion were challenging for her. I skipped a lot of the workbook pages for my oldest because she didn't need the end of lesson review. I loved that each lesson had a hands on component and all of the materials were included in the kit. RSO: I've used some of Chemistry Level 1 and Biology 2. My oldest daughter is a pretty serious child and she really hated that there were science poems in the text. She felt like it was talking down to her. I felt like the hands on stuff was hit or miss. Some of it was great and some of it seemed significantly below grade level. I was pretty frustrated with Biology 2. I know you aren't considering that one, but I'm just going to put this out there anyway. I hate that some of the things weren't accurate. I don't have the book in front of me (we are moving and it's already packed) but the punnet squares had you use tongue rolling and eye color and neither of these are straight up genetic as they are presented in the book. There were others as well. Finding these sorts of inaccuracies always makes me question other material and I just don't have the time to fact check everything. I remember feeling this way about some of the materials in the chemistry book as well, but sadly, this book is also packed so I can't point to the examples. (And this is super nit-picky, but the font really annoyed me, just saying...) Mystery Science was by far my favorite for my youngest daughter. She loved the short video investigations which were followed by the hands on stuff. I was happy that the materials were organized by level but I had the freedom to choose from every level so we could skip things she already knew and use materials out of grade level order to provide the right level of challenge. I was sad when we finished with this, having completed everything that was relevant to her ability at the time. Anyway, I know a lot of people are fans, but I have to say that RSO has been my least favorite of the three. It seems like you've made your choice. I hope you have better luck with it than I have. Cheers, Teresa
  10. I have both as well, but we've been only using the online portion except for the one time my daughter needed a little more practice, at which time we picked up the workbook and used that as extra practice. This seems to be working just fine so far. My daughter is currently in Level 4D. We've been working through linearly. I had purchased the workbooks before the online program went live. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have bothered grabbing the workbooks. That said, we do prefer doing the reading from the physical guides.
  11. So for those who follow the four year history cycle into the high school years... How do you deal with transcripts and college applications when colleges specifically require: 1 US History, 1 World History, blah blah? I'm sure this sounds like an idiotic question, but this will be my first 9th grader and I really don't want to zip through when there's so much to cover and we could really have fun with it. Thanks, High School Newbie
  12. Noooo!!! Everything is a mess here! I had everything all put together and then my husband announced that his company wanted to move us across the state. We had planned a year around our co-op group. With that gone, I'm switchig gears. Fortunately I'm learning this now and not in 4 months. So far: Finish AoPS Intro to Algebra and begin Geometry. (This scares the holy-moly out of me. Geometry was never my strong point so we'll be relying on my husband more for this one. Fortunately, my daughter and his brain seem to have a natural affinity for geometry (must be the engineer in him) so I'm hoping my involvement will be limited to just staying out of the way.) French 2 with WTMA. She's taking French 1 here and really enjoying it. World Geography cobbled together by me with Great Courses, World History: Our Human Story, additional readings, some documentaries, and some writing/research papers. Biology: ? Lit/Comp: Oak Meadow: The Hero's Journey Drawing and Design: Still figuring this one out. And one of the first things we need to when we reach our destination is find a dance studio and audition for their ballet company. She's dancing 12+ hours a week now and loving every moment of it. Leaving her studio and dance friends behind for this move is beyond upsetting. 😭
  13. I'll check it out. Honestly, I want to wander off too when it's time to work on writing with her, so I don't really blame her. That said, wandering off isn't going to help us solve the problem. I was having her read through a lesson in Julie Bogart's Help for High School and after reading through the pages, she said, "I don't know what to do." I sat with her and read the directions to her and lo and behold, she understood what to do. And just to be clear, she's an excellent reader with excellent comprehension. Then she went upstairs to work on the free write and came back 15 minutes later saying she didn't know what to do. Of course, I was in the middle of a Barton lesson with her younger sister so I couldn't really help her at that moment. It's frustrating.
  14. Thanks! She's actually completed (a couple of years ago) SWI-A and around half of CC-A before she started driving me crazy with complaints. I didn't find it very helpful for original non-fiction writing but I haven't looked at B to be honest. She can summarize and make basic outlines. It's coming up with original thoughts on a designated subject and structuring them into an organized essay. There wasn't much about that in A, maybe two exercises. Is B any better about that? I don't want to summarize a million narratives. And she's already worked through a couple levels of Fix-It so she's got the dressups and actually uses them pretty naturally in her creative writing.
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