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zarabellesmom

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Everything posted by zarabellesmom

  1. 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!
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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. 😭
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Ugh. I love this child. I really really do. BUT... Teaching her to write is like beating my head against a wall. She writes pages and pages of beautiful fiction and constructs lovely poetry. This is actually a recent development. She was determined to be dysgraphic in third grade. After completing all 10 levels of Barton she's actually a pretty decent speller (I never thought I would be able to say that and I'm so proud of her) and she has fairly decent handwriting. She cannot/will not write a report and honestly, I have no idea how to teach her. We had a bargain in November where she would do NaNoWriMo and then after that, she would begin doing some nonfiction writing without complaint. What bologna! She doesn't know how and doesn't want to know how and is passively resistant (meaning wandering off to read a book when she is supposed to be writing and she knows I'm working with her sister and won't catch her). She uses the same method to get out of chores, but that's a struggle for some other day. I don't know where to begin. Please help.
  12. Wow! I saw the textbook but somehow missed that I could look inside. I'm so intimidated with trying to put something together about topics I know nothing about, but you make it sound doable. This is great info! Thank you so much.
  13. I checked it out, but it looks like a small unit study aimed at younger students. Thank you for the idea!
  14. Has anyone put something like this together? My daughter is a dancer and would love this but I've no idea where to even begin...in addition to the fact that next year will be my first year having a high school student.
  15. And the placement tests seem to always be easier than the actual material in the book/workbook.
  16. Freesia: Yes, that is exactly the information I was looking for. I guess, "all the way through" isn't the best way to phrase it. I meant more like, has anyone used this as their primary writing curriculum for their children and feel like those children became good writers. It's not at all the way I learned to write and I used to be a pretty decent writer--but being able to write and being able to teach writing seem to be two completely different things for me, and I didn't struggle with reading or spelling either.
  17. So, my 10YO has just started Level 7 of Barton, is reading pretty well and her spelling is improving but still has a long way to go. I have IEW SWI A, and CC-A, which I used with my older daughter before moving away from it. (She found the method really frustrating.) I pulled it out and have started Lesson 1 with DD10. Has anyone used this all the way through and felt like their child was a successful writer? Also, DD is still learning to type and is nowhere near proficient despite having worked on this skill for a long time (years...). We are using Google Docs with speech to text and maybe she just needs more practice, but she finds it very frustrating. Tell me this gets better...
  18. IEW Fix-It. But you don't really need a curriculum for that. Just insist it's law and give a failing grade to anything that breaks the law. ?
  19. My daughter is 13 and I need ideas. She already knows about her body and puberty. She knows the very most basic rudimentary facts about sex. I'd like something that covers things in more detail and I want to include topics on consent, gender identity and LGBQ. I've already checked out It's So Amazing and It's Perfectly Normal but have ruled them out. The art and tone (it seems almost talking down to the audience? I'm not sure, it just seems off-putting to me and it's not going to play well with her). She's a pretty serious girl and shy as well. I was hoping she would start asking questions and we could approach it in a sort of natural way, but she's 13 and has never shown any curiosity so that didn't really work out for me. She hasn't shown any interest in dating/romantic relationships and that's fine, but I'd really like her to be informed before that time comes along. We live in the absolute middle of nowhere and so even though I'd really like to put her in one of the Unitarian church's Our Whole Lives programs, that just doesn't exist anywhere near here. Someone please help me!!!
  20. We are using the paper guides as I already have them and I feel like being able to sit down with those really helps us. She's enjoying the online component but I sit with her so I can see where she may need more practice. I've got the workbooks on standby if I need them.
  21. Thanks. I checked it out and noticed right away. The intention was good.
  22. When I was listing things, I probably wasn't as thorough as I could have been. She dances 12 hours a week, so electives are covered. We've joined a homeschool group. It's going to use our Mondays. I have no idea how academic it will be, but I haven't really considered it as covering any of our academic stuff even though they will do science and history and hands on projects. She was placed a year back because the 8th grade class was full. She's an advanced student in a lot of ways so I'm just not sure how much she'll get out of it, outside of the group aspect (which she had asked for). They also plan a lot of field trips, so we will probably get out and about more this year and I think we are all looking forward to that. After driving myself crazy and taking in everyone's suggestions, I think you are right, a year of geography is probably a good choice for where we are right now. Also, it's something she's expressed interest in, so yay! Science wise, I've decided to be kind of traditional and do physical science. Hopefully it will review some of the things she's already covered and fill in anything she missed, giving her a good foundation for next year's science. And if her online sociology class pans out, then I'll shift things around...again. ? Thanks everyone for taking the time to offer ideas. I'm starting to feel like I'll be ready next Monday. Maybe, just maybe. Teresa
  23. Both of my children attended a Montessori school through kindergarten. I do think that the way they teach reading helps immensely. It's interesting--to me at least--when experts talk about teaching children with dyslexia/dysgraphia to read and spell, Orton-Gillingham method is pretty much standard (though I think we are going to be seeing more interventions using structured word inquiry soon, but I digress). When you look at the way Montessori teaches reading and compare it to Orton-Gillingham approaches, there are a lot of similarities. I've often wondered whether my oldest, who reads well but is dysgraphic, would have been diagnosed dyslexic without Montessori. I don't think so really because the early signs were not there and her testing results don't show any weaknesses in phonemic awareness, etc. I DO think that my younger daughter, who IS dyslexic, would have fared much worse had she not had the Montessori reading foundation that she did. With my youngest, I knew something was up before reading really entered the picture but she did begin to learn reading at her Montessori school and actually left Kindergarten reading pretty well for that level. She just kind of stalled after that. Anyway, I guess that was a bit off topic. Sorry OP. Teresa
  24. Wow, there's some great stuff here! I'm going to go check out these books. Can you tell me a little more about your geography binder? I've considered the travel brochure idea too because it looks like fun and seems like something she would enjoy. Do you include other things in it? Going to check out Rick Steves on youTube as well. Thanks.
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