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blondchen

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About blondchen

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee
  1. We LOVE Latin Prep (using it currently, but my siggy doesn't show it because my edits aren't saving, for some reason). LP is out of print, but the Book 1 text is available used on Amazon for around $20. And "Horrible Ray" has all the other LP books brand new, at a 20% discount with free shipping, on his site: www.horriblebooks.com. Ray has a quirky sense of humor (his site is unconventional and hilarious), but he's totally legit, and if you want Latin Prep, that's where to get it. I went ahead and ordered all three levels from him to make sure I could get them while they're still available. That said, I think Latin Prep might be a bit much for a third grader (depends on your child, though, obviously). It's designed for the middle grades, as prep for high school Latin. We did GSWL first (starting in 3rd grade) and the transition into LP was a breeze. GSWL focuses on the grammar and is very light on vocab, which I think is a fantastic approach, because the student gets very familiar with using the language without being overwhelmed with memorization at the same time. And GSWL is only $20 for a non-consumable text. You just need the book and some paper or a notebook. HTH!!
  2. Another vote for Getting Started with Latin. We're huge fans!!
  3. Asking for a friend. Her daughter is 15 (I think a sophomore) and has finished Valette French Book 2. She wants to continue with French and would like a recommendation for what to use next. Thanks!
  4. I like this one, for retellings. It includes some of the original language, which is a nice touch that some of the others don't have. It only has one illustration per story*, which is disappointing, but the illustrations it does have are great. I second the comic-strip style versions by Marcia Williams - there are two volumes. My kids are 11, 9 and 6 and they are nutty over those - the audience comments in the margins are hilarious. How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig is a fantastic resource. We enjoy this book, too: Will's Words: How Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk *Edited to fix an error - I meant that the book has one illustration per STORY, not one per page. Sorry.
  5. In-person lessons, hands down, for all the reasons mentioned so far. I agree that it's crucial for beginners to have in-person, quality instruction, in order to firmly establish good technique. I cannot overestimate the importance of that when learning to play an instrument. For those who don't have a choice (and there are many people who don't), my advice might be different. Also, I would consider only doing lessons for the older kids and wait on the 5yo unless the 5yo is begging for it and you want to spend the extra money and time on something that can easily wait a year or two (or more). I have a master's degree in music and was trained in piano pedagogy, and I waited until age 6, both for my own kids and for the students in my piano studio. 5yo's can certainly learn to play the piano, but if you have any issues with money and/or time, you might consider waiting. Older students learn at a faster pace, so there's nothing at all lost besides the pleasure of the experience in the present.
  6. I agree with ALL of the above, especially about essays. She isn't ready for that, based on your comments about her current abilities. A child who has trouble summarizing and can't find the main topic in a paragraph is not going to be able to put her thoughts together coherently in an essay. She needs to focus on the other skills first. And if she's going to do research and write about it, let her do informal notebooking pages on the topics, or something like that. You could require a certain amount of content/info and require complete sentences, but I wouldn't require any type of essay writing until much later. I would start her in WWE Level 2, and just skip a lesson here and there (rather than huge chunks at once) in order to accelerate. If you decide that WWE is working well and you want to stay the course to the end, if she finishes Level 4 by the end of 5th grade, then she'd be right on track with that program. No need to rush it. I also agree that she doesn't sound that far behind, in general. And I think your plan for implementing WWE is good. HTH!!
  7. My oldest finished GSWL last year - what a great program! My friend who teaches Latin in a classical school has raved about Latin Prep - she said it's the best thing out there for the middle grades. I can tell that it's a fun, engaging program and very thorough. We're only into Chapter 1, but DD loves it so far (and the author's sense of humor is hilarious). Unfortunately, it's out of print now, but you can get Book 1 used on Amazon marketplace for a reasonable price, and Ray at horriblebooks.com has the answer key for Book 1, plus the sets for Books 2 and 3 at a great discount (I just bought all of them!). All you need is the book and the answer key, and it's non-consumable - all the exercises are done in a notebook, so the one-time purchase would cover all your kids. HTH!
  8. No, you don't need the workbooks, according to my friend who taught LP in a classical school for several years. I've just gone through chapter 1 of Book 1, so I can't speak from experience, but my friend said that the exercises in the text are sufficient, and that the workbooks are for extra practice and she never found a need for them. Sounds good to me.
  9. Haha - yes, it's a bit odd, but unless you can find a great pre-owned deal elsewhere, Horrible Books is the place to buy Galore Park - brand new, discounted 20%, with no tax and free shipping. Ray is totally legit and easy to work with (and I enjoy his oddball sense of humor). You just email him with a list of what you want and he sends it, and you pay upon receipt (check or paypal). I just got the out-of-print Latin Prep curriculum from him a couple of weeks ago. Here's his Galore Park page: http://www.horriblebooks.com/galoreparkbooklist.htm
  10. No need to find something else! Horrible Ray has brand new Latin Prep books in stock, at 20% off the list price. I just ordered LP 2 and 3 from him (and I hope, for your sake, that I didn't nab the last available copies!). http://www.horriblebooks.com/galoreparkbooklist.htm
  11. Check out How to Teach Spelling. It has a teacher manual that contains explicit instruction and lists of words by phonogram/pattern, phrases and sentences for dictation, plus 4 levels of student workbooks that are open-and-go (and it's indicated in the workbook when you should refer to the TM for dictation, etc.). My 5th grader is finishing up Logic of English Essentials, and I'm going to move on to HTTS because I like the approach and you can pick and choose what phonograms and/or rules to work on rather than having to go through a systematic process that may be overkill. I've been using the TM all along for extra dictation and practice with the rules she's been taught in LOE (which doesn't have much practice with the words unless you do the grammar section, which we don't). All of the workbooks assume no prior knowledge - you could probably jump into Book 4 because the later workbooks just move faster through the easier concepts. Or, you could just get the teacher manual and pick what you want her to work on. I intend to use it going forward to fill in gaps and to solidify and practice what she's already learned, and the TM alone is great for that.
  12. Yes, Lessons Learned is a new talk. He said so at the beginning. :)
  13. I saw this after I posted. You'll understand my utter disappointment (and that's putting it mildly) when I sat expectantly in the room on Thursday evening for his first talk and someone else walked in to announce that Andrew was too sick to be there!!!! :svengo: I was afraid he'd miss the whole convention, and my friend laughed at my excitement to see him walk into the room the next day. DH asked me if I got him to sign my t-shirt... :tongue_smilie:
  14. I live an hour from Greenville, and I go every year (this was my 8th time). At this point in my homeschooling journey, I go mainly for inspiration and the honing of my philosophy, and not so much for how-to kinds of talks (that will probably change once I get to high school level). Over the years I have discovered who my "people" are, and I try to listen to them as much as I can - that would be the classical crowd: Kern, Perrin, Cothran, Pudewa. Since I can't ever afford to attend the Circe Institute annual conference, this is my chance to hear all these guys in person at a fraction of the cost. This was the first year that I didn't really need much from the exhibit hall experience. Usually there's a bunch of stuff I want to see in person, and talk to people about, and make choices about, and buy...but this year all I did was to order the next level of math with a discount, and talk to a few vendors about their products that I'm already using. Of course everyone has different wants and needs for the seminars, but I'll share my experience, in case it's helpful: Andrew Pudewa is a blast - enthusiastic and funny and engaging. This was my first time hearing him in person and he did not disappoint. I went to all four of his talks (three of them on writing and communication) and they were very helpful. His talk on Lessons Learned from Three Decades of Teaching was fantastic and I highly recommend it. Andrew Kern is my favorite speaker. He focuses on the philosophy of Christian classical education, rather than a particular methodology, which not everyone appreciates, and I totally get that (my friends are shocked that I like him, because I'm so practically minded!). But even though I'm someone who actually likes being told exactly how to do something, I love listening to Kern because he inspires me like no one else does. He's pretty abstract, so I soak in everything he has to say and then ruminate on it for a long time afterwards, and his ideas have shaped my homeschooling methods more and more over the years. But he's simply not going to give steps to follow, ever (unless you can talk to him in person at his booth, which I highly recommend if you want personalized advice - he is so kind and gracious and wise). This year he was out sick for his first talk, on Faith and Thinking, but since he lives within easy driving distance he was able to get there for the other two talks. He had apparently been very sick and was struggling a bit with laryngitis and was lacking in energy, so I didn't enjoy him as much as usual, but I'm glad he was there and I was thankful to get to hear him at all. He was especially good during the classical panel discussion, but since that's based on audience questions it's always a crap shoot in terms of what they end up talking about. Chris Perrin is also a favorite. He is not as philosophical as Kern, and he does get into the practical applications of things - though he won't be too prescriptive - more like presenting ideas and possibilities. His talk on Loving the Lovely was marvelous, as was Learning from Rest. If you have older kids, he gave a great talk on Socratic discussion. I wanted to hear Martin Cothran on Latin, but that talk wasn't on the schedule in Greenville (HE didn't even know why when I asked him). Fortunately, I was able to talk to him for quite a while at the Memoria booth, and he answered all my questions and gave me exactly the input I needed. I did go to his talk on Logic and it was excellent, but that was more for future reference since my kids aren't at that point yet. I enjoy Adam Andrews, too, and I recommend him if his topic is of interest, but since he was scheduled at the same time as other talks I had chosen, I didn't get to hear him this year. I will say that a friend who has been homeschooling for 10 years came to the convention for the first time, and she was disappointed in the lack of variety in general, and the lack of specifically educational topics for junior high and high school. Unlike me, she was looking for practical advice on various topics, and the talks geared for that age group seemed to be more heavily weighted on a Christian worldview rather than educational methods. I didn't scrutinize the schedule for that stuff, so I don't know what to think about it - others might have a totally different opinion. I was happy with what I found to attend, but my scope is more limited, of course. Well, that was long!! I hope it helps someone! DH came with me the first couple of years and he said that just being there is a huge shot in the arm, in terms of inspiration and encouragement.
  15. While you can skip around a bit (and even skip weeks or parts of weeks altogether here and there), the order of the lessons is purposeful, and reading the literature concurrently with the lessons doesn't make any difference at all in developing narration and writing skills, which is the whole point of WWE. If you're going to teach WWE with the workbooks (rather than using the instructor text) I would let go of the idea of coordinating the books directly with the lessons, and just do the lessons in order (skipping stuff that's really boring, etc - nothing lost there). If some amount of integration is important to you, my advice is to pick a few of the books to read based on which excerpts your child seemed most interested in, and read them whenever it works out. Also, I should point out that for those that want the narration and and copywork closely integrated with literature reading, the WWE instructor text works it the other way around - you choose what literature you want to read, and then choose the weekly narration and copywork passages from that literature.
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