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Everything posted by blondchen

  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. 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.
  13. Lots of good suggestions in this thread!! My family especially loves Marguerite Makes a Book, St. George and the Dragon (Hyman), and Starry Messenger. For Christian biographies, check out the ones by Simonetta Carr (several are in the Medieval/early Renaissance period, including St. Augustine).
  14. OPGTR Pentime WWE FixIt! Grammar SOTW Getting Started with Latin Old Story New (for daily Bible read-aloud and discussion) Simply Charlotte Mason scripture card box (for scripture memory and review)
  15. The AL abacus is awesome, and it gets daily use in our house, sometimes apart from an actual math lesson. We have one for each child (5th, 3rd and K) and they all use it frequently (we use RightStart math, so use of the AL abacus is built in to the curriculum). Here are some helpful links about it from Kate's Homeschool Math: http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/al-abacus-favorite-homeschool-math-manipulative/ http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/ultimate-guide-use-al-abacus-curriculum-videos/
  16. Getting Started with Latin is fantastic, and may be a good fit for your needs.
  17. I’m working on planning writing for my 10yo. She has done WWE 1-2, and then W&R Fable, and at the end of last school year she did the first few lessons of W&R Narrative 1. She absolutely loves W&R and is doing well with it in general, but I'd like to shore up some weak areas by adding another program. I bought Treasured Conversations in hopes of systematically filling in some gaps in mechanics and especially for teaching non-fiction writing skills like outlining (which I have heard is a weakness in upcoming levels of W&R). We haven’t really used a formal grammar program yet, but she has had bits of grammar instruction via WWE, W&R, LOE and Latin, and I’m sure she could breeze through TC Part 1 pretty quickly. She knows almost all of the grammar concepts there, though I like the TC emphasis on choosing more vivid language, so I want her to do section 1 even if we speed it up or skip some things. Anyway, I’m looking for advice about the best way to schedule W&R Narrative 1-2 and TC together. I'd rather not stop W&R in order to do TC instead, so I’m trying to find a way to do them simultaneously, or alternate them by week, or something like that. I also have FixIt Grammar, which I bought before I considered using TC, but I’m guessing all that writing and grammar might be overkill and that I should shelve FixIt for now, at least. Not sure… Thoughts?
  18. Oh, here's the link to the Delightful Handwriting product page. The page linked above was a blog post introducing the program when it was new. https://simplycharlottemason.com/store/delightful-handwriting/
  19. I was in the exactly the same boat a few years ago with the ZB student book. I didn't know how to teach the strokes and letters in an order that made sense, and my DD was frustrated with struggling to form difficult letters before practicing the strokes for simpler ones, because of the order of the letters in the student book. I went looking for some instructions that would tell me how to teach things in order, and didn't find it. (IIRC, the ZB teacher book is designed for a classroom and is very expensive, so I didn't buy it either.) Thankfully, I came across Delightful Handwriting from Simply Charlotte Mason. It uses the ZB font and it was exactly what I was looking for, because it starts with the easiest strokes and letters and progresses to the most difficult. And it gives very helpful and detailed instructions to the teacher. It made a world of difference - no more frustration for either of us. You'd need both the teacher book and the student book. I bought the pdf version so I could use it with all three of my children. HTH!
  20. Yes, you really do need the workbooks - I can't imagine attempting this program without them, and we only use it for spelling. Even though I'm not crazy about the grammar instruction as its own thing, some of the grammar exercises are very helpful for familiarity with the spelling material and you may want to choose some of those occasionally. We don't do any of the composition, though that could also be spelling practice if you decide to use it because it's there. I have the pdf workbook and print multiple copies and Proclick them. I much prefer that to the perfect binding (which doesn't lay flat) and the newsprint paper. I should mention that I have the first edition. Not sure how the second edition may be different. HTH!
  21. Yep. The basics of grammar can be taught as needed, in context, and there are writing programs that do that explicitly (including WWE, which I see you're using). Just reinforce and remind when issues come up. The nitty gritty can wait, especially if the child's oral usage is solid. WWE gives excellent practice with punctuation, and the copywork is great for reinforcing good language patterns. Yes, yes, yes! I am a total grammar nerd, and I started FLL with my oldest in first grade and wanted to poke my eyes out with all the lists and repetition. I abandoned it and didn't look back, and what DD didn't pick up via WWE, she learned very quickly and easily as needed. Constant exposure to good language patterns is the important thing in the early years, not memorizing list after list of parts of speech. Blech.
  22. You've gotten some great suggestions. This CD is fantastic: Bernstein Favorites: Children's Classics. My kids are all nutty over it - it has Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. We have probably listened to it at least 100 times in the car, and no one is tired of it. Go figure. We've also enjoyed the Classical Kids CD's. They're audio dramas with the composer's music in the background. There's not really any explanation about the pieces (a few here and there, maybe) but they're excellent exposure to music in general and really fun to listen to. Mr. Bach Comes to Call is our favorite.
  23. I should probably clarify that I'm in the start-formal-grammar-later camp, so my comment about the grammar in LOE being sufficient for your younger child comes from that perspective. If formal grammar instruction had been important to me before now, I would not have relied on LOE for it. I use LOE to teach spelling, and the grammar exposure is simply a nice bonus.
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