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Posts posted by Dinsfamily

  1. Is it possible that you don't enjoy reading aloud because it is difficult?


    I used to hate to read aloud until I got good at it by starting with Goodnight Moon when my son was born and progressing from there. I had to step it up considerably when we started homeschooling and it was difficult for about a year. Now, after 20 years (13 of those being an intensive read aloud period) I really enjoy it. I can even read aloud and think about something totally unrelated. Which is weird.



    This is usually a question I have when people say they didn't like reading aloud certain books because I've experienced it myself. The first time I read Uncle Wiggily out loud, it was hard. Then I read Winnie-the-Pooh and it was so difficult! I had always read aloud but my experience had been limited to books like Goodnight Moon and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. It was a big jump to those long, complicated sentences in addition to the added story length for me...the kids loved it even when I'd get tongue-tied.


    I was surprised when I read Uncle Wiggily the 2nd time two years later. It was so easy, much easier than I remembered the first time. By this time I was reading for a longer period each day and it has steadily increased each year.


    I do agree that they could be influenced by your lack of enthusiasm or they just need some training and practice on how to sit and listen (I don't say that condescendingly at all, I have 4 active boys). I've never had an issue with my kids during read alouds but we've always done them and we all love literature. I just don't think our schooling would be as rich without read alouds.

  2. We did Problems and solutions one day, videos and exercises the second day. If there was a particularly long section or many challenge problems we would add time.


    ETA: Alcumus was extra in PreA, as in I didn't require it.

    This is how I scheduled it but DS12 was able to get a whole section done most days. He worked hard to do that so he could have extra time for the review/challenge sections. I'd schedule 3-4 days for those combined but some of those challenge problems were doozies and it took longer than scheduled. Even so, he ended up finishing the book 2 months earlier than planned. I liked that schedule because he never felt rushed or stressed by the workload.


    After he finished, we casually worked on Alcumus and he's finishing Pre-A alcumus while working on intro to Algebra this year.


    Ds only watched about 5 videos the whole year. He likes them but doesn't need them and he doesn't like to take the time. I might try to have them set up on the iPad for him each day once we get past the review in Intro to Algebra to encourage him to watch them this year.

  3. soo annoyed, I'm 5th in line at the library. I might get it around Thanksgiving, if I am lucky. I can't BELIEVE I was so slow to get myself on the list...I'm usually better than that.

    I'm 27th of 7 copies. I just didn't think my library system would order it that quickly so I didn't even check. Guess there was a rush to request it since they ordered 7 copies!

  4. I've never used LOE but I definitely fall into the camp of quality, not quantity. I have found that my boys do really well with a white board because it has less resistance so we use that more often than paper.


    FWIW, I remember talking to my ped about the attention span of one of my boys and she gently reminded me that he was a 6yo boy. It was good to have my expextations knocked back down to reality. Glad you already have that perspective!



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  5. My ds went from SM 6B to AOPS Prealgebra with very few problems. We did take about 1.5 years off just to give him time to mature into the workload. He was a young 9 when he finished SM and didn't have any trouble with the math in AOPS Pre-A but it was taking too long to finish the first few chapters. We did fun math for a few semesters and then tried AOPS again at the beginning of 6th grade (11yo). He did it independently and loved it! Now he's upset with the review at the beginning of AOPS Algebra...he wants to get to the meat. He's still happy to be using AOPS, just needs me to know he is booooored with review.


    I like the way the AOPS books are written to the student so he doesn't need me to teach him the material. I did sometimes help him with some of the challenging problems he couldn't figure out but that's about it.


    I like everything that I've seen of the follow-on SM programs but wasn't sure I wanted an integrated math. With Dimensions Math that only goes to level 8, I wasn't sure what to do after that. Ds12 is a perfect candidate for AOPS so it was an easy choice. However, DS10 is in SM 5A and is not a good candidate for AOPS Pre-A. He would get very frustrated with the method. If SM had a complete secondary math, I might use it with him. Instead, I'm thinking MM7 for pre-a and Foerster's for algebra. He can handle rigor, just not the discovery and leaps that AOPS requires. I'm hoping to add some AOPS stuff in for enrichment since we own the books. We'll see.

  6. Depends on the kid for me. My first 2 had assigned reading at the beginning 2nd. They were both early and good readers who read a lot on their own. I assigned them Sonlight readers and add some extra books in there. They are very fast readers. Ds#3 isn't ready for that yet so he still reads his readers aloud to me. It takes more time at his level since the books are getting longer, but I just don't trust him to go off and read by himself yet. He does read a lot of library books of his choosing on his own.


    They don't get any say over school reading. The read so much in their spare time that I am happy making school book decisions. However, this last year was the first time I've let any of them drop a book. Ds#1 absolutely hated "Around the World in Eighty Days." He read about half of it and I let him quit. He reads A LOT of good quality books on his own so I had no need to torture him through it. I even offered to let him finish it using an audiobook and he didn't even want to do that.

  7. OP here...Thank you so much, it's good to hear we're not far from the norm! DD will be 7 at the end of September (and in our district should actually be in 2nd grade) but we're keeping her back in 1st for a number of reasons, continued worry about attention span being one. I loved math at that age, and probably could have spent an hour or more on it, so I guess my expectations were too high!


    Switching things up during a lesson is a great idea, she can play math games (we have RS card games) for quite awhile, and I wonder if it would be more fun for her if I gave her base ten cubes, our Al-abacus or C-rods to fiddle with along with her workbook pages...

    LOL! My oldest could easily sit and do math for an hour or more in 1st (writing...um, no). I had to make a huge expectation adjustment when my 2nd started school. He was more in the 15-25 minute zone and I had to stay close or I'd lose him. The hardest thing about those years was not comparing him to his brother and having unreasonable goals.

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  8. The same way as care, fare, dare, bear, bare, air, chair, err (like to err). Definitely not 'fay-er', although. I understand how depending on your region, you might run across an accent that sounds like that though. I live in GA, and I could see people pronouncing it that way, though it's non standard.


    ETA: Using a phonetic alphabet, paid is

    \ˈpÄd\ and fair is

    \ˈfer\ (mirriam webster)

    or paid:



    /fɛər/ (using IPA format from dictionary.com)

    That's one reason I've always like SWR's "think to spell" idea. I am a PNW'er and dh was an army brat and our kids have mostly grown up in Texas. We have a myriad of accents around us (except me...PNW'ers have no accent, LOL). We think to spell words like fair. It still says ay to me but I agree that it is slightly different than paid. Some here in TX pronounce it the same as paid. When we think to spell it, we overpronounce the ay sound. We only do that when they are learning the word.

    • Like 2
  9. For us, they definitely became sight words after my DD had been reading for a short while. (And they're sight words for us as adults as well...) I can't imagine having to try out all three sounds each time one comes across a vowel combination with multiple pronunciations. But yes, to begin with I'd have a dc try each pronunciation to see which makes sense. That will only be necessary for a short time on the more common words, perhaps again later when reading longer, unfamiliar words.

    I do agree but this is a different use of 'sight words'. Yes, your brain does end up memorizing it, but you learn it by sounding it out. True sight words you never learn to sound out, you just memorize from the start. Our school system teaches a lot of phonetic words as sight words such as "like, is, to, the", etc. The kids do not learn to sound out those words just to recognize them by sight.

    • Like 1
  10. I find myself daily asking how anyone ever learns English. Most of the time, my daughter is able to figure out the word from context after she mispronounces it and corrects herself. She regularly laughs when reading and says something along the lines of the 'the A doesn't say it's name there' when we come across a word that doesn't conform to the rules she's learned.


    We were reading a bob book the other day that was obviously focusing on the ai sound (saying ay) like paid, maid, afraid, laid, pain, etc. Then toward the end of the book it had a word like fair where ai didn't say 'ay'.

    How does fair sound to you? To me it sounds like it has an ay sound.

    • Like 1
  11. So how do we know when to use each version - can such words become almost sight words because they don't always follow a pronunciation rule?



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    They are most definitely not sight words. They follow the rules perfectly since they use a normal sound for that phonogram. It just has 3 normal sounds just as a and o. Ou has four sounds.


    My boys learn all the sounds of a phonogram at once so they know all three sounds for oo. When we read a new oo word, we always try the first sound as it is the most common. If that isn't correct, we try the 2nd sound and then onto the 3rd. As they read more, their brains automatically associate the right sound and the sounding out process also becomes automatic and faster when they encounter new words.

    • Like 6
  12. I'm not an AoPs user, but I have looked at it closely. I would see if she can easily ace the pre test without any help. The website states that the student should be able to complete this independently before starting that level.


    ETA: I considered this for my strong math student (5th grader), but he needed too much help from me to work through the pre test problems. I will consider it for his 6th grade year only if the pre test is a breeze for him. I think 7th-8th grade is more standard/common for pre algebra (emphasizing that there are lots of variances among students-like said above, there is no normal). My son thrives on math problems and I am 99% sure he will enter a math based carrier field. My younger child will likely not reach pre-algebra stage until around 8th grade unless she suddenly transforms into a math geek.

    I would agree with this but also add that you should look at the samples on the website as well. My ds is an above average math student and also loves it. We gave AOPS Pre-A a try after he finished Singapore PM6 halfway through 4th grade. He was ready for the material but not the workload required. We slowly worked through the first 4 chapters and did a lot of fun extra math over the next year and a half and then revisited Pre-A in earnest at the beginning of 6th and he excelled. I think he needed the extra year and a half to handle the workload. Now he is excited about AOPS Algebra this year. I should add that, although I love teaching math (especially Algebra and above), he works through the books independently and only asks me when he needs help with a problem.


    I am not planning on using AOPS Pre-A for my next ds coming up even though he has done well in Singapore PM. He doesn't have the capacity for the struggle AOPS requires. The plan is MM7 instead.

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  13. Agree with everyone on the dvd. I did PL the first time on my own but got the dvd for ds8 after using the FFL dvd last year with the olders. Great for a new-to-Latin parent (or not-so-new anymore). I really wish I'd gotten it the first time around!!


    There is no download for the cd...I looked today because I lost ANOTHER PL cd...ugh. I'm hoping it turns up soon.

  14. We do math every day. Each day corresponds roughly to one exercise in the SM WB or 1 review in the TB or WB. Some days a lesson or review needs more time, and for some sections, we race through (early grades: clocks, volume, measurement, graphs, geometry... these sections are usually VERY easy for kids who are in a home where things like "Point to the triangle!" are part of bringing up a toddler... lol)


    Do not be afraid if your kids "get it" and move more quickly and finish 3 books in a year (a, b, and a of the next level). That's the advantage of being able to move at child's pace! And by the same token, if you are working diligently but need more than a year to finish a SM year... don't sweat it. Keep up the daily forward motion and give your child the time to build a good foundation.

    I think this is a great point. The A&B levels are not equal when it comes to difficulty so you may breeze through one and take more that a semester on another. When Ds12 was starting out, he did 14 lessons the first day we got 1A and finished the whole book quickly, but he did not breeze through 1B. I don't really schedule Singapore Math, we just do the next thing adjusting for difficulty as we go. Some of my boys HATE reviews so it could take us up to 3 days to get through each one of those even though they have the material down.

  15. I also have kiddos that like learning Latin. We did Song School Latin (SSL) as a fun intro in 1st/2nd grade. It is an age-appropriate program that focuses on vocabulary, not grammar. It gave us just enough taste to know we wanted to keep going. After SSL, we jump into Memoria Press's Latin programs.


    I don't think SSL would be overwhelming for your first year. The workbook takes no time at all and you could listen to the songs for reinforcement anytime. Also, to save money, I never bought the Teacher's guide and haven't missed it. The CD is bundled into the student book.

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  16. Can any Singapore people help? We haven't been doing Singapore that long, just since K. I like it and do not want to switch. My daughter, like me, is really slow at math. Not that she doesn't understand. It just takes so long to do a page of problems. The mental gears work, but turn slowly.


    It seems to take us so long to go through activities in the HIG, go through the textbook, and then do the workbook. Add in mental math and it is so much time! I can't believe people supplement with other math, add intensive practice or complex work problems. How do you fit it in? Or are we just unusually slow?


    She hates the mental math pages. Would it be possible/recommended to switch that out for some other kind of math drill? I'd love it if we could substitute some kind of math game on a tablet. She's semi-enjoyed a little Khan academy and some math facts matching games. But I don't know the system well enough to make changes.


    Also, any links to fun ways to learn multiplication tables are welcome. :)

    I'm just starting my 4th dc on Singapore and I think it just depends on the child. Oldest ds finished the entire series by the middle of 4th grade even though I added A LOT of supplements. He is gifted but not HG or PG, imo...just loves math. Ds#2 has done a level a year (A&B) plus CWP with a few supplements. He is HG at least but lacks focus and is not a math guy. He gets his work done at a pace we're both happy with. Ds#3 could go a lot faster if he had more time from me. That is one of my goals this year. He is fairly mathy and likes it so he could get through 3-4 books this year. All that to say, a lot of it depends on ability, motivation, and life circumstances. I don't do everything in the HIG since my kids "just get it" most of the time. We've had to dive in on certain topics. We do the mental math and I think CWP is very important to add to SM.


    If I had a kid "behind" grade level but still moving along, I'd just keep plugging away. There is a lot of play in math timing in the middle school years. I also don't think Singapore is a full grade level ahead of US grades. I would consider the 2 level as advanced 2nd grade, but not 3rd grade. However, I don't think that is an important distinction for most hs'ers. It is more important to build that strong foundation than adhere to any arbitrary grade guidelines.


    I added in Khan for my 5th grader this summer since he thought it was fun and it would keep the cobwebs away. 3rd grader does an app to practice math facts. The best way for us to learn multiplication facts has been School House Rock. They love it.

  17. My favorite Algebra I text is Jacobs. I hear that the Jousting Armadillos series is based on it and his Human Endeavor book and is also well liked. Now that Jacobs is out of print, if I had another Algebra I student, I'd probably try that.

    Is the new version that is coming out different? I'm trying to decide between Jacob's and Foerster's for my ds#2 (we have a couple of years). I'm leaning towards Foerster's because the reviews suggest it is more rigorous, but I think he'd like Jacob's better. I looked at Jousting Armadillos and I think he'd really like it but I'm not sure it is complete.


    As soon as I find a copy of A Human Endeavor, we'll start going through that as fun math with mom.

  18. I think it depends on what you want to do in the future. I love Core A for the literature, but the history is not my favorite. Not a big deal since I love the history in Core B+. I don't think my kiddos lose anything at a young age by focusing on all of those great read alouds for a year. Also, if you are leaning towards doing Cores B and C, it does not make sense to do SOTW and then cover the same material the following year (unless your dc are like my oldest and couldn't get enough ancient history).


    If you plan on doing a WTM four year cycle, then you could start this year or wait until your kinder is a year older and do Core A as a gap year.


    Also, since you are doing Core G, you have your littles listen in on SOTW while reading the Core A lit. Then they could dive deeper in Core B next year.


    I've been using NOEO with all of mine from 1-6th and we really enjoy it. It is made up of mostly living books in the early elementary with TOPS kits and a combo of living books with colorful encyclopedias alongside TOPS kits for late elementary/middle school. Great book selections and experiments. It doesn't have worksheets but relies on narration/note booking for output.[/quote


    Can you tell me what is NOEO? And TOPS?




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    Check it out! http://www.logospressonline.com/noeo. Logos press distributes the packages now (and I've had great experiences with their customer service) but the curriculum was written by a hs'ing dad/veterinarian. They talk about TOPS kits in the write up on the website.

    • Like 1
  20. I've been using NOEO with all of mine from 1-6th and we really enjoy it. It is made up of mostly living books in the early elementary with TOPS kits and a combo of living books with colorful encyclopedias alongside TOPS kits for late elementary/middle school. Great book selections and experiments. It doesn't have worksheets but relies on narration/note booking for output.

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