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Posts posted by LEK

  1. It needs to be a compelte sentence and contain the relevant info, other than that there are many different ways to phrase each response.  I will often read aloud the answer in the book though as my dd's responses tend to be less direct.

  2. I would recommned MUS as it is very easy to accelerate through the levels while ensuring there are no "gaps". We usually get through a level in about 2 months and that is with me insisting on doing every lesson (very briefly, ie dvd and 1 page of book) even if it is already mastered just to be sure. At one lesson per day (or over 2 days for harder ones) each level is very quick.  Personally I think the style of MUS is well suited to children who are advanced mathematically, it allows them to advance quickly but the teaching style in higher levels is appropriate for younger students.


    Also i would look at beast academy. We have not yet tried this as her reading level is not there yet but as soon as i feel she will be able to read and comprehend it on her own we will be trying it, cannot wait!

  3. I compromise on the structure/free learning ideals. We have a morning routine that takes about 1-2 hours (usually closer to 1) and covers the essentials mainly LA and math but also logic and mapping once a week. After that we "unschool" for the rest of the day.  This gives me the knowledge and reassurance that we are covering the basics and are not missing anything essential but also gives us the freedom and time to explore and learn what we are really interested in. My girls are in preK (but doing K) and 1st grade. I mostly keep lessons in each topic to 5-10 minutes.

  4. We have taken the "mastery" based approach to acceleration. We use MUS as a spine and my DD does each lesson in each level however depending on her speed at picking up that lesson (or her prior knowledge) some times she only does 1 lesson page in the student book before moving on and sometimes she does all of them (rarely) if I feel she needs the extra practice. She is only half way through 1st grade ATM (calendar year schooling) and is finishing up gamma however she would have been a lot further ahead if a). we were not doing 2 programs (also doing MM) and b ). We usually take 3-6 months off MUS between levels. On average it takes us about 2-3 months to cover one MUS level and that tends to be with me slowing her down. I am sure we will hit a point soon where we will need to slow down though (right?) and really focus on the lessons in which case we will continue to move at her speed. She is also working through MM (a level behind MUS) as a review but this is not our focus and it is mostly used to shake things up a bit, I like using the 2 programs as they cover things in a slightly different way and i feel that having the 2 approaches and different methods of solving a problem is beneficial, I know that when she solves problems she will often use a mixture of techniques from both programs depending on which one felt right to her for that individual problem.

  5. I don't know how much help i will be but I was one of those kids that never had to study, ever. I breezed through school expecting it to get harder at some point but it just didn't. 95% or better on all tests and exams etc without ever picking up a book out of class (and often not in class either) let alone studying it. Then i went on to uni and expected it to get harder, wrong! I breezed right through that too. Yes I reviewed the material before the final exam (briefly) but that was it. Not once in my undergrad degree did I ever actually have to study (microbiology and genetics double major with first class honours), the material came easily and naturally to me. Ok so i am sure I could have done better in uni if I had actually studied but seeing I averaged a bit over 92% over the entire 4 years with no studying somehow it did not seem worth the effort. Anyway, fast forward 10 or so years and i decided to start a masters degree (as homeschooling 2 kids was clearly not keeping me amused enough lol). I did my masters in my weakest area, the arts (i am a math science person all the way) and majored in peace studies with electives in ancient history. For the first time in my life the material did not come naturally to me, i did not struggle but it did not come naturally and I actually had to study at least a little bit. Now this was a shock to the system but I wanted to be studying this stuff, it was harder than anything i had ever done before especially seeing i had never done any humanities subjects in highschool or uni and then went on to jump right in at masters level but it was great. I absolutely loved studying it all. I had never studied for anything before in my life and suddenly at nearly 30 I needed to start and guess what, I took to it like I had been studying my whole life! I was worried (honestly worried) that i would not know how to study etc and i would struggle but wen it was required it just came naturally to me.


    So, the moral to this story short novel is that if you have the basics, the desire to learn the material and natural academic talent then I firmly believe that studying will come naturally when/if it is required. There is no point forcing someone to study when they clearly do not need to - it does take all the fun out of material that is intuitive and natural to you and is not the best use of time.  On the other hand, if it is so easy and natural i would try to find material that gives him more of a challenge (oh how i would have loved that through school and uni!), i do and alway have craved that challenge. It took me until masters level to find even a small challenge but I had been searching for even that tiny challenge my whole life. Now i am contemplating what area to do my PhD in, I miss it and want to actually try for something that (in theory) will provide a real challenge. HTH?

  6. We like it. It is thorough and the steps are logical and incrimental. I love that it as the teaching and practice all in together and there is no prep time or finding teacher manuals etc.


    On the downside I find that retention is not as good as with our other math program (MUS). The questions often follow a pattern and so the kids tend to pick up on the pattern before the concept being taught (in my experience anyway).


    So, we use MM daily and MUS a few times a week. Overall I actually prefer MM but I really find the kids have better retention from MUS so we use that as a suppliment.


    Does MM fit your requirements: yes definitely. But all families are different it may be perfect for you or it may be a complete flop, for us i would give it 8/10, is very easy and thorough but I feel it is missing a manipulative component in the younger grades.

  7. We really only combine history (and all associated subjects eg art, mapping, literature... as we do unit studies based on our history), all the core subjects are seperate however we will be combining science as of next year when the younger one will be old enough to join in, atm she is just not doing "science" as a formal subject. For the other subjects they do the same subject at the same time (eg math is done by both at the same time) but using their own books etc.

  8. We are using AAS with my just turned 6yo, she has just started level 2.

    I would re-start AAS with your DC and go slowly through the levels, do not progress to the next step until the prevoius one is mastered. This may mean you are on a single step for a while but so be it. You can always expand the lessons, make large (maybe A4 size) "letter tiles" and get him to spell using them on the floor (make it physically active, jump from letter to letter...), spell the words using shaving cream instead of the letter tiles. Basically I would stick at each lesson but approach it differently each day until it was mastered and then move on. HTH

  9. I would back up to level 1 and maybe accelerate through it depending on how she goes with level 1 (maybe start half way through or do every second week etc?). I feel that starting easier and building confidence is important and hopefully level 1 will help to resolve some of her issues such as useage of capitals and punctuation etc. With these issues resolved then once you re-start level 2 she can focus on the new skills being addressed rather than trying to learn everything all at once.

  10. We love the AG. Honestly I usually design our own curriculum for the week anyway but the AG gives me a quick and easy head start on working out what we will do, we do actually do a lot of the suggestions from the AG but I often find different ones that we perfer online. My girls love the colouring pages and the mapping and I love how I get about half our craft and activity ideas from it (and the other half I get from the net using the suggestions in the AG as a starting point and inspiration)

  11. We skip some of the problems here, I scan the lesson before giving it to DD and cross off questions she does not need to do, she LOVES this, it gives her a boost knowing that she is good enough to not need to do all the questions IYKWIM. Selecting just the ones to do does not have the same effect, she loves seeing the unnecessary ones actually crossed off. I would say that we skip up to half of some lessons (but do all of others), probably average skipping about 1/4 - 1/3 of the questions overall. Also, I often scribe for her (up to about half a lesson). Not only does this give her hand a break it also practices mental strategies (as I read the question and write, she does not look at the page while doing this). Another strategy we use here is that i read all the word problems. Even with a good reader this can help as they do not have to think about the words etc and can focus entirely on the problem not the reading of it, also generally avoids misreading the question (although this mummy has been know to read a few questions wrong before).


    We do 3 pages a day here on average, takes about 10-15 minutes depending on her focus. Some days she will get through 3 pages in 3 minutes but other days she is too fidgety and can take the full 15.

  12. I started SOTW when my eldest started 1st grade (3 months before she turned 6), the 4yo pre-ker tags along too. Both my girls are OBSESSED with history and literally beg me every day to do history. It is great for them, they enjoy the story and it is at a good level for both the 4yo and 6yo to enjoy and understand the story. I will not be redoing SOTW for the current 4yo as she is already doing it all and has amazing retention but I have a 1yo and will re-start the series again for her when she is in 1st, my middle child will then be able to join in with sotw again while working at a higher level (she will be in 4th when the baby is in 1st).

  13. What are your must buys for SOTW2?


    I am placing my order (RR) for next year but do not have the book or AG with me ATM (they are in storage until after we move next month). We already own the usborne encyclopedia, SOTW2 text and AG, and a visual history atlas. What would you add to this for SOTW 2? Our entire library system is terrible so I will need to buy most items, if it is used for more that 2 weeks I would rather buy than try to find it through the library.


    I am interested in everything, activity books, non-fiction, fiction/literature, games... Hit me with the works, international postage means one large order is more cost effective than smaller orders. Also, any other rainbow products you would recommend for my kids ages 5 and 7 (K and 2nd but both are advanced approximate ability levels about 1st and 3rd). TIA

  14. I am left handed and cross my letters right to left. Where I was taught to write (vic in australia) it is actually the "official way" for left handers to be taught, there is seperate official instruction for left handed letter formation outlining the different directionality of some letters based on being a leftie. it is much easier to pull the pencil rather than push it and really should be taught that way for all left handers.

  15. My DD is half way through 1st. We are using FLL1, WWE1 and AAS (about to finish 1, starting 2 in about a week). Honestly I love AAS, and I find it really compliments the other programs. DD on the other hand is not really keen on it but it is really working well for her (really, really well!) so I will be sticking with it. Having said that, she does not like any spelling so I doubt changing would result in her loving the new program either.

  16. We had a school room in this current house but it never got used except for storage, I have now taken that over as my study/craft room as I have found that working at the dining table works best for us (dining, living and kitchen all in one). We are moving soon and although will be 2 spare rooms (an extra bedroom and a formal lounge) we will not be making one of them into a dedicated school room. Again we will have a dining, living, kitchen (and playroom!) combo with a huge dining room - we will use the dining room for school and I will use one wall of the playroom for storage of all school materials. It works for us as I like to be able to cook etc while they are working and doing their craft and I like the school area to be in the centre of the house, having that seperate school room felt cut off from the house.

  17. We are doing FLL1 atm and i think we will get through it in under 6 months (1st grade), i would move quicker if she was older. We are half way through.

    I combine quite a few lessons as i find often 2 lessons in a row are very similar, she does not need that much repitition (and I have skipped some as well). We will end up getting through the 100 lessons in about 60 days ish, at about 4 lessons a week that will not take us long to finish.

    My rule of thumb, if i know she already knows that content well (I scan the lesson before starting) then I either combine it with the next lesson or skip it entirely. If it is something she is not so sure on we take our time.


    But, it is a great program, DD loves it, i mean loves it! It is her favorite subject lol. I like that it is gentle and well set out but I would not say I love it but she really does and she is really learning well from it. She is so proud to be able to recite her poems and she has a very thorough understanding of a noun now :)

  18. We did both last year (MM light blue) I just alternated between the 2 options on about a weekly basis. We ended up skipping a lot (about half of each) as she really did not need too much practice at most concepts. For MUS we generally did pages A, B and D (sometimes E) plus the test for each chapter (each chapter took 2 days @ 2 pages per day + test day) and for MM i just crossed out columns of problems in most chapters.


    Right now we are only doing MM but I have the next level of MUS waiting and think we might alternate between the 2 again once we finish our current level in MM in about a month.


    This is for a very mathy kid though.

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