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Posts posted by LEK

  1. So yesterday I realized that dd7 is slightly more accelerated than I previously thought :lol:

    She is half way through 2nd grade (school year = calendar year here). I knew she was accelerated and would have said a grade or 2 ahead...


    I have been allowing my girls to do their own research and reading for science this year. I have been a little (or a lot) slacker than I would have liked in actually checking what they have been reading and learning, blame my terrible health and 2 littles, anyway, yesterday I realized that not only has she been reading my Holt Life Science book (7th grade) but she has also been answering the questions in an exercise book (correctly!) and doing all experiments she could without asking me for equipment :eek: I only cottoned on when she decided to ask me for a balance scale yesterday to check something... She is half way through the book and so far seems to have mastered all the material covered, wow!


    This comes only 2 weeks after I realized that dd9 (4th grade) is 4+ levels ahead in math, again I knew she was accelerated but I had not looked at the books covering our local curriculum in so long that I had no idea she was so far ahead of our local standards.


    Second such realization in only 2 weeks, this mummy better get her act together and actually work out where her kids really are at (and leave the denial behind). I have just been picking books at my kids current level and interests without really paying attention to grades etc and somehow was completely oblivious to how far ahead they really are, oops.

    • Like 1
  2. My kids are very similar ages to yours, right now I have a 9yo (4th), 7yo (2nd), 4yo (prek) and 2.5yo, next (calendar) year I will have 3 school age kids, K, 3rd and 5th with a tornado toddler underfoot. I also have thyroid issues so am dealing with terrible fatigue and mental issues.

    Our school days run very smoothly. Over the years we have settled into a routine that works really well for the school age kiddos, the little ones I keep busy as best I can during school times with playdough, books, drawing (they are drawing inside of a big box today), collage etc. I find that knowing what they need to do, when it will be done and how much means that our days run smoothly and stress free.

    Our school days always start with independent work. 4th grade it is working with words and handwriting, 2nd grade does explode the code and handwriting (and I take this time to get myself ready for the day, print anything I need, check messages, pre-read a lesson if needed...). Then one kid does their independent reading while I work on LA with the other kid (spelling or grammar), once done we swap over. Finally I set them both up to do their writing work for the day. Once they are writing I work with the 4yo if she is interested that day, next year this will be her time for reading and phonics with mummy.

    Once writing assignments are finished or I decide a reasonable time and effort has been put in everyone has a break with ALL the kids being sent outside to run and play.

    After break they do logic for 10 minutes, we alternate between books (mind benders, primarily logic etc) and games however it is all completely independent. Then comes maths, again this is independent for both my kids (yay!), occasionally I have to explain a concept in a different way to the lesson but generally they just do their lessons and bring me the work to correct. Then comes lunch.

    After lunch they can use the computer to play prodigy (for 30 minutes to an hour each depending on the day) and do science (2 days), history (2 days) or art (1 day). We have been quite relaxed about science and history this year, much more than previous years (as I was finding it was science and to a lesser extend history that was the stress here). The kids have been doing their own reading and research projects for both science and history and we have been doing any science experiments that seem to fit in with the current projects. Sometimes I give them specific "assignments" but other days they are just free to read, research and write however they want as long as they dedicate sufficient time and effort to their work. Our entire year has been so much easier since we have started this system. Next year for 5th my older dd will have set science and history work however but we will not be following a set curriculum, I will give her set assignments and readings but will base they way the afternoons will work on a similar system to this year just with more required work and direction.

    This is what works here. The only things that are generally not low stress are toddler related and well, my toddler is having a shocker of a terrible 2's, nothing is low stress with him ever.

    • Like 1
  3. I have never heard of using a check for correct, never, so strange lol


    As a general rule I do not mark correct answers except for on a test however when I do mark a correct answer it is always with a tick (check mark), I have never seen any other way of marking an answer correct.

    Wrong answers I usually put an X next to, sometimes I circle the question. In writing I usually circle the issue.

    Cannot get my head around a tick meaning a wrong answer in some areas.

    • Like 1
  4. My DD is still working through beast academy so she has not started prealgebra but I recently order the AOPS prealgebra so I could work through it before giving it to her. I am loving it and can't wait to order the next book lol.


    While your daughter might be fine with the placement test for algebra I personally would consider getting prealgebra as well as algebra for her, the aops method is so different and while I am finding the maths easy enough so far in prealgebra the methodology and strategies being taught are amazing and I am finding them to be a great intro to their methods without the computations being too complex.


    BTW we are also aussies, I ordered through rainbow resources and got a big order to reduce the postage costs. I usually order everything for the year/6 months in one large order.

    • Like 1
  5. Just thinking and planning ahead of time here as I like to have a plan in place which I will then change several times and spend ages second guessing myself over lol.

    For those that have used wordsmith apprentice what did you move onto after that? We are using wordsmith apprentice for 5th and I am trying to plan where to from here.

    My DD will be 10.5 and starting 6th grade. She is not a natural writer but is about on grade level. She needs a little hand holding but is very independent so we prefer a writnig program that is independent but includes some hand holding within the program itself.

    I am thinking maybe writing with skill for 6th?
    Where did you go after wordsmith apprentice?
    What would you recommend for writing in 6th for an average writer and a very independent child that still needs some hand holding?

  6. Go basic and just find a box that the cards fit into nicely, I use a small plastic lunch box and they fit perfectly.

    Definitely start at level 1. It is recommended that everyone starts there and as your dd is leaving vowels out of her words then level 1 is clearly the level she needs to be at right now.

    You may find you go through level 1 fairly quickly, do not push to get through it too fast but just expect that it may happen. In the early years my spelling "plan" was to get through 1-3 levels a year depending on how fast my kids worked through them, we averaged about 2 levels a year for the first few levels.

    • Like 1
  7. I do not micro plan.
    I macro plan each subject individually working out the required number of days per week we have to work on that subject to finish the program at the time we want to finish (usually the end of the year or the end of the semester). Once I have a list of subjects and number of days a week my plan is done. On a weekly basis I just have to roughly stick to the weekly targets and we are done, easy :)

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  8. My eldest 2 are 19 months apart. I started out teaching dd1 at the time she was due to start school, dd2 tagged along for all content subjects but did not do any phonics/reading/math.
    dd2 was meant to start school 2 years behind her sister but ended up starting 1 year behind as she was so keen (although I say she is in her age based grade), she has always done her own math and language arts but everything else is combined, sometimes I adapt the difficulty between them and sometimes they are doing the exact same work.

    Now at grades 2 and 4 they are still doing science and history together although there is more of a gap between the output I expect than there was in the earlier years. They are doing language arts and math separately and will continue to do so.

  9. We work on it for a set time daily (about 30-45 minutes depending on difficulty and frustration levels). Some days she gets through 6 or more pages independently (I believe the max was 10 in half an hour!) and other days it takes 30 minutes to complete one page with my help. I let her work at her own pace, we got through BA3A in about a month and same with 3B. We are using BA as a supplement only and alternate about 1 month to each book. She is also using prodigy math most days.

  10. I only plan the overall year and never the individual weeks or months. Before each school year starts I look at each book (curricula) and decide when I am planning on finishing with that item, will it take a term? a semester? a year? 2 years?

    A school year here is 40 weeks divided into 4 terms of roughly 10 weeks each.

    Then I basically look at the table of contents assuming it has one and divide the number of chapters by however long the book will take to complete in weeks. Eg a 100 chapter book like FLL that will take all year to complete = 100 chapters /40 weeks = 2.5 chapters a week, I generally round UP as I know there will be weeks when we miss some lessons or take the week off so I would then aim to work on that program 3 days each week.
    I do this for each individual curricula to give me a list of subjects and number of days each week to work on those then I just basically aim to stick to the number of days on the list, because I always round up there is usually a fair bit of flexibility in the plans. I usually do a check to see if we are on track at the end of each term and if we are way behind I may adjust the plan for the following term to do say grammar 4 days a week instead of 3 but that is not usual.

    My plan this year for my 4th grader looks like this (and the 2nd plan is very similar)
    FLL 3 days a week

    AAS 2 days a week (we generally alternate these 2)

    Writing strands 4 days a week

    Working with words daily

    Reading daily

    Geography 1 day a week

    History 2 days a week

    Science 2 days a week

    MUS daily OR BA daily (we alternate these on a monthly basis give or take) I do not plan to finish these at any set time, we just do the next thing for a set time daily and will finish it when we finish it


    Starting 5th the plan will be done the same way but as she will be using more resources then for history and science so the plan for those subjects will be more set out due those additions. The science plan may or may not end up looking something like this:
    Science book 1 - 1 chapter weekly with outline

    Science book 2 - 2 chapters weekly

    Science own research/reading - 1 day a week with outline (use encyclopedia or non fiction resource of choice to further research a topic from the weekly spine)

    Experiment - 1-2 weekly

    • Like 2
  11. Same as above, we spend about half an hour a day doing the problems. Some days that is one page, some days that is 10 pages. On days where she reads the guide we only do about 15 minutes of problems after the reading

  12. I love this type of discussion, it is always so interesting :)


    To the OP, all the words rhyme.  I would have described them as having the long 'e' sound.  Since teaching phonics, I've learned that they are technically considered short 'i' sound.  At first, I could't imagine how to pronounce them with a short i but I've figured it out.  Now, when I purposely pronounce it with a short i it is almost identical to when I purposely pronounce it with a long e.  Yes, I hear a difference, but it is very slight.  In normal speech, I would still pronounce it with a long e sound but during reading lessons, I probably do the short i.

    This is so strange to me, short i and long e are COMPLETELY different sounds to me, they are not even close and definitely not interchangeable.


    As to water, I doubt I would understand any of you asking for water lol, it is pronounced WOR-ta where the a on the end has a short u sound like in tuba (and WOR is pronounced the same way as the word war)

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    Also, I would not count on four children being able to use the same curriculum, with any curriculum. They're not clones and may have different educational needs.


    True but when you have 4 children buying it once and actually owning the book usually works out cheaper than a limited time online subscription. Also, even if the next ones don't use the exact same books I often find I will refer to books I have used with another child for specific problems.

    Additionally, #2 DD is very close behind her sister, I expect she will be starting pre-algebra before #1 is actually finished with the book, she is a clear cut case for AOPS (even though she will most likely be starting it at 9). Either way I need this book in the next 2 years but I was not sure whether to get something else first or just dive right in.

    • Like 1
  14. Would your daughter mind the online version of the book. The disadvantage is that you can't print so you need to have wifi while doing the problems. I wish the company allow printing for the review problems and challenge problems page so that kids can work at the problems without having to look at the screen.


    Another option would be to buy a used set of the book and the solutions manual. I'm not selling but I know people do sell when their kids are done with it.


    She wouldn't mind an online version but as she is the eldest of 4 I want the books to be able to pass down to younger siblings.

    As to second hand, I have tried but it is hard to find anything and then once you add in international postage the costs are outrageous.

  15. Lol thanks guys, I knew I was over thinking this yet again.

    The biggest problems are cost and shipping though, if we try it and don't like it not only will it cost heaps to buy another choice but it will likely take a month or more for that to arrive, cost wise I really need my #1 purchase to be the one we actually go with, I can't afford to buy several expensive books.

  16. I am second guessing myself yet again about where to from here, sigh, why is this so hard?

    DD is on track to start pre-algebra mid way through 5th grade. At that point she will have completed MUS through to zeta and BA5 (hopefully all of them but depends on if the last ones are out).


    My heart says AOPS as she loves beast and loves the approach but my head is saying a very young 5th grader for AOPS pre-algebra might be too young? Should we do something else first maybe?

    She will just have turned 10 when she is ready to start assuming we do not hit any major speed bumps before then (age wise she is right on the cutoff, most her friends born the same month as her are currently in 3rd not 4th).


    I think we will do AOPS pre-algebra at some point but I am starting to wonder if we might be best doing something else first maybe?
    What would you do, straight into AOPS or do another pre-algebra first? If another pre-algebra what one would you choose for a just turned 10yo?


    • Like 1
  17. My girls were running late this morning and started school an hour later than usual

    Me: girls if you don't hurry up you won't have time for extra maths later on

    DD(9): NO! You can't be serious, I NEED that extra time (because she is only 2 grade levels ahead...)

    DD(7) with a shocked, open mouth expression and in a completely horrified voice: "Mum, how can you even say such a thing?"

    I am guessing they will find the time somewhere lol

    • Like 10
  18. I am starting in earnest to plan for christmas and am after some fun ideas and suggestions for my kiddos.
    I am placing a huge order at rainbow resources within a few weeks as one kiddo needs the next level of math asap (and we are in australia so i need to do a big order to save on postage).


    I am specifically after ideas for stocking stuffers but other christmas inspiration welcome (preferably available at rainbow).

    My kids are 9, 8 and 5 (all girls) and a 2.5yo boy.


    Ideas I have so far:

    Erasable colored pencils

    Erasers in fun shapes

    Nail tattoos

    Card game each

    Board game each (these form their main present not a stocking stuffer)

    calculator (for eldest)

    smelly pens

    little activity books (for the 5yo)

    maybe some more teddy counters as ours have dwindled in number

    glue and tape, you can never have too much of these (according to my kids)



    We have enough card and construction paper to start our own craft shop lol and same with paint.

    Last year they got tape dispensers, sharpeners, staplers and rulers which do not need replacing.



    I try fill their stockings with fun but useful items so we are not overrun with random "stuff" and also so I can save on the cost of presents/school supplies by combining the two.

    What other fun stuff have I missed? Big or small items. Thanks heaps!



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