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FO4UR

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  1. Cursive is more ergonomic for the human hand. I've tried cursive first, and then I had a child who taught herself print before I had a chance to teach her cursive, and then I decided to do D'Nealian Manuscript in K/1 for my 3rd child. He moved to cursive later, and it was seamless. Sandpaper letters. Do all of the teaching of formation and such on sandpaper letters. After all of the letters are solid with sandpaper letters, pick a paper/pencil program. A gel pen (or fountain pen) helps with fluid cursive.
  2. Literary Devices for $200, Alex. Good instant coffee brand. What is an oxymoron?
  3. This. My advice is to skip the step of trying every plan out there and finding out that you really are better off just picking your own books and relaxing about scheduling readings. It is how, not what. Start with a blank slate. Fill it 3/4 of the way up with the very best. Leave 1/4 wiggle room to add later because one good thing leads to another.
  4. What about socialization? What about Bob?
  5. I'm considering these as well. The thought crossed my mind to see if a bunch of local homeschoolers would all pitch in and fund a donated set as a reference in the library. That might work well for people who live close to a good library.
  6. :lol: Now, that is dedication to efficiency. The dynamics that caused the divorce were probably present the child's entire childhood. I'm not saying to ignore the adhd symptoms, just view them in the whole picture. Anxiety in kids can look like a lack of impulse control, inability to focus, etc...and if you treat anxiety like adhd (without looking at the source of the anxiety), the child could be worse off.
  7. The trauma of an unfriendly divorce could present like ADHD. If that is the case, typical treatment for ADHD could be more of a hindrance than a help.
  8. The bolded is the real issue. :grouphug: You are dealing with a child in trauma/conflict. (Get a shark of a lawyer if you can at all afford one.) He needs his school to be something he CAN accomplish daily. He needs successes. Even if his school is not your very best ideal, and even if he doesn't score in the 99th percentile. His school = His success. The feeling that you are failing and floundering is horrible, but for a child already going through an unfriendly divorce, it's brutal...and yes, the divorce and sabatoge every other weekend creates this dynamic. You cannot stop the sabatoge. You can only change your reactions. You can only encourage your child to change his. Understand, when his familiy members bash homeschooling, he might feel that as them looking down upon him as stupid. When you give him work that is too diffucult, it confirms the idea that he must be stupid. Lazy is better than stupid. It is emotionally safer for him to not try than to fail. This is where you CAN make some big changes. "I don't care if you don't get this right the first time, just see what you think." and "When I was a kid, it took me 3 months to learn this. I remember how that made me feel, so I think we should break this down and not worry if it doesn't come like the book says it should." and "Failing on the first try is no biggie. That's how we learn. How many times did Thomas Jefferson fail at making the lightbulb? (Thomas EDDISON, mom!)" Create a safe place to fail. Read a ton of biographies about strong men who failed and got back up again. Now, you are on to a key piece of fixing things... Whittle his work down to reading reading reading. Read to him, use audiobooks, buddy read, and assign him reading. Choose books for those purposes. Read to him: Books that have potential to be loved, talked about for years, and spark inspiration. Audiobooks: Books that are way above his reading level, but high interest. Buddy read: Books that are just a tad above his comfy reading level, and important for his education. He might not choose these books, but you feel they are important. Assigned Reading: Books well within his reading level. Assign short chapters, and ask for an oral report. "Try to tell me everything you just read. Pretend I really need to know, but the book was just flushed down the potty and now my life depends upon knowing what you just read." Writing: Do an oral report (aka narration) daily, even if it's just a short one. Keep doing copywork. Combine all handwriting, spelling, grammar in your copywork. Have him study the passage. Then see if he can orally spell a few of the words. Pick out a few for asking things like "Where did the silent 'e' go?" and "Why did we double that consonant?" After he copies, ask him to identify the verb, then the subject...and then let the discussion evolve into a 5min grammar lesson. If you do daily oral narrations, and daily copywork as described above, that is enough writing for a 10yo in his situation. (In MY humble opinion, and especially b/c I think this is a temporary deal with his "laziness." (aka emotional distress)) Do Mad Libs together. Write your own Mad Libs together. Pick a passage, and ask "If the author were a kindergartener, how would this have been written?" (It was hot. I was mad. I hate the beach.) Now, write a "kindergarten rant" (make it realistic - c'mon - imagine a 5yo who is afraid to use a public restroom or doesn't want to take a nap)...and now put adult words around those same ideas. Do this activity orally if actual writing is an issue. But, scribe for him and have him copy some original writing in his own handwriting to keep for a portfolio of work. If you can get him laughing during these assignments, you have won. Math: Whittle down to review & new. I like the Evan Moore Daily Math reviews. Choose a grade level down b/c we want to keep that review a quick 5-10min. Then spend the rest of math doing together. Watch a khan academy video and work some word problems together. Start with easy. He needs to see some daily successes. But more importantly, think about ways to build up a healthy culture in your home. Be a safe place to fail, and a safe place to enjoy things that others tsk and poo about. You have taken a hard knock too...being open about that idea and allowing the kids to see you build yourself up will encourage them to do the same. :grouphug:
  9. got a wierd call today Sorry, that was me. It turns out the fridge was running. I caught it. No need to worry. I can't seem to find the # to the neighborhood mortuary though. "You stab 'em. We slab 'em." is the guarantee...is this still a valid offer? It would would really stink if the offer expired before he did. (No actual people were harmed in the making of this horrifying joke.)
  10. Perhaps it had the same results, but my grandpa's intentions were on creating a healthy (equal) family dynamic. He is a rare gem of his generation. I cannot ever recall him praising a woman, to me, for the way she looks, cooks, or keeps home. I can recall - verbatim - several times that he praised my grandmother, my mother & aunts, and other women in our community for the work they do. Looking back as adult, he was telling me something about my worth as a woman. It was assumed that I would go to college, and I did. Everyone one of us grandkids have gone to college, except the ones who aren't old enough and they are headed that way. My mom has more letters behind her name on her badge than I can even keep track of...several degrees & certifications. I was raised very differently from the culture that I now find myself. Many of the families around me educate girls solely b/c they are expected to homeschool the grandkids someday. :grouphug: This must be traumatic for you to see. Your mom must have run interference. I'm sure it makes her happy to see her kids and grandkids doing so well.
  11. I see this sort of thing frequently. Some people are unintentionally grooming their daughters to be dv victims. My grandpa used to tell me that if a young married couple had to choose which spouse gets an education first, it should always be the woman. It didn't make sense to me at the time (why he would emphasize that so much), but I see now. He saw more than a few dv situations that he thought might have ended differently if the woman had an education. I also remember him telling one of my aunts that it's great that she enjoys _____ for work, but that she needed to think about $$$. That confused me for a while also. He's not a greedy or money-focused person. He was thinking about her social equality and freedom. He always made a point to tell me positive stories about his female coworkers. He bragged about what grandma did at work - she is pretty awesome. I can see what he was doing for me now.
  12. Make a list of the categories. Nature stories, biographies, history stories, literature (fairy tales, folk tales, a novel per term), poetry, Shakespeare (lamb's or Nesbit), composers, artists, Bible. Plug in what you already have. Then fill in any holes. Choose the books and then schedule them on a calendar. It is really that simple. No need to buy a huge package or over-complicate things. I don't even schedule things much of the time. I simply use a sticky note for a book mark and pick up where we left off.
  13. I have always been pleased with Rainbow Resource. The free shipping is awesome if you live close. I usually have the box on my doorstep in no time. Even when I lived far away, the shipping was reasonable. I compare prices, and RR is usually cheaper. .50 here and 1.00 there add up when you are buying for 4 kids. Plus, you can get such a wide variety with one order - and free shipping. They have a nice Bargain section now. I've bought some very nice things VERY cheap b/c a box was dented or there was a crease on the cover. I'm happy to get those deals. There are some things I like to buy direct from the publisher. Things like the SOTW activity guides or WWE workbooks are ordered from PHP website. I save $ b/c I can reprint for all my kids, and I think the author makes a higher % that way too. win-win.
  14. When I was a student, I made cheat charts all in the margins of my exams. That was allowable. So, if it helps her feel better about it, tell her to take 5min before the assignment and jot down some skip counting or mini x chart or whatever to refer to as she fills in the rest of the page.
  15. Pot, meet Kettle. :hat: When your kid fails to take out the trash one day, don't globalize the issue and tell him that he's going to fired from every job he gets and be homeless b/c he's so irresponsible...for forgetting to take out the trash today. Not that I have ever had the above conversation or know ANYTHING about this... :gnorsi:
  16. I eyed all of the pretty books. :drool5: I have much of it already on my shelves at home. I didn't need anything for the fall...but I almost snagged a copy of the Bible program for the 3yo...you know...for when she's older. I was good though. I will wait. It's funny that so many of us have 4 kids with a 10 year age span. SWB is a true trend setter. :lol:
  17. I met SWB today at the StL Homeschool Expo, and you have to go and hear her speak if you get a chance. Her talk on the Real Child is so relevant b/c she is a Real Mom. My 11yo dd was with me, and she especially liked the bit about "Don't Go Global." (Guilty as charged.) It was very good for her to hear this talk today even though it's not really meant for the kids. She's my Miss Independent & Purposeful, and I think we both went away feeling much better about her school/life balance. I left with some fresh enthusiasm for teaching my boys too. Thanks SWB for birthing your children 12 years before me, (I realized today that we both have 4 kids with a 10 year age span.), and sharing your experiences and wisdom with us!!!
  18. I was going to mention the Task Cards. I think those middle school years need something different. They are too big to sit on your lap, but not big enough to go without holding your hand. The Task Cards, I think, give a good foundation for middle school level learning. They can be done at the library, which can help fulfill social needs if you have a great children's librarian. For some reason a book recommended by her has a different level of awesomeness than one recommended by mom.
  19. For your 6th grade excellent writer who doesn't like history or science, have her do some fun and creative writing assignments on some famous women in history, female scientists from long ago and some current. One per week. Her final product can look like a lapbook or a written narration. Give her a list of details to include. Don't make her choose the format if that produces anxiety. You choose the format based on what you know about the woman chosen to study. If you have a female pediatrician, I'd ask her if she'd be willing to spend 30 minutes of her time to be interviewed for a school project on females in science. (Help her come up with good questions to ask so you utilize that time well.) Do you know any other female scientists? At the end of 36 school weeks, she will have covered quite a bit of history and science in researching the lives of important women. And, hopefully, by connecting those things to people she admires, she'll spark some genuine interest in branching out from there. Grammar - Killgallon and Sentence Diagramming workbooks. Alternate those two things to keep things a little less monotonous. For the 8th grader's grammar, I'd go with Our Mother Tongue. 6th grader could probably do this too if she's advanced in LA. Killgallon is nice for a future writer of interesting sentences. Grammar?
  20. It sounds like you have a great handle on things. You are missing angst and misery. They are over-rated. Carry on and enjoy your child. I started my oldest child out with Spell to Write and Read. That was a mistake. He is dyslexic and, while he learned phonics, he didn't learn to read sponateously through learning to spell. If I could go back, I would start him at 7yo with Charlotte Mason style word building lessons at his pace. Before 7yo, I would spend every minute I could squeeze from his attention span building visual processing skills, playing phonics GAMES instead of doing phonics LESSONS. It sounds like your dd is already reading for herself. That is wonderful! Just keep going with that. Let writing be oral narrations of the books she reads, copywork, letters to people that she dictates to you and then she copies in her own handwriting, and drawing and labeling her drawings. ADHD kids can focus when it's something they are highly interested in. So anytime you can frame a writing lesson in terms of something she would like to do, it will be a happy thing. Math - 15min a day is fine. Use manipulates. Make it meaningful. Play games to reinforce facts & concepts. I wouldn't worry about content subjects right now. It sounds like she is likely covering more than enough through reading. If you feel uneasy about it, categorize her books into biographies, nature stories, etc...
  21. I'm Charlotte Mason-y. I merge spelling & cursive with an intro to both in 2nd Grade Essentials in Spelling. The spelling involves CM style visualization techniques and copywork, leading up to dictation. I have some special needs, so I do not stick strictly to CM. I add in things that have been vital in getting success for my specific children. In 2nd grade I also do CM style reading, oral narration, poetry & copywork through the Treadwell Readers. I wrote Companions for the Treadwell Readers and you can find them HERE. In the 2nd Reader Companion, I use D'Nealian manuscript b/c that is meant to be independent copywork with the cursive instruction happening during the spelling lessons. The 3rd Companion, you have a choice between manuscript or cursive. My kids did cursive, but some kids may need another year before doing all work in cursive.
  22. I'll speak to how technology has changed the HS market. It has made it fairly easy to spiffy up and sell homemade materials. I think that can be good and bad. There is an opportunity to benefit from some talented and intelligent homeschool parents. I can simply upload my homemade lessons to lulu.com and share. There is also a new level of Buyer Beware. Much of what is new is really old and in a new package. I've bought some things made by homeschool moms that are simply AWESOME! (Happy Phonics) I've bought some things and thought...ugh, I make this better....I should have saved by $$$. All in all, I think this is a good trend for those who know how to find the flowers through the weeds. It's a dizzy-madness for newbies.
  23. I think it is too laborious to do that with every blend pattern in English. No. Just uncover one sound of a word at a time and teach the child HOW to blend. That is a skill that will reap a reward over and over again. There are a few consonant blends that tend to follow a long vowel sound, and those I teach. Kind, find, wind/wind, cold, told, etc... Otherwise, the skill is blending in and of itself. I spend the whole Kindy year just really hammering that SKILL home. Once they are blending, the rest comes along quickly.
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