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Everything posted by mdefields

  1. Already thinking about what I'm going to do for dd next year. She is LOVING MR Level G for this year (wish I had discovered this curriculum two years ago!), but they don't offer a level H, so I'm already trying to find options for next year. What she loves about MR is the fact that it is colorful like a "fun" workbook and doesn't overwhelm her with the number of problems per page. Also, for her, the spiralling aspect is good, because she likes to have those days where her math is easy (and I think she can use the reminders). Have tried MM (and while I love it) but it didn't work for her. To plain and WAY too many problems on the page (even though I didn't make her do them all). I don't think Saxon math would work either, and afraid Singapore math would be impossible to understand at a 7th grade level when we haven't used it before. Any ideas greatly appreciated! Something workbook-y, colorful, and not too overwhelming looking.
  2. Well, I have to say that it still looks too easy to me, but I DID compare what is in it with what MM teaches in 6th grade (now that I've had it out of dd's hands long enough) and it matches pretty well. There is a lot LESS of each thing, but for dd that is a very good thing. Too much of the same was driving her insane with MM. My greatest concern is that there isn't much critical thinking involved in it. I tool Jo Boaler's online course from Stanford called How to Learn Math and saw so many great open-ended math questions - that could involve creativity in answering the problems. They even through problems at the kids before they've been taught the "most elegant answer" (what is taught as how to answer the problem correctly). I did some of the problems without knowing how to "properly" answer them and came up with some inelegant answers, but they were right, and I totally see how they can help teach concept to kids. So I'm going to add some of those. Using Number Sense book as a supplement (from Amazon) along with Building Thinking Skills from CCCo. (although I think BTS is a little too easy as well). My goal is to make sure dd is challenged enough that she actually grows new neurons - if things are too easy, no new neurons!
  3. I ordered it thinking it would be good for dd due to to the "critical thinking" aspect but also because I know if it looks more like a "fun" workbook she'll be more likely to do it. We got it yesterday, dd is absolutely thrilled and actually took it upstairs to do for fun! I know! She did the first 8 pages before I really got to look at it myself. I'll go for it because she can do it without the horrible stress that MM seems to cause her (and can supplement with challenging math puzzles - needs to grow those math neurons!), but I have to say I was really disappointed in the "challenging" aspect of it. Most of it (like 75%) seems to be review from 5th grade and earlier. I know it is spiral, so I expected some of that, but are the NCTM standards that much lower than CC? Or is MM that much more advanced? Thanks for any thoughts.
  4. I've been very unhappy with the "formal" history curricula I've found. So FWiW - I've been using the "For Kids" series of history books. You can find them on Amazon.com - they are very well written books on specific subjects and historical individuals that includes some fun and interesting activiities. We used the American Revolution one last year and I loved the depth of information it provided. We've also used the ones on Gallileo and Newton as well as Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, and da Vinci - all very well written and very indepth. For our study of the Renaissance, we also used Rats, Bulls, and Flying Machines by Core Chronicles (so disappointed that they've gone away from writing anymore history books!) which we absolutely adored.
  5. My daughter started homeschooling in 4th grade and did not know her math facts either. I discovered Reflex Math online program and it worked wonders! I got a deal on it through homeschoolbuyercoop.com. The program is made up of games that eventually help the child become fluent in their math facts. The only thing I didn't like is that you have to choose between addition/subtraction and multiplication/division - you can't do both at the same time and if you switch you lose all the progress in the previous one. But, she DID become fluent in her multiplication facts - it was really quite amazing and she loved playing the games. Hope that helps!
  6. Darn it - Just saw this. Is this sale still on? Any WWS1, CW1?
  7. Hi, I've been a member since 2012, but am really using a much more classical education curriculum this year for the first time, not just pieces (still no Latin, though). My question is (and it's probably self-evident, but not to me): How do you put a quote from a post into your reply? I just can't figure it out. I can't find a FAQ page on the forum, either. Thanks!!! Michelle
  8. Ooh, I just realized since DD loves to write fiction, we could use CW1 over the summer as a bridge activity! Thanks again for helping me out of the box!
  9. Wow! This forum has the BEST homeschoolers on it - thank you for the GREAT suggestions! Just for clarification: I use the Danica McKellar books because they are the only thing my DD can stand (she loves kissy-kissy/boyfriend stuff - LOL) - we actually use them to teach the math and then use MM for extra problems, and I don't care if we don't get through all of MM6 this year - I just want her to be okay with math. I also don't do a formal literature study, but if I don't choose some literature for her to read during the year, she would mostly read (even though she is a prolific reader) "junk food" books. I have to assign "literature." Hoping someday this is not the case. :) The ideas about using blocks was fantastic! Since AG will only last 11-17 weeks, I'm thinking to do AG and then CW1 (whatever we can get done with it - she loves writing fiction which is why I felt it necessary to offset the kind of writing she's not really into but that I think is needed). And doing blocks of history and then science and then maybe another one is also great! Or - I love this alternative idea as well: "I'd have one "block" each day (~1 hr) that rotates through Spelling/Vocab, Mapping the World, Art, and Science (since most of your science is at the PS). So, Day 1 is Spelling/Vocab, Day 2 Mapping, Day 3 Art, Day 4 Science. So, every day: Math 1 hr, Writing 45 min, Grammar 30 min (?), Block Rotation 1 hr, Reading 1 hr (?) & History 45 min (?) = 5 hours per day +/-" I am totally fine with mapping the world taking more than one year, but DD has been asking for geography and really has no idea where things are, so it's a very important part of this year. I do think we need more than one day a week for history, so maybe longer blocks would work better there. Maybe a mix of the two - hour long blocks throughout the week for some things (Vocab, Art, Science) and longer blocks for history, AG, CW1. Reading is often done out of "school" time anyway, so I'm not too worried about that. I know I'm rambling. Sorry. I've got to sit with it and decide what to do, but now I feel like I have some choices that I didn't see before. Thank you all again so much for the wonderful advice! This can be done in a sane manner!
  10. Okay, no idea what went wrong, but I can't even open my last post to delete it and copy it - says it is in some group, but I posted from the LSMGC forum. I am doing a much more classical education 6th grade than either 4th or 5th. I can't seem to be able to cut any of the subjects/curricula I've planned, but I also don't have any idea how to get so much done in a day. Can anyone help? Here is our 6th grade list (again, sigh): Math: MM6; supplemented with Math Doesn't Suck and Kiss my Math by Danica McKellar and Numbersense and math puzzle book) Writing: WWS1, Creative Writer 1 Spelling/Vocab: Word Roots Beginning Grammar: AG (1/2 the book in one year - DD says she wants to go to public school in 8th grade, so want to be done with this by then just in case she doesn't change her mind). Geography: Mapping the World with Art Reading: Witch of Blackbird Pond, Hero and the Crown, The Hobbit, Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, etc. Science: She goes to a public alternative school once a week and has science there, but will also do a unit on electricity and one on anatomy Art: Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, art history books from library, fashion design, crafts, etc. Social Studies: What Your 6th Grader Needs to Know (history, stories, poetry, etc.), Egypt, Romans, maybe Civil War With the one day at school (four hours - some learning, but light - mostly social and fun) - we really only have 4 days to do school per week. We need to do math, writing, reading every day - but then how do we fit the rest in without burnout? Thanks for any help!!
  11. Okay, I consider myself an eclectic homeschooler with a classical bent, but this year almost every piece of curricula I've chosen is CE. My problem is that it looks like SO much - how do you get it all done each day without burning yourself and the kids out? Do I have too much planned? If so, what would you let go of? Here's my 6th grade list: Writing: WWS1; Creative Writer 1; 5 Minute Daily Writing Practice (when in car or something) Spelling/Vocab: Word Roots Beginning Grammar: Analytical Grammar (1/3-1/2 book - DD is talking about wanting to go to public school in 8th grade, want this done by then!) Math: MM6, and some number sense books, math puzzle books, Danica McKellar math books (Math Doesn't Suck, Kiss my Math) Logic: Building Thinking Skills 2 Social Studies: What Your 6th Grader Needs to Know (great stories, poetry, history, etc.) Geography: Mapping the World with Art Reading: Various books (Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Hobbit, Hero and the Crown, Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, etc.) Science: She has science on Wed at the public alternative school we go to (only has class on Weds.), but will also do an Electricity Unit and Anatomy Art: Drawing from Right Side of Brain workbook and self-directed (fashion design, crafts, etc.) Whew! That seems like a ton, but can't see getting rid of any of it. Writing, Spelling, Grammar, and Math need to be done daily and with Wednesdays away at school, I just don't see how to do anything else, but I really want to. HELP! Thanks!
  12. Thank you - I think I will give AAS a try! (If I can afford it!)
  13. We used Jr. AG in 4th grade and loved it. I was actually surprised that my dd didn't balk at doing workbook stuff, but it was really great and she learned so much from it. We are going to start AG in 7th grade since we are going to be so busy with Word Roots, WWS1, and CW1. I'm thinking since she got such a great start with Jr. AG, she'll be fine for a while longer. July 29 - Okay, I changed my mind. DD has been saying she wants to go to public school in 8th grade, so I need to get AG done in the next two years! Eek.
  14. I'm confused as I don't see a WWS 3 in the Peacehill Press store. Is it just not out yet? Thanks! Michelle
  15. We are starting our 6th grade year in a couple months and I am still trying to figure out how to help her learn to spell better. I was my school's 5th grade spelling bee champion, so I just got it - she doesn't. I think it might be because I am visual, so I see the words as pictures in my head. She is a prolific reader, so she definitely has seen most of these words she has trouble with over and over again, but they don't stick. So I'm starting to think maybe she is an auditory learner? I'm not sure. Does anyone know of a good spelling curriculum that will work for someone who just is never going to get it from looking at the word over and over again? I have used Spelling Power, but SP is SOOOO boring - even for me. I just don't think learning needs to be that boring, and the results were so-so anyway. I've thought about AAS (All About Spelling), but they say you have to start at level 1 or 2 and that seems too basic for her. We've also tried Megawords 1 and Worldy Wise 2000 (can't remember the level) but those are more about vocab than spelling. Vocab is not a problem for us. I'm thinking of trying Beginning Word Roots from Critical Thinking Co. I know it's vocab, but breaks down words into parts, so if she can learn the parts, then maybe she can put words together better. Here's why I think she's auditory. She spelled "sort of" "sortove". She has a really hard time with the common words that don't follow the rules (although she does still have trouble with the ones that do, so . . . ) Thanks for any help at all!
  16. A total bust with my 9 yr old dd as well. I read the sample chapter to her and she said, "That's just dumb." So make sure your child likes the sample before buying. It doesn't work with all children. We use Math Mammoth and she LOVES it! Every child is different.
  17. If you are designing your own curriculum, you might look at the "For Kids" series of books from Chicago Review Press. They are absolutely wonderful. The writing would be about right, and there are also app. 21-25 activities per book that are very creative, unique, and NOT the typical waste time schlock you often find. Here is a list from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Review-Press-History-Science/lm/R3FTJR9P9VVMZ8
  18. I was my school's spelling bee winner in 5th grade and would like Sophia to learn many of the words (even if she never competes) - I had NO idea where to go to find them! Thanks!
  19. Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions! There are definitely some you mentioned that I'd never heard of. :001_smile:
  20. Hi, I have a 9 year old daughter going into 4th grade and this will be our first year homeschooling. I have looked at (and bought) WordlyWise3000 as well as MegaWords 1, but neither is perfect for her. She is reading at above an 8th grade level, so her vocab is pretty advanced, however, her spelling is probably right at a 4th or 5th grade level. I figured out that WW3000 is more just vocab and no spelling (although you could make your child memorize the spellings of course) - but I went through many words with her and she knew the the definition of about 90% or more of them. MegaWords is great, but I thought it would have a little more about roots in it that it does (I read one review that said it did), and I love the syllabic training, but I found that going over all the words through the first 6 units, there are some words that even I can't figure out how to split up according to their rules (and I work in publishing and won my 5th grade spelling bee). I'm just so frustrated by the spelling challenges - she knew the homonyms "their, there, and they're" and then forgot them two weeks out of school. I just "got" spelling, so am having trouble teaching it. I just don't understand how she can read and understand so well, and yet not remember how to spell them. Any ideas for a great mostly secular curriculum that might work for her? I'm even thinking Latin/Greek roots, but looked at English from the Roots Up and didn't that would do it. Thanks!!
  21. Caveat: I am more of an eclectic homeschooler with some Charlotte Mason and Classical leanings. 4th Grade °Math Mammoth 4a/4b °Jr. Analytical Grammar °Brave Writer °Megawords 1 °Real Science Odyssey Chemistry (also Exploratopia book, Intellego study I got for free on Astronomy) °Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes °Instant Immersion French levels 1, 2, 3 °History is designed by me and will incorporate math, science, and art. We will be starting off with a big unit on the Renaissance (Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Galileo, including the Inca here in the Americas, etc.) using some wonderful books and Netflix videos: Leonard da Vinci: 21 Activities by Janice Herbert, Renaissance World series, Zinn's A Young People's History (for exploration of "new world"), etc. I think the Renaissance gets short shrift in most classical curricula as it is usually split up between two years, yet it is one of the most pivotal periods in human history - plus my daughter LOVES da Vinci! Then skipping to the American Revolution (I'm not a great believer in chronological order - though we will have a timeline to keep it all straight) as I think it gets boring having to follow a set order of study. °Piano taught by me, guitar taught by dh °Knitting and other handiwork since my dd needs some more hand/eye coordination, as well as more patience in getting to the end of projects. °Then I am leaving some room for my daughter to pick topics of interest to her.
  22. I just started my daughter on Math Mammoth after using Excel last year (like Saxon - spiral, etc.). Math Mammoth is very similar to Singapore (mastery based, etc.) but MUCH cheaper (and the author personally responds to any questions you may have, which I LOVE!). Just started, but so far, so good.
  23. It's a writing program (although some grammar and spelling is included). We just bought it to use for our daughter next fall, and are already in love with it. I've worked in publishing for years and am a former children's librarian, and I have to say that I think this writing program is brilliant! I think it would be great for someone with dyslexia because a lot of the writing is done as a creative endeavor, not for perfect spelling and grammar. So, she will have "permission" to just write while not worrying about her spelling. During free write, the kids are meant to write once a week for 8 weeks (they can choose to share their writing with you or not!), then at the end of 8 weeks, they will choose one piece of their writing to revise (NOT copy edit) for content, then and only then do they worry about spelling. Correct spelling and grammar is important in our household - I, myself, was my school's fifth grade spelling bee champion - but being a great writer is about SO much more than spelling and grammar. You can spell perfectly and know tons of grammatical rules and STILL be a TERRIBLE writer. Also, here's Cathy Duffy's review of The Writer's Jungle: http://cathyduffyreviews.com/grammar-composition/writers-jungle-brave-writer.htm
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