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  1. Thanks all. It was really nice to hear your thoughts, advice, personal experiences and permission to grieve what seems to be the possible end to a season. Yes, I did work really hard, especially this last year, to "keep up" with them because I love them so dearly and long to build long-term friendships with a robust history. While it's been a bit of an identity crisis for awhile, it was certainly this particular event that really spoke to me that I needed to grieve it (the season, not the lack of invitation) and start investing in ladies who are similarly purposed (and available). I would love to be able to ask one of them why I wasn't included but that just sounds so juvenile and petty and embarrassing. I think the purpose was to support the one who was having her first experience sending her oldest to Kindergarten. The other 2 still had little ones with them so it wasn't a kid-free coffee, probably 3x 3yr olds and a 1 yr old between them still tagging along with the moms. So I think I wasn't included because it was intended to support that first experience of sending your oldest to K and it didn't apply to me (even though I did actually send my oldest to K and 1st grade public). Again, like PP mentioned, I do think I understand the why but it hurts all the same. I committed any social opportunities free time to them so I wasn't making any connections with my fellow HSing moms. Looking ahead, I think that's one of the biggest take away realizations. I need moms to meet me for coffee who can get what I'm going through with particular experiences relating to our homeschooling journey. I also like that perspective changes things. I had not considered that they may have felt like I dumped them. Definitely gonna explore that a bit more. Thanks again for the encouragement.
  2. As an update... We went with Treasured Conversations for grammar and some extra writing slipped in. I really like the tone of the work. It's quick and easy and, like many of you mentioned, starts with the basics but not in a way that it would be obvious to him that he's starting at the beginning. It also has plenty of copywork exercises as many of you also recommended. For writing, we went to WWE level 3. I'm not sure that's a good starting point either because he's having MAJOR trouble with it. It seems that he reads to get past the words on the page. He will mispronounce words and keep going giving no distinction between sentences or commas. (I've had him do the passage reading out loud.) He is unable to answer the questions given to prompt awareness of the main ideas. And with only a few weeks in, he's having major challenges remembering the dictation. Don't even get me started on the atrocities that come back in response to the dictation. To pull back again would mean that he'll be doing level 2 with his 3rd grade level brother. I should also mention that there may be some degree of getting less than his best effort anyway as really hates that homeschooling means he can't just sit back and let me teach at him and move on with a minimum 65% test score. So our trouble may also be grounded in that he comes to the table with an attitude of "uggghh, this is so boring." It's really hard to tell if it's an issue of laziness with a pinch of defiance or actual ineptitude. I'd like to give the benefit of doubt....
  3. Let me first say that I feel a little bit juvenile in even coming to anyone with this but I'm feeling a bit of an identity crisis and just hoped that maybe some of you have been here and have some jewels of wisdom to share.... I have been involved with a community of women, 4 of which have been the "core" of the group for about 3 years. We meet weekly for organized Bible study, meet up at least monthly for a planned mom's night out, have scheduled and impromptu playdates and other meet ups and sometimes just hang out at each other's house after kids are off to bed and hubbies are home. I call them my girls. Our kids are all around the same age (we met at MOPS) and so it was very compatible. Two years ago, my hub and I decided to homeschool our kids. The first year was not a big deal as my kids were not much older than the other preschoolers at Bible study and at our meet ups. Last year, I started having issues as they hated those times when I met up with my friends because of the widening age gap. Over the summer, I would get text invites for various meet ups but most often, would have to decline because we are working on our lessons year round (a decision based largely on the fact that I'm attending Bible study with them weekly and another day of primary learning missed for weekly co-op). At the same time, I've missed opportunities to build relationships with other homeschooling moms because I was committed first to my already established group of girls. This past week, our local schools started back and the other 3 ladies met for coffee. This is the first time they've made plans without me....as far as I know. It really hurt to have been left out but I absolutely understand. I think it's a symptom of the problem (not the problem itself), that we are loosing our points of connection due to the divergence of our lifestyles. But it still hurt. So basically, I feel like I've been straddling between the worlds of stay at home mom and homeschooling mom. So, what do you think? Am I being silly to let homeschooling drive a wedge between me and social group/community or to even think that it is? Am I naïve to think that I can maintain community with these ladies? Should I just accept that I'm unable to participate and therefore expect not to be included to extent I have in the past but continue to be present when I can and not get my feelings hurt as I'm included less often? I have to believe that some of you have been in a similar situation so I'd love to hear your advice. Thanks!
  4. Thanks all. I've already taken Analytical Grammar and Easy Grammar off the table along with WWS, both look like they'd be too tough at a higher grade level and too childish at the level where he's gonna need to start. I hope to get back to Analytical Grammar and WWS but that'll be for another time down the road. I am considering Essentials in Writing. I haven't yet contacted anyone there to discuss levels and placement. I'm going to look into these last few recommendations today. Thanks so much for adding the links! That really simplifies the search by taking out some of the "legwork" for me. On to search for that ever elusive perfect fit.....
  5. Threedog, I think you're right. We've done 2 days worth of WWS and it's very obvious to me that I'm going to have to downgrade that too. He just isn't ready for it. I want the materials to challenge him but not frustrate him and so far, it's been pretty grueling. Here's a sample of his writing from our History assignment today (typed as written).... God Made Sealions the sea lion is a cute animal Because it looks like a seal and seals adorable. And they can Swim very fast. and can Do good at tricks and they can Be at a aquarium they can Be tamed and they Make good animals at a aquarium.
  6. I have a new 7th grader in the family who seems (according to the Easy Grammar placement tests) to be very below grade level. On the test, there was not one single skill section that he seems to understand and that was on both the elementary and middle school placement tests. I was planning to use Analytical Grammar but now seeing that we need to start earlier, I'm wondering if I should be looking at the Junior product instead. The description sounds like it's the same as the first unit of AG but written to a younger audience and more student/teacher dialogue. Does that ring true for those of you who have used these? Would you start with junior or just go AG nice and slow? I'm quite surprised at just how far below grade level he seems to be. In writing, he's not capitalizing the first word, random capitals mid-sentence, misusing apostrophes (ex. plural for frog became frog's), and not doing ending punctuation. Coincidentally, we're also using WWS level one. I'm really second guessing just how far back and start with. Obviously, I don't want to waste time unnecessarily but I also don't want to pick up where the public system left off of progressing through grade levels when he's not mastered previous years' material. What would you do? Thanks in advance. I really appreciate feedback from the experienced voices.
  7. I'm new to the Logic stage so I just had a question for those of you who are using WWS. Do you do the Notebooking/Outlining/Timeline/Source Eval with your core subjects? Or just as directed by WWS for writing? (Caveat-I've only glanced at WWS so far and it 'seems' like that is how it is set up. My question may be moot if I'm wrong about that...) Our core this year is US History. Long story short, I got the My Father's World Adventures in US History before we knew we'd be adding a 7th grader to the family. The materials are actually intended for 2-3rd graders who are the oldest students in the home. I decided to go ahead as planned and just beef up my requirements for him. I want to keep his academics on the lower demand side since we have a lot of adjusting to do anyway. Thanks for all suggestions and insight.
  8. I need some advice as to how to do writing with my newly 9 year old DS. He has ADHD and dyspraxia which I realize challenge him in doing writing work (double whammy- attention to his thoughts long enough to finish writing the words and the muscle tone/control of handwriting). We've done WWE 1 and 2, IEW through writing a paragraph, and now BJU English. The WWE just got so repetitive (for both of us), he had total freak-outs with IEW when we reached the time and intensity of combining multiple paragraphs for storytelling so our most recent effort was BJU English. I thought that would be a gentler product because of the back and forth between writing and grammar. Awesome, we don't have to do writing everyday. Today was our first day in a writing lesson of actually moving thoughts to paper and it wasn't pretty. It was 5 sentences! His paragraph draft probably totaled no more than 20 words as he made them as simple as he possibly could. Example, in explaining how to play "Hide and Seek," he wrote...."Then, the seeker seeks." We've already started typing in hopes that maybe it's the actual hand on pencil on paper that's causing the frustration. I just feel so tired of the ongoing battle. He HAS to do writing, right? At third grade, I really don't think this is too much to ask but I trust the collective wisdom of the group. Any suggestions?
  9. Here's our plan... KONOS Vol 1 with 3rd grader and preschooler (when he's interested). Cursive Handwriting Planning to explore BJU English as I like what I've heard about alternating writing and grammar but if that doesn't fly after viewing materials at convention, we'll stick with FLL 1 and WWE 1/2 (already doing 1) Math U See Beta/Gamma (already several lessons in on Beta) When she hits Gamma I may incorporate or even switch to Teaching Textbooks. Will get some Creative Movement, Etiquette, Literature, Chorus, Sign Language and Mandarin Chinese (for real!) weekly at our homeschool co-op though these are broken into semesters so not all on the same day. Tae Kwon Do and American Heritage Girls
  10. Again, budget depending, a laminator is one of those things that can be used in almost any educational or otherwise purpose. It's one of those items that I honestly don't think I could homeschool without. Is that weird?
  11. Thanks all! I guess in my mind "I" was focusing on grammar issues of Caps and punctuation and not flow and content but the kids were focused on their own conversational ideas. My DS, at 8, has had YEARS now of what is a sentence and what goes at the beginning and what goes at the end and does so if I'm looking over his shoulder and guiding him. I was just so disappointed to see that he couldn't (or just didn't?) do it independently. I just worried that all these years of WWE and FLL, it had not sunken in. I really appreciate the resetting of my perspective to remember how many tasks and expectations culminated in what I expected to be an easy assignment. I will plan to do more letters from time to time and take a few steps back in order to start at the beginning. Most importantly, I will not take this to mean that I or our materials have failed in teaching them what they need to learn at this point even though they didn't reproduce what they've learned in their writings. Thanks again.
  12. I pulled out my WTM book a couple of days ago to review where we are and where we are going in regards to next year. As I considered the writing suggestions for students, I saw that the book recommended having an occasional assignment of writing a letter to someone. My students are a 6 year old/1st grader DD and an 8 year old/2nd grader DS (doing 2nd again because we have always regretted started him in K when we did instead of waiting for the next year...he has a July birthday and is slightly delayed development). We were at the library and left both of them to begin free writing their letter to their grandparents. When they announced they were finished, I took a look. Both of them had made tons of writing mistakes. My DD had no capitalizations at the beginning of her sentences, frequent random capitals in the middle of the words and very few punctuation. My DS was only slightly better on the caps/punct but he had a multitude of sentence fragments. I did not have any expectations for the content or the flow of the letter which I expected to be child-like and informal to include some fragments because of the conversational tone. We've done tons of copywork. My DS went though WWE 1 and 2 and FLL 1 with narration/dictation/copywork. My DD has been doing random copywork of Scripture, recipes, or books since July. So, what happened here? Has anyone else experienced this? Should I take this to mean that our efforts have been wasted on these particular materials or maybe that my expectations were too high? Thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions/advice!
  13. We do that. They do their own Math and LA but we do Bible (daily), History and Science (each 1-2 x week) together. Mine are younger than yours but what I do right now this is how we do the Science and History...DS7 dictates to me what he's learned, I write it out for him and he copies the 1-3 sentences. DD5 dictates what she's learned, I write it out on her page and she draws an illustration. Next "year" we'll move to him writing for himself, developing his own sentences and her doing what he's doing now. There's a possibility that he won't actually be able to do this yet as he does frustrate easily with ADHD and dispraxia. Either way, that is what I plan for the next step, when they're ready.
  14. We did Primer but we breezed through really fast. I say do it unless it's not budget-wise. There's alot of the same stuff but it's just less on a page and larger print so it may be less overwhelming for a beginner, especially if you haven't already been doing something along the lines of "lessons" already. Otherwise, Alpha doesn't really start with anything that would be too difficult without the Primer introduction. In fact, (it's been a few months so don't hold me to this) I think some of the videos that introduce a new skill are the same exact one for both DVDs.
  15. I love the ideas. I guess I was mostly looking for resources since I've tried really hard not to become immersed in all the curricula options. It just seemed a bit overwhelming for me as a first year homeschooler. I was looking for more Language Arts arena to follow on with Reading, Writing specifically for her as some of the other ideas will still be good options for us for our combined studies. So, thanks so much for all the ideas so far. Now I can look into these sites and materials that have been suggested and see which one might be the best fit. Thanks!
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