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Everything posted by Woodland_Mom

  1. My son plans to major in computer science in college! He is going into 11th grade and is a strong math student. He has had excellent standardized test scores. We have used MUS since the pre-algebra level and are getting ready for MUS pre-calculus. I feel MUS has helped my son to master algebra concepts and has provided a strong foundation in math. My older son used MUS and is getting ready for college this fall. MUS worked well for him, too. Our experience with MUS has been very positive. It has worked well for us, so we will continue down the MUS path through calculus.
  2. We purchased our microscope from Sonlight and absolutely loved it!
  3. Hello! We have experienced terrific success with Math-U-See. When my oldest son was in 7th grade I noticed that I kept having to re-teach various concepts. As the math kept getting more difficult, I just felt like he needed more dedicated practice before new concepts were introduced. Since MUS is a mastery-based program, I decided to give it a try. Although, I must admit, I was a little worried because I, too, had read some not-so-good reviews about it. One huge positive about MUS is that it is extremely user friendly! The weekly video lessons are enjoyable and quite helpful. The problem sets are excellent. Students have plenty of time to practice new skills until they are good and comfortable with the new concepts. Plenty of review problems are also included. Another thing that I appreciate: every single problem is worked out, step-by-step in the teacher's guide. The tests are multiple choice, just like standardized tests! And-- they're easy to grade. ;) We have been able to stay on schedule with our math lessons and I am confident that my my boys are really learning the material. My oldest son has now completed MUS pre-algebra, algebra 1, and geometry. He's currently working through the algebra 2 text. Last year my son's standardized test scores were the highest they'd ever been! My youngest son will likely decide to go into a computer science/computer engineering related career. He doesn't love math, but he's pretty good at it. We've decided to stick with MUS as well. So far, we are quite pleased. He's developing a good depth of understanding and earns terrific scores on standardized tests. He has completed pre-algebra, algebra 1 and is almost finished with geometry. MUS has made high school math do-able in our household. It has provided good coverage of concepts and we're pleased with progress our boys have made.
  4. We used a Paradise Lost course from The Teaching Company as well. It was extremely helpful - and we enjoyed it!
  5. We use Math U See. This program has been a terrific fit for our family. We didn't start using it until pre-algebra. Both of my boys math standardized test scores have improved and I credit MUS.
  6. We just visited Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Currently, 8,500 students live on campus. They have an engineering program.
  7. Happy New Year everyone! I am giving a talk about the New Year and new beginnings this week. Help me do a little research: What are some of your top concerns as a homeschool mom? I will give a few of mine: 1. I'm not doing "enough" 2. We are behind in studying for the SAT 3. I'm not spending enough time instructing my kids - too much of their learning is on their own. How about you?
  8. Well, I have had a different experience with MUS than some. We used Horizons math through pre-algebra, which I really liked. I noticed that my oldest son was not mastering some of the concepts. Long story short, I decided to switch him to MUS pre algebra mid year so I could make sure he had mastered the basics before moving into Algebra. He has now completed MUS pre-algebra, algebra I and geometry. This year he earned his highest standardized test scores in math so far. The mastery approach and hands-on conceptual learning methods work well in our house. We will continue with MUS for Algebra 2 and beyond. I know MUS is not the most rigorous course available and that's okay with me. I'm just glad my son "gets" the concepts/lessons. If MUS is going well, you may want to consider sticking with it. 🙂
  9. I ordered Sonlight's Ultra Microscope for our biology class this past year. It was terrific! It was very easy to use. The mechanical stage and fine focusing tools made it easy to operate during our labs. I highly recommend it.
  10. We didn't begin MUS until pre-algebra. My oldest just finished Geometry. We had a very good experience with this course. We plan to continue on to Algebra 2 for next year. My oldest had to work hard to get through Algebra I, but he did it -- and MUS helped him to genuinely understand the material. Geometry was not nearly as difficult for him, which a was a pleasant surprise. I have been pleased with the level of understanding and retention of concepts , so we plan to stick with MUS through high school.
  11. Tapestry seems like a lot, but once you really jump into it, it is actually quite manageable -- at least that's been my experience. I agree with most of theprevious posters. For high school plan to use the core history sources and many of the in-depth resources. I purchase most of our books and decided to purchase all core resources and in-depth resources that are used for more than one week. The authors of tapestry included the alternate resources for several reasons. Those resources are popular among homeschooled, which means many Tapestry users will have them on hand already. And, many alternate resources are included because they're just too good to miss. Some of them are out of print, but can often be found second-hand or at the library. As you begin planning look at the first unit only. Choose your rhetoric history resources first and try to at least use the core resources. Next, look at literature. The loom will have a chart which recommends which books to use. Generally, you need to complete 3/4 of the assignments to earn a high school credit. That means you can cut about 9 weeks of readi g if you would like to - or use alternate resources or read something else! This year I took out a couple of literature books for my high schooler and substituted two of the titles from the dialectic list. As for some of the other layers: pick and choose what "extras" you want to include in your studies. You have many choices: Maps Timeline Vocab Evaluations Lapbook a Church history Government Philosophy Art history Etc. This year for rhetoric we do: * History core and in depth reading + the accountability and thinking questions. We discuss on Fridays. * Maps * Literature reading, literature terms, and poetics readings + most literature questions. We discuss on Fridays. We are doing 3/4 of the assigned literature reading. * 3/4 of the writing assignment from writing Aids. * Government reading + discussion and/or government questions. The workload depends on our weekly schedule. Hope this helps!
  12. A yahoo group called VP includes file folders of schedules and other helps for using the VP cards.
  13. I agree with this. My oldest son completed the first year of Rosetta Stone Spanish and then moved to Homeschool Spanish Academy level 2 this year.
  14. If you decide you must cut something, then I would scale back on Augustine's Confessions and only read selections. I would definitely not cut the other works. I read Inferno for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. I highly recommend listening to it and reading along with the audio.
  15. I had a good friend who's son took Spanish I at a nearby community college. The professor had students use Coffee Break Spanish I believe it is also available on itunes.
  16. Which year do you think is the most ideal to begin D level work? I'm not sure that this should necessarily be a big concern at this point. Tapestry does an excellent job at leveling the material for each year and selecting age appropriate books for your studies. It would probably be best to simply decide what history time period you'd like to study next year. Since you're studying American history this year, it makes sense to begin Tapestry year 3 - The Eighteenth Century. Take a peek at bookshelf central to review the books Tapestry uses for year 3. It is a very nice list! I think starting at year 3 might be nice because it covers only 100 years of history. You'll feel like your diving in deeply and moving at a nice slow pace (compared to covering 500 years in year 2). I misunderstood the information you provided and mistakenly thought your oldest would be in 6th grade next year. I apologize for the confusion! Since your oldest will be a 5th grader next year, you would definitely want to use upper and lower grammar resources for your family. There is not necessarily a magic age or grade for when a child is ready for dialectic level resources. As you use Tapestry, you'll become much more familiar with the type of resources they use and you'll establish a regular routine that works for your family. You can decide on "when" to begin using dialectic resources later. Just know that it is 100% fine to use upper grammar resources in 6th grade if you want/need to. I' would encourage you to try to move to dialectic resources by the time your child is enter 7th grade.
  17. Hello! We have used Tapestry of Grace for two years. It has been a great fit for our family. Your plan to use UG book selections with your sixth grader is a fine plan. If you ever see things in the Dialectic section that you'd like to cover with your dd, you can always pick and choose as you wish. But, for simplicity sake, the plan to do UG for sixth grade is absolutely fine! You do not need to feel like she is "behind" at all! Year 2, which covers middle ages, the renaissance, and early American history (1300s - 1800) is actually the most difficult because it condenses much content into one year. I like your thought of continuing your history cycle with year 3. Here is what your oldest would cover: 6th grade: year 3 (The Nineteenth Century) - Upper Grammar 7th grade: year 4 (The Twentieth Century) - dialectic 8th grade: year 1 (The Ancients) - dialectic 9th grade: year 2 (The Medieval World to Modern) - Rhetoric 10th grade year 3 (The Nineteenth Century) - Rhetoric 11th grade year 4 (The Twentieth Century) - Rhetoric 12th grade year 1 (The Ancients) - Rhetoric You could also begin with Year 2. I realize some of the information would have been covered this year in your Sonlight plan, but much of it will be new. Year 2 does move quickly, but this will likely be the only year when you'll be covering only two levels: lower grammar and upper grammar. That will simplify things for you as you get used to TOG during your first year. Here's what you'd cover if you started with year 2: 6th grade: year 2 7th grade: year 3 8th grade: year 4 9th grade: year 1 10th grade: year 2 11th grade: year 3 12 grade: year 4 Hope this helps!
  18. Some ancient titles we liked: Cat of Bubastes Golden Goblet God King A Cry from Egypt Hadassah Hostage Lands The Bronze Bow Eagle of the Ninth Ides of April Beyond the Desert Gate Some middle ages titles we liked: Beorn the Proud Crispin: A Cross of Lead Crispin: At the Edge of the Wolrd Crispin: The End of Time Shakespeare Stealer Shakespear Scribe Black Horses for the King The Bronze Bow and the Crispin books were our favorites.
  19. We have the Fix-it Grammar Set. I really like it because it enables students to learn proper punctuation/mechanics without a workbook. The learning is more "natural". This year, we started out strong. But, for some reason, I've have a difficult time implementing this. I think our schedule has just been busy, so this seems to be the assignment that gets pushed aside. My boys balk at writing out the corrections in a separate notebook. They say it is a waste of time. I don't agree, so they they write out the corrections anyway. :smash: I do feel Fix-it Grammar provides an excellent way to learn sentence mechanics. My son scored poorly in the language mechanics portion of his standardized testing two years ago. We completed the first two Fix-it Grammar books (Tom Sawyer, Frog Prince), which are fairly basic. The following year his language mechanics scores were much improved. I attribute the improvement to the things he learned in Fix-it! Grammar. Now that we're finishing up with a couple of "regular courses", I plan to complete some more Fix-it exercises.
  20. Here's my current plan for my rising 10th grader: Math-U-See Geometry Tapestry of Grace History (Year 2) Tapestry of Grace Literature Tapestry of Grace Writing Apologia Biology Spanish II (co-op class using BJU Spanish) Art History (co-op class) We'll probably add one more class . . .
  21. Perhaps you should switch to a different curriculum. It sounds like the Saxon approach may not be the best fit. I switched away from Saxon after my son had completed 3rd grade. I remember looking at the 5/4 book and disliking it. I felt that sections/chunks of similar problems would be better for him. A visually appealing text was also a must for my ds. We switched to Horizons and it was a perfect fit. Once my kiddos moved out of elementary level math we switched to Math U See. We really like that, too.
  22. Our boys like: Marvel Agents of S.H.IE.L.D. Scorpion (CBS) Human Target Gortimer Gibbons - Life on Normal Street (Amazon original series) Robin Hood (BBC series - season 1 available on Netflix; season 2 &3 available on Amazon) Myth Busters Outrageous Acts of Science
  23. I think Biblioplan would fit your requirements. It is easy to implement, inexpensive, and many of the resources they schedule can be found at a decent library. A few years ago they updated their materials by adding new features like discussion questions, "reader" companion, and more in-depth questions that students work through as part of their weekly routine. I have used pieces of Biblioplan for the Ancient and Middle Ages time periods. I liked the book choices and appreciated the easy-to-use format. Biblioplan might be your best bet.
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