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Diana B

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  • Website URL
    http://www.busy-homeschool-days.blogspot.com
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    NW Oregon
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    reading, scrapbooking, sewing
  • Occupation
    HS Mom

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    Reading, Digital Scrapbooking, Gardening, Cooking.
  1. We're going to give Vocab from Classical Roots a shot. I'm not sure we need it, but I want to give it a try at least. {He has a pretty good vocab, but I want to show him a new way of looking at the words. Also helping it will help him with spelling!} But I'm not really sure how to make it work. Do I need to teach it? Or can he do it mostly himself? It's not broken up into multiple days, so how do I break it up into a week's worth? Does it need to be done daily? What do YOU do with it?
  2. I answered that we try to complete and then catch up on Friday (or just shift the schedule). We're pretty flexible/fluid and don't stress about finishing things. This year (we don't start until October) we're trying a new system of weekly assignments vs daily so that he has more choice over what he does when. I'm using Evernote to keep a check list. Many things need to be done daily (Hebrew, Latin, Math, Spelling) but history, literature, writing, science are all fluid and can be done whenever. We're also giving a timer schedule a try. So far it's working well (we're still on light summer schedule) but I'm not sure how it will translate to a full schedule. We'll have to just see if he has enough time during the week. The plan is to do 15 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 30 minutes on, 15 minutes off - Repeat all day from 8-3. This seems like a LONG day to me but he's insistent on giving it a try. Since I want him to be involved and take control over his education, I'm always willing to give something a try. I am requiring at least one break in the morning and afternoon to be a 'movement' break of some sort. I will be giving him a set time that he can work with me (probably 9-12) and everything needs to be done by the end of the week. We typically do a 4-day week with co-op on Friday, but he might end up with more catch-up on Friday. If he's consistently having too much to do on Fridays then I'll re-evaluate what I expect and how much time he's actually working.
  3. This is my kid. Every now and then he decides to write pieces to a story (and he talks of becoming an author) but he hates the actual writing process right now. My goal / philosophy right now is just to have him able to coherently take his thoughts and put them on paper - whether they be factual essays, opinion essays, creative writing, etc. Slowly making those thoughts become stronger & longer. If he truly decides to pursue creative writing, then we'll focus more on that in high school. {A lot of writing will be outsourced in high school as my husband and I are NOT writers. At all.} We used Meaningful Composition last year, thinking that the shorter lessons and step-by-step approach would appeal to his logical side. He learned quite a bit from it (went from never writing anything to writing 3-paragraph essay!) but he didn't enjoy it. It was too scripted and didn't give enough room for creativity or opinion. I did love the 'Checklist Challenge' that it uses to edit the papers. It's designed to build stronger sentences! This year we are going to give Jump In! a shot. He's liking the idea of more open-ended writing assignments. I like the idea of letting him free write for most of the week but then choosing a paper to edit and learn more from. The author talks about how middle school age is pretty selfish/self-centered so she starts with the more opinion type prompts because they are more likely to write about it! I think I'm also going to move him into writing his SOTW narrations more. We've done some where he narrates, I write, we edit together and he copies. I think we'll do this more, moving into him writing rather me being the inbetween. We'll continue to use the 'Checklist Challenge' from MC to encourage stronger words/sentences!
  4. There is some flexibility in the assignments. Some of it is very directed - for example it started with describing your room by answering questions, not much wiggle room there. But other assignments give a list of topic options that fit into the type of writing assignment. One such example was to write about an event by answering who, what, where, when, why and maybe how. It could be any personal event - birthday, baptism, etc. You can also allow him to use the lesson to write about a different topic if the one assigned is not of interest. I actually changed a topic for my son prior to him reading the lesson because I knew the topic would be better for him. :) My son sounds much more like your younger one and 4+ fit him perfectly this year (he is 10). He hadn't had any previous writing experience except for a little bit of writing of history narrations. And although he's still not a fan, he can do it now. :)
  5. I don't know anything about Jump In ~ but I urge you to look at Meaningful Composition for all your requirements. It's been a lovely find this year for my 5th grader and we plan on using it through the summer and into next year for sure! We did 4+ this year, will be doing 5(II) Creative & Clever over the summer and then into 6+ next year. Teaches writing from a Key Word Outline and has a wonderful checklist for content editing.
  6. Realized the other day that my kiddo has a great vocabulary but doesn't know how to break new words down very well. So looking for something that teaches him roots and prefixes/suffixes. {We are studying Latin and will be studying Greek, but I'd like something more.} Needs to be fairly independent, a couple days a week would be good. Thoughts?
  7. He is currently in the Grade 5, but he'll jump around a little if he gets 'bored'. He says he hates math most of the time but is really good at it and catches on really fast. So I just let him bounce around to keep him interested.
  8. Have you set it up so you are a coach? Once you have her as your student you can go to manage your students and assign topics. Go to Coach, Student Progress, Click on her name and then make a recommendation. What you recommend will pop up on her list of topics to work on. She does have to a number of 'mastery challenges' to help her skip over the stuff that she understands. After a while, she will only get mastery challenges when she's done enough other work. If you don't have a coach account set up and don't want to, you can find specific areas to work on. From the dashboard you can add subjects at the bottom of the 'up next for you' list {assuming you are in the right grade level} or from the search bar at the top you can find the subject and click on the ones with the stars to do the problems. It does take some figuring out how to get around. They've recently changed it up a bit (maybe to align the problems with Common Core, I'm not sure). It used to be that everything was available all the time. Now it's broken by grade level. It's super easy to switch up the grade levels, but it can be more frustrating if your child isn't working a specific grade level. We use only Khan Academy and Life of Fred for math. He does a few days of whatever math topic he'd like in KA while working through the LoF books. He enjoys being able to stop the multiplication/division repetition and work on some geometry stuff. :)
  9. We are doing Spelling Wisdom for spelling and I'd like something that lists out the phonic rules on why things are spelled a certain way. Anyone have a good book or online resource for this? I know there are rules for when to use certain vowel combinations, I just don't know what the rules are! :)
  10. Latin Primer covers a lot of vocab {15 new words a week!} and 1st & 2nd Conjugation Verbs & First & Second Declensions. I really don't know that much about Latin, so I can't tell where he really will be..... He's learning the chants....
  11. So my 10 year old is working through Latin Primer by Mars Hill. It was given to us for free, so we went with it. But it appears it's an OOP program and I don't know where to go next! I need something pretty simple and open-and-go. He'll be 11 / 6th grade. Anyone have a suggestion for a curriculum that might transition well? I also can't afford to pay a lot......
  12. I have a plan for science this year (a bit of a mish-mash of physics topics using Physics Bites by Science Jim and a variety of unit studies). I feel mostly comfortable with this as science is our weak point (as far as getting it done / student interest) and my goal is really to just get some science done and attempt to keep his interest! My son (age 10) is very much a read & learn type of kid and I'd like a book available to answer questions / give back up when I get stumped (I love science - except physics!). I'm looking for recommendations for a science encyclopedia or just physics encyclopedia/book. I'd like something that is on the meatier side and can serve us for a while - geared for middle school is better than elementary. I'd also take websites that can serve as backup for me. I figure I could always use Wikipedia, but there has to be better options out there! :)
  13. Thanks. I love the coaches stuff, which is one of the reasons I'm OK with it. We are coming off of MEP. I love MEP. It makes me sad to switch. But I think I'm doing my kid a disservice to keep him in it because I can't figure out how to move him ahead quickly. He's picked up the topics more quickly that it moves forward and to top it off we have missed a number of days of doing it due to my health issues. It is SO teacher intensive and I'd like to move him to something more student-driven in math because it is a strong subject for him. And it's not one of the subjects that I feel like I'm 'missing' by letting him do himself. I love doing history with him b/c I learn too. Math, not so much. :D So I think I'm taking the plunge (at the last minute, it feels. I had this year all planned out - good thing I hadn't printed anything yet!) If anyone else has used it, I'd love more feedback. What worked, what didn't. How did you see advancement. How did you do it day-to-day?
  14. Has anyone used Khan Academy as their main math curriculum? What grades? How long did you use it? Did it work? Did you like it? Did you supplement? With what? Is your child 'mathy' or do they struggle with math? I'm about 90% sure I'm switching to Khan for our math needs this next year and supplementing with Life of Fred. I just need some info from people who have 'been there, done that' to give me the encouragement that this WILL work.
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