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Everything posted by ailysh

  1. My younger daughter will be 1st next year. Here are our tentative plans: Math: MM1 LA: TGATB 1 (we just started TGATB K after completing First Start Reading, which we had been working on for about 1.5 years. I expect she'll move through it pretty quickly as review for reading and introducing new grammar concepts before hitting Level 1 in the fall) Science: TGATB Water and our World, Marine Biology, and Kingdoms and Classification (3 units) along with her 4th grade sis. Handwriting: HWOT 1 History SOTW 4 with big sis Music: piano lessons Co-op: Once weekly Charlotte Mason drop-off program where they do composer and artist study, dance, handicrafts, etc. I love these threads!
  2. I am really thinking about our choices for next year. My 4th grader is learning very well and succeeding with her current curriculum, so I hesitate to change, however, she is complaining that it is "boring" and that it takes too long. She is a very visual and creative child, and I think she just may need more stimulation in that area. Currently for LA, she is doing FLL 3, which I love but she doesn't like, Spelling WO, which she doesn't mind but I don't like, and W&R 2, which I like, but she doesn't care for. We will finish out our year using what we already have. I'm thinking of making some changes for next school year. Typing: Continue with typing.com Latin: Latin for Children A (this will be our first Latin program) Math: MM4 (this is the program we have always used and will continue to) LA: TGATB 4 (this will take the place of SWO, FLL, and W&R, and well as Geography [currently we are doing my own States and Capitals thing]).t's very colorful and creative it seems more her speed. She's a natural at language arts so I think she would do well with just about anything. Music: Continue with Piano Lessons Co-op: Continue with 1-day Charlotte Mason drop-off program. Spanish: Continue with Duolingo SCIENCE: TGATB Water and our World, Marine Biology, and Kingdoms and Classification Units. This would replace Apologia. We are currently doing Apologia Astronomy and will finish that but the others in the series haven't been updated and aren't as visually appealing, and we've found we have't enjoyed the notebooking journal as well as we thought we would. I still haven't decided. I think what we are using is good and works well, but may not be a great fit for her creative and visual personality. We are definitely changing science for next year.
  3. Four sports bras that I've had for years and prefer. Three regular bras that need replacing. I've always done underwire, but I just bought one of those Evolution bras from Knixwear today actually. If it fits well and I like it I'll get more with no guilt whatsoever. If I could go braless I gladly would but with my size it can't happen. I've never found a bra that fits for under $50.
  4. I'd also like to add, not as a music teacher but as a homeschooling mom who is teaching her children music, that I'm really seeing the benefits of taking it slow and doing the grunt work and building a good foundation (or conversely the consequences of not doing it that way). My older daughter didn't enjoy Flashcards for note reading so I stopped doing them with her. Now, over a year later, I'm regretting that decision as her music reading skills have suffered, which is holding her progression back. Since I've added flashcards back in to her routine, her note reading skills have taken off. Any practice would do, but flashcards are the most efficient imo. There really are no shortcuts. Which is why I agree with Amy Meyers that an ability to quickly play limited repertoire well (a la Suzuki) does not necessarily indicate a mastery of skills required to develop into a well-rounded and independent pianist, one who could pick up an unknown piece of music and learn it without hearing it first, or compose music without the aid of one of those keyboards that automatically notate what you play. I'm not trying to rag on Suzuki. It is a very good method for instruments which don't require as strong an ability in reading music. Violin, for example, requires less than half the sight reading skills of piano. Treble clef only and most often one note at a time. Where piano requires two clefs, two hands, and rarely less than three notes at once (in standard repertoire). That's why it's so very important to match the method to the instrument I guess. Or at least heavily supplement to shore up weaknesses in the method.
  5. I'd say to think about it the way grammar is learned via the classical method. That is, you build a strong foundation. In the case of classical piano, the building blocks are site reading, theory, and ear training. Suzuki is a good method for ear training, but poor for producing good sight readers without supplementation. In my 20 years of teaching piano, I've seen many more students struggle with sight reading than ear training, so I usually focus more on that particular aspect (sight reading) first. Learning to read music is very important, so I pick a method (any method) or curriculum that focuses on that as well as other aspects of theory. After learning to read music, I focus on how the language of music is put together, i.e. chords, keys, harmonies. I'd teach what each chord is and how to build it (probably using scales and arpeggios), then get a fake book (which has the melody written out with chord names for the purpose of improvising) and have the student improvise in addition to reading and learning new pieces. Classical music training has not changed all that much in the last couple hundred years (it has always included both sight reading and improvising), so most methods follow those guidelines. Suzuki is one exception that focuses much more strongly on ear training. That was a long way to answer your question, so let me simplify: Any traditional method, in my opinion, will teach piano classically, because they have changed so little over the last few centuries. I use John Thompson for my older daughter and Hal Leonard for my Younger. I have used Faber in the past but it's not my favorite. I like to graduate to original compositions as quickly as possible, there are several publishers who put out books of original classical repertoire for all levels of ability, as I'm sure you know if you teach music (John Thompson is one, for each level of lesson book there is a Classical solos book of original pieces). Hope that helps!
  6. Nancy Larson Science. I wanted it to work but nobody could stand it. It was just too basic I guess. Thankfully I got it used.
  7. My k-er will be 6 in October, so on the older side. Math: 180 Days of Math, k with Addition and Subtraction Facts That Stick, moving into MM 1 when she's ready Reading: finish First Start Reading full program from MP, moving into Elson primer Handwriting, homemade Tagging along with older sis for history (SOTW3) and science (Apologia Astronomy). 1x/week Charlotte Mason drop off program ETA: she'll also start piano lessons when she turns 6.
  8. For my 3rd grader: Math Mammoth 3 (with the rest of Beast Academy 2) FLL 3 (using 2 this year and loving it) Spelling Workout D (natural speller) Writing and Rhetoric 1&2 (I'm anticipating she'll love this because she loves writing) Apologia Astronomy (did NL this year and it was not for us. So simplistic. Still on the lookout for something that we like and choosing apologia because it looks pretty) MP States and Capitals (did Draw Europe this year and she said she'd like to try something different for next year) SOTW 3-love this series, we listen to the audio. Doulingo for Spanish with review of GSWS, which we have loved this year (she's been doing typing.com all year to prepare) Also just purchased Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois, which I've been eyeing for a couple of years now. This will be done daily along with Duolingo. Continue with typing.com Continue with piano (John Thompson) Dropping Shakespeare, composer study and artist study next year to simplify our day and because she gets that in her 1x/week Charlotte Mason drop-off program. Little sis will tag along with history and science. ETA: Also we are trying a couple progeny press lit guides for The Courage of Sarah Noble and The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. ETA: Changes
  9. My 4 year old daughter is doing well with Memoria Press First Start Reading (the full k phonics not just the workbooks). It's easy to slow down if needed. It includes handwriting. It's very workbooky, which my DD loves but may not be for everybody. We are only doing reading, handwriting, and counting right now. Next year we'll start a k math program.
  10. Webster's Speller is working well for my dd, who is a natural speller, but if she were to start struggling I would switch to Apples and Pears. I've read that it is great for visual learners who struggle with spelling. It may yet be on the plate for my younger dd when she gets to that point.
  11. ailysh


    For my older dd who is currently in first I just did reading, handwriting, Spanish, and math (and lots of library books). For my younger dd who will be in K next year, I will do reading, writing, math, and allow her to tag along with older dd in history and science. In retrospect, I would have skipped Spanish for older dd because the program (Song School) required too much writing that she wasn't ready for, so we didn't do it as intended and I could have easily pulled something together to accomplish the same goal without spending the money.
  12. My dd4 will be turning 5 in fall and I'll call her a kindergartener. She adores anything school related and really loves workbooks. Here's the plan: Continuing with MP's First Start Reading (she'll be about half done by then) Math: Math Made Easy K moving into MM 1 when she finishes. Homemade handwriting Tagging along with older sis for science (NL1) and history (SOTW2). I'll get her her own student pack for NL1. She's going to be over the moon about that. 🙂
  13. I'm in the midst of planning for my daughter's 2nd grade year. Math: MM 2a/b LA: FLL 2 History: SOTW2 Geography: Draw Europe Science: Nancy Larson 1 Spelling: Webster's Speller Piano: John Thompson Art/music appreciation: SCM's Picture Study Portfolios and Classics for Kids (local radio program) Spanish: GSWS Typing: typing.com Extras: Weekly CM co-op, homemade Shakespeare study (Midsummer Night's Dream) Her little sis will be joining in on science just for fun and listening in on SOTW. I'm currently teaching her cursive so most of her copywork next year with ELTL will be in cursive. I wish I had taught her cursive from the start because this one loves anything fancy. She's been trying to create her own fancy writing all along. You should see her MM 1. Who knew numbers could have so many flourishes? 😠ETA: Made some changes to our plan.
  14. My parents always encouraged us to get an education to be able to support ourselves. My mom's dad died when she was thirteen and her mom had no skills and five children. Her church employed her as a secretary but they were very poor. My mom paid her own way through college and became a pharmacist (she was the only one of her friends to go to college). She also had to pay rent to her mom the whole time she was living there after high school. When she married my dad (who didn't go to college and who has always made less money than her), my grandmother gave her all the rent money back as a wedding gift. My mom worked as a pharmacist the entire time she homeschooled my siblings and I. Every one of us now has a college education and two of us are homeschooling our own children. I have two daughters and plan to encourage them to pursue careers with which they can support themselves if need be. I have a degree in music and often wish I had chosen a more practical field. If something ever happened to my husband I might have to go back to school. I don't know.
  15. I'm only finishing up my first real year of homeschooling but I love reading all these responses. I'll say the things that I'm realizing will be important as we move into first grade... The things I am worried about in my heart even though I present a very confident façade to my family and friends. 1. Self discipline. I want to put a sign on my wall that says "Make hay while the sun is shining." This is the biggest thing for me. Just do what needs doing. I already know I'm not going to feel like it. I really want to teach a strong work ethic to my kids, and the best way to do that is model it. It's going to be hard. 2. Patience. One of my biggest struggles.
  16. I am finishing up k with my six year old. Or day looks like this: play all morning with little sister or run errands, play date,etc. Then lunch. Then more playing, then when little sis takes a nap we do our work. 1 page from math mammoth 1 1 page from song school Spanish Writing the alphabet in its entirety, either upper case or lower case (we are working on letter formation automaticity to prepare for doing copy work in first grade with ELTL 1) Reading a few pages out loud from Elson Reader 3 Reviewing the latest table from Webster's speller. We do seatwork for 45 minutes tops, and she loves to draw and do crafts and creative play and reading on her own all day long. Then before bed we have read aloud time for thirty minutes at most, which we don't really consider to be school work.
  17. Abeka also carries tests. You have to have a bachelor's degree I believe, in order to qualify to administer them. I think it is easier to qualify with abeka. When I did bju, I had to send a copy of my college transcript, but not with abeka. Bju might have changed though because it had been several years since I qualified with them.
  18. We use Art: Over 2,500 Works From Cave to Contemporary. It's an enormous, beautiful book. I love looking at it too! It has nudes and things if you are worried about that. We don't worry about it. Right now I just let her look through it but eventually we'll pick specific works to study.
  19. We just started using net nanny. It seriously blocks everything if you set your filters on the highest setting (which we do). It will block an article with the word "death". It's a little annoying to have to keep typing the password when I'm using the computer but I think it is worth it. Even if your child doesn't normally click around and explore, weirdos target children's sites sometimes. I remember reading something a few years ago about how pbs kids had been hacked and temporarily redirected to a porn site. Net nanny blocks all that in real time, so you are protected even in such a situation. Totally worth it to me. I send my daughter to the computer when I'm busy with something else, and I don't want to have to sit there and moniter everything.
  20. I went to Miami, as a music major. I liked it very much. It does have a huge Greek scene but I didn't join a sorority so was unaffected by it. It's like any school. If you want parties you can easily find them but if you aren't a partier there are many other social options. As someone who was paying my own way through school it did get frustrating to hear from professors things like, "Have your parents buy...", ect. Most kids who attend are from relatively wealthy homes and that does show up in the school culture. Lots of designer clothes and bags, throwing money around, etc. But the atmosphere is wonderful and the campus is gorgeous and the food is fantastic. I'd make the same choice again in a heartbeat. ETA: Oh another thing, they have a fabulous study abroad program, if your daughter is interested in French or German language study. They have a château in Luxembourg. I did one semester there and it was an amazing experience. Highly recommend.
  21. Math: finish up with MM 1 and just keep doing the next thing. Reading: Elson Reader 4 Language arts: ELTL 1 Science: not sure. Leaning toward Science in the Beginning. Spelling: Webster's Spelling Book (downloaded from Don Potter). Spanish: Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois. History: SOTW 1. Music: Piano Lessons Art: Drawing With Children and picture study
  22. This is my first real year of homeschooling (kindergarten) but I also experience the February blues in my regular life. Firstly, this will be my third year of training for and running a half marathon. It's great to have a goal in the spring and I've started a running group at our church which is nice. We do our long runs together. It gets us outside in the fresh (cold) air when we would normally be stuck inside. Second, I've been planning for next year homeschooling first grade and preschool. I'm very excited about all the stuff we will do together, so that keeps me going. Third, I always take this time when we can't do much outside and organize and clean and get rid of stuff. It keeps us busy and I love the feeling of a nice clean space. Lastly, I talk to my sister on the phone almost every day. We motivate and encourage each other.
  23. This is my first time attaching pictures so hopefully this works. :) We have a very small school room that used to be a bedroom. It's about 8'x10'. We have a folding table, a guest bed that pulls out to a king size for guests, wall shelves for books, a little drawer unit for art supplies, and games and extra supplies in the closet, which I built shelves into. We also have a little area for our cd player and mp3 player speakers. And of course our fish. We use our room every day and love it!
  24. I was homeschooled. In fact, my sister and I just went through some of our old books at our parents'and that brought back some fond memories. I liked books with beautiful pictures. I still do, ha. My older daughter loves science books more for the content than the pictures but I'm still always getting beautifully illustrated books from the library in addition to her non fiction. I love Barbara Cooney. I also didn't like abeka, Bob Jones, or saxon. I loved sing spell read and write. I still remember the songs. Must go now, family time! :-)
  25. I completely agree with 8filltheheart. Speaking from my experience as having been homeschooled, not from teaching homeschool, of course. :-) We've all gone on to college, and done well in academics. It had a lot to do with prioritizing education, bottom line. We did our work. Every day, first thing, not just when we got around to it. Mom always said school was important and we got that message through her actions as well. That isn't all of course, but it stands out to me when I think back.
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