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Everything posted by kentuckymom

  1. If you're open to Christian curriculum, look at Notgrass America the Beautiful. It's aimed at 5th-8th grade so it agewise it can fit the younger kids and not be too babyish for the 9th grader. The text is relatively simple and full of beautiful pictures but still has great information. There's a series of literature books scheduled with the text. You could use them as readalouds. There's a workbook (you could do this orally if necessary) as well as a pretty simple timeline book and map book.
  2. I recommend looking at classes from Bravewriter. They have classes for many different levels. My 8th grader has taken two classes this semester and they made a big difference in his writing.
  3. I'm almost at the end of my time homeschooling my DS. We made a choice to homeschool just for middle school and he'll finish 8th grade at the end of May and go off to public high school in August. I think it will be a good move for him, but I'm already starting to grieve the loss of our special time together. To the point of this message... Our favorite time is the 60-90 minutes we spend every day with readalouds. We always have two books going, usually one fiction and one nonfiction, but, that can vary. Right now we happen to have two historical fiction books going. Sometimes the books tie into what we're studying, but other times they expose us to something completely new. I have all kinds of ideas of my own, but I'm interested to hear what the hive mind thinks an 8th grade boy would enjoy/benefit from hearing during his last couple months of homeschool. Nonfiction, classic fiction, and historical fiction are all on the table. I should also note that he is totally okay with female protagonists and girl focused stories. His favorite book of all time is Rilla of Ingleside.
  4. If you're okay with Christian curriculum , I recommend looking at the new elementary American History by Notgrass - Our Star Spangled Story. I haven't used it, but I used two of their middle school programs with my son and they were great. Sometimes the Christian element was too heavy handed for my taste, but those parts opened up some good discussions. If you're looking for secular it's a no go, but I'm guessing it could be edited on the fly if, like me, you just occasionally run across something you don't agree with. Notgrass history books are beautiful, user friendly, and not reading and writing heavy. My son chose British history this year and we're really missing the Notgrass books. The textbook we're using is pretty boring. With extra material I've pulled together something good, but Notgrass was good on its own.
  5. Most of that actually doesn't apply to him, though I appreciate the ideas. The arts is mostly within the classes. There's a band and orchestra but he doesn't play anything. No drama or chorus. The one thing he could pick up is steel drums, and they expect everyone to be a beginner. The only sport he plays - Ultimate Frisbee - our schools don't have. He actually plans to keep practicing with his homeschool team, though he won't be able to play tournaments.
  6. Oh, I totally agree. I mean, what are they going to do if I didn't keep attendance? Decide I'm committing educational neglect and force me to enroll him in school? Oh, wait, I'm already doing that.
  7. Interesting. I guess the actual laws and what our district lists as the laws are different? Regardless I kept attendance records and it's not hard.
  8. Thanks! Since this is a special program they do such things late compared to other schools and the schedule is mostly the same for everyone. They made it clear on the tour that if having a lot of electives was important we should send our child to their zoned school. If we were sending him to the local high school we absolutely would have already had to have him choose his schedule. It seems crazy early to me.
  9. Thanks for the info! Yes, the attendance requirement is weird, but one of the legal requirements for homeschooling here is to keep an attendance record, so I imagine they just need to see proof that we did it.
  10. I think he would benefit from a 504 for ADHD. It's nigh unto impossible here to get services for dyslexia, and he's been through Barton and reads well (though his spelling still leaves something to be desired), so that's not a hill I'm willing to die on. When we toured the school I asked the counselor what I would have to do to set up a 504 and he told me I could contact him to start the process anytime, so thanks for the reminder!
  11. Thanks for the tips so far. He has ADHD and dyslexia so I do need to be careful not to just give A's without reflection. The fact is, he hasn't done A work in everything and I'm okay with that. Thankfully, he won't have to struggle as much as he might with knowing what is due when because the school has everything on a digital calendar and every student gets a Chromebook. He's really looking forward to that. Any tips on how to format a transcript?
  12. My son has been homeschooled for middle school and we've made the decision to send him to public high school for 9th grade in the fall. He went to public school all through elementary so he does have previous school experience, but, of course, elementary school and high school are quite different. He'll be attending a fairly small (about 150 students per grade) nontraditional magnet school with a Steam (that's Stem plus arts in case you don't know) focus. Any tips on skills I should make sure we're building this semester to ease the tradition? He's currently taking his second independent Bravewriter course, which I hope will help him learn to follow deadlines and work independently from me. We've been part of a coop all three years, so he hasn't lost the skill of working in a group or learning from someone other than mom. Practically, I've already contacted the district and learned that I will need to provide attendance records and a transcript. I have the attendance records, but the transcript is a little tricky since we haven't been giving grades. What we'll have to do is just look back at his work and assign an overall grade. Any tips on how to proceed if you've had to do this? Also, is there a standard transcript form somewhere that I can just fill in? Thanks!
  13. Since she likes LM Montgomery, I recommend adding two standalone books: Magic for Marigold and Jane of Lantern Hill. Plus my favorite book for mighty girls, Ronia the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren.
  14. My anglophile history lover wants to study British History for 8th grade. We did a World History survey for 6th and American for 7th. My intention was to do geography and/or civics for 8th, but, since he'll likely go back to public school for high school and not get to choose what he studies, I'm inclined to let him choose this time. All I've found so far is the Masterbooks high school curriculum. I think I could probably adapt it for him. He's not a strong writer, but he loves history and he's very astute when it comes to thinking and making connections when it involves history. However, if there's a better program out there, or something I could use as a spine to create my own program, I want to hear about it. I'm open to either Christian or secular. For the past two years we've used Notgrass, with more literature in addition to what they suggest. We skip most of the Bible questions and I find myself editing on the fly or adding stuff on occasion. I'm sure I'd find things I needed to add or edit with a secular text as well. If you don't have a curriculum or spine to recommend but do have some great British literature to recommend for 8th grade, also please suggest away.
  15. So ultimately I presume we'll let her decide, but I'm trying to think through the pros and cons of keeping my 7 year old daughter in her current Girl Scout troop or moving her to a pack that I know is starting girl dens in the fall. My son (13) is a Boy Scout at First Class rank and my husband is an Eagle Scout and has always been a leader of some sort since DS started as a Tiger 6 1/2 years ago. The whole time DS was going through Cub Scouts I said that I wished it was coed so DD could join when she was older. However, it wasn't coed, so, when she started kindergarten we looked at both GSA and AHG and chose the Girl Scout troop that met at her girl. This year they meet off campus, but the troop is all first grade girls from her school. It's a good troop and she's pretty happy in it, but our council is kind of pathetic and there are no council wide events like in Cub Scouts. Camping is always a part of BSA, and it seems to only sometimes be part of GSA. The troop leader is far from outdoorsy, though she's a really good leader in other ways. I'm also not a fan of the fact that there's almost no family involvement. It's basically limited to chaperoning cookie booths. I'm the exception. My daughter is a type 1 diabetic, and the leader isn't comfortable dosing insulin for the snack or treating potential low blood sugar. So I need to be at every meeting and I'm basically an unofficial assistant leader. I'm a registered volunteer and, since my daughter's needs only take, like, five minutes, I end up helping with the craft, reminding girls to be quiet, etc. I don't have a connection to scouting like my husband does, and the fact is that, if DD stays in Girl Scouts, the responsibility for scout related help will always fall on me. Even if the troop didn't meet during DH's work hours, dads are almost never involved in Girl Scouts. If she switched to Cub Scouts he could take her, or at least we could share the responsibility. So, looking back over my post, it looks like basically I'd prefer that DD switch so I can be less involved. What I haven't mentioned is that she's a super active, adventurous girl, and I think she might have more of an outlet for that in Cub Scouts. All that said, her Girl Scout troop is good, she really likes the other girls, and I don't want to force her to switch. If she wasn't in a good troop it would be another story. Also, Girl Scout cookies are about a million times easier to sell than Boy Scout popcorn. I'm not excited about the idea of helping two kids market overpriced mediocre popcorn :). Is anyone else considering this switch? Have you already made the decision to stay or to go? What influenced your decision or is influencing your decision process?
  16. I'm amazed by how many different policies there are, though I guess I shouldn't be. Ours is also open to anyone as space allows. Current members and families of teachers (sometimes a family comes in and a parent wants to teach right away) register first, then a couple weeks later registration opens to the public. The co-op offers classes during 4 hours and kids can take anywhere from 1 to 4 classes. The board tries to arrange at least one class for every age group at each hour. The 4th hour is always lightest and many people, us included, only stay for three hours. Each class has a limited number of students, so when it's full it's full. Some popular classes do fill up before registration opens to the general public, but there are usually other choices for that age group. We have to sign a behavior contract but it's pretty basic stuff, and there's no statement of belief. There are families with a variety of beliefs who participate.
  17. Another vote for both anything by Margeurite Henry plus the whole Black Stallion series.
  18. My 7 year old has a bunch from primary dot com that have held up quite well.
  19. I like the ideas of the Civil Rights movement and Latin American history the best. Thanks for the ideas!
  20. At my son's request, I've been teaching history classes for age 12 and up at our co-op this year. I'm also teaching Spanish, which I'm more qualified to do since that's what I used to do for a living, but, ironically, I'm having a lot more fun teaching history. I'm on the fence about teaching Spanish again, but I know I want to teach history again. In the fall the focus was WWI. This semester the focus is WWII. Even though those are far from cheery topics I've had a ton of fun teaching the classes. I'm thinking ahead about what I might want to teach next year. I want to focus on a particular narrow period or theme within history. If there's an abundance of resources about the topic, all the better. The world war focus was my son's idea. I think I'd like to go in a different direction next year, but I'm not sure which direction I want to go in.
  21. Thanks for comments! It sounds like it's like the history - conservative leaning but not so one sided it will drive me crazy. I'm concerned about it possibly being light and fluffy. Maybe I'll do geography or something else as our main program and buy just the textbooks of this one so my son can be exposed to the information. I'm not keen on focusing only on civics for a full year anyway.
  22. Bump. Really? Noone has any thoughts about this program?
  23. I've been using Notgrass middle school books with my son for the past two years. He loves them. I like them with some qualifications. We both think the Bible connections are often tenuous at best, but the quality of the history lessons makes up for it. We used From Adam to Us for 6th and we're using America the Beautiful for 7th. Logically we should probably use Uncle Sam and Me for 8th, but I just can't convince myself that it will be a great fit. There are indications in the history texts from time to time that the political views of the authors are much more conservative than mine. I can get past it in those books, but I'm afraid it would be too much for me in a Civics course. What do you think? Would it drive a political liberal crazy, or is it more moderate than I think it would be? I'd actually love to do world geography next year but my son prefers a textbook enriched by literature and I haven't found anything like that. Any suggestions if we go that route? I'm open to both secular and Christian programs. I'd end up modifying either one.
  24. Our neighborhood gets so few trick or treaters I've never felt the need to put out a teal pumpkin, but we've passed out non-food treats for years. This year the choices included Halloween rubber ducks, pumpkin shaped stress balls, pencils, and bookmarks. Nearly all the kids, even teenagers, were super excited about the ducks. The bookmarks were a flop and the pencils weren't very popular either. I sent the leftovers with DD today for her teacher's treasure box. Maybe bookmarks and pencils will be more popular as rewards at school.
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