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The Way of My People

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Everything posted by The Way of My People

  1. My 6 and 7 year olds like these comic books: Mega Man Super Dinosaur For collections of comic strips, they like: Asterix and Obelix Calvin and Hobbes
  2. My son does a reading/phonics program called "i-ready" on the computer. His school has a subscription, which we use at home. I don't know if it's available to the general public (I spent a tiny amount of time looking at their main website for you, but couldn't find the info easily), but I think it's a pretty decent program.
  3. I'm interested in the answers to these questions, too! DS(6) takes traditional piano lessons. DS(5) does Suzuki violin. We've considered attending a Suzuki institute this summer. We worry that DS(6) won't fit in or have fun because he doesn't know the Suzuki songs. FWIW, I wasn't a huge fan of the violin idea. I've never liked violins. But DS(5) was adamant, and I gave in. It isn't so bad. :laugh:
  4. This is tricky. I voted for the "weak" answer, but it's not exactly accurate. DS is a relatively strong student in most areas. We noticed him using his fingers to calculate for math homework early in the year - so we started requiring daily Xtramath.com practice, and that has really helped. Other than that, we follow his interests and preferences.
  5. I really enjoy reading the "Biggest Curriculum Fail"/"Favorite Curriculum" threads on the homeschooling boards. I thought it would be fun to do something similar on this board, but with a focus on activities and curricula that work especially well in an afterschooling context. Anyone else game? This year we've had success with: Xtramath.com SOTW on CD Draw Write Now (for drawing, not handwriting) Music Lessons! Hasn't worked: AAS (This was great when we homeschooled last year, but we just can't find time for it after school.) Miquon
  6. We use XtraMath.com. We also play math war and RightStart games sometimes.
  7. I don't worry about "mastery" with each lesson in OPGTR. At the beginning of each lesson, I have DS read a handful of words from the word lists in the previous 2-3 lessons. He doesn't have to be perfectly fluent on all of them (sounding-out is okay), but I want to see that he can figure out the words on his own. If he can, we move on to the new lesson. If he can't we re-do the lesson with the troublesome concept. Occasionally, we spend an entire lesson just reading word lists from earlier sections of the book. I never have him re-read any of the stories; they're so boring.
  8. I wanted to add: there's some value to the Get Ready books even if your son already knows the phonics in them. My DS5 really enjoys doing them as a fun review/solidification of letter sounds. And it's good handwriting practice. But we also do the Explode the Code books together, with me doing most of the writing.
  9. It's tricky. Your son is past the Get Ready books, in terms of phonics knowledge. I'd say go ahead and start on the Explode the Code books, but there's a TON of writing required in those. If you don't mind writing for your son, that would work.
  10. King of Tokyo is great, but can be hard to find. We also like Metropolis (also hard to find in the States). You might have to special order both, but they're worth it!
  11. YouTube had a ton of drawing/painting videos. Just search "how to draw" or "how to paint" and you could watch for years. Of the YouTube videos, I really like Mark Crilley's ones. He posts a new video every Friday.
  12. My DS6 flew through it without any guidance. He was never interested in the games or rewards he could buy with his golden eggs; he just wanted to pass off every lesson ASAP. We got a year subscription, but he was done in under a month. DS4 (now 5) is getting more out of it. He tends to just goof around on it, mostly listening to songs. Now I require him to complete a level of lessons before he gets free time on it. Some of the lessons have tasks that require more speed and dexterity with a mouse than he has. I help him with those. We opted against Math Seeds after our free trial. It may have expanded since then, but it was very basic and seemed more game-ish than educational.
  13. We also like AAS for the same reasons. I think it is an especially good program for kids who are starting spelling at a young age.
  14. We work by time, not lesson. We work for 15 minutes, 3-4 times a week. We usually get through 2-3 lessons each week, but sometimes it's much slower.
  15. The book "Two Plus Two is Not Five" is good for giving strategies and practice. We also use Xtramath.com and the RightStart games, especially War and Go to the Dump.
  16. I've noticed a lot more guessing since DS started PS this year, too. They actively teach the kids to guess (even though DS completed OPGTR and is capable of sounding out most words without help). I just tell him that, when he's reading to me every night, if he guesses at a word and gets it wrong, he has to start over at the beginning if the page. He's so desperate to go play after a long day of school (don't get me started...) that he's really motivated by this.
  17. I emailed and asked for the $60 off coupon. They responded that the $60 off coupon is no longer available, but that since I'm such a "loyal customer" (although I've never had a Kindle or Prime) they will send me a refund of $60 after I send them a purchase number showing that I've purchased a Kindle in the next few days. Woo-hoo! $9 Kindle!
  18. Great, thanks! I'd really appreciate the opportunity to attend this.
  19. I bought the official AAS box because I was too lazy to figure out which other boxes would work. And then it arrived crushed/damaged. It wasn't worth the hassle or expense to return it for another - so I pieced it back together with duct tape. Really, I think any notecard shaped box would do. But the dividers are nice...
  20. LOL! I've actually heard September - December called "Birthday Party Season" by parents of PS students! :)
  21. I rarely sound out the word list before having my DC do so. He's very capable of memorizing many of the words from just one repitition. I have him sound them out as soon as I explain how the new phoneme works. If he gets stuck on a word, I help him. FWIW, both my DSs resisted the sentence reading parts of OPGTR. If they saw there were many sentences or notably long sentences, they just shut down. I sometimes wrote the sentences on a white board, typed them one sentence per page into a word processing document, or just covered the lower part of the page with a sheet if paper and only revealed one line at a time. I think it was really just an issue of reading stamina. Once my DCs were reading a little faster and with greater stamina, a few sentences stopped freaking them out. I think the "Two Review and One New" in OPGTR is very important. We normally review by reading just the word lists from earlier lessons. Often, our review takes up half our reading time. It slows us down, but really helps build a strong foundation.
  22. I think it's completely normal not to see much spelling transfer from copy work, etc. in the early grades. If your daughter's not concerned or embarrassed by her spelling, I'd probably let it go or use a very basic spelling program. Odds are, she'll figure it out eventually. We began AAS because my son, who is also a big writer, was upset and embarrassed that people couldn't read his stories. He actively wanted to learn to spell, and AAS seemed best for his young age. FWIW, I don't find AAS terribly onorous. We just set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and follow along with the manual until the timer goes off. There's no prep, no stress, lots of review, and he's making great progress in spelling.
  23. Just to clarify: We don't do a full lesson each day in AAS. We spend 10-15 minutes, and stop where ever we are, picking it up there next time. Some lessons take us two days, some lessons take a couple of weeks. I learned early on that pushing my kids to finish the lesson creates way too much stress - so now I go strictly by the timer.
  24. AAS is VERY teacher intensive, but only takes us 10-15 minutes per session. I consider that a worth-while investment of my time and energy because it works SO WELL. My kids are becoming spelling ninjas, and it's really useful for reinforcing/reviewing phonics rules, too.
  25. I agree that now is the time to really focus on reading and not worry about other language arts. No, don't start all over with another phonics program (sounds like you've already completed one), but review a rule each time you notice he's struggling to apply it. I would do two reading sessions with him each day, make sure he also had silent reading time, and do lots if fun read alouds with him. Perhaps something like the Victory Drill Book would increase his speed/fluency and give him some confidence? It only takes a couple of minutes a day...
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