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Lori D.

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Lori D. last won the day on September 20 2013

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About Lori D.

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    Amateur Bee Keeper

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    learning, reading, gardening, leisure hiking, film buff, and Rock Band game bassist

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  1. Ug. Total sympathy. In addition to MUS, I know that people with heavy math strugglers have sometimes clicked with: - VideoText - Kinetic Textbooks - AGS textbooks (textbooks for high schoolers, but written at a 6th grade level for easier comprehension) No advice, but I'll just say that DS#2 ended up doing Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 each twice -- Alg. in 9th with Jacobs where he *sort of* got it, but seemed vague with actual understanding, so we did all of Alg. 1 again in the first half of 10th with MUS. DS then flew through MUS Geometry (plus excerpts of Jacobs Geometry 2nd edition) in the second half of 10th. But, it then it took all of 11th and all the following summer to get through MUS Algebra 2, which is about as light as you can get. We kept backing up up and redoing 2-6 lessons at a time, sometimes 3-4 times, to get through the program. Since he was not headed toward a STEM field (and not even directly towards a 4-year university) after high school, we did a Consumer Math for 12th. Weirdly, he scored high enough on Accuplacer (taken right about the time he was finishing the Alg. 2 in order to do dual enrollment for foreign language at the CC in 12th grade) to place into College Algebra! 😲 (Both DS and I know he could not have hacked it, BUT it was helpful for him to see that as frustrating as the Algebra 1 and 2 were, obviously *something* was sticking enough to score decently on the placement test...) (side note: DS#2 says he wishes we had flipped those -- Consumer Math first, and then Alg. 2 in 12th -- to give him as much time as possible for more brain maturing in the math portions of the brain. That might have worked... But I think it's more likely that he would have lost all traction with Algebra and it would have been even harder to get through Alg. 2...) DS#2 went on to the CC after high school graduation, carried a great GPA (no math classes, lol -- BUT he was having to do a fair amount of writing which is is other huge struggle area), and completed 2 of the 3 years of the AAS degree for Interpretation for the Deaf before leaving school, working for a year, then doing a 9-month AmeriCorps commitment with a trails conservation group, and is just now finishing up his 3rd season as a wildland firefighter -- and he took 3.5 week EMT intensive course back in the spring, and passed the national certification test! So he is also now a certified EMT. 😄 All that to say -- there are successful future paths (even success at CC!) even if you're a math struggler and barely struggled along through Algebra 1 and 2. So, that's our experience, FWIW. Wishing you all the BEST in finding what works for your family! BEST of luck in finding what fits best for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.
  2. Past thread with links to resources, and discussion on what it looks like: "Socratic questioning" "How valuable are Socratic discussions?" And more free resources: SWB's handout for Academic Excellenc: gr. 5-8 -- lit discussion questions under LA heading, 2/3rd down the page 50 Questions to Help Students Think About What They Think (reflection & collaboration; self-reflection; reasoning; analysis; connections; literary questions; science & social questions) The 6 Tpes of Socratic Questions Bloom's Taxonomy Questions Twenty Five Question Stems Framed Around Bloom's Taxonomy
  3. Again, wishing you all the BEST in finding what works best for your family. Warmest regards, Lori D.
  4. I can understand using a reading comprehension program IF that is warranted for the particular student. But please -- no literary analysis for a 6yo. At that age, and up through at least 5th-6th grade, reading literature should be for enjoyment and exposure to wonderful books and wonderful use of language. At most, once in awhile, just point out things you see or enjoy, or ask what your 6yo thinks might happen next. Check out SWB's lecture on "What is Literary Analysis and When to Teach It". It is possible to kill a budding love of reading and literature by getting too formal too soon. 😉 And in answer to your question -- no, with our average DS#1 and even with DS#2 who had stealth dyslexia, we did not use or need a reading comprehension program. Nor guides or other programs to "go deeper" into the literature until 7th grade. The best thing we ever did to nurture a love and appreciation for great literature was to read loads and loads of it -- family aloud done together, as part of our assigned daily school reading, book basket options, free reading options scattered about the house, etc. 😉 BEST of luck in your homeschooling adventures, and enjoy your reading and literature journeys together! Warmest regards, Lori D.
  5. Agreeing with Roadrunner, about how much a teacher can bring to a class. BUT... ultimately DS's opinion should carry a lot of weight, since HE is the one having to accomplish the Science credit. Does HE have a preference, after looking at both programs, and after you guys talking through the pros and cons of both options? The big take-away to me from your post is the bolded below -- in essence, if DS doesn't mind Apologia, and since the group lab motivates him to work hard, then it's probably best to NOT "fix what isn't broken" -- regardless of how great the other option looks from the outside (and how much I wish Jetta's classes had been around when WE were doing physics!) 😉 DS: - does well with Math & Science -- Apologia not too hard - wants to be with friends - motivated to study hard/score well by being with his friends in the lab group other facts: - science background lady will be teaching Apologia Physics - you already own Apologia You: - hear great reviews about Clover Creek classes - prefer the Clover Creek way of teaching lab reports In case it helps, some possible alternatives: - For next year -- perhaps a few IRL friends who have said great things about Clover Creek can take it together with your DS, and then they can all do the Clover Creek labs together. - Or, perhaps have your DS do Clover Creek, but sign up for a different co-op class to still see his friends regularly. Or if it's not a co-op, then plan a regular weekly other activity with the IRL friends so DS can have that fun social time. It just wouldn't be with doing the Apologia science labs. Mostly just reflecting your thoughts back to you here. 🙂 We did use both Apologia Biology & Chemistry (original texts by Jay Wile), and Conceptual Physics (Hewitt) and Conceptual Chemistry (Suchocki). Our experience was that Apologia killed the joy of Science here -- dry, formal, with an emphasis on quizzes/tests/fill-in-the-blanks. The 2 different Conceptual texts revived our enjoyment of Science. (Alas, no Jetta classes (Clover Creek Physics) or Connie classes (Clover Valley Chemistry) available to us at that time, so we did them on our own.) While we didn't do Apologia Physics to be able to compare, Conceptual Physics does have math-based problems at the end of every chapter, plus an entire additional book of Problem-Solving -- so it's not just conceptual. We did not have the option of a lab group to encourage us and to share doing Apologia with -- and while DSs would have enjoyed doing the labs with friends, I doubt that alone would have been enough to lessen the grinding drudgery of getting through the Apologia textbook each week. 😄 But it doesn't sound like that is your DS's feeling about Apologia ... 😉 BEST of luck in deciding! Warmest regards, Lori D.
  6. I would also take hope in the fact that research is finding that ages 12-14 is the *ideal* time (due to brain development at that stage) for learning another language. The brain is still "plastic" enough to take in the new language, while being old enough to understand the grammar and writing aspects of the new language. Also, apparently languages learned in this "age window" are retained longer and deeper by the brain. All that to say -- if you don't get to it until 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, it will be okay! And even if you can't get to a foreign language until high school, and with outsourcing, a student can still become fluent in a 2nd or 3rd language that is started later. 🙂
  7. Just popping in with encouragement to say "hurray"! And good on your DSs for wanting to stretch and be challenged! 🙂 A few ideas to help your schedule be flexible: Esp. your electives (Photography, Health) can be fit in here and there in your schedule. And if they are 0.5 credits, you can spread them out over the whole year -- so you just need about 2.0-2.5 hours/week, for the 36 weeks of the school year, to knock it out. You could even decide to drop one 0.5 credit elective for now, and instead bang it out as summer school next summer. Lit. is going to require more work to figure out how to get that into the schedule -- usually requires several hours a week of just reading. Perhaps some could be done together as a 2x/week family evening read-aloud? That's what we did the year we did LLftLotR -- did the reading of the books on 2 nights as family read-aloud, and then did the rest of the program during a scheduled time during the school day. Other Lit. was read / discussed / worked with during scheduled school time during the day. Writing -- shoot for a consistent, focused 30-40 min/day, 4x/week and you'll move forward at a nice steady pace. That's a good 2.0-2.5 hours a week which is great for 9th grade writing. 🙂 Good for you all! Have a terrific 9th grade year! Warmest regards, Lori D.
  8. "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." -- Mark Twain Seems like a lot of us have young adult / adult children who have entered this same phase... 😂
  9. Another Literature person. But... I also thoroughly enjoyed exploring and simultaneously learning with DSs esp. in grades 1-8 with informal Science and Geography/Cultural and History studies...
  10. Perhaps try running through Callirobics first -- it has you practice the loops and lines that will then be used with cursive.
  11. It was a toss up whether I should "like" you post with either the laughing or crying option -- wish there was a "gritting teeth with you" 😬 or wincing 😫 option... 😂 I read your post to DH, and he voted you should stack the timelines on her desk, because it will "save her time" in filling in those key dates and events for the Music History timeline -- she can just pull them from the timelines she did TWICE BEFORE... 😂
  12. Poor guy! Totally get it. My DS#2 is now 25yo, is almost 6'2" and under 150 pounds (except when he's heavily working out and taking protein powder -- he managed to reach 160 this last year before wildland firefighting season) -- so clothes that fit are *still* problematic for him. sigh. Barrel Chested Midgets -- glad that gave you a laugh -- my boys STILL tease me about that one, because it's just not the kind of thing I typically say or do -- loudly burst out in a store with a crazy phrase, lol.
  13. You might have to do a search for a short video or book for each war. This Wikipedia article is a "List of Wars Involving the United States", and you could pick ones from that list to look for books/videos.
  14. Well, I have been teaching Lit. & Comp. for the past 6 years at the homeschool co-op, and have had to pull bits and pieces from so many resources, plus lots of online articles and websites -- mostly because every student *thinks* so differently, and no one program really works for teaching a classroom when I have to find several different ways to present the material. I've pretty much had to write my own lessons and teaching info. sigh. All that to say... the more I've read/researched, the more info I see that there is to cover in teaching writing. Hence the possible reason for wordiness in a writing program. LOL. Mastering the 5-Paragraph Essay (Van Zile) is pretty thin and concise. Designed for classroom use, but you could adapt. (also available at Amazon). How to Write an Essay (Kelly) is even more streamlined and straightforward -- for grades 6-8, so no excess words, LOL. I've actually found middle school materials like this to sometimes be perfect for my high school co-op classes, as they are so focused and streamlined. re: topic sentence Actually, I'm guessing you mean a thesis statement. 😉 In a multi-paragraph piece of writing, the topic sentence is the first sentence of each new paragraph that signals what point or example will be covered in that paragraph. A thesis statement is the overall "big picture" of an essay that shows up in the introductory paragraph of the essay, and has 3 parts: - topic (the overall subject of your essay) - claim (your "take" or "position" or "thought" on the topic) - and direction (overview of the main points that will build the argument in the body of the essay that supports your topic and claim). Thicker and designed for college classes -- but you would thoroughly understand how to write a thesis statement by the end of it -- is Writing With A Thesis (Skwire) -- you can buy an older used edition, which is perfectly fine and a lot cheaper. Several families on this board slowly work through this one, rather than a writing program. BEST of luck in finding what works for you both! Warmest regards, Lori D.
  15. And a last thought: Gently -- I would be careful of comparing with what others are doing. It's almost never a good idea to compare what other homeschoolers, or what public/private/charter schoolers are doing, with what your own child's needs/interests are, and what your own educational goals are. 😉 Again, I'd recommend gentleness -- this time with yourselves. DD is just now starting to make some of those "pegs" for hanging information on. She's not always going to remember dry lists of states, lol. You did a great job of making it real to her and giving her a "peg" by connecting the Geography with the literature book you were currently reading. Way to go! And, perhaps find a more engaging program for covering Geography that is more than reading/memorizing from the atlas -- maybe living books about other countries or religions; watching feature films set in other countries; making foods and art and playing games from other places; free online geography games for practicing states/capitals/locations; the scrambled states game app; several times a week put together a jigsaw puzzle of the US states, with each puzzle piece in the shape of the state; sing Geography songs (lists of states and capitals); make salt dough maps; go through a geography workbook, like The Complete Book of Maps and Geography.... etc. Your list of what you and DD are doing sounds very appropriate for 4th grade, and esp., that you know exactly where *your* DD needs to be, and what to focus on this year. If you both are wanting to do more, why not dig deeper with your History, and/or Science and do some more complex or lengthy projects, research, or experiments? Wishing you both all the BEST in your move from after-schooling to full-time homeschooling. May it be rewarding, rich, joy-filled, and spark many interests. Warmest regards, Lori D.
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