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Surfside Academy

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Posts posted by Surfside Academy

  1. We have used Colonial Life, American Revolution, and I taught Civil War in a co-op. I love them and hope to use them again our next time through (we only did the lap books). My kids were on the young side for these our first time through (K/3rd for the first 2, with my 4th grader for Civil War). I had to do a lot of the assembly of the crafts. After doing the first two, I set the age range for my co-op class for 3rd-6th. They could easily be used in middle school too. I think the older the kids, the better the quality of their work will be and they will get more out of it. What's ideal? Maybe 5th-7th. Younger kids definitely get something out of it--I'm not sorry I used them. But older kids will get more out of them.


    I would agree. I'm just finishing up the Civil War unit with my 4th and 2nd graders. My K'er sat in on some crafts but the information was way over his head. I think my boys learned quite a bit but the information is pretty meaty so it might be a bit much for younger elementary students. Having said that, I think the program is awesome! We'll be starting the Industrial Revolution unit next.

  2. Our schedule:


    Monday-watch DVD lesson together and complete lessons A & D

    Tuesday-complete lessons B & E

    Wednesday-complete lesson C & F (if needed). If they have it down thoroughly, I may just have them complete F

    Thursday-lesson quiz

    Friday-supplment LOF Fractions with my oldest


    *I may extend out a lesson over 2 weeks if it's a more in depth unit but I've only had to do that a few times.

  3. Are their reading lists posted online? I was checking their website but couldn't find them. I've always heard good things about their choices so I'd like to incorporate their reading list into our history next year, specifically for Ancient History. I thought I've seen them in the past on a yahoo group file but I can't remember which group. :001_huh: Any ideas?

  4. I haven't been able to hold MCT in my hands, but based on what I can see on the Web site, it doesn't look as if MCT is as comprehensive as R&S's English. You can find other resources to teach the things that MCT doesn't have that R&S does, but really, MCT vs R&S English isn't a fair comparison.


    Do you mean comparing R&S's grammar portion vs. MCT grammar isn't fair because of their content or do you mean like comparing apples to oranges because R&S is a complete language arts program? Hope that makes sense...If I used R&S, I would only do the grammar portion and not the writing.

  5. This!


    I just switched my DD to CLE this year and am amazed at the gaps. She is supposed to be in 3rd grade this year, but could never have done the third grade math so we started at 2nd. I love the way MUS presents things, but IMO, there is so much left out along the way...especially telling time and money. There is just not enough of it early enough.


    Interesting...I actually purchased CLE to use as a supplement with MUS. After looking over the equivalent grade material, I sent it back because much of it was repetitive. It's difficult to compare programs when one is mastery (MUS) and one is definitely spiral (CLE); the sequence just isn't the same. It's really a matter of preference and finding what works best for your child.

  6. But what to do, what to do for languiage arts???


    I was thinking of switching to Rod and Staff level 5 (we'll have finished 4 years of FLL) What do you think?


    We'll stick with Spelling Power for spelling


    Plenty of reading to do


    What do I do if Writing With Skill isn't out by next August or September for writing??????:tongue_smilie:


    I'm right there too! I don't know what we'll do if WWS isn't out by next year. I'm also considering R&S level 5 for grammar. I guess if we use their language arts, I would just skip the writing portion of the program.

  7. MUS is a comprehensive program that can be used on it's own. The scope of their material is similar to other programs. Where MUS differs is the sequence in which they present the material. For example, my oldest is learning fractions in the Episilon book (4th grade) where other math curriculums expose fractions as early as 1st grade. My boys have been very successful using MUS. Sue in St. Pete has written an excellent review of MUS that you could find by searching old posts.

  8. I am not 8filltheheart but I'll answer anyway! :)


    We had a sort of natural progression. It look something like this:


    1st grade: We would read books, talk about stuff, find things in the yard. Every once in a great while we'd draw something.

    Outside of school we'd watch videos like the Magic School bus and documentaries--sometimes related; sometimes not related.


    2nd grade: We would still read books and we started to do a lot more experiments. Otherwise, it stayed the same as in first.


    3rd grade: We still read books and did experiments. Now we would write-up a lab page similar to what is stated in the WTM for the grammar stage student. We did not do this every time but slowly more and more often.


    4th grade: This is where we started to switch a little bit. We did experiments first, wrote a lab report regularly (once a week), then did more reading (but only if we were interested).


    5th grade: This is were my younger son is now. We start with an experiment, write a lab report, read more on the subject matter. Every once in a while we write a report on what we read. We do a drawing about twice a month (i.e. the heart, or the brain).


    This is our formal science program. We do not stick with any curriculum but instead choose various books and resources based on our interests. On top of all this we do lots of science which we do not think of as school. To give an example: This is a week off for us. Today we went to the creek because we had a lot of rain yesterday. We wanted to see how deep the water got. We noticed how much the plants have grown because of the sudden water, we found large mushsrooms and brought one home to see if the seeds would fall out, we found a snail with a completely black body, and we brought home some leaves to dry. All of this is science, and all of this causes us to look things up.

    Another example: this morning hubby and I discussed chemistry and the elements which led to a conversation about the periodic table and how it came to be. Again, we looked stuff up.


    We do science during school hours to make sure we dedicate time to it. But we also do a lot of incindental science.


    Now I am rambling...




    I love your ideas! This has already been such a less stressful and more enjoyable year by throwing out the curriculum. It's ironic that I have struggled with science given that I have a Master's in Forensic Science. I just have never found anything that was fun and really excited their interest. This year we're just reading, experimenting, playing and having fun. What a difference!


    We too are waiting for the rain to end to do a nature hike. It's such a change from So. California's usual October weather. Usually 1/2 the state is on fire by now...but I'm not complaining!

  9. I always stress about science even though my boys are only elementary age. We've tried numerous curriculums, tossed them aside and moved onto another but I've never been really satisfied with any. This year, I took SWB (and others) advice and majorly scaled it back. We're reading the Horrible Geography and Horrible Science books about various topics: oceans, rivers, islands, the poles, etc. I'll pick up a few library books to complement whatever topic we're reading about and they're keeping a science notebook and drawing a few illustrations...that's it.


    The weird thing is that they seem to be learning (and enjoying) science this year. Is it really that simple? Have I been stressing out all these years for nothing? We'll probably move onto the Horrible Chemistry book next semester so I'll add a few experiments from Adventures with Atoms. I'm loving this year but at the same time wondering if it's enough. I know they can't do "real science" without advanced mathematics but I'm hoping I'm laying a good enough foundation. I think I am but there's always the nagging doubts that creep in...Plus, what do I do when we finish all the Horrible books? :scared:


    I'd love to hear some others feedback!

  10. I know SWB recommends R & S grammar but is the grammar incorporated into their larger "English" curriculum? I'm not really interested in doing the writing portion so is it easy to separate our just the grammar? My oldest will be in 5th grade net year so I'm assuming he would just start with R & S year 5...Any thoughts??

  11. The Time Travelers history guide by Homeschool in the Woods is awesome!! I love TOG but it was just a little too much for the ages of my boys. I found this and it's great. It has just the right amount of information and they're actually retaining what they're learning. It also has crafts and lapbook projects which are idiot-proof (for people like me :D.) We're about 1/2 way thru the Civil War unit and will be moving onto the new unit on the Industrial Revolution...fantastic!


    We're also really enjoying the Horrible Geography books (put out by the same people who do Horrible Histories.) I'm using them along with a couple of Horrible Science books this year in place of a science curriculum and finally I'm not stressing about science this year...and again, they're learning so I'm not complaining! :hurray:

  12. What about just reading? You could just use the Unit topics from RSO and check out library books. Most science books have lots of "try this" activites in them, while you are reading you can keep an eye out for things that can actually get done. Or just read!


    Have you seen Living Learning Books? http://www.livinglearningbooks.com/newllb/index.php


    Ooohh, wait, what about Great Science Adventures? Every lesson makes little mini books your girls might like. It is more crafty then lab or experiments and should be good for both girls http://www.commonsensepress.com/greatscience/default.htm

    :iagree: Science never seems to get done at our house (unless they do it at coop.) This semester, I decided just to read some of the Horrible Geography & Science books. We just finished Odious Oceans and are moving onto Wild Islands. Believe it or not, they've learned a lot! Next semester, we'll move onto Chemistry Chaos and I'll incorporate some experiments from Experiments with Atoms and Molecules. They're enjoying the books and the stress I usually feel regarding science is gone...at least for this year!

  13. I LOVE the ETC series. For a 5 year old who is just starting out, I would get the Before the Code series to start with. I like their flashcards too!


    Enjoy your little people! :)


    :iagree: My 5 year-old just finished the 1st book of Before the Code. It has just the right amount of writing for that age. He's retaining the information really well. Eventually, I'll incorporate Phonics Pathways along with ETC because I think a separate phonics program is needed.

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