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About Smithie

  • Birthday 11/12/1977

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  • Biography
    I have a B.A. from Smith and an M.A from Temple. My kids are 9,8,6 and 3.
  • Location
    Greer, SC
  • Interests
    reading, writing, gardening, teaching Hebrew school
  • Occupation
    Homeschooling mama to four, friend and advocate to many more through the CASA/GAL program.

    • For Sale
    • USED

    http://www.movingbeyondthepage.com/curriculum/age9to11.aspx We love this curriculum, but my 5th grader needs the next level up. We will sell the entire half-year set brand new, all books, kits and manipulatives included, for $400 ppd - approximately $100 less than the cost to purchase through the publisher. Each unit is self-contained, so no worries if you are switching to MBTP midyear. We will consider offers on individual units, at 10% off list price plus shipping. Just PM me with your interest and I will calculate a price. Concept 3 Unit 1: Colonization and Revolution / The Witch of Blackbird Pond Unit 2: Technology and Invention / The Invention of Hugo Cabret Unit 3: Westward Expansion / The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Concept 4 Unit 1: Space / A Wrinkle In Time Unit 2: State Government and Economics / Lincoln Unit 3: The Human Body / Independent Study


  2. That's a perfect choice for my son! Thanks, blondeviolin!
  3. Over the years, I have tried several methods of record keeping with my four children. This year, we maintained four separate copies of "The Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal" by Larry Zafran. We keep records for the sole purpose of documenting that we are meeting our state's legal requirements in the (extremely unlikely) event of an audit. I don't use the books for writing out lesson plans, meal plans, co-ops plans, devotions, etc. I just need them to prove that my kids logged 180 days and covered X material on Y day. While Mr. Zafran's book was admirably stripped-down, having 4 separate copies of it made me a little crazy. I want ONE spiral-bound book (it can be a bit bulky, as it usually does not leave the house) in which to record the daily activities of all four children on ONE page or two-page spread. I would be extremely grateful for suggestions. :wub:
  4. My 5th graders are using it this year. The HO novels are probably 75% of the total novels they'll be assigned this year, I just count them as "Literature" when they've got one going. I like it all right - but I don't think I'll use it next year. There's nothing wrong with it, but the aspects we are getting the most value from (outlining from KF, reading classic novels and The Story of Mankind) are not aspects that require a curriculum guide.
  5. Update: CPO Life Science is working out well for us. Thanks for the suggestion!
  6. My 10-year-olds are almost through with Math Mammoth 5A, and they aren't loving the program. They like it better than Rod and Staff 4, they find it less confusing than Beast Academy... but what they really want is to do math online. Since we are enrolling them in an online charter school for middle school next year, I think it makes sense to let them to the second half of 5th grade math at their computers. So, what to do? We started this year trying to use Khan Academy for math, but there wasn't enough structure or repetition. We used Teaching Textbooks 3 in second grade, which was OK, but I've seen a lot of complaints about it not being a good program for kids who are going to transition to public school in the higher grades. A friend of mind loves IXL math for her son, but I've never tried it. Online math mommas (and daddies), which programs do you love? Which ones should I back slowly away from?
  7. We're going to give CPO Life Science a try. Thanks so much for your suggestions and support!
  8. Thanks for the suggestions! Keep 'em coming! It really is a bit old for them, that's one of the problems. But even in a year or two I don't think it would be a good fit for us - it's just not set up for the way we think :tongue_smilie: The boys will be doing K12 next year, and they so Earth Science for sixth grade - but other than not wanting to do Earth Science to avoid repeating next year, I am flexible on the content of the curriculum. Even a "standard" science book that combines the branches would be fine, if it was a good textbook.
  9. I have been using Pandia Press Biology Level 2 so far this year. I have to switch - the kids can't succeed with it. They can understand the concepts, but the multiple-choice questions and difference in wording between the lessons and the tests are messing them up. They are the kind of students who enjoy tests and grades, so just skipping the tests is not an option - but a curriculum that didn't have tests, only built-in chapter reviews, would be fine. Just so I have something to correct and they have something to compete on ;-) The kids are 10 and 8. We HATE labs, projects, lesson plans that require you to cobble together a unit with books from the library, etc. We just want a self-contained consumable science textbook that teaches actual science, not mythology. Anybody have any suggestions? Please help, we're so discouraged.
  10. We are reading through the 11-volume set and really liking it. My thought is that once we've finished with Hakim (which will take 2 more years at the pace we do it), my kids will be ready for high school texts. Ideologically, I really like how she consistently points out that most people are neither all bad nor all good, most cultures are neither all bad nor all good, our job now is to move forward justly with the situation we've inherited, etc. That's the mindset I want my children to have about their ancestors (and the peoples their ancestors displaced). A little rah-rah America in the grammar stage is no bad thing IMO.
  11. "I personally do NOT believe, never have believed, that the Bible is meant to be taken literally, beyond the historical facts that have been verified. I also do not believe the Bible is a science book or was meant to be a science book. There is no basis in the Bible for YEC or evolution. I can also think of quite a few passages that pretty much tell the believer that they should not lean on their own understanding, and that the ways of G-d are unknowable and so on...I do not feel it's my place, spiritually, to confine the Creator into the tight, limited parameters that the YEC movement has done. IMHO YEC has tied up the ways and means and even the dates of Creation into a nice little package with a bow on it and have presented it as Truth. Such hubris. The Creator I believe in is not as limiting as that." This has been a huge topic of discussion at my house lately. My religion has a saying: "the Torah is neither a history book not a science book. It is a handbook on how to be Jewish." We have been watching Cosmos, and my kids, living in the Bible Belt and having spent a couple of years in public school, are aware of the YEC viewpoint and how strongly some people hold it. The question they ask over and over again, when Dr. Tyson is discussing the grand scale of the universe, is "why don't people think this is something God could have done?" I have no answer. It seems to me EXACTLY the kind of blow-your-tiny-mind thing that an omniscient Creator would have done.
  12. For those of you waiting with bated breath for my decision :p, I decided to get Biology 2 from Pandia Press. They are having a big ol' sale right now, and I've liked their materials for the younger grades.
  13. That's so weird, MiMi, that Rainbow Science would make such an extreme "we are crazycakes" statement on their own website, yet their Chemistry and Physics books were neutral in tone. Oh well, Biology is sometimes a real fall-down area for religious publishers whose other materials are usable by families outside their particular sect.
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