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blue daisy

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Everything posted by blue daisy

  1. We can't seem to find our flow this school year. We are getting to the basics - math, reading/language arts, writing and Latin. We are struggling to fit anything else in. It's partly due to our hectic schedule (which is not going to change) and I think I just picked overwhelming curriculum. I'm not so concerned about my elementary kids but I am not getting to history or science with my seventh grader and it's making me panic because high school is just around the corner and I feel this pressure to make sure he is "keeping up." He is on the mild end of the autism spectrum, and he can be very pokey in general, so school work just takes him much longer than I think it "should." This is his workload: Math is done at a local program for accelerated middle school kids. He's taking Geometry (and they're using AOPS). It's intense and definitely his most time consuming subject every week. The class meets once a week for 2 hours and he usually goes to a homework help session once a week for 2 hours. BraveWriter co-op with local friends - meets once a week and they cover literature (Pouch of Boomerangs), Faltering Ownership writing, poetry and current events. Definitely don't want to give this up - we like the teacher, the group and the opportunity to discuss the topics with peers. He likes the literature and poetry. He gets stressed by the creative writing but I think it's good for him. :) IEW on our own, 1-2 lessons a month. He really likes this program because it's more structured which is how his brain works. :) Latin for Children, we fit in as we can. One unit every 1-2 weeks We started some light Spanish last year, and I've had him keep up with Duolingo in case that's the foreign language he wants to pursue in high school. (I didn't intend to do Latin and a foreign language at the same time, I just feel like I've done everything backwards with him since we only started homeschooling last year.) History Odyssey - We're supposed to cover 3-4 lessons a week to complete in a year. We average 1 lesson a week. RSO Biology - We haven't even finished the first lesson. It's not getting done. On the other hand, I spent a small fortune between the curriculum and a microscope, so.... I have all the kids doing a daily binder thing which is supposed to take 15ish minutes. His binder includes Evan Moor geography and Fix It grammar (1 sentence a day) and I have him copy the sentence in cursive for practice. He easily spends 30 min on this every day. Extracurriculars - He takes piano and cello and needs to practice these throughout the week. I'm thinking we need to cut back. He is a Boy Scout and sometimes has things to do for badges. He loves Scouts, so that's not going anywhere. Did I mention he's pokey and easily distracted? He's very bright but it can easily take him 2-3 times as long as I think it should to get through anything. (He has been on ADHD meds before and I'm not opposed to using them again, but I'm not sure that's the answer here and I want to explore other options.) So that's a lot and if you read this far, thank you. If you were in our shoes, what would you do? Should I cut back? Find a creative way to fit the content subjects in? (Cover them over the summer while taking a break from other subjects?) I'm at a loss and feeling stressed. I'd love some advice. Thanks!
  2. I used a lot from The Moffatt Girls for reinforcement for my 1st grader last year. She has a lot of great worksheets for primary grades.
  3. My 12, 9, and 7 year old make their own breakfasts. My 12 year old has started learning how to cook some quick meals (grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese from a box.) The boys have been doing their own laundry for years, including folding and putting away (I had to lower my standards for folding, lol). My daughter is learning how to fold hers now. We rotate through chores, but they can all sweep the kitchen, unload the dishwasher, clean bathroom sinks, vacuum, etc. My oldest can mow the lawn.
  4. Mystery Science is fun and requires little prep. You can pick and choose which topics you want to study. I think they are still offering a free first year membership to new members.
  5. I would have waited longer but my oldest got one last year at 11 because I had to drop him off for a class downtown in a college building and wanted to make sure he got to his class ok. I didn't feel like parking in a ramp and dragging three other children with me to do so all year long. And if he was more mature/aware of his surroundings, maybe I would have gone without the phone, but with mild ADHD and autism, I needed the peace of mind. He occasionally texts friends, but mostly texts me and DH and plays a chess app from time to time. 90% of the time, the phone is plugged in on my desk. Eta - He is a total rule follower and very responsible so I don't really worry about him having a phone. My 9 year old thinks he will be getting one at 11 because his brother did but he is mistaken. When he does get one, it will be a very basic one without internet because I don't trust him to make smart decisions like I trust his brother. Lol
  6. Great lists, thanks for sharing! I was looking through various books lists last night and added to my kids' lists, so this is what I have now. Again, they will both read the Brave Writer books (Arrow for 4th grader, Pouch of Boomerangs for 7th grader), and various books that go with their history curriculum. In addition, this is the plan, but obviously, I will adjust if it ends up being too much. 12 year old/7th grade Redwall When the Sea Turned to Silver (I love Grace Lin's fantasy novels!) Treasure Island Story of My Life (Helen Keller) Out of My Mind Call It Courage The Yearling Sherlock Holmes (a junior version) 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (maybe) 9 year old/4th grade (voracious, advanced reader) Twenty One Balloons Red Sails to Capri Bud Not Buddy Tuck Everlasting The Borrowers Sign of the Beaver Man of the Family (sequel to Little Britches) Hatchet The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate My Side of the Mountain The Lemonade Wars Detectives in Togas My 7 year old (2nd grade) and I will read together: Mr. Popper's Penguins The Trumpet of the Swan Winnie the Pooh Betsy-Tacy Ballet Shoes Little House on the Prairie Farmer Boy Skylark Gooseberry Park The Reluctant Dragon My Father's Dragon (I'm not sure we'll actually get through all that, but we own most of them from the boys reading them, so at least I have them ready to go.)
  7. Either/both. :) I just enjoy seeing what other kids are reading, and it also helps me get ideas. I fleshed out our reading plans a little more last night, so I will add to my post when I get a chance.
  8. I have not used BW yet, but we will be using it next year. So take this with a grain of salt! LOL But from what I have seen, the amount of work for the Arrow literature guides and the FO writing projects is not overwhelming. I don't think it would be unreasonable to do 10 of each, or at least the 10 Arrow guides and then half of the FO writing projects. (My kids are going to be involved in local BW classes next year. They are doing all 10 literature selections and I think half of the writing projects for their respective levels.) Good luck!
  9. OP here. First of all, I want to thank you all for your input! I now have a huge list of resources to peruse. I've given this a lot of thought. I know my son is not ready for any deep books, and most of the Bible curriculum look too workbook-y for what I want. My real goal here is just to get him reading and discussing the Bible more. I decided to go with a family devotion that I will read to all the kids (we picked Jesus Calling for kids) and then I will have my oldest read the accompanying Bible verses and we will just talk about them. Then, after we've gotten into it a bit more, we can start looking at some of the resources here. Thanks again for your help!
  10. I would love to see what your students are reading next year. Care to share their age/grade and a planned book list? Both my 12 and 9 year old are participating in a Brave Writer class so they will have the lists from Pouch of Boomerangs, and Arrow, respectively. They also both have a few books from their history programs. I haven't gotten too far on additional books. My 9 year old especially is a voracious reader so I need to have a stack of books ready for him! LOL This is what I have so far, in addition to BW and history: 12 year old/7th grade Redwall When the Sea Turned to Silver Treasure Island 9 year old/4th grade: Twenty One Balloons Red Sails to Capri Bud Not Buddy Tuck Everlasting The Borrowes Sign of the Beaver Man of the Family (sequel to Little Britches) Not sure what else... 7 year old and I will work together through the Quiver of Arrow books on BW, probably not all in one year. I would love to hear what you have planned for your children. If this is already started somewhere else, I apologize - can you link that thread?
  11. We have camps, etc. in August, and a vacation the last week of Aug, so we'll start after Labor Day. I love starting earlier but it isn't working out this year.
  12. We used ELTL last year for 6th grade and the only thing I would add to that would be writing because I didn't feel it explicitly taught anything for writing (just had writing assignments.) My son needed more instruction but your child may not.
  13. My 12 year old likes to build Lego kits but then he doesn't really play with them He doesn't play with other toys too often anymore either. He likes to play chess and other board games, play with the dog, or play sports outside. My almost 10 year old plays with toys all the time - Legos, Zoobs, other building toys, cars, trains, stuffed animals, etc. My 7 year old and 3 year old play with their toys all the time.
  14. My son hunches over a lot. Our chiropractor suggested having him lay back on a yoga ball to stretch out and open up his back/shoulders.
  15. I love this idea! Approx. how much time do you spend on it per day? Is this an independent activity? (I'm thinking of the littles in particular. I think this would be fun for my 2nd grader and maybe even a basic version for preschooler).
  16. About an hour in the morning of reading and math. She also listened in for read aloud, history and science in the afternoon, about 30 min to an hour a day. So 1.5 to 2 hours total.
  17. This is so cool! Who knew we had a state muffin? :thumbup1:
  18. I want to do a quick overview of our state history this summer. I didn't grow up here, so it will be a learning experience for me too. I'm starting with Minn of the Mississippi (our state is the beginning of the Mississippi River, hint, hint), and then not sure where I'm going from there. LOL Basically, I'm wondering if there are any great online resources or books that cover general state history. Thanks so much!
  19. Saddlemomma, I think I am a little bit like your daughter. :) I want to know how it all works! And my 12 year old is on the autism spectrum (very high functioning), so he is even more literal than I am. He has that child-like, all-trusting faith in God, and he's also VERY into science. So I just want to be careful about what I present to him, so I can help him understand that the two are not mutually exclusive. :)
  20. Chris in VA - funny, because this is what's got me asking questions. I was looking at Positive Action and it seems to be more meaty than other curriculum. I was comparing Route 66 and The God Man, trying to decide where I want to start, and I was leaning toward The God Man, wanting to center our studies in Christ. In the Teacher's Manual sample, right in the first lesson, there is a discussion about how people are different than animals and how that poses a problem with the theory of evolution. Sigh. BUT I don't see it in the student manual (at least in the sample I could look at), so maybe it is there as a point to discuss or not as you see fit. I don't mind having discussions and exploring different points of view, but since I can only look at a sample, it's hard to gauge how much is in the book. I'm glad you spoke up to recommend Positive Action. I will give them another look.
  21. We just finished the Grapevine Resurrection unit. We liked it, but we all agreed that a year of the same format would get monotonous. And I really wanted something a little deeper for my 12 year old. I think we're going to do the birth of Christ unit this December though. I will look into the other resources. Thanks!
  22. There are a lot of great resources here, and I really do appreciate all the information, but this is going to be way over my 12 year old's head. I really just want him to spend more time reading and getting familiar with the Bible, and so maybe I just need to have him do just that. I was hoping for a curriculum to guide him, but I suppose we don't really need one. I grew up in a Christian home, but we never just read our Bible outside of church. I've only begun to get into my Bible during the past few years. I want my kids to have a foundation of reading and studying from their childhood. There is a LOT I don't know about the Bible and I guess I was hoping for a guide to hold my hand as we discuss. LOL That being said, I am VERY interested in the resources you've all provided and I can't wait to delve into them further. I have a lot of reading ahead of me. :)
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