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blue daisy

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Everything posted by blue daisy

  1. We'll be doing some light school in the summer. We'll take a few weeks off when we finish, end of May, then do some basics (math and reading) and some fun extras that we didn't get to during the school year. Then take off August and be ready to start again in September. My kids get bored way too easily when we don't have a general routine, so I'm planning to keep both their bodies and their minds busy over the summer. :) Plus, it helps when we need a break during the school year. I don't feel "behind" if we take a week or two off when we need to.
  2. So I've had a free Mystery Science subscription all year and I don't know why, but we never tried any of it. Until today. We did one of the weather activities for lower elementary and the kids loved it! They were so engaged, and it was super easy (no prep other than printing out a worksheet) on my part. Even my three year old enjoyed observing and talking about the weather. I've got it on our schedule for next week too and hope to do many more mysteries before the end of our school year. I was undecided about science for next year for my elementary kids. We didn't really do much at all this year, which stinks because science is FUN! I'm pretty sure I will be doing Mystery Science and scrapping my other curriculum plans.
  3. Thank you! I've been struggling because any of the beginner curriculums look too easy for my oldest but he's not ready for a second level course either. Breaking the Barrier books look good for him. We don't have an ipad, but I think a paper and pencil book would be good at this point since he will continue with Duolingo on the tablet. He will be getting exposure from a couple of different formats that way.
  4. Following because I nearly posted something very similar today. I was going to use FLL 2 and maybe a spelling program for my daughter (2nd grade next year), along with lots of reading together, but I was looking at the CP primers and they look lovely. But I'm not sure I can justify the expense...
  5. Thanks! We watched an episode of this today, and it was closer to what I was looking for, plus the kids enjoyed the quiz aspect. But after it was over, the kids said they prefer CNN 10 anyway, and the more intense stories don't bother them. Go figure! lol
  6. We've been watching CNN student news every day, but sometimes it's a bit much for my younger kids (especially my kid with anxiety...some of the stories are depressing or stressful.) I love the video format, we usually watch during lunch. Is there anything like that out there for the younger group? THanks!
  7. My 11 year old DS and 9 year old DS have been working through Duolingo for Spanish this year and I think my daughter will probably start Duolingo next year for second grade too. It was a good, easy way to get us started but we're ready for more. Suggestions? My older son can probably work at a more advanced level than the younger one. I was thinking of doing Song School Spanish with my younger son and daughter, and a different program for my older one. Please share anything you think could work. Thanks!
  8. My 3rd grader, who is pretty mathy, is doing BA, but I'm having him use Singapore IP just to make sure we're not missing anything. So after each BA chapter, he does a chapter of IP (this just takes him a few days). This way, if he is missing any concepts, I can stop and teach as needed.
  9. We are first year homeschoolers and copywork and dictation was totally new to my children. The first time I did dictation with my 6th grader he ended up in tears. I was trying to do a whole paragraph with him. I realized I had to back way up and start with one sentence, then build to two, three, etc. We are now doing full paragraphs. I let him study it first, then I read one sentence at a time, and I do read it again as needed. I don't think I could memorize a whole paragraph and write it, so I don't expect my student to do that either.
  10. I think I am mainly looking to add grammar instruction to BW, and I was checking out Analytical Grammar and MCT last night. I really like the look of MCT so I'm leaning toward that. I have to check out TC again, it's been a while since I've looked at it. I love using various programs too. I just like seeing things from different angles. :) Thanks for sharing what works for you!
  11. Thanks! These are helpful tips. The main thing distracting him is his siblings. LOL. He also gets caught up in making everything look perfect, so we're working on that. I like the idea of setting a limit on a certain subject and having him finish it later. The one that takes longest is math, and it's not a lot of problems, but like I said, he just really takes him time creating beautiful graphs (sometimes color coded!) and I haven't always noticed how much he was dragging out each problem. I'm going to be checking in on him more frequently. :)
  12. Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input. I get the sense that I need to relax my expectations a bit. :) The work is not too hard. I feel like it's meaningful work, not just busy work. Sometimes I switch written work to oral just to save time but on the whole I don't think he's doing enough writing so I try not to skip it too much. He takes an outside math class do I don't have control over that work but it's not endless repetition. It's a select handful of meaningful problems. He just really takes his time, making his graphs really nice, etc. He takes a long time moving from one thing to the next, etc. He's not being naughty or anything and he does everything with a cheerful attitude... He's just pokey. He always has been. :) I try to have our day done by about 2-3 but some days he just doesn't have it all done. I am including reading and instrument practice here as well. Maybe I just need to let go of what I had planned by then and move it to the next day. Yes, the other kids make it challenging... my middle two are VERY high maintenance and of course with their ages, need me there for all of their work. And the three year old keeps it interesting... lol I also get caught in the habit of letting him do too much on his own because he is responsible and then getting frustrated if he doesn't keep up some days. I need to remember he's only 11 and still needs me. Thanks for that reminder. :)
  13. THanks for the input! From what I understand about the co-op, they will be meeting once a week for 2-3 hours, doing the writing projects, poetry tea, and some parts of the Arrows/Pouch of Boomerangs lessons there. WE'll do the weekly dictation at home, plus incorporate anything else we want from the BW lifestyle at home. (We've done poetry tea a few times this year, the kids love it. I need to add it in more. Things like that). I want to keep up the grammar and sentence diagramming from ELTL but I'm not sure I need everything else. So maybe I'll just look for a specific grammar program.
  14. The title pretty much says it all. LOL. My 11 year old does most of his work independently, with me checking in frequently and assisting as needed. But he is just slooooowwwwww at everything. The work is not too hard for him at all, but an appropriate challenge. He;s a little bit of a perfectionist and likes to make everything neat. But it's also just his personality, in addition to being HFA and ADHD. He just does everything in his life slowly. ONe of the reasons we're homeschooling is to help balance school/extracurriculars and family time. My goal is for kids to not being doing school work in the evenings and weekends although DS11 sometimes has to finish his work during that time. I totally understand that this will increase, especially as we get to high school. So, just to get a sense of what's appropriate for this age, how much time does your middle schooler spend on independent work OUTSIDE of your typical school day (so evenings, weekends, etc.)
  15. We are currently using English Lessons Through Literature, which I really, really like. We aren't using anything specifically for writing in addition to ELTL. Next year, we have an opportunity to do a Brave Writer co-op for my older 2 kids and I think it's a great opportunity. (They will be 7th and 4th grade). BW looks awesome, but definitely different than ELTL, in particular with grammar instruction. Would it be overkill to continue ELTL at home? If I skip ELTL, should I supplement with a different grammar program or any other language arts? What I really like about ELTL is the detailed grammar instruction, including diagramming, which is not a part of BW. If I supplement BW with a different program, do you have suggestions? This is only our first year homeschooling so I don't have extensive experience with the different programs out there. Thanks!
  16. I have three school kids and a 3 year old. We usually school for 2ish hours in the morning and another hour or so in the afternoon. Less for my first grader and my 6th grader usually has more to do on his own. But generally done after lunch, by 2pm.
  17. We finally got to The Hobbit this fall. It was (of course) a huge hit. Right now I'm reading Black Ships Before Troy to go along with history and Wanderings of Odysseus will be next. Then I'm hoping to do A Christmas Carol later in December. I've been reading to my 6 year old separately at bed time, stories that I had previously read aloud to the boys. She loved Little House in the Big Woods and Sarah, Plain and Tall. Her reading ability has really exploded this year, so she's been rereading these to herself after I read them to her.
  18. We LOVE Grace Lin. Is this one a similar style to Where the Mountain meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky?
  19. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate this thread and all the replies here. I haven't been on the boards much since school started and we're dealing with some behavior issues here (more whining/complaining/woe is me stuff than OP,) but the replies are super helpful all the same. I'm going to spend some time rereading tonight and making some notes to figure out what I can change to make our days more pleasant.
  20. We like On a Beam of Light about Albert Einstein. https://www.amazon.com/Beam-Light-Story-Albert-Einstein/dp/145215211X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1477790877&sr=8-2&keywords=einstein+picture+book Seconding Snowflake Bentley
  21. My 9 year old son is into Zoobs (asked for more for Christmas) and Keva planks.
  22. Thanks! I was frustrated with limited views on Amazon, but I went to Youtube and found some videos showing the books which helped a lot. Thanks for the suggestions!
  23. Is there a good illustrated edition of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? We're doing The Hobbit as a read aloud right now and all the kids love it. My almost 3 year old loves to ask everyone "What's a burrahobbit??" LOL I'd love to get the kids a nice copy for a Christmas gift and LOTR is one of DH's faves. We just have beat up paperbacks of both right now (due to so many readings! lol) I just love beautifully illustrated novels. Thanks.
  24. I am a former PS teacher, so I get a lot of "Oh, you can do it because you used to be a teacher. You know what you're doing." People are amazed when I tell them that in our state, simply being a parent qualifies one to homeschool. A lot of people also ask if the state provides me with textbooks. And yes, I get the socialization question a lot. But really, these are just people who have no experience with homeschooling so they have a hard time imagining how learning can take place outside of a traditional school. In general, comments have been really positive.
  25. This - so many people are amazed that I chose my own curriculum. They want to know where I even found it, and they're surprised that there is such a huge market for homeschool programs. (This is where I usually mention TWTM forums and how I learned pretty much everything here. :lol: )
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