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Posts posted by Hunter

  1. I changed schools mid-year almost every year. Usually within the USA, but a couple times mid-year to another country. If I could just complete 75% of an assignment, I stayed calm. Aiming to prepare a student to be able to do 75% of the math problems is much easier than covering all the non-arithmetic strands that will each be a very small percentage of daily work. Saxon includes a full presentation of the non-arithmetic math problems, and for maybe one or two days gives several problems of that type, and them relegates them to a single problem a day, or even drops them. Personally, I would leave it to the teacher to deal with everything beyond the arithmetic.

    His strength is the arithmetic. You could actually get him ahead in the arithmetic or at least rock-solid.

    There is that 80/20 principle. It takes 20% effort to teach 80%, and 80% effort to teach the last 20%. Catch-up is about the 20% effort for 80% scores.

  2. I pulled a kid out of PS that did not want to be pulled. I had intended for it to just be 8th to clean up the charter school experiment mess, but a lot happened that neither of us expected. He did not want to go to highschool when the time came.

    There is no way in Hades any child of mine would be enrolled in a public school right now. Period! The world is crazy and keeps changing from one crazy idea to another crazy idea. I refuse to orbit crazy.

    I don't want to get all off topic about the particulars of what happened in the late 90's and early 2,000's to us.

    But here and now. NO! Just NO!

  3. When I needed to teach my preeteen to do math faster and more accurately, I used to put a pile of skittles on the table between us and race him problem for problem. First person with the CORRECT answer got a Skittle.

    He got faster and more accurate very quickly.

    When I needed to wean him off that crutch, I made sure his best friend knew how math got done. His friend mocked him until he promised that he just did his math without mommy and candy.

    But that is how the Saxon geometry problems were finally correct.

  4. Which Saxon book will he use? Can you look at a copy? Saxon Algebra 1 had one nastly geometry problem a day. If he gets only one geometry problem and only gets that one problem wrong a day, that is no big deal. 

    I would focus on the arithmetic problems, because he will have far more arithemetic problems, and problems that build on that arithmetic.

    It is not the end the world if the he is behind the first few months of 7th grade. I moved out of the country after Christmas of 7th grade. I took French in the USA, and was thrown into Spanish in the other country. I failed the class. If I had been tutored I would not have failed. And I would have been caught up by the end of the year, because the lessons were not sequential.  And if I had been tutored over the summer, even better.

    Latin would have been far worse to have jumped into. Thankfully I was spared that because the Latin-teaching school told my father that I become "too American" and they didn't want such a "flippant" child on their campus. LOL. 

    Just focus on the arithmetic and he will pass and eventually catch up if he has the aptitude to do math at the level the school teaches. Saxon has a lot of review at the beginning of the book. He will be fine.

  5. I found a database that hosts all the public domain Loeb Classics.


    These books have many uses for us today. Obviously they are useful for teaching Greek and Latin, but the ENGLISH translations are sometimes the best available. Loeb Plutarch is known for being more easily understood that most other translations.

    These books can be quoted in high school and college research papers. I always received very high marks for mixing in ancient authors alongside current newspapers and articles.

    Quintillian wrote extensively about the education of boys, including the controvery of starting formal schooling at ages 6 or 7 years old, language learning, and composition. His writings were popular with classical homeschooler in the 1990's.

    L124N - Quintilian -- Quintilian I: Institutio Oratoria Books 1-3

    L125N - Quintilian -- Quintilian II: Institutio Oratoria Books 4-6

    L126N - Quintilian -- Quintilian III: Institutio Oratoria Books 7-9

    L127N - Quintilian -- Quintilian IV: Institutio Oratoria Books 10-12

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  6. My senior year of high school, I took a half-credit course on Bible stories that was listed as an English half-credit. We didn't really do much more than read the Bible stories. There is no doubt in my mind that it was an English course. We took World Literature in 10th along with World History, and British literature up through the colonial period was included . We took American literature in 11th along with American History. If we just needed more credits, but had passed all our 9-11 courses, 12th grade was the time to study what we were interested in. A full year of post-colonial British History was optional. I didn't take it.

    Leland Ryken has written a lot of books about studying the Bible as literature. He discusses all the topics covered in an AP literature course. The following links are just a small sample of his work.

    How to Read the Bible as Literature


    Letters of Grace and Beauty: A Guided Literary Study of New Testament Epistles


    Literary Study Bible


    • Thanks 1
  7. 32 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

    Hmmm, that's an interesting way to think of it. 

    I'm not much of a STEM warrior for anyone else. I just tend to think that this method of thinking is valuable, including for kids who are not accelerated at all. But of course, I'm a mathematician. I would think so. 

    Gifted children learn quicker. They also have a higher tolerance for long days of study, especially if the topic is something they have chosen and doesn't require a rigid template type of output.

    Non-gifted children, artists, athletes, and spiritually minded people NEED time to devote to their callings. Children who have experienced violence need some extra time to rest and heal. Poverty is a form of violence! Sometimes all these children can do is focus on survival.

    Math takes time and effort: time and effort that cannot be spent on other things.

    Many things are valuable, but not as valuable as other things. Determining value depends on the context. Healthy gifted mathematicians can handle and thrive off of more math. A firehose of drill, or worse yet a developmentally inappropriate problem solving course, can overwhelm a child and do more harm than good. 

    The beauty of homeschooling is that a mom can take inventory of the family aptitudes, interests, and resources and chart the path forward that is best for that family. 

    I switched my major in college from paralegal/law to cybersecurity. No one does that. LOL. No one switches from a humanities based major to a STEM major and as a woman in her 50's, or so all my professors told me. If I go back, I think I will switch again. I have no idea to what.

    But I was there long enough to learn that the USA needs more STEM soldiers to continue on the path they have been traveling. It is getting critical, especially since the pandemic. If the USA wants to draft from the lower classes, they are going to have to reduce the financial abuse being inflicted upon the garden they are trying to harvest. That is not one of the ideas being discussed. Everyone just keeps arguing about curriculum and increase the hours of study from children. It is not going to work, inside and outside the public schools.

    • Like 3
  8. 37 minutes ago, Ellie said:

    I like Saxon very much beginning with Math 54. The primary math would make me crazy, and both of my children. Way too many moving parts. I don't believe that it's the colorful workbooks that make the difference; it's how everything is taught. Saxon may be good for children who need all those manipulatives and stuff, but there's a whole world of children who do well with Rod and Staff's arithmetic, which is a very traditional stealth-vigorous series. If I were hsing again, we would do R&S until my dc tested into Saxon Math 54 or 65.

    In the 1990's, the FIRST edition of Saxon really did work well for a lot of families that were homeschooling on $100 a year. The Saxon book was the ONLY textbook that a lot of these children used. After they finished their Saxon book, they just read and watched what they wanted, or gathered in family style unit studies for the rest of the day, or worked, or played music, or went exploring outside. Saxon provided just enough structure to days that otherwise felt too unstructured.

    Hake wrote the first editions of 54-76 and 2nd edition of 76 under the review of Saxon. Later editions are by Hake alone. Earlier grades are by other authors or written by Hake with no input from Saxon. Sticking with Saxon for all K-12 is switching curricula. 

    I do not agree that Saxon cripples children from thinking and sets them up to fail at higher math! I just think that young children can burn out if we ramp up the drill intensity too quickly.

    The world does need STEM workers to further their worldly goals. The USA government would like to turn more low-income children into STEM workers and soldiers, but are not providing the resources necessary to train this army. They fail year after year, and will keep failing. That whole mess has been absorbed into the homeschool movement by homeschoolers hoping to beat the PS at their own game with their own rules.

    I personally (this is an *I* statement) feel no obligation to train STEM warriors. I had one child that was radically accelerated in math, with the highest achievement test scores in the entire town. My other child was very very normal at math. I was a very young mom and did the best I could with what I had. Sometimes I did too much. STEM proganda is loud propoganda.

    • Like 5
  9. On 6/10/2021 at 9:37 AM, SoniaSJ said:


    We are a family looking to homeschool our kids next year and I really like the ideas behind the Well Trained Mind. I believe a classical education is important to being well informed and well adjusted individual.

    If you currently have students attending WTMA (especially if they are in upper elementary or middle school), would you recommend it?

    Do you like the courses your child has taken?

    Have you liked their teachers?

    Thank you,



    I started homeschooling before TWTM book was written and finished long before the academy was created. One of my children did use a correspondance school for his entire homeschool experience; one was mostly schooled by me. The correspondance school was by phone and snailmail back then. LOL. 

    When this forum first started (1999? 2001?), the most active homeschool forum was hosted at a vegetarian site and we were not allowed to talk about meat, there. Some of the first heavy posters, here, were merely meat-eaters that wanted the freedom to post about meat-eating without beign censored. Then the other forum had some tech problems and this forum was hit by a flood of people, many that had no interest in a classical education.

    Now, those that use the academy are an even smaller fraction of the people that post here.

    Good luck getting your questions about the academy answered. I am sorry that I cannot help you with that, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum. Welcome!

    • Like 4
  10. I like the older editions of Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 written by Saxon himself and very lightly editted by Hake. I do NOT like the books written by Hake and the other authors.

    Saxon was a remedial college math teacher. He wrote the algebra books to remediate college students. These two books do a great job preparing a student for freshman college algebra 101.

    Inflicting this intensive drill method onto very young children is something I personally (this is an *I* statement) cannot advocate. Spartan youth were strong and brave, but I personally (this is another *I* statement) would not inflict that intensive training onto very young children. Late teens is early enough for both. If ever. In my opionion. 

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  11. 1. The Well Trained Mind Forum

    2, Heritage History Curriculum for Young Readers supplemented with the resources and study plans for older students.




    3. Mr Q ESP Labs


    http://eequalsmcq.com/park university.htm

    4. Kanopy through my library. I only get to stream 10 films a month, but Kids and Great Courses are unlimited! Kanopy Kids section has a comprehensive science series at the upper elementary level. Great Courses has foreign language. 

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  12. "Can" is an interesting word. There are a LOT of things that we CAN do the old way, but sometimes it costs us something.

    Among the Amish and Mennonites, most fathers work a trade now. Many fathers work overtime to afford the taxes and payments on a small piece of land, so that children and mom can play farm. The farm COSTS the family to maintain it, instead of providing for them. It cost the family their father's presence at the supper table. Yes, most of the Amish and Mennonites CAN still find a way to farm. Is it worth it? Is keeping the farm serving the original primary purpose of the farm? Decades ago, fathers were admonished to keep the farm so that they could stay HOME.


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  13. Excellent ideas Mathmarm!!

    The reason that a lot of people crash and burn with Pimsleur is that they try and follow the pacing instructions. The pacing is way too fast. Lessons need to be repeated. 30 lessons is enough for six months, not one month.

    The first time you listen, don't try and do anything but take notes. Don't write down the entire lesson!!! But take some notes on the new material. And check the spelling of words in another resource that is not 100% audio.

    If you can get to wifi or use cellular data, Audible has Pimsleur and the lessons can be downloaded onto the app and used offline. 

    If you can get access to online resources once, you can download these oldschool resources and use them offline. https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/index.html

    If your library offers access to Mango languages, you can download the app, and download lessons for offline use.

    Udemy course go on sale for $9.99 and you can download videos for offline viewing, but they take up a LOT of room on the device and download slowly on public wifi. It is better to stream on cellular data that to download.

  14. 14 minutes ago, Ellie said:

    Why wouldn't they work best now?

    Because the world was designed to function without things that we are expected to have now.

    And because the pandemic expects us to do things online and that are impossible without a modern home office, or some kind of alternative fancy tech and creativity.

    Today, a government agency send me a pdf copy of a paper document that they had mailed to me and that I had signed and mailed back to them. They said they didn't think the signature looked similar enough to signatures on other pages. I kid you not. They wanted it resigned and returned by e-mail ASAP.

    God just always has my back right now. I don't have wifi, or printer and scanner. But, I do have an e-ink tablet, that God graciously aligned the circumstances where I could have lost my stim funds or spent them very very quickly. It is a longer story that this, but I paid my rent ahead until my lease is up, and I bought the tablet, feeling really guilty and confused, but relieved that I had emptied my bank account in time and in a way that was approved. I have been declared "print disabled" and the tablet was approved as "medically necessary".

    So with hands shaking, and a prayer, I download the file over cellular data, saved it to a thingy (I don't know what to call it), transferred it to the e-ink device, signed it with my the fancy included pen, saved it again, transferred it back to the device with cellular data, and e-mailed it. She sent me a smiley face. I'm okay.

    No one asked us to do stuff like that back then! 

    This whole year, and long before, God's got my back. He puts things in place long before I need them. He knows what is coming.

    This is not the 1980's. At least not for all of us.

  15. Is anyone living and learning in a very small space with no home wifi?

    I am starting this thread for topics that overlap but are offtopic in the 80's and 90's inspired challenge.

    80's and 90's homeschoolers used methods that are more likely instead of less likely to work in frugal and challenging modern times. But those ideas and methods do not ALWAYS work best, now.

    If you still have no home wifi, just like the old days, but are fully here in the present, what are you doing the same and what are you doing differently?

  16. Gutenberg: similar, but a little different.

    Add the link to Gutenberg Bookshelf webpage to the Android tablet Home Screen as an icon.


    Download Mobi with images. (I downloaded Runaway Bunny. It is so cute!)

    Find the mobi file in downloads. Rename it. From the menu press "share" then "sent to kindle".

    Wait 5 minutes. Manually sync. It should show up immediately in a device connected to cellular data. The Kindle Fires will need to wait for wifi access, or access to the limited hotspot data from a device connected to the cellular data.


  17. Until I get bored with this project, I will continue to see what can be accomplished with minimal tech and no home wifi.

    Using a cheap android tablet on a cellular data plan, I went onto the Heritage History website and added a shortcut to the site on my Android Home Screen. It is an option in the menu of Chrome browser to create an icon that looks like an app icon, but is actually a website link.

    Young Readers Study Program


    This study plan is useful for all ages, and the easiest to align with group LoL lessons (there are other study plans available). If you click on the history periods you will see timelines. When click on links for people and events on the timeline, it will list books for all levels: green-younger, brown-middle, red-higher. The Old Testament topics are the only topics not well supported with titles for the higher levels.

    Unlike Yesterday's Classics, there are no Mobi files, but Kindle Docs can store pdfs. Kindle Fire and SOME Kindle apps on other platforms will automatically display pdf Docs in the Kindle Docs library. It can take up to 5 minutes and a manual sync to have them pop up in the Docs library.

    When I downloaded the pdf from Heritage History, it automatically opened, and I was delighted to discover that the 3 dot menu in the popup provided an option to "send to Kindle". It was that easy to get the Doc as a permanent addition to my Kindle library.

    With the icon on my homescreen, this is a super simple way to add history content aligned to the weekly history topic.

    EDIT: If i click on individual book pages, I don't see mobi files listed. But if I click on this page with books listed by genre, I see a mobi option for each book. Weird.


    • Like 1
  18. Okay, so ... I was able to purchase and download the Yesterday's Classic Strayer Upton Book 1 part 1. Then I was able to upload it as a Kindle Doc. If the Kindle app is installed on an Android tablet, you can use the "share" feature to "send to Kindle". I checked BOTH "archive" and the device I wanted to view it on. 

    I do not think I can write on this file on the e-ink device. I know how to write on pdfs, but not epubs or mobis.

    Strayer Upton is hard to use as suggested. It is a lot of work and it gets difficult really fast. In the 1920 and 1930's these graded maths were seldom used at the pace suggested. Instead of skipping problems, schools usually did not use the volumes as quickly as suggested.

    Math essentials book 2 was originally designed to help 7th graders complete all of 7th and 8th grade in a single year so that the most talented students could start Algebra a year earlier. If you were to take 4 years to complete S-U Book 1, instead of 2 years, you would still have plenty of time to complete Math essentials and start Algebra in grade 8 or 9.

    Math Essentials is a pdf. It can be written on in the e-ink device.

    How to tutor includes all the math needed to prepare for Strayer Upton.

    This is all sliding into place nicely.

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  19. Okay, I purchased and skimmed Layers of Learning Research Papers. It is perfect to follow the Progressive Reports in Write On. If a mom/tutor needs to compact a curriculum to get a student to the research paper as fast as possible, she can skip all the Write Ons that are not part of the Progressive Reports sequence and then jump straight into the LOL Research Papers. With more time, the other strands of Write On and Cozy Grammar/Essay can be used as enrichment.

    In my opinion LoL Research Papers is above average. I am sure you could find better, but I have seen a LOT that is worse. And my biggest need was something that complemented what I already have used and love. There was a hole in my plan. This plugs it.

    Now I am curious how well it works on the e-ink tablet. I will see tomorrow if I can write directly on a copy of the pdf without lag. It is a workbook approach meant to be printed and written on.

    • Like 1
  20. I really miss Writing Road to Reading 4th edition. I found a pdf copy in my Kindle Docs account. I do have it, and it is legal that I have it, but it is not legal to share. So in general. I don't like to talk about something that is getting harder and harder to get.

    We have gotten some great new stuff, but we have lost access to some treasures. It makes me angry to lose these things. Before ebooks, books going out of print was necessary. Now it is not. A publisher could offer an old edition. But these more simple single volumes threaten the publishers chance to make a much greater profit.

  21. From what I understand, the surge protectors only protect a certain number of times, before they burn out. I have them, but I am not sure they are acting as anything more than an extension cord at this point. There is something even better and more involved and expensive, but I read an article recently about problems solving by removing things, not adding things. I just starting yanking cords and leaving them unplugged. I stood in the middle of my more quiet space and thought, hmmm... what CAN I still do?

  22. I feel freedom to do something different since others have posted awesome more traditional approaches.

    I am not tutoring anyone right now, but I like to stay fresh and ready. When I do tutor, it happens fast and is intense and I need to teach not self-educate and research. So this is the stuff I will be reviewing when I am bored.

    I am going with a lot of books that come in BOTH hardcopy and pdf, so that depending on what happens, I can continue on with the same plan. I keep a hardcopy Bible no matter what. I did splurge on a 13" e-ink note-taking tablet and ereader, so I am adding that to my list that is both real and theoretic.

    Onyx Boox Max Lumi e-ink tablet

    Solar Bible player (with Thru the Bible radio program)

    Thru the Bible Radio Network Bible KJV Giant Print

    Layers of Learning years 1-4, Planners, Research papers. pdfs

    How to Tutor pdf (includes math)

    Don Potter Shortcut to Manuscript

    Write On by Karen Newell pdf

    Strayer Upton Book 1 ebook

    mathessentials.net videos and pdfs

    nononsensealgebra.com videos and pdfs

    Cozy Grammar/Essay videos and pdfs

    Handbook of Nature Study ebook

    Mr Q ESP Labs

    Some of these authors did not publish till the late 90's or right after Y2K, but they developed and tested their curricula in the 80's and 90's for remedial and alternative students, or modeled it on what was available then, or stripped it down and used real stuff. I am going full throttle with "inspired".

    If the original Student of the Word curriculum ever comes back in print, I will dump the newer Layers of Learning to use my favorite oldschool curriculum again. I don't think that is going to happen. I gotta live in the full reality of the present.

    I am going to take a chill pill about cursive, math beyond the back-to-basics streamlined pre-algebra and Algebra 1 workbooks, art, and everything else. I will use what I have, when I have it. The more mucked up my world, the less I care about the details. Students ask me to teach those beyond these things, but years later, it is the stuff above that I see them using and talking about.

    I don't need a box. All the tech will fit in my matching quilted Vera Bradley shoulder bag and duffel carry-on bag. The Bible I will carry in my arms. Customs didn't weigh my coat or the Bible in my arms last time. I used the Bible as my pillow and my coat as my blanket on the plane.

    I already have everything loaded on the devices except the Yesterday's Classics ebook version of Strayer Upton 1. I don't need it right away, and will purchase it in ebook or hardcopy when I need it or use something else.

    Yup, this level of dependence on tech is RIIIISKY, but my whole freaking life is a risk. In context, who cares. In context of real life and especially in context that I don't have kids anymore. I always have the Bible and solar Bus when the lights go out, no matter what.

    The past couples days have impacted my final curricula choices for good and bad. 



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