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Everything posted by KAM

  1. I have a 9th grader and a 7th grader using it. The 9th grader can often finish a lesson in 30 minutes, the 7th grader takes longer, he would probably need 45 min- 1 hour to do the longer lessons but he would melt so we don't do a whole lesson every time. We work for 20 minutes and pick up where we left off the next day. It's a challenging program and I do not think either of my boys will finish it in just a year.
  2. I would stick with unabridged also. But I will say that my dd9 loves the Classic Starts books to read to herself. She checks them out of the library and more than a couple times has wanted to read the original afterwards because she already knew the story and felt like she could tackle it. So, I like those too!
  3. I have the TG and the student book but I don't have him write anything, we just discuss. I like having a book for him to follow along in while I read because it keeps him focused, but it isn't necessary, you could definitely do without it. I also have a 4th grader who is usually around while we do AoA and I haven't come across anything I wouldn't have wanted to read out loud with her there.
  4. Differin from Target seems to be working for my daughter too. It did take about 3 months to see results though!
  5. We haven't done a separate geography program, but I try to keep either a map or a blow-up globe (the kids favorite) nearby and just have them find a place or two from whatever history/lit read-aloud we are doing.
  6. I haven't used R&S either but two of mine (9th & 7th grade) are using Grammar for the WTM this year. It is definitely teacher intensive. I probably spend at least 20 minutes a day per kid doing the "discussion" part of it and another 10 correcting their work and going over mistakes. I had originally hoped to teach my boys together but they work at different speeds and it just wasn't possible. I really like the way it is set up, but my boys find it tedious. I'm not sure they'd find any grammar fun though. I will probably try something they can do more on there own for next year.
  7. If we're counting sports, definitely that. We have four kids and four different very involved sports and I am afraid to even add up that cost. Aside from that, our biggest expense has been community college classes and high school science at home. I have one doing biology this year and I really wanted to do it "right" so I bought everything. I'm not sorry, we're using it all, but it wasn't cheap!
  8. KAM

    BBC quiz

    I got Suffolk, that was a fun link! I'm going to share with my kids. Thanks for posting it!
  9. My fourth grader is using You are an Artist chalk pastel ebooks this year. She is on her fourth one I think and has quite the gallery on her bedroom walls. She loves it!
  10. We have done a taco bar the last couple of Christmases. It works well because we have some vegetarians in the mix and it's super easy for everyone to pick just what they want. We set out a bunch of different toppings, most of which we can prep the day ahead.
  11. My 4th grader is using Writing Strands, Zaner-Bloser handwriting, Spelling Workout, and First Language Lessons
  12. I definitely could not have done it without the TM
  13. I've been picky lately about making everyone get every last thing out of the car (except for a few things we purposely leave there) every time we get home. I spend a ton of time in the car and it makes me much less stressed if it isn't full of stuff. It helps that our car is a little smaller than we need - there just isn't space to let a lot of stuff collect. But I wouldn't define it as clean, at least not as clean as I'd like. I try to vacuum it every week but that only goes so far with two girls who ride horses - it is always full of sand. And I only wipe it down once a month or so because for some reason I just get overwhelmed at the thought of doing it.
  14. Once the kids drop spelling, I have them do Wordly Wise or Vocabulary from Classial Roots. I let them pick. Before that we just discuss any unfamiliar words as they come up.
  15. Things my 8 year old makes (with help or at least supervision) - lasagna, baked chicken tenders (I buy the chicken already cut into tenders to make it easier, she dips them in milk and then in cracker crumbs), tacos, baked potatoes (her job is to brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, then we pop them in the slow cooker for the day) and homemade pizza. She just started having a night to cook once a week, so we are slowly widening her repertoire.
  16. My first used AG starting in 8th grade and she finished up around the end of 9th grade. She had a pretty easy time of things and was able to do it mostly independently. It has been really nice to have grammar out of the way to have extra time to focus on other subjects in her high school years. She is using the review book every other week, but that doesn't take much time. With DS14, we did season 1 of AG in 6th, season 2 in 7th, and we're finishing up season 3 now in 8th. He had a bit of a harder time with season 2 than his sister did, but nothing we couldn't manage. Now he is down to just one more lesson before he can do just a review sheet every other week for the rest of his school years. He's pretty excited about that! DS 11 is following a similar path - he did season 1 of AG this year, his 6th grade year (he did JAG in 5th). We did not complete the season in 10 weeks as suggested in the book, we spread it over more like 15 weeks. With my other two, we took it slower when we needed to as well. They often would split an assignment over a couple of days if it felt like too much.
  17. I really like 8th grade - it kind of feels like the last "low-pressure" year to me where we try to get a bit more serious, but it still feels fun because I don't feel like I have to do everything perfectly or start doing transcript work yet. I am on my second eighth grader this year. I do agree with other posters that this age seems more emotional. We are currently working through some issues with low-frustration tolerance, for example. But some of the issues we had in past years - especially with attention span and not getting work done have greatly improved this year. And he is starting to think in a much deeper way and be able to talk about things in a way he couldn't before. It's really fun to see that start coming out.
  18. My rule is I don't care about them showing work except for their quizzes/tests. For everyday lessons if they can do it in their head and get the right answer, great, but otherwise they use scrap paper or a whiteboard as needed and I don't worry too much about it as long as they can figure out how to do it. On days when they have a quiz, I do make them show their work neatly, even for those problems they can do in their head.
  19. We generally do chores first, since we have a lot of animal-related chores. I also like to have the kids pick up their rooms a bit and make their beds before they start, because that's something that bugs me if it's left undone. Other than that, they help with things like vacuuming and general house pick up just before dinner. The only exception is my boys who share a room. I only have one of them do their bedmaking and tidying at a time while the other starts their schoolwork, then they switch. Otherwise, they get distracted and take forever to finish.
  20. What helped us... Setting a timer, so she knew there was an obvious end to the lesson, plus short lessons (5-10 minutes) Having her choose three stuffed animals to "read" the words for her. Somehow this made it way more appealing, she didn't seem to realize she was the one actually reading! Using magnetic letter tiles to spell the words on a white board for her to read, rather than using the book
  21. I'm using 4 different levels of BookShark/Sonlight right now. I had my oldest 2 in the same level, but DD quickly outpaced DS, so now we have four different levels going on. It works well for us. I actually like everyone having their own thing - they work at their own pace and I get to spend a bit of time with each of them every day reading/discussing just with them. I really like that aspect of it. I usually work with DS11 first - we do his language arts and readings. Then I work with DD7 on her language arts and readings, and after lunch I do the read-aloud with my older two (they read everything else independently and I discuss those readings with them each afternoon). Whenever I am working with one the others are working independently. I thought it would bother me to have so many different historical periods going on at a time, but I find I like the variety of readings I get to do each day. It does make for a busy day though- someone needs me pretty much all the time.
  22. My kids just took it, and I am pretty sure the youngest grade level they let you choose is third. ETA: There isn't anything in the "official rules" against reading it aloud though.
  23. We just finished reading Usborne's Greek Myths for Young Children, and we are about to start The Year of Miss Agnes.
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