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birchbark

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  • Biography
    Mom of three boys and a girl
  • Interests
    Travel, canoeing, home design. My homeschool is a mix of Classical, CM, and Waldorf.
  • Occupation
    Wife, mother, and home-educator

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  1. I like the DK Illustrated Family Bible for kids. It uses the NIV text but is divided like a story Bible and heavily illustrated.
  2. I like the detailed explanations in Learn Math Fast. Sample pages can be found here.
  3. We used ACE science for 9th and 10th grade with my oldest, and after some thought and researching, am going to do the same with my next high-schooler. I am generally a CM/Classical/Robinson sort of homeschooler and never would have considered ACE except for a recommendation (for the biology) from a CM-leaning source. What I liked about it: Good coverage but not overwhelming (biology also included anatomy, phys. included some math) Open and go Very linear, uncluttered presentation Video labs (and other videos at the time but they are getting updated) It would be easy to get lab kits and follow along. Vocab Colorful diagrams Mini-bios Easy to self-execute Easy to grade (big deal when you're pulling that transcript together!) Super affordable Easy to supplement - I added some living books, some Novare text, and the Wes Olson 101 videos, and it felt like a really good year. I think I may add Mapping the Body with Art this time around... My son moved on to outsourced classes for 11th and 12th grade science and did great. I think a lot of it is staying on the stick with math. I don't know that I'd do ACE for all four years of high school, but if you're looking for affordable, complete, and git'er-done so you can put more resources into other subjects for a bit, it's worth a look.
  4. This. We are in our 8th month of a custom build. I remember reading before the project that you should consider having a home built like a part-time job. And like PWM says here, you have to be ready to jump up and run somewhere at a moment's notice. I am SO glad we aren't trying to do this with little kids. Also the whole project takes longer in general when it's custom. The style and size of the plan, and the finishes chosen, will have more of an impact on the final cost than whether the house is custom or tract.
  5. Definitely late to the party. I finally reset my password. Math: Good ol' Systemath Algebra 2 LA: Probably LA 2 through Excelsior Classes. Maybe an additional lit class, not sure. History: Notgrass World Science: ACE biology supplemented by videos and books Thinking health and geography as possible electives. This is my hands-on guy. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes into the trades.
  6. There wasn't a specific event that prompted me to, just more a feeling that it wasn't as much my tribe as I'd hoped. I still love Cindy's writings, and maybe I thought the group would be full of mini-Cindys. There's a good chance I may be leaving FB permanently anyway. Can anyone recommend a good group on MeWe? I really crave hearing from older moms, older than me if possible. About education, influencing a child's soul, what really constitutes truth, goodness, beauty. Practical ideas for running a home with Christian culture, even if they are not popular. I am tired of threads about what food littles should be eating and how to get them to stay in bed iykwim. A bit too much drama too. I guess this has been a long year and I'm feeling lonely.
  7. Moka pot. Super simple and fabulous coffee. You can get inexpensive ones at TJMaxx or Amazon.
  8. Yes, with the caveat that there is no review. I have found when I use it with a younger student that I need to back up a bit at the beginning of the schoolyear to refresh their memory.
  9. I was going to recommend Strayer-Upton. Here's my review: http://unembellishedliving.com/?p=1297
  10. Does anyone have a middle-school, online, language arts course they can recommend? I'm considering Excelsior Classes, but it's been six years since my last middle-schooler and I don't have a handle on what's out there! Live classes preferred.
  11. I WISH I had the guts to wait until 6th grade for math. 🙂 There are actually quite a few benefits to waiting a bit. Strayer-Upton is good, and cheap, as long as you know not to do every practice problem. The practice banks are huge. Learn Math Fast is perfect for start-to-finish, accelerated, thorough math for older students who want a complete math education in just a couple years. Strayer-Upton has more story-problems and review; Learn Math Fast has the best explanations.
  12. Free online Charlotte Mason-ish lessons up to 5th grade: https://underthehome.org/
  13. My three youngest have all learned to write (printing first, Smithhand) with fountain pens. It quickly trains them to use the correct pressure and keeps them from getting fatigued quickly. We use the disposable Pilot Varsity pens.
  14. Thanks! I think I got the idea from another poster here. Mrs. Twain maybe? Also, it looks like Circe may have pulled Cindy's handbook (the publication in question) from their site.
  15. My homeschool was profoundly impacted by those old Circe threads. It felt like they had a couple glory years back then. I loved their blog, went to a conference... then the well kind of dried up for me. The final straw was Cindy's departure. I wasn't gleaning much from them anymore, and I just figured it was me; that they met the need I had at that particular stage of my journey. But I've been getting a fuller picture as I hear from others' perspective. As far as the OP, I don't think I would call my curriculum literature-based. I've tried to make it 3R-based, and that certainly includes literature. The Circe thread (more the ladies who posted than Circe) inspired me to drop the history base, and it was very freeing. My homeschool is more Robinson-style than anything. I schedule in math and English, then everything else gets thrown into a big reading list (once the kids are working independently). Along with plenty of literature I include some science reading and at least one history survey. (I have a post on my blog about why we don't do history cycles that explains my thinking on this.) We also do a "Morning Time" and a bedtime read-aloud. WoolC, you may be interested in Bonnie Landry's booklet on making literature into the curriculum. I enjoyed reading it although I haven't tried doing it like she does.
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