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Everything posted by weederberries

  1. I tried to attach the file here, but am unable to attach this document type. If you'd like me to share it with you, please send me a message with your email address. Irishmommy, it's on the way to you! Lisa
  2. Yes, let me try. I'm new to the boards and just found the ability to add attachments, which would have been a lot easier than what I did to add those to the post above. ;-) Will you be able to open a Pages Template or do I need to find a way to convert it to something else? Lisa
  3. You're welcome. I'm happy to share it. I tweak it each year. Last year, we only schooled 4 days a week, so our grid looked much different, but this is an easy way for me to see what we can accomplish in a week. It's not very detailed or especially meaningful to anyone else, but it's all I need. Lisa
  4. I've been searching everywhere for the next piece of our puzzle, but I am unable to find the Advanced Language Lessons anywhere. What happened? Please tell me this is available. I don't want to start from scratch, when FLL has worked so well for us. Lisa
  5. We read abridged versions of classics when they fit our "theme" or historical studies. For instance, we read an abridged version of Don Quixote (4th and 2nd graders) as we studied that time period in Spain. We usually spend about a week studying a specific region at a certain time in history and whole books would be too much for us to finish within our limited time frame. We read other (complete) literature simultaneously, too. Don't get me wrong, I love good literature, usually in its entirety. Sometimes, it's nice to get the essence of a book to help you relate to your other areas of study, remembering that if it is truly a classic work, you will return to it as the trivium progresses.
  6. We struggled through this too. We just limit the number that come home and require a variety to be checked out. Set her up to enjoy another kind of book by reading one aloud, just up to the fascinating part. Then, just say, "eh, I'm tired of reading today." See if they don't grab that book and keep going by themselves. ;-)
  7. My son taught himself to read at age 3 and demanded to be included in school at age 4. I finally relented and now my 6 year old (December birthday) is in second grade. His behavior improved immediately when given the responsibility of school work, too. He speaks easily with other children, gets along in play situations, and relates to and speaks well with adults too. I'd say it has "worked" for him. On the other hand, I have a 6 year old in 2nd grade. We have no plans to, but I couldn't enroll him in a school if we had to because of the disparity in age and abilities. He'd either be the baby in 2nd grade or bored and impossible to control in Kindergarten. It'll all level out eventually, but until it does we're committed to a completely individualized education for him. Ask yourself whether your son is eager to begin school, if you feel like you're holding him back by denying it, and whether it is possible for you. What are your future plans for homeschooling? There's absolutely nothing wrong with meeting the specific needs of your child. Remember, it all levels out eventually.
  8. I'd say we are in the middle of the road. We memorize scripture, poems and lists from First Lang. Lessons, math facts, and the occasional history or science item. However, I noticed that we were not retaining them year to year. So, I created a binder with 3 sections. I print the items we've memorized on color-coded paper (yellow for math, green for poems, etc.) and stash them between tabs. The first "section" is a plastic page protector at the front of the binder. This is usually the new poem or verse we are memorizing. It gets practiced daily. The next section has a set of 5 tabs (M-F). Here are some of our more important memory items like multiplication facts they struggle with, some of our more recent poems or that hard list of prepositions. I've sorted the items into one poem and one math or science memory behind each tab. Whichever day of the week it is, is the tab we recite that day. The last section has tabs numbered 1-20 for the 20 days of school we do a month (approx). Here you will find all of the poems, chants, lists, and facts we have ever memorized sorted amongst the 20 tabs. We mark the current tab with a sticky and practice them sequentially throughout the month. This way, the important things we are memorizing aren't slipping away from us, being pushed out by new information. Every thing gets reviewed at least once a month, some weekly and the newest are reviewed daily. It's an ever growing collection of memory work and they get satisfaction from recalling it. My two older students (8 & 9) are able to prompt each other from the book - another independent activity while I work with my youngest. Having said that, if you have a child that struggles with memory work, I wouldn't beat them up with it. Choose only a few essential items and work on those slowly and steadily. My kids find memory work easy, so it works for us. They get it from me. If my husband had been asked to memorize all of this stuff as a child, he would have crumbled under the pressure of it. Make a judgement call based on what your children are capable of. If they aren't reaching their potential in this area, consider stepping it up, but as you know, there isn't one magic formula to education. That's why we do what we do. Lisa
  9. I created a template in Pages on my Mac, but Word would work as well. It's a simple table. I'm teaching 2 levels (3 kids), some combined, and at least half of our curricula are "do the next thing." Texas doesn't require specific records, so I'm free to use a lot of short hand in my planning. I prefer things to be created and stored digitally, but I do print out my table for quick reference at the school table and because I'm frequently using my laptop for lessons during school. Also, having a printed copy helps my 8 year old son that needs to know I have a plan before he cooperates. ;-) I might draw arrows, cross things out, and make notes on this grid as we complete our actual assignments and work ahead or get behind. I rarely change the digital copy to match the actuals. I just complete the next week's chart and it is easy to see where the changes were made by our progress the next week. In my table, I have a column for each school day as well as a column denoting the resource I use for each subject. Our subjects are denoted in rows. Each subject generally gets 2 rows for my two different levels - the top row for my younger student and the bottom for the older two. As I plan for each week, I fill in the grid with the assignments and cues for me about direct-teach lessons. The grid acts as a reminder for me during lessons and is not intended to be a complete lesson plan. If a particular lesson requires more preparation or detail, I generally make notes in Evernote or in a document on my laptop. I do print this grid and collect previous grids in a binder. The current week's grid slides nicely into the clear cover of the binder for reference. I've attached an example of this chart below. As I plan for each week, I surround myself with all of our curriculum resources and dig through my additional books. I mark the curricula themselves for extras. For instance, I highlight any books that I own from the Literature and Corresponding Reading sections in the Story of the World guide. I note in pencil which of those books are available at my library (I check the online catalog and reserve them at the same time). Then, when I revisit this unit in future years with a younger child, I'll have all of those notes still available to me. I only plan 1-2 weeks at a time (because life catches up with us), with the exception of history because I must reserve the books from the library 4 weeks in advance. I have this planning table and create an Independent Work Contract for each student that lists the assignments they can complete while I teach one-on-one. This is simply a document of two columns. I list the name of the workbook or resource, the Lesson or Week number and then have a series of 5 bullet points underneath with specific page numbers or denotations for a day's work. They can check off each item as they complete it and store it in their folder. At the end of the week, their contracts go into the same binder with the grid. The binder acts as simple record keeping system, similar to a classroom lesson plan book. It would be the first resource I would find if someone from the state asked to see proof of our schooling. Lisa
  10. My personal opinion is that it depends on the child. If writing is a struggle or undesirable and the purpose of the lesson is being served otherwise, you're doing just fine. If she can write the words when she uses them cross-curricula, then I don't see a problem. It would also depend on learning styles. Some kids just need to write them again and again, some need to build them with tiles, etc. My oldest child would have cried to do the same writing that his little brother happily ploughs through. After completing Alphabet Island Phonics and developing 2 phenomenal spellers (I love that I just got the red spelling squiggly under 'phenomenal'), my older students have moved to a new spelling curriculum that touts some research in word shape. There is a wide variety of activities each week, but the first activity offered, without fail, is sorting the words by shape. The list of words sits opposite a column of boxes and they must match the words with the right shaped box. For instance, "frog" has a tall box, two short boxes and a long box. According to the teacher's manual, their research suggests that matching word shape helps them visualize each word and is, therefore, a crucial part of their study. I can see how that might translate to an importance of writing. Lisa
  11. I'm new to the boards, but have been homeschooling, inspired by the WTM, for the last 5 years. I have a 9 year old and an 8 year old who are about 4th grade and a 6 year old entering 2nd grade. We've gotten our feet wet over the years I finally feel like we've hit a smooth spot in schooling. I'm here to connect with you, maybe get a few questions answered, and get a glimpse of what is ahead. Looking forward to the interaction! Lisa
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