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About Meadowlark

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. I honestly think you should choose what program *you* want to teach. They are both good, they will both do the job. For me, AAR totally works with my personality. It's just the complete package and I do not feel at all that it's too many moving parts. In fact, quite the opposite. I feel like it's the easiest, least stressful curriculum that I'm doing right now. I have taught 5 kids to read with AAR, and I love it. And not just read, LOVE to read and my oldest boys consistently score 99% on state tests, and always have. There is something about seeing it, manipulating those tiles (or the app-which is amazing), seeing the flashcards, doing the little games, the fluency (it works) and the gorgeous, cute readers-jealous they're now in color! It's just all there. Cut out the activities, put them in a page protector, and you will never do a single thing to prep again. I just pull out the binder, the cards, the teach manual and go. 5 seconds tops. And, yes, you can speed up or slow down depending on your kid. Sure, there are some lessons that are easy. We welcome those. The ones that are hard we split into 2 days-you just do what works for you. But this program words, hands down.
  2. Have you looked at Memoria Press? It's not scheduled every day and I think they study Trees in 6th, but you could do Birds too if that is of more interest. It definitely wouldn't be overhwleming and she would really come out of it knowing a whole lot about the subject. MP is great at depth-if there's a topic she'd be interested in.
  3. Can I ask why you think your daughter didn't learn anything with the DL? Why haven't you had luck with the math DL? I don't know anything about Saxon but have you considered CLE? I've heard it's spiral like Saxon but just more tolerable. No videos though.
  4. It seems there are quite a bit of you from what I'm reading on the posts! First, congrats on making a great decision! You are in for quite a ride that will not be without challenges, but also will have the richest rewards too. Just a few questions-can I ask.... 1. What was the main deciding factor that led you to make this decision? 2. Are your kids on board? Anybody have kids who are not excited about the idea? 3. How is your family reacting? 4. If your kids are not on board, will you pull them anyway?
  5. Just wanted to add that we're using MP lit guides too. I've only ever held 2nd and 3rd grade in my hands, but wow-they are pretty great. i only had my other children read and they did fine, so I definitely don't think they're necessary. However-it's like being fine with vanilla ice cream until one day you taste a sundae and you realize how much more you just like ice cream! The guides we've done (currently on Beatrice Potter) are just 1) helping with vocabulary and 2) just enriching the book. I truly think my kids will look back on the books we've studied and remember them fondly. It hasn't squashed any desire to read either. They know that they do the guides with the book we're currently working on, then they read whatever they want in their free time. Looking at the book list-if my kids read every single one of the books chosen-just wow, they will have had some stellar book studies!
  6. I get it. I'm there right now. My older two boys go to school while the other 4 are home. It's weird, it's different, i'ts good and it's bad all wrapped up into one. On one hand, yes, they miss out. I'm a different mom and teacher than I was with them-more fun perhaps now that I don't have 3 in diapers. They will never know this side of "teacher mom". They are missing out on the field trips, the indoor waterpark days, the going out to lunch, etc. On the other hand, they seem to be fine with it. Once in awhile they put up a stink if we do something fun, but my answer is always "its' your choice". They know they can come home anytime. They don't want to-they like, even love, school. But yes, I've mourned the change. It feels like a big loss. We can't go on random vacations because we are tied to the schedule. But they are happy and I haven't seen the negatives (there are many) quite bad enough to pull them out. So here we are.
  7. That was my goal too when I sent my oldest to public school. Sadly, they were too beat every night to give me any of their brain cells. I classical homeschool my other kids (more or less) and it's just beautiful! Best of luck.
  8. Science. I am thinking about 2 very different methods for teaching science. One being studying 1-2 subjects deeply over the course of the entire year, and then obviously not really reviewing after that because the next year you'd move onto another topic (think MP or Apologia). The other method being studying a wide variety of topics, reviewing every year at a deeper level (think BJU). What are your thoughts/experiences about which is more effective for true retention? And finally, what if YOU don't care or want to do the topic? For example, although I see the value in it-I have ZERO interest in studying insects for an entire year!
  9. Following...I have 12 and 10 year old boys who are so hard to find shows for. I had to chuckle because I too was thinking, what's next after Wild Kratts? :-)
  10. I'm kind of finding that I'm in this boat, and ouch-it's hurting financially! My son is very much a "get er done" all business kind of kid. He detests "fluff" and just wants black and white pages that he can systematically work through. He's a box checker to the max. MP works well for him. My next daughter, however, loves the fluff and color. She likes distance videos with a storyline. She hates CLE math (which my son loves), and basically anything that's not colorful and fun. Which leaves me with a 2nd grade box of beautiful Memoria Press guides that she doesn't want to use! So my question is, at what point do you just make them do it because after all, it's what you think is best, OR do you really kind of cater your curriculum to the styles/tastes of each child?
  11. A few years ago, I bought the full package of timeline figures from Homeschool in the Woods. Then, I printed out 4 giant horizontal timelines for the 4 years of history, and started it. Well, that was back when I had a room to display it. Now I don't but still want to use the figures. Is there some kind of book that would suit us? I just want to have one book for the 3 kids. Something sturdy obviously. I thought I'd ask here before I go off searching on my own. Thanks.
  12. I'm interested in this conversation because we're using some MP, but I'm afraid to take the plunge on the science. Plus, we are still early on and since MP is generally very hands off, we're using a hands on science with a few of those canned experiments. Why? Because my kids love them and they infuse a little "fun" into our lives at this young age. I think there will be a time and place for MP science though as I look toward the future. With everything MP, I'm sure it's deep rather than wide, and I see great value in that. I find the "whole to part" philosophy very interesting and thought provoking. I never thought about it like that. I know I do love the idea of a guided nature study, which is how some users have described it. I was never very good at nature study on my own. The one thing that holds me back is that I do value a bit of variety and MP seems to stick with the same workbook format. Don't get me wrong-there's value in being able to compose a good sentence, but for science I want something different. Maybe it's because we tend to do science in the afternoon and by then, my brain is fried! Anyway, loving this discussion.
  13. I worry about that too. A whole year on insects? That is SO not my style! I've heard such different things about MP science. Some people seem to love it, and others think it's horrible. I think part of my problem is that I'm a visual person and so the black/white workbooks don't appeal to me. But having said that, I know that they're very well done and very deep at the same time. My kids don't seem to mind either. We'll probably end up trying astronomy or something in a few years.
  14. Okay, this is kind of what I was afraid of. I couldn't put my finger on what was exactly missing, but like I said-I don't see the wheels turning so to speak. It is solid, traditional and fine but I may look elsewhere for the future. Thanks!
  15. I'm using TS 1 and 2 with my 1st and 2nd graders. I have a few thoughts on it. I like it, but I'm not in love with it. Some of the activities on days 1-3 are geared more towards a classroom and I just can't (or don't want to) figure out how to make it work for 1 kid. Some of the dictation stuff on day 4 is weird too-for example it will say to dictate the sound of "wr" in write, but then the child is supposed to write /r/ instead of what is actually in the word. I just have them write how the sound is spelled in the word because why not? I don't care of they know the exact phonetic way to write it, but I do care if they spell the word correctly. So that kind of bugs me but is an easy fix. Days 4 and 5 are kind of a wash-day 4 is just dictation and day 5 is just the test. I don't know if the words are easy or what, but neither of my kids have missed more than 3-4 words all year. They like it because they say it's easy.
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