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Kerry Blue

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About Kerry Blue

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. My kids have done well with KISS grammar. It is more worksheets than conversation, but it is free. It has taken my oldest through adverbs, the different kinds of compliments, prepositions, verbals, clauses, and more so far. It doesn't diagram, just parse. I also find it light on punctuation. The only thing I would suggest is, even though you might have a sixth grader (or upper elementary), it might be easier to grasp the concepts on the lower grade worksheets. For example, the second 'level' of the program comes in two editions, one using sentences on a third grade level and one that uses sentences that the author considers a sixth grade level. Sometimes it is difficult to learn a new grammar concept on a more difficult sentence. But it might work for your kid. Here is a link directly to the workbooks.
  2. We also do math based on time. BA does not work well usually with the "do X amount of problems." You never know when your child will get 'stuck' on a problem and have to think about it for 10 minutes. It happens. I would suggest try the time limit and see how it goes. If chapters seem to be taking too long, you can skip some of the starred problems. Some people will go back to the stars later as a review. I have had to be in the area of my kids to have them focus on math at times. It is a pain, but they have gotten better over the years.
  3. A few thoughts: 1. IEW strongly suggests using passages that are at or below the student's reading level. This allows the student to focus on writing instead of difficult words and reading comprehension. I notice that American History is rated for grades 6-8. You might want to look over the samples and see how easily your student can process them. We did IEW last year for the first time, and I put my 5th grader into the (discontinued) Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales book. It worked for us until about unit 4, and then fell apart. I think a part of it was the level of the passages. So I shifted my 5th grader into All Things Fun and Fascinating with her younger sisters. While the passages were probably too easy, she was able to focus on the instructions and her writing. Unless your student already possesses some writing skills, All Things Fun... is not a bad place to start. The instructions in the book are fairly clear, and I would consider it a very gentle introduction to the IEW method. 2. You might be able to get an idea of what the different units in IEW are about if you listen to the podcasts about each level. It certainly does not have all the information in the DVDs, since it is meant as a review, but there is some information there. I personally tried to glean the needed information from the podcasts, but still felt lost. I ended up purchasing the TWSS because I did not know how to teach writing. I feel I can write decently, but I had no clue on how to impart that knowledge to my children. It took me a while to bite the bullet and buy the DVDs, but I feel it has been worth it. Thinking of it as a continuing education workshop for a teacher made the cost more understandable. As for just using the workbook instead of getting all the DVDs to go with it, I don't think it would work very well. The workbook has bullet points to remind someone about what was covered in the videos, but without the actual instruction, I think someone trying to learn from it would get lost.
  4. From what I have seen posted on these boards about AOPS: Algebra 1 = chapters 1-13 of Intro to Algebra Algebra 2 = chapters 14-22 of Intro, 1-4 of Intermediate (which is review), and 5-16 of Intermediate (ch 17-20 is competition math and can be omitted)
  5. I have no experience with BA online, or with the BA 2 level. If you decide to go with the paper format you will need the guide book (comic book), which includes all the teaching and the practice book, which includes all the practice problems along with a few more pointers as to how to use the information that was just taught. If you do decide to go the book route, make sure you look at the assessment tests for the different level books to make sure you purchase the one where your daughter is at. Just remember that BA is not a good fit for every kid. That is one reason why there are so many math curriculum to choose from. There are samples of every guide and practice book online. It might be worth it to show some to your daughter and see if she likes the format and can do some problems.
  6. LA has so many pieces because there are so many different subjects within the term "Language Arts." It's like clumping things together under the heading STEAM, but you still have to figure out each subject, like science, handicraft, tying, logic, art, math, etc. My 6th grader is still working through AAS for spelling and will be trying SWI for writing. She will be doing a little bit of KISS for grammar, but the bulk of grammar should be from her Latin studies. I am going to have her work through Figuratively Speaking so she can start learning different literary terms, and my homework for the summer is to learn how to talk about literature so we can start discussing her reading together. Still need to figure out what that reading list will be and what to do about vocabulary.
  7. If I may make a quick hijack: My memory has your family using Artes Latinae at one point. Did you find Latin Prep to be a better introduction to latin grammar?
  8. I'm looking at the HOE Verbal Problems book for extra word problem practice. Do I have to buy the Verbal Problems Introductory Workbook to get started, or should we be OK just jumping into the regular Verbal Problems book. It looks like the regular book has a Getting Started section in it, but I can't see online what is in that chapter to know if that is all we need. I already have the Lessons for HOE.
  9. I do love how Beast Academy makes my kids think, and the problems are quite varied. We have not used level 2, only because it came out too late for my oldest, and I was not going to spend the money on another math program at that level. Our progression has been Right Start B, C, and then BA 3, 4, 5. At the younger ages, I would read the new section in the guide aloud to my daughter, and then I would go over the instructions for the first section of the practice work with her. Once I felt she had a good grasp as to what is being asked of her, I would let her work with me nearby incase she needed guidance. When a group of problems was finished in the practice book, I would read the instructions for the next group out loud. The guide introduces the topic, and teaches, but there is some refining of the topic and new techniques introduced in the practice book. Take a look at the assessment pages to see if your child is ready to jump into BA. Some basic math skills are needed before beginning. https://beastacademy.com/resources/assessments
  10. I agree with you about stopping in the middle of a story. You have to be a person who likes doing that (like my DH).
  11. Thank you for taking the time to write this all out. I understand better now, what you are saying.
  12. Would it make better sense to ask after the reading or give the sentence before the reading to test the word? I agree that older books have a larger vocabulary than modern books do. But wouldn't increasing the unkown/unsure vocabulary make it more frustrating to the reader?
  13. I do agree with this, but the question that I have is this - is it enough for a student? Wouldn't comprehension increase if someone was given the definition of a word before reading a passage containing it?
  14. I had thought about a root study, but was unsure about adding another thing to our day. (It always feels like so much) But even a root study wouldn't help with immediate concerns. What are your thoughts about pulling vocab from the reading and defining it before reading?
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