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Kerry Blue

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Everything posted by Kerry Blue

  1. I wanted to say a very belated Thank You. I realize I really do need to lower my expectations. Perfectionist tendencies are not serving me well here. I've been trying to map out our days, and your words about cutting things back are becoming very obvious. Or, at least things beyond language arts and math need to get put into a rotational schedule, which I am trying to map out. There is just so much I want to do with my kids; Poetry tea, handicrafts, reading great books out loud, science projects, and swimming to name a few. I'm toying with the idea of doing book work four days a week, and using the fifth day for fun stuff beyond strict book work. But then I have this voice in my head that I know should not be there wondering and worrying about my kids not finishing a subject book this year. We certainly didn't get to the end of every book last year, yet the world did not end. Some days I have more confidence and faith that it will all work out than others.
  2. The younger two always like to tag along, that is why I thought we might be able to stay together at least one more year. They seem to understand science easily. BFSU is not open and go and difficult to get done, but I wonder if I am doing them a 'disservice' by avoiding it.
  3. I think I can combine science and history. It's amazing how much the younger two can follow along! Hopefully I can take advantage of music lessons with the older, but I do begrudge the travel time. Thank you.
  4. I definitely don't intend to do every subject every day. I've learned that much over the years at least! ? Could you clarify something for me? When you talk about the health/PE block, is that when you would give your kids a block of time to go out and play, or are you talking about something more structured? I'd like to try putting in some morning together exercise. They need something to get the wiggles out. The trick will be figuring out what to do when the weather turns bad. I had not considered putting the 3rd and 5th grader together for writing. I'm still unsure about it. The younger one could keep up with a higher level of science and history, but I'm not sure about writing. I wasn't originally planning on TC with the younger one because at the end of last year I would have said that she was not ready. But she is definitely one who seems to make great leaps in understanding during school breaks, so now I am not sure.
  5. I like the idea of doing music over lunch. Maybe that will get them not to be so silly with each other? (I can hope.) The links look promising. Last year I had trouble getting BFSU done because it was not open and go, so I had completely forgotten about it. I'll try to get it out again and see if I could work out my own schedule for teaching and another schedule for ordering books. I feel rather overwhelmed by my to-do list. It never ends. It never gets smaller.
  6. I'm stressing over next year. It is causing anxiety, and today I have recognized signs of depression (though I'm not sure planning is the sole cause). If someone could please look over what I have so far and comment, I'd appreciate it greatly. DD10, technically 5th grade: Math: Beast Academy 5 Reading: I'm working on a list of good books for her to choose from which to read, and debating if I should start trying to have conversations with her about her reading. Writing: Treasured Conversations Grammar: First section of TC, then probably back to KISS Spelling: Continuing All About Spelling Typing: She will try Burning Cargo. Latin: Continue Great Latin Adventure I Science: Elemental Science Biology for Logic Stage History/Geography: Notgrass America the Beautiful, probably just the first half this year Music: I want to do some composer study and music lessons. I need to find more structure for the composer study for it to actually happen. DD wants to learn how to play the fiddle. I'm still working on how to make that happen too. Art: We tried mom led art and it didn't work out, so I'm leaning towards Artistic Pursuits now. She wants to learn how to draw better, but I believe she will also want to jump in with her little sisters' K-3 AP. I'm not sure if I should let her try to do both, or just make her stick with one. Bible: Family reading time and I'm currently thinking she could do How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur by herself. Health: Undecided. I have not gotten this far yet, but we need something. PE: A headache. Yoga at home last year was a flop. I'd like to do YMCA classes, but I'm not sure about the money and time. DD8, technically 3rd grade: Reading: Finish with Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and trade books. Writing: Writing with Ease 3 Math: Beast Academy 3 Spelling: Continue with All About Spelling Grammar: KISS Music: She wants to do piano, and has enjoyed Hoffman Academy Online so far. DD6, technically 1st grade: Reading: Continue with Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and trade books. Writing: Writing with Ease 1 Math: Right Start B Grammar: KISS I'd like DD8 and DD6 to piggy back with DD10 for science, history/geography, art, PE, music and Bible. I'm not sure if this is realistic. But just the thought of splitting them up for all those subjects... I don't know how to make it work. It seems like I already have so much scheduled that needs to be one-on-one mom time. Then to add outsourced subjects? Realistically, one PE activity will probably take 3 hours away from home (driving, class, etc.). I don't know when I am supposed to do all this... Is there something more that I am missing??
  7. Looking at these courses, they give a Content Level, for example Upper Elementary – Middle School for Think Books course. Does this refer to the reading level of the books, or the subject matter within the books?
  8. Sorry to hijack a bit, but I was wondering if you do a literature study for the younger grades, and if you do, what does it look like? Up until now, I have just given my DD10 books to read and digest without any need to discuss or create output. I've been wondering if I should be expecting more and what that more should look like.
  9. Do you know more specifically what part he hateed? The writing, the methods, the pace, etc? Would he prefer more hands on? Some more specifics would help people with what other curriculum to suggest.
  10. First day back here, and all I can say is: DRAMA! Could you count by twos, please? DRAMA! Well, you can sit there and think about it. (do something else in the room) DRAMA! (ignore) DRAMA... 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. (I think I stopped her at 60) Great! It didn't leak out your ear. Now how about counting by threes? DRAMA! lather, rinse, repeat :001_rolleyes:
  11. Could you share the authors of those books?
  12. You say the younger kids will spend about 90 minutes in the car each day. So it takes you 22.5 minutes to get to the school? (this is assuming you would go home during school hours) Does this include morning and evening commuter traffic? Do you live in a place that will have snow and ice come winter? OK, let's say school starts at 9. You want him to get there before the bell, so 8:50. Let's say for low traffic, we allow 30 minutes for a commute, so you leave home at 8:20. Now, when would you have to get up, and subsequently get the younger kids up, so they can be fed, dressed, and in the car by this time? (Perhaps your family and schedules are different, and you can just pull the younger kids out of bed and carry them to the car before they really wake up and start demanding breakfast. You will have to determine the logistics for yourself.) Then you and your little ones can get home by about 9:30 and start YOUR day. We tried doing something like this for DD#1 and PreK, and I found that our days (at least for me) were very stressful. I had to make sure ALL the little ones were dressed, fed, had shoes on, went to the bathroom, etc. And, as usually happens with young kids, a diaper becomes dirty at the last minute, or someone takes off their shoes (or their clothes). It was just stress that I found that I did not need or want in my life. For me, it would not matter if this school was the best in the state. I still feel that I can give my child a better education and growing environment at this level than public school. I don't believe young kids need 6 hours of school, commutes, and then homework. Honestly, will your son be able to sit, ride, sit, do school, sit, ride, sit, do homework for that long? I think he has a valid point in that he worries about his free time. Does he have interests and hobbies, and will there be time to do them during the week? Will the youngers get time to play in between school, meals and car rides? Perhaps you need to determine what exactly this school is providing that you feel your 4th grader can't miss out on. Not just that it is so great, but what curricula or class in the school make it so?. How did it get to be best in the state? Standardized test scores? Can you try something the school is doing at home?
  13. I'm looking for a free vintage latin book that I once found on Google, but I apparently did not save the link to it, and cannot remember the title or author. This book was written by a grandmother (or similar relation) to her grandson, who was having a difficult time learning latin. She introduced one new latin word to him each day, then started using the words together to make simple noun-verb sentences, and I believe the grandson was supposed to draw a picture of the sentence each day, to help him remember the vocabulary. I hope this rings a bell with someone. Thanks in advance.
  14. When my DD started doing narrations and had poor grammar, I would quickly jot down what she was saying, and then read it back to her. For example: "Caesar gone to war." I might ask, "is that what you meant?" or, "does that sound right?" Most times, after DD heard her words spoken back to her, she would recognize that something was wrong and re-word it. (This, of course, depends on whether or not your DS has a good ear for correctly spoken English.) "The times that he loses he didn't tell them because he wanted to be king." This is a little more tricky because a young kid might not realize the changing of the verb tenses. I would probably say, "The times he lost, he didn't tell them because he wanted to be king. Does that sound better?" You are also teaching proper wording for responses here. It is another skill that needs to be learned. I would probably also ask, "who are 'them'?" because it is rather vague. After all that is revised, I would write it down and have DD copy a length of it that she can handle in one sitting. You are asking a young kid to do multiple steps: summarize in your own words, and put it in well made sentences. Practice makes it easier. Once my kids knew how to create letters correctly, I moved them on to copying words. I got lined paper at a size they were comfortable using, and wrote something on the top line, expecting them to duplicate the words below. I sit next to them, so that I might correct any errors as they happen. If a letter is not done to the best of their ability, I erase it, and they do it over again. They might have to start doing only one letter to the best of their ability, then one short word, but eventually stamina builds up, and My DD7 can now do a long sentence. She might not like doing it, but it is building her muscles, and I believe it will pay off in the long run. Just be careful to not overburden with writing. I know my hand hurts after about a paragraph, because I don't keep up my muscle strength.
  15. 1. I would compare the level of writing your daughter is at with the content of the leveled books you like. If she knows how to form her letters well, starting with a book that teaches letter formation might just build frustration. She would be past that. I cannot comment on the programs you have listed, because I do not use a program. For my Kindergartener, I get some lined paper in the size she is comfortable with, and write a couple words (perhaps a short sentence) on the top line myself, and have my Ker copy those words onto the line directly below. I sit with her to immediately correct mistakes. I expect her to form letters to the best of her ability. She has an idea how good she can do, so erasing a letter to correct it is OK for her, but might not be for others. I also pay attention to not overburden her with too much writing. She needs to build up stamina, and when I feel she can handle another word (or even another line), I will increase the amount she writes. 2. You mention your friend's daughter is tracing. Is she allowed to form letters on her own? No matter what the age, that would be the next step. My 3 year old will not touch any tracing work for letters I have laying around. She feels beyond that. There are a few paths I can think of: A. Move on to creating her own letters through copywork, and make sure she does them to the best of her ability, and at an amount her muscles can handle. DD5 (then 4) demanded that she do copywork last year. She said she wanted to copy a whole picture book. Well, we are still at it, a couple words a day, but it is something she wants to do. B. Back off. She is only 3 1/2, and not doing any formal schoolwork at this age is fine. Pushing forward could actually make it worse, and the little child will start to hate it. C. Have her draw something else other than letters. Drawing with Children has some ideas on how to get kids drawing with confidence. Sometimes they just need to look at a picture or an object to draw, instead of making it up from their head.
  16. Ah, I did not realize you had youngers around, which makes logistics of these things difficult. Hmmm... well, you can still point out the bus coming and going in the fall. Like I said with my DD, it took about a month for it to sink in that she did not want to spend all that time at school. Does he get to play with his friends during the week? Perhaps he might understand more when he is free to play, but sorry, his friends are still doing schoolwork. If you really wish to push the matter, you could try to 'do school at home' at a time when someone else is around to watch the younger ones. This might mean giving up a weekend day, but it would give you the leeway to do it. Have you asked him what he wants to learn? Maybe exploring an interest at home would help. P.S. Sorry to hijack the thread like this.
  17. Even if you did decide to use RS B with both the 4 and 6 year old, you would still have to be teaching two different lessons separately. Instead of the headache of trying to slow RS B down on the fly for a 4 year old, why not just break out RS A? I thought they used the same manipulatives.
  18. What helped my DD to understand the freedom homeschooling gives her is point out the bus going by, every day for about a month. The bus goes by our house at 7:15am and comes back at 3:15pm. If that doesn't work, you could do a day of pretend school. Get up early, eat a quick breakfast, ride the bus to school (sit in a chair until almost time to start school, you can talk, but no getting up), go to the classroom (walk to a different room, which you will have to stay in till lunchtime), etc. DD didn't last too long doing this, because it is boring. Over this past year she has come to realize how little school work she actually does compared to those in the 'Big School.'
  19. I was able to get a used copy of Shepherd's Historical Atlas, similar to this. The maps are small, so a magnifying glass might help with reading some of the names, but it includes more than just country boundaries throughout history. There are some religious maps, and a language distribution map, and a few token mediaeval manor and town maps.
  20. Can you use free Google Books or Archive.org in Belgium? If you can, I can start listing free vintage books, if you are interested. Otherwise The Baldwin Project is working on putting vintage books on webpages as well, for anyone to read. The science books have more of a story than straight out facts, but they hold my kids' interest. You could try Among the (Farmyard, Forest, Meadow, Night, Pond) People, Seed-Babies, The Burgess Bird Book for Children, and By Pond and River. Just search the page for science or nature.
  21. I do not know the ages of your kids, or how you have your school year planed out, but here was my first thought; could you rotate through your school kids and only work with one a day so the rest get a full day to play? I do not know if the concentrated one on one time with mom would make up for not doing school every day. Is there a way to do school at another time during the day when there the kids are less likely to be out of doors? My family all heads inside around midday because of the heat in the middle of summer. Another option (if you are not doing this already) is 'summer light' school. We are doing school here too, but I the number of subjects we cover everyday is a lot lower than 'normal' school.
  22. I don't care for illustrations with poetry, because that image could forever be associated with the poem, and a person might never again think of the poem without that image popping into their head. My husband still remembers a Richard Scarry nursery rhymes book he had as a kid, and the pictures to go along with it. Sometimes even the cover of a book can affect how I visualize the characters within. For this same reason I do not care for things like Beethoven's Wig and Fantasia. I watched Fantasia a few times when I was a kid, and now whenever I hear one of those pieces of music, I cannot help but think of the images someone else put to the music. The Barber of Seville is Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd for me. My desire is to let the children 'come to their own conclusions,' as it were, about a piece of poetry. I would rather not have them associate an illustration with a poem that the author did not put there. The creator of the piece made words alone, and I feel I should respect their art and observe it in the way it was intended.
  23. I'm curious why you are thinking of buying the second edition why you already have the first edition, and have used it a few times. I was under the impression they were the same, with just a different lesson layout and a few things rearranged to meet school standards. Is there something else?
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