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  1. Yes, this is a pre-packaged unit study. And I'm ditching the notes. I asked my older son what he liked about the whole study and he said he loved reading the library books and my younger son likes the pictures in those books. But we all hate the notes for various reasons. So that's the first to go. :) I just liked the way this particular unit study moved slower through history so we could cover everything more thoroughly. My biggest issue is NOT piling material on them that they are too young to grasp! :/
  2. I already had A Beka's grade 4 text and I'm thinking about using that as a spine and going from there. Thank you!! :)
  3. I am trying to figure out what exactly would be "age appropriate" for 7 & 9 yr old boys?? I feel like this is kind of a vague question, though. Lol This past week we started our first ever unit study ("A New World of Adventures") and it's targeted for grades 4-8 so I have to adapt it for younger ages, or at least I've made the attempt. :/ The main focus is early American history (because that's what we all love, lol) but all of the "notes" (which are supposed to be read to the students) seem to be over everyone's head. I want this to be a fun experience that involves a lot of learning...the kind of "fun" where kids don't realize they are learning. ;) Anyway, if anyone has ANY advice to offer, I'd really appreciate it.
  4. Can someone give me any guidance on what is taught in 5th grade English as far as writing is concerned? I have two different English curriculums (BJU & A Beka) with different writing programs in them. One expects the student to write about 6 different essays (we're talking the full 5 paragraph essay) by the end of the year. My son is just now forming paragraphs correctly and I don't want to rush him, nor do I want him to be "behind." But...IS there a set standard for what is acceptable in each grade?? I was in high school before I learned this stuff, so I am thinking this age is a little young. Obviously, some would disagree. :) I have him writing about specific topics in a daily journal, but I just read an article that says this doesn't help at all in creative writing development. So...I thought that before I completely warped my child, I'd ask here. :D LOL
  5. LOL...We are actually doing BJU English 3 and while he IS doing well at it, (according to the end-of-chapter assessment he took yesterday...he only missed 1) he still hangs his shoulders and sighs every time he does his English. :/ And some days it's simply agonizing to get any work done and then it takes him FOREVER. Before yesterday, I thought it was maybe too much for him and/or that he wasn't learning anything, but I was wrong. I am still planning on making some adjustments, though.
  6. It's funny you say this because last night as I was almost completely asleep, this idea popped into my head. Lol
  7. While adjusting to the new school term, I'm starting to notice that my 7 yr old son (who reads on at least a 4th grade level) would rather burn a workbook than look at it and cringes everytime I have him write something. Lol He would rather curl up in a corner and read a book, be on a stage, imitate someone's voice, etc. I'm sure you get my point. :) He has a few subjects he enjoys doing, but grammar is just not one of them. I don't want to make it hard for him or make him hate grammar before he even learns how to construct a good paragraph. I've been looking at Learning Language Arts Through Literature, but I don't like it. So I need help from someone who can help me think outside the box. I don't know how to teach grammar through literature. Period. I grew up in the public school system and my older son seems to be doing well with traditional programs. So I'm trying to get myself out of the "workbook" frame of mind. I know the benefits of reading are significant, but...how do you know the student is learning the grammar?? This is still new to me and I don't have a very good grasp of the concept. If anyone could point me to any websites or give me any direction, I would REALLY appreciate it! :)
  8. And... I forgot to mention this before submitting the reply... One thing I noticed while comparing the BJU Reading and A Beka reading, it seems like BJU goes into "overkill" mode with Language Arts. They have reading workbooks that go along with the reading and it covers the same stuff covered in the A Beka Language Arts workbooks. AND because of that, my older student had gotten to where he didn't like reading. So we ditched BJU reading and as of today, we're starting on A Beka, which we're both excited about. :) Lol Another thing that always bugged me about the BJU reading was when it came time to do the workbook pages, the answers could not be found in the text!! I would even go through there looking for the answers and I couldn't find them after reading the story numerous times! So that led to more frustration...
  9. Amy, thank you so much for your input!! I'm seriously leaning toward doing A Beka all across the board. So I would LOVE to talk to your sister if she does the same thing. There are questions I have about stuff that's covered. Yesterday I went to a curriculum library that has a lot of A Beka stuff and some BJU. I was able to finally get my hands on an English BJU textbook and...wow! I was so disappointed! So yeah, I'll be sticking with A Beka. :)
  10. Yeah, I like that about A Beka's English, too. And that's one thing that bothers me about BJU's English. From the sample I've seen, it doesn't look like the BJU provides much practice on grammar. BUT it doesn't seem like A Beka is very strong in writing. Or maybe grades 3-5 are still too young for much writing. I don't know. When my oldest son was in public schools (grade 2), he was "taught" (and I use that word loosely) how to write essays and other things but I felt like he was expected to do too much. Anyway, we use BJU in history, and spelling for both kids and really like it. And we use A Beka in health and science and love those as well. :) My older student has been doing the A Beka English this year and he's done well in it. And honestly, I'd rather have "overkill" in the grammar and occasionally decrease the amount of questions on a section instead of paying an arm and a leg for one child's English curriculum and not feel like I'm getting my money's worth.
  11. Next year will be our second year homeschooling. I have been using A Beka and BJU this year and I'm trying to figure out what to do next year in English, reading, and Spelling. This year for my 8 yr old, I used BJU in reading and spelling and A Beka in English. However, I wasn't able to obtain any extra books other than the answer guide book, so I don't have any "help." Obviously, that's a negative. And we LOVED the BJU Reading and Spelling BUT I don't know anything about the A Beka Reading or Spelling. So I don't know if those two would be better or worse than the BJU. And I have used one grade level of the A Beka English and I'm not very familiar with the BJU English. :) Background info: My student has strong reading and spelling skills. He LOVES historical fiction and it seems like this year's BJU reading book has quite a bit in it. I don't know if it's just this year's book or if it's a BJU thing. My question for any homeschooling veterans out there is this... What comparisons and advice can you give me between these two programs? I am also a big advocate of strong reading skills and writing. But it doesn't look like the A Beka English has much of a writing focus going into the Language B book. And, granted, the only thing I've been able to look at is the full table of contents on christianbook.com.
  12. If nothing else, this program will be THOROUGH! We started using it and had to ditch it midstream because it moved too slow for my son (who I THOUGHT needed ALL of the practice), but he caught on rather quickly and it wasn't all necessary. But honestly, you can't go wrong with the prices and the quality of the curriculum! For your situation, I would start at the 4th grade level and let them work through it. Personally, I'd rather them do too much and then do a reinforcement in the 5th grade book instead of starting on the 5th grade book. They need a firm foundation at this stage.
  13. What workbooks would you recommend? I think this is a great idea...
  14. After reading all of these responses, I found a book that has a learning style assessment. There is a part for the student to fill out and a part for the parent to do. And according to his responses, he is more of a visual learner than an auditory one. I've had a feeling this was the case for a few weeks. So I'm going to stop having him read out loud. I'll either read to him or see if he can handle reading on his own now. His attention span is about 2 centimeters long which is why he couldn't handle reading silently on his own in the first place. And I KNOW he has a good memory because a few weeks ago I had him read a Frog and Toad book (silently and to himself) and I gave him a nice notebook and a good pen and told him to read the book and write down everything he could remember AFTER he read the book. He basically re-wrote the book verbatim! That was the first sign that maybe he's a visual learner. And I also think Merry is write about articulating thoughts. When he tells a story verbally, he stops and stutters a lot and tries to tell a story "just right." He's a bit of a perfectionist. :) And also when I was his age and in school, I was TERRIBLE at reading comprehension unless the book was something I chose to read. Fortunately, most of what my son has had to read has been interesting to him. When I was his age, I think I mad C's in reading all the time even though I was reading several grade levels above my own. But something about reading comprehension assignments was very detrimental to me. :) I could tell what all the story was about, but it always seemed like the questions I was asked had NOTHING to do with the story! Lol But if someone had given me a notebook and a nice pen, (my son and I both like notebooks and pens, LOL) I could give a report on every single detail that happened in a 500+ page novel. I may have him do that for his little stories he reads in his textbook...
  15. Okay. Thank you for your help. Sometimes he can remember things REALLY well. I'm trying to find the pattern, but I haven't yet. His second reading curriculum involves more pictures. I thought that would help him visualize things more. And it's helped some. Monday I think I'm going to give him a printed list of questions and let him look up the answers in the text.
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