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About Jackie

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  1. When I started with MCT, I bought only the TM for Grammar Island to try it out. It was a good choice, as that book was a very good indication of how well we clicked with his work. The books aren’t cheap, and this was an excellent way to try it out. We loved the entire first level. We were disappointed by the repetition in the second level. We’re choosing to do only pieces of the third level to skip some of the repetition, and are about halfway through it now. If I had to do it over again, I’d still do the entire first level, I’d only do Caesar’s English and Paragraph Town from the second level, and then I’d likely do the entire third level. My intention is to carry on that way - entire level for alternating levels, a couple essential pieces for the other levels. I mix in other resources for variety, so MCT isn’t the only perspective we’re getting, and there’s full years where we don’t use MCT at all.
  2. MCT covers explicit punctuation instruction in the writing books, starting with Paragraph Town.
  3. It will be named Practice Island or Practice Town, depending on level. Given that your kid is young, I suggest you buy Sentence Island, Grammar Island, and Practice Island. For this level, though there is plenty of grammar instruction in the Grammar book, it is nicely reinforced in the Sentence book. No need to do the activities in the back of the Sentence book, you can just treat that one as a read aloud. (Plus,most the assignments in the Sentence book are just plain weird.) If you plan to read the books together (which I recommend), you only need the Teacher copies of the Grammar and Sentence books, not the separate student books. For the Practice book, I preferred to buy only the Teacher book and write the sentences on a large whiteboard to analyze, though most people use the Student book alongside the Teacher book for that one.
  4. The only real difference in the grammar portion of MCT between Island and Town is the inclusion of verbal phrases in Town. Start with either. You really only need one level for a year, more than that is complete overkill. In addition to the Grammar book, you’ll also want the Practice book. The idea is to read through the Grammar book together, which will take a few weeks at a leisurely pace, then analyze 2-3 sentences per week from the Practice book.
  5. Have you seen the Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus books from RFWP? They have sets of questions to go along with a selection of books, and the books in each grade range are selected primarily by interest level. They’re my go-to when I’m get stuck or in a rut with discussing books. Each set of questions is divided into six categories based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, ranging from simple comprehension questions up to prompts to recreate parts of the story for yourself.
  6. I remember finally understanding that subtraction is just the adding of the opposite, and that division is simply multiplying by the reciprocal. That made all the rules make so much more sense to me! So, if I see something as simple as 9-7, my brain knows it can restate that as 9+(-7), and then it is easy to move things around because I know I can move the numbers around with addition. If it helps with the problem, I can now rearrange things to be -7+9, because that is still obviously valid in terms of the addition rules. I see division similarly. 12 divided by 3 is the same as 12 times 1/3. It is also the same as the fraction 12/3. If the rules for any way of thinking of that make more intuitive sense to me, I can think of the problem in that way. It is hard for brains to learn things in new ways. Even working my way through the AOPS books, it is easier to let my brain default back to what it already knew instead of always implementing new approaches. I know for my kid, she much preferred watching the videos in advance, before there was any expectation of working problems. She watched some sections repeatedly. It let the concepts have time to rattle around in her brain and sink in, and that works much better for her than having to immediately apply new learning.
  7. I have actually used all or part of everything on your list. I may own too many math things. (Your proposed list, not your ruled out list.) Arbor Algebra - we only used part of the first book. It turned out not to be as good a fit for us as I hoped, but it could serve as a base Algebra program. This could be the program that you use as a core. It does not go *nearly* as deep as something like AOPS, but it’s much, much better than something like Saxon. HOE - great for learning to set up and work with basic equations. Doesn’t get deep enough into the more complex equations that Algebra starts working with, but a fantastic introduction. I would use this either alongside the first book of Arbor or before starting any Algebra program. HOE Fractions - This is way more basic than I expected. Remind me what you’re using now? If he’s done fractions through about a 5th grade level using any other mainstream program, he is already past this. Patty Paper Geometry - has no overlap with Algebra, but has been an amazing pre-formal-Geometry program. Alcumus - I know nearly everyone disagrees with me, but we could have used this as our entire Algebra 1. DD watched the (short!) AOPS videos, then worked on Alcûmus. She was about halfway through the Algebra 1 topics when she decided to take the online class. The class offered nothing new. She had learned it well enough from the videos and Alcumus that she didn’t need more. She did have to pull out the book when it came to the graphing chapters, since she had never done graphing before, but otherwise the videos were enough.
  8. My kid needs a lot of physical activity. I’m horribly lazy about it, so I’ve learned that this is an area that I need to actively schedule and/or outsource. Her physical activities currently include: - 4.5 hours one day per week at a wilderness/primitive skills class, held outdoors regardless of weather - 6-7 hours per week of classes at a parkour/aerials gym (that has a monthly fee that covers all classes, making it a bargain) - 2 hours per week of martial arts - 2 hours per week at homeschool hours at a skating rink - 1 hour per week of a Stage Combat class So, adding that up, 15 hours per week of physical activity, all with other kids. It’s a good bit of our homeschool budget, too.
  9. I consider 2e to be gifted alongside any condition that significantly impacts ability to learn successfully and needs academic support. Because of my personal definition, it’s possible that one child with a certain diagnosis might be 2e and another child with the same diagnosis might not be 2e, depending on severity of impact. Without medication, my daughter’s ADHD has a huge impact on learning and she would need all kinds of supports in place. With proper medication, I need only provide minimal intervention. I believe her to have mild dysgraphia, and handwritten work can torpedo her ability to be successful. However, her dysgraphia does not carry over to typed work, so if she is allowed to work at a keyboard, it is all the accommodation she needs. Her anxiety is sometimes at a level where academics come to a grinding halt, but often not. I sometimes refer to her as 2e as a shortcut of sorts, but for the most part I do not think of her as 2e because most of the time these issues have minimal impact on her, while only needing minimal supports.
  10. Neither AMC nor Math Kangaroo require teams. Math Olympiad has options for teams and individual; we found a local Math Circle that joined up with a tiny private school to offer it to anyone who didn’t otherwise have a space to take it. There are places where homeschool kids group together to form homeschool teams.
  11. I see the fact that no one homeschools quite the same as I do as a sign that I’m doing something right. I want to set things up as well as possible for my child and for myself, and if that looked like a bunch of other people, I would really doubt that it was actually right for her. After all, if doing what everyone else was doing was right for her, I could make things a lot simpler by sending her to school.
  12. Saxon really focuses on teaching procedures, but isn’t strong in teaching problem solving skills or concepts, so I would use the time to work on those. Problem solving skills could be learned with old Math Kangaroo tests. If she prefers a more lesson-based format, then Zaccaro’s Becoming a Problem Solving Genius might be a good introduction. Singapore Math’s Challenging Word Problems book could be a more typical school-y option. Some issues of MathMania from Highlights would also work. Concepts could be played with using something like Amazing Math Projects. If you just want review and practice, then using Prodigy Math’s Online game could work. If you want a fun, creative supplement, then Math and Magic in Wonderland would be a good fit at that level. So would Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School.
  13. No. My child does choose to write in cursive over manuscript, but her manuscript is pretty much illegible and she doesn’t use it. I don’t care what format she writes in (manuscript, cursive, or typed), as long as she fulfills the actual assignment.
  14. Everything is completely up in the air right now, even more so than usual. We are exploring private school options for next year. It’s so weird to say that; DD has been homeschooled from the beginning, and I believed she always would be. If we do not find a satisfactory school option, we will likely do an extremely relaxed year, even more so than our usual. One idea that intrigued her was a completely arts-focused year. There are several theater groups and art classes around here. She could actually do Hoffman Piano. We could get a membership at our local makerspace and go to their meetups. We would need to keep her physical activity stuff on the schedule (currently parkour and aerial silks) because it is important for her to regulate, but she could potentially do dance or other more performance-based activities. I do not post on the regular grade threads. DD simply doesn’t come close to “fitting” in those threads, which means that I don’t find much community in them and my educational choices are unlikely to be useful to others with similarly aged kids on the thread.
  15. And the second recent essay was a prompt to write a descriptive essay about any place, including a fictional place. (ETA: I have no idea why it turned one sentence blue in the cut and paste. It isn't any different in the original document, and won't let me alter it here.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Hogsmeade, you can get nearly all your magical needs met. There are stores where you can get school supplies for Hogwarts, like Flourish and Blotts or Scrivenshafts. If you are not interested in school stuff and would rather hang out with your friends, you could go to the Three Broomsticks or the Hogs Head. There are also stores that are just fun to be in, like Honeydukes and Zonko’s. You can get almost anything you might want in Hogsmeade. Any student going to Hogwarts needs plenty of magical school supplies, and there are stores in Hogsmeade for that. If you need school books, you could go to Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore. When you run out of ink, or you lose your favorite quill, you can go to Scrivenshaft’s to get new ink and quills. You might even be able to get color changing ink or a quill that jumps into your bookbag by itself at the end of class. You should not have problems getting school supplies if you can get to Hogsmeade. Of course, you don’t just go to Hogsmeade to get school supplies. You need to be able to hang out with your friends too. For that you can go to the Three Broomsticks or the Hogs Head. The Hogs Head is much less popular, but you could go there if you liked quiet. It is also much more welcoming to non-human magical creatures. The Three Broomsticks is much more popular and serves the same variety of magical drinks as the Hogs Head. You could go to either one to hang out with your friends. You could also have some fun going to Honeydukes or Zonko’s. Honeydukes is the magical candy store. It has a lot of choices including chocolate frogs, which are very popular; Droobles Best Blowing Gum, which can fill a room with blue bubbles that don’t pop for weeks; and many other options. Zonko’s is the magical joke shop, where you can get enough stink pellets, nose biting teacups, and frog spawn soap to last a whole school year. Hogsmeade should definitely be able to keep you entertained. No matter what magical items you need, you can probably get them in Hogsmeade. You can get your school stuff, and when you get bored of that you can go hang out with your friends. After that you can buy some candy at Hogsmeade, or visit Zonko’s to get what you need to ruin Umbridge’s day. You can get almost every magical item you need in Hogsmeade.
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