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  1. I'm not familiar with Sing or JA so this isn't a direct answer to your question. Just something to read in the mean time while your waiting for wise people to answer. :) We did MM6 except two chapters and then started AoPS Pre-A. It is going well. I'm glad we went as far as we did in MM6. We were both ready for something different though. We want rigorous but interesting and alittle faster. Some days he just doesn't want to think. We bought Jacobs Alg and it looks thorough, less wordy, and interesting(there is pictures) to him. We will start it in a couple of weeks. We just found out we are moving so I need something more independant than AoPS. We made it to Chapter 4 in Aops and he said he's willing to finish it but I think it's unnecessarily hard for a 8 yr old. I want him to continue to love math and I worry he's getting over it with the challenges in Aops. We will hang on to Aops and come back to it later I think. I learned so much from it.
  2. I could have written your post! I had exactly the same problem with coop this year but with the middle age bracket. We dropped after the first semester. In my case the parent was required to buy the Tiner Physics book for their student. You would think when buying the book you would notice the reading level and content and say "hey my child can't handle this." I had 9 yr olds that were reading Dick and Jane. The three brothers and sister said mom was sending them to bed and then doing their homework herself three times. It was obviously her handwriting. RRRRRR!!! Then the board told me I should help them get caught up by coming in early to coop every friday and work with them. Coop starts at 8:45am! Half the class couldn't handle the material and the other half was gifted students. Big gap for a parent to teach.
  3. We have never used the tests. We use the chapter reviews as tests because they are a larger sample of the chapter. We are on mm6 now and are starting to consider using the tests as a review (spiral) approach. For example, we are finishing mm6 chapter 2 on tuesday so after chapter 3 review I might pull out chapter 1 or 2 test as a quick review. Also, we do a Let's Go Learn Adam test in April every year to make sure he's retaining. Oh, and for full disclosure we are using the non updated mm1-6, before mm7 was published.
  4. I loved it and can't wait for my son to read it next year by himself. The long build up is needed to add to the gravity of the situation that plays out the rest of the book. It has been 4 years since I read it so I can't remember details.
  5. I'm in need of some ideas for next year. I was invited to an Usborne book party tomorrow night and it got me thinking about science for next year. My boys are 8 and 6. We will be starting the cycle again. They have a lot of Wildkrats, Ranger Rick, and Zoobooks memorized from the first time around. They are both good readers. DS 8 reads 6th grade comfortably and DS 6 reads 4th. The boys know and frequently talk about animal characteristics with dad. What I have at home already: Usborne Science Encyclopedia Usborne Complete book of the Human Body McHenry's Botany in 8 lessons (we've done her Elements and LOVED it) ~20 Zoobooks ~20 Ranger Ricks I also have Apologia Zoology 3 but it's so wordy and expensive. We tried reading it on the first round but switched to WildKrats and magizines. (I had a toddler at the time so not much was getting done). If we do Apologia I'd buy the notebooking journals. Open and go is nice. I like the Latin mixed in. I guess the biggest turn off is the price tag. It would get done this time and they would like the journals. Because of my husbands work we have: Michigan Turtles and Lizards Michigan Frogs, Toads, and Salamanders Animal Tracks of the Great Lakes Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Fishes of the Great Lakes Region Mammals of the Great Lakes Region Where am I going with this? Well I saw the Usborne Animal Encyclopedia and I kind of want it. I'm thinking I don't need it though. I'm set with Botany, I think. The Human Body weeks needs something else. Maybe a coloring book and some topics to memorize. The animal 20 weeks is what I don't feel good about. I guess if I bought the Usborne animal book I'd have the boys read about an animal, map it, and write about it. Is that enough for a 4th grader on the second round? I thought about getting a dissection kit for grandpa to do with them. Goals for next year: I want him to learn classifications better, see the usefulness of his latin studies, and also recognize stuff around our area better. Time: We do science 2 days a week or block schedule a few at a time depending on what else is going on. I also thought one day for the encyclopedia and one day for Michigan wildlife? What wont work? Have you tried any of this? What works the second time around? (I'm also wondering about leaving this to a higher level tv show and just doing the kits, body and botany myself? Buying the National Geographic Ultimate Nature dvd collection and then talking, mapping, and writing about it?) Thanks

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  7. My boys do soccer together, awana together, coop together, and baseball together. So we are not there yet. I was wondering what happens when they start separating. Right now I'm loving the together stuff. It makes our schedule so easy and affordable.
  8. We do four weeks on one week off, five days a week. My sons like it because they get a break so often. Four weeks is about all their little brains can handle. We take two weeks off in the summer after each four weeks. It's not quite so perfect in the summer because of all the camps they did this summer though. We worked five and got three weeks off and then worked two and got two weeks off or something. Schools only a half day every day though.
  9. The best choice is the one that gets done. I personally love ellen's elements. My boys did too. They loved the songs and the challenge of memorizing the table for a candy bar. Look at your whole schedule, what would get done?
  10. Each chapter usually has two sections and we cover a chapter a day on history days. We listen to the Sotw audio section one. The younger child tells me the most important point and then the older child gives me two important details supporting that point. I write the important point and the two supporting points as a paragraph for them to copy. We then listen to the second section and repeat. Then they go to the table to do the copywork and talk about the places on the map. I know my oldest can pick out the most important because he's done 2 levels of WWE already. My youngest has done WWE1 wkbk well and has trouble picking out the main point sometimes on Sotw. It's usually just because he can't remember the name of the people group though. I would stop half way through Sotw section one to ask the main point if the child needs smaller chunks.
  11. We did spelling to keep discussing phonics rules. Copywork for cursive handwriting. I started grammar, ELTL 1 in first grade but it is very light in level 1. The author says you can skip level one if the child is reading but we wanted a light start. We loved the story choices in level one. He read most aloud to me except Five little Peppers and It. The librivox recording was really good so I'm glad we just listened. Otherwise we've been just reading history books and whatever other good novels he sees. I just bought lots of comic book unabridged Shakespeare books. I usually don't buy books, I interlibrary loan. These books are very interesting to them though. We did start Song School Latin also in first grade. It was so much singing though that they didn't consider it school. My second son is doing the same route as the first because we are happy with it.
  12. I love the responses but I didn't see my biggest question. "Can I really do this homeschooling thing?" I solved this by listening to what the day looks like for other people and seeing if that was doable for me. WTM book had the schedule part in it that really helped. WTM seemed confusing at first, lots of parts. The Three R's book was a good balance to WTM book. It kept saying relax, you can do this. I still have both books and will keep them as a reminder of my humble beginnings in this journey. Oh, I would tell them: "When in doubt or tired: READ!" The Jim Trelease book The read-aloud handbook is great for this. I feel like as long as reading is done each day you can't really mess up your kids too bad. They then have the skill to advance themselves.
  13. I think CAP Latin now has it's own CAP Grammar to go with it. It makes an even better fit with their latin. Their writing is also very good and to the point, IMO. I am trying to shrink our Language arts down too because LfC a, by CAP, seems to require almost 5 days a week. We have paired it with ELTL in the past because she covers art appreciation, poems, writing (copywork, narration, dictation), literature reading, and grammar. It is working but if we get bored we will switch to the new CAP grammar and their writing.
  14. I want to see Hamilton really bad after watching the 60 minutes episode on him. My son has that intensity but I don't know how to channel it towards learning. If he wants to learn it we are off to the races. If he's bored he is day dreaming and getting no where. It can be expensive to keep up with. Lots of play outside digging is the only thing we've come up with to get it out of his system. Recently, I've had it with the dirt coming in and laundry so we are on edge around here to find something else for him to do. I love how it said in the article that not all gifteds will have public achievements like Hamilton. Some just don't aspire to do that but it doesn't make them anyless gifted.
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