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About TheAttachedMama

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  1. Hi Everyone, I recently moved to a new church (which I LOVE). Most of the time, the kids and adults are in the same service. However, when the sermon starts, the children are dismissed for a 30-minute lesson. Then we come back and all take communion with one another. When I first started at this church, they didn't have any volunteers to help teach the children. I volunteered to try and get the program started again. I feel a bit overwhelmed because I am having some serious classroom management issues with the kids. I typically teach groups of homeschool kids, but this just feels different because the kids don't really listen or follow instructions that well. If you teach Sunday school, can you give me some classroom management tips? Curriculum: Thanks to a VERY generous donation, the church currently has a closet full of this gorgeous Montessori based bible curriculum called Godly Play. Here is what a Godly Play lesson is supposed to look like in case you are not familiar with the program: However, we do not have our own building. So we do not have a Montessori classroom or anything. We store all of these Montessori materials in a broom closet. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, before the lesson, we visit the broom closet, take out our materials, and then set up in a classroom we share with a local Christian school. The problem is that there are a bunch of toys, books, and other distracting things in this room. We can't really modify the room much because we are sharing it with the other church. And sitting next to all of these cool toys is just NOT working for the younger kids. The two-year-old does NOT want to sit in a circle and listen to the bible story told with the Montessori materials. He wants to play with hot wheels, blocks, etc. If the other adult tries to coax him to sit, he will start to scream and cry. (And no one can hear, plus we have a very unhappy child.) If we just allow him to play, all of the other slightly older kids (ages 4-5) all get up and want to play with hot wheels and blocks too. Then we basically don't have any children listening to the lesson. Any ideas on solving this issue? Do I ask to meet somewhere with fewer toys? VERY large age range: The church is very small, so there is one class for children. On a given Sunday, we might have about 8 kids who range in age from 2-11. It is hard to keep the lesson interesting for such a large age range. As I said, the 2-year-old is running around the room and we cannot get him to sit. And the older kids just seem to talk over both adults about unrelated things to each other. I try to ask them many related questions to try to draw their attention back to the lesson. "What do you think this parable might mean?" or "Have you ever experienced something like this before?" Sometimes I just ask them to be quiet over and over again. The older children are good kids, just very talkative. I usually don't mind chatting when it relates to the lesson because it shows they are engaged, but these kids are often fighting amongst themselves (siblings) or talking about things that don't relate. And for the life of me, I can't get their attention. Last week, I tried to lure all of the kids (and tweens!) over with a snack of goldfish. They just talked with their mouths full. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Running through the building: Traveling from the chapel to the room where we teach the children has presented its own set of problems. It is a bit of a walk. The 2-year-old walks very slowly and is often distracted. (Stops to pick at his shoe, stops to touch something on the walls, etc.) Meanwhile, the two 5-year-olds start tearing through the hallways. Then we have the tweens which are sort of dawdling in the middle. Part of our walk is even outside, and despite lots of requests to hold hands, walk slowly, or stay together, the two 5-year-olds are not listening and take off running through the buildings. This seems to be the habit they have fallen into with the old Sunday school teacher. I just worry that it posses some safety concerns. We should have the kids in eye range all the time through the large building. Right? And also, it is very distracting to have kids tearing through the halls when a church service is going on. Any tips on how to get them to walk together? I thought about making a walking rope, but I feel like the 5 year olds would just let go and start running again. (Sometimes they even hide from us while walking back to the chapel!) Anyways, do you have any tips I can put into practice? It sounds sort of chaotic when I type it all up. But I am thinking there has to be a way to solve this.
  2. Which is the correct spelling of homeschool? homeschool or home-school or home school This is for an embroidered shirt and it will be used as an adjective. Ex: Homeschool Team (I really ought to know this by now!) hahaha
  3. I also have a new little guy that I am starting over with. There has been a lot of new curriculum to come out for this age since I did this the last time. And I would assert that Memoria Press Enrichment is actually the "new best FIAR!"....and it isn't even FIAR. ๐Ÿ™‚ (But again, there are probably lots of different opinions. And everyone has their own tastes. I'm just saying that if you like FIAR, you will probably really like MP enrichment.) MP Enrichment is VERY similar to Five in a Row.... except that it is easier to teach and there are a lot of nice resources/tools available to teach it IMHO. (Art posters, flashcards, poetry schedule, science books, nature study, history/culture, etc.) It is like FIAR because it is suggested that you read aloud a picture book every day for 5 days and use it as a springboard for other learning. And it is like FIAR because it is very easily modified. You can supplement with ideas you find online, or keep it simple, etc. This page has a video which walks you through a typical week: I like it better than FIAR because there are so many reasonably priced yet high-quality resources and tools that go along with it and it gives the mom a little bit of structure to use for planning and making it "your own". There are music playlists, art cards/posters, science book lists, suggested memory work, craft books/projects, suggest nature study projects and field trips, etc. etc. It is very age appropriate and gentle. (TIP- I received a very helpful tip on the MP forum that has helped this school year: Put together your own little kits for the craft projects that go along with each book before school starts, and store them in zip lock bags in a tote box or store in hanging file folder. This way you can just pull them out and GO on craft day. This helped me to actually DO the crafts with my youngest despite having other kids who need my time and attention. Plus, it was much cheaper putting together my own "craft bags" as opposed to ordering them online.) There are some history/culture/geography activities included in the MP enrichment, but I plan to replace many of those with Around the World in Picture books (BF Press). That is only because I think it is fun to study world cultures at this age. (Making recipes, learning about animals, etc.) Another VERY easy tie in to the MP enrichment is Mystery Science. In the winter, I have a hard time getting out to do nature study. So we can easily pull up one of the science mysteries that tie in with our MP enrichment theme for the week. We usually do this at the library with friends and make it a playdate. They require next to no preparation.
  4. I would use Quark Chronicles as a "guide"/spine. Then I would supplement with library books/fun movies for each topic.
  5. Hi there! We have been using Logic of English A & B this year, and we LOVE it so far. What a great curriculum! I have heard that the lessons start to really ramp up in Logic of English C & D. Could anyone give me a time estimate on how long you think it would take to complete an entire lesson in LOE Foundations C & D? (Including the child doing the reader, etc.) Thanks so much!
  6. My son and daughter need a mid-term pre-algebra grade in order to participate in a summer science program. We are using AOPS (taught at home), and I am not sure how to give a grade for the class since there aren't really tests. I am using the art of problem-solving book and videos to teach the material, and then we use alcumus as "homework" practice. Currently, my son (just to pick him as an example) has gone into the "blue" (aka Mastered) 24 out of 28 topics that we have covered. (That is about 85.7%) Note: At one point, they "mastered" every single topic before moving to the next. But they slid back into green (aka just "passed") on 4 topics after missing some review problems. This is one of the things I love about alcumus! I tend to overestimate my student's understanding, and they really have to prove they *know* and *retain* the material with alcumus. I also love the built-in review. I know that the online AOPS classes base 40% of the student's grade on alcumus homework. I was thinking of sticking to this same grading system just in case I move him over to online classes in the future. So, how exactly is the alcumus portion of the grade calculated? Do they go by how many topics have been mastered? Do they do a percentage of total problems solved or something? Next year, I will be calculating grades for an official transcript, so I would like to come up with some type of system I can stick to before that time. Thanks!
  7. Did you still do recitations at home? Did your child self-check the workbook? (I guess I am assuming that is still assigned?) Can you tell me a little about how the online assignments work? Is it just a quiz or are there other things assigned. Do you take the quiz online? Or scan and send in?
  8. We must have similar taste in school materials. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a 5-year gap between this child and my next oldest. It is a strange feeling to start over! Both joyous and difficult at the same time.
  9. I am considering signing my rising 7th Grade child up for Second Form Latin and the NLE Intro Prep class. Has anyone ever taken a Latin class from MPOA? If so, did it actually free up any of your time compared to the DVD lessons? Right now I basically do the following daily: check the workbook, conduct Latin recitations, make sure he reviews (flashcards, spelling practice, etc.) Once a week, I also proctor the tests/quizzes, watch the DVD with him to make sure he isn't spacing out. When I look at the parent responsibilities, I think I will still be on the hook for most of that. So is it really a time saver? My main reasons for wanting to sign him up for the class is that I would like to free up some time to work with my younger children. But I don't want to pay all of this money to basically sing my son up for "fun review games". Also, does anyone have any recommendations on which teacher I choose?
  10. First, you are worried about spending an entire year on birds???!! Who wouldn't want to do that? ๐Ÿ™‚ I am just kidding. I just personally would love to spend an entire year on birds. I will say that these longer, single topic focused nature studies on just one topic are what really stepped our nature study game up another level. Before, we were sort of jumping around looking at stuff we found...and not really knowing much about what we were looking at...and reading about various topics..... but not really retaining much about what we were learning. It was fun, and we enjoyed our time outside. However, I wouldn't say that we learned all that much about nature besides how to appreciate it. Studying just one topic for many months though....Wow! That finally made it so that we actually have some sort of knowledge about that topic. For example, my kids can now look up at the sky and get excited about seeing certain constellations now. Or they might see a certain bug in our area and get excited because they know the seasons are changing. Really being able to focus on a single topic has been wonderful. Now to answer your question... I don't actually own mammals. I have only looked at the samples online. However, I feel like mammals is geared towards a much younger age than Birds. I think it would feel very light for a 4th grader. I know my 4th grader probably knows everything in that book just from watching Wild Kratz and going to the zoo. I think that the MP insect study is one of the easiest nature study resources to use. For one thing, bugs are EVERYWHERE and there are so many of them! And, when you go out in nature, they don't run away from kids. (Sometimes we wish that they would.)
  11. I have used (and LOVED!) Good and Beautiful Pre-K last year. So I think you will be happy with their K program. The Good and Beautiful isn't what I would call a "strong" math program, but do you really need a strong math program at this age? Probably not. I like it because it is open and go, gentle, inexpensive, and does enough drill and review so that the kids actually retain the information. I also like how much variety is included. Mostly, The Good and Beautiful is what I call a "Get 'er Done" program. And honestly, that is the most important thing at this age. You need a program that you will actually use. I've only looked at samples of Abeka, and I ruled it out for my family (personally) because I think there are other better options out there. (I am really picky about math programs.) I know lots of people who love it though! As far as what is the "best" math program? If you ask 50 people, you will probably receive 50 different answers. ๐Ÿ™‚ I personally think that RightStart A/B is one of the best preschool/kindergarten programs out there. Your kids will be doing amazing things in math at a very young age with this program. It has its downsides: It is way more expensive than the other options you listed, it contains a lot of different manipulatives/parts to keep track of, and it also takes way longer than any other preK/K math program. However, I think it sets up a wonderful mathematical foundation, so all of that is worth it to me. I switch my kids to Singapore Standards 1A/1B after we finish RightStart A because it is less teacher intensive. After that, I move them over to AOPS for upper-level math. You also asked about MP pre-k. It is such a sweet little program. I love it. It basically gives you a rough plan for a gentle non-academic pre-k day. If you are a box checker, but you still strive to give your kid a relaxed day filled with play and a little learning sprinkled in, it might be the program for you. It says stuff like "Read your child this nursery rhyme, go for a walk today and talk about the birds you see, read this picture book and complete this craft." That type of thing. I know most people might not need that, but I have older children and often forget to do all of those things with my youngest. We started it and quit most of it halfway through. That wasn't due to the program, it was due to me placing my son at the wrong level. MP pre-k just reviews the letters and their most common sounds. Plus it teaches writing numbers and basic counting. My son was already reading simple CVC words. After a while, I begin to feel like we were actually not really making much progress. So we just are using their craft books and read aloud suggestions. You could probably plan better crafts yourself with Pinterest, but I appreciate just having a plan. So it was worth it to me. We also have dyslexia in our family. So I also knew that I wouldn't stick with MP phonics long term...or The Good and the Beautiful. We needed way more heavy duty phonics instruction based on the OG method. I also knew that early intervention with dyslexia is really important, so I wanted to start sooner vs. later. I originally taught my other kids to read using All About Reading and the I See Sam Readers. However, this time around, I decided to try LOE Foundations. I am so glad that I made the switch for several reasons. 1) I have a CRAZY 5-year-old little boy who wants to move, move, move. LOE is all about, "Say the phonogram sound as you jump off the couch" or "crouch down low if the sounds are the same, and jump up if they are different". Simple ideas that I could probably have added to AAR myself, but I am often sort of brain dead from teaching so many subjects...I need a book to just tell me what to do. 2) It teaches cursive first. Cursive was a game changer with my older kids in getting past spacing issues, inserting random capitals, reversing letters, etc. I really believe that cursive is great for kids with learning challenges. 3) I love how much fun drill and practice is scheduled in. Kids really need that with phonics I think. 4) I love the regularly scheduled review lessons. They give you some tests (disguised as fun games) so that you can monitor your child's mastery of certain concepts. If they haven't mastered, they suggest other ways to add additional practice in for these skills.
  12. I am not sure if anyone cares, but Novare just released a sample of their new Biology textbook today. You can see it here: I believe it will only have 12 chapters....which is sort of crazy considering that most HS Biology books are huge. The email I received said the following:
  13. My son is 5, but he is a young I am sharing in case it is helpful. We eat breakfast around 7:30AM to 8:00AM. My **plan** is that I would take him up for some self care training after that. (Brush teeth, etc.) and then we would transition into school. What **actually** has been happening lately (if I am completely honest with you) is that I end up checking email and helping with older kid's school until 10AM and then start school with him. This is not great because usually he starts playing and I have to drag him away from his toys which feels awful. But I am going to *try* to do better in the future. I really want school to feel fun and light at this age, and transitioning midmorning is not helping. To start, I lure him over with some library books and offer to read aloud to him. Then I read him one bible story. We do that for about 30 mins. Then, we start out doing the Memoria Press pre-k recitation. (Alphabet, Days of the week, name the seasons, etc.) We put a weather sticker on the calendar. Next we do Logic of English level A. It probably takes 30 minutes? It just depends on him. Then, we do a lesson from Right Start Level A. (or quit if he is done, and then start with math the next day.) Then, my PLAN is to do a read aloud and craft from the Memoria Press book of crafts. He is often done by then. So we often skip this and go and eat lunch.
  14. We just received this course in the mail yesterday. (The complete set. OH MY, it is even cooler in person. Memoria press makes the *BEST* nature study programs. We have done their astronomy and bug programs. We do it all in one long day each week. First, we do indoor stuff. (Drill birds and songs, do the readings, etc.) After that, we go out in nature. We have found that inviting friends on our walk helps us stay accountable to our plan. I am the type of person who will often skip nature study when I feel we are "behind" in our other subjects. (And quite frankly, we are always "behind".) hahaha So meeting others up at the nature area REALLY helps.
  15. Of course. Just trying to find some tools that I can give him as I teach this.
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