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CAtoVA

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About CAtoVA

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. Hits: Beast Academy for DD (5th) and, to a lesser extent, DD (2nd). I have been using mostly level 4 for DD (5th) and some level 3 stuff that we hadn't finished from earlier years (variables, etc.) Challenging and fun with lots of variety, BA has been a supplement this year for Singapore Primary 5A & 5B. I have also recommended it to another hs'er who found it a perfect fit for her generally "academic resistant" 3rd grader. She started with level 2 with him. Typically BA works well about 1 level behind the current grade, but I have found that picking and choosing among the books, depending on what our spine curriculum is covering, works very well for us. Of course, I do have all the BA levels from 2 through 5, lol. I also tried the new BA level 2 with my quite mathematically inclined 2nd grader and it's been a mixed bag. She loves the guide stories but gets tired of the lengthy amount of exercise pages between each guide reading portion. I do not have her complete every problem or every page but she still gets tired of them. I think she may enjoy it more as she gets older and her stamina increases. At this point, in general, she is academically advanced but also academically resistant to some extent. Misses: I'll have to think more about this but off the top of my head I would say that Open Tent Academy's online class Research Writing in 10 Classes (or Sessions, not sure...). This was for my DD (5th grade). The class is based on IEW type of writing which my DD currently uses (Level A Continuation). I thought from the name of the class that it would be more of a research paper writing course (long form) but really the students are just writing one five paragraph expository essay broken into easy steps. My DD has already written multiple paragraph essays so most of the class so far have been review and boring for her. We had to miss one class already and she didn't even bother watching the video recording. The last two-three classes deal with Introductions and Conclusions and I am hoping that these sessions will be helpful but I also think I could have taught the same information to her and saved the money (my son currently is taking Open Tent's All About Essays and the Intro/Conclusion curriculum is basically the same). So, I think the "miss' is a combination of the class being titled inappropriately and making me think it would be something it is not (maybe it should be called Introduction to the Expository Essay or something like that) and my DD being ahead of where I thought she would be when I signed her up last summer for this spring class (not Open Tent's fault but it's what happened). I'll have to think more about other Hits and Misses.....hmmmmmm..... I find this topic to be one of the most helpful on these boards, so thanks everybody!!
  2. I have to second the Apologia Exploring Creation with Phyisical Science "hate," lol. We actually used this last year for DS (then eighth grade) only because it was a co-op selection. At times I wanted to throw the book against the wall and scream, "Just get to the point already and move on!" SO "conversational" in that points meandered and went into asides and then maybe circled back...... Really made it impossible for my son to follow and complete questions on his own. I was paying for a co-op class and had hoped that DS could do most of the homework independently, but nope, not with THIS book! Unfortunately my co-op is in love with Apologia science texts and all science classes for upper grades use them, sigh. This year we took a break from the trauma of last year, and next year DS is doing Clover Creek Physics with Jetta which I hear is *wonderful*.
  3. Found this in my research; apologies if it has already been posted! Classes by Beth is now Seasons to Grow: https://seasonstogrow.com/ Looks like they offer many literature classes, many writing classes, algebra 1 and 2, chemistry, biology, physical science, general science, economics, ethics, geometry, geography, French, Spanish, ASL, government, study skills, computer science and some AP classes. It looks like classes are mostly (maybe all) for middle and high school levels. I have no personal experience with this provider I'm just throwing the information out there!
  4. Signed my DS up for Blue Tent's Intro to Literature and have been in email contact with Brigid Thompson. I'm excited to have a huge, many moving parts subject largely off my hands for next year!! It was taking so.much.time. to teach English to my DS that my other kiddoes were truly suffering!! Fwiw, Brigid gave me the expected time commitment breakdown for the English classes at Blue Tent as follows: "This is what we assume timewise: Intro to Lit (5-7 hrs per week), Honors 1 (6-8 hrs), Honors 2 (7-9 hrs) AP English (8-10 hrs)." Any and all reviews are still welcome—thanks!!
  5. We have tried IEW SWI B online (for 8th grade last year) and this year Open Tent for writing. The first semester of the IEW class wasn't great because the teacher (Osborne) didn't have tight class management. My son is easily distracted so it was an effort to keep his eyes on the teacher and his fingers away from the keyboard (for inane, time wasting chat comments). The second semester I switched teachers and I don't remember her name, sorry. I don't even think she still teaches for them, however. That class was excellent. Overall, the amount and level of work expected by IEW was great and worth the money. If you don't want to do the online route, you can purchase the DVD's and binders (on their website or used at Ebay) which is how I teach my younger children using IEW. The online IEW classes, though, give you a teacher to teach, review and grade work, a grammar component, and, of course, outside accountability. IEW offers writing courses for all the ages you mentioned. Open Tent has been a mixed bag for us. The class (All About Essays grades 8-11) has required something like 11 essays (of four-five different kinds) which has been too much for my slow writing DS to manage. The class started in mid October and ends at the end of May with a final exam of 50 questions all short answer/fill in blank. I don't sweat his progress though. He's in 9th grade and only started formal writing instruction in 8th grade. He writes very well, he's just not fast yet. I have had him complete 6 of the required essays so far (some essays he needed to do 5 rough drafts) and they are quite well done. He has written expository, persuasive, and comparison/contrast essays so far. I will still have him write one-two narrative essays this summer to complete the writing part of his English credit. The other forms practiced were SAT timed analytical essays. For me, these were not crucial to complete because the SAT for my 9th grader is pretty far off (the course takes up to 11th graders). Style requirements for the Open Tent class ramped up for each paper to the point where there were so many on the checklists it became difficult to "shoehorn" them into one, five paragraph paper, even with long paragraphs. At that point I made an executive decision that DS would not be a "slave" to a checklist of style points and would use just what sounded good. : ) He did use most of them, and all of them on many occasions, and It never seemed to hurt his grades!! Also, the Open Tent class met only about twice a month which was not a problem for me, and gave DS time to write several drafts of his essays, but this could be a problem for others. Open Tent has many other writing classes for all ages and they may be run differently, so ymmv and you should still check them out. I will also say that we now have a huge binder full of info about writing common types of essays (like a textbook) and I really appreciate it. This will be revisited for practice I'm sure! In about a week, DS will start an advanced writing class for high schoolers taught online at Home2teach. Its a summer class that meets once per week for six weeks. It's just a short class to bolster his speed at writing different forms of essays (comparison /contrast, descriptive, process, cause and effect, etc.) The format is paragraphs so the class can move quickly with different formats in the short time available. Home2Teach has many, many different writing classes ranging from basic to advanced (ages 8-18) that typically meet for short duration and seem reasonably priced. After the class is over (in June) I can give a more informed review. Check out the Master Online Class list which is posted (pinned) on these boards. There are a LOT of providers to look into! HTH!!!!
  6. Hmmmm, a new teacher for the class? I have heard good things about Brigid Thompson.....should I worry about a new teacher teaching the class next year?
  7. Same here. Oldest DD just turned 11 a few days ago. 10 was very moody with sudden waterworks, snarky comments and then sweet again a few hours later. It does kind of derail homeschooling, but if she goes to her room alone for awhile she usually comes out fine.
  8. Just saw this! I started with about 20 minutes of Getting Started with Latin in the fall with my 9th grade son not sure how it would go, whether he would like Latin, etc. Turns out he really likes Latin and will do the work (4-5 days per week) necessary to really understand it. I found out very quickly that GSWL would NOT be enough to call the year Latin 1 for High School. I found this out by looking at other schools' Latin programs and syllabi. So, I supplemented starting in January and upped his workload to about 45 min-1 hour, 4 to 5 days a week. I added in So You Really Want to Learn Latin Level 1, Quizlet for vocabulary practice, Big Book of Lively Latin for better vocabulary and reinforcement (plus great work with derivitives and history/culture), homemade noun declension sheets that are done daily, extra verb translating practice (2-3x per week), and Greenleaf's Famous Men of Rome with Study Guide for history and culture. So, yes I supplemented, lol., and if I had just started with SYRWTLL I would have still supplemented! The grammar foundation is solid with SYWTLL, imo, but there may not be enough exercises to really cement the concepts (?) Also, there is that vocabulary issue—ugh! Quizlet and Lively Latin helps there. The history/culture piece is very lacking as well, so..... I supplement. Now, my DS actually loves Latin and history (writing, literature, and math are totally different stories!!) If your son doesn't like Latin, or foreign languages at all, you may want to look at some of the other approaches to teaching Latin that are less grammatically based and more whole language/immersion based. These books start out like stories typically with a family and their experiences. Vocabulary is definitely richer, more varied and relateable in contrast to SYWTLL. The "story" and daily life events woven throughout the chapters may hold his interest better than a "straight" grammatical approach. Many online providers and high schools use these books so they will qualify as Latin I, Latin II, etc. Publishers/programs to look for would be Oxford Latin Course or Cambridge Latin Course. Also, you may want to look at Visual Latin. It's online with pdf worksheets. I'm not sure how far Visual Latin goes, however. Basically, from my research, I expect my DS to have encountered in Latin 1: 4 noun declensions and at least 3 verb conjugations, as well as 100's of vocabulary words in all parts of speech (including adjective usage) and at least three verb tenses. He translates every session. We are not there yet so we will work through the summer. I prefer mastery to speed, lol.
  9. I posted at the High School and Middle Grades boards, but since the class is for 8th through 10th grade, I thought maybe someone here also might be able to help me. I am looking for reviews of Blue Tent 's online Intro to Literature and Composition class. Has your child taken this course? Do you know anyone who has taken this course? Experienced reviews regarding workload, teacher expertise, feedback, skills and concepts covered, etc. etc., , would be most welcome!! Thanks!!!!
  10. I posted at the High School board but since the class is for 8th through 10th grade, I thought maybe someone here might be able to help me. I am looking for reviews of Blue Tent 's online Intro to Literature and Composition class. Has your child taken this course? Do you know anyone who has taken this course? Experienced reviews regarding workload, teacher expertise, feedback, skills and concepts covered, etc. etc., , would be most welcome!!
  11. I am looking for reviews of experiences with Blue Tent's Online Intro to LIt & Comp class for advanced 8th through "on grade" 10th graders (not the Honors English 1 class). I have read many reviews about the Honors classes at Blue Tent but I don't think the work output for the Intro class would be the same (I hope it wouldn't be 15-20 hours per week, yikes!) Background: This would be for my DS who is rising 10th. In 8th grade, he took the IEW SWI B online class, and this year he has taken Open Tent's All About Essays class. He can write well in most essay forms (not literary essays yet) but is not as fast as I would like and he still lacks confidence. I would like him to improve his confidence and speed and to also learn how to write literary essays. For literature, he is not as well read as I would like (for someone of his age) because he dislikes fiction. If I can get him to read a book and actually like it (The GIver this year for example) he still balks at discussing or writing about it in any depth beyond recall and comprehension. Short stories are somewhat more successfully analyzed. Many literature classes for "standard" 10th graders have reading lists that would scare him off, I'm sure. Blue Tent's seems like a good mix of challenge but not onerous. I have found that due to his foot dragging in this subject it works better to have some if not all of English out sourced otherwise my other homeschooled children would have none of my time. Thanks!
  12. Made some changes ahead of my homeschool convention next month!!
  13. Thanks for the response!!! : ) Did you find the pace to be extremely quick? Did you need to adjust other curricula demands in order to give her time to finish essays?
  14. Oh my, how I would LOVE to increase DS's speed but I think it would stress him too much at this point. He is now finishing Open Tent's All About Essays online class and I had to make the executive decision that his output had to be GOOD this year and not necessarily prolific. He completed about 1/2 of the required essays but what he completed were truly excellent and represented tremendous progress in his writing. At times he needed 8-10 rough drafts to "get" skills, etc., but that's okay with me because, as I said, the end result was excellent. I'm big on proper form and accuracy first, and speed after that. : ) I also had to hold off on some literature material while he was deep into an essay so I know what you mean about rotating the subjects.
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