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Everything posted by bookmomma

  1. my ds8 has been below reading level. i provide extra work at phonics and sight words (avoided sight words for years!), and it helps. i also try to provide books he's interested in. that has helped the motivation. he usually wants to read another chapter when we're done!
  2. had vz for internet for 2 yrs. hours and hours (probably days) on phone with tech support. nothing but trouble. don't recommend!
  3. We changed over to Saxon Math 3 years ago and love it. My ds10 is very advanced in math and does his lessons independently. I've recently cut out the math facts worksheets since it's too time consuming and he does so well in his lessons and tests. I must be honest in saying he hated it at first, was very frustrated, but now feels successful and confident. He's very good at mental math skills, too (better than me, and I've had up to calculus and I've always been an excellent math student). He can do multi-step problems with varied/multiple processes in his head. My one complaint is that the lessons are time-consuming. That being said, it is well worth it when you consider how well all the review works! Worth every minute!
  4. I've done the labor thing, and still do to some extent. It does help them focus their energy in positive ways. Exercise, they could ALWAYS use more. My middle son is willing to run 3 miles with me a few days a week, but that doesn't last all day.
  5. If you have used RS4K, how do you plan? I would like to fit the lessons into Tues/Thursday schedule for about an hour, but there seems to be so much to do. This will be my 1st year using real science 4 kids, chemistry, level I. I plan to also incorporate the language and history kogs and spread the lessons over an entire year of schooling (about 1 chapter per 2 weeks?) so they can really get a grip on the info and vocab. Boys will be grades 3 and 5. Any hints and ideas will be greatly appreciated. Maybe it's not as hard as I'm thinking?
  6. I'd do reserves. You could always go full time later. This from army veteran still thinking of going back into reserves as an officer.
  7. That's encouraging. I have done the work together thing, too. It does help, sometimes. But then it's like they forget and start acting up again. I guess I can just keep at it.
  8. I've done this for years!!! It doesn't work. I keep trying, but it still doesn't work. My middle son seems to have a worse temper (inherited, I think--judging from the way certain family members act) and lashes out before he thinks. My older son is more of a manipulator or thought-out pesterer and instigator. He purposely tries to irritate his brother until he loses his temper and gets in trouble. The problem is that what's done is done. We can lecture and talk with them about how best to react in that situation, but they don't use it, they react first, then deal with the consequence.
  9. The boys are about to turn 8 and 10 and this past year they have gone from nice, docile boys to aggressive, mean boys. At least with each other. They are calling names, screaming at each other, and hitting. Going into each other's rooms to destroy things when they are mad. You name it. It's awful! We have talked to numerous people about what to do. We've tried taking away privileges, groundings, whole days spent in the boring bathroom with nothing to do. I'm at my wit's end with them and if I don't figure out what to do with them I think I'll just run away! (Not really, don't panic). Any ideas or suggestions of what to do? Really I'll try anything:confused:
  10. I'm all for getting resources for free, so I would choose your poems and do a search on poetry analysis or teaching poetry. There are tons of sites with free guides for individual poems. Don't be intimidated! This is what I'm doing and I'm and English teacher:)
  11. Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense poems (you can find most online--I copy and print).
  12. I don't have a copy of the new WTM. Is it the same as the old edition?
  13. I do have set goals in history and science (usually listed as learning objectives). Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on the day), I was trained as a teacher, so I check the state's standards from time to time, and I read the grade level expectations in Home Learning Year by Year (Rebecca Rupp) so I know what other kids their ages might be expected to know. I don't really stress over it or make sure they pass every section, as kids grow and learn at their own rates, but it's kind of comforting knowing what to expect. If you don't have a copy of Home Learning by Rupp, I highly recommend it. It sits on my shelf right next to TWTM.
  14. I often wonder the same thing. My hubby and I are artistic, him by profession. But I don't feel it has to be so much a "curriculum" thing. We do art every day! My middle son has been drawing (quite well) since he was 4, and I bought him several children's drawing books. He also sculpts (imitating dad) and paints and creates 3D stuff. I draw. My older son isn't too interested in the art part of things, but he loves to create stuff--buildings, ships, cars--so I think of that as his "art." As far as art history or techniques, we cover things as they come up or we think of them. We have a lot of art books (since my hubby got his Bachelor's in art ed) and they peruse them without our prodding them to "do your art work!" In the end, if you live in art, I think they are getting enough. Have books around, borrow some from the library (my son's favorite section), and provide lots of fun projects!
  15. Can't someone just post the basics of outlining and we'll call it a day. Do we really need to purchase another book for this? My shelves are bulging. I'm asking because I have a ds going into 5th and I want to know, too!!!!
  16. Skip it! My son used 54 this year and, like all Saxon, there's lots of review and they gradually introduce concepts at the beginning, building on those each lesson. My younger son just started his saxon 3 (early, since he's not a "math brain") and is relieved at how easy it is. SO MUCH REVIEW! But I think it's good for em.
  17. :iagree:There are things that stick with us year after year--Saxon math, SOTW, FLL, WWE--but then there are a few areas that just don't work or doesn't fit our style, so we try to find something that will.
  18. I really like the sound of Megawords for my older child, but I am also interested in Sequential Spelling. One question, though: it SS a text book or workbook? I was wondering if I could order one and do the lessons with both to start, allowing my older child to move forward past the ones he knows or masters easily. And, 2nd (okay, I know I said I had one question), what's the idea behind the test only approach? This is kind of what I was doing with the WRTR and it seemed to help more than any other program. Maybe I just need to stop being lazy and use that program (WRTR) instead of trying to find the right "tool" to use! I know I sound insane, but spelling is not something I ever remember learning. I just did it and remembered the words! I didn't learn the rules like they do nowadays:o)
  19. The lessons are long, but I truly believe in doing it all. My ds9 does the fact sheet in5 minutes (all of the problems, and we don't time him), then moves on to the mental math alone. I take about 10 minutes to do the lesson, then he does the lesson review and mixed review alone. It does take him a long time to complete some days, but he's doing great! I'm also lucky because he is a "math brain" and it comes naturally. I do the math lessons last in the day. That way he knows as soon as he finishes it, he's free!
  20. I'm considering it. I spoke w/ dh and we think we will go ahead and let him take the test at the public school next spring and see how it goes. We may choose to go the umbrella route later if we feel it's necessary. My son has some learning difficulties (asperger's symptoms and dyslexia), but I don't want him to be labeled as LD. I want him to get as much as he can out of life without people saying, "It's okay, you don't have to because your LD." YKWIM?
  21. I checked out this option, and I like it! IF I feel I have to take that route, the Farm School will be my choice--hands down. Thank you!
  22. I'm leaning toward Megawords for my older child since he has some of the rules, but needs remediation and reinforcement. This looks like the right choice. Is there any other materials necessary?? (from what I see we need student workbook and teacher's guide). My younger may use Sequential Spelling. I'm still browsing.
  23. I need something that is ready to use and teach out of the box without fancy word cards, or other parts...just simplified. I have tried Spelling Power, it's okay but the activities seem to distract rather than TEACH spelling rules. The kids hated this program. I tried Natural Speller, and love how the words are grouped together following simple rules, but I don't have the time to develop activities to reinforce. The kids didn't seem to remember the rules or spelling words. I tried WRTR (writing road to reading) and it works great, but it's time-consuming and....well, that's it. I'm lazy, I have three kids and run 4 businesses along with homeschooling and grad school. I tried Spectrum workbooks (a lot like Spelling Power but not as good). Kids hated it. I tried All About Spelling. Too complex, didn't have all the parts necessary to teach 2nd and 4th graders. At this point, I feel the kids are falling behind on spelling and I know I'm responsible. I don't have a lot of time to do a long, drawn-out lesson that takes a lot of prep time. I need something quick, easy and effective. By now, I probably could have paid a tutor to teach them spelling instead of spending money on more books! HELP ME!!!
  24. One of the sample social studies questions asked what percentage of the US population is African American. Where did a question like this come from? I'm not sure I could accurately answer that. That doesn't sound like something I learned before high school or even college!
  25. Not a bad idea. Thanks! I am concerned about his ability to take the test alone. I viewed samples of the TCAP and they use a lot of difficult vocab that will be confusing to him. Not to mention he has struggled with reading and is probably about a year behind his grade level, but I think he will catch up in the next year.
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