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mshanson3121

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About mshanson3121

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. I'll preface this by saying we're Canadian, which I find tends to throw a monkey wrench in history, since 99% of the great history resources out there are American. So, I'm doing a New Year revamp, and Social Studies is on my mind. My son is grade 6, and we have done very little work with history/geography thus far. We talk about historical events as they come up, we've visited historical settlement villages, have watched historical shows, and read some fiction books here and there. He knows the general geography of our country as far as what provinces are where, and a loose general geography of the world, knowing where the continents are as well as some countries around the world. But, I would like to get a little more "serious" about social studies now. I know that in high school, for grades 9-12, I plan to do a traditional 4 year cycle starting with ancients, but what I'm trying to figure out is what to do for the remainder of this year, as well as grades 7 & 8. My son has very little interest in history, especially your traditional history approach (basically, study the chronological happenings of the world, this war, that war etc...). He does enjoy reading biographies of people however, and good historical fiction. The only real interests he does have regarding history mostly lie with Medieval history (knights, kings, queens, castles and the like). My husband would like us to start by focusing on our own country. I feel like I would also like to cover World Geography at some point, before high school, bonus if I can add in a study of world ecosystems, animals etc... at the same time for science (which is where his true passion lies). I have the following resources currently on hand: - A book about the history of our own province - Bigger Hearts for His Glory (which covers American history from 1400-1900) - Courage & Conquest (which covers Canadian history from about the same era) - a Canadian geography resource - Pam Barnhill's Medieval Morning Time plans I have wondered about instead of focusing on chronological history, instead doing more of a geography approach (starting with our country, then expanding to our world) and adding in something like Profiles from History. We could read them, tying them into the country/area we're studying? I have also considered more of a chronological approach, but focusing on biographies and fiction. So.... what would you recommend, starting with this year, and then also thinking ahead to grades 7 & 8, what scope/sequence would you suggest? Whatever we do for this year, needs to be something that can be finished in 6 months, as we will be finishing school on June 15th, and breaking for the summer. Of the resources we have, the provincial history text, Bigger Hearts, Canadian geography, and Medieval Morning Time plans would all fit into the 6 month time frame. I am open to purchasing something for the rest of this year, though would prefer not to. I am definitely willing to purchase programs for grades 7 & 8.
  2. mshanson3121

    Thoughts on the CM approach to Language Arts?

    I ordered it last night after your post, and agree - it's excellent!
  3. mshanson3121

    If you are/were unstructured with history

    I see what you mean about defining unstructured. So, yes I think by unstructured I meant more - "interest led" instead of traditional textbook, structured scope/sequence (as in Ancients in grade 1, Medieval in grade 2 etc"
  4. mshanson3121

    If you were/are less structured with science...

    I think following their interests in certain subjects really is the way to go. You're far more likely to spark a love of learning this way, then forcing arbitrary topics on a child.
  5. I decided to do a history spin off of the science question, since that is something we struggle with more. So for those who are unstructured with history in the early years: - What, if anything specific, do you study in the early years? - When (if you do) do you add in more formal history? - When/if you do, what scope/sequence do you follow? ETA: By unstructured I more mean "interest led" instead of traditional textbook, structured scope/sequence (as in Ancients in grade 1, Medieval in grade 2 etc"
  6. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    I agree, I think C-Rods would definitely help. What do you think of Math U See? I was thinking that using the rods might help visualize? He also likes a mastery format, where he focuses on one thing at a time. My big thing is - I want a curriculum that I can stick with, that gives me a structured scope/sequence moving forward, since anything beyond basic math isn't my forte either (my son takes after me, lol).
  7. mshanson3121

    If you were/are less structured with science...

    We are very unstructured/interest led with science, and will continue to be. Honestly, I see very little need for structured science until high school, and even then, only such as will be required to pass required testing/meet entrance requirements for school of choice etc... So, we keep it fully interest led, living books, textbooks if there is a particular interest a child has, Magic School Bus science kits, Nature Study etc... My son is in grade 6 and currently does a daily nature journal, is reading through the Scientists in the Field series, and we're also about to start Properties of Ecosystems, since he has a strong interest in conservation science. He's also been reading biographies of naturalists (Audubon, Muir, Jane Goodall etc...). For my daughter in grade 3, we pretty much just do a Nature Journal, animal stories, and she joins in with the MSB science experiments. She has an interest in volcanoes, so we have built a couple, watched documentaries on them, read books etc...
  8. Somewhat of a spin off of a thread in the general board. I am wondering about what math you would recommend for my 11 year old son. For starters, he has Sensory Processing Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, some fine/gross motor issues due to a hypermobility disorder, and I strongly suspect some executive-functioning issues. He is the proverbial absent-minded professor 🙂 He is extremely artistic and creative, and while we have not pursued formal psyco-ed testing for him, having a daughter on the spectrum who has, and we know is 2E, I strongly suspect he is 2E with a gifted IQ as well (it runs in the family). Though, though his area of strength is definitely more in the artistic/musical/language arts realm. He is an extremely visual-spatial learner, he thinks in pictures (he absolutely excels at games like chess and visual logic games since he can "see" the strategies), does well with visual cues, and is definitely a whole to parts learner. He grasps concepts fairly easily - so he only has to be shown a process once or twice to truly understand it, however he struggles with remembering his math facts, which slows him down. He also struggles with critical thinking/problem solving, especially when presented orally or without visual representation. So, give him a straight forward word problem like "Jane bought 3 pencils at 25 cents a piece, how much did she spend?" is fine. But once you start mixing operations so he has to figure out what operation to use, or when they are worded in more abstract ways so that you have to search out the information, he struggles. He is a very literal child. He can do the four processes, including early long division. He understands perimeter and area, adding/subtracting/comparing fractions with like denominators, just surprised me a few minutes ago by converting an improper fraction to a mixed number, understands decimals to tenths, can multiply decimals but not divide them yet. I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting. He absolutely hates pencil and paper math which is largely my own fault - I was a typical insecure new homeschooler when we started out many years ago, who pushed formal academics on her child before he was ready (we started at age 4). I also pushed traditional kill n drill workbooks (CLE) for years before realizing that really wasn't what was best for him. So we've spent the last year or so floundering around, trying to find what is the best approach, something that will help him not hate math. We tried Life of Fred, and while he LOVED the story, I didn't really feel that he was gleaning actual math from it, and they discuss such advanced abstract concepts that he found the questions hard. Again, the biggest thing that I have found that really helps him, is it HAS to be visual - pictures, videos, demonstrations etc... Also, while as I have stated, he hates traditional math, he really enjoys math when done online and in more of a game format. Go bowling and ask him to keep score? Forget it. But he'll go on the computer and play Prodigy for an hour or go on other math game sites and play no problem. So what would you suggest for him? For the last couple months I've just had him playing Prodigy, and using Reflex math for facts (though our free trial ran out so back to borin ol' Xtra Math). We are trialing TT 5, which he is enjoying. I've also looked at BA and MUS. Thoughts?
  9. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    To him it feels more like a "game" because it's online. He likes math when it's on a computer and when it's game based. He dislikes pencil and paper math. Go bowling and ask him to keep score? Forget it. But he'll go on the computer and play Prodigy for an hour or go on other math game sites and play no problem. Part of it is my own fault - I was a typical insecure new homeschooler, who pushed formal academics on her child before he was ready. I also pushed traditional kill n drill workbooks for years before realizing that really wasn't what was best for him. So we've spent the last year or so floundering around, trying to find what is the best approach, something that will help him not hate math. We tried Life of Fred, which he LOVED the story, but I didn't really feel that he was gleaning actual math from it, and they discuss such advanced abstract concepts that he found the questions hard. The biggest thing that I have found that really helps him, is it HAS to be visual - pictures, videos, demonstrations etc...
  10. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    And oh my word, I say that... and he just totally did it, including converting the improper fraction to a mixed number. LOL.
  11. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    Okay, here's a sample (I found online): Olivia took out 8 glasses and poured juice out of a pitcher. The capacity of each glass is 3/10 of a litre. If there was enough juice for 6 glasses, how much juice was there? That sort of problem would paralyze him. He wouldn't know where to start in figuring it out.
  12. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    11.5. Honestly, not off the top of my head, LOL. But it's mostly questions where the information given isn't black and white - where it's worded in a more abstract fashion, or you have to really think about what process to use.
  13. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    Mostly worried about problem solving and learning to think critically, but also just moving forward with a regular program too, that might be easier for him, more visual.
  14. mshanson3121

    Teaching Textbooks - honest reviews

    Haha, I should say he hates all traditional math. He absolutely LOVES Prodigy, and doesn't mind Teaching Textbooks (we signed up for their free trial). I've toyed with the idea of Beast, and just starting him back at 3A. He can do the four processes, including early long division. He understands perimeter and area, adding/subtracting/comparing fractions with like denominators, decimals to tenths, can multiply decimals but not divide them yet. I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting. I've considered TT, BA, as well as MUS.
  15. mshanson3121

    school plans for 2019

    I'm definitely making some changes for my two children. I do know the following for my daughter, who is 8/grade 3, with ASD. Granted we're pretty much unschooling her, since that is what she does best with. Basically our plan for her is: - Join in on our Morning Basket (Bible, poetry, literature, copywork, Nature Study & French) - Reading aloud together - Social Skills work using Memoria Press' Myself & Others program Other than that, nothing formal/required. She excels at math, and plays on Prodigy and other math sites every day for fun, does math fact copywork for fun (crazy kid, lol) plus she picks it up from daily life. For my son, 11/grade 6, we're largely just continuing what we have been doing, with a couple tweaks: - Tweak #1: Currently using CLE Language Arts. May ditch for a more holistic/natural approach (CM-style) focusing more on copywork, dictation, and adding in some focused creative writing work. He really wants to start writing more, but finds that by the time he is done the workbook, his hand is so tired (has fine & gross motor issues pertaining to his hands) he just doesn't have it left in him. - Tweak #2: were using Oak Meadow Math grade 5. However we are struggling with what to use moving forward. - Keeping: Interest led living books for history and science with oral and written narration. Currently reading the Scientists in the Field series, and historical fiction pertaining to our province/country (Canada), as well as our Morning Basket. - Adding: Memoria Press literature studies, beginning with Robin Hood.
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