Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by tjdan

  1. Using Math Link Cubes and Base 10 Blocks- my DS learned multiplication early because he wanted to know how- these helped quite a bit, since you can use them to physically demonstrate what you mean by 3 4s...
  2. Has anyone tried the new Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Chemistry book? My DS loves chemistry, and this looks both clear and colorful, as well as completely up to date, since it was just published in 2015. Any thoughts? How easy it it to implement? I see there's an answers book, is that what I can use to teach from? I don't want to put random parts of programs together, want it completely secular, and want an at least middle school level of chemistry instruction. I haven't used Galore Park before, but we've already gone through several elementary-level chemistry programs (he doesn't quite have all the maths yet for full-blown high school chemistry texts). Hence our desire for a middle school level chemistry program that's relatively easy to implement, straightforward science, and hopefully interesting. http://www.galorepark.co.uk/Product/9781471847103.aspx Anyone tried it yet? Or even seen it?
  3. Totally different from a regular textbook- Don't Know Much About American History by Kenneth C. Davis (or also Don't Know Much About History or American Presidents- all are excellent). Presents real history (not fairy tales, unlike some history books) in a really engaging way with real stories about historical figures, including cultural figures and phenomenons from Harriet Tubman to Harry Houdini, jazz, WWII, the Spanish-American war, etc. Definitely not a traditional textbook, but much more entertaining.
  4. I second the You Wouldn't Want to Be series of books- my son finds them extremely entertaining. Also, although they're a small step up in reading level, check out the "I Survived" series- they're very good for boys and include a variety of points in history. And unlike most history-related books for kids (I'm looking at you American Girl series and a million others), the main characters are all boys- a welcome change!
  5. Under "Manage your content and Devices" you need to set up a family library under the "Settings" tab. Register an account for each child. Then, in managing your content you can add books individually to each child's profile. Also, to prevent children from accessing pretty much anything else, you set up their Kindle Fires with profiles. My son's profile is under Kindle Freetime- that locks him out from being able to things like watch endless Minecraft Youtube videos... and still gives him access to all his books, games, apps, movies, etc. For the kids, you're not delivering the books to the kindle, per se. When you buy a book, you have to go into "Manage your content and devices" under "Content" click the "..." next to the book, and click "Manage family library" at the bottom of the list. That gives you the option to add to your child's library, specifically. Hope this helps as a start!
  6. It all depends on your charter. Some only allow their "approved" set of curriculum, have grade limits, etc. We use Dehesa and they're very flexible. DS is technically in 4th grade, and using curriculum multiple grades above- and my EF is excellent and gets us our chosen curriculum. He also takes the enrichment classes up a notch (with the 5/6 grade- but not further due to the emotional maturity difference). You really need to look at how your chosen CA charter works, since they are all quite different, with different rules. As for the LA question, you'll need to do some kind of LA- and handwriting can work for vocabulary lessons too as part of LA. My EF just lists the standards that are what he's actually doing (so in our case, not the 4th grade standards at all!). But having the charter buy our curriculum or loan it to us from the resource center has been a real money saver.
  7. My DS loves MCT. He actually enjoys breaking sentences down (???!!)- I think it's the technical part that appeals to him. And he's going through Caesar's English, which not only teaches the Latin stems but also complex vocabulary words and how to incorporate them. This is his 2nd year in MCT- we're using the whole package, Building Poems and everything. He has written some darn funny poetry, too- again, I think he likes the challenge inherent with a lot of the MCT approach.
  8. My DS is 9 and enjoyed the Mr Q elementary science series. As an AL, he blew through it much more quickly than scripted, but it was presented in an engaging way and he enjoyed it. He's also done the Pandia Press RSO Chemistry as well (again, finished it in about 2 months, not a whole year). This year he's going through the JASON learning modules (currently on Monster Storms), which are targeted towards middle schoolers, and enjoying that as well. All of those are good choices for a science-oriented kid without overwhelming them with the math- they all stick to the science concepts without getting too in-depth with the math for kids who aren't in high school calculus yet (my DS is in middle school math, so trying not to overwhelm the science with math as well). It's not that easy to find secular science choices that work for AL kids who are ready for the science but not quite ready for the math-heavy high-school level science, that also isn't just too frustrating to do at home (because most are designed for classroom use). What have you already tried?
  9. My DS wanted school- and was reading and writing by 4. Do what they want- if they're interested, they'll keep going. Find a topic they enjoy, and use it- read it, map it, draw it, use it for counting and basic math- everything. We read, drew, mapped, and counted more dinosaurs than I can even say. But he kept it up and is now way ahead. And I still get the occasional "but he's already so far ahead..." comments (even from family) now in late elementary school. What am I supposed to do, tell him to stare at the wall? Sorry- the kid still considers most learning fun (OK, he doesn't enjoy when I make him write neatly...) and just wants to keep going. And is proud of being several years ahead in math for example- he wants to keep learning more and asks for harder problems. So just do what they want- teach them and enjoy it. Just be prepared to do 8th-9th grade schoolwork in 4th grade someday!
  10. Second the notion that MIF is not less rigorous than Singapore. Also, each of the assignments in MIF's lessons include a small set of more challenging problems- essentially the problem list goes from easier ones to ones that require more complex thought for each lesson. One advantage to the TM (and if you wanted, you could always look it up online and write it down) is the breakdown of some of the lessons into chunks. Some people freak out at how long some of the MIF lessons can be- that's because they're NOT intended to be done all at once. They're supposed to be split over 2 or even 3 days. Sometimes we do the whole lesson at once (if DS totally gets it), sometimes we split it up they way they suggest (if it's more complex and honestly just takes a long time to do).
  11. Completely agree with Math in Focus. We switched from Singapore to MIF for a variety of reasons, and it definitely has a lot more walk-through in the TM. You can check out all the level's TM's on the http://www.hmhco.com/shop/education-curriculum/math/homeschool/math-in-focus-homeschool they have a sample registration you can sign up for which lets you view the entire book. The beginning of each chapter has a section of background about the math involved, and each section has greater detail for the teacher than the Singapore HIG's.
  12. I would agree that the math is middle-school targeted, as is the science. If your child can do middle school math, they're good to go. And the math requirement (at least for Monster Storms) isn't very heavy. This science curriculum is targeted to the middle grades- somewhere between 5th and 8th, depending on the module and the student you could go down or up.
  13. Just having my ds do it this year- so we're not even midway through Monster Storms, but so far so good. While it's designed for classroom use, it's very doable for homeschool. I bought the family membership through Homeschool Buyers Co-op (much cheaper), and a used book from Amazon for 5$. While the student book is all online, my ds likes to also have the real book. Teacher's manual is all online through the membership, as are lesson plans for every lesson. If you want to check it out, Jason offers a 7-day free trial you can sign up for to look at the whole thing. It's done in an engaging way, with cool videos and interesting labs that involve real lab worksheets and walking through the actual science involved. And all the sponsors are big-name science agencies/organizations... and you can tell in the material. To answer the original question, the website has all the same stuff as the printed material, plus the videos and online labs. But it may still help your child to have the regular book in hand- check Amazon for cheap used ones- worked for us.
  14. This doesn't answer the Science Fusion question, but we've started using the Jason Learning curriculum (developed by NASA, NOAA, National Geographic, etc). It's online and has books- lots of cool online videos, labs, etc. I ordered the student book (used) from Amazon for 5$- we're doing the Monster Storms mission. So far, all the supplies are simple. It's got real labs and lab worksheets, and although it's designed for a classroom, it's easy to use with just 1 kid. The teacher manual can be completely downloaded online under teacher resources, AND it has Lesson Plans for every single lesson within the missions. So far, my son thinks it's pretty cool. It's still designed for a classroom and needs you to teach/guide the learning, but so far so good. And most importantly, it's real science with real labs and some quality learning. We bought the online access through Homeschool Buyers Co-op for 75$- good for the year. You can look at the Jason website http://www.jason.org and register for a free 7-day trial access to check it out. There's a bunch of video tutorials for how to assign stuff, work with the missions, etc- I wish they just had an instruction page, but I figured it all out in about 1/2 an hour. Designed for middle school(ish) ages.
  15. In southern CA- nothing. That's why we're homeschooling, unfortunately.
  16. For elementary- one thing I had ds doing this year was underlining key ideas in his science for review for the tests. So he had to (1) find the key ideas in the first place, and (2) review them before the test. I let him flounder through 2 tests first, then underlined one chapter for him so he could see how to do it, then had him do it on his own the next chapter. After 2 short tests doing that, we talked about how much better he remembered the important points (and how much better he did on the tests). The other is in history/geography/social studies. He's slowly learning to do outlines for material- started small, working up. Again, reviewing the outlines and taking tests- and discovering how much better things went when he outlined and reviewed. And I outlined one chapter entirely for him (in several different formats so he could see what kind he liked) so he really understood what I was getting at. Then I helped him do a few. Now he's doing it on his own. I discovered he really needed modeling for all of these things- and at each stage I model for him what I'm talking about. That way he understands a lot better (the first time- which is so much easier than the 5th!) Since he's still in elementary, these are how we're starting with the ideas of study skills. Obviously there's more for older kids, but I think this is a good foundation- since finding main points and outlining concepts are still things I used in graduate school :)
  17. It depends on what level your child is working at. It's designed for both a read-aloud and an independent read for most lessons (the read-aloud is usually the longer harder book). But if you have a younger one or a late reader, you can do them both as a read-aloud. Or an eager reader can read them both independently. Also, POE was more nature study science- biology, zoology, etc. POS was definitely earth science- geology, weather, etc. Together, the two really covered American History well up to the 20th century with integrated geography, science, and literature as well.
  18. Can't say how it actually works out yet, but my science-dedicated son (who wants to be a chemist) is going to be doing Jason Learning modules this year. You can find it here https://www.jason.org. Partners of the program include NOAA, National Geographic, NASA, The Smithsonian, Jet Propulsion Lab, and other major science orgs and it's directly designed to be a STEM curriculum. It includes some really interesting online labs and explorations, along with a big opportunity for the online interactions they do with scientists throughout the year. You can register for a short free trial and go through a few of the modules- my son was pretty excited about doing it. I'll have more information in a few months once he's done it! He's already gone through basic chemistry, physics, and biology, so I was looking for something interesting that wouldn't require high-school level math (he's advanced but hasn't done algebra 2 or calculus yet...)
  19. Actually, one of the keys to MIF Course 1-3 is that it isn't just pre-algebra. It's also the first few levels of geometry, statistics, and other subjects. It's designed like the SM curriculum, where students cover some of multiple math subjects each year, rather than just an entire year of algebra, a year of geometry, etc. I switched my son from SM to MIF between 4 and 5, and it was very smooth.
  20. It's pretty seamless, but I'd wait until you're done with 3 just to make sure that it matched up right. I switched my son from Singapore to MIF when he went from 4 to 5, and it was easy.
  21. I used both Paths of Exploration and Paths of Settlement with my son, and it was a great fit. Unlike a lot of curriculums that involve "real books" it had quite a few boy-friendly books throughout- biographies of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, pioneering stories, etc. The Trail Guide spine was easy to use, and very straightforward. I particularly liked that you could level up or down for each part of the lesson, since it is designed to be used at multiple levels (I only have 1 child, so didn't need to run 2 through the program at different levels, but it's also designed for that). My son enjoyed the science, and it worked quite well for us. Between Exploration and Settlement, he covered a lot of zoology, plant biology, geology, weather, etc. I did add a spelling workbook to it, although we also did the words that were included in the Trail Guide. There is no need to add reading- in fact, it's already quite a bit of reading, so you'll really overwhelm your child if you add it. For writing, we didn't add any, I used what was already included in the Trail Guide (although I also had him doing some cursive practice alongside). It also has a huge focus on geography, which was a lot of fun for my son and something he really enjoys. It was great for my son, and he enjoyed it quite a bit- I enjoyed that it was pretty easy to use, and although some of the biographies had a religious bent, the overall tone of the curriculum (and most important to me, the science), was not. Obviously, math you have to add. If you can find some of the books/biographies at the library or used, you can save quite a bit rather than buying the whole package.
  22. Thanks. Anyone else use it recently?
  23. Yes, they are- I was hoping to find someone who's used them and can give a comment. Anyone???
  24. I actually am homeschooling my son because he is gifted and where we live in CA there is no gifted program. School plan is "differentiated classroom instruction" which meant doing extra worksheets on same boring material that he learned when he was 4 (last place we lived he went to a gifted magnet school which started in K). Homeschooling's going great- we blow through things that go fast, and take our time when something's interesting or a little sticky. So don't worry about not being able to meet his needs homeschooling- many of us are doing it precisely for that reason.
  • Create New...