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Everything posted by gandpsmommy

  1. I'm seeking a spelling resource for my third grader. In my google search I found some good reviews of Simply Spelling, but I can't find it anywhere for sale. Does anyone know where if it is still available? Thanks.
  2. My 9yo son loves science. He already has a quality microscope, the largest Snap Circuits set we could find, and a sizeable collection of fossils. My mom is giving him several experiment kits and some new prepared slides for Christmas. The only thing he has really asked for from us this year is Lego building kits, so we purchased a couple, but he and his sister already have so many Lego blocks. They do play with them, but I just don't think they need many more, as they have plenty to use. I am confident that his 11yo sister would be good with the Lego robotics. She is organized, loves projects, has good planning skills and is patient. I'm just wondering if it would be something good for a 9yo as well. I know the websites say for ages 10 and up, but I'm wondering what your experience has been? Is it something a 9yo could use and enjoy, if parents and/or older sibling were also involved, or are you inclined to believe it would be frustrating or overwhelming for a third-grader? Also, is it something that your children have used repeatedly over time, or did it have a short-lived appeal? His dream gift would be an electron microscope, but he knows that they are prohibitively expensive. Thanks for any feedback. Terri p.s This is my first post on the new, spiffed-up site. I used to hang out on these forums everyday, several times a day, but I haven't been around for awhile. I was shocked when I popped in and saw the change. My daughter is attending public school for her third year in a row and really enjoys it (other than having to get up so early in the morning!) She is doing great there. I am still homeschooling my son, but I just don't have the time to hang out here like I used to. I often think of you guys, though!
  3. I want to begin teaching my ds9 Spanish. I majored in Spanish in college, so I have a strong understanding of the grammar and vocabulary. I'm not great at figuring out where to start or teaching something without a curriculum, though. So I'm searching for something to give me a starting place. Can anyone tell me what you thought of K12's Spanish and give me an idea of what it entails. If you didn't like it, what else would you recommend? Thanks!
  4. You know, she never really has been into horses, although she has had some good friends who really were. Thanks for the suggestions! She does like dog books, for some reason.
  5. I know we got it from the public library sometime over the last year, but I can't recall if she actually read it. I'll have to check with her. Thanks for the suggestion!
  6. :iagree:She and I both loved these books. We are eagerly anticipating the next one.
  7. Hi. What books would you recommend for an 11-year-old girl who likes books in verse and enjoys short chapters? She has read a lot of the classics and I'm running out of ideas. Some books she has read recently and liked are Because of Mr. Terupt, Inside Out and Back Again, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Thanks for any suggestions!
  8. We used Singapore along with Miquon with dd when she was in K5 and first grade, but it just never really worked for us. Then I bought Righstart Math and it was wonderful for us. I would highly recommend it.
  9. His handwriting is really good when he takes his time. He detest writing, though. He doesn't mind it when he chooses to do it on his own, (writing stories about our dog over the summer, or writing down lists of items he wants to add to his rock collection, etc.). He really resists it in school, though.
  10. I actually used Getty-Dubay Italic for print and Abeka for cursive with my dd11. She has the prettiest handwriting. She is in public school now. I have used Handwriting Without Tears with ds8 for printing, but I just don't like their cursive. I actually just went to the Abeka website to look for their writing book that teaches cursive. I think we will try it. It is the only Abeka resource we have ever used, but it worked so well for dd.
  11. Do you do cursive and print, or just one? What curriculum do you use?
  12. I need ideas for a writing curriculm and spelling resources for my third grade son. We are using MCT Language arts for grammar, poetry, vocabulary. I have used All About Spelling and Writing With Ease in the past with my older child, but I'm not sure they are what my son needs. He really dislikes writing, but he is pretty good at it when I can get him to do it. He has a very difficult time memorizing spelling words just for the sake of memorizing, but he remembers words that he wants to learn to spell. He can spell words that are phonetic. Any ideas? Thanks, Terri
  13. I needed somewhere to say: I just ordered Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts program for my third grader, and I'm so excited! Woohoo! My dd went to public school in fourth grade, right after I had discovered MCT, so we never had the opportunity to use it together. Although, interestingly her gifted magnet class did use some elements of the program. Last year my ds and I tried using a virtual academy for the first time ever, and it really cramped our style. So, I am so excited to be back to our style of homeschooling this year, and I can't wait to get our MCT curriculum. Thanks for listening and understanding!
  14. If we had the room for a mudroom in our house or the money to build a mudroom on just lying around I wouldn't be looking for other solutions!:001_smile:
  15. We are planning to have hardwood flooring installed soon. Our front door and the side door which we use to take our dachschund in and out will both open onto hardwood flooring. I know we will need to get some heavy duty doormats for outside these doors to try to catch as much moisture, dirt, debris, etc., from ever getting into the house, but what should we put inside to protect the floors from anything that is left on our shoes after wiping them on the outside mat? I have heard that you can't use rubber-backed rugs or mats on hardwood floors because it can damage the floor. What kind of rugs/mats do you use? I want something beautiful and stylish but also something that can be washed/cleaned and will stay in place and do a good job. I also plan to put a runner down the entryway by the side door. Any ideas? Thanks!
  16. I am seeking a science curr. for a child who loves science and the natural world. He enjoys doing experiments that involve mixing ingredients to observe a reaction. He desires hands-on experiments and discovery learning, with a minimum of worksheets and lengthy explanations. Any suggestions? Thanks. Terri
  17. And if so, how? Is it free? Do you have to have it on a cell phone plan? We are trying to decide if it is a feasible gift idea for dd10, who really wants one. She has friends who send texts to her cell phone from their ipod touches, but I'm wondering if they are on their parents' cell phone plans? Can you place calls on an ipod touch? Do you have to have cell phone service for that? If so, what is the difference between ipod touch and an iphone? Thanks for any help. Terri
  18. I know how to notify before the beginning of the school year that my child will not be attending school because we are homeschooling, and that I have to provide a list of textbooks/materials and assure that I will teach all subject required by law, and submit a brief outline of curriculum. But, I enrolled my ds7 in public school, and he has attended the first two days. It is apparent that this school is not a good fit for him and we want to withdraw him and enroll him in a virtual academy to work from home. Does anyone know how I have to do this? Do I just take a letter to the principal tomorrow? Do I just withdraw him and tell the school I am enrolling him in another school? Thanks for any help!
  19. Thanks for all the input everyone. I'm hoping someone from Ohio might chime in, but users from other states, what kind of hoops exactly did you have to jump through? What kind of oversight was there? Thanks.
  20. Thanks, Ria for your reply. I really appreciate your input. We live in Ohio. Does anyone know what kind of requirments we would have to meet and what kind of supervision we would receive? Thanks for any input!
  21. I never thought I would consider using a virtual academy because I so loved choosing our own curriculum and not being a part of the system. But, a lot has changed over the past few years. Dd went to public school last year for fourth grade and loved it. She is happy to be in fifth grade at public school, has good teachers, has made good friends, and is fortunate to be a part of what has so far been a good gifted program. We decided to try to send ds7 to public school for the first time this year for second grade. It has not been a good fit for him at all. So, I'm thinking of bringing him home again. But I feel as if we need more structure than I needed with dd for some reason. And K12 looks very similar to the curr. we used anyway. The only thing I would really be sad to not use is Righstart math, and I guess we could still use it if ds wanted to do extra math. I'm curious to know, though, what it is like to be enrolled in a virtual academy, because it is a public school, just at home. Do you find the teachers helpful and warm? Is it challenging to keep up with the pace of the work? How often do you have to meet with teachers? Is there still flexibility? Do you still feel as if you are homeschooling? Have you met any other families through the virtual school? I have to admit I am tempted by the free curriculum. We usually spend around $600 on curr. in the fall, so free looks really amazing.
  22. I just wanted to say that this was extemely well-said, and I wouldn't have needed to post if I had just read it first. It is so true, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. I too am homeschooling one child and sending another to public school, so I see both sides.
  23. First, I want to acknowledge that my older child is only nine years old and in fourth grade, so please take my advice knowing that we haven't yet reached middle school age. Although, in our district, fifth graders go to the middle school with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, where they have their own wing and are mainly kept separate. So, next year we will be entering that phase. I just couldn't help responding, after you received so many horror stories about public school. I think what is best for your daughter will definitely depend on your public school system, the teachers your daughter gets, and your daughter's personality. So while I think all of the horror stories you have heard are very real and very valid for the families who reported them, it doesn't necessarily have to be your reality. We enrolled our dd in public school for the first time this academic year. Before that we had homeschooled her from preschool through third grade. I was reluctant to even consider public school. And I was thoroughly prepared for her to hate it, for the curriculum to be substandard, for me to disapprove of her teacher's methods, for everything to be as horrible and wrong as I had come to believe public school was. I met with the curriculum director last spring when we first decided it might be an option, and was pleasantly surprised to find that our district had a lot more to offer than I had assumed. The curr. director let me know about their gifted program, which includes a magnet class in fourth grade. He also assured me that each student would be allowed to work at his/her own level, regardless of what grade the student was in. He told me about their math program, which was pretty similar to the one we were using at home. I remember coming home still undecided about whether we would send her, but encouraged that even if it was just for the benefit of other people's children, our district was doing a lot more right than I had guessed. I posted about it on here and immediately received a slew of negative feedback about how it might appear that their gifted program was good, and the administrators might say that kids would get to work on their own levels, but (insert horror story to prove the opposite). Again, I know that behind all of those horrible stories are real people who endured them, and I don't want to discount their realties or disregard their emotions, just reiterate that it doesn't necessarily translate to everyone else. Our daughter completed some testing and qualified for the gifted magnet class, which has turned out to be wonderful for her. Her class is composed of twenty students from throughout the district who all qualified for this class by achieving high scores on standardized tests for overall cognitive ability, math, and reading. They get to prepare for and participate in special math and vocabulary competitions throughout the year. They receive instruction in all subjects on their accelerated/advanced level. They have the opportunity to complete more challenging coursework and more in-depth projects. And even within the class, they are grouped according to ability for things like spelling words so that each child can learn at his/her own ability level. My daughter loved school from the first day. We have had very few issues at all to address, and the ones we have had were quickly and reasonably resolved. She has made many friends, and we have had no problems with peer pressure, bullying, bad influences, etc. There are a few things that she does not get to do in public school that we could have done at home (study a foreign language in elementary school, for example), but there are also opportunties she has in school that I couldn't or didn't provide at home. While I was afraid that the instutionalized scheduling and protocol would be stifling, she enjoys the structure and organization. And a lot of things at her school are done differently from how they were done when I was a child. And my daughter has a different personality than I do. She loves to be on the go. She is extremely social and likes to spend time with other kids. She makes friends easily. So, she really enjoys being around other kids everyday. And it hasn't caused her to have a bad attitude or start acting differently, and hasn't negatively impacted her academics. It has been great for her. While I always loathed group assignments, she finds group work enjoyable and exciting. She has talked a lot recently about some group projects they are working on for reading, English and social studies and a group presentation they are preparing for. She enjoys contributing to the work, hearing her classmates ideas, and working together to improve. I don't want to paint too rosy a picture so that you don't believe me or think I'm pollyanna. There are some kids who get on her nerves, and one kid who irritates her so much that she considers it a break/vacation for her if he is absent. But that is life. We all have to deal with annoying people and learn to get along with people who are very different from us, who rub us the wrong way, or who aren't as mature as we are. And any time there was a real problem, the teacher has quickly taken care of it. There are some teachers in the school that I would not be happy with if my children were put into their classes. And there are way too many fundraisers, in my opinion. There have been a few very minor grading issues with which we didn't agree, but overall it has been a very positive experience for our daughter and our family, much to my surprise. And I am a very picky parent. Last year I spent a lot of time on these boards, and I saw it as a near impossibility that public school could be anything but evil, or mediocre at best. Now, we are considering sending our younger child next year. I would just encourage you to be open to the possibility that it could be good for your daughter, since you already acknowledge the feasibility that it could be bad. Go to the meeting with the principal with an open mind. Also, I wanted to let you know that I understood your comments about your daughter shutting herself in her room to get away from the noise. I think the noise of younger siblings is a completely different distraction than the noise of your own peers in a classroom, unless that classroom is out of control. DD was even beginning to find it difficult to concentrate on her third grade work with a kindergarten brother in the house. Being in a classroom with 19 other kids of her own age is categorically different. Although she still has to be mindful of when she begins an AR test because she finds it difficult to concentrate on reading when the announcements are being read over the PA system or her classmates are shuffling around getting packed up to go home, most of the day is controlled and quiet enough to not be an issue. I wish you clarity of thought and peace with your decision, as I know these kinds of issues are typically fraught with anxiety and conflicting emotions.
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