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nerdybird

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About nerdybird

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    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee
  1. We haven't been doing formal spelling, grammar or phonics studies this year. I'd love to say it's because my students are awesome at all of those things, but alas, it's because they have fell by the wayside in favor of reading, science, math, and pet projects. What we have been doing is keeping lists posted on the wall of what we call Mystery Words. Mystery Words are words that we don't know, have questions about, or are just fun or unique for whatever reason. Mystery Words get looked up in the dictionary or Google. They get written down in their notebooks. They (and their definitions) are often copied down in the copywork book. Every few weeks, I take down the lists and we start over again. Sometimes I have my kids make booklets of their words, with illustrations. DD really likes doing that and DS2 will sometimes do it as well. It's a relaxed approach that is probably more supplemental than formal, but it works for us. It's encouraged them to hone their phonics skills and led to discussions about parts of speech, word structure, etymology, and plenty of other things. Mystery Words also sometimes make a guest appearance as a category on our Learning Jeopardy game days. Now that DS2 is old enough to participate, we actually have three contestants lol. Basically, I try to make grasping the concepts and mechanical workings of the English language fun and memorable. I think that is probably the most gentle approach for us prior to delving into formal studies. Next year I plan on introducing grammar as a subject with DD and DS1, and probably some formal writing as well. Maybe this helps? Maybe I'm just rambling. :001_smile:
  2. I wouldn't worry about her not taking biology in year 9. Despite the structure of many high school science sequences of study, biology is not necessarily the first or best science choice for the first year of high school studies. For what it's worth, some school districts purposely structure Physical Science for incoming freshman UNLESS they are planning to pursue AP coursework or science intensive career paths. Back when I was in high school, we did a semester of Earth Science and a semester of Life Science for year 9, biology during year 10, chemistry + anatomy (optional) during year 11, and we could take either AP Bio or AP Chem our senior year. Or we could enroll in science electives like Science Olympiad, Physics, Robotics, whatever. More serious students would often test out of Earth Science and Life Science, do Biology and Chemistry and then they'd have 2 years to take AP courses or dual enroll at the local CC. This was a midsized suburban high school back in the late 90s. Also it's worth noting that some high school science sequences would place physics or chemistry BEFORE biology as mentioned above. Others let students swap out courses like physics or even chemistry for Zoology, Botany, Meteorology, Astronomy or Agricultural Studies if the student has at least 2 sciences credits already. It would probably be best to plan on her doing chemistry and biology at CC or co-op so she would have access to labs. So I would say go ahead with Physical Science or its equivalent and once you are done with Algebra or at a place where her math skills are sufficient for the more advanced science coursework, move her to Biology or Physics and plan saving Chemistry for later. Just my 2 cents. Obviously not doing high school yet.
  3. I've had some success on Craigslist. I've sold book lots on eBay before as well. Our preferred strategy is to wait until April-June to sell. A lot of people are looking to buy curriculum for the next year that time of year in the US.
  4. I agree with 908874. I think that maybe you shouldn't focus 100% on classics. Non-fiction is cool too, especially for curious kids who want to see how things work and why they came about and so on. Another thing that came to mind after my last post was that maybe your boy would be interested in Snap Circuits or Robotikits. He may be a touch too young though, plus I've found those sorts of things to be more a Dad thing in our household. I would also recommend a few books that my little guys really liked. We do a lot of science fiction for bedtime and read alouds. :) The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet -- This is a chapter book. Written in the 1950s and it's never went out of print, which is a testament to its greatness. It's a really good adventure story with young boy protagonists who take off on a trip to outer space in a ship they made themselves. The Time Machine and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Classic Starts series) -- These are shorter kid-friendly versions of the classic works by HG Wells and Jules Verne. My boys adored both of these. Great science-y adventure stories with lots of imagination. DK Eyewitness also has good reference style book on robots for kids. It's a bit outdated though. R Is For Robot is a cute robot themed alphabet book. What Do You Do With An Idea? is an awesome little book about ideas, confidence and a lot more. Good for character education, inspiration and just a neat little read.
  5. I'll have to look into these apps and the Genki textbook. The apps may make a nice summer intro to Japanese to gauge interest. There's also a family at our church who lived in Japan for a length of time. Two of their kids are fluent and the oldest has done a few presentations/informal Japanese classes with the homeschool co-op/group. They were for 10-14 yo though, so DD wasn't old enough to attend the last time they were offered.
  6. We have considered having him do FF on his own. I am on the fence as to whether or not he can handle it on his own though. He still needs quite a bit of handholding and oversight. I think he would get overwhelmed or just obsess over irrelevant things at this point. I'm looking for something that he can do on his own, but that has a monitoring component to help him stay on track. Plus I want him to have a bit more exposure to the German language before I leave him to own devices with FF. Since I can't really help him, he'll need to be more independent in seeking help and also in managing his time. I just don't think he's there yet. Duolingo looks really promising and we've used Memrise before for other subjects, so I think that is most likely path for us to take next year unless we find a curriculum that just wows us at this point.
  7. We kind of do this multiple year for multiple kids approach. Ambleside Online is fairly comprehensive and can be tailored to individual kids and levels without much fuss. If nothing else, the booklists are a valuable resource, imho. AO also posts TONS of resources, like week by week lesson plans and ideas for art, music, and Shakespeare rotations. AO encompasses pretty much every area but math, if you want it to do so for your situation. I don't use it for everything, but you probably can. Best thing is you don't really have to purchase much formal curriculum (textbooks, workbooks) until your kids get older unless you feel the need to do so. SotW is another multiple year, multiple kid curriculum. Works great for history, language arts, and writing, as well as read aloud, dictation, narration and sometimes copywork. Math is really tricky though. I like Singapore Math, but different families/kids have different needs. It isn't a curriculum that lends itself to multi kid, multi year approach, imho. However, I believe that SM makes it easier to track your child's progress and see problem areas. My oldest uses Saxon because it works for him, but some find it dry and boring. Real Science 4 Kids is fairly easy to use for multiple kids at multiple levels. I have to do some extra work to seek out supplementary resources for my older ones, but it is pretty easy to use with the younger kids and it's pretty fun to do together with the whole family. I do rely on consumables more than I should. I'm a Kumon fangirl, and I'm not ashamed. The investments are worth it though because all of my kids like them and they are great supplements for the younger ones. I strongly suggest splurging on the Let's Fold, Let's Cut and Let's Paste workbooks if you have littles. They are great fun group activities for anyone doing Pre-K or K at home, I think. :) The Maze books are also really good. As for learning to teach, I think that some structure is good, but good teaching is somewhat intuitive. Only you know your kids, your family values, their passions, their learning styles, etc. Adjustments are necessary and curriculum that are really great when you're teaching a 6 year old and 8 year old and a gaggle of littles tend to wear themselves out by the time you're teaching a 12 year old, a 9 year old, and a gaggle of littles a few years down the road, in my experience. Jmho.
  8. My oldest (12yo) expressed an interest in learning German this year, so we purchased Rosetta Stone Homeschool German for him. He is really NOT liking it, complains about it being boring and his progress is fairly non-existent. He says that he still wants to continue studying German, just not with Rosetta Stone. He's pretty good with languages despite having a lingering speech impediment and not being very verbally oriented. We did Fluent Forever Spanish on our own for 5 years with pretty good success. He likes flashcards and rote memory tasks a lot. He is also very auditory and has to have a curriculum that features a strong auditory component. I would have done FF with German, but I just don't have the time to whip up a DIY curriculum for a language that I know little about. So we thought that Rosetta Stone would work well enough. ------------- DD (9yo) wants to start studying Japanese next year. I don't think she would do well with Rosetta Stone and I haven't found much else out there that I think would be appropriate for her. Any ideas? Anyone else doing Japanese with non-high school level students?
  9. I would do an interest-based theme unit. What is your little interested in? What does he want to learn about? What sorts of things do you want to do with him at this stage? I'd say it's a special treat to just have one child to focus on. I really enjoyed just having DS2 at home last year and kind of miss it on crazy days now that I have 6 nerdlings in the nest most times. Also be sure to make plenty of time for play, trips to the park and such. That was actually my favorite part of just having DS2 around. I could take him places and really connect with just him. We had a lot of good conversations and fun times doing things like making picnic lunches, playing in the snow, tackling the climbing wall at the big park together...
  10. My Ideal K Curriculum: Varies by child, ;) I've only homeschooled one K, because my two older kids went to school for K due to me working at the time and juggling multiple littles. Last year, my K boy was already reading, writing, and ready to do serious school so he did all first grade level stuff. This year, my K boy is still doing Pre-K. So I guess next year he'll be doing "real" K level stuff. --------------- My Tentative Plans for K Next Year: READING/LANGUAGE ARTS: Ambleside Online Year 1 (currently doing Y0) All About Reading Level 1 (probably just supplemental usage) Mom-made Phonics Games MATH Singapore Math Essentials and Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics Kumon G1 level workbooks Math Minutes and other drills SCIENCE RS4K Chemistry and experiments with siblings. Lots of books. HISTORY Story of the World 1 (next year we restart the cycle...) Lots of books. FAITH This is up to DH, since I don't teach subjects related to this. Probably some Daddy devotionals and Seeds Family Worship and other scripture memory songs.FOREIGN LANGUAGE Fluent Forever Spanish. This is DIY, using resources I've made for my kiddos. Little Pim Spanish Spanish language DVDs from the library. ART Artistic Pursuits Ambleside Online artist rotations Drawing Lessons with DD (she wants to teach her little brothers how to draw so that they can help her realize her dream of making her own anime...) PE continue Tae Kwan Do, Irish Dance, and Ballet lessons free play at home MUSIC continue piano lessons 2x weekPENMANSHIP Handwriting Without Tears, Kindergarten level and maybe grade 1OTHER Lego Lessons with DS1 Train time if he's still into that Speech Therapy starting in May Summer Sports camp in July Cub Scouts, maybe ----- Most of this is probably doable, with the exception of Artistic Pursuits. Probably not going to happen because I am just not that sort of hs mom. Not crafty and frankly, only DD has any real interest in art at this point. DS2 isn't ready for a formal art curriculum and basically just likes to paint and scribble. So formal art would be a stretch for him. A lot of what is on here isn't so much an ideal for him but is realistic because of my older kids. He'll study what they study and we'll do the best that we can to make sure that he makes progress.
  11. I would suggest Real Science 4 Kids. They have elementary and middle school level chemistry curriculum available. We were going to do chemistry this year, but opted to do astronomy for the older ones and physics for the younger one who is ready for science. We'll be doing chemistry together as a family next year, so we're looking forward to that.
  12. Our Experience: DS1 and DD both went to public school for K. DS1 went to school until halfway through second grade. We dissatisfied with the level of services of local school system was providing and disagreed with their decision to mainstream him in second grade. He did not adjust well, so we withdrew him and kept his sister in the local school for K until the end of the year. We hs'ed everyone for 2 years. Then in 2014, I had some health issues and we had to re-evaluate our educational plan. We decided to place the oldest in a small private school near our home at the time. My MIL stepped in and continued to homeschool DD and DS2 until the end of the school year. DD went to public school last year for third grade. The two youngest went to a church-run preschool/day care program 3 days a week up until last summer. The hardest part was definitely the pick up and drop offs, along with all of the activities we were doing at the time. Activities fell by the wayside. DD stopped doing ballet because it conflicted with other activities. We stopped doing so many church activities. We managed, but barely. If you are very organized and have a DH that is willing and able to help, that's great. Definitely look into carpooling. If your area has public transport, maybe your oldest could utilize that too? Stay on top of schedules and make sure any kids who are outside the home are aware of the schedule too. Last spring we discovered that #6 was on the way. We decided to try homeschooling everyone again because I'm a glutton for punishment. Plus I just couldn't continue to spend 2-5 hours a day in the van with all of the kids and a newborn. Just NO. :scared: ------- I wouldn't feel bad about my kid going to ps or private school or whatever, and my other kids homeschooling. Sometimes you have to do what needs to be done and sometimes that involves different strokes for different kid-folks.
  13. It's a puberty thing. My oldest started going through the space cadet thing at 11, right before puberty REALLY started. Now he's in the full swing and we've had some adjustment issues. He doesn't space with math, but reading, writing, Rosetta Stone, copywork, Bible... What worked for mine was to structure his workflow so that he didn't have to read as much. Just listen. More reading aloud, more audiobooks, more video lessons. I also let him do "Lego Lessons" with DS2 and DS3 a few afternoons a week. He teaches them how to build things he has already built, older kits, that sort of thing. They spend time together, he gets to focus on something he loves, it's a good reward for those longer days when things haven't gone so smoothly. I also let him spend time playing guitar in the basement when he needs to "chill out". I set a timer and 15-20 minutes of guitar time can really work wonders for him in terms of stopping the puberty space out blues, lol. I'm also a big fan of backyard recess for my kiddos. Just because DS1 is 12 doesn't mean that he doesn't need to run around and doesn't enjoy bouncing tennis balls off of the house, climbing trees or riding his bike around the neighborhood with no particular goal in mind. Sometimes I think he needs that downtime more than the others. He is also in TKD and has been since age 6. He's not competitive, but I think that the discipline and the physicality of TKD has really helped him to manage his energy level over the years.
  14. We only do school 4 days per week now. We go year round, only taking brief period off for family time and holidays. Birthday Policy: We kind of consider birthdays to be holidays. DS1's b-day is close enough to Christmas that it gets rolled in with the general holiday hullabaloo. DD and DS4's birthdays are both close to the 4th of July, so we just take a couple weeks off around that time and celebrate both b-days and the 4th with a family trip if we can. The other three have birthdays scattered throughout the year, but we just take the birthdays off as a family if we can and go out for a celebration then. Illness Policy: We work around it if we can. The older two (ages 12 and 9) will usually stay in their rooms. I will assign them a documentary to watch on Netflix or YouTube and they are expected to write a journal or do a narration on it. They will usually do some exercises from their Kumon workbooks and maybe some math worksheets if I feel it necessary. DD will also do penmanship and they will both be expected to do their copywork exercises. Reading, drawing, Lego, and that will round out a sick day's worth of studies for them. DS2 is 6 and when he is ill, I will usually put him in in the guestroom/office on the futon. I allow him to watch to educational programs (Word World, Wild Kratts, Leapfrog, Odd Squad) and I will have him do narrations to make sure he actually paid attention. He will do exercises from his Kumon workbooks. I will give him a stack of coloring pages and some crayons to keep him busy. I also allow him to play games on the tablet because I'm not a perfect parent, lol. My three littles are too little to be trusted for extended periods of time while ill. Generally, if one or more of them is ill, I give the older kids a light sick day's worth of study and send the older ones off to grandma's if she can take them. She will drill them and make sure they get some music and reading time in, at least. If the baby is sick, I do the best I can to keep the older ones going while caring for him. Thankfully, we've only had a few bouts of illness so far this year. Mostly Mommy's bronchitis and DS3's ear infections, booooo. ------- Do the best you can, that's all any of us can do. :)
  15. We've got the opposite issue, as you can see in my sig. One girl and FIVE boys! I worry a lot about her sometimes, but as she's gotten older, I've seen that it's not always a bad thing. She is much more resilient than most girls her age in terms of bouncing back from teasing and such. She is much more comfortable around boys than most young girls are and seems to be more confident as well. Like she isn't afraid to go up to a group of boys and ask them to spar at TKD or to ask a group of kids at church if she can sit with them or whatever. I think that comes from her constantly having to stand up for herself in a group of wild and outspoken brothers. Plus she is very close with my oldest, even though they are three years apart. They're a great team, she's outgoing, he's the workhorse basically, lol. I have taken care to put her in "girl" activities like dance classes because we felt that she needed to be around more girls when she was about 5-6. She wasn't too keen at first, but has grown into it over the years and really looks forward to spending time with her girlfriends at class and camps and such. So I guess my recommendation would be to find something(s) that is male-dominated that he is interested in. Scouts, sports, Mathletes, Science Olympiad, Lego, there are plenty of things out there that would fit the bill as he gets older.
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