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Everything posted by KSinNS

  1. I've found that BA has quite a lot of review, they just work it into problems (rather than labeling the page review). Sometimes, the kiddo doesn't remember, at which point we look back in the book. Sometimes I'll give them some review questions just for drill (like multi digit multiplication or long division or whatever-MM blue books are a great resource). I find with multiplication, the kids tend to use the distributive property fluently rather than the algorithm I learned as a kid. They get quite quick at mental math by the later books, and it gets cycled through pretty regularly. For example, my 3rd is doing BA 5 and the integers chapter has had some review on multidigit multiplication and long division. (Not retaught but a fair bit of practice).
  2. So for spelling, my approach has varied by child: Near perfect natural speller-nothing. Point out the odd spelling error. Now that he types, spell check does that. Struggling, unnatural speller (just like her mom)-Apples and Pears Average to better than average-Rod and Staff-fast, easy for me, quick for them., mostly painless Writing/grammar. I like Rod and Staff grammar just because I have so little instruction myself in those areas and I need something independent. I also really love the BraveWriter approach to reading and writing. Love the Writer's Jungle, and your daughter's about the right age to adapt those ideas. I use the Arrow booklets which have a limited amount of grammar, copybook and short writing exercises in conjunction with R+S (I will skip the grammar sometimes). Didn't love the straight up Bravewriter writing programs, but I know that many people do (I think they were a bit time intensive for me). We do some of the Braverwriter lifestyle, and the kiddos LOVE Poetry teatime and Freewriting. They adapt really well to many of different ages.
  3. Grade 10! Yikes! Grade 9 was a good year, so we're doing a lot of the next thing. I should be less busy with work next year, but more busy with homeschooling, so we're sticking with mostly online classes. English- Lukeion Myth Alpha and Beta (he loves the Lukeion courses and they have been a great fit for him) Latin-Lukeion Latin 3 History-Lukeion Greek and Roman History Math-AOPS online academy-Geometry and then something else-either Intro to Number Theory or Intermediate Algebra depending if he does another summer music program next year. He loves the AOPS classes, too. Science-Memoria Press Chemistry. Memoria Press classes also a hit. Music-Double bass, violin, piano, ARCT Harmony, ?Grade 10/ARCT Music History, Orchestra, Choir, etc. Phys-ed- homeschool swimming, pick-up basketball and possibly rowing.
  4. So I've used it with 4 kiddos now (my 9 year old is in level 3, oldest finished level 8 and did not go on the the high school books). With my oldest, he both understood grammar and had a tough time with reading comprehension, so I primarily used it for reading comprehension. He would read the sections and do the exercises, and I would check them to make sure he got them. The goal was to teach him to read and understand a text and follow instructions. He did the writing and grammar exercises. I found the writing instruction to be solid if dull. We did change out the topics to make them more interesting, or he would make them funny (his description of his "disorderly room" was priceless). He writes well and has a very strong sense of grammar, and he reads well now, so I found that R+S really filled his needs. The poetry, while not particularly artistic, did at least get that done, and he's having no problems with using those ideas with more complex poetry now. My second reads well and really struggles with grammar, so I'm supporting her more. She reads it, we do the oral exercises, and then she does about 1/2 the written questions. She's doing pretty well, but we are using it a level behind. I'm doing a different writing program with her because she gets bored more quickly than her brother. That being said, the new writing program is more fun, but less solid. For the younger two (level 5 and 3) we're working somewhere in between. They (or I or my sitter) read the book, practice the oral drills (in level 5) and then do the questions (about 1/2 of them). Again, I'm mostly using the books to ensure that they are learning to read and understand instructions. Especially in the level 3 and 4 books, there's a lot of practicing writing sentences, so I do think, unless your kid is a very smooth, prolific writer, you will miss a lot of the meat of the text if you do it all orally. You'll really only get the grammar portion, which is fine if that's what you want, but facility in writing and the internalization of mechanics is really valuable too. HTH
  5. Math-AOPS Algebra-likely online school, but we will see.. My job is really nuts right now and I still have some less independent littles, so I'm trying to get the biggers to do whatever they can online. Science-Novare Earth Science- online through MP. She absolutely is loving physical science through MP. LA-Rod and Staff English 7, Reading following Brave Writer Boomerang, Writing- probably Byline. She's doing Cover Story this year, and is mostly enjoying it, and her writing is great! She does need some support. Logic-She's going to do Lester's Logic Lounge through Lukieon. Language-Greek 1, again Lukieon. Music-Grade 9 theory, Violin-RCM level 8 likely, Piano, orchestra. Phys ed-basketball. We have a great local rec team, and she really enjoys it! Swimming lessons.
  6. With AOPS, you typically can assume no need to use a calculator. So if you are wondering if they need a calculator, the kiddo may have missed the point of the question. Certainly in BA they want you to practice long division and multiplication so there will be some longer calculations. But nothing unreasonable or long. I'm not sure if they want to do multiplication/division practice in Prealgebra. My daughter ran into one recently where my husband asked me if she could use a calculator, but I think she had missed the quicker work-around to avoid a nasty long division question.
  7. So my experience with this is my oldest (now 14) did prealgebra and the first 2/3rds of algebra largely self-taught (age 10-13). Like you, he started doing it with us, and then moved to self-teaching. He did the problems in the book rather than alcumus as the only difference (he is extremely trustworthy). My husband would sit down with him to look at his work every now and then, or when he was struggling. He did fine, though I was a bit concerned about his pace (which was a bit slow-close to 2 years/book) and accountability. He did every single problem (including every challenge problem). We got busier this year, so we put him in the AOPS counting and probability course. It took him a couple of weeks to change his style of doing math, but he quickly had no problems and really enjoyed the class. He was very well prepared. My second is ready to start PA, and she's going to do the online class (because of my time limitations). I think both can work, and certainly I'm very happy with how my son did. I think he took substantially longer doing it himself than doing the online class, but otherwise he did really well. (He did start PA much less well prepared than my daughter, so I think the extra time he took was well spent).
  8. So my 13 year old used Novare Physical science and Earth Science. I've used some of the quizzes, and he has generally enjoyed it. The labs did not really get done, but that had more to do with my organization than anything. They are coming out with a home lab kit, and I'm tempted to buy it even though the shipping to Canada will cost a bomb. He's learned a ton. He reads, answers the questions and we go over it. The books are a good size to get done in one year with minimal stress. I'm planning to continue this series with my next kiddo. Hope that helps.
  9. One of my kids who struggled with fractions really just didn't get it. We spent days and days cutting toast in 1/2, fruit in half, until she got that concept. Then thirds then quarters. Then cutting half into quarters, etc. Then we started working with blocks. I'd put square blocks together into shapes and then talk about how 1 block would be what part of the shape, etc. It took a long time, but now she gets it and she's not memorizing. The one downside with MUS in terms of fractions is that it is easy to go to rote memory which will cause the errors your are describing. Baking, especially doubling and tripling recipes really helps too. Measuring cups are your friends. Good luck.
  10. I do have kids with ADHD (and some without). Lots of great advice above. Some things I have found helpful are short lessons. We only work as long as the kiddo can concentrate, and then take a break. My lessons would never take an hour. 10-20 minutes max at that age. Then we change subjects or take a break. Charlotte Mason has a lot to say about the habit of attention, and I think her points are great whether a kid has ADHD or not (and my ADHD kids did end up on medication). For getting words on paper-that can be a multi-step process for many kids. We found BraveWriter to be a great resource. We do free writing a la Julie Bogart twice a month or so, where you pick a prompt, set a timer (we start with 5 minutes) and then the kid writes anything that comes into their head for 5 minutes. No style points, no spelling corrections, no handwriting comments. They need not stay on topic. If a kid isn't ready to do that yet (and it sounds like your daughter may not be) we will start with me scribing what the child says, so they can see the process. Then they usually tell me when they want to write their own (in our house that took up to a year). Once you are done, the kids draw a picture if they want, share with the group if they want, and then put it in their binder. I never look at them. It really helps break down writing block. And if the writing goes in the garbage, that's okay to. It's an exercise about making the writing the kid's own. I'm amazed after several years, what they can churn out.
  11. A Christmas Carol Also, anything by Agatha Christie (especially anything written before 1940-some of the later ones are a bit weird.) My personal favourites (and least gruesome) are: Murder at the Vicarage and The Man in the Brown Suit, but many of the others are also awesome.
  12. The Shepherd by Fredrick Forsythe (more a novella). Listen to the Fireside Al recording from the CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-shepherd-edition-2016-1.3907204 Also from the CBC, any of the Vinyl Cafe books (or stories on the radio) by Stuart McLean. These stories were originally read by the author on his radio show, and he reads them so well, it's absolutely worth listening to them. But the books are great too. Some are a bit sad, but most are funny and very uplifting. http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/vinyl-cafe I remember most of the early ones. I'm not sure how far back the web recordings go.
  13. The most obvious connection is note length-whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, 16th notes, 1/32nd notes. Triplets too (1/3 of a quarter), and you're all set. Maybe do some clapping. To be honest, my kids either got this intuitively or struggled terribly. Those that struggled found more concrete representations (toast, fruit, etc. more meaningful). I have an 11 year old, who is great with math and a lovely musician, and ask her to relate an eighth note to a quarter, and she's done. TiTi Ta she gets. The string ratios are also fun and somewhat easy to do on a violin. Spend some time playing with harmonics (the first is at the middle of the string, the second is at the 3/4 point, the harmonics at a 5th are also in fractional positions two-thirds, I think, but I can't remember exactly). You can also figure out most of the notes by dividing strings (though this gets more deeply into ratios, which may not be where you want to go). Enjoy!
  14. We basically follow the public school schedule, but we often take some extra time off, and we tend to take a week or two when I need it. We still get lots done.
  15. I do that, and so do many of the people I work with. If we aren't sure what to do about something, we'll talk it through while the other person grunts and nods. I think this is very common, and quite a good strategy.
  16. So for my kiddo with ADD, xtramath was a disaster. It went way too fast, and was way too frustrating. I went totally old-school with flashcards. We did things that add to 2 (and the subraction facts at the same time) then added 3, 4, etc. to 20. She would practice each new set with blocks until she understood them, made the flash cards and practiced them. Lots of oral word problems. Then we did long practice: 7-4+2-3+1= I'd let her say the numbers as we went because she couldn't hold all that in her working memory. This took about 6-8 months, but worked very well. I also would include multiplication and division (groups of). This is a riff on Grube's method for teaching arithmetic, and it has worked very well for us. She (and my other daughter that I followed the same technique with) have developed a strong mathematical sense, and a good memory for math facts. She still talks about how much she hated the flashcards, but how much she loves math now, so I call it a success.
  17. So this is, IMHO, one of the best things you can learn from music-how to cope with frustration, and how to sort out a problem. A timer can be a problem long term, but may help short term. It might help to have a chat about frustration when he is calm, and then work on how to take a break, come back to it, and face the problem with fresh eyes. If you know about music, you can sometimes help trouble-shoot (or get a pianist friend to help). But most important to remember is our family mantra-there are no practice related emergencies. If you can't get something figured out, it's really not life and death. Just put it aside, and tell your teacher at the next lesson, and they can help you fix the problem. There is so much practice-related angst in our house--but it's very gratifying to see them learn better coping mechanisms. And see that translate into other activities. Oh, and this is always good for a laugh when you/they are having that kind of a day.
  18. So far, R+S English Dancing Bears, 2 kids have completed the program and 1 is halfway through. Works great for us!
  19. We started talking to our son when he was about 7-8 about his autism. We talked about how when he was little he had trouble talking, and how loud noises hurt his ears, and sometimes it was hard to make friends, and that this was because he had autism, and his brain worked in it's own way. We talked about all the wonderful thing his brain does, too. And things that are easy for him, as well as things that are hard. Over time, we've helped him to see where his autism gets in the way, so he can learn to advocate for himself, and ask for the help he needs. He's doing really well, and we really don't keep it a secret (we did at first.) Mostly people have been really supportive, especially with the things he struggles with, like swimming. None of our other kids are autistic, though a few walk close to that line. Several of the others have other labels (ADD, selective mutism and such) so it's just not a big deal. He was 4 when he had his eval, so he doesn't remember, but he and the rest of the others remember their evals, so it's not like we can pretend it's not happening.
  20. We didn't do it last year (last year was nuts) but we did it the year or two before. We'd keep it simple. Make a pot of tea, eat some cookies, and I'd read a poem (or two if they asked for more). That was it. Tons of fun. A couple of times/month was perfect for us.
  21. So I'm in Canada, but here taking a Royal Conservatory exam, both the practical and the theory component, qualifies as a high school music credit. Typically Grade 6 is a grade 10 credit, Grade 7 is a grade 11 credit and Grade 8 is a grade 12 credit. The exams are available in many parts of the US now, and I think they offer the theory courses online. They offer exams in most instruments. They do focus on classical music, and are technique heavy. There are definitely some keys to getting a good grade, so it helps to do them with a teacher familiar with the process. HTH.
  22. So, I had exactly the same problems in grades 1 and 2 with my kiddos (none of whom have dyslexia but several of whom have ADD/Autism/Anxiety). WTM suggestions for grade 1 are WAY too advanced, in my humble opinion, at least for my kiddos. Bravewriter I use a ton, but again at older ages, and I actually didn't love the jot it down book. I agree with all the above. Lots of outside time, read aloud when you can, modified nature study (going out and looking at stuff in the most casual of ways, maybe get her to talk to you about it). My kids liked to memorize poetry, but we did easy and silly poems and they had the right of veto. Shel Silverstein and Robert Munsch are great.
  23. All great advice. I wrote an identical post a few years ago about my 2 who are 15 months apart. D never passed T as T had a big developmental leap. It may never happen. But preserve elders ego when you can, just in case.
  24. So, I've used R+S up to Grade 7. I like them so far. I do get the kids to write it all out, and I think you miss a lot of the meat of Grade 3 and 4 if you do it orally (there is tons of sentence composition practice). They cover a huge amount of material, and the writing instruction is clear and good, if dull. I do change out some of the writing assignments (my personal favourite was my son's compare and contrast essay at about age 10 where he compared my SILs old synthesizer to our "real" piano which was in the shop. He had VERY strong opinions). The books get preachy, but you can have some interesting conversations. For a busy, and frequently overwhelmed, mother, I can trust that they have been introduced to the basics of grammar, english conventions, and writing with no prep and minimal interference from me. I add to the writing, and plan to continue to add as they get older, but overall this is the only thing I am still using from the start of our homeschooling adventure.
  25. Cindy Rawlins has some great stuff on "The Mason Jar" on Morning Time, and tons of other useful tidbits. Look on the Circe website and on their podcasts. You will find lots of her suggestions on how to implement Morning time and generally how to homeschool lots of kids. And her perspective after graduating a bunch of homeschoolers (which I desperately need) Also, I second the suggestion of don't try to do too much. Your kids are little (I know your 8 year old seems huge but she's not). You can get the basics covered in an hour or two (phonics, math, writing, grammar and spelling if necessary or desired) and spend the rest of the time reading, exploring, chanting, looking at stuff, etc.
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