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Everything posted by scott777

  1. My middle schooler loves these two teachers http://historyatourhouse.com http://www.literatureatourhouse.com Both of them were teachers at the Vandamme academy for many years before going online on their own. http://www.vandammeacademy.com/index.php
  2. I belonged to the Robinson Facebook group for about a year, and it seemed to me that a large majority were thriving with the RC methods. As a matter of fact, many families had found the RC out of desperation because they were burnt out and failing from their previous homeschooling efforts. Just read the forums here to see such struggles. The RC is far more than a book list. It is a method that develops the student into an independent self guided learner. For my students, we have modified the RC curriculum so that we have added formal history and literature. We don't use the book list. Nonetheless, the method has been a God send with saxon math and hake grammar. You know, "Give a man a Fish....Teach a man to fish". Anyway, I am very thankful to have found this book by Doris Leclerc Ball that validates the advantages of independent learning. Revolutionizing Education in America:The TOTIL Method by Doris Leclerc Ball PhD Link: http://amzn.com/B005X8MQII
  3. Yes, outsource it to history at our house with scott Powell. I have mentioned in the past how great my wife and I think his teaching is. It so happens our 4th, 5th, and 7th graders are taking his excellent American History class this year. Truth be told, I love listening to the classes on my way to work. He offers live class subscriptions or subscriptions for the recordings only. We do the recordings for $20/month. He conducts the live class on webex and the recordings are available later in the day. We started last year in January and were able to finish the class by end of June by doing a class a day, so you can definitely catch up. The class has notes, test review, tests, and map exercises. A favorite part of the course is the history through art classes he does once every week or so. It is so enlightening and interesting. Your child is 5th grade, so would be in the upper elementary course. Check it out. Oh it is from a secular perspective if that matters to you. All 3 of my kids are constantly talking about mr Powell and how much they love his class. http://historyatourhouse.com
  4. Here is part 1 of a 3 part series by Saxon Author Stephen Hake on CCSS. His perspective is pretty interesting. I will be publishing parts 2 and 3 over the next week. http://wp.me/p4nApj-1j
  5. The big grammar book can easily be used as a consumable workbook. The type of question are answered by having the student circle the appropriate choice, underline a phrase, write 1 word answers, write a few sentences, and draw a diagram or two.
  6. XtraMath History At Our House (Webex) Literature At Our House (WizIQ) Quizlet for vocabulary
  7. JoJosMom / kwg, The website definitely WAS NOT a chronic problem last year for History at our House or the Literature at our House. It looks like they are trying to implement a new payment system this week, so they are making changes to the pages unfortunately. It looks like it is working ok right now. The main websites, historyatourhouse.com or literatureatourhouse.com, are for information about the program such as a the syllabus, school year calendar, and for registering for the courses. After you register for the courses, you are sent an email with a link to the content. There are differences for history at our house vs literature at our house. Scott Powell of HAOH uses Webex for the live classes while Luc Travers, who teaches LAOH, uses WizIQ for the live classes. Depending on the level you purchase, live classes or recordings, you will access them through a web link that is provided after registration. We had no issues accessing recordings throughout the entire year. Both teachers are very responsive so you can contact them directly with questions. Scott Powell's email address is: powell_sd@hotmail.com Luc Travers for Literature: luctravers@gmail.com Oh it also looks like Scott Powell has added an informational video to historyatourhouse.com site. Or access directly on YouTube Hope I have answered your concerns about the website. It really was an amazing history and literature program that the kids just loved. They are getting excited about the new year for both classes!
  8. My 4th and 6th graders loved these two guys. This is like a regular class setting over webex. You can buy a subscription to the online class and have your daughter sit in, or you can pay less for the recordings. We buy the recordings. I think Scott Powell does such a great job teaching the students history. http://historyatourhouse.com and Mr. Travers is an amazing Literature teacher http://www.literatureatourhouse.com
  9. kiana, I think that place value understanding really shines in Saxon's mental math sections. Right from 5/4, Stephen Hake starts teaching mental math strategies with regrouping, partial products techniques, half of 10, etc. that really cement place value knowledge for the students. I am bummed that my oldest only started the mental math with the 8/7 book, but even with him his ability has increased tremendously. Can't wait to see how my daughter who started the 5/4 book progressive on up through the Saxon series with these kind of mental math exercises.
  10. In general I would go with the editions that Art Reed recommends: http://www.homeschoolwithsaxon.com/newsletterpage-2013.php#0413 Some people like the simplicity of the 1st and some 2nd editions but it seems you need to be careful not to mix them around the 7/6, 8/7 area.
  11. Yes, I am very surprised how much Saxon gets criticized for lacking conceptual instruction. In fact, I thought the teaching of pi was excellent through 3 of the books. As a matter of fact, Math 7/6 had an excellent investigation activity that cemented the understanding of pi for my son. Now in Math 8/7 it is a given to him. In my opinion, Stephen Hake and John Saxon really thought thing out with the program especially the balance between concepts and practicing. Oh and the mental math is INVALUABLE in my view.
  12. elmerRex, Course 1 = Math 7/6 = 6th grade Course 2 = Math 8/7 = 7th grade Course 3 is 8th grade. Keep in mind that the Course books are not officially offered to homeschoolers. Some homeschoolers choose to buy Course 3 from 3rd party sources and use it between (Math 8/7 or Algebra 1/2) and Algebra 1. You can read the author's opinion on this in my discussion with him on my blog. http://homeschoolingodyssey.wordpress.com Yes, if you can acquire the course books, then you could do 5/4, 6/5, Course 1, Course 2, Course 3.
  13. According to the Hake Publishing site, not much was changed. http://www.hakepublishing.com/common-core-state-standards.html How much revision did Grammar and Writing undergo to meet Common Core? Very little. Because of the already extensive nature of the Grammar and Writing series, nothing whatsoever was changed in the hardcover textbooks. The authors added between three to five new lessons at the end of the student workbooks, and that is all. In what ways does Grammar and Writing exceed the Common Core Standards? Grade-appropriate Core Knowledge® content (not to be confused with Common Core) is embedded in the examples and exercises to reinforce learning of other subject areas, including literature, geography, science, the Constitution, and America's founding. By combining a rigorous language arts framework with a proven pedagogy developed to stimulate exceptional student achievement, Grammar and Writing creates a rich educational experience surpassing the scope of most state standards.
  14. I would definitely NOT describe Saxon Math as "drill and kill". That was a negative description used by the education establishment in the 80s and 90s to disparage John Saxon and his books because his books were making the "experts" look like fools - because they worked so well and the test results proved it. What i love about the Saxon books 5/4 and up are that they DO teach the concepts very well. I do read about many people not liking the books below 5/4 however (i have never used those). The concepts are taught clearly and succinctly so that my children can read them independently and truly understand them. These books make the math books and education that I received in the 80s look like a cruel joke. The problem sets, which attract the "drill and kill" tag, are the key to the program. These 30 review problems are crafted to include a certain mix of problems to strengthen the understanding of these problems and to move that understanding into long term memory - so called automaticity. Ironically, a true drill and kill program is more typically found in conventional unit programs where concepts are presented in chapter units. In these programs, a concept is taught and then 30 problems of the same type are assigned. This drill and kill, as I found with my children in their public school days with Everyday Mathematics, resulted in a temporary or short term memory mastery. How frustrating, boring, and ineffective it was for them to drill 20- 30 of the same type of problem. Even worse, the material was soon forgotten. I think it is funny that some people term these unit programs as "mastery". Far from it in my opinion. Not so with the Saxon problem sets. They are a challenge and more interesting to the student, because the child's brain is shifting from one concept to the other. More importantly because of it being done OVER TIME, it becomes truly mastered. This is really how we learn everything in life. Math is the most difficult language currently known, so there must be some rigor to learning it. I also have a feeling that exercising the brain over 30 mixed problems in this fashion leads to a better understanding of mathematics as a whole. I can't prove this and have not found any studies, but to me it makes sense that the child's brain is making deeper connections with the relationships of math. I think what I am trying to say here is better said by John Saxon himself in his introduction to Algebra 2 3rd edition: "Concepts that were confusing when first encountered became familiar concepts after they had been practiced for a period of weeks or months - until finally they were understood. Then further study of the same concepts caused additional understanding as totally unexpected ramifications appeared. And, as we mastered these new abstractions, our understanding of seemingly unrelated concepts became clearer. Thus, mathematics does not consist of unconnected topics that can be filed in separate compartments, studied once, mastered, and then neglected. Mathematics is like a big ball made of pieces of string that have been tied together. Many pieces touch directly, but the other pieces are all an integral part of the ball, and all must be rolled along together if understanding is to be achieved."
  15. Thankfully there doesn't seem to be much change at all. It says no changes to the Grammar portion. http://www.hakepublishing.com/common-core-state-standards.html
  16. Mom in High Heels, I will be taking Scott Powell's History at Our House for American History next year. I took his European History for Upper Elementary children this year and learned so much. Oh I am 45 by the way.. :) Seriously, my 9 and 12 yr old loved this guy. I listened to every recording commuting to work, and I learned more from this elementary class than I did in high school or college. Mr. Powell is very entertaining, knows his stuff well, and delivers it well. I think he is a great history teacher. You can do either recordings of Webex, or live Webex with the class. http://www.historyatourhouse.com
  17. I think the Hake Publishing FAQ page supports what Hunter is saying regarding placement in the Hake Program. http://www.hakepublishing.com/grammar-and-writing-faq.html Is there a placement test for Grammar and Writing like there is for Saxon® Math? In the past we offered a placement test, but nearly every student placed at the lowest level due to insufficient grammar preparation. We now recommend placing a student at grade level if the student reads comfortably at or above grade level. If a student struggles with reading, starting at a lower level is strongly recommended. In what ways does the content differ from grade level to grade level? Similar grammatical content is presented at each level, but the depth and difficulty increases from book to book while some new content is added. Students in the lower level books still learn a great deal of grammar content, but the reading level and vocabulary are less challenging. Students starting the program in later grades will not miss any prior grammar content. The reading level, subject depth, pace of instruction, coverage of new topics, and vocabulary difficulty increase with each grade level. Questions from Teachers and Parents: Do students need to start with the first book? It is not necessary for older students to start at the lower levels, since prior-year topics are fully reviewed in the upper levels. The grade levels are differentiated by reading level, vocabulary difficulty, curriculum standards, and the overall pace and depth of instruction. No prior grammar instruction is required to begin at any grade level. For best results, we recommend that students start at their comfortable reading level, but not higher than their current grade level, and complete a minimum of two years of the program. This will ensure that a strong foundation of language mastery endures, serving the students very well throughout higher education and adulthood. Students beginning the curriculum in later grades will not miss any prior grammar content. The reading level, subject depth, pace of instruction, coverage of additional topics, and vocabulary difficulty increase with each level.
  18. Hi Penn/SewLittleTime, I think I wrote something in another thread about Hake Grammar and our experiences with the program, but I will summarize here. Our two sons, who were publicly schooled up to this year, started homeschooling in what would have been their 4th and 6th grade years. So both of them had a pretty superficial understanding of formal grammar when beginning the Hake books. The public schools do work on a good amount of writing however. Each of the children was placed in the corresponding Hake book for their grade level (4th and 6th). Both of them did very well with the program which is very detailed. Their test averages were both over 85%, which I think is fine with such a deep program. The tests cover grammar usage, diagramming, and vocabulary. So how does the lesson play out in our home? One component of the Hake Grammar program is the oral dictation exercises. These exercises are an addition to normal daily lesson. At the start of the week, lets say it is Monday, the student copies a dictation passage from their book into their notebook. They will study this dictation at the start of each subsequent day for about 5 focusing on punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. At the start of the Friday grammar time, we read the dictation test to our child and they write it in a notebook. This takes about 10 minutes. We then grade the dictation test and then have the child fix it, or perhaps write words 10 times for spelling errors. Days that do not include the dictation copying or the dictation test (Monday and Friday) start with a journaling exercise. The student picks a journal topic from the book and is supposed to write about that topic for 5-10 minutes in their journal notebook. We follow Hake's advice and do not grade these journal writings. Hake wants it to be a private and non-threating experience. Normal daily grammar lessons are either grammar lessons, writing lessons, or tests. The entire year is scheduled in the teacher manual for around 143 days. Usually the schedule follows 5-7 days in a row of grammar or writing lessons with a test on the next day. Days that have tests also include a writing lesson. Typically the next 2 or 3 days after the test day consist of writing lessons. So, a day may look like 5 minutes of them copying their dictation exercise or journaling, followed by them doing a grammar lesson. The grammar lesson will usually take them about 25-35 minutes. They will read the lesson by themselves and ask my wife for any clarifications from their reading. This is very rare however, as they seem to understand the lesson and the example with solutions very well. Then they will be faced with 5-10 practice questions followed my the 30 mixed problem set. My wife corrects the lesson in less than 5 minutes and then the kids will fix the questions they got wrong. Again, I would say that a regular grammar lesson takes about 25-35 minutes total for the student. The rest of the week will follow suit except for the Friday dictation test before the grammar lesson instead of a journal entry. The next Monday will be a test day. Really it is the 6th day is the test day and this will keep shifting. It is never the same day of the week because the writing lesson are variable. So on a test day, it will typically take them 15 minutes to complete the test. We grade it and they fix it for another 5 minutes. Then they will do the writing lesson assigned to that test day. Usually these writing lessons on test day are rather brief and may take 10-15 minutes. Very often after a test day, the next day or two consists of a follow up writing lessons. There are no grammar lesson on the same day as a writing lesson. So there may be 2 days of writing lessons and then 5 days of grammar lessons with the test the next day. So you can't count on tests being the same day each week. I love the incremental nature of the program that emulates the Saxon math program. Same Saxon author, Stephen Hake, developed this grammar series and it shows. Love how the vocabulary is part of that continual review provided with the mixed practice sets. From our experience, it seems that this gives the child a great recognition of these vocabulary words but definitely not a mastered memorization of them. So we enter the words into Quizlet vocabulary lists and have them study lists of 20 words and prefixes at a time for about 10 minutes a day to strengthen the vocabulary memorization. I have read some negative, maybe not negative, buy concerned reviews of the writing instruction that Hake provides. My wife, who taught English and writing in grammar school thinks they provide excellent instruction regarding the writing process and organization of the different styles of writing. Some people may be concerned that the amount of writing is not enough. My kids did about 10 different formal writing products such as: Poems, chapter summary, imaginative story, descriptive essay, personal narrative, research paper, expository essay, persuasive essay etc. We just had them do a couple repeats with topics or our choosing. They followed the lesson guidance with the new topic. So a parent can just add to the writing requirement if they wish. The writing workbook then take the child through an evaluation of the essay where the the child assesses their work. We still grade and mark the essay after this evaluation. I have the 4th - 8th grade books. Each book is incremental just like Saxon Math, and each followup book basically cycles through everything from the previous book but at a deeper level. Personally, I would be sure that if a student goes through at least the 6th-8th books, they will have an excellent knowledge of grammar with it's usage to writing. Throw in the vocabulary and the dictation exercises, and I just love this series. I think I would do it again the same way as far as putting the kids in their respective grade level books, 4th and 6th. However, if I had a 7th grader, I might want them to start in the 6th grade book for the benefit of cycling through at least 3 books in the series. My opinion is that 3 books 6-8 th grade would be very good but anything before that through the 8th grade book will be excellent. I can't wait to see how my 4th grader is doing after the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th. Maybe he will get bored! :) Right now he loves it though. Hope this helps
  19. drum1019, My 6th grader loves Mr. Travers of LiteratureAtOurHouse. Check out his open house YouTube video to get a better idea what he covers in his class.
  20. Angela, you're welcome. you can message me if you have any further questions down the line.
  21. No problem Angela. The 3 classes are all the same length and he conducts them all with live students. You can choose to have your child sit in the live class for all 3 classes, for just 1 of the classes (you choose the day), or for none of the live classes. http://www.literatureatourhouse.com If you took the option for 1 live class, then you would access to the other 2 as recordings. The recorded classes are usually available soon after the live class has taken place. He runs it all through the WizIQ website. If you opted for no live classes, like we currently do, then you would access the recordings. Regardless of which option you choose, you always have access to the recorded classes. So if live participants miss a class they surely can watch the recorded class at a later time. So, basically you choose one of those option and purchase it through the website with PayPal as a monthly option. You get billed for a monthly cost through PayPal based on the option you pick. When your first register and set up the PayPal, then you get a link to the WizIQ website. That is where you access the course contents. The contents consist of PDFs of class notes, pictures, poems. The main content is the video of each class. I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you need more clarification.
  22. Hi Angela, yeah, there is not much out there regarding Literature at Our House because this was the first year that Mr. Travers conducted this online class. He originally taught at the VanDamme Academy in California for many years. We used it with our two sons this year and absolutely loved it from day 1. Mr. Travers conducts it like a real class with around 10-15 kids per class. He has an Upper Elementary class (4-6th grade) and a Jr. High class (7-9). At times, the kids in the class read aloud from the books and from poetry together. Every class, Mr. Travers poses challenge questions about what the children read the night before for an assignment. He really gets them thinking about the characters and plot in ways they wouldn't be with reading it on their own in my opinion. He also assigns writing assignments for each book. There is the option of subscribing to the live class 3 times per week, 1 time per week, or to only do the recordings. Of course, each option is a different course. He is going to be offering a 1 day a week writing workshop next year to go along with the Literature class. He is a very nice guy and he will even offer you the opportunity to have your kid sit in on the online class a few times for free to feel it our. You can contact him through his Facebook page or home page below. I'm sure he would be happy to answer any of your questions. http://www.luctravers.com https://www.facebook.com/literatureatourhouse?ref=br_tf Our favorite aspect is that every so often he brings a work of art into the class and examines it in a way that even interests me! Here is an example of how he does that. I normally didn't think about Art like this, now I do :) Let me know if I can answer any other questions you may have All the Best - Scott
  23. Paradox5, you should be able to click on the YouTube video to play the open house. tell me if that works for you or not.
  24. reefgazer, it sure is not easy to find anymore on their site. I found it though: http://www.hmhco.com/shop/k12/Saxon-Algebra-1/9781600329715 I usually buy it new from Amazon or Christianbooks for much cheaper though http://www.christianbook.com/saxon-algebra-home-study-third-edition/9781565771239/pd/791230?item_code=WW&netp_id=415496&event=ESRCG&view=details
  25. Hi Susan, Yes no battles here either! I think that your information is correct that new editions are and will be shaped to CC. I am sure the current Course 1, 2, 3 and the homeschool editions are not part of that now. Anyway, like you said, whatever personally feels more comfortable for the family.
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