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Everything posted by StephanieB

  1. My 9 yo daughter read a really great biography about John Deere called Pioneer Plowmaker a couple of months ago. It was pretty short but interesting.
  2. WinterPromise has American History that is for 2nd-8th graders. I've never used it but I bet a lot of others on here have...
  3. Hello! I've tried doing a lot of searching to find the answers and didn't have too much luck but I do apologize if this has been hashed and rehashed several times. :) I am looking to make a switch to TOG. We just finished Year 3 of BiblioPlan. (We used year 2 and 3 with SOTW as a spine). I like it ok but we have done a lot of tweaking to make it fit our family a little better. I found that we ended up just doing a lot of reading of the storybooks (we ended up dropping SOTW midway through year 3 in favor of the living books). I like the look of the accountability of TOG as far as things like: learn about these people, learn what these words mean, etc. I like the living books approach but want the accountability of a guide and questions. I'm pretty flexible and I like to keep a measure of flexibility so I think my main question is: Just how flexible is Tapestry of Grace? I know that you can't sub the literature if you want to complete the worksheet, but what about the remaining books? Can those be tweaked pretty easily? Can I fill in and take out and tweak and still maintain the goals for each week or will I mess it all up? I just don't want to lose flexibility if that makes sense? Maybe I'd be better off to stick with BiblioPlan? Thanks so much for your thoughts!
  4. Hey! Me too! Little town outside of Springfield here!!! I'll share my little town, I live in Marshfield! Anyone else?
  5. We like the products by Character Concepts...
  6. That's a tough one! We enjoyed Williamsburg a LOT. We rented costumes for our girls and they had a ton of special interactive experiences because they were dressed up! I blogged about our day HERE. They give you a fun scavenger hunt to do while you are there and they earned a pin before the day was through. We also went to Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown and it was really neat! I blogged about that adventure HERE! At the National Parks they can earn their Jr Ranger badge which is really fun! I'm jealous! I would love to go back! We learned a ton!
  7. Another vote for Sonlight PK3/4 and Before Five in a Row! My little both LOVED those! If you really want structure (and have the budget for it) my kids also both enjoyed BJU Press Pathways for Preschool program.
  8. We like BiblioPlan and we use Story of the World and the other readers for our spine instead of the companion. You can also use Mystery of History if that reads better for you? The companion is really interesting but it is over my DD8's head. I chose it because of the flexibility in readers. We have not used much of the craft projects but we've done a few. Instead of cool history I have used the questions that come with the SOTW activity guide. I find that I sub and tweak a bit but it makes a nice guideline to follow while still providing opportunities for rabbit trails. Although...I drool over TOG and MFW all the time!
  9. Here is a review I wrote as we were mid-week 1. I really liked it and wanted it to work better than it did. My older daughter lost interest so fast and my younger just never got into it at all. http://swingingonsmallhinges.blogspot.com/2014/08/winterpromise-week-1-workbox-wednesday.html
  10. We really liked Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones. I don't remember it being in the ancients AG but I purchased it based off of a recommendation and it was easily our favorite.
  11. Oh! What a great idea! I'm on the hunt for that audio now. Thanks for the suggestion!
  12. She is a perfectionist. True that. I know that hands-on fun is the way she learns best. She's 8. Most kids learn by doing and having fun. What frustrates me the most is that it is a "you'd better make this fun Mom or I'm not going to do it" kind of daily occurrence. It's exhausting to try to make everything fun all the time. Sometimes things aren't fun. Like going to the DMV. Or the dentist. Or making dinner. Ugh!! Maybe I'm just burned out. As for SITB - It depends. Sometimes I demonstrate the experiment first, then she does the experiment on her own. It is a good program and she likes it a lot. She keeps a notebook and typically journals by drawing. I don't know if it is resentment over science or just the fact that having an experiment every time we do science is a little bit over much for me personally. I seem to never have the materials I need when we need them (aka 2 L bottles or a pipe cleaner or a flashlight that actually works). And I guess sometimes I feel like it interferes with our other subjects like Math or Language Arts. Which is dumb and the wrong attitude I know.... Yeah. I think I'm burned out.
  13. My dd8 is just a "reluctant everything" kind of kid. When she fussed about learning how to write a sentence or paragraph I thought, "Oh, she's just a reluctant writer." Then I try to get her to read something and she grumbles so next thing I know is she is a "reluctant reader." Don't even get me started with math! Definitely reluctant... The problem seems to be when something get's a little big challenging she closes up shop and doesn't want to do it anymore. She still can't construct a complete sentence. She "hated" Spelling Workout because it expected her to actually write a paragraph! She whines over copy work. She groans over grammar. She likes to read unless it is a reader for any type of "school" stuff and then it is like the worst thing I've ever tried to get her to do. She does enjoy All About Spelling - it is very interactive which helps. It was frustrating for me because her little personality is such that she has to organize all the tiles before, during and after. Agh! She breezed through Levels 1 and 2. Level 3 got a little tougher and then next thing I know she is crying because she missed a word. One word. Then spelling is horrible and she doesn't want to do it anymore. She liked math until we started working on Multiplication Tables. She cries because she has to actually work to memorize them and she is not automatically good at it. Long division? Ugh! She will do 2 or 3 problems and then tell me she doesn't want to do any more. It's too hard. (We are using Singapore 3A right now) She likes Wile's Science in the Beginning. Of course she does. It is hands on...and you can't mess it up. There is nothing to get wrong. (I like this program but the every single lesson having an experiment is getting old). Anyway, I guess I am just frustrated because the only time she doesn't dig in her heels is when the subject is a "song and dance" and she is automatically good at it. I am so burned out from trying to find just the "right" curriculum that really sings to her and makes her want to work with me. I've tried a lot of different curricula and I think the bouncing around at this point is making it worse. (As in, I don't like this, so lets switch...again). I've tried having extended breaks to unwind. I've tried field trips. I've tried letting her choose what to study. Nothing seems to be working. I have another daughter who is a K'er and I can't spend this much time tap-dancing my 3rd grader through all her subjects while my K'er waits and waits and waits for me. What do I do with a "reluctant everything" kid? Do I have to make every subject a song and dance? Its exhausting and it is, honestly, making me feel a little resentful that I have to constantly try to make school palatable. And, truthfully, it hurts my feelings that I put so much work into school and my daughter is so grumpy about it. Which is silly, I know... Sigh. Advice?
  14. I did a review of Ooka Island last year if you want to take a peek at what we thought of it... http://swingingonsmallhinges.blogspot.com/2013/05/ooka-island-mosaic-review.html Unfortunately my coupon code is expired... We enjoyed the program.
  15. Well, I reviewed it pretty early on here: http://swingingonsmallhinges.blogspot.com/2014/08/winterpromise-week-1-workbox-wednesday.html But, for what it's worth, we didn't last a month. It didn't hold my 4 year olds attention and my 8 year old already knew so much of this stuff just from watching Wild Kratts that she was bored. The first read aloud, Ereth's birthday went unfinished because it was it didn't captivate either of my girls. The height chart was cool. The note booking was nice. The amount of activities that they wanted us to do were a bit frustrating. For example, in the first week they wanted you to stake out your own "small square" and compare it to what you read in the book "One Small Square: Woods." Well, we live on a prairie. I didn't plan that out well... Anyway, we fizzled out after about 3 weeks but I know for sure that there are many people who loved this program. Maybe someone with a better review will chime in?
  16. I use this website a lot for American History craft ideas: http://www.abookintime.com/index.html
  17. I have an extra promo code from our convention if anyone still needs one... I won't be using it. It is for $15 Off $50 or more. Expires Aug 31st.
  18. Another vote for the 90 Days Bible - it was the first time I ever read the Bible cover-to-cover and it was simply laid out and easy to read!
  19. I'm trying to create just 3 or 4 scrapbooking pages for our adoption profile. I don't want to buy something that I won't use frequently and I don't want a membership, etc. Just free online scrapbook pages that are really easy to use. I downloaded Smilebox but can't get it to work. It won't "pop up" and I can't figure out how to convince my computer to allow pop ups from Smilebox! Ugh! Anybody have a website they recommend? I just want to get it done and move on... Thanks!
  20. I've looked at LOE a couple of times now.... Is it a 1-year program only? Or do you hit the end of the book and start over?
  21. Charlotte's Web narrated by the author E.B. White is really good as is Charley and the Chocolate Factory narrated by Eric Idle! We got both from our library.
  22. Hi! This is my first post on here, although I've responded to a few. It seems that when I have a question I can always find where it has been already answered so I haven't had a great reason to post yet. Anyhow, I finally had a question that I couldn't find an answer to so here it goes: I have a DD who is 8. She is a natural speller - loves to read, etc. She is also a very cut/dry kind of girl. She needs me to tell her what she needs to know, let her try it, and move on. Her memory and retention are very good. I am trying to find a good fit in spelling programs and it is so frustrating! We've tried: BJU Spelling 1 A Reason For Spelling levels A and B Spelling Workout Level C AAS Levels 1-2 Sequential Spelling 1 So, here is my problem: BJU Spelling was the 1st program I tried when we began homeschooling, I don't really remember a whole lot about it other than the price tag was high... A Reason For Spelling drove me nuts with the massively long stories at the beginning. The words were fine but there were no "rules" or "word families" to help it make more sense. It was definitely designed for the classroom. The activities were a big hit but started to wear on me. Spelling Workout C was a favorite of mine. Easy, had rules, independent. My daughter hated the "independent" part, the workbook-ness of it, and the paragraph writing on the last page upset her greatly (she does't like writing). Sequential Spelling 1 - lists, lists, lists.... she lasted about 5 days and she would gag when I got it out. AAS - I only did this because it was so highly recommended. I love the fact that it actually introduces some spelling rules but the implementation and organizing all those little cards drives me crazy. My daughter is a little obsessive over the tiles, she spends (wastes) tons of time straightening them, organizing them, etc I want to pull out my hair and I'm avoiding spelling because it drives me bonkers! I know she adores writing on the marker board and being on her feet while learning so that is good.... We started with Level 1 and quickly moved into Level 2 and we are almost done. I'm just not sure I want to move into Level 3... I have an up and coming daughter too and I can't imagine juggling 2 sets of these cards! AAAAAHHHH!!! I've considered Spelling Power but it looks like lists, lists, lists.... I've also looked at LOE but couldn't figure out if it was more than I needed and if it is good for multiple years/multiple kids? It has a steep price tag too... I thought R&S had potential but we are back to the workbook... So, what we need is a rules-based spelling that is not overly workbook intense but doesn't have all those little bits n' pieces that drive me crazy. Does this program exist? Thanks for listening!
  23. We use BiblioPlan and I take the CC history sentences and just "plug them in" on my history schedule and learn them as we go... BP schedules the CC timeline cards too!
  24. We are just finishing up SOTW2 and here are a few we have enjoyed: Attack at the Arena (Imagination Station) The Sword in the Tree Leprachaun in Late Winter (Magic Tree House) Classic Starts King Arthur Dogs in the Dead of Night (Magic Tree House) Cathedral Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky Sticks Across the Chimney Viking Ships at Sunrise (Magic Tree House) Classic Starts Robin Hood Revenge of the Red Night (Imagination Station) The Door in the Wall Castle Diary The Corn Grows Ripe Who Was Ferdinand Magellan? Pedro's Journal Who in the World Was the Secretive Printer? Spy for the Night Riders Monday With a Mad Genius (Magic Tree House) The Whipping Boy
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