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Everything posted by beka87

  1. I just saw the above schedule, OP, and I think her day sounds full and rich. Language Arts COULD be longer, but I don't know as it needs to be....maybe don't worry too much for now. :)
  2. Every child is different and there is no set amount of time that one should or should not be schooling formally. If she is engaged and challenged and focused, twenty minutes of math might be all she needs. I think adding written or oral narrations for content work might be a good idea, but also look at the rest of her day. How does she spend her time? If her off school hours are spent in interesting and productive ways, I wouldn't worry about it. ETA: Also, if her off time is not interesting and productive, more school isn't necessarily the answer. It might be just as beneficial to add in hobbies, handiwork, a musical instrument, a physical activity, etc. Not all learning needs to be out of a book while sitting at the table. :)
  3. Apples and Pears from Sound Foundations uses copy work, dictation, morpheme analysis, and spelling patterns. It's a workbook format, one book for the student and one for you. It's very easy to work for five minutes or twenty, whatever you feel like doing for the day. It's been working very well for my 8 year old daughter, who tended to memorize rules but never apply them, memorize words for a test and then forget them,....there are very generous samples and also placement tests on their website. If you like the idea of dictation (the way Spelling Wisdom is set up) I would recommend looking into Simply Spelling from shoelacebooks as well, which uses copy work, dictation, and gentle rules. I love the look of it and may use it for my next daughter if Apples and Pears isn't a good fit. Good luck!
  4. Not to hijack a thread, but I tried to find Minimus samples and couldn't, then looked at the whole program and was rather shocked at how expensive it is. Am I missing something?
  5. I think some basic writing instruction would be good for next year, grammar optional. If she is learning and loving it and so are you, just be happy you've found your groove and enjoy. :) Good for you!
  6. Kindergarten in our house: Right Start Math (or Singapore...I've got one in each) First Start Reading alongside Alpha Phonics (I LOVE Alpha Phonics), and things like BOB Books and early readers for Phonics Home done copy work for handwriting (this does not need to be painful and it does not require a curriculum) FIAR or Memoria Press K-Enrichment (whichever I'm more in the mood for ;) ) You said you have your extras figured out, but I'd caution you not to go overboard with K level extras. Too much too soon is quickly regretted at that age. Take a look at some of the suggestions here for Phonics and Math and try to picture yourself teaching the program every day. Unless there is something obvious about it that you think would absolutely NOT work for your child, then pick the program you feel like you could teach....your consistency will be more important than anything else. Good luck and enjoy the year! It goes too fast. :)
  7. My eight year old, soon-to-be-9, has been using Cottage Press materials for almost two years and we'll be continuing next year into fourth grade. It covers grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and composition all in one place. It's a gentle program, but still does a thorough job teaching and stretching my daughter's mind. It doesn't require much from me.
  8. When we read SOTW 3, we enjoyed supplementing with The Matchlock Gun, Sign of the Beaver, Of Courage Undaunted, and 1801: Year of the Horseless Carriage. All are chapter books except for The Matchlock Gun, which is somewhere between picture and chapter and deserves to be read anyway. They were all very good choices.
  9. How do you mark her papers as far as pointing out errors? My little perfectionist prefers pencil, so she can correct and then erase all evidence of ever having done it wrong. When she's at 100%, she gets to star each problem herself in whatever color she chooses. I'm sure doing something like this won't solve your problem, and you've gotten a lot of good advice, but little things do add up at the end of the day. I hope you find something that works for you both soon. Good luck!
  10. That's too many extra's outside the house for my taste, and I think that part of it would be hard on my kids. But if the activities are fun for them, then I don't see a problem. I guess the morning does seem hectic, when you actually add up time as PP's have done.
  11. Pandia Press is great for an all planned out, open it up and go, first grade level science. If you stock your "lab" supplies t the beginning of the year, you're all set. They use easy to find items and we had a really good experience with all the activities - simple, but informative and no weird supplies needed. I loved Biology. Also, Berean Builders has a great textbook for this age, as well, also with easy to perform experiments that don't require a lot of weird stuff. Good luck!
  12. I like what SRoss5 said above about using the sentence for copy work, then dictation. This is a form of studied dictation and is really effective, especially if you sit and discuss concepts with her before she copies and before you dictate. Depending on the length of the sentence, it IS okay to break it up or repeat a portion, especially when she is just beginning dictation as a skill. When she is comfortable with this and doing fairly well, DON'T immediately lengthen the dictation. Instead, tell her to study a short paragraph, noting all punctuation, capitalization, etc. and making note of words whose spelling might trip her up. Train her to be able to do this on her own. Let her study the passage as long as she likes, then read one or two sentences from it as dictation. She doesn't get to know which sentences you are picking beforehand. From here, you can gradually increase length of dictation to a whole paragraph. This takes a lot of time and I would modify whatever curriculum you use as necessary until the skill is acquired. Dictation is a fabulous tool, but it can't be rushed. I also prefer studied to unstudied dictation for anyone not in high school. FWIW, I don't have a problem reading slowly or occasionally repeating a sentence or phrase. I don't think too many kids, in the beginning, at least, can here a whole paragraph once and write it from memory. Ideally, of course, that's how it works, but I say just use your discretion and just keep slowly moving toward that ideal (whether or not you ever get there).
  13. Alpha Phonics is my choice here. I actually do FSR alongside Alpha Phonics. We'll finish FSR long before we finish Alpha Phonics, though, so we'll just keep going with that on it's own until we're through.
  14. Also, Easy Grammar Ultimate Grade 8. It is set up in 180 daily lessons, though.
  15. singaporemath.com is where I order all of my materials from. :) We love the Standards edition here. Math in Focus is singapore math style, but, as I understand it, has a much more scripted home instructor's guide for those wanting a little more hand holding. There was a thread here once upon a time that compared Singapore Math's Primary vs Standards vs Common Core editions. I highly recommend Standards for the reasons the PP listed.
  16. FIAR has an awesome book list that is worth reading through. Like a PP said, I use it in a very simple way. I enjoy reading the same book several times so can really know it and love it. We find places on our map, talk about the LA and Art stuff with an occasional art project thrown in...sometimes we do a science activity, sometimes we discuss something from history. I used vlm 1 and vlm 2 with my eldest and planned and printed lapbooks and all that, but somehow a lot of the more involved projects still never happened. She still loved what we did do - it was her favorite part of school. I am using it in an even simpler way with my current K'er and she loves it, too. I think just being able to read a high quality story more than once is pretty appealing to little kids. We read all kinds of other stuff, too, but the last thing we do every day together is our "story book", with or without an activity. I'd say that if you want it to be a curriculum, instead of a pleasant supplement to your days, you need to be willing to do the messy projects, extended research, rabbit trails, etc. It's a unit study meant to be used that way and while we love reading and talking and even cooking now and then, we don't do enough of the extras to call it a curriculum. First grade could go without a formal curriculum, however. Maybe a light, sometimes-crafty year with your 4 and 6 year old's would be okay.:)
  17. I tried searching the forum, but didn't have much luck. Has anyone used Berean's Science in Ancient Times? Or any others in the series? I am considering using Ancient Times with my going-to-be-9 year old for science this coming year...would it be enough for her? Or is the text too easy? It looks like it would be easily accomplished and that would be a plus for me as we will have a new little one. Any opinions good or bad would be great! Thank you!
  18. My eldest will be in fourth grade and that's not fair... :) Good thing I have a brand new little on the way. Morning Time: covers prayers, songs poetry memorization, memory work from other subjects, Aesop's Fables, reading aloud well (elocution) with McGuffey readers (she hates this, a little...I made her start in reader 1, which is FAR too easy, but she reads aloud too fast and tends to skip words, etc...it's actually really good for her) and a read aloud rotation from either My Book House, Celtic myth and history, or American history. Copy work: daily, from something she's reading. 2nd Language: home made Gaelic Latin: maybe Song School...I haven't decided, but I do want to start this year. Picture Study: portfolios from SCM Art: ARTistic Pursuits, book 1 from the grade 4 to 6 set; also handicrafts (clay, needlework, origami, etc.) I am going to start drawing lessons with all my girls once weekly using Drawing with Children. Grammar: Simply Grammar Part 2, followed by Easy Grammar Daily (what's it called?), either Grade 3 or Grade 4 to review. Music: lessons with me on recorder...I'd like her to start lessons with a different instrument this year. Logic: workbooks and chess Math: Singapore...3B and into 4A, at least Shakespeare: home made, a few plays a year but no definite picks yet Spelling: continue with Apples and Pears, studied dictation Nature study - journal once or twice weekly Composition: written narrations once or twice weekly; Fable and Song from Cottage Press History: A Little History of the World, Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans, selections from 50 Famous Stories (all with little sister); on her own - Memoria Press Timeline Program Biography: Poor Richard Geography: not sure....maybe with little sister, maybe BF course, maybe The Kon Tiki and lots of maps....maybe the Draw Europe and such series.... Nature Lore: The Story Book of Science Science: I think Berean's Science in Ancient Times Literature: Andersen's Fairy Tales, Robin Hood (Pyle), and something else my pregnant brain has forgotten...it's written down somewhere. Plus ballet once weekly for her and once weekly being a helper for her teacher with younger kids. It looks like a lot, but really only takes 2 to 3 hours daily, depending on her attitude. ;)
  19. My second daughter will be starting first grade. :) We school year round, so we don't have an official start date - one thing just kind of flows into the next. We'll be finishing up her K work and adding in a few more real subjects via reading and narrating. So, something like this: Phonics: First Start Reading (whatever is left), Alpha Phonics (whatever is left), McGuffey Readers; I need to collect more high quality leveled readers. I've never been a big fan, but I have all the BOB Books and my daughter loves to pick them up and read on her own. I think she'd do more of that if I had more of that sort of thing around. Copy Work: Home made and only on days when she isn't doing a lot of writing in First Start. She'll start with individual letters, work up to short words, then short sentences. Speech Therapy: Home made Grammar: I haven't decided if I want to do this next year or not...we may do it, but start more in January or something. Either FLL 1 (orally) or EFTTC 1 (orally), whichever I think she'll like better. Spelling: none yet Math: Right Start B, moving into C History: A Little History of the World (no narrating), Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans, and selections from 50 Famous Stories. Big sister is coming along for these books and will narrate from all of them. Science: Nature journal twice weekly and books about whatever she is interested in; we'll also read The Children's Book of Birds, The Burgess Animal Book, and James Herriot's Treasury for Children. Literature: St. George and the Dragon, Viking Tales, Tanglewood Tales, Just So Stories, and maybe something from Parables from Nature toward the end of the year. Geography: Around the World in 80 Tales and Home Geography Lessons; map drill of oceans and continents. 2nd Language: We may start this part way through the year with home made Gaelic. Picture Study: Come Look with Me series Art: ARTistic Pursuits, book 1; handicrafts with me and big sister (origami, crocheting, etc) She'll also start chess with me and her dad, attend ballet weekly, participate in weekly Poetry Tea Time, start recorder or tin whistle with me, listen to a poem a day from our term poet and a piece of music a day from our term composer. Morning Time covers Aesop's Fables, poetry memorization, prayers, songs, and read aloud that rotates between My Book House, tales from Celtic myth and history, and tales from American history. That looks like a lot typed out, but it won't take more than an hour and half daily.
  20. At your daughter's age, I wouldn't worry about it. Narration and summarizing are skills she will learn over time. As she gets older, if summarizing is still really difficult, it may help to write her narration down or her and go over it together, noting what's essential and what isn't. Right now, though, I think I'd ease up...better to work on it later than have her decide now that she hates it. I've always ignored those sample narrations - they sound like something an adult sat and thought about, wrote down, then edited. It's just not practical to expect that from an eight year old.
  21. Dictation is a skill built over time. If you're child has never done it before, they may need to hear small chunks of the sentence a little at a time, then one whole sentence, then finally a short passage. I think when they start writing is probably up to them, though waiting till mom is done talking seems easiest for my daughter. :)
  22. I find that the STOW books seem to work out better waiting a year, so we start those in second. We use living books here, so Year 1 for my daughter next year will look like this: Phonics - Alpha Phonics and First Start Reading Math - Right Start B History - A Little History of the World and Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans, maybe selections from 50 Famous Stories Science - Nature journal twice weekly and Nature Lore books (Olive Miller, Burgess, Herriot, etc) Spelling - If she's ready, I like Apples and Pears, Spelling You See, and rule supplementation I do myself Geography - Around the World in 80 Tales, Home Geography, and map drill for continents and oceans Literature - Viking Tales, St. George and the Dragon, Tanglewood Tales, Just So Stories, and maybe a few from Parables from Nature Art - ARTistic Pursuits (K - 3 set, book 1) and the Come Look with Me series of books Music - recorder lessons and a few composers Grammar - FLL 1, all oral Plus Morning Time, weekly poetry tea time, daily copy work, handicrafts, and chess lessons
  23. I have made all of my own curriculum for about two years, except math. History, science, geography, literature, Gaelic, composition....I prefer to think of curriculum books as resources. I do like having those resources for some things, others I don't mind tackling totally on my own with a just a good library. It's worked well so far and I think I am a better teacher for it. I only use the math curriculum because it works so well and why reinvent the wheel? I think if you pick a few content subjects and utilize the library lots, you'll be able to save quite a bit of money. Depending on the age of your children, you could do writing without a book, too - or my daughter, I focus on oral narration, one written narration a week, pulling important information from a science book, copy work, dictation, and notes and letters to family and friends. It's plenty for elementary.
  24. I vote for the Book of Centuries from Cottage Press. Very nicely made and secular or Christian friendly.
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