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Everything posted by jens2sons

  1. We just finished Blue Book Exams for Classical Conversations Challenge A today. Yikes. I’m disappointed at the results of a whole year of school. I have waffled back and forth about continuing Challenge for my son all year. The pace of the program is mostly what has killed us. The learning also just seems surface level with not much understanding. My son has really struggled with the LTW program and the Henle Latin because of how fast they move through it.🤯 I joined CC primarily so he could have social interaction with kids his age. My son is very social but has not made any deep friendships to make us want to return. I’ve tried and tried to get the families together but with little success. Unless you are a tutor/director, you just can’t get the attention needed to develop deep relationships. He actually likes going to class but just because it gets him out of the house. He loved the Fallacy Detective though! I just don’t know where to go from here. Are there other families out there that have moved away from CC after Challenge A? What did you move to and did your child do better? Are there some things that you have found that CC does better than other programs such as debate (coming up in Ch B)? I feel as if I’m leaving a cult and don’t know what to do! Funny thing is, I’ve homeschooled outside of CC with my older son AND graduated him but it’s been so long that I’m feeling overwhelmed about leaving even though I feel that it’s what we need to do. I could really use input here. Thanks!
  2. Are there any history resources out there that present both views on Catholic history and Protestant history? I am frustrated at how the homeschool community is primarily Protestant (at least that's what I am finding) curriculum. There were two differing views on the Protestant Reformation and I'd like to present this information in way that it can create discussion.
  3. Hello all! As I am getting ready to transition my son from CC to homeschooling without an umbrella, I am in need of some advice as to where I can go from here in regards to writing. CC uses The Lost Tools of Writing and as much as I like the ANI chart idea, the program itself is kind of confusing to use. I read on the Cathy Duffy reviews site that it's really meant to be used in a classroom setting which I'm seeing is accurate. We have completed a couple years of IEW theme based writing courses through the CC Essentials program also. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can go from here? We've only been using LTW for a few months and honestly, because of the ridiculous pace of CC, we really haven't had much luck actually getting to the writing portion of the papers. We've only gotten as far as the outline. Thanks so much!
  4. I realize this may be a bit late to reply but I thought I'd reply just in case. My 7th grader has been struggling to catch up in math for some time. Because of this, I was looking in to the Saxon D.I.V.E. program and saw the parent resources they suggested reading through. Reading through their info, I found that as long as the student is 12 yo/ 7th grade, there is no need to put the student in a lower book (in a nutshell). So, I ordered the Saxon 8/7 math along with the D.I.V.E. streaming and so far it's been a great program. We DO NOT complete one lesson a day. D.I.V.E suggests taking as long as 3 days to complete a lesson if needed. My son Is definitely challenged but it's not so hard that he can't do it. Saxon 8/7 used to be a remedial math before going in to Algebra. Now Saxon has Saxon 1/2 which you can go to AFTER the 8/7 or depending on how well 8/7 was completed, you can go straight to Algebra 1. I'll be honest. I used to be one of those homeschool moms that hate Saxon. After going through so many curriculum (Teaching Textbooks, Math- U-See, Right Start, etc) choices I was at my wits end and I guess I was desperate. My son still isn't in love with Saxon but oh well. I can at least say that I feel that he is learning at a pace that pushes him to think harder and not just dawdle and float. Here's the D.I.V.E site if you are interested: https://diveintomath.com/saxon-math/ . Hope this helps!
  5. English Grammar definitely needs to be reviewed. What did you use for this?
  6. This is part of my struggle as well. Every week I want to withdraw but then I Wonder if that would be the best solution.
  7. I have him in SYS book E and he seems to be bored with the repetition. He’s doing excellent on the dictations. I’m wondering if we should go to a Word Roots program instead - something like The Critical Thinking Company’s “Word Roots 1”. To be honest, it’s a LOT of extra writing and as much as context helps, it’s just extra work for him. We are in CC Challenge A this year and it’s intense. Even though it’s intense, it’s a very good program but I need to scale so I can add in study for his weak spots. I also have Spelling Plus but haven’t quite figured out how the program is supposed to work. It seems complicated.
  8. He makes mistakes in the spellings of sounds. So yes, mistakes like “Braik” for break/brake.
  9. My 12 yo son needs a good spelling program. I have chosen Spelling You See but I’m not sure if it’s the best choice for him. We are in Classical Conversations Challenge A so a program that is not simple and short will not work for us. He’s not a terrible speller. He has learned a lot of spelling simply by copying however I’m seeing that he needs better spelling instruction. I appreciate your thoughts!
  10. We have been participating in Classical Conversations Foundations and Essentials for the past couple years. I initially decided to enroll my 12 yo son in Challenge A for next year but I'm having second thoughts. I'm not new to homeschooling and so having someone tell me the topics to cover are kind of irritating. As I look in to their choices of curriculum for CH A, I'm somewhat ok with what he'd be using but I almost want to wait one more year and use IEW before we start Lost Tools of Writing. I'm also wondering why they start using Henle Latin so early when it's a high school course. My biggest issue is with the lack of history study at this age. I know many CC Challenge moms that say they get plenty of history but it's through historical fiction and their Cartography book. There is no formal study using non-fictional sources. I want to add that in to the program but I'm told that with their workload thee is no time. My second largest concern is the price of joining. I've already paid my registration fee but I'd rather stop there and save the $600+ per semester. I just can't see why anyone would pay so much money just to be part of a community 🤷‍♀️ From what I understand, the parent works with the Challenge student at home and then drops the student off just to go over the previous week's work and do some review. I also can't understand why it's 30 weeks instead of 36 weeks. The program just seems so stinking' rushed and I don't understand the reason why it has to be this way. So, with all that said, I am wondering if there are any like minded parents here that have struggled with this very thing and have chosen to go a different route? What curriculum did you find that followed up well with the Essentials program? Did you just use the CH A materials at home? How did the transition make homeschooling more relaxed at home? TIA!
  11. I have access to both Notgrass From Adam to Us and Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport: Ancient Egypt. My son is in 6th grade and I’d like to know opinions on both curricula. I’m so torn that I need help choosing. For those that have used either, please let me know your pros and cons. I realize that there is a lot of printing and cutting with PP but I’d like more info beyond that if possible. How is the history? Interesting or dry? How much time does it honestly take you to complete? Does it seem rushed? Is it easy or hard to teach? Etc. We start school next week! ?‍♀️
  12. We used IEW's Fix it! grammar for a short amount of time before going in to CC Essentials. It was too much writing since we were also using the IEW Student Writing Intensive A. I wouldn't say he necessarily enjoyed it, but he also didn't complain much. I totally support your decision to stay away from the Essentials program. We are leaving after one year of incredible stress and expense. I am currently on the fence about moving to Easy Grammar (or) Rod & Staff. I've used both and I like both, however Easy Grammar has no diagramming sentences and R&S does. I used to think that it was a waste of time to diagram sentences but after reading "The War Against Grammar" I am not so sure. By diagramming sentences, our kids learn what the point of the sentence is all about. I think that by underlining and circling words in other programs, the kids get the gist of the sentence but not the true understanding. It's a visual thing I guess.
  13. I just purchased Science in the Beginning because it covers all the days of creation (similar to the sequencing in the Apologia Young Explorers series) but it's in one book. My son hasn't had much formal science and so I thought that it may help him get "caught up" so we can move in to middle school science next year at 7th grade. Have you used the first book in the series "Science in the Beginning"?
  14. We have decided to leave Classical Conversations and go back to homeschooling on our own this next school year. My son is 11, going in to 6th grade and has completed one year of the CC Essentials program. We actively participated and he did well for the most part, however the rush of the program stresses both of us. I am looking to use Rod & Staff English but having a hard time figuring out which book to choose. Do I choose book 4, 5 or 6 after using CC's Essentials of the English Language? Can anyone here help me?
  15. I think we all feel this way towards the end of the school year. I came from using Sonlight and have often thought of scrapping CC and going back. What has made me decide to stay is that I evaluate what we have learned in CC vs the effort I have to put forth in using Sonlight (or any other curriculum). I never have time to complete what is in the teachers guides. With CC, all we have to do is gather books from the library (book basket) and go through our weekly memory work. There are lots of extras you could add to get that MFW feeling in CC. Just check out CC Connected and halfahundredacrewood.com . If you are missing MFW, all you have to do is have the kids notebook and do a few projects on the side. You can use the same books they sell while staying on track with CC. There is no need to buy the curriculum set and add the stress of an additional teachers guide. One thing that has been easy to add for history is the SOTW audio cds. The kids love the activity guides! I have looked and looked for a good alternative to Essentials and I just can’t find one. Essentials work is rushed, but if you go to a traditional English grammar course, after being in Essentials, it is difficult to slow down and do the course work. I tried and then decided “ain’t nobody got time for that!” Besides, we’ve put so much time and effort in to the Essentials program. I have a friend that is an author and took Latin in highschool. She placed her boys in Essentials this year and told me that the way that CC teaches English grammar is an excellent preparation to learning Latin. She actually told me that she wishes her school had taught her the way the CC Essentials program teaches grammar. She did however say that some of the writing taught in IEW is not necessarily what an editor would accept. I think it’s just a way to get kids writing easily without tears. In Challenge, CC changes to a different curriculum so I’m not all that concerned. IEW works for my son for now. For science, there is an excellent curriculum for older grammar stage kids called God’s Design by Answers in Genesis. You can purchase 1 topic at a time and correlate it to the science portion of CC. We used it this year and my son so far really likes it. It’s not long winded and has short chapters. I actually think CC should team up with AIG for this additional resource like they do with SOTW. All this is extra though. The kids can just notebook using their CC science cards just as easily and read books from the library. The freedom you get to choose in CC for the most part is great. It is rushed, but if you look back to your childhood, most things you remember are the songs and chants that we learned in those early years.
  16. I only have 1 other option for a co-op in my area. In the past, we were members of it. However it got to the point that the classes that were being offered amounted to under-water basket weaving and I just couldn't devote an entire school day to such classes. I wanted more academic support. I wonder if CC could work as a co-op scenario with us doing our own thing during the rest of the week???
  17. ------------- The rock and hard place I'm referring to is the lack of co-op options.
  18. I understand that the first year is a lot and we are supposed to go through 2 more cycles. However, my husband and I feel that the EEL is over the top. I am tempted to audit the EEL portion and work through Easy Grammar or Rod & Staff for English grammar study. I actually went through Essentials tutor training this last summer because I offered to be the sub but I ended up backing out after training because this system overwhelms me. I have used IEW before but we used the SWI-A and it went at a much slower pace and was enjoyable. I don't feel that I should have to scribe for him so much. It only puts more on me as the parent. I'd rather he do the easier IEW until he is ready for the other level. Why is it that we have to be fire hosed? Why can't CC structure the program so it's doable for first year families? All these are my thoughts right now. I know that so many reviews of CC on here can be negative but I am also looking for real life experience without the CC filters that happen elsewhere IYKWIM.
  19. I need to rant a bit here. Maybe you can help me process?? We jumped back in to Classical Conversations almost a year ago (week 12 of cycle 2) and joined a new group that started in my home town this school year for cycle 3. The Foundations program that I loved so much last year seems to me to be lacking in depth of information this year. I feel as if I need to add more depth to the memory work for my 5th grader but with the load that we are taking on with Essentials, where does one find the time? Also, my husband was looking through the EEL work we have been doing and thinks that the workload is absolutely ridiculous, especially for a 5th grade boy. IEW seems to be a good program for writing and the math drill seems that it is good but I just don't know how much more of this speeding through like a freight train I can take! It's only week 5! I am not sure we will continue with CC next year but we may have no other choice due to a lack of co-op options/homeschool support groups that are academically rich for my son's age. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you solve it? I know that the program is to prepare for the Challenge program but to be honest I'm not sure I agree or am sold on their philosophy. CC states that their Challenge students graduate with higher scores (insinuating that others don't) however my oldest son is now a junior in college and did not have a CC/Classical education and is doing well at his private college. I feel as if I'm in between a rock and a hard place. What does one do when feeling this way???
  20. I am having a heck of a time trying to decide which history spine I want to use. I first tried SL Core C that uses CHOW but it has too many choices and I'm overwhelmed with all the books, plus it seems to go way too fast though such an important time in history. I am currently using SOTW2 with the AG but what is bothering me is that I'm having a hard time with it chronologically (timeline). We really like the project options, coloring pages and maps. But the reading lists, I feel, are so boring. I really want to add in some historical fiction such as The Door in the Wall, The Sword in the Tree, The Whipping Boy, Viking Adventure, etc. but I don't know when to add them to SOW2. I own the All Through the Ages book that tells what stage in history but I'm still a bit lost. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have thought about not using either spine and just going with the Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport for the Middle Ages but I'm not sure if it would be too old for a 3rd/4th grader. I'd appreciate any help you can offer. Thanks!
  21. Have you used EG3 yet or are you using it for her right now? By "time jump" do you mean level?
  22. I like the idea of using what I have (EG3) and skipping EG4 and going straight to EG5 next year. Are the Daily Grams really necessary? I want retention, but what I don't want is busy work. I also own R&S English 3 which was too much for him last year. If DG's are necessary, then maybe I should stick with R&S since I already have it so I don't need to purchase DG? Can the two be used together or compliment each other? I'm moving away from Sonlight Language Arts and wanting more of a comprehensive program to move him forward. I will be using the Sonlight Readers 4/5 though. I want a simple, easy to teach program. I also plan on using Here to Help Learning-Paragraph Writing for creative writing to go along with grammar/English lessons. It's supposed to really draw the kids in to enjoying the process of writing and I've read nothing but great reviews. I will also be using Spelling You See so I want to be careful of not doing too much writing. SYS will cover the copywork portion as well, so I'm concerned that if I add in R&S that it will be way too much writing for him. This is why I have been planning on using EG because of the short lessons.
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