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About Amccracken

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    Hive Mind Larvae

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  1. We've always memorized poetry and scriptures. This past year I allowed the kids to choose their own poems and that brought new life into it. My oldest always chooses the shortest poem I will approve. My middle will always chose something funny. And the youngest will always choose a poem about animals. It's funny to see their personalities come out. :) Sometimes I'm sad when years later they don't remember poems we spent a lot of time on. I thought they would remember them forever. But then they will bring up one I had totally forgotten, as if it was yesterday when we last read it. We go over our poems during our Morning Time sessions and I've started using Fridays as a day to go back and review poems from the past.
  2. This is a very interesting topic to me. I've never even thought of blaming a university for being accepted but not being able to pass the classes. The article is interesting. I'll have to think about this more.
  3. This ^, I really think this is where I am right now. It started with writing in April. I came to a point where I thought my oldest wasn't where he needed to be going into the 8th. I started looking into writing programs, then methods of teaching writing. From there I basically determined we had homeschooled "incorrectly" for 9 years!! :) It so easy to jump ship from fear and self-doubt. I made an elaborate plan to get my boys "back on track" and now with a summer break I'm finally able to look at the situation with a clearer mind. We have an area we need to work on, I've not completely neglected my children's education.
  4. I can't speak for others but this is what I have in mind.
  5. Thank you!! This is very helpful. Can't wait to check it out.
  6. The discussion in this thread has put into words many of the thoughts I've been wrestling with lately. I've tried enough boxed curriculum that I know nothing is going to fit us perfectly. I rather enjoy making it our own. This past year was the first year I've been confident enough to just choose my own history and literature books to just read and discuss. And it was very freeing and satisfying. It was our best year by far. My middle DS (a slow reader) told me it was his favorite year because he loved his books. That was all the encouragement I needed to continue making my own. It is soooo much work and I understand some families do not have the time or desire to do so. I've only been homeschooling for 8 years. I'm no expert, but I feel like I could help a newbie, if only with encouragement. At the same time, High School is just around the corner and I wish I had someone who has walked that walk before who I could discuss ideas with. We are mostly homeschool loners. Closest co-op is 45 minutes away. I do have one other homeschool family in our church. I've joined a few FB groups for community but they often leave me feeling disappointed and uninterested. It seems that just a few years ago (maybe 5?) I could find far more encouraging homeschool mama blogs that were not just about curriculum choices or box days but about the ins & outs of homeschooling. Maybe it's my imagination.
  7. K12 has free online summer courses on coding: My rising 8th grader is considering them.
  8. Thank you for the suggestions. This is very helpful. I will check these out.
  9. History: Fall of Rome through Reformation - Reading Dorothy Mills Books for spine and other supplements Literature: Reading historical fiction, classics, and biographies from same time period as history Grammar: Grammar for WTMVocabulary/Spelling: Sequential Spelling Online, English from the Roots Up 2, Wordly Wise Writing: Written narrations from history and literature readings, starting WWS1 Latin: we may try an online option offered through our local school district. still not sure.Spanish: Rosetta StoneMath: Saxon Pre-AlgebraScience: Apologia General ScienceMusic: Violin LessonsArt: ?Religion: Selected Bible Readings, Bob Schultz books for boys (Boyhood & Beyond, Created for Work)
  10. I’m bumping this because it’s such a good resource and I don’t know another way to tag it for future reference. 😁
  11. Thank you all for taking the time to reply. These are all very helpful. I have a lot to think about over the summer. I'm just going to have to jump in and see where it leads. :) This is really what I need to do also. I'm actually looking forward to planning for the first time in a long time. We all need a change. I've been homeschooling for almost 8 years and I've been having serious doubts in my ability to tackle high school successfully. My husband is a high school principal and would love to have our boys at his school - and they may end up there one day. But I started homeschooling because I truly believed it was the best educational choice for us. I still do. Thanks again!
  12. I've always homeschooled my three boys (ages 9, 12, 13) using mostly a Charlotte Mason approach. This has seemed to serve us well. My boys are readers, they are at grade level with math and they enjoy science. But this year we hit a wall with writing/composition. I need explicit writing instruction for my children because this is not my area of strength. I found WWS and it has given me the help I need, which led me to read WTM. I'm sorry I did not read it earlier. So much of it resonated with me. As I read WTM I see areas where I want to change the way we homeschool but I’m afraid that we are coming to the party too late. 😃 For example, my oldest will be 8th grade next year. He started reading early. I stopped phonics with him as soon as he began reading. I wonder if that’s why he struggles with spelling. Would it be worth going through a spelling program with an 8th grader? I even wonder if spelling programs work, to be honest. I’ve always had trouble with spelling myself. They’ve all had some grammar, but not consistently. This year we worked slowly through Easy Grammar 6. And they’ve done fine, but I’m not sure how much they have internalized. I love the idea of writing through the curriculum, keeping a history notebook and reading Great Books for high school. This seems so much more meaningful than prefab discussion questions and textbooks. I love the idea of them finding topics that interest them to research on their own. Right now, they’ve not taken ownership of their learning. Don’t get me wrong, they are somewhat independent, starting their work on time and working till complete. But I’m the one who directs all of their learning. I’m not sure how much of this is possible for us now or how to pull it off, but I would like to move in that direction and try what we can. My oldest has one more year before high school. This year he and his brother worked through ancient history together, ending with the fall of Rome. Should we just continue this progression through (which was my original plan) and end up in the ancients again for 11th grade or should we start over with ancients in 9th Grade? I know you can’t answer this specifically for me, since you don’t know my kids, but what has your experience been? I think my boys are good readers but I am not sure they will be able to handle great books for high school. To give you an idea, this year my 7th grader has read To Kill a Mockingbird, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and The Eagle of the Ninth. Have you done a mixture of good books and great books? Any suggestions? Please excuse this long post. I’m just trying to wrap my head around how we can incorporate these new ideas into our homeschool. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions you can offer. Thanks!
  13. I'm so sorry. We had the problem last year and now we are still paranoid if we see even a speck of dirt that looks like a flea. I'm very sensitive to flea bites. I tried all the natural things: diatomatous earth, vacuuming every single day (sometimes multiple times per day) for weeks, changing the vacuum bags, salt, water and vinegar. The diatomaceous earth is hard on a vacuum, btw. I had the pets treated. I felt like they were just laughing at me. :) Finally, I broke down and bought a flea spray (NOT a bomb) that I could spray on the worst areas. I used it on carpets, curtains, couches. Even with the flea spray it took a long time to completely get rid of them. Thought we were going to go crazy. They are hard to get rid of. But persistence will finally pay off.
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