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Everything posted by Mimicoto

  1. Oh dear - that is funny :rofl: Sleep deprived me :001_rolleyes: Thanks for the laugh!! :D ETA: seriously though, my DH has been known to behave like an 8 yo, so it's not a stretch ;)
  2. He's in TT 3 ... Thanks for the link - will definitely read it. BTW looking fwd to your WTM workshop :-))
  3. I'm not sure what's funny? Asking honestly - I don't take myself too seriously ;-) What I mean is that he easily does double digit multiplication in his head (we've not done multiplication yet), sees math patterns in shapes and does complex mazes without backtracking...he was doing random addition with clear understanding from the backseat at age 3-4...it seems to have become problematic when it came to 'numbers on paper' work. FWIW he's a strong reader but a weak writer...
  4. One quick follow up question if you'll indulge me ... I am planning to drop TT and move to MM as I'm having the same experience as posters in other math threads - low retention despite high scores. But we're not done TT yet. Should we finish the book or just take placement tests and switch now? I'd say we have about 6-8 weeks left if I accelerate things by dropping the huge amounts of review in each TT lesson...
  5. Thank you everyone! You've given me lots to work with...Emily, your DD sounds exactly like my DS 😉
  6. Looking forward to this! :grouphug: hope your daughter is feeling better soon...
  7. My nearly 8 yo DS has good math sense - he grasps most things quickly on a conceptual level and enjoys doing (what I consider to be) advanced mental math on his own 'for fun'... BUT... He is still struggling with basic math facts. He is still finger counting for addition and subtraction, and clearly does not have the basics memorized. This is tripping him up when we're working on fractions, measurements, word problems etc. and will only compound if it's not addressed NOW. I have purchased MM addition and subtraction to help remediate. We are also putting together an addition and subtraction lapbook from Knowledge Box Central and are playing card games and such as added practice, but it's slow going. We've tried Xtra Math, but he finds it stressful....trying to count on his fingers fast enough to 'beat the clock' :sad: My question is this: do I put his regular math curriculum aside while we concentrate on the math facts, or do I do both in parallel? My instinct is to stop and get solid with the basics, but as a newbie I'd love to hear from others who've dealt with similar issues. FTR, we have used TT this year. I blame the curriculum in part - we will not be using next year...But I also chalk it up to my own learning curve...had no clue I should be supplementing :( Any other suggestions as to ways to strengthen his basic math skills would be greatly appreciated!
  8. I'm like you when it comes to history - I love it and would adore a deep history study of my own. DS is like me and loves to go deep...DD is a bit less passionate... As for having them both on the same track (I assume you mean for history? I'd add possibly science) - ideally I'd like to do that, if only for my own sanity.... I've read good things about MFW, but I need something that I can secularize a bit more easily (hence the thoughts of Bookshark). Will check out Veritas Press and possibly Memoria Press...the curriculum I selected to move on to next - Wayfarers - is a complete lesson plan (which will require tweaking, but everything's planned out. It does require me to gather other materials, and at this stage I'm feeling like I just want it to all show up ready to go...but as other posters pointed out up-thread, getting everything in a box doesn't mean we'll like the curriculum either :001_unsure: So yes - transition year, to be sure. We've met state requirements for the year (we're in CA so it's not complicated), I'm definitely relieved to hear from you and others that I've done alright all the same....we'll motor through our math, continue with LA etc., and look forward to smoother sailing ahead. ;)
  9. A very busy few days, but I've been mulling over all of the wise words shared here...the input has helped me see things differently, and feel a lot more comfortable with where we are, and how to move forward - a vast improvement over last week! ;) First - we are taking a short break from the manic 'trying to get it done' mode I've been in. Mom is backing off to get some perspective and the kids...lots of reading, some art and music for fun, and we'll work on French homework for a short period daily. I've scaled back extracurricular activities for the month of May as DH is away from the middle of the month until beginning of June...and we're pooped, so it's good timing. No complaints from the kiddos :hurray: While DH is away, we'll keep it really light, and concentrate on completing the science assignment from the zoo program....includes some fun outdoor stuff... Second - If we scale back on things that can wait and attack the critical pieces more strategically, it is more than workable for us to finish Math by the middle of June tops while we continue with a relaxed LA schedule, using the materials we have on hand NOW and saving the others for later. We'll stick with TT, but I will condense the lessons to weed out all of the incredibly slow spiralling that IMO amounts to a lot of busy-work for the kids. We (and they) will continue to read a lot...DD is on a Classic Starts bender at the moment...it's below her reading level but she enjoys them and I'm fine with that for now. Third - A common thread in your replies made so much sense to me....focus on the basics, elminiate the fluff and focus on skills. Summer will be light but focused...LA (handwriting for DS, composition for DD, reading), some light math (and some math remediation for DS) and some history reading that we didn't get to so we can finish off the Ancients and move on to the middle ages. I will use the summer time to plan the year...and I may take a page out of Homeschool Mom in AZ's book and set up all the files in advance. The kids are good with that type of approach and it will certainly help me going forward...our schedules get very very wacky, and that's not something that is going to change, so I'd best be prepared and stop deluding myself that I'll have time (and energy) weekly, monthly etc. to tend this particular task. I'll check the planning threads as you suggest....I'm very intrigued by the notion of 'once a year planning'. This is something that would likely be an immense help for us if I could pull it off. If I might ask, do you use a set curriculum that allows you to pull out all of the worksheets for the files, or ??? Do you prepare assignment sheets for the respective weeks? I'm curious about the 'how's.... Very grateful for everyone's kindness and patient, positive direction.
  10. Goodness, it sounds like you and your family had a beautiful experience homeschooling.... I have definitely been feeling the pressure (self-imposed as I'm making a lot of assumptions as to where we 'should' be, and so wanting to 'get it right'). I'm really encouraged by the long trek you took through SOTW and world history...we all like to go deep with history and rabbit trails are so exciting... I think I need to relax a lot, deschool a lot and allow time for things to unfold and take shape. It's all so new.... Your ideas are good ones, Laura!
  11. This is what I've been wrestling with....do you buy yours individually, or in a set (i.e. a reading/lit package from a boxed curric)?
  12. Hmmm.... I really hadn't thought about that....prior to homeschool, DCs attended a wonderful private school that was quite rigorous academically, so we're all used to (and enjoy!) a pretty robust course of study. Here is what we do (or have planned to do) currently.... English Language Arts (reading, writing, spelling) French Language Arts (outsourced - note, we are bilingual and both DCs been educated in both languages since birth) Math History Science PE (outsourced) Music (outsourced) Art (outsourced) We do a lot of science and history through library books, documentaries and DVDs. DCs (especially DD) love doing experiments and often research and do them on their own....but I realize I've been discounting much of that as it's not structured....maybe I need to relax my thinking a bit... As mentioned, DD really is a self starter. I'm wondering if I just need to put her on a kind of 'auto-pilot' and invest more time in DS's basics (writing and math).
  13. Wow! Thank you for your thoughtful, encouraging replies. I've really been struggling with this, and your comments have allowed me to breathe easier. I haven't figured out how to quote/multi-quote yet - and my iPad isn't letting me use emoticons - so bear with me and trust that there are smiley-faces in here ;-) And I'm cringing before I post - it's long! *cringe* Thank you all for reminding me of all the things we DID accomplish, and the obstacles we DIDN'T have to face. The transition has been relatively easy in that regard - the kids were onboard with homeschool from the get-go. It probably helped that it was a family decision that we discussed and planned for a good 6 months before implementing. To your questions - unfortunately, my husband's work will continue to be a challenge this year. It's just the nature of what he does. So definitely, suggestions for 'open and go' and independent study would be welcome. Speedmom, do you have any box-type recommendations aside from Sonlight? My eldest LOVES to work independently. She has always been a great student and a self-starter. In fact, she prefers that I don't 'teach' her...I could very easily set her up with something like Homeschool Planet and let her run with it. In fact, I know that would be her preference. She'll basically do anything I set up for her, and loves to have a list of things to work through and has started to get into independent research in a big way. She's likely working at a grade 7 or above level, but does have some skill-building to do (report writing etc.). I've recently started her on WWS and she seems to like it. She enjoys pretty much all subjects and can concentrate for long periods when she's engaged in something. My youngest is another story. He has just started to work alone from time to time...he much prefers that we work together and adores read-alouds, as do I :-))) He LOVES history, historical fiction, science fiction and although he is a very reluctant writer (like many boys), he has a great vocabulary and imagination, and I've enjoyed being his scribe as needed. He does need some solid attention on handwriting (you hit the nail on the head, speedmom4!), and basic math facts (we used Teaching Textbooks this year and IMO it does a horrible job of getting those critical facts established). Here's what we loved this year: SOTW - Ancients Teaching Textbooks (qualifier - I don't like it, but the kids do and they get it done without complaint) Life of Fred (Just for fun - DS devours them) Reading - I did choose some books around our history topics and other areas of interest - the rest were things that struck our fancy, or were from authors we enjoyed...no real method to the madness ;-) Explode the Code: It was okay - fun, easy work for DS Printing Power - again, just okay - we took it easy on writing....DS is just to the point where he will write on his own, and I'm not pushing it as it was a battle royale ;-) What we didn't love: WWE and FLL both fell flat.... Wordly Wise - both kids much prefer learning vocab through reading and lots of conversation - I agree with them Mr. Q Science (qualifier - it's actually pretty good, but we all struggled with the e-book format and never got around to getting it printed) I should clarify my thoughts on Sonlight/Bookshark - my main interest is in the History with Reading component. I am convinced that a living books approach is right for us (and is something I would enjoy teaching), but the thought of getting all those books, managing when they're needed and organizing the pace of the reading across the year makes my head spin...so having everything show up in a package with a plan to work through seems like a great deal. It would also be something I could literally place in DDs hands and she would take off with it. For next year, I've chosen the Wayfarers Ancient History plan from the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curriculum (BRC). I am planning to go back to the beginning of the Ancient's cycle and cover the periods we skipped. (Good idea? Bad idea? Should we move on to Middle Ages?). Wayfarers is kind of a hybrid of classical, CM - 4 year history cycles (but little historical fiction), literature rich and comprehensive. BRC also publishes LA curriculum - English Lessons Through Literature for DS (grammar, copywork, writing) and Reading Lessons Through Literature (spelling) for DS. I'm 'thinking' about Spelling Power for DD who is an excellent speller already and could use a good challenge. I 'think' I'll continue using WWS for her, but I'm on the fence - ELTL is much more comprehensive and ties the grammar into the books on the reading list...and it would keep both kids in the same curriculum family, making it a bit easier for mom. Wayfarers Ancients plans Botany for this cycle and includes book recs for both children at their respective grade level. My main concern with this program (which I really really love and so hope I can make it work) is the whole 'getting of the resources' thing. I know it's just a question of organization, but it intimidates the heck out of me....hence the Bookshark/Sonlight crush....maybe I just need to manage my time better than I do at present ;-) We do have a fantastic local library, so seriously, it shouldn't be so tough. I will definitely have us finish math, continue to work on writing and reading lots of books this summer...it does sound like a plan, doesn't it? ;-) All of us will benefit from the break, and I will enjoy the opportunity to have a solid plan in place for the coming year.... I realize I've put a lot here yet again - I am open to comments and suggestions, and so very appreciative of the generosity of people on these boards!
  14. This post is long, so I do want to say at the outset that I'm looking for guidance and suggestions to make our second (and future) HS years better than year #1. I would also like to hear thoughts about where we go for the balance of this year...we're maybe 50% through what I planned for the year - we made progress in many unplanned areas, but I am worried by how much was NOT done this year :-( We do intend to continue - I really believe it can work and that it's the right fit for our family. I just need to do a better job of it, and could use help determining what 'a better job' looks like. Feel free to ask questions if what I post sounds muddled...For reference, DCs are Grade 2 and Grade 5 this year. Both are bright and enjoy learning....which makes it all the more worrisome for me as both kids could easily be much further along than they are - and I feel I am solely responsible for our delays. This has badly overwhelmed me.... Everything I've read and heard tells me that the first year of homeschooling is tough...and ours was certainly no exception. On top of 'normal' newbie issues, we had some major life events that disrupted and distracted, and DH's work was such that I more or less single-parented for much of the year...while running our growing business. We got off to a rough start, moving to a new city in August, joining (then leaving) a Charter ISP that all of us found unhelpful and restrictive. My curriculum choices were rushed and honestly, I really didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. In hindsight, I wish that I had read (and followed) advice that SWB gave in an interview this year - first year homeschoolers should definitely consider 'school in a box' for the first year, just to get used to the reality of being at home together, get into the swing of homeschooling, etc. How I wish our ES would have recommended something - anything - for a set curriculum...I went in blind and more ignorant than I would have imagined. We ended up switching things around more than a few times and didn't get much traction in areas other than math and history. Even there, we're about 50% through our math curriculum, and we have shamelessly allowed ourselves to get stuck in Rome for the past 7 months....and we skipped Greece and Egypt to get there... I've spent the better part of the year researching, reading and learning about different HSing methods, philosophies etc - I am very clear on the direction I would like us to take (Classical, Lit-based, strong history focus - and aligned with the views expressed by Circe-types) and am comfortable with that style and approach....it's also a good fit for the kids. But I'm finding it so challenging personally to get there when starting from ground zero (the scheduling, planning, book-getting...all while mom-ing, wife-ing and working!). So I guess in practical terms I'm wondering, what do I do from here? We will not have finished the grade level materials by the 'end' of this year - do we just stop, recalibrate and start fresh in a couple of months? Do I bust out the new materials I finally settled on? Or, do I wave the white flag and purchase a boxed curric for year 2 to let us catch our breath? Bookshark is looking attractive...despite the fact I've already purchased materials to help us carry on from where we are. I'm worried that even the 'extra' time and effort of pulling together resources will sink me at this point. From a timing standpoint, I would ultimately like to school year-round, but I'm not sure this is the best year to start - we are feeling pretty beat up (mostly me and DH - the kids are great!!). I also find that the DC are much happier (and less inclined to bicker) with the structure and stimulation of daily lessons - even if it's only math, copywork and reading. In practical terms, we could comfortably finish Math by mid-July (it would feel good to finish something!). We could read some great books and continue improving writing skills during that time. The kids are doing an 8 week course at a local zoo for science...so all is not lost. I'm just a little freaked out ;-) Simply sharing it here has helped... ETA - while it's probably obvious from our uneven progress, we've mostly been practicing a 'do the next thing' approach. I'm a box-checker and would like to have some sort of planner in place... Thank you for your patience if you've made it this far - any guidance (and encouragement for those who've walked this road longer than me) would be appreciated!
  15. After tons of research, review and helpful exchanges with the curriculum's author, Kathy Jo Devore, I've just purchased both of these for use with my 2nd grader. From what I have learned, used together these curricula will provide a full (and rigorous) LA program (reading, spelling, grammar, memorization, copywork, writing...the works). I love the fact that both are solidly rooted in living books. From my reading of the samples (which do provide the complete intro and overview to the programs, including tips on placement), your 1st grader would very simply begin with Level 1 in both programs. But I don't know your circumstances or where your DC is in his/her studies, so you might be best to ask Kathy Jo directly - she is always very helpful. Best way to reach her is either FB or the yahoo group - Barefoot Ragamuffins - she responds quickly :-) In terms of time required per day...not sure, but my recollection of a similar question answered recently puts it in line with 'typical' recommendations for seat work for children of this age and stage. Hope this helps!
  16. Joan, thank you so much for taking the time to respond! I agree with you regarding accent - it's very important to us that our children continue to speak with their native French accent, which is so very different from Canadian French. After much deliberation, we've decided to splurge on a private tutor....there's just no way I can handle this part of their education right now. As luck would have it, just as we were about to make arrangements with the Alliance Francaise, we met French woman who lives locally and teaches French at a nearby IB high school. It will definitely be pricey, but I think it will be the best solution for us....I simply can't instruct them at their level and am at the limit of what I can do time-wise...and DH is overloaded with work. Without a tutor, I'm afraid their French study would fizzle out, which would be an incredible shame (not to mention the squandered investment in 5 years of private school :-(( They will spend 1/2 day per week with the tutor (1 hour each, plus 1 hour combined to cover another subject). We'll see how that goes and adjust after a trial period. This way, they'll have structure and focus...and we can just continue to have fun rounding out the French language usage at home through books, music and conversation as we always have :-))
  17. I am currently previewing the Quark Chronicles: Botany for use with my children. We'll be using it as part of the overall Wayfarer's, a complete history and literature-based curriculum, which is written by Kathy Jo Devore (we LOVE the curriculum, btw). I am really enjoying the book and think my children will find it quite engaging. It's science fiction, which I find provides an interesting juxtaposition to the subject matter. It is well written and weaves in scientific facts in an entertaining, intelligent manner ... it's neither fluffy nor dry....kinda 'just right'...I'm excited to keep reading it myself :-)) So to the OP's question, I think it would be a really good (and fun!) choice to supplement an overall Botany curriculum. To others who might be interested, the Wayfarers curriculum uses the Quark Chronicles alongside a choice of other books, such as Botany in 8 Lessons (Ellen J. McHenry), DK Eyewitness Plant (David Burnie) and others. It isn't used as a stand-alone. A full list of science reading options can be found on Kathy Jo's curriculum Website - barefootmeanderings.com. Sorry - I don't know how to post a link here yet...There are many freebies on her site (including an impressive reading list across all subjects and grades) and lots of samples (including a sample of the Quark Chronicles) to give you a good sense of how her materials work. We've become huge fans over here... I 'think' the science book lists can be found in the free reading list (includes reading for chemistry, physics, etc etc etc, all grades). I know for sure the Botany lists can be found in the free sample of the Wayfarers: Ancients curriculum. There is a Yahoo Group dedicated to this curriculum (Barefoot Ragamuffins) and Kathy Jo is very helpful and prompt in answering questions directly....I think its the same on her FB page, but I haven't been there myself. I am sure that if you reach out to her with questions (regarding using the Zoology edition of Quark, for example) she'll be more than happy to help you. Long response, but I hope it helps!
  18. ETA - Cross post :-) Not at all! It isn't apparent from the description as it just mentions the Ancients, but the book list includes both SOW Ancient Times and SOW Middle Ages....the book list includes titles that relate to both periods. We just love history too much to go that fast, although I would certainly draw from the reading list...
  19. :iagree: You have articulated this beautifully! I particularly appreciate your "What I love about Wayfarers..." paragraph. Nail on the head, with complete eloquence. Bravo! The structure and flow of the program lends itself very well to substitutions, and the Core readings round things out so nicely. I will be subbing for art as well as dd has outside art instruction, and will need to make room for French (we're already bilingual, but the kids will continue with formal reading, writing and grammar study to ensure complete literacy. Great idea to spend time upfront getting it ready for your family. I will follow your lead! ;) BTW, BFSU will be new for us this year - it looks solid and I'm happy to hear your family has enjoyed it and found it useful.
  20. I would be looking at Grade 6, but likely just the RWH component. I'm not thrilled though about racing through two historical periods in one year (we tend to go deep here ;-), so I'm still on the fence. Thanks to all for your POVs!
  21. I'm multi-quote challenged tonight! Thanks to each of you for adding these additional pieces to the puzzle - I'm nodding in agreement, understanding and appreciation at each of your posts :-) This curriculum really checks a lot of boxes for our family - and for me as the planner in residence. A deep, rich, rigorous course of study with the beauty and luxury of great literature and art built in.....and everything chosen and planned out ... *exhale* :-)) rimk3 - will check out the Yahoo Group. Thank you for the link! Does your post mean you've implemented parts of this program? Would love to know about your hands-on experience if so. oneddmanybooks - I could've written your post! I think I heard that chorus of angels too ;-) I've spent a lot of time with the materials over the past few days, and I think we're going to take the leap. stm4him, we've lucked out on timing as both dc's are studying ancients. Great to know that future volumes are in the works - this curriculum looks like an absolute keeper! BTW, agreed that there are ample science resources contemplated - I 'think' I'll add BFSU as the science spine and just slot it into the sched.
  22. I've noticed as well that she offers a Newbery Winners reading list (free!) that includes books up to and including present day. I think it should be more than easy enough to add on other, contemporary books as needed or desired.
  23. I'm honing in on our curriculum choices for 2015/16 and wondering if anyone who chose Bookshark (either the complete program or just the Reading With History component) this year is ready to share your experience so far? I am sorely tempted to make the RWH component part of our homeschool plans for next year and would love to know what the early adopters think.
  24. stm4him - not sure if you're still following this thread, but thought I'd give it a try. I have spent the last few days working my way through Barefoot Meanderings....I'm really liking what I see and am thinking of using it as the base for our homeschool curriculum. My only question is whether contemporary literature is incorporated into the program or if it's mostly older, public domain books? Since you've spent a bit more time with it than I have, I thought you might have a sense of that before I start digging through the reading lists in more detail :rolleyes: Any info would be appreciated - so glad you referred me to it!
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