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Everything posted by strawberryjam

  1. I just discovered that Biologos has a forum just for homeschoolers! That has got to be a helpful resource. https://discourse.biologos.org/c/homeschool-forum
  2. Thanks, I'm aware of this curriculum but I believe it was published after her kids were older. I just wonder what she herself used with her kids.
  3. I understand why she didn't go into detail on this topic in the Well Trained Mind (and that she generally tries to avoid theological discussions online), but are there any posts, videos, etc. where Susan discusses the specific resources she used to teach her children the Bible and Christianity?
  4. I second "The Language of God" by Francis Collins. I was on the fence when I read that book, having been brought up with a YE perspective and being taught you can't be a Christian if you believe in Evolution... well after I read that book, it wasn't long until I made the full jump. Took about two years in total, but I started questioning YE after studying a lot of Astronomy since my little boy was very passionate about it and I knew next to nothing. Also around the same time, I came across a homeschool blogger who was a Christian and taught from an OE philosophy. This is the first time I had encountered a Christian who didn't believe YE. When I learned more about light years and other things in how the universe works, I really started to question YE even more. I started watching videos of debates online. I found some really old footage of Ken Ham and others like him which gave me more insight into their motivations. I started off with Hugh Ross's lectures and books, then read Francis Collins, then started investigating Biologos resources... I discovered that one of the people who works at Biologo's is also a professor at a local Christian university, and that they teach Biology there from an evolutionary perspective. He has written extensively on evolution and genetics and came out with a book recently, "Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science". I find the strongest evidence for evolution is in astronomy, geology and genetics. Genetics is probably the the strongest evidence of the three and the easiest to grasp because it is so accessible. "The Language of God" covers a lot about genetics since Francis Collins led the Human Genome project. If you want something more academic I would highly recommend John Walton's books. He does not cover the science specifically as much as the theological implications, which are of course extremely important to understand. (Some of his books are "The Lost World of Genesis", "The Lost World of Adam and Eve", etc). I used to be strongly supportive of YE and especially Answers in Genesis. To say they cherry pick is putting it mildly though. Now that I'm more knowledgeable about the subject I'd say they lie outright a lot of the time.
  5. Is using AAS an option to use for spelling? It works well with AAR. It's so quick and painless.
  6. My son took his sweet time through AAR 1 and 2, sped through level 3, and skipped level 4 altogether. He's 10 now and reading at a high school level with extremely good comprehension. We enforce daily reading time (books of my choosing) and talk about what he's reading, which has helped more than anything.
  7. Spine math (CLE) = one to two lessons per day, then 20 minutes online computer math every school day (Redbird Math by Stanford, or Reflex Math if math facts haven't been mastered yet). CLE includes fact drills and flash cards. CLE is our procedural math, RedBird is conceptual.
  8. Singapore Challenging Word Problems workbooks are great, you might want to use them one level below grade level. There are YouTube videos on how to teach them if you aren't familiar with the method.
  9. I listened to the sample of "Story of Civilization" and was so impressed, then I purchased it and realized that a majority of it is not like that. Disappointed. :( Jim Weiss CD's are still better.
  10. BrainPop is worth every penny. My kids continuously remind me how much they've learned from it, and they remember it!
  11. I'm in Canada also and received my Mosdos order just a few days ago from Rainbow Resources and did not get any fee's tacked to my order.
  12. CLE is thoroughly written to the student in levels 200 and above. My fifth grader requires almost no instruction and gets excellent grades. For the next level I didn't even bother getting the teacher's guide, only the answer key - cause everything they need is right there in the lightunits.
  13. What about Guesthollow's Geography books? Those would be perfect for morning meeting.
  14. We love CLE. I've tried pretty much every major math curriculum and CLE ended up being the perfect fit. We don't do the word problems though, we use RedBird online math for the word problems and extra math projects. You could just use Singapore for word problems too if you wanted to, they have the "Challenging Word Problems" book that could be done one grade lower. CLE is advanced, thorough, incremental, and so easy to implement. I'm not a huge fan of the 100 series though. You could do something different for grade 1 (I did a mix of Miquon and Singapore) and move through 100 and 200 at an accelerated pace later (we start it in Grade 2). I love that it's written to the student, I have to do practically no teaching at all for my fifth grader. Both my kids get close to 100% on their math at all times. I really love that it starts topics early and spoon feeds them the instruction slowly over long periods of time and reviews them often. So they *really* get it and never forget it.
  15. We use "My Father's Dragon" trilogy as the first chapter book series after phonics readers. It still has some pictures and is just the right amount of challenge to bridge over to regular chapter books. Another good one that we used right before "My Father's Dragon" was the "Dick and Jane" old school hardcover treasuries. We also really liked the Penguin Young Readers leveled books, level 3-5 are fantastic as early chapter books. They also have lots of non-fiction ones. My kids weren't into the Magic Treehouse fiction stories, but the non-fiction Magic Treehouse ones about various topics were a big hit.
  16. Phil Vischer from "What's in the Bible" (and VeggieTales) has a podcast too.
  17. My son is astronomy obsessed and I also chose CPO science for him. He is far above this level in astronomy but it's good for the earth science portion, the thing I love about CPO is it's easy to customize, it's flexible, and it's thorough. The teacher's guide is really well done and includes lots of literary selections for various reading levels - we've found some treasures in those lists that have been big hits!
  18. I've been looking at Bible Road Trip too. It looks like it has a lot of good things going for it. I got some of the resources they recommend and am looking through them. My kids LOVED the "What's in the Bible" DVD series! I was so impressed with how deep they go and yet in such an accessible way. They do a really good job with creation too, no worries if you are coming from an old earth/evolution perspective.
  19. That is great to hear. My DS will be 11 soon and I have that series and love it. I was thinking it might be right for him to start it soon.
  20. CLE Math together with RedBird Math (Stanford EPGY) for the word problems (don't do the word problems in CLE). Why? We tried Horizon Math, Singapore Math, Mathematical Reasoning, Math Mammoth and Miquon Math, but none was a good fit on their own. I loved Singapore a lot at the start cause it was so clever but it took a lot of prep and I found I had to spend a lot of time re-teaching myself math since I wasn't taught this way. My kid also found it pretty easy, but didn't retain much at all! Once you include the teacher's guides and all the suggested manipulatives it also gets really expensive. Even though neither of my kids are crazy about CLE, they much prefer it to Singapore cause they find CLE very straight forward and the spiral incremental approach is so non-threatening and not frustrating like other programs. They also like the format of the workbooks and reference charts which make it portable. It's also written to the student so it's very independent and I hardly ever have to teach them much. They are both getting over 95% in their math regularly. My daughter is set to skip a grade in math next year. I also find it fairly advanced and easy to accelerate. It's so thorough so you don't have to worry about gaps. Sometimes my kids ask me WHY they need to learn all this stuff, but I've explained that they big picture will make more sense once they have their foundation skills set. For my kids, starting off with the big picture didn't work. What we are doing now is working. We transition to CLE at some point in Grade 2. For Kindergarten to Grade 1/2 I find CLE a bit too dry, so I used a combination of Miquon and Math in Focus/Singapore and lots of manipulatives, then afterwards start at CLE 100 and accelerate it (skip quizzes, tests, cross out redundant review and double up on lessons) so they finish both CLE 100 and 200 before Grade 3. It's the perfect combination for my kiddos but it was a lot of trial and error to figure it out. If I had to start all over again I might look into RightStart for the first year or two then switch to CLE. Currently my plan is to switch to Saxon for Algebra and beyond.
  21. Mensa and Honey for a Child's Heart are my favourite, but I always check Sonlight too.
  22. If the high school version is anything like the middle school version, the teacher's guide has literary suggestions in each unit for different grade levels (from early elementary to late high school). I like CPO cause you can customize your experience quite easily. I only have experience with the CPO middle school versions so far though.
  23. Any recommendations for "self-help" style books for Gifted Kids? I've come across the book "Gifted Kids" and ordered that on Amazon, anything else? Especially about the emotional side of things.
  24. We do CLE math at the same time as RedBird Math online from Stanford (program for Gifted youth). I don't do any of the word problems in CLE, we just use RedBird for that (it's mostly all word problems anyways). RedBird Math leans towards the same approach as the conceptual math curricula, but it's not nearly as frustrating for my kid (who much prefers CLE). He still finds RedBird hard, but not frustrating. There are also lots of fun games and projects involved that are STEM related, and since science is his first love - that makes it a bit more appealing. We had tried Singapore Math in the past but it wasn't a good fit. He wasn't retaining anything with Singapore even though he found it pretty easy. I haven't tried Beast Academy but I've looked at samples and it would drive my son crazy. He likes the straightforward style of CLE much better. Maybe look into RedBird if you want some of the benefits of conceptual style math without the frustration.
  25. The Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible edited by John Walton is also a really good resource. He is a scholar who writes from an old earth/evolution point of view. He also wrote "The Lost World of Scripture", "Lost World of Genesis", etc. His books are very academic and would go way over the head of even an advanced 12 yr old I think, but the Cultural Context Study Bible could be very useful. It also has lots of photos and interesting articles throughout.
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