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Everything posted by amtmcm

  1. I highly recommend this one. My DD15 really enjoyed it - we used it to supplement her economics and she looked forward to watching the lectures: "Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making Randall Bartlett"
  2. If a child has that little interest in science, I would use Biology 101 and Chemistry 101. I use these excellent DVD's as a supplement, but there is a guide included which provides plans for a full high school credit for each course. Physics 101 should be released within the year, so this student would be able to cover all three courses by 12th grade. My 2 cents.
  3. i have that same digital microscope and really like it. i also have a regular microscope i purchased from homsciencetools.com and i prefer the digital one. It is lighter, comes with a carrying case, and mechanical stage. i bought mine on amazon much cheaper. i will warn you, the first one they mailed to me was defective and wouldn't turn on. The replacement worked perfectly right out of the box.
  4. Does she like to read? If she does, and she wants to be more comfortable with math, try Life of Fred. They have sample pages on their website. You can even just let her read it in addition to doing her regular math. Danika McKellar (The Wonder Years actress) authored several books especially for girls to overcome math phobia. We have Math Doesn't Suck and Kiss My Math (ya, I know, the titles are a little over the top). But DD15 enjoyed them when she was in 6th grade. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=math+danika CLE is a Mennonite curriculum which incorporates real life scenarios into their math program. Level 8 was all about a family, their farm and how they used math in their everyday lives to run their farm/business. My older DD was actually sad when she finished it because she liked the family and characters so much (like wishing there was a sequel to a good book). However, CLE is advanced, so as a 5th/6th grader, she may be in level 4 or 5. If you go this route, make sure you use the placement tests which are free on their website. I'm not a fan of Saxon, but I will say there are a lot of support materials available, especially at higher levels. It works great for some families, so if it's working and you like it, it's worth a try. We also like Teaching Textbooks, but it worked better for my older DD than my younger one. DD12 is using it now, but she doesn't love it. It was exactly what DD15 needed (she's very artsy and creative) for Algebra and Geometry.
  5. :iagree: :iagree: I concur whole-heartedly with your taste. I despise Saxon (I've used Alg 1/2 and Adv. Math) and loved using CLE with my older DD. I really struggled with what to use for DD12's math this year. She has the mathematical foundation for Algebra, but she doesn't know any of the why's. She's been using BJU which we were very happy with, but I think TT does a better job of explaining the why's. We're using TT Pre-Alg version 2 and it's going very well so far. And I'm happy with the topics it covers and think she'll be well prepared for Alg next year. My DD15 used TT for Alg 1/Alg 2 (we called this Alg 1) & Geometry and did very well with them. But I'm hoping for DD12 to switch to Jacobs Alg next year. Either that or we'll go back to BJU. In other words, maybe do one more year of TT and then you have a lot more options for Algebra. It seemed like "slim pickins" for pre-algebra choices. One more thought.... if you want REALLY concise with lots of "whys" covered, how about Life of Fred?
  6. Just send her an email. I scheduled a once per week session with her for the whole school year. But you can schedule a couple classes and see how you like it first. Or you can schedule classes on a need-only basis whenever your DC gets stuck and needs help.
  7. We are very happy with DD's French tutor. Lessons are provided using Skype. Chantal is extremely prompt and professional. http://www.learnfrenchwithchantal.com/ DD15 had her last year for French 1 using Breaking the Barrier and is continuing this year for French 2. DD12 is just starting French with her. Each level of Breaking the Barrier is only 12 chapters, so if you push hard you might finish level 1 & 2 in one year, taking about 1.5 weeks for each chapter. But this might be stressful. Hope this helps.
  8. dd15 will be attending landry academy for ancient lit this year. i really like the smarr lit guide and planned reading assignments. they will cover all the major works i want her to read for ancient lit.
  9. DD is using BJU 3rd ed. We don't need the TE. We use all the DIVE tests and worksheets and they provide the answers. The BJU text is excellent. DD regularly tells me about what she's reading, feels like she's learning a lot and really enjoys the course.
  10. For me personally, 10th grade was by far my most productive year. I played several sports, worked part-time and made honor role. 11th grade was pretty good too. My DD15 will be in 10th this year and we're looking forward to it! We're outsourcing a lot, but hoping for excellent results. And we're maximizing her extra-curricular activities too.
  11. We kind of do block scheduling for science, lit and history. DD15 works on those topics for 2+ hours at a time, a couple times per week, but all year long. When she's reading about a topic, she wants to focus on it for several hours instead of jumping around to the next subject.
  12. "The Help" has some laugh out loud scenes. DH is NOT a reader. He mostly reads for information (Popular Science, technical journals, etc...). He read "Night" and was very moved by it. It's only 109 pages and 20 years from now your DS will still remember it.
  13. This is what we'll be doing this year. I think the texts look great and the TE provides some suggestions for digging deeper with literature, outside sources and discussion.
  14. We're using DIVE with the BJU test. It's all scheduled out and there's no problem finishing in 32 weeks, including time to study for each of the 4 quarterly exams. Here's what I like about DIVE: 1) I didn't have to buy the Teacher Editions for BJU since DIVE has their own worksheets, quizzes and tests and all of the answers are provided. DIVE + Textbook was much more cost effective than Textbook + TE + Tests + Answer Key. 2) The lectures are excellent and completely related to the reading. Every week DD15 is telling me about her reading and what she's learning from the lecture. This is great, except during lunch. :) 3) Lectures are only once per week for about 30 minutes so DD doesn't have to watch one every day. 4) All of the labs are demonstrated. 5) The schedule is easy to follow. Just a suggestion...... Ann
  15. That's a great compliment! I totally agree! I think it sounds totally appropriate to post this to DD's recruiting website.
  16. Environmental Science is a popular 4th science class in Texas schools. For DD15, I'm considering doing this class from a stewardship of the Earth perspective. There are several books written on this subject which would go along nicely with a standard text.
  17. This depends on the child. My DD15 can whip out a 2 page essay in 20 minutes. In Challenge B and up there are typically 2 papers written every week. When DD15 was in Challenge B, that course was a very small part of her weekly work. But we saw other students who struggled to keep up. Same as above - it depends on if the student is able to keep up with the CC work. As a parent, it would be ideal if you stay involved with your son's weekly CC assignments and expand on them at home through CM methods - read a living book about an event or science topic their studying and talk about it together. Have him draw and journal what he's learning about. Verify this with the tutor, but you might occasionally substitute one of your own assignments. For example, he could do something more creative (a series of drawings, a poem, a script) instead of writing an essay. As long as it is related to the same topic/book everyone else is studying he will be able to contribute in class and everyone (including your son) will benefit. If he's struggling with TT, you may need to backup with something like Key to... or Khan Academy. He's may be missing something foundational like fractions or something else. Does he have his times tables down quickly? When DD15 struggled with homework assignments it was because they took her a long time because she couldn't quickly multiply in her head. As for Saxon, I'm not a fan. DD15 used Saxon Alg 1/2 (when she was 12) and I helped a student with Saxon Adv Math last year. It is way too "jumpy" as I see many describe it on Amazon. Math usually happens first hour in Challenge classes, so you can just sleep 45 minutes longer and take him to class when math is over. :) That's what we're doing this year. Or he can go to class and listen in on the lesson - it will reinforce his math at home. It would be better for him to be accustomed to using textbooks before he gets to college. I read this and thought it's really a shame you can't put him in Challenge A this year, for two reasons. 1) Challenge A is very Charlotte Mason-y. The kids spend a lot of time drawing the world for geography and doing nature studies for science. Challenge A also covers Anatomy and they memorize all of the bones in the body and various body systems. This would be VERY beneficial for a future doctor. The Latin will be introduced very slowly in Henle and lay a good foundation. The IEW writing is only fall semester and then spring semester they focus on reading good books and learning how to analyze them and then write their own essays. 2) Challenge A and Challenge B is where writing and research is really, really taught. These two Challenge levels prepare students for the upper Challenge levels. IMO, both Challenge A & B cover writing & research, so your son could probably do Ch A and if he does well, then skip to Ch 1 for 9th grade.
  18. This is what DD15 used. She finished TT Alg 1, made it through most of TT Alg 2 and we're calling it Algebra 1 on her transcript. She scored well above average on the PSAT. As for depth/rigor, I'll share my experience..... DD15 used TT Geometry for 9th grade. This upcoming year (10th) she's enrolled in VPSA Algebra 2 using Foerster Algebra & Trig. In order to take this class she had to pass a placement test provided by VPSA. I was a little worried about the placement test since she hadn't looked at any Algebra in almost a year, so for preparation I had her complete all of the chapter reviews and all of the chapter tests in Lial's Algebra text. She had no problem. That took about a month (2 weeks for the reviews, then 2 weeks for the tests). We still had a little time left before the VPSA test was available, so I printed placements tests from several math curricula - including AOPS. She did well on all of these placement tests until she got to AOPS. Here's how that conversation went: Me: How come you didn't do these problems? Her: I didn't know how. Me: But you know how to do factoring..... Her: Yes, but I've never had to factor anything that hard before. This was no great shocker for me, but I thought it was very interesting and begs the question, how "hard" does math need to be? Based on Lial's extensive popularity and continued use in college classrooms, I would say it is a good "yardstick" for a standard Algebra class. After using TT Algebra 1 & 2, my DD15 was fully prepared to work through Lial's Algebra and easily passed her VPSA placement test. I've read many times on this forum "the best math program is the one that works for your child." So true! My DD15 used to hate math. Using TT made math painless for her and I believe it has provided her with an excellent foundation on which to build. She loves science, so if she goes that direction then she will eventually need to do more advanced math with harder problems, and I have no doubt she can learn to do that if she needs to. If I had challenged her with a curriculum like AOPS (or even Foerster) for Algebra 1 it would have shot down her confidence. I'm looking forward to seeing how she does with Foerster for Algebra 2 and have high hopes for her to blossom in math. And I'm very thankful for how easy TT made it for us to get through her first year of algebra! Sorry if this sounds like an ad for TT - I promise I get no kickbacks. :) Hope this helps, Ann
  19. We used BTB French 1 this year. You might try something like this: There are 10 lessons in "First Steps." Complete two a week for a total of 5 weeks. The next 12 chapters will each take about two weeks for a total of 24 weeks. 5 + 24 = 29 weeks which will give you a little buffer in the school year in case any chapters take longer. Or you might add a midterm and final or add extra assignments like a letter written in Spanish, watch a movie in Spanish or read a few children's books. As for splitting up the lessons, spend 1 week on the Vocab & Practice Exercises and spend the next week on the Oral Practice, Review (Prueba de Repaso) and Chapter Test.
  20. DD 12 has been using BJU math for several years and we plan to use Jacobs Algebra next year. She's probably ready for Algebra now, but I want her to understand more of the why's before moving on. We're going to use TT Pre-Algebra. DD12 is not a fan of TT, but DD15 has been using it successfully (scored in 90th% for math on PSAT in 9th grade compared to 10th graders in our state). I'm a big fan of the way TT explains concepts, whys, history and application in science, business and life. The problem sets may not be the hardest, but the lessons are well thought out and clearly presented in both the text and the CD-Roms. I especially like the additions they've made to TT Pre-Algebra 2.0 and it provides an excellent intro to Algebra with graphing, exponents, etc. My 2 cents, Ann
  21. Looks fun! Did you see the sample video? http://www.sdlearn.com/product_p/gh4427.htm
  22. We'll be reading a lot of missionary stories alongside our geography studies for high school this year. Here are some additional classics I have planned, but some of this may not be appropriate for a 7th grader. Travels with Charley by Steinbeck (U.S.) Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway (Cuba) Out of Africa by Dineson Antony & Cleopatra by Shakespeare 1001 Arabian Nights Passage to India by Forester The Good Earth (China) Around the World in 80 Days and Swiss Family Robinson are both wonderful! Around the World.... starts out very slow to mimic Phileas Fogg. As Phileas Fogg gets more interesting, so does the book. Here are some more ideas for a travel journal theme: Odyssey Pilgrim's Progress Gulliver's Travels Robinson Crusoe Treasure Island Mark Twain has several travel journals: Innocents Abroad, Travels of Mark Twain, etc.... Bill Bryson is a current author who writes books about his travels. Some of them are hilarious, but be sure to preview them.
  23. This is just my opinion based on teaching from this text in a co-op setting and I am not an expert in Biology (my degree is in Psychology). I didn't see any errors in the text. However, other texts (i.e. BJU Biology) have updated certain topics (i.e. classification of bacteria). It doesn't mean Apologia's text is wrong, it just doesn't reflect some of the changes in studying Biology or mention some topics which are under debate in the scientific community like the BJU text does. Overall, I think the content in Exploring Creation with Biology is solid. However, I don't like the chatty style of the text (some kids love it!) and I don't like how it talks down to the student (paraphrase: this topic is really hard, and you might not understand it, but we'll try to make it simple for you - over and over again). As for using it secularly? I prefer Christian textbooks, so it's hard for me to judge. But the whole point of Exploring Creation with Biology is to see the wonder of God's creation all around us. I think it could be used from a Judeo-Christian or deist POV. You should be able to get a feel for this by glancing through it. Regardless of my personal opinion/preference, you probably won't be needing this text for 8 more years since your child is in 1st grade? A lot can change in 8 years of science and you'll probably want a more up-to-date text. $1 is an excellent deal on a $65 text book. You can hold onto it as a reference or to use as a 2nd text (I always keep on hand 2-3 science and math textbooks for each subject as reference to help answer questions) or you could resell it and buy something you need now. BTW - the "Exploring Creation with..." Elementary series is written by a different author and we've been happy with those texts. I HIGHLY recommend Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Jeannie Fulbright when your child gets a bit older - maybe 4th+ grade. That text is a keeper on our bookshelf.
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