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Everything posted by amtmcm

  1. DD14 - Freshman took it cold. 64 Critical Reading 57 Math (she's only in geometry - alg 2 next year should help) 58 Writing I'm pleased her Critical Reading and Writing were in the 98% & 96% compared to sophomores in our state.
  2. Great idea! I think that's exactly what I was reaching for, but couldn't quite pull the idea together. Thanks!
  3. I've been trying to come up with something like this too. My strength is definitely in staying on task... not so much in making things fun... so I'd love to hear some ideas. So far I've been thinking of this: 10-15 minutes spent in a workbook like Logic Safari Alternate brain teasers like Two Minute Mysteries and games like Mastermind, Blockus, Clue, etc... I'd think there'd also be fun ways to bring in faulty arguments and have the kids pick them apart... not sure how to implement this. Maybe reading a chapter of Fallacy Detective together? But I wanted to keep a bit lighter than using FD.
  4. This website has game ideas for Latin & French. We've played all of the Latin ones and they were fun. You'll have to type up cards/vocab for Spanish, but it wouldn't be that hard. http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/homeschool-freedownloads/latin-games/index.php
  5. That's the same reason we tried BJU History - we liked their Life Science text so much. The BJU World History includes original source documents in the Activity Pages - DD read a selection from the Communist Manifesto, Bush's speech after 9-11 (which brought tears to my eyes when we read it together), Darwin, Cyrus the Great (his cylinder), Machiavelli, John Cabot, Francis Bacon, Benjamin Franklin, and other historical documents. The Activity Sheets also include timelines, maps, short answer questions and cause & effect charts (DD needed help with these). All of the activities required thinking and did not spoon feed information. You can see a sample of the entire first chapter of The American Republic on BJU's website. You can see samples of the Student Activities on CBD's website. From the TOC for the Student Activities, it looks like the original source documents include writings from: John Smith, William Bradford (Of Plymouth Plantation), George Washington, Abigail Adams, Lewis & Clark, etc.... You get the idea.... you can see them in the sample. Hope this helps, Ann ETA: I had the Teacher Editions, but rarely needed them. I bought the course as a bundle from Rock Solid so I got the student texts, TE and tests all together. For scheduling, we just completed 1 chapter per week. Each chapter has about 3 "sections" with review questions at the end of the section. DD spent 3 days reading each section and working on the related Activity Sheet. The 4th day she would do the chapter review and finish the Activity Sheets. The 5th day she'd take the test. Very open & go and easy to implement.
  6. I think BJU 8th grade The American Republic would be fine for a motivated 7th grader. I used BJU 10th World History with my DD in 8th grade. Some of the more rhetorical-level Activity Sheets were a stretch for her, but we completed them together as needed. I have The American Republic on my radar for my younger DD. We appreciate the conservative, Christian viewpoint of BJU and the open & go method works best for us. I used All American History with my older DD in 7th grade and neither of us liked it. It's very dry and we didn't want to spend two years on American History. We ditched it half way through the year. The Notgrass text looks gentle and enjoyable for middle school. I think it kind of depends on what else your child is studying.... if other classes (ie: science and math) will be very demanding, then a more gentle approach like the Notgrass text might be a relief. If your child is a history buff and you focus a lot on history, you might appreciate the more demanding BJU text.
  7. If you sign into your son's "College Quickstart" on the website (using the Access Code) they provide a percentile ranking for your child's age group.
  8. Yes, the first one I received didn't work. The digital screen didn't turn on. The replacement is fine and worked right out of the box.
  9. I own this digital microscope and I'm satisfied with it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014YNGCK/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details I also own this one from Home Science Tools, which seems to be a pretty typical home microscope (on par with Sonlight and Apologia's recommended models): http://www.hometrainingtools.com/home-microscope/p/MI-4100STD/ We look at slides side by side and I personally like the digital microscope because I prefer to look at a screen with both eyes open. :) I suppose this can also be achieved through attachments between a computer and microscope, but I use a Mac so software driver options were sketchy when I researched it. ETA: I guess I should mention what I like about the digital microscope.... it's VERY lightweight and comes in it's own carrying case. It includes an adjustable stage which makes adjusting the slides and focussing very easy. The 100-400x has been good enough to see onion cells, mushroom spores and typical prepared slides. There have been some things that definitely need higher magnification and we've found slides on the internet and used DIVE (which provides video for all labs).
  10. I don't know if this is possible with your schedule (ie: maybe the courses he's taking are outside classes and deadlines are firm?), but I personally would put school on hold for the next day-and-a-half to allow time for focussing on the piano. My DD performs in drama and piano competitions and sometimes we have to make those events a priority. Best wishes to your DS.
  11. No nagging here. DD must be showered and started on math by 8:30 or she gets dish-duty for the day. She hates dish-duty so she gets herself up.
  12. :iagree: DD is using BJU French this year with a class that meets twice a week. She's having trouble retaining her lessons, which is highly unusual for her. She's teaching herself Henle Latin and blazing through the book with no problems and she's usually very language oriented, so I've been surprised at her struggles with French. I showed her the sample chapter for Breaking the Barrier and she loved it! I've already paid for her French class for the year, and she likes the teacher, so we're sticking it out. But next year I'm going to hire a tutor and switch to Breaking the Barrier. BTB has 12 chapters, so I'll have her complete Level 1 in 12 weeks (1 chapter per wk) for review and to fill in any gaps and then slow down to 24 weeks for Level 2 (2 weeks per chapter). The other advise I've found is that languages and math must be done more than a couple times per week to really learn them. I had DD add more study time for French so now she works on it 4-5 days per week and that has helped. A little each day is better than a big chunk twice a week.
  13. How about this: 5th: Rainbow Science + Tiner's World of Physics and World of Chemistry 6th: BJU Life Science 7th: BJU Earth & Space This way she can stay on one topic and she'll get in a year of Physics & Chemistry. Rainbow is recommended for middle school, but IMO it's way easier than BJU Life Science. The reading in the text is pretty light, so I'm going to supplement with Tiner's books the 2nd time around. I might add in Chemistry 101 as well. I really like Biology 101 for fun. As for BJU Life Science, we really enjoyed it and I'm excited to do it again with my younger DD. We didn't use the DVD class, we used the text + Lab Investigations DVD.
  14. My DD's were both in private school before homeschooling. When DD9th was in 5th grade at school, the teacher spent the whole year forewarning the class that there would be more work and higher expectations the next year when they started middle school. DD came home for school in 6th, but this idea stayed with me and I reiterated that high school would be harder than middle school so she was expecting it. I also slowly increased her workload each year so it wasn't a shock. I also nipped in the bud all of her bad habits (dawdling, incomplete work, lack of effort) in middle school. If she skipped an assignment, she lost a privilege. If she dawdled over assignments, then I started setting a timer and gave her a set time to complete it. Whatever wasn't finished was "homework" for the evening. Incorrect work needed to be corrected and if she scored below an 80% she had to do the assignment over. These consequences quickly taught her it didn't pay to dawdle, work sloppily or "forget" to do an assignment. She has developed good work habits and our transition to high school has been pretty smooth. It also helps a great deal for a child to have an incentive to get their work done. DD6th loves to play on the computer. She's not allowed to even breathe on the computer until all of her schoolwork is completed for the day. DD9th likes to hang out with friends and she stays on top of her work so she doesn't miss out on fun events. I'm not saying this is easy or that I'm perfect. It takes a lot of effort, but I think it's been worth it.
  15. You might look into Circe Institute which is geared towards adults and offers seminars and retreats. There are a number of resources for Great Books, including Great Books Academy , Angelicum Academy, and The Great Books Foundation which provides continuing education.
  16. :iagree: You might also consider DVD classes from Great Courses for subjects in which you're especially interested in advancing your education. But don't pay full price - all their courses go on sale at some point during the year.
  17. I immediately convert the words into numbers and visualize the numbers in my brain. Then I multiply 40x6 and 7x6 and add them together.
  18. DD14 took 1 class last year and 1 class this year. Both have been excellent. Things I like: - VP's processes (they're well organized and I generally feel well informed about everything) - Cost is very fair - most outside schools seem to charge about $500 for 1.5 hours of instruction per week, but VP give you twice that ($550 for 3 hours per week) - The software they use is pretty good. DD enjoys the combination of texting, speaking, listening and "white board." One recommendation - for your first year, try to sign up for classes with veteran teachers. We have a new teacher this year and the start was a little rough with the teacher learning how to post assignments, etc.... The teacher is excellent, we just needed to be patient with some of the initial technical difficulties. This was never an issue last year with a veteran teacher, so we knew it was just a matter of getting past the learning curve for the new teacher. I personally wouldn't be worried about pass/fail classes on a 7th grade transcript, but I don't think it would be ideal for High School. If your child is an excellent student and you expect all A's for courses taken as VP then it might look ok to have 3-4 A's and 2 pass/fail grades each year.
  19. You might find this recent thread helpful.... http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316730 Several people recommended these books: Bright Minds, Poor Grades: http://www.amazon.com/Bright-Minds-Poor-Grades-Underachieving/dp/0399527052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318617372&sr=8-1 That Crumpled Paper was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized Boys Succeed in School and Life http://www.amazon.com/That-Crumpled-Paper-Last-Week/dp/0399535594/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318617590&sr=1-1
  20. Hi Lisa, I'm interested in reading your review of Chemistry 101. Will it be posted to your blog? Thanks, Ann
  21. Last year for BJU Life Sci, DD watched the labs on the DVD then mostly did them herself in the kitchen while I was doing my own thing (or working w/ younger DD) at the dining table. I was on hand, but she knew more about it than I did since she watched the DVD. This year, DH is teaching DD Physics Labs (using LabPaq) and he's very hands on with her. They figure everything out together since there's no DVD to watch ahead of time.
  22. I just bought "Thinking Like an Economist" from TTC (Great Courses) and it came in the mail today. I've already watched the first 3 lectures and so far they are excellent. I think they'd work well for an 8th grader with a strong interest in the subject. My 9th grade DD will be doing Economics in the spring and we're using Penny Candy along with the Bluestocking Press Workbook (this would be overkill if you're not doing it for credit), John Stossel's DVD and this TTC course.
  23. In Challenge B fall semester, students read a book one week and write an essay the next week. In the spring, students spend the entire semester reading short stories by "great" authors (Poe, Twain, Crane, etc..) and writing their own short story. The CC catalog provides some details on the Challenge B writing: http://www.stallionpublishers.com/Publication.aspx?pid=657&pkey=mqikwuaft
  24. My artsy DD loves TT (my analytical younger one doesn't). We used TT Algebra 1 & Algebra 2 and are calling it Algebra 1 on her transcript. This year she's using TT Geometry and it's going great! Next year we'll switch to Foerster Algebra 2 & Trig with Math without Borders for Algebra 2. I think switching will be fine at that point since she completed TT Alg 2 and at least has a head start on the concepts. We like TT so much we'd just stick with it all the way through, but DD may go into Life Science and she tests well so I want her to be uber-prepared for PSAT/SAT to maximize her scores.
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