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Everything posted by YsgolYGair

  1. I, too, make decisions for my young children. I do it with a "Let's do this great thing!" approach. Girls are more challenging, even with this approach (okay, my girl is more challenging), but even she can be persuaded fairly easily if I hype something up. I will also answer as one who was a bit socially awkward in my young and early teen years. I should have been homeschooled - it would have been best for me, even if I wouldn't have understood it then. Now in my 30's I do just fine; I get along with folks just fine, married, three kids, good conversationalist, etc. But I would have enjoyed my growing up years so much more without dealing with the just plain meanness of other kids. I went through several hard, awkward years that I could have been spared by being homeschooled. If you know it's best, mama, just do it.
  2. What did you use for math with him? I have MM and we have used that for much of first grade, but there have also been some frustrations with it. I'm looking at MEP and BJU as possible alternatives, if we switch. Interesting that you mention memory... I don't know if "working memory" is different than regular memory, but it is scary how much he remembers. The detail is unbelievable!
  3. Oh my goodness - that Duke link is so him! Drawing ability and all! There really is something fascinating about the way he sees things. He just knows where pieces belong, and associates by colors in a weird way. What's interesting about the Duke link is that it shows that this is separate from math or language ability. Mathematically, I'd say he's average. My mom keeps telling me to prepare myself to teach him to a high level (I have a math degree), but I don't see anything particularly mathematical about him. Linguistically, he was very late developing but now is fairly advanced, so it doesn't seem to be linked to either one really. Thank you for that awesome link - when he was younger, being a non-speaker, but crazy puzzle kid, I figured he was something like 2e. But this really does seem to be so much closer to what he really is!
  4. What ages do these go up to, because the 7-11 ones ain't cutting it! They cost a ton and he finishes them the same day he gets them. The only thing I've managed to give him that he did struggle with was an 11-16yo Meccano car. And, in fairness, that probably had to do with losing pieces. It'd have worked alot better with the spring in it! To be honest, cost does figure into this some.. keeping him in Lego, puzzles and Meccano gets really expensive. :(
  5. Hiya, I have one son that is particularly bright or something. He's in first grade doing first grade work, so nothing extraordinary there, but he can do other things that aren't so ordinary. He started doing puzzles when he was little - real little. He completed his first puzzle in the hundreds of pieces when he was 3, and his first 1000 piece when he was 4. And, he doesn't agonise over them; he does them like .. nothing. 350 pieces in less than 48 hours, at age 3. He's six now, and has a great propensity for assembling things, puzzles or not. Is there some way I should be directing these talents, or something I should be doing for him? Seriously, how many puzzles can a kid put together? Maybe I should be coming up with things that are more thought out or something? If anyone's got some suggestions, I'd really appreciate them.
  6. France has a much higher Muslim population than either of the other two countries, first of all, and secondly because Hollande has made decisions that have really upset some folks in Syria. Finally, it's easier to get to than either of the other two countries. Water boundaries still are useful in situations where the attackers are limited in finances and cannot coordinate air attacks as easily.
  7. I'll be honest, I really wanted a rules based program, but when I started looking ahead to AAS 2, that was when I completely reconsidered the rule based method. AAS 2 was confusing even to me, and I know how to spell! So, at that point, I looked for something else and ended up with Modern Speller. Words are introduced in the context of sentences and there's a combination of word patterns and memorisation. I, personally, think it's the only way to go with English. There's just too many exceptions.
  8. Modern Speller / Dictation Day by Day. It's a free Google book, because it's so old. I'm loving it so far!
  9. Thank you very much for this great advice!! I hadn't thought about the fact that we don't notice the importance of language because so much of the world's knowledge is available in English. Being mostly English only, I have struggled with the language pressure on a personal level. I have seen it as quite a burden, even though I know it is good to be multilingual. I am, after all, basically learning along side my oldest son. (As others have mentioned, the pressure comes from my husband who is a natural linguist, and speaks / studies many languages. Let's just say - Welsh, English and French are only the beginning. Italian's definitely next, then maybe Dutch, or German, or Latin, or ancient Greek, who knows. Either way, I get to be the teacher, lol.) I really appreciate your "grammar school" perspective. I have wondered at the necessity of teaching history, science, art and music, all of that, in the early ages, but I have done it because my children seem to enjoy it so much, and because the WTM says to, lol. With so much language pressure, though, perhaps just getting those done in these early years, along with math, would suffice. As long as we stay in a place that does not have homeschool requirements, we should be okay. (We normally live in Wales, not France.) As far as a focus on general language arts is concerned, I do try to piggy-back learning off of one language to another, so that there is not too much redundancy, but I am probably not doing it enough and need to re-evaluate each assignment. Do I really need to do Writing with Ease copywork separate from handwriting instruction, for example? Probably not. Either way, if I remove the pressure of history, science and other peripheral subjects off of myself, and only peruse them as we really have time - or perhaps just institute a 30 minute / day "activity time" for non-language-and-math stuff - we might actually manage okay. Thank you so much again!!!
  10. I appreciate the honesty about the amount of time it takes. It is taking alot of time for us, and I'm not so worried about that as I am feeling like I'm doing school all day and still not getting everything done. I have tried putting together a specific plan for this week, estimating the amount of time each thing will make and creating a schedule for each day. I'm specifically trying out keeping each study period no longer than an hour, incorporating lots of small breaks, and changing format regularly - such as 15 minutes memory work up on our feet with motions and all, then a 20 minute video class, then 15 minutes of instruction, then a break, etc. It's worth a try anyway, and probably will be much more effective than the "let's just jump in somewhere and hope we get every subject covered" method I've been using lately.
  11. I am struggling with homeschooling and life and getting it all done. I teach three languages - I teach through the medium of two, and the third is on its own at the moment. They are integral parts of our family dynamic, and I am required to teach them. It is expected that over the course of home education, they will all be taught to the same standard. If we memorise an English poem, we must memorise a Welsh poem and a French poem. In fact, if I want to get rid of something, the only one I would be free to eliminate would be English, but I'm not okay with that. There are plenty of other subjects that I feel are an important part of a good education besides languages that I am just not sure I could let go of. I have a math degree, so I want them to get a stellar math education, and then there's history and science and all the lovely arts and enriching life subjects. I feel that I'm caught between the two options of school being life (for me and the kids) or our kids being poorly taught in three languages. American children may spend an hour on English each day, but if my children only spend 20 minutes, they'll be two-thirds behind other English speakers. I'm just not sure I can do that to them. I think it's scheduling and life management advice I need, but philosophical thoughts will be appreciated, too.
  12. :iagree: Very much! My kids will not "graduate" until they are 18. If we get through 3 years of college level courses, so be it.
  13. I use both together. I use Math Mammoth as my main teaching program and add in A Beka speed drills and flash cards during math time. Later in the day I assign independent work (i.e. seat work), and I assign one of the A Beka math worksheets. I do have the A Beka curriculum lesson plans, so I do keep an eye on it and use it as a reference for teaching concepts if I need some ideas. Generally, I want to teach for conceptual understanding, not only memorisation, which is why I prefer a Singapore-style program over A Beka. But, A Beka, being spiral, is great for constant review. So, I use them each to their best advantage.
  14. I thought it was just my husband! Nice to know I'm not the only one, lol. The interesting thing is, we're pretty much in the Welsh-est place in the world. It's the community language around here. But, English still has such a presence that Gwyndaf still sees it as an issue. Thankfully, we get a year "off" coming up as we'll be in France for the next academic year. Since there won't be as much English around, there won't be quite the pressure. Now, if only I could speak French...
  15. I'm in the UK - in Wales. I'm a Christian following the WTM fairly closely. I would love to get to know any other classical home edders in the area, if there are any!
  16. No, no.. I'm not really suggesting it.. not by a mile. Just looking at the drastic measures that would be necessary, with "all being basically lost." One thing that it might be helpful to explain about our personal bilingual situation is the exhaustive contention my husband's determination in this area has caused in my life and our marriage. I don't like it when my kids aren't allowed to speak English to me. English is my native language. But, for him, it means more than the world to him that his children would love and pass on Welsh. That's probably the reason for my slightly dry response on the "drastic measures." I mean, we've argued about pretty much nothing else in the last five years, and now I'm facing yet another massive country move, because of it. I try to get on board with it, and be as positive as I can, but the truth is, it gets a little overwhelming.
  17. I'm not going to compare it to "what a 14 yo should write" just whether or not its a good piece of writing, generally. First, there are glaring capitalization, verb tense, run-on, and punctuation issues. Neither tea, nor any type of tea, should be capitalised unless it is a proper name of a tea. Iced tea, sweet tea, rice tea, etc. do not qualify as proper names. Secondly, there is no organization, and appears to be no clear thesis or topic sentence. When you write, you need to have a clear definition of the purpose of your writing in your own mind and make it very clear to the reader. In the first "paragraph," for example, the reader is not sure if the subject of the paper is going to be the health benefits or the fact that it is used in religious ceremonies and drunk all over the world. Any piece of writing, particularly one this small, should have one main focus, and it should be made abundantly clear. Her conclusion sentence needs to be more of a repeat of her topic / thesis statement than it is. You should never introduce a new concept in a concluding paragraph or sentence. Tea being for "friends and family" is not relevant to the paper, as she doesn't even mention social drinking of tea before that. So, it should not be introduced there. She also needs to restructure the concluding sentence because it sounds as if she is contradicting her paper because of the way she's worded it. It reminds me of what Susan said about her student's papers when she started teaching: they didn't know what they were trying to prove, and when they got to the end of their papers, they didn't know if they had proven it.
  18. I'm only on level one, but basically, I teach the rule - perhaps make up my own flash card about the rule, if I feel it's necessary for review - and then treat the TM like a dictation book. If he can spell all the words in the step, or many without difficulty, we move on. I would hate having all to pull out all those little pieces and cards everyday, but I love the incremental nature of AAS, so for me, this is the best of both worlds.
  19. Okay... just because something is a rule, doesn't mean that punitive action is used to enforce it. I mean, we're not going to make a child stand in the corner for not finishing his vegetables. They just get to eat them at the next meal before they get anything else to eat. In the same way, we don't discipline for linguistic issues. We do maintain a general level of discipline in our home, off of which our linguist rules piggy-back, so that when we say, "Speak Welsh." they obey and turn to Welsh. That's the rule aspect. As far as linguistic-specific methods of enforcement: 1. It is their habit: Our children are Welsh first language. We (Gwyndaf, really) has worked HARD to make this happen - resisting family pressure and all sorts. They spoke Welsh for at least a year before they learned English, so they developed a habit of speaking Welsh to each other. This habit is of utmost importance, as people sort of "imprint" linguistically onto another person. Once two people become accustomed to speaking a language to each other, changing can be very uncomfortable, if not impossible. 2. Lots of reminding: The kids don't really ever speak English to each other, even though both are fluent, but if they should ever, or if they speak to me in English, Gwyndaf reminds them. Every. Single. Time. 3. We limit English wherever possible: Gwyndaf doesn't let the kids watch English kids TV. If they want to watch something, they have to choose Welsh or French (or pretty much any other language, lol). 4. He also spends a lot of time talking with them about the importance of Welsh and trying to get them to love it. 5. In our case, if more enforcement were needed, it would come in the form of me stopping speaking English and insisting that we all speak Welsh to each other. Up until now, it is mostly my husband's thing, and that's fine, but if I were to insist upon Welsh only, my insistence would go very far. (Some of this influence has less to do with my language and more to do with the good relationships that I've fostered with each of my children, but that's personal to each family and each parent.) 6. My husband is so concerned about the influence of English, that he is seriously considering moving our family to a non-English-speaking country. Gwyndaf has spent lots of time researching minority language in the home, particularly where one parent is not fluent, and how to go about making sure the kids are fluent, first language, and preferred. I asked him about this discussion and his response was that once kids become accustomed to speaking English to each other, all is basically lost. Drastic measures must be taken to reverse this damage, such as going to a non-English place where a child must learn to survive in their minority language. Even then, they won't necessarily learn to speak to each other. Perhaps for this, it might actually be necessary to separate them, and get them to the place where their English is rusty enough that they no longer feel comfortable using it. That's crazy drastic, but for Gwyndaf, there is little sacrifice that is too great to make sure that our kids love, prefer and pass on Welsh.
  20. Pages flying out? No, I don't usually have a problem with pages flying out, but then again, it's not very windy in my house. Glad you found what works for you! :)
  21. These would be the three inch files - you know the ones with the levers that open and close the rings? That's what I use anyway.
  22. Goodness me, I didn't learn about those things until I was an adult... I couldn't imagine teaching those things to a child! I remember being mortified about this stuff when my parents explained these things to me when I was like 20! (In their defence I think they were surprised that I hadn't learned about this stuff on my own.) My parents were always very open, but I appreciate that in my younger years they kept things focused on marriage and basic marital relations.
  23. Rising First Grader: Age 5. Will be 6 in October. Firstborn. Boy. My "good child." Personality: Gentle, super sensitive, compliant, people-pleaser, good concentration. Able to work for long periods of time, but prefers to play. A bit socially awkward. Chores: Yes. Not routined, but does whatever is asked of him. Sometimes must be told several times, but often does it the first time right away. These are usually vacuuming, tidying, getting/taking things for me, setting table, requires help to make his bed. Number of Books in a Week: Multiple - about half and half assigned reading vs. chosen reading. Conversation: Never shuts up.. we get the running commentary on everything that goes through his mind. He speaks three languages, but I wouldn't imagine that he's quite at level in any of them. Lots of glaring grammatical mistakes, more than would be in a single language child. Hobbies: Puzzles: large, 500-1000 piece. Putting together things / lego kits / erector sets etc. that are several years above his age. Naps: No. Sleeps about 12 hours a night. Not nighttime potty trained, for all the effort we're putting into it. Behaviour problems requiring discipline: rare. Enjoys non-fiction / unexpected interests: Yes. He's really into space / astronomy, and reading non-fiction books about them at present. Announced the other day that he wants to learn to speak Italian. Hours a day of interaction: About 4 hours of school, plus seat work. The rest of the time is spent in independent play, reading, watching tv, etc. Art: Loves to draw. I have no idea if he's any good. Sing or hold a tune: Couldn't hold a tune with a bucket.
  24. Earlier this month, my son was struggling to understand addition to 20 with Singapore. So we took a step back and tried a different approach. We started working through Math Mammoth. Once we get this cemented, we can go back to Singapore. All of education is "trying different approaches" until you find one that works with the child you're teaching!
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