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Everything posted by YsgolYGair

  1. I use BJU with A Beka. BJU is fun, a bit Singaporean, and conceptual. A Beka emphasizes memorizing math facts and other important information. Last year I used a conceptual program (MEP) and A Beka together, and things were fine except my son asked for color. This year, I had dropped A Beka in favour of just BJU since he loved it so much. Just recently, about a quarter of the year in, I noticed he was just losing it when it came to math facts, even though we do still work on them pretty consistently. His recall had become poor, and if he could remember them, it took forever, compared to quick, easy recall last year. So, to me it became obvious, A Beka has its uses after all, so we'll be finishing some lessons we have left from last year and buying the whole set of A Beka math 2 for this year. Live and learn!
  2. "Speak Welsh with Welsh Speakers" is a rule of our house - written down on our house rules chart right next to "Eat the Food that is Offered to You" and "Be Kind to One Another." We would enforce it same as any other rule. We're old fashioned that way: Our House, Our Rules. They can make their own rules in their own houses, lol. That being said, it is common practice in homes and schools in this area to do the same - to require children to speak Welsh. So, it's not some novel thing.
  3. I'm copying and pasting that to study later, Nancy. Great advice!
  4. Aww… :grouphug: I'm sure you're doing fantastic. Trouble with a child does not mean parenting mistakes or failure; so much is still dependent on that 'ole sin nature and their own wills. I mean, God is the perfect parent, and look how much Israel strayed! Coffee with friends (or in a quiet house by one's self, lol) always makes everything better!! In fact.. I think it's time for a cuppa. :)
  5. Wow! Amazing! Next month, I'll be 36 with a one year old. I guess I compare myself to my mother. By my age, she had a 15yo and two 14yo's. That being said… we are talking about more, lol!
  6. If tv shows help her understand, have her watch the Cosby show episode where you see Sandra and Elvin's first apartment (season 4). They go from living in the Huxtable fancy doctor-and-lawyer home to an apartment with holes in the walls, side-of-the-road furniture that's incomplete or falling apart, water that's brown, and impossible-to-sleep noises. Besides being hilarious, it gives a young person a much better understanding of what is realistic when starting out. Perhaps more shows like that would benefit young people.
  7. We're in almost the exact same situation, except that we live entirely in Wales; not too many trips to the US, sadly. I'm American, my husband is Welsh. He's native in Welsh and English. I'm English speaking, but am learning Welsh. Here's how we've approached speaking and reading: Speaking: All of my kids have had a mix of Welsh and English speaking in the early years, but my oldest didn't really get too much English exposure until age 4 (he learned to speak and read English at the same time). My kids are now nearly 6, 4, and 2. The oldest two are fluent in both Welsh and English, the youngest doesn't speak yet, but he understands both. We also added French, cold turkey, into the mix about age 4, 2 and birth, respectively, for my three. The oldest two are picking it up quickly and can carry on child-level conversations, although the oldest doesn't speak it quite as naturally as Welsh or English. Tabitha, my middle child speaks it well, and the baby understands it as well as Welsh and English. (Please understand, they are being taught by a determined intermediate speaker, not a native speaker.) So, throwing Spanish and English at a child, even at the age of 4, and especially by a native speaker, will be no problem at all. All the father must do is stop speaking English and insist upon speaking Spanish at all times. Reading: Like Welsh, Spanish is a phonetic language. Start with Spanish reading - even if he's learning to speak and read at the same time. It really doesn't matter. A kid won't have any problem. Starting with the phonetic language opens the world of reading up to a child early and quickly. Bonus, English goes much faster when a child already reads one language. My son reads Welsh and English well and is learning to read French. Once they get one language down, more languages are no problem. I worried and worried and worried about how to go about all these things, but I have discovered that the "throw a language at a young child" method is effective, and they have no problem absorbing it all.
  8. I have a math degree, too. I don't feel you can go wrong with Singapore on conceptual math, but it really does push a child to think - perhaps too much, depending on the child. We got through much of 1a (my son is nearly 6), and switched over to Math Mammoth for a while. I have the textbooks, workbooks, Intensive Practice, and Challenging Word Problems, plus the entire A Beka program, but there wasn't enough practice with Singapore, even with all the books, and even with using manipulatives for several days, to get one of the concepts cemented. So, I moved over to Math Mammoth, which is Singaporean-style, but more incremental. We'll probably try Singapore once we've gotten past this hurdle. If you haven't already seen Math Mammoth, you might want to have a look. It's great! It's written by a very passionate math teacher / mathematician, and well designed. Easy to implement, too.
  9. Aww… you're so close to the finish line! Don't be weary in well doing. :) I'm old and tired myself - I'm not a young mom for how young my kids are, but I have sooooo many years to go. I'll be 43 by the time I have my first teenager, and 54 when they're all done being teenagers - so long as I don't have another, lol.
  10. I only have smaller kids, but I have taught all ages, so take my view for what little folks will think it's worth. There's a certain confidence or authority that some parents have, that others do not. In my case, it's the difference between my husband and me. My kids obey me with a good attitude. They don't have the same attitude toward my husband, and it's not down to the kids, it's more down to how we parent. Of the teens I've seen and worked with, it's more down to the parents than to the kids. Though all children are different, you can still see differences in overall behaviour between one family and the next, and I'm talking about the teenage years. There are homes where the teens are generally cheerful and compliant, and there are homes where the kids are wrecks. It's a matter of loving authority. Too much on the "authority" side and kids resent parents; too much on the "loving" side (although I'm not talking about true love here, I'm talking about being too sweet, too gentle), and your kids walk all over you. (As would have been the difference between my parents, when I was growing up - one was too hard, the other too gentle.) I'm not sure the balance can be taught except in person, or by just learning it over time, but the right balance does bring less whining and more cheerful obedience out of children. There is one unfortunate aspect: though some things can still be taught in the teen years, the reality is that teens are, to some extent, the product of what we've instilled in them in their young years. Once they get to the teen years, there really is only so much a parent can do at that point. There's plenty of parents who waste the young years allowing their children to get away with much too much, but while it's easy to control when a child is little, they suddenly find things out of control, and little they can do about it. I've dealt with parents in this situation in my teaching years, and always found it very sad.
  11. Okay. I don't have this situation, yet. I can only reply as a former tutor. When I was tutoring for one company, we regularly worked with three different children at the same time, often on three different levels of math or English. (Usually we only taught one subject at a table at a time, though, so all English or all math.) You give two children a review page, and teach a concept to the first. After a bit, give him/her a practice page, then turn to the second, and so on. Interruptions are part of this, and it might not be as "perfect" as teaching one on one, but it is a perfectly respectable way to teach.
  12. It's a rule in our house that children have to speak Welsh to each other, so they have learned to do so. We don't make a game of it; we just lay down the law, lol.
  13. Adding more of my own two cents in: Though I am looking forward to getting the first edition with fewer curriculum recommendations, I really do love the book lists. It is so nice to be able to go to TWTM, look up King Tut, and know that these will be good, solid read alouds / reading material for my age group. I like that they come complete with notes and even warnings where appropriate. I have a lousy library system, so I have to Amazon most of my books. Knowing that I will get something quality, even though buying sight unseen, is worth a LOT to me. Another really great resource - amazing, in fact - is Memoria Press. Their literature book choices and curriculum, with information, extensive questions, and crafts for the early grades, are SO well put together. My dad, who has a Master's in rhetoric and teaches college English, was reading Barn Dance to Daniel and going through the MP questions, and he commented that they were the same types of questions he'd be asking when teaching his college students. This was in reference to their Junior Kindergarten program!
  14. Hiya, I know it's not my opinion that you are after, but I hope you won't be offended at my offering it. I'm replying to your last point. The WTM method is a LOT if it is implemented exactly, and as Susan points out in her article on schedules here: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/schedules/ There are rocks and hard places in everything including classical home education - situations where things might not work perfectly. And that's okay. Let me ask you this: what is best for your son? Is it best that you follow WTM exactly, that you write across the curriculum, that he love history and science, that he master dictation? For your struggling speller, what is best? YOU need to make decisions for your children. The WTM is a guide; it is not the Bible. You also really need to step back away from this notion of failure - education is not a straight road with no bumps. Much of education is evaluating and re-evaluating, or teaching something one way and then having to come up with a different way because the first way just did not stick. It seems that neither teaching across the curriculum is working well for you, nor using the workbooks alone. So, step away and look for an alternative. One alternative might be using the hardback WWE Instructor's Guide rather than the workbooks. Another might be forging your own path - not using snippets of books such as in the workbook, but just read aloud one book over the course of a month or more, and have the kids narrate and do dictation from what is read each day - or just once a week. Then, teach history and science as you have been, but have them narrate what they learned over the course of the week, rather than each day. These types of tweaks are okay. Whatever works. I had a look through your blog, and really enjoyed reading about the work that you all are doing in Africa. But, in reading it, I also learned something about you: You've got a LOT on your plate! You might want to take a very realistic look at what you, one person, can do, and accept yourself and your limitations. Being a missionary is awesome - I wish I were one, but if there's one thing I've learned about missionaries so far, they work HARD. Having a baby is awesome - but again, HARD WORK. So, don't put so much "failure" pressure upon yourself. You are obviously working very hard to give your kids a fantastic education, even while living in a dangerous place, doing hard work. I probably don't have to say this, but I will anyway: the Lord knows your situation, and cares about your schooling. You can always ask Him what to do about writing / curriculum / implementation issues, and trust Him to lead you. I'm sure Susan is a nice person, but she doesn't know your situation. God does. Trust Him. :)
  15. I am guessing folks just chime in with what they are working on? We started first grade last week, so quite early this year, in preparation for moving to France. So, we are continuing on this week (albeit a bit slow today!). Daniel's Week: Math Mammoth 1a FLL Lesson 16ff A Beka Phonics, Language and Handwriting Lesson 13ff AAS Level 1 Step 13 WWE Week 1 Welsh Reading and Grammar (we're actually adapting Rod and Staff for the task, as much as possible) French Reading Tabitha's Week: Welsh Reading Timotheus's Week: Eating, Sleeping, Talking (read: yelling!), Playing, Coloring Plus, together: Bible - Continuing through the story of Joseph Science - Earth and Moon History - Finish up Community Helpers (A Beka) French Speaking - Muzzy Memoria Press Literature - Tikki Tikki Tembo with craft if I can get my act together (plus a couple other book crafts I always mean to get to, lol!) Memory Work: Poetry - "Work," "La Lune," and "Molwch yr Arglwydd"; Bible Verses - Ioan 1:1-12; Months of the Year in Welsh, English and French. I'm still working on getting Biology and World History set up for this year, but I'm really enjoying the process. Hopefully we'll be able to start next month.
  16. Susan - It's not a another suggestion, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate TWTM. Even though I always knew I'd home school, I didn't really have much direction about style or educational philosophy. TWTM has given me the direction and inspiration that I desperately needed, and even though I've read the grammar section probably 10 times already, I pull it out regularly for the educational pick-me-up it provides, lol! I shudder to think what kind of home edder I'd have been with out it, so I really appreciate all the work and effort and heart you both put into the book. Diolch yn fawr iawn! Christina
  17. I thought of one more: Mystery of History. I haven't gotten to use it yet because my kids aren't really ready for it, but I've got a copy of it, and it's great!
  18. I find this thread interesting.. I'm considering the finding a copy of the first edition in order to have FEWER curriculum recommendations, as I understand it's more about the process than about specific curriculums. If I were to suggest any, though, I think Math Mammoth needs a mention. It really is very good, and has my become my first choice over even Singapore and A Beka. I also think that something other than Spelling Workout should be mentioned. There are better programs out there, such as All About Spelling.
  19. I feel like a cruel mother when I write this, lol! English Phonics & Reading: A Beka Phonics & Reading Curriculum with Letters and Sounds 1 and Language 1 workbooks, plus A Beka graded reader series. English Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1-2 English Language: First Language Lessons Year 1 English Literature: Memoria Press K Literature Enrichment Course Writing (All Languages): Writing with Ease Year 1 (I just have the instructor's guide so that I can tailor it.) Art & Music: Memoria Press K Enrichment Course Welsh: Homemade Language & Grammar Curriculum using Forming Sentences Workbook and Readers. French: We will be finishing Methode Lecture Syllabique and Coordinating Cahier book first, then moving on to Mon Gros Cahier Pour Apprendre a Lire et a écrire plus reading selections. Math: Singapore Math Year 1: 1A & 1B textbooks, workbooks, Challenging Word Problems 1 and Intensive Practice 1A & 1B. Also using A Beka Arithmetic 1 Curriculum, workbook, plus Speed Drills and Tests book. This is two full math programs, so we will use it selectively. History: Ancient History – Oxford’s Children’s History of the World (spine), with selections from Beibl i Blant and A Child’s History of the World to supplement. US History & Social Studies – BJU Press Heritage Studies 2, A Beka Social Studies K5 (finishing from K5). British History – Our Island Story Science: Elemental Science Biology for the Grammar Stage using the Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia, DK Human Body Encyclopedia and Plant Parts Thinking about adding Art for my art-minded one - Drawing with Children. Thoughts? Anyone used this? What are you all doing for memorisation this year? Besides Bible verses and poetry, this is the list of "lists" I've made up so far: Books of the Bible Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt Major Dates in Ancient History (say, 20ish) Major Countries and Capitals (say, 20 again) Welsh Soft Mutations Welsh Verb Conjugations (Regular plus some irregular) French Verb Conjucations (same) I need to do something English related - pronouns, verbs, something - what is everyone else doing?
  20. These are the resources we use for teaching French reading. They are available at amazon.fr. (The post said not to post anything from the internet - does that include links? Let me know and I'll remove them.) Ma Methode Lecture Syllablique - http://www.amazon.fr/Ma-méthode-lecture-syllabique-apprendre/dp/2218949083 Mon Premier Dictionnaire Illustre - http://www.amazon.fr/Bescherelle-Mon-premier-dictionnaire-illustré/dp/2218952351/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421826830&sr=1-2&keywords=mon+premier+dictionnaire+illustre Cahier Lecture Pour Apprendre Lire - http://www.amazon.fr/cahier-lecture-pour-apprendre-lire/dp/2218949105/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421826867&sr=1-12&keywords=cahier+méthode+syllabique We introduced English reading first at 4yo (A Beka), then started French reading in K. My husband is a French learner (university level), and I hardly speak any at all. He speaks French with them every other day, but I'm doing much of the reading instruction. We use the dictionary all together ages 5 and 3. My husband pronounces the word and we all learn it together.
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