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    Mom to six monkeys (two graduated), seamstress, drinker of coffee
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  1. My youngest is naturally good at math and has struggled with pencil to paper. Beast Academy online has been a really good fit for him. He can finger draw problems right on the screen if needed. It's quite likely to make that "I can't do it!" worse at first, but starting down half a level or so really helped my dude get over that hurdle. He's a 5th grader in level 5 now and only really psychs himself out every couple months. πŸ˜„
  2. Look for "young readers" editions! πŸ™‚ Loads of fabulous ones have a YR version. Off the top of my head: A Different Mirror for Young People Lies My Teacher Told Me (Young Readers) Hidden Figures Young Readers Edition I Am Malala YRE A Young People's History of the US by Zinn Stamped - I don't remember if the young reader has young reader in the title... it's the bright white cover. This is Black US history. There's a kids version now too. Or just search for young reader or young people. πŸ™‚
  3. TC is good stuff. πŸ™‚ Writing With Skill may be a good fit too, or maybe after TC. It's straight to the point, literal, and easy to use. You'd probably want to start at level 1. My "just give me the assignment already" kid with a low tolerance for extra fluff has been doing really well with it. There was some wailing and gnashing of teeth at the beginning of level 1, but once they found a comfortable rhythm it's been smooth sailing. I offered something else for 8th grade and got a firm "just order WWS level 2 please" response. (To be fair, this is how this child approaches anything new. πŸ˜„)
  4. You could always get the older, combined levels 1/2 volume for FLL instead. An 8yo could zip through level 1 pretty quickly, but might appreciate the softer start if he hasn't had any. And if it's just way to easy you've got level 2 in hand.
  5. I'm not sure I'd go all the way back to level 1 at 11, but I don't know the particular kid. The hardback instructor text can walk you through the skill progressions and may be a better fit for an older kid. πŸ™‚ There's also a placement test for it on the WTM site.
  6. Eons ago I really wanted LoF to work for my oldest kid. It flopped. Hard. My experience with him and the younger kids was none of them could learn new concepts well with LoF, but it could be an entertaining review for some of them.
  7. Ancient history can count as their world history. πŸ™‚ None of my highschoolers did a proper history rotation. When the next schools nearly all expect to see one world, one US history, and one government/economics, the rotation didn't make sense. My most recent graduate did history of aviation (world), US history, gov/econ. One of the older ones did a year of ancient world history and medieval world history (because he just really liked them), then a year of US and one of gov/econ. I used Oak Meadow for a year of high school geography with my now Marine. She really enjoyed it. They may have redone them since then. We had a standard textbook and an OM guide that scheduled the textbook, and gave several options for output at the end of the week. She could choose if she wanted a more creative project or a simple essay.
  8. Something of an update for anyone following: Build Your Library's level 7 update with zoology has been delayed. Textbooks: The Integrated Principles of Zoology by Hickman is solid, dense, and very high school level. Zoology by Miller also seems high school level, but much more approachable for younger or lower interest students. Having a high interest 5th grader and an always indifferent 8th grader, I'm going with the Miller text. Neither of them will be working straight through the textbook, but we'll use particular sections in age appropriate bites. Encyclopedias: Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife (by Smithsonian) and the National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia are conveniently organized similarly. After the intro sections the animal groups are in the same order. My 8th will use the DVG and my 5th will use the NG, and I think we'll roll the rest of the books around these two. Other: I've collected a ridiculous amount of Scientist in the Field books. Zoology for Kids. Marine Science for Kids. Attenborough. Some Sy Montgomery titles (especially for the older one). Netflix and Disney+ have piles of documentaries. This is not counting literature tie-ins, which I put in their lit piles instead of scheduling with zoology. Build Your Library's "Darwin and Evolution" unit study looks great for these ages and I'll give it a mention for others (also uses Calpurnia Tate!). We decided to just go through Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth (Hosler) instead, which is a graphic book, to start the year off. Making an animal field guide in Google Slides is another output idea for those who think they're allergic to pencils. (Mine!)
  9. You can get a basic workbook for the Crash Course videos on Amazon too. πŸ™‚
  10. Just addressing this part; I couldn't do better than others have with the rest. My oldest graduates used CW. You really do need all three texts. The core came first and taught how to teach the program. Then the workbooks were created later to make it much more user friendly, and the TMs are only what you need to use the workbooks and it links you back to the core regularly. It's not independent nor written so the child can run it.
  11. Guesthollow has a free chemistry schedule that uses lots of lower level books. You might find some pieces there you like. If I recall correctly I used it with 5th/6th graders, subbing out some of the easier books for more challenging options.
  12. I really enjoyed using Writing With a Thesis with younger high school kids. Patterns for College Writing was a good follow up. My recent graduate really enjoyed They Say I Say this year. He's a classic "why use five paragraphs when I can sum it up in five syllables" kind of kid. He grinned big when he saw fill in the blanks. πŸ˜† (This one is or was a strong recommendation in TWTM.)
  13. I'm in that stage with my youngest. He just finished the last volume of Story of the World. (*sniff) For fifth grade this year he'll use Oh Freedom from Woke Homeschooling (US history from the non-euro perspective). Loosely planning he'll do Build Your Library level 7 (world geography) for 6th and level 8 (history of science) for 7th. Or if he has a random strong interest for next year or one of those years we could bump these levels around as needed.
  14. There aren't any that I'm aware of, but I found them fairly obvious if I'd read the book beforehand.
  15. An average kid with previous exposure to basic grammar would be fine in FLL level 4. If this is his first grammar year or you're worried about 4 moving too fast he could totally start at 3. There's really no reason to need literary terms in 5th grade but that one is more gentle. It's a Scholastic book. If you're leaning toward more organic literature with them, maybe instead get the book Deconstructing Penguins for you to read. πŸ™‚
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