Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Gabrielsyme

  1. I’m in PA and I’ve included my objectives page for my rising first grader below. Mine is a little intense because that’s how we roll 😂 Everyone in my house functions better when they have a lot to do. Formatting came out super weird and I’m not sure how to fix it because I’m willfully tech challenged. English -Reinforce and enrich existing knowledge of grammar, spelling and vocabulary. -Continue to develop reading skills including an emphasis on phonics and sight words. -Will include several read-a-loud novels and non-fiction titles Texts: Logic of English by Denise Eide Arithmetic -Complete Common Core requirements for first grade in this subject area. -To include: adding and subtracting whole numbers, adding within 100 and subtracting multiples of 10, measurement, and part-whole relationships. Texts: Singapore Math Level 1A by Marshall-Cavendish Education Singapore Math Level 1B by Marshall-Cavendish Education Science -Science instruction will focus on Astronomy. -Weekly experiments and hands on exposure when appropriate will be included. Text: Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright Social Studies -Enrich existing knowledge of history from 1815-Present. Texts: Story of the World Vol. 4 by Susan Wise Bauer Physical Education and Health -incorporation of exercise into everyday activity -Yoga -Weekly gym and swim. -continued discussion of importance of nutrition, fire safety, human growth and development, and transmission of disease Music -Continue ongoing music instruction including piano, music theory and sight reading through Faber and Faber. Texts: My First Piano Adventure Lesson Book B By Nancy and Randall Faber My First Piano Adventure Writing Book B By Nancy and Randall Faber Art -Expand skill in the use of familiar media including pottery, charcoal, oil pastel, watercolor, pen and ink and mixed media. -Develop a deeper knowledge of art movements and specific artists. -Field trips in this area when appropriate. Text: Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake Language -Develope vocabulary and knowledge of Latin grammar. Text: Song School Latin Book 2 by Christopher Perrin
  2. Oh yes. Except that it’s snowing here today so we’re not exactly basking in the sunshine. I’ve been surreptitiously buying more seeds than I have room to plant and taking long walks with podcasts.
  3. I don't have time to think clearly in the morning with school and managing behavior BUT I adore Sayers as a writer and really can't imagine she meant her (rather clever) lecture to be the foundation for an educational movement. It also seems natural I suppose, that there is a need to distance oneself from agers and stagers who do advocate a strict interpretation of that sort of "poll parrot" stage. My oldest DD attends a Sayers-style tutorial service and her science teacher seems to think this way. Likely ex-CC.
  4. Anyone want to help me think this through? I often hear people argue that grammar, logic and rhetoric are not truly ages and stages and that a genuinely "Classical" approach is that the Trivium are the key subjects to be studied. I can't quite find my way to settling in either camp. Isn't it both/and? I am sort of in the early middle years of homeschooling and when I was parenting only very young children I had no problem scoffing that ages/stages was bunk because it seemed obvious to me that teaching children how to think began immediately and never really came to an end. Now I'm not so sure that there isn't some validity to approaching the Trivium as a loose framework of stages. My young children are less complex thinkers and they do suck up information (especially before age 7 or so) and my older children are much more attracted to logical analysis than their younger siblings. it's a little harder for me to see Logic and Rhetoric as separate stages but maybe that's because I haven't watched that unfold first hand. On parallel lines, it still seems obvious that no matter the choice of grist for my particular mill (Latin, mathematics or anything else) the Trivium drives the structure and method of my teaching. In other words, I'm always teaching all three and they are the ultimate "subjects" I want my kids to learn. Anyway, I'm usually the type who doesn't mind a little ambiguity and I'm happy to do the work of teaching and parenting in the way that is best for my kids with little fuss over semantics but I sometimes find myself "caught out" and unable to articulate the way I see these things.
  5. I go to the library by myself every Monday night and check out 40+books. I take requests before I leave from all four kids and though I occasionally edit out twaddle I am not draconian in my definition and there are plenty of graphic novels, tween series, etc... in the mix. I just limit genuine junk. We have an old house with a tiny bedroom at the top of the stairs that we turned into a library with comfy chairs, a lamp and Billy shelves. We have a noisy, emotionally chaotic household (mild SPD for more than one kid) so it has turned into a great place for my kids who need to be quiet to find some space. They are only allowed free screen time one day a week. We also allow them to read on the Epic app and I'll admit that I'm considering getting rid of it. For some reason my kids seem to gravitate towards the lowest common-denominator junk on the app and then there's the screen factor. I just don't love it. In the end it's a work in progress. Training appetites and ordering affections is a lot harder than teaching grammar, logic and rhetoric because it's sort of alchemical and there is an enormous degree to which we are more like guides than teachers in this area. I make great books available. I fence the pasture so that reading might be a desired activity. I read voraciously myself and talk to them about books but in the end I'm not writing the story of their love for reading. They are. I'm also conscious that they may never love literature the way I do (my genuinely lovely husband does not) and that that's ok. There is much to be said for the empathy, insight and delight that can be had in reading a great book but it is not an experience I can force.
  6. Yes, she was just at Wild and Free San Francisco. She posted a video of her talk on Facebook so you can probably find it there. I may have listened twice 🙂
  7. Just wanted to update that we've switched to Beast Academy for a while and seen a big improvement. I think the way BA is laid out has helped her switch gears emotionally because she has complete access to all the information she needs to learn the concepts. I suppose I could hand her the Singapore teacher's manual but it's not as conducive to self-study as BA. She's always been a kid who craves constant attention so self-teaching can be tricky but I'm always pleased when it works out because it's just one more little step toward maturity. For her this tendency is due to SPD because she does not naturally self-regulate well and often tries to manipulate others into hanging around and carrying some of that responsibility. She doesn't have any other diagnoses and the SPD is fairly mild but it's been an issue for three out of four of my kids. I have tried posting on the Learning Challenges board but I generally feel more comfortable here because my older kids fit into the gifted category (I'll reserve judgement on the younger two) and I find that if I mention SPD here it can be taken in the context of giftedness and is less likely to be misinterpreted. I've had a few times when people got very intense very quickly over there giving specific therapy advice that just didn't apply to my kids. It kind of spooked me. I understand the temptation because I myself always think SPD when someone tells me that they have a really intense, smart kid who can't handle themselves but I've learned to be cautious about specific advice. We did end up having our older two evaluated (they don't have other diagnoses, just high IQ/SPD) and did about a year of OT it was absolutely the right choice.
  8. 😂I see now that “negating my truth” is pretty opaque and steriotypically millennial phrase. I was born right on the edge in 1982 so it just slips out occasionally. I just meant that I have often been told by people who don’t know the situation very well that my publicly high functioning child is either completely normal or (usually online when they have only my limited words to go by) a total mess. Neither is true. Anyway, I like the idea of sliding back and forth with another curriculum. I wonder if BA could work. The online version (which we have) is very approachable and she might respond to the independent nature of the work. I myself was a gifted kid who didn’t learn to dig in and “try” when things didn’t come naturally so I am acutely aware that this is something my kids need to learn. We have done music from an early age and this is one area where we have had a lot of success coaching them to try even when it gets challenging. With sensory challenges that has been a little one step forward/two steps back at times but we HAVE seen progress. It’s just hard to see the road ahead and the “how” sometimes even when you know the “what.”
  9. We have done lots of patient relaxed talking about it and she says she finds the instruction part of the lesson embarrassing, that is it’s somehow embarrassing that someone is telling her how to do something or asking her to narrate back what she did. I believe that she does feel this way but I’m not sure know to proceed. I should add that she is a little bit 2E and has a sensory processing disorder so meltdowns have always been a part of our academic journey. She has done OT and it was incredibly helpful but she is still a sensory seeking kid and when things are hard she tends to have an outsized response. I know a lot of parents of gifted kids can relate the this but the hard part is often that I share something like this and I get one of two responses: a) “oh all kids are like that and cry about school you just think your kid is “special” or b) “wow that must be terrible, I’m so sorry.” Ha. Sometimes I just want to hear “I’ve been there too.” In a way that doesn’t negate the truth of my experience.
  10. I’ll try to keep this brief. I have a child who has always worked two or three grades ahead across the board in all subjects. Like all people she has strengths and weaknesses but in general she is bright and capable no matter what she tries. She showed early comfort with math concepts and was carrying numbers and multiplying at age four. Fast forward to now and she is nearly hysterical over the simple single digit addition required to find perimeter in Singapore 4A. We have always used Singapore though her younger brother uses Beast Academy and she has occasionally dipped into that as well. Her fear of math has developed slowly, finally hitting a wall last year or so when the math knowledge she knew and understood with minimal instruction caught up to grade level. She is not afraid of effort or learning new knowledge in other areas and has taken on challenging new subjects with relative ease (including chemistry which has a lot of math itself.) what to do?
  11. I have homeschooled from the beginning but even homeschoolers run into this kind of thing. I agree with the posters who pointed out that it can be expected that five year olds may be mean and also those who suggested some ongoing attention to character development for those of us who are people-pleasers. My daughter is not a bit shy and typically very assertive but we ran into a similar situation with a neighborhood friend group when she was 3 (!) Same exact thing: Best friends forever/ I don't like you anymore... on again off again. It was exacerbated because my husband and I saw the other parents socially quite often and because I knew the family well I can say for sure that she was not modelling her parents behavior and in my opinion was also too young to be acting out something she saw on a screen. I think that just like some kids are prone to people pleasing some are prone to other character flaws like bullying. Though her parents are aware of the problem and do their best their now nine year old is still a bully. In the end I gradually eliminated play with this girl because I believed it was going to be a long-term pattern. What would alarm me most about this situation wouldn't necessarily be the bullying (though you're wise to address it) but the way the school has responded. Clearly a toxic environment and likely not only in this circumstance. PS-My daughter was actively disappointed when I explained that we couldn't spend time with her "friend" anymore but six years later she completely understands. It didn't take too long.
  12. Curious. I don't often use the home instructor's guide anyway so I'd be happy to go on without it. Wonder if vendors like Rainbow Resources will have it available at the April GHC conference. Maybe too soon.
  13. I use a bullet journal for my entire life plan. Index in the front and then just make sure I add to it as I add pages. It's perfect. My husband is a programmer and I asked him to write something that could do a sort of brain map for me because everything I'd seen left out some important component. He got frustrated somewhere around the time I said I needed it to automatically order groceries, keep track of the weather and graph the amount of sleep each of our children got each night compared with their mood throughout the day. Ha.The bullet journal doesn't leave anything out because the possibilities are limitless. It doesn't order my groceries though.
  14. Wow guys, Thanks for your gentle, thoughtful replies! I didn't post this on the learning challenges board because I have found it to be a (tiny) bit more reactionary than I'm comfortable with. Raising a kid who is different than his or her peers can be isolating and hard and it's so easy to hear our own experience in the voices of others. It's so very common for GT kids to be sensory, emotionally intense, resistant to change, etc... and when I've described (an admittedly low point from a few months ago) my kids over there I've gotten an immediate hand slap in the "your child is on the spectrum and you aren't handling it appropriately" vein. We're really happy with the OT we're doing and I can see real progress in that area and many others but it's so hard to see around the bend in the road that is inevitably right in front of us. I loved Cindy Rollins book Mere Motherhood. It really caught me off guard as it's the type of book I usually give up on about halfway through. Lovely. My oldest (8) was crying the other day and saying that she doesn't know any other kids who are as emotionally intense as she is and she's sure her friends NEVER cry the way she does. We talked about modern life in a community where we don't get to see or hear the lives of our neighbors and how that distorts our view of "normal." I can't promise her that her friends are every bit as emotionally intense as she is but I KNOW they cry sometimes, their parents get overwhelmed, they aren't always perfect. I appreciate both your responses because they help to chip away at that feeling of isolation just a bit, as Rollins book does, as working to make community more transparent, more real often can.
  15. Yep I don't schedule it. My son is only technically in K so I let him float between the new 2A and 3A-D. He as able to do any of the problems so I let him work where he's happy to work and leave the other stuff alone. I have been testing him quarterly this year so that I'm sure he's not hiding gaps. I'm ok with this self-directed approach to math because he has highly structured work to do in music and writing.
  16. Agree with others who have said they work on printing, spelling and cursive. My third grader jumped into IEW this year in 3rd (Fables) with very little writing experience beyond journaling one sentence a day in 1st and two in 2nd. It's been a smooth transition. I find in general that my kids sometimes burn out on years of incremental work and thrive when a subject is challenging and fresh. I think of writing a bit like learning to read. The mechanics are the hard part and the activity itself won't be meaningful until the physical elements are no longer a chore. We did try WWE in first and found it too dull to be tolerable.
  17. Sitting and reading during quiet time today and my mind keeps drifting to the herculean task of meeting each of my children's needs. I have two school age gifted kids who are not technically diagnosed as 2E but see a private OT for mild sensory processing stuff, a three year old and a baby. My oldest (8) is in a fairly demanding university model school that meets twice a week so I spend the bulk of my academic energies shepherding her through assignments on her home days. Her younger brother is a bottomless pit when it comes to learning so he trolls around sucking up everything he can get his hands on but as he gets a little older I can see ways in which this free form approach needs guardrails. He needs guidance when it comes to focus and taking instruction from others. The SPD factor, although not severe, throws its weight around, especially if we are tired or overly busy. I know this is stage of life but I could use a pep talk. For those of you with more than two kids, did you get a handle on it as they grew older? I think we're doing fine right now but I'm beginning to see ways in which focus on OT has sidelined an ideal academic path for my second and generally speaking I'm concerned that I won't be able to individualize my approach and challenge each kid appropriately. I have no concerns that they'll be behind, just that they might not thrive if I am as scattered and distracted by sleepless nights, OT and the accompanying behavioral issues that come with SPD. I've never been further down the road than I am at this moment (like all of us) and I could just use some encouragement that homeschooling four emotionally reactive gifted kids can and has been done well.
  18. Ooh this is my wheelhouse! The Tallis Scholars, Academy of Ancient, City Waites, Taverner Consort and Players, Gothic Voices (Christopher Page.) Chanticleer is very approachable and while they do their own stuff they also record a lot of period music.
  19. Homebody- My husband is a software engineer and he set up the Suzuki CDs, audible and the other little jingles on Echo. I have no idea how he did it but I remember that anything on CD was doable but a little tricky. Audible was very easy to link up. I think it's kind of like having an app on your phone. For music we subscribe to Amazon music which was very affordable and gives access to almost anything we can dream up. We're comfortable with the kids exploring a wide variety of music but the Echo is also in the living room and I'm always within earshot so if I hear something inappropriate we change it.
  20. We use the timer on our Echo all the time. Time a Lego build race, time a meal, time time out (ha.) The music feature has helped a ton with instrument practice. We play our Suzuki pieces on it, also Latin vocab words, English jingles and regular music all day long. I have tried to explain to friends how it has opened up a whole world of music for my kids but it's hard to explain how it's different than Pandora or something similar. It just is. They have so much more freedom to explore.
  21. Tranqility and Condessa, thank you for such thoughtful responses.s Thoughts: I chose Suzuki specifically because I guessed that both of my older children would fly through theory and struggle with aural skills. We listen daily to both the cello and violin CDs (my older daughter plays violin). His teacher is a dedicated Suzuki instructor who is certified through book 10. She gently discourages reading and has been creative about coming up with activities and exercises that can't be done by note reading. He loves this and is not reluctant to approach things from a different angle. Like a lot of very precocious kids though he is like a freight train when he gets interested in something. Once he found out there was music to read (about Rhody or so) he was unstoppable. Like a lot of Suzuki teachers she starts using the I Can Read series about half way through Book 1 and he finished the entire thing in a couple of days. I have not purchased the second one but my husband plays piano and my son dug through the piano bench, pulled out Bach's Two Part Inventions and hacked his way through them and on and on... Learning that way often leaves a lot of holes at first but in other subjects he has always filled them in as he's gone on. I am a thoughtful homeschool mom and I usually have philosophical reasons for choosing one curriculum over another but I also think there is a certain amount of harm to be done in preventing a kid who is truly passionate about something from pursuing it. Agree that note value is an essential part of sight reading. He gets it when he's singing/humming a new piece but has trouble playing them. Not a big surprise at his stage I think. I have wondered if a lot of his hang-ups are just related to motor skills. My daughter has focused naturally on note value and intonation from the start but her fine and gross motor skills have always been much better. His three year old brother shows a much steadier natural control of the bow when he has (very occasionally) held the instrument. Imitating radio songs is a great idea. Might really help and be a fun challenge!
  22. My oldest (now 8) shares all of these traits. We also had a tough first 5.5 years (exactly) and a two year breather before things got tough again. I think it is VERY common. Her younger brother was doing OT for resistant eating and we kind of jumped on board and decided to do OT with her as well. She's working through a program called Zones of Regulation and I'm thrilled. It's a curriculum that works through building emotional self control or "regulation" and while she's hardly a different person these days I can see that she's developing coping mechanisms she would not have without the focused work. We went back and forth quite a bit about about whether her emotional issues where due solely to being gifted or if they indicated a sensory processing disorder or something. I think the OT thinks the distinction is unimportant though I imagine there are lots who would disagree. Either way she needs to learn how to cope. She used to flip out when school didn't come easily or when she came to a single problem or question she didn't know how to answer. Also had trouble going to bed and cried last night because we're redoing the (gross, 70 year old) kitchen in our house. What has helped specifically: MORE work. She has always done pretty challenging school work across the board but I had slowly but surely learned to avoid suggesting we work on things that I knew would be a true challenge. I could kid myself we were working hard because she was always at or ahead of grade level. She started a University Model school two days a week this year and I have learned that she thrives when the work is very challenging indeed. There have been a lot of tears this year but I've also learned that when I push her to work through that frustration she thrives. The classes she cried about the most in the beginning are her favorites now. After Christmas I decided to supplement every subject to bring them up to the level of those classes that are her favorites. It's working. I don't know if I would have had the strength to push her on my own so I'm thankful for the outside pressure. Narrating how she feels. One of the things we discovered is that she really has no idea how she feels and does not associate being "amped up" with being "about to melt down." I mention it in a matter of fact way when I feel anxious and on edge (which helps normalize the idea since she often felt guilty that she was upset due likely to perfectionism) and I tell her why I think she's feeling upset when she is. It's remarkable what a difference this makes to diffuse some situations. Others not. Rewards for progress. I have only ever rewarded kids for potty training but we have scheduled and instituted rewards for time spent quietly doing her own thing. One of the problems with bedtime for her is that she hates being alone and doesn't really know how to do almost anything that is self-directed. Going to sleep is necessarily self-directed and therefore a major opportunity for anxiety because each night it happens in a slightly different way and she is the only one who can make it happen. Making a list of pleasant, calming activities and setting aside mandatory alone time during the day (incentivized with a reward) to do those things has helped build a lot of confidence at bedtime.
  23. Anyone out there have a young cello player? My son started Suzuki cello the day after his fourth birthday and turned six this week. Like all people he has strengths and weaknesses and I'm trying to figure out how to help him achieve his goals while still giving him space to just grow up. He has played all of the pieces in Book 1 at this point but his teacher is uncomfortable letting him move on because he he is not solid on some fairly basic points. I'm feeling inarticulate so I'll just do a list below. Strengths: Sight reading. He has a remarkably deep understanding of theory and is a flexible sight reader. He's also capable of turning that round and transcribing what he hears. Patience: He is a very patient kid who will work through the same piece for a half hour or more with no complaints. Tolerance of mistakes. He is not a first-born (ha) and is happy to hack his way through the problem solving process without getting down about mistakes. Weaknesses: Intonation: He does not seem to have a strong desire to play perfectly in tune. I don't think there's anything wrong with his ear because he can hear and write down anything but he just doesn't seem to notice or care that he sounds a little north or south (depending on the note) "Musicality": He just doesn't sound musical. He is a little (sometimes a lot) sloppy with bowing (though his bow hold is nice) and is very haphazard with note values. Not because he doesn't understand them but just because he doesn't seem to have an instinct for it. He knows it doesn't sound right but doesn't seem to have put all the factors for playing beautifully together. Caveat: I am not a Tiger Mom. He has to practice every day but the duration is his own choice and the work on theory has been entirely his own choice. I know it's possible that putting all of this together is developmental but I also know that it's quite possible there are games or exercises that could help him get where he wants to be. He would LOVE to move on to Book 2 but seems so far from it right now that its hard for him to see what his goals are supposed to be and what he's working for. He likes to know what the "road map" is.
  24. This is an older question and I didn't read the chat board post but I know a kid who does more or less the same thing with a piece of ribbon. Kind of shakes it stiffly in a very odd, focused way. She told her mom exactly the same thing about it being an imagination tool. Her dad is really uncomfortable with it and she's not allowed to do it when he's around but her mom, a kindergarten teacher, thinks it's harmless.
  25. My kids play violin and cello and one improvises (by choice) and the other never does. I agree that improvising (much like creative writing imho) is something that works well when you have a solid foundation from which to work. My cello kid is a little spectrum-y and still does a lot of improvising but he is also a theory nut and has completed Suzuki Book 1. I'd still consider him a beginner but he has a thorough understanding of the wheelhouse he is working in and is comfortable with taking risks. My oldest hates to improvise even though she listens to a lot of bluegrass and has a teacher who favors fiddle. She will occasionally do it in her lessons WITH her teacher. Incidentally, my husband and his younger brother both play piano very well. DH never improvises and little brother does all the time.
  • Create New...