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Everything posted by deeinfl

  1. Hi Heather, I know that you've received some great advice here, so here's my opinion. If you really want to do formal writing and you feel that you lack a bit of confidence, then a SWI A instensive is a great place to start. You can always slow it down or speed it up as your child needs. You don't need to get the whole TWSS program. In the Student Writing Intensive, Andrew Pudewa is teaching a class and talking to the students at their level, and all the paragraphs and examples are geared towards that age range. Jill's student notebook makes it extremely easy to follow. But again, my opinion is to wait at least one more year. I almost wish I had waited an extra year with my younger son, and that was in the fifth grade. However, I'm very aware that some children are just ready earlier, so I also know how that goes. Whether you pick an elementary themed book, or the Student Intensive, make sure you purchase straight from IEW. They have a 100 percent money back policy! You can use your materials and return them at any time if you feel that it just wasn't for you. Dee :) ps It definitely teaches through high school. Your student will progress through the program each time and learn more skills appropriate to his/her age range. For example, now in the Student Continuation Course, my son is writing more formal essays, learning to add more details, and learning more complex sentence structures through the dress ups and openers. Next year, we will be focusing more on the thesis in his essays, and the year after that, we will tackle a super essay, which is nothing more than a term paper. First we will tackle a small one, leading up to a formal college term paper in his junior and senior year. Oh, and we would love to have time to use their literary analysis program, Windows to the World...so much to do. ;) And just today, I was helping my son Adam outline his speech for his first college speech on Monday. Guess what, we never got to do the Speech Boot Camp with Adam. I wish we had. My son would have been better prepared. I know I sound like a commercial, and trust me, no one pays me for this. I am just so impressed with the outcome of what I have seen with this program. I guess what I love the most is that IEW has taught me how to teach my children. I always thought I had to outsource writing when my children hit the high school years. Thank God I didn't have to.
  2. You could start a student intensive in the third grade, but in my opinion, that's still too young. I understand that there are two elementary themed books now, which I believe would be more appropriate to the level of a third grader. I started my younger son with All Things Fun and Fascinating in the fifth grade having never used any IEW materials prior to that. We did just fine. We went on to use Ancient History themed book after that and are now going through the SWIB continuation course. Sometimes I miss the organization and the added vocabulary of the themed books. ;) Those themed books are very clear and self explanatory. The instructions really walk you through all the lingo, or shall I say the dress ups and sentence openers. I would use one of those to get my feet wet first. ;) It most definitely starts out slowly and methodically. First the student learns a simple outline, then when he or she is comfortable, or after some practice, they move on to writing a paragraph from their outline alone. This is usually a very short paragraph. After that, the student is introduced to the three paragraph report, all while learning new techniques to add style and structure to his writing. From reports, the student is taught a very simple essay. This essay goes from three paragraphs to five paragraphs. Later on, as the child moves through all the units, more techniques (stylistic dress ups and openers) are learned. The child will learn to apply these techniques to all his writing. The child will learn to write a good topic sentence or main idea, clinchers, which are just closing sentences. Every year the child will go through the nine units and gain more experience as a writer, eventually mastering the structure and developing his own personal style. The dress ups and openers that you learn in IEW can seem clunky at first, but there's a method to the madness. The child is learning to not only practice and master complex sentence structures, but to develop his voice. I recommend that you join the yahoo group. There is a wealth of information there, and the moderators are amazing at answering all questions and advising which program to start first. :) I would start out with an elementary themed based book, then follow it up with the SWI continuation course. Then you have so many to pick and choose from there. You won't be able to do it all! Trust me, I've tried to fit it all in. LOL! But your child will learn to write. My middle daughter just started her English Composition class in college and her professor noticed her last name. He asked if she was related to Adam of the same last name. When she mentioned that she was, he told her that she had big shoes to fill because Adam had raised the bar in his class. Adam didn't start IEW until the 11th grade. I was only able to use the Student Writing Intensive C and Advanced Communications with him, but oh what an impact it's had on his writing!!! He's gotten an A on every paper he's written so far.. Blessings!!!! Dee :)
  3. so happy to hear it is safe and returned! :)
  4. My girls didn't have college plans so didn't go any further than Algebra 1 and basic Geometry--though they are both in college now. My son that used both Math Relief Algebra 1 and 2 tested very well, but he is just naturally inclined to math. His math sequence went like this, Math Relief Algebra 1 and 2, Math U See Algebra 2, Math U See Geometry, and Math U See Pre-Calculus. I can't really say which program benefitted him the most. He just loves math. He was able to skip college algebra and start at College Level Pre-Calculus, then College Trigonometry, and is now enjoying College Calculus. He's never gotten anything lower than an A in his classes. So yes, I feel that he was well prepared, though I wouldn't know which program gave him the upper hand. He definitely had a good fearless base to start with using Math Relief Algebra 1. One more note...he probably didn't really need to repeat Algebra 2 with MUS, but upon looking at the examples at the Math U See website, he felt he wanted a better grasp (especially at graphing) at the way Mr. Demme taught Algebra 2 as we knew he would be using MUS Geometry and MUS Pre-Calculus. Because he finished Math Relief's Algebra 2 in only 4 months, I knew that he could handle it, so I obliged his request. It turned out to be a win-win for us. HTH, Dee ps He didn't get any of that math inclination from me, that's for sure. ;) That's why I loved Math Relief Algebra 1! I felt that I could do it. It made me realize that I wasn't math dumb, I just hadn't found a teacher to break it all down properly for me. Our children are so blessed that we moms move heaven and earth to find something that fits them! Okay, I'm rambling now...:) Blessings!
  5. I have used Math Relief Algebra 1 with 3 students and am saving it for my last student. With my oldest son, I used both the Algebra 1 and the Algebra 2 from Math Relief. He found Algebra 2 to not be as good/thorough as Algebra 1. He ended up using MUS Algebra 2 right after to cement all the topics well. The only place we found Algebra 1 to be lacking was in practical application/word problems. It definitely has word problems, I would just supplement with more if I could the next time around. We love Math Relief Algebra over here. It's just a teacher and a white board, but the beauty of this program is in the worksheets. Don't let the simple looking homespun worksheets fool you! Mr. Firebaugh has found a way to make something that seems so difficult come across as almost easy by separating each function into a step by step process. Even this non-math mom found Algebra to be fun and easy!
  6. Bluedarling: We did two pages a day and finished the whole book in the year. Of course there were pages of review that we skipped, especially if my son did well on the exercises. For instance, if there were two pages of marking a particular part of speech and my son got a perfect score, we didn't see any need to do a whole other page of the same type of exercise. The same went for some of the cumulative reviews. Sometimes we skipped those if I knew my son was prepared to move on straight to the test. My gut was always right! We really enjoyed Easy Grammar Plus and are now looking forward to the Ultimate books. Dee :) ps On the month of November and beginning December, we finished whatever unit we were on and worked on Capitalization. And sometime later we did the same thing and worked on the punctuation unit. So those units weren't in order, but we figured it was better to work on those skills than to start a unit of Pronouns or such, which would be forgotten after a long two or three week break. Hope this helps to give you an idea of how we made it work for us.
  7. You can totally do level A and beef it up like you are planning to. In fact, I do believe that there are articles on the yahoo group in the files section (with the helps you need) that show you just how to do this. The teaching is the same, only the articles used are different for each level. So you would watch the video in your level A, and then just hand the child a different article than the one that is given in the program. Hope this helps! Dee
  8. This site has awesome free worksheets to go along with them. We plan to use some of them this year! http://www.ttkreations.com/Homeschool_WordRoots.html Blessings! Dee in Sunny FL! :) :) :)
  9. No money for school books at all. (that's what income tax is for ;)) Bought clothes, shoes, and things for me! :) Anything left over will go for hubby and I to go out to eat a couple of times. :)
  10. A few that I can remember were: Beyond Phonics (no directions, completely vague), 100 Easy Lessons (made my little boy cry), Saxon Math, Writing Strands--tried several times, Sing Spell Read and Write...none of my children liked the songs, Miquon Math--it was a guessing game for all of us, and I'm sure there are a few others I will remember later, but these are the absolute worst for us.
  11. I think that WWE would be a great go-between. I'd do as someone suggested and try somewhere between level 1 and 2. You could always make it as easy or as challenging as you would like to make it even if you chose level 2. My son did year one and two before going on to an IEW themed based book. This worked wonderfully for him. Dee :)
  12. While I love everything about IEW, I would just put it away for now and work on copywork or simple narration. You can just have her narrate a few sentences from a story/assignment, then write them out on a piece of paper, and then have her copy them until she is ready to begin to write the 2-3 sentences on her own. Putting words down on paper is a huge step for many children. I would take the IEW out again once these skills were solidified, but that's just me. I feel that ten is still that in-between tender age where many new skills are just being processed. HTH, Dee
  13. I would recommend Analytical Grammar or Rod and Staff for rigor. :)
  14. ...not a program with feedback, but how about something creative like, Write Your Roots. Or Joanne Calderwood has a new program called Virtual Language Alive in which she gives lots of feedback. It may be worth a look... HTH, Dee :lol:
  15. Thanks everyone! That clears it up for me. I thought that maybe the spelling program was separate from the program, but from my understanding of your explanations, this program encompasses all aspects of English. :lol: I wish I could see a day in the life of this English program. Dee
  16. I'm a bit confused about this program? Would someone that's using it share their overall experience with it? I'm just curious??? Blessings, Dee
  17. I've battled chronic fatigue for some time and there is no way, no way, that I could be up and ready by 9 a.m., though I do try, but thankfully, after my children have grown a bit, they all get up quite early and start their morning work on their own. (I am more of a nightowl, cooking, cleaning, and organizing later at night) We leave their afternoon work for late afternoon when I am wide awake and can work with them on subjects that I don't like them to do alone... The beauty of homeschooling is that we don't have to follow anyone's timetable, and that we can change right along with the years and the seasons. Right now this is a season for you, but later on it may change to look very different from the way you homeschool now. I promise you that whether you start at 9 or at 11, it won't make a difference in their education. They will still learn...:D Be very blessed! Dee (in Sunny FL!)
  18. If you are one of those people that is kind of stuck with what to do with the cards, this site has a few different activities that might be of help. HTH, Dee http://www.ttkreations.com/Homeschool_WordRoots.html
  19. 6th grader MOH 1--we are loving notebooking! MUS ---finally no more tears with math. My son actually does this first thing every morning. There has been such a total change in his attitude, that I'm no longer even supplementing. We will just work through one book at a time. Apologia Zoology-We are really enjoying this! Easie Peasie...read, narrate, do experiment, fun! Easy Grammar--no brainer for us! It gets the job done! Spelling Power from Curriculum Associates--loving this spelling workbook! It gets done! Studying God's Word Book E-We are loving this! It coincides perfectly with our history study... IEW--wonderful! Need I say more...another one of those subjects that gets done with no tears and with lots of results! We couldn't be happier with our choices! We feel so set free that our next year will probably look almost exactly the same as this year, just the next level up! 12th grader Really enjoying Easy Grammar Ultimate 12 loving Advanced Communications loving MUS Pre-Calculus loving Thinking Like a Christian We are just having a really great homeschooling year so far, and if you know me and all that we have been through in the past, this is a gift from God! :lol:
  20. strange...I can't find anyone who has actually used this...:confused::001_huh:
  21. I'm curious to know if anyone has used this program??? How did you like it? How long did you use it for? Would you recommend it? We love IEW, but will have done that for a few years and was thinking of taking a break and doing something lighter before highschool? (this would be for junior high) Please share your experience with this... Blessings! Dee
  22. This has nothing to do with Essentials, but we used Spelling Plus for four years and really loved it. We used the dictation book regularly. I consider it the best part of the program! We also still use the homophone worksheets. We are taking a break for a year because I was tired, and my son is a pretty good speller already. I just wanted a break. ;)
  23. We are really, really liking it. I wouldn't say "love" right now, but definitely like! There was no like, so we hit love. At first I thought some of the readings were too short, but it turns out my son doesn't want really indepth stories about every single person or time period, so it's been a good fit. I am using it for the first time with a 6th grader. We are doing lightnotebooking, a simple timeline, and only do extra readings if my son shows great interest. :) Dee
  24. I absolutely loved CLE, but my son started to struggle with it at the fourth grade level, while being in the 5th grade. We ended up switching and have now settled with MUS. Will we stay here...I don't know, but it is the first time my son has no tears in years:lol:, and he also has an eagerness to do his math every morning. That right now is priceless. Both are great programs. It just depends on your child's and your preference.
  25. I guess I'm the odd one out. I only buy the TM. We put a sheet in between to cover the opposite page. This makes it so easy for checking afterwards. I have never had a problem with my son cheating. Usually he does this subject right next to me, and I have trained him to want to improve himself, so he is always trying to improve upon his next worksheet. It has worked for us, and we are on our 3rd year using EG this way. We plan to use EG Plus in the same way. Then we will probably go through the Ultimate Series. :D
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