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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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  1. I’ve all but given up keeping track, and we’re only beginning. We live overseas, in a diverse city with several different school tracks (which begin at different points in the year and have different age cutoffs) and DS is an AL... so depending on who is asking & what information I need he is in Kindergarten / K3 / Reception / Primary 1 / 2nd grade (or maybe 3rd?) 🤷🏻‍♀️ I dunno. I’ll figure it out when he gets closer to graduating...
  2. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Pandia Press Question

    CHOW has always been optional so, while you are welcome to use it if you like it, it is not necessary in either edition.
  3. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Language Arts Curriculum Questions

    My son also completed LOE Foundations young, and I contacted Denise Eide with the same concern regarding maturity. She conceded that Essentials is rather dry in comparison to Foundations and would likely not be a good fit for his age. We moved to Michael Clay Thompson (Royal Fireworks Press) for language arts, and have both thoroughly enjoyed it! It isn’t all-in-one to the extent that LOE is, with preplanned lessons each day, but a single level contains all of the elements needed for complete language arts. If you only buy the Teacher’s Manuals (which I recommend, at least for Island level) it involves five books which are worked through either one at a time or alternately, and you simply proceed from wherever you left off before. You are also recommended to read aloud ~10 chapter books of your choosing over the course of the year, and to have your child continue to practice reading as well with books of their choosing.
  4. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Science Narration

    Yes, sorry. He’s a bit shy of 6, but generally an accelerated learner. He was claiming he “couldn’t remember anything” from previous days in history & science, but objectively his comprehension seems fine so I thought narration would help him see how much he is learning. I did prompt him to answer in complete sentences before he began. ETA: I’m hoping to use Killgallon Sentence Composing and W&R Fable with him next year (‘19-‘20), which will ask for both original work and written narrations. His penmanship is strong and his endurance is improving, but I want him in the habit of thinking in a way that is well-organised and coherent so all of the skills can come together smoothly.
  5. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Writing expectations for 5th grade

    I know it’s been a while since you posted, but I saw you had no replies & thought I’d chime in. For 5th grade, I’d expect to see written work of various styles across the curriculum. This should include nonfiction (informational) writing, persuasive (opinion) writing, and narrative (creative) writing. I would want to see clear, descriptive sentences grouped into cohesive paragraphs. For a larger project, such as a research report, several independent paragraphs - but not necessarily an essay. On these larger projects I would also want my student to practice using the writing process: brainstorm, revise, edit, produce a final draft. Writing should take place in some form daily, with larger projects once a month or so.
  6. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Science Narration

    Are oral narrations welcome here? They are new to DS, and I’d like some feedback. The following prompts are reviewing information covered the previous day to check for comprehension and clear up any misunderstandings before we move forward. He’s Primary 1. Prompt 1: “Why is reproduction (making babies) important?” Making babies is important. If nothing makes babies, that species will go extinct! You have to make babies to keep the life cycle going. Once the babies are born, the mommy or the daddy takes care of them until they are able to get food themselves. Once they are adults, they can make babies and the life cycle restarts. Prompt 2: “Why is camouflage important?” Camouflage helps keep animals safe. Some animals blend in with their background. Camouflage is important because it keeps species alive. Some animals use camouflage to hunt, and some use camouflage to hide from predators.
  7. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    NaNoWriMo - How much editing?

    Yes, I’m mostly pre-planning for December. All I’m doing right now is reading it aloud to him and asking occasional questions for missing plot items. We’ll discuss tense agreement & repetition that he doesn’t catch during oral readings in December. I’ll take another look at the revision lessons - I had forgotten about them!
  8. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    feedback on this please

    First, as Farrar mentioned, her wording is stilted. The repeated use of “some” in particular jumped out at me. Second, her writing assumes that the reader is familiar with the characters she is referencing and will understand the importance of the plot points she highlights. Having last read Animal Farm over a decade ago, I had no idea what type of animal Molly was and was unsure why the things she mentioned were significant. Whenever I receive this sort of narration from my son, I encourage him to expand upon his thoughts by asking wh- questions: Why is Mollie allowing herself to be petted a significant and, presumably, shameful thing? Who found the hidden items in her bedding, and why were they looking through her things? How long had she been missing before the pigeons found her?
  9. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    NaNoWriMo - How much editing?

    DS is participating in NaNoWriMo for the second time this year (for those who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo is a month-long book writing challenge that occurs annually in November). He’s young, so I have him dictate his story while I scribe. Then, after November has passed and the challenge is over, he uses his own story as copywork until he has the entire book in his own handwriting. At that point we also create a cover, add illustrations, etc. What I want to know is how much editing should I encourage him to do? I want him to get used to the idea of written work not being “done” the first time through - that it needs polishing - but definitely do not want to frustrate or discourage him! Since he’s copying my writing for the final draft, I don’t need to worry about having him edit for spelling or punctuation. During the writing process so far, we’ve discussed: 1. Making sure all of the relevant details are present (introducing characters and setting, not leaving out bits of plot) 2. Avoiding too much repetition by using pronouns and finding more specific synonyms for “said” 3. Ensuring that tense is consistent (not switching from present to past). Is there anything else you would include, or are these three items plenty?
  10. Expat_Mama_Shelli


    How are you breaking up that 10-10:45 window? It seems like mathematics & language arts will be quite rushed. I can’t imagine learning, then applying, a new mathematics topic in 15min. We generally spend that long just on warmup or a game! Also, what degree of writing are you assigning your 6yr old & 9yr old? If you’re wanting more than short copywork from the 6yr old or more than a paragraph from the 9yr old I think 15min (45min block split into 3 subjects) is pretty rushed. I’d say if you must keep that block for those subjects, it might be better to alternate length - a 30min lesson in mathematics one day with shorter writing (or brainstorming for writing) then the next day a quick 15min review / game / other application of the mathematics topic and a longer writing assignment. You could also slate reading during your evening housework time, assuming they don’t need instruction there. They can read aloud as you clean, to themselves, or to one another.
  11. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Torchlight Level 2! Who is with me?

    This is how I felt about Level 1, which was disappointing because I was eager to dive in. The first few read-alouds were so strongly disliked that my DS (who has always loved stories) began resisting being read to at all! Needless to say we took a break from the literature. After some time (and a few successful non-TL read-alouds) we circled back to try a few again. He enjoyed the Madame Pamplemousse series, though I think it would have been a better fit if he were older, and Heartwood Hotel. After that we got onto a Roald Dahl kick so we haven’t tried any others. I like the history books and am optimistic about the science supplements, but wasn’t interested in curiosity chronicles. The Poetry of Science is great! I’m thinking in the future I’ll just gather ideas from the book lists...
  12. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    TTMA Math Notebooking

    Have any of you done notebooking for upper-elementary math? If so, how often did you use it & how was it organised? At the K-2 level the topics were so basic and flew by so quickly that it didn’t seem worthwhile. Now we are approaching more complex topics, and I’m wondering if it would be useful. I’m thinking a section each for anchor charts and worked examples, vocabulary, and reinforcement games “as needed” - I suspect primarily for topics related to geometry & measurement.
  13. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Best Math Program

    We enjoyed RightStart at ages 3 & 4, then transitioned to Singapore’s Intensive Practice. As PPs have mentioned, we also incorporate lots of other math books & games just for fun. At that age DS liked the Stuart Murphy books best. So far this year (age 5) he’s enjoyed Secret Life of Math, Number Stories from Long Ago, From Zero to Ten, & The History of Counting. I’m hoping to pick up Penrose & Number Devil soon, then go through the Sir Cumference series with him next year a series a fun addition to medieval history (he’ll be 6). Semi-Ot: We own Murderous Maths, but I was planning to save it for when DS can read it independently. Any particularly questionable content for a 5yr old?
  14. This is what I seek foremost in curricula. Even if it isn’t streamlined, even if I have to do a good bit of legwork or gather items that may require some hunting... if an author’s passion for their content shines through, I’m all over it!
  15. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Hits and Misses 2018-2019

    We are having a good year, overall! We begin our year in June and complete it in March / April, so we are about halfway through. Math: I am loving Singapore’s Intensive Practice books for DS, who just finished 2B. Next we’re going to play with Beast Academy a bit, but I have every intention of continuing Singapore as well; probably alternating books. Language Arts: Michael Clayton Thompson’s Island level has been another huge hit. DS adores the fun, quirky style. We’ve paused for NaNoWriMo, then will pick up with poetics and Latin in the spring. Looking for something to bide our time a bit between this level and Town, because I’m not sure he’s ready for that jump, but it will be a hard act to follow! At the moment I’m considering a focus on composition with Killgallon, paired with something like Editor in Chief to keep grammar skills sharp. Literature: TorchLight was an epic failure here. The first several literature books nearly turned DS off of read alouds altogether. Many of the history pieces were excellent, and I have similar hopes for the human body items, but as a curriculum it will not work for us. Also, it turns out I really don’t like being told what to do... not matter how intriguing the different parts may sound! 😆 So for this we have reverted to me simply selecting book I think DS would enjoy listening to, then following up with sequels when we hit one he particularly loves. His independent reading is the same; he simply chooses any book to read aloud (or silently, followed by narration, but he hasn’t taken me up on this offer yet). Spelling: Words Their Way has been precisely as simple and straightforward as I had hoped. The word study lists have DS really think about why things are spelled a certain way (sometimes according to a set “spelling rule” but just as often not), and it’s done in a painless 10-15min a day. History: History Odyssey has struck the perfect balance of guiding our studies without taking them over. I feel I have ample time and opportunity to add extensions without overwhelming DS, but if I can’t do so one day for whatever reason, the basic content provided is sufficient. We are putting together a notebook from all of this which is shaping up quite nicely without requiring too much additional effort or feeling like busywork. Science: I never could find something I was truly happy with for this, and piecing it together myself has felt less cohesive than I’d prefer. DS is enjoying it, though, so that’s something. I passed on RSO Life Science due to lack of access to live critters, but I very much look forward to trying RSO Astronomy and Earth and Environment next year.
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