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Expat_Mama_Shelli

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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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  1. Ooh, I haven’t heard of *either* of those - yay! No free sample for me, but I’ll keep my eyes out to see if it’s offered again! We’ve previously used MCT LA (Island) & are currently using CAP Writing & Rhetoric (Fable). He absolutely loves both, so we’ll likely continue alternating them as well as adding in / rotating through anything new 😊 i do plan to teach DS keyboarding. We’re currently in limbo; just moved from overseas in July & will move again sometime next autumn/winter, but once we settle next year we’ll be buying a desktop & I’ll teach him to type!
  2. DS loves to tell & write stories. We do a good deal already, but I’d love some more ideas on expanding his horizons in relation to writing! To give you an idea of where he is currently: > The last couple of years he’s participated in NaNoWriMo, with me scribing. He develops characters / simple plots pretty naturally & is steadily improving on sticking to them. > He enjoys read alouds, poetry, & is particularly fond of wordplay (puns, hyperbole, idioms, etc). > He seems to prefer “big projects” over something he’s able to complete in a single sitting. > This year we’ve been following a curriculum that has him summarizing, expanding, & reinventing fables. He can now easily dictate a 1-4min story “on the fly” while keeping to the original moral. I hope to help him expand this skill to fairytale-length stories in the spring. > He can write about a standard paragraph length (5 sentences) in one sitting, though he has not yet learned paragraph formation. His spelling is a mixture of standardized & phonetic, improving steadily. > I am helping him transition from primarily copy work to primarily dictation (including copying back from his own recorded dictation) as a bridge to writing directly from his own thoughts. > We read a Reader’s Theater picture book in September & ever since he’s been working his way through writing a script, complete with stage directions & character tags (entirely his idea).
  3. His response to lesson time sounds similar to what I experienced earlier this year with my own DS, who is a year younger. Has he always felt / acted this way about lessons? For us it was a new development, rooted largely in the desire for more autonomy. We worked together to find a compromise. Part of that is what you’ve already done - paring down required work - but the other pert involved giving him a good chunk of time each day that is still formal “school” time, but where he chooses what to do. For us, this looks like me requiring 3, 15-30min daily subjects. The entire rest of the school day he can work on anything he wants, so long as it is academic in nature (we had a big long discussion about what types of things this did & did not include prior to beginning). At first, frankly, I was less than thrilled. I was anxious that nothing would get done & frustrated over the lesson plans I’d worked so hard to create being abandoned. But you know what? He has absolutely blossomed over the past 2mo. He still gripes about stuff occasionally (c’mon, he’s six) but overall is far more enthusiastic. He actually asks to *keep working* beyond his required school time some days! Anyway, I have no idea if that is what’s bugging your boy as well... but it couldn’t hurt to check? 🤷🏻‍♀️
  4. DS loves to tell & write stories. We do a good deal already, but I’d love some more ideas on expanding his horizons in relation to writing! To give you an idea of where he is currently: > The last couple of years he’s participated in NaNoWriMo, with me scribing. He develops characters / simple plots pretty naturally & is steadily improving on sticking to them. > He enjoys read alouds, poetry, & is particularly fond of wordplay (puns, hyperbole, idioms, etc). > He seems to prefer “big projects” over something he’s able to complete in a single sitting. > This year we’ve been following a curriculum that has him summarizing, expanding, & reinventing fables. He can now easily dictate a 1-4min story “on the fly” while keeping to the original moral. I hope to help him expand this skill to fairytale-length stories in the spring. > He can write about a standard paragraph length (5 sentences) in one sitting, though he has not yet learned paragraph formation. His spelling is a mixture of standardized & phonetic, improving steadily. > I am helping him transition from primarily copy work to primarily dictation (including copying back from his own recorded dictation) as a bridge to writing directly from his own thoughts. > We read a Reader’s Theater picture book in September & ever since he’s been working his way through writing a script, complete with stage directions & character tags (entirely his idea).
  5. He did it! I recorded his retelling & he was able to write it out, one sentence at a time, from the recording. 🥳 We haven’t discussed paragraphs yet, obviously. I’m planning to introduce them with MCT Town next year. For those no longer fluent in phonetic spelling: “Something has to be done about the pike,” said Emily the perch. Not a day went past without a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle getting eaten by the pike. Emily brought all the perch to the center of the pond. Then they all started making plans to try to keep themselves from getting eaten by the evil pike. Day after day went past, but no plan sounded good enough. Finally, a young perch named Sophia got up and said “I have a plan. We need to trick the pike by using bait, to have him come, and have something sharp under it to hurt him so he won’t come back!” All the perch thought about this. The next day, they agreed [it was the best plan]. But one old perch, named John, got up and said “Who will put the bait on the hook?”
  6. We used all of Logic of English Foundations. It was fabulous; we both learned so much! We’re only on Level 3 of AAS, but I can easily see us going art the way with that as well. We’re still in the early days & very eclectic, so we’ll likely use a broad range. Here, a decision to switch rarely means anything is “wrong” with a given curriculum... it just means that we wanted to try out a different style or alternate challenge levels. 😊
  7. Not totally secular, but not overbearing or preachy... probably right on the fence for most charters. As a side note, if you *do* end up using it there is an ongoing thread in the K-8 Writing Workshop subforum to share the kids’ progress; I’d love to have more people join in!
  8. We took last week off, opting instead for a mid-week camping trip! DS is hand-writing his retelling for the first time (woohoo!) so that’s not quite done yet; I’ll try to post it next week. For now: Narration: The Mice In Counsel Something had to be done about the cat. The mice had not been able to have peace – any day, day or night because of the evil cat. They had to think of a plan fast. They spent all day and all night thinking of a plan. They discussed many plans, but none of them sounded right. Then young mouse woke up. He said “I have a plan. It is a very simple plan, but it will work. All we have to do is put a bell on the cat’s neck, so we’ll know when the enemy is coming. “That’s a great idea,” they thought. “How did we not think of that?” they thought - and they all shouted “Hoorah for young mouse!”Then the old mouse woke up and went “Hey… young mouse’s plan is a good idea, but I have a question.” “Yes?” they asked. “Who is gonna bell the cat?”
  9. It looks like thinly-veiled copywork to me, honestly. The samples don’t expect the student to come up with any content, just to regurgitate the spoon-fed content into sentences. It might be alright as a supplement to be completed independently while the teacher is busy doing other things, which seems to be the company’s intention. It is not a true writing program.
  10. Lesson 5: The Ass and His Driver An ass was being driven along a road leading down the mountainside, and the animal suddenly took it in his silly head to choose his own path. They were going down a mountainside. He saw his barn up ahead, down the mountain. The foolish ass tried to jump off a cliff. His master jumped on his tail and told him “Stop!” but he still wouldn’t stop. So he let the donkey go. He tumbled head-over-heels down and killed himself on the bottom of the cliff. His master happily went to the bottom by foot. Amplification: The Ass and His Driver An Ass wanted to take the shortest path home by going over a mountain cliff. His master tried to stop him and grabbed his tail, but at last he was forced to let go. The stubborn beast fell to his death. The hungry Ass and his happy master were walking along the path, which was on the snowy mountains. From the top of the mountains the Ass could see his barn full of food, so he tried to jump off the cliff to get to it. His master grabbed him by the tail. The Ass wiggled and waggled so much that it threw his master onto the ground and the silly ass fell all the way, head-over-heels, into ice and killed himself.
  11. Hits CAP W&R Fable: DS loooooves it! My little story-teller 🥰 All About Spelling: He’s zoomed through Level 1, is nearly done with Level 2, & I can already see vast improvement in his spelling when writing independently! Self-Directed Learning: Not a curriculum, obviously. This one is a struggle for my Type-A self but he is doing well with it this far so we’ll see. Too Soon to Tell Blossom & Root Botany: He likes the subject matter. We aren’t following the scheduling at all, but I’m trying to at least follow the sequence... Math: He completed Bedtime Math right before “school started,” followed by a short unit on measurement from Singapore 3B. He hasn’t touched Beast Academy yet this year, despite loving 3A-3C last year. Right now he’s fallen down a graphing rabbit hole: bar graphs, pie charts, & line plots - oh my! History: We haven’t done anything with this yet. If he decides he wants to we have SotW Vol II & the Usborne history encyclopedia. I don’t think I’ll bother with History Odyssey or History Pockets unless he really wants to. Misses Killgallon Sentence Composing: Apparently “This simple, fun activity can help you learn to write better sentences.” translated to “Your writing is awful & nobody likes you.” 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’ve shelved it, but am keeping it, because once he is mature enough to want to improve stylistically I think it will be a fabulous resource.
  12. His rewrite is great! I love reading these stories. DS told me this week “I like amplification way better than summarizing.” Yes, my loquacious one... of course you do! 😅
  13. We’re back from our detour. The play is still underway, about half to two-thirds complete, but he needed a change of pace again so here we are! 😊 Lesson 4: Narration: The Fox & the Grapes A fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine, twisting around the branches of a tree. The fox was really thirsty. The grapes looked more juicy than ever - they looked like the most juicy grapes in Greece! - but they were so high. So he went and he tried to jump to get them. He failed every time. He said to himself “Those grapes are probably sour anyways. I wouldn’t eat them if they were an inch off the ground,” and he walked off. Sentence Imitation Model: Those are probably the sweetest, most delicious grapes in all of Greece! Those are probably the best, juiciest lemons in Lebanon! That’s probably the sweetest, yummiest soda in Singapore! These are probably the most sweet-smelling, beautiful roses in Rwanda! Rewrite: The Cat and the Mouse Once upon a time there was a cat that lived happily in his little house. One day he discovered a mouse hole. He saw the mouse running towards it. He chased after it! It was too fast. The cat just ran into the wall, head-first. So he tried to stick his paw in to claw the mouse out. He tried over and over again; he still could not get it. The cat said to himself “Eh, I bet anyway that’s the grossest, worst mouse ever. I wouldn’t eat it if it was here on the floor,” and he trotted off.
  14. We took a break from CAP last week. DS found a book about playwriting & decides he wanted to create one of his own, so we’re off down that rabbit trail for now... 🐰
  15. The dictation in W&R fable is several sentences (usually 3) and not at all controlled for spelling patterns. I wouldn’t hesitate to begin if the only thing you’re unsure of is the dictation, though - it’s a minor detail that can be easily skipped if you are doing dictation elsewhere at his level. We use the dictation sentences as copy work, as DS’ spelling program includes dictation on his level.
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