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Everything posted by HomeAgain

  1. Nope. I think the current set up is a waste of time, money, and energy when it comes to homeschooling. I want annual events that are focused on equipping teachers, not ones that are farting around with parenting, "christianity", encouragement, and skimming the surface on actual teaching. I'm not paying for any of that. I'm not going to drive an hour to go to just a vendor hall, either. Either make it worth my while and TEACH something, or don't be surprised when people start looking more critically and going elsewhere. Conventions are starting to die and I'd really like to see them thrive in a way that helps people.
  2. Man, I was so hoping to give them the benefit of the doubt!
  3. One other thought - could they live on your street? Our last house had sequential numbers (think like 123 Sesame Street. That easy). My kid reversed the last two digits on at least a few occasions and wrote it completely backwards one. Still sequential, but totally wrong. Our neighbors from about a block down would occasionally bring by mail and I'd groan, every time, because in most cases it was where my kid had sent a self addressed stamped envelope to the company or whatnot, so he was writing this down repeatedly, wrong. Yeah, we have issues here. 😄 It's why I'm so glad Amazon auto-stores every address for me because there's no way I'd remember it all, but at least I know enough to double check!
  4. I have no idea what is the right answer here, but I tend to plot out my kid's work with the expected time. I allot about an hour to language arts for my 3rd grader. It's broken down like this: -5 minutes handwriting practice -10 minutes spelling (Dictation Day By Day - we go over the new words, point out spelling patterns, and I dictate the passage) -25 minutes writing instruction. Not all of that is writing. It is going over grammar, talking about the structure, and eventually writing a short piece with support and encouragement. -20 minutes reading (short story, discussion afterward) My goal is to keep lessons short still so that he focuses on doing *well*, not just producing work. Next year for 4th it will be similar, but there will be copywork included more during our writing time. I don't want a bunch of moving parts and things I would have to juggle. It sounds like you have a lot of options on the table, and I wish you the best of luck in deciding what you should keep a steady path with and what isn't necessary.
  5. How long have you lived there? Dh bought new underwear and a few things online last year. About a week later he checked on the package status and realized that it had been so long since he had used the website that he sent it to our house 3 addresses ago! 😄 He was pretty disappointed, but I'm guessing so were the owners of that house when they opened a box full of men's underwear.
  6. You do some dictation with AAS, no? Isn't it part of the exercises? My full thoughts, though: I'd stick it out for the end of the year or semester, whichever comes first in your house. There are some parts of language arts my 9yo says he is "bored" with, but they are often skills he needs to work on. However, there is more than one way to skin a cat. We do dictation with our spelling program, not writing program. Narration, grammar, and writing are often wrapped up together. Like, I took Treasured Conversations and started expanding it to stories ds liked better: Greek myths, fables, short, silly stories. I just typed up my own paragraphs but used the same lesson system as TC. It cemented the lessons on how to write paragraphs with something he ENJOYED writing about. We also practice narration in history, science, and reading. I pick a lesson a day for him to condense, talk about, and write a short summary. It's how the first WTM talked about doing narrations. However, nothing is perfect. DS has requested to return to his old language arts program (ELTL) in the fall because he really liked how integrated everything was. There was copywork, grammar, dictation (if we chose) and narration all connected to the literature books. Since he enjoys it and it still has everything I'm looking for at his age, I don't see any problem in honoring that request. We'll finish this section in TC but save the third and last section if he needs the help later.
  7. We use a lot of Lori's suggestions at home, but sometimes it is helpful to stop and ask yourself what lesson you're working on. There are times I quietly make myself a cup of tea and offer encouragement because the lesson I want to focus on is NOT the assignment, but tenacity or diligence. It comes up more as they get older, but learning to work through the boring parts so they can do the fun parts is also something I want them to know is worthy and valuable. For example, my youngest hit a rough part with his instrument lessons. Instead of the difficult piece, he moved back to working on technique exercises, which were not as interesting or fun. But two weeks later, with his technique better, he was able to play the difficult piece without nearly as much trouble. I think you have to stop and ask sometimes what the point of the assignment is and use that to guide your own actions and response to the child.
  8. Yes, it'll only list the topics covered in that program, but the review pages will usually review work from previous ones. You can see it in the sample chapter they have for Epsilon that you can download. And if you find you need more, you can go into the parent resources and print out pages of practice that are randomly generated.
  9. Just musing my own thoughts based on this.. I think the man was a bit half-cracked. His logic was faulty to begin with. " I picked them carefully, but more carefully than I picked the teachers, I selected the schools. Three of the four schoolhouses involved [two of the rooms were in the same building] were located in districts where not one parent in ten spoke English as his mother tongue. I sent home a notice to the parents and told them about the experiment that we were going to try, and asked any of them who objected to it to speak to me about it. I had no protests. Of course, I was fairly sure of this when I sent the notice out. " I'm wondering if the parents even understood the written notice. However, it seems like a lot of math was done orally with references to things the children actually had visual recollection of (a person, a room, a comparison between two objects) and an emphasis on visualization methods within leading discussion questions. This was in stark contrast to a lot of what was available before the turn of the century, but not so remarkable when you look at all the various philosophies that were springing up at the same time. To me it sounds like it is a rudimentary method that could be compared to Charlotte Mason but without the full structure. There is a lot of emphasis on student involvement in the learning time, instead of being little cups to fill with knowledge. Recitation without understanding was no longer high on the list.
  10. How much do you want? Right Start is spiral but warms up with review each day and plays review games after. Math U See is mastery but splits the lesson in half: 3 pages new, 3 pages review. We don't use Right Start anymore but we did like the set up of review/new/review. We still do similar at home: lesson + board game, or lesson + Prodigy time.
  11. This. Our oldest did an online accredited program for 9th. I made sure I picked one that had the same state accreditation as the public schools (and he took the same EOC exams), so that *if* he went to public school it would be an easy switch. And it was. The principal and guidance counselor went from looking downright frightened at having to give me bad news to beaming and ready to accept him. It was a good experience: small school, mostly teachers with high expectations, and a willingness to be flexible with what he wanted out of his education there. He did dual enrollment (it was much cheaper through his high school than as a homeschooler), and has positive memories of his experience. We had gotten to a point where homeschooling was not the best option to meet his needs and I'm glad we had the school to fall back on.
  12. I think you're going to find everyone does spelling differently. 🙂 We prefer a dictation method where words consistently rotate through all year long as new ones are added. You can probably go on a site like Rainbow Resource or Christian Book Distributors and see a good portion of what is out there and feel them out to see what would work best for you.
  13. I would do similar. I think my only change would be that around October I'd introduce one of the books by the lady who wrote Wreck This Journal. She has at least a few out that are interesting and similar. Or I'd get the No Rules Journal by Steve Turner and just use that to introduce fun with words again. You can pick up formal writing instruction later, but I would try to cultivate an idea that writing isn't just about formal rules. It's about learning how to express yourself and make yourself immortal.
  14. This is my first thought, too. Chickpeas and Indian food would be high on my list. In fact, that is what won my kids over to vegetarian food. They're quite happy with a vegan/vegetarian meal if I just use straight up ingredients they know.
  15. Are you falling into the trap of letting the curriculum dictate the work? 🙂 Right Start also has a lot of review and introduction to the materials at the fronts of their books. There is no rule that says we have to do it. We skipped through, did a couple easy lessons to just have fun with it, and then went to the meat.
  16. May I commiserate? DH isn't here. We did not celebrate today because he will be home soon, and the thought of missing another holiday as a family was just depressing. We will celebrate, later, but today feels so empty and we are not living in an area where others understand or there is an escape from the loneliness today.
  17. Oh, gosh! I wasn't familiar with cooked vegetables (other than what went into a sauce or corn) until I was an adult. The first time I ate a canned green bean I was so repulsed! WHY would someone do that to a vegetable?? I made green beans for dinner tonight. Sauteed fresh ones with a bit of garlic and salt...I only cooked up half of what I bought because it was a LOT. The kids looked at the spread of food and went straight for the beans, polishing them off as quick as I set them down.
  18. Yes, I offered with and without. He wasn't interested. Even the monsters on the cover and the voice bubbles inside were a hard no. He wasn't interested in Mathematical Reasoning, either, and the one thing the two had in common was they were both colorful and appealing to children. 😄 I could try again, but he'd be at the far upper end of BA and he's really enjoying Gattegno, so his path worked out. If anything, it will take him through the early part of high school math before having to switch again and I already have materials I think he'll like.
  19. Pinto beans. They were cheap, plentiful, and a pot could simmer for days. While I can appreciate most of what I ate growing up and how my mom stretched a short food budget with a lot of healthy things, pinto bean soup will never be on our menu here at my house. @elegantlion, my husband's hated food was hamburger, eggs, and noodles. No seasoning beyond salt and pepper. Just all mixed up like that with a side of canned veggies. ETA: I will be pretty interested in what my kids say their most hated food was growing up. I'm sure couscous will be up there on my oldest's list.
  20. Similar here. I have helped it along by being very open about what we do, what our philosophies are, and do picture updates frequently in an album they can see. It has made it seem not so freaky-weird and really helped to highlight the opportunities that homeschooling has - different than public schooling, but opportunities just the same.
  21. Take the time and travel. We lived outside the U.S. for nearly 6 years. What my oldest remembers most is not the school books from all his years of school. He remembers reading about the Medici family on a kindle and walking through Florence. He remembers being in awe of aquaducts and Roman roads and seeing the amazing reach of the empire as we went from country to country, finding the same tokens left by an ancient civilization. He remembers the feeling he got standing at the base of Michaelangelo's David and the awe inspiring paintings all over Michaelangelo's home. He remembers really getting up close to the Magna Carta and understanding the Latin written everywhere. He remembers listening to connected languages but hearing how they changed from culture to culture, and how our language reflects that. He remembers trying to lift huge cannonballs and walking through city gates in walls that were 8 feet thick. Take advantage of your time. The books will wait, and when they are opened again they will have more meaning. He will be able to relate to them more. If you have to take math with you, take math. But take some time and, if you have to, plan organized "school" through long extended field trips. Our kindle at the time was loaded with stories of all the places we wanted to go. We searched out guides if necessary, but the amount of sheer life learning my kid took with him into high school could not have been substituted by reading about it.
  22. No. They don't. I worked with two sets of kids at a base. The boys who went to the DoD school had a very high medication/diagnosis rate. Very high, as in nearly every boy I worked with after school was diagnosed with ADHD after age 9, and most at age 9. And I got them after their meds wore off. The other group I worked with were boys in the same age group and not a one was medicated because they did school elsewhere, either at home or in the local foreign community. There was virtually no difference between the boys, how they behaved, or how they focused. The only difference was after age 12 or 13, they were all more mellow. The extreme few that have problems that need a different path had a striking difference emerge during their teens (like my nephew, the behavior traits from his tweens never changed). Medication has been good for them, but so was the extra time and scaffolding their parents put in.
  23. I am glad. I just know that for my own kid, the setting makes as much of a difference for him as anything else. It's a mindset thing. In a studio, he treats the time more carefully and is ready to work. It is a workplace, sparsely furnished and dedicated to music. In the home, he has the distractions of a dog, his friend (teacher's kid), toys in the next room..and towards the end of the lesson she struggles to keep him on task. Given that nearly ALL of his teachers are currently moms, I'd like him to branch out as he hits his tweens and find adult males to connect with who can be mentors to him in his teens and help him see beyond the scope of the mom bubble. After I typed my last, an advert for summer classes at the local conservatory came in the mail. I caught him looking through the pamphlet at the various camps/short classes they offer, so that might be an option if he wants to try there in July.
  24. Less sugar. Frozen fruit works well in tea when you're transitioning, and adding a bit of cream to the coffee softens it as much as sugar. When you're baking, look for recipes from outside North America. Many of the cookies and sweets have much less sugar than their U.S. counterparts. You may not be able to fully change the rest of the house, but you can probably start cutting it little by little so that they adapt instead of being shocked by it.
  25. Both. Reading, writing, and handwriting were taught so poorly they may have well have just set fire to the work rather than give it to children. It was heavy on the sight words with an entire lack of writing instruction. Math made him feel stupid. No other subjects were taught with any regularity. The focus on carrots and sticks (stoplight system) destroyed his self esteem. The expectations were completely out of touch with the normal development of a child. It also destroyed any love of learning he had. Think of the song by Harry Chapin, Flowers are Red. Homeschooling was a brave new adventure, but it was a lot of work at the beginning to feel confident in what we were doing. He did end up going back in school during high school and thrived, but I'm really glad we did what we did. I was so tired of him being punished for being a little boy.
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