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Cake and Pi

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About Cake and Pi

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  1. So, first I'd just say don't even worry about the 4yo. If she's interested she can tag along as she's able, but there's really no point in putting a ton of effort into trying to include her in content subjects at this age. That simplifies things a bit because you'll have a smaller age range to accommodate if you want to combine the rest of them for science and history/ social studies. What levels are the middle two kids working at? Can they read above grade level? What about maturity, interest, and motivation? Are you looking for Christian, neutral, or secular materials? Have you thought about using a literature based curriculum at all? Doing so would probably make grouping for those content subjects pretty easy.
  2. Oh, nope. I didn't fix the link after all. *facepalm* So the first one I linked to is not shorter. It's more workbook style though, whereas the second one is very much a very detailed coloring book with lots of information.
  3. If you were planning to make anatomy something you do for just a week or two, this short anatomy coloring book aimed at younger audiences would be good. We also have the Squishy Human Body, which is meh for details, but is great from a sensory perspective and kid-approved in my house. If you're looking to dive really deep in a particular body system or want something that can last all year, my current 2nd-grader-by-age loves, loves, LOVES this anatomy coloring book. He went through REAL Science Odyssey Biology level 2 a couple of years ago. It was just the right mix of reading, doing, and writing for him at the time. I think that laid a pretty solid foundation, and I highly recommend it, particularly for the hands-on and microscope labs. It is a year-long course, though.
  4. Here ya go! For fun and because it's so cute, there's a page from BA that he did at 5y8m old... and I saved it so it was one of his nicer-looking pages. He turned those workbooks into "art," lol. I like it though because you can sort of see his thinking in his work. There's a page of pre-algebra challenge problems I coped out for him at 6y6m as a makeshift worksheet during the transition from BA to AoPS. It looks like he lost his minus sign in one of the problems, but it was there in the original. It just didn't come through in the picture. The next one is his handwritten work for a writing problem in Algebra A at 7y2m. This was significantly better organized than his work for a regular problem because he knew he'd need to reference this work when he typed out his full solution afterward. The pdf is a picture of a regular short-response challenge problem he did last week in Intro to Geometry. Probably should have saved it as a photo instead of a pdf. It came out very light, sorry! Geometry frustum problem - 8y4m.pdf
  5. When I visualize it, it looks a great deal like the Algebra Lab Gear blocks, possibly because that's how I originally learned way back in the day. So no, no sample numbers in my head, unless you consider visualizing something like c-rods to be visualizing sample numbers. I asked DS 8 to explain his thinking on (x+y)^2 and he quickly traced out boxes in the air. He said he could "see" them in the air as a table of boxes with letters inside them. I asked him if he imagined the letters as numbers and he said they weren't any particular number but letters that acted like numbers and were sort of like all numbers at once. He did a lot of self-discovery of properties, too, but he did it mostly with manipulatives and drawings. For example, he figured out the basics of exponents by playing with 1" plastic tiles and wood cubes. It didn't even occur to me that I should provide vocabulary like distributive property or associative property back then. He got all of the terminology through AoPS. (More proof that I'd suck at teaching without curricula to follow!) I love how you and mathmarm focus so much on naming the properties and proving work with appropriate vocabulary. I feel like it must add an extra layer of understanding for kids with that balanced ability profile. My DS 8 is exceptionally lopsided... I guess "specialized" would be the more positive way to spin it, lol. Anyway, I find it super interesting to see the different ways these mathematically precious kiddos unfold. I should share some of DS 8's messy, all-over-the-place, step-skipping work from when he was 6-7. It makes the handwritten stuff both of you guys shared look like works of art!
  6. Erm, I don't really know. 🤷‍♀️ My one AL who resists using manipulatives is the weakest in these kinds of concepts, and my one who used manipulatives most extensively is strongest in all things math. You can approach math from a verbal standpoint, but I'm not sure its the most efficient way. I'm coming from an engineering (not real math) background, though. Language was always more of a frilly decoration to be added to math in my mind, but I may be limited by my own visually-based thought processes. I haven't figured out how to help my one kid who doesn't like manipulatives or visualizing, but instead have found it most effective to let him explore concepts in his own way, which takes significantly longer and seems to result in less robust conceptual understanding. Consequently, he'll be getting to algebra at 10-11 vs. my heavy-manipulatives, super-visual kid who did basic algebraic concepts like (x+y)^2 at 5 and AoPS algebra at 7. The two boys have the same cognitive abilities, so I tend to think the difference is largely due to personality factors and learning habits/preferences. See, and I don't think my DS 8 uses the pattern at all for things that can be visualized. The way he talks when he explains his work, it sounds like commentary on visuals, and he uses his hands to shape ideas in the air.
  7. We've never used the online version precisely because I'd read that the voice was terrible. We've gone through several levels of the books, though, and like them. The teacher manual is very thin. There are just a few pages of instructions and then the rest of the book is devoted to daily lists of words with some brief explanations or notes about homophones at the bottoms of the pages. The student book is thick but very simple. On each right-hand page there are 25 numbered blanks to write in the daily words. On the backs of each of these pages there are optional extra practice exercises, things like word searches and unscrambling words. That's it. One of my kids doesn't even use the student workbooks anymore. He just writes on a white board as I dictate the list to him.
  8. Conceptualizing these kinds of problems is where manipulatives can be so flippin' handy. I know I've said this before, but I absolutely love our Algebra Lab Gear blocks. They have their limitations, but they're fun and useful for what they are. One of the creators has his original stuff, including printable paper versions of the Lab Gear and out-of-print textbooks, free on his website.
  9. I've got two boys begging to take that Dragonology class.
  10. Yep, you pretty much summed it up, with the one additional reason to do American history being that DS 12 will be doing it. -- my thought here is that he'll be subjected to DS 10's and DS 8's read-alouds and audiobooks regardless, so it would indirectly benefit DS 12 for DS 10 and DS 8 to do American history...? But I think you're right. I just need to figure out world history. Thank you for the resource list! Yes, please! I'd love it if you'd share your book list.
  11. Help! I can't make up my mind! I can't decide if I want to teach my two middle kids ancient world history (or maybe ancient and middle ages combined) OR early American history next year. Doing early American history would be terribly *convenient* because my oldest will be doing early American history through online public school and I just downloaded the updated BYL grade 5 (early American history), which looks amazing. Like, seriously, I wish we could have used this version the first time we went through BLY 5 two years ago. However, DS#2 *wants* to study ancient history next year. He was in PS until winter break, where they didn't really do much in the way of history or science. DS#3 did American history (the old version of BYL 5 and 6) last year and the year before. This year he did some random topic studies on ancient Greeks and Romans and now WWII. His last thorough pass through ancient history was when he was in preschool, so he doesn't remember much of it at all. I'm also a little tired of American history at this point. BUT! I can't find a good literature-based, secular world history written at the middle school level. I have The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, SOTW vol.1-4, and The Human Odyssey vol.1, so I could pick one or more of those as a spine and hunt down tasty historical fictions and whatnot to flesh it out... but that sounds *hard* and I am still adjusting to having four homeschoolers instead of two (because one was in PS until Jan and the final one made it home in Mar because of covid19... and it's looking more and more likely that they'll all continue HSing in the fall). Can someone talk some sense into me? Help me decide what to do!
  12. Has anyone here used or heard of Five Senses Literature Lessons? It was recommended to me on a FB group for homeschooling SN. After spending some time pouring over the website and online samples and reading through Cathy Duffy's review, I'm leaning heavily toward buying the Foundations and Fundamentals set, but I wanted to check for reviews/experiences here first since I'd never heard of this program before. With a little tweaking, it looks like it could be a good framework to build our language, pre-reading, and number sense activities around.
  13. I wanted to get the dot patterns Ronit Bird ebook but don't have any apple devices, plus I'm in the US and can't pay in £. Is this content incorporated into any of the books sold from Amazon, or is that totally different stuff? TIA!
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