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  1. I have a 6th grader who hates the Middle Ages. We have used Memoria Press from the beginning and this year (we are into week 4) is the first year that he is hating history. He has no interest at all in medieval times. While my other kids loved reading about knights and castles, this kid hates that stuff. I would love any suggestions. I don't mind parental involvement with read aloud and activities. Thank you! Liz
  2. Just caught this post and I wanted to write about my experience with boxed curriculum. I have used MP 1st and 2nd grade for one of my kids and I thought it was just right. He just started 3rd grade and it has gotten a little more challenging. I agree that MP might have it's weaknesses, but over all it is a solid program. They definitely expect mastery on all their subjects and this provides a challenging curriculum for the student. Not very hands-on, but I think it is just right for a classical style curriculum. You really have to take your child's learning style into consideration. My son is doing well with it and we have him do lots of enrichment activities through our co-op once a week (art, science lab, and religion). Outside activities also round his education out fairly nicely (piano lessons, tae kwon do, and field trips). Now he isn't my only child, I have 7 kids total. But he is the only one who has done the entire MP curriculum. My oldest is finishing 6th grade and I'm planning on doing MP for 7th and 8th grade before moving him into Kolbe. I will also be moving my second oldest into MP for 5th grade and staying with them until high school where we will also do Kolbe. As for my younger kids. My 6 year old is about to begin with MFW 1st grade and my 4 year old just started with MFW Kindergarten and Hooked on Phonics K. This works in our family because these programs don't require a lot of time and prep on my behalf. Also, these two boys learn very different from my older three, so MP wouldn't work for them. I am hoping to move them into MP and then Kolbe eventually. So as you can see...I have pretty much become a boxed curriculum gal. I used to be totally eclectic and do WTM style on my own, always pulling from different sources. But as my family has grown, I have less and less time to do this. That and I'm TIRED! I want to make it as easy as it is for me while still giving my kids a great education. We shall see what my 2 babies do when they start school!! I hope this helps someone! Liz
  3. My 6 yo ds began first grade earlier this year. His birthday is in late August, so he was very immature when I tried to start him in September for 1st grade. We started 1st grade in January. He has been doing great with math and reading and is moving along with his handwriting as well. As it is, that is all I'm doing with him. Math, reading, and handwriting. He is still very immature, so I've just been focusing on the basics. My conundrum is that I would like to move into a set program for him in order to round out his days a little more. My older kids have done a little more academic programs...I have one who did Memoria Press for 1st and 2nd and is currently starting their 3rd grade program. My 4th and 6th grader are doing a combo of Kolbe Academy and Memoria Press. But this child is soooo not going to be able to do that right now! He is still all about playtime, hands on, interactive work. I'm OK with that! He's a boy and he's moving at his own pace. I have tried doing MP 1st grade and it's a bad fit for him. My current train of thought is to do My Father's World and then move him into Memoria Press for 3rd grade, once he's matured a bit. The questions I have are: Is this a good plan? Should I get the MFW 1st grade or MFW 2nd grade Adventures? Should I try something else completely?? I'm absolutely stumped on what to do with this child! I would appreciate any advice. I'm looking for a set curriculum because I have 7 kids and don't have time to make up a whole new thing for him. I have also tried Sonlight and he didn't like jumping and switching from book to book. There also wasn't enough hands on stuff, so I had to constantly look for things to spice up the books and I don't want to have to do that. Thanks! Liz
  4. So I'm STILL looking for that "perfect" planner for my Mac. I would be more than happy using HST, but that isn't an option since I don't plan on buying Parallels just to run that one program. This past year I have used Scholaric and think it's pretty awesome. The only downside is that I can't keep my lessons to re-use with another child, so I have to re-enter all the information all over again. I have 6 kids (going on 7!), so that's an important feature for me!! I also would like something that has a little more record-keeping. I just signed up for a 1month trial of HST Online and it's pretty intensive to enter stuff. I haven't come across very many reviews and don't know if it's the same as their regular Homeschool Tracker. Any input? The Simple Plan by Mardel also looks great and it's free so I signed on to have a better look. They are in Beta testing and I feel like it has potential, but still has so much more to go (record-keeping isn't available yet, can't print, can't look at assignments in a weekly view, etc.). SkedTrack and Edu-Trak haven't convinced me at all. I have read soooo many bad reviews about Edu-Track, and I really didn't like SkedTrack either. Next is Olly. Which also has potential and I like that I don't have to have it online and I can access from my laptop or desktop with their Dropbox feature. I tried the 1 month trial last year and just couldn't like it. It was so hard and confusing to schedule certain assignments. So here I am. Desperate because I just want something that will help me this year. I'm doing all my planning this weekend for the new year. I won't have the same time with a newborn coming in just a month. I thinking HST Online is my best bet??? Anyone have success with it? Thanks...and I know that finding the "perfect" planner is completely impossible. Scholaric would be my first choice, if it wasn't for not being able to keep my lesson plans saved for future kids. Liz
  5. I am currently doing Saxon 1 with my K son. We are still in the first half (he is on the younger side, so we started later in the year). My intentions are to do Singapore math with him (which I've never used, even with my other 3 older kids), since my hubby thinks that's the way to go this time. I agree and am excited to get started! My initial thought was to do both Saxon 1, just to finish this book, along with Singapore. But now I'm confused as if I should do that. Should I just drop Saxon 1 right now and start with Singapore? Or should I keep with Saxon 1 and just add Singapore in?? I really appreciate any advice. This is the first time I am so confused with what to do with math!! Liz
  6. Those are long days...and some days definitely feel longer than others. But afternoons are easier for us. By then I'm usually done with my K'er, so he goes and plays with the 3 year old. My 2 year old is also usually napping, so I have a good solid 2 hours of quiet time with the kids. This is our Sonlight time followed by MP's Christian Studies, and then science or foreign language (we alternate). That means I put my feet up and we do school in bed, outside, on the floor, or wherever *I* feel like being!! Honestly, I think my husband is my motivator. He works very hard and has very long hours, so just knowing that he is doing that for our family makes me want to work just as hard. I won't lie. I have days where I'm exhausted and we close the doors to the school room early. I try not to put too much pressure on myself. We school year-round and that helps me because I'm able to take days off a little bit more flexibly than if I did the September to May thing. :) Liz
  7. I wanted to add that once your kids can read independently...it makes life so much easier!! My 7 year old is great and can do his spelling workout, grammar, copywork & handwriting all on his own. He can also do the readings from the Sonlight Core B pretty well. We do foreign language together too from baby to 11 year old. I only make the older three kids actually do the work, though! My days are long...we start school at 9am, get a lunch break, and officially finish at 3 or 3:30pm (sometimes sooner!). We are totally flexible, take plenty of breaks, and I often surprise them with games in between subjects ("OK kids! Before we start history, we are doing 1 round of hide and seek...I'm counting to 30...Ready, Set, Go!). They love stuff like that and it makes the days funner. I also force my kids to play outside rain or shine after lunch. Sometimes they hang out on the porch, but mostly they just play. Liz
  8. I have about the same age kids as yours. In the fall I will have a 6th grader, 4th/5th grader, 2nd/3rd grader, 1st grader, preschooler, toddler, and a newborn!! I am in no ways an expert, but we have found a groove that is finally working and we have been having a pretty good year and expect the same from here on out! I agree that your 6th grader needs to be independent as much as possible. This year my older 2 kids have been doing math independently (they do both Saxon and Teaching Textbooks) while I do math with my 7 and 5 year old. I have to stagger the teaching when doing math...I start with my 7 year old and explain the lesson, he then does his worksheets. Then I do the lessons and worksheets with my 5 year old. I allow for my older kids to ask questions when they get stumped on something. If it's complicated, I have them skip the problem and then we get to it when I'm done with the littles. It's worked out well. Grammar, handwriting, and writing are mostly independent for the older two as well. I have been doing Sonlight Core D for the older two for history together as well as AAS, religion, and science. (they each have their own spelling lists to study, however, at the request of my hubby and they do that independently as well). My 7 year old still needs a little more help so I spend more time with him while the older kids are working...I basically have to jump start him with lessons and he does any worksheets on his own. The 5 year old is totally dependent on me. My main focus is reading and math. Everything else is icing. What happens with my little, little kids is that I take out preschool activities for them to do while we work. Sometimes, my almost 2 year old will sit on my lap and color while my 3 year old works on a puzzle. It can be a bit chaotic, but we roll with it. I think schooling with lots of kids has a bit of a learning curve and you are on track with combining kids and getting them to work independently. Subjects I definitely would combine are history and science. HTH! Just reassure yourself that it can be done!! Liz
  9. I have been trying to find someone who has used this program before without any luck. Has anyone here used it? I saw it at our conference this year and spoke with the author. It seems great, but it's a big investment, so I'm weary of spending all that money for something that might not work or be effective. I would greatly appreciate any input!!! Liz
  10. My ds is doing TT 4 this year and I want him to back to Saxon for the new year. I would be placing him in 6/5 and I feel like TT did not prepare him for it and has just put him behind. I'm planning on spending the summer working especially in math. Any suggestions on what to use?? Has anyone else been through this before? Thanks!! Liz
  11. HST is Homeschool Tracker Online. Sorry!! Should have clarified!
  12. I just bought this and wish I would have done the month trial. Well, now I am stuck with it. I can force myself to use it, but I am thinking of sticking to my paper and pencil organizer because HST just isn't for me now....I would definitely do it as my oldest gets into middle school/high school. But that's still 3 years away. Can I sell my subscription (which will expire on May 12, 2013)??? Liz
  13. I would be interested in purchasing this. Let me know if it's still available. Liz
  14. My ds has always used Saxon in the lower grades, but this past year, math became a struggle and it was constant tears, complaining, etc. So we switched to TT 4. It was a great decision! BUT....I'm just not happy with the scope of TT. I really think that Saxon is a superior program. Now that my ds has his confidence in math back and no longer hates it...I want to switch him back to Saxon (and he is OK with it!!). Since he is finishing up TT4, do I just put him into Saxon 6/5 or do I have him take the placement test? Wondering if anyone has done this before and if it's a good or bad idea. TIA! Liz
  15. Maybe I'm thinking of them making the transition into word study, like with MCP Phonics. Ugh. I'm just a confused woman.... Liz
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