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About LauraClark

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    Hive Mind Larvae
  1. We use the Jesus Storybook Bible as a starting point. Each morning I read the actual Scripture, we do some kind of activity (the PDF on this site was helpful: and then at night we read the Jesus Storybook Bible version. We read one a night starting on 12/4 and then we read the three Christmas stories on Christmas day.
  2. I am feeling very encouraged! My current plan is to finish out co-op (because we're committed for the school year and maybe it will turn out to be a good fit after all) and then try the park day again next year. Maybe I'll add in an optional craft or board games for the older kids that no longer enjoy running around the playground. I'm also going to talk to our library today and see if they would be willing to let us meet there when the weather is bad. And, even if no one shows up, it still gets us out of the house once a week. Thank you, all!
  3. We're doing some extra stuff, but the core of our schooling is: 3rd: Reading: reading a book together (I chose the book based on several lists found online). Grammer: FLL 3. Writing: Writing Strands 3, also learning cursive. Spelling: dictation day by day. Math: R&S. 1st: Reading: OPGtTR and some kind of easy reader. Grammer: FLL 1. Spelling: helps reinforce phonics for us, I just choose a page from OPGtTR, use words from there, and do the standard pretest/practice/test each week. Math: R&S. I don't do any extra writing, just whatever comes up in FLL and spelling. I know what you mean about R&S dragging a little-if you stick with it I wouldn't be afraid of skipping lessons here and there. I also only sign a fraction of the problems, especially if they are getting it no problem. Together: Read the Bible, History: SOTW (you could make that as simple and quick as you want-just read the text and ask some review questions), Science: Berean Builders Science in the Beginning (you could make that one quite simple too-sometimes we skip the experiment and just talk about what would happen). Geography: we learn a country a week (right now we're going through Europe. I just show them where it is on the map, review each day, and then they color it in on their map at the end of the week.)
  4. That's good to know - ditching the co-op idea next year and instead doing some kind of activity they enjoy has been on my mind. I wonder if there are any clubs where the kids do nothing but talk about Star Wars...haha! Good point - I'll try waiting it out a bit longer. We're in the same situation - most of the people in our co-op live at least an hour away. I'm glad to know I'm not alone as a planner. Sometimes we get invited somewhere, but usually we instigate all of play dates.
  5. Thank you, LMD - those are all good points. It has been only 6 sessions, I guess I just hoped my kids would have made some friends at this point. I've tried to get to know some of the moms too, but it has been a struggle (I'd say I'm more introverted, but I really put myself out there when meeting new people). But, maybe I just haven't given it enough time. Yes, we're still trying to prioritize the 6 family friends we have. It has gotten more difficult now that we have this co-op commitment every other week. I guess maybe I have unrealistic expectations of getting together more often...which really isn't something I have time for either. I want the best of both worlds - lots of time for academics and lots of time for friends - ha! Thank you for the reminder of romanticizing childhood friendships - very true, I'm not in contact with any of my childhood friends but have made some great and close adult friends.
  6. How do you find a community of friends for your children? The academic side of homeschooling seems to be going fine, but my kids (boys ages 3, 6, 8) really enjoy being around other kids and I am struggling to make that happen. Last year I just tried to do as many play dates as possible (I'd say we have 6 solid homeschool families we are friends with), but that was exhausting on me. I also signed them up at our local YMCA for a swimming/gym class, but they made 0 friends there (they are naturally pretty social and outgoing). This year we decided to join a co-op which meets every other week. It started in August and both my kids and I have made 0 friends. We live in a pretty rural area. We attend a church and they have made some friends there and we still try to do play dates periodically, but I know they would like more. I don't really know what I'm looking for, but the co-op does not seem to be the answer. There's too much structure, maybe? Maybe the co-op we joined is just unfriendly? I just want my kids to get together with other kids and play. I feel like no one else wants that - every one has signed their kids up for some kind of co-op or other program. I feel very lonely in this position. I'd love someone to commiserate with me or offer suggestions! There's another co-op that is a little closer to our house (but meets every week) - would it be a mistake to try that one? I tried to start my own thing last year of just meeting at a park every other week - several people showed up at first, then it fizzled out and my kids were the only ones attending. On a separate/related issue: when I was thinking about doing co-op again next year I got kind of excited about possibly teaching some classes (specifically a beginning Koine Greek class and a folk dancing class). If we're not involved in a co-op would it be possible for that to happen or should I let that dream die for now? I think I'm looking for a way to feel useful too (to people other than my family - ha!). Thanks - I know this is pretty rambly, but hopefully someone out there has been through this and can offer some ideas or encouragement!
  7. So far for my 3rd grader: Hits: SOTW, Berean Builders In the Beginning (love love love this one!), Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek 3 (sometimes not his favorite because it makes him think hard, but overall I think he's liking it), Latin's Not so Tough 2, Spelling Dictation Day by Day (sometimes he adds extra sentences to make it a story-that's a huge win!), Writing Strands 3 (we super enjoyed assignments 1 and 3 but hated assignment 2-I think that was my fault) R&S Art (I'm surprised by this one, but they really look forward to it each week) Misses Latina Prima (too many words to memorize each week and it felt very random as far as grammar-I know they teach that later, but I like Latin's Not so Tough's approach of teaching grammar without actually teaching grammar. I also like that it takes some time to go through the alphabet and diphthongs without jamming it in one lesson like Latina Prima) Getting the job done: FLL, OPG(for my 1st grader), R&S Math
  8. It must have been a bad day for MP Latin-I posted something similar on the WTM Facebook page yesterday :). I ended up purchasing Latin' s Not So Tough last night (we're using her Greek books and enjoy them, so I think this will be a good fit for us). I also hate to switch curriculums and usually just try to tough it out, but my 3rd grader is not retaining any of the vocab-it's just too much for him to memorize. But, I feel 100% less stressed about Latin knowing we've made this switch. Funny how sometimes we just need someone to give us permission to change something that works for many but clearly isn't working for us!! No advice from me-just letting you know you're not alone.
  9. I can relate to this! My 7 year old just took his first standardized test (also required in our state). It was so painful to watch him get things wrong that I know he knew. Our scores ended up way better than I anticipated, though, so hopefully that's the case for you too. After the test I sat down with him and (gently) went over the ones he got wrong so he could see some of the silly mistakes-mostly not fully reading the question. My friend always does a pretest with her kiddos, and I think I'm going to do the same next year. I'm also thinking that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to give a small test on history or science periodically next year-nothing too serious, but just enough to get a sense of what tests are and how to succeed at them.
  10. Maybe Bible Road Trip: It has activity ideas, discussion questions, and notebooking pages. It goes through the whole Bible in 3 years. It's not exactly chronological (Psalms are all in year 2 instead of spread out through the history of the OT), but you could pick and choose depending on what you were reading that day.
  11. We use it. My older kids are 2nd grade and K. A couple years ago we did the beginner pages and spent a day on each side (so 2 days per lesson) and did it Monday-Thursday. This year we're finishing up some of the beginner pages we have but then we're moving on to their "Family Oral Study" ( We don't do the coloring of the lessons anymore. I'm mostly using it for a guide. Our typical week looks like this: Monday/Wednesday: ask some of the questions on the front of the lesson, read the back of the lesson. Tuesday/Thursday: read the actual Bible text from the International Children's Bible. Do the front of the lesson application. Friday: we do something different during our Bible time. It takes us 5-20 minutes depending on discussion, but we're not doing the coloring anymore. I'm not using the timeline or the CD so can't speak to the usefulness of those.
  12. We used Natural Speller last year for first grade. Toward the end of the year I started mostly using OPGTTR. I just went through the lessons one by one choosing rules that I thought he needed to practice. I'll probably use both of those options again this year (plus I like to add in one challenging word, on his request, relating to science).
  13. My 6 yo started writing sentences for fun lately. One of his first: You tooted on a cow. I've got 3 boys, so more of that to come, I'm sure. :)
  14. We're using Rod & Staff (just finishing book 1). I'm confused why others have said it doesn't focus on memorization: memorization seems to be a major focus (flash cards, speed drills, daily lessons with the same facts over and over). It does go slow, but that gives us some flexibility to skip lessons or combine lessons if my son is ready to move on. We've been pretty pleased with R&S-it's simple and no nonsense and gets the job done.
  15. We're using an Evan Moor book called How to Teach Art to Children. It has project ideas for all the basic parts of art: line, shape, color, texture, etc.
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