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Everything posted by siloam

  1. It made sense to me, but we are generally more on the concrete side, not random thinkers or learners. The way so many writing programs are structured I feel they work best for random learners/thinkers. I can tell you all my kids have done Classical Writing (CW) and while they hate it they appreciate what it has taught them. The sequential building on concept approach works well here. The best thing they have learned is a fluidity with changing sentences, moving words, ideas and phrases in order to either fix a problem or to achieve the best result in what they are tying to convey. My college students are glad they had it to prep them for WR 121. -Siloam p.s. lol! That signature is a bit outdated, now to go find out how to fix it....given my son is now 17.
  2. I will keep Math U See in mind. Watching videos isn't generally not our best learning method...kinda...lol. To explain: I was watching a video on youtube about a knitting stitch and kept getting board watching the knitting between row transitions, so I would skip ahead, then have to go back because I missed something. I probably wasted more time with my back and forth than if I had just watched it in the first place, and I know this, but I still did it anyway. Thus my fear is that my daughter will zone out when she can see where it is going, then not be paying attention and miss something important. Heather
  3. Jacob's is what we have been using. We can make it work if I have to...but she has gone from math being her favorite topic to one of the least favorite. The Spanish and Chinese proofs where she had to figure out what was being said was almost driving her to tears. I felt so bad because she would be so close and yet not get it. (The Chinese has a x type shape and the proof is supposed to be that the lines intersect at the middle, and the end of the proof is that the angles are equal, her answers were about how the angles were supplementary, bisecting, and such, where were all true but not what the proof said.) I'll check out Holt, as that describes my daughter to a T. She tired Miquon math and hated the discovery part as well. Heather
  4. What we are using isn't work, because it is too abstract. Also I haven't done Geometry in 25 years, so I need precise answers and what we are using now, I feel, leaves the questions opened ended enough that the answer might be physical angle A = Angle B or that they are supplementary or perpendicular, but the answer key only has one right answer, which is fine when I understand enough to jump the gap but when I don't I have to force my daughter to guess around to find the right answer. Not to mention the times the answer key just gives an answer and doesn't explain why at all, so both my daughter and I have to skip it because neither of us (both being concrete) get it. Help! Heather
  5. I love RS, but unless the child is struggling in math it probably isn't needed. Hmm, don't really have any recommendations either. Just keep in mind that middle school math often does a year a reviewing 1-6th grade math before moving into pre-algebra, so you do have some wiggle room. Also keep in mind that Singapore is very problem solving oriented, so if your child really hates story type problems that might not be a good fit, and if they like them they it might be a perfect fit. Level 3 explains how to do the diagramming so you really want to start there, but move more quickly. I used to be able to use the regular books and Intensive practice in one year, so if you are only using the main books you probably can get through 3 and well into 4 in one year. At one time I also used Math Mammoth to supplement RS for days when I couldn't get to the one one one teaching. It worked OK for most my kids, but not my son. He loves patterns, and would get so focused on the pattern work in MM that he would not do math. Thus it did nothing to help him remember his times tables. I eventually quit using it for him and just printed off worksheets I found free online that covered the same topic he was on in RS. There can also be some frustration if you are using the topical math series. Why? Because it is as if they just took the problems from the regular series and put them into topical order. That is mostly OK but you do run into problems that deal with topics you haven't covered yet and either have to sit down and explain it or let the child skip a couple problems. Easy if you have a child who asks, hard if you have one who refuses to and just sits there and gets frustrated and wound up instead. Hope you find a good solution! Heather
  6. We are all dyslexic to some degree here as well. You are ahead of me, I was always too busy with LA to get to Latin when they were young. Thus I start them in 4th grade doing 1 page a day in Lively Latin. They do well for the most part and enjoy it till the end where it starts to speed up and make jumps they don't follow. All of my kids started out liking the program but ended up so very glad to be finished. I would recommend the program, but only if you are OK with it getting rough at the end and maybe stopping or if you know Latin you can explain it more fully. I've tried Minimus, which my kids did enjoy for the most part. It is put out by Cambridge, but the TM's are so expensive I hesitate to recommend it. My oldest went through First Form Latin 1. That was a lot of conjugating and not a lot of fun, so I haven't used it again. Cambridge 1 is ideal for a translation program, but I can say that unless you really know Latin, don't go there. I was lost (but my only experience was Lively Latin 1). My oldest managed to work her way through about 1/4 of it on her own before she asked for something else. She has always waned to come back to it but never has. If I had more time to figure out things it also would have been fine but my son turned out to have the most sever issues of all of us, so he took up most of my time. The last program I tried (because it was a winner here) was Ecce Romani. It is a combination of translation with grammar work with great explanations. I have three in it right now and all still love it and understand it without my help. (win! win!) Hopefully some of our journey will help your road to be more easy. Heather
  7. I've used Tapestry, MOH and STOW. SOTW mostly as an addition to what ever else we are doing because my kids like the audio (the old ones, JW puts them to sleep, sad to say). MOH (Mystery of History) works the best for us and I use it as our spine now. But my oldest out reads everyone (she read Lord of the Rings in 2 weeks...all three books). Thus I still use TOG (Tapestry of Grace) to keep her in books, to provide extra mapping at times (I don't like separate geography programs) and to supplement anything else I feel like pulling out of it. I already own it so why not? I don't use TOG exclusively because my kids don't do well with Usborne/Kingfisher type books and many of the spines when I started were just that. I doubt they are at the level I am using it now, but we all like MOH so we are happy to continue as is. I also have never found the time to do discussions, though that is largely because my kids are dyslexic like me, so we have other battles to fight. To the heart of what you are asking, I keep them together by taking advantage of the multi-layered system, by assigning my older kids extra reading/writing/research to keep things on their level and by not getting caught up in academics in regards to history till my kids are in high school. At one point I had all of them doing the lower level activities in MOH, like an ice holding contest for the lesson on the ice age, together. Eventually that quit working, so we moved on and found new ways to do stuff together (challenge memory cards) and some things just stay separate to keep everyone learning and I stay sane. Mostly remember that in the end, math, English, writing...these are the biggies. History is important to cover but not to master. You can keep more of an attitude of kick back and enjoy the ride. Heather
  8. I use Word Builder. I have my kids make flash cards and review them to help them with retention. So far I am happy with the results. Each lessons focuses on one root. It may or may not introduces a couple suffixes and prefixes. Generally if it does it uses them. The only thing really lacking in the program is review, which is why I have them make flashcards.... they do review the suffixes and prefixes because they keep using them, but they drop the roots. I'd prefer review worksheets but the cards seem to be working. Heather
  9. I mostly just do what interests us and works...as in gets done consistently. Most of the time that is MOH (Mystery of History). Next year I would like to take some time to focus even more on American history but I can't find a good audio to go with. I might just have them do independent reading for a while. So many good books from the time, but not many American history spines I enjoy. When I get back to year 1 I want to use Susan's History of the Ancient world as supplement to MOH 1 for high school. My oldest was middle school last time we covered ancient history so it just didn't work out I could use it then. I'm looking forward to using it soon. Heather
  10. RS just clicked here. Singapore was like pulling teeth because it makes logical leaps my kids didn't follow, and I used it back when many levels didn't have HIG...and even the ones it had have since been re-written. The hands on of RS showed why so well. We stopped fighting over flashcards, flashmaster, calculadders and such for math facts and they enjoyed the RS cards games and finally learned their multiplication tables. I'd use RS again without hesitation (all four of my kids have graduated out of it). But the fundamental difference is that RS is a total hands on program that demonstrates why and multiple ways to approach the same problem (it teaches...I think four different ways to do subtraction). It rarely takes logical leaps. Singapore base is teaching problem solving. Always reaching ahead to higher level concepts and doing them with lower level math abilities. Singapore was my first love, and will always be. But my kids are not intuitive problem solvers who like to chew on it. They just wanted to get math done. Heather
  11. I'd second Merry's post. Mostly I want to say that as a diagnosed dyslexic myself, you will probably never defeat the spelling monster. It will be less of a problem or more of a problem, but they will still have those days where a word just looks wrong and no matter what you try it doesn't look right. I once spelled which four different ways in one document, all phonetically correct, but only one was the correct spelling. But it wasn't that I didn't know how to spell the word, it was that whatever wires got crossed in my mind that blocked me from recalling it at the time. Annoying. I've been able to spell a simple word perfectly one day, struggled and looked it up, verified it and still felt it "looked" wrong the next, to being able to spell it perfectly again the day after. Very annoying. Despite it I have done well in life. I am just very upfront about my problem with spelling when at a job interview, with all the spell check situations these days most people didn't care. If I were you spend less (but not eliminate it) time on spelling and more on typing/composition. Heather p.s. I'd recommend Barton for children who stuggle with reading. For those who just need help in spelling I'd go with AAS. Their are those who finish Barton and still do AAS or other spelling programs. That said AAS moves quickly and needs to be slowed down for most dyslexic students or they just end up overwhelmed.
  12. Pearson is their publisher, so it is the only place you can buy the teacher materials, as far as I know. If you buy from Pearson you need to give them documentation of homeschool (from the state) and they will set you up. All I had to send in was the initial letter of recognition of our intent to homeschool. Once you do they will allow you to buy all the teacher support materials. This also allows me access to buying any of their products. The teacher's manual makes life a lot easier as it has all the answers for the translations, exercises and workbook exercises. You can also buy the supplemental Romans Speak for Themselves with answer key. This text is referred to in the main student text, but you can also skip it. They sometimes have bundle deals that end up quite a bit lower in price then other places. But those also often change, so it just depends on when you catch it. Heather
  13. Honestly reading your post here and below I have to wonder if it is not just developmental. She can work through the concept with you there to help her but on her own she just isn't developmentally quite ready to recognize it and figure it out on her own. Also keep in mind that unless you have an advanced student, Singapore goes through level 6 then into algebra. So you really can use the program a year or even two behind and still have enough math for what most students need. If they decide to favor a math related field later on, then can do extra math then. (For instance, my oldest decided to go into languages so she doubled up on her Latin program to get more of it done). If you want to stick with Singapore then consider going to some of the extra practice, lower level intensive practice or word challenge books to kill some time. I haven't used MUS, after I used Miquon my oldest two hated rods and would not consider a program that used them, sigh... (discovery methods is NOT the way they learn) Right Start is what we switched to, and is an excellent program for very hands on math. I first switched to RS using Singapore as a supplement. It was MY first love in math programs but I am mathy and an adult who already knew the math, so Singapore was fun. My kids are not as inclined in math and Singapore just made too many logical leaps they could not follow. Eventually I did admit Singapore just wasn't for them and moved on. Heather
  14. My all time favorite is Right Start, but it is NOT independent. It also is light on practice and I was slow at getting through it with four students so I generally used something else as well. I've used Math Mammoth. It works pretty good, depending on the child. It has a lot of pattern work, which was fine for my 3rd dd but my ds would get so focused on the patterns he quit doing math, so then I would end up printing out practice worksheets with no pattern to get him to do the math. Singapore is great, but again, not independent unless you have a very advanced student. They intend the program to be more challenging. My oldest also ended up with problems because she could do the math well in her head but couldn't tell you how she got there. That wasn't an issue for my 2nd dd, so it just depends on the child. After using RS I had my kids go through Lial's BCM. It is mastery based and totally independent, if the child is at least jr high age. That made sure they had all gaps filled before they went on to algebra. So just keep in mind that no matter what you do you can always fall back on something like that. Generally jr. high math, for a normal student is 7th grade: review of 1st-6th grade math and 8th grade pre algebra. I belive above average students skip the year of review and go straight into pre-algebra. Heather
  15. Jag does not. I would suspect it is in their mechanics book. Heather
  16. I used RS with up to 4 children at once. It wasn't easy and I did have to use a timer and just complete a set amout of time each day. All got through it (my DS is now on the last level) and are doing well in math. Heather
  17. I'd stick with the first edition as well. First because it worked here, and second because if they have a delay in their production schedule, you could end up having to switch back to the first edition or wait for the second edition to be finished. Heather
  18. I'm using it here, though I am mixing it in with All American History and TOG. Why leave something alone with you can play with it! :P I do have some information other's might find useful. It will be a full color reader with a separate Companion book like volume 3 was. The preorder gives you the full color reader and the Companion on CD for the one price. Come fall after the pre-order the price will go up (straight from the publisher on that one) and eventually they will offer a book copy of the Companion. A decision was made after volume 3 to focus on World history and assume US history would be studied separately, which is part of why it begins to move more quickly. Quite a bit is left out by design. Honestly I personally would have preferred more volumes and it include US history but when the vote was taken I was not on the winning side. The publisher and author found most people planned to do a separate us history anyway so the scrapped the original plan to make 5 volumes and went with only a 4th that forces on world history. Also for those who might be interested the publisher just released the first volume on digital download on Amazon. This is just the student reader without the activities, mapping and such. Because volume 1 doesn't have a companion guide you would still need the book do activities, mapping and quizzes. Mostly it is a convience thing. I would assume they plan to make all the volumes available eventually, which could help with the cost of the full color volumes. I wonder if they plan on releaseing a companion guide to volumes 1 and 2 and if they do how long will it be before we see them? Honestly the process is never quick enough for me. :D Sigh, time will tell.... Because of my unusual appraoch we will be using MOH 4 for the next two years. I am just glad the timine was right so that I could use it at all. Heather
  19. Ok I'll try to make this response logical, but I have a lot buzzing through my head....diving in... The biggest difference between TOG and VP is TOG is history with lit added on and VP is lit with history added on. I even know people that use TOG for history and VP for lit. Sonlight doesn't have the analysis that TOG has, but that only makes a difference if you will use it. Making time to sit down to do the discussions can be a challenge. Though I hear SL upgraded some of their IG's for high school, but I still can't see it being at the level of TOG because they just have different goals. SL is more about the ride, experiencing history to make it memorable. TOG is more about academics, learning the facts and analyzing what it means. But I do find a lot of Sonlight books end up in TOG at the D level, also a few R level when you move into cores 100-400. The American history core is probably my least favorite. I just didn't like going between the History of the US books (which I didn't like the longer I used them) and the Core 100 notes. But those are much more personal reasons and not analytical so feel free to throw it out. :D If you are using it for a high school student who is interested in competing for a top notch college and scholarships, I would think twice simply because the texts aren't at a high school level. If they want to go to state or community college then it should be fine. But given you asking for a 5th/6th grade student I think Core 100 would work and maybe be even a bit demanding. They will need to cover US history again in high school so then focus on the original documents and academics. TOG doesn't focus on original documents till the R level. Honestly I don't think you can go wrong with any choice, all three are excellent options. Which fits your current needs/goals is the real question, and one only you can answer in the end. But keep asking questions. You probably need more information in order to make a decision. Heather
  20. I don't know the sequence of AAR, just AAS. Have you covered the EE phonogram yet? If you have you can use the I See Sam readers, which would provide lots of supplement. Also most of the early easy readers follow a similar sequence. Bob readers, Now I'm Reading are two I have used. There are also a ton of Step into reading readers. What you are talking about in introducing all phonograms early is a difference in philosophy. AAR follows traditional Orton/Gillingham sequence which starts with short vowels, blends, long vowels...etc. There are programs that do teach all the phonograms up front which I term Spaulding because she was the first to introduce the idea. Writing Road to Reading (WRTR) is her program and was written in coordination with either Dr. Orton or Dr. Gillingham (I forget which) to make a program that move more quickly for children who could learn faster where traditional o/g was crated more for dyslexic and struggling students. Spell to Write and Read (SWR) and Phonics Road to Reading (PRTR) are off shoots of Spaulding's program. My concern is that if your child is struggling with what she has already covered, giving her more won't necessarily help. It may make it more difficult because there is more to memorize/learn causing more confusion and confusing what they have already learned. If, on the other hand, they were reading what they were given fluently and asking for more, that would be indication to me that they need a program that moves more quickly like WRTR. The other thing you don't want them doing is memorizing the text and not really reading it, so if you can get hold of some other books, or add in some nonsense words to keep them using their blending skills that would be good. I would also encourage you to continue to review phonograms daily so they are more automatic. I know it is not fun but sometimes it is just necessary. My son is dyslexic and has memory issues and has to cover phonograms every homeschool day for 5 years. He is almost to the point of having such an automatic response that we can go to weekly, but still isn't quite there. Both of us are tired of it to say the least. He being my last student, I had already done it for 5 years with the other kids...this is 10 years for me...it is beyond old....but sometimes what needs to be done isn't what is fun. KWIM? You might also want to look at dyslexia, as b/d confusion (as well as m/n and q/p) is a very common sign of it. Many kids can have the symptom early but most grow out of it by 7yo. Dyslexic students can learn to read well and spell...well that one will always be a struggle (mostly because we focus on content and not presentation), and eventually develop great analytical skills (into their 20's), but they are also often developmentally a little behind and need direct instruction. Or they may be a young 3rd grader who is developmentally behind and will catch up and do just fine. Kids that stuggle with reading often do well with math, so that might be the silver lining in this cloud. :) Heather
  21. So far I have found two options that don't seem dry as a bone. Basic Amerian Govenment, but I really don't have the time to do it with her....how much will it loose? The Uncle Eric books look like they would be her thing (more story based) but I get a headache trying to figure the order and if all the books put together make a complete course. Any opions and other options would be appreciated. Heather
  22. I thought I might use Dave Ramsey, because as an accountant, I love his balance the books appraoch. But my dd doesn't learn with with DVD's. What other options are there? Heather
  23. Planning ahead. I would like to have something that requires low teacher involvement...because I am swamped. This child doesn't do well with straight text learning, but prefers story based like the STOW books. I would like something that at least will discuss all sides even if it is biased towards one side. Heather
  24. I love her book on writing (Jungle Writier I think), changed how I think on teaching writing. When I tired to use the LA it was a little unstructured and lite for me. But I only used it at the lower levels...The Arrow I think it is called. If you are aware of different philosophies, it is Ruth Beechick in style. She basically was very focued on reading and immitating language and covering things as they came up naturally. All my kids are pretty concrete thinkers, by that I mean we need to see the big picture, then coveer things one step at a time to mastery. The random feeling of not covering the same thing till it was mastered is what I think did us in.
  25. Thanks, I wish I had more time to get on. There is just so much to be done an so little time these days. :) Heather
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