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Everything posted by coastalfam

  1. I keep wondering that. My previous answer to Tanaqui answers some of this. He does write the wrong letter than he intends when spelling very often, but catches it, and corrects. Otherwise his spelling is average. I haven't tried doing problem on the white board, but am going to try next week. So far I have had him put one problem on a full page of white paper, and that seems to help in some ways... he is more focused... but doesn't help with writing int he wrong number, or other simple mistakes. It's definitely a glitch of some kind, and I keep thinking it is developmental, but I keep waiting for it to resolve and it's not.
  2. Swapping numerals or intending to write one but writing another is an ongoing issue since he was doing very simple math, and it is definitely not a once in a while thing. He has always been strong in math concepts, and poor in actually getting math problems correct due to this issue. He does this with writing letters, where he writes a different one than he intended, but he rarely misses it, and just erases then corrects. I would say aside from writing the wrong thing, his spelling is decent. His reading and comprehension is at a high school level. He is very articulate. His mind goes very fast. He keeps me on my toes with all this question asking. He is kind of an absent minded professor type--daydreaming about things he is pondering. ADHD runs in my family, dyslexia runs in my husbands, so it's not off my radar that we could be dealing with some kind of learning issue, however, it is so hard for me to get a read on this kid, because he is so articulate, so engaged, so well behaved. He instantly recognizes his mistakes when brought to his attention. He just makes these little mistakes, and doesn't seem to be growing out of it like I thought maybe he would.
  3. Today I am pondering how to help my 9yo 4th grader with long division. He absolutely understands division conceptually, he has the procedure down very well, but he is really struggling with coming up with the correct answer the first, second, third time. He has issues with intending to write a numeral, only to accidentally substitute another. He has always had this issue, but with long division, it is a big deal to have a numeral written incorrectly deep within the problem. So far I have cut the numbers of problems he is doing per day to one, and putting the one problem on a blank sheet of paper so he can write bigger, and has less distraction. I realized today that large point graph paper may help, at least with keeping everything straighter and easy to see. I hate to hold him up in this lesson as he understands division at this point very well, and the issue is with silly mistakes within the problem, swapping numbers, etc. I have wondered if this is developmental? We use Math-U-See. This child is my star student otherwise, always willing to work hard, very good reader and becoming a strong writer. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance.
  4. I made one once... it was messy, and tedious, and really difficult, and very small. Wouldn't do it again, but my son liked it. I think I just used and online tutorial for instructions. It was a long time ago.
  5. My 4th grader, age 9, is taking about an hour (up to 90 minutes at the most) to do a MUS worksheet, and/or a page of Beast Academy. We started using Daily-6 Writing this year, so it is little one page assignments through the week, leading up to a written paragraph or more on Fridays. He is able to write a coherent paragraph, and this skill popped up this year after I had decided to back off and wait for him to mature before pressing the issue last year. We are subject to state testing, so I did teach him the components of a paragraph last year so he could wing-it on his state test. In addition to the Daily-6 Writing program, he does ELTL for grammar, and the prepared dictation passages on opposite days from the grammar lesson. Grammar takes a him a while, as it is very challenging, but we look at it as a really good brain puzzle we do three times a week. All together, Language Arts time, with writing, grammar, typing, vocabulary, and spelling, takes no less than 90 minutes. Some of this time is spent procrastinating or day dreaming, and I find the best approach is just to allow for that space, and also to plan my time so I can work side-by-side not he more boring stuff. He doesn't need my help, but he likes the company. Geography, History, Science, Literature, Health, etc. are accomplished with all my kids combined. We work on geography mapping, and we read living books, daily. History is twice a week for about half and hour. Science is twice a week for about an hour. Fridays are very light in the afternoon, or taken completely off. Twice a week the kids go to enrichment courses in the afternoon. I am not too focused or worried about History and Science just yet. At this level, they could honestly pick up plenty of info from Netflix. We have little programs we find through the suggestions in Wayfarers that we have really liked, and get a lot out of. Anyway, for a 4th grader, I don't know if this is "normal", but it seems like plenty!
  6. I think picking and choosing different publishers is a much wiser choice than all one publisher. The advantage of homeschooling is pulling something together that is enjoyable for you and your child, and effective for your child. We did one year with all material from one company, and some things fit, and some really did not. It takes a while to work out all the kinks, so I think choosing what appeals to you as the parent is a great choice, and then just be aware that your might need to re-adjust a bit in the first year or two. Budget some money for that inevitability. Congratulations of beginning your homeschooling journey!
  7. Wayfarers is like that, and would include all three boys on one plan. The geography and literature novels would be combine, and could be done via audiobook. Other things vary by level. Might streamline things quite a bit at their grade levels.
  8. I haven't used the Anatomy one yet, but the other two we used were very adequate when used along side the Notebook guide that has additional activities, resources, and reading scheduled alongside the Quark trajectory of topics. Here is a link to the Anatomy Notebook: http://www.lulu.com/shop/kathy-jo-devore-and-ernest-devore/quark-chronicles-anatomy-notebooking-pdf/ebook/product-22827158.html I especially recommend the Ellen McHenry material to go along with Quark.
  9. I suggest storing in moisture free bins to preserve the books, and make a habit of rotating a few into a book basket for kiddos to peruse as they please. In my house, just like a game or set of toys that goes into storage for a few months and then are brought back out to thoroughly enjoy, books have the same effect when they are stored and then rotated out. Also keeps the house less cluttered, and the toddlers less tempted! :)
  10. No, neither of those would be appropriate. I would suggest Math-U-See for a broken down, easy to understand and get done math program.
  11. I always feel like we are doing too much. I was going to ask people the same question. I have a 9yo 4th grader. Friday Math, about 45 min, but sometimes he takes an entire hour. ELTL Lesson, 30 min+ Latin word roots study, 10 min Writing exercise, 10 min Typing, 10 min Reading, 20 min Practice his instrument, 15 min Listening to our Geography read-aloud, 30 min Geography activity, 20 min Art Lesson and activity, 45 min This day is always interrupted by therapy for his brothers, but that is typical in our house of other days as well. I usually play a game with him, or he reads his "fun reading" book.
  12. HSing in California is easy. If you do it privately, you fill out a Private School Affidavit with the state. And of course, alternatively, you have learned of the numerous charters we have in our state for a hybrid option. We HS with a charter. I have two kids with exceptional needs. One has Down syndrome and an Anxiety Disorder, one has chronic illness and some other mental health issues we are sorting out. I would say, with your daughter's situation, it might be really good to start out HSing privately, because the charters, at least in our small area in northern Cal, can be so drastically different when it comes to accommodating students with disabilities or other concerns, and also what they offer in terms on on-campus classes, funding for you to use on supplies and extra curricular activities, and freedom in choosing curricula. You will really want to research this, and probably get parent recommendations from parents in your area. We live in a small area with only three HS charters locally, and I found one of the three to be superior to the others for accommodating my oldest child with Down syndrome (one of them refused to admit him, actually, which is illegal, but I don't want to get mixed up in a school with hat attitude!). That said, what we have found has been a profoundly positive experience at a charter school that has made every attempt to accept a wide spectrum of students, provide appropriate supports on and off campus, and a teacher who really works hard to make sure we have everything in place that we need to support our kids, and believes in my authority and ability to school them without overstepping her bounds. So it can be a fantastic support. :)
  13. English Lessons Through Literature has been my favorite.
  14. Leaf scavenger hunt, leaf art, flower dissection. We did a fun activity where we traced the kids hands in yellow construction paper to make a dandelion closer head, and their feet in green to make the leaves, then we made a giant dandelion, with pipe cleaner roots, and labeled all the parts. That was cute and fun. We of course sprouted beans, grew some carnivorous plants in a terrarium. We used Ellen McHenry's curriculum, as well, and really liked it. There is a science fiction children's novel called "Quark Chronicles: Botany" that comprehensively covers the subject of Botany and was really fun to read along side doing Ellen McHenry. It is available from Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula. ETA: I just read the rest of the thread about your daughter working at an accelerated level. So maybe not so much the crafty things I listed above (my kids are much younger), but she may still appreciate Quark Chronicles. How fun that you get to pursue science at such a deep level!
  15. I can understand your boys need for a bit of structure in the chaos. One thing that helped us when we were between houses during a chaotic season in our lives was to create a daily picture schedule for the week so the kids knew well in advance (or as far as we were able), in a concrete way they could understand, what to expect. Even though we were not able to manage our full homeschool program with much consistency during that time, the calendar helped a lot. Another thing we didn't do, but popped into my mind as I was reading your post, are the Do It Yourself Fun Schooling books. It sounds like this time might be perfect for some self directed, interest led exploration, maybe even incorporating topics such as your new state, and also whatever floats their boats and helps them feel happy and content. Here is the Fun Schooling website. http://www.funschoolingbooks.com
  16. The reasons we didn't stay with it were 1. It takes an amount of time from me that I am not able to give, which caused us to get really hurried and frustrated at each other. Not worth it. And 2. My son wasn't improving in his spelling outside of spelling lesson time. I still use what we learned in regard to spelling rules at times to help him puzzle out a word he has misspelled, and we still use the phonogram tiles on the white board for my other kiddos, but with a simpler O-G program. So there were parts that were really great about it that we still benefit from. For spelling we now do prepared dictation, and that is translating into actual spelling improvement.
  17. My oldest son has Down syndrome, and so, like you, have many therapies we go to a week. It can really throw a wrench in our schedule is I am not careful and very picky about how we get plan things out, and how we guard our remaining time. I though maybe if I list some of my time-savers something might jump out at you as you have much the same situation with therapies. ;) One thing I have tried to do is limit our therapy times to afternoons, three days a week. We get some of our therapies through our charter school, and the other kids take enrichment classes during some of those. We do a lot of "car school" while my son is in his therapies--I have a big box educational games, a "scrunch map" (the coolest thing... really cheap at Rainbow Resources for "car school" geography!), our geography book, and we do lots of our read aloud time in the car as my older son has a hard time following along with no pictures. We use Wayfarers as a curriculum schedule for history, geography, and science, and it is really book heavy, so doing lots of read alouds and oral narration is a perfect school strategy for us. On Friday we drive quite a ways for horse therapy, and I use audio books for that. We can get all three chapters of our geography read aloud in easily in that drive. I save a lot of our daily reading for bedtime. My husband sits down with my oldest, and has him read one book to him for practice, then he reads him picture books from the library that go along with the subjects that we are studying through novels and read alouds while he is in therapy. We only do ELTL 3 days a week. I haven't done levels 1 or 2 (we started in 3), and in three it is only suggested for three days a week. Last year we did not make it through the entire book, but as every level starts over at the beginning (in different ways) and goes through the entire contents of each previous book, I am not going to sweat it. I think ELTL will give them a superior grammar education, even if I can't do the entire thing. I think 3 days a week would be fine for your purposes. When we did AAS, and now we do prepared dictation for spelling, we only do it on T & TH, the opposite days from ELTL. However, we would briefly review our phonograms daily. We only do cursive twice a week. We only do Science and History once a week. We disperse science and history read alouds throughout the week at bedtime, or in the car, but as for SOTW, and our general science curriculum, we only do those on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. T & TH are our "home" days. An entire chapter of SOTW is pretty easy to accomplish in one afternoon. I give them a coloring page from he Activity Book to color as I read to them. We pause a lot to talk about the passage. We always do the discussion questions, and then we do a very simple activity, either the mapping activity, or another one that is simple to do. It only takes 30 minutes maximum, but if I was short on time, I would have no problem at this age, just briefly reading the chapter for the week, then leaving it at that. We often have to finish SOTW up in the summer, but the kids enjoy it, so it's a non issue. For science, I've found having a curriculum that we can skip around in, drop a week, etc. is really helpful. Often our field trips are science oriented, so I have no problem about calling that our lesson for the week if that happens. I have a feeling my middle son will be ready for a more independent science program soon, and brothers can certainly tag-along, and then I will call that "Science" for them. For physical activity... we don't do something formal every day, but we do try to have them constantly involved in evening/weekend sports or lessons. My oldest does Special Olympics. My 4th grader is really compliant, independent child, so I made him his own daily schedule that I laminated so I can fill in week to week, and I set out his materials each day. He gets right to work on them, and gets through all his independent stuff (with coaxing as he day dreams a lot), and then I work on the things that we do together (mainly ELTL) once I am finished with the younger kiddos. Last, I do our devotional at lunch time. My husband is a worship pastor, so I don't incorporate hymns as that kind of just happens semi-regularly. Anyway, that is our daily reality of fitting things in in a way that helps us feel less frantic. It sounds like a lot to write it down... like we are constantly doing school, even in the car, but it is just kind of habit. :)
  18. I think you're good. No worries. I had a lot of mental health challenges around puberty age, and man, when you have anxiety, you can attempt all sorts of learning, but it's not going to stick if your brain is in defense mode. I think you are really wise to lay off of some things.
  19. I use Wayfarers, and what I do is lump things together as it works for our family (we have a charter we go to twice a week in the afternoons). I do follow the weekly schedule for math, english, devotion (though I often substitute my own), narration, and the literature that goes along with ELTL. But I do History once a week (so the entire SOTW section for that week, or often I just do one chapter per week, as well as the History read aloud and narration). I do Science once a week, including any activity and read alouds. I do Music whenever I feel like it. And I do Art once a week on Friday afternoon, and I have substituted and different program. For the Literature selection I only very roughly follow the schedule. We tend to read those novels whenever we feel like it, which is often, so we often finish before it is scheduled to be finished, but that is okay as there is plenty more to read. Geography happens usually three times a week, and I always get those read alouds on audio so we can listen to them in the car. I have found Wayfarers to be very flexible when I decided I was not going to check boxes in the planner. I have the planner on my iPad and add things to my paper schedule, but at least I don't have to plan everything by myself, and I just don't have time right now (though I bet it would be fun!).
  20. We made the switch last year for my oldest, he started in Gamma. At the same time my youngest started with Alpha, and is in Beta this year. My recommendation, since your will be in Beta, which is so close to the beginning, is to get an Alpha DVD or Teachers Manual, and review with your daughter the concepts taught for how to add and subtract with the blocks. I think you could do this in two weeks max, and it would be of great benefit before you jump into Beta. Also, MUS tends to be so straightforward and understandable that you will likely catch up before the end of the year. We often do two weeks worth of lessons in one week if we don't add in additional enriching activities (we use Beast Academy, and lots of math games to go deeper). I keep wishing my oldest had done MUS from the start. It has been so wonderful for my youngest, and he is by far more sound in his math concepts, despite my oldest being very bright and capable.
  21. I make my own for my son who still needs to trace a lot, but also needs to be writing sentences, phone number, address, etc. rather than just words and letters.
  22. As for having the kids separated, it is kind of easier. However, with both learning the same skill of word diagraming, it bleeds into other parts of the school day as we encounter words we need to pronounce or spell for other subjects, and very much feels like we are part of the same program after all. It's a really neat approach.
  23. We use ELTL for grammar and writing instruction, and it includes passages for prepared dictation from the corresponding literature. We do ELTL M,W,F, but save the PD for T, TH. I find that is sufficient at introducing words my son will be challenged by, as well as common words that it is important for him to encounter again and again to ensure the spelling is well engrained. I first learned about Prepared Dictation from a video on the Simply Charlotte Mason website, and for the most part that is the process I follow. There is an appendix in the back of RLTL about PD. And I think Kathy Jo has more information on the BRC website. Having taught him to diagram words, I find the simple act of diagraming words he gets incorrectly very effective at helping him correct himself in future. He picked up on the skill of diagraming very quickly, or we would likely be practicing with the RLTL lists until it made sense to him. My original plan was to take him backwards through the lists in RLTL1 until it got too easy, but I just did not end up needing to do that, so we jumped right in to PD since it was a part of our LA program anyway in ELTL. This is the first year we have done that instead of a spelling program, and it is working really well. DS9 is particularly prone to silly mistakes, so I think practicing all the "filler words" in a passage is helpful practice for him which we would not get if we did not do PD. If there is a word that he is really struggling with, I just make a note of it and him him practice an additional time. It really doesn't seem to take much for the proper spelling to start to make sense. Anyway, that is our process. Because we use the BRC Spelling Journal alongside our PD time, I sometimes preview the PD passage and pick out a certain spelling rule or phonogram I notice in it, and have him find all the words that apply to put into the spelling journal that day. Other times we just put words into it that are especially challenging, or that he got incorrect during the dictation portion of the exercise.
  24. This is how I do it for DS6 (learning to read), and DS9 (needing remediation in spelling--did not learn to read the RLTL way). I do lessons as usual for DS6. For him, the pacing is reviewing known phonograms everyday & introducing new ones (usually 3 to 6 per week right now... we are almost through them), one RLTL Workbook worksheet per day (2 sided), half a spelling list a day on our whiteboard, and he reads about 4 or 5 of the spelling lists off my iPad (I enlarge the words on the screen). He is just getting to the stories, so I am still deciding how to work those in--perhaps cutting back on how many spelling lists we go through. So far he is reading one new one, plus reviewing one old one, per week, but I will soon pick up the pace on those, I think. For my DS9, who did not learn to read the RLTL way but did have some spelling instruction through AAS, so knows a few of the phonograms, I have him sit in on our time reviewing phonograms at least two to three times a week. I taught him how to diagram spelling words the first week. Then, we just apply that knowledge to words he misspells in his writing, as I found the spelling lists were a little too easy in level 1. I might change that when we get to further levels... we'll see. What is working really well is having him do prepared dictation two times a week, along with using the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula Spelling Journal (which is free, I think, on Lulu.com). I also printed out and laminated the spelling rules, and the full list of phonograms, so we have an easy reference if we get stumped with a word. Often, we will choose a spelling rule and try to find words it applies to in a passage. I think what I like about RLTL for spelling is that it really lends itself to being used anywhere and everywhere once you get the phonograms and the skill of diagraming down. It's like spelling lessons never cease... but in a good way! :) So in a nut shell, the only crossover we really have using RLTL is for the kids to be practicing the phonograms together.
  25. I have 4th, 1st, and an intellectually disabled son who is doing K-1st-ish work, but is 11, but also can't comprehend read-aloud material, so more like a K-er curriculum-style wise for history... in other words, similar to your situation next year. ;) So what is working for us is a chapter per week of SOTW. 4th grader and 1st grader do the comprehension questions and mapping exercises with me from the SOTW Activity Guide. My oldest does the coloring page while I read, so he will stick around and try to listen, but I am okay with him not catching on to a lot... it is still nice to be together for SOTW time. I add in read-aloud books from Wayfarers lists, but you could just as well choose them from the lists in the SOTW Activity guide. I choose chapter books of varying levels to read aloud to the 1st and 4th grader, and I have them do a bit of narration each time. For my oldest who needs K-level material, I do not require him to sit in on the read-alouds as he does not like it, nor gets much out of it at this point, so I just choose quality story books with pictures aimed for younger children for him that are set in the right time period, or sometimes non-fiction children's picture books, like Insiders or Usborne. All three boys will happily crowd around to listen in to those. Anyway, it sounds like you already have most of the material to do that for next year if you already own SOTW, and could just to the world history parts next year. All you need is the Activity Guide, and a library. :)
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