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Donna A.

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Everything posted by Donna A.

  1. Yes, I think this is one of the issues with the Alpha Omega Lifepacs, from what I've seen in discussions over the years. Many parents assume it's an independent program and don't really teach from the TMs. Between the two, I would definitely choose CLE over Alpha Omega. But probably neither for Bible or History because I'm not Mennonite (CLE), and I don't care for workbooks in general for those subjects, anyway. But for the 3 R's, I think CLE is excellent (barring the unfinished high school levels).
  2. Yes, overlap specifically about Earth Science and Physical. :)
  3. Thank you, Jetta! This comparison of content between these two specific sciences in answer to the OP was very helpful to me as I plot out how we're going to finish the year, and then move into 9th grade. :) I think we'll spread Earth Science over the two years, while also weaving in some of the Apologia Physical. This means I won't have to buy anything else for science (yay!), because I plan to return to Apologia exclusively for basic biology. And I think for their advanced sciences, I'll have one do Apologia Advanced Bio (HA&P), and the other girl do something else since she said that if she goes to college, she wants to study archaeology. (Which is why she was excited when I bought the BJU Earth Science! :) )
  4. Look, I don't care whether someone uses Apologia, BJU, Abeka, or whatever for high school science. It's a personal preference. But there is absolutely NO evidence that Apologia doesn't include enough for the student to be able to do well on the SAT. NONE. And if the student isn't going into a medical field, they don't need HA&P at the high school level. That is a fact. My point about the wordiness bringing better explanations (obviously) applies to MANY people. I realize that not everyone likes the wodiness, and that's fine. I was just wanted to point out why the style difference works for so many people (it's written specifically for homeschoolers, not classroom science teachers), for the benefit of the OP. And btw, the gal who taught Apologia Bio to my oldest at a classical enrichment school for homeschoolers had been a science teacher in the classroom for many, many years. She wasn't just some uneducated mom who couldn't understand something "harder". Likewise, the gal who taught Advanced Bio to my daughter had also been teaching science for many years, and was (is) herself an Occupational Therapist. Again, not some uneducated mom who didn't understand something "harder". The gal who did the shared teaching with me of all the sciences to our daughters together used to be a nurse. So again, not just some uneducated mom who couldn't understand something "harder". I could keep going about the different training that all the "Apologia moms" I know have had..... (P.S. I'm sorry for sounding so argumentative. But obviously, I resent the implication that Apologia is only good for either teachers or adults who "can't" do something harder. The fact that it was written FOR homeschoolers simply means that *anyone* can teach it, not just classroom science teachers. :( )
  5. As a mom with a college student who's about to graduate, and a high schooler who's about to graduate, and who knows MANY homeschoolers who used Apologia science all the way from General through the advanced courses, I disagree that Apologia is in any way inadequate or insufficient for college testing or college performance or readiness. As a matter of fact, our nursing student friend used her Apologia texts to HELP her with college level science courses, simply because Dr. Wile *explains* things better (in his annoyingly wordy way... and the intro college-level information is there in the Apologia texts.) I'm talking about students who did extremely well on their college testing, with students who are competitive in nature and achieved near-perfect or very high scores on both the SAT and ACT, and who then went through college with 4.0 or high 3.x GPAs. These "Apologia students" that I know -- some personally, and some indirectly through our homeschool circles -- have attended/are attending a variety of schools from community college to public 4-year to private colleges. They have achieved degrees in (or are currently studying) nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, dietary management, engineering (physics, biochemistry, mechanical, and electrical), law enforcement, physiology (for physical therapy), and sales, as well as non-sciency programs including music and art. (No, I'm not exaggerating. If this weren't a public forum, I could *name* each of the students in the specific programs I listed... and yes, I know for a *fact* that they did Apologia science. These are just the ones I KNOW about, but there are at least hundreds, and maybe even thousands more homeschoolers in our area who did Apologia all the way through, and I haven't heard a single complaint about Apologia not being adequate enough for college no matter what their degree program.) Likewise, all the part-time classical schools for homeschoolers here in our large metro area, in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, use Apologia, and so do the homeschool co-ops. (Many of which include classical homeschoolers.) Most of these parents would absolutely NOT be using Apologia if it were insufficient in any way. "Longer" and "harder" doesn't necessarily mean "better". "Style" between the two publishers is definitely a personal preference thing, but to claim that Apologia isn't good enough or thorough enough for excellent SAT and ACT scores, and the scholarships that those scores can bring, simply isn't true. Just because Apologia doesn't go AS in-depth (technically) as BJU doesn't mean it's not "adequate". It just means BJU probably includes a lot more than is necessary. This brings me to my next comment. We are longtime Apologia users. But this year, with my youngest as an 8th grader and two students who are not my own (8th and 5th grades), we're giving BJU Earth Science a try for the 8th graders. We *just* switched, so we've only done one lesson so far, but I'm already seeing how much more advanced BJU is than Apologia. There are two reasons why we switched: -- The wordy writing style in Apologia, which is annoying for these 8th graders who are not strong readers. And, -- My students who are not my own are used to the "classroom textbook" style. (They came out of the public school system.) Since they're learning several subjects in a totally new (to them) and different way this year, I decided to concede on this one. I suspect, though, that I'll be referring to the Apologia texts for explanations along the way. ;) When my middle girl started ACE Chemistry with a friend of hers (whose mother used to be a nurse), the mom and I found out after three weeks in that we were both referring to the Apologia texts for help in order to do the ACE lessons... and ACE is "supposed" to be a lot easier than Apologia! So we just switched to Apologia and did that instead. Apologia Chem has tons more math in it than ACE (which is why we tried ACE), but since Dr. Wile's *explanations* were more understandable, we could work through the math. In fact, my oldest used something *much* simpler for chemistry because she's not mathy at all (none of us in this family are, really), but after seeing that her sister (also not mathy) really COULD do Apologia Chem, she was wishing she had gone ahead and done it, too. So it's a trade-off. Annoying wordiness in this case means good explanations. And remember that Apologia was written specifically FOR homeschoolers, not for science teachers in a classroom. Dr. Wile's texts may be wordy, but the fact that he *explains* both the terms and the science itself in such a way that non-science teachers can UNDERSTAND it make it totally worth it (for many, obviously, but not all). And that's probably also why so many homeschoolers do so well on college testing and performance in science... because they actually *understand* what they've been studying all those years, and are therefore not intimidated by it. :) Since we've just started the BJU, it remains to be seen how the year will actually end up, but I feel pretty certain we'll go back to Apologia for Biology and up. Ultimately it comes down to a style preference.... but it's definitely NOT an issue of Apologia being "less advanced" or inadequate for college prep, as the numerous examples I listed above prove.
  6. Then I would take a look at Math-U-See. Give her the placement test first, though, and wherever it says to place her, *believe* it. ;) When I gave my dd the placement test for MUS and found her to be borderline between Pre-Alg and whatever's before that, I went ahead and put her in Pre-Alg. But then I found that I had to go back and use the R&S 7th grade book to fill in some gaps as we attempted to move through Pre-Alg... we sort of toggled back and forth for a while. Eventually she could move on and complete Pre-Alg, and it worked out fine. I'm just saying that the MUS placement test for MUS curriculum is pretty accurate.
  7. Here's another link in case anyone's looking: http://da1.redshift.com/~bonajo/SOTWmenu.htm
  8. Here's another link in case anyone's looking: http://da1.redshift.com/~bonajo/SOTWmenu.htm
  9. MOH and SOTW really aren't "alike". SOTW is used in MFW rather than MOH because MFW uses the Bible itself for the biblical content, so MOH would be redundant in that regard. Except that using MOH would be the summary of one author's opinions (as is any spine), whereas by using the Bible as a spine for the biblical content, you're going straight to the source. Plus, the teacher notes in the MFW TMs align with the SOTW assignments, so if you replaced SOTW as a spine, you'd have to tweak the TM itself for all those years, too. It wouldn't be worth it, IMO. You *could* use MOH as a Book Basket option during those years, or weave it into your lesson plans using the schedule on Paula's Archives. But again, it would be redundant to what's already scheduled in MFW... and you'd basically be reinventing the wheel. Are planning to begin MFW with Creation to the Greeks in 5th grade? Why do you not want to use MFW prior to that?
  10. You could combine all of your children in My Father's World, which doesn't use MOH at all because they primarily use the Bible (rather than one person's narration of the Bible) for the biblical stories/integration, and then a variety of other resources for the "secular" side of history which lines up with the Bible. They do use SOTW 2, 3 and 4, though, in Rome to Reformation, Expl-1850, and 1850-Modern. You've got three years left before the oldest hits high school, so this could be a very good option for you (and him).
  11. Or have just moved out and have to go back to clean the house you just vacated. I said to my dear, sweet, patient, kind friend who was helping me the other day, "How come I never know how dirty I am until I move out of a house?" :ohmy: Thankfully we didn't have to get a house ready to sell, as we were renting. But we did a few years ago, so I empathize with the OP. Heck, even getting a rental clean enough, and touching up anything we *might* have done and could get blamed for (or can't prove that we didn't do it) in order to get our full deposit back is exhausting! :001_unsure: Lord willing, this was our LAST move... and we did buy a house that was "move in ready". ;) But that's because we've moved SO many times, and I am SO tired of cleaning up other people's messes (esp in rentals)... it's gotten to the point where I'm suffering for it physically. They're gonna' have to drag my dead body out of this house someday! :P
  12. I'm a CM gal through and through, but I do like this one, as well.
  13. Reading Made Easy! I absolutely LOVE this curriculum and have no idea why so few people use it. (Although even I used it with only one of my three children. I had to find something different for dd #2, or who knows HOW long she would've refused to read. :glare: DD #3 had LDs and required... a LOT.)
  14. I used two years of CTGE with my youngest with LDs. She made really great progress in both her reading and spelling skills while using books 1 and 2. I did love it, and considered continuing with it, but I confess that the poor aesthetics and print quality got to me. :tongue_smilie:
  15. Haha, and we LOVED the Rome weeks in MFW RTR! :lol: It gave us a much deeper understanding of the New Testament and the time of Christ, the culture surrounding His birth, life, death and resurrection, and what so many of Christ's and the Apostles' statements actually meant. My oldest dd's favorite time period used to be the Middle Ages, but after doing RTR, it changed to Ancient Rome & NT period. MFW and HOD aren't exactly the same time period, as MFW begins with the founding of Rome (during the "silent years" of the Bible between OT and NT), so you really see how God prepared that country & culture, and the perfect timing, of our Lord's coming. Thus, the first 13-15 weeks of RTR are Ancient Rome, and that's where Augustus Caesar's World is mostly used. (Always make sure to read Marie's notes, because Scripture and additional notes are often added there to explain a particular reading from ACW or Streams. Maybe you already do read and include her notes, being familiar with MFW, but many moms get in a hurry and skip those, so it's always a good reminder.) Then SOTW 2 and the Middle Ages begins around Week 15-ish. In HOD, Rome and time of Christ are covered toward the end of CTC, so HOD RTR opens with the end of Christ's life on earth. MFW's RTR is Rome to Reformation. HOD's RTR is Resurrection to Reformation. Both programs cover church history really well. I'm not sure how HOD covers Islam in particular, but I know it uses Mystery of History, and I don't like how the author of that book covers it. MFW comes at it from the perspective of I Corinthians 13 (which the student memorizes) and the Gospel, as well as learning some of what Islam teaches, and then refuting it from Scripture. The author of SOTW 2 comes at it from a pretty "neutral" position, so Marie fleshes that out more with biblical truth in the MFW notes. I'm guessing that maybe Carrie does this in HOD, too, but someone who's actually done the full program can elaborate on that more. If you're coming from MFW CTG, it's probably more efficient to just stay the course with MFW at least through RTR, and then switch to HOD if you want. CTG and RTR sort of flow together, so if you break it up right in the middle of Scripture somewhere, it's harder to get the big picture without some missing pieces. (I think the same is true in high school; use AHL and WHL back to back, and then switch to something else for American if you have other preferences for that.) But for RTR time period, if you really like the books scheduled in HOD, though, you might just buy some of those and use them in place of MFW's book basket. You don't have to switch your entire program in order to use books from the HOD packages, kwim?
  16. So will your 4th & 7th graders be doing this together? If so, I recommend MFW 1850-Modern. Your 8th grader can do a good bit of it on her own... certainly all the advanced assignments, and probably more. There's no law that says you *have* to do any of the crafts. Your kids are old enough, in fact, that if they WANT to do any of the crafts, they should be able to do them independently. Read-alouds are minimal... this is one reason I chose MFW over SL. I didn't want or have time for a LONG list of read-alouds. There's a very extensive *optional* booklist in back of the manual for extra reading for anyone who wants it. Your kids can do that independently. Your 4th grader can do the science that's scheduled in MFW 1850-Modern, or not. Your 8th grader would do her own science. If you're going to have them separated, then I recommend HOD Missions to Modern Marvels. I'm not sure what to recommend from there for your 4th grader, though. Do you want her in the same time period, but working separately? Or does the time period for history matter? You'll want to take a look at their scope & sequence and placement charts. In either case, every child always does math and LA at their own level, so just do whatever you need to do in those areas. Also take a look at what you want them studying for Bible as you consider a history program, since these two subjects are often tied together. Although I suppose you could just skip the Bible assignments in either program and buy *only* the history components. I think you'd be a missing a lot of enrichment and worldview, though.
  17. I agree with Erin on the over-thinking it. Allow me to think out loud and do a bit of brainstorming for you to mull over.... Maybe I can identify something that will help? If not, feel free to ignore. :001_smile: At this stage of learning, it's not expected that they should remember everything they've learned. It's about exposure. That's why we do multiple "layers" in our learning over several years and repeat the history cycle at least twice or three times, if not more. :) I know you "get" that where your 1st grader is concerned, but your 4th grader is still pretty young, too. When my oldest, who's a voracious reader and has always loved learning, was in 4th grade, I was just then doing Adventures with her as it was brand new and Expl-1850 wasn't out yet. But I did beef it up some for her reading level and language skills. It was quite sufficient in those content subject areas, as she still had 4 more years of history and geography ahead of her before even getting to high school. CTG is different than ECC because CTG is based on time, whereas ECC is based on space. Time -- or history study -- is a continuum; space (geography) is not. Space changes, and yet it doesn't. In every space you have a people group, a predominant religion or lifestyle, a type of food and music particular to that people group, a usual set of weather and land factors that must be dealt with every day, etc. And yet, each of those elements within each of those spaces is different. You stated that your dd's not retaining in ECC, and that she doesn't remember much of Adventures, either. I would like to know more about what a day of MFW looks like at your house... whether there's anything that can be done differently to help with retention. Maybe the time of day, or the way she does the notebooking, whether or not she's doing narrations, whether you're following additional suggestions by Marie in the teacher notes, whether your dd is sleeping well, whether she's reading additional books from Book Basket that are more at her level, or whether she'd just rather be playing with baby dolls than doing school. :lol: I'd also like to know exactly what she does that's independent. How do you go about doing the "together" lessons, and then what does the 4th grader do on her own? I'm suspecting that your dd is retaining a lot more than you think she is. ;) I have two children like this... they sort of learn "by stealth". But there's absolutely nothing wrong with that; in fact, that's how family learning is supposed to work, in a sense. I would also suggest that she doesn't actually need IEW yet at this point. Even so, how many days each week do you have her doing it? What does a weekly overview look like at your house? Are you playing the geography game with her in ECC? The reason I'm asking these questions and wondering about certain things is that I don't think a switch to SOTW and/or MOH would really "fix" what you're hoping to fix. You said in the OP that you want it "simple, not complicated with lots of things to juggle", but then later you said you'd want to "add in memory card and make up quizzes, and that's a lot of work, it seems, to add to an already full curriculum". I agree! It would be a lot of work to add to an already full curriculum! :huh: But guess what. If you do SOTW and/or MOH, you're still going to have those things unless the way you'd prefer to do history is to simply sit and read through a couple of great spines and discuss them together without any activities. Which is perfectly fine if that's what you want to do..... but do you? Have you printed out the sample lessons for CTG and read them over, along with the Table of Contents? I did that back in the beginning... printed off ALL the sample lessons from ALL the years of MFW, and read through each of them in order so that I could get an idea of not only what we'd be doing this year, but what that would be leading into in future years, as well. I wanted more of a "big picture".... and I didn't want to have to do an 8th grade level workload in 4th grade, either. ;) Another thing that helped a lot was to listen to some of David Hazell's conference talk CDs. One of my absolute favorites was the one titled "What 21st Century Christians Ought to be Teaching Their Children". He gives you the educational philosophy behind MFW, why they do what they do, and in what order, and what the overall goals are... not only academically, but spiritually as well. Don't forget that MFW is more than just history; it's Bible, too, as well as science, art, music..... with a very strong biblical worldview. I'm not suggesting that MFW is the "only" or even the "best" curriculum out there for history. But since you've already used two years of it, I'm just trying to help you see the big picture a little more, both in terms of the curriculum itself (layout of the manuals, academic and spiritual goals, efficiency for a mom with multiple children, etc.), and in terms of YOUR daily life and how things work best in your home. (Thus, the questions about what your dd does independently, how you do your together time, and so forth.) Is she really not retaining it, or do you assume (or fear) that she's not retaining it because you don't have "tests" to give her like they do a in a classroom with 30 same-age children, where the teacher has a limited number of hours with which to produce results for an administration that doesn't know Johnny from Billy unless they're wearing name tags? Anyway.... I apologize if it sounds like I'm attacking in any way. I'm not at ALL. Really. :001_smile: I'm just trying to get more of an inside look to help you think through the situation a little deeper and figure out what the actual problem is, whether you really need to switch curriculum or not, and even to what extent you want to be doing history right now. Do you want simple, without a lot to juggle? Or do you want memory cards, tests, and other "proofs" that your dd is learning? Can we talk about the long-term effectiveness of reading quality literature, and the techniques of copywork, dictation, narrations (both written and oral), and memory work? :D (This is one of those times that I wish we could sit down with all the materials spread out in front of us together, with some fresh, warm blueberry scones and a cup of hot tea kept safely over to the side so we don't spill it on the books, while watching the beautiful snowfall out the window.)
  18. Well, if she doesn't want it complicated without a lot of things to juggle (per the OP), I wouldn't recommend TOG. TruthQuest *could* work, but there's no hands-on activities involved. Draw and Write is really a series of art books with copywork and handwriting practice.... so more of a supplemental item.
  19. Since you're wanting to start from the beginning of history, you could do just the history and Bible portions of MFW Creation to the Greeks. The Bible would be your main spine, along with other read-alouds and resources used for additional information and pictures. You likely wouldn't use much from the other reference spine that's included, Streams of Civilization, since it's for older elementary or high school students. But it's a teaching source for YOU, really, for more details and a few maps and things. It's not intended for younger kids to actually read themselves. And as you know from Adventures, CTG has that extensive booklist in the back to be used as time and interest allow. You can use the library for that, OR you can just buy a few select titles to have on your bookshelf at home. Marie has asterisked some titles that she recommends for purchase. If you go with SOTW and/or Mystery of History, there are still going to be "other" books and resources to look up and/or purchase. So either way, you need maps and things. At least with MFW, it's all included, and you don't have to do every single assignment on the grid. Just stick to the history and Bible if you want. (Although I really like the looks of Dr. Wile's new science text that MFW schedules in CTG! I wish they'd had that when we did CTG.)
  20. The Baptist Catechism set to music on CD in a Q&A format: http://www.graceandtruthbooks.com/product/baptist-catechism-set-to-music Here's another fun one to supplement with... oh, drat, looks like it's not in print anymore! :( I'll link it, anyway, the music CD by Judy Rogers, "Teach Me While My Heart is Tender". The website Christian Liberty Press does have others by her, though, which include some of the songs on this one: http://www.amazon.com/Teach-Me-While-Heart-Tender/dp/B001U2JVWA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1425053010&sr=1-1&keywords=teach+me+while+my+heart+is+tender Training Hearts, Teaching Minds (though this would be more of a parent-led family devotional type of thing): http://www.christianbook.com/training-hearts-teaching-minds/starr-meade/9780875523927/pd/523927?event=ESRCG As others mentioned above, you can focus on a study of the 10 Commandments (found in Exodus chapter 20 if you want the full context -- better yet, a whole reading of Exodus!) And you can always do a study in the book of Proverbs, too. The best source for "what God says" is always the Bible itself. ;) 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ~ "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." None of the above sources I've linked should conflict *too much* with Methodist teachings. Although I think "Methodist teachings" can vary from one church to another, right? Anyway, I'm sure we agree on most of the basics. :)
  21. I think this sounds like a little bit wiser plan. ;) The reason I say that is because with MFW, it's very easy to add supplemental fun stuff due to its flexibility, the weekly grid layout, the optional Book Basket list in the back, the wide variety of books and resources that are scheduled for different ages, etc. I can look at that weekly grid and either mentally, or with pencil, move things around as needed for our family for the whole week ahead. And with the one day a week being lighter, you can do more fun activities with that day if you want to. OTOH, if life is hectic and it's too overwhelming for me to move things around or add in anything, I can literally just go right down the grid and "do the next thing", and we've still had a good day. :001_smile:
  22. And here's something to consider re: the Bible part of the program (because honestly, you can use anything if it's just about the "history"... the integrated Bible is what makes MFW unique, IMO): http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4004#p66798
  23. Okay, wait... Help me out here. LOL. Bear with me as I have some questions about your tentative plan.... just brainstorming here... You said you're doing Adventures now, but then you said you're considering ADV over two years + POAG.... and then you want to do another year of American in 5th grade with PP? I'm sure that's fine if you really, really, really want to do that much American history right in a row (because your year of CA history would add to that, as well, so that would be four years of it), but consider the following and let me know what you think: Finish ADV this year, then go ahead with ECC, CTG and RTR for 3rd, 4th & 5th (or even 4th, 5th & 6th if you really want or need a full year of CA history first). Then if you do EX1850 and 1850MOD in 7th & 8th, which will be more age-appropriate and includes a supplement for younger siblings, too, all of your children will get the states and presidents there, plus a 6-week focused state study (the state of your choosing, but generally folks like to do their home state for this since many states require it). So your daughter would get a bit of a "break" in American history between ADV and EX1850. EX1850 and 1850MOD are simultaneous with world history (since the world outside the U.S. borders didn't just stop when America was founded), and you would have a better connection between how the events of other nations impact what we do as a country today, and vice versa. Do you need to do a full year of CA history? Or does it have to be done at a certain age according to your state's homeschooling law? Or can you do it as a 6-week study in between EX1850 and 1850MOD? So is your 4-year plan for American history at the beginning based on really wanting to do that much American history at once, or is it more based on wanting to do some of the specific programs that you have listed for it? Or is it about content in the world history years and wanting to wait for later on that? All of the above? None of the above? Now after everything is said and done, if you're still firm on doing that 4-year American history plan prior to geography, missions, and world history, I do think your line-up for the last three years is perfect. And if you only had two years left to do world history, I would vote for CTG & RTR because they kind of go together... the whole Bible study (Old and New Testaments), and the "big picture" of the world, before going more in-depth in high school. (Though I'm not sure if you're thinking that far out yet.) But I would still recommend holding off on some of your American history stuff until the end of your oldest child's elementary cycle so that she can get that topic at Logic level before going into high school. Plus, it's going to be another 7 years of NO American history at all before she gets to it in high school. (Unless you were thinking of doing American in 9th & 10th?) (Okay, it's not actually NO American history -- you do touch on it, with a study of North America at the beginning of ECC, and then seeing the beginnings of it with the explorers in the second half of RTR. So your daughter will end up getting a study of the explorers like.... I don't know, a gazillion times over the life of her school career. :tongue_smilie: Anyway, those are the various thoughts that came to me when I read your plan. :001_unsure: Your thoughts?
  24. Given the fact that these writers have such a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses that they're reporting, I wonder how many of them were natural strengths (and weaknesses) that they would've had even without a diagnosis. Maybe their diagnoses made the weak areas that much harder for them.... but would they have been there, anyway? At least to some degree.... I did like reading what their specific strengths were, though! It helps me take a step back and look at my dd a little differently, to realize that she is exactly who God made her to be, and that He has a particular purpose for her... even with all of her (sometimes) annoying little quirks and (often) frustrating difficulties. :)
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