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Everything posted by anabelneri

  1. Hello! I've been looking for something that would be easy to use over the winter break to keep my 6yo dd's math skills moving (and to keep her from being a grump... if she doesn't have "school" she gets unbelievably grumpy). We've been using Right Start, but it takes a lot of extra preparation because I have to make worksheets out of the lessons (it's a long story). We also use Singapore, but as mentioned elsewhere on this list, she has some bad habits that are activated by Singapore. So I was looking at MEP, and the worksheets look awesome! There is so much there! But it also looks like there's a lot that's covered verbally in class using the lesson plans. If you use MEP, how do you do it? Do you use the lesson plans? And is MEP your primary math curric. or is it supplementary? Thanks so much! Anabel
  2. I don't think Singapore taught it, but in Earlybird it did have her counting to do addition, and also in 1A there's the "counting on" method if 1, 2, or 3 are being added to a number. I think dd developed the tendency to make her own hashmarks at the bottom of the page while we were doing Earlybird, and it has unfortunately stuck, but only when we do Singapore. And she does have manipulatives that she can use, including the RS abacus. I do have the HIG for 1A, and I don't have the sense that they want her counting-on numbers larger than 3. For some reason she doesn't do the marks with RS. Go figure. Anabel
  3. We started with Singapore in Kindergarten, but I didn't like the way dd was doing addition. It's a pet peeve of mine, since I was taught Touchpoints and never escaped from it -- I don't want my children to have that sort of handicap. But dd generally likes Singapore. We added Right Start in along with Singapore this year (1st grade) so dd could learn the Right Start method of addition, and in general it's worked. I can see that she's actually developing decent addition skills. However, she hates the RS teaching style with a passion. She does Ok with Singapore's workbook style, but she can't handle the little reviews, the tactile nature (she would burn those base-10 cards if she could), and the way that she was dependent on me to tell her what to do next. I thought about dropping RS and just doing Singapore, but she started to return to her old hash-mark-counting methods of addition after a couple days. So I'm starting to find new ways of teaching RS; the best option for us thus far is to make worksheets out of it. Crazy! She is fine with worksheets, and actually prefers them to RS's didactic style. My current plan is to merge RS and Singapore, following RS as the primary program and using Singapore to supplement. Good luck finding your own balance! :) Anabel
  4. We had some issue with the transition from MTH too... I think what finally did the trick was that dd was suddenly fascinated by books with fairies. We read the Spiderwick Chronicles aloud for the most part, but now and then I'd start reading one aloud but only get a chapter or two into the story and then I'd put it down to tend to other tasks (lunch, for example). I'd come by to call her to eat and she'd be reading the book herself. I never did finish the 3rd Spiderwick book! Another set of books that helped were the Princess Tales by Levine -- they're lovely little retellings of fairy tales, but retold with a new flavor. Anyway, our library has them in small individual hardback editions, so they look small and doable, and they also have them in a compiled version. Dd had read a couple, but wanted to read another one, and the only way that the library had it available was in the compiled version. It took her a couple moments of consideration when I handed her the large-ish book, but once she realized that she'd already read 2/3 of it, she got past her block. It's been 2 months since that incident, and she just picked up Little House in the Big Woods last week and is 3/4 of the way through it. Woot! :) Anabel
  5. Hello! I've posted here only a couple times, but I keep reading all the threads and know that y'all have a lot of knowledge. I have a 6yo (and a 19mo) and we're studying French and have been for about 3 years now. Slowly, slowly, because I'm a beginner too. We've listened to a lot of kids' French CDs, and had a tutor for a year (she moved back to France last summer :( ), and this year we've been racing through the first level of the Learnables French. We're on week 11 of school and only have 2 lessons left, though one of them is much longer than any of the other lessons have been. I plan to order the next level of the Learnables (which I expect will take longer) for next semester, but I'm looking for something to fill the in-between time. I'm eyeing these things, but I don't know how good they are or if they're at the right level for us. If anyone has experience with them, or has other ideas, I'm all ears :bigear:. Le Petit Nicolas (which has CDs available too) (maybe read the English first?) Les Portes Tordues First Start French Thanks! Anabel
  6. I haven't listened to MOH at all, but my dd (6yo) loves listening to her SOTW vol.1. She hasn't mentioned it being dull at all, and even has a favorite disk (I think it's #4). :) Anabel
  7. Blood in stool is often a dairy intolerance, but there are some other options. Take a look at kellymom.com: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/bloodystool.html She's got links and other ideas that might be helpful. Good luck! Anabel
  8. My 6yo dd does the same thing... several times this year she's tried to boycott our lessons by saying that her Papa really should be the one teaching her because he has a PhD and I don't. Clearly, he's more educated so he should be the one teaching her. It has always made me laugh. She looks so serious! But I'm definitely up to teaching 1st grade material. I usually point that out to her, and tell her that we can discuss the issue again more seriously when she gets into high-school level material. I've been spending a lot of time "reworking" our schedule to fit her needs better, so that we butt heads less often. Also, we've spent time talking about the fact that it's her education, not mine, and if she pushes me too hard on any given day then it'll be up to her to finish a lesson without me. She doesn't like that idea much. We've also talked about the impact of her words on me -- when she is really negative towards me it does affect me and how I respond to her. It's an interesting journey, but I figure I'm only 10 weeks in and have a long time to go. So it's worth it to me to spend the time to sit down and talk with her about how things are going, to see if we can make it work better. It *is* getting better. Good luck! Anabel
  9. We celebrate Advent in a big way (lots and lots of homey preparations: cookie baking, stringing popcorn, making gifts, etc). Christmas itself is played down, gift-wise, though we still make it really special. Santa ONLY fills our stockings, and we exchange gifts within the family. But we have lots of (lower cost) things we do -- a special breakfast, a special dinner, annual viewing of "Scrooge", special walks, etc. We save our big gifts for Ephiphany, which is when we celebrate the Three Kings' visit to Jesus. The Kings come by at night (like Santa usually might) and each one leaves one gift for each of us, so each of us get three total. We also have a special breakfast, and one of these days we'll manage to throw a Three Kings Party in the afternoon. I think the Kings manage to hit a lot of the after-Christmas sales. :) Have fun planning! Anabel
  10. My daughter is in an excellent Sunday school program... the curriculum is montessori-based, and its goal is to help the child form a relationship with God while giving basic information about our church's worship. It does a really good job of allowing the child the space to figure out these answers on her own, while giving a good theological ground to grow from. It doesn't dumb anything down, but looks to the core of the Christian message and story and presents it simply even to the youngest children -- most adults who get involved usually learn a lot and find that their faith life is enriched also. The national website is here: http://www.cgsusa.org/ and there are lots of smaller church websites that have a lot of interesting information. It tends to be used in Catholic and Episcopal churches in the US, but since it goes to the heart of faith a lot of it could be applicable in most Christian churches. When my daughter asks me those tough questions, sometimes I'll tell her that I don't know, which is actually an excellent answer. Sometimes, especially if I have no idea, I'll ask her what she thinks, and it'll get us going into an interesting discussion. A lot of times her instincts are right on, and might only take a little nudging to see that she already knows the answer. Sometimes I find that I need to remind her that God is so big, so unknowable, that we can't always know the answer. When we've talked about bad things happening to good people, we talk about how we don't really know why they've happened, but we look for the places where we can see God's "fingerprints". When the community gathers to support someone, that's a fingerprint. When families show that they love each other, that's a fingerprint. When someone is sick, getting better is a fingerprint; if someone is dying, a "good day" can be a fingerprint. Flowers, pots of soup, casseroles, saying "I love you", sending cards, even tears are all fingerprints. Sometimes we'll talk about how Jesus was human, and so blessed all the stages of human life. It's easy to see how birth is a blessing, and it's easy to celebrate at Christmas. It's an interesting reflection with a child to think about how Jesus blessed death & the act of dying. When we talk about "listening to God", I like to remind my daughter what she learned in Sunday school (the program above) where they talk about God talking to us in a still, small voice. We have to learn to quiet ourselves so we can hear that quiet, quiet voice. We'll also talk about how I listen for God's voice, which is different than how my husband listens. We'll also talk about free will, that God doesn't want to hit us over the heads with what we should do because God wants us to grow willingly into relationship with him. Also, we'll talk about how, no matter what choices we make, God will still be there trying to help us along the way. If I misinterpret God today, I can trust that God will still be there tomorrow, and even just having the goal of following God aids our relationship. Good luck! Anabel
  11. I have to echo what others have said about trying sample lessons from each program. I personally love Right Start, but my visual-auditory 6yo dd did NOT. We were working on Level B, and I know she got a lot out of it. But it drove her nuts! She really wanted to be more in control of her work, and she hated the "warm-up" exercises -- some days we'd end up spending almost an hour on them, because she was too bored to bother with giving the right answer. Like I said, I know she got a lot out of it. I wish we could still use it. But the daily yelling and frustration was not Ok, so we're with Singapore now. I wish you luck! :) Anabel
  12. I, in general, agree with this. I have often talked with my children about merchandising and how some businesses are selling all this *junk* to make a buck. I've even gone so far as to talk about child labor in relation to some of the items. That said, my 6yo is in a fairy phase right now. She has read all the Fairy Chronicles, and was looking for other fairy books. I talked with a friend who is an author and has a 9yo dd about the options within the selection of fairy books. A bunch of kids we know are reading the Rainbow Magic series, and I wanted her input. She said that those are definitely not worth our time, but that, surprisingly, the Disney Fairy books are actually fairly well written. It has been the oddest feeling to steer my daughter TOWARDS Disney merchandising rather than away from it, but I'd rather she read higher caliber material. That said, the Disney Fairy books (or the Fairy Chronicles, which she reads more of) are clearly not great literature. I let dd read them because I learned somewhere along the way that it's important to let kids read a lot of the easier stuff for a while, because it builds reading comprehension skills. They get good at decoding, and doing it quickly, but it can take a little while for them to get good at decoding AND picking up the storyline. Also, I've read that the simple, formulaic style books are good for young kids for a while because it provides a safety net -- they're just learning to "walk" in literature, and it's healthy to hold someone's hand for a while. So I'm pretty happy that dd has settled into reading some Ok books. For the time being. At the same time, though, we do make sure that she is exposed to quality literature by reading to her or through audio books. She LOVES E.B. White, even though she's not quite ready to read him yet. I saw a speaker yesterday who had some great suggestions about reading with kids... she has a new book out that I'm looking forward to. Her name is Diane Frankenstein and her book is "Reading Together". :) Anabel
  13. I don't know all of the products you mentioned, but I'd take a chance on AAS. I have a very verbal 6yo who is finding it to be rather simple (we're still in Level 1 -- I wanted to build from the beginning), and my 18mo sometimes comes and practices the sounds with us from the review cards. (My 18mo is only just starting to talk; definitely not a reader yet, so your 2yo should be fine). Also, AAS has a reader now that corresponds with AAS Level 1. But AAS could be useable by both your kids -- one for spelling, the other for reading/spelling. I wouldn't bother with Rosetta Stone yet; my 6yo dd likes it to play around with, but not really to settle in and learn anything. We started using it when she was 3.5yo (it was free from the library at the time) and have since managed to put our hands on the homeschooling version (French), and it really isn't age appropriate for a 4 or 5yo, even for verbally accelerated learners. However, we are having a GREAT experience with the Learnables French... it's not as pretty (or as pricey) but it has story lines that make it much more interesting. There is definitely French being picked up, and she actually enjoys it! I don't know about prioritizing those in relation to the science stuff... my 6yo has been dinosaur-crazy for a couple years now, and our method has been to check out everything possible from the library, and to encourage her to save her birthday/holiday/tooth fairy money and other earnings so she can buy fossils. It's working out quite well... she has a nice little collection of small fossils, and right now she's saving for a Spinosaurus tooth (her favorite dinosaur). But she didn't start that until she was 5. Maybe, instead of going the expensive microscope route, you could do more observations and field-journal type stuff. How do our bodies function day-to-day? What changes? Lots of measuring and observations can be excellent learning opportunities. Or maybe a microscope would be more important. I've found this blog to be handy in thinking about biology. There's a post somewhere on the blog about buying a microscope, too. Good luck! :) Anabel
  14. Has this site been worth the $85 per year? It looks like there are a number of books in French (and Spanish), but are there enough to justify the cost? Thanks for the input! :) Anabel
  15. Another option would be to find an Osteopath who does manipulation. I have a friend who does it, and it's nothing short of amazing! It's not intrusive at all, and can be even done with newborns, so it's very gentle. Apparently what they do is help release the tension in the muscles of the back. A chiropractor can help with the pain in the short-term by doing the cracking, but unless the tension is released the muscles will pull the back into misalignment again, which means another visit to the chiropractor. Osteopathic manipulation doesn't do the cracking part, but loosens the muscles so the back can go back into the proper position on its own. Their goal is to help fix the problem and not need to see the patient again. :) I've heard that folks who do craniosacral therapy can do something similar, but that Osteopaths can do a wider range of things. But in some areas it's easier to find a craniosacral therapist. Good luck! Back pain is no fun. Hopefully this will get resolved soon. Anabel
  16. I know this is an old thread, but I felt like answering anyway. I hope to someday have a bilingual household... I've requested that book from the library but haven't read it yet. My husband took a lot of French in high school, and our older daughter and I have been "chasing" French for the past 3.5 years. We've been buying used French board books from our local used bookstore, and reading them regularly. We have listened to every kids' French CD from the libraries in the area, and sometimes we watch movies in French. I tend to be really flaky about things, but with trying to learn a language it seems that I'm like a dog who doesn't want to let go of her bone. We've been gnawing at this language for so long, and even when we're not actively learning new things we're still listening to French in the car and it keeps our language-learning lamp dimly lit. We've had a hard time finding a good curriculum as a result. Last year we had a tutor who used Alex et Zoe with us, but she moved and we've been back to the drawing board. We have level 1 Rosetta Stone, but that's not such a great fit with a younger child (and now I have a toddler who is "learning" too). We've also tried Tell Me More, but that's not even as good as Rosetta Stone with a young'un. This year we've started the Learnables, which is going well so far. I've been reading all the French curriculum threads here lately, which is how I found this one. Now and then we think about moving to Canada, because it seems like learning French would be easier. But who knows? I think this thread struck a nerve, Thanks, Anabel
  17. I can't believe how fast things move here. Bump? Is it Ok to bump your own stuff? :001_huh: Anabel
  18. Hello! I'm pretty new here, but it seems like there are a lot of very knowledgeable people here so I thought someone would have an answer to my question... We're studying French, and I have a 6yo and a 1yo. We read to them a lot, and we'd love to read in French too, to supplement. We have some French books already, and they enjoy them. But they love love love the English kids classics like "Go Dog Go" and "One Fish Two Fish". Is there anything equivalent in French? We've found "Green Eggs and Ham" in French. What are the best, most fun kids books in French? Thanks! Anabel
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