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About goldenecho

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  1. I will be honest and say I've never been a fan of the word "rigor" applied to elementary school, especially the younger grades. I feel like school should start with the word "gentle" and end with "rigor and challenge"--though any challenge that a child WANTS to face should be allowed as early as they want to face it. And I think what is rigorous or challenging depends on the child, too. (Rigor is not going to look the same for a child who reads easily as for a child who is dyslexic, for example). I have two kids who are "gifted" and one who has a learning disability. But in all cases, whether you have a child who struggles or a child who gets things easily, if you start with building love of learning, and then work towards applying rigor, it will go better. If they don't have the love of learning, the rigor can backfire. If they have a love of learning, they will eventually accept the rigor. If you push rigor on a child that hasn't learned that learning is fun, interesting, exciting, useful...than you will just end up with a child who hates to learn. So, what you're doing with history...not testing her or worrying about if she remembers names or battles...that sounds just right for elementary school. Because, at least for me, the goal was mostly to give my child a sense of how deep and wide and interesting history was, and that there have been cultures that are different from ours, and that even OUR culture has been different in the past than it is now, and to give my child some general sense of "how we got to now." As for geography...I've done it as part of history and even though my son struggles with rote memory...he's slowly built up a sense of where things are. Just every time we learned about a civilization we'd find where it was on the map, and then I'd review by relating that to places we'd always visited (For example, when we were studying Mesopotamia "Remember where Egypt is...No? Well, remember the long river? Can you find it? Yeah. Well, if you go up a little and to the right from there you will see two rivers next to each other. Can you find them? Yes. Well right between those two rivers is Mesopotamia...the place we're going to learn about today). So we would do that with nearly every lesson, and gradually he'd start to pick up the places. It helped that our curriculum (Story of the World) talked a lot about how the different civilizations interacted, so we got to revisit a lot of them a lot.
  2. Hi. I started with everyone in public school and then homeschooled my youngest for four years, and then starting last year sent him back to school. It was harder for me before he started than once he did start (just cause of all the worry over whether this was the right choice). I was ok with the time he was at school...but I've really missed teaching him. I ended up getting a job as a tutor of a little girl which felt right and wrong at the same time (it gave me a way to use all these skills I've been building up for 4 years, but sometimes when I'm teaching her I feel like, this is what I should be doing with my son...though I know that right now he's in the right place and doing well there). I tried doing some interest based summer schooling with him that he wanted to do but it didn't work out (we had a big anniversary vacation right in the middle of summer, and relatives visiting after that, and it chopped up our time to much to get much done.). Anyways, started a club here for homeschoolers trying out or going back to public schooling, or doing both. I went ahead and invited you. 🙂
  3. iFunny might fit that category. He is in a wheel-chair, and wins comedy competitions (another way to be exceptional though it's not directly about his intelligence, though I think he was characterized as being smart, not just funny.
  4. The Facts that Stick series (sold right here on Well Trained Mind) is specifically for addressing the math facts. My son, who struggles with rote memory, did well with it after trying and having mixed results with various other methods/curriculum. Its very easy to use. There's a scripted lesson that helps kids visualize what is happening when something is added/subtracted, followed by a week of games to help practice the facts focused on that week (I assume that's also the case for multiplication/division...we used this before those versions were published). ( We extended the practice to two weeks for some of the harder math fact sets.)
  5. Island of the Blue Dolphins also comes to mind. (Just a warning's sad).
  6. My son read "Born a Crime" and loved it (but then he's a teenager).
  7. A Wrinkle in Time (and rest of that series) - I think this one checks all your boxes. It's a great story with modern sentiments and a strong main female lead. It's got aspects of sci-fi and fantasy, and some really deep philosophy and complex vocabulary...but, it's still very much a book for kids. I read this to my son when he was 9 and he did fine (though they say it's for 10-14). It starts a little slow, so get her through the first couple chapters and it will speed up from there. Treasures of the Snow by Patricia M. St. John - This one is a Christian book and possibly my favorite chapter books for Children ever. My mom read it to me as a child and I read it to my son recently (it's a little older - published in 1952). It has two primary characters, a 12 year old boy and a 12 year old girl, and it is told from one or the other's viewpoint (not in first person, but the focus changes from one to the other). Both are equally heroes and villains in this at various times and you get to see them change through the story. I love how you get to see the WHY in what they do. It's exquisitely written (just beautiful prose). A lot of the adventure is internal but there's a good deal of traditional adventure too (literal cliff-hangers). I don't recall anything racially insensitive as I don't think race came into the book at all. (Some of her other books have a few instances that made me cringe...though overall I thought it was worth reading with my child and explaining those places. But this particular book didn't seem to have any instance where that came up). There was some stereotypes about gender, BUT...the main female character is a strong character (even mentions that she wishes she could do some of the things boys do). She's strong in that she's fully fleshed out too. (BONUS: The main girl character is homeschooled for a few years...even though most of the book takes place after that.) The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye- Such a fun read (and plenty of good vocabulary). A fairy tale where the fairy god-mother blesses a princess with the chance to be ORDINARY. It also involves a love story, but one where the two meet and become friends first and like each other for themselves before they love each other (and of course it's totally kid appropriate). The illustrations are amazing, the humor is great...I loved this as a teen but would have loved it at 9 too. This one is older too...I actually didn't realize it was published in 1885 until right this very minute when I was looking up something about it for you. I always thought it was written recently (like, during my lifetime! It definitely has some modern sensibilities in spite of when it was written.
  8. UG. I subbed in a school like this and it was bad. Just too much noise.
  9. I'd start him on a phonics program, but just not work on writing until later. But because of his age I would be prepared to step back if he balked at all at the program.
  10. So, full disclose--a lot of the of the links below are to my blog posts, but they contain a lot of other links and it was easier to just send you there than copy all of them. Round-me - there are tons of places in Egypt you can explore including the Pyramids at Giza, the Nile River, various temples, etc. Just scroll in on Egypt and start clicking on blue dots. Ancient Egypt for Kids (many of the sections contain free printable worksheets too). Free Egypt Lapbook Egypt Homeschool Freebies - a bunch of free printables History + Science - the second on Egypt contains a lot of great free online stuff related to science and Egyptian history. Egyptian Mummies - has videos (the first about mummification, the second about decomposition in general), and links to an online game in the activities section, and instructions on how to make an Egg mummy. Hieroglyphics/Hieratics/Papyrus - There's an online hieroglyphics game in the activities, and a good video on making papyrus (I also talked about Mesopotamian Cuneiform here but you can skip that part). Hatshepsut - I have a bunch of good information about this woman pharoah...and in the activities there's a fun animated video on her and virtual tour of her palace. Nubian Pharoahs - Most of this is more about Nubia than Egypt, but it does have a good video and I plotted the minutes to make it easy to find the part about the Nubian pharaohs (when Nubia took over part of Egypt for a while). Ancient Egyptian Recipes & Food How to Make Egyptian Mud Bricks
  11. So, we need a new printer. I'm wondering about everyone's experience with their printer? If you were buying a printer, would you get the same brand/type you have again?
  12. When I was homeschooling I handled most of the day to day. My husband was taking contract jobs, and when he was out of work I would get work as a substitute teacher, and he would become my substitute homeschool teacher during those days.
  13. So, I've never gotten a chance to use this one, but there is a free curriculum for high school and middle school age kids that I think would be great for a child who had been through an overview of history (like your kids have). It is NOT an overview, but more of a way to teach critical thinking about the world through history, and it uses original source material (translated of course to English). It's meant for a classroom but could be easily adapted to a homeschool setting, especially since you have two kids near the same age who could discuss things and work on projects together. It has both American and World History and the World History. If I was using that, along with it I might use something like Crash Course World History (on YouTube) to summarize and remind them of what they had previously learned about history. And, where I could fit it in, I'd use Extra Credits History (also on YouTube...not a broad overview like Crash Course) just because it's my favorite and it's fun. I'd also supplement with some literature books from and about the period.
  14. I think it's more not being able to keep up with the pace the child can learn at. It's not that you're going to run out of knowlege or things to teach...but say the child really developed a love of a certain's worrying that their ability to understand that subject will quickly outpace yours and you won't be able to help them grow from there. Also, with friends I have with gifted children, it's the ability to make the higher level stuff age appropriate. Like, my friend has a daughter who can do 7th grade math at age 6, and understand science concepts that are way past her age. Doesn't mean she's not a 6 year old in other ways. Doesn't mean my friend can just hand her a 7th grade math or science book and let her have at it. She can do the 7th grade work but doesn't find it interesting unless it's presented in a fun way, like a game (does that make sense?). Now, she's good at tweaking the 7th grade stuff but it takes time and she's struggling to give her child as much as her child would be happy to do. And she's looking ahead to when her child will be doing stuff that maybe is passed what she herself understands how to do, and thinking of how slow the process will be if she still has to tweak things but she has to learn those things first to properly tweak them since she's not at quick as grasping things as her child is.
  15. I would get her a subscription to ZooBooks. They are very much like those books she chose, only sort of like a magazine where each episode features a different animal or type of creature (like sharks, spiders, cheetahs, birds of pray, etc.) You could also find them used on ebay or something because the ones they print now are basically updated reprints of their older ones...but on the other hand getting a new one every month in the mail might be fun for her.
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