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Everything posted by momandsam

  1. My state does not have any requirements. I looked at the local high school website. It gives a list of minimum requirements for admissions into state colleges and universities. For English, there is a requirement of 8 credits. I’m assuming they are using two semester credits per year?I’ve never heard of this before. I assumed 1 credit per year. I know it is my decision in the end, but I was curious if others would do the traditional 1 credit per year, or two semester credits like the public schools?
  2. I’m planning out how I will do grades in high school. I realize there are several ways I can do grades, but I’m not sure if one way is any better or preferred more on a transcript. Should I give a grade per subject twice a year (two semester grades), or just one final grade at the end of the year for each subject? Also, should I grade tests and quizzes only, or add in daily assignments to the grade as well?
  3. My boys finish their school work before lunch and spend the rest of the day playing video games. I would like them to spend more time in the afternoon on some projects, but my ideas are limited. I would like both one day and several day projects. The only ideas I have are homemade bottle rockets, a Rube Goldberg project, a science fair experiment, or build a giant catapult (we have ten acres of trees to roam about). They are 12 and 14 years old. Any other ideas to fill the time?
  4. Thank you. He is pretty strong in writing and literature, so I think we’ll do at least 4 novels in the second semester with a literature guide and apply skills from WttW. He’ll definitely want to continue reading high interest novels without assignments. As for grammar, I think his skills are ok. He mostly needs review with capitalization and punctuation, but that can easily be done while editing his writing. He flies through his work each day, so I want to make sure next year is a little “meatier”, but without unnecessary busy work.
  5. I’m trying to select my oldest son’s English curriculum for next year. He will be a 9th grader. I was thinking Easy Grammar, Power in Your Hands, and Windows to the World and adding in 2-4 novels. Would this be too much or just right for one English credit?
  6. Thank you so much! You both have given me many things to think about. I am going to make some changes to our writing and use these ideas!
  7. Both of my boys, 6th and 8th grade, resist revising their essays (mostly my 8th grader who has a natural talent at writing). They seem to have the attitude that it’s perfect just the way it is after the first draft. This has always been an argument between us. I don’t think they are being lazy and trying to get out of work. They truly believe it their first draft is perfect and any revising will make their writing worse. I want them to revise for word choice and sentence structure. Any ideas how I can work with them on changing this negative attitude?
  8. I am looking for several chapter books for my boys to read next year. They will be doing BJU reading, and I wanted to add in a few novels. I will have an 8th grade boy that is very picky. Basically, he dislikes most books I choose for him. The rare ones he really enjoyed were The City of Ember and Criminal Masterminds. He is an advanced reader and has great comprehension. I was considering The Hobbit, A Christmas Carol, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I would like to have several more for him to read. My 6th grade son is an average reader. He just finished Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh and did well with that. Are there any other books you could recommend for 6th and 8th grade boys?
  9. My son is going to do BJU life science with just the textbook and lab manual (no videos). I am going through the labs and deciding which ones we want to do or leave out. We are also adding in extra activities of our own. Is a microscope a necessary part to this curriculum? He is not particularly interested in science, just wants to get it done and move on (he's like that in all subjects). However, he did enjoy the BJU 6 hands-on activities. I'm just trying to decide whether it would be worth it or just wait until biology to purchase one?
  10. I did not get the teacher manual so that makes a lot of sense now. Thanks!
  11. I just received the bju life science textbook and tests (we are doing textbook only). There are 24 chapter tests, yet only 23 chapters in the textbook. I double checked and both textbook and tests are for the 4th edition. I'm curious why there is a test for a chapter not included in the book? Has anyone else noticed this? I'm sure my 12 year old son would be happy to skip this topic altogether...It's on human reproduction! 😉
  12. Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607 by Elisa Carbone
  13. Thank you. Do you think it is necessary to buy the teacher manual?
  14. I am looking for a new writing curriculum for next year. A little background: My oldest will be in 7th grade. He is a natural creative writer with fantastic ideas and uses a variety of simple, compound, and complex sentences. He is okay with writing essays and reports, but the quality is not as high as his creative writing. My youngest will be in 5th. He struggles with writing a decent paragraph with a topic sentence, details, and a closing sentence. His sentences are very simple and he thinks "My dog is amazing" is a great topic sentence. He needs specific instruction. In the past we have used IEW. Although they did well with it, they both hated it and felt forced with their writing. We have also used BJU, but wasn't a good fit either. I just saw Writing and Rhetoric and am intrigued. Does this program seem like a good fit for my boys who enjoy writing their own way, yet need specific instruction? My thoughts were to start my 5th grader on book 1 to build a good foundation. As for my 7th grader, I have no idea where to start him. Book 4: Chreia and Proverb? Any thoughts with the curriculum itself? Where should I begin a 7th grader? About how many books to do in a year? 2 or possibly 3 with my 7th grader?
  15. I'm looking for a writing curriculum for next year. My son will be in 5th grade. He struggles a little in writing, so possibly 4th grade level? He is currently using BJU English/Grammar and does well with the grammar part. I think we may continue with it just for the grammar. The writing part has turned into a daily argument. He does ok with the writing process in general, it's the revision step that is a struggle (he's very stubborn and doesn't want to change anything). He needs something that takes him step by step, specifically focusing on topic sentences, paragraph structure, introductions and conclusions. Also, specific instruction on word choice, sentence variety, etc. We have used IEW in the past and he really disliked it. Any suggestions on a curriculum that would meet these needs?
  16. Thank you for your comments. He has the story all set in his mind, but sometimes forgets that the reader won't understand what's going on unless he explains it all. Working on the dialogue to explain it is a good place to start. He often won't take my advice just because I'm his mom and he sees it as criticism, regardless of how positive I can be. I will pass along your comments to him. Thanks again!
  17. My 12 year old (6th grade) loves to write stories in his free time. He has very complex ideas in his head and sometimes forgets to explain everything in his writing. He is very passionate about his stories, but often takes offense at my critique. He would like some advice from others on his writing. He is not focusing on paragraph or sentence structure right now. This is chapter 1. It's a little long, but he would love any input on his ideas and clarity. Owen woke up suddenly, and darkness went on from every direction to infinity. He was surrounded by a greenish glass, a test tube to be exact. Just then, light poured in and he could see more clearly. He was in a lab of some sort. White and purple seemed to be all the colors. The glass suddenly faded as if it just stopped being there. A voice came across the room and asked Owen a question. "Owen, can you hear me?" Owen hesitantly replied "uh, yes." He could see the speaker behind a window. It was a male in a white lab coat with curly chocolate brown hair. "Where am I?" asked Owen. "You're in a laboratory, deep beneath the surface to keep us away from the toxic virus upside" said the lab boy. A door slid open to the right of the chamber. "Head down the hall and to the left. You can pick up something to eat there. Then I'll show you to your room." Owen nodded and headed to the mess hall. There were other men, all in white lab coats, eating, talking, playing cards, and whatnot. Owen loaded up his tray with rice, beans, and a grilled cheese sandwich. The rice was dry, but the beans and sandwich weren't that bad. The lab boy from earlier sat down next to him and talked. "Excuse me, um..." "Eric" said the lab boy. "It's Eric. But my friends here call me Kix." "Um, Kix, can you tell me what I'm doing here, who you are, and what's this virus you talked about?" Kix took a bite from his sandwich. "Eight years ago, there was a containment breach during an experiment. One virus escaped and started infecting people, taking control over them, giving them superhuman strength, things like that. The world was over turned and the only survivors came down here and started finding a way to cure the infected people." "So these people," asked Owen, "are basically zombies?" Kix shook his head. "No. Worse. They are terrible to the max." Owen was confused. "We were still trying to figure out a way to cure the virus when scientists discovered a substance called Mycellsheet. It was extremely high in radiation, more than nuclear material times ten. We found that if we combined it with water, carbonic acid, and liquid plastic, it will create what we call Mycofluid. We have tested it with every imaginable base or acid and it completely reversed it! Let's say you've got a level 4 acid. Now, it will become the complete opposite and be a level 10 base!" Owen's brain processed like a computer with no mother board. "What does this have to do with me? After all, my memory only started an hour ago. Yet it looks like I am in my late twenties" Kix thought. "We finally came to the stage where we had five infected people try the serum of Mycofluid." Kix's face turned sad. "Only one fifth lived. The survivor was left unharmed by the virus, yet extremely sick. He died one month later with the latest medical help. We decided it was too risky to do this to the whole world. About a year later, we discovered another use for Mycofluid. If added with more Mycellsheet, it can cause an extremely dangerous and powerful liquid called Cyriptariac Gas. If sparked, or reached at a heat level of 72 degrees Fahrenheit or more, it will cause an explosion, which we can control by using a metal made from the core of the earth and create a small portal, capable of sending one to the past." Owen just realized that his mouth was wide open, some of his beans falling out. He quickly shut it. "So you mean...you mean you created a time machine?!" Kix nodded. "We started, right after time travel was discovered, on project A132B6C: The Alpita Project. We plan to send him pack to the past, eight years ago, to stop this mess." Owen realized his mouth was open again. "Can I see this, A132 what's-his-name?" Kix smiled. "You're him." Just then, Owen passed out on the floor, right in front of Kix.
  18. Thank you everyone! I do like the idea of having him revise other people's writing. For this assignment, I allowed him to choose his own topic. I was surprised he chose checking his blood sugar, but it makes sense because it is a simple thing he does every day (type 1 diabetes). If I had talked with him about his audience, it might have influenced his topic sentence more. I also talked with him briefly on the grammar error "is". After that, I decided to let it go and just keep working on it in other writing. I have been looking online at Jensen's Format Writing. It says it is for high school, but I was wondering if it might give me a little direction in the meantime? Is anyone familiar with this book? Is it worth buying?
  19. Thank you for your reply. This is our second year of homeschooling. Last year we tried IEW and he hated it. He didn't like the formula style. We aren't using a curriculum right now. I would like him to master the basics of a good paragraph using different styles (persuasive, expository, narrative, summary, etc) while focusing on word choice, sentence variety, etc. Once he has that down well, he can work on writing multiple paragraph essays. I completely agree that he is missing the audience and purpose of this paragraph. I may need to change my plan a bit in what to teach. Both of my boys seem to resist me during writing. I may need to step out of the picture and have them use something more independent? I have Essentials in Writing and wonder if I should just try that? I will also look into Writing Strands!
  20. My 12 year old (6th grade) is a very talented writer in his free time. He loves to write very long and elaborate stories with great ideas, word choice, and sentence fluency. He is very passionate about his writing. But when it comes to writing paragraphs or essays, we butt heads. I offer suggestions and he takes is personally and does not want to make any revisions. I am looking for feedback on his writing to see if I am being too picky or if it's really something he should work on. I asked him to write a "how-to" paragraph. The main areas of focus is a good topic sentence, detail sentences, conclusion sentence, and transition words. I eventually got him to change the topic sentence, but I will put his original sentence with his writing. This is my paragraph on how to test your blood sugar. Step one: you need to wash your hands. It is important to do so for accurate results. The supplies you will need is a glucose reader, or meter for short, a test strip, and a poker. First, you will need to insert the strip into the meter, the flat side going in. Then, lay the poker against a chosen finger pad. Make sure it's not on the fingernail side. Press the button. Yipe! If there is not enough blood, gently squeeze your finger to get some more out. After that, put the blood on the tip of the strip. Finally, wait five seconds and you will receive your result on the meter. Happy testing! The revised topic sentence with my help is "Testing your blood sugar is a simple routine" but he is unhappy with it. I wanted him to work on a conclusion sentence, but he is adamant that "happy testing" is a good conclusion and refuses to add/change anything. Should I just let it go and continue to work on it with other paragraphs? It may be that the style of a how-to paragraph is throwing him off a bit? Thanks for any advice!
  21. I bought BJU science for grades 4 and 6 and this will be our first year using bju science. We will not be using the DVDs. I have the textbook, activity manual, tests and teacher manuals. I really debated about the teacher manuals and ended up getting them because so many people said the meat of the program is in there. Now that I have them, I could have gotten by without them just fine for these grade levels. They give you bits of science background and misconceptions along with extra activities and demonstrations (a lot of extra hands-on demonstrations at the 6th grade) There are a lot of discussion questions from the text. Mostly basic comprehension like "what are two ways plants produce seeds?" The teacher manual also comes with a cd that has more activities and the answers to the activity manual. At the bottom of every activity manual page, it gives the corresponding textbook pages. Overall, I am very impressed with the textbook and activity manual and can't wait to get started. However, I don't think I'll be using the teacher manual very much, but I could see how some people would really like it. I hope this helps a little.
  22. We have used a combination of BJU and Fix It. I think we'll give Easy Grammar a try. Is it something they can work at independently with occasional help as needed? I am already doing AAS, BJU math and BJU Science so I am doing a lot of one-on-one instruction with both of them. I am hoping that they could do writing and grammar as independent as possible.
  23. Thank you everyone! We practice writing the word cards every day, but we were doing it all from memory. I'll get the phonogram cards out and do some review. I like the idea of adding a little drama to it. He would love to add a story line involving "violence". Although he struggles the most in spelling, he says it's his favorite subject. He likes to draw pictures for each word he spells. I'll have to tap into that interest and see if I can make it more theatrical and visual for him. I probably just need to be more patient and let him practice more until it sinks in. :001_smile:
  24. My 3rd grader struggles with spelling. This was our first year homeschooling and we did AAS. We have completed levels 2 and half of level 3. He has a difficult time with the "ow/ou" sound. He is constantly spelling it with "aw". (flower, now, found are spelled flawer, naw, fawnd). His reading is at grade level, if not a little above, and he can read these words without any problems. He just can't spell them. Are there any ideas how I can teach this?
  25. I have decided to try Essentials in Writing. Is the grammar portion enough, or should I add Easy Grammar as well or in place of EIW grammar? My rising 4th and 6th grader have had some grammar in the past (BJU).
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