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About blendergal

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. The traditional flag/flower/bird state study never appealed to me, so we went a slightly different direction. We read picture books about many of the states — Akiak, Georgia in Hawaii, High as a Hawk, Climbing Kansas Mountains, etc. — and glued their tiny book covers on a map. We used flash cards to drill the capitals and Draw the USA to learn how to draw the map from memory. It was one of the most fun, productive things we’ve done in our homeschool.
  2. Thank you for this perspective! It’s so helpful to hear what sort of sequences other families have used. This child is young for his grade and pretty average in terms of math skills/interest. I can’t see him doing AoPS, but I don’t want to make a choice for middle school that limits his options later. Planning for 6th grade has caused me to have all kinds of doubts I didn’t have before! 🙃 Thank you too to Sneezyone and caffeineandbooks for helping me think this through.
  3. I belong to a Facebook group for homeschoolers who use the many different flavors of Singapore Math. It’s run by a former classroom teacher, so I guess that figures in. She often makes sideways comments about Dimensions, and she recommends Math in Focus over Dimensions for grades 6-8 because she says MIF is truer to the Singapore approach. I understand that Dimensions is the product of another company, not Marshall Cavendish. But my searches of the WTM forum turn up lots of posts about how Dimensions is the better bet for kids who want to get algebra I done before high school. Is the
  4. We used it for a season. What I like best is how easy it is to move things around — when life happens or just according to your own whims. I think it could also be super handy if you often need to point your student to websites or online resources, because you can attach that to the directly to the card. The curriculum we use is mostly of the hard copy, do-the-next thing variety, though. And I didn’t like spending so much time on devices, even if it’s just for the purpose of checking things off. So we aren’t using it anymore. Never say never, though!
  5. We are just finishing up LL 4. I agree with the previous comment that the grammar kind of starts back at nouns every year, and builds. And the composition assignments can be definitely be scaled up or down to meet a child where she is. Just to be clear, there is no spelling component. The main thing I would say is LL 4 has many MORE books than the previous level and some of them are quite LONG. I think it takes a pretty strong reader to tackle them. They range from level P-V, if you’re familiar with guided reading levels.
  6. I find this subject so confusing, so I'll definitely be following along. We are finishing up Singapore Standards 5B, and I just can't decide what to do next year -- continue through 6B and then make a change, or switch to Dimensions or MIF for level 6 so we have consistency through middle school? To the OP's question: I don't think you can go wrong with Singapore, whichever flavor you choose. It's stronger than so many other math programs. My oldest -- barring some major metamorphosis! -- is not cut out for AoPS. So I'm crossing off that option for now.
  7. You might find this book helpful: God’s Story in 66 Verses: Understand the Entire Bible By Focusing on Just One Verse in Each Book https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Story-66-Verses-Understand/dp/1400206421
  8. My kids are younger, so I don’t think you’d be interested in most of the resources we used when we studied the world wars. But since someone mentioned graphic novels, I have to share just one. This was our favorite WWI book: https://www.amazon.com/Treaties-Trenches-Blood-Nathan-Hazardous/dp/1419708082
  9. Which levels are you considering? Would you use the curriculum in full? We have not done the composition portion, only because my kids need a different approach for that. The reading comprehension and grammar pages are pretty short and sweet on their own. And from what I can tell, the compositions are broken up into bite-size pieces during the week. So in general, I would not call it an “overwhelming” sort of curriculum. The student books do have weekly checklists, so that can be handy for list-checkers. For my more reluctant reader, we have used a grade “down” and I’ve read aloud a
  10. We are using Lightning Lit 4 this year. We don’t use the writing bits — he does W&R instead — just the reading and grammar. Something in me hates “wasting” the writing portion, but you’ve gotta do what works. What I love about LL is the book selections and the poetry study. Sonlight recently released a Grade 5 Readers package you might consider, if you want stand-alone reading comprehension. I bought a couple of the most interesting titles, but it’s just too many books for my son to do in a year. He would never have time for non-school reading.
  11. Oh, I like that idea! Better than all the carets we’ve been using.
  12. Thank you to your perspectives! My instinct is that he is just thinking faster than he can write (plus a little careless by nature). So we will keep re-reading aloud and see where that gets us.
  13. One of my kids has a habit of omitting words when he’s writing (original text, not copywork). Now I’m prompting him to re-read what he’s written before he “turns it in,” keeping an eye out for dropped words. But he does it so regularly, I’m wondering — can this be normal? What’s the deal? He turns 9 this summer. He reads fluently and above grade level. Handwriting (left-handed) is quite good. I have an older son with special needs for whom reading and writing have been extra challenging, but he’s never had this particular quirk. Thoughts?
  14. I purchased a Meet the Masters art package to help keep us on track for art this year. I did not realize it requires Flash, which was being phased out at the time and is now totally inoperable. (Put aside the fact that even when it was working, we had to access the lessons on a desktop — groan — because our iPads didn’t support Flash.) The company has not responded about whether the lessons are (or will soon be) available in any other format. Just no answer. Very frustrating. I didn’t pay a ton for this, but it’s the principle — I can’t use the lessons I paid for, and I don’t want to have to f
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