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About EssTreeB

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    Hive Mind Larvae
  1. We have really enjoyed Curiosity Chronicles World History We're starting our third year with the curriculum. Fully secular and my kids like it. Also, if you are looking for American History from an Indigenous perspective, I recommend Turtle Island: The Story of North America's First People by Eldon Yellowhorn. We read it when my oldest were second graders. It's written for kids. I supplemented with tons of library books by Native authors and videos when we did a few months of Native history. There are so many excellent books on Native culture and beliefs. Two really great ones we read ( and reread!) are The Mishomis Book by Edward Benton-Banai and The Girl Who Helped Thunder and Other Native American Folktales by Joseph Bruchac. We were really into it! We haven't used a dedicated American history curriculum yet. I have been talking about really hard stuff/topics since my kids were little. I keep it at their level, but we've been discussing racism, sexism, etc and real history for ages. The discussions are simple but ongoing.
  2. I am not more experienced, but I am almost finished Apples and Pears A with my twin 8 year olds (just finished second grade), and it's been the only thing that's worked for spelling. I plan to continue with B. I like the repetition, dictation, writing, and the flow of the lessons. It's open and go for me. We started with A because my kids are great readers, but terrible spellers. And I have seen steady improvement. There is an Apples and Pears placement test that I used: I am of the mindset that I start at a level where they feel success for a bit first before it becomes challenging. Hence, level A. Personally, I think it's way too much writing for a 5 year old. Level A ramps up pretty quickly and if your 5 year old is not a strong writer, it will get overwhelming. My 8 year olds don't love writing, but this program helped them build writing stamina and confidence. I won't attempt with my 5 year old. He is an advanced reader, but he is not interested in writing anything yet. So, I guess it depends on your kid, just like everything else 🙂 Best of luck!
  3. Sorry this is a late reply, but I also encourage you to check out Apples and Pears, I think it's what you're looking for. It's open and go. Zero prep. I have twin 8 year who are not natural spellers at all. I completed Logic of English A-C with them as well as half of D (because I suspected slight dyslexia). It's an excellent program, but did not give the kind of spelling and reading practice we needed and all the fiddly parts exhausted me. We took a break and did copy work every day and french dictation one a week (Brave writer style), but spelling was just not sticking. I recently switched to Apples and Pears book A and I love it. My boys don't love it, but they don't really complain too much :) Tons of repetition and dictation which my guys need. It does have lots of writing, but that has really helped their writing stamina. I have seen improvement in just a few months of using it. I liked it so much I got the company's phonics program dancing bears fast track to get some practice this summer. I think age 8 is the perfect time to start. You can view the entire curriculum in their website: We started doing a full lesson per day from level a, but it ramps up quickly and now do half a lesson per day. We're only 75% through book A, but I plan to continue on with the program. My husband is a terrible speller, so I'm not expecting miracles, but the slow and steady improvement is encouraging. Hence this epic post :) Good luck!
  4. We are going to visit family for about a month and I will be homeschooling while we travel. We currently do RightStart Math Level A (about halfway through) and love it, but it's too many manipulatives to bring. My oldest are only in K, so I'm not too worried about missing a little math, but I would like something easily packable that we can work on together and keep the learning flow. We don't really use tablets for school, but we do have a Kindle fire if there is an especially good app I don't know about. Any recommended workbooks? Thanks!
  5. My oldest kids are twins and we plan to start K (they'll be 5.5)in the fall. We have been working on LOE Foundations A during the summer as a trial run for us all and to get used to some seat work. I specifically picked this curriculum because I was fascinated by the author's book and I wanted open and go lessons. It works perfectly as an open and go curriculum. The one thing that has been tricky are all the activities involved. I teach the kids individually and each time there is a game that involves being away from the table, the lesson kind of derails because they are so excited and bouncy and it takes a while to get back on track. So, I'm on lesson 20 and I am now skipping all active games and it's going much more smoothly. Anyone else have this experience? So far, modifying the games to be table work has been fine. I'm hoping it will remain so in the future. Basically, I am really new to all this and wanted to pass on my experience. The curriculum is marketed as perfect for squirmy kids, and it is, with some modification, for my super squirmy kids.
  6. We have loved using the Librivox app for free audiobooks. Among the Night People read by Jude Somers is one of our favorites (also her Thorton Burgess readings are excellent): John Lieder also reads many of the Thorton Burgess "The Adventures of..." books. They are amazingly well done. My Father's Dragon read by a young boy was also a hit at my house: Audible books that were popular here at age 5, boys: Mr.Popper's Penguins, Children of Noisy Village, Betsy-Tacy, the Ramona series, Pippi Longstocking, Arnold Lobel's Fables, and Frog and Toad. Happy listening :)
  7. Williams6039, I share your exact concerns. My kids are a bit younger than yours and we enjoy some classics, but I also want to keep diversity in mind when picking books. We have lots of picture books featuring characters of color and I am now on the hunt for diverse read aloud chapter books. I haven't read them all yet, but I just added to our collection 4 of the Atinuke's Anna Hibiscus series, Louise Erdrich's Birchbark house series, Grace Lin's Where the mountains meets the moon, and am using this list for inspiration:
  8. That sounds like a great kindergarten experience!
  9. Has anyone tried to recreate a forest kindergarten type experience? For example: I am considering it. We already play outside lots and we have a woodsy big yard. I've got twins and we plan to start formally homeschooling in the fall when they are about 5.5. (with a tag along younger sibling). They'd be thrilled if I let them use knives and have fires.
  10. Does the Gospel Project have Sunday School and Kids Church materials? We have two services with two kids programs and we don't duplicate the activities because of overlap. We use Group publishing for complementary Sunday School and Kids Church materials, but we have to do SO much tweaking to make it work.
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