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  1. My 5th grader and I have been working to improve his writing skills this year. Can anyone else, especially with current or recent 5th graders, chime in on how his essay is? For reference, he wrote it on his own a paragraph at a time, and then we spent several days editing it. He did use one source (not cited in the essay), the D'Aulaire's Biography of Benjamin Franklin.to be frank, ben was here..pdf
  2. We took a 2.5 day (each way!!) car trip this summer, and the best thing we brought was the audiobook Watership Down from the library. Everyone got into the epic tale.
  3. Just looking for some different perspectives, as I'm not part of a homeschool community where I live. I have a 4th grader (homeschooled since 1st grade) and a K'er. My husband works full time, and I work part time (about 15 hours a week outside the home as an administrative assistant, plus another hour-ish a week at home of paid bookkeeping work). Currently, when I'm at work, my mother-in-law homeschools my kids (she has 2-3 subjects that are hers). I love my current boss, but am really interested in going back to school to be a bookkeeper and be able to work in that field for flexibility and better pay. I've been accepted into a 100% online program for bookkeeping/accounting at a state community college that would start in Fall 2020. It does 2 classes at a time at an accelerated pace (8 weeks) for 2 years, finishing with an AAS. What would you do next year? I am pretty sure that I cannot just add college to my current commitments. I am pretty strongly against putting my kids back in school (it is not a bad school, but it's not great either, and the peer group for my older child is not great). I could ... quit my job? We would still be able to make ends meet, although we would not be able to pay down debt as quickly.
  4. Bump! My situation is similar but different - I have a 4th grader and a K'er. The 4th grader has down SOTW for 1st/2nd/3rd/4th. We have really enjoyed SOTW, but would like to do a specifically American history year (or more) at some point during his upcoming middle school years. What have y'all enjoyed using?? We have Joy Hakim's books, but I haven't looked at doing them yet.
  5. I personally didn't have trouble learning to spell ... but my son is also 9, has ADHD and does struggle with spelling, so I will be watching this post with interest. We did a little bit of spelling with a OG phonograms program in 1st grade, did a little bit of inconsistent spelling lists taken from literature last year (3rd grade), but this year are working through McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling book a week or two at a time. My son has great vocabulary and is finally getting a little more confident in spelling, but it is still a learning process for both of us.
  6. Hi Laura :-) I am new-ish, but it is nice to meet you. I tried Faithful Counseling, which is the same company as Better Help but with a Christian slant. My first match didn't listen to me, but my second match was great! The combination of phone/video sessions and messaging worked well. The cost was also very reasonable. Unfortunately, when I stopped paying, I couldn't even message my counselor to say "thanks, I am doing well now" unless I resubscribed. Frustrated. I now see a kind of local counselor who was recommended to me through a family member, but I do see him over a video connection since I can't get out easily. He is even more available and a better fit overall. Feel free to DM or reply here for more details, but my forum participation is sporadic, so if I don't reply right away, it's not you, it's me :-).
  7. We focused on vocabulary that was already in the books, so from Botany - photosynthesis, spores (ferns and fungi), symbiotic, and from Zoology - in/vertebrates, mammals. I think that he retained more from Botany than from Zoology and Anatomy (we used Botany/Zoology for 1st grade and Anatomy for much of 2nd grade). We also used Survive Inside the Human Body in conjunction with Anatomy, so my memories of what he learned where are foggier with that. Overall, I think he got broad strokes of information from Quark Chronicles, and that if we were to re-read them in a year or two (which we might, when his little sister is in 1st grade!), we could go back through and use the recommended resource books alongside the text to get a lot more detail out of the topics.
  8. I second the Quark Chronicles! I read Botany/Zoology aloud to my son in 1st grade and he loved them. I just wish there were more of them.
  9. I can't believe this will be our 3rd year of homeschooling!!! My son will be entering 3rd grade and my daughter will be happy to be 4. I don't intend to do any formal preschool with her this year - she is with her grandma twice a week and enjoys a rich learning environment with her, and occasionally attends a community preschool, so I think between all that and sometimes listening in on her brother's lessons at home, we'll be fine to wait until she turns 5. This year, we homeschooled 3 days a week at home and 2 days a week with grandma (who covered history, art, and occasionally some math or reading help / review) while I worked 12-16 hours a week outside of the home. Next year, it is quite possible that I may increase my work to 32 hours a week (for the benefits!), but I am committed to homeschooling I will be increasing my work hours to 24 a week at the office, plus 3-4 a week from home. I think that I may have my son with me 2 or 3 days a week at the office doing independent work. We test-drove that plan at the end of this school year and it went pretty well. (If it is just 2 days a week, then he will be doing school with Grandma 1 day a week as well.) I am nervous and excited and in over my head all at once. Constructive Criticism or suggestions invited! Without further ado, the basic plan: 1) ELA: continue ELTL Level 2 - my son is starting to do these lessons independently, with help from librivox - mostly independent, add one writing day (either outsourcing this to a teaching on outschool or thinking of using WriteShop Primary or Junior on our day at home together) (purchasing EIW Essentials in Writing - needed something less teacher-intensive!) 2) Reading: silent reading and reading aloud together, no program chosen at this time but may supplement with newsela or other reading comprehension resources - mostly independent 3) Math: continue Beast Academy - we just finished 2A and started 2B; continue to the end of level 2 and evaluate - introduce new concepts together, practice/review independently and/or with Grandma 4) Science: Mystery Science? open to suggestions. We did Quark Chronicles: Botany and Zoology for 1st grade, and mostly Quark Chronicles: Anatomy for 2nd grade Kiddo nixed Mystery Science because he wants to do Chemistry, so we will use RS4K Focus on Chemistry and Focus on Physics, plus supplements based on interest in Chemistry and Physics related topics. 5) Bible: Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids ... OR Long Story Short (we use this sporadically right now and like it) I have two goals - 1) read more of the Bible, mostly through stories but possibly some out of the actual text this year and 2) use supplements to teach doctrine and general knowledge (Buck Denver on Netflix, Leading Little Ones to God and Training Hearts, Teaching Minds for doctrine/catechism) 6) History: SoTW 3 7) Fine Arts: Grandma is an artist, so I leave this up to her! 8.) Gym: not sure ... want to continue Martial Arts, but considering gymnastics and/or apps (sworkit) instead due to travel limitations We will do Martial Arts if the teacher offers classes in our area. If not, I will lean on Outschool classes. 9) Library: go twice a month and use it! 10) Health: look at the K-3 curriculum we used sporadically this year and make a plan, either to use it more next year or to study the topics it lays out with age-appropriate books 11) Miscellaneous: supplementing with Brainpop, Spelling City, math apps, a couple of online learning sites, and Outschool (especially hoping to get some maps / geography in with outschool this year).
  10. Pegs, I noticed in your signature that you have used Mystery Science. What have you liked and not liked about it? My 2nd grader has loved the Quark Chronicles for science (biology of plants, animals, and humans) the last 2 years, but unfortunately the next book is not out yet so we are curriculum shopping.
  11. I have been using Quark Chronicles last year and this year with my 1st/2nd grade boy. He really enjoyed the adventures and learned some things but not at a detailed level. I think that it is a wonderful book series and thoughtfully written. For best retention / more detailed learning I found I helpful to bring in outside activities (last year we used some experiments in the accompanying notebooks, did some Ellen mchenry activities, and pulled related worksheets from the internet as needed / this year we are using it in conjunction with Real Science Odyssey). I think that these modifications make it easy to customize the learning experience to another grade level - definitely could picture it for a fourth grader, not sure about a sixth grader but only because I don't spend time with sixth graders :).
  12. So glad someone else posted this, because I struggle with "how many subjects makes a homeschool day "count"?" frequently. We (me and my 2nd grader) do 3-4 subjects a day. MWF are scheduled as 4 subjects a day and TR are scheduled as 3 subjects a day. Today was a bad day for me on a personal level, but we still got three or four subjects in, depending how you count things (whole math lesson, reading lesson done on the computer = less than ideal but better than not reading, gym class, ELA did the read aloud but not the writing portion).
  13. First, thanks slache for reposting this as a PDF! I clearly need to research cursive styles more ... this looks beautiful, and I love the method-based letter groupings! Out of curiosity, if you used this with your kids, do you think it would be too hard for a 2nd grader? My kiddo wants to do cursive this year and I might try it out even though it says it is for 3rd-5th graders.
  14. I bought the spiral books for Ancients (all three terms) and really liked being able to see everything, but I didn't end up following the schedule as strictly as I had thought I would, so for Medieval I got PDFs.
  15. Lori D had some great advice! I second outsourcing this to a tutor or co-op class and/or seeking out opportunities in the community for practice (the area where I live is quite white, but there are Spanish and French conversation practice groups in a nearby town -- they are for adults, but aren't formal, so it's always worth asking!). One other fun way to get into a foreign language might be having an exchange student in your home. PM me if you want more details about exchange students, some of whom also tutor in their first language (I work with an exchange organization and could let you know about programs that might be fun).
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