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Everything posted by sarahrb

  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).
  16. My son just finished first grade and we did the Quark Chronicles from Barefoot Ragamuffin's curricula. This year we read through all of Botany and most of Zoology and it was great fun. We didn't do very many experiments and we didn't do all of the notebooking -- most of the learning came from the reading aloud and a few of the recommended supplemental books (DK Plant, First Animal Encyclopedia [may not be by DK]). FWIW, next year we are going to continue with Botany and Zoology and go further into Human Anatomy with two curricula -- the Anatomy book from the Quark Chronicles and REAL Science Odyssey's Life curriculum (their young biology book). I'm adding the REAL book looks like a good gap-filler to me - it looks well organized and includes some experiments / demonstrations that I think we can actually do.
  17. I can't comment on Biblioplan, but would add that while Bible is separate in Wayfarers, SOTW Ancients (the history spine) does incorporate Old Testament events into the history teaching. FWIW, I used big chunks of Wayfarers (ELTL, some of RLTL, MUS, SOTW, Quark Chronicles) with my 1st grader and we really enjoyed it. We didn't do very many of the extras, and we didn't use all of RLTL (he needed to go slower and I needed more support -- but we do LOVE phonograms), but overall I think it's a great program and he will continue with it next year.
  18. Wayfarers (Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula) is CM and Classical!
  19. I haven't ever used Oak Meadow, but this looks beautiful!
  20. I see what you mean about picking your own readings. We have skipped some of the poetry and fables in Level 1, tbh. I've liked the classic readings scheduled in Level 1 (and Level 2 looks good too) because even though I really want to read with my kids, having it scheduled into our curriculum makes it happen at my house. YMMV.
  21. I used ELTL 1 with my first grader as well, and I hated Pinocchio :). Fortunately (?) we read at least half that book when everyone had the flu, so we got it on Librivox with a wonderful narrator and that helped us get through it. My son loved it (he likes crazy/silly stories) and got the moral lesson of it, so I guess that's good. Also, OP, for what it's worth, you know the ELTL isn't necessary grade leveled. I'm sticking with ELTL 2 for next year (although you got me to look at CPP - very pretty!), but am wondering if the grammar will be a lot for my active kiddo. If it is, I may just slow down and use ELTL for 2 years (author says it's fine that way on her site). We'll see how it goes.
  22. Late to the party, but thanks to farrar and vaquitita for hashing out these details and letting us see what they thing -- I just searched google for a comparison of ELTL and Bravewriter / Jot it Down and WTM Forums came through for me again :).
  23. Discussed this with my kiddo today and decided to post here again just to keep all of my thoughts in one place. ELA: ELTL plus Jot It Down Reading: keep practicing with mom, make a phonogram picture dictionary Math: MUS Beta Science: - Quark Chronicles: Anatomy - RSO Life - Escape inside the Human Body books - IF more time: Earth Science History: SOTW Medieval plus activities and enrichment books Bible: - Kiddo expressed interest in learning about Dark Ages / Middle Ages - I showed kiddo Long Story Short and he liked that so we will do that together. Gym: - Martial Arts? - Swimming Health: look at the new curriculum I bought for this / integrate with Anatomy. Library: keep on with something simple. Fine Arts: Kiddo is interested in pottery. Geography: Kiddo wants to learn about maps. Co-Op: we both decided that this year is too busy for co-op, but we will keep trying to do playdates.
  24. We have had a mixed experience with RLTL. The short of it is, I love phonograms and still use them but found the program hard to implement. I haven't used AAR, though, so I'm not sure what you're hoping for in RLTL. It is a good program, I think, but we had to tweak it a bit. Have you looked at the Logic of English? They were my other choice and have a very pretty program, also based on phonograms. The other thing I'll say is my 6-almost-7 year old son also doesn't love to read, but LOVES to listen to read-alouds (me/family and librivox). We worked on reading all year (he was in first grade, and first year of homeschool) and he is just beginning to gain confidence. One thing we did when he was really frustrated was drop back to easier readers while teaching / reviewing phonograms - this let him feel more successful. (Have to thank my awesome mother-in-law for that bit of wisdom!)
  25. rjand4more reminded me of other ways we modified Wayfarers: 1) We ended up ditching Geography for two reasons - one, it was our first year homeschooling and I really wanted to make sure I hit the basics. Two, I didn't understand the structure of the Geography program at first and thought it was disorganized. Later I re-examined it and saw how it fit together and it wasn't disorganized at all, but it was still too much for me to do this year. I'd like to do Geography next year, although I'm not sure if I'll use Wayfarers' schedule or a different program. 2) Ditto on RLTL. We love to use phonograms but weren't getting a lot out of the spelling lists and flashcards. We tried moving to the stories in the back of the book (which I liked) but they were too much at once for my kiddo. Mid year we scaled back to easier readers and kept applying phonograms to them and that has been better. I even did a spelling list the other week to review different uses of silent E and he did it without a fight :) probably due to progress in copywork/handwriting. Still, overall we really like the programs and plan to continue with most of them as I mentioned in my previous post.
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