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Laura Cook

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Everything posted by Laura Cook

  1. I’ll put my questions first: Did you do the literature sections? Did you condense the levels to get through them more quickly? How did you condense them? I am considering using this for DS14, almost 15. He went through the first half of WWS 1 in 6th grade but we dropped it because he was really struggling with it, at that time it was too much, too fast for him. Instead we dabbled in different things for the rest of middle school. He has matured a lot in the last two and a half years. I think he is capable of succeeding with it now. I think we will go back and do a quick review of the topoi he learned in the first half of the book and move forward from there if we decide to go with that. Thanks.
  2. We take ours off Sunday morning and put a clean set back on right away and then wash the dirties either the same day or the next day. We also alternate each week, so this weekend is our sheets and DD’s sheets, next weekend will be both DS’s sheets. We usually wash blankets, comforters, quilts, etc. once a month or so.
  3. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond! We’ve had a busy week. Here’s what our experience has been: A couple of my kids hated the Arrows and Boomerangs. The copywork and dictation each week was fine, they just thought all the suggested things to discuss that were related to the passage was too random. And I felt like as the “teacher” I didn’t have enough experience or knowledge to pull it all together into a coherent learning experience. The writing projects were too loosely structured for me. They were often broken down into weeks but it still wasn’t specific enough for me. I also had a hard time seeing what it was they were supposed to be learning from some of the projects. Many of the projects were a complete mismatch for my boys who detest any sort of creative writing. I found it hard to facilitate 3 projects at the same time, even if they were working on the same type of project. I was managing okay until I started working part time last spring, then it all fell apart. I was doing a lot of planning behind the scenes and when I didn’t have as much time to put towards it, everything went kaput. At this point we need something that has lessons we can work through day by day, that doesn’t require additional planning on my part. I, actually the kids too, need to be able to see where we are headed and feel like we are working consistently and accomplishing something. This ended up kinda long, sorry!
  4. Where would you start with 6th, 7th and 8th grade age kids if you were jumping back into WTM style language arts after using BW for a couple of years? We liked aspects of BW but in the end it has turned out to be too loosely structured for us. I feel like the kids have made very little forward progress over the last couple of years. We stuck with it longer than we should have. Here’s what they have each done already that is more WTM-ish: DS 14: WWE 1-3, Treasured Conversations, WWS 1 (first 18 weeks), FLL 1-4, GWTM:Purple (first 6 weeks) DS 13: WWE 1-3, Treasured Conversations (all except last section), FLL 1-4 (only partway into 4) DD 11: WWE 1-3, FLL 1-3 Is picking up where we left off ok? I am assuming that we can probably condense some of it so we move through more quickly. Is WWS okay to do in high school? Thank you for any thoughts or ideas!
  5. I love seeing what others are creating! Right now I am focusing on trying to finish this quilt top so it can be quilted before Christmas. This was one of those projects I started without a clear idea in mind and so it’s far from perfect, but hopefully nobody will care once they are snuggling under it come December. I started teaching myself how to knit this summer. I’m working on a scarf but I’ve messed it up so now I’ve got to bring it to my mother, who actually knows what she’s doing, 😆 and see if she can help me fix it. No pics of that. I also need to go through all of my sewing and crafting stuff and reorganize it so that I can find and use it all. My daughter loves crafting so she is constantly rummaging through it and it’s a disaster. I might recruit her help this weekend to put it back in order!
  6. My oldest DS13 will be an 8th grader this next year. Does this look like a good line up for a kid who doesn’t hate school work but isn’t enthusiastic about it either? He is a great, responsible kid and will do whatever I require of him, but he’s not exactly jumping for joy. Math - Math Mammoth 6 (finish probably by Sep.) then go on to 7 Writing- Jump In Grammar - Easy Grammar Plus History - American using A History of US concise aligned with the tests from Hewitt and some of the maps from Map Trek’s American history set Science - Elemental Science Earth Science and Astronomy for Logic Stage OR Biology for Logic Stage (we haven’t decided on this yet) *he will be doing this with his siblings Literature - I’ll assign him a list and he’ll probably use lit guides or Boomerangs for several of them and I think we will read some short stories using Figuratively Speaking as a resource for discussion. Plus his own free reading, family read alouds and poetry teas Our main academic goals are to get him writing a lot more, to continue working on his math skills and to start discussing the books he is reading. Also trying to foster some independence in and ownership of his learning. I’d also like him to have an enjoyable year. Thanks!
  7. I’m sorry and I understand! For DH and I the issue was a difference in our families of origin. DH’s family doesn’t really celebrate anything. My family celebrates everything. For about the first eight or so years we were married we were too tired and too broke to do much but once we got out of the fog of the little kid years things changed. I got upset because I was making an effort on DH’s birthday and Father’s Day to make sure he had a good day and he wasn’t reciprocating. I struggled with feeling like it was shallow of me to want some recognition on those days but eventually I decided that it was what I wanted/needed and that I wasn’t going to feel like a bad person for asking for it. So then I sat him down and told him exactly what I wanted. Which was for someone else to cook dinner and dessert that night, a few hours of alone time and for he and the kids to give me whatever the appropriate greetings were for the day. DH has stepped up. Maybe when the sadness and anger has passed you will be able to figure out what you want/need for that day and communicate that to your husband.
  8. I had them pick one subject to start using cursive for, then another week or two later we added another one and we kept doing that until they were doing all their work in cursive. I felt like slowly building their stamina would be less stressful for everyone instead of just jumping into doing cursive for all subjects right at once and it seems to have worked with my kids. Of course they still complained about it but now it’s not an issue.
  9. If I were moving I’d take it all down as soon as I could. Taking it down now would remove another thing from my to do list which would feel good! We are doing Christmas with DH’s family at our house this Saturday so we are leaving our tree up for that, but on Sunday it’s all getting packed away! I’m ready to get things back to normal.
  10. Critterfixer, congratulations on the literary agent, how exciting!
  11. I had planned on this being a productive week, despite the Nutcracker stuff and Christmas creeping closer. I should know better. The boys are sick. They seem to have the weird sore throat/cough/sinus crud that I’ve been trying to get over for the last three weeks. DD has avoided it so far. As long as I can keep her healthy through the weekend we’ll be good. Reading aloud and reading on their own is probably all that will be happening this week. Maybe some documentaries.
  12. Good morning! It is cold, frosty and foggy here this morning. We are having a very slow start to the day, so far only one kid is out of bed. We've reached that point in December where we all want to chuck school but I don't want to take 4 weeks completely off so instead we are starting to cut back a little. DD is in the Nutcracker again this year and this is production week so we've got to be at the theater most evenings. I need to start thinking a little more about Christmas, maybe I'll try to do that while I'm waiting at the theater. Something I just realized while I was typing this, I feel really relaxed about Christmas this year. I used to stress a lot over it. I finally learned that things always come together and if something doesn't, its because it wasn't really that important to any of us. Anyway, small side track there! Today: Math w/each Writing w/each Spelling for DS11 and DD10 Grammar for DS13 Free reading for all Read alouds and memory work Nutcracker rehearsal for DD10
  13. It’s down for me, but it’s been weird for a couple days too.
  14. Good morning! Snow here too! We've got almost 2 inches already and it rarely ever snows like this before Thanksgiving. Some years it doesn't snow this much before Christmas! We've already been out playing in it. Now we are back inside to warm up and I think we will do math and writing today. I'll read aloud and I'd also like to sit down and play a game with the kids. They will spend a little time reading too. Aiming for a productive but relaxed day. DD should have a ballet class this evening but I kind of hope it will be cancelled.
  15. Good morning! We are starting school in about five minutes but I wanted to hop on here quickly before I forget! We’ve slowly rolled into this school year and this is the week we bring it up to full speed. I think it’s going to go well. I hope! So here’s what we’ve got for today: Everyone: Morning Basket, Science DS12: math, reading, writing, spelling, grammar, typing, and history DS11: math, writing, reading, spelling, typing and history w/DD10 DD10: math, reading, writing, spelling, typing and history w/DS10. Ballet for DD10 this evening. It will be a full day but not completely stuffed.
  16. Thank you so much for all of your input! I sat down with all my kids this morning and we made a plan. My oldest prefers to work on his own for history and is going to do U.S. history this year and World Geography next year. My younger two want to do ancient history this year, they were very young the first time we went through it and don't remember much. I think I've got enough resources on my shelves to pull together a good year for them. All of the kids want to work together for science, which is fine with me because I think science is the hardest to implement, only having to do one thing for all three will be easier. They could not agree on a single topic for the year so I suggested we do unit studies instead. I think we are going to shoot for four, one a quarter, then they can each pick a topic and I can pick a topic I think we need to cover. My middle son picked rocketry and since he already has a great book about rocketry with a lot of hands on activities I think we will use that. We are all happy with this plan and it feels doable for me!
  17. This school year I will have DS almost 13 in 7th grade, DS11 in 6th grade and DD10 in 5th grade. I'll be honest, the last two years we haven't done much in the way of history or science, so we are way the heck off of the 4 year history and science cycles described in TWTM! I want to do history and science this year, but I don't know if I should combine them or what to have them do. In elementary school we used SOTW for history and a mix of things for science such as RSO and Mystery Science. What would be good for my oldest to have exposure to before high school? I was thinking for 7th grade doing a year of American history and reading through the Hakim's History of US concise books along with some sort of output. Then for 8th using BYL World Geography and Cultures. I have no idea what to do for science for the next two years. Should I have my 6th and 5th graders follow along with what their older brother is doing for the next two years? I feel like this would be the easiest option for me but then I am worried that if I end up doing most of the reading aloud from a spine to them it will be detrimental in some way to my oldest. Ugh, I am just completely stuck by indecision! Help!
  18. I could definitely use some new ideas! Here's this week: Monday - spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread Tuesday - chicken tacos Wednesday - Crockpot Meatball Subs, salad Thursday - chicken stir fry Friday - pizza (not sure if this will be homemade, frozen or take out), salad Saturday - grilled burgers, baked beans, ? Sunday - smoked sausage and potato hash, broccoli
  19. We have been consistently getting read alouds and the 3R's done so far this year. Yay, go us! However, we have not been getting History and Science done. I started out this year thinking that it was time my 6th grader started to work on his own in these subjects while the younger two stayed together. This is just not working! My oldest still needs too much hand holding to make him working on his own a viable option. It would lessen my stress considerably to keep them in the same time period for history and same topic for science. And I truly think that is what they would prefer. Those subjects have always been family subjects. I don't know what I was thinking trying to separate the oldest out! Oh well, live and learn. But now I've got to figure out how to salvage the remainder of this year. Luckily we're only about 10 weeks into our year so far so we have a good chunk of time left. Here is where we are right now: DS12 has read about 15 chapters from A History of US (concise) and only 3 from the Holt Earth Science book. The younger two have done 5 lessons from History Odyssey Level 2 Ancients and no science. I want to keep them all together for history and science for 2-3 more years. Knowing that, what would you choose to do for history? US History or World History? The kids have no preference. I've got resources to make either work. If you want to know specifically what I have I'll be happy to list it. And what about science? I'm slightly leaning toward going with interest led units so that they can explore as much as they want to. DS10 has a rocketry book he is excited about going through so that would be a good one to start with. Any advice would be appreciated!
  20. I didn't even get a chance to post yesterday, I was on the go from morning till bedtime! We did get everything done though. We are a lot better at getting things done on the days we have evening activities. Today we don't have any evening activities and we all slept in a bit so of course we are late getting started. But when we do everybody has their own math, writing, grammar, spelling and reading; one has logic, one has handwriting and one has typing. Then together we have science and are supposed to do a poetry tea. Plus the usual chores: laundry, dishes, picking things up, vacuuming desperately needs to happen. Hmmm, that seems like a lot. We'd better get started and see how much we can get done!
  21. Hi all! We took last week off and Monday starts our second quarter. We are changing things up a bit and I need some accountability to help get things rolling. We spent our first quarter doing Brave Writer things for our language arts and it was a nice change but the kids still prefer the WTM style, so we are going back to that. I spent the morning getting all their stuff set up and ready to go. I need to sit down and write out the plan for this week. Also need to give the kids their new chore assignments for the month, get our Halloween decorations put up, a little cleaning and make dinner. I better go get busy!
  22. After getting a start on the year I realized that we needed to make some changes. We are all, kids and mom, burned out on WTM style writing and grammar. When everyone dreads doing it then I feel like it's time for a change, at least temporarily. I still love it, but we need a break! My son also wants more independence. So here is my 6th grade DS's revised list. Math - Math Mammoth 6 Literature - coming up with our own list Writing - The Arrow, Partnership Writing/Faltering Ownership, Brave Writer lifestyle stuff, also going to start to work through the Killgallon middle school books Spelling - Megawords Grammar - Grammar and Punctuation 6th Grade Logic - Logic Liftoff series History - History Odyssey Level 2 Ancients, then Middle Ages Science - Holt Science and Technology Earth Science Fine Arts - art club, experiences, etc. P.E. - swimming, running ?
  23. I own Elemental Science Biology Logic stage but we didn't end up using it. However, in the back there is a page with recommendations for including younger kids. Following the same sequence, just using different resources. I don't know if the other logic stage programs have this but you could always contact Elemental Science and ask. Hope that helps!
  24. I am feeling more than a little lost here. Up till now we've used things that are generally planned out like SOTW and RSO, so I'm having a hard time coming up with my own stuff. I'd like my 6th grade DS to use the History of US concise books A and B and also the Holt Science and Technology Earth Science book this year. I have no idea what to do as output. He will read and we will discuss, but what else? That doesn't seem like it's enough for his age but I'm not sure what is appropriate either. I looked at summarizing and outlining per TWTM. That, plus some experiments will probably be fine for science. Ha, look at that! I think I just figured science out. I think the History of US books are going to be a pain to outline because of the chatty style they are written in and there is no way doing a summary for every single chapter is going to fly with him. I can have him keep a timeline. Maybe a short report on a topic of interest related to history every few weeks? See, I have no clue here! Any other ideas for me?
  25. Literature - coming up with a list Math - Math Mammoth 4 Writing - Writing with Ease 3 Spelling - All About Spelling 3, maybe start 4 Grammar - First Language Lessons 3 Handwriting - Handwriting without Tears 4 History - HO Level 2 Ancients, start Middle Ages Science - finish RSO Physics, short units on rocketry, robotics and bridges/tunnels Art - art club 1x per month, drawing, museums/experiences Music - experiences, piano lessons ?? PE - ballet
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