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    I am a former teacher with 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls.
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    Home Educator!
  1. After accepting my money, I never heard anything. There were a few of us....pls. mail what was promised.

  2. I had the same exact dilema with my 9 yo. He was seeing a counselor for anger issues, and it seemed that it stemmed from social problems, he felt like he didn't have any good friends. We moved to a new state this summer, and my husband was adamant about putting my 9 yo and 11yo in school so they could make friends. It was upsetting for me, but I finally went along with it. They now attend a very nice private school, and they are doing well, but my 9 yo came to me the other day expressing hurt feelings because he doesn't have any close friends in his class. So, school really hasn't solved the problem, and I'm still on the fence as to whether we have made the right decision. On the flip side, my husband is really happy with the decision we made. The reason I like homeschooling is because it is an environment where each child's individual needs are met, and I'm a big believer that there is no "one size fits all" approach to education that works for everyone. What works for your family might not work for another, so don't feel you have to homeschool just to homeschool. At the same time, school might not fix this particular problem, so you have to decide if what you are giving up is outweighed by what you will gain. Good luck!
  3. I read the first edition when I started homeschooling several years ago, and then lent it to my sister never to get it back. I should really buy the latest edition and read it.
  4. Card games are cheap and effective. Pinochle, Gin Rummy, Smear, Poker, or any other card games where score keeping and/or card counting is involved. You are working on algebra, probability, and a host of other math skills. My husband majored in Chemical engineering with a minor (almost a major) in math. I attribute at least part of his math smarts to his growing up on a farm and playing card games with his parents and sister from the time he was able to count. He actually has quite a few generations of engineers in his family, and at family functions they all play cards.
  5. Every school principal I ever worked with or knew personally was a former teacher. A few of them were promoted to an administration position under the condition that they recieve their administration degree within a certain period of time. Most administrative positions require at least a Masters degree. I had classmates in college in my graduate level special ed courses who were educational administration grad students, and they were all former teachers who had an administrative position waiting for them back in their hometowns. But, I've lived near some of the most rural areas in the country, where teaching positions can be very hard to fill.
  6. They are only criminals if they broke the law. I feel their actions or lack there of are morally bankrupt and certainly disgusting, but it sounds like they fullfilled any legal requirement they had to report it. I wrote a paper on "Good Samaritan" laws in college, it was very surprising just how few states have legislation that requires a witness of a crime to intervene (by intervene I mean either stepping in themselves or calling the police). Many states have laws requiring teachers, police officers, medical workers, and other civil servants to report child abuse, but this again this does not necessarily mean they must report it to the police, just their superiors who are supposed to take it from there. So, many cases like this are simply handled internally to avoid scandal, one reason why we homeschool. New legislation should be passed in PA to require this type of event to be reported to the proper legal authorities. There is no excuse for this, and I'm glad the President of the University resigned, it sends a message that this was a failure that went all the way to the top. This didn't take place in the 1950's before our society was more concious of this, it took place after the scandals that rocked the Catholic Church, and so it should have been handled out in the open. It shows where we are at as a society, that so many people in positions of authority think this is the type of behavior that can be swept under the rug. Just sickening.
  7. When I was a prechool teacher we frequently used colored pencils for coloring, and when the students had a choice of materials to use for their coloring they chose colored pencils more than crayons or markers. We also used these crayons for coloring and writing, they are the full size ones not the mini ones: http://www.amazon.com/BIN527408-Twistable-Crayons-PK-RD/dp/B000E21OKE/ref=sr_1_6?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1320687305&sr=1-6 We also used golf pencils to strengthen their fingers, along with plenty of playdough, games using tweezers, etc. www.preschoolcoloringbook.com has plenty of simple coloring pages for preschool kids I also love Dover coloring books for older kids, we use them quite a bit for history. Here are some classic lit coloring books: http://store.doverpublications.com/by-subject-coloring-books-regular-coloring-books-classic-stories-coloring.html
  8. It's almost all hand me downs at our house, either from older to younger or outside friends and family. My kids don't complain about clothes, but when they complain about other things they wish we could have we just explain that we have limited finances, and that we need to be thankful that we are all safe and warm and well fed, since many people in the world are not. We really stress gratitude in our house, and showing thanks for what you do have instead of worrying about what you don't. I'm not saying my kids are perfect, but we really strive to make sure our kids are appreciative and not materialistic, it's one of my main goals as a parent. I do let my kids pick out one or two new outfits a year, nothing expensive, we usually shop at The Children's Place with coupons at the end of season clearance, or Target. They also get new sweaters for Christmas, and they get to pick out a dressy outfit for Easter every spring. This might help your daughter, if she got to pick a few outfits herself througout the year. That way you aren't buying a whole wardrobe, but your daughter will have a few new things of her own. HTH!
  9. I just got done looking at the HUFI booklist and schedules, thanks for the info! I have read her articles on narration, copywork, etc. and found them very helpful, but I never browsed her actual curriculum. For some reason I thought she was using AO more or less as written, I didn't realize how different it was. Her history cycle is very appealing to me as well, maybe next year.... :)
  10. I do look at the books and get a little nervous at the thought of multiple children. I really don't want to combine them but I have four and they are closely spaced so this is something I've been reading about in regards to AO (particularly since I can read more testimonies of that than of LBC). I have found that there are "larger" families doing AO and keeping children in separate years and I need to read more but I'm presuming this is doable due to children doing their own reading at a certain point so that had me wondering if it could be the same with LBC. I realize there are a lot of factors that differ between the two programs that I haven't been able to sort out and think through yet, though. For instance, LBC has composer and picture study scheduled by year according to history period while these are subjects that AO schedules so as to combine children. I love both plans! I'm going to have to be realistic though. One is obviously more doable than four. I should have been clearer on this, I didn't mean to imply that LBC requires more prep work than AO in general or as a rule. AO was just less work for me during that particular time in my life and in our particular situation. I didn't mean to make a blanket statement about LBC vs. AO, since each family's circumstances will have an impact on which curriculum works best for them. At the time I was making the decision between AO and LBC, I already had many of the selections from AO in my library and I had downloaded the rest online, and being able to access free schedules, copywork selections, and support from the yahoo groups also made it seem more "doable." Also, having the librivox recordings was a big plus for me, since I have so many children, and fewer of the LBC books are available in that format. I had a 2nd grader, 3rd grader, and preschooler, and combining them in certain subjects and having them in their own AO years seemed like a great way to streamline and did work quite well. I'm sure that others would have no problem combining levels for multiple children with LBC, it just wasn't the best fit for us at that time. This year my oldest two are back in private school, so I contemplated using LBC Year One with my 7 year old this year. But I had a baby last month, and also having a toddler and preschooler at home, I decided that using something I'm more familiar with like AO was the best option. But then, what about history with AO? It appears from the scope & sequence I read on the FAQ page that ancients are only studied for one term in Year 6 and then in Year 12. How do others feel about that? I don't think I like it. I think I would have to supplement somehow. AO does not include an in depth history study of the ancients in Y1, but they do have what I would call "classical studies" built in to the schedule each year from the start, although they do not call it that. To my mind their selections are very similar to what LCC lays out (another very appealing approach for me, though not CM). LCC has multiple history schedules each year organized to include classical studies, Christian studies and modern studies, and I find AO to be very similar to this. Here are the books by year in AO that I consider to make up a "classical studies" curriculum: Year One: Fifty Famous Stories Retold with stories from ancient Greece and Rome, Bible study (we discuss the Egyptians, Assyrians, Hebrews, Babylonians during our study of the Old Testament, and ancient Greek and Roman culture is covered during our New Testament studies) Our Island Story covers the Roman conquest of Britain in Y1 Year Two: Bible Study A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales, both are free reading selections that cover Greek and Roman mythology Year Three: Bible Study, Heroes by Charles Kingsley is a required book for literature that also covers Greek mythology Year Four: Bible study, Plutarch, this is history and literature The Age of Fable by Bullfinch is a required lit book covering Greek and Roman mythology, Formal Latin starts this year Year Five: Bible Study, Plutarch and The Age of Fable are used again this year Year Six: Bible Study, Plutarch and Age of Fable continue, Augustus Caesar’s World, The Story of the Greeks and The Story of the Roman's, Archimedes and the Door of Science, and The Iliad (Black Ships Before Troy and Tales of Troy are listed as alternative versions) To me this seems like a thorough, effective and methodical way for us to prepare for a "Great Books" approach in high school, which is appealing to me. But I also really enjoy the chronological four year cycle as well, and really wanted to cover other ancient cultures besides middle eastern biblical cultures and the Greeks and Romans, so we are using SOTW1 to fill the gap. I am also using the AO history readings, and my son is doing really well keeping track of the different timelines, it has not been an issue at all for us. If it had been an issue, I would have dropped the AO history and just used SOTW. AO also suggests SOTW 4 in Year 5, so if we stick with AO I may just switch to the AO chronology. It isn't a 4 year cycle, but it is pretty close. I haven't really looked at the years after year 6 closely, I really like the private high school here in town, and if we do homeschool for high school I've been considering Kolbe Academy and using the HEO booklist as a supplement. For anyone who is interested in AO but knows they would have to tweak or suplement, there is a yahoo group called AmbleRamble that is very active where people share alternative books, schedules, supplements, and just general homeschooling info for AO. Wow this is a long post, I hope someone will find it useful :)
  11. Memoria Press is the most "classical" boxed curriculum I've seen, we tried it for Kindergarten with my ds7, but it was too dry for him and so I am doing an ecclectic mix of CM and classical. But, MP would have worked quite well for my oldest if it had been around when we started.
  12. The student isn't expected to read the selections himself until year 4, but they are expected to narrate the selections and this is how you check for comprehension. If you are wondering about reading instruction, AO suggests using a daily phonics program of your choice along with copywork, dictation, and narration. Here is a language arts scope and sequence if you are interested: http://www.amblesideonline.org/LangArtsScopeSeq.shtml#1to3 They don't suggest any specific phonics programs, but the phonics programs I've seen discussed on the boards include 100 ez lessons, Ordinary Parents Guide, and Blend Phonics. They also suggest these readers: http://www.mainlesson.com/author.php?author=treadwell My son is a struggling reader, we are currently using BOB books and Dick and Jane. HTH!
  13. Have you loked at the Holling C. Holling books for US Geography? They are used in AO in years 1-3, and then Ann Voskamps book in year 4. Beautiful Feet has a study guide to do all of the Holling books in one year, along with maps you can purchase. We are reading them along with the Evan-Moor continent books, and then we are going to do Voskamp in 4th grade as well.
  14. That is very interesting. I read somewhere on the AO site that CM actually mapped out music appreciation according to what time period was being studied in history. The advisory board said that that would be the ideal way to organize a study of music and folksongs, but they organized them by term to make it easier for families to combine children in multiple years. I seem to recall LBC having art and musical selections based on the historical period being studied, so you could combine the two so the student would be exposed to music and art from various time periods. I have also seen others advocate studying music and art in a strictly chronological way, regardless of history cycle. This would be interesting, as you would see the natural progression of art and music through the ages.
  15. One alternative to Trial and Triumph people use is In God's Garden by Amy Steedman. It is available to read at mainlesson.com I have the LBC teacher guides as well, and I love the idea of them. I bought them second hand and we used them in the beginning of our homeschool journey. In reality the program was just not a good fit for us, there was too much going on for me, too many books, too much prep work to really get the most out of it with so many kids. If I only had one or two it might be the way to go. I also love Mater Amabilis, which is almost like a cross between AO and LBC, and also free online. It is Catholic, but it would be appropriate for Protestants as well. It uses a lot of the same books as LBC, and so it is also more expensive than AO. MA also seems like it would be more time consuming than LBC to implement. So I ended up going with AO because I know it is a rigorous, quality program, the costs are low, and there is so much support and so many resources on the yahoo groups that it just seems easier for me to use. Of course I tweak, and I also use resources from WTM and LCC, so I am not really a straight up "CM'er."
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