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  1. I need some ideas for grammar for this next year. We've been using FLL all the way through (DS levels 1-3; DD levels 1-4 and then Rod and Staff this year), and I'm having to acknowledge to myself that I just don't think it's working. Both kids can rattle off definitions and lists like nobody's business, but ask them to actually identify parts of speech in a sentence when we HAVEN'T just spent five minutes talking about that part of speech, and they look at me like deer in headlights. My son can easily tell you that "A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought" and "All sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark" - and yet he routinely begins his sentences with lowercase letters. 🙄 The memorization just isn't making its way into practical use. I'm looking for something that, ideally, would cover grammar in a thorough but incremental manner, in about 15 minutes a day, with CLEAR explanations, plenty of practice, and in a format/presentation that's attractive and interesting to my kids. DD11 is an artistic, dreamy soul who'd love to spend her whole day drawing and listening to audiobooks; DS9 is a budding engineer who's preoccupied with Legos, pistons, gears, and the like. I don't even know where to begin looking. We've never used (nor really looked at) anything but FLL, and I've kind of been waiting to see if all the memorization would begin to pay off in practical application...but I'm just not seeing it, and I think I'm facing the fact that we need to try something else. Thank you so much for your help!!! Eta: I realized I accidentally posted this in the wrong topic...and as I can't find a way to delete it, please pardon me! 😳 I'll go post in the K-8 curriculum board where it was meant to be.
  2. My 8yo son is currently using Horizons 3rd grade math. We both like the worksheets and that it has built in review. He's moving through it fine, but I feel like we're reaching a point where he is looking for more of the "why" not just the "how". I'm not looking to abandon the curriculum entirely, but I'm looking for something to add to round out the conceptual side of math that I feel is lacking. I've seen a lot of people talking positively about RightStart, Singapore (I see there are 2 options, Dimensions Math and Primary Math - happy to hear about both of these), and Math in Focus and would love some feedback. In my mind, the ideal situation would be for him to complete 1 page of Horizons a day as review work (he really goes through them quickly) along with 1 lesson from something more in depth. I don't mind spending 30 or so minutes a day of active teaching time on math, so if something is more teacher-centric that's not a deal breaker. We tried Beast Academy and he was luke warm about it, and to be honest I was too. I think it's a great program, just not a good fit for us. I had seen in another post that someone was using a RightStart/Horizons/Singapore Challenging Word Problems combination which (without actually doing it) seems very well rounded. I'm open to any thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!
  3. I need some ideas for grammar for this next year. We've been using FLL all the way through (DS levels 1-3; DD levels 1-4 and then Rod and Staff this year), and I'm having to acknowledge to myself that I just don't think it's working. Both kids can rattle off definitions and lists like nobody's business, but ask them to actually identify parts of speech in a sentence when we HAVEN'T just spent five minutes talking about that part of speech, and they look at me like deer in headlights. My son can easily tell you that "A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought" and "All sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a punctuation mark" - and yet he routinely begins his sentences with lowercase letters. 🙄 The memorization just isn't making its way into practical use. I'm looking for something that, ideally, would cover grammar in a thorough but incremental manner, in about 15 minutes a day, with CLEAR explanations, plenty of practice, and in a format/presentation that's attractive and interesting to my kids. DD11 is an artistic, dreamy soul who'd love to spend her whole day drawing and listening to audiobooks; DS9 is a budding engineer who's preoccupied with Legos, pistons, gears, and the like. They both blanch at the sight of densely-packed or tiny text on a page, and each has a tendency to get lost in their own thoughts if something doesn't hold their attention. I don't even know where to begin looking. We've never used (nor really looked at) anything but FLL, and I've kind of been waiting to see if all the memorization would begin to pay off in practical application...but I'm just not seeing it, and I think I'm facing the fact that we need to try something else. Thank you so much for your help!!!
  4. My daughter wants to read Moby Dick, and I'm wondering if the content is appropriate for a 9 year old? I've never actually read it myself, so I have no clue. She loves to read, and I'm not worried about the "level" as much as the content.
  5. Hello! I'm using A Child's History of the World as a spine for grade 1-4 history (will use Story of the World for grades 5-8). I'm planning out grade 4 history, and there are so few chapters in CHW for me to work with; I'm having a hard time fleshing it out with enough well-written biographies/histories. I am just now looking over Robert Lacey's Great Tales from English History vol 2, but don't have access to vol. 3 from my local library. I'm wondering if It is a worthwhile purchase for me, as I tend to be pretty right-leaning, and understand he's a pretty staunchly not. I don't have a problem reading my children stuff that has opposing perspectives, but I guess I'm wondering whether I would find his angle to be more distorting than it is beneficial (based on a review of his treatment of Churchill, for example). Otherwise, his short biographies are exactly the sort of thing I'd find ideal. Regardless, any other recommendations for fleshing out modern history at the grammar stage? I have Granfield's Flanders Fields and that's pretty much all I've found so far that I am thrilled about. I'm looking for books that cover more of the basic historical bases of that time than, for example, Snow Treasure (eg. am using Lila of Ingleside for read-aloud this year, but not for our history lessons.) But, I would very much like to be using truly excellent literary material. Thanks for your help! September
  6. My 3rd grade son took the Stanford 10 last week. I received the results back this morning and the only thing he struggled with was Word Study Skills. I'm not sure exactly what that is as we did not practice for the test. I have a feeling he may not have understood what was being asked, but never the less, I want to make sure I'm teaching him all he needs. He has struggled in spelling this year (we use SWR) and seems to have a hard time retaining words from week to week (I always include words from past lists). Is there a spelling curriculum anyone would recommend that covers word study skills and helps students to retain spelling words? I've looked at ABeCeDarian Word Study, but I'm not sure. What about AAS? My 1st grader is a phenomenal speller because he has a photographic memory and if he has read the word, he can spell the word. The only problem with that is he doesn't want to sound out words for spelling, but just write them down. I will also have a K5 student next year so I would like to get something I could use for all of them. Should I get something just for Word Study Skills and keep SWR? I've liked the curriculum (we've done since K5 with my oldest) or is there something that would work for both? Thanks!
  7. I'd like to do some logic puzzles and critical thinking activities with my 4th and 5th graders next school year--for fun, not as a heavy academic pursuit. Sort of as prep for more formal study during middle school. Any ideas? Workbooks? Websites? Games?
  8. Which Life of Fred book would you recommend I get for a 9 year old (4th grader) whose main math is Saxon 6/5? He completed Apples through Dogs a while ago. Does he really need to pick back up with Edgewood, or can he jump in with Kidneys?
  9. I'm thinking of teaching a science course for 3rd and 4th graders at our co-op. Does anyone have experience with Apologia's Young Explorers Chemistry/Physics? Would that be a good fit for this group? Obviously, we could not finish the book in one semester (10 classes, 45 min) but possibly we could continue the 2nd semester. I'm thinking that we would follow the book but do a brief lesson at beginning (10-15 min) and then the remainder would be hands-on activities/experiments. We did do a chemistry (REal Science 4 Kids) pre-level last year, and liked that. But I was thinking this curriculum would expand on that. The other thing I want to ask -- are the materials for the experiments fairly easy to put hands on? We have some basic equipment (graduated cylinders) here. Also I have two classroom kits, one for states of matter and one for polymers which we could use. Would those fit in? Any thoughts and suggestions would be very welcome!
  10. What are your goals for your 4th grader in writing? What do you hope that they will be able to do by the end of 4th grade? And, if you currently have a 3rd grader, where are they now, here near the end of third grade? My 3rd grader loves to do copywork, loves to write stories, letters, and in her journal (a private diary-type thing, not something I read or assign!). She tolerates doing summaries and has transitioned over the course of the year from oral summaries to written summaries. She's ok with dictation. She's still working on spelling, but at least it isn't holding her up from writing at this point. I'm pretty happy with what she's accomplished in 3rd grade. BUT: she is very resistant to more "academic" writing. When I want her to write a paragraph about a topic, she wants to be chatty, and add a lot of commentary. I blame this on reading and listening to so much Percy Jackson! She has a great voice, but she wants to *only* write like that - like she's talking, having a conversation. When I try to get her to do a straightforward Topic sentence plus supporting sentences type paragraph, factual/academic style, she hates it. And I feel like this is my goal for 4th grade - that she'd be able to write 1-3 paragraphs on a topic by the end of the year, as well as be able to summarize short nonfiction and fiction readings. I'm not sure at this point whether to just let that go for the rest of 3rd grade, and start working on it fresh next year? Or what. I'm frustrated, because she doesn't want to learn the kind of writing I want to teach her, and she's frustrated, because she doesn't want to do the kind of writing I want her to. FWIW, this is not an uncommon occurrence with this child. Advice or suggestions? Anyway, even if you don't have advice or suggestions about this situation, I'd love to hear about your goals and plans for 4th grade writing!
  11. I am going to be doing SOTW 2 with my 2nd and 4th grade girls next year. It is easy to find literature for a 2nd grader because that is typically when one would be in that year. I have found Classical House of LIterature to use with her. I may not use every day's narration page though, as I think she would become frustrated. However, I am having trouble finding some history based literature for my 4th grader. Does anyone have suggestions for 4th grade or 5th grade level books for this year in history? And did you do special questions or anything to go with them, or just have them read and discuss? Thanks in advance!!!
  12. Hi, I know it is seems early to start preparing which curriculum to use in Fall 2014, but I got an email recently that the local Homeschool trade show/conference is in March. So, prior to that, I really want to have most of my curriculum choices nailed down! Anyways, this year we are using MFW Exploring Countries and Cultures. It is going OK, not LOVING it like we did MFW Adventures. Next in the MFW cycle we would be doing Creation to Greeks. I will have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and 1st grader doing the work. Questions, what was your opinion of CTG? Was it fun? Did kids enjoy it? What was the main history text? DId anyone add MOH or another supplement text for history? Did you supplement the science? We currently are working through the Apologia Zoology books. What is the science like in CTG? Would CTG be too difficult for a 1st grader??? Or too violent??? (she's very sensitive) Thanks!
  13. This next school year I am taking a break from HOD for my upcoming 4th grade daughter because I want to start her in Creation to Christ for 5th grade when her skills are more developed. She has already done the program before this one (Preparing Hearts) so I need to find some sort of filler program for next year. We are going to be focusing heavily on the 3 R's (thanks to the kindness of a friend who gifted me some great materials), and I am looking for something fun for things like science, history, music etc... Her younger brother, age 7 may sit in on her lessons. Any suggestions?
  14. I am putting together a reading list for 4th grade...so far, we have Stuart Little (rereading it for OM), the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Black Beauty, Amos Fortune...... Other recs appreciated.
  15. I was wondering if a 4th grade plan thread had been started yet? I am thinking about revamping a lot so I'm looking for inspiration :)
  16. i'm interested in ideas on several things: 1) if anyone meshes elements of IEW, MCT, WWE/WWS together to create a personalized mosaic of Language Arts for their kiddos in elementary and heading into middle school. {{fyi background: our DS10 is finishing off 4th grade; DD8, 2nd. we combined LA this year (for the first time) with our DD in 2nd grade to do MCT Island+IEW SWI-A and it was a phenomenal success. i still had them working in their respective WWE levels peppered throughout, and i will probably continue that same approach because DS10 is generally stronger in linguistics than DD8. to follow up on IEW for 3rd and 5th grads, i'm thinking of AFF for IEW for DD8 to follow up/reinforce SWI-A and possibly the geo-based for my DS10. we also loved MCT Island that we did altogether this year. we love it all. i want to continue on with Town after we wrap up our schoolyear (we're just reviewing/reinforcing all the great stuff we've learned this year so far until then), and i'm trying to discern how to mesh that with IEW follow up (we're not going on to SWI-b just yet and are transitioning into WWS for the older one ..... without doing too much. i don't mind dabbling in all of it, alternating weeks here and there, to maintain a balanced mosaic approach. in fact, i find the changes of pace refreshing throughout the schoolyear. but i don't want to confuse the kids as they are acquiring skills. they love it and i want to just feed their love of language/writing as best i can.}} 2) we are winding down our need for WWE4 (DS has done the entire series)..... i don't want to start WWS just yet, and i want to make use of the kilgallon story grammar or sentence composing (that i have on our shelf but have never used ) before we try WWS or Town level just for a change of pace as well as a different perspective. what kilgallon is best to prep DS10 for WWS and / or Town? 3) i was also wondering if there's anybody out there who could comment on the various components of MCT Town and whether one needs to do all of it in order to benefit, if one is using something alongside such as WWS or IEW. stated differently, if one takes an a la carte approach to MCT Town, what components would be an overlap with WWS/IEW and therefore redundant or nonessential? thanks in advance -- i love all the different experiences and perspectives one can garner on the forums!!!! :)
  17. Ok, so I've searched for what the test for 4th grade writing assessments is like..... I know we do a "OAKS" test here, but then we have the writing assessment part, too. I've just enrolled my son in a Charter Montessori, so I'm kinda playing catch up in the writing department..... I can find spots that I'm suppose to click on, to see a sample, but it's not even a "dead link"... clicking on it goes now where... Anyone have ideas? Samples? He's sick today.... so I can practice with him.... lucky him!! :)
  18. Hello! I am looking for a thorough literature curriculum for my 4th grader. She enjoys reading Dr. Dolittle and other classic children's literature. Has anyone discovered a great resource for literature that involves some discussion/comprehension questions for elementary students? Most of what I've seen is geared for high school students. Thanks!
  19. Brand new to this site, am desperately seeking advice on math curriculum for my son who will be entering 4th grade. Trying to decide between Math Mammoth and Saxon. Thoughts? Anyone used both? Which do you like and why? (by the way, someone tell me what "dd," "df," etc. mean) Thanks!
  20. So here is my dilemma. We have used First Language Lessons since the beginning. We are finishing the level 3 grammar book this week. My daughter is halfway through 4th grade. I would like her to do Analytical Grammar at some point in middle school, then their high school reinforcement books in 9-12 grade. She LOVES grammar and she wants to be an author, so I'd like her to continue it every year. My main question is this: How do First Language Lessons Grammar levels 3 and/or 4 flow into Analytical Grammar (AG)? Is diagramming similar in the two? If we continued to level 4 of FLL, would it make sense to begin AG in season two, or are things done differently enough that we'd begin AG in season one still? (link to what is taught in each season of AG: http://www.analyticalgrammar.com/faq#aggradelevel ) Also, with baby 4 on the way, I would really, really like to switch to a grammar program that is more self-taught than FLL. I really like the looks of GROWING WITH GRAMMAR (GWG), and I think she'd enjoy it, but I don't want to jump to that and then switch to AG later on. Unless those flow together pretty seemlessly too. Anyone know?? Additionally, because FLL level 3 and 4 do offer tons of diagramming, which is her favorite part of grammar, I'm concerned GWG and AG might not have as much diagramming as FLL, and that initially it would be a step backwards in that regard. That's how it appears from their samples. OR, if we switched to GWG and did that through book 8 (starting with book 5 after FLL 3?), and THEN went to the AG High School Reinforcement books, would that work well? Or are the two completely different and we'd have to go through AG anyhow in order to understand the AG high school workbooks?? I am spending days and days trying to figure this out, and still cannot decide. I really need first hand experience/advice!!! Please chime in!!!!! THANK YOU!
  21. What do you consider important to know by the end of 4th grade? I have a first grader and a 4th grader right now. I especially want to make sure my 4th grader is going to be prepared for the logic years ahead. So I'm asking this mostly to make sure she is going to be on track, but also because with my first grader, I can start from the beginning. :)
  22. This is our first year homeschooling, our 4th grader is not returning to school. We would like to study Latin roots/stems. Not a formal Latin language course, but something which would teach him common Latin roots--would also help with English vocabulary. I've heard of one I think, English from the Roots Up. Can anyone give us thoughts about the most effective/fun? We are going to use Calvert overall curriculum and supplement with some unit studies and have two mornings each week for HS coops. Amy
  23. This is our first year HSing, our son is in 4th grade and has had a couple of years of easy Spanish 1X/wk in public school. Not a lot, but common words etc. Is there a program out there which would help him retain what he has learned in Spanish, and move ahead? We were thinking of something he could do 1-2 times/week. Would like it to be fun and interactive, with pronunciations via sound clips. Amy
  24. Hi, We are planning to start homeschooling our son this fall. We plan to use the 4th grade Calvert curriculum as a "spine" but also work off reading lists on Well Trained Mind and add a couple of unit studies. We like the ability to cover set material but adapt to areas where he is above grade level or has specific interests. He really likes math (although long division, not so much so yet). I was wondering if anyone had thoughts about Calvert math (4th ) vs. Singapore math? I've heard some prefer one over the other, but not sure why. Any other thoughts on math for 4th that would fit for us? Amy
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