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  1. Another thread and a post by Ruth has really got me thinking. It seems all our subjects are so restrictive and in depth when it comes to how we do them. I have been racking my brain for weeks now trying to figure out why it seems we are spending all day doing school and not really much being accomplished. Why cant you pick a list of topics and let the child read and watch about it? I think this would really work for my kiddos but I guess I am lacking the knowledge to step out and do it. I want my kids to have more time for math not just their regular curriculum but all the extras. I want them to have more time to focus and explore in science. Both girls are excellent spellers and their writing is coming along fine. So why do I take the time out of our days to do things I don't think they need? Mainly because of the pressure I feel from other moms. I read some of the threads on here and other boards and moms are doing 3 math programs, 2-3 languages, 2 sciences multiple history and I always feel like we are lacking. So what do I do? I add more!!! This is not working! I need to find away to revamp our school days so the kiddos have more time to learn in their way. Any thoughts?
  2. ETA: Okay, this started off as a spin-off thread, but as I rambled on it took on a life of its own and I can't change the title! I am looking to condense history a little bit from what we are currently doing. My dd's schedule has gotten way out of hand, because I planned her academic year and then at the last minute we enrolled her in public school for choir and band. And during the fall, marching band has taken over our lives. She has also joined the school's Speech & Debate team, and between those 3 activities, she is out of the house a minimum of 23 hours a week. This is a bit of a problem given the academics I had planned for her this year! It will get better when marching band is over, because Concert Band has no regularly-scheduled evening practices (and no football games or band competitions). Obviously, my dd is overloaded and now, at 6 weeks into the school year I am looking to lighten her load but not have the learning be affected (ha, I know). We are using TOG Year 1 Rhetoric. Fifth year with TOG, 1st year doing Rhetoric. It's not too hard for her; on the contrary, she is enjoying the literature selections very much. However, the history portion for the first half of the year is very limited - mostly reading the early Old Testament books. I would feel much better if she were working through SWB's History of the Ancient World (which I have). Also, TOG makes liberal use of Norton's Anthology, but I would rather my dd read the whole work (The Iliad, for example). On the flip side, though, I am not good at discussing books (even if I read them), so I love TOG's discussion outlines. So...I was thinking of changing to using HofAW as our spine, reading whole books, and organizing the TOG discussions to go along with what we're doing. This may not work well with History, because quite a bit of the discussions are based on their book (which of course, is mostly the bible right now and I do prefer to use TOG secularly), but I think the Rhetoric Literature discussions could work well. Any thoughts on this? Too much reinventing the wheel, or does this make sense? I'd like to have my daughter only working on history 3 days a week instead of her current 6. I was thinking of having her read & outline the spine on Mondays (it's about 25 pages a week), complete mapwork/timeline on Wednesdays, and if we have a discussion, have that on Fridays. For literature, she'd probably have to still read about every day, and then we can discuss on Fridays. This would cut about 2-3 hours out of her week, which is important right now. I've already dropped French down to .5 credit because Latin is her mastery language subject, which she wants to take through to the AP class (she wants to major in Classics). So that gave her about 2 hours a week of extra time. Stress!!! :willy_nilly: (really need a "pulling out my hair" emoticon)
  3. Or is that so generalized that it is impossible to answer? Maybe the full spectrum was available 10 or 15 years ago, and the full spectrum is available now? There are so many homeschool curriculums choices now. I was wondering if, in general, they are more or less rigorous than the original ones? (Not thinking original original here. Just thinking about the choices when I started homeschooling 12 years ago.) I can see how it might go either way. There was a strong rebel-against-the-establishment feeling among some of the older homeschoolers. That might lead to less academicly rigorous curriculums, especially among those who felt strongly that academic skills were over-rated. Or maybe those who don't want to do things in such an academic way don't buy curriculums anyway so there is no way of knowing. On the other hand, academic expectations in general might have been higher, leading to more academically rigorous curriculums even though they were more loosely structured in a non-classroom-like way. Now far more people are homeschooling, which might alter the spectrum. And there are many people who are homeschooling for reasons other than a profound distrust of the methods schools use (or used to use) to teach academic skills. And there is the whole classical movement. Or maybe it is stupid question and we should all be working on our must-get-done-for-summer-to-happen plans and not be procrastinating on the computer LOL. -Nan
  4. I know SWB recommends it and it is a strong English program. I know English grammar is supposed to be challenging. Is R & S is not a good fit for us? DS10 (4th gr.) is using English 4. Here is why I grind my teeth and bang my head on the table: It is so thorough that it is mind numbingly tedious. We do NOT need so.much.detail. Too much to do. I can skip but I dislike wading thru jell-O for a few nuggets of gold. I want a more streamlined way to learn English grammar. Why oh why must we spend so much effort on the minutae of English grammar? :) ETA: Temper Tantrum over Rod and Staff is officially over. We are going to sample KISS (the first section) to see if anything lights up for us. Otherwise, I will relax and let R&S do it's thing. Perhaps I need to see the easiness of the work as a blessing right now because there is plenty of challenge to keep us on our toes in other subjects.
  5. I'd love a comparison. Which is better for VERY reluctant writers? Which is easier to teach? Thanks!
  6. Hi Andrew, OK. I finally finished your lecture Analytical Learning. I still don't know what your thesis was. What were you arguing? At one point you said that the "Mothers of America were set up to lose our confidence." When? How? Are you saying that we lost our confidence when education was pulled away from the humanities and into the world of data and statistics? Because there are plenty of us who are very comfortable in both worlds. And we are encouraging others that it is very possible to self-educate until they feel that same confidence. In your talk, you seem to be pivoting on Descartes and his discourse. You say that Descartes began with the first principle of “Cogito ergo sum†in order to “begin with doubt rather than faith." That analysis misses the point of the work and misguides folks regarding the debate surrounding his work. Descartes is in the process of reductionism in order to arrive at a first principle that can be used to prove the existence of God. It is easy to google the proof in order to get at the essence without reading the work if you don't want to take the time. In any case, Descartes was not trying to begin with doubt. Quite the contrary. Was the work a piece of reverse engineering? Or a failed attempt at Euclidian geometry? What did he intend v. what did he do? The debate continues. But that initial statement was not a blatant exaltation of man over God. From what I have learned, that analysis misses the point of the work entirely. Once you understand what he was trying to do, the work itself generates much to debate and discuss. There is MUCH wisdom to be gained in studying this work and its effect. The simplest lesson being this: “Sometimes your work can be used contrary to your intentions. (Or was it?) Is that your responsibility? Will God hold you accountable?†Oh – one more thing. (A throw-back to an old conversation.) Arithmetic is to phonics what mathematics is to reading. Geometry is the first true step toward mathematics. It begins with the idea that “A point is that which has no part.†There begins the life of the analytical mind. Some kids learn to read when they are three; most can read by the time they are eight. Most kids begin to ponder something that exists that has “no part†in ninth grade – or at least they should. Yes, chronologically it takes longer to get there. But it’s important to get there. Adding columns of numbers is phonics. Yes, it is a necessary warm-up, but it’s an insult to those of us who are analytically trained to suggest that we spend all of our time trying to reduce the universe to a set of vowel and consonant sounds. We too are trying to see life and meaning through a veil of chaos. We begin by pondering something that exists that can not be pulled into the physical world. It can only be modeled with imperfection. From what I can tell, you seem to be arguing that the analytical-minded person should submit himself to some normative conventions. Perhaps. I suspect it would depend on whether or not the normative conventions were developed by folks who understood the power of the analytical mind to reveal the hand of God at work in the earth during this time and place. This debate about the role of education has been going on for a long time. It would be so much more interesting if the folks who majored in the humanities in college would self-educate in math and science. You told all of us who majored in STEM programs that we had to self-educate in the humanities in order to teach our kids. We've done it. Have you done the same? Is it possible that kids who have been trained analytically can make the switch but kids who haven't can't? Peace, Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  7. I was curious if there had been a curriculum developed by either Andrew Kern or the Circe Institute? I've been to the site several times but didn't find one. If not, do they have one they recommend? Thanks!
  8. I came across this article in my travels this morning. It seems like a good topic for discussion. Random Questions, Off the Cuff: If you separate your child from this world, do you render them socially unaware? Are the teen years formative or are they merely the next step in the journey? Reading is a private experience. Can a group of teens be exposed to this world one by one as individuals and remain unaffected? Do they have the skills to ferret out their questions? Do they have the strength/confidence to judge? What kinds of truths will be embraced unconsciously? What social/emotional/relational barriers will be created through these kinds of private experiences? Some? Many? None? Can barriers really be removed through such private exposure or are they merely fortified? Does reading create the life of the mind or does it only expose the life of the mind? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303657404576357622592697038.html Peace, Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  9. We're in Jersey - a tough state for PSAT. But dd scored a 209. Is it relatively sure that she will at least be considered a "Commended Student"? (Dh has had a tough day; it would be nice to greet him at the door with some good news. And Dd could use an ego-boast. I suspect she thinks she's barely above average. She could use a parade. I'm the kind of momma who doesn't usually give parades. ;)) I have never really looked at any of this NM business. Just never figured anyone was that good at test-taking. THANKS! Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  10. Any suggestions for a writing program that teaches middle school ages how to write a topic sentence and develop a paragraph? I am wondering if I should just have him stick with WWS or try to focus on more specific writing skills.
  11. Hi, I am wondering what all of you experienced high school homeschool parents would have approached 7th and 8th grade looking back on it now? What would your ideal approach? What would have been your focus? What would you have let go? What resources would you have definitely used, what would you have passed on? Just any thoughts in general you could share. I am going to have a 7th grader next year and would love to get the insights of folks who have BTDT! Thanks! :)
  12. I posted in the thread below and got some awesome advice and insight. We are starting our first year of homeschool with our 3 children who are coming out of public school. We'll be travelling around in our RV and visiting different libraries weekly. I would like to post what I've purchased and what we're starting with and see if I can get a little help to make that last push and make the big final decisions. The advice in this thread has been invaluable to my wife and I so far, please keep it coming. First Post K - Daughter OPGTTR MCP Plaid Phonics K (she loves to "do school") Zane Bloser Handwriting K Saxon Math 1 (we used the placement test and she got all but 1 in K, so we moved to 1) 4GR - Son Zane Bloser Handwriting 4 Saxon Math 6/5 (from placement test) Rosetta Stone Spanish 6GR - Son Building Thinking Skills Zane Bloser Handwriting 6 Saxon Math 7/6 (from placement test) Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method Rosetta Stone Spanish Here is what is left, if anyone could lend a hand I would be grateful. I think part of my problem, even though I read the entire WTM, is that I'm not grasping the entire language arts section. Basically it's reading, writing, spelling, and grammar. I think i'm fine with my daughter, but i'm slightly confused about the boys (4GR & 6GR). So they'll have a spelling workbook, a grammar book, and handwriting book (probalby last year for 6GR). So then for reading and writing it will be merged with the history spine or enclyopedia work. So my 4GR will read a section, then narrate it (summarize what he just read) and then read additional sources for reading and for some of those items write a small essay. He'll also do dictation where we ready to him and he writes what we read. Correct? This in addition to map locating and coloring. My 6GR will also read a section then narrate it, but a little longer. Then when he reads his more extensive additional sources he will outline them and well continue to dictate to him. Is this correct? This in addition to mapping and time-lining. Then they'll both read an additional hour a day trying to incorporate books that go along with where we're at? Historical fiction, biographies, literature form the time period, etc..? So i'm not sure what copywork is. I'm also not sure where the "reading lists" that other people I know who home school have are coming from. Is this independent of their history? Some of the curriculm seems to be like scripted story books, others seem to be very detailed lists of other things to read, some seem to also cover grammar and writing in with the history (in a very detailed, scheduled way). I'm just a little lost. Maybe if someone can read and clarify a little bit for me I could understand better. Vocab/Grammar I think we're going to go with Spelling Power or Spelling Workout with both boys. I just can't figure out where they should start. Wouldn't the beginning books be too easy? (Someone also suggest Phonetic Zoo). For grammar we were going to go with Rod and Staff for my 6th Grader, starting with teh 5GR book. Then I was reading about Growing w/ grammer and I'm a little torn. We're Christian so scripture is a benefit to us and my son is very analytical and would enjoy sentence diagramming I think. I'm not sure. But what books is my 4GR supposed to be starting his grammer with? Is that what First Language Lessons or Writing with East would be for? Science We were considering mudpies to magnets but read some poor reviews and some bad board posts. We're going to put science off with our younger two for a month until we get rolling, then decide and introduce Science. My oldest will start learning the scientific method with Creepy Crawlies. Some suggestions we're going to look into are The Story of Science, some experiment kits/books, bite sized science. We're also going to look into the Apologia stuff and Elemental Science. But we're putting this off until we settle in for a couple weeks, get used to home school, and get a little experience with what we like and don't like about different curriculumns. Art/Music When I can afford it or find it used, I would like to use Artistic Pursuits. We'll introduce this in a month or two. History/Geography This is the big one. We NEED to made a decision but it is so difficult. We did decide to definitely stick with 1 time period for all the kids. We're just going to start at the beginning with everyone, the Ancients. That seems to be a real consensus rec. from the replies and it makes logical sense to me. There are so many choices and I'm not sure I even understand how some work. Some seem to be a story you read with a work book and a script. Others seem to be reading lists or point you towards encyclopedias. I know this is also integrated with our language arts so it's really important for me to make the right choice. All of the other subjects I am fine with, even if we make a small mistake, we can course correct. But this one is tough. We have looked at... MOH - We are Christians, we want to incorporate biblical history into our history program, however, I don't want to limit history to biblical history and I'm afraid some of these curriculum are completely Bible centered. I love the Word of God and we teach it to our children daily, but I would like my kids to have a well rounded, complete view of history... regardless of how it reflects on the Christians of their time. I want the good and the bad, we'll teach them about God's love and grace. I think maybe this MOH would be a good supplement but I don't know if it looks comprehensive enough to be our main "spine" (if I'm even understanding what that term really means). SOTW - This seems to be what is strongly recommended. I am just afraid it isn't rigorous enough. My eldest is a voracious reader and I really want to challenge him. I don't know if SOTW will be enough. I think it would be great for my little one and probalby enough for my 4GR. TOG - This is almost the other extreme. I was really leaning this way but I had a home school friend and someone else warning me that it is VERY rigorous and to be careful taking on something so big as a first time homeschooler. Normally I would dive in but I really value this person's opinion. So i'm not sure. I really love how it looks but I'm wondering if it's too much for my wife just starting out and me supporting during non-work hours. My Father's Way - We considered this as well. I like the look of it. One of the issues we have is that we're travelling in a small space. We can't have TOO many books and will be relying on library time, used book stores, and our kindles for much of our reading. Sonlight - I can't seem to figure out how this works, although it came highly recommended to us. Is it mostly just a book reading list and you work through that? Is there a "spine" to follow? Ambleside - This looks cool but we can't rely daily on an internet connection. Veritas Press - I don't see this talked about as much but someone suggested it and it was intriguing. Then in addition to the "spine" or curriculum base there are all these encyclopedias. Usbourne has about a thousand different ones, Kingfisher, National Geographic histories and atlases. We have room for their school books but we cant' go crazy (and our remaining budget is shrinking with every purchase). Conclusion As you can see, so close to the finish but so far away. Please straighten me out a little on the structure and help with my history choices. If you made it to the end of this manifesto, I'm sure you must have some opinions :). Thanks again for everyone's help.
  13. I am going to try to be succinct, but already I fear I may ramble. Read on at your own risk! Lots of thoughts have been rattling around in my head for some time now and I am going to try and get them out in a logical manner. :D I really would love to hear wisdom from moms farther down the homeschool path than I. What does it take to stay in this for the long haul? I feel like I need a reality check here. :tongue_smilie: I have been homeschooling for six years now. Each year has demanded more and more of my time. No surprise there. My oldest is 9 and completing 4th grade. He has Asperger's and ADHD. The only way any of this affects school is that he can be extremely distracted and needs my presence to stay on task most of the time. He is also a very slow worker, although very bright and very capable. My middle ds is 6 and finishing up Kinder. Next year my youngest will be 5 and start Kinder. 2011-2012 will be the first year I am homeschooling all three of them formally, although the youngest will only take about an hour a day. Recently I was talking with dh and shared with him some of my sadness that there doesn't feel like there is much room in my life for any fun. I enjoy blogging, scrapbooking and the occasional night out with girl friends, but I rarely have time for any of those things. He encouraged me to look hard at my schedule and see where I can make room for more "me time". He really wants that for me but his job is very demanding and he is working on his doctorate right now as well. He is wonderful about helping me out when he can, but sometimes he is just not that available. Is it realistic to think that I can do this, do it well and still have time left for fun? Or maybe I just need to redefine fun in this season of life?? What has been your experience with this as your dc have gotten older and the demands of their schooling have increased? I have typed this last part and erased it at least 10 times. It is hard to know what to say to help others get a peek into my life and know how to give advice. Here is what a typical day looks like for me right now: 5:30-7:00 Wake up, get dressed, coffee, check emails and read Bible 7:00-8:00 Wake boys up, they do morning chores while I cook breakfast, we eat and do our Bible time. 8:00-3:00 School. This includes PE, lunch break, read alouds and art. For my ds9 it takes him most of this time to complete school due to his ADHD. My ds6 only takes about an hour to an hour and a half for the real academic part. 3:00-3:30 Clean Up time - I do laundry and boys do chores. 3:30-5:30 - Rest time - boys go to their rooms. In theory I am supposed to be having some me time here but most of the time I end up paying bills or doing other household type chores. This week I need to call around and find a new dentist for our family and get bids to get our house painted and our huge trees trimmed. There is always something that fills this time. 5:30-7:30 - Dh home, dinner, clean up and family time (Wednesday nights this is small group and right now Tuesday and Thursday this is soccer practices for boys) 7:00 Baths 7:30 Bedtime routine 8:00 Boys in bed 8:00-9:00 My time with dh 9:00 My bedtime We try and get a few playdates in a week. On pretty days we forget rest time and head to a park to play. Weekends are full of soccer games, grocery shopping, heavy house cleaning and other errands. Sundays we really try to stop and take a break and enjoy a real Sabbath. Okay so I really rambled a lot. Yikes! So very sorry and thanks for reading if you have made it this far. Looking forward to hearing from others. :bigear:
  14. Susan (or someone in the know), What are those of us who want to continue to homeschool without public intervention or public scorn supposed to do? What are those of us who want to continue to get our kids into secular colleges supposed to do? Should we give "them" the word home schooling and just come up with another word for what we do? FYI: I vote YES! I've never really liked that word anyway; it has almost nothing to do with what I'm trying to do. I'm an academic tutor, course organizer, and guidance counselor. I don't do school at home. Education for me is not so much a list of things I DON'T want my kids exposed to. For us we do this "thing" because there is a list of things I DO want my kids exposed to. You are determined to be sure your kids can write. I am determined that mine will be able to do math. And I want them to be familiar with the great books so they will pick them up and read them as adults. Should we just give "them" the word homeschooling and go find our own ball to play with? Note: this whole thing has me terribly discouraged. Last week, I posted in earnest hoping this whole thing would die down. No such luck! I have been going to conventions for nearly ten years. I have been listening to these folks talk about "educating our kids" to make a difference for ten years. Now I find out they don't even have the reading skills to read a simple book review. huh? There's no education going on. There's a bunch of gum-flapping going on. My kids can read that book review and correctly interpret its tone, audience, and intention. This is a basic high school assignment if you are "training a child to make a difference in his generation." Really! (Am I the only one who has been DOING the work? Because I've learned how to read in the last ten years!) It is completely embarrassing to be lumped under the same heading with folks like this: "Homeschooling." If you can't READ that review, then you haven't been doing the same job I've been doing for the past ten years. Mr. Ham needs to get to stepping and learn a bit about this demographic. We've been doing the work. We've been educating our kids, and we've learned a thing or two while doing it! It's a book review, for Pete's sake. It's not hard. Mr. Ham, I suggest you take a high school English course and learn how to READ. I really can't believe that he thinks we're dumb enough not to see what's going on. To post an endorsement for a history curriculum that AIG sells on the same page as a personal attack? We are not that naive, sir. We've been doing the work. We've been educating. (Psst. We analyze primary source documents to determine the author's motive. Really. We do such things! Sometimes it takes a bit of research. Never is it this obvious.) I can't believe it. I'm really starting to feel sorry for Mr. Ham. Who does he think he's dealing with? We've been doing the work. We've been self-educating and educating our kids for years. Mr. Ham, if you are looking for a group of simple folks that will take everything you say and say it back to you, I would suggest that you have chosen the wrong sub-culture. Homeschoolers are more difficult to herd than cats. The educated cats? Good Luck! (Psst. You're going to have to work much harder if we are going to be anything other than embarrased by your attempt!) Anyway. I vote that we give them the word "Homeschooling." Can we make up a different word? Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey P.S. (Added 4/6) I thought I would post a quick note here. I appreciate all of your comments. You made me feel better. Really! Thanks! (LOVE the part about chicken little. Love it!) I had a lengthy discussion with the love of my life this morning as well. I just want the whole world to know that I am married to the most wonderful man in the whole world! Just wanted to say that..... Now I'm off to work on number theory with my little guy. I'm looking forward to a peaceful afternoon.
  15. Is it just me, or do you sometimes wonder if science is "dumbed down" for all of us homeschool parents who have trouble understanding it? I think homeschoolers have a reputation for being really bright in the English/literature area but severely lacking in the sciences. I bought RS4K Chemistry this year thinking it would be a great program. My husband took one look at the book and said, "I could teach this whole book to ds in about a week." Granted, I was only expecting it to last 1/2 a semester, but boy that was an expensive program to be so "meatless"!! Has anyone found a science program for the middle grade that you feel is competitve with what the public schools are using?
  16. My son found this article that I think you will find encouraging to read! http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2000/novdec/articles/homeschooling.html
  17. Let me frame this post. Life is grand. We are having a fabulous year. The BEST yet. So please read this post within the context of the hopeful smile that I feel as I write it. :001_smile: ===================== The longer I homeschool, the more clearly I see the two ditches flanking my path. (I used to see them as two opposites that could be merged by applying enough effort. I can't for the LIFE of me figure out why I thought that was a good idea. If I HAD found a way to merge the ditches, then there would have been NO MORE DRY GROUND in between them to stand on! :lol: I would be left standing in the mud forever with NO where to go. SO - NOT any more; I have no desire to merge the two sides. NOW I just want to appreciate them and figure out ways to be at peace with them. I don't want to change them or their courses; I want to change me. :001_smile:) On the one side, I see a delight-directed education. Days filled with interesting activities, inspiring conversations, and a deep interaction with ideas that grow the intellect as well as the soul. And on the other, I see the high-school curriculum. Tests, courses, plans. All of the hoops that prove competence. I get that - I GET why it's important! I really do! I also think I "get" the notion of the high path between the two; the compromise - a willingness to cede to the reality that left and right can't actually ever meet coupled with the reality that once you find yourself as far south as you can go, the only direction you CAN go in is NORTH; there is just no more "southness" available. Weird, but true. But even within the context of opposites, there are disappointments: Infinity is an idea; you can't actually ever GO THERE - so the mathematical notation always has a soft parenthesis() - never a concrete bracket []. There is just no satisfying end to the pursuit. Once you get tired of heading in the direction of negative infinity, the only place to GO is in the positive direction: even that bouncing exploration can lose it's luster if you've already explored the positive direction before. Neither is incredibly satisfying once you understand more fully the nature of your pursuit. :tongue_smilie: So I think I GET it! :001_smile: I don't need to debate standards vs. delight-directed learning. BUT I was wondering where you gals turn for inspiration when you find that you've just headed too far in one direction with a kid. How do you swing the pendulum back toward the "wonder" side? How do you find peace in minor course correction? (Cause I'm sadly just getting to the point where I see changes as a ton of work. ;)) I know how to DO it; I just want to feel BETTER about doing it? A book? A movie? A quote? Thanks for the boost! Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  18. I'm really struggling with high school at the moment ladies, so bear with me. I was searching through some old posts and came across this option for high school history - Spievogel's Human Odyssey Used, it's pretty cheap. I found a 1999 edition 2 years ago for $12 (which included shipping) and it was in new condition. It is a history textbook, covering ancient history through modern times, with lots of photos/illustrations, excerpts from writings from the time period, and sidebars of interesting side topics. There are 4-6 questions at the end of each 4-8 page section within a chapter, and then a 2-page spread of questions at the end of each chapter which you could use as a test. The book is about 1100 pages long, but you would be reading that over 4 years; here's a suggested breakdown: 9th grade: ancients -- 200 pages (chapters 1-6) 10th grade: medieval -- 250 pages (chapters 7-15) 11th grade: empires/colonialism -- 300 pages (chapters 16-24) 12th grade: 20th century -- 320 pages (chapters 25-34) Throw in: - a few historical fiction books for "flavor of the times - read/research/write a few papers on a person or event of that time period - watch a few documentaries on that time period or movies set in that time period for fun and you'd have a great full year credit history class! See World History: The Human Odyssey by Jackson Spielvogel at: http://www.amazon.com/World-History-...9436959&sr=1-1 (There's a used one for $3 plus shipping in the used copies at Amazon right now!) BEST of luck in finding what works for your family! Warmly, Lori D. So, that sounds fun, easy and appealing even to me :) But we're doing something harder because it's academically rigorous, will look good on the apps, includes worldview and biblical instruction and the like. I am just sad ds is not as into school stuff as I am, maybe that's the whole issue right there... thoughts appreciated
  19. My son will be starting high school in Fall 2011. I have several friends who already have children in high school. From what they say, their children do all their work on their own. The parents don't teach, they just hand the book and lessons to the child to do figure out and do by themselves. I even have one friends who says she has no idea what her son is even doing in math! These are all very smart children and they seem to do just fine with this arrangement. But to me, it seems kinda unfair. If your child were in high school at a public or private school, the teacher would actually teach them. And even when I went to college, the professors taught us our work. Please don't think I'm trying to insult those who do this method- I'm just trying to understand where it comes from. I look forward to reading and discussing "The Oddysey" with my son in 9th grade, not letting him do it all alone. Also, I know he'll need (and benefit from ) me teaching him his new math concepts, etc. We are a very close family and homeschooling has just added to it. I don't want to lose that, kwim? I don't sit over my children and watch their every pencil stroke, but I am still the teacher :) So, what is the hive's opinion? Again, I hope no one takes offense at this because that's not what I'm trying to do. Thanks :)
  20. Anyone who is enjoying the WTM recommended 7-8 Level history spine History: The Definitive Visual Guide will want to give DK's new science spine a look. Same format. A well done history of science IMO. A very informative guide if one of your goals in educating is to help student understand that governments, culture, industry, etc often drive scientific exploration and vice versa. I especially appreciate the timelines that keep occurring throughout as well as the "Before" and "After" sections that go with the two-page spreads. Certainly a good title to grab from the library after the child has spent a while studying biology, chem, space/earth, and physics in isolation. A text to connect the dots that will march right along with the time period that you are studying. Science: The Definitive Visual Guide ISBN 978-0756655709 Peace, Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
  21. on SWB's new blog. Both Susan and Janice give me food for thought. If you are like-minded, you won't want to miss these. Happy Friday to all. Jane
  22. I never really thought about it much before because we've always been classical and my first dd9 tends that way anyway-would spend all day on history and lit. I've made up my own TOG style plans for the last few years-all our history, lit, writing, etc is tied in together. Now my second ds6 is a math/sci guy, and as we now spend extra time on those, I'm realizing how (too) heavily skewed toward humanities I've been with dd. She is lacking in sci/math. As I look at the classical lit based history curricula out there-TOG, etc., they do tend to assume a good part of your day, and a HUGE chunk of your hs budget, will be put toward history, lit, and tied-in writing, etc. Obviously, we as hs parents need to come up with the balance that works for our family-many families love to spend all that time on those subjects. And I know some are more scaled down than others so we're free to pick those. And there's even things like LCC, which seems to go the opposite way and put history/lit as less emphasized. It's a spectrum, and we're all blessed to have so many resources to choose from! So I'm not putting down any specific or even general curricula, just maybe finally realizing that in general they may put a lot of emphasis on one area. I was looking at TOG for next yr, but find myself having a perspective shift toward a more balanced course load. I'm looking more now at mastery in skills subjects, and history/lit as a little gravy on the side. After all, they'll get it in two more cycles! This is kind of rambly-sorry. I guess I'm becoming a little less enchanted with the kind of focus classical has (and I was never hard-core; more eclectic.) Has anyone else realized that with classical they were getting too humanities focused and made a shift?
  23. Ohh I feel so lost today. My dd really wanted to do the Narnia class from Potter school. After spending several hours on the test- which was supposed to take several, they said she is not ready. I am not sure I agree now with why they are saying and lost with how to go from here. I agree she proabably should not take the class though its their attitude that concerns me most. has anyone had similar expereince? She wanted narnia because some of the other english writing online courses I had looked into, involved books that she does not care for. I agreed and we love Narnia so we pursued this. From all the posts I have read, potter school is very good but there is an attitude of superiority sometimes from the teachers. I have heard this from the science ones as well. We have never done an online course and it is expensive. They had this requirement about not using "be" verbs. While I agree it is good to not do this too much -I now wonder if they go to far. My dd had to write an essay using bible verses to support her view. She could not use more than 2 "be" verbs per paragraph and only 4 total in the 400 word essay. She had to eliminate verses and rearrange and not use any be verbs on her own writing to allow the bible verses to have some. When the bible has be verbs you have to wonder about things not being allowed to have them. FYI "be"verbs = be, being, been, is, was, were, am, are. We learned quickly that the bible is full of be verbs. Basically in order to wite the essay she had to not use many verses as there would be too many be verbs. We consider the bible to be good literature, so I am beginnning to wonder how far some of these things make sense. Again, standards are good and be verbs can be oversued, but can it maybe become legalistic? I do not know what to do. my dd is devastated to be told her writing is immature. the course was going to take 10+ hours a week, so maybe for 9th grade it is a blessing in disquise. But now what to do. Do all these online classes have an attitude of superiority? Does it go too far? Is their help for writing that is not sooo involoved. Bravewriter?? Or is the discipline of an online class a good thing and worth putting up with how difficult they make it? Mh dd tests every year (and IOWA results come back she is way above grade level-granted it is not writing though) and even sat for the SSAT and did well, and for this she had to do a 5-paragraph essay. Yet they want her to take an 8th garde course instead of 9th. Am I missing something??:confused: Kathy
  24. Hi folks! I haven't been around much lately. All's well. Just busy (like everyone else. :001_smile:) OK. It's time to get serious about planning for next year. No more "just-looking" shopping. No more casual browsing. Time to start marking real lists with real commitments. Can you tell that I'm gun-shy on this one. Things are going well. Really. I just don't have the best track record with this process. I ALWAYS over-plan. I always over do it as far as what I "think" my kids can handle. It's served us well in some areas - we've accomplished WAY more than I thought possible. But I'm growing weary of living within the realm of the maybe. I'd like to spend more time within the realm of the "healthy-n-likely" - Hard work? Yes! But without so much of the "if everything works out absolutely perfectly, THEN we can meet these goals." THAT world is starting to lose its luster for this momma. KWIM? *grin* Anyway. Oldest ds. It's time to let this boy rest on his oars a bit in history, literature, philosophy, etc. I can hardly believe that I'm saying that. :blink: Really. Wham. Slam the book shut, momma! Really. Gosh I almost feel like an addict or something. I. Just. Can't. Seem. To. Do. It. Somebody help me!!!!!!!:001_smile: Really. We've run such a humanities intensive program for so long that I feel lost everytime I try to cut back with next year's schedule. EVERYTIME. Some SAT II test or AP course or CLEP test or SOMETHING keeps sneaking back onto the list. WHY IS THAT?????? Somebody STOP me! An engineer should be allowed to FOCUS on his talents and REST on his oars. Right? TWTM does a great job of pointing out that a student who doesn't want to pursue math/science should be allowed to "rest" on their oars in order to free up time to focus on their interests. So the reverse is true, right? Of course it is. Sure. Why don't I FEEL like it's true? Why can't I DO IT????!!!!!!????????? Someone please find me and hand me an 11th grade ENGLISH course that takes 1 HOUR per day!!! or GASP: 45 minutes per day? WHERE is it? While you're at it, I'll take the 3/4 hr per day history program too! :001_smile: Why can't I pull myself away from the humanities. Maybe it's because I LOVE it and I keep hanging out with you folks who love it too. ;) Really. Take a look at the sample schedules in the revised WTM (pg 652) The 11th grade sample suggests: 656 hours of humanities (grammar, great books, foreign language-low end estimate, art and music appreciation) 100 hours of junior thesis (I separated this out... in case you want to argue that an engineer would/should WRITE about an area that he's interested in. *grin*) 228 hours of math and science (Listed as a substitute for language study: 150 hours computer programming) OF course I'm not taking issue with WTM or the schedules. Really. (I can just hear Jessie and Susan thinking, "Write your own darn book, you cranky know-it-all." :D I guess I'm just trying to work through the "resting on your oars" question for a math/science kid for the junior year.) If I flip this on it's head, then it's totally do-able. Well - not really. Look: 656 hours of math and science (pre-calculus with all the technology software, chemistry w/lab at the CC, electronics, projects in thermodynamics and electromagnetism, etc) 100 hours of junior thesis (an engineering project from start to finish complete with an engineering notebook to document the experience) 120 hours of English (gasp. choke. I need a BAG to breath into here, folks.......) (What would that look like: 30 hrs of grammar/10 hrs vocab/40 hours of writing/40 hours of literature - what's that? Maybe 2 books!!? Darn. Darn. Darn.) 108 hours of History... OK... anyone starting to see my problem here? :001_smile: We couldn't even get through a lite history textbook in that amount of time. 150 hours computer programming BTDT advice from those of you who have successfully flipped this model on its head... ESPECIALLY if you became a humanities junkie and were able to pull yourself away and run back to your beloved math and science. Especially if you were able to maintain this stance for longer than about ten minutes. I keep looking back. Sighing. And then I slide back into a humanities intensive plan. Darn it! So if you successfully maintained the math/science push-posture after playing in the humanities-intensive puddle for 10+ years..... Was math/science the same after playing over on the humanities side of the fence? Did it light your fire as much as it used to or are you still looking back? Maybe if I could sell my library THEN I wouldn't feel like I'm losing something.... I feel like I'm mourning something here... even though I LOVE the way this boy is turning out. Love it! He's probably going to be fine. Right? Right? I seriously need psychiatric help here, folks! *GRIN* Can someone please send me some chocolate? :001_smile: Peace, Janice Enjoy your little people Enjoy your journey
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