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  1. I apologize if this has been discussed already, but my searches both on here and google are coming up empty. Has anyone used Royal Firework Press's Michael Clay Thompson Mentor Network before? I used (and thus own print copies already) MCT's 1st 2 levels of language arts & literature curriculum. However, my job has subsequently gotten exponentially more demanding so I have started integrating more and more online courses. My older two (11 and 13) are blossoming in this environment, but my youngest is 8 and thus not taking that many. I love MCT's grammar approach so I was looking around for options that use his materials and stumbled across the newly released Mentor Network (maybe launched Fall 2018?). However, I have questions even after looking through the sites linked below. First, if anyone has used it, I'm looking for reviews and insights into your experiences. Second, if you're familiar with the program, am I interpreting the information correctly? Specifically, since I already own the books and would like the material to be graded automatically, I am considering Level 1 options without print materials but with instructors. Right now, that means I would sign up for Building Language (seat & instructor, $250), Grammar Island (seat & instructor, $250), and Practice Island (seat, $12.50). I believe that since I want instructor involvement, I would need to wait until their academic year which I assume to be 9/3/19-5/24/20. (If I didn't want access to an instructor I could start at any time and my subscription would be for one calendar year.) In Fall, my daughter would work through Grammar Island and Practice Island on her own and there'd be some type of instructor involved with Building Language. In Spring, an instructor would enter the scene somehow in Grammar Island. Is that right? Even if I have the costs right, I'm still fuzzy as to what actually I'd be buying. Is it an online interface like Khan Academy or Beast Academy that the student logs into and reads passages and then answers questions which are then automatically graded? If I don't purchase the instructor option are the answers still automatically graded? There's no real "class," right? While I'll pay that price for year-long WTMA classes, shelling out $500+ for a year-long solely online platform seems pretty dang steep. Anyway, if you've made it this far, I appreciate it and would also love to hear about people's thoughts on the offering. Thanks! https://www.rfwp.com/series/royal-fireworks-press-digital-learning https://rfolc.com/mentor/ https://rfolc.com/mentor/courses.shtml https://www.rfwp.com/pages/mct-mentor-network/
  2. Hi For those of you with experience with MCT Language Arts, l plan to start this curriculum next fall with my son who will be a 9th grader and has HFA. Because l don't want him to miss anything, l have been collecting cheap, used copies of the older editions of the early level TE's in order to fill in any blanks in his knowledge. Language Arts are not his strong suit, as he is more math/science brained. That being said, I am just curious to know at what level people have started their older kids who are new to the curriculum. He can tolerate things addressed to younger kids, as his social development is well behind his cognitive level. I don't want to pay retail for multiple levels, hence my search for inexpensive earlier editions. A particular question l have is, which poetry volume should we start with in order not to miss anything? Btw, we will be using Mosdos press gold for literature. Any input from the experienced is appreciated!
  3. I meet tons of people who have used the first three levels of MCT, but have yet to meet anyone who has used all seven levels. If you have used MCT through high school, please share how your child did through the program. What was their academic experience after they were done? TIA
  4. I am planning for my fifth grader, who is fairly strong in language arts. He will have finished First Language Lessons 4, MCT Island Level, and also WWE4. I plan to use VIE for the grammar, usage and mechanics and NOT the writing. My overall 5th grade grammar & writing plan involves: working through MCT Paragraph level; writing across the curriculum for a while; partway through the year picking up with an alternating schedule of Writing With Skill and Classical Writing Homer. Would y'all suggest VIE 6, since Rod and Staff 6 is recommended after FLL4? I want to keep him challenged but not frustrated, and don't want to skip things. thanks in advance :)
  5. I'm finding it difficult to find a writing tutor who embraces the MCT style like many of us on WTM do. I am not terribly comfortable teaching writing myself, but I can't find anyone else who really knows or understands materials by Michael Clay Thompson. But having read Essay Voyage twice now, I'm beginning to wonder whether I can't swing this on my own. While MCT is huge on this board, in the real world it seems to be unheard of. Do any actual schools use MCT? Are there any math-y or science-y or non-writing people who teach writing to their kids? Using MCT? Please feel free to add any thoughts or vent about teaching MCT essay writing or anything else related.
  6. I want to use mct for the grammar section only. After reading lots of threads on this, it seems that both grammar island and sentence island have grammar in them and I should get both. Also, I am planning to get practise island - both student & teacher books. 1. Is this what you recommend? 2. Can I get just the teacher edition of both books (grammar island & sentence island) or do I need student editions as well? 3. How updated are the new editions? Would getting an old edition used be a good option or have they really improved them so that I would want the newer editions? 4. These will be for my younger children. If I want an older child (hs age) to get review for grammar - something she has always struggled with - would you use these for her to read through or would you get a higher level? [cost is a factor for me here]. Thanks for your thoughts!
  7. I have been sucked into MCT. I must honestly thank the forum for this because it looks great and is much needed around here. My issue becomes where to start. As much as I tried to find information online, it seems to elude me. The samples at MCT won't seem to come up correctly. I figured y'all have a ton of experience and could help. My son is a humanities kid. Like many kids on this forum are ahead in math, he is ahead in literature and language. Writing had never been of much interest to him, however. He can write very well when required, he just fussed about it so we kept it to a minimum. Now, he is actually choosing to write so I am looking for curriculum. He has had to do essay work for school since he was quite young because Dh is a high school English teacher. If our son wanted to participate in my husband's high school book discussions, he had to write the essays just like the high school kids (graded with the same rubric, revised, turned back in, whole deal). My husband does not have time to directly teach my son about writing. He tried this last summer and it was a disaster. The authoritarian school teacher clashed quite dramatically with the gifted homeschooler. My husband mainly wants to edit, grade, and provide feedback. I am the cheerleader and curriculum wench. At this point my son can write a thesis (though rather formulaic at times); outline a five paragraph essay; complete an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion; use parenthetical footnotes; and site texted based evidence to support his points. He has persuasive down, but not expository or compare/contrast. Transition statements still give him some trouble, and fleshing out his ideas so they do not sound repetitive is still part of his revising process. He has a list of citation phrases like, "According to" or "as shown in the text" or "the author stated" that my husband gave him to use and he still pulls heavily from that list. Does this put him in Essay Voyage or in Advanced Academic Writing? Maybe it puts him somewhere else entirely - I was a STEM major, this isn't my area! We will be using Word Within A Word and Magic Lens (both volume 1) next year if that helps. Poetry is probably going to wait one more year as the interest is just beginning to intensify.
  8. My dd (9 years) has done Sonlight LA all the way through. I have added in an old Rod and Staff orally. She will be about 5th grade next year, language art is fine but not an extremely strong point for her. She knows basic parts of speach most of the time, can write paragraphs from Sonlight with a fair bit of enthusiasm but a lot of issues. Next year I want to up the grammar and writing. She does best with specific instructions and step-by-step methods. What does MCT offer that Rod and Staff combined with Wordsmith Apprentice or Check the Deck doesn't offer? I keep hearing MCT is deeper and people love the style but I would love some concrete examples of what they do better. I am not sure which level I would put her in since she has some grammar but not real strong and really the same with her writing. And of course I would love to hear any negatives of MCT because than I always get a better picture. Thanks.
  9. I've been reading Magic Lens with my 7th grade dd, and we just hit the verb chapter. Whoa. The difficulty and complexity of this grammar instruction is beyond my understanding. I feel like how I suspect non-mathy folks feel about AOPS. I've never personally had this level of grammar instruction, particularly all those perfect forms, and I'm getting nervous about teaching it. Can a non-grammar parent survive the 3 remaining MCT levels of grammar? I need some hand-holding and reassurance. Has anyone else learned as they went through upper levels of MCT grammar? Or are all you Magic Lens teachers grammar experts and grammar lovers? Did anyone abandon Magic Lens and just continue with the vocab and academic writing?
  10. I would love feedback on how these programs compare. If you have used one or any, please let me know your thoughts. We have used FLL for one year. I personally find level 1 to be great and level 3 makes me want to gnaw my arm off slowly. My dh likes them both, so he does that work and he would like to continue FLL because of the repetition, copy work, poetry, and memorization. My kids don't mind them, but I wouldn't say they look forward to them with anticipation. I do like the poems, memorization, and copy work. We haven't used WWE or IEW. What do you like or dislike? If you combine any of them, how do you do it? MCT looks so visually appealing, inspiring and simple. It's way more expensive than it should be, IMO but maybe worth it. Another post indicated the MCT program was great at explaining good writing, but not at showing how to write. Is IEW supposed to be combined with another LA program? Well, I've asked enough questions. ;)
  11. I saw this on another list I'm on and the look interesting. Anyone here heard of them or used them? Here is the link... http://www.rfwp.com
  12. Getting ready to hit the submit button on my order for MCT materials but I am debating whether I could go with the "Basic" packages for both Island and Voyage ... or if I truly will need the "Complete" packages for both. If you purchased these items before, do you feel both student and teacher books are necessary or can I get by with just the "Basic" package contents just fine. It will save me $105 if I go with the cheaper option. And for those who have used Level 4 (Lens and Word 1 materials) do you feel the complete package is a necessity or is the basic package adequate for this level? I have not completely decided if I am going to go with Voyage or Level 4 for my 7th grader. Thanks for your input! :)
  13. MCT Literature Program Special pricing until early July 5th!
  14. In late March of this year, I had the privilege of attending all four of MCT's workshops in Cincinnati. I came with some knowledge of the curriculum, having spent a good deal of time looking at the samples online, printing out the free downloadable goodies, and listening to the video clips of MCT. After having attended just one of the workshops, I knew this curriculum was what I have been looking for! The problem is: I don't know where to start with my boys. My oldest son will be going into 7th grade next year. He has done years of grammar (Abeka, Easy Grammar Plus, Analytical Grammar) and has a firm grasp. He is also a budding author and spends much of his free time reading and writing. He LOVES words. His writing skills are also well developed and he is excelling in a high school class literary analysis class at our co-op (he is one of the top students in his class which is not bad for a 6th grader!). (They have read Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and are writing two papers per week.) He has also spent the last year in a roots class and has studied over 120 roots (plus vocabulary words related to those roots) thus far this school year. My middle son will be going into 4th grade next year. He is also fairly solid on grammar and writing after several years of First Language Lessons, Easy Grammar (through grade 3) and Writing With Ease (up through Level 2). My little guy will be in 1st grade next year. He has had no exposure yet to grammar or writing. He is reading with ease, however. Now that you have a little background, I truly hope someone can offer some direction for me. I am leaning toward lumping the younger two together and ordering the Level 1: Island for them. I am unsure what to order for my oldest son. However, cost is an issue (!) and I'd love to hear from other users what levels you have skipped if you felt they were not necessary or meaty enough. Thanks for taking time to read my novel and I look forward to your responses!
  15. Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending all four of MCT's workshops in Cincinnati. I came with some knowledge of the curriculum, having spent a good deal of time looking at the samples online, printing out the free downloadable goodies, and listening to the video clips of MCT. After having attended just one of the workshops, I knew this curriculum was what I have been looking for! The problem is: I don't know where to start with my boys. My oldest son will be going into 7th grade next year. He has done years of grammar (Abeka, Easy Grammar Plus, Analytical Grammar) and has a firm grasp. He is also a budding author and spends much of his free time reading and writing. He LOVES words. His writing skills are also well developed and he is excelling in a high school class literary analysis class at our co-op (he is one of the top students in his class which is not bad for a 6th grader!). (They have read Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and are writing two papers per week.) He has also spent the last year in a roots class and has studied over 120 roots (plus vocabulary words related to those roots) thus far this school year. My middle son will be going into 4th grade next year. He is also pretty solid on grammar and writing after several years of First Language Lessons, Easy Grammar and Writing With Ease (up through Level 2). My little guy will be in 1st grade next year. He has had no exposure yet to grammar or writing. He is reading with ease, however. Now that you have a little background, I truly hope someone can offer some direction for me. I am leaning toward lumping the younger two together and ordering the Level 1: Island for them. I am unsure what to order for my oldest son. I also want to mention that I just recently learned that this curriculum is used widely in gifted education and that thrills me. My two oldest have been tested and fall into the gifted category and I have a sneaking suspicion that they will fall in love with this curriculum! Dr. Paul Cates tested our two oldest boys two years ago and I know he recommends several MCT materials. Thanks for taking time to read my novel and I look forward to your responses!
  16. I find the amount of love for it to be fascinating and am keeping an eye on the year-long usage results to see if I want to use it next year. :D We have some new curriculum this year that I have definitely developed a :001_tt1: for, so I'm not knocking MCT. I'm just wondering what type of teaching/learning style MCT is a hit for and what type it's a miss for.
  17. DD has finished KiSS grammar 3. I'd like to try MCT because it looks interesting and similar to the qualities of KISS that we enjoyed. like analyzing real literature. Where do we start? She knows the material in KISS very well. KISS covered the identification of: parts of speech, complements (pred noun, pred adj, direct obj, indirect obj.), prepositional phrases, infinitives..(some others, but it's late, and I can't think.) It has already taught her to analyze every word in a sentence and tell which word it modifies. (They use a chart, which she loves filling in.) She really doesn't need to spend much time on grammar at this point (which fits KISS). We've just been analyzing sentences to keep everything fresh. Where would you start? Awake now, and just remebered.. it has also covered clause, independent and dependent.
  18. I was just wondering if anyone has seen SWB weigh in on MCT? It is not recommended in the WTM, but there is so much discussion about this program on these boards I thought maybe she had commented on it at some point. Just curious...
  19. Aack! LA decisions stress me out! I am a math/science person, and I'm feeling like I need lots of hand-holding for teaching writing. Right now my (almost 4th grade) dd is working through the Island level of MCT. We like it, but I wish it had a little more hand-holding (like, read these pages, then do this assignment). I don't feel like dd is doing very much writing. Recently, I remembered that there are assignments in the back of Sentence Island. I'm trying to do more of those assignments, but they still don't seem to amount to very much. I seem to remember reading that the difficulty level really ramps up in Town and that the writing assignments are more regularly scheduled. Is that right? On a side note, she is also doing WWE--she just started level 3--but she hates it and asks me every other week if we can drop it. I can't quite bring myself to drop WWE, although I can see that it is probably too dry and repetitive for her tastes. She begs for creative writing assignments. Ick. I've always hated creative writing. I'm really an engineer at heart. :D Soo, I recently saw a thread about CW that caught my eye. And that led me to start researching the program. I really ought to stay away from these boards. :tongue_smilie: Can anyone here compare CW to MCT? Can you give me any pros and cons? One thing that I worry about with MCT is that it only goes up through 8th grade if we continue on schedule. Sillly huh? But what am I supposed to do for high school?! WIll I have to find another program? Dare I venture out on my own and just assign writing projects that correspond with dc's history or literature reading? I'm also worried that it won't have enough hand-holding when we move beyond my own limited, knowledge base (actually, we may already be beyond that point :001_huh:). ETA: Another thing that has been on my mind is a desire to simplify. I just read LCC. And I want to do less. But I also want to do everything! Especially in language arts. Which is why I'm looking at a 3rd LA program (in addition to Latin). Help me :chillpill:.
  20. I'm jumping on the MCT band wagon (I'll expect my welcome packet soon) but have some questions before I order. I see that in the hs basic pack it only includes the teacher books because you can get the exercises from them. How does that work though? Are the worksheets there with the answers or are there blank worksheets too? I'm confused. Can someone please help me out before I order? TIA!
  21. There were several of us at the beginning of the school year that took the plunge together and ordered MCT or had already been using it. I would love to hear how everyone's year turned out. Will you be using it next year? What level did you use? What level will you use? Did you use all of the components or some of them? If you supplemented, with what and why? Did you make changes along the way or did you stay the course? Were you happy with test results? It would be great if you could weigh in if you have been using the materials 6 months or longer, in order to keep the reviews as helpful as possible. My 6th grader is finishing up his first year with MCT at the Voyage level. This was a good fit; however, we did back up writing for a couple of months to Paragraph Town. Of all the MCT components that we used, writing is the only one I struggled with. I think this was less due to quirks of the program than to quirks of the teacher. I used IEW Ancient History Theme-Based writing in the earlier portion of the year, Essay Voyage on its own for a couple of months, and K12 Composition supported by EV here at the end of the year. Grammar Voyage, Practice, and Caesar's English II were well worth the money and time we spent on them. Oddly enough, MCT' poetics are what drew me to the program and we ended up doing less poetry this year than we normally do. This was because ds had one ugly spot on his state test last year and that had to do with literary interpretation, so we spent more time on that and less on poetry. That said, I still enjoy the poetry and will continue with it. This fall for 7th grade, we are going to use The Magic Lens, Level 1 and the corresponding components. We will finish The World of Poetry but delay Humanity and Poetry until 8th grade as we have a full schedule for lit analysis and primary resource interpretation. Writing? I don't know. I will admit to being lured by the siren song of Lost Tools of Writing. From what I have read, it looks like a good companion to MCT. For all my vacillating, Swimmerdude's writing improved in quality and sophistication. What to do! And oh yes, I am still a MCT groupie. We had fun with language arts this year. Imagine that.
  22. I was reading the writing activities in the back of Sentence Island. One assignment is :write a short story about 2 characters. One can only speak subjects, and the other can only speak predicates. And there are more of these.....I am concerned. I wonder if my son can do this at all. I see lots of gnashing of teeth adn rolling eyes and tears. I thought at this stage children should mainly do copywork/dictation. I was not concerned about creative writing at all! And Building Language says to write poems !!!:lol: I can not see that going over well either. So- do your children do these writing activities? Alone? Any examples (for a 3rd grader)? Is my son maybe not ready for this program? He loved Grammar Town (online) so I *thought* this would be great for him. He reads very well if that matters. Thanks in advance! I appreciate it! I read through Grammar Island adn was really excited. Then I read through SI and got nervous. After BL I am not sure what to think! Do they get into it once you start it? Thank you!
  23. We have finished Grammar Island and have been working our way through Music of the Hemispheres, but we've recently come upon a stumbling block. My son is really having trouble with creating the original poems. I think he is getting the literary elements that we've discussed, but he's just having trouble coming up with the writing part. He is a reluctant writer anyway, but he's always seemed to excell at poetry in the past. Should we just do them together? Skip them? Keep at it until he writes something (I don't favor this option, but my dh sort of does)? He has sailed through Grammar Island and we've already started Sentence/Practice Island/Building Language (he's struggling with some of these writing assignments as well). Thoughts?:bigear:
  24. Looking through the site, it looks like the program should be started with a 4th grader or advanced 3rd grader. However, in a recent poll I noticed that a lot of people are starting with 1st and 2nd graders. So, when is it best to start? Is there a lot of advanced reading and writing required? If so, I cannot imagine my 6yo (who likes to write but not read) going for this program. Would it be reasonable to do FLL and WWE up to 4th grade and then start with MCT or would that be too "old" to start the MCT 'cycle'?
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