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Please help me with curriculum--Newbie


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Here's a little background. DD is 8 going into 4th grade next year. She is a pretty fluent reader who has generally scored very well in most LA testing. She is a auditory/visual learner. In our first year at home we did K12 because it was easy for me. I work full time, three 12 hour shifts on the weekend and teach her the other four days of the week. I need something that is open and go for the most part.

 

K12 is not working for us in the area of compositon, specifically any creative writing. She has gone from looking forward to writing assignments to crying in the past several months. I started researching our options for another cirriculum and found this board, reread TWTM, and here I am.

 

I have decided on WWE and we have started from the ground up in level 1 using the TM. I did the 1st and 4th weeks scripted assignment from the manual using dictation instead of copywork for the longest sentence and had her narrate back to me with a focus on using complete sentences. We did one weeks lesson per day, she has loved it and is asking for more. I think if we can continue through WWE gradually building a foundation and slowing down as she nears grade level and it gets more difficult it's going to work for us.

 

My plan for grammer is to use FLL4. She has good punctuation and capitalization skills, but has never done any diagramming so that will be new to her. We will use spelling workout for her spelling. She doesn't mind doing the workbook now and usually gets 0-2 wrong without any additional study beyond the workbook.

 

Literature is where I'm stuck. She reads above grade level with good fluency. She reads nonfiction for pleasure and has little interest in novels when choosing her own books. This year she read The Sign of the Beaver, One Hundred Dresses, Tuck Everlasting, and one other novel for assigned reading in K12. The only one she seemed to enjoy was Tuck Everlasting, but even then, she read only what was assigned and never was eager to read ahead. My goal for Literature is to spark some excitement for fiction, teach her literary terms and devices, and develop her comprehension. I need a plan!!

 

I should also add that we will be doing HO and using SOTW4 for History with about 5 recommended novels there. Science will be physics and I plan to add some biographies of famous scientists, 3 or 4 here too. TT5 followed by LoF fractions will be our math. I am considering LL for latin.

 

I have looked at doing LLATL, the purple book, but I am leary of adding another workbook and repeating any of the things we are already doing for dictation, narration, spelling, and grammar. I am thinking of only assigning the parts directly related to the novel and any other activities I think she will enjoy. Any other ideas or suggestions? Is this enough? Help, I'm getting cold feet and second guessing myself. TIA

Edited by RhondaJK
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Wow, you're really jumping in with both feet! Have you ever looked at Veritas Press? They have complete daily lesson plans that would help you (Scholars program), and they have subject listings in their catalog. Their lit would be GREAT for her. You don't need a lit program, just some good books that scratch her itch. Keep working on it. :)

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Hats off to you! You've done a great job getting together a full program! The lit won't be too hard to fill in as "blanks."

 

First, since you're reading books in both science and history, why not look for specific studies on those titles? There are several companies that offer literary guides or unit studies for some fine literature. Try looking up the titles and literary guide or unit study for the books you've chosen for history. You should find a great deal.

 

If you give us the titles, maybe we'll have further suggestions.

 

Again, your year looks great! KUDOS to you for putting in the work and working so hard yourself. Bravo!

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Here's a little background. DD is 8 going into 4th grade next year. She is a pretty fluent reader who has generally scored very well in most LA testing. She is a auditory/visual learner. In our first year at home we did K12 because it was easy for me. I work full time, three 12 hour shifts on the weekend and teach her the other four days of the week. I need something that is open and go for the most part.

 

K12 is not working for us in the area of compositon, specifically any creative writing. She has gone from looking forward to writing assignments to crying in the past several months. I started researching our options for another cirriculum and found this board, reread TWTM, and here I am.

 

I have decided on WWE and we have started from the ground up in level 1 using the TM. I did the 1st and 4th weeks scripted assignment from the manual using dictation instead of copywork for the longest sentence and had her narrate back to me with a focus on using complete sentences. We did one weeks lesson per day, she has loved it and is asking for more. I think if we can continue through WWE gradually building a foundation and slowing down as she nears grade level and it gets more difficult it's going to work for us.

 

My plan for grammer is to use FLL4. She has good punctuation and capitalization skills, but has never done any diagramming so that will be new to her. We will use spelling workout for her spelling. She doesn't mind doing the workbook now and usually gets 0-2 wrong without any additional study beyond the workbook.

 

Literature is where I'm stuck. She reads above grade level with good fluency. She reads nonfiction for pleasure and has little interest in novels when choosing her own books. This year she read The Sign of the Beaver, One Hundred Dresses, Tuck Everlasting, and one other novel for assigned reading in K12. The only one she seemed to enjoy was Tuck Everlasting, but even then, she read only what was assigned and never was eager to read ahead. My goal for Literature is to spark some excitement for fiction, teach her literary terms and devices, and develop her comprehension. I need a plan!!

 

I should also add that we will be doing HO and using SOTW4 for History with about 5 recommended novels there. Science will be physics and I plan to add some biographies of famous scientists, 3 or 4 here too. TT5 followed by LoF fractions will be our math. I am considering LL for latin.

 

I have looked at doing LLATL, the purple book, but I am leary of adding another workbook and repeating any of the things we are already doing for dictation, narration, spelling, and grammar. I am thinking of only assigning the parts directly related to the novel and any other activities I think she will enjoy. Any other ideas or suggestions? Is this enough? Help, I'm getting cold feet and second guessing myself. TIA

 

Honestly? I wouldn't use LLATL if you are concerned about repeating. I (and my kids) love LLATL, however we made it fit. I wasn't doing dictation to begin with so we welcomed it but I removed the separate spelling program I had because LLATL goes over spelling.

 

By literature I am not sure I know what you mean...her reading choices? Literature doesn't have to be a whole separate subject. Incorporate it into everything. History, Science, Language Arts etc...

 

My daughter gobbles up books like others gobble up cake. But honestly she didn't start getting there until about 10 years old. That is when she really took off. Before then she would read but it was ho-hum. After she really showed an interest I would suggest one book here or there. Like Black Beauty. She liked it. So I suggested another and so on. It is to a point now where she seeks out classics and such. She chose, for herself, to read The Diary of Anne Frank. She was only 11 at the time! She has read Little Women, Robinson Caruso, A Christmas Carol (the one by Dickens) and various other classics I can't remember right now.

She wants to start reading Sherlock Holmes now.

 

So my main point is to let her go her own pace with the reding with some gentle nudging from you. That way it makes her think she it picking them when you are actually steering her! :D

 

Don't know if that helps but there it is!

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I am actually doing the same thing you are doing. And I'm going a bit mad myself! We have used K12 for the last three years and I'm trying to go it alone this next year with a 3rd, 8th and PreK. I would love to hear specifically what you dislike about K12. I am struggling to let go of my "crutch" even though we are not enjoying it. Maybe hearing your reasons will help me justify my own!

 

I haven't purchased anything yet for literature, but here are a few things I have been looking at.

 

Progeny Press Study Guides

 

Total Language Plus

 

Classic Worktexts

 

Hope that helps!

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Wow, thanks for the support and encouragement. I think the idea of using the books we already have planned for history and science might work. The history titles are: Number the Stars, The Breadwinner, Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, The Story of Thomas Alva Edison, and The Last Safe House. I haven't decided on which biographies we will use for science. I'm waiting for the kit to get here so I can start mapping it out.

 

I'm also thinking of using some audio books of unabridged classics to listen to and discuss. She seems to be such an auditory learner, I'm wondering if the exposure to good books without the work of reading them will spark her to seek them out. I have to admit we haven't done a read aloud just for fun in a long time. I really want to put the joy back into learning for her.:001_smile:

 

Thanks, again for looking and encouraging me, this is a little scary at times.

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I am actually doing the same thing you are doing. And I'm going a bit mad myself! We have used K12 for the last three years and I'm trying to go it alone this next year with a 3rd, 8th and PreK. I would love to hear specifically what you dislike about K12. I am struggling to let go of my "crutch" even though we are not enjoying it. Maybe hearing your reasons will help me justify my own!

 

I haven't purchased anything yet for literature, but here are a few things I have been looking at.

 

Progeny Press Study Guides

 

Total Language Plus

 

Classic Worktexts

 

Hope that helps!

 

We have been doing a charter school version of K12 and while I could to some extent modify the amount of work she did to her learning style and interests, it became a focus on just getting through all of the workbook pages. There was no joy and excitement for learning in most subjects and no time to follow the rabbit trails. :001_huh: Then we had to travel 2 hours each way to take the Mn state mandated tests for 2 days in March. This was after being required to spend a huge amount of time on 4 different test prep books and study island preparing for the test and at least 4 Elluminate sessions on testing with the teacher and test coordinator. My goal for homeschooling DD was to progress at her pace, and preserve her excitement in learning while giving her a education that helped her to think for herself. How to jump through hoops was not a goal, if that makes any sense.

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Yes, that makes total sense. We use it as an independent so we don't have those issues, but being tethered to the computer has finally taken it's toll on me. Also, I don't like that once a history lesson is over, it is gone forever. I would like to have a book that we can snuggle up on the couch and read and enjoy. 7th grade math has been horrible as well. All in all, I don't feel like we have a love of learning going on here. It's been more of a box checking curriculum even for us as independents. All that being said, I do love some things about K12 and am honestly a little afraid to let it go.

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Wow, thanks for the support and encouragement. I think the idea of using the books we already have planned for history and science might work. The history titles are: Number the Stars, The Breadwinner, Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, The Story of Thomas Alva Edison, and The Last Safe House. I haven't decided on which biographies we will use for science. I'm waiting for the kit to get here so I can start mapping it out.

 

I'm also thinking of using some audio books of unabridged classics to listen to and discuss. She seems to be such an auditory learner, I'm wondering if the exposure to good books without the work of reading them will spark her to seek them out. I have to admit we haven't done a read aloud just for fun in a long time. I really want to put the joy back into learning for her.:001_smile:

 

Thanks, again for looking and encouraging me, this is a little scary at times.

Looks like you have some great books to get started! We're reading bios on Edison and also the Last Safe House this year, too! Sherlock Holmes is on our summer list :).

 

I love your audio book idea. I started that this year and it has helped my dc to enjoy some stories w/o having to work so hard all the time. I totally know what you mean by not jumping through hoops and actually enjoying the journey. I have a hard time not building my own hoops. :blink:

 

I saw the Progeny Press suggestion, and fwiw, I enjoy their materials.

 

Best wishes for a great next year! You'll be amazed at how nice it is to step away from the workbooks and enjoy some lined paper for a change :)

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I know what you mean about the fear of letting go. It was pretty open and go without alot of prep and I really liked the ability to move things around on the scheduling and tracking software. If the LA and Literature had been working for her I would have worked around the other issues, but daily tears over writing prompts just don't work for me. I think because she started the program after 2nd grade in ps she wasn't prepared for the amount of writing involved and I also wonder if it is a developmental age problem too. I think asking a 8 year old to compare and contrast herself and the character in a novel and write a 4 paragraph response is too much for her at this point.

 

Have you looked for a poetry unit for your middle DD? I would like to find something to add to our plan that covers some good age appropriate poetry and is fun to do.

 

Good Luck to you in the coming year. If I am feeling this unsure and fearful planning for one, I can't imagine the way your head must be spinning planning for 3.:tongue_smilie:

Edited by RhondaJK
whoops! I meant 3rd grader not preK
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I know what you mean about the fear of letting go. It was pretty open and go without alot of prep and I really liked the ability to move things around on the scheduling and tracking software. If the LA and Literature had been working for her I would have worked around the other issues, but daily tears over writing prompts just don't work for me. I think because she started the program after 2nd grade in ps she wasn't prepared for the amount of writing involved and I also wonder if it is a developmental age problem too. I think asking a 8 year old to compare and contrast herself and the character in a novel and write a 4 paragraph response is too much for her at this point.

 

Have you looked for a poetry unit for your middle DD? I would like to find something to add to our plan that covers some good age appropriate poetry and is fun to do.

 

Good Luck to you in the coming year. If I am feeling this unsure and fearful planning for one, I can't imagine the way your head must be spinning planning for 3.:tongue_smilie:

FYI, I believe the Classical Writing series has a poetry section :)

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Thanks, Tina I'm researching now and comparing the all of the possibilities. Thank goodness we're taking the month of June off so I can do the planning and scheduling. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I'm afraid I'll start building hoops to jump through too.

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