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So far the biggest success of our new homeschool year is

Rene Austen

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Oh, I love that book!


I'm so glad that someone else out there has read it. My Mom used to read it to me when I was little.


The goops they lick their fingers,

The goops they lick their knives,

They spill their broth on the table cloth,

Oh they lead disgusting lives.

The goops they talk while eating,

And loud and fast they chew;

And that is why I'm glad that I

Am not a goop -Are you?


That beats "How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food" any day! There's nothing like good ole guilt and shame to bring around positive habits :laugh:

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Definitely SL 4! I've used SL with my kids since pre-k and had really looked forward to Core 3 since I had always heard such positives about it. We did enjoy Core 3, but I'm amazed at how much more I like Core 4. We've just completed our 4th week.


Also, Saxon Grammar has been a big hit for my son. We've only used it a few weeks, but it is something new for us this year and it seems to be a very good fit for him.



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This is the one we have:



It's a lovely hardcover version, with all the original illustrations. I think the one from Dover has all the illustrations too, but is paperback and not quite as spiffy.


I ordered one yesterday.

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Trail Guide to US Geography. I actually bought Trail Guide to World Geography and never used it (well, haven't used it yet), but still bought this one along with the student notebooks for US geography this semester. We don't use the program to its fullest extent, but even the basic stuff we're doing has the kids hooked. They are asking to do it every day, which is always a good sign...

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We are finishing week 9, so we have officially completed ¼ of our school year.


1. Above and Beyond Five in a Row that I will be spreading out over the year with lots of extras and rabbit trails and using with my friend's dd, Cuppycake. This is what I am most excited about and it isn't even my child!


2. With Mr. Doodle I am really very pleased with the effortlessness of our memory work this year. I just ended up making index cards with a little information on the topics we are covering in math, LA, science, and history/geography each week. The little man just goes through his index cards 4x/wk.


3. I like my 16yo's IEW class and math tutor, because writing and math are completed without any griping!


These would be my 3 favorites, but with my xtra student and my little guy everything hit the mark- except Farsi which we dropped! (things in bold I plan to use again next year)


With my little guy MCT Island is rolling along, but we have not added everything yet so I’ll wait until spring before I decide to use it again. He is also using SL LA2adv and I definitely plan to use SL LA3+4 next year.


The Cuppycake is using Winston Grammar and it is the perfect program to do grammar in two days a week.


Saxon is moving along with both Cuppycake and Doodle, but they both used it last year and will use it again next year.


I am pleased with Gombrich’s Little History as our history spine.


We are enjoying Great Science Adventures and I definitely have it penciled in to use again next year.


Song School Latin has been such a pleasant experience that I plan to attempt Latin for Children next year.



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Atelier Art - A HUGE hit with all the kids.


REAL Science Odyssey - Chemistry - My science-hating kid is loving it!


Elemental Science Intro. - I think this is my 5 yr old's favorite subject.


The filing system is working great here. It's saving me a ton of time. The last two weeks have been crazy here, so we are taking two weeks to complete "week 3". I think it can be as flexible as you want it to be. The kids like it too.

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Oak Meadow! It's the perfect blend of academics and hands-on projects, with just the right amount of structure. It doesn't take all day either, leaving you plenty of time to add in supplemental reading or outside activities.It is exactly what I've been looking for for years and now have finally found. I'm very pleased. :001_smile:

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After reading a past post written by Colleen in NS, I realized that I needed to spend more time on skill areas, and let content areas fold into our daily schedule. Our first three weeks were a little upside down from this, but I have righted the ship and we are sailing on at full speed now. I have to say that by placing the emphasis on skill areas, it has helped tremendously. I wish I would have done this last year.....


For things we're using that are a success, those would be:


*Zaner-Bloser Handwriting sheets---I print these from the website. Very simple, free, and they get the job done.


*The Human Body Golden Press book illus. by Cornelius Dewitt--great


*Megawords, Book One--love this, and it's a winner!


*Maxwell's grammar and composition texts (vintage)---We adore these. I am using the School Composition text with a 4th grader, but I can see working through this text over several years, allowing time for those writing skills to sharpen.


*Getting Started With Latin---What can I say? For less than $20 we have a great beginner's Latin course, and it is lighting a fire for Latin here. I can't ask for much more than that. This book really delivers!


*MEP and CSMP---We like them both for different reasons. They are perennial favorites!


*Bonnie Risby's Logic Series from Prufrock Press--My little guy begs for these every day.


*Padfield Bible Study, New Testament---I don't use all of the questions, but instead type up about four or five for research with our large print, red-letter KJV Bible. I am very impressed with this one.


I really could go on, but those all have been well received here. I am hearing comments such as, "This is our best year ever!".

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Me: Latin Alive. I studied a bunch of Latin book and only learned a little bit. Working through Latin Alive along with the DVD has been great, I'm learning so much!!


My daughter: MCT continues to be a hit.


My son: Webster's Speller is starting to click! (I need to update our progress and schedule.) And, because of the way it is laid out, he already knows the difference between short and long vowels and when to use each. Most phonics programs camp out on short vowels so long that the switch is difficult for many children. Soon, we will tackle the c syllables, learning early the s sound of c. Since few simple words have c as s, many children also have a hard time with s as c if they have seen too many c as k words first.

Edited by ElizabethB
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I love everything we're using so far, but the biggest hit would have to be our new schedule. I'm giving the six-weeks-on-one-week-off schedule a try. Right now I think it is fantastic, but that is because this is our first week off. Ask me again on Monday. :001_smile:


We've been doing this from the start, and I love it! Just when I'm reaching burn-out and housework overload, the break comes...and it's only a week so the kids haven't forgotten what schoolwork is like when break is over.


The best thing about this school year is that my youngest is old enough to play outside with his sister or brother while I work 1-on-1 with the other. That makes SUCH a HUGE difference!!!

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Well, if you asked me, I would say the schedule. This year we have a great schedule and we stick to it very closely and finish school very early, or close to the same time every day.



When I asked my little one, he said that he was loving his Easy Grammar. We are using an old teacher's manual for the older edition 3/4. I think he likes the challenge and loves to tell me what he knows as far as sentence construction. This has been a surprise since he didn't actually start out loving this, and I was even thinking about omitting it. Goes to show, everything needs to stay for at least a quarter before you make any decisions about changing...but yeah, I'm loving the schedule. It's made homeschooling seem almost too easy at times. :lol:


When I asked my eldest 10th grader, he says his Algebra 2, and Fallacy Detective. He loves that little logic book!



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Science and history by Mommy as the kids call it. They pick what they want to learn out of the encyclopedias and Mom finds everything she can on the subject and they write about it. One project in each subject every other week. They love it so much more than all the expensive stuff I bought.


And Horizons math. Both kids are doing so well with it and love it. They have competitions and whoever gets the first math problem wrong has to do the other's chores for the day. They're on week 4 of it and so far neither has lost.

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For my K'er and 2nd grader: McRuffy Math K & 1. I know it's not perfect for every kid, but I'm totally tripping out about how much my girls like it. Nice change from last year, when math was torture most of the time.


The other winner is Happy Phonics. It's very fun, easy to use and flexible. The girls are enjoying it so far. Cutting out the game pieces took forever, but it was worth it.


Oh, and Dick and Jane readers for younger DD. I picked up one of the collections from the library on a whim and she totally loves it. Listening to her read the stories is too cute. :001_smile:

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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Receiving an iPod and then downloading all the Burgess bird stories from librivox.com for free. We listen to two stories every night and discuss the characteristics of the creatures afterward.


MEP1B - there are a few problems that can't be found in MM or Singapore and really has DD thinking hard about math and thinking that math is fun.


Elemental Science - we're actually studying science the WTM way.


Audio dramatization of The Wizard of Oz - For a long time, DD was not interested in reading this book until we heard the audio version and now she is immersed in the books. There are 15 books in the series and all can be purchased for only $.99 if you have a Kindle.

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This week I implemented a time schedule instead of just a list of things the boys needed to work through -- wow, what a great week!!!!


We also love MCT, ETC, SOTW, and our science (mom gets books from the library and the boys read them together and create pages of information and pictures).


We also have had amazing times at the YMCA homeschool programmes -- swimming, gymtime, and rock wall climbing.

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