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Can someone point me in the direction of the best MCT thread...


Aludlam
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Can someone point me in the direction of the best MCT thread that really explains the "meat" of the program? I know so many people have fallen in love with this program. I would like to see how everyone is actually "using" the program. Does that make any sense?

 

thanks

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:w00t: OMH! You only want to read ONE thread????!!!!!

 

Actually, I'm answering to give this a bump, but here are sone of my suggestions (I don't know where everyone else is but hopefully bumping will bring them out):

 

I first read about MCT just about one year ago -- someone posted a thread about their 'MCT' arriving - I had no idea what they were talking about, so I began reading. THEN, I started asking questions.

 

There is a thread from the beginning of this year (I think) -- it has a title along the lines of 'MCT can cut through a tomato' or something like that -- it's mostly funny stuff (it had been a LONG SNOWY winter) but I'm not sure there is much substance in that one.

 

You can basically pick any thread via search using MCT, look for some of these people (in no particular order - it's late, I am typing names as they come into my head and I do not want any carp about this :toetap05:) -- also, the stuff you will want to read will depend on the ages/grades of your children.

 

The Dragon Academy

swimmermom3

radiobrain

Capt_Uhura

Crimson Wife

one 1 michele

matroyshka

8FilltheHeart

EKS

Jen in PA

SFKC

happygrrl

ElizabethB

Snickerdoodle

kck

freerange

Kuovonne

nd293

yslek

AuntPol

Aubrey

 

 

And, honestly, I am so tired, I cannot think of the many many others here who are a wealth of information about MCT.

 

So, here are some of the threads that I KNOW are helpful:

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217274&highlight=mct

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216109&highlight=mct

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211184&highlight=mct

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=210414&highlight=mct

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221955&highlight=mct

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186777

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166286

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186239

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186093

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181727

 

I think that anything beyond what I linked above is in archives - you can get to it -- I just don't know how to explain it. Also, the RFWP website is helpful (I think). There are videos that you can watch. I noticed as I searched that you would be using Island Level, is that right?

 

Alot of people go on and on about the $$$ but truly, if one carefully considers IF this is the curric for them, and buys wisely, I don't find it any nore costly than anything else out there.

 

You, however, have to carefully weigh IF this curric will work for you. It is teacher-led and teacher-intensive. Even with my oldest who just started WWW and ML this year (she is in 6th grade), I have to sit with her and we have wonderful discussions about what she is doing.

 

For 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, you will sit and read together and work together. It is not done independently - that to me is one of the most important things that a prospective-MCT-er must know.

 

You will read lots of different experiences here as far as likes and dislikes regarding MCT -- it really comes down to whether or not you think it is a good fit for your child and for you. Personally, I cannot imagine using anything else (and we struggled finding a Language Arts curric that worked for us) - the retention level for my kids is amazing. The vocabulary skills that all three are building is mind-boggling - truly. I cannot speak about other curric b/c this is what I use -- but I am a former classroom teacher with nearly 20 years experience in the classroom, and I WISH I had this curric in my classrooms.

 

Read everything over, ask specific questions. HTH :)

Edited by MariannNOVA
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Mariann, you are a dear. Have you ever just not been able to wrap your brain around something? That's how I feel with MCT! It's like there is some sort of mental block. I'm sickly today, so I'll enjoy sitting and reading through those links.

 

thank you so much

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Mariann, you are a dear. Have you ever just not been able to wrap your brain around something? That's how I feel with MCT! It's like there is some sort of mental block. I'm sickly today, so I'll enjoy sitting and reading through those links.

 

thank you so much

 

 

Don't feel like you are odd for feeling that way. I have heard many people have that sort of reaction, that is one reason there are so many threads!

 

I suppose I was one of the lucky ones who saw one sample page and said "holey moley! It's perfect!" and bought it immediately.

 

Keep in mind also, that even if you don't "get it" right away.... or it seems like it isn't teaching anything in the beginning....that is a normal reaction. If you have been reading threads, I think you will understand that point. If your kids enjoy it, that is a good sign... ;)

 

It is a fabulous program that really ramps it up each level, we are on Voyage level and today we are going to dissect and discuss an essay by Montaigne (I think... I need much coffee today).

 

It might not be a great fit for you, or it could be a game changer. I know a lot of MCTers who had trouble with it in the beginning. It IS very different.

 

Good luck!

 

:D

 

Mariann! Your post was AWESOME!! Cap_n... I agree with everything you said!

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I would like to try it, but I'm very conflicted about where to start. I'd love to start at the beginning, but my 4th grader is strong in langauge arts. But if we start in Town, I'm wondering what neat stuff we might miss at the prior level. On top of that we're approaching mid-year, so that sort of complicates my thinking on the issue. Ack! Also the program is too pricey to guess wrong on this. And right now the Royal Fireworks message boards are almost brand spanking new, from having switched from a Yahoo group. So there is not a lof of information there, yet, to offer guidance.

 

Right now with my fourth grader we've ditched Easy Grammar (although my 6th grader likes it), and we're just doing worksheets that I've culled from TeacherFileBox.

 

As a side note, my 4th grader has been very envious of my 6th grader doing Lightning Lit this year (especially the poetry), and wants to know why his Language Arts isn't interesting like that.

 

Egads.

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Mariann, you are a dear. Have you ever just not been able to wrap your brain around something? That's how I feel with MCT! It's like there is some sort of mental block. I'm sickly today, so I'll enjoy sitting and reading through those links.

 

thank you so much

 

You are quite welcome. My pleasure. ;) And, I would have to say that the fact that you cannot wrap your brain around it is THE first sign that you will soon be ONE.Of.US. :lol: I think that the 'universal' mct-feeling is: what am I missing here? why can't I wrap my brain around this? Personally, my guess is that it was SO not like what the kids and I had been using (R&S, JAG, who knows what else, wait, yes, Shurley, and at least one other thing) that I really had to re-think how we would do LA every day. I daresay that the mental block means you already understand that it IS different.

 

It is a bit difficult to wrap your brain around it until you do it and see it in action. I second everything Mariann wrote above - engaging, retention is amazing, fun. I always assumed that grammar was just something to get done, check off.....until we met MCT!
THIS (to the red bolded part) (and a big thank you -) and :iagree: with everything Capt wrote. My kids (and I hate to write this b/c MCT-haters think it is cheesy) LOVE LOVE LOVE doing LA and have a new perspective of it.

 

Don't feel like you are odd for feeling that way. I have heard many people have that sort of reaction, that is one reason there are so many threads!

 

:iagree:(I would use more of those I Agree guys but I will go over the limit for smilies.)

 

I suppose I was one of the lucky ones who saw one sample page and said "holey moley! It's perfect!" and bought it immediately.

 

I agree again -- everything I had read on the website was SO DIFFERENT from everything I had ever used as a teacher and as a homeschooler, that I KNEW instinctively it was for us. THAT BEING SAID, I still had to wrap my brain around it when it arrived. I think that I probably looked at the opened box of stuff for about two weeks :001_huh: before I figured out what my role was in all of this. Really.

 

Keep in mind also, that even if you don't "get it" right away.... or it seems like it isn't teaching anything in the beginning....that is a normal reaction. If you have been reading threads, I think you will understand that point. If your kids enjoy it, that is a good sign...

 

I agree again. When I was finally brave enough to, ahem, just sit down and start reading Grammar Island with the twins, I was perplexed b/c it seemed to be TOO simple -- TOO easy. I wasn't working 'hard' enough, kwim? They weren't complaining AT.ALL. I MUST have been doing something wrong.:tongue_smilie: In fact, all three kids were enjoying it and didn't want to put it away after like 40 minutes to an hour.

 

It is a fabulous program that really ramps it up each level, we are on Voyage level and today we are going to dissect and discuss an essay by Montaigne (I think... I need much coffee today).

 

It might not be a great fit for you, or it could be a game changer. I know a lot of MCTers who had trouble with it in the beginning. It IS very different.

 

Good luck!

 

:D

 

Mariann! Your post was AWESOME!! Cap_n... I agree with everything you said!

Awwwww, thank you! I couldn't sleep - tired, but couldn't sleep. DS10 has bronchitis, and by the time I was able to get hin to stop coughing, I was too tired to sleep. I look at this as prepping for the HS Conference in July '11 -- I am going to volunteer at the RFWP booth again.

 

ALUDLAM: Just wanted to finish this by saying that as much time as it takes to wrap your brain around the curric (and it does), there is an inverse amount of time once you finally start using it as far as prep (does that make sense?) ONCE I figured out how simple mct was to use, for me, it WAS pick up and go -- I just had to 'get' the philosophy behind it. I don't plan (especially at the lower levels) - we sit, read, I do know in my head what days we will do Practice and what days we will sit and read. Some days, we can sit and read ALOT, others, not so much.

 

For my older dd, I did have to figure out what was being put in front of us in WWW, but once I did (took about 30 minutes) it was a breeze.

 

My final piece of advice: Read what you can get your hands on, ask specific questions here (alot of the mct-users here can address a prospective user's issues with better info if the question is specific).

 

My really final piece of advice -- my dh accompanied me to the hs conf last july as he had to get the booth set up, etc. He and the kids spent the entire two days with me there -- btw, they had a blast! Anyway, from the little he knew about mct beforehand, (he had spent a couple of days doing LA with the kids when I had to be elsewhere) what he learned sitting reading through the material, listening to me answer questions and get folks set up with what they would need to get started, HE BECAME A TOTAL MCT-phile/fan. By the end of the conference, he could answer beginner questions and engage in appropriate conversation about the curric. He has told me and Tom Kemnitz repeatedly that he would LOVE to arrange a grammar/writing course at his firm taught by MCT. DH is looking forward to the 2011 conference as much as I am.

 

HTH:)

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I would like to try it, but I'm very conflicted about where to start. I'd love to start at the beginning, but my 4th grader is strong in langauge arts. But if we start in Town, I'm wondering what neat stuff we might miss at the prior level. On top of that we're approaching mid-year, so that sort of complicates my thinking on the issue. Ack! Also the program is too pricey to guess wrong on this. And right now the Royal Fireworks message boards are almost brand spanking new, from having switched from a Yahoo group. So there is not a lof of information there, yet, to offer guidance.

 

Right now with my fourth grader we've ditched Easy Grammar (although my 6th grader likes it), and we're just doing worksheets that I've culled from TeacherFileBox.

 

As a side note, my 4th grader has been very envious of my 6th grader doing Lightning Lit this year (especially the poetry), and wants to know why his Language Arts isn't interesting like that.

 

Egads.

 

Excellent advice from Capt_Uhura in response to your post.:001_smile:

 

I started my strong in LA fifth grader (last year) in Grammar Voyage and then we went down to Paragraph Town for writing. She flew through it, loved it and this year (she is taking an IEW writing course from an instructor outside the home) she is doing WWW and ML. I've found that the MCT approach/philosophy makes it amenable to finding where you need to be, and purchasing THAT - one does not have to purchase everything from every level and feel forced or compelled to use every bit of it.

 

The basic premise that 'there are only eight kinds of words' means that if you do not need to do Island level, you will NOT miss anything by starting in Town level -- it will all be covered, just at a different level of, ahem, dare I say, 'maturity?'

 

As far as the message boards, I have unsubbed from the yahoo group, have never looked at the RFWP ones, and basically, after about three days of asking questions, learned everything I needed to know right here. The women from this curric board have volunteered to sit at booths at conventions, heard MCT speak at those conventions, and imo, you would be hard-pressed to get better info from anyone anywhere. If you go up to my post to the OP where I list folks who I know use MCT on this board, you won't get better info anywhere else than from them IMO.;)

 

My 6th grader is also doing LL, WWW and ML. The 4th grade twins are using CE1 -- and I have fallen in love with CE ALL OVER AGAIN.

 

I am sure I have said this before, but it bears repeating -- one has to decide, based on what one has read here and what one has read on the website, IF this is a curric that will work for them. I will also go out on a limb and say that until one gets to where they must ask very specific questions about the curric (the most obvious one being 'why can't I wrap my brain around this?'), then they need to do more research. The 'WRAP BRAIN AROUND IT' question tells me that one has come to the point where they recognize that THIS is a different curric -- notice I said 'different.' It is not for everyone which means it is not necessarily 'better' -- if it doesn't work for someone, then clearly it is not better for them. But, it is different. HTH

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As a side note, my 4th grader has been very envious of my 6th grader doing Lightning Lit this year (especially the poetry), and wants to know why his Language Arts isn't interesting like that.

 

Egads.

 

Press the buy button!!!! I missed that last part of your post. I'm sure RFWP must have a return policy should you hate it. And, the few used sales of MCT materials seem to go very quickly.

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Nope - btw Level 5 (Magic Lens 2, WWW2, etc) is wonderful. So much easier to chew on than Level 4.

 

We are loving WWW/ML Level 1 -- dd will likely be in private school for 7th grade, though, so I'm thinking we will maybe do Level 2 over the summer. I cannot imagine (even with her being in a rigorous Classical Christian private school) that she would NOT have MCT in her life. ;)

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Can someone point me in the direction of the best MCT thread that really explains the "meat" of the program? I know so many people have fallen in love with this program. I would like to see how everyone is actually "using" the program. Does that make any sense?

 

thanks

 

 

 

 

......and b/c I need a break from my craft/marketing plan for our co-op Kids Market, let me add this:

 

The 'meat' of the program at the Island level which is where I think you would start is: there are only eight kinds of words. My kids (who had very strong language arts skills) were so thrilled when we sat down to begin and this was how we started. They immediately relaxed, enjoyed it, and figured, 'Hey! 'EIGHT' seems like a reasonable amount of anything! Words? Eight kinds of words? We can definitely handle that.'

 

For the person teaching it, imo, the 'meat' of the program is the way it encourages the kids to look at words and language -- the way it courts them, and they have a great time, and before they know it, they are loving language, they have developed an insight into language almost without realizing it, and they develop a comfort level with words and language that further develops their relationship with words and language.

 

And, for me, an additional benefit is the time I get to spend with my kids -- and we 'talk' and we 'learn.' THAT is the meat of mct at each and every level -- the interaction. Think about it.......how is one supposed to 'learn' Language Arts without using 'language?'

 

No doubt, there are kids for whom this is not a good fit -- but that is something that you as the teacher will determine as you learn a little more and decide if this is the way you want to go. HTH

Edited by MariannNOVA
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So, I didn't get to have my sick day. I'm just now really starting to get into the threads. I must admit that I like what I'm seeing. While I read, I thought I would go a head and drop a question on you all. What do you think of the poetry studies? I must admit that I'm not a lover. And from the surface, I really don't see the point. Could you share your thoughts and feelings on this? I'm sure there is some sort of end game that I'm not seeing with this one.

 

thank you so much for taking your time with this ... and me!

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Okay, so let's just say I was thinking about this curriculum for my older next year....maybe before next year...LOL...He is 8, and currently working with GWG 4 (and WWE2, if it matters), he loves grammar, parts of speech, diagramming, etc. What level would he be were we to switch? My hesitation is that he likes the workbook approach, loves working independently..but when we do grammar memory work, he does enjoy talking about what exactly would comprise the eight parts of speech...so there's a dialogue component that I feel is missing in GWG (to say the least).....Sorry if this is a hijack.

 

ETA: we have Building Languages, and I wasn't incredibly impressed by it, but maybe I need to revisit. What other components do you feel are essential?

Edited by Halcyon
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So, I didn't get to have my sick day. I'm just now really starting to get into the threads. I must admit that I like what I'm seeing. While I read, I thought I would go a head and drop a question on you all. What do you think of the poetry studies? I must admit that I'm not a lover. And from the surface, I really don't see the point. Could you share your thoughts and feelings on this? I'm sure there is some sort of end game that I'm not seeing with this one.

 

thank you so much for taking your time with this ... and me!

 

Okay, so let's just say I was thinking about this curriculum for my older next year....maybe before next year...LOL...He is 8, and currently working with GWG 4 (and WWE2, if it matters), he loves grammar, parts of speech, diagramming, etc. What level would he be were we to switch? My hesitation is that he likes the workbook approach, loves working independently..but when we do grammar memory work, he does enjoy talking about what exactly would comprise the eight parts of speech...so there's a dialogue component that I feel is missing in GWG (to say the least).....Sorry if this is a hijack.

 

ETA: we have Building Languages, and I wasn't incredibly impressed by it, but maybe I need to revisit. What other components do you feel are essential?

 

I have to preface my answer here with this: in the past, whenever someone asked where they start mct (i.e., what level) I was ALWAYS the person who suggested the LOWER level -- I would say Island, everyone else would say Town. I would say Town, everyone else would say Voyage. You get the idea.

 

Today, someone here asked what level to buy. She gave really good information about her dd, and I wrote that she should start with TOWN -- so of course, radiobrain, whose opinion I respect immensely and not just with regard to MCT, says she should start with Island (the lower level). So as I answer your questions, I am really going to say that only you know your child - and these are only suggestions based on my experience.

 

And, no, I am not a poetry lover. Although my twins did the poetry in Island level and they LOVED it. They are doing poetry in co-op now so I have stopped doing it. It's just me -- I am lazy -- I am not the person who should EVER answer poetry questions.:glare:

 

HALCYON: It was exactly a year ago when I switched all three kids to mct -- after 4 failed attempts using other curric. The twins were in 3rd grade with an excellent LA background (Shurley - they had done it in private school). We started with ISLAND, and we flew through it, and it was exactly where we should have been. I liked building language -- so did the twins - we flew through that too. I have to say that I think there is alot to say for the ISLAND level -- it was great for me b/c not ever having seen mct before in my life, I also was a little behind the curve as far as what was going to happen and starting at the beginning was a good place to start. When I was at the booth at the h/s conference, I did get a VERY clear idea of why folks should start with ISLAND -- if your child is comfortable at that level, then you go through it rather quickly. If your child is exactly comfortable at that level, then you go through it at a more reasonable pace. I still think it is a good place to start. Would I start a 4th grader there - a fourth grader with REALLY GOOD LA SKILLS? Maybe not - maybe we would start in Town. It is SUCH an individual judgement call, kwim? Your ds can work independently in the Practice book - my kids do -- they would do 10 or 15 sentences a day -- they love it.

 

The thing is: Island is fun - so are the other levels, but if you skip Island, you skip THAT fun.

 

I'm so hoping someone else shows up to help you out here.;)

Edited by MariannNOVA
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We are using Town level with my 5th grader this year. She had a strong LA background (FLL 1/2, Writing Tales 1/2, R&S 3&4, 2 yrs. Latin) and I really did not want to begin at the beginning with her. I got the Town package last January and we went through Grammar Town last spring. This year we are using everything else. I absolutely love Paragraph Town. This is the way I want to teach writing--he explains the idea of a paragraph and its structure so beautifully. I love the emphasis placed on academic writing. And I really like Building Poems too. We just read in Paragraph Town about how excellent writers pay attention to the sounds of language, and that is all explained in the poetry book. I do think that doing the poetry component will make my kids better writers. And more appreciative readers. They are really enjoying reading poetry, which I have to admit that I never really did.

 

Now having fallen in love with Paragraph Town, I think I will have dd go through Sentence Island also. If he has done such an amazing job with teaching paragraphs and designing paragraph labs that develop the skill of writing them, I can only hope that Sentence Island might help with writing powerful sentences. Other than that one book, I think we have done just fine skipping the Island level.

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Oh no. Now I'm second guessing myself as to when and what level we should start.

 

DS is 4th grade. We use WWE 3 and FLL 4. I will continue to use SWB's writing workbooks. This is the last level of FLL. I had planned on starting in Town level for 5th after doing FLL 4 this year.

 

DS has a hard time putting together sentences. So maybe I should do Island level? Would it work if I only did Sentence Island?

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Oh no. Now I'm second guessing myself as to when and what level we should start.

 

DS is 4th grade. We use WWE 3 and FLL 4. I will continue to use SWB's writing workbooks. This is the last level of FLL. I had planned on starting in Town level for 5th after doing FLL 4 this year.

 

DS has a hard time putting together sentences. So maybe I should do Island level? Would it work if I only did Sentence Island? Yes, it would. Grammar Island is very very basic - 'eight kinds of words.' Sentence Island is excellent as far as placement of modifiers, agreement and so forth. You could do Grammar Town, Sentence Island and then Paragraph Town.

 

:)

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Building Language is the least impressive of the entire Island and Town levels. It's oK and I'm glad we did it but it's VERY different from Caesar's English 1.

 

I'm not really feeling the love for Building Language here. We're getting through it but not enjoying doing it. I'm glad to hear it gets better... it's motivation to get moving with it. ;)

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Today, someone here asked what level to buy. She gave really good information about her dd, and I wrote that she should start with TOWN -- so of course, radiobrain, whose opinion I respect immensely and not just with regard to MCT, says she should start with Island (the lower level). So as I answer your questions, I am really going to say that only you know your child - and these are only suggestions based on my experience.

.;)

 

OMG, this cracks me up! :D Thanks for the love, I need it today (and everyday!)

 

Mariann, I went back and said she could do Town if she wanted. ;) I have always been one who goes more on age than skill level when I recommend levels. I don't care if a kid is able to do Town level at 2nd grade (although, I think that any 2nd grader will have trouble with Paragraph Town) as I think it messes up the timing of the whole program. Also, they miss the fun of Island. :) But, everyone can make their own decision.

 

To everyone... yes, Building Language is the weakest of all the books, and should not be a grand indicator of the whole program. It is a good book, but, I don't know, seems a bit below the others. I don't know why. Maybe it is the whole Homeschool child's experience with language and word roots vs. brick and mortar school kids' exposure. Many of us might be naturally ahead in this department, methinks.

 

KH~ Town level is totally awesome, but you might do well to do just what you are thinking. Get Sentence Island TM. That book is great! My kids have made me re-read its story at least 4X. They love that Mud. :D They love Fishmeal too.

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OMG, this cracks me up! :D Thanks for the love, I need it today (and everyday!) It actually cracked me up too. I finally opted for the higher level and my 'MCT barometer' said that the purchaser 'could' go the other way.:D

 

Mariann, I went back and said she could do Town if she wanted. ;) I have always been one who goes more on age than skill level when I recommend levels. I don't care if a kid is able to do Town level at 2nd grade (although, I think that any 2nd grader will have trouble with Paragraph Town) as I think it messes up the timing of the whole program. Also, they miss the fun of Island. :) But, everyone can make their own decision. See, I also have recommended based on NOT missing the fun of Island --so you said it perfectly - 'could' -- it is SUCH a subjective decision, kwim?

 

To everyone... yes, Building Language is the weakest of all the books, and should not be a grand indicator of the whole program. It is a good book, but, I don't know, seems a bit below the others. I don't know why. Maybe it is the whole Homeschool child's experience with language and word roots vs. brick and mortar school kids' exposure. Many of us might be naturally ahead in this department, methinks.

 

KH~ Town level is totally awesome, but you might do well to do just what you are thinking. Get Sentence Island TM. That book is great! My kids have made me re-read its story at least 4X. They love that Mud. :D They love Fishmeal too.

 

:)

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We loved Island as well. I generally go buy if the OP is very tight for money. Or if the kid is on the older side. I'd hate for someone to be turned off from MCT materials b/c a kid thought Island was babyish and therefore dumped the whole shibang. It's a very complicated process. Perhaps we should design dichotomous key or flow chart for MCT!!!

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Coming from someone who jumped into Level 4 with a verbally gifted 7th grader -- I cannot understand why someone would put a second grader into anything but Level 1. A fifth grader is going to struggle with Level 4 - it is written for gifted 8-12 graders. As Radiobrain stated, the writing components are the toughest part and I cannot see suhc young students writing paragraphs and essays at the level MCT suggests.

 

It all makes my head spin.

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We loved Island as well. I generally go buy if the OP is very tight for money. Or if the kid is on the older side. I'd hate for someone to be turned off from MCT materials b/c a kid thought Island was babyish and therefore dumped the whole shibang. It's a very complicated process. Perhaps we should design dichotomous key or flow chart for MCT!!!

:iagree:

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We loved Island as well. I generally go buy if the OP is very tight for money. Or if the kid is on the older side. I'd hate for someone to be turned off from MCT materials b/c a kid thought Island was babyish and therefore dumped the whole shibang. It's a very complicated process. Perhaps we should design dichotomous key or flow chart for MCT!!!

 

That is a great idea.

 

I went back to that thread and she decided on Town level, and I think she will do fine. In her description of her daughter, she is most likely making the right choice, especially due to the factors that Cap_n was talking about. That is what is so hard about recommending levels. Island is so awesome, but looks deceptively simple. It can come across as baby-ish (I know a lot of people hate that GI font) if the kid is advanced. However, SI is so excellent!!! I hate for anyone to miss it.

 

Sometimes the kid is ready for Town, but I still think it screws up the whole flow, unless you slow down. But MCT is so much fun, it is hard to slow down. I think that I could have started my kids in Island level in 2nd grade w/o any problem. I know I couldn't have done Town then, not because they couldn't get it.. but because their writing skills were not fully developed. By starting Island when my kids were 3rd & 4th, was perfect. Island level was easy, but foundationally important. FOR MY BOYS. I think boys, no matter how smart, shouldn't miss Island (especially SI), unless they are above grade level. Now we are in Voyage level, and Essay voyage is perfect. A bit on the difficult side, but not in a bad way.

 

Maybe RFWP could make an advanced young learner HS package that includes SI TM with the Town level. Thinking out loud.

Edited by radiobrain
felt like clarifying and babble some more
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Coming from someone who jumped into Level 4 with a verbally gifted 7th grader -- I cannot understand why someone would put a second grader into anything but Level 1. A fifth grader is going to struggle with Level 4 - it is written for gifted 8-12 graders. As Radiobrain stated, the writing components are the toughest part and I cannot see suhc young students writing paragraphs and essays at the level MCT suggests.

 

It all makes my head spin.

 

 

Hi, Mer: :seeya: :grouphug:Yes, it makes my head spin as well. I have taught a fair number of elementary aged students. There is a group of them (and I am usually thinking about the 2nd graders when someone is asking about Island or Town) who definitely would have to be placed in Town if they were going to be homeschooled using MCT.

 

So, :iagree: with you - it can make our heads spin, it is difficult to make the call for someone else's child unless we know them - it truly is, in the end, the parent's call as there are so many other factors besides grade and age that impact the decision.

 

Which is why so many of us ask the posters to ask specific questions -- the more info given, the more informed our replies can be. But, in the end, it is the parent who must read and observe and determine where there is a good fit.

 

And, I was going to put dd10 (last year) into Voyage -- which worked for Grammar but did not work for Writing and we bumped down to Paragraph Town for that. It really is a judgement call.

 

Must end with this: I had one little boy in first grade whose mom had been homeschooling him probably from the time he was born - he was a pleasure to have in class and he was very very bright. THAT first grader I would put in Town and he would have flown through it. It just illustrates what homeschooling families know: education is not one size fits all.:)

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That is a great idea.

 

I went back to that thread and she decided on Town level, and I think she will do fine. That is what is so hard about recommending levels. Island is so awesome, but looks deceptively simple. It can come across as baby-ish (I know a lot of people hate that GI font) if the kid is advanced. However, SI is so excellent!!! I hate for anyone to miss it.

 

Maybe RFWP could make an advanced young learner HS package that includes SI TM with the Town level. Thinking out loud.[/QUOTE]

 

I LIKE that idea! Doesn't CW do something like that? (I'm asking b/c that was what we were using last year as well)

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I never should have opened the thread. I shouldn't have... darn the internal conflict! :glare:

 

I had been planning on using Abeka LA because I know it. I know how to adapt it for my kids. I like the emphasis on diagramming. For me, it's open and go.

 

I had been planning on using IEW. Not something I was totally "sold" on, but a lot of people swear by it... so I spent some time in their booth last summer. I asked questions and tried to get a feel for the program. I left feeling better, but still not "sold."

 

I will have 4 children in school next year. The three oldest will have spent 2 years in the VA Virtual Academy. My oldest will have been in K12 for 4 years. The literature is great, but the rest of the LA program is so-so. I like the composition, because it was very easy to follow. I didn't like the composition, because they really didn't break down the planning of the work (setting a due date and working backward... the days you worked on it just popped up on your assignment for the day, but you may need a LOT more time to complete it).

 

My children will be K, 3rd, 4th and 7th. Next year they will be 5, 8, 9 and almost 12. The three oldest have been working a year ahead, but I have zero problem moving them to grade level in grammar/comp -- because I can move them ahead in reading (the main reason we were a year ahead was because of reading, the grammar was simple, but the comp was quite a bit more challenging).

 

End background...

 

Do I *have* to give each student their own level? I think I might be able to better handle it IF I can group at least the 8yo and the 9yo in one level.

 

How much time does it take (from me?). I get stressed when everyone is demanding my time, and my Ker will need some time?

 

How do people add diagramming to this? Or do they?

 

Where in the world would I start with my child who has an excellent handle on vocabulary, a natural "knack" for some writing, but is really sloppy in execution and mechanics?

 

How are the 6 levels "scheduled" for 3-12? Is that "done" for you, or do I have to figure it out?

 

It's a pretty hefty investment... are any parts of it re-usable? (trying to justify costs). I've pulled up a sample, and I'll be looking at it. Just call me a skeptic that wants to believe. :D

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The 4th grade twins are using CE1 -- and I have fallen in love with CE ALL OVER AGAIN.

 

 

 

Thanks for all your great info on MCT and your experiences with it. Also thanks to Capt. Uhura for her input.

 

I checked the abbreviations sticky but don't see "CE" -- may I ask what that is?

 

We are also big LOF fans, so maybe there's something to that connection in terms of how a subject is approached. My kids love words and wordplay, I can always make them laugh with a slightly offbeat turn of phrase.

 

Also my 4th grader has always naturally extrapolated language to the point of creating non-real phrases. He will say he's "full-handed" if he has too much himself to help me carry something. Or he'll refer to his pant legs as "leg sleeves," and one time he had a pain in his "leg pit." Heh. When he was much younger and didn't like something, he'd tell us, "That's too fluvin." (I'm just guessing at how that might be spelled, possibly "flooven.") My husband asked me what I thought that was, and I said, "I don't know, but it's definitely an adjective."

 

I think level-wise we OUGHT to start with Town, but I'm still longingly leaning toward Island so we don't miss anything. With a mid-year start we won't feel like we're behind, just getting up to speed. I do have a fear of turning the kids off due to it seeming too easy, but at the same time I've read of certain people starting even older children than mine (9 & 11) with Island and everyone still enjoying it.

 

I don't see any huge turnoffs in the Building Words sample pages -- does it just suffer in comparison to the Caesar's English levels, or is there something dreary about it? Maybe because my 6th grader just finished a Roman Studies unit, I was rather enjoying the arches and aqueducts.

 

Still suffering my indecision.

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I would like to try it, but I'm very conflicted about where to start. I'd love to start at the beginning, but my 4th grader is strong in langauge arts. But if we start in Town, I'm wondering what neat stuff we might miss at the prior level.

 

I recommend you start in Town. I have a bright dd in the same situation, and she's doing great with Town.

 

I did backtrack with my 5th and 4th graders and get Grammar/Practice Island, which we did over the summer before hitting the full Town Level. It worked fine for them, but I think they would've done great going straight into the Town level. After looking over Sentence Island (thinking we might have missed something wonderful!) and doing Grammar/Practice Island, I don't think there's anything in them that isn't covered in the Town level again, at a slightly higher level.

 

I started MCT with dd at the end of 3rd.... Your son is halfway through 4th—and advanced. I wouldn't hesitate to put him in Town.

 

FWIW,

Susan

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CE=Caesar's English - level 2 and 3 vocabulary book.

 

Haha, thank you Capt. Uhura, kinda funny that I even referred to Caesar's English later in my post.

 

Let's just say I start in Town -- are there aspects of the prior level that I should consider getting anyway? I'm already thinking of the poetry, since my son has already expressed an interest in this area.

 

Torn. Conflicted. I don't really want to rush. Yet, I also don't want to be wasteful of my kids' (or my) time, since we do plenty of "stuff" in our hsing day.

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I had been planning on using IEW. Not something I was totally "sold" on, but a lot of people swear by it... so I spent some time in their booth last summer. I asked questions and tried to get a feel for the program. I left feeling better, but still not "sold."

 

 

:D

 

Hi, Lisa: I have only enough time to barely address what you wrote that I cut and pasted above.

 

The kids and I use MCT for Grammar, and we use Caesar's (with the twins) and DD11 uses WWW and ML. That being said, for writing, while the twins and I did the writing exercises in Island, and dd and I did the writing exercises in Town - and they all had great success with the lessons and loved doing them, ALL three of mine do IEW. WHY? B/c all three of them began using IEW in private school when they were in 2nd grade, and it works for us. I do not, however, teach it to them. I have taught it to my students when I taught in the classroom, but my kids take courses with an IEW certified instructor. It just works better for us that way.

 

I would have no problem picking up AAW and doing it with any of my three when they were ready for it and if that happened to be an area that needed to be addressed. But, I am not there yet. As far as teaching IEW myself, I have purchased (and sold) :confused:the dvds and books (I do like the subject matter books, though) and found the outside of the home classes.

 

And, all that being said, we do tentatively plan to enroll dd11 in private school again for 7th grade next September. I am confident that her writing skills are excellent and she will do just fine in the classroom of a rigorous classical Christian school. :)

 

HTH

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Thanks for this thread! I have been putting off buying MCT as I couldn't decide between Island and Town, but this thread pushed me over the edge! I still don't know if I made the right choice in level, but I'm so excited because now I'll actually be able to hold the materials in my hands, see them, and experience them. :)

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Haha, thank you Capt. Uhura, kinda funny that I even referred to Caesar's English later in my post.

 

Let's just say I start in Town -- are there aspects of the prior level that I should consider getting anyway? I'm already thinking of the poetry, since my son has already expressed an interest in this area.

 

Torn. Conflicted. I don't really want to rush. Yet, I also don't want to be wasteful of my kids' (or my) time, since we do plenty of "stuff" in our hsing day.

 

 

Hi - me horning in here! :lol: If you start in TOWN, I would not be concerned abut missing anything in ISLAND - not a bit concerned. Eight kinds of words! THAT BEING SAID, I might do GRAMMAR TOWN, SENTENCE ISLAND, PARAGRAPH TOWN -- SENTENCE ISLAND, well, it is a really good foundational book. The two GRAMMAR books (Island and Town) really are the same material just written on a different level. :) The poetry: my twins loved poetry at the ISLAND level - so get just the TM of the poetry book and go through it with them. And when you finish it, go to the POETRY book in the TOWN level. You can always sell it here in like two seconds when you are finished with it. I would not think that by purchasing the Poetry book you would be wasteful of time - in fact, I found it one of the biggest bangs for our time -- a little amount of time and a great big positive reaction from the twins regarding poetry.

 

SO: here is my very muddy suggestion: ISLAND LEVEL: Poetry (cannot remember the name of it), SENTENCE ISLAND; TOWN LEVEL: Grammar Town, Paragraph Town, Practice Town.

 

HTH

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Thanks for this thread! I have been putting off buying MCT as I couldn't decide between Island and Town, but this thread pushed me over the edge! I still don't know if I made the right choice in level, but I'm so excited because now I'll actually be able to hold the materials in my hands, see them, and experience them. :)

 

We are ALWAYS happy to help! ;) :party:

 

And, getting the books in your hands, reading them by yourself for a day or a week, then you will see where to take it with your kids.

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Ok, I think we are an "Island" family. Can we talk about the necessity of the student books? It doesn't appear that there is a lot of difference between the student books and the tm. The basic package with the exception of PI seems to only be the tm's, which leads me to believe that the student books, except PI, are not really needed. Am I right in thinking this?

 

thanks

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Ok, I think we are an "Island" family. Can we talk about the necessity of the student books? It doesn't appear that there is a lot of difference between the student books and the tm. The basic package with the exception of PI seems to only be the tm's, which leads me to believe that the student books, except PI, are not really needed. Am I right in thinking this?

 

thanks

 

The student books in Island are the TMs w/o the tips and assignment ideas. So, the TMs are necessary, the SBs are optional.

 

The exception to this general rule is the practice book. That is good to have the SB. Otherwise you need to have a giant whiteboard and write everything down on it. The extra $10 is worth it to me! ;)

 

So you are totally correct!

 

Now, don't get me started on scheduling, esp. in the Island level. That is a bit more complicated (just to explain, not to do).

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I called the company... I had already figured that I'd start my 3rd and 4th grader in Island together (although, they will both fly through this). They suggested I buy the first three sets, and let my oldest read through Island and Town (not do all of the practice), and then do Voyage.

 

So, if I do Island/Town for my 3/4 kids and Voyages for my oldest, I still need a spelling program for my 3/4 (They can be in the same level, my 4th grader struggles a bit with spelling, my 3rd grader is pretty much once and done). I still need to cover diagramming...and something else for other writing assignments?

 

I found a suggestion for an e-book for diagramming. But is there something else that might be better?

 

I have a nice sized budget to work with next year, but I don't think I could do MCT and IEW (I think that might be overkill?)

 

Suggestions? Ideas? Thanks.

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