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I'm beginning my plans for next year as this one is nearly over. I was wondering have you had any great successes this year? Big failures?


We did pretty well this year considering everything.


This year dh took over the schooling for my oldest 2nd grader mid-year. So of course, our schedule changed. His attitude about school improved a bit though and that was the point.


They got into next years materials in Grammar, but completely left out writing.


They didn't finish History, Penmanship, or Spelling. We decided to take a summer break this year so we will have to finish those in the fall.


We ended up starting a new math program after I realized that ds just wasn't ready for SM 3 no matter how many times I make him redo 1A-2B. He got the concept, but couldn't translate it into consistently correct answers. So he and his Kindergarten brother are just finishing up MUS Alpha and really getting the concepts.


In retrospect I'm glad that ds and dh had this year of 'Educational Bonding' as dh will be starting Nursing School in the Fall and will have little time to spend with him.


As for my Kindergartener... I wished that I'd spent a little more time playing and a little less time redirecting him. I've learned that his style is different from his brother's. And that left to himself he's more likely to make up a story about robots and aliens then to do math.


He finished Kindergarten work well before Christmas (except penmanship which is awful). We started doing 1st grade work at a slowish pace just after the holiday. We have some grammar and science left and quite a bit of history left. I'm considering forgetting narrations next year in favor of puppet plays as my ds's both seem very put off by the narration aspect of History even though they are both quite good at it.


He's reading at a 3rd grade level now. I wasn't sure at the beginning of the year if we'd ever get out of those nutty bob books. He tends to prefer non-fiction science reading and will try to read higher level books if it interests him. He doesn't have the drive to learn like his big brother... but he does have a drive to play... new games, make believe... we've been able to turn quite a bit of his education into fun things.... unlike his 'by the book' brother.


My 3yo (almost 4) has shown a real interest in doing school next year. I guess we will see how that goes. He has been begging to learn to read, write and do mathusee (Which he is quite sure is the only kind of math worth learning). We may do a lay-ed back, on an as needed basis, K4 since he already knows most of the preschool scope and sequence.


Anyway, How has your school year gone? Are you going to take a summer break? Anything you plan on dropping next year or adding?

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We were adjusting to a new state and home, so this was a light year for us academically. I'm looking forward to diving in deep again in the fall.


What works well:


Singapore math. I love this math program!

Life of Fred:Fractions. We just got this a month ago. This has really put the fun back into math for dd. (She is not a math-lover.)

Discussions: DD loves to talk and we have had some really great discussions over the past several months. She is gaining so much maturity.

Cursive: Finally, dd has found a way to write legibly! Her manuscript still stinks, but her cursive is quite nice.

Calvert Spelling. I didn't think that dd would need a spelling program, but I wasn't happy with some easy words that she misses. With this program, I don't need to do anything. I can just have her sign on and do the next lesson. She doesn't waste time with words that she knows.

Equestrian lessons: She has found her passion.



Latina Christiana--I'm going to stick with this for now. I can't complain because dd is learning Latin, but it is pretty dry.



Horizons Math. We tried to supplement with Horizons math one grade higher than Singapore. It was still all review and I didn't see any benefit to it. We are switching to all Singapore supplements for next year.

Easy Grammar: Boring!


I'm really excited about for next year:

Classical Writing: Homer and Beginning Poetry

Lightning Lit

Real Science 4 Kids--Biology. We're starting this now and finishing over the summer.

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Noeo Chemistry. Not enough meat for my science oriented kids, and too long and boring for my history loving dd. I did like the packaged set of experimental supplies, though, which was the selling point for me. And The Mystery of the Periodic Table was a fun read for my girls.


Jensen's Format Writing. I do think it does a great job of showing structure of writing with its dry as dust examples, which is why I have recommended it before, but dd hated it and it ended up being a flop because it was such a struggle to continue to implement. WriteShop, on the other hand, is a big hit (but a lot pricier.)


Teaching Textbook Algebra I. Not meaty at all, just about useless for a bright, mathy child, IMO. I'm not saying it can't help anyone, but it was a bomb for us.


LifePac Science 8. We returned it. I thought dd might benefit from trying a correspondence course.



Singapore Math, which has been a hit for several years. We've just added CWP and I wish I'd done this from the beginning. I'm even now thinking about adding the IP. BEST WINNER for us is The Essential Parents' Guide to Primary Maths by Dr. Fong Ho Kheong. I find the instructor's guide not useful to us at all, but this book is great for those of us who do math the old way--it shows all the cool ways to do Singapore Math that you might not have thought of because you want to do it with Algebra, or that you may have done intuitively (which I have done) and didn't realize were bonafide ways of doing math.


All American History has been a surprise hit for my 10 yo. Originally she hated it because she likes SOTW so much. She mostly enjoys the extra reading. The textbook is just a textbook, but they do have suggested extra reading and even projects for extra learning. Plus, she likes the map work. We're going to get the AAH 2 next year to finish US history.


SOTW 2. We'll be getting SOTW 3 next year, even though it's a bit easy.


Dolciani Algebra, the 1965 version.

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But DS rose to the challenge! I was really, really impressed. We're not really taking a summer break (we generally just go to "light" school over the summer), but we're going to try to start everything together in September, so as we finish things we'll drop them until then. We've fallen a little behind in history, so that's probably going to go right up to the end of August!


Basically everything this year was good (yay!) Singapore for science and math (Interactive 1 and NEM 1), plus Bite Size Physics, SOTW 3 and History of US for history, and Lightning Lit & Comp 7 for literature. We also had a Lego team, a science fair project, a book group, flute lessons, and monthly organized field trips to a local science museum and a local art museum.


Next year I'm pretty much planning a continuation of everything (except the museum field trips -- got as much out of those as we possibly could!)... So:

Science: Interactive 2 and finish Bite Size Physics

Math: NEM 2

History: SOTW 4 and the last four (?) History of US books

Lit/Comp: LL&C 8.

We're also doing a lot more language -- We'll continue Spanish with a reader and Pimsleur. He did Latin this year with our co-op and we're following up with Lingua Latina, which has started well. And he is working on learning the Russian alphabet and some basic vocabulary, so when he has gotten a little further with that we'll start on something more substantial there too. I have the Russian Pimsleur on my MP3 player, so he really could start that any time. We also have Rosetta Stone Spanish, but he hasn't been using it so much lately.


We've just started something new that I rather like... I got the aforementioned MP3 player that I can use for library downloads (it works with their security thingy that allows it to "expire" after your 3-week checkout, and then you can keep renewing it for another 3 weeks, pretty much indefinitely), primarily to use with the Pimsleur recordings, but then while I was figuring out what the thing was capable of I discovered the magic of podcasts. :D So I've subscribed to like a dozen different podcasts, mainly science topics and music, and last week and this I downloaded a stack of files for DS to listen to. NOVA topics and NPR, mainly. I'm still learning how to use this thing, but so far so good! Last week I had about an hour of stuff for him, and this week I have two, not including the languages. Oooh... I bet I could find some Spanish and Russian language podcasts! That will be my new quest. ;)


Anyway I think about three hours a week is the most I would do, but I really like this random-ish assortment of current news and discussion. A couple of them I've had to pre-screen just in case (knowing that the topic would be fine if handled in a particular way), and there have been topics that I just skip entirely, but for the most part they've been quite appropriate. So it has become my go-to thing for when I can't sit down with him to work on something for a few minutes but I don't want him wandering off and getting distracted... or when we're on the bus going somewhere.


So all in all we've had a great year, but we're nowhere near "done" with it yet!

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We had a really great year this year....


Things that didn't work:

Singapore math or Miquon math or MUS for dd (5yo)

Finding a writing program for ds (10yo)

Science- We were on earth science which went pretty well with Teaching Company DVD series but space science just didn't really take off with anyone and it is probably mostly my fault because it is my least favorite science subject.


Things that worked:

Jacob's Geometry for ds (12yo). He really loved Geometry this year.


Teaching Company Medieval History Series in combo with World History: The

Human Odyssey- worked well for both boys and they completed almost all the history I had planned this year which is rare for us (usually we play catch up on history in the summers)


I found books my 10yo will actually read and loves (yea!!!) "The Art of Construction."


Rosetta Stone Spanish for everyone.


Lightning Literature for 12yo.


All 3 of my kids have really taken off with their music this year. 12yo does drums/bodhran, 10yo on guitar, and 5yo on violin/fiddle. All of them are practicing for hours each day without any coaxing (practicing longer than I would even expect), learning songs together from CDs which is really cool, and enjoying playing for other people.


We are doing a modified schedule this summer. We have a month long road trip from our home in NJ to AZ and WY in July and are doing a unit study on Indian tribes, nature journals, plus continuing math and reading. In August dd will attend a Suzuki Institute in NH. We are really looking forward to the summer. Next year will be Chemistry (a science I love) and Renaissance history.

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It has been a good year for us.


There is nothing that didn't work for us. We did:


Singapore Math with CS and supplemented with Miquon

Junior English


Brave Writer

Singapore My Pals are Here and Let's Learn Science

Explode the Code

Calvert Spelling

SpongeBob SquarePants Typing



State Study


That said ideally I wouldn't be doing Singpore Let's Learn Science again but dd 6 wants to do a workbook science program like her sister. There isn't much there but it fulfills her requirements. More heavy duty science will come later.


We did a last minute switch from SOTW IV to a state and presidential study when I found out that a primary supplement was coming out late summer. Though all are chomping at the bit to do SOTW again we will get so much more out of it with this supplement.


I am also unsure on Calvert Spelling. It is easy to implement but I am not sure whether dd is getting much. It will be my dh's decision as he teaches spelling.

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It was a good year here too.


For 2nd:


I was shocked by how quickly my dd caught on to long division. I though we would have some stumbles (it took me years) but she is good to go.


I also learned that there are times of the year where we need to take it easy and other times that they want to plow through material. I found that scheduling our material into units works great and we do need a break every so often.




Singapore Math--4 levels in a row (earlybird to 3a/b)

Spell to Write and Read phonograms

Minimus Latin

My Pals are Here Science--2 years in a row

McCall-Harby Test Lessons in Reading

Story of the World--just reading the book and coloring the pages are enough and work very well for this child




Arranging SWR by phonograms and using letter tiles to spell--too much work, too hard

Tapestry of Grace--too much information


For K:


I found that not all children learn alike and that sometimes they can just decide that they don't want to learn. So we took it easy and she is starting to read.:001_smile:

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CC for the older one was a big hit, and I managed to find a Haitian student to tutor my younger one in French while we were there. Conceptual Physics has been highly successful with both the 17yo science struggler and the 13yo. I just wish I'd done it earlier with the 13yo. We're going to try Conceptual Chem next year while the older one does CC chem. The younger one has been struggling slowly through Pimsleur Arabic. He's taking forever to get through the numbers section because he keeps deciding he hasn't really gotten it and backing back up again. He's composed some nice things for piano and discovered Grateful Dead LOL and has now vanished under the headphones a la typical teenager. He learned to program his computer using Qbasic with only a little help from me. Math was fine. Younger went through NEM1, older through NEM3. The older one had far fewer problems with 3 than he had with 1 and 2. The younger one had a mighty struggle switching to showing his work, but I think he's beginning to get it now. They both are writing much better now. Writing finally has clicked for the older one, and the younger one has done parts of the dreadful Format Writing successfully. It hasn't improved the quality of his writing, but it didn't mar it, either, thankfully, and it did definately improve quantity and organization, which were my goals. Literature with TWEM was wonderful, as usual. We struggled through another year of Latin. The grammar is finally solidifying for the younger one. Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that the younger one has now recognized that the grammar might be useful occasionally. And the oldest decided to go to engineering school afterall. Overall, a successful year, despite my fears.


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We had an incredibly successful year. Since dd is only 4, we started out calling the year K-4 and not sure how quickly we would progress. We took a very relaxed approach all fall, just reading aloud and slowly working through Singapore's EB 2A and ETC 1..... but then she suddenly wanted to do much, much more! In December I went ahead and signed her up for Headsprout, which was a big hit -- I'm fairly certain that her reading would have taken off around that point no matter what we did, but it gave me a little break to do something fun with my toddler while she got to do something she enjoyed a great deal. We flew through the next 2 ETC books, finished EB 2B and most of PM 1A, and she began cursive. We did science classes all year at a natural history museum, supplementing with lots of hands-on exploration and nonfiction books. We also read through the first several Oz books as read-alouds, along with lots of poetry and shorter chapter books. We learned the names and locations of the continents, did a fun unit on Antarctica, and read fairy tales from around the world. She also continued with ballet and tap, with a recital coming up next month. We are going to continue the ETC and Singapore Math through the summer, spend lots of time doing read-alouds and independent reading for our library's summer reading program, and keep a journal about our gardening experiences this summer. Then we will officially begin first grade in the fall!

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I have been really happy with this year (2nd grade girl), and I think our curriculum choices have worked out great. Unfortuately, just as I was feeling smug about how on-track we were, my daughter got sick for a couple of weeks and now I feel way behind! I'm now trying to wrap up in a few more weeks and plan for next year.


Math: I've been amazed at how quickly she picks up the concepts. Memorizing all the facts is more of a challenge for her, so Saxon 3 has been perfect this year--plenty of repetition but always new stuff to do (that mostly isn't difficult for her). Now that we're close to the end, it's gotten quite fun in several lessons, with negative numbers and such. We probably won't finish the whole book but that's not necessary at this point, since a lot of it is just brief previews for next year. SWB rails about putting 3rd-graders into Saxon 54, but I'm not sure what else I could do--she just picked up the math more quickly than I expected, and here we are.


English: I like R&S grammar and have been switching out weekly with CW Aesop A. Also we finished SW C today. I've been very happy with our progress in all of these, and I've learned some grammar myself too! We still have 3 chapters to go in Aesop, though. Sigh. I've been pretty light on the grammar and spelling--we just whiz through the lessons with no trouble at all. Maybe next year I should do a little more grammar just to challenge her a bit.


Latin: I dropped the ball for several weeks a couple of months ago, so we're not as far as I'd like. I'd sure like to finish LC I this year, but we'll see--still 3 chapters to go. We have a lot of fun with Latin though, and she wants to start Greek as well next year!


History: we're several chapters behind because I just hate to smush history in and not do it thoroughly. I love medieval history so SOTW 2 was great. But we're only to the Reformation...


Science: Astronomy has been lots of fun. If only we'd made it to the observatory more--well, we can still go any time we want. I'm really looking forward to some fun chemistry next year.


For the summer, I'd like to keep doing some Latin and history to finish up what we've got. Maybe start her on the Greek alphabet? My 5yo girl is going to be starting K in the fall, so I want to really focus on reading and Saxon K with her--ideally she'd be reading pretty well and finish Saxon K over the summer. Also we plan to swim and play in the creek a lot, learn to sew on a machine and do some cooking.

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This was our first full year with K12. This was our first full year with my working full time, PLUS being part-owner of a store -- and wife/mom/teacher.


I am under way too much stress -- so any failures are because of me. The store issues will be going away this year.


Things that worked very well for us: K12 Math, History, Science and Art. Only hold-backs were my schedule to do more of the "fun things." But, I count these as successes because my ds had a LOT more exposure and experience in History, Science and Art than in previous years.


Things that didn't float my boat: K12 Grammar. Just not a great fit. Thankfully, grammar is pretty easy to supplement/change up.


Things we ran into scheduling difficulties -- Latin -- mostly my hectic schedule, it's taking us longer to get through.


Next year, I'll have three officially schooling.


K: Abeka Math, phonics, spelling, FLL with sister, K12 History, Science and Art with sister, Bible & Latin as family.


1st: Abeka Math to K12 Sadlier-Oxford, Abeka Phonics, spelling, FLL, K12 History, Science and Art, Bible & Latin as family. Music.


4th: K12 for math, LA (plus Abeka Grammar), History, Science & Art, LFC B, Bible, Music


I am really looking forward to having my weekends (and weeknights) back, and doing more things as a family.


Only question right now, is if this is happening here, or in Naples, Italy (we find out in 3 weeks). If we're heading to Italy, add Italian to the rest!

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We still have 12 weeks or so, only 5 at full course load. We're desert folk so schooling in the summer works well for us.

Huck was very successful with Latin for Children A. He loved it! I liked learning it too. Cursive was a hit too, which surprised me. Writing is getting a bit easier for him now.

Math was our major speed bump. I think what happened was that he was so into learning new stuff that we didn't keep up with review enough. Plus he hit a wall. So we're going back to Singapore 5A (from 6A) and doing the IP's for some review. That's taken the stress out of it. He's a much happier kid. And of course, he loves physics.

Now, Tom, on the other hand.....he just turned 5 and I was planning on continuing him on the path to 1st grade in the fall. Well, his math is zooming along and he'll be ready for Singapore 1A in a month or so. But, all else has fizzled to a painful halt. So, I've stopped with handwriting and phonics for now and we'll do kindy in the fall again. He'll learn it when he wants, right? Right!?! :001_smile:

We're looking forward to starting SOTW1 in the fall and Spanish too.

Our other great success has been a smooth routine and finding an awesome tae kwon do class! Oh, and personally, I've found lots of time to read which I've soooo missed!

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I have a 8yo ds and a newly 6yo ds. They were doing third grade and K.




SOTW 3. We have loved this. The older guy is not crazy about the narrations, but he loves the story. The little guy listens and answers questions.


Singapore 4A and 1B: We just switched to Singapore about a month ago. It is going really well.


Map Skills: These are published by Weekly Reader and my guys LOVE them. They are so excited when it is "mapskills day".


Zaner-Bloser handwriting: always good. Older did grade 4 book and younger did 1st and 2nd grade books.


Reading Novels together. This was a big hit. We read The Hobbit, Johnny Tremain, and Sign of the Beaver, among others. Ds 6 especially enjoyed it. We took turns reading aloud.

Real Science 4 Kids: Chemistry Pre-level 1 and Level 1. We loved these books. Ds8 is re-reading for fun.



Saxon 87 for ds8. Too easy, too boring. blah. We dropped it and went to Singapore.


Christian Studies by Memoria Press... snooze. We quit after about a month.


Spelling Workout: I am looking for something else for this fall. I hate spelling.




Latina Christiana: meh... boring, but ds is learning the vocab.

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No summer break. We started formal schooling just a couple of months ago. We'll officially being doing K with DS (and pre-K with a 4-y-o) in the fall. We don't break, especially now, since I started early to A) get my feet under me and B) because I have a baby due about 6 weeks into the official school year!


DS was reading at an early 6th grade level when we started. He's still about there. That's fine. We're working on fluency and enthusiasm right now. :-) He can now read everything he's mature enough to understand, so we're tackling other things now. It's nice to see this, though, because DS is dyslexic and has auditory processing problems.


His handwriting went from beyond atrocious to respectable in just two months. I'm really impressed and am moving both the kids to the first grade handwriting book as soon as they finish the K book because it has lines. He is quite aware of where letters should start and stop now, too. I'll move down his regular writing paper at the same time and will start asking him to compose sentences. The 4-y-o's handwriting was never bad, but he has some bad habits he picked up in preschool that I'm still working on.


The 4-y-o is now in Explode the Code 2 but is reading at a level somewhat beyond that. I don't do reading with him, though, just the phonics. We'll probably finish the Explode the Code series entirely this coming school year. He's doing Sequential Spelling v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.


DS is doing Sequential Spelling at the usual pace. I'm introducing GWG in the fall.


Science is fun. We did a until study on space. Now we're doing Exploring Creation with Zoology 1. We're going to alternate that series with MPH Science.


For history, we're just plodding through STOW with lots of extra readers. Egypt's been the biggest hit thus far.


I am a bad violin mommy. Despite DS's gift and enthusiasm, I can't make myself do it as often as I ought. This is my biggest goal to change. The 4-y-o is less dexterous and enthusiastic, both. They do love the classical music they listen to during handwriting, though.


The 4-y-o seems to be at a really good pace doing RightStart A math at a rate of 4 lessons per week. This will probably continue, with some things being skipped or sped up in RS B.


DS finished RS A and B. He's doing C and Singapore 1 right now. I'm going to be doing TONS of enrichment with him to slow him down a little and make sure he's really, REALLY processing everything to the fullest. We've mostly ditched the abacus at this point.


Bible--we're just dong stories from Egermeier's Bible Story Book right now. We'll do more when we run out.


For Spanish, I'm doing Rosetta Stone more than anything else because it's INDEPENDENT, and everything else is SO teacher-dependent. We'll be doing more Voces y Vistas as the year progresses, especially if I can get away with cutting back on the math a leeeeettle more with DS (yes, I know I'm a bad mother...). DS is doing great--whipping through new lessons in *maybe* 8 minutes each! I'm making him repeat a bit to make sure he's got it. The 4-y-o is struggling a lot more. It takes him up to half an hour to make it through a lesson, and he usually gets 2/3 to 3/4 right. But I have him plod on until he's above 90%, and then he can move on.

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