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Dumping curriculum - KISS question


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This is our 3rd year to homeschool and I felt like I finally had some ideas about what would work well for us. The 2 most expensive things I've bought aren't working out at all. I'm disappointed that I spent the money and that I made poor decisions.


We did 1 quarter of TOG. Luckily I only bought one quarter. I love it and would have loved to be educated in this way, but my 7th grade son just isn't getting it. He is doing the reading but he can't discuss with me and answer the questions in an effective way, even after 7 weeks of using it. I don't know if the maturity just isn't there or if I'm expecting too much from him. It was fine for the youngers but I was feeling guilty for not using enough of it for them since it costs so much.


So now I've gotten the National Geographic Almanac of American History from the library and oldest is going to read one section per week, take notes and choose one topic to research. Then he will read some coordinating chapters from Story of Us and outline a few paragraphs and build up to a page or two. I will summarize some of the chapters of Story of Us with my youngers and add in other books along with SOTW coordinating chapters on audio (which we were doing with TOG anyway).


I also splurged and bought CQLA. I LOVE that this has grammar, spelling, and writing (similar to IEW, which we love!) all in one program with a schedule to get each week of work done in 4 of 5 days. I also purchased it in March when they ran a special of $59 per book. But the layout is funky and confusing and overwhelming to my kids. There are levels (basic, extension and further extension) within each level and then they use lots of boxes in the margins with extra info or optional assignments. There are even more optional assignments listed in with all the other ones! I wish the assignments or sections always started on the top of the page instead of in the middle and I wish the pages didn't look so busy.


I don't know what to do about this. I'm thinking I should have went with Rod and Staff but I'm not sure I would love their composition/writing. And now I don't really have the $ to replace anyway. I've done SWI-A with my kids and I think I can use my teacher book to get us through writing but I'm not sure I can keep it all together to make sure we get through all the units. I'm considering using KISS (though I'm sure there will be a learning curve for me on this) but I don't know what we'll do in future years since only a few of the books are ready. Those of you using KISS, do you just use it one year?

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Yes, I must be confused. I see there is Level 1, Level 2, Level 3.1, Level 3.2 and Level 4. I assumed that one would work through each level at reading grade age each year....is this incorrect? Would we only do Level 1 at the reading age in a year?


I have a 7th grader who is an excellent reader but weak on grammar and

I have a 4th grader who is not a strong reader. We did Easy Grammar last year.


What would you recommend for us to cover in one school year?

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Everyone starts in KISS Level 1. You select the grade level based on age-grade, BUT... it'd be perfectly fine for a high school student to use the 3rd grade book, for example. They probably wouldn't WANT all their source sentences to be things like Beatrix Potter. :D The material taught is the same in 3rd and 6th grade books. The exercises line up with each other (Exercise 3 in Level 1.2 is teaching the same concept in both books... only the source sentences change).


I would put your 7th grader in the 6th grade Level 1 book, and your 4th grader could do either 3rd or 6th grade book - just read the source sentences and see which one that child would enjoy doing.


When you finish Level 1 (which may take a year), you move to Level 2. You would again use either the 3rd or 6th grade book for each child.


When you finish Level 2, you move on to Level 3.1 and select the 4th or 6th grade book.


When you finish Level 3.1, you move on to Level 3.2 and select the 6th grade book.


When you finish Level 3.2, you move on to Level 4 and select the 6th grade book.


When you finish Level 4, you are done with grammar. :D


I would also recommend that YOU go through one of the Level 1 books first, so it will be easier to discuss the sentences with your children. I do KISS as a cuddle on the couch type program. Because the sentences are real, my son can't get away with selecting something based on position in the sentence. He has to know what the part of speech is in THAT sentence. It makes it a lot harder, but he has a better understanding of grammar now.


Btw, I did the grade 3 book myself, and I had trouble with some of it. That's to be expected. There are tricky things in there, and there are also times when there are multiple possible answers. The AK might show both and list why some think it's one way and some think it's another way. Grammar is not an exact science! ;)

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Thank you ladies for your help! I still need to read more on the site but I think I've got it now!


For those of you doing KISS, what writing program works well? Should I just use the IEW units since that is what we are familiar with or is there something else that works better?

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I am using KISS level 1, grade 6 workbook with my ds (9th grade). It's definitely not too young for him.


I really like that they use real sentences for the exercises. It's more challenging that canned sentences designed to make it easier to find something as simple as a subject and verb.


I am working through the workbook myself.

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