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I need to make some changes........help me?


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As some of you may remember from my previous posts, I have really struggled with burn-out this year. I have come this close to enrolling some of them in PS for next year. I don't want to throw in the towel, so instead I am thinking of changing some curriculum choices for my oldest who is 13, currently in grade 7, and has high-functioning autism. I am currently using:

 

Saxon Math 8/7

Analytical Grammar ( he hates this)

Progeny Press literature guides

IEW history based writing lessons

NOEO Science Biology II

SOTW Middle Ages

We are following The Amazing Race series and studying each country for geography, and we are also doing a study of Canada's natives.

 

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. I think I want an all-in-one curriculum for language arts because I am tired of piecing it all together and worrying that things are falling through the cracks, however I will continue to use IEW for writing.

2. I have come to hate NOEO science for all the notebooking involved. Writing is a huge struggle for him and I end up prompting him with questions and scribing for him which is really time consuming for me. I was thinking of Mr. Q's Advanced Chemistry, but I am open to suggestions please!

3. I will be ordering Mapping the World With Art for geography. This is right up his alley. I am excited about it and would like to do it with him.

4. I would also like to do a spelling tune-up since we have finished the AAS series. I am thinking of Sequential Spelling, but I don't know what level I should get.

 

Bottom line is I need to free myself up a bit, nothing teacher-intensive or project-based, and I need it to be secular, or at least able to be adapted to secular. I think if I keep it straight forward and simple we will have more time to follow some of his passions, get a head-start on high school, and enjoy this journey. I welcome all thoughts and suggestions!

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Is there a secular all-in-one LA program for grade 8? Starline Press English? It is terribly expensive for what appears to be secular lifepaks and I have not seen it, but it is all-in-one.

 

If you want to be freed up a little you could use Sequential Spelling on the computer. Splashes from the River Grammar? The Great Courses The Skeptic's Guide to Great Books (it's on sale!)? Use these and IEW?

 

Science with my dyslexic was always a disaster, so I have no ideas here.

 

MUS?

 

Would he like the high school history course from The Great Courses?

 

HTH-

Mandy

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Language Arts - Mosdos Gold or Learning Language Arts through Literature for grade level (I haven't used either of these so take the suggestion with that in mind)

 

Science - Have you looked at the science offered on CK12? Perhaps there will be a suitable option there for you and it would be no cost. They seem to be written very clearly and to the point (not a lot of fluffy extraneous stuff to wade through). There are also links to youtube videos and visuals sprinkled throughout.

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Is there a secular all-in-one LA program for grade 8? Starline Press English? It is terribly expensive for what appears to be secular lifepaks and I have not seen it, but it is all-in-one.

 

If you want to be freed up a little you could use Sequential Spelling on the computer. Splashes from the River Grammar? The Great Courses The Skeptic's Guide to Great Books (it's on sale!)? Use these and IEW?

 

Science with my dyslexic was always a disaster, so I have no ideas here.

 

MUS?

 

Would he like the high school history course from The Great Courses?

 

HTH-

Mandy

 

Thanks! You listed a lot of programs that I've never heard of!

 

Language Arts - Mosdos Gold or Learning Language Arts through Literature for grade level (I haven't used either of these so take the suggestion with that in mind)

 

Science - Have you looked at the science offered on CK12? Perhaps there will be a suitable option there for you and it would be no cost. They seem to be written very clearly and to the point (not a lot of fluffy extraneous stuff to wade through). There are also links to youtube videos and visuals sprinkled throughout.

 

I really like the look of LLATL, and am thinking about using it for my younger kids, but I am confused about whether or not it is secular? I am off to investigate Mosdos Press......

 

CK-12 is something to look at too, and free!

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For Science, my ds is using PLATO Life Science from Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. No labs, but good information as a foundation. They also offer high school level courses. It's totally on-line. My ds will be taking Physical Science in 8th (Derek Owens). Which is also a dvd course which he now offers to purchase, as opposed to distant learning.

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Autism spectrum is so different for different children that it is hard to know what might work.

 

I would tend to suggest trying to get as much as possible to be what he can do on his own, though, which is also a useful lifeskill to be learning for everyone (same for your other boys--dd is probably too young though). If he is a reader, I would let science be via just reading about whatever subjects interest him in science, or if he doesn't know what does, then a good kid science encyclopedia like Kingfisher, and just get a grand overview that way--without the writing, and/or get kits he can do on his own, and/or get DVD's or stream films on science topics.

 

I'd drop lit guides and just let him read literature. I'd get a book on correct grammar geared to Canada and let him correct his own IEW work as much as possible, and drop other grammar--get him an electronic dictionary and enter spelling and vocabulary problem words into it (they also usually have some grammar rules)--that would keep the LA straight IEW, or I guess you could add Fix-it--if you are trying to avoid burn out, maybe leave off the spelling tune up for now and just have him learn anything he misses in his writing.

 

As I see it for a 7th grader there are 2 important aspects of LA--reading and writing. If he is reading well, then focus on writing and let its components like spelling and grammar just be part of that, not separate subjects.

 

I don't know anything about Amazing Race, and to me Canadian Natives sounds interesting, and if you limit your burn out in other areas, might be not so much to handle. And since you are looking forward to the geography/art, that sounds good.

 

I don't know if Saxon is good for self learning. If it is not, either add the DIVES if that would make it so, or change to something that is, like perhaps, MathUSee. Also consider making use of Khanacademy.

 

What I mainly see is that at the same time as you say you are having burn-out, you have a very parent intense list there and are looking forward to some others, so see what you can cut. See what must be led by you daily and allow some time each day to be his own choices and initiative. Or let some time go to things like learning cooking or other skills that get away from intense schooling.

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Here are two, almost teacher-free options.

 

For science, you might want to look at ScienceFusion. It's secular, work text + online, and now RR has it, so it's easy to try out one module by adding it to a free shipping order.

 

Achieve3000 is a reading comprehension program -- expensive one year license (about $180), but, if you spread it out over three kids, it might work. Personally, I don't particularly like it, but kids can work independently & you get results reported to you. There is a free, one month trial available (not listed on website, but just ask).

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Wow! Some really good ideas, everyone! Thanks.

 

Pen - I read your post about 5 times, trying not to hyperventilate! I am not good at letting things go, lol! You have some great suggestions though. I need to prioritize what's important, analyze our goals, and steer toward that. I'm doing a lot of things based on what I think I "should" be doing, as opposed to what I truly believe necessary. Thanks.

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