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MCT Voyage (3rd Level) vs. Magic Lens (4th Level) -- need help deciding...


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I could really use some feedback, please….

 

I am trying to decide next year's english / language arts for DS10.  DS is highly verbal and an advanced reader.  

 

This year (1st yr in HS), DS did the complete MCT Town (2nd Level) package.  He loved Sentence Town, Grammar Town, Building Poems, and especially loved Caesar's English  He did great in all the Practice Town exercises, easily getting the concepts.  Although, I think he would have benefited from a bit more explanation on some of the phrases. I just ordered Killgallon's Sentence Composing for Elementary for the rest of the year to give him some more practice.  The only aspect of the package he did not appreciate was the writing requirements in Paragraph Town.  We substituted Writing & Rhetoric's Fable and elements of Brave Writer for the writing component and those are working out okay.  He does not enjoy writing much.  For his "spelling program," he is using an online SAT prep type course that focuses on latin and greek roots.  He adores it.  (It is MEMBEAN, if anyone wants to check it out.  It is awesome.)

 

DS also did the supplementary reading analysis (as read-alouds with me) of MCT's The Time Machine and now we are on The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs's Court.  These are not of the Town level.  He had already read the Town level supplementary books.  

 

I am trying to decide if we should continue on with the Voyage level or skip up to the Magic Lens level.  I don't want Voyage if it is simply a bit more advanced repeat of the Town level.  It is likely that I will go ahead and get the complete package for whichever level as I like how all the components work together.  DS loved the "whimsy" of the Town level with it's duck characters but given his ability level, could probably benefit from more advanced work.  It is the dilemma of working with a highly gifted young child, that I know many of you can appreciate.  

 

I hope I am not sounded scattered.  I'm trying to give enough info as to where he is -- before my laptop battery runs out!! :)

 

Thanks for all the help.

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I would definitely not skip. There are huge jumps between every level. I have a HG/PG kid and doing every level for him has definitely been beneficial. He is doing level 4 right now as a 7th grader (we do quite a bit of other writing beyond MCT applying MCT concepts). MCT is really written and targeted for the GT community.

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Dd jumped into MCT LA with Magic Lens in sixth grade, her second year homeschooling. She had used Voyages in English (grammar etc) in fifth grade and in her previous years at a private school.

 

She definitely had no problem, despite English not being her "thing."

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The only part of the "voyage" level I have is CE2, which we all adore. "Grammar Voyage" and the poetry book looked to be too repetitive of the "town" books. EV my DD wasn't ready for at the time we finished "town". I hadn't originally planned on using any of the other MCT books after "town" but then our charter's lending library had copies of the 1st year of the middle school level so I borrowed those.

 

I don't like WWtW, but I did really like the looks of ML1 (which surprised me since I'd always liked the grammar portion the least of MCT's elementary level books). AAW looked pretty good as well. DD is finishing up some other things at the moment, but I do plan on starting the MCT books (minus WWtW) when slots open up in her LA "loop" schedule.

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I don't like WWtW, but I did really like the looks of ML1

 

Hijack:  Would you mind elaborating a bit here.  I had been considering just the opposite (WWtW and not ML1).  The grammar in the elementary were just not for me, how is this grammar different?  What was it about WWtW that you disliked?

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I am not a fan of memorizing a list of roots. In the CE books, MCT alternated the roots chapters with ones on whole words. Also, WWtW just plain seems boring compared to CE.

 

We've been doing Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop. Those aren't as engaging as the CE books, but they seem less dull than WWtW looks to be. Additionally, a big advantage up until now of the VW books is that they double as SAT prep. DH did them growing up at his Catholic school and he swears they helped him enormously on the SAT. Now with the changes announced the other day to the SAT, doing formal vocabulary study may become much less important than it has been. Oldest DD is a creative writer, so I think for her at least we'll finish out the VW series (she's in book E at the moment). Besides the fact that having a strong vocabulary helps with reading comprehension and generally not sounding ignorant when around educated people who may use more obscure words.

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DS really liked Grammar Voyage, but he didn't do the previous MCT grammar.  When we started ML, he thought it boring and redundant of Grammar Voyage.  Personally, I thought Grammar Voyage was a beautiful book and agreed that ML was mostly redundant.  But we did Grammar Voyage in about 4th grade by age, so your mileage may vary.

 

DS and I liked the first four levels of vocabulary. I thought he might find it dry, but he really liked it.  Caesar's English II is worth doing and isn't too elementary unless your student has had a lot of root word study, and even then it's probably worthwhile.  It's pretty efficient, with not wasted time.  WWW1 takes more time, and I don't think it's as efficient in teaching vocabulary as Caesar's English, but it's still excellent.  I personally think that WWW2 gets into too many words that are rarely used.  Whereas WWW1 explains that uncommon words can sometimes be understood by looking at roots, WWW2 spends too much time IMHO, although we started WWW2 at 11 y.o. since we'd happily gone through the earlier vocabulary volumes.  DS loves words, but we won't be returning to WWW2 anytime soon.   

 

There's a huge jump from Paragraph Town to Essay Voyage.  We liked the text but not the exercises and didn't use the exercises often.  

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My eldest is only finishing up Voyage, so I can't compare it to the next level.  I will say that there's a definite jump to Voyage..  I'm glad I'm going in order and did not skip.  For the exercises, I let my child pick some to do starting in Voyage.  (Before that, he did all).  That way, he had some choice and could omit the ones that he had little interest in.  We do not use the extra literary component of MCT.  Instead, I have him read books on his level and discuss.  He's 10, so 11 in a couple of months, and reading All Clear on the Western Front currently.  He did War of the Worlds before this.  He's actually a math/science kid and had never used a formal LA curriculum until 3rd grade, when we started MCT.  I was surprised at how well he did and how much he enjoyed it - and that's continued on.  I think MCT breaks it down in a way that is full of logic and reason - so it appeals to my mathy kid.

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  • 3 weeks later...

adding my $.02 FWIW

i've read on the RFWP forums about other moms who skip voyage and do a hybrid.  we just finished our second yr of MCT, having done the complete package for both levels except we didn't do poetry for town.  i am straddling DS1 being extremely GT/linguistic and DD2 being just barely GT (although i definitely think MCT has helped her be even more so than if she hadn't been working in MCT).  So i don't want to push her too hard by letting him set the pace.  i've previously heard moms say that skipping from Town to the following combo could work well.  

 

ML+CEII+Poetry&Humanity+PrVoy( or 4Pr1)

 

i would use this as my writing approach for the older: WWS and KG (middle school)  alternating with CAP's W&R or MP's CC for the writing component.  for the younger, i'd do WWE3or4 + KG alternating with CAP's W&R

 

in our case, i'm thinking it would work only if i spend some time now that we've finished Town to do some KG/WWE3 or 4 + CAP's W&R with DD2 and "mark time" with DS1 by filling in with something like LLATL tan/gray and finish WWS1.  

 

Literature study would be done in a manner more like Teaching the Classics instead of through MCT's lit.  

 

I've heard that the "whole to parts" approach for Essay Voyage is a good balance to WWS but our kids write creatively all the time and i find that just being exposed to the MCT way brings on their creativity without them needing a specific creative writing prompt.  I think i tend to error on the side of the Progymnasmata for their young minds for me to keep lots of modeling in place.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm glad I found this thread. Just this weekend I talked with MCT about inserting my dd into the program and I'm trying to figure out where to place her. She's a very strong reader, and the LA we've been doing is boring to her because "it's so easy" but MCT is do different from what we've done in the past, I wonder about the adjustment period. I had decided to start her in level 4, with ML, etc., but after looking it over, briefly (and I admit I should have studied it more), I thought that maybe level three, with paragraph town and essay voyage, might be the place to start.

 

Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm planning on eschewing everything we've done for LA and jumping into this program; I just don't know where to start for her.

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I could really use some feedback, please….

 

I am trying to decide next year's english / language arts for DS10.  DS is highly verbal and an advanced reader.  

 

This year (1st yr in HS), DS did the complete MCT Town (2nd Level) package.  He loved Sentence Town, Grammar Town, Building Poems, and especially loved Caesar's English  He did great in all the Practice Town exercises, easily getting the concepts.  Although, I think he would have benefited from a bit more explanation on some of the phrases. I just ordered Killgallon's Sentence Composing for Elementary for the rest of the year to give him some more practice.  The only aspect of the package he did not appreciate was the writing requirements in Paragraph Town.  We substituted Writing & Rhetoric's Fable and elements of Brave Writer for the writing component and those are working out okay.  He does not enjoy writing much.  For his "spelling program," he is using an online SAT prep type course that focuses on latin and greek roots.  He adores it.  (It is MEMBEAN, if anyone wants to check it out.  It is awesome.)

 

DS also did the supplementary reading analysis (as read-alouds with me) of MCT's The Time Machine and now we are on The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs's Court.  These are not of the Town level.  He had already read the Town level supplementary books.  

 

I am trying to decide if we should continue on with the Voyage level or skip up to the Magic Lens level.  I don't want Voyage if it is simply a bit more advanced repeat of the Town level.  It is likely that I will go ahead and get the complete package for whichever level as I like how all the components work together.  DS loved the "whimsy" of the Town level with it's duck characters but given his ability level, could probably benefit from more advanced work.  It is the dilemma of working with a highly gifted young child, that I know many of you can appreciate.  

 

I hope I am not sounded scattered.  I'm trying to give enough info as to where he is -- before my laptop battery runs out!! :)

 

Thanks for all the help.

I owned both and found myself using Magic Lens with my twins rather than the Voyage materials.  As Crimson wife stated, it was too repetitive of earlier levels.  We also like Sadlier Oxford Vocab workshop.  None of my children liked WWtW.    They find anything rote like that beyond boring. They also study Classical Latin and Attic Greek from an early age, so it is not necessary anyway.

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