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Upper El to Middle School Things that Worked for Your Accelerated Learner


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There is a lot of chatter here for the younger guys and even the older ones, but I'd love to hear what worked for your upper el to middle school kiddos.

 

What has worked for us (different kids):

 

Character Quality Language Arts

Analytical Grammar

Supercharged Science (DVDs only)

Sonlight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think most of what works for my "accelerated learners" is a function of their learning styles.  But if we remove the framework of a curriculum, the keys to what work with my learners are giving them control over their learning, listening to their way of approaching things/seeing things (and then giving them alternative methods as well), and being patient with asynchronicities.  We try to provide a culture of learning - lots of time to explore interests, a library card (which they know how to use), a library of audiobooks, netflix, and self-directed opportunities to learn:

 

snap circuits with student guide

Scratch

quality art materials

mindstorms

a board-gaming culture in our home and amongst our friends

salvaged materials to build and tinker with 

quality apps

musical instruments

a backyard with sticks and trees :laugh:

 

As for curriculum, I think the key to being useful to an accelerated learner is flexibility and lack of tedium.

 

I found that Singapore PM was easy for me to accelerate or augment as needed.  AoPS Pre-A has really worked well, too - slow down speed up, add alcumus, go deep. We will use Algebra next.

 

Logic of English Essentials works the same way as the math above

 

Story of the World was also easy to condense and expand, as well as embellish and augment for older learners.

 

MCT grammar works well because of the lack of tedium/repetitiveness.

 

I loved Jr Great Books, but the cost was too much after we left our umbrella school, but we cary on shared inquiry in our own forms.

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What has worked best for the beginning of middle school here has been flexibility - being willing to drop things, add things, skip things, condense things, revisit things as needed, and not expecting to do curricula as written.  Also creating individual study plans for content subjects - history, science, lit in particular rather than just reading straight through a text.  Allow for making connections, rabbit trails, go for engagement rather than box checking.

 

I can't think of a single curriculum we've done exactly as written.  Partly it's me, partly it's their style.  But for this reason we stay away from anything scripted or anything super repetitive, or anything that makes me feel like we have to do a certain number of lessons "on schedule."   

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For curriculum, MCT and AoPS have worked wonderfully for my eldest.  MCT and LoF have worked well for my middle child.  I've also used some Zaccaro to supplement both and that's worked well.  My middle child is a bit of a perfectionist who gets frustrated if she doesn't know the answers immediately, so we've been working on problem solving doing One Hour Mysteries and things of that sort and it's really helping her thought process and being open to not knowing the answers immediately. 


We also make sure there's tons of play time.  They're advanced kids, but they're not the type of advanced kids who like to spend hours doing academics.  So we make sure the formal work doesn't get in the way of plenty of play time.  And on that note - another essential has been tons of white blank paper and colored pencils. 


 

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