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Jacob's Elementary Algebra!!!

For math, we did Discovering Mathematics 1A for two weeks. I like it a lot, but it does require a lot from the student. So we started Jacob's Elementary Algebra a week ago. I love it!!! It is so gentle, logical, and interesting! Every lesson with Set I ( he does half of it), the whole Set II, and Set IV can be done in a day with not much pain. Jacobs is a wonderful math teacher to guide the student in each step. There is not much teaching in the lesson because the teaching is done throughout the lesson AND exercises. Now I understand why Kai says this is her favorite math of the ten years of homeschooling. I will have ds do some DM as enrichment.

Younger son has done five lessons of W&R Book 3. I like the summary, rewrite from different views and such. What I do not like is the outline exercises. Compared to WWS 1, the outline in this book does not have enough scaffold and can seem daunting and abstract. I think SWB does a great job in WWS 1 teaching outlining. There is too much jump and step up in W&R Book 3.

Another good change is that we all enjoy Winter Promise Quest for the Middle Ages sans the hands-on projects. The boys love history after using TOG 4 and 1. They love me reading aloud and discuss with them along the way. I enjoy it a lot, too.

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We are loving CAP Fable and Sequential Spelling. Also Nancy Larson Science--it gets done! And AO Year 3 History. I try to do too much and must figure out how to pare down. I'm tweaking the schedule again and again, and trying to make myself more and more organized. That's definitely a work in progress!

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DS is loving Jacobs too! DH took on overseeing math this year (happy dance!), and they are having so much fun with it. DS loves coming across the clever answers--he gets that the author put a lot of effort into making things interesting. The math routine is different this year by necessity--now they will review the next days work in the evening, and it will be up to DS to get his work done independently during the day. If he gets stuck, he will have his own example problems and notes to rely on, otherwise he'll have to wait for daddy to get home. He's excited and eager to take on this new ownership. Yay! :)

 

CPO has been a big hit too. He even likes doing the chapter assessments. Go figure! :)

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We're going to start Jacobs Algebra sometime after the first of the year, and I really look forward to it! I think my son will love it. So glad to hear you're enjoying it! I've owned the book for about 2 years already. :lol:

 

I think my current "so far we are loving" curricula would be:

 

R&S Phonics

R&S Reading

Treasured Conversations

CLE Math

AoPS Prealgebra

 

We like everything we're doing in my sig, except maybe LOE. I'm kind of ambivalent about LOE. But since I got it, I'm going to go ahead and run my oldest through it just for the phonics foundation, since he taught himself to read and never really had a phonics course. I still regret not doing R&S Phonics 2 back when we started homeschooling him. I think that would have made things a lot easier overall. Oh well. My middle son will definitely use it (he's using 1 now), and my youngest may use it, but I'm not sure. He's doing Wheeler's Speller just as something to do. :lol: He enjoys it so far. I break up the lessons into multiple days, so he's going through it as his pace. Not sure  if he'll need explicit phonics instruction beyond that. I suspect he won't. He spells pretty well for a 5 year old and has a good visual memory.

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Well dd15 has totally blossomed, and with the structure of OneNote she is going whole hog with her school work!!!  It's really exciting.  I'm finding myself able to get her up to what I would think of as an actual full load, and she's still happy and perky and getting it done!  AND she's teaching herself piano!!

 

:party: 

 

​Ds on the other hand throws me for loops.  He's getting evals in a month, and while I have things we could do, I don't know, sigh.  We took off math for the summer to do swim lessons daily and gymnastics, and now he's back to counting the dots on dice.   :svengo: Guess that's lesson #1 for me, that if it's really dyscalculia and dyslexia you don't get time off!  But I don't know what it is, hence the evals.  Watching high school biology dvds counts as K5, right?  

 

 

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Well, I'll join in the Jacobs happy dance!  We decided to use that for Algebra too, with supplemental problems from Alcumus/AoPS thrown in to spice things up.  We'll be alternating chapters of Jacobs with chapters of Understanding Geometry from CTC.  Hopefully this will be a year of creating a really solid foundation for higher math studies.

 

W&R Chreia is challenging Shannon to think deeply before she starts writing her essays!  I thought this was going to just be a time-filling easy thing for her, but I've completely reevaluated - it's actually an excellent scaffolded introduction to essay writing.  You are given a thesis and a format to follow, so you can really focus on good content - we are focusing on using specific examples and specific language, trying to get away from vague and glib sounds-good-but-no-substance writing - and good transitions.  She's going to get a lot out of this after all. 

 

We are also loving the Big History Project - just finished Unit 1, and looking forward to the rest of it.  We also just completed the Coursera Learning How to Learn class and the book, A Mind for Numbers, that goes with it.

 

Morgan is enjoying her history - Ancient Greece at the moment - and I'm really liking the addition of Write From History to SOTW.  It gives me an easy way to deepen and enrich her history study, and extra writing practice that I don't have to come up with.  We're also happy with Treasured Conversations.  Our other stuff is all fine, but those are the highlights so far.

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We are LOVING the Environmental Science program I bought on a whim.
http://www.amazon.com/Environmental-Science-Activities-Ready---Use/dp/0470239557/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409959227&sr=1-1&keywords=environmental+science+kit

 

We actually ignored all other assignments one day this week and spent the ENTIRE day on population growth.  Calculating, graphing, and hours of conversation.  I think it was our most "connected" academic lesson in 7+ years!

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We are LOVING the Environmental Science program I bought on a whim.

http://www.amazon.com/Environmental-Science-Activities-Ready---Use/dp/0470239557/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409959227&sr=1-1&keywords=environmental+science+kit

 

We actually ignored all other assignments one day this week and spent the ENTIRE day on population growth.  Calculating, graphing, and hours of conversation.  I think it was our most "connected" academic lesson in 7+ years!

 

Well, that looks awesome!!!

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I'm very pleased with Treasured Conversations with ds, definitely a keeper. I think Apples and Pears is going to work well for ds and he enjoys doing it well enough and it is easy to teach. 

 

I'm really liking Horizons Math with dd, although we are only a few weeks into it but I really think it is going to be a good fit for dd and me. 

 

We are continuing to enjoy LoE Foundations, BA and MCT.

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Narnia! My 3yo has decided that he loves Aslan. Everyone likes the supplemental books that we've put with Narnia, and 12yo loves the one about the hidden meanings and allusions. Need to get to making Turkish Delight.

 

12yo is loving Kingfisher for science, and 9yo is loving Mr. Q. Little people are loving the books from Wee Folk Art. I'm overall pleased with things.

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We are loving CAP and Sing, Spell, Read, Write (as usual.)  The kids are loving math as I am supplementing Saxon 3 a lot with LOF and A Beka math drill games for oldest and doing A Beka K for youngest.  We always love Pentime.  They are loving their nature readers and library book time.  I think what I am loving most is finally finding a good groove in scheduling things even with two kids vs. 1 this year.  There are some tough moments in the morning with my 2 yo, but my oldest is able and willing to do so much independently in the afternoon now.  And he is LOVING Life of Fred.  

 

We haven't fully gotten into spanish or God's Great Covenant yet though.

 

My favorite thing of the day, so far, though is Leading Little Ones to God in the morning.  Very well written.

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This had been the most wonderful week of homeschooling ever. Dd13 dove into everything with incredible gusto and joy. I have never seen anything like this focus from her. She especially is adoring LAoW, WWW2, AstroVenture, and Geometry.

 

Dd10 asked me for a schedule like her sister's, something she never wanted before. When I asked her why, she said it makes her feel more like she is a real middle schooler. Fred is still her favorite, followed by AoPS, programming & Greek. The only thing we haven't gotten back into the swing of yet is WWS.

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Well, I'll join in the Jacobs happy dance!  We decided to use that for Algebra too, with supplemental problems from Alcumus/AoPS thrown in to spice things up.  We'll be alternating chapters of Jacobs with chapters of Understanding Geometry from CTC.  Hopefully this will be a year of creating a really solid foundation for higher math studies.

 

W&R Chreia is challenging Shannon to think deeply before she starts writing her essays!  I thought this was going to just be a time-filling easy thing for her, but I've completely reevaluated - it's actually an excellent scaffolded introduction to essay writing.  You are given a thesis and a format to follow, so you can really focus on good content - we are focusing on using specific examples and specific language, trying to get away from vague and glib sounds-good-but-no-substance writing - and good transitions.  She's going to get a lot out of this after all. 

 

We are also loving the Big History Project - just finished Unit 1, and looking forward to the rest of it.  We also just completed the Coursera Learning How to Learn class and the book, A Mind for Numbers, that goes with it.

 

Morgan is enjoying her history - Ancient Greece at the moment - and I'm really liking the addition of Write From History to SOTW.  It gives me an easy way to deepen and enrich her history study, and extra writing practice that I don't have to come up with.  We're also happy with Treasured Conversations.  Our other stuff is all fine, but those are the highlights so far.

 

I looked at this, but wonder if there is a lot of overlap between it and ELTL. Do you have any idea?

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I'm not really familiar with ELTL.  WFH can pretty much be used as you like - I am using it for extra history enrichment and extra writing practice.  Basically it's a set of historical narratives, poems, stories, and primary sources.  You can selectively link it up to the history you are studying.  You can do oral and/or written narrations/summaries, and there is a copywork passage, and you can do dictation, too.  We use it as a "go deeper" for history, after we've read about something in SOTW or Gombrich we read the related stuff in WFH, and then she does an oral summary and copywork, and then sometimes dictation.  I'm using it flexibly, as enrichment.  Sometimes I'll have her do a grammar analysis on her copywork, but since we are also doing TC and Sentence Island, I don't really need it for the grammar component, I'm mostly using it for history enrichment and extra writing practice.

 

ETA: we were cross-posting.  I hope you like it as much as we do!

 

 

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Loving:

 

Reading the Lord of the Rings for the love of literature paired with Windows to the World for the analysis bit.

Foerster's Algebra

Latin for the New Millennium

 

No real complaints, if you discount trying to fit everything in.

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The good:

Dd3 has started preschool MWF mornings.  She gets to play with friends, paint, and make snack.

 

Dd7 and I work in the church building where the preschool is held.  There are fewer distractions, and we don't lose the time we would used for travel to go home and come back.  They have a comfy "student lounge" that is open to the public.

 

I had thought we would work on Math and Phonics at  this time, but instead we wisely use the time for "mom-intensive" subjects of piano and Chinese.  The marvelous (piano playing) janitor at the church surreptitiously directed us to a piano in the basement we can use for practice. We still have time for math afterwards.

 

*Another win for the policy of "You are out very little to ask."

 

The bad:

I lost the Phonics TM for dd7 and the Math TM for when younger dd turns 4.  I know I had them in the spring, as I reviewed them and made tentative plans for this fall.  I've cleaned out all the boxes in the garage and all the boxes in the storage room, as well as general looking all over the house.  I don't know where else it could be.  Loverboy has been great through this, and we finally ordered replacements, so now the originals will surely show up!

 

 

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Liking so far-

 

12 yro: Lial's Algebra, History of Medicine, How We Work, MacBeth, Animal Farm (she read this in one day)

 

11 yro: Lial's Basic College Math, Story of the World 4, assembling model aircraft, spatial exercise worksheets from Building Thinking Skills

 

9 yro: Ambleside Online Y2 (everything about it), Story of the World 2

 

6 yro: Hooked on Phonics (the old HOP), Life of Fred math

 

 

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We have a "soft start" as all our co-ops are not up and running yet. So far it's been good. I just moved my youngest from Singapore Math (completed 3b) to Saxon 6/5 and he's loving it - especially since we're doing most of it verbally to start with. The other 2 at home are doing well with their Saxon math. One started building school this year and he's enjoying it, though finds it tiring. We miss having him at home, but every morning we all walk or scooter him to school. It's a mini parade with the puppy, myself and 3 dc.

 

I've dropped all forms of scheduled/prescribed read-alouds and history and I'm loving that. It's truly amazing the discussions and bunny trails we get to when reading a simple chapter from "My First History of Canada." Also, the the boys are basically teaching and quizzing themselves and each other world geography with the world map I put up in the kitchen. This combined with our "Geography Songs" CD is magic right now.  :hurray:

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Liking so far-

 

12 yro: Lial's Algebra, History of Medicine, How We Work, MacBeth, Animal Farm (she read this in one day)

 

 

 

Do you mind if I ask you which Macbeth you are using? My dc are interested in Macbeth after we read the witches' chant from the play in our poetry book. I'm not sure I want to read the full version, as my youngest dc are 8 and 10. 

 

 

I see that Charles Lamb has Macbeth among the Lambs' collection of "Tales from Shakespeare."  Has anyone read this version with their dc?

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Do you mind if I ask you which Macbeth you are using? My dc are interested in Macbeth after we read the witches' chant from the play in our poetry book. I'm not sure I want to read the full version, as my youngest dc are 8 and 10. 

 

 

Hi!  We have Shakespeare Made Easy MacBeth.  It has the original language on the left page and a modern translation on the right page.  So, if you don't understand the original, you can glance to the right and read it in modern English.  The real version of MacBeth does have some *ahem* adult content.   :D  My 12 year-old daughter is 12 going on 35...so the real MacBeth is probably not appropriate for most 12 yros.   

 

An 8 yro and 10 yro might be better off with something like the "Shakespeare Can Be Fun" series by Lois Burdett.  She has a Macbeth version, too.  There are pictures (really silly pictures - my 9 yro thought they were hilarious) and it's rewritten for kids, but it stays in poetic form.  We've read the Midsummer Night's Dream version and Romeo and Juliet.  They were a huge hit here.  Our library had a number of them.  They're on Amazon, too.  It's a great series.  That lady did a great job on those books (I think she's an English teacher in Canada). 

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We are loving our school year! We are in the right levels for everything, right now. I think the curriculum is setting a different mood in our house this year. A calm reading mood. ELTL is starting our day off on good reading 3 days a week. Song School Latin 1 DVD's start our day off well on the other 2 days. Sotw2 audio book was worth the purchase so I can just relax with the boys and cuddle with coffee while someone else does the reading. My son switched himself from Pathway Readers 2 to Magic Tree House books this week and wants to continue. I'm sooooo happy to be done with readers.

 

Beast has been super fun as we work separately and then show each other our answers. We've completed book A and are waiting for the others to come in the mail. I'm having to add my own review which is better because it's customized. I don't have a lot of extra work that I'm feeling like I have to add to supplement. We have enough of the right math finally. WWE2 was what I worried about the most because of the dictation. He is doing amazing with it actually. We dropped Spelling Workout C and are just discussing spelling in the dictation which is less work but better (more efficient) work. His feeling of accomplishment after writing the sentence is fun to see! We are done in two hours everyday. His cheap planner is helping him see the day and give him some control over it.

 

It's a great year!

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We are off to a pretty good start.  I have a 5th grader and one doing 6th/7th.  

We have really enjoyed the MBTP units we have done, especially Poetry from 9-11 (I would not have predicted that!). I had originally only ordered MBTP for my younger one but the older one asked for some for himself.  So i ordered a few units from 11-13 for him.  He started a science one (The Hydrospehere) and that is a hit so far. 

TT Math (6 for the 5th grader and Pre-A for the 6th grader)  is going reasonably well, older DS supplements with LOF and Balance Benders and loves them both.

Both kids are bananas for Mindbenders and Perplexors.

Older DS likes History Odyssey Ancients (he is a box-checker), but just asked if we could not continue reading Golden Goblet because it was "really boring".  He is also doing well with Caesar's English, Hake 7 and Lively Latin.

I really like Writing Tales 2 for the 5th grader, W&R 2 is going OK for the older one. Not great, not terrible.  He is an extremely reluctant writer so I am not sure what will work for him.  I just added in Killgallon Sentence Composing which he doesn't hate (as long as he can do it orally).  I can see writing being the one subject where we will struggle finding the right materials.

But, for our first year, I think we are doing great!

 

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We like everything we are using. After completing LOE, we moved on to Megawords this year. All three of us are so much happier with the change. LOE just isn't for us. 

I would say that JA has been a highlight for my DS9. He likes math and detests SM, so JA is a chocolate I have been using to entice him to do some SM. I am really stretching out the last two chapters of JA. Running out of candy is never a good idea.  :laugh: Oh, HO is also a welcome change for the older. He outgrew SOTW and enjoyed a more "grownup" tone of HO. 

My younger loves, loves, loves CAP. He writes endlessly and illustrates all the stories. After a struggle with WWE2 last year, CAP is a sigh of relief. He also adores SOTW and BA. 

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CLE has been a HUGE hit! I could just hug those Mennonites. Awesome baked goods, and excellent homeschool materials. What's not to love? ;)

 

Yes! I feel the same way. CLE is great! I switched my 3rd grader over to Reading and LA and loved it. Then ordered Reading and LA for my 1st grader along with Social Studies for both 1st and 3rd. I've now ordered CLE math for all 3 kids.

 

We also love BFSU which is new to us this year and we continue to enjoy SOTW. 

 

I revised my lesson plans and the kids' to-do lists in OneNote from what I was using last year and that's been awesome.

 

Planning our weeks off in advance and looking forward to them instead of waiting until we all felt burnt out and taking a week off has made our homeschool a happier place.

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Which dc are you loving Treasured Conversation for?

 

Both, but I'll mostly be doing it with the 5th grader. 8Fills said it's what she considered knowledge for 3rd-5th grade, and he's in 5th. He's done WWE and some MCT so we'll move more quickly over some parts, but I'm taking a year between WWE and WWS and finishing MCT, doing TC, and W&R Narrative 1.

 

Wow, that's a lot of acronyms.

 

Basically, I love WWE and he got a lot out of it, but I want to bridge the gap with more work on sentence and paragraph work. I'm hoping to use WTM Academy for WWS 1 next year, when he's more ready.

 

There's a good thread on TC here, if you haven't seen it yet.

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Our year started off so nicely!

 

The biggest hits so far...

 

Ds13:

Loves AoPS Prealgebra. He's very intrigued by the way they solve problems, and finds the explanations to be very approachable. He's watching the videos to go with it, which is a total bonus as far as I am concerned. And we both like that it isn't problem after problem after problem to solve.

 

And is really enjoying Hewitt's Conceptual Physics, although he whizzed right through chapter one last week. I think I may need to add in more materials, though he did re-start How Things Work on Coursera, which he also really enjoys.

 

Dd11:

I can't really say anything is a huge hit with her as far as skill subjects, but she seems to like the materials she's using (Saxon, Reading Horizons, etc.). She is enjoying writing stories as part of my language arts lineup. I am still waffling a bit on Saxon versus Math Mammoth for her, especially now that there is a MM prealgebra she could use in a year or so.

 

She is fascinated by her zoology studies. After Science Explorer flopped, we found a vintage book that covers the animal kingdom in great detail, and in a very readable form. She's getting ready to set up a terrarium for observation purposes, and has been watching Blue Planet.

 

Both:

They are thrilled with Dorothy Mills' World of the Ancient Greeks, and all the extra reading we're doing with it. They also love having regular art lessons! Word Snoop is a big hit too, and I think they will also like The Giggly Guide to Grammar.

 

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We're loving My Father's World Adventures in US History (so much love for MFW), Phonics Road the spelling and reading (my son is actually spelling words without saying "But I don't know how!!!", Singapore math (it just makes so much sense to our minds and my son keeps saying "Man, I'm good at this."), and AIG God's design for science (It's so bright and informative without making me want to bang my head against the wall).

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What an encouraging thread!

 

We're having a good school year so far. There have been a few distractions, but curriculum and subjects we are excited about helps us get back to work after small breaks.

 

Our favorites this year (I have a fourth and a second grader):

 

MCT Town for 4th. I fell in love with MCT at island level, further so after reading the next 2 levels of the poetry books.

We finish Caesar's English 1 this week and I've loved every bit of it. Retention has been very good.

 

Beast Academy is a huge hit here

 

Classical Composer's Memory Palace ebook that not only taught composers and eras but how to build memory palaces -which we use for many things now.

 

Music Tree series

Music Ace for theory

Bernstein Concerts for Young People (series 1 and 2)

 

Lives of the Writers (not curriculum, but we like it as a starting point for literature studies)

 

Adam Andrews videos for me - so refreshing and it makes teaching literature seem so much more in line with teaching poetics

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Things are going well for us so far! I'm doing more planning than I usually do, but I think it's working well for us. Dd has had such a good attitude! And she keeps surprising me with her smartness! :-)

 

We're still liking Math Mammoth. We're enjoying the science and geography activities/experiments from Layers of Learning. Treasured Conversations is working for us too! Dd is using the same spelling book that I used in third grade, and I'm remembering just how much I liked it as a kid (yes, I loved spelling!). I've also found some great books this year.

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We are loving everything we're using.

MM- while the kids don't *love* it, it continues to be a strong program.

ELTL 4- this is new for us this year. It brings in poetry, fun short stories, copy work, and dictation that we weren't getting to the previous years in R&S. Plus just enough grammar/diagramming to complement our Latin study. And it used real sentences! Love it.

First Form Latin- the kids enjoy the challenge. While they complain that it is hard, they also don't want to quit. Organized, straightforward, aims for mastery

Apologia w/ notebook journal- new for us and my kids love it. I love it bc makes science independent.

Famous Men series by Memoria Press- engaging as usual. While we go over the comp questions orally and the kids write their answers, next semester it will only be an oral exercise when I add a writing curriculum (probably classical comp).

Synge's history books are new for us this year. Turns out one child LOVES these books, which is awesome.

Also using Duolingo and xtramath and reading everyday.

And that's it! We are getting a good flow to our days, Latin and English are becoming more independent as we get used to the programs, which is good because this semester is extremely challenging this year. I'm finishing up my degree, my husband is deployed, and I'm in a foreign country. I have too much on my plate, but we are surviving and the kids are learning. It's all good.

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Not a curriculum, but Homeschool Planet planner has made our school year run so much smoother! I have tried so many planners and this is the first one that has worked for me.

 

DD1 is taking three outside online classes for the first time and loving all three: forensic science and mandarin (after completing Rosetta Stone 1-3 on her own), and a WTM Academy writing class. DD2 is using Galore Park for history, science and English, Horizons for math, all winners.

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