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If you had to do school in a box...


Esperella
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Which box would you use? We are having a very stressful year. We moved to a new state a week ago, and we are living with my inlaws until we buy a house which could take months. I also have a herniated disc and I'm doing a lot of physical therapy.

 

I have stuff picked out for my 1st grader (though I accidentally packed it and it's being stored in another city for a month!), but my 3rd grader is the one I need some help with. I was thinking of doing sonlight core c, because he loves Vikings and such, but every time I go to order it I get worried because it just looks dated. Like early 80's, and I find that uninspiring.

 

So, if you had to pick a box, for an 8 year old, who is active, loves reading, and hates writing and coloring, what would you pick?

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Probably Moving Beyond the Page. It doesn't include math (you have to add it, though they sell Right Start and one other option, I forget what, in order to call themselves complete). Streamlined, integrated subjects, not too worksheet based, would leave enough time for the kids to explore other stuff if we found the time.

 

If that can't count, I don't know. I have a lot of respect for Calvert and sort of for Bookshark, but they hold absolutely zero appeal for me. 

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Probably Moving Beyond the Page. It doesn't include math (you have to add it, though they sell Right Start and one other option, I forget what, in order to call themselves complete). Streamlined, integrated subjects, not too worksheet based, would leave enough time for the kids to explore other stuff if we found the time.

 

If that can't count, I don't know. I have a lot of respect for Calvert and sort of for Bookshark, but they hold absolutely zero appeal for me.

I'd never actually looked at MBP before, it looks fun and very open and go.

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If secular is not a concern, I could handle a box of Winter Promise for a third grader. Most likely the animals around the world one. I would still add more lit and probably tweak the LA, but I have been doing this for a long time and am firmly stuck in my ways. My 6th grader is using the Adventures core this year (separate math and LA) and I've been pleased with it. :)

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For that kind of situation I would probably do ACE (School of Tomorrow) or for a similar secular option, Starline Press.  I don't like them long-term, but the "pace" workbooks appealed to my kids, and it got done without much help from me.  Its get 'r done school, though....not lovely and enriching.  Fine for a rough year.   Very easy on Mom, and very structured for kids, but easily doable.

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If I were having a stressful year and working with a 3rd grader, I'd streamline things down to the 3R's and "unschool" the content subjects. Math Mammoth is cheap and all-in-one. LA I think I would go with one of the CM approaches like Queen, SCM, EFtTC, PLL, etc. (this is presuming the student is already a fluent reader).

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I'd probably get a good LA program, a good math program, and unschool the rest. It won't hurt him to spend a year just reading about stuff in history and science that interests him. 

 

btw, if he likes vikings, I recommend D'aulaire's book of Norse Myths if you haven't got it already. 

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Does it have to be one box??? I would go BJU Math (w/ DVD/online instruction) MP for Language arts/ lit and VP self paced history (the Greek one would go along with doing the D'Aulaires study guide from MP. That would be really easy to organize and free you up a bit with the math and history.... IF the content (YE) doesn't bother you, the BJU science (video) grade 3 is great too. (We are super not religious and using it... there's a bit too much "god's design" language for my taste, but the academic material is excellent and the teacher is too.)

 

I like the BJU video lessons b/c they give me a little break - though I still hover around and listen, prepare the books for each day, "grade" the lessons and do reviews with my kids so it's certainly not entirely "independent." We're also in the process of moving which is why I chose them.

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Memoria Press has 2 tracks for 3rd grade - The Accelerated Track and the Moderated Track.  I use MP so naturally I would recommend it, but the thing to consider is that it is a classical education that starts Latin in 2nd or 3rd grade.  I have never used MBTP but I have considered ordering some units for summer study.

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I want to do all of it!!

 

I'm doing OM with my k and 1st already, so part of me wants to go with OM for him, but he just didnt love it.

 

I've got math u see for him already, and he's doing noeo biology, and aar even though he's reading at a 5th grade level. I just feel like there are so many great choices now, thanks for all the ideas.

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We're in a very busy season as well AND I'm battling burnout.

 

MP has saved our bacon.  They have online classes for my high schoolers who are actually in their second year of latin and composition and they're actually doing very very well with them.  NO effort on my part, love that right now!

 

My 1st grader is reading well and loving math so much I decided to get Rightstart games to add in for fun (WHAT?) and lessons are planned, my books are on the shelf and educating can happen easily each day as long as my workers are compliant.

 

I am so happy we went with school in a box.  No more curricula hopping, board scouring, internet ordering late nights for this tired mom.  I feel they're learning more than the basics and understanding and MASTERING what they're instructed in.   Any questions feel free to pm me.

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If I had to do a box, Sonlight or Bookshark has caught my eye, but I would probably go with My Father's World.  Everything is laid out each day, including your memory verse and Bible readings.  They include a very gentle language arts program that doesn't have a lot of writing.  It seems like more oral work.  They offer Singapore math or you could choose your own.  You could either do Exploring Countries and Cultures, the first cycle of ancient history, or you could do US History.  US History is just for second or third graders, so it wouldn't be too much.  Their science is a little light, but it sounds like you could use a lighter year of science.  There are some fun projects included, such as making a quill pen, but nothing looks over the top, and you could skip any that were too much.  You could probably substitute any books you don't like, but their selections are pretty decent.  There is copy work and some writing included, but it doesn't look like it's overloaded.  It's more Charlotte Mason style, I think.  

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I don't see that school-in-a-box would be less stressful than stripping down to 3Rs and visiting the library. When things have been stressful-and in general when my first two were little- we used Singapore math, ETC, HWT-workbooks only, SOTW text only and the AO reading list. Extremely basic, portable, basic and cheap. 

 

This time around, I'm using more free, online, electronic, homemade options, but still keeping it simple. 

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Does it have to be one box??? I would go BJU Math (w/ DVD/online instruction) MP for Language arts/ lit and VP self paced history (the Greek one would go along with doing the D'Aulaires study guide from MP. That would be really easy to organize and free you up a bit with the math and history.... IF the content (YE) doesn't bother you, the BJU science (video) grade 3 is great too. (We are super not religious and using it... there's a bit too much "god's design" language for my taste, but the academic material is excellent and the teacher is too.)

 

I like the BJU video lessons b/c they give me a little break - though I still hover around and listen, prepare the books for each day, "grade" the lessons and do reviews with my kids so it's certainly not entirely "independent." We're also in the process of moving which is why I chose them.

 

This is what I do!  Minus the BJU.  I use Singapore and VP Self-Paced History, but everything else in MP.  I might throw in some extra science units as well, and I should check out that BJU Science Rec.  Anyway, OP, MP + VP Self Paced has been WONDERFUL!  I am loving my boxed MP.  It is rigorous, the bases are covered, and we have found it enjoyable.  I tweek the amount of writing required, to allow for more discussion, and it has worked out beautifully.

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"For me I don't think a box offers me anything individual curriculum doesn't offer."

 

MP comes with lesson plans that are updated as things change.  That was a big time suck for me in years past.

 

There are many options and my idea is just one, but (just my personal experience)I still feel like I'm not compromising because I'm busy and using a box like MP.  I actually feel like I'm stepping it up in a few subjects that I might have slacked off in if I were doing an eclectic option.

 

Just my 2 cs.

 

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I couldn't ever do a box because my kids are both working at different levels.  In your situation, I agree with the Time4Learning suggestion.  We did it for 6 months when I returned to work and my mother watched the kids.  They made progress in both math and reading (my little one went from reading cvc words to a 3rd grade reading level).  It wasn't rigorous but they showed steady improvement and progress.  It allows them to work one grade level above and one below their core grade.   Add a lot of books and videos for science, history and literature (T4L has literature lists).

 

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If I had to do a box, Sonlight or Bookshark has caught my eye, but I would probably go with My Father's World.  Everything is laid out each day, including your memory verse and Bible readings.  They include a very gentle language arts program that doesn't have a lot of writing.  It seems like more oral work.  They offer Singapore math or you could choose your own.  You could either do Exploring Countries and Cultures, the first cycle of ancient history, or you could do US History.  US History is just for second or third graders, so it wouldn't be too much.  Their science is a little light, but it sounds like you could use a lighter year of science.  There are some fun projects included, such as making a quill pen, but nothing looks over the top, and you could skip any that were too much.  You could probably substitute any books you don't like, but their selections are pretty decent.  There is copy work and some writing included, but it doesn't look like it's overloaded.  It's more Charlotte Mason style, I think.  

 

To the bolded.... MFW Adventures isn't just for 2nd or 3rd graders... it's for families in which the oldest child is in 2nd or 3rd grade. ;)  So you could actually use it with both your children, obviously keeping them each in math and LA at their own level.

 

That said, even though I've (mostly) used MFW since 2004, I'm not sure I'd recommend it for your current situation.  At your kids' ages, and for this momentary season of life, I would seriously just pick something solid and doable (without bells and whistles) for the 3 R's, and read a LOT of great books.  If you have the time and energy on occasion to whip out some supplies and do a single hands-on activity or short-term unit study, then go for it, but I wouldn't buy a full program that *depends* on that method right now.  Watch educational (or even semi-educational) videos for both science and history, read books, let your kids collect bugs and get dirty and attempt to build things (with supervision as needed... maybe Dad or Grandpa can jump in for that?).  Make sure your children understand the rules of the grandparents' home, of course, and establish some level of structure for your children so that you don't wear out your welcome before your new home is available.  Remember that even this is a "life lesson" for your children. :)

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I would buy CLE for everything.

 

If I were teaching someone like myself who loved to read then I would go with Sonlight, but my son doesn't learn well from reading so that wouldn't work for us.

 

I already use CLE Reading and CLE Math so I would just round out the other subjects and call it a day.

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