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Susan Wise Bauer

Fourth edition of TWTM...here's your chance to weigh in!

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Seconding the suggestions for a chapter focussing on SEN issues, perhaps forms of dyslexia in particular, and how you can teach programmes like WWE and WWS to dyslexic students without causing hair pulling and tears; and a request for a greater depth of explanation for the more diffuse subjects in the Rhetoric stage such as English and History - how to teach, what to discuss, how to mark papers, etc.

 

A shout-out for British programmes - MEP (Mathematics Enhancement Programme), "Apples and Pears" from The Promethean Trust, Galore Park for languages (Latin, French and Spanish) and History, Cambridge Latin, and Jolly Phonics. MEP is a hit for my dyslexic kid, where the others are thriving on Saxon. Galore Park provides an excellent start to languages, especially Latin, which Cambridge can then take to GCSE level.

 

Can I also suggest the possibility of a list of memorisations, perhaps tied to English, History, or both? I can't find that you have lists which would cover a whole year. When I started out, I found it very difficult to think of what my kids could memorise and I spent a long time researching to find good ones. Memorisation wasn't part of my education.

 

Finally, thanks so much for writing it and revising it - TWTM was the first book about homeschooling that really spoke to me in those early days when I just wondered what the heck I had taken on, trying to teach my kids myself. Nowadays I'm just wondering how the heck I can legitimately escape for 5 minutes of peace, since at any one time I am being asked to soothe the wounded breast of an offended 7 year old, spell 'acknowledge' for my dyslexic 13 year old, explain the complexities of DNA to a 15 year old, and discuss the possibilities of dissertation subjects with my nearly 21 year old. I comfort myself that I'm not alone in this, however! :)

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AND (I can't stop!) I am forever grateful to another boardie who recommended Hands On Equations as a pre-algebra resource.  If you aren't familiar with it, it's a stepwise program that walks the student through the concepts of variables and manipulating them using actual small tokens to represent the variables.  It can be started in late grammar stage students.  

 

I second Hands on Equations as a pre-algebra resource.  My son had a lightbulb moment using the ipad app.  It's so great to see their faces light up when they finally get something!

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Please talk more about homeschooling those with learning disabilities/struggling learners. I had to pretty much abandon WTM methods for my son, who has dyslexia and other speech/language issues. Simply put, a print-centered education played to all his weaknesses and turned school into unrelenting drudgery for him. He has blossomed since I began incorporating a lot of multi-media tools for him.

 

Also, please talk more specifically about how one could follow your high school history sequence and still end up with the required credits for high school history. Every college I have spoken with has expressed skepticism about four years of world history with no specific focus on American history and government, and the school my daughter wants to go to has explicitly stated that four years of world history will garner her merely one credit; they expect a survey world history course in high school and other credits in more varied history/humanities/social studies work. I don't see how I could accomplish this without loading more work on her, so I have given up on the high school history plan.

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I just re-read a few parts of WTM while going over planning:) I still love your book. Anyway, I have found CLE a great curriculum. We use it for both math and language arts. We recently switched from Saxon. DD hated it, but now finds math one of her favorite subjects. I find it to be more advanced than Saxon, too. As for science, we love Elemental science, the classical series that actually follows the cycle you recommend.

I would love to see more Spanish and. Greek resources listed. I haven't really found any decent early elementary programs.

 

Along with other posters, I'm more concerned with methods and tips than curriculum suggestions, although I really love those, too. I do like how they are listed right after you talk about the subject. I am super excited for a new edition:)

 

Elemental Science has been a great fit for us as well, and I think it deserves a mention!

 

Guesthollow.com is another one; I'm sure it's been mentioned but I didn't see it as I was skimming through the replies.

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Possibly something about how boxed curriculums (Sonlight, MFW, HOD etc) can be made or tweaked to fit a WTM or Classical mold.

 

How to balance a Classical High School education with a STEM oriented student.

 

I know I personally struggle with getting my Engineering minded ds to write enough words for an essay. He writes well and has been published but it is really hard to get him to use enough words. He ruthlessly edits to his own detriment.

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A great Logic course that has been tried and proven among many classical homeschoolers and homeschooling co-ops is Logic I: Tools for Thinking by Norman Birkett. All of my kids took this course in 7th or 8th grade and loved it and we've also used it in our classical co-op for many years and are still using it. This material well-prepared my own kids for further Logic training. One of my daughters has gone on to study Computer Science at our state's institute of technology, and she said that her logic studies prior to college really helped to lay a foundation for some of what she is doing in programming. Interestingly enough, the author of Logic I: Tools for Thinking was also a programmer prior to writing this excellent textbook and teaching high school students at a classical school. He has since returned to programming. I say all of this because it demonstrates a very practical reason for studying logic, in that it teaches the student to reason and think correctly - tools so necessary for fields such as engineering and computer science. I see it as a bonus that Logic I: Tools for Thinking was written by a programmer who understands the required line of reasoning needed to be developed for these more technological fields of study into which so many of our kids are heading. For a far better description than I have given, please check out the comprehensive review, including sample lessons, on the website: www.classicallegacypress.com.

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Possibly something about how boxed curriculums (Sonlight, MFW, HOD etc) can be made or tweaked to fit a WTM or Classical mold.

 

How to balance a Classical High School education with a STEM oriented student.

 

I know I personally struggle with getting my Engineering minded ds to write enough words for an essay. He writes well and has been published but it is really hard to get him to use enough words. He ruthlessly edits to his own detriment.

 

I agree.  A paragraph on how to expand, for those of us with engineering-minded children who are terribly brief and think the rest of the world is idiotic not to be able to infer the rest would be helpful.  Somewhere, I remember reading such a paragraph, one that listed ways to expand something.  It listed give an example, give some proof, say "that means...", etc.

 

Nan

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I agree.  A paragraph on how to expand, for those of us with engineering-minded children who are terribly brief and think the rest of the world is idiotic not to be able to infer the rest would be helpful.  Somewhere, I remember reading such a paragraph, one that listed ways to expand something.  It listed give an example, give some proof, say "that means...", etc.

 

Nan

 

:lol: I can't like this enough.

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Youngest learned to read early, without learning any phonics other than me telling him the letter sounds as he read and making a few rudimentary markups to help with silent letters and things.  Spelling Workout filled in all the phonics that he missed learning to read but that he needed to be able to spell.  It was easy to do.  We didn't do it every year.  The thing that helped with spelling the most was that online list of spelling rules for dislexic people.

 

Nan

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I found the SHORT books, like Skunk and White (except it isn't Skunk) and the argument book, good.  My children actually read them, rather than just being overwhelmed and pretending to read them.  They were useful.  A huge long curriculum would have been impractical.

 

Nan

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Personally I feel LOE would be fine for a young or mild-moderate dyslexic student, but that it's both too comprehensive (like it includes handwriting instruction) and too fast (progresses pretty quickly through the 70+ phonograms) for an older or severely dyslexic student. And OPGTR is such a solidly phonetic-based resource that I don't know that there's *enough* difference between how it and LOE work to justify trying LOE if OPGTR is truly not working for a kid. Typically what I recommend is OPGTR and if that doesn't work after 1-2 years or by age 7 then a parent needs a professional evaluation to uncover possible dyslexia or other issues. If it is dyslexia at that point I'd refer them straight to Barton Reading. I don't like to mess around with curriculums that just don't work and Barton by and large really does work. It's pretty impressive the way it's laid out, and I can see that it's even superior to the O-G program I was trained in actually, which is why I use Barton as our main spine and supplement with activities/extensions. Any program that can take an 11 year old kid who is illiterate, hearing impaired, intellectually disabled, dyslexic, and adhd and get her reading in 18 months while keeping her self-esteem intact and without requiring acrobatics on the part of me (the parent/teacher) is a solid program. It can be used on kids with just dyslexia even faster and more effectively with zero extended activities. 

 

 

Well said. As a mom of a moderately dyslexic 12 year old I can say we've tried them all, LOE, AAS, Spalding,Abecedarian,SWR with LOE being my favorite I tried all the ones recommended for dyslexia and then some. I had been trying to teach him to read since the age of 5 and nothing has worked the way Barton Reading and Spelling has. It has to be true O-G for these kids. Wilson is another and I'm sure there are more. Pretty much everything Sally Shaywitz recommends.Perhaps her book could be referenced as a resource if there is a special needs section in the 4th edition of TWTM.

 

My youngest ds did very well with OPGTR. :)

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Perhaps something about Latin for the New Millennium vs. Wheelock's. 

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I am really excited about another edition! I am extremely grateful for TWTM, it opened up a whole new world of homeschooling for me, so thank you.

 

I don't have a lot to add as I still feel like a newbie. I will say that I love both the how-to sections as well as recommendations of different curricula. The how tos helped me understand the whys and hows as well as the big picture. I appreciated those sections when I first read through the book, they helped me understand what a homeschooling week/year can look like. They Also gave me a sense of I can do this. As much as those sections where helpful at the beginning of my homeschool journey they continue to become more useful as time goes on and I feel more empowered to create/tweak curriculum to better fit my kids needs. Those how tos have been invaluable in helping me know how to do that. I agree with others that I would love it if you added more how-tos. One audio lecture I would love added to the book in written form would be the lecture on literary analysis at various stages.

 

I do also love the sections of recommended curricula, that was crucial in helping me feel like homeschooling was possible. I loved the idea of classical education but would have been lost without the curricula recommendations. I needed a ton of hand holding when starting out and those sections accomplished that for me. Again thank you for TWTM and this forum!

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I am another who loves the first edition best because of the abundance of specific practical advice for teaching skills through content. When I was starting out, it helped enable and empower me to use whatever books work best for our family. This has been especially helpful because I combine my kids in content subjects. We cover the same general content, but individual input and output are based on age and ability. Being able to modify has been key to keeping me sane and my kids working at an appropriate level. I wrap skill work into content as much as possible, so specific curriculum recommendations that are workbook based are less useful to me than guidance on how to teach the same subjects through content.

 

Soooo, what I really want most—at the very tippy top of my list—is a recommendation for the Writing with Skill guide book for grades 5-8...which means I super-duper hope you are also working on a Writing with Skill guide book. :D

 

What I would keep/add as far as book/curriculum suggestions (our very favorites!):

 

Miquon

Singapore

All of AoPS, from the Kitchen Table Math volumes to Beast Academy on through to the highest levels

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor by Jacobs

Hands-On Equations

Zaccaro books

Jacobs Algebra and Geometry

Patty Paper Geometry

The Geometer's Sketchpad

WWE and WWS

IEW TWSS

Brave Writer's The Writer's Jungle (can be married with classical)

Brave Writer's The Arrow/Boomerang (gentle, slow and steady literary terms and LA)

SOTW

OUP The World in Ancient Times, The Medieval and Early Modern World, and Pages from History

Hakim's The History of US

Hakim's The Story of Science

CPO Science

Conceptual Integrated Science and conceptualacademy.com

Exploring The Way Life Works

The Art of Argument, The Argument Builder, and Discovery of Deduction

Writing and Rhetoric series from CAP

In Living Memory

Teaching the Classics

IEW's Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization

The Virtual Instructor art web site

Project Lead the Way texts, starting with Gateway to Engineering for middle grades

DIY.org

 

I agree with wanting a plan to square a WTM high school education with college requirements where the social sciences are concerned.

 

I would love recommendations for specific online courses and MOOCs (Coursera, edX, etc.).

 

I would love specific advice on how to mature the bunny trails of the early years into personally tailored course work in later years. 8FillTheHeart's Homeschooling at the Helm does this wonderfully, but I would love more specifics about output requirements that are in keeping with a rigorous classical education.

 

And yes, yes, yes to a thorough treatment of STEM subjects. I am absolutely convinced that logic, mathematics, Latin, etc. will produce students with the skills and knowledge to be successful STEM majors in college, and I am personally not a fan of young kids spending lots of time with screens when they need to be working on growing into book addicts :D , but the fact is that kids who live and breathe hands-on science and tech and have a gift for building and engineering may feel pushed away by classical education and miss out by throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

 

Also, I would kill for a chapter on REAL schedules when juggling multiple kids. My kids are now in 7th, 5th, and 4th and I've been cutting and pasting my Daily Schedule Excel spreadsheet like a mad woman trying to figure out the right balance of one-on-one, independent, and group time. I know Norton made you put schedules in the first one despite them not necessarily being realistic, but surely by the 4th edition they trust you guys enough to let you tell it like it is. If so, please tell it like it is!

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I would love to know why. Don't worry about my feelings, I have elephant hide by now. :)

 

SWB

I prefer the first edition too. It is parrly because i read it first i think but also because it seems to be more 'how to use' and less 'what to use'. I am in New Zealand and a lot of the stuff isn't available or only at great expense. This is especially true at the moment with the exchange rate tanking.

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Thinking more about Galore Park.  I recommended Latin Prep unreservedly upthread.  

 

Of the other products, I recommend the modern language offerings (I have used the French books one and two only) but only for teachers who already speak the language - there's not enough oral work otherwise, as the course was designed for use by specialist teachers who would be able to encourage unscripted conversation in class.

 

I also recommend the English books (I have used Junior English 1-3 and SY English 1-3) for bright English learners who pick up spelling, grammar, etc. easily.  For those children, it's an alternative to the extreme drilling that some programmes involve, with excellent work on learning to read deeply into good quality poetry and prose, with book lists for further reading.  Parents who are unconfident about teaching writing will also need to look elsewhere for a detailed programme for that aspect.

 

I thought the maths programmes were good but not exceptional, so I would not recommend them over Singapore Maths for primary education.  I have not used the science and history books.  I used the Greek, but it has been revised since then, so I don't know what state it is in now.

 

The books are available from horriblebooks.com, or with free shipping from the UK to most places worldwide by bookdepository.co.uk (an Amazon company)

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One thing to consider in the logic & rhetoric stage math sections is taking out the recommendation of the upper level Singapore books. New Elementary Math 3 & 4 and Discovering Math 3 & 4 are no longer widely available. NEM 1 & 2 and DM 7 & 8 still are, but the integration of algebra & geometry makes placement into the traditional sequence tricky.

 

Alternatives to Singapore:

Art of Problem Solving

TabletClass

Derek Owens

Thinkwell

 

 

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I would love specific advice on how to mature the bunny trails of the early years into personally tailored course work in later years. 8FillTheHeart's Homeschooling at the Helm does this wonderfully, but I would love more specifics about output requirements that are in keeping with a rigorous classical education. [\quote]

 

 

Yes, please!

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What resources would you have left out? (You know, the ones I said were great but drove you batty?)

 

If YOU were writing the fourth edition, what would YOU change?

 

Hi, Susan.

 

My #1 recommendation would be to include your updated advice about WWE 1-4 + WWS. This was helpful to me as I considered the writing path for my oldest daughter this past school year (4th) and for the next few years. It made the task feel more flexible, more holistic, and more guided by the joys of writing (and she does enjoy writing). We have felt more comfortable loosening up a bit with WWE and incorporating other assignments into our work, which has turned out to be so fruitful for her.

 

Now, as we transition from WWE (she completed the last part of Level 3 this year, along with "other things"), we have a confidence that we'll be able to build skills, slowly and steadily, in the next few years. If we need to bounce back to WWE for a bit, we have Level 4 (and we know how to pull from content subjects). If she is fine with the first part of WWS 1, that's great, we'll move forward.

 

When a student reaches the point where WWE is honestly "too easy," but WWS would be "too much," it's good to know how to make that time productive for the student. We decided to stretch out WWE, write from History/Science/Literature, write friendly and thank you letters, write lists, do additional copywork and dictation, practice dictionary skills, learn typing and word processing, and give her time to grow. ;)

 

I think your advice about how to transition in these middle years -- and how to keep it flexible -- is spot on, and even though you've posted it here, it should be in the next edition of the book. HTH.

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Will you be including more how tos? If not I think I might need to purchase a first edition.

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Yeah, I'd guess not. :) Just so you know, I have absolutely no control, or say, in that particular department. TWTM was published by W. W. Norton, not Peace Hill Press, so Norton has complete authority over past editions, and making a previous edition available is not something you'll find a major NY publisher doing.

 

SWB

 

Will the 4th edition be published by PHP or W. W. Norton?

 

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Hi, Susan.

 

My #1 recommendation would be to include your updated advice about WWE 1-4 + WWS. This was helpful to me as I considered the writing path for my oldest daughter this past school year (4th) and for the next few years. It made the task feel more flexible, more holistic, and more guided by the joys of writing (and she does enjoy writing). We have felt more comfortable loosening up a bit with WWE and incorporating other assignments into our work, which has turned out to be so fruitful for her.

 

Now, as we transition from WWE (she completed the last part of Level 3 this year, along with "other things"), we have a confidence that we'll be able to build skills, slowly and steadily, in the next few years. If we need to bounce back to WWE for a bit, we have Level 4 (and we know how to pull from content subjects). If she is fine with the first part of WWS 1, that's great, we'll move forward.

 

When a student reaches the point where WWE is honestly "too easy," but WWS would be "too much," it's good to know how to make that time productive for the student. We decided to stretch out WWE, write from History/Science/Literature, write friendly and thank you letters, write lists, do additional copywork and dictation, practice dictionary skills, learn typing and word processing, and give her time to grow. ;)

 

I think your advice about how to transition in these middle years -- and how to keep it flexible -- is spot on, and even though you've posted it here, it should be in the next edition of the book. HTH.

 

Absolutely agreeing with this!!!

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Also, is there a projected release date? I need to read it again but I'll wait for this one if it won't be *too* long.

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It doesn't follow the four-year science cycle, though.  But it's precisely why I decided not to follow the idea of the four-year science cycle matching up with history.  The sciences are integrated.  The edges of them blur into others.  (Bio-chem, physical chemistry...astronomy requires physics and chemistry...)  So teaching them in that integrated way appealed to me.

 

Please reconsider the elementary Science sequence, especially the assertion that Year 1 = Biology (because that's what the ancients would have observed), Year 2 = Earth & Space (because that's what they focused on in the Middle Ages), etc. It may be one thing to recommend chronological study of History, but quite another (IMO) to structure Science along the same lines. Science isn't really chronological.

 

Over the years, I've met several WTM homeschoolers who felt locked in to whatever they were "supposed to be studying" for that year, to the detriment of themselves and their students (e.g., they were bored to death with Topic X, but felt they had to study it for an entire school year because WTM told them so). I don't think that approach really leads to enjoying Science, or being curious, or exploring what comes up, or thinking scientifically. [And I know you're not recommending this blind adherence to a sequence, but some folks do seem to implement WTM science in this way.]

 

FWIW, I think BFSU is overrated. It may be great in terms of its sequential conceptual development, but (IMO) it's a horribly formatted product in great need of revision and it's difficult to implement on a day-to-day basis. But that's me. :sad:

 

I do think that elementary (1st-4th grades) Science ought to be more open-ended, and not necessarily "connected" to History. Rather, the Sciences are connected to the Sciences, and basic concepts establish the foundation for deeper study. HTH.

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I own the first and third editions of WTM, but the one that I've used the most is the first edition.  Back then, there weren't a lot of resources.  You were recommending selection of solid spine "textbooks" (my term, not yours, but that's how I think of them).  You were recommending that those not be the sole focus, but were to be enhanced and expanded by liberal use of many other books.  That idea was the best part of the book -- not the resource and recommendation lists.  I don't think I looked at those lists more than once or twice, but I read and re-read your essays on each grade and the use of the spines, outlining, the progression of skills, etc.  I may not follow everything exactly, but I refer to my old first edition every year for planning and for year-end evaluation.  It's become the frame for our homeschool journey.

 

:iagree: Yes, I go back every year and re-read the essays in the 1st edition (which I read before I was married and had children). These are part of my annual teacher training in written form. Lists of resources are everywhere now. Experienced, balanced, capable mentors are harder to find.

 

Your family's honesty, wisdom, and vulnerability in sharing your homeschooling journey have helped me grow as a mother and teacher beyond what any resource list could ever do. Put that in the book, if you can.

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After reading at least the first page of posts here, I sense a desire for a two-book version of WTM - one for K-8th (and removing high school from this volume gives more space to go into more detail etc.) and one for 9-12.  The former can include a chapter on how to find resources to test for learning disabilities ( and how to find the info to deal with a local school for testing or free speech therapy) and a chapter on how to teach reading and math to special needs kiddos, etc. You can pull in more of us to help provide info for those chapters if you haven't had to deal with those topics yourself.

 

The high school book can include a chapter on the joys (?) of getting through college applications and how to visit colleges and how to see through the glossy brochures and past the smiling peppy campus tour guides etc.   Plus you can go into more detail on all the high-school related questions folks have posted. Maybe even include a chapter on the value - and how to set up - a gap year. I KNOW you know how to do that! :-)

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I thought of one more: Mystery of History. I haven't gotten to use it yet because my kids aren't really ready for it, but I've got a copy of it, and it's great!

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I love the book. It has been a consistent reference for me through the years, and the skill progression outlined in it is invaluable. Your advice on writing, literary analysis, and the teaching of history have all resonated greatly with me. Thank you for what you have done!

 

As a newbie homeschooler when I first read the book, I appreciated that many of the resources mentioned, especially for language arts, could be plugged in and used over many years, for a solid progression. I still like this aspect of the recommendations, and even though I don't use everything recommended and have learned about many other resources from this forum, I would vote for trying to maintain this as much as possible rather than adding too many more grammar or writing (or math) resources that can only be used for a few years at a time. While it is good to know that there are many resources that would work to build the skills discussed in the book, having too many resources listed can be overwhelming, especially when I have heard many times that the book itself can already be pretty overwhelming.

 

I think including more information on the different options for outsourcing middle and high school classes and how to choose a good online class would be great, now that there are so many more options for that.

 

Including some of the material from your lectures on literary analysis, how to teach history, and preparing for college would be wonderful.

 

I think it would be nice to see some (brief?) reflections on the book now that you are many years out from the first edition and have used your plans through high school with your own family.

 

 

More specifically regarding resources, some have already mentioned Jackdaws. I would like to know if you still think using all four of the Critical Thinking in U.S. History books in seventh and eighth grade is still a great idea, or if there is something else you like that would accomplish the same goals. These are still available on CD, but are cumbersome to use.

 

Another vote for adding AoPS math for the logic and rhetoric stages, along with mentioning their excellent website with alcumus, videos, and online classes. I would probably leave out Beast Academy unless it is listed as a supplement, but even then it's pretty heavy for a supplement.

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I would probably leave out Beast Academy unless it is listed as a supplement, but even then it's pretty heavy for a supplement.

I'm curious about why you would omit BA. Someone upthread said she wouldn't include it because it isn't complete yet, but given the years between WTM editions, I would like to see it included. It is one of the richest resources I have used in homeschooling.

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I want all of you to know how much I'm enjoying reading these responses, and how much I appreciate the time and thought it's taking to offer your opinions. Please, keep it up.

 

Just so you know (and in answer to a couple of the questions up thread), TWTM will continue to be published by W. W. Norton, which owns the copyright and took the initial risk of putting it out in 1999. And, as is the way of revised editions, the new one will need to remain fairly close to the format of the original, so although I'll be incorporating much of what I've learned from you in the past years into the 4th edition, it won't be broken into multiple volumes, etc.

 

But your responses are giving me lots of ideas about future projects. :) Keep them coming.

 

SWB

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As a mom with a special needs child, I will chime in to say that I don't think it is possible in the scope of this book to cover all the special needs, of course, but what would be amazingly helpful is a chapter on resources for different, specific special needs.  I have not referred to my latest edition of the book to see what currently exists so I risk sounding like Captain Obvious, but it wouldn't be the first time.  ;)

 

Even on the SN/LC forums, our kids differ vastly.  I am firmly planted in SN-land with one child, but I know almost nothing of dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia.  And if you've met one person with ASD, you've met one person with ASD.  Such a wide range of SN exists.  The mamas I've met on this board with SN kids are amazing, so pointing folks here would be a good start, and that forum would be a good resource to compile the most helpful outside resources for homeschooling a special needs kid.  It would be such a kindness to have a homeschool parent pick up a book like this and see some specific resources directed towards special needs.

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I agree with texasmama. Because special needs vary SO MUCH, it would be impossible to write a section that would cover the bases for everyone.

 

I do think, however, that a general encouragement for parents who suspect a LD to seek out a professional evaluation is something GREATLY NEEDED in the homeschooling community. I can't tell you how many homeschoolers I've met whose child has an obvious "something" going on but who WILL NOT seek an evaluation because they "don't believe in labels". What they don't realize is that precious remediation time is lost, and that professionals can give VERY specific advice on how to help a child with a LD learn, which, in turn, ultimately helps the homeschooling parent.

 

Many homeschoolers don't realize that federal law mandates that the public school system evaluate a child in its district, regardless of whether or not the child attends the school. I personally feel that in most cases a private evaluation will yield more thorough results, but most people don't have insurance that will cover the very expensive cost of such things. In that case, the public school is a viable alternative. Now, whether or not the public school will agree to providing SERVICES for that child is completely a different story. Very rarely will the school have the resources to provide ST/OT/PT/etc. to a child not enrolled in their school. But as for evaluations, yes, they HAVE TO do that, by law.

 

Beyond touching on that topic in your new edition, I think I would just list some general resources (like the books I mentioned in my first post), as well as possibly a few curriculum recommendations for the "big three" : dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.

 

And I would touch on how much harder and mentally draining it is to homeschool a child with SNs versus a neurotypical child, emphasizing how important it is for the mom/teacher to take emotional/mental care of her/himself. I have five neurotypical children and one special needs child. My one SN child is as hard or harder than my other five combined. (LOL) It IS difficult, but very rewarding, especially when you remind yourself that no one loves this child as much as you do, and your investment into the child will be far greater than anyone else's investment.

 

 

And lastly, just a word about why I think it is a good idea to address homeschooling special needs:

 

I think the homeschooling community has a higher rate of children with SNs than the in-school population. Purely anecdotal, but I've met many, MANY, accidental homeschoolers who find themselves hsing a child with SNs due to their frustration with how the schools handle their particular child's unique circumstances. The schools TRY to accommodate each child, but in reality that is a very difficult task. Due to funding cuts, lack of trained personnel, or any other reason, the schools come up short many times in providing a suitable educational environment for some children. As a result, many parents take up hsing the children with SNs.

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And I would touch on how much harder and mentally draining it is to homeschool a child with SNs versus a neurotypical child, emphasizing how important it is for the mom/teacher to take emotional/mental care of her/himself. I have five neurotypical chosen and one special needs child. My one SN child is as hard or harder than my other five combined. (LOL) It IS difficult, but very rewarding, especially when you remind yourself that no one loves this child as much as you do, and your investment into the child will be far greater than anyone else's investment.

So very much this.  Also, I agree that the special needs population is overrepresented in the homeschooling population because of the inherent issues involved with schools being equipped to address many of these kids' needs well.  

 

I started homeschooling eight years ago due to special needs.  Homeschooling was not my first choice.

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One more thing I thought of, if you were to add a section on hsing SNs:

 

Warn people away from miracle cures and junk science. A vitamin isn't going to rid your child of dyslexia; "brain training" isn't going to raise your child's IQ; alternative therapy isn't going to cure muscular dystrophy; essential oils aren't going to eliminate autism; ad nauseum.

 

There's a predictable grieving process a parent goes through when receiving a diagnosis. During the "fixing" (bargaining) stage of grief, it is common for parents to be sucked into these miracle cure-alls. I've seen it time and time again.

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Please reconsider the elementary Science sequence, especially the assertion that Year 1 = Biology (because that's what the ancients would have observed), Year 2 = Earth & Space (because that's what they focused on in the Middle Ages), etc.

 

I agree. We left the science sequence behind this past year because there were so many things the kids wanted to study in science that didn't fit neatly into four-year rotations. And having been through 1 3/4 cycles of science, I would say that I see more benefit to kids being exposed to a range of science topics every year rather than one topic all year. Honestly, aside from the vocabulary words/definitions we worked on as part of memory work for several years, by the time my kids got back around to biology in 5th grade, they remembered very little of what we studied in 1st grade. Almost the same with chemistry ... they remembered what atoms and molecules were and nothing else. (And speaking of atoms and molecules, Adventures with Atoms and Molecules gets a resounding thumbs down; dry, dry, dry, boring, boring, boring, and pointless, as even at their young ages my kids realized after about 3 "experiments" that the answer to the guiding question was always yes, which significantly decreased their enthusiasm.) Rather than creating "hooks," studying one thing for a year and then abandoning it for the next three years resulted in a lot of "kinda-remember-something-about-that" material and a lot more "don't-remember-that-at-all" material.

 

And to elaborate on my earlier post about kids with learning disabilities, please provide guidance on good curricula for kids who simply. do. not. absorb writing conventions through copywork. Copywork failed horribly with my son. Although he is now writing much better after working through some of the materials from EPS School Specialty, he still can't, for the life of him, copy a sentence correctly. I don't think banging away for years and years on copywork would have benefited his writing in the end.

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I'm curious about why you would omit BA. Someone upthread said she wouldn't include it because it isn't complete yet, but given the years between WTM editions, I would like to see it included. It is one of the richest resources I have used in homeschooling.

I'm not sure this is the place to go back and forth about something like this, but in brief (by the way, I really like BA and use it as a supplement):

 

1)grades 2-5 only. I would only include math programs that can take you from K-6.

2) my current opinion is that the levels available now do not provide enough practice and reinforcement of the basics. I think there is a difference in recommending an upper level program like AoPS with the caveat that it is generally for stronger math students, vs. elementary programs where a foundation in the basics is essential, while covering binary numbers and exponents is not yet essential.

3) not finished and not time-tested by enough parents. This is enough reason for me not to use it for my own children if I were a new, inexperienced homeschooler, so I wouldn't recommend it in a book for a general audience.

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Ps. I think that incorporating information about serving special needs students into each chapter would be more useful overall than just one chapter on special needs; certainly, all the things that people have mentioned (talking about when to look for outside evaluation, how to take care of yourself, not spending the child's school time focusing almost exclusively on the child's weaknesses, etc.) are important enough to merit their own chapter, but also, I think that each subject-specific chapter should include a section on resources for non-typical learners. Shoving everything about special needs students into one chapter leaves the sense that there's not a lot of room in the WTM philosophy for how to educate these kids.

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How to balance a Classical High School education with a STEM oriented student.

 

This is something I think about a lot. 

 

Emily

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I believe I have the 3rd edition and it has been a great resource for me!  I always reread it every summer in preparation for planning another school year!  I love it all, but some suggestions I would think would be beneficial are:

 

  • With using the OPGTR - Phonics readers more ideas besides the Bob books like:  Primary Phonics (favorite here).  
  • A good living book list for Pre-K and K (notice I am starting over again and this would be awesome!  :)
  • I know others have expressed special needs but would love to hear of resources for gifted learners as well and how to meet their needs
  • Dual enrollment/outsourcing 
  • Discussing nature studies- & resources
  • Bible resources ideas of study/book list
  • More living books for Science studies and maybe include some for the HS years too to go along with the core book to make it stick.  :)
  • More classical book lists (can't have too many :) Maybe at the end of the book have a long list sorted by subject and grade that would be all together and easier to flip to.
  • List of readers blogs that could be used as a resource for ideas!
  • Some more scheduling daily/weekly ideas?
  • Online outsourcing list of providers 

Just throwing out some ideas.  :)

 

Some resources we have used that have been favorites here that you haven't mentioned in your book are:  Classical Academic Press (Latin and Logic curricula), IEW (other products besides their writing that you used in your book, Grammar), Yesterday's Classics (great books for the K-8 years!) 

 

I have many books and curriculum I have used for the years it isn't fancy but it helped me keep track of what I have used for my boys that might could be of use for you when looking at curricula and book lists.  http://homeschoolingmy3boys.blogspot.com/

 

You really did change how I saw schooling and I feel so blessed to have been able to discover your book and to hear many of your seminars over the years.  Many blessings to you! Good luck in your next edition, can't wait to get mine!  :)

 

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(And speaking of atoms and molecules, Adventures with Atoms and Molecules gets a resounding thumbs down; dry, dry, dry, boring, boring, boring, and pointless, as even at their young ages my kids realized after about 3 "experiments" that the answer to the guiding question was always yes, which significantly decreased their enthusiasm.) 

For a different perspective, my oldest is about halfway through Book I, and we are loving it and she's learning a lot.  I don't show her the titles/questions ahead of time, though - I just say "here's what we're going to do," and then we talk about what's happening with the molecules afterward.  (Actually, I may have made the decision to do it that way after seeing you mention this in another thread!)  But for our family, it's a fabulous fit.  Obviously I can't speak to the issue of long-term retention at this point.

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The "Let's Read and Find Out" series of science books. They can be purchased in bundles by subject on rainbowresource.com. They are also easy to find in libraries. Excellent for Grammar stage science.

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Oh, and another thing ... I know that in the past you have mentioned that you don't want to recommend things that are OOP. I say, don't worry about it. OOP things are just not hard to find anymore. If they are vintage, they can usually be found on Google Books. If not, then Amazon is your friend. 

 

Along those lines, School Composition, a vintage book available through Google Books and as a reprint on Amazon, is an amazing writing curriculum. It's by a former and well-known NYC school supervisor and education reformer named William Henry Maxwell, and it is the best of the classical writing approach (model study, copywork/dictation, parts-to-whole) without the detriments of modern "retro" curricula (waaaaay too complicated, a billion different books to buy, expensive). A real gem, and it can be followed with Maxwell's Writing in English for high school.

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I forgot to say that the Scientist in the Field series is fantastic as supplemental reading for logic stage kids. I first read about them here, but my library has many titles in the series.

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A timeline of important milestones during the high school years, for the college-bound student:  when to take the PSAT/SAT/ACT and any AP/SAT II exams, when to get on college mailing lists, when to do college visitations, when to do early admission/early decision/regular admission (and what the differences are between these), etc.

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Susan - It's not a another suggestion, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate TWTM. Even though I always knew I'd home school, I didn't really have much direction about style or educational philosophy. TWTM has given me the direction and inspiration that I desperately needed, and even though I've read the grammar section probably 10 times already, I pull it out regularly for the educational pick-me-up it provides, lol! I shudder to think what kind of home edder I'd have been with out it, so I really appreciate all the work and effort and heart you both put into the book.

 

Diolch yn fawr iawn!

Christina

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