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mrsfellman

Thinking of changing from MCT next year???

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I am struggling with the thought that my oldest will be 10 in the summer and "5th" grade level in the coming "school year". This last year we have had several changes and I've been really lax since Nov/Dec. Our boys all started the school year and a small private school in our old home town. We moved about 30 mins away at the end of Sept and pulled them out. We tried one of the K12 styled online programs in our state but by Thanksgiving I was fed up with their approach. We dropped that and took a small break. ODS has been doing B.A. online 3A and has finished all Singapore Math 3A & 3B and we are reviewing throuth 4A currently. We had started MCT back in 2 grade when we brought him home for that year and so we picked back up in January where we had left off. He's finished Grammar Island and we are half way through Sentence Island and he's about half way through practice Island. I'm just not sure if we want to move on to the Town Levels in the fall. I kinda feel like I need something more structured and something that my husband can see that we are actively working through. I will have a "2nd" 7 yr old and a 5 yr old that's starting to do some work, mostly we will be doing AAR level 1 with him and Singapore Math. 

I am also at a complete loss on how to approach history and science. I tend to enjoy more of a relaxed approach (we mostly be watching Liberty's Kids and reading Rush Revere) but my husband is more of a "schedule and check list" personality.

So any suggestions on L.A., History and Science to look at that would be good for a super distract-able 5th grade boy that will be traveling the country with his family this next year would be hightly appreciated!

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Is MCT working? If so, I would stick with it and instead take some time to write out a structure for it. There were some day-by-day schedules posted here a while back. 

Let us know if MCT is working and if we should help you structure it or if you really want something other than MCT.

If it's the latter, I would suggest looking at the following:

Well-Ordered Language + Writing & Rhetoric by Classical Academic Press (Christian)

Fix It Grammar

For unstructured science (zoology), my boys watched all episodes of Wild Kratts (amazon prime) and are animal experts to the point where a Yellowstone guide 'offered' them a job. They did this in their free time and as I 'taught' them zoology from Apologia, I saw how much they already knew. We could have skipped it, but they enjoyed reviewing it all.

You should also state if you want Christian or not because that makes a difference in History and Science. I can tell you Christian because that is what we used up until Middle School where I felt they needed exposure to the non-Christian point of view. For Science we used Apologia Young Explorer Series with the Notebooks. Very structured, open and go except for experiments. You can find videos on youtube to accompany each lesson. If you are non-Christian, it is very easy to not read the Christian parts as you read to your kids. I even skipped some because Christian texts can often try too hard if you know what I mean.

For structured history, we used Mystery of History, but this is strictly for Christians because you cannot skip over the Christian parts. MOH has a free yahoo group that has all types of activities and tests to help you add some output to the course.

 

 

Edited by RenaInTexas
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My kids are about the same age.  10 at end of summer, 7 in fall, and 5 in fall.  I am going to better schedule life in the fall.  There is too much going on and I can't wing it and get everything done.  I'm have been getting up earlier to work out and waking kids earlier and that has helped but I still want to try actually scheduling subjects to stay on task.

We are trying Mystery Science this year.  It is online short videos that you watch and discuss with kids.  Easy to travel with this too.

We have enjoyed SOTW for history, and it is not hard to implement.  You can do as much of little as you want in the activity guide.  We actually listened to MOH audio also, if you want to include church history.  My kids love listening to stories so SOTW is perfect for us.

We are trying MCT next year:) This year was Cottage Press Fable & Song for my oldest child.  It is easy to implement, yet still structured.  Parts can be independent. Every 5-6 days work is based on either an Aesop Fable, Robert Louis Stevenson poem or a parable of Jesus (contains 4 famous parables). Copywork, spelling and vocab (but is very light spelling so should be supplemented), writing, and sentence diagramming are all from the reading selection.  For writing, one day they make an outline from reading, then another day they will re-write story from outline, then they will rewrite those drafts a couple times.  Maybe it would be a good fit for your oldest.  It is for grades 4-6.  They also have a primer level that would work for your 7 yr old.

Good luck!

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6 hours ago, RenaInTexas said:

Is MCT working? If so, I would stick with it and instead take some time to write out a structure for it. There were some day-by-day schedules posted here a while back. 

Let us know if MCT is working and if we should help you structure it or if you really want something other than MCT.

If it's the latter, I would suggest looking at the following:

Well-Ordered Language + Writing & Rhetoric by Classical Academic Press (Christian)

Fix It Grammar

For unstructured science (zoology), my boys watched all episodes of Wild Kratts (amazon prime) and are animal experts to the point where a Yellowstone guide 'offered' them a job. They did this in their free time and as I 'taught' them zoology from Apologia, I saw how much they already knew. We could have skipped it, but they enjoyed reviewing it all.

You should also state if you want Christian or not because that makes a difference in History and Science. I can tell you Christian because that is what we used up until Middle School where I felt they needed exposure to the non-Christian point of view. For Science we used Apologia Young Explorer Series with the Notebooks. Very structured, open and go except for experiments. You can find videos on youtube to accompany each lesson. If you are non-Christian, it is very easy to not read the Christian parts as you read to your kids. I even skipped some because Christian texts can often try too hard if you know what I mean.

For structured history, we used Mystery of History, but this is strictly for Christians because you cannot skip over the Christian parts. MOH has a free yahoo group that has all types of activities and tests to help you add some output to the course.

 

 

All great questions...I'm not sure if I can say if MCT is "working" for us or not. It was what finally made Grammar make sense to ME personally. My oldest though has grasped L.A. really well from the beginning (words from both his Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade teachers) so he seems to understand MCT faster than I have as we have worked through it. I feel like we could keep it on but as of right now I'd say it isn't "challenging" at all to him.

I came across the Writing & Rhetoric yesterday while searching around Cathy Duffy's site and sent it over to my Husband. He really liked what he read about it. So I'm really considering it as a change option. 

We are Christians but also believe "Old Earth" and I don't feel like every single subject needs to have a Biblical influence, i.e Spelling. We will be traveling more in the next year plus and doing alot of our school work out of a Class C RV so I'm trying to streamline my resources to not carry extra weight whenever possible. 

He doesn't like to write physically much and loves learning resources that are Audio/Visual. We have watched a ton of Wild Kratts and they have watched ALL of the Liberty's Kids series during lunch time this Spring Semester. We use Spelling Work Out for our spelling and he likes it more than Abeka which they used at the Private School he attended. 

I'd love to find the Day-By-Day schedule for MCT you mentioned. I plan to use the Island levels with our 2nd grader next year.

 

Edited by mrsfellman

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Oh, well I think you should definitely look into doing MOH for history. You can buy the audio cds and just sit and listen to the lessons. The yahoo group has listening guides, timeline figures, and coloring pages. The older can fill in the listening guide as he listens and the youngers can color the appropriate page while they listen. Then you all can put the lesson on a timeline with a date and a one-sentence summary. I do not believe that the MOH gets into the age of the earth much. It starts with Creation and goes from there. It interweaves the history of the world with history as written in the bible. So one lesson may be about the Children of Isreal and then the next lesson about the Babylonian civilization. It is a time-ordered telling of history and shows (indirectly) how the writing in the Bible lines up with other historical writings ... same names and time periods.

I will try to find and post one of those MCT schedules.

We use MCT + Writing & Rhetoric together because W&R gives the practice and guidance that MCT doesn't. But MCT gives the structure, understanding, and relevance. I would use MCT or Well-Ordered Language, not both. The practice books are all the grammar practice that is needed.

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58 minutes ago, RenaInTexas said:

Oh, well I think you should definitely look into doing MOH for history. You can buy the audio cds and just sit and listen to the lessons. The yahoo group has listening guides, timeline figures, and coloring pages. The older can fill in the listening guide as he listens and the youngers can color the appropriate page while they listen. Then you all can put the lesson on a timeline with a date and a one-sentence summary. I do not believe that the MOH gets into the age of the earth much. It starts with Creation and goes from there. It interweaves the history of the world with history as written in the bible. So one lesson may be about the Children of Isreal and then the next lesson about the Babylonian civilization. It is a time-ordered telling of history and shows (indirectly) how the writing in the Bible lines up with other historical writings ... same names and time periods.

I will try to find and post one of those MCT schedules.

We use MCT + Writing & Rhetoric together because W&R gives the practice and guidance that MCT doesn't. But MCT gives the structure, understanding, and relevance. I would use MCT or Well-Ordered Language, not both. The practice books are all the grammar practice that is needed.

I will definitely look into that MOH. Thanks for the suggestion.

I was wondering if I could put both MCT and W&R together. We already do something similar in Math with BA online and SM. I'm reading over the Town levels now and wondering if we could skip Grammar Town and move just into Paragraph Town. I like that they have the Practice books to diagram and he doesn't have much trouble with them however, we have had NO practice actually making his own expect for the few pages in Sentence Island where they have you make your own based off the supplied words. I'm thinking by adding W&R we could get more of actually writing his own into our curriculum.

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And from my point of view, MOH is good to supplement but I wouldn't want as a stand alone.  Level 1 was ok, but level 2 wasn't as good.  It was heavy on church history and glossed over some world history.  I like it paired with SOTW because they do have some things not included in SOTW (some general history, not church things).  Overall SOTW is more thorough.  I only used audio though, maybe the books have more.

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3 hours ago, parent said:

And from my point of view, MOH is good to supplement but I wouldn't want as a stand alone.  Level 1 was ok, but level 2 wasn't as good.  It was heavy on church history and glossed over some world history.  I like it paired with SOTW because they do have some things not included in SOTW (some general history, not church things).  Overall SOTW is more thorough.  I only used audio though, maybe the books have more.

We have the SOTW books that I used to supplement the year we did CC in 2nd grade. It's not what I'm looking for as a whole curriculum (kinda bores my boys) but since I own them I can add them when needing a supplement. However, trying to keep our on the road times lighter they will likely not make it into the RV. 

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Ive been using this Schedule for the Island Level.  Some of the pages are different in the newer versions but it’s given me a good idea of how to use the program and all its pieces.  I haven’t found anything similar for the Town level but would be interested in seeing it if anyone has one!

http://eclectic-homeschool.com/michael-clay-thompson-language-arts-island-level-schedule/

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IMO, for the ages of your children, MOH is sufficient and the Levels will be appropriate. Remember you will go through history again. The second time through I would not use MOH because I don't consider it high school level. It is written so that younger students are in Level 1 - which is why it is easy - and those same kids are older once they hit Level 4 - so it gets more mature and lengthy. There are details that it glosses over, but I believe that is because it is considering the age of its target audience. The audio has two options in some cases --- one for youngers and one for olders, not sure if the book has this. The deeper details that are missing are not needed at this age, they will get that the 2nd time through history. There is a lot of church history, but I think that is great. My sons enjoyed learning all of that - we all know have a good understanding of why there are so many 'types' of Christians and church denominations. I didn't find nonchurch history lacking - they just didn't get into the weeds of some issues  - which would be a little much for younger kids anyway. But again, I don't view it as high school level, when you teach history over from the beginning, you will choose another resource that was written for high schoolers which MOH was not -- it was written to span a wide age group.  

Edited by RenaInTexas
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On 5/1/2019 at 6:59 PM, mrsfellman said:

We have the SOTW books that I used to supplement the year we did CC in 2nd grade. It's not what I'm looking for as a whole curriculum (kinda bores my boys) but since I own them I can add them when needing a supplement. However, trying to keep our on the road times lighter they will likely not make it into the RV. 

If you find SOTW boring, I wouldn't think you would find MOH exciting.  It's similar format, but stories aren't as fun and are longer.  

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Thanks everyone for all the imput and suggestions! We have decided to continue on with MCT but drop the Poetics part. I am getting the Writing & Rhetoric as an additional for our oldest. We are going with MOH as our core History for the coming year. My oldest has requested to study Geology so I'm now just looking for a Geology course/book/guide.

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