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Any changes for the new year?!


LoveBaby
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We're going to be making a few changes.

 

Scheduling, routine -- all of those need to be implemented (more consistently) in our house. It's kind of like the "lose 10lbs." New Years resolution, though. I think this is just something that I will always struggle with and will always have to work on.

 

I think we're going to go back to MFW 1st for my DS. We've been using R&S, but it is moving waaaaaay to slowly (for both of us) and we're getting bogged down. I'm going to hold onto the phonics portion, so if he needs more review we'll have it, but I think MFW will move more at his pace. Not to mention less busywork, which is *not* what my DS needs! LOL

 

I'm dropping R&S reading for my DD. She's doing so well and I had mainly gotten that to help her hone her reading skills. It's making her day awfully long and makes getting to the fun stuff like history and science kind of difficult. I'm going to keep her working through the phonics, though, as it has really helped solidify what she needs to know for fluency. It's awesome to see her gobbling up books when it used to be a tearful struggle to read.

 

I'm also getting samples from CLE for math. I really like R&S, but they move to texts for 3rd and up and I think the kids will do better working in workbooks. We'll see what I think when I get my hands on it.

 

We're still plugging away at MFW Adventures and it's going really well. The kids really enjoy the hands-on activities and are retaining a lot.

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We're adding in R&S English 5. I was going to do Junior Analytical Grammar, but I was able to borrow R&S from a friend. It saves us money and I do love R&S English.

 

I'm also going to try to institute a daily house cleaning time. I'd like for all 3 of us to work in one room (or a couple of rooms) for 30 minutes a day. I'm interested to see how much we can get done. I can't keep the house clean by myself, so the kids are going to be chipping in. They're old enough. It's time.

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We're going to be making a few changes.

 

Scheduling, routine -- all of those need to be implemented (more consistently) in our house. It's kind of like the "lose 10lbs." New Years resolution, though. I think this is just something that I will always struggle with and will always have to work on.

 

Me too

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We're still looking for our "Fit" with some curriculum so besides the basic trying to do better with scheduling and routine here's my plans.

 

 

1. Drop History Odyssey, It's just not working for us, I've decided to go back to the American History plans I had made up for myself using historical fiction I found at B&N and History Pockets.

 

2. I've dropped the "narration" aspect of NOEO, for many parts and am subbing in lapbooks, coloring pages, and crafts

 

3. I'm setting growing with grammar aside and giving Shurley a try for my oldest. He does ok with GWG but isn't retaining much any more. I think he needs more one on one for Grammar and language arts in general.

 

4. I've also switched my oldest back to Teaching Textbooks for math. He asked to give Saxon 5/4 a try and it's ok, but it's so time consuming for him. TT seems to just sink in better.

 

5. The jury is still out on the Startright math switch I made about a month ago for dd, but so far so good, only time will tell.

 

Boy, now that I look at it, I've almost scrapped the whole kit and kaboodle

 

I'm also starting to work on ideas for next years history and science since they are so hard for me to figure out.

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Schedule change, adding in some good school time for dd3, and searching for our math are our big changes. I am going to give Singapore Math a good go and if we aren't in love by March, I will try MoTL. I want to be in that spot where we don't change math programs ever again.

 

We are starting our Ancient year in Jan, spending a good 6 weeks or so studying Creation/Flood/Tower of Babel.:001_smile: That's not really a change of plans, but it is a change in our routine.

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Schedule change, adding in some good school time for dd3, and searching for our math are our big changes. I am going to give Singapore Math a good go and if we aren't in love by March, I will try MoTL. I want to be in that spot where we don't change math programs ever again.

 

I know what you mean about math. It's been the most frustrating to me. I don't know if it's my own feelings of anxiety of teaching math that makes it so difficult for me, or if it's finding something that works for my kids or a combination of both. Well, that and the lack of routine/consistency can't have helped either. If I'd have known that choosing to homeschool my children was just as much about teaching *me*, I might not have worked so hard to convince my hubby it was a good idea!! :tongue_smilie:

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Well we finished up early. I scrapped Galloping the Globe. I had planned that we would move on to Beyond Little Hearts when ds 5 finished LHFHG but He wasn't real fond of the History part and I wasn't using the science because he needed more, we were doing Finding the Answers our own phonics, he didn't like singapore so we are doing a MUS Alpha and Horizons K combo that seems to be working. So the only thing he liked was the read alouds. So we are finishing up the read alouds from that. We are just finishing up the read alouds from Sonlight core K. We loved those. We didn't do the history and geography part. We will probably go back and do that. I didn't want to do that and LHFHG history. Right now we are doing the BLHFHG schedule that I hand copied out of the book since that was the only part I was interested in trying. We just started Apologia Astronomy and are doing a Magic schoolbus germ kit that ds5 just got for his b-day. We just started FLL and it is wonderful. We just started Handwriting Help for Kids K and really like it. We are slowly going through Alphabet Island 2. He is a little young for it I think so I just ordered Dancing Bears. I got a really good deal on homeschoolclassifieds.com. I think we will still try to get through AI 2 but the Dancing bears will really help me make sure we are covering everything. We just started a new Hebrew book and Sonlight readers 1. I think that is all the new stuff.

 

With my 2 yr old I tried LHTH that I used with my older son, but my younger isn't as verbal at 2 as the older was. I just ordered Learn and Grow for my 2 yr old that I think will go much better. It looks to be more active and has books to read. We shall see.

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We are adding typing and redoing our schedule/routine. I have given notice at both of my paper delivery jobs because the kids we missing too much school time with us trying to get it done while working. I am going to be reopening my dayhome, so I have to work on making scheduling changes so the kids schooling doesn't suffer.

 

Ds 5 is going to be starting K fully, we started in Sept but he simply wasn't ready, he is showing now he is able to do some basic work so he is going be doing K. Babygirl is big enough now for me to actually plan activities for tot school for her, so I will be combining slow and steady, with my past lesson planning I used in daycare to have activities for her.

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Mostly revamping my routine so our days can be a little smoother. Well, we can try. :P

Nothing is going to be perfect with a first grader and two younger siblings.

 

This month we have been doing some Christmas crafty stuff, and doing school "lite". We get the 3R's done each day, then we do projects and read aloud lots and lots. So actually, we are doing and learning just as much, but only math and language arts are scheduled out. But, it's strange, just not having history and specific lit. readings on our list to get done, has been freeing. We actually did read SOTW this week, but it didn't feel like "school" somehow, and ds actually asked to do it. I am trying to figure out what is different; maybe it is Christmas coming, maybe just that I am more relaxed than usual, but whatever it is, this is what I want our school to be like. I have also somehow found more time with my preschooler lately and that is something that had been less than I wanted, in the past few months. For January, I am also finally incorporating picture study. I am also making a field trip list and shooting for 3 per month, and looking into music lessons.

 

And of course, I am already thinking about the next academic year. It never ends!

Edited by Penelope
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Well since we really just started on a more formal basis I feel like I have never stopped tweaking. :) However, I ordered Saxon Phonics K for DD to start in the new year. She really enjoys the math program and other approaches to phonics have not been a big hit in our house. I was really going to make things complicated by buying a big all inclusive curriculum package and then realized we would never get to all of it since I teach during the day. I think for the remainder of the school year we will focus on K math and phonics. I plan to review where we are at in March since I plan to school over the summer as well.

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Only one change. I've had a terrible time with science since, ever. We've never been able to complete a science program. I'm really consistent in other areas: math, LA, history. But, science is a constant thorn in my side.

 

We began the year with K12 Earth Science. I was hopeful. After 2 complete units, I don't believe dss have retained a bit of information and I cringe every time I pull out the TM. It's sooooooooo dull.

 

I shelved it and bought The Rainbow. We've already covered most of the material in the first unit in prior years. We did Exploration Education with some success last year. At this point, we're just reading and doing the experiments. I'm hoping to stay with this program through the entire year.:glare: We've never covered Chemistry. So, that may be a bit interesting.

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School changes for us:

*more consistency with getting work done

*PP lit guides orally with bedtime read alouds instead of during school time

*changing history scheduling to do one SOTW chapter every two days

*going to try Writing Strands 3 with older 2 dc

*starting #3 dc on WWE

*adding in science w/ MWS for youngers, ?? for olders

 

Other stuff:

Getting back to our low-GI, high protein diet, and getting back into a regular exercise routine. My very heavy ds lost about 12 lbs when we were very focused, and I think he has leveled off now, but not at at good BMI yet...time for us to make that priority again.

 

Totally new for me: I am Troop Cookie Manager for my younger dd's GS troop. Luckily there are only 7 girls, and we don't need to do but one or two booths. :tongue_smilie: So, I get eased into this gently, I hope.

Edited by LanaTron
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I'm adding in more language arts here. My 9yo late reader will be starting a grammar program (she is a workbook girl and will do Abeka) and my 11yo son will be doing Writing Tales. He has always written stories and done book reports but needs more structure. I'm looking at something with diagramming for him---he completed Abeka Language C a few years ago and has used Calvert's Spelling/Vocabulary/Grammar CDs for practice since then. I'm considering Growing with Grammar for him.

Amy

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Well, we had already dropped Sonlight Core 3 last fall and added Truthquest. That is going well, but over the Christmas break I'm going to try to make out some sort of schedule for us to keep us moving. Nothing as detailed as the SL schedule, but just a general sketch of which books/activities we're going to squeeze in per topic.

 

Other than that, no major changes. I'm going to be adding in WWE 2 for my 10yo, beefing it up as necessary.

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We just made some huge changes so we are going to continue with those. We added Sonlight 3+4 which we are all really liking.

 

My kids need to get to Type It everyday!

 

My four year old really needs something of her own, so I want to do FIAR, but I think it will pan out to me just reading the books. I own nearly all of them, so I have my "FIAR basket" that she grabs choices from. I did lapbooks with the older boys, but I just don't know how to fit it all in.

 

We are starting Epsilon, Zeta and Pre-Algebra MUS after Christmas too. They finished LOF and I need them to get some more practice before moving on to Algebra.

 

I am also going to be done by lunch everyday!! :lol: Well, I am going to try anyway. We read most of our Sonlight stuff at our evening devotion time, so my goal is to have the three r's and the more mundane reading done by lunch.

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A few changes...

 

1. Switching to CLE 4th grade math from R&S Math 4 for my daughter.

2. Switching back to R&S English 4 instead of ILL.

3. More consistency with my first grader. He reads really well and does great with math so we NEED to hit writing.

4. Simplified my read-alouds. We felt stretched too thinly.

5. Re-focusing on outdoor time. It's been lacking and we all need that hour a day outside.

 

I don't usually change so much but it's been a weird year and I'm still trying to find my groove teaching two kids, all subjects.

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Yeah. I knew that my 5yo would need new math books before the year was up, but I didn't think I'd be using Time4Learning for him. So there's that.

 

Also, I'm taking LivingMath out of the week line up and letting it be more child-directed. To replace that day's content, I'm plugging in worktext-based units on Australia and Antarctica.

 

Hm... I think I just blogged about this.

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A little bit of schedule tweaking, but nothing major. Legos is over (thank goodness!! LOL) so we're moving on to other things, but that was already planned, and it's "Shakespeare season" for our book group, so that's going to be busy for a while. Other than that, my only plan is to get back to the Russian we started and dropped. Everything else is popping along well.

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I posted earlier about my changes and that the jury was still out on Rightstart Math.

 

Well today my dd was poking around in the school room and found the Saxon 1 math we'd been using. She pulled it out and while longingly looking at the worksheets she said "I miss these sheets, they were fun" She didn't know I was listening so I asked her what she was doing, if she was looking for something specific. She then said "Can I do this again, I liked this math" So after a few weeks of Rightstart we've decided to go back. I know it's not a long trial but usually with her we know if it's a fit pretty quick. I should know better by now that if she's happy not to switch. Sometimes the Saxon wasn't enough and she'd want more to do, and the flashcards were a nightmare. I think we'll just try to do some Rightstart games instead of the flashcards and I've also bought some CLE Lightunits (I know we're secular and they're not, but it's math, how much religion could really be in it) for when she wants and extra math sheet to do, or for when we finish Saxon 1. We actually started it in the end of her K year so I have about 6 weeks of time to fill that Saxon won't cover, and that's with us only doing a Saxon lesson 4 days a week.

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Any changes for the new year?!

 

Yes, and they are quite "major". . .

 

It's mostly my mindset. We've been doing essentially K'er work, and I'm feeling now's the time to move on to "1st grade" work. Which is a big change for me, and what I feel we need to be covering. So. . .I'm essentially overhauling everything.

 

It drives my husband mad. :001_huh: Sometimes the man just doesn't "get" me.

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Adding:

 

A reason for Spelling

 

Maybe FIAR Volume 3 or 4 - I'm checking them out from the library to see if it's a good fit for us.

 

Deleting:

Truthquest AHYS - great program, but I need just a little more than a booklist, like discussion topics, conversation starter ideas, that kind of thing

 

 

Keeping:

Time4Learning - with our very demanding 8 month old, it's good to have a

phonics program that doesn't require as much of my time, yet I can oversee

 

MUS - working well, although I'm sure we'll have to refresh our memories a bit

 

HWT - Getting some beautiful writing compared to before we started with it.

 

It's nice to see what others are doing.

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After reading TWTM for the 3rd time and lurking on the board I was ready to do a major overhaul for writing and grammar for ds1 - 11yo. But I had an "aha" moment last nite (after reading posts here again). I'm always looking for the "perfect" curriculum, which unfortunately means for subjects and other than math, I don't think I' ve ever stuck with curriculum/program for a complete year with my oldest. I've either dropped the whole subject or changed midcourse, and that hasn't worked well for me or ds1.

 

Now that I feel I understand the philosophy and goals of classical education, I feel confident that I can reach my goals with what I have, and make any changes next year. So:

 

1. We're going to continue to use Writing Strands but use it consistently, 2-3x/week (have only done it every other week or so, not consistently)

 

2. For grammar we're going to use the exercises in LLATL which will also cover copywork and dictation 2x/week (grammar has been hit or miss)

 

3. Adding Spelling Workout and FLL for ds2 - 2nd grade

 

4. Doing history 2x/week and science 2x/week (couldn't find a good schedule until now, one boy love history, the other science)

 

5. Adding some FIAR reading with my 4yos.

 

 

We're going to keep following SOTW3 with additional books for history.

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I'm switching my youngest (almost 7yo 1st grader) from Explode the Code to Modern Curriculum Press phonics workbooks because she loves color (the black and white pages of ETC just weren't doing it for her!). We're starting with the K book, just for review purposes, and then moving on to book A.

 

Nothing is changing for my boys.

 

My oldest dd (17yo 12th grader) starts her next semester at the community college in two weeks and she now has a driver's license!!! :w00t: So the big thing for me is that I won't be leaving the house two days a week to drive her to school and pick her up!!! So that will allow my schedule to relax and I can spend more time homeschooling my younger three!

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I'm not doing a huge switch, rather I'm going back to the basics of wtm. I took a break from more formal studies in November, doing a unit study on quilts. It ended up with a great finished product from my girls-they each made a dolly quilt-but not as much academically.

So, now I've been planning over Christmas and checking to see where we are and what we need to do to finish what we have.

I've been tempted to switch from Singapore to another math program but I'm resisting at the moment. My dd's are doing well with Singapore, I'm just bored and want to switch. Not a great reason to switch.:glare:

I'm keeping going with grammar,latin, sotw, and science. I'm introducing a writing class for dd1 two days a week to cover things like paragraph writing that WWE doesn't cover. I'm basically ramping things up so that I keep challenging dd1 and don't let her have it too easy.

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Our main area of change is math.

 

After discussing it here with some of you lovely people, we decided to dig in with MUS for my oldest. I read aloud some of your responses to my questions and DD began to realize it's okay to spend lots of time catching up. We did an entire lesson of MUS yesterday and she felt she got the concept. It was a simple lesson so I was okay with her finishing it all in one day too. She did say she feels the need to do all the worksheets because they help her retain the material. I'm okay with that too because she can obviously get it done. We also switched to doing the MUS online drill rather than Quarter Mile Math and she likes that too. It really looks like we can catch her up to grade level with no problems as long as I'm watching her closely.

 

Now for DD #2... Honestly I'm still not sure what we're doing with her other than switching from Singapore to something else as soon as were done with the current workbooks we have. I'd switch right now to Rod & Staff but DH hates it that I've changed curriculum so many times. He hates my buying new curriculum in general so the thought of me not finishing it is unbearable to him. :tongue_smilie: After discussing my girls' math problems here I talked it over with DD#2 and it turns out she really doesn't like Singapore. She says Math Mammoth explains concepts better for her. Either way we're going to do both Singapore and Math Mammoth every day instead of alternating every other day. We're also dropping Math Windows for now and using some triangle flash cards for her to say her facts orally. I'm hoping it'll help that the answers are right there and she doesn't have to count or guess. I'm also waiting on an addition fact trick book called Two Plus Two Is Not Five so we'll see if that helps her. She did very well with our review of Times Tales and she almost seems to know her multiplication facts better than her older sister after using it so we ordered the Two Plus Two book since the Times Tales people recommend it for learning addition facts.

 

DS will continue preschool until we move...

 

And that brings us to the other big change for us this year: We're going to have to move in with my mom.:crying: I love living here in NV. I don't want to move back to CA but I don't think we have any choice. We're just not making it here.

 

The good thing is the fact that we have that option at all. We're thinking about sending our oldest to a CS there. It's a charter school so we'll only have to pay for her books and I'll be relieved of having to deal with my hormonal teenager while trying to school my special needs learners and the baby. I hate to do that but I think it'll be best for us all. Her cousins have gone to that school for years so from what we understand it's a good school. I may have to tutor her after school to help her with math but I'm very willing to do that.

 

If that's the case, I'm going to dig in and have fun with DD#2. She and I work very well together so finishing out the year with her will be lots of fun. We're working on MFW ECC. We're also testing out the Prairie Primer so we can write a review on it.

 

DS and I will probably pick up B4FIAR since it's very similar to what he does in his special ed preschool CUBS program so I'm glad I already have that book. We'll continue with 100EL since he's learning to read so well.

 

Julie

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We are making changes in the area of language arts here.

 

Deletions:

Queen's Language Lessons (good for a season, but too light for us)

 

Additions:

GWG & IEW for 11yo

FLL & WWE for 8yo

 

Continuations:

Copywork

Dictation

Narration

 

Also, I've been laxodasical about bed times and television and I pan on being more consistent in these areas. I can no longer use the excuse of "the baby" when he's nearly two! :tongue_smilie:

Edited by angela&4boys
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I need a writing program/schedule/SOMETHING!!! Any ideas?:blink:

 

We're doing more A Beka K5 with youngest dd (bought the rest of it used two weeks ago)

 

Otherwise, everything's going well!!! That's unusual for us!:001_smile:

 

It's a week later and MORE is changing!!!!:lol:

 

I borrowed my Darling, loving, wonderful friend's Sonlight Core 2 and I think we're going to read more of those books. I really love Ambleside, and I am more and more CM the longer we homeschool, but I can tell dd is getting bored. We're like that. We need history to move faster LOL! Last year we did Veritas in the fall and I was posting here because I was looking for something, ANYTHING that wasn't ancient Egypt. So, here's what the 2nd semester is looking like for us:

 

DD9:

Pick up

History - Sonlight Core 2

Writing - Writing Strands

 

Stay with:

Horizons Math 2

Botany

A Beka Language 3

Artistic Pursuits

Spelling Power

Ambleside LA readings

HWT

 

Set Aside for another time:

PLL

Ambleside History Readings

 

And I'm going to give my dd the Science readings. She'd rather read those on her own time anyway. I have been having a hard time keeping them out of her room:blush:

 

DD6:

 

Pick up

A Beka Math

Sonlight Readers

 

Stay With:

A Beka Phonics

FIAR

HWT

 

 

So, that's the plan!

 

 

For today:D

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True confessions. We are acutally going to be doing Latin regularly instead of hit-or-miss. I am going to sit down with both the middles and littles 2x's a week and DO IT. We are also going to be incorporating Living Memory. I was going through the sections today and deciding what we are adding for spring term. I am jazzed!

We are adding a Shakespeare unit beg in Feb and will finish the semester with a Shakespeare play.

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I really want to figure out how to get Bible, history, science, art, etc. done with all 4 kids and still have DD8 having enough time to get all her stuff done, as well as helping DS6 get reading, math and handwriting done. I've always been able to do one or two of these, but never three for very long. It seems like at least 2-3 times a year I'll make a new schedule, try to start new habits, etc. and am lucky if one or two of them stick. But I guess that's better than none, right?

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I'm also going to try to institute a daily house cleaning time. I'd like for all 3 of us to work in one room (or a couple of rooms) for 30 minutes a day. I'm interested to see how much we can get done. I can't keep the house clean by myself, so the kids are going to be chipping in. They're old enough. It's time.

 

Sounds very reasonable.

 

I am adding R.E.A.L. science bio. We started tonight and kiddo was enthusiastic about graphing his heartrate during various activities, etc. It was time to get a little more focused, rather than just meandering through the animal and plant kingdoms, fun though that was.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

  • added in some geography drill twice a week to replace two days of math drill
  • increased Violet's grammar lessons from 2 to 3 days a week
  • started learning some more sign language now that our library finally has the Signing Time videos
  • written down my art and music ideas on the girls' assignment sheets so they can keep me accountable

 

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