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    Help me decide when to start

    Hi all! After much deliberation and back and forth I am convinced the MP is the plan for us next year.

    I currently have an 8 year old in 2nd grade and 5 year old twin kindergartens. They are all doing a mixture of different things. l never really made a plan for this year because I never settled on what to teach and how to do it which has lead to floundering and feeling like we are wasting time. My 8 year old has typically been ready to move up to the next level of difficulty in school around the new year (his birthday is in December). So here are two options that come to mind for him:
    1) Continue with what we are doing until he finishes up his current math curriculum (he is in Singapore 2b which he has never enjoyed so we will be switching) and then go ahead and start 3M core fully. He is currently doing Prima Latina which we will not finish by that time but from what I hear Latina Christina reviews it all.
    2) Finish off our 2nd grade year as best we can with what we have and start 3M core in the fall.

    My twins are a separate thing to work out. I would really love to be able to school them together but it is not looking like that will work out at all. They are boy/ girl and they work on two different levels. If I continue schooling my girl with what I have this year she should be ready forHi all! After much deliberation and back and forth I am convinced the MP is the plan for us next year. I am super excited and cannot wait to get started but I want to use some wisdom and not rush headlong as I am want to do.

    I currently have an 8 year old in 2nd grade and 5 year old twin kindergartens. They are all doing a mixture of different things. l never really made a plan for this year because I never settled on what to teach and how to do it which has lead to floundering and feeling like we are wasting time.

    My 8 year old has typically been ready to move up to the next level of difficulty in school around the new year (his birthday is in December). So here are two options that come to mind for him:

    1​​​) Continue with what we are doing until he finishes up his current math curriculum (he is in Singapore 2b which he has never enjoyed so we will be switching) and then go ahead and start 3M core fully. He is currently doing Prima Latina which we will not finish by that time but from what I hear Latina Christina reviews it all.
    2) Finish off our 2nd grade year as best we can with what we have and start 3M core in the fall.


    My twins are a separate thing to work out. I would really love to be able to school them together but it is not looking like that will work out at all. They are boy/ girl and they work on two different levels. If I continue schooling my girl with what I have this year she should be ready for first grade in the fall. My boy twin is not as eager for schooling and since they turned 5 in June I am not pushing him so he would need kindergarten in the fall. So my options are:

    1) Continue with what I have then start kindergarten and first grade cores in the fall. This intimidates me because it will have our first full MP year with 3 separate cores. I know it's doable, just might be jumping in the deep end.
    2)Go ahead and start the kindergarten core with them both this year. I'm sure my girl will work ahead of her brother but we work at whatever rate they can/ will and we start learning the MP way.

    I am sure there are more options that I can not see because I am too close to it all which is why I am here.
    N - 3rd grade at HLN
    G - 1st grade at home
    A - 1st grade at home

    #2
    I would start 3m now with the oldest. This will get them started, increase their independence, and work the kinks out before you start the others in the fall.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #3
      My comment is regarding the twins: in order to simplify things, I would start them both in the Kindergarten Core, and I would call and talk to MP about when to start (because I would definitely stagger start your 3M and your Ks by a couple of months at least). First grade reviews a lot of K (from what I understand), and it really is nice to start the Classical Phonics from the very beginning. In the manual, it gives you options for more advanced/older Kindergarteners (like teaching ahead with some vowel teams and such), so you could do the basics with your son and do the extras with your daughter. Or, if she really is quite solid with phonics already, you could do K Core but sub up to 1st Phonics, Spelling, and Reading--that way your read alouds, enrichment, and math would be the same. Or, you could do 1st grade math for both (because at the age of 6 you could just start with Rod & Staff 1 and skip the K math), have them in the same read alouds and enrichments, whichever core seems best to you, and have them at different levels of phonics, spelling, and reading. Whichever you do, keep in mind that Memoria Press has the 3M OR 3A options--you could keep your twins mostly together until 3rd, but if she really needs to pull ahead, 3rd is a great year since they already have it planned for you at an accelerated pace. And I would think by then you would have a good idea of whether she is truly ahead of him or if he just needs a little more time to be ready. I have son in the full K core this year, and I love it. He turns 6 this week. I started slowly in the fall, taking two weeks to do a week just to get used to it, but in recent weeks we have sped up and are doing 1.5-2 weeks of lessons per week because he really started to "get it" later in the fall. One thing you might want to start as soon as possible is the Kindergarten recitation. I know that reciting almost daily has helped my son tremendously for his learning style. With my daughter, reading "clicked" and she was off and running early in Kindergarten. But my son needs patience and lots of repetition. If they had been twins, I would have been in the same boat as you.
      Michaela
      Daughter: Age 11 MP 6A (MPOA for TFL, 6th grade math, and composition)
      Son: Age 6 1st Grade MP Traditional Spelling, Literature, Math, and Handwriting
      for 2019/2020 school year

      Comment


        #4
        I'll be the voice of dissent. I would grab 1 or 2 MP2 lit guides and the novels and start working through those with your 8 year old now. I would also grab their Rod & Staff Arithmetic 2 and make sure your son has the foundation he needs in the addition/subtraction facts that are hammered down in the 2nd grade. Chances are if he did Singapore math, he might need more drilling to get those add/subtraction facts pouring out like liquid. Once you get the feel for the lit guides and how they teach it, I'd give yourself a nice break for the summer. Rest, read as a family, visit museums, botanical gardens, zoos, travel, whatever. Get in all your MP3 materials, read over the CM (curriculum manual), and get the lay of the land. Drill math facts for 10 min/day over the summer, and start mid-August, after all your family's summer wanderlust is spent. You can even get an early jump on Recitation.

        Since your twins turned 5 in the summer, so long as they don't have developmental delays or special needs/prematurity issues to content with, you could totally start both now in MPK. As mentioned above, it's easy to go above and beyond with a more advanced reader by going on to more complex vowel teams and giving those readers to her. Call and talk to the MP staff, but I would bet they'd encourage you to keep them in the same core for your own sanity. Storytime Treasures lends itself to having a more advanced child write more and read aloud to you more...or answer questions orally...or answer fewer questions and do paired reading. Make sure to read aloud to both of them often no matter what.

        We're over halfway through MP2 right now. We went through a sped-up MP1 over the summer in preparation for doing MP2. I'm so glad we did! We really needed that intro to the procedures, and I totally needed the summer to read through all the books/guides/notes in the front and prep materials (R&S math has some manipulatives that are helpful). I think trying to start MP3 in less than 4 weeks would set you up for dizzying frustration.

        If I had to choose only 2 MP2 lit guides, I might start with American Tall Tales and Prairie School (boys might like these better). My daughter really likes Sarah of Noble Courage because it's scary at times (threats of violence, etc), but the main character is an 8yo girl. I would bet doing Little House in the Big Woods and the Beatrix Potter ones would also be good, but ATT and PS would be nice and easy to read with good plots and a familiarity w/ the lit guides.
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 8-3A
        DS 5-SC C

        Comment


          #5
          I think what Enbateau has outlined for you is a really solid plan, and that is what I would suggest as well. Just to clarify - your child whose birthday is in December just turned 8, correct? In which case I would again support you waiting on starting 3M until the fall, and getting some experience with MP through the literature guides for now. He will be an older 8 year old, which will be a huge asset going forward with school, rather than starting now and always being on the young side, especially for a boy.

          AMDG,
          Sarah
          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you all for the amazing advice! So much wisdom you all shared I will take some time to pray and mull it all over to hopefully come to the best decision.

            To answer a few questions :
            Yes, my 8 year old just had his birthday in December. I'm positive his math facts need improvement, math is his least favorite subject. He is good at it but it takes more work for him than most other things which causes him to bebe easily frustrated so I have slacked on that front.
            My twins do not have any diagnosed developmental delays although I suspect my boy might have mild dislexia. In the last couple of.weeks he seems to be making some progress so maybe it's just the developmental differences in boys and girls.
            N - 3rd grade at HLN
            G - 1st grade at home
            A - 1st grade at home

            Comment


              #7
              I'm in the same boat as you! My eldest, a girl, just turned 8 in December, and my next is a girl who turned 5 in August, and we are switching over to MP. I don't have twins but I've got a tag along almost three year old.

              I've purchased Prima Latin, the copywork book, R&S2, one of the Lit. Guides, the spelling, Patterns of Nature, and I made up comprehension questions to accompany "Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans" that we are going to do before we start the Lit. Guide. I have not required much handwriting outside of handwriting, so writing in all subjects is a new thing and one we are working up to so that she is ready to start level 3 in the fall, the whole core! I'm really glad I am giving her a real second grade, even if we aren't doing any of the enrichment stuff, to get her (and me!) set up for third grade. Depending on how things go, I may do the accelerated track with her in the fall; still deciding.

              For my 5 year old, we are going to do MP Jr. K but all of it in this semester, and I've moved her to the MP Kindergarten math books already. She is really, really bright academically but still very much five developmentally--plus, she doesn't know her letters yet so the Jr K letter books are perfect for her. I will strongly consider moving her to the "accelerated" track once she reaches third grade.

              I totally understand the frustration about feeling like you've wasted time waffling. We could be so much farther ahead in math if I'd done this sooner! (we were halfway through Saxon 2 but I'm super glad we started at almost the beginning of R&S2; she's already improved with her math facts). But I like to think that the past 2 1/2 years of homeschooling have been research for me to discover what works for them, what works for me, and really determine what my goals are for them and how those are best accomplished. I've bought so much different curriculum this year already it's insane, but I really believe that for us, MP is "the one."
              Last edited by Fireweed Prep; 01-07-2019, 09:03 PM. Reason: apparently I can't remember the months my children were born in!
              DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
              DD2: MP Kindergarten
              DS 1: MP Preschool package
              Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

              Comment


                #8
                Fireweed Prep, we are in the same boat. I also have hundreds of dollars worth of not-MP curriculum I bought and never used. I keep it hidden in the guestroom closet, knowing it no longer works with my philosophy of a mastery-based education. It reminds me of The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In her book, she says that getting rid of stuff we bought but never used is difficult because it forces us to confront our decision-making skills.

                I know that I had never even heard of MP until I went searching for a special needs curriculum. I just need to cut my losses because I am so thoroughly convinced of MP's beauty and completeness. None of that spiraling stuff ever amounted to any retention, which is the biggest sadness of all. Pride that my 2nd grader would be studying such "scholarly" material drove so many of those purchases, and she couldn't explain a tenth of what she learned today.
                Mama to 2, Married 17 years

                SY 19/20
                DD 8-3A
                DS 5-SC C

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                  Fireweed Prep, we are in the same boat. I also have hundreds of dollars worth of not-MP curriculum I bought and never used. I keep it hidden in the guestroom closet, knowing it no longer works with my philosophy of a mastery-based education. It reminds me of The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. In her book, she says that getting rid of stuff we bought but never used is difficult because it forces us to confront our decision-making skills.

                  I know that I had never even heard of MP until I went searching for a special needs curriculum. I just need to cut my losses because I am so thoroughly convinced of MP's beauty and completeness. None of that spiraling stuff ever amounted to any retention, which is the biggest sadness of all. Pride that my 2nd grader would be studying such "scholarly" material drove so many of those purchases, and she couldn't explain a tenth of what she learned today.
                  I was sold hook line and sinker on spiral methodology in everything, till we tried to do it and all it produced was tears! I'm lucky that we have a second hand homeschool book shop in the nearby small city, so I have carted over five laundry baskets worth of stuff. Some of it will sell, which is some consolation for my ego and pocketbook.

                  I'm glad that I will have the Jr. K syllabus to work from; I'm cobbling together the second grader's work which really is the best option at this point, but it makes me even more eager for the whole shebang in third grade!
                  DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                  DD2: MP Kindergarten
                  DS 1: MP Preschool package
                  Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Fireweed -
                    Yay for someone else in the same boat! Solidarity (If I knew how to I would totally post the Hunger Games gif)

                    I love how you view all your previous curriculum as research, that is totally what I feel like happened with me. I think I encountered MP at the beginning of my homeschool journey but wrote it off as boring and I didn't want my kids learning from workbooks (insert eyeroll at my previous self). Thankfully God has opened my eyes to the beauty of a classical education.

                    I'd love to hear how you schedule your days. I can't seem to find a good groove for us to have productive school days and still get other things accomplished.


                    Enbateau -
                    It is hard to let go of something that seemed so great when you purchase it and then it doesn't work out. I kept all the curriculum I used for my 8 year old in kindergarten and first grade with the intention of reusing it with the twins, and none of it suits them. I am really praying that MP ends up working for us like I envision it.
                    N - 3rd grade at HLN
                    G - 1st grade at home
                    A - 1st grade at home

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Themrshunt--I totally was poring over the Memoria Press stuff, too, when deciding about Kindergarten, but was convinced not to by my parents--my mom thought it looked terribly boring and my dad was deeply concerned (as a historian) that American history wasn't presented until almost high school. I had those same concerns too, so off I went on my multiple wild goose chases of curriculum! Having read and prayed and received so much help via the forum, I now know that it isn't boring--or at least, it's not designed to be, and anyway, school isn't meant to be as fun as jumping on the trampoline or playing Herd Your Horses for the kids. And I do like the optional American history packs they have now--we will definitely be getting those.

                      So in regards to running our days,l I've recently become a huge fan of our time timer. The girls also have one of those "wake up bunny" alarm clocks and we have it set to be a true alarm clock--it wakes them up at 7 am every day, and then they have free time till 7:15, at which point I am done exercising and we all (supposedly) go get dressed, make beds, brush teeth and hair, I help the toddler, etc. The reality is that we have a lot of work to do on this particular new habit. They somehow think that if I'm in the shower they can ignore instructions. However, I'm absolutely convinced that this training is going to be 100% worth it, since it allows us to meet in the kitchen at roughly 7:30 ish (ok big ish) to get breakfast on the table, unload the dishwasher, etc. All of which leads us to start school at 8:30 which is absolutely LIFECHANGING.

                      I feel like an crazy tyrant, with my time timer and adamant start time, but man, I'm a happier tyrant! And our school time is so much more relaxed since we have so much more time to complete it in!
                      In brief, we do Bible together at this point (Egermeier, New Testament, oral comprehension questions), then I set the 2nd grader up with her independent work (copywork, spelling assignment if it's not a test, part of her math work) while I work with the Jr. K. We don't have that setup from MP yet (come on USPS!) so I'm not sure how to make this work when she has more work, but right now her "school" takes roughly 30-45 minutes including practicing violin.
                      Then I give them a ten minute recess while I work on laundry, then the Jr. K and toddler are free to do whatever doesn't destroy the house beyond repair while I do the teaching part of second grade--the math lesson, spelling work, go over some grammar from copywork, Latin, etc.
                      Then we have lunch, then I do history (Monday through Thursday) or Science (Friday, they all join in) with the second grader, then we have a rest time, then we have the rest of our day.

                      Granted, I'm on day 2 of this and we managed to eat leftovers both days, so we will see what changes, but it seems to be within the realm of workable. We have park dates or extracurriculars almost every afternoon and I have chronic health issues that mandate an insane amount of allergen free from scratch cooking, so I like when we are done with everything by 1 pm.
                      DD1: Third grade: reading, spelling, piano, and art along with MP Mammals, Lit Guides, LC yr 1, and R&S 3 so we are ready for 4NU next year
                      DD2: MP Kindergarten
                      DS 1: MP Preschool package
                      Me: Autoimmune Protocol athlete who loves chai tea with coconut milk, a good book, and the mountains

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You have received such great advice already. My suggestion would be to keep those K twins together for instruction. This will make it easier on you as the teacher and will be nicer for the activities. In a classroom full of students there are a variety of levels. For reading this is beneficial for both the advanced and slower students because training in skill and character is gained by both. The fast reader learns to slow down when reading aloud, not leave out articles or drop/change word endings and to read with expression. They also learn to listen patiently and attentively to a slower reader. The slower reader benefits from hearing the pacing and decoding of the advanced reader, and to track. Visual memory is developed as well as confidence.

                        There are other ways to continue advancement of this daughter. Be sure she participates in the First Start Reading lesson, but rather than her re-reading for the second or third time, if proper decoding, fluency, speed and expression are all displayed in the first "group" reading, allow her to read ahead in the American Language Series, or Primary Phonics Reading books. Try to avoid moving her on with literature from 1st or 2nd and those will be thoroughly studied. There are so many beginning readers to choose from, leveled, indexed titles of several are included in the appendix of the 100 Days of Summer Reading which is included in the Core Curriculum package. Another way to allow her to practice is by asking her to read the directions on workbook pages or to read a page of the Read Aloud for the week (if appropriate). The main goal is for her to read aloud on her level but to study phonics with her brother. By 3rd/4th grade it is likely his reading level will catch up.

                        Preparation for the 3rd grader will be key. Beginning now with a few literature guides will certainly prepare you for the format of several 3rd grade subjects. I suggest mastery of the addition and subtraction facts through 18 as well. This can be accomplished with flash cards and speed drills. The 2nd grade speed drill books are very cost effective and any flashcard set will work.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I just wanted to chime in about boy/girl twins (mine are 6 and they have an 8 year-old sister as well)! I was also convinced that I would be teaching 3 separate grades forever, and when we started K my daughter was light-years ahead of her brother. The twins only did the Enrichment together; everything else was separate. I used parts of SC-1 for my son (the Special Needs curriculum level that is similar to K). I didn't doubt his intelligence, but he needed less writing and the suggestions for hands-on activities for him really helped. Throughout the year, my son slowly but surely made improvements...both in skills and maturity/ability to focus for longer. This fall we started 1st grade and they are doing almost all of it TOGETHER! My daughter is still ahead in math, but my little man wants to catch her

                          I know all kids are different and I don't want to promise this will also happen for you, but I wanted to give you hope that you may someday be able to have them working together! Having two 1st graders and one in 3M is a challenge, but we are having a really wonderful year.

                          And Firewood Prep - I adore our Bunny Awake and Time Timers! They have been absolutely key to our sanity!
                          "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - W.B. Yeats

                          Educating with MP from Day One!
                          Currently using 2nd, K, and SC1

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by marge View Post
                            I just wanted to chime in about boy/girl twins (mine are 6 and they have an 8 year-old sister as well)! I was also convinced that I would be teaching 3 separate grades forever, and when we started K my daughter was light-years ahead of her brother. The twins only did the Enrichment together; everything else was separate. I used parts of SC-1 for my son (the Special Needs curriculum level that is similar to K). I didn't doubt his intelligence, but he needed less writing and the suggestions for hands-on activities for him really helped. Throughout the year, my son slowly but surely made improvements...both in skills and maturity/ability to focus for longer. This fall we started 1st grade and they are doing almost all of it TOGETHER! My daughter is still ahead in math, but my little man wants to catch her

                            I know all kids are different and I don't want to promise this will also happen for you, but I wanted to give you hope that you may someday be able to have them working together! Having two 1st graders and one in 3M is a challenge, but we are having a really wonderful year.

                            And Firewood Prep - I adore our Bunny Awake and Time Timers! They have been absolutely key to our sanity!
                            That's great to hear! Thank you for sharing. I thought MIchelle T's point about the different levels students would be in a school setting was a good one.

                            I wanted to update you all - I ordered 3M and K cores along with all the readers and a 2nd grade literature unit. I plan to start the twins together in the K core while focusing with my 2nd grader on math facts, getting farther along in Prima Latina and working through the literature unit to get us more prepared for 3M. It was a weight lifted off me to get a plan in place and have some direction for a while. I can't wait for box day, I'm sure it will be amazing and overwhelming.
                            N - 3rd grade at HLN
                            G - 1st grade at home
                            A - 1st grade at home

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