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    Encouragement to step back a core

    Hello all! I poked around here a bit last Spring, but just wasn't quite ready to make the jump to MP (though I TRULY wish I had then!)

    Very hopeful to get started with my boys soon. I just thought I would hop on here and ask for encouragement from those of you who were on the fence about starting their children one core back - "to their weakest R," as seems a custom to say on here! They are both bright boys, and one's weak R is math, and the other's weak R is reading. Also, anyone who started a new core mid-year? I am truly considering starting my current third-grader on core 3M (with some modifications for Science and Compostion), and my current First Grader in First, and then just working through the spiring and summer with breaks, probably getting done with those cores next winter sometime.They are used to schooling "light" through the summer, so they don't know anything different, Haha! Although, we had basically been doing relaxed, eclectic CM-type studies thus far... another reason why I want to ease them into the workload of the day with a slightly easier core. All ye who have stepped back a year and/or jumped on mid-year: chime in here! Thanks y'all.
    Blessings,
    ~Sarah Marie

    ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
    ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
    ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

    #2
    While I haven't done what you are asking, so many here have and will cheer you on. I just wanted to chime in with an encouragement that now is always the right time to place children correctly. John Mays of Novare Science and Math says that, "Incorrect placement is an injustice to the child and precludes mastery." I love that quote because it shows how important our job is to look, study, ask, and place wisely so that our children can experience success. So you can start them wherever they need to go and start whenever you want! There are no rules.

    We started MP with 3rd and 1st seven years ago and it has been a great ride from there!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
    D · 8th
    D · 5th
    S · 2nd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome back, Sarah! I agree with Jessica - no time like the present! Plus, if it is still feeling like winter doldrums (as it is here!) what a great way to have something fresh and new to do! These are great grade levels to start with, and such an appropriate amount of work that you should find it is a gentle and orderly way to begin.

      Keep us posted on how it goes!
      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


        #4
        Hi Sarah Marie,

        Could you please clarify which child is more challenged by reading or math? Does your first grader have a very solid phonics foundation?

        I have tried to move quicker than MP’s pacing or assumed my child had mastered something when they truly haven’t. It never works out well and I end up taking longer to fix something.
        Heidi

        2018-19
        dd- 3m
        ds- SC 1
        dd- SC B

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by theolivecreative View Post

          I am truly considering starting my current third-grader on core 3M

          we had basically been doing relaxed, eclectic CM-type studies thus far... another reason why I want to ease them into the workload of the day with a slightly easier core.

          Hi there. If you had been pursuing an eclectic CM type school day, you aren't going to find either core "too easy" for your children. You will be moving from your homeschool emphasizing "exposure" to a homeschool which emphasizes "mastery". The 3M core especially will absolutely not be too easy for an 8 year old. Mastery is the goal. Even if you took just one subject, say Christian studies, and you ask your 8 yr old to begin to master 25 scripture passages, instantly recall the Facts to Know names and and places of the bible, and can describe in detail the deeper meaning of each bible story in Genesis, you will be shocked to see how hard your child needs to work "just" to do that in only one subject. I'll be he can "sort of" retell some of the bible stories in Genesis, but does he understand God's Providence in each of them?

          Take heart! You are not "stepping back" in the cores.... you are just *getting started* with classical education. Age is less important than learning how to master, and further, gaining the solid building blocks of a classical education.




          Jen


          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

          DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

          DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

          DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

          All homeschooled.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi and welcome! I started my accumulation of MP stuff for my eldest last spring when I came here for a good preschool curriculum for my youngest. I had purchased EVERYTHING for my rising 2nd grader already, yet I was so smitten with the rationale behind MP's curriculum that I added every single piece of MP2 by summer. And as I read through it, I realized how behind my daughter was in mastery of math, so I went back and ordered R&S Arithmetic 1 workbooks to have my daughter plow through over the summer. She used to have so much anxiety about timed tests, and much of it stemmed from her lack of mastery. I let her set the pace with a fact family, starting at the 2's, and doing the workbook pages (and some flashcards) until she felt it was easy to mix the new facts with the old and still answer quickly. We did a 20-30 minute day of school each morning before heading to the pool or beach. Part of that time included going through MP1's literature and read-alouds so that we could make some good connections to previous themes & character. In hindsight, I don't think that is as important now since I'm the one doing most of the connections to the books we read over the summer. Making a change of philosophy is hard. Sometimes I think the condemnation we feel about having to get rid of curriculum we spent so much time and money justifying to the breadwinner of the house is the worst part of switching.

            With that said, you're going to love MP3, and so will your eldest. It is not an easy curriculum, either. My eldest turned 8 over the holidays and will start 3rd grade this fall like she would if she were in public school. That is perfectly age appropriate, and she is developmentally ready and better prepared for the maturity of the topics, too. I have gone through most of the teacher guides now, printing out all of the tests, quizzes, and final exams. It is a lot of material, but it is incremental, well-designed, mastery-based, and so engaging. My daughter is begging to start this summer, but mama needs a break. We also came from a CM approach (although mixed with eclectic the first year). It wasn't frenetic or overwhelming moving into MP, either. It was a breath of fresh air. With CM, I never knew when enough was enough. The goals were so broad, and there was no reference point for developmentally appropriate responses and workload. Having been a licensed public high school teacher, I still felt ill equipped to guide children in the younger grades. MP's curriculum guides and teacher's manuals were exactly what I needed. My children are thriving on concrete goals and expectations. They also enjoy that read alouds are scheduled well into the the upper grades, so it has a very CM feel (with everyone gathered to the couch or mom's lap or the kitchen table). My father read to my siblings and I until college, both scripture and amazing books. MP brings back all of those good memories.

            If your child is lacking near-instant recall of addition and subtraction math facts, I would start with R&S Arithmetic 2, not 3. Eight is so young, and MP3 is pretty advanced for "third grade" compared to many curricula, that you still have time. You could do a modified MP2 of a few literature guides, the Enrichment and Math 2 to round out these next 6 months and start MP3 in the fall. That would feel like a nice way to ease into MP3. Or, you could just do MP3 and sub in just the R&S Arithmetic 2 workbooks and move through those as fast as possible, getting to Arithmetic 3 as ready. It is so, so, so important to have those math facts down as students move into long division and fractions down the road.
            Mama to 2, Married 17 years

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

            Comment


              #7
              I have just done both of the things you were asking . We jumped in mid-year and I started my daughter (currently grade 6) on the grade 6 core for next year and my youngest son (currently grade 1) on the grade 1 core for next year. I also have a son in grade 4, who I will have on level in the grade 4 core. (So we are only technically a half a year behind) I decided to do this because, although my daughter is a very sophisticated and advanced reader, she has some holes in grammar and writing. My first grader has some holes in writing that I would like to address before moving on. He has also not had much in the way of formal instruction in the social sciences and history, so this structure is all new to him. I see nothing wrong with stepping back a level because it will just add strength to the foundation.

              We are also coming at this curriculum from a more relaxed style, so I appreciate your point about easing into it slowly. This last week was our first week and I have to tell you that my kids were exhausted at the end of each day! Personally, I LOVED the structure and clarity of the grade-level manuals and it really kept me on track. It was a lot of work for the kids, but each day, as they became accustomed to the style, became easier and more pleasant.

              -Christina
              - Christina :)

              DD (11) - Grade 6 Core
              DS (9) - Grade 4 Core
              DS (7) - Grade 1 Core

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by theolivecreative View Post
                Hello all! I poked around here a bit last Spring, but just wasn't quite ready to make the jump to MP (though I TRULY wish I had then!)

                Very hopeful to get started with my boys soon. I just thought I would hop on here and ask for encouragement from those of you who were on the fence about starting their children one core back - "to their weakest R," as seems a custom to say on here! They are both bright boys, and one's weak R is math, and the other's weak R is reading. Also, anyone who started a new core mid-year? I am truly considering starting my current third-grader on core 3M (with some modifications for Science and Compostion), and my current First Grader in First, and then just working through the spiring and summer with breaks, probably getting done with those cores next winter sometime.They are used to schooling "light" through the summer, so they don't know anything different, Haha! Although, we had basically been doing relaxed, eclectic CM-type studies thus far... another reason why I want to ease them into the workload of the day with a slightly easier core. All ye who have stepped back a year and/or jumped on mid-year: chime in here! Thanks y'all.
                Welcome!

                How well is your current 1st grader reading and what did you use to teach this child to read? I ask, because the 1st grade core is quite challenging! (unless you had an early reader) Often times, folks need to step back to one of the First Start Reading books (usually D) before beginning the 1st grade core (but not always!). Could your child read Little Bear? This is usually the deciding factor in placement. It's entirely possible to buy the first grade core, but then ask for the additional materials required to do book D (call MP and ask for help!). Book D is scheduled for 8 weeks, just to give you an idea, and covers blends, consonant teams, and silent e and introduces vowel teams. FSR E (scheduled in First Grade) covers vowel teams throughly. Also week 2 words of the First Grade spelling, contain the "ai" and "ay" words as well as some silent e, words "cake", for example.

                Good luck and welcome!
                Last edited by howiecram; 03-11-2019, 08:29 AM.
                Christine

                (2019/2020)
                DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by VAmom View Post
                  Hi Sarah Marie,

                  Could you please clarify which child is more challenged by reading or math? Does your first grader have a very solid phonics foundation?

                  I have tried to move quicker than MP’s pacing or assumed my child had mastered something when they truly haven’t. It never works out well and I end up taking longer to fix something.
                  Thanks for your helpful advice!! Yes, it is my first grader who is weak in phonics. I went ahead and added FSR A-E to our order, and we can go through at his pace and fill in gaps. Looking forward to this systematic approach!
                  Blessings,
                  ~Sarah Marie

                  ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                  ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                  ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                    Hi and welcome! I started my accumulation of MP stuff for my eldest last spring when I came here for a good preschool curriculum for my youngest. I had purchased EVERYTHING for my rising 2nd grader already, yet I was so smitten with the rationale behind MP's curriculum that I added every single piece of MP2 by summer. And as I read through it, I realized how behind my daughter was in mastery of math, so I went back and ordered R&S Arithmetic 1 workbooks to have my daughter plow through over the summer. She used to have so much anxiety about timed tests, and much of it stemmed from her lack of mastery. I let her set the pace with a fact family, starting at the 2's, and doing the workbook pages (and some flashcards) until she felt it was easy to mix the new facts with the old and still answer quickly. We did a 20-30 minute day of school each morning before heading to the pool or beach. Part of that time included going through MP1's literature and read-alouds so that we could make some good connections to previous themes & character. In hindsight, I don't think that is as important now since I'm the one doing most of the connections to the books we read over the summer. Making a change of philosophy is hard. Sometimes I think the condemnation we feel about having to get rid of curriculum we spent so much time and money justifying to the breadwinner of the house is the worst part of switching.

                    With that said, you're going to love MP3, and so will your eldest. It is not an easy curriculum, either. My eldest turned 8 over the holidays and will start 3rd grade this fall like she would if she were in public school. That is perfectly age appropriate, and she is developmentally ready and better prepared for the maturity of the topics, too. I have gone through most of the teacher guides now, printing out all of the tests, quizzes, and final exams. It is a lot of material, but it is incremental, well-designed, mastery-based, and so engaging. My daughter is begging to start this summer, but mama needs a break. We also came from a CM approach (although mixed with eclectic the first year). It wasn't frenetic or overwhelming moving into MP, either. It was a breath of fresh air. With CM, I never knew when enough was enough. The goals were so broad, and there was no reference point for developmentally appropriate responses and workload. Having been a licensed public high school teacher, I still felt ill equipped to guide children in the younger grades. MP's curriculum guides and teacher's manuals were exactly what I needed. My children are thriving on concrete goals and expectations. They also enjoy that read alouds are scheduled well into the the upper grades, so it has a very CM feel (with everyone gathered to the couch or mom's lap or the kitchen table). My father read to my siblings and I until college, both scripture and amazing books. MP brings back all of those good memories.

                    If your child is lacking near-instant recall of addition and subtraction math facts, I would start with R&S Arithmetic 2, not 3. Eight is so young, and MP3 is pretty advanced for "third grade" compared to many curricula, that you still have time. You could do a modified MP2 of a few literature guides, the Enrichment and Math 2 to round out these next 6 months and start MP3 in the fall. That would feel like a nice way to ease into MP3. Or, you could just do MP3 and sub in just the R&S Arithmetic 2 workbooks and move through those as fast as possible, getting to Arithmetic 3 as ready. It is so, so, so important to have those math facts down as students move into long division and fractions down the road.
                    Thanks so much for all this encouragement and advice!
                    YES to what you mentioned about never knowing what was enough with a CM approach! So much beauty tucked into the CM philosophy, and I absolutely love designing a year or study and spending abundant time in books & nature, but this mama ALSO needs the accountability, cohesiveness, and focus on mastery that MP provides!!
                    I am so excited!

                    My 3rd is nearly 9 and at this point, I still think a lot of the things in Level 2 will be too much review (for me to spend $$ buy the whole module, so I added the Grade 1 speed drills to his order, and I will drag out the first few weeks of Arithmetic 3 if need be to review with flash cards. In case he loses any ground with math facts, I have a plethora of second grade-level math materials to utitlize!
                    Blessings,
                    ~Sarah Marie

                    ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                    ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                    ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                      Welcome!

                      How well is your current 1st grader reading and what did you use to teach this child to read? I ask, because the 1st grade core is quite challenging! (unless you had an early reader) Often times, folks need to step back to one of the First Start Reading books (usually D) before beginning the 1st grade core (but not always!). Could your child read Little Bear? This is usually the deciding factor in placement. It's entirely possible to buy the first grade core, but then ask for the additional materials required to do book D (call MP and ask for help!). Book D is scheduled for 8 weeks, just to give you an idea, and covers blends, consonant teams, and silent e and introduces vowel teams. FSR E (scheduled in First Grade) covers vowel teams throughly. Also week 2 words of the First Grade spelling, contain the "ai" and "ay" words as well as some silent e, words "cake", for example.

                      Good luck and welcome!
                      Thanks a bunch for your warm welcome, advice, and specific info on MP's FSR levels! He is not reading well, and we are early on in his reading instruction, using Explode the Code and a few other things I have on hand. I went ahead and added FSR A-E to our order, and we will go through at his pace and hopefully fill in gaps. Looking forward to this systematic approach!
                      Blessings,
                      ~Sarah Marie

                      ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                      ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                      ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ChristinaC View Post
                        I have just done both of the things you were asking . We jumped in mid-year and I started my daughter (currently grade 6) on the grade 6 core for next year and my youngest son (currently grade 1) on the grade 1 core for next year. I also have a son in grade 4, who I will have on level in the grade 4 core. (So we are only technically a half a year behind) I decided to do this because, although my daughter is a very sophisticated and advanced reader, she has some holes in grammar and writing. My first grader has some holes in writing that I would like to address before moving on. He has also not had much in the way of formal instruction in the social sciences and history, so this structure is all new to him. I see nothing wrong with stepping back a level because it will just add strength to the foundation.

                        We are also coming at this curriculum from a more relaxed style, so I appreciate your point about easing into it slowly. This last week was our first week and I have to tell you that my kids were exhausted at the end of each day! Personally, I LOVED the structure and clarity of the grade-level manuals and it really kept me on track. It was a lot of work for the kids, but each day, as they became accustomed to the style, became easier and more pleasant.

                        -Christina
                        Wow, thanks for sharing your experience with all of this! It helps to know we're in it together! Very much looking forward to this year! Solidarity!
                        Blessings,
                        ~Sarah Marie

                        ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                        ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                        ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So sorry for this late response, everyone! I've been mulling over all of your helpful responses. I am truly grateful for your timely encouragement! Placing my order TODAY!!

                          Blessings,
                          ~Sarah Marie

                          ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                          ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                          ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jen (formerly) in Japan View Post


                            Hi there. If you had been pursuing an eclectic CM type school day, you aren't going to find either core "too easy" for your children. You will be moving from your homeschool emphasizing "exposure" to a homeschool which emphasizes "mastery". The 3M core especially will absolutely not be too easy for an 8 year old. Mastery is the goal. Even if you took just one subject, say Christian studies, and you ask your 8 yr old to begin to master 25 scripture passages, instantly recall the Facts to Know names and and places of the bible, and can describe in detail the deeper meaning of each bible story in Genesis, you will be shocked to see how hard your child needs to work "just" to do that in only one subject. I'll be he can "sort of" retell some of the bible stories in Genesis, but does he understand God's Providence in each of them?

                            Take heart! You are not "stepping back" in the cores.... you are just *getting started* with classical education. Age is less important than learning how to master, and further, gaining the solid building blocks of a classical education.




                            Jen

                            Thanks so much for this, Jen. Yes, while we have experience with some mastery & memory work in our family culture (i.e. bible, catechism, hymns, nature studies, etc), it is lacking in our core subjects. Looking forward so much to switching to a mastery approach across the board!
                            Blessings,
                            ~Sarah Marie

                            ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
                            ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
                            ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I look forward to hearing how things go with your students. I too have 9 (MP 3/4M mix), 7 (SC 3/MP 1-2 mix), 4 (JrK with favorites from SC A-C kept), and a 22-month old that I tell myself with listen to read alouds from MP Preschool on repeat for the next few years...
                              Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

                              2019-2020 · 8th MP Year, 9th Homeschooling
                              Trekking along at a student self-pace...
                              DD Summer 2009 · 5th
                              DD Summer 2011 · SC4
                              DS Summer 2014 · JrK/K
                              DD Summer 2017 · Pre
                              DS …EDD 11/2019

                              Memoria Scholé Academy
                              Blog: Creative Madness Mama
                              CherryBlossomMJ

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