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    Transitioning to MP for 5th Grade

    Good morning. After much soul-searching and many conversations with basically anyone who will listen to me about our homeschooling choices, my husband and I are looking to go all-in with Memoria Press in the fall. Just for some background, we recently experienced a cross-country move from Kentucky to Colorado, leaving behind the "classical" community where I tutored and served as the director for the last 5 1/2 years. I had been really unhappy with the academics of this community for a while, but at the time we started with it (when my oldest was 4), it was what we needed to feel like homeschooling was doable. I've come to realize that my children retained almost nothing. The very reason we chose to homeschool was that we wanted to give our children the kind of academic experience my husband received at the very traditional (possibly somewhat classical, but this was in the 80s) prep school he attended. - and that I did NOT receive in my public school experience. Through lots of reading, I am convinced that a truly classical education must be Latin-centered, which led me to look more closely at MP. In fact, the catalog arrived in the mail this week during a really rough day of me questioning everything we have been doing, and it was a breath of fresh air (I have read & enjoyed it for years, but honestly dismissed the curriculum as too traditional, workbook-y, not a good fit for my kids).

    My oldest is a young grade 4 (turns 10 in July). He is currently working through Saxon 5/4, has completed about half of an IEW course and some WWE. He is doing IEW's Fix-It Grammar, level 2, and Phonetic Zoo for spelling (after 3 levels of All About Spelling). He is a big reader and we have used the MP book lists quite a bit. He is completing Song School Latin 2 and SOTW Vol. 4 this year. Because of our move, we will likely be schooling through most of the summer. Should we begin some MP now to prepare for the grade 5 curriculum? Will he be able to handle MP's grade 5 with his background?

    I also have a 6yo daughter in Kindergarten, doing grade 1 work (Saxon 1, FLL 1, etc.) and an almost 3yo who would probably very much enjoy having some school of her own next Fall, so I am looking at the grade 1 core and preschool core. Thank you for any advice you can offer!
    2019-20 First Year with Memoria Press!

    DS10, MP Core Grade 5
    DD6, MP Core Grade 1
    DD3, MP Preschool

    #2
    Good morning Shauna,

    For your rising first grader, you want to be sure she is ready to read Little Bear. You will have a solid week of phonic review from k which will include short vowel, magic e, consonant blend (l,r, and s) , and the h-blends (sh, th, wh, and ch). These should all be mastered of these short vowels is the most important. Maybe grab Little Bear from the library and see how your child does for a page or so. Though the expectation is not perfect fluency and expression, if every word is a struggle you might consider working through First Start Reading Book D over the summer using Classical Phonics as a good review. You will need Classical Phonics next year anyway as it is used in all reading and spelling lessons through 2nd grade. Penmanship should be fine because we begin cursive in first grade which is a good starting point. If you are sticking with Saxon that is fine, but if you are transitioning to R & S you might want to master addition and subtraction flash cards through 7. First Grade will have a few weeks of review but not enough to master these if they aren't already almost there.

    For the 5th grader you may want to work on cursive. Mastery of the 4 operations for math as by 4th grade students are completing 100 facts in 4 minutes if you are transitioning math. Covering Greek Myths in abbreviated form would be helpful background our students covered in 3rd/4th. If you have a science child, they might enjoy working thorough the Astronomy program memorizing the 15 brightest stars.

    IMHO,

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome, Shauna! I'd invite you to take a long look at the Fourth Grade for New MP Users set for your oldest. https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...#configurationNow before you spit out your coffee, here are a few reasons:

      1. It's customizable to switch the math up to 5th (or you can stick with Saxon if he's excelling there). You can also switch up science, but that's not really necessary until about 6th.
      2. It puts you at the beginning of everything as far as the Grammar school years go--classics, Christian studies, science, Latin, you name it--it's the beginning. If you place him higher than this you'll need to backtrack and sub cumulative subjects.
      3. You can work from the PLAN (the complete plans, hallelujah!) both this year and for many years ahead. The faster you get into a complete set now the longer you will reap those dividends. Sample page here: https://www.memoriapress.com/wp-cont...ers-Sample.pdf
      4. It's OK if it's easier work for him. Let this next school year be a win, a transition year for your family and for you as a teacher and manager of your homeschool.
      5. This path would take him through the 11th year of MP materials which is college level material. (There isn't even a "box" for that grade, just a bunch of materials since late high schoolers don't ever fit into a box anyway.)
      6. You can give HIM the lesson plan and he can work from it. At first you can delegate tasks within subjects (highlight them) and eventually some entire subjects to be completed independently (think "write your spelling words" at first and later "do your entire spelling lesson and bring it to me to check.")
      7. It will provide comprehensive recitation that incorporates all the subjects (appendix of curriculum plans).

      An option for right this minute: you could start him on 4th for New Users right now and work through the summer, moving him into regular fifth whenever he finishes (next winter?).
      Just some things to consider. The curriculum is rich and robust and sliding a year down can be a great way to ease into the rhythms, expectations, and mastery it requires.

      Could you get to Sodalitas this summer? Have you ever even heard of it? Promo video: https://vimeo.com/283500436
      Registration and info for this summer: https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...-registration/

      Welcome to you and I hope that you can make a beautiful homeschool with MP at the center.
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      10th year HSing · 8th year MP
      @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
      10th, 8th, 5th, 2nd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

      Comment


        #4
        I would second the rec for 4NU because 1) boy, 2) young for grade, and 3) you mentioned he didn't experience mastery of material in prior grades. If it makes you feel any better, my daughter will turn 10 two months after starting 4th. Also, we came running and screaming away from a spiraling curriculum (hello, Saxon) that left my daughter frustrated and bogged down by simple arithmetic. Rod and Staff has truly empowered my child! Also, SOTW as a year-long curriculum left my child with almost zero ability to tell me anything she learned at the end of the year. VOL 1 is assigned between 3rd and 4th over the summer, so you're ahead there! After a full year doing Recitation that syncs with the curriculum (why being in a core is extra sweet), my daughter has retained so much.

        I think the 3yo could be a little young for Jr K, but Simply Classical A is a great plan for exposure to idea concepts, early print literacy, rich vocabulary, beautiful syntax, and scripture in an easy-to-understand format

        We loved the parts of MP 1 we did. I was moving at an accelerated pace to get my eldest into MP2, but every piece is so perfectly thought through. We felt nicely prepared for MP2. Remember that not every answer needs to be written down in the StoryTime Treasures workbook. When I can hear my child answering in complete sentences and catching on to the details from the text from Little Bear, I let her answer more orally instead of copying every answer we write together on the board.
        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

        SY 19/20
        DD 9-3A
        DS 6-SC C

        Comment


          #5
          We are switching to MP and I have a 10 year-old born in June, as well as an 8 year old (who's working at the same level or a little higher than his brother), a 5/6 year old, and a 3 year old.

          After calling and speaking with an MP representative, we are using the 4th Grade for New Users, as the previous poster recommended. Many subjects are regularly scheduled at a 2-year pace in 3rd and 4th grade, so doing a 1-year pace seemed to make sense to me - a little more challenging. This way we aren't missing some of the foundational content convert that future years will build on.

          We are doing Singapore Math. My two oldest will do Latina Christiana together also, along with the rest of the 4NU core, except Literature they will do separately at their own levels (5th grade and 4th grade.) I'm also doing 1st Grade core with my 5/6.

          Just wanted to share what we settled on, in case that helps at all. ?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
            Good morning Shauna,

            For your rising first grader, you want to be sure she is ready to read Little Bear. You will have a solid week of phonic review from k which will include short vowel, magic e, consonant blend (l,r, and s) , and the h-blends (sh, th, wh, and ch). These should all be mastered of these short vowels is the most important. Maybe grab Little Bear from the library and see how your child does for a page or so. Though the expectation is not perfect fluency and expression, if every word is a struggle you might consider working through First Start Reading Book D over the summer using Classical Phonics as a good review. You will need Classical Phonics next year anyway as it is used in all reading and spelling lessons through 2nd grade. Penmanship should be fine because we begin cursive in first grade which is a good starting point. If you are sticking with Saxon that is fine, but if you are transitioning to R & S you might want to master addition and subtraction flash cards through 7. First Grade will have a few weeks of review but not enough to master these if they aren't already almost there.

            For the 5th grader you may want to work on cursive. Mastery of the 4 operations for math as by 4th grade students are completing 100 facts in 4 minutes if you are transitioning math. Covering Greek Myths in abbreviated form would be helpful background our students covered in 3rd/4th. If you have a science child, they might enjoy working thorough the Astronomy program memorizing the 15 brightest stars.

            IMHO,
            Thanks, Michelle! We read Little Bear today and she had no problem at all. I also gave her the R&S placement test for grade 1 and she scored well, so I think she's good to go
            We definitely need to work on math facts with my rising grade 5. I forgot to mention that we are working through D'Aulaires this year. I think he would love to go through Astronomy this summer!
            2019-20 First Year with Memoria Press!

            DS10, MP Core Grade 5
            DD6, MP Core Grade 1
            DD3, MP Preschool

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
              Welcome, Shauna! I'd invite you to take a long look at the Fourth Grade for New MP Users set for your oldest. https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...#configurationNow before you spit out your coffee, here are a few reasons:

              1. It's customizable to switch the math up to 5th (or you can stick with Saxon if he's excelling there). You can also switch up science, but that's not really necessary until about 6th.
              2. It puts you at the beginning of everything as far as the Grammar school years go--classics, Christian studies, science, Latin, you name it--it's the beginning. If you place him higher than this you'll need to backtrack and sub cumulative subjects.
              3. You can work from the PLAN (the complete plans, hallelujah!) both this year and for many years ahead. The faster you get into a complete set now the longer you will reap those dividends. Sample page here: https://www.memoriapress.com/wp-cont...ers-Sample.pdf
              4. It's OK if it's easier work for him. Let this next school year be a win, a transition year for your family and for you as a teacher and manager of your homeschool.
              5. This path would take him through the 11th year of MP materials which is college level material. (There isn't even a "box" for that grade, just a bunch of materials since late high schoolers don't ever fit into a box anyway.)
              6. You can give HIM the lesson plan and he can work from it. At first you can delegate tasks within subjects (highlight them) and eventually some entire subjects to be completed independently (think "write your spelling words" at first and later "do your entire spelling lesson and bring it to me to check.")
              7. It will provide comprehensive recitation that incorporates all the subjects (appendix of curriculum plans).

              An option for right this minute: you could start him on 4th for New Users right now and work through the summer, moving him into regular fifth whenever he finishes (next winter?).
              Just some things to consider. The curriculum is rich and robust and sliding a year down can be a great way to ease into the rhythms, expectations, and mastery it requires.

              Could you get to Sodalitas this summer? Have you ever even heard of it? Promo video: https://vimeo.com/283500436
              Registration and info for this summer: https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...-registration/

              Welcome to you and I hope that you can make a beautiful homeschool with MP at the center.
              Thank you for the kind welcome! I'm totally new to forums, but I have to say, everyone here is so helpful. I appreciate your wisdom & agree that it makes a lot of sense to consider the Fourth Grade for New MP Users set. I'm a rule-following, check-the-list person so I really like the idea of using the complete plans as-is. Frankly, I am tired of cobbling together my own plans using all kinds of different curriculum. It's one of the reasons that MP is so appealing to me. We've really hit a wall with Saxon, so I'm considering grabbing the R&S grade 3 book and working through it now to shore up his mastery of math facts. I gave him the R&S placement test for grade 4 today and he has quite a ways to go with division.
              2019-20 First Year with Memoria Press!

              DS10, MP Core Grade 5
              DD6, MP Core Grade 1
              DD3, MP Preschool

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                I would second the rec for 4NU because 1) boy, 2) young for grade, and 3) you mentioned he didn't experience mastery of material in prior grades. If it makes you feel any better, my daughter will turn 10 two months after starting 4th. Also, we came running and screaming away from a spiraling curriculum (hello, Saxon) that left my daughter frustrated and bogged down by simple arithmetic. Rod and Staff has truly empowered my child! Also, SOTW as a year-long curriculum left my child with almost zero ability to tell me anything she learned at the end of the year. VOL 1 is assigned between 3rd and 4th over the summer, so you're ahead there! After a full year doing Recitation that syncs with the curriculum (why being in a core is extra sweet), my daughter has retained so much.

                I think the 3yo could be a little young for Jr K, but Simply Classical A is a great plan for exposure to idea concepts, early print literacy, rich vocabulary, beautiful syntax, and scripture in an easy-to-understand format

                We loved the parts of MP 1 we did. I was moving at an accelerated pace to get my eldest into MP2, but every piece is so perfectly thought through. We felt nicely prepared for MP2. Remember that not every answer needs to be written down in the StoryTime Treasures workbook. When I can hear my child answering in complete sentences and catching on to the details from the text from Little Bear, I let her answer more orally instead of copying every answer we write together on the board.
                Thanks for the encouragement! I agree wholeheartedly that boy + young for grade is a really good reason to look at 4 for New Users. If we were public-schoolers, we would have waited a year to start him. The trick is to not let *him* know that he would be doing grade 4 work. I think he would take that pretty hard.

                Our 3yo would do preschool, not JK. It looks like it's mostly good books & some fun activities. I like that it's a nice way to include her using plans I don't have to create!

                I showed by 6yo the grade 1 package today and her eyes lit up She loves anything to do with school.
                2019-20 First Year with Memoria Press!

                DS10, MP Core Grade 5
                DD6, MP Core Grade 1
                DD3, MP Preschool

                Comment


                  #9
                  MP folks can let you know, but I think all you have to do is rip off the front cover of the curriculum manual/plans. I'm not sure it's referenced anywhere else in the set? And don't let him thumb through your Classical Teacher catalog.
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  10th year HSing · 8th year MP
                  @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                  10th, 8th, 5th, 2nd

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wait wait....where in Colorado? There's so few of us out here, I get all excited. You can PM if you prefer to keep location private.
                    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


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ShaunaN View Post

                      Thanks for the encouragement! I agree wholeheartedly that boy + young for grade is a really good reason to look at 4 for New Users. If we were public-schoolers, we would have waited a year to start him. The trick is to not let *him* know that he would be doing grade 4 work. I think he would take that pretty hard.

                      Our 3yo would do preschool, not JK. It looks like it's mostly good books & some fun activities. I like that it's a nice way to include her using plans I don't have to create!

                      I showed by 6yo the grade 1 package today and her eyes lit up She loves anything to do with school.
                      Individual lesson plans! However, this is more expensive! But, just thought I would throw it out there.
                      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


                        #12
                        Consider this a prep year if you don't want to rip a cover. I just told my eldest when we transitioned into MP that it was more advanced than what we had been doing, and that to end up in the true number we would be starting with a lower level. She didn't bat an eye, but you might know your child better. From 4NU you can move into the accelerated guides if you think his motivation is up to the 1yr pace of everything. A year of 4NU will give you a good gauge for how he handles it and whether to move forward or throttle back. As everyone says, MP grade levels are quite advanced even in M cores. Half of the material that's studied in middle school I didn't get until high school.
                        Mama to 2, Married 17 years

                        SY 19/20
                        DD 9-3A
                        DS 6-SC C

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ShaunaN View Post

                          Thanks for the encouragement! I agree wholeheartedly that boy + young for grade is a really good reason to look at 4 for New Users. If we were public-schoolers, we would have waited a year to start him. The trick is to not let *him* know that he would be doing grade 4 work. I think he would take that pretty hard.
                          One thing that I have always appreciated about MP is that the majority of their books do not have grade levels on them. The exception to this will be (as mentioned above), the curriculum manual and the Rod and Staff math that I can think of off hand. The individual lesson plans as I recall do not have the grade level listed either, just the subject.

                          I have had boys who were young for the grade they were entering and it always paid me well not to rush. I will have another one coming up that will be 10 when he is fourth. It is so much easier for them and you if they are a little older for their grade. From our experiences, I think he will be plenty challenged with the fourth grade NU curriculum options and it is such a great starting point. It will be easy enough to switch out those components that you have completed (Famous Men of Rome in place of Myths, etc.).
                          Callista
                          Long time homeschooler with MP

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Colomama, I'm in Littleton. Are you close? (I would PM you if I knew how )
                            2019-20 First Year with Memoria Press!

                            DS10, MP Core Grade 5
                            DD6, MP Core Grade 1
                            DD3, MP Preschool

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ShaunaN View Post
                              Colomama, I'm in Littleton. Are you close? (I would PM you if I knew how )
                              I graduated from Littleton High! I moved to the high country, about 4 hours north-west of there. My family is still in the area, so I come back to visit frequently. Well have to meet up!
                              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

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