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    Need Newbie Advice

    Hello!
    I have been lurking in the forum now for a couple of weeks, reading all I can. And if this topic is more of a "just call the company" post I do apologize, and will do so!
    I have been very impressed with all I have read on the forum, and received my Classical Teacher copy and love all the articles: I feel delighted to finally find a classical program with a true philosophy guiding its progress. Now I have to figure out what I need to do with my kiddos: we have four (DD 8, DD 6, DS 4, and DS 2) amd are expecting another boy in April. I have been all over the map with educational philosophies...I spent both girls' early years doing radical unschooling and working full time, then did a very half-hearted 1st grade/kinder for them, loosely based on Charlotte Mason. This past year we have used St Thomas Aquinas Academy for both girls, which has been a great intro to a better schedule and more rigor, although I would still definitely label it "Classical Lite". In addition to all that we had a lot of family issues, health issues with my oldest, and a major move.

    All of this to say that there are multiple areas I think we are "behind". For math we use Right Start, which I love, and are about to start Level B (this is due to my neglect of math in past years). Penmanship has been Handwriting Without Tears, both are about to finish the first grade level. My oldest still has pretty poor penmanship, mostly due to visual issues (she has a syndrome that has required multiple eye surgeries and is also ADHD, although she is otherwise very bright and a very interested reader!). My oldest is reading quite well, and the first grader is getting there...we use Little Angel readers and so far she's on track for their first grade. Neither has really done any spelling. I started using an old copy of First Language Lessons from WTM with both so we are starting some grammar. We do nature studies, composer studies, and do Bible/Catechism as well, all pretty laid back.
    Are we ready for Memoria? I have been undisciplined in the past with making them correct work etc...we have pencil grip issues I've neglected, have done basic haphazard memory work, etc. I have been diligent this past Fall in creating a better schedule for us all, and the results have been wonderful. Over the last week I've been requiring them to actually make corrections to their work and not ending a day just for bad moods, and the shock had been palpable on their end, and my husband's thanks has also been apparent (he desires they have a good schedule). I feel I have done them such a disservice in my years of wild twists among too many methods and philosophies. I can see now how that probably has only made my ADHD child worse since she never knew what the day would bring. Both our boys are true "wild boys", although the 4 yr old wants to do school badly as well. He turns 5 in June and I am weighing starting Kinder with him.
    Some notes on our lives that I think need to be considered: I do still work (I am a nurse) although now I only work 1-2 shifts a week, and the girls have both learned to do simple assignments while I am gone. Both are not used to doing a lot of writing currently. Because of this I do plan to do school year round, with a milder summer load so we don't have to cram a lot into our days. Are there things I should start adding now (spelling, or any remedial suggestions?) or over the summer to prep for Fall? Can I combine literatures for my girls? My second is pretty sharp so she's always done most subjects with my oldest. Should I aim for pre-K with such a young Kindergarten student (who's attention span is about ten seconds long unless it's focused on a football or a jigsaw puzzle?) I feel profound regret for the mess I made of the early years, and I really want to get a plan laid before Baby 5 gets here.
    Finally, (for anyone who reads this I apologize...I know it's wordy and lengthy!), I need to note I am actually a second generation homeschooler. Unfortunately I was my mom's eldest and she did a LOT of curriculum hopping, with the best of intentions of course. I wound up teaching myself a lot, and while I learned some valuable things and did very well in college, it also has left me quite new and even full of trepidation in establishing routine, order, and having a true philosophy I identify with and follow. So thank you for reading this, and for all that is on this forum! It's been truly refreshing to find such a respectful online community in 2021!


    #2
    Rachel,
    Hello and welcome! I am so glad you posted. Your experience is so valuable toward helping you take positive steps forward. I did not find MP until my oldest was in fifth grade, and we had jumped around between a lot of different options before then. I think there are many of us who can relate! But I can wholeheartedly say that using MP consistently for the last ten years has been such a blessing to our family. My experience of having a large family has been a huge lesson in accepting the unexpected each day. We also have health issues to contend with, lots of appointments, lots of phone calls, lots of laundry, dishes, and food prep, and LOTS of moving! Having all of this makes it difficult for me to stick to a rigid schedule. But this is exactly where MP saves me. Having each child in a core of their own (they are all two years apart) means that I know they are on target for where they should be. Having a planner for each person means that I know exactly what they have done, what they are doing, and what they need to do next. And using it year after year means that everyone is used to the routine and the expectations, which subsequently means a lot less drama about school. I honestly cannot recommend it enough!

    As far as specific curriculum choices, the first thing I will say is that the decisions you have made thus far are good ones. You are definitely moving in a direction that will make it possible to use MP as much as you want. For us, we use pretty much the entire MP curriculum, with just a few adjustments here and there. It's a great place to be...but you don't have to get there all in one big momentous change. You can do it gradually. MP has worked hard to create a truly rich and rigorous curriculum with a lot of help for parents. There is so much in fact, that it can be hard to learn how to do every subject well when you first make the switch. You can either take the approach of switching over gradually, a few subjects at a time, working toward a goal of having your kids well-placed in a full core after a year or two of transitioning (this is what I did and it went very well for us). Alternatively, you can make a big change, but with the realization that you will want to take the curriculum very slowly in the beginning so that you all get a chance to learn what you are supposed to be doing. With your idea of having a year-round school schedule, this might be a good option as well since you would not feel rushed to finish the year on a particular time schedule. You can take your time and let the year take as long as it needs to take. Finally, there are many parents who do still make use of their favorite materials (such as Math) without switching completely to an MP core. This is perfectly fine too. Everything from MP is, in my experience, pretty awesome but it is fine to only pick the parts you want.

    I hope this is helpful, and I am going to follow it up in a little bit with some curriculum ideas. Others will chime in too, I am sure!
    Again, Welcome!
    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

    Comment


      #3
      Ok, in looking over your family situation, there are a couple of specific things I would suggest, and a few others to simply keep in mind.
      I am going to start with the things to keep in mind.

      Your family is a lot like ours...very stair-step-y, which is so much fun - but as you know already, it is a LOT of work. I often recommend to parents of growing families like yours to wait, hope, and pray for the day your oldest turns ten. Once that happens, you have a capable, reliable helper and the pressure on you really does begin to ease up. That's not to say you create a Cinderella phenomenon where that oldest child becomes a scullery maid. Just that you have a comrade-in-arms who can hold the baby (which they usually love to do anyway) while YOU get to some much needed but more unpleasant work! So look forward to that!

      Another point about having kids two years apart is that in my experience, both my own and from working with a lot of families over the years, this makes it very difficult to combine children. It's not impossible, but generally speaking, it actually makes it more challenging than if you simply had them placed in their own cores. Two years is just far enough that there will be stages in which the difference in their maturity levels really does make a difference in their schooling. While they are little, as they are now, it is not as apparent. But when your older one hits ten and your second is only eight you will see what I mean. Two years really does matter. I usually try to help parents accept that, and realize that everyone is happier and better placed when you let each child have the grade level that they really need for their age.

      A last point to keep in mind is that girls really, truly are different from boys. I have had six girls and three boys; a very good friend of mine has seven boys and two girls. We talk A LOT about the difference in energy levels between the genders. And when you have several boys in a row (as you will have) that makes it seem like you have two or three times as many boys as you actually do. This makes a big difference in schooling, and is something to keep in mind as you are making your plans.

      With your particular situation, of having a new baby as well as starting a brand new school program, I would suggest to you to focus on getting your two girls going on a solid MP-based program, and then let your boys take it easy still this next year. Kindergarten is a really wonderful year in which kids become solid in their reading skills - which does mean that it requires A LOT of Mom-time. Having your son be only 5, with a brand new baby in the summer, and trying to figure out your older girls' school work too, means that I would not try to take on that challenge this coming year. I would definitely wait on K. But I would also definitely try to get going on the Junior K program with him. It will make that K year that much better when you do get to it. With so many little people, you want to have as gradual of a progression as possible so that no one person is taking a HUGE chunk of your time. Having little bits that you do every day is going to serve you well in the long run.

      So, for your five year old boy, definitely do the Junior K.
      Then, for your two girls...

      First, you mentioned you are using Little Angel Readers. I love this program. I used it with my oldest kids, pre-MP, and it was wonderful. Because I have it, I still use parts of it alongside my MP stuff just because I love the memory of doing it with my older ones, and I wanted to hang on to that with all my kids. Just such a sweet program. And thorough. So a couple of questions: How far has each girl gotten in the program? Do you already have all the parts to it? (I know you can order it as one big set, or you can order each level individually). If you have the entire program and want to keep using it, there is really no reason you have to switch. But with that, I would say, make sure you are fully using the Teacher Manual for each level. The instructions are where you will get the handwriting, spelling, dictation, and auditory practice that kids need in addition to the actual phonics and reading work. So if you want to keep using it, do so, but make sure you do EVERYTHING. When they finish level D they will be well-placed to enter the 2nd grade language arts from MP. The only difference would indeed be handwriting. LAR does not teach cursive; MP starts cursive in first grade. This is not a big issue. I would simply have both girls start with the New American Cursive level one next year.

      But if you are still early on in LAR, or simply want to make a change from it, especially with your six year old, you could start her in the Kindergarten core. This would include the First Start Reading program, as well as the additional pieces of the K language arts core, which would fill in any gaps she may have and provide a total-package curriculum, all put together and completely planned out. It would be a great time to get her going on the MP path so that she has consistency going forward. And it would help you learn the level so that you could repeat it again the following year with your son. Girls seem more resilient to the time it takes for you to learn what you are doing; boys will hop away more quickly if mom has to pause to figure something out!

      So, for your six year old girl, I would think about her weakest R - reading, writing, or arithmetic. Choose the grade level that hits that weakest R. If she is at level B or C already in LAR, and about to turn 7, then I would put her into the MP first grade, while continuing to use LAR through to the end. But if she is not that far into LAR, I would put her into the MP K.

      Then for your oldest girl, again, it would depend on how much of LAR she did. Did she complete the entire program? If so, I would feel comfortable putting her into the MP Second Grade core. You would need to change the New American Cursive level down to Book One, as well as the Copybook materials. Also, to make sure she is strong on phonics and spelling, I would switch her from Traditional Spelling 2 down to Traditional Spelling 1. If your younger daughter is ready for first grade, then this is one area you could work together with them, having them both doing TSI together. I think putting her in second grade (even if she is about to turn 9) will give her the time she needs to become more solid in her primary-school skills before trying to enter the grammar school of third grade and beyond. That would be too much of a jump for all of you.

      So, for your eight year old girl, I would choose Second Grade, but with New American Cursive I instead of II, adjusting the Copybook materials too, and Traditional Spelling I instead of II.

      I think this helps you get started - as long as you take your time and realize that wherever you stop one day, you can pick up the next day in your planner. I would also say that for the next couple of years, as you get used to these new things, probably try putting a hold on anything "unplanned." The primary grades (K,1,2) all contain and Enrichment program that can cover all the extra things that you have been doing with them. But you don't have to do each level all at once (such as having a 2nd grader and a 1st grader). Just pick one Enrichment level and do it with all of your kids together. With your situation, I would probably focus on the Enrichment level that comes with whichever grade you choose for your second child. If you put her into K, just do the K enrichment this year. If you put her into 1st, then do that level and cycle through them as you go forward.

      Finally, with Math, you can either stick with Right Start if you want, since you like it and it is familiar. Or, you can switch over to the Rod and Staff program that MP uses. Either way, you will have a solid math program. There are many families I know of who love Right Start and continue to use it with MP. But I will also say that it is a very time-consuming program, especially in the younger years. With all that you have going on, it might become too much. Rod and Staff is just as thorough of a program, but requires a lot less time than Right Start. And it is inexpensive. You can leave it in your Core packages when you order, have it on your shelves, and if you find that you want to try and see if it would fit into your daily routine more easily, make that change when you need to. But again...the lessons are in the TM, so make sure you use it!

      I hope this helps, and that you get all the help you need to get going with MP!
      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        I will try to come back and write more later, but, welcome!!! And it’s ok. It’s ok that you’ve explored other things. It’s ok that you are coming to this slowly and in bits and pieces. I still am!!! Please don’t feel bad about where you’ve been curriculum wise so far. Perhaps it gives you more conviction that this is the right path now.
        Ora et Labora!
        Emily

        Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
        DD (age 9): 4NU
        DD (age 7): MP 1
        DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
        "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome! I remember breathing such a sigh of relief when we finally transitioned to MP. It felt like so many unrelated plates were spinning all over the house, and now I know that nothing assigned in the curriculum guide is wasted. Every piece has been perfectly chosen (and is more than enough) to prepare my children for the next steps in their education. You will find many of the components of the Charlotte Mason approach are honored in MP's read-aloud Enrichment series. We have all snuggled up on the couch as a family at the end of the day to take in the beauty of incredible children's literature and beautifully-illustrated science and history books. I have just as many good memories now with the my kids as I did when we were more eclectic. In fact, we just finished my eldest daughter's read-aloud, The Incredible Journey, as a family. We followed it up with the 1984 version of the movie, and they're begging to start the next book.

          Sarah has very thoroughly elaborated a great path for your kids. We are close to finishing MPK, and it has been an excellent program for my little guy. I, too, completed a different program with my eldest, and I had a lot of guilt over shelving it due to how much I spent on it. But I am really glad I switched over to First Start Reading (FSR) A-D because it was a great fit for my son to pair writing with reading, and he is reading and spelling so well. The routine of always knowing what is coming next (even as we transition to new books and grade levels) has helped on days where I cannot motivate my scattered brain. Giving your children a routine (not a fixed schedule) is a blessing, especially on days when illness strikes. We survived in-laws visiting for 3 weeks, the holidays, the flu, more holidays, a slew of medical appointments, and more, but we always do the bare minimum of Bible, some recitation, flashcards (phonics, common words and math or 1-2 subjects for my oldest), and a read-aloud book. The rest of the time, we are happy to do it all, and catching up is as easy as picking up where we left off.
          Mama to 2

          Summer:
          MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
          SY 20/21
          4A

          Comment


            #6
            Oh my goodness thank you for all of this advice!! So many great points to consider and--i know this sounds dramatic-- it is so nice to have permission to go a grade below their "age". My DD1 is actually only turning 8 in February, and was originally considered delayed until we got her properly diagnosed at age 2 (she has something called Septo-optic dysplasia, but she is doing well other than definite ADHD and a very likely eye surgery this year). My DD2 is only 17 months younger than DD1 and has been very precocious since birth...I sometimes wonder if God sent her to help her sister get started in life, because it was her early talking that got my eldest up to speed. DD2 is very sharp in handwriting and math (more so than my oldest), so I def think she can do first grade. She's about to start LAR B, and I think will soon hit that "magic point" and take off with fluent reading...her issue is never intelligence, just convincing her that she SHOULD learn something LOL.
            I do have the complete LAR set for both girls. I too have just loved the program. However we've focused solely on the workbooks and readers, because the school we were using waited on starting spelling until third grade. DD1 is about to start Reader D (she can read it easily, but the lessons def need to be done), so I think I will spend the summer working through the spelling sections with both girls so that the oldest can start 2nd.
            I do love RightStart but I def want to add in facts memorization, because I can see it's weak there. I think I will follow the excellent advice to just go ahead and get Rod and Staff so I have it on hand. I also looked into getting a Calculadder set to use over the summer.
            Since both girls have not yet done "real" Latin (we are using a Gregorian chant book to learn parts of the Mass this year, but we've not learned any vocab,) then they could both do Prima Latina as well?
            I am so thankful to have stumbled on Memoria Press and this forum!! I definitely need to have school be predictable and organized by someone other than me (as I tend to love to research materials to death and then try to do way too much). Junior K would be perfect for my middle little man so he can finally have his much requested "own books", and I was so excited to see literally all the books I still treasure from my own childhood listed out in the Cores.
            Two last questions: first, have any of you had backlash for being a "grade behind"? (Technically both girls are young enough that they would still graduate "on time" at 18) Normally they don't notice grade levels because we don't talk about it, but my in-laws are not homeschooling friendly and ask pointed questions. I feel like MP seems quite rigorous and would definitely pass in our state for a grade ahead. Second, and I ask this very respectfully, are Christian Studies compatible with Catholicism? It seems that the program is, and I do not mean in any way to insult those of other faiths. I would be using a Catholic Bible translation for older ages, but it otherwise doesn't seem to "preach" any particular view of Christianity, but more Bible literacy and historical background? We are memorizing Catechism questions this year and doing basic bible stories, but I do love what I've seen so far from MP.
            Thank you again so much for all the help. I have been so torn on where to go, and kept feeling called to find a program I could stick with. I can finally relax!

            Comment


              #7
              I don't think I have anything to add to what has been written above! :-)
              Ora et Labora!
              Emily

              Beech Tree Boarding School, 2020-2021
              DD (age 9): 4NU
              DD (age 7): MP 1
              DS (age 4): MP Jr. K
              "I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry

              Comment


                #8
                Another vote for Junior K for your upcoming boy. We kept our summer birthday boy a year before starting him in K at 6 and it was just the right spot for him. No regrets. Spend next year giving him a solid foundation of letters and letter sounds through flash cards and other means on a regular schedule and let him play!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Welcome to MP! One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet that you may find helpful, is that MO has a summer conference at their flagship school in Louisville, KY. It's absolutely worth the journey if you can make it. In the meantime, many of the recordings from previous years are available on the MP website. They are a treasure trove of the why and how of the MP curriculum.

                  Originally posted by Rachel Aragon View Post
                  Second, and I ask this very respectfully, are Christian Studies compatible with Catholicism? It seems that the program is, and I do not mean in any way to insult those of other faiths. I would be using a Catholic Bible translation for older ages, but it otherwise doesn't seem to "preach" any particular view of Christianity, but more Bible literacy and historical background? We are memorizing Catechism questions this year and doing basic bible stories, but I do love what I've seen so far from MP.
                  We are also Catholic and have loved the MP Christian studies. We tweak things a little - including all the books when we memorize the books of the Bible, etc. - but it's a really good foundation in the who what where of Sacred Scripture. There is a facebook group of MP Catholic homeschoolers that has lots of ideas for incorporating saints, virtues, catechism, liturgical years, etc. You might find that helpful too.
                  Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys (7A, 6M, 2), classics major

                  "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We're Catholic and have had no issue with CS. It's just excellent Bible history. For CS 2, I did just adjust the list of books of the bible when we were memorizing them to be the Catholic bible.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      [QUOTE=Rachel Aragon;n126763]
                      Two last questions: first, have any of you had backlash for being a "grade behind"? (Technically both girls are young enough that they would still graduate "on time" at 18) Normally they don't notice grade levels because we don't talk about it, but my in-laws are not homeschooling friendly and ask pointed questions. I feel like MP seems quite rigorous and would definitely pass in our state for a grade ahead. /QUOTE]

                      A Classical Education is a little different than the regular public school grades so, even though you are doing a classical core perhaps a "grade behind" your child is not really a grade behind. If you look at the 2nd grade core, Little House in the Big Woods is scheduled. I have seen that in other packages and in public schools more like 3rd/4th. So, I wouldn't worry too much about "being behind". If you "only" finish the Memoria Press cores through the 10th grade (their 10th grade package) your child will also have received an excellent education. Around 7th grade many families start to deviate from the core anyway. I wouldn't worry about level of math either. You can do say, the 2nd grade core but either continue with Right Start or do R&S3. You will get digital plans for the level of math you buy. In high school you need to look at requirements for your state and colleges you might want to attend, so you may not even be able to do the MP cores fully anyway at that grade.

                      One other point, though I don't want to confuse you more is that after you do the 2nd grade core there are many paths you could choose, depending on how the dynamics in your family are working out. You could actually jump to the "Fourth for new Users". I wouldn't worry too much about that choice right now because as you add more children, just simply getting the "3rd grade" will also be just fine. It's almost the same as the Fourth for New users, with different literature. Then you could also consider moving from the 3rd grade acclerated core to the 5th grade core. Memoria Press homeschool edition splits some subjects up over two years, giving only new math, literature, spelling and writing in the 4th grade. You finish Greek Myths, Latin, States and Capitals, English Grammar Recitation and Christian Studies 1 in the 4th grade package. Please don't go too crazy trying to understand what I just said, but know that after 2nd grade she is not "stuck" a "grade behind". There are options. In your family, I might lean towards just going with one package year after year until the 6th grade and then making changes.

                      We personally have been with MP from mostly the start, but I had 3 out of 3 kids not be able to keep up with the reading. The magic age in our family seems to be 7.5 when fluency really kicks up. We have followed the Simply Classical plans and this has worked for us. However, my 3rd child, while not able to keep up with the reading, can write really, really well...*go figure*. So, I moved from Simply Classical to MP1 for her. She will also be 8 in Feb like your DD! She will do Simply Classical Level 4 next year because she is not doing the spelling. That is still moving too quickly for her. Simply Classical Level 4 has the literature from MP2 (minus a book a few books) + Spelling from MP1. The enrichment is a little more grown up than the MP2 as well. This will work for us.

                      *We are a Catholic family and use CS very well. We do add in Catholic Books of the Bible when memorizing them*. We also use the Baltimore Catechism and read lives of the saints to round out our "three-legged stool". *

                      I agree with Sarah that if you already own the LAR series through book D, I would just finish that (doing all the exercises in the teacher's guide) and then move to MP2.

                      Christine

                      2020/2021)
                      DD1 8/23/09 - MP4 (Math 5)
                      DS2 9/1/11 - SC 5/6 2 year pace
                      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2/Storytime Treasures/AAR

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Chiming in to echo Christine’s good points as well in response to your questions. The most important thing in placing a child is putting them where they need to be based on skills. That does not make those conversations with extended family any easier, but it is amazing how thick your skin can get to those sorts of things over the years. Nobody bothers to ask us anymore because we have built up a track record. But it does confuse them a bit that the kids are all two years apart in age, but there are three years of “school” between child #5 and child #6. This was simply the way it needed to be done. Child #6 had to work harder in those early years than her siblings had to. If I had been worried about what others would think, she would not have gotten the time and patience she needed. And she would not be the solidly confident third grader that she is this year. Making the choice that is right for the child is so vitally important.

                        And we too are Catholic. We add in Catechism and the lives of the Saints, but have never had any issue with any MP materials. And even when we have caught sight of something that was worded in a way that caused concern, MP was always Johnny on the Spot to address it so that Christian families of any denomination can feel comfortable using their materials.

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 17
                        DD, 15
                        DD, 13
                        DD, 11
                        DD, 9
                        DD, 7
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                          Chiming in to echo Christine’s good points as well in response to your questions. The most important thing in placing a child is putting them where they need to be based on skills. That does not make those conversations with extended family any easier, but it is amazing how thick your skin can get to those sorts of things over the years. Nobody bothers to ask us anymore because we have built up a track record. But it does confuse them a bit that the kids are all two years apart in age, but there are three years of “school” between child #5 and child #6. This was simply the way it needed to be done. Child #6 had to work harder in those early years than her siblings had to. If I had been worried about what others would think, she would not have gotten the time and patience she needed. And she would not be the solidly confident third grader that she is this year. Making the choice that is right for the child is so vitally important.

                          And we too are Catholic. We add in Catechism and the lives of the Saints, but have never had any issue with any MP materials. And even when we have caught sight of something that was worded in a way that caused concern, MP was always Johnny on the Spot to address it so that Christian families of any denomination can feel comfortable using their materials.

                          AMDG,
                          Sarah
                          Echoing this. We came to MP when my kids were 13, 12, 10, 7, 6, 4, and 1. My 13yo needed to be in 7th and my 10yo needed to be in 4th and my 7 and 6yo both needed to start in K because they weren't ready for MP1.

                          Those kids are now 17, 16, 14, 12, 10, almost 9, and 6 and we have no regrets whatsoever about those placement decisions!

                          Something we do that might help: we base the kids' grade on their age not what level of school they're doing. So if the doctor asks my 10yo what grade she's in, she says 5th even though she's using materials from MP3, MP4, and MP5. And this isn't lying or even mental reservation because MP's books can be used by a range of ages and they even label ranges for each book on their website. So it's all good!
                          Jennifer
                          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                          DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
                          DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
                          DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
                          DS11: SC 4
                          DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
                          DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
                          DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

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                            #14
                            Thank you all for this great advice! I actually pulled out the level B LAR for my oldest today so we can start remediating her spelling, and while she did initially balk at seeing her "old" book, once I explained we were doing new things with it she calmed down and even enjoyed the lesson. MP will be brand new materials so I will definitely take the advice to tell them what grade their age is, and that should solve that issue. I do need to grow a thicker skin...My mom homeschooled six children successfully for goodness' sake LOL.
                            I am also so relieved to hear we can use a whole core in a Catholic homeschool. It is very impressive to me that they designed it to be used by any Christian, and I think that will be wonderful for teaching apologetics later on.
                            I can also see how we may have kids that wind up all over the Cores, so I think it will be worth my time/money to purchase full sets since I will have at least five children that can use pieces from them.
                            I cannot thank everyone enough for the gracious help!

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                              #15
                              I am so glad we could all be helpful.

                              All the best,
                              AMDG,
                              Sarah
                              2020-2021
                              16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                              DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                              DS, 17
                              DD, 15
                              DD, 13
                              DD, 11
                              DD, 9
                              DD, 7
                              +DS+
                              DS, 2

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