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Starting MP in Grade 4? (Lots of questions!)

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    Starting MP in Grade 4? (Lots of questions!)

    Hello!

    We considered MP for last year, then ended up ordering and returning. I'm considering trying again for Grade 4 and have a few questions:

    (1) How could we make MP work with a 4 day a week schedule? I'm sure this has been asked before. We don't have a HLS cottage school in our area, sadly, so DD will be attending a Friday enrichment program.

    (2) What would be the biggest challenges with starting in Grade 4?

    (3) For those who have been with MP for a bit, do your kids like it? Why have you stuck with it? What keeps you going with it on the hard days?

    EDIT to add:

    (4) Tips for starting teaching Latin for a teacher (me) who does not know it herself?

    (5) How is review (via flashcards, tests, etc.) incorporated throughout the year?

    (6) What is the text of the Golden Children's Bible based upon? Is it KJV?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by lilamom; 05-03-2021, 09:11 PM.

    #2
    Welcome! I put my attempts at answering below:

    Originally posted by lilamom View Post
    Hello!

    We considered MP for last year, then ended up ordering and returning. I'm considering trying again for Grade 4 and have a few questions:

    (1) How could we make MP work with a 4 day a week schedule? I'm sure this has been asked before. We don't have a HLS cottage school in our area, sadly, so DD will be attending a Friday enrichment program.

    Some of the best advice I received was to "just do the next thing". While condensing 5 days into 4 is possible, and families definitely do so, I've found it much more manageable to just do the next thing in each study. Getting past the "lesson plan week = school week" mindset resulted in tremendous peace for me.

    (2) What would be the biggest challenges with starting in Grade 4?

    My suggestion would be not to try doing everything your first year, especially if you have other children. Focus on Christian Studies, Latin, math (whether MP or your current program), literature, and classical studies. Everything else is icing at this age. You can call/email MP to customize your order and you'll still receive the package discount!

    (3) For those who have been with MP for a bit, do your kids like it? Why have you stuck with it? What keeps you going with it on the hard days?

    For this, I'm going to drop a link to a post where I described our experience with these very things: https://seekingdelectare.com/i-didnt...ed-curriculum/

    EDIT to add:

    (4) Tips for starting teaching Latin for a teacher (me) who does not know it herself?

    MP actually designed their Latin programs to be taught by parents who never had Latin. The DVDs are a great resource. They teach the lesson for me and I use the Answer Key to review their daily work. If we run into something we absolutely can't figure out, there are tons of mamas (and MP staff!) who are ready to help. And most of those moms learned as they went, too!

    (5) How is review (via flashcards, tests, etc.) incorporated throughout the year?

    This is one area where I feel the Curriculum Manuals need to be fleshed out a bit. They assume that flashcards are being studied during the week, rather than always listing it. That being said, we just set the expectation that flashcards happen every day and a moveable post-it note reminder can be added to the Curriculum Manual so that they remember to do so. (Tip: use the CM as a consumable and a communication tool between you and your child. I highlight assignments, they check them off when completed, I can then check the larger box when we've reviewed it.) Quizzes and tests are assigned, but each family chooses whether/how to use those.

    (6) What is the text of the Golden Children's Bible based upon? Is it KJV?

    I would say that the language is definitely reminiscent of the KJV but as a compilation of Bible stories, I don't think it's any specific translation per se.

    Thank you!
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    DS17: MP, MPOA, HSC
    DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC
    DS14: MP, MPOA
    DS12: Finishing SC 4 >> Moving on to mix of SC 5/6 & 7/8
    DD10: Finishing 3A >> Moving on to miix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD8: SC3
    DD6: MPK

    Comment


      #3
      1) I do like to stick to the weekly plans as much as possible. With many kids and a few subjects off level, plus a few things we've added, I find it necessary to type out lesson plans for everyone each weekend. If I were going for a 4 week schedule, I would attempt to fold Friday's work into Thursday when writing lesson plans. Fridays tend to be review/test days in MP's curriculum guides, so I think it would be possible.

      2) We have used MP from the start, but my guess is that the main difficulty would simply be getting familiar with the layout and teaching guidelines for everything. Using this curriculum gets easier over time because there is a lot of consistency in format, but there are a lot of components. I would suggest reading and re-reading everything at the beginning of the curriculum manual and each teacher guide for each subject. After a few weeks of teaching, read it all again! The tips and guidelines are super helpful, but it's impossible to absorb everything at once!

      3) My kids like most of it? They all love to read the literature and classical studies books. One of them loves geography. One of them loves science (mammals this year). They all do their math and even excel at it, but none of them is excited about math. Study guides provoke interesting discussions that they enjoy, but writing answers and essays is more work than fun. Latin is also work, but they do like to recite forms to each other to "show off" who knows what, and they like to speak and make up sentences with what Latin they know. One of them is enjoying reading short novellas in Latin by Andrew Olimpi. We stick with it because we think it provides a beautiful, well-rounded, challenging education that will, inform and enrich our children's minds and hearts and give them intellectual skills for life. The content in every subject is deep and includes so much that everyone should have the benefit of knowing. Another thing I LOVE is that MP has a Christian influence, but is not (that I have found) biased toward one "interpretation" or intolerant of other faiths. What keeps me going on hard days is reading this forum :-) and talking to my husband and to a friend who also uses MP.

      4) Get 2 copies of the workbook, and do as much of it as you can over the summer yourself! Use the teacher guide and/or DVDs to teach yourself. Ask questions here whenever necessary.

      5) There are quizzes and tests for every subject. If your kid doesn't easily retain what's expected for those, incorporate daily or twice-weekly flashcard review or oral review in the subjects that need it. Not every kid needs the same amount of review for mastery, so you can tailor this to fit your needs. I often ask questions directly from the quiz or test, a few days ahead of time, to see how well prepared they seem and then assign extra review based on whether the information is well-learned or shaky.

      6) I think it is KJV based...at least a lot of the language is extremely similar. But it is a condensation for sure.
      Amy

      DS 12 MP7
      DD 10 MP5
      DS 8 MP3
      DD 5 MPK
      DS 3
      DS 3 months

      Comment


        #4
        Could you tell us more about your family? (how many kids, what did you end up using instead, etc?).
        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


          #5
          I am a big planner who likes to survey, prepare, and simplify our school year before we begin. I spend about 2 weeks for each kid over the summer reading through the curriculum manual, pulling all the books, acting as if I'm teaching a sample lesson as it comes in the planner. I browse the introductory notes of the TMs, look at what is required of the student (definitely not as eloquent as the literature guide answers, btw), and envision what steps I will need to take to get my student there. It gives me an idea of how long it will take for each subject, where my student will want to be to complete the task (in front of a whiteboard or could this be in a room or car or park or on-the-go?), and my estimated finish time each day. I sort flashcards, flag/label them to make them easy to navigate, and prep any visuals I want on my walls (like math formulas/key words, planets, timeline cards, or the cursive alphabet). As each week goes by, you get more efficient. When I plan my Sunday nights well (you can also do it Friday afternoon or Saturday), I have already flagged the new lesson and reading pages in all of our books (one flag says Current Lesson, one says Map, another might be Drill Questions or Pronunciation Guide). I also write new Latin words and forms, our scripture memory verse and EGR rules for the week, and sometimes a state/capital cue goes up for me. I have our schedule posted on the wall, and now, out of habit, I just reach for the next set of books in line. By midyear, your kids already know what to do and are grabbing books, shouting, "I've got it, mom!" The routine is your friend.

          Another help is that the MP approach is as much a philosophy as it is the materials. Motivation to "keep going" is born out of an utter conviction that this is a superior method of education. Many of us have tried other paths and have seen that the flash (and even the "fun") was exhausting and bore little fruit in either retention or increased skills in the essentials. We believe in quality over quantity (so not everything will be covered every year or even at all). We believe in deep learning, not shallow and broad learning. We believe in mastery over exposure, even if recitation and flashcards have been criticized as "rote learning." We believe in starting at the student's ability or foundation level where the fewest gaps will be. We believe that imitation is a time-tested path to learning, and that teacher-directed learning shapes the appetites of students who don't know what is good, right, true and beautiful. We believe in a strong foundation in Biblical Studies so that God's truth shines brightest and frames our understanding of the rest of what is worthy of consideration. Within that philosophy, there are many different ways to implement MP materials. Some families dive into full cores, and some families pick the essential components their family can do well. I think you'll find that those of us who do full or mostly full cores have spent some time reading articles, watching teacher training videos, or talking with other parents who are convinced by the good fruit seen from a Memoria Press Christian Classical education. If you don't understand or even agree with the underlying philosophy, it's hard to appreciate how cohesive, how foundational, how incremental and how incredible the education is. It's also hard to keep going.

          This might be a poor analogy, but some of these questions are a little bit like asking people how you should run. Should I start with one mile or two? Thin soles or thick? Morning or evening or midday? Should I eat protein or carbs? There are hundreds of ways to run, and each person's ability to do what we call running will look different. So, when we all glom on and give you our heartfelt advice, know that you will likely find your own rhythm once you START. You will see what you can do in 4 days. You might be back here telling us what worked for you, solving someone else's conundrum.

          Best wishes!
          Mama to 2

          Spring start MP1
          Summer start 5A

          Completed MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C, much of SC1

          Comment


            #6
            Ladies! You have all been a wealth of help and encouragement. Thank you! I want to come back soon and respond individually, but didn't want any more time to go by without expressing my gratitude.

            howiecram: we are an oddity among homeschoolers. I am a second-gen homeschooler myself (as is DH) and we have one rising Fourth Grader.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi there! This was our first year homeschooling, and we used Abeka for all three of our learners (I have a tagalong 4 year old, too). Next year, I decided my oldest, a rising 4th grader, would use MP. I recently decided to have my rising 3rd grader do MP as well. Now, they are both very different, so I am having my 4th grader start with First Form Latin, EGR II, Composition I Fable, Greek Myths, Christian Studies I and literature from 3rd, 4th, and 5th. I also bought Geography I because his current history covered a lot of the States--just not the capitals, so we will review. He and his brother will also do Astronomy, and hopefully they can do Christian Studies I together. I bought the Accelerated Manual, but there is a possibility we will spread out First Form Latin over two years, and the Simply Classical side of MP will have two year lesson plans coming out soon for that! So we are not doing Latina Christiana for him. I've never studied Latin, so we will be learning together. I'd love to do 4 days per week, but we may settle for a lighter or lesson-free Friday perhaps. I don't want to give up summers entirely.

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you again to each of you who responded! I'll try to respond directly below:

                jen1134 : I am so glad you shared the exhortation to "do the next thing." It's a motto that has served me well in life, and it's so helpful to apply it to homeschooling curriculum, too! Also, I found myself resonating with a lot of the blog post you shared, especially the part about one of your children wanting to "just be told what to do" (my paraphrase). My 9yo DD hasn't articulated quite the same feeling, but that is the exact sentiment I have been sensing from her this past semester. So good to hear that MP has met that need for you!

                (Also, I can relate to being all over the place with HS philosophies. I feel like now that we are hitting Grade 4 I really need to settle down into something sustainable!)

                One followup question: how hard would it be to replace the Golden Children's Bible with the Bible translation used in our local congregation? We've used that this past year and have really loved it. Would love your thoughts if you see this question!

                smithamykat thank you so much for your suggestions about using the summer well to prepare (love your idea about getting a second Latin workbook!). I'm wondering about the Sodiltas conference-- maybe worth watching this summer?

                howiecram : see my answer in my post above!

                enbateau : Thanks so much for taking time to comment on this! Your advice, as always, is so helpful for my situation. You're right-- I need to just START! :P Ha! I think my desire is to give my daughter the skills to learn, understand, and communicate for the rest of her life-- and to be able to think deeply and clearly. Does that resonate?

                KrisTom: best wishes to you in the coming year!

                Comment


                  #9
                  I spent quite a while trying not to buy one of the MP-recommended Bibles, and it was so much extra work, both figuring out where all of the content came from, as some chapters are a mash-up of 3 or more passages (like synchronizing the Gospels or pulling from Kings and Chronicles or summarizing large swathes of the prophets), and then reading it. The compilation covers far more Biblical history than most children would want to sit for. Plus, although one of the most "addressed" issues is the unrealistic depiction of Jesus (Jessica solved this with a coloring pencil), the older language will attune your child's ear to an older style of writing that is reminiscent of KJV. This builds vocabulary for later works of literature that employ this style of writing. All that is to say that I eventually switched. Since our family begins every day with separate scripture, sometimes I will read from our preferred translation of the Bible the events she is covering in the GCB. There is nothing wrong with that! As a pastor's kid, I have a pretty low tolerance for modern kid Bibles. The Story Bible and The Golden Children's Bible seem to shy away from paraphrasing and just try to use fewer words, but all of the important stuff is there.

                  Mama to 2

                  Spring start MP1
                  Summer start 5A

                  Completed MP2, 3A, 4A, SC B, SC C, much of SC1

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by enbateau View Post
                    I spent quite a while trying not to buy one of the MP-recommended Bibles, and it was so much extra work, both figuring out where all of the content came from, as some chapters are a mash-up of 3 or more passages (like synchronizing the Gospels or pulling from Kings and Chronicles or summarizing large swathes of the prophets), and then reading it. The compilation covers far more Biblical history than most children would want to sit for. Plus, although one of the most "addressed" issues is the unrealistic depiction of Jesus (Jessica solved this with a coloring pencil), the older language will attune your child's ear to an older style of writing that is reminiscent of KJV. This builds vocabulary for later works of literature that employ this style of writing. All that is to say that I eventually switched. Since our family begins every day with separate scripture, sometimes I will read from our preferred translation of the Bible the events she is covering in the GCB. There is nothing wrong with that! As a pastor's kid, I have a pretty low tolerance for modern kid Bibles. The Story Bible and The Golden Children's Bible seem to shy away from paraphrasing and just try to use fewer words, but all of the important stuff is there.
                    Thanks, enbateau. I'm pretty picky about kids Bibles, too. Love that you just do your own Scripture reading separately. I think we could make that work!

                    Comment

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