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    Curriculum guidance for a potential Memoria newbie

    Hello!

    We are closing in on the first year of homeschooling. This year, I pieced together a classical education, and it worked well, however the planning has nearly made me insane. I will have a second/third grade dd, fifth grade ds, a pre-k and 1.5yo twin dd tornadoes running amok. Needless to say, I am looking to Memoria Press to keep us on track next year.

    First, the things we wouldn't use is R&S math, English or spelling and christian studies..subbing our catholic materials instead. Also, I would (like)to keep my kids on the same history cycle. So 3rd grader would be Greek, but that leaves 5th grader middle ages. However, he really wants to study Greek this year. Would it be doable to actually use the 6th grade curriculum instead of 5th for him? I would need to sub out half the curriculum though. Or should I just purchase the items and lesson plans separately for him? He would also need to use First Form Latin and Fable stage composition. OR....would it be less of a headache to just have him follow the 5th grade and forget about combining them?

    Next, is it more economical to just purchase the whole core packages and then take out the materials we don't plan to use? Or purchase separately?

    Lastly, with two crazy babes running around, a preschooler and other life happenings this coming year, I am worried I will be stretched too thin to teach them separately with all these subjects. Please give me your opinion on the length of a typical school day with pre-k, 3rd, and 5th.

    Lots of nervous questions, sorry Feeling a bit overwhelmed with making the right decision.

    Thanks for all your help!
    Katie
    Katie

    DS 17: Senior!
    DD 14: 10th
    DD 10: 6th
    Twin DD's 8: 3rd
    Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

    #2
    Katie,

    This year we are doing 5th/3rd and I have a Pre-K and toddler (only one though ). We can get school-work done most days between breakfast and lunch. Monday is long for us because we have our Latin videos on that day. I will add that if your olders are good readers they will be able to do many of the lessons independently. I give my kids my Lesson Plan Books so they have all their to-do for each day and they check it off as it's done. I spent untold hours recreating these as Excel files for them for a year and a half and finally relented and just put them on their work table for them to use this year. It has been a major advantage in terms of saved time on my part!! I was being too protective of my neat and precious plans! It's great because they know what work to do each day and they have the freedom to work through it in the order of their choice. They can also take advantage of their own productivity...more work done earlier in the day means an earlier afternoon for interests, playing, resting and leisure. Many, many days they are done with their independent work before I'm ready to jump in and do math with them or other lessons. Anything done independently gets a quick look-over by me and I ask questions and we chat about the content. The periodic quizzes and tests help you know if the information is sticking and help you adjust if needed.

    As toward purchasing, that will just depend on how much you are actually buying. The real value of the packages comes in the bulk so you might have to make a couple charts to compare. My suggestions are to list out the core sets and see what you might like to substitute in for the package price (take something out, list it's separate retail value and sub in something of the same retail value). The MP staff is very accommodating to make substitutions in the packages for things you don't need. You could easily substitute in maps, wall charts (awesome for Ancient world and Christian Studies--even if you're using your own materials), and fun things for your Pre-Ker (the coloring books, Alphabet and Numbers books, Inside and Outside and Counting with Numbers are fabulous). I usually snag in a few books for myself from their resources page as well.

    Another thing is that unless you are completely gung-ho I wouldn't do much formally with the preschooler. Mine (DD, 4) listens to all the read alouds, poetry, bible, recitation for both older kids. I also add in Mother Goose and poetry aimed specifically at her. I have those books sitting out and just choose those on the fly. I use Cindy Rollins' format of Morning Time to accomplish this and pull everyone together for a part of the morning. (You can read about it here: http://www.ordo-amoris.com/p/31-day-of-m.html )
    It's a favorite break in their morning...I work and they listen! They are all distracting and loud at times but we just roll with it. I often will try to do this outside in the backyard if weather permits or in the afternoon around the kitchen table with hot cocoa or tea. I have to get creative to wrangle them all but it's important to me they all be there. It's one of my most precious times in our days and they learn so much and we all laugh together! I'm not sure if your babies nap, but you could reserve that time for the one on ones--math, Latin.

    As for history cycle, MP doesn't follow the popular four-year history cycle opting instead for a gradual introduction to all the foundational material needed for upper level classical studies. It's very, very hard to get your mind around any other method but I've found so much freedom in not trying to keep all the kids together! Since they are working through the classical studies just like their other areas of study it's not primarily conveyed through read-alouds and thus no huge amount of time is "saved" or "lost" by them not being in the same part of history. I hope I'm making sense. I'm writing quickly with lots of havoc in the background. If either of your older kids cannot read/comprehend their own texts for this and complete the accompanying study guides with medium to minimal help from you this might be more of an issue. Since your older child wants to study the Greek Myths too I'd just have him track along with the Greek Myths book with your 3rd grader. He'll probably just read it all for pleasure because it's a fun book. He will have the added benefit of it coming up in recitation and review with your third grader. As for grasping history in order the new Timeline set is amazing (and so concise!!) to help select the *most* important dates only and truly memorize them. I've loved watching my fourth grader cement those dates in his head this year.

    You already know this, but as an encouragement and reminder--with so many children to parent and teach you have to remember that you are still primarily a mother and that good, daily life is going to show up and wreck your plans sometimes. You have to stay flexible and in the moment. If they are asking for another chapter of something awesome, sometimes you just say yes and make a memory and lunch is late. Other times, the babies will benefit from lots of sibling love instead of a well-structured day. If your family is like mine, many days are very challenging and they are all worth it and we bounce back. This is the beauty of MP charting it all out for you in the plans. You are never off track--you just keep going forward. Most MP grades only schedule 33 weeks so you have extra days in there for field trips, etc. (In Tennessee we are required to school 180 days). I've found the schedule most conducive to taking off a week at a time and not a day or two here and there. If we have something special come up we shift work to other days in the week and can press on without too much difficulty.

    To me, we are always learning and education is happening all the time. Our school is one of the primary means of that happening and I love MP for it's depth and brevity. My kids have time to go forth and enjoy the things they've learned poking around outside and in the world. For what it's worth, I use a Charlotte Mason style of mothering outside of our school time. I think she has so much wisdom for leading young children in wonder and exploration and literature. We hike because hiking is an enjoyable, worthwhile activity--not because it's school. The same with art or music or other lovely things. I try to set the example of admiration for those things which are admirable. Phil 4:8-9, you know.

    Sorry that this is all over the place, but I wanted to encourage you. I hope I have!
    Best,
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
    10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
    7th • HLN & Home
    4th • HLN & Home
    Me: Third Form Summer Intensive MPOA

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    Comment


      #3
      Wow, pickandgrin..thanks so much for your encouraging response and taking the time to do so with your background havoc! Mine are all down for rest or room time..ahhhh.

      I have had so many suggestions from other homeschool families to combine as many subjects as possible for my children, and you are right, it is hard to let go of that concept. We do science, religion, and history together now. I am confident my kids would enjoy the Memoria material for their grades. My 2nd/3rd grader can work well independently and is a book worm, reading anything she can get her hands on. My fifth grader is sharp as a tack, however, has diagnosed moderate ADD..no hyperactivity, just major focus issues. Most of my day is trying to keep him on task and not frustrated. We also love Charlotte Mason for her views on the arts, nature, habit training, etc. We school in small chunks with my ds to avoid too much drifting.

      Thanks for the suggestion for morning time. I will have to look up Cindy Rollins. Sounds like fun and we do all love being together.

      We covered Story of the World Vol. 1 this year, so both have been completely enthralled with the Greek and Roman history. Good idea to just have those kind of books on hand for pleasure reading, as I am sure they would certainly do so.

      Overall, my wish and hopes for my kids are to be happy, love God, learning and have interests and passions deeper than legos and barbies I certainly dream of having the afternoons for their enjoyment and hobbies. Sounds like from your response, it is do-able.

      Thanks again for your excellent response!
      Katie
      Katie

      DS 17: Senior!
      DD 14: 10th
      DD 10: 6th
      Twin DD's 8: 3rd
      Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

      Comment


        #4
        Right now I have cores K, 3 and 4 going on plus a 3 and 1 year old. I try to get Latin (they both do LC1), spelling and phonics(which requires one on one) done before lunch then afternoon nap time to finish everything else. Our mornings are slower when dealing with the littles - mainly the 1 year old! We usually end around 4pm. My older boys take turns watching the baby too if I need to do some extra one on one. My 3rd grader takes a little extra work to get going sometimes and that has something to do with the length of our day too. Recently I've written each subject on the whiteboard and they cross it out as they go. It seems to be a great motivator for some reason! I've kept them all separate because I feel that everything is very age appropriate and I hate to mess with it. The progression is finely laid out. So I would try to get in Greek Myths/Rome if I was starting a 5th grader. Perhaps Intro to Classical? But that does have Christian Studies in it too. Someone else will help you with that, don't worry.

        It would be great if I could have no schoolwork in the afternoons! Haven't been able to manage that yet. Maybe when my one year old isn't getting into everything! Give yourself some grace when starting the year too! It takes a few weeks for us to get in the groove.
        Courtney
        Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome Katie! I just wanted to respond about discounts. I believe if you email your order instead of ordering directly online, and you have enough stuff they will apply a discount anyway. I'm not 100% sure that is still the case, but it was for me as I had to tork and tweak some of the Core items last year.

          I believe this is a great and simplifying while not compromising route to take!

          Many blessings,

          Maggie
          -Amy

          Nine babies, 6 graduated, 5 married, 17 grand babies 7 and under!
          2020/21 MP 3rd, 6th, 11th MPOA, College student. Starting 8th year using Memoria Press
          Director of Coop 412, a Classical Christian Coop using MP and based on Ephesians 4:12.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Courtney View Post
            Right now I have cores K, 3 and 4 going on plus a 3 and 1 year old. I try to get Latin (they both do LC1), spelling and phonics(which requires one on one) done before lunch then afternoon nap time to finish everything else. Our mornings are slower when dealing with the littles - mainly the 1 year old! We usually end around 4pm. My older boys take turns watching the baby too if I need to do some extra one on one. My 3rd grader takes a little extra work to get going sometimes and that has something to do with the length of our day too. Recently I've written each subject on the whiteboard and they cross it out as they go. It seems to be a great motivator for some reason! I've kept them all separate because I feel that everything is very age appropriate and I hate to mess with it. The progression is finely laid out. So I would try to get in Greek Myths/Rome if I was starting a 5th grader. Perhaps Intro to Classical? But that does have Christian Studies in it too. Someone else will help you with that, don't worry.

            It would be great if I could have no schoolwork in the afternoons! Haven't been able to manage that yet. Maybe when my one year old isn't getting into everything! Give yourself some grace when starting the year too! It takes a few weeks for us to get in the groove.
            I second the suggestion to cover Myths and FMR. I started my 4th grader with FMR, and we have both absolutely loved it. We had planned to move onto FMMA for 5th, but have decided to go back and cover Myths in 5th, then FMMA in 6th. We both really want to study Greek myths and I feel better knowing that she won't hit Homer until 8th.
            DD 16 | 11th
            DS 14 | 8th
            DD 12 | 7A

            12th Year HSing, 8th Year MP

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Maggie View Post
              Welcome Katie! I just wanted to respond about discounts. I believe if you email your order instead of ordering directly online, and you have enough stuff they will apply a discount anyway. I'm not 100% sure that is still the case, but it was for me as I had to tork and tweak some of the Core items last year.

              I believe this is a great and simplifying while not compromising route to take!

              Many blessings,

              Maggie
              Thanks for the advice Maggie! I just emailed them with my list of subs to see what they could do.
              Katie
              Katie

              DS 17: Senior!
              DD 14: 10th
              DD 10: 6th
              Twin DD's 8: 3rd
              Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

              Comment


                #8
                Can I ask if you all have thought about the high school years and plans after Memoria? I know we have 4 yrs to go, but curious as to how the transition from middle school level to high school may go.. and we are coming in to Memoria mid way through, if there will be gaps in certain subjects that we will need to get up to speed on before highschool.

                I think I need to relax a bit, ha, but I am a planner by nature

                jenniferjb and Courtney:

                Regarding the FMR and the 4th grade curriculum..I suppose I could just start him with 4th grade core instead of 5th because he would need the beginning composition program anyway. May be good for his confidence and focus issues as well. He is certainly the one I am most concerned about while making the switch to Memoria. Then with myths, we would have the books from his sister so he could use them as a short summer study before we start school. He is very familiar with myths as we studied them quite a bit this year and have a wonderful book called "Classical Myths to Read Aloud" that we were reading aloud in the evening. What are your thoughts? Or just stick with 5th grade and supplement with myths and FMR?

                Thanks!
                Katie
                Katie

                DS 17: Senior!
                DD 14: 10th
                DD 10: 6th
                Twin DD's 8: 3rd
                Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

                Comment


                  #9
                  MP is furiously working on the high school levels for us. I am holding out for those. For now, lots of Moms are having their kids use MP 7 for 9th grade.

                  Your kids will not have gaps starting MP late. Everything works together to build skills. The content will be repeated in different ways over the courses.

                  As for 5th or 4th, I would go with 4th. It has most everything already tied up for you that you have said you would like. MP is advanced so using lower grade levels does not mean anything. Feeling and being successful is more important than the grade number on the lesson plan book.
                  The Homeschool Grads:
                  J- 6/96
                  S- 11/98

                  Still Homeschooling:
                  G- 4/04 (mild ASD/mild intellectual delay)
                  D- 5/05
                  F- 7/08 (my only girl)

                  New Homeschooler:
                  M- 9/16

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would make a list of what you want to use for each subject, and see if it matches the 4th or 5th core more closely, then sub out the items you want. I would definitely not want to miss FMR, but I think Myths, FMR and FMMA in one year might be a bit much. It depends on how much time you have to devote to it. The online classes are a semester long, so doing two in one year can be done. I would also start with Geography 1 over Geography 2. For classical comp you need to start with Fables, but I believe I have heard that there is an accelerated lesson plan to get you up to speed if you get a late start. Hopefully someone else can confirm that.

                    And yes, I have been thinking ahead to HS. If you want an idea of what MP's HS options may look like, check out the Highlands Latin School website.
                    DD 16 | 11th
                    DS 14 | 8th
                    DD 12 | 7A

                    12th Year HSing, 8th Year MP

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You know if you really want to add in Greek Myths somewhere he could simply read the stories and learn all the drill questions in the back of the teacher guide. At least he would know who's who and what's what. My library also had a compiled recording(Sydney Poitier,Matthew Broderick ect.) of D'Aulaires Greek Myths that my son could just listen to. He liked that and it might free some of your time as well if you can find it.

                      But I think core 4 is a good starting place!
                      Courtney
                      Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Courtney! I had no idea there was a CD recording of Greek Myths! Thanks for the tip.
                        Festina lentē,
                        Jessica P

                        2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                        12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN
                        10th • HLN, Latin online, MPOA
                        7th • HLN & Home
                        4th • HLN & Home
                        Me: Third Form Summer Intensive MPOA

                        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                        Comment


                          #13
                          So from all of your wonderful suggestions, I am pretty sure I will start my ds in 4th instead of 5th, just subbing math and grammar, and still use the Christian Studies along with our Catholic studies. Is it necessary to sub Christian studies II too for the 1st level?

                          Also, I have read that there is an alternative plan for third grade at a slower pace?? I am not super sure I completely understand this, but it seems as though it may be a better choice for my bright 7 yo instead of going full force into 3rd. Do any of your know if it will be a separate core package to chose? I will hold off on ordering 3rd if the choices will be changing soon.

                          I can not tell you all how excited I am to begin this next year with Memoria! I wonder if my kids would mind skipping their break and getting started right away All of you have helped ease my worries. Thanks so much.
                          Katie
                          Katie

                          DS 17: Senior!
                          DD 14: 10th
                          DD 10: 6th
                          Twin DD's 8: 3rd
                          Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Katie,

                            If you look at the "young second grader query," tha is where the news broke about the gap year idea. Basically, MP has realized that the transition from Second to Third can be a bit much for some children. Additionally, children coming in from another program, or new to homeschooling, sometimes need a slower introduction to MP's curriculum. For these reasons, they are planning an alternative third grade and fourth grade which would basically break the standard third grade in half, and give them two years for several of the core classes. The current third grade and fourth grade will still be available as well, so when a student does the slower paced option, then they would rejoin the regular track, using the current fourth grade as their fifth grade. Does that make sense?

                            I am planning to use it with my dd who will have just turned seven as well. I am very excited to let her age catch up!

                            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


                              #15
                              Thanks, Sarah! I just found it..very good info.
                              Katie

                              DS 17: Senior!
                              DD 14: 10th
                              DD 10: 6th
                              Twin DD's 8: 3rd
                              Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

                              Comment

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