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Curriculum guidance for a potential Memoria newbie

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    #16
    Katie,

    I've been debating on whether I should respond here regarding your 7yo because I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, however I do have 2 in college and one in high school (and a 1st grader), all homeschooled. I do have a little perspective.


    Please do realize that the Three R's are there for a reason. "Education" must encompass all THREE of the skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic before progressing onto other areas. Memoria Press believes in that so strongly (rightly so) that the K-2nd grade curriculums schedule little else.

    In addition, it is _very_ easy for a child with good visual skills to read early and well. I have several of those. However, that doesn't mean that the child is emotional capable of interacting with the material, just because she can read it. I use the example of Jane Eyre all the time: most homeschoolers hand that novel to their children wayyy too early just because the reading level is early high school. There is NO WAY a 13yo can emotionally understand the "loves" that Jane experiences over the course of the novel... even if they can retell the plot. It's a waste of time to read literature so that a student can rell the simple plot.

    Consider that even though your child has read "all the books in the 2nd grade package", she may or may not have had the emotional maturity to understand the THEMES in the books it she has read them before 7yrs. Only you can determine this!


    My final point is that "writing" IS in the 3 R's and you are indicating that your child is in need of that skill. Do you realize that by the 3rd grade package, if your child had been following the MP sequence, she would have had 2 years of cursive already and be on her 3rd year of cursive? Have you looked at the 3rd grade literature student sample pages? Can she write independently to that level indicated? Sure you can do some of that orally, but I believe you've indicated a busy homeschool with many Littles. What do you gain *for her* by racing ahead and then needing to massage the situation so she can complete her lessons? You must consider if this will be best for her first, but also for *you*.


    As for math... pshaw... every kid I have has worked at least 1 level ahead of "grade level". My kid at MIT worked 4 levels ahead of grade level starting at the 4th grade. It's easy to just sub up to the next level of math if need be. Sarah on this board had mentioned several times that R&S math 3 is all multiplication. If your child is ready for that, then just sub in that and let her "dig in" to her learning _at her pace_. As a person who has plenty of time to look back over "how I would have done things differently", I would have done 2 things differently:


    1. Allow for MORE repetition in our early years. Repetitio mater studiorum: Repetition is the mother of learning. I raced through too many curriculums back in the day.

    2. I wouldn't have "helped" my bright kids nearly as much. They came to rely on my help so we could "keep the pace".



    I do hope this helps you or someone else. OTOH, maybe the 3rd grade package *is* the right one for your child! Having home educated a profoundly gifted child (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm) I am well aware that Only The Mother Knows What Is Right for educating that child. My son broke very rule in the book in his education and now he's a literal rocket scientist as MIT. Go figure.


    Jen
    DS, 27 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

    DS, 25 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 22 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

    DS, 12 yrs, 8th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

    All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

    Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

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      #17
      Jen,

      I would never consider any advice from a veteran homeschooler to sound like a know-it-all. I truly appreciated the time you took to respond in detail and you have given me a lot to think about! Thank you!

      Regarding the writing, its not a problem of her ability to do it..she can narrate and organize her thoughts beautifully, she just really despises putting pencil to paper right now and its hard to get her to do it without some sort of resistance. She does struggle with handwriting..she is a lefty and was taught improperly to write in her pre and K school she attended. This year I have been primarily working to correct her mechanics while holding off on cursive and plan to start her in NAC 1 this coming year.

      Please explain your thought on helping your bright children and keeping the pace? I suppose I could very well be heading down that route as I am a stickler for keeping the pace. Would you have let them be more independent with their pace instead of you personally moving them along? Did it make it more diffucult for independence in the later years?

      On another note..congrats on what seems to be many years of succesful homeschooling! Seems to be your children have thrived wonderfully under your guidence! My husband and I joke that our daughter will be the president or in prison She is so very determined and strong minded that once a thought is in her head..no turning back!

      Thanks again for your thoughtful advice!
      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

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        #18
        Katie,

        If only we had a crystal ball! Back In The Day, I used Sonlight (literature based) curriculum with my oldest boys and it was a perfect fit for my highly gifted eldest. Trying to read 25 books a year and stay on pace is like an Olympic event. As it turned out, that kid could "drink from the fire hose" and still never get enough. However, I did drag all my kids through that route, too. My next 2 were/are top students (top of their classes), but they aren't the same as the oldest, kwim? I wish I had slowed them down for MASTERY rather than racing them through 36 weeks every year, come rain or shine. I guess something that attracts me to MP curriculum now (besides that fact that I have been an MP Latin junkie for quite some time) for my young one is that it *is* mastery based. It's rigorous in and of itself, but its mastery based. The recitation alone sets an MP student well ahead of peers for mastering certain basic facts.

        One can always charge ahead... if the groundwork is solid. Or, saying another way: just because *I* know a fact doesn't mean my 1st grader "knows" it, too. It's the repetition that matters at this age.
        DS, 27 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

        DS, 25 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

        DD, 22 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

        DS, 12 yrs, 8th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

        All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

        Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

        Comment


          #19
          I'm glad to hear what you had to say Jen. I've found MP to be the most age appropriate curriculum I've looked at. It's not too easy, hard but not too hard. It's hard to explain what I mean, but 2nd grade has it's own challenges and then 3rd grade, etc. I believe a bright 7 yr old would still find many benefits in the 2nd grade curriculum.

          3rd grade brings much more memory work as well which I'm not sure if you've thought about Katie. If you aren't used to it, it can seem a little daunting. My boys are better at it this year. And I've noticed that 3rd grade memory work is rooted in some 2nd grade work, 4th grade in some 3rd grade work etc. It definitely helps to build up year by year. By all means you can do it without doing the prior years(we had to too) but there is value in following the progression.
          Courtney
          Mom to 5 boys-14,13,10,8,5 and the girls- 3 and 1

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