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New to Memoria, trying to combine 2nd and 4th graders?

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    New to Memoria, trying to combine 2nd and 4th graders?

    Hello. 2015/2016 will be our 2nd year homeschooling with a rising 2nd grader, 4th grader, and Jr. K. We did Calvert this year and I'm looking to switch to Memoria Press for 2015/2016. I found this year difficult with separate curriculum for each boy and am looking to combine some classes for next year. My 4th grader had no cursive, Christian, or Latin studies this year. Part of me doesn't want him to be behind, but feel weird about skipping over Latina 1 and Christian 1, especially when I feel the 2nd grader could do them too. Was thinking of doing Prima Latina over summer as introduction and prep. I also think my 2nd grader could do some of the classes from 3rd grade curriculum that 4th grader didn't get last year, such as Timeline. I think combining classes would be good for our school day, a needed challenge for 2nd grader, and some catch up for 4th grader, but would it just be better to start at suggested pace for each grade for the long run ? Another issue I'm considering is signing up 4th grader for Composition online class, but not sure if he's up to speed for the class.

    Thank you,
    Erin

    #2
    Erin,
    Hello, and welcome to MP! I congratulate you on finishing your first year homeschooling! It is a milestone you should feel good about

    One of the things I think you may find with MP is that the curriculum, while divided by grades, is really directed at finding where your child is, based on skills, put them at that "grade," and then let them advance from there. Your second grader can probably enter at the second grade core, and do very well over the course of the year. Since it is a primary grade, there is a lot of practice and repetition, so that even if some things are easy/challenging, by the end of the year, hopefully your child will be up to speed in all the second grade skills by the end of the year. If he has not yet started cursive, you will want to switch to the NAC Book I, since MP starts cursive in first grade.

    As for your fourth grader, this is where the thought of a "level" should come in. Since you are new to MP, I think the best place for him to start is the Accelerated Third grade core (go to the Third Grade package and click on the link for Accelerated). This core will give your son all the first level books of the grammar school curriculum. It is challenging for some third graders, but since your son is the age of a fourth grader, it will hopefully be a good fit. Again, if he has not had any cursive yet, you will want to switch out the NAC Book III for Book I.

    This suggestion does not take into account your hope of combining your boys. Many folks have lots of ways they combine for subjects and cores. I will let them offer suggestions that have worked for them. The concern I have in your case is that you have one son (2nd grade) who really needs to finish focusing on primary school and the skills associated with that, while you have another son who is ready for the challenges of grammar school. For example, the fourth grader would be ready to start Latina Christiana and do it well, while Prima would be pretty simple for him. Conversely, your 2nd grader is really too young for LC. Things such as Classical Studies (Greek Myths), or Christian Studies might be areas you can have the second grader sit in with you, but not be expected to do all the guide-work.

    One thing I really appreciate about MP, is how age-appropriate all their materials are. There has been a lot of careful planning that has gone into their suggestions. As you go along, and your boys grow, there may be more opportunities to combine (such as when they are both within the grammar years), or you may also find (as I have) that it really is very efficient even having seperate grades for each one. We tried a lot of different programs before coming to MP, and our experience here has been a world apart from them.

    Good luck in your decisions!
    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
      My suggestions are exactly the same as Sarah's. I'd say accelerated 3rd (3A) for your older child and 2nd for your younger. One thing to consider is the learning curve of the "weekly rhythm" of MP. You might want to start your fourth grader a few weeks before your second grader to get him settled into the routine and expectation of each subject and each daily pattern. Once established, he will likely be able to do many things on his own from his stash of materials and the lesson plans. Things like Spelling and Math are easy things to do himself. (If he's ready for fourth grade math, simply have MP sub that into your accelerated third package. You'll receive separate lesson plans for that and just white out and write in the new plans in that line. Starting in fourth grade the math text is written to the student.) Many subjects have a small teaching element, then work that can be done without you during the day or throughout the week. You might want to have a little group read aloud time to get in the 2nd grade picture books, music, art (these only take moments), and science/history books, to go along with the 3A read-aloud suggestions and perhaps both children's recitation. Your second grader will enjoy the older's books immensely and it's a great time to gather them together for some family time.
      After a few weeks in the 3A package, you can start the younger child in 2nd with some one-on-one time with mom while the other is doing some of his independent work. I assure you this is a very doable proposition! I've found it to be easier to have each child working in their own core than I ever did having them "combined." It sets them free a bit to work at their own pace within the day. I've seen it create a good sense of ownership for each child.
      Hope this helps!
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
      DS Hillsdale College freshman
      DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
      DD 8th • HLN & Home
      DS 5th • HLN & Home
      Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

      Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both for advice on 2nd grader and the Accelerated 3rd seems to solve issue of what my other boy missed. Curious though, what would be the level for my oldest the following year, after he completes 3A? Thanks for support.

        Comment


          #5
          I am so glad we were able to help! I love tag-teaming with Jessica!

          The Accelerated path continues all the way along. So he would move on to 4A, 5A, 6A, etc.

          The entire curriculum is essentially the same. Some children need a more moderate approach to the third grade year. So the standard track takes the Accelerated Third grade, which we suggested to you, and divides it into two years: grades 3 and 4. The Accelerated Third accomplishes the same core subjects in a single year, before moving on to Acclerated Fourth (which is essentially the same as fifth grade). It is the same curriculum, the "Accelerated" term just means that the Third Grade was done in one year instead of two. All the years that follow are the same, just offset by a year.

          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


            #6
            Wonderful. Thanks again Sarah and Jessica.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Erin View Post
              Thank you both for advice on 2nd grader and the Accelerated 3rd seems to solve issue of what my other boy missed. Curious though, what would be the level for my oldest the following year, after he completes 3A? Thanks for support.
              If you choose 3A for 4th grade (subbing out for 4th grade spelling, composition and math), I think you could also move straight to 5S for 5th grade. 5S and 4A are almost the same except for math, composition and spelling. Even though the level labeled on the guide doesn't really matter, it is nice when it does match up to grade level. Plus you wouldn't have to make substitutions for math, composition and spelling.

              In case you wonder, 3A is not the same as 4S, and that is the reason Sarah and Jessica are not recommending you start there. It's just not a good place to start.
              DD 17 | 12th
              DS 15 | 9th
              DD 13 | 8th
              2021-2022

              13th Year HSing, 9th Year MP

              Comment


                #8
                Good points, Jennifer.
                So to clarify, you'd need to sub in the following into 3A to get you ready to move on to 5S the following year:

                Fourth Grade Math (to replace 3rd)
                Spelling Workout E (to replace D)
                Classical Composition, Fable Stage ( to replace All Things Fun and Fascinating) The DVDs aren't included, but I recommend them especially to get you off on the right start.

                This sets you up to be in the regular 5th grade core the following year and you can be done with whiting-out and writing in alterations in the plans!

                If I've missed anything, please someone else catch & correct me!
                Festina lentē,
                Jessica P

                '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
                DS Hillsdale College freshman
                DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
                DD 8th • HLN & Home
                DS 5th • HLN & Home
                Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

                Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
                Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Jennifer, your suggestion really brings it full circle because he is an excellent reader and speller and the 4S literature and spelling would be better for him, while getting the catch up for Latin, Christian, Classical, and Modern studies he missed doing the 3A. Couldn't have figured it out without you all. Looking forward to new year and MP. Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for clarifying Jennifer. I love that would put him set up for 5S the following.year.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sorry, meant Jessica.

                      Comment

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