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    Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

    I'd love some encouragement or advice about what we should do next year. We did full cores two years ago (4A and 2) and really enjoyed them. We had started our school year in January, but then I decided to stretch out that year to end in May and get on track with a traditional school year. To do that, I had to supplement with other materials in the mean time, and I really got sidetracked from MP. We ended up doing more CM style reading, narrating, and notebooking for content subjects. Since it worked well that first semester, we continued that method through this school year, too. It was great and rich, but a lot of work for me and I feel like we lost some ground.
    Skill-wise we're good, my rising 6th grader will be ready for Third Form in the fall, and is actually working a year ahead in Rod & Staff math. She'll also be ready for CC Chreia/ Maxim. We've been doing R&S for English, and honestly we prefer it to EGR.
    I keep coming back to MP and wonder how we got so far from the core curriculum. I think part of it was that the amount of memorization required for all the subjects became overwhelming. We did pretty well with FMR, but Insects, Geography, and CS II bogged us down. We already memorize so much for Latin, scripture, and poetry. Honestly, I'm still not sure I see the benefit of memorizing all those insect types. I think I'm convinced that we should continue with Classical studies, come back for literature and keep on with CC. We'll definitely stay the course with MP Latin to the end! It's my favorite thing we use. I guess I just want some input about what the benefits would be to doing a full core other than just piecing together some components.
    Also, does anyone go a little easy on some content subjects? Such as less memorization, or not testing? I feel bad even asking this, because I feel like we run a rigorous ship here and I don't want to do the lazy thing. I just want to have enough steam to stay the course through the long haul and not overburden ourselves. I'd also like to incorporate some type of notebooking because my kids love it so much and enjoy showing their work to grandparents. I don't see how I could fit that in, though.
    2018/2019
    Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
    Ds 10: MP 5M
    Ds 5: MP K

    #2
    Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

    Originally posted by Angela View Post
    I'd love some encouragement or advice about what we should do next year. We did full cores two years ago (4A and 2) and really enjoyed them. We had started our school year in January, but then I decided to stretch out that year to end in May and get on track with a traditional school year. To do that, I had to supplement with other materials in the mean time, and I really got sidetracked from MP. We ended up doing more CM style reading, narrating, and notebooking for content subjects. Since it worked well that first semester, we continued that method through this school year, too. It was great and rich, but a lot of work for me and I feel like we lost some ground.
    Skill-wise we're good, my rising 6th grader will be ready for Third Form in the fall, and is actually working a year ahead in Rod & Staff math. She'll also be ready for CC Chreia/ Maxim. We've been doing R&S for English, and honestly we prefer it to EGR.
    I keep coming back to MP and wonder how we got so far from the core curriculum. I think part of it was that the amount of memorization required for all the subjects became overwhelming. We did pretty well with FMR, but Insects, Geography, and CS II bogged us down. We already memorize so much for Latin, scripture, and poetry. Honestly, I'm still not sure I see the benefit of memorizing all those insect types. I think I'm convinced that we should continue with Classical studies, come back for literature and keep on with CC. We'll definitely stay the course with MP Latin to the end! It's my favorite thing we use. I guess I just want some input about what the benefits would be to doing a full core other than just piecing together some components.
    Also, does anyone go a little easy on some content subjects? Such as less memorization, or not testing? I feel bad even asking this, because I feel like we run a rigorous ship here and I don't want to do the lazy thing. I just want to have enough steam to stay the course through the long haul and not overburden ourselves. I'd also like to incorporate some type of notebooking because my kids love it so much and enjoy showing their work to grandparents. I don't see how I could fit that in, though.
    Hi Angela! I just wanted to let you know that I echo your sentiments on the memorizing! My oldest is in 5A and this is our second year doing full cores. This year we've not been doing tests I hate to say but I feel we are surviving. CS has gone by the wayside because we study the Bible as a family and learn scripture through our catechism. Basically all those extra subjects we read together and do questions orally. To be honest, I have done zero tests in any subject. There I said it.

    However, I love MP for our family and the structure it provides us. I know my kids are getting a great education. There are things within the curriculum that we're not doing such as tests, but I don't want to get on the rabbit trail of other curriculums and the second guessing myself. I feel a peace that they are getting what they need through MP.

    I have no tips but I will be following this discussion. I could use some tips too! The note booking I would like to do as well. It's so nice to have something pretty to show.
    Courtney
    Ds10 acc.5th
    Dd8 2nd
    Ds6 K
    Dd4
    Ds2
    Dd1
    #7coming July
    "saved by grace"

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

      Welcome back, Angela!

      You have an excellent question, and I will try to offer what my family's reality check is: yes, we make adjustments. We have to. There is simply no way for us all to do every single thing. Some subjects become favorites, and others we just tolerate until it's over. I have one child who is a semester "behind" in Christian Studies because we flip flopped what we were doing. I have my oldest in an assortment of subjects with individual lesson plans because she outpaced the cores. And then my little ones are in full cores, but we may not do every single thing exactly as written because I make concessions on some things.

      I would encourage you to piece together what you really like from MP, and what you still want to be able to do from your current work. I am sure there is a balance you can reach that will make it a full, rich and challenging curriculum without tipping the balance of what is possible.

      Are you wanting specific suggestions, or just general encouragement? We could offer specific help if you give a run down on what they are currently doing, what you like, and what you want time to do.

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 16
      DD, 14
      DD, 12
      DD, 10
      DD, 8
      DD, 6
      +DS+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

        This is our first year with MP, but we've definitely made some adjustments.
        My 4th grader (a very precocious child - the kind who saw Greek in the MP catalog and begged for it) was able to jump in with both feet and do the memorization and the testing just fine. My 3rd grader is a different ballgame - he has struggled a bit with the increased expectations, so I've simply reduced the memorization and omitted the testing. He is still getting a fabulously rich education (thank you, MP!). Perhaps next year we'll increase the testing, but we'll see!

        HTH!
        Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys (7A, 6M, 2), classics major

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

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

          I will echo Sarah's sentiments about the cores- we all make adjustments! That is one of the most beautiful things about MP that I've found - I can adjust as necessary and everything still falls into place.

          As I type this, I'm sitting in a hotel away from my family and my husband is manning the ship. During the odd times that I'm away, I hand him the CGs for each child and he can handle everything! The kids have developed a rhythm and they know what's expected of them each day. (Bonus: they also know that when Daddy's in charge, they'll be listening to different read-alouds. They just finished the Chronicles of Prydain and are beginning the Hobbit!) They have also become independent with regard to flash card drills and memorization. Because my older two are so close in age, they like to quiz each other and have contests with regard to bible verses, Latin vocabulary and countries + capitals. I do not need to goad them to complete memorization work like I used to - they own that now.

          Now, all that being said, we have switched up literature a bit. For this season of our lives, my children really need to read their lit passages aloud and have oral discussions rather than be sent off to complete reading + workbooks themselves (much of this stems from the insane amount of travel/appointments we have for DS12). It's okay. This also means that we're also not doing geography workbooks. Instead, I have the flashcards we need for the countries we're studying this year (Geo II) and they're simply memorizing/quizzing each other. In their free time, they find the countries on our globe.

          Just like you, we're making it work. However, I use that CG for each core as my guideline, no matter whether the kids are completing the work orally or in writing. This is what lets me know what we need, what is enough and it is our anchor no matter where we happen to be when schooling happens.

          I don't know if this truly answers your question but I do hope that some tidbit of this might be helpful to you. <3
          Mary

          DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
          DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
          DD8 - SC level 2

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

            Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
            ... They have also become independent with regard to flash card drills and memorization. Because my older two are so close in age, they like to quiz each other and have contests with regard to bible verses, Latin vocabulary and countries + capitals. I do not need to goad them to complete memorization work like I used to - they own that now.

            ...
            I hope this isn't too far OT -- Mary, you've probably answered this question a gazillion times, but: how do you prefer to organize the cards to make it open-and-go for your children? I would love to work toward this!

            More on the original topic ... we are probably never going to be 100% traditional core, for several reasons, but I do like being centered in my curriculum guide. The removable address labels Jessica suggests have been fantastic!

            You can let some of the memorization go, too. Or let it be slower for a season, and you do not need to test everything; or, let the children take open-book tests. I'd start with science if I were to let some memorization & testing go. Why not notebook for science, at least, and do the questions from the student guide orally? You could also notebook geography, esp. if they'd enjoy sketching maps. Just some thoughts -- each family is so different!
            Ana, mama to
            ds A, 14 yo
            ds N, 9 yo

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

              Thank you all for your replies. I like the idea to start out taking open book tests (or not doing the tests for at least science). Reading through posts here, it does seem like there is an element of magic involved in using the CG as opposed to just doing all the scheduling on my own. The label sticky notes are an awesome idea! So, if we were to go with a full core, what would we do??? Here is where we're at for the two olders:

              DD 11 (will be in 6th):
              Will be ready to do Third Form, CC Chreia/ Maxim.
              I was thinking of FMMA, though, because she's not done that yet. She has done GM and FMR, and I'd kind of like to be on track to move to 7A for the year after, so Greeks then. Does it make sense to do FMMA this year instead of FMG so that she'll get some of that time period? I could still do Greek Alphabet and Horatius.
              She's done Geography I, so Geography II makes sense. And we've just done a year of US history this year, so I'm not too worried about covering that.
              She would prefer Birds, but that's not a biggie. Math will be either COTR or R&S 7, depending on how she does finishing R&S 6 this spring. This doesn't seem to fit any cores!

              DS 9 (will be in 4th):
              Finishing LC this year, but honestly I'm thinking he could use another year of maturity before FFL. We haven't done Ludere yet, so I could use that and the worksheets again to solidify. He should probably do GM, States and Capitols, and Astronomy. All this sounds like the 4NU guide to me? Math is actually R&S 5, and SWO is level D, so we're all over the place!

              We use R&S for English, and want to keep it.

              Thanks for any insights!
              Angela
              2018/2019
              Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
              Ds 10: MP 5M
              Ds 5: MP K

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post
                I hope this isn't too far OT -- Mary, you've probably answered this question a gazillion times, but: how do you prefer to organize the cards to make it open-and-go for your children? I would love to work toward this!
                Actually, it's JESSICA who has answered this question - and I was the gazillionth person to ask her! *cracks up laughing*

                I started out with each subject's flashcards organized in separate little boxes but that worked out about as well as a screen door on a submarine...so I borrowed Jessica's idea of putting them on a binder ring. At the beginning of each year, I laminate their cards, punch holes in the corners and then put them onto binder rings. I purchased 2 wooden peg boards from the Container Store, installed them just beneath our whiteboard (so that even my littlest one can reach) and I hang each set on one of the pegs.

                The smaller cards (think Famous Men series, Timeline, etc.) fit perfectly into business card-size laminating sheets. The larger cards (think bible verses, geography and art cards) fit very well inside the 5x7 laminating sheets. I have some cards that fit into 4x6 sheets but I'm spacing which ones (not at home so I can't check!). Also, the art posters fit inside the menu-size laminating sheets. These little pre-folded sheets are perfect because they cut out the need to trim your cards. <3<3
                (I do not punch holes in the art posters - I just laminate them so that my 5-year-old can look at them/hang them on her magnet board without damaging them.)

                I use 2-inch binder rings for fatter card stacks or larger cards and 1 - 1.5 inch rings for thinner stacks. I went ahead and purchased these in bulk (boxes of 20 or so) because I'll need them each year.

                Was this waaaay more information than you needed?
                Mary

                DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
                DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
                DD8 - SC level 2

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                  Angela,

                  I think your ideas about your curriculum are sound. If you want to do FMMA, that is fine. You could start with the 6A core for your oldest and customize it. If you can't get the total customization you need online, we're always glad to help you complete your order. Just do what you can on your own, and then call us, and we'll take over your order and customize anything you can't do.

                  Tanya

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                    Ooo! Mary, I hadn't thought of peg boards. Brilliant.
                    Festina lentē,
                    Jessica P

                    2020-2021
                    11th year HSing · 9th year MP
                    @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
                    11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

                    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                      Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
                      ....
                      Was this waaaay more information than you needed?
                      No, that was just barely enough!!! now I've got myself a PLAN!!!

                      and, Jessica, thanks for answering this same question a gazillion times -- you are building a Flashcard Lineage!
                      Ana, mama to
                      ds A, 14 yo
                      ds N, 9 yo

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                        Angela,
                        I agree with Tanya that you can probably make use of the 6th grade core, and the 4NU really well. (There's no need to choose an accelerated core - your daughter would have less to switch with the standard 6th).

                        The only changes for 6th would be Latin and Math, and when you make those substitutions, you will automatically get the individual lesson plans for those subjects so you still have it planned out for you.

                        Your son would only need to switch math and spelling - but even then (for spelling) it is really just changing the level of the book. The assigned work is exactly the same, so you would not notice a difference in the plans.

                        Also, using Rod and Staff alongside is easy to do. You could choose to keep the EGR and use that as a way to memorize specific points, while still using R&S for the main explanatory lesson. I would not even worry that they don't line up perfectly - just head through each as written. Keep the R&S lessons oral, and they will naturally be brief. Or choose to do it completely, and leave out EGR. You really can't go wrong either way!

                        AMDG,
                        Sarah
                        Last edited by KF2000; 02-24-2017, 07:54 AM.
                        2020-2021
                        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                        DS, 16
                        DD, 14
                        DD, 12
                        DD, 10
                        DD, 8
                        DD, 6
                        +DS+
                        DS, 2

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                          Originally posted by OrthodoxHandmaiden View Post
                          Actually, it's JESSICA who has answered this question - and I was the gazillionth person to ask her! *cracks up laughing*

                          I started out with each subject's flashcards organized in separate little boxes but that worked out about as well as a screen door on a submarine...so I borrowed Jessica's idea of putting them on a binder ring. At the beginning of each year, I laminate their cards, punch holes in the corners and then put them onto binder rings. I purchased 2 wooden peg boards from the Container Store, installed them just beneath our whiteboard (so that even my littlest one can reach) and I hang each set on one of the pegs.

                          For my dd we use a combo of coupon file from Dollar Tree and Quizlet. We make our flash cards, so French is white and Latin is orange/ yellow. We have a tab for learning "front to back", "back to front", "regular review" and "mastery review". We don't do flash cards for history, science, etc. This works well for an older kiddo.

                          Also sometimes we skip the workbooks and just do the quizzes. Sometimes open book, sometimes not. Then those are study tools for tests. We definitely pick and choose study guide activities in literature.
                          Bean. Long time MP user. I'm usually posting before my coffee is finished. I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

                          DD- 10th- AP & dual enrollment courses for 20-21.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                            Angela, I agree that 4NU looks great for your son.

                            I wanted to mention that if your daughter really wants birds, you may want to just do that year of science: the science year that schedules birds follows this with a study of the history of medicine, which is not only great stuff but fits nicely with the FMoMA to my way of thinking. I don't think the child's education would be in any way compromised, it seems a matter of what you discern is best.

                            If she did the course you outlined, even if you subbed the science for birds, it seems to me she would be ready for 7A the next year and you would not _need_ to sub anything out, but could easily substitute according to your preferences & what works best.

                            I did have a thought regarding notebooks, which is something we might try to incorporate more of. The Memoria Press composition books have blank pages facing lined pages, and it seems it would be straightforward to do a "spread" in the composition book instead of the student guide for some subjects. Birds would actually be great for this -- diagrams/sketches on one side, descriptions or other writing on the facing page.

                            You and the others who like notebooks have me thinking this might be great for us! Then we can use student guides in those subjects as study guides. We need open-and-go around here so previously notebooking seemed impossible.
                            Ana, mama to
                            ds A, 14 yo
                            ds N, 9 yo

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Encouragement to Return to Full Cores?

                              Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post

                              I did have a thought regarding notebooks, which is something we might try to incorporate more of. The Memoria Press composition books have blank pages facing lined pages, and it seems it would be straightforward to do a "spread" in the composition book instead of the student guide for some subjects. Birds would actually be great for this -- diagrams/sketches on one side, descriptions or other writing on the facing page.

                              You and the others who like notebooks have me thinking this might be great for us! Then we can use student guides in those subjects as study guides. We need open-and-go around here so previously notebooking seemed impossible.
                              Nice idea!
                              Bean. Long time MP user. I'm usually posting before my coffee is finished. I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

                              DD- 10th- AP & dual enrollment courses for 20-21.

                              Comment

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