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    Thoughts on 4th grader

    My fourth grade boy (turning 10 at the end of January) is giving me a bit of trouble on what to do next. Last year we mostly did 3A, but with our own math and all about spelling. He didn't finish it all during the school year so this year we started off reviewing Latina Christiana from the beginning and attempting to finish the geography and astronomy books. He knows the names of the stars and the states and capitals, but spelling some of them is an issue as is the quantity of writing at the end of some of those assignments in astronomy. We are just about done and he is up to lesson 16 on Latina Christiana (start of unit 4). He is doing the 4A/5M lit with delectare.

    My question is what to do in January. He would hate to go back and repeat astronomy, etc. I don't know if I should try to finish Latina Christiana or move onto first form. If I am not moving onto first form part of me thinks I save the 4A for next year and call it 5M, but any suggestions for filling in the rest of the year? Has anyone ever used the veritas press online history?
    Dorinda

    Plans for 2021-2022
    15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
    DD College Freshman
    DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
    DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
    DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

    #2
    Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

    Good morning!
    What about doing Mammals over the spring instead of dragging out Astronomy? I like First Form as one school-year unit, but it can be done other ways. My preference for August to May is that you keep your momentum and don't have to have extended review after a summer break. It's so ordered and each week really builds to the next. It's easier to succeed when it's done succinctly.

    Please remind me what you all do for summer-do you break? Have some studies over the summer?
    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 for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

      My son, 10 in March, is doing Veritas Early Explorers online. He loves it. It's not 100% independent for him, but close. He struggles with spelling. The program covers a lot; history, in-depth geography with map labeling, and has great review. It definitely keeps him on his toes, but it's very interactive and he loves it.

      You definitely need the flashcards, but nothing else. I ordered them together, but set our online start date as a month later. This allowed time for the flashcards to get here before we started.

      There are two different levels of books you can read along with the online course. I already had some of them, so we read those, but I wouldn't go out of my way to order the book package. The online course is enough by itself.

      It takes him around 45 minutes to complete a lesson.

      Hope that helps
      DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
      DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
      DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

      We've completed:
      Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
      Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

        Hi Dorinda,

        Context: my son turned 10 this past October, just about the week we started 5M: FMoR, CS II, Insects, Geo II, and most importantly, FFL. We had been working on the end of LC I/4 (Astro, States & Caps, CS I, GM) in the summer and into the early fall due to a crazy spring schedule. Consequently, I did not make him master the last half on ANY of the 4th grade books, although he was decently good at orally giving me answers. Like your son, he couldn't handle the writing load at the end of Astro and he didn't have the S&C spellings down cold.

        He also did not finish LC I.


        So, like you, I was forced to make a decision which wasn't perfect since he hadn't finished LC I nor had he mastered/memorized all of the 4th grade subjects. I sweated over the decision... and eventually went with 5M, but with the caveat that I would let it take longer than a school year if necessary. It turned out to be a good decision because:

        1. The 5M books review ALL of the previous level material, even working it into the drill questions. I simply pull my drill questions equally from 4 and 5 material. It's really working out for us and he is mastering the 4th grade subjects along with the 5th

        2. FFL, although with more writing, is not too hard for a "just 10". I even have a pencil allergic child. He is doing well in FFL even without finishing LC I.

        3. Specifically States &Cap: the review is worked directly into Geo II which is just the right amount of reinforcement for cementing that subject for him. By the end of the year, he will have it down cold including spellings.


        I apologize but I can't comment on the Lit situation for your son. I think he is already doing the 5M lit? As you know, you could have him just keep going with that, then let it drop off to allow more time during the school day for 5M subjects, or add an extra book or two at the end to bridge to 6th. That said, even if it did take him until next January to finish 5M, he might be on track to undertake 6M "as is", including Lit. Just a thought.



        On Veritas history... are you thinking Ancients? I tried that with DS last year when he was in 4th. He found it tedious since he had to sit through all the jingles and screens, even if he knew the content already. I didn't have time to sit with him to discuss, so sadly, we found it only so-so. If you are looking for a mostly independent time filler, then yes, you have found it in Veritas. Like Colomama says, you do need the timeline flash cards to make it work. It wasn't that anything was wrong with it... it was just "almost right" for us, so this year, I returned to Bookshark (as you know, the 4 day secular version of SL). We are loving it: 35 mins in the afternoons to relive those wonderful old days with this kid. We're doing Core 3 history, read alouds, and readers as a set. And because of that, I am not using MP's American history readers nor the MP 5th grade read alouds. Of course, Veritas might be just what you are looking for, but Beware the Worldview. I know you KWIM.



        Jen
        DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

        DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

        DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

        DS, 13 yrs, 9th 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, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

          Originally posted by Jen in Japan View Post
          Hi Dorinda,

          Context: my son turned 10 this past October, just about the week we started 5M: FMoR, CS II, Insects, Geo II, and most importantly, FFL. We had been working on the end of LC I/4 (Astro, States & Caps, CS I, GM) in the summer and into the early fall due to a crazy spring schedule. Consequently, I did not make him master the last half on ANY of the 4th grade books, although he was decently good at orally giving me answers. Like your son, he couldn't handle the writing load at the end of Astro and he didn't have the S&C spellings down cold.

          He also did not finish LC I.


          So, like you, I was forced to make a decision which wasn't perfect since he hadn't finished LC I nor had he mastered/memorized all of the 4th grade subjects. I sweated over the decision... and eventually went with 5M, but with the caveat that I would let it take longer than a school year if necessary. It turned out to be a good decision because:

          1. The 5M books review ALL of the previous level material, even working it into the drill questions. I simply pull my drill questions equally from 4 and 5 material. It's really working out for us and he is mastering the 4th grade subjects along with the 5th

          2. FFL, although with more writing, is not too hard for a "just 10". I even have a pencil allergic child. He is doing well in FFL even without finishing LC I.

          3. Specifically States &Cap: the review is worked directly into Geo II which is just the right amount of reinforcement for cementing that subject for him. By the end of the year, he will have it down cold including spellings.


          I apologize but I can't comment on the Lit situation for your son. I think he is already doing the 5M lit? As you know, you could have him just keep going with that, then let it drop off to allow more time during the school day for 5M subjects, or add an extra book or two at the end to bridge to 6th. That said, even if it did take him until next January to finish 5M, he might be on track to undertake 6M "as is", including Lit. Just a thought.



          On Veritas history... are you thinking Ancients? I tried that with DS last year when he was in 4th. He found it tedious since he had to sit through all the jingles and screens, even if he knew the content already. I didn't have time to sit with him to discuss, so sadly, we found it only so-so. If you are looking for a mostly independent time filler, then yes, you have found it in Veritas. Like Colomama says, you do need the timeline flash cards to make it work. It wasn't that anything was wrong with it... it was just "almost right" for us, so this year, I returned to Bookshark (as you know, the 4 day secular version of SL). We are loving it: 35 mins in the afternoons to relive those wonderful old days with this kid. We're doing Core 3 history, read alouds, and readers as a set. And because of that, I am not using MP's American history readers nor the MP 5th grade read alouds. Of course, Veritas might be just what you are looking for, but Beware the Worldview. I know you KWIM.



          Jen
          Jen, thanks for this response. This guy is pretty good at oral responses to his questions, and he has states/capitals down for the states we did earlier in the year and did all the memory work for Christian studies. I think he can handle the FFL because he has the grammar from LC down from his older siblings. I just get a bit worried because so many say never to skip anything. I actually like that FFL gives enough practice to work with the material and "get it" all in one place. *I* get irritated by having 3 different workbooks going at the same time. It is good to know that the next level of geography will keep reviewing the material. He isn't far from having them all - doing it again seems like overkill- but getting there before moving on seems to put everything else on hold. I am not worried about literature. He likes the discussion group and my plan was to pick up some of the 4M literature next year anyway. I think spending December on advent activities and math and then starting 4A/5M in January and taking a year and a half is the way I am leaning. I think the veritas bit came up because of the Black Friday sale emails and because I couldn't think up enough filler for the winter if we didn't start the new core. I know what you mean by worldview (especially for an independent program) which is why it hasn't been purchased.

          Do you like bookshark better than Sonlight? I have never looked closely at the differences. I still have quite a few books on my shelf, but I sold my guides. This kid missed out on all that and I think he needs a bit of more relaxed school time to build up his self confidence a bit. The tough part might be keeping his older brother on track and not on the couch with us My 10yo's reading has improved a lot this past year, but some of the reading volume of Sonlight might benefit his reading speed.

          Glad to hear things are working well for you. Thanks again (as always) for your advice and perspective.

          Dorinda
          Dorinda

          Plans for 2021-2022
          15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
          DD College Freshman
          DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
          DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
          DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
            Good morning!
            What about doing Mammals over the spring instead of dragging out Astronomy? I like First Form as one school-year unit, but it can be done other ways. My preference for August to May is that you keep your momentum and don't have to have extended review after a summer break. It's so ordered and each week really builds to the next. It's easier to succeed when it's done succinctly.

            Please remind me what you all do for summer-do you break? Have some studies over the summer?
            Jessica,

            Thanks for the reply. I do like the thought of a nice, neat school year HOWEVER I can't remember a year that it actually materialized. We do work over the summer, but at a reduced pace. After taking a summer off when #4 arrived we started back to school in the fall with my then 8 year old acting like he had never even heard of spelling (among other things). I have tried not to let that happened again. If I had your nice cottage school I am sure the school year would be much tidier, but I can't figure out a move to Nashville :-)

            I think starting FFL and the new core might be my best option, but mammals would be fun. If not for this one, there is always one more.

            Thanks!
            Dorinda

            Plans for 2021-2022
            15th year homeschooling, 12th year with Memoria Press
            DD College Freshman
            DS 10th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata Greek Dramas
            DS 8th grade - Vita Beata Literature
            DS 3rd grade - Vita Beata Literature, Right Start F, First Form Latin

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

              Haha! It might help a tiny bit, but then again you can't just take off any old Monday you want. It's definitely a different rodeo than the flexibility of the pre-cottage-school days!

              Looks like you are getting some great ideas here that will help you move forward.
              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 for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Thoughts on 4th grader

                Dorinda,

                Bookshark.... LOVE! It is the Best of the Best from the SL cores, 4 day only, which as you know, bakes in some excellent flexibility, and then there's the bonus of not wading through the "stuff". No Files needed to figure out how to replace or alerts to watch out for. That makes it adaptable for each family.

                Your nearly-10 could totally handle Core 3 which, as you know, is the selection of super easy American History readers. Even the Core 4 stuff is nearly that reading level, but more of the longer chapter book format. The downside with either SL or BS is that you have to go with a proscribed history period, because Core 2 is only a mishmash readers (since the readers don't hook to the core until Core 3), but Core 5 might actually be too much. Then again, it was an easy justification to simply drop the MP read alouds and Am history readers, subbing in Bookshark instead. As you know, BS has those lovely check-boxes which allow you to put it down and pick it up at your convenience.

                This is not a "selling" of a non MP product as much as a replacement that is a better fit for my family. I have been very clear about this opinion time and time again: I love MP for ALL things educational, except the selections for the read alouds and readers. I feel that they lack the feeling of delight that I wish for my family. Just my opinion, of course.



                Jen
                DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                DS, 13 yrs, 9th 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, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

                Comment

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