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Placement Help (11, 9 and 6 yr olds)...my continuation from my 14-yr old

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    Placement Help (11, 9 and 6 yr olds)...my continuation from my 14-yr old

    We are finally back home for good now. Many of you know that we have moved states this Spring and it has been somewhat chaotic and crazy over here. We have been debating heavily back and forth on school versus homeschool. My last post was regarding my eldest and I think we will keep him home no matter what. These are the three I am struggling to decide on! Yes, I know it is August and we need to make our decision Quick!

    DS11 This is what we did last year:

    Phonics/Spelling -Barton Tutoring (2X per week). This tutoring has really been so beneficial to him and I am seeking out a new tutor or I also know someone who does it online (might be a good option too as the tutors I could find are almost 30 min drive away).

    Outside of tutoring I had him reading along with books on Learning Ally. This year I am going to give him a list of books which utilizes the books recommended by MP as well as the 1000 good books list. He loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid and I resisted it for so long but realized that he would actually sit down and read those and it really opened him up to sitting and reading for pleasure. Unfortunately, now I have to try and expand his horizons to better books because I'm not crazy about those ones and he knows it. He tends to resist reading out loud to me as he does not like to be corrected.

    For Spelling, we also would review some of the Spelling Lists from the Barton Levels he had already done. He still seems to struggle a lot with spelling and I don’t know if it is a confidence issue or what. He can spell quite well during sessions but struggles with it outside of sessions when he is trying to write. I know part of it might be that he is obviously using more energy trying to figure out sentences and such versus just simply spelling words and another part of it is that he feels like "it takes too long". He is always talking about how much tie all his work takes and how he doesn't get much time to play. I try to gently remind him that as he gets older, the work will get more challenging and the work will take longer. I also remind him that if he were in school, he would have to work all day as well without a bunch of breaks. There isn't much recess in Middle School, even at the private Catholic school.

    Christian Studies - I had him doing the Bible Story edition of SC3 writing with TJ (except I can’t combine them because Anthony is quicker and then he ends up bored and waiting on his big brother. We read the Bible stories as a group in the morning. This year I think if we are going to finish it I need to give them coloring pages to go with the stories or something. My kids tend to be flopping around or distracting each other when we try to do group subjects. I don't know that I will have him finish the writing book (see Writing below).

    Literature - I left off doing Prairie School with him and he can read it fine. We made it through half of the workbook before we had to pack it all up to move. I was only making him write 1 sentence or so on the comprehension questions. He gets very grouchy about having to write at all and then he writes it very sloppy. I might have to just start enforcing a rule of "you copy it neatly or you do it again". I guess I should say that I mostly made him write it. It wasn't copied. I was trying to challenge him to spell words because I knew he could. I gave him any words I knew for sure he hadn't covered in Barton. Maybe I should have kept it as copying from my sentence instead? Does it ever make sense to just put a child in the proper Literature class and use it just as discussion or is the recommendation to keep him at the second grade literature? This is a child who could go to college and sometimes I wonder if I haven't pushed enough or if I am holding him back? His older brother has far greater challenges so I sometimes feel unsure what to do for this son of mine.

    Math - We switched over to Teaching Textbooks last year, but then he asked me if he could do MathUSee again because he really liked it. So, we did both because MathUSee we were on Multiplication and he was doing Teaching Textbooks level 4 which was behind MathUSee anyway, but it had other components that were good. I have never used Rod and Staff at this point and so I am hesitant to take on a new program this year, but also want to help my son do a little "catch-up". He was able to memorize his multiplication tables by using Times Tales. It was amazing. Even for myself the stories stick in my head. So cool to see that. He has his addition and subtraction facts memorized, but is not a "quick recall". He has to think about some of them sometimes. Unsure if there is a good way to help him with this or not.

    Penmanship and Writing - NAC2 (We made it to pg. 75). Again his cursive is pretty good. He just bawks at putting pen to paper and if the sheet says to do it 5 times, he will respond with "What?!?!? That is going to take me FOREVER!" I guess I need to be a bit less "nice" and simply say, when you have finished let me know. I have confidence you can do this and walk away. For Writing last year, we started out with IEW SWI-A (I made it to Lesson 11 but he again complained all the time about how long it took and I was basically scribing for him. I decided to go back to the SC3 Bible Story writing and the Prairie School book to get him putting pen to paper more. I love the IEW program but it was hard for me to fit it all in last year. He also was working in the SC3 Copybook. He made it to page 39. That is where we left off.

    This year, I am considering taking a class at a local Co-Op. There is a husband and wife team who had a son with sever dyslexia. The wife is a dyslexia practitioner (I had never heard of this) and the husband teaches a Grammar/Writing Class. His grammar program is multisensory and was created for kids who need that kind of learning. It is called Linking Blocks. The writing class will take my son from writing simple sentences to writing paragraphs. My prayer is that having my son be accountable to someone else for a year will help me hold him accountable. Additionally, he will be working with someone who understands the challenges these kids have. For me this year, I am thinking this would be a good place to put him. My hope is that I can then translate that into whichever spot he should be in for MP next year potentially. Any thoughts or feedback are welcome. This would cover both Grammar and Writing for me.

    Science/History/Enrichment - I was thinking for all my kiddos that we might just do the SC3 History together as a group. My 11-yr old has already read most of the "Meet …" books on his own. He hasn't read some of the others yet. I was debating on putting him in a simple science class at the co-op since right now I do not know if I will be able to accomplish this.

    I am debating on trying to combine him and his sister (9) with States and Capitols. They have already memorized these once before, but I thought a review might be good. Either that or I was considering Geo. 1?

    I am sorry this is so long-winded. I am trying to give some additional details surrounding our experiences in the past so you have some background on my kids. Thanks for bearing with me!

    DD (9) - Should be a third grader.

    Lit/Phonics/Spelling - Last year, I am bummed to admit that I gave up after a month and went back to AAR/AAS. I was so comfortable with that system. The issue I am having is that each session takes around 35 minutes and there is no writing involved. So I tried adding in Storytime Treasures in addition to it and ended up just plain switching to STT. She made it to Lesson 4 of Frog and Toad in the book.
    I had her do CSP2 in correlation to our lessons in AAR, so she has done (Unit 1 - all but sounds of g and s, Unit 2 - all except Long vowels and y in context, r-controlled vowels for ur, ir and er, Unit 3 All except we left off at Final consonant blends in context (pg.93 and that was where we had to stop in the book to move)

    Another thing I learned was
    that having one set of phonics cards doesn't work so well. I was constantly trying to figure out who needed which cards and where had I put them because another kids needed some of the same. It was bad. This time I know I will need a set for each kid! Question is this: Maria has done silent e long vowel words as part of AAR but she hasn't covered the vowel teams. I am considering going back into FSR and covering only those items that need covering or else just bumping her ahead and using the Spelling program to help her learn some of the finer details. She can actually read a Magic Tree House book with less that five errors usually. So, I'm not sure if I should be holding her back or not. Another thought I had was to just have her read the STT/MSTT books to me to see if she is reading them fluently. If so, I am considering skipping them to place her into 2nd grade core, but I am wondering if that is a good idea. I am also considering going back to Traditional Spelling 1.

    Latin/Greek - Obviously we haven't done any of this and I would love to try and combine her and her 11-yr old brother in 2nd grade Prima Latina, but unsure if this is a good idea or not.

    Classical/Christian - As stated above, we were reading the stories together last year from SC3, but we didn't make it all the way through. I was considering looking at where second grade starts and making this an Independent part of her day with me as opposed to a group. Unsure.

    Math - She was in TT online and was doing Math3, but she got stuck at addition with regrouping so we had to slow it down there and went back to MathUSee to help her understand it better. She is doing better with it but still doesn't grasp it fully. She is a child who gets frustrated with me because she says I make it harder to understand. The only other issue I can see with Teaching Textbooks is that she doesn't want to write down any of the harder problems such as I mentioned above. She just wants to do it in her head. It is frustrating.

    Penmanship/Writing - Maria had already done NAC1 so last year we just tried to review the letters. She made it to pg. 91 in Copybook 2 but I did not have her memorize any of it. She just used it as Copywork only. I was considering bumping her up to NAC2 and either have her do Cursive Copybook 1?

    Science/Enrichment - We didn't do anything other than Classical Conversations last year. This year I was considering signing her up for a simple science class just for fun, but not taught by me. Only if it doesn't require a lot of homework.

    DS (6) - Has a really hard time sitting still!!!

    Lit/Phonics/Spelling - Last year I started him in MPK, but I realized that the writing was going to be overwhelming as I had only ever done "salt tray writing" with him before that. So, I went back to AAR Pre-Reading and use Zaner Bloser K pages to practice writing the letters. We did get into AAR1 around Level 6. We only made it through FSR-A lesson 3. I am considering doing MPK again and just expediting the parts where he is simply learning a letter as he already knows his letters and their sounds. He is the kid who gets very ancy and wants to know when he is DONE so he can go play. He actually has very good pencil grip, but I was letting him use a thin marker to write. I like the Friction ones that can erase. They are fun. I did not have him continue in CSPK/1 and maybe that is a good thing if I am going to start it over.

    Classical/Christian - I had him listen in on the Bible stories that we were doing in SC3. It was basically just a read aloud for him.

    Math - I was trying to do MathUSee Primer. We also did Numbers Book 1 and only the first page of Numbers Book 2. I am considering going back to R&S
    or just moving him into MathUSee Alpha.
    I have never used R&S Math. I was trying to switch my older kids over to Teaching Textbooks so that I could free myself up slightly.

    Penmanship/Writing - We did not do the Copybook last year. He only wrote on the handwriting pages and the numbers book and math pages.

    I didn't do any Recitation or Enrichment.

    Again, as you can see, I tried to switch us over to MP last year (alongside CC), but I was trying to read every teachers manual and do everything verbatim and not thinking that some of it was written for a class and looking to adapt. I was overwhelmed and didn't do it justice which is why I want to try again. This year is going to be very hard for me as we have a baby coming mid-September. My youngest is 6, so we are a bit "removed" from the baby stage. Now I have to figure it all out while adding a new baby which is also going to be new again for me. I struggle with discipline and having kids goofing off or interrupting and such. I am going to have to lay down the ground rules and figure out the consequences now and have them all laid out. We are also in a new state and we don't know many people. It makes it challenging to find community so I am looking at a Co-Op to give my kids things such as Art, Gym, and some other fun things if I can find them! Thank you for all your feedback. My husband and I have had a tough summer of trying to decide if we will homeschool or not as well as trying to get settled into our new situation here in a new state. It has been tough on the kids as well having to leave all their friends behind. So, this is going to be an interesting year!!!

    2019/2020
    DS (14)
    DS (11)
    DD (9)
    DS (6)
    Baby Due Sep. 13!!!

    #2
    Overall, I see quite a few starts-and-stops with moving parts. We all know how easily this can happen!

    Main goals for this year could be:

    1) Making your teaching decisions ahead of time, as you are doing now, and then staying with them despite student complaints.
    You now have plenty of experience teaching various programs. Choose what you prefer and believe will be most effective. Weigh the various obstacles as much as possible ahead, so you are not swayed midway. They might not benefit from having quite so much "power" in determining what (or whether) they study day by day.

    2) Start small and doable.
    You can always add.

    3) Wherever possible, pick up where you left off.
    Not only will this give everyone a greater sense of completion, but it will save you money.

    Consider these options:

    11yo
    - Consider classes and tutors, just as you have done.
    If the break is good for everyone, so much the better. In each opportunity, weigh the travel & logistics.
    - When you teach him yourself, set clear expectations just as you describe. If your husband can help enforce your standards, this will help as your son grows older.
    - Watch catering, coddling, or excusing him from work when he complains. Your goal is to raise a strong, capable college-bound student. Set your plans and expectations with this goal in mind. Avoid "nagging" or being distracted by his protests, and just keep things moving in the lessons at hand.
    - If you want to give him choices, present two or three equally high-quality books from which he can choose.
    - If you're considering SC 3, he can write from the Read-Aloud edition. As a likely-college-bound student, he needs to be writing.

    9yo
    - Settle in to a good reading program and stay with teaching. The goal for her year is to strengthen her reading.
    - Yes, NAC 2 makes sense.
    - If you teach from SC 3 Enrichment, you can use the Science selections to accompany SC 3.

    6yo
    - Settle in to a good learning-to-read program and stay with teaching. Teaching him to read will help settle him, give him confidence, and open doors for future years.
    - Similarly, consider Recitations. This builds working memory and concentration while building his general knowledge.
    - Begin his arithmetic program and stay with it.


    Additional tips:
    - Map out your preferences based on the above. Use a spreadsheet, poster board, a white board, or whatever medium you like.
    - Create a daily and weekly routine based on expected care for your baby, the household, and meals. Plug in everything needed to do this well.
    - If you are doing the needful things well, namely essential teaching and managing your household, consider this an enormous and necessary accomplishment.
    - Only then, think about adding something extra. Sometimes in an effort to be "nice," we add the extras, squeeze out the essentials, and then feel miserable when we see how far we fall behind. Switch the order of priorities.
    - Look ahead to the full year and beyond, but when it comes to creating your actual schedule or routine, think of the year only one semester at a time. (This single tip helped me tremendously.) September-December you will have a newborn. Streamline this semester more than you have streamlined in the past. You and your children can "stay the course" for one semester. Then you can re-evaluate adding something January-May, but only if you have accomplished your stated goals for first semester.


    Of course there are infinite options in curriculum choices. Many are strong! Even so, I believe the "curricular cohesion" of pulling primarily from an MP or SC core will best serve you and your children.

    No matter what you choose, just be sure to follow the above principles in your planning and implementation.

    I hope that helps --


    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      Overall, I see quite a few starts-and-stops with moving parts. We all know how easily this can happen!

      Main goals for this year could be:

      1) Making your teaching decisions ahead of time, as you are doing now, and then staying with them despite student complaints.
      You now have plenty of experience teaching various programs. Choose what you prefer and believe will be most effective. Weigh the various obstacles as much as possible ahead, so you are not swayed midway. They might not benefit from having quite so much "power" in determining what (or whether) they study day by day.

      2) Start small and doable.
      You can always add.

      3) Wherever possible, pick up where you left off.
      Not only will this give everyone a greater sense of completion, but it will save you money.

      Consider these options:

      11yo
      - Consider classes and tutors, just as you have done.
      If the break is good for everyone, so much the better. In each opportunity, weigh the travel & logistics.
      - When you teach him yourself, set clear expectations just as you describe. If your husband can help enforce your standards, this will help as your son grows older.
      - Watch catering, coddling, or excusing him from work when he complains. Your goal is to raise a strong, capable college-bound student. Set your plans and expectations with this goal in mind. Avoid "nagging" or being distracted by his protests, and just keep things moving in the lessons at hand.
      - If you want to give him choices, present two or three equally high-quality books from which he can choose.
      - If you're considering SC 3, he can write from the Read-Aloud edition. As a likely-college-bound student, he needs to be writing.

      9yo
      - Settle in to a good reading program and stay with teaching. The goal for her year is to strengthen her reading.
      - Yes, NAC 2 makes sense.
      - If you teach from SC 3 Enrichment, you can use the Science selections to accompany SC 3.

      6yo
      - Settle in to a good learning-to-read program and stay with teaching. Teaching him to read will help settle him, give him confidence, and open doors for future years.
      - Similarly, consider Recitations. This builds working memory and concentration while building his general knowledge.
      - Begin his arithmetic program and stay with it.


      Additional tips:
      - Map out your preferences based on the above. Use a spreadsheet, poster board, a white board, or whatever medium you like.
      - Create a daily and weekly routine based on expected care for your baby, the household, and meals. Plug in everything needed to do this well.
      - If you are doing the needful things well, namely essential teaching and managing your household, consider this an enormous and necessary accomplishment.
      - Only then, think about adding something extra. Sometimes in an effort to be "nice," we add the extras, squeeze out the essentials, and then feel miserable when we see how far we fall behind. Switch the order of priorities.
      - Look ahead to the full year and beyond, but when it comes to creating your actual schedule or routine, think of the year only one semester at a time. (This single tip helped me tremendously.) September-December you will have a newborn. Streamline this semester more than you have streamlined in the past. You and your children can "stay the course" for one semester. Then you can re-evaluate adding something January-May, but only if you have accomplished your stated goals for first semester.


      Of course there are infinite options in curriculum choices. Many are strong! Even so, I believe the "curricular cohesion" of pulling primarily from an MP or SC core will best serve you and your children.

      No matter what you choose, just be sure to follow the above principles in your planning and implementation.

      I hope that helps --

      Ok, so here is my line-up:
      ALL TOGETHER:
      Bible Stories from SC3 (continue where we left off) I would love to do them individually by their grades, but I think this will be a stretch for me as we are having a baby in a few weeks.
      DS (14) - SC3

      Phonics/Reading/Spelling - I was going to do a quick review of the phonics lessons from FSR-E top make sure he hasn't forgotten them and then was going to also add on the Alternative Plans for Weeks 1-8. Then I will jump to wherever we left off in MSTT (Story of Ping). Should I pull all the other Phonics cards and test for mastery? The set up sounds familiar to AAR where you have your box of cards and of the ones you have used before you would have some in "Review"" and others in "Mastered". Is that how you would use these and review them daily with the mastered cards being reviewed occasionally?
      Additionally, I will be using SC Spelling 2 and working through that book.

      Lit/Comp/Grammar - I already had the Read-Aloud version of the SC Writing 2 but ended up using the Bible stories one, so I am going to go back and start over with the Read Aloud one and see if he can handle reading the books to me. This would give him extra reading practice and history/comprehension at the same time.

      Arithmetic - Due to the R&S Learning Curve, I am looking at the topics covered and comparing to MUS. I am going to use MUS but add in things like Kumon Books: Telling Time (Hours/Half hours), Money (First Book of Money), and adding in some type of drill. I figure I will test him on addition facts and see where he is at and circle the ones that are not yet fluent. Then we can drill based on those. MUS Beta covers addition and subtraction at a high level so it covers addition with regrouping, adding columns of numbers (looking for groups of tens), carrying more than once, subtraction with regrouping as well as subtraction of multiple digits. The next book, Gamma, will start Multiplication and reviews skip counting which we already memorized a bunch of skip counting songs so they will come in handy when we get there.

      Copybook/Bible/Memory - We will resume the Bible stories. Now that I have kids doing different levels I was debating whether or not to have them do this separately since they have different requirements for each level or just keep reading the Bible stories together. We will resume the Copybook where we left off.

      Cursive - We will resume where we left off, but I was considering getting the NAC software to aid in letters that he has forgotten and not mastered so I don't have to order a complete new book and can do very specific items. If we need more practice, we can practice the SC Spelling 2 words in cursive too.

      Enrichment - I will add in as I can. I might have to chose between SC3, MPK or MP1 as far as introducing art, music, etc... I'll see what I can fit in. This would make the most sense to do all together but sometimes that isn't the best as my kids sometimes get derailed by each other and it ends up wasting a lot of time. Unless I can get them all sitting down eating all together possibly.

      Latin - possibly add this in towards year end per the curriculum guide

      CO-OP: Art, Basketball Skills and Legos

      DS (11) - Barton Reading&Spelling / Co-Op / SC4?
      Phonics/Spelling - Barton Reading/Spelling (we are part-way through book 6). I think switching at this point likely doesn't make sense.

      This is the child I am constantly trying to figure out where he "fits in"...He has dyslexia and struggles with spelling more than reading. Some of his reading is still a little bit disjointed.
      For Spelling, I have Barton lists we can use to test and supplement and practice. I have to go back and check for mastery with regards to the sight word spelling. Barton has lists for those as well. I was considering doing online Sequential Spelling, but unsure on that one. It would be nice to have an independent way for him to practice these words and their spellings. Unsure.
      Latin - I might delay this and have him start it with Maria when she is ready so I can do both of them together.

      Arithmetic - He seems to like MathUSee so we might stick with it. We are currently in Gamma, but I might have to add in a few additional activities to make sure he can do clocks and such. He has already covered addition/subtraction of money and already has a good grasp of those things. He has started fractions too. I did find a class at the Co-Op that does an hour of "math fun" in order to reinforce topics learned, but I am hoping it doesn't end up being beyond his level.

      Reading - His reading is getting there and the selections from SC3 STT are too easy except maybe the History Read-Alouds. I am considering having him and TJ alternate pages although for some of the longer books like Clara Barton or Wright Brothers where 40 pages per day is needed, I might have to have each boy read 1 page and I read 2.
      Last year we did Prairie School and we were close to completing it before we had to pack up and move. It has been an interesting summer trying to find our stuff!
      The other idea I had was to do the Literature as laid out in SC4 and use the comprehension and discussion from the guides as an oral activity because I signed him up for a grammar/writing class at the Co-Op.

      Comp/Grammar - Taking a class at the co-op which uses a multi-sensory approach to grammar. I decided to try it because the man teaching it taught his own dyslexic son and created this program to help his son so I thought it might be a neat opportunity even for me as a mom to meet someone who has walked my path and get some tips. I want to see if he works differently knowing he has accountability to someone else. Maybe that is the wrong approach. Unsure.

      Cursive - NAC2 per the SC4 schedule.

      Science: I don't have a science for this year per se. I was debating whether or not to add on Mammals but I want to take your advice seriously and start small.

      Typing - Anthony will also practice typing to aid in his ability to participate in higher level classes while still working on writing skills.

      Geography - I was debating adding in United States, but unsure if this would be too much?

      CO-OP: Basketball Skills, Grammar/Comp, Chess, Art, Legos and Math Games


      DD (9) - MP1 (and moving on to MP2 when we finish)

      I am going to do a full switch over to MP1 for my daughter:

      Recitation: I'm going to do my best to incorporate this.

      Christian Studies: I was debating on doing this alone with her or if it makes a lot more sense to keep reading the stories with the kids from SC3 and just use the discussion questions from the MPK-2 Bible Study Book.

      Spelling: I am going to use TS1. However, some of the rules she has already learned since we are coming from AAS2, so my thought it to Pre-Test her on the words and see if we need to combine a couple of lessons so she isn't getting a ton of extra practice in words that are too easy for her. I also plan to add in review like AAS does.

      Phonics: Last Year, we made it to STT Frog and Toad (4th story). I am going to go back and review FRS-E to make sure she remembers the concepts and then we can move on to where we left off in STT. I am going to set a timer and see how much we can get done. There is the possibility that she might be able to finish it early and then we will have to look at MP2. I guess it will depend on how easily she is able to read the words.

      Math: I wanted to switch her over to Teaching Textbooks last year, but one thing I noticed was her hesitancy towards writing out ANY tough problems. She wanted to do all of them in her head. That bothered me because that left too much room for error on the harder problems. So, I am going to take her back into MathUSee and we will work through Beta and (hopefully) make it into Gamma before year end. That will start her on multiplication. She gets really frustrated with me at times and says I make things more confusing. Sometimes I think maybe that did happen and other times I think she is just being obstinate.

      Copybook - I will have her finish out the Copybook selections. I don't always get in the language lessons and such. Sometimes this can be a good independent task, but other times I will get something sloppy back.

      Cursive - I am going to move her into NAC2. She has already completed NAC1 so we will definitely spend some extra time on letters she struggles with and we will go light on the ones she knows well.

      Lit/Enrichment - She loves Audiobooks so she will get to listen to those, I might combine some enrichment with SC3. She will also get some extra stuff at Co-Op.

      CO-OP: Math Games, Legos, American Girl History, Science, Art, Writing (Homework will have to be done with help from dad, but most of the teachers said there is minimal to no homework because her classes are more for Grades 1-3.

      DS (6) - MPK (Take 2)

      For my son, we will use MPK.

      Phonics: I already did letters and sounds with him through AAR Pre-Reading and then we had started AAR1 last year. So, my plan is to try and move him quickly through those lessons which he already knows the letter and sound. I am taking him back to the beginning because FSR introduces blending right away. So, I want to make sure he gets that. He is not so excited about putting pencil to paper so my thought was to start off with "Give me 5 good ones and then you can be done." Hoping we can ramp up from there.

      Math: I am going to use MathUSee Alpha since I already am familiar with it and I have what I need. I am very tempted to use Rod and Staff, but with a new baby coming I think it is wiser for me to stick with something I already know and scan use easily. I will be adding in Kumon Book of Time and something to do with shapes even if it is just a sheet and we stick it in a protector and he traces it daily and draws on daily.

      Recitation - I will work hard to add this in.

      Copybook - I did not do this last year so I will probably have him work at it this year. I was intimidated last year because we were trying to do MPK and my son had never put pen to paper.

      CO-OP: He is taking a Storytime and writing class (basically more practice with writing the alphabet and numbers), Art, Gym, Science and he will have two or three open sessions with me so we can bring along some of our MP work to do while we are at Co-Op.

      I will not be teaching anything at the Co-Op and I will have a new baby this year which will be a huge challenge for me. I haven't had a baby around for 6 years so I'm a bit "out of practice". I'm sharing this so I can get tips on whether this looks doable or too much or ideas for streamlining. We are so close to September and so close to this baby coming. I want to set myself up for success and not failure.

      I am looking for any feedback anyone might have as far as simplifying meals, anything. Thanks so much!

      DS(14) - SC3
      DS(11) - SC4/CO-OP/TUTORING?
      DD(9) - MP1
      DS(6) - MPK

      Comment


        #4
        Overall, this looks good! Answers in blue below.


        Ok, so here is my line-up:
        Bible Stories from SC3 (continue where we left off) I would love to do them individually by their grades, but I think this will be a stretch for me as we are having a baby in a few weeks.
        DS (14) - SC3
        Phonics/Reading/Spelling - I was going to do a quick review of the phonics lessons from FSR-E top make sure he hasn't forgotten them and then was going to also add on the Alternative Plans for Weeks 1-8. Then I will jump to wherever we left off in MSTT (Story of Ping). Should I pull all the other Phonics cards and test for mastery? The set up sounds familiar to AAR where you have your box of cards and of the ones you have used before you would have some in "Review"" and others in "Mastered". Is that how you would use these and review them daily with the mastered cards being reviewed occasionally?
        Additionally, I will be using SC Spelling 2 and working through that book.

        Yes, if you have time to use the cards, that will work well!

        Lit/Comp/Grammar - I already had the Read-Aloud version of the SC Writing 2 but ended up using the Bible stories one, so I am going to go back and start over with the Read Aloud one and see if he can handle reading the books to me. This would give him extra reading practice and history/comprehension at the same time.
        Very good!


        Arithmetic - Due to the R&S Learning Curve, I am looking at the topics covered and comparing to MUS. I am going to use MUS but add in things like Kumon Books: Telling Time (Hours/Half hours), Money (First Book of Money), and adding in some type of drill. I figure I will test him on addition facts and see where he is at and circle the ones that are not yet fluent. Then we can drill based on those. MUS Beta covers addition and subtraction at a high level so it covers addition with regrouping, adding columns of numbers (looking for groups of tens), carrying more than once, subtraction with regrouping as well as subtraction of multiple digits. The next book, Gamma, will start Multiplication and reviews skip counting which we already memorized a bunch of skip counting songs so they will come in handy when we get there.

        This sounds like a good plan.

        Copybook/Bible/Memory - We will resume the Bible stories. Now that I have kids doing different levels I was debating whether or not to have them do this separately since they have different requirements for each level or just keep reading the Bible stories together. We will resume the Copybook where we left off.

        Whichever works better for you is fine with us!

        Cursive - We will resume where we left off, but I was considering getting the NAC software to aid in letters that he has forgotten and not mastered so I don't have to order a complete new book and can do very specific items. If we need more practice, we can practice the SC Spelling 2 words in cursive too.

        Yes, StartWrite software can be very helpful. See also the Cursive Practice Sheets and SC Cursive Copybooks.

        Enrichment - I will add in as I can. I might have to chose between SC3, MPK or MP1 as far as introducing art, music, etc... I'll see what I can fit in. This would make the most sense to do all together but sometimes that isn't the best as my kids sometimes get derailed by each other and it ends up wasting a lot of time. Unless I can get them all sitting down eating all together possibly.

        Yes, maybe around the table after lunch or after dinner. If nothing else, you can post a new selection of art once a week or even once a month. Play a music selection during rest time. Some is better than none.

        Latin - possibly add this in towards year end per the curriculum guide

        Good!
        CO-OP: Art, Basketball Skills and Legos


        DS (11) - Barton Reading&Spelling / Co-Op / SC4?
        Phonics/Spelling - Barton Reading/Spelling (we are part-way through book 6). I think switching at this point likely doesn't make sense.
        This is the child I am constantly trying to figure out where he "fits in"...He has dyslexia and struggles with spelling more than reading. Some of his reading is still a little bit disjointed.
        For Spelling, I have Barton lists we can use to test and supplement and practice. I have to go back and check for mastery with regards to the sight word spelling. Barton has lists for those as well. I was considering doing online Sequential Spelling, but unsure on that one. It would be nice to have an independent way for him to practice these words and their spellings. Unsure.
        Latin - I might delay this and have him start it with Maria when she is ready so I can do both of them together.

        Sounds good. You might use the StartWrite software purchased for your older son to create independent sheets of this son's Barton lists.

        Arithmetic - He seems to like MathUSee so we might stick with it. We are currently in Gamma, but I might have to add in a few additional activities to make sure he can do clocks and such. He has already covered addition/subtraction of money and already has a good grasp of those things. He has started fractions too. I did find a class at the Co-Op that does an hour of "math fun" in order to reinforce topics learned, but I am hoping it doesn't end up being beyond his level.
        Reading - His reading is getting there and the selections from SC3 STT are too easy except maybe the History Read-Alouds. I am considering having him and TJ alternate pages although for some of the longer books like Clara Barton or Wright Brothers where 40 pages per day is needed, I might have to have each boy read 1 page and I read 2. Last year we did Prairie School and we were close to completing it before we had to pack up and move. It has been an interesting summer trying to find our stuff! The other idea I had was to do the Literature as laid out in SC4 and use the comprehension and discussion from the guides as an oral activity because I signed him up for a grammar/writing class at the Co-Op.
        Alternating reading for SC 3 is a great streamlining idea if they can do this together. If not, SC 4 Lit Guides mostly orally could work well. Even with his co-op class, it would be good to have him write some sentences in his guide.


        Comp/Grammar - Taking a class at the co-op which uses a multi-sensory approach to grammar. I decided to try it because the man teaching it taught his own dyslexic son and created this program to help his son so I thought it might be a neat opportunity even for me as a mom to meet someone who has walked my path and get some tips. I want to see if he works differently knowing he has accountability to someone else. Maybe that is the wrong approach. Unsure.

        Well, you will know more after this semester!
        Cursive - NAC2 per the SC4 schedule.

        Good!
        Science: I don't have a science for this year per se. I was debating whether or not to add on Mammals but I want to take your advice seriously and start small.

        You could use My Nature Journal as a small way to encourage nature observation and exploration along with drawing, nature quotes, classifications (at the front), and writing. Combine this with field guides you might have at home if you can find them or gather some from the library.

        Typing - Anthony will also practice typing to aid in his ability to participate in higher level classes while still working on writing skills.

        Good!
        Geography - I was debating adding in United States, but unsure if this would be too much?

        If you use the US map sticker book and States & Capitals flash cards this could be a quick weekly addition if you wanted to do this as an introduction.
        CO-OP: Basketball Skills, Grammar/Comp, Chess, Art, Legos and Math Games



        Everything below for these two looks good as well! Good work!
        DD (9) - MP1 (and moving on to MP2 when we finish)
        I am going to do a full switch over to MP1 for my daughter:
        Recitation: I'm going to do my best to incorporate this.
        Christian Studies: I was debating on doing this alone with her or if it makes a lot more sense to keep reading the stories with the kids from SC3 and just use the discussion questions from the MPK-2 Bible Study Book.
        Spelling: I am going to use TS1. However, some of the rules she has already learned since we are coming from AAS2, so my thought it to Pre-Test her on the words and see if we need to combine a couple of lessons so she isn't getting a ton of extra practice in words that are too easy for her. I also plan to add in review like AAS does.
        Phonics: Last Year, we made it to STT Frog and Toad (4th story). I am going to go back and review FRS-E to make sure she remembers the concepts and then we can move on to where we left off in STT. I am going to set a timer and see how much we can get done. There is the possibility that she might be able to finish it early and then we will have to look at MP2. I guess it will depend on how easily she is able to read the words.
        Math: I wanted to switch her over to Teaching Textbooks last year, but one thing I noticed was her hesitancy towards writing out ANY tough problems. She wanted to do all of them in her head. That bothered me because that left too much room for error on the harder problems. So, I am going to take her back into MathUSee and we will work through Beta and (hopefully) make it into Gamma before year end. That will start her on multiplication. She gets really frustrated with me at times and says I make things more confusing. Sometimes I think maybe that did happen and other times I think she is just being obstinate.
        Copybook - I will have her finish out the Copybook selections. I don't always get in the language lessons and such. Sometimes this can be a good independent task, but other times I will get something sloppy back.
        Cursive - I am going to move her into NAC2. She has already completed NAC1 so we will definitely spend some extra time on letters she struggles with and we will go light on the ones she knows well.
        Lit/Enrichment - She loves Audiobooks so she will get to listen to those, I might combine some enrichment with SC3. She will also get some extra stuff at Co-Op.
        CO-OP: Math Games, Legos, American Girl History, Science, Art, Writing (Homework will have to be done with help from dad, but most of the teachers said there is minimal to no homework because her classes are more for Grades 1-3.
        DS (6) - MPK (Take 2)
        For my son, we will use MPK.
        Phonics: I already did letters and sounds with him through AAR Pre-Reading and then we had started AAR1 last year. So, my plan is to try and move him quickly through those lessons which he already knows the letter and sound. I am taking him back to the beginning because FSR introduces blending right away. So, I want to make sure he gets that. He is not so excited about putting pencil to paper so my thought was to start off with "Give me 5 good ones and then you can be done." Hoping we can ramp up from there.
        Math: I am going to use MathUSee Alpha since I already am familiar with it and I have what I need. I am very tempted to use Rod and Staff, but with a new baby coming I think it is wiser for me to stick with something I already know and scan use easily. I will be adding in Kumon Book of Time and something to do with shapes even if it is just a sheet and we stick it in a protector and he traces it daily and draws on daily.
        Recitation - I will work hard to add this in.
        Copybook - I did not do this last year so I will probably have him work at it this year. I was intimidated last year because we were trying to do MPK and my son had never put pen to paper.
        CO-OP: He is taking a Storytime and writing class (basically more practice with writing the alphabet and numbers), Art, Gym, Science and he will have two or three open sessions with me so we can bring along some of our MP work to do while we are at Co-Op.
        I will not be teaching anything at the Co-Op and I will have a new baby this year which will be a huge challenge for me. I haven't had a baby around for 6 years so I'm a bit "out of practice". I'm sharing this so I can get tips on whether this looks doable or too much or ideas for streamlining. We are so close to September and so close to this baby coming. I want to set myself up for success and not failure.
        I am looking for any feedback anyone might have as far as simplifying meals, anything. Thanks so much!


        For simplifying meals, we found that "automating" the decisions was more than half the battle. For example, in winter one big bin holds oats, raisins or other dried fruit, walnuts or pecans, and spices all mixed in. In the mornings we need only scoop to fill bowls, pour almond milk, heat, and serve. If someone wants more, a banana appears. Lunch is any leftover dinner or wraps with raw veggies. Snack is daily Greek yogurt with fruit. Dinner is then the only big decision, but if dinner is in the slow cooker in the morning long before the "chef" is tired, so much the better!

        Blessings to you, your baby, your older children, your husband, and your upcoming delivery --

        DS(14) - SC3
        DS(11) - SC4/CO-OP/TUTORING?
        DD(9) - MP1
        DS(6) - MPK

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