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FSR - A few questions

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    FSR - A few questions

    I like the idea of using FSR because it gives me a "daily task" as opposed to AAR which is open-ended and makes it a bit more challenging when the kids start acting up. I used to use a timer set for 20 min and try to do AAR. However, if a child is wasting time whining or complaining, I never had a starting/stopping point to be able to tell them, "This is what we will cover today. You can whine and waste your time or we can work hard for a little while and get through it." It made my days very long. This way, a child knows exactly what is expected.

    Here are a few questions though:

    Do you drill older flashcards daily? Word cards?

    I noticed in the manual that they have questions for ever line of each story for the most part. Do you do all of these questions? For example, if my child is reading the paragraph, am I supposed to stop them after each sentence to ask the question? I am thinking that that hinders fluency slightly if they are being interrupted constantly. Maybe I am misunderstanding. Maybe that part is meant for the teacher to know where the answer is located. Maybe it makes more sense to roll a die or chose a few questions to ask instead of the entire thing. Looking for feedback on that.

    Word Mastery: If a child doesn't have a common word mastered, I am assuming you would want to drill daily. Also, when it comes to dictation, what do you do if the child does not remember the spelling to the common words? Are we going for mastery? Do you just have them write each missed word 5 times or something?

    I am looking into this because I agree that it is nice to have the fluidity of a complete program all laid out for me. My only concern is that I am so used to AAR/AAS and I have been struggling to find my groove with FSR. I want to make my choice and put on BLINDERS this year...oh, and maybe some ear plugs for the whining! Haha...

    Thanks for any feedback.

    DS(14) SC3
    DS (11) Barton/SC3
    DD (9) MP1?
    DS (6) MPK

    #2
    Having done both AAR and FSR, here are my suggestions for doing FSR:

    Set up a routine. This is mentioned in the first week of SC1, but my first and second time through I missed this. This is the biggest factor, in my opinion.

    Always begin with review,, you could mix the review up based on your child’s needs, but if this frustrates the child, you may have to begin with the same thing.

    I begin with the letters learned/working on mastery. I use the yellow phonogram cards from AAR, but only the sounds learned so far (the back of the card may have more sounds). I hold up the card ask for the sound. Then, I dictate the same few sounds. (3-4). Child writes upper and lower case. (5 min)

    I open FSR book and review last thing we did - re+read part of the story or some of the words, etc. or I do the green cards from AAR (I had to go through and re-order them a little to line up with FSR). You can do different things: line up across the room, you call out a card child races to card, brings to you. I have spiraled the cards and child crawls around spiral reading the words. You can do hopscotch, etc. (5 min)

    Lesson time : 15 min. I do only do 15 min, even if the day is not done, but it usually is. If there is a picture to draw, I do not include this in the 15 min. Stop

    At a different time of the day assign the core skills pages (after lunch?) Additionally if there is an ALS reader assigned (Fun in the Sun, Scamp in Tramp, etc) that gets done at a different time. (Maybe read to dad, etc.). I have three kids, so my youngest showers first (only 2 showers in house). While the other two are showering, I have her read then, or right after breakfast.

    I have seen some research on shorter, more frequent, but consistent lessons to give the most progress!

    Now, to answer a few of your other questions. We did the little stories 2x. No questions the first time, but I did stop, as indicated in teacher’s guide. The common word dictation, I write the words on the board, scrambled. Child finds word on board, copies into workbook. It is a reading assessment, not spelling!
    Last edited by howiecram; 07-31-2019, 08:23 PM.
    Christine

    (2019/2020)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

    Comment


      #3
      Ok, so here is an additional question:

      Last year I took my daughter through Frog and Toad Lesson 3. I didn’t always do the flash cards and he Classical Phonics was a bit spotty. Are these Flash cards used again in further lessons? I don’t really want to take her back if it is not necessary as she can already read Magic Tree House books to me with less than 5 errors. I had contemplated putting her into MP2, but I am concerned she will miss some of the important Phonics lessons. Any thoughts? It is challenging to switch from AAR to FSR.

      I think my son will have an easier transition although he already learned all the basic phonograms and their sounds last year. However, I feel like we still have to start at the beginning because he didn’t get all the sight words and the immediate blending. So, I’m thinking maybe for him it will be fine.

      Thanks for any feedback!

      Comment


        #4
        The flash cards and Classical phonics are used in all of Storytime treasure/more Storytime treasure and again in MP2 + they are used in Traditional Spelling l and ll! They get used a lot!

        We used AAR with Storytime treasures, and I used the MP cards and Classical Phonics. He had completed AAR2 and there were many new phonograms! I used definitely use them!
        Christine

        (2019/2020)
        DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
        DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
        DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          The flash cards and Classical phonics are used in all of Storytime treasure/more Storytime treasure and again in MP2 + they are used in Traditional Spelling l and ll! They get used a lot!

          We used AAR with Storytime treasures, and I used the MP cards and Classical Phonics. He had completed AAR2 and there were many new phonograms! I used definitely use them!
          So, then it makes sense to just continue on with the STT and finish it out or should I have her just start reading the stories to me and see how she does with them and figure out which one challenges her and start there? I would have to start with TS1 no matter what because we left off in AAS2, but we haven’t covered sight words yet. When I look at the guides and such it seems as if Monday is a heavy teaching day and then it lightens up over the week. Is that a fair statement?

          Comment


            #6
            Howiecram has given you many good tips.

            Adding only this to answer the question about STT: Yes, I would pick up where you left off in STT. No need to go backwards but also not wise to leap forward. As with your oldest, the best course may be to teach where she landed when you stopped teaching but plan to include the phonogram cards and all other scheduled resources moving forward.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by empokorski View Post

              So, then it makes sense to just continue on with the STT and finish it out or should I have her just start reading the stories to me and see how she does with them and figure out which one challenges her and start there? I would have to start with TS1 no matter what because we left off in AAS2, but we haven’t covered sight words yet. When I look at the guides and such it seems as if Monday is a heavy teaching day and then it lightens up over the week. Is that a fair statement?
              How far in AAR had you gotten? I think you can pull out the cards quickly each week and see what she knows. I was surprised at a few my son did not know. Also, there is more going on in STT than just the reading level, so I would go through it, and do the writing. We were able to move faster than the curriculum guide, even with doing the flashcards. I think we did it a week in 2-3 days. After STT, we started AAR3. I plan to do MSTT as soon as AAR3 is done and then do AAR4 next summer. I do still plan to use the flashcards.

              Yes, I like TS over AAS for just that reason, that Monday is the heavy teaching day! The other days still need your guidance, but they move more quickly.
              Christine

              (2019/2020)
              DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
              DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
              DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

              Previous Years
              DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
              DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
              DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

              Comment


                #8
                I will chime in here to say that yes, FSR does ask a question after each line in its stories. The student is to read the title or the line followed immediately by the instructor asking the question. This teaches students that they must understand what they read. This isn't just decoding practice we are tying reading to understanding and this takes a while. Remember we are reading the stories 3 times. The first reading is for decoding, the second to build speed and fluency, and the third to add expression. So, while we are stopping the student to ask questions after each line during the first reading, on the second and third you can let them read more and either ask a question to review at the end or don't ask them again at all.

                In FSR the goal for common words is that the student read them well. Spelling is not the intention though the more often a student sees the words the better because their visual memory of the order of letters within the words is being developed. In class we run through all common words learned to date each morning during calendar time flashcard style. We go through the stack a couple of times, as a class everyone reading, then maybe the girls and boys rotate the second time, then call on individual students as a "ticket" to return to their desks or line up for restroom break for the last reading. Then, for the common words introduced in the current week's lesson, I review these separately at the beginning of the day's phonics lesson. At the end of the week the new cards are added to the stack. Sometimes I like to have the words stuck to the wall where students can see them all the time.

                When it is time for dictation of common words I review the stack thoroughly as indicated above. Common words should be written on the board, not in the same order as the dictation, but all should be where the student can see them since the goal for common words is reading. Mastery in reading. Read through all the words on the board together, then have the student read the words. You can mix this up by having them read down the columns or read from the bottom of the column up or read the words out of order as you point to them. I always added more common words than what is on the current dictation to be sure students were really reading the words not just looking at the first letter, so often I would group all the "th" words in a column or all the words beginning with the letter s in a column. After reading through the words a couple of times students do a practice dictation on white boards. Where I call one word at a time and check /discuss answers. Remember in the front of the FSR Teacher Guide there is an outline of how to conduct the dictation which is different for the weekly words and the common words. After all this practice we do dictation in our books. The words are still on the board and the students are warmed-up and focused- though you may have to refocus during the dictation. This activity is still a learning process-not a test. If you notice a student wrote the incorrect word ask him to read the word he wrote or reiterate the word you were asking for. Draw their attention /focus to what they wrote and usually this is enough for them to self-correct.

                The Phonics Flashcards are used daily in K for review of phonograms taught. In 1st grade it is used at the beginning of the year with FSR Book E but it is also used in Traditional Spelling and with the Story Time and More Story Time Treasures pre-reading phonics lessons.

                Classical Phonics is used in k for reinforcing the word families taught in FSR It also provides additional words in the same words families not listed in FSR. In 1st and 2nd grades it provides phonetic reading of words with no context. This is a good indicator of decoding skills. Classical Phonics, like the flashcards, is referenced in all Traditional Spelling and Story Time or other primary level literature lesson.

                All the phonetic work included with the reading or spelling program in primary is considered essential. Those lessons completed in conjunction with the reading lessons will eventually be the focus of spelling. That doesn't mean you should skip them because they'll be covered again but rather cover them more quickly because you still want to build that visual memory.


                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                  How far in AAR had you gotten? I think you can pull out the cards quickly each week and see what she knows. I was surprised at a few my son did not know. Also, there is more going on in STT than just the reading level, so I would go through it, and do the writing. We were able to move faster than the curriculum guide, even with doing the flashcards. I think we did it a week in 2-3 days. After STT, we started AAR3. I plan to do MSTT as soon as AAR3 is done and then do AAR4 next summer. I do still plan to use the flashcards.

                  Yes, I like TS over AAS for just that reason, that Monday is the heavy teaching day! The other days still need your guidance, but they move more quickly.
                  We had to stop at Lesson 40 (Silent e can have 2 jobs) for my daughter because we were moving and I actually JUST found the book this morning. We haven’t done any schooling over the summer because my stuff is all over the place in boxes. It is very frustrating. That is what I have to tackle over this next month in addition to a baby coming within the next 6 weeks. I think I have located most of my MP items but a few are still missing. I’m trying to find what I have so I know what to order.

                  So, you are doing both programs but alternating? Last year I was doing AAR in addition to STT at the same time. It was a lot for me because I have Barton tutoring in top of it and an Ofer son who is still learning to read well and also a 6-yr old old who is also learning to read. It is a lot of time for me and this is the same decision I was trying to make last year; between FSR or AAR. I started with AAR when my boys were still in public school. I bought it to use over a summer to try and help them make more progress so when I started homeschooling I jumped right in with AAR and MathUSee because I already had it on hand. Then during my second year into it I heard about MP SC. I’ve been conflicted ever since! 🤣

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I had some stuff written last night, but my iPad died...
                    first, congrats on the upcoming new arrival! I had my youngest when my oldest was 10 1/2 and my third was 5. It is physically harder at almost 40, but so nice to have the olde kids to help out. Make use of them! I think it will be challenging for the 6 yo depending on how much he liked his spot as the baby.

                    I don't advise quitting - we did nothing that summer after my son finished 2nd grade which wasn’t my best move - but do make reasonable expectations for yourself. Everyone is going to want to enjoy that baby and you will be tired. Give your 6 yo some time in the morning for a bit of the K core. I know you like AAR, but this can be your time to do the K core as written, just at a slow pace. One of the older kids could practice reading the Christian Liberty Nature Reader story to him each week.

                    I agree that you 9 yo doesn’t need to go back to FSR. I would finish STT/MSTT. My third didn’t even start AAR3 until that point. I do like the look of Traditional Spelling. I haven’t decided what to do with my youngest. He likes the sticker charts with AAS and I have it. If I had 3 to use it I would switch. AAS can get teacher intensive with multiple kids. I do like that it moves more slowly. Traditional Spelling might have been too hard for my third child in 1st grade...he really would have benefited from simply classical, but it wasn’t written yet.

                    You can do this! Just remember to take care of yourself.

                    Dorinda

                    For 2019-2020
                    DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
                    DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
                    DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
                    DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by empokorski View Post

                      We had to stop at Lesson 40 (Silent e can have 2 jobs) for my daughter because we were moving and I actually JUST found the book this morning. We haven’t done any schooling over the summer because my stuff is all over the place in boxes. It is very frustrating. That is what I have to tackle over this next month in addition to a baby coming within the next 6 weeks. I think I have located most of my MP items but a few are still missing. I’m trying to find what I have so I know what to order.

                      So, you are doing both programs but alternating? Last year I was doing AAR in addition to STT at the same time. It was a lot for me because I have Barton tutoring in top of it and an Ofer son who is still learning to read well and also a 6-yr old old who is also learning to read. It is a lot of time for me and this is the same decision I was trying to make last year; between FSR or AAR. I started with AAR when my boys were still in public school. I bought it to use over a summer to try and help them make more progress so when I started homeschooling I jumped right in with AAR and MathUSee because I already had it on hand. Then during my second year into it I heard about MP SC. I’ve been conflicted ever since! 🤣
                      Yes. It is definitely not something I would recommend to anyone who does not own both program, but yes, we are alternating AAR with STT/ MSTT. The first child I did SC STT and SC MSTT WITH AAR and it was a lot. I also have 2 I am teaching to read at the same time and it was just too much! It is working well for my son, because he was getting a little "stuck" in AAR so moving over to STT was a little "break" from AAR and it reinforced (and taught some new) concepts. It also helps with the fluency because the books themselves were actually on the easier side for him. I "assign" previously read AAR stories (from Level 2, not Level 3) while he does a breathing treatment (a preventative steroid for asthma).

                      He is going to be doing Simply Classical, Spelling book 2 this year, not Traditional Spelling yet. I like the skills taught in SC spelling book 2 (even though I could apply them to TS1) plus I just think he needs the slower pace. We had gotten through AAS1 ourselves, and then I did a "review" and it was like I never taught him any of those words! So frustrating! The methods in SC spelling + the coloring of the words system taught in TS1 (the older daughter completed that last year, so I know the system) will really help him. I am hoping he and my younger daughter will do TS1 together in 2020/2021!
                      Christine

                      (2019/2020)
                      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                      Previous Years
                      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
                        I will chime in here to say that yes, FSR does ask a question after each line in its stories. The student is to read the title or the line followed immediately by the instructor asking the question. This teaches students that they must understand what they read. This isn't just decoding practice we are tying reading to understanding and this takes a while. Remember we are reading the stories 3 times. The first reading is for decoding, the second to build speed and fluency, and the third to add expression. So, while we are stopping the student to ask questions after each line during the first reading, on the second and third you can let them read more and either ask a question to review at the end or don't ask them again at all.

                        In FSR the goal for common words is that the student read them well. Spelling is not the intention though the more often a student sees the words the better because their visual memory of the order of letters within the words is being developed. In class we run through all common words learned to date each morning during calendar time flashcard style. We go through the stack a couple of times, as a class everyone reading, then maybe the girls and boys rotate the second time, then call on individual students as a "ticket" to return to their desks or line up for restroom break for the last reading. Then, for the common words introduced in the current week's lesson, I review these separately at the beginning of the day's phonics lesson. At the end of the week the new cards are added to the stack. Sometimes I like to have the words stuck to the wall where students can see them all the time.

                        When it is time for dictation of common words I review the stack thoroughly as indicated above. Common words should be written on the board, not in the same order as the dictation, but all should be where the student can see them since the goal for common words is reading. Mastery in reading. Read through all the words on the board together, then have the student read the words. You can mix this up by having them read down the columns or read from the bottom of the column up or read the words out of order as you point to them. I always added more common words than what is on the current dictation to be sure students were really reading the words not just looking at the first letter, so often I would group all the "th" words in a column or all the words beginning with the letter s in a column. After reading through the words a couple of times students do a practice dictation on white boards. Where I call one word at a time and check /discuss answers. Remember in the front of the FSR Teacher Guide there is an outline of how to conduct the dictation which is different for the weekly words and the common words. After all this practice we do dictation in our books. The words are still on the board and the students are warmed-up and focused- though you may have to refocus during the dictation. This activity is still a learning process-not a test. If you notice a student wrote the incorrect word ask him to read the word he wrote or reiterate the word you were asking for. Draw their attention /focus to what they wrote and usually this is enough for them to self-correct.

                        The Phonics Flashcards are used daily in K for review of phonograms taught. In 1st grade it is used at the beginning of the year with FSR Book E but it is also used in Traditional Spelling and with the Story Time and More Story Time Treasures pre-reading phonics lessons.

                        Classical Phonics is used in k for reinforcing the word families taught in FSR It also provides additional words in the same words families not listed in FSR. In 1st and 2nd grades it provides phonetic reading of words with no context. This is a good indicator of decoding skills. Classical Phonics, like the flashcards, is referenced in all Traditional Spelling and Story Time or other primary level literature lesson.

                        All the phonetic work included with the reading or spelling program in primary is considered essential. Those lessons completed in conjunction with the reading lessons will eventually be the focus of spelling. That doesn't mean you should skip them because they'll be covered again but rather cover them more quickly because you still want to build that visual memory.

                        Michelle,

                        That was very helpful. Thanks! I can see the “routine” better in my mind now. I will make sure that my daughter is doing this each week. We are now in a situation where we may have to be schooling at the kitchen table. Not ideal, so to try and attempt to reduce distraction, I am considering buying tri-food poster boards for each child so I can put the most important info on their boards and then we can set them up around the table. I will send a child or two to work on the couch with silent reading materials or such. We will find a way to make it work. That is my initial thought. I have some Velcro dots I could use to mount the flash cards each kid needs for that particular week and it could be switched out possibly? Brainstorming here...haha. Thank you for all the help.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                          Yes. It is definitely not something I would recommend to anyone who does not own both program, but yes, we are alternating AAR with STT/ MSTT. The first child I did SC STT and SC MSTT WITH AAR and it was a lot. I also have 2 I am teaching to read at the same time and it was just too much! It is working well for my son, because he was getting a little "stuck" in AAR so moving over to STT was a little "break" from AAR and it reinforced (and taught some new) concepts. It also helps with the fluency because the books themselves were actually on the easier side for him. I "assign" previously read AAR stories (from Level 2, not Level 3) while he does a breathing treatment (a preventative steroid for asthma).

                          He is going to be doing Simply Classical, Spelling book 2 this year, not Traditional Spelling yet. I like the skills taught in SC spelling book 2 (even though I could apply them to TS1) plus I just think he needs the slower pace. We had gotten through AAS1 ourselves, and then I did a "review" and it was like I never taught him any of those words! So frustrating! The methods in SC spelling + the coloring of the words system taught in TS1 (the older daughter completed that last year, so I know the system) will really help him. I am hoping he and my younger daughter will do TS1 together in 2020/2021!
                          I had three kids at one time I was teaching to read and now I have four. My eldest is still in MSTT from SC3, my 2nd son is in Barton Book 6 and we had started through a tutoring group that was free, but now we have reached a point where many tutors charge $35-50/hr and he has to go twice per week! My daughter was using AAR2 and we made it almost 3/4 through it and my youngest had just started AAR last year. It is a lot and now we have this baby coming so I thought maybe it makes more sense to get everyone in the same program. I am praying this helps us to have a productive year. I know I am going to have to really simplify meals and snacks and such. That is not something I am always great at. I’m just trying to find my courage as I am feeling anxious now that we are so close to this baby coming. I am hoping Teaching from FSR and STT will provide ya all with what we need and give me a little breathing room at the same time. I am also going to have to have a “dead stop” time I am sure...how much time do you give your kids to play?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by empokorski View Post

                            I had three kids at one time I was teaching to read and now I have four. My eldest is still in MSTT from SC3, my 2nd son is in Barton Book 6 and we had started through a tutoring group that was free, but now we have reached a point where many tutors charge $35-50/hr and he has to go twice per week! My daughter was using AAR2 and we made it almost 3/4 through it and my youngest had just started AAR last year. It is a lot and now we have this baby coming so I thought maybe it makes more sense to get everyone in the same program. I am praying this helps us to have a productive year. I know I am going to have to really simplify meals and snacks and such. That is not something I am always great at. I’m just trying to find my courage as I am feeling anxious now that we are so close to this baby coming. I am hoping Teaching from FSR and STT will provide ya all with what we need and give me a little breathing room at the same time. I am also going to have to have a “dead stop” time I am sure...how much time do you give your kids to play?
                            If my kids are not doing school work, they are playing! I also follow AAR's recommendation and only spend 20 min on phonics! We don't really have a "dead stop" time, but I do try and limit how long each subject is going. What are you doing for math? (just trying to help you streamline your day) This year we are doing Latin, Phonics, Math, Spelling before lunch (3 kids, so need nearly an hour per kid) and then any enrichment after lunch. Cursive, Sc3 enrichment/writing, Christian Studies I am trying to limit this to 2 hours. I decided not to do Greek Myths from SC 5/6 this year, because we are doing the AM history readers from SC3. I am also using non-traditional hours on some days (after dinner, etc for SC3 enrichment) where we might go to the park or swim after lunch. WE have drastically reduced our activities this year, so we have evenings available 5/7 nights and some weeks 6/7.
                            Christine

                            (2019/2020)
                            DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                            DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                            DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                            Previous Years
                            DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                            DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                            DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by howiecram View Post

                              If my kids are not doing school work, they are playing! I also follow AAR's recommendation and only spend 20 min on phonics! We don't really have a "dead stop" time, but I do try and limit how long each subject is going. What are you doing for math? (just trying to help you streamline your day) This year we are doing Latin, Phonics, Math, Spelling before lunch (3 kids, so need nearly an hour per kid) and then any enrichment after lunch. Cursive, Sc3 enrichment/writing, Christian Studies I am trying to limit this to 2 hours. I decided not to do Greek Myths from SC 5/6 this year, because we are doing the AM history readers from SC3. I am also using non-traditional hours on some days (after dinner, etc for SC3 enrichment) where we might go to the park or swim after lunch. WE have drastically reduced our activities this year, so we have evenings available 5/7 nights and some weeks 6/7.
                              I did post a Placement Help in the S.C. forum so you can see all of our choices there.

                              We have just moved to Wisconsin this past Spring so at this point we have no evening activities. Yet. I think my husband wants to give my kids the opportunity but I am going to see if we can hold off unless it is one activity for ALL, like swimming. I need him to be able to help me out. I did join a co-op because we desperately need to meet some other families so I am using that for art, science (low homework because I asked the teacher), Legos, some writing practice (letters and numbers for my youngest, more structured for my 11-yr old), Gym and such. So, I tried to go with more fun and minimal homework because I want to focus on MP core. I was debating on History all together but my eldest will be doing SC3 History with writing, my daughter will do the American Girl History which involves reading one of the books per week so I thought she would find that fun and then she gets to do hands on fun activities surrounding that at the Co-Op, my youngest is just starting out so I’m just going to keep him doing simple stuff like the reading and math. My 11-yr old is the one I struggle with. I was thinking about having him do the Sc3 readings with discussion questions or possibly
                              listening to TAN History Vol. 4 audio cd and calling it GOOD...

                              For Math, I have used MathUSee and Teaching Textbooks. The only issue I have is that Teaching Textbooks does not require the kids to write and I have some who would do anything not to write out the tough problems. They want to do it all in their heads. It doesn't work that way. Too many errors. So, I was considering going back to MathUSee exclusively to make sure they are writing it out and understanding it. I thought about trying Rod and Staff for my youngest but I thought since I am having a baby and things are going to get crazy, it probably makes more sense to just use what I have and I am used to.

                              My biggest challenge for the year is to NOT BE A PUSHOVER. My kids have gotten out of things by shutting down, whining, complaining and I’ve had too much else going on at times to deal with it. That changes this year. I might even have to take away toys and audiobooks and such until jobs are done. I have to have higher standards and expectations of them. We shall see how we do! They will know I am tired with the baby and will likely try to use it to their advantage and I’m going to have to be strong about it.

                              Thanks for all the tips. It was hard to decide what to do this summer between trying to unpack a house, being pregnant and such. I can tell the Catholic schools here really want PEOPLE...we even had the neighbor offer us money to help pay for it! Money isn’t the issue. My heart feels like this is what I am supposed to be doing and I think God is changing me in the process. Praying I can hear His wisdom
                              and follow his lead.

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

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