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Curriculum Questions

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    Curriculum Questions

    I have a couple questions regarding the curriculum:

    Handwriting - Is this a mastery-based program? I typically take a day to "quiz" the kids to see which letters they remember and which letters they struggle with. Should I stop the progress and go back to review any letters that are being forgotten?


    Simply Classical Sentences - I was using the Bible Stories one, but wishing I had done the regular one to go along with the read alouds. I have since started using the blank pages in the back with out Character Curriculum (Little Lads and Ladies) which has a definition, memory verse and 3 I will statements. Unsure if this is a good use or if I should go back to the Bible verses. Maybe I will switch over to the Storytime treasures.

    I have tried letting the kids do both of these activities independently, but maybe that is a mistake? Is most of this curriculum meant to be taught? I am trying to teach 3 kids how to read and struggling with structuring my day.

    #2
    Re: Curriculum Questions

    So I'm thinking you're using SC2. With what age/ ability student?

    You're teaching 3 kids to read right now. All with SC2 or a smattering of things? Example, you have one in classic core k, one in SC1 and somebody else in SC2. Or maybe some are using a totally different curriculum (All About Reading, Sonlight, etc)

    You're feeling pulled every which way and worried whose getting short changed it sounds like.

    I'll take a stab at SC2 and await your answers.

    Is it mastery based? I'm going to say yes, but with an asterisk. Mastery doesn't occur overnight, it takes repetition.

    So, my son and I talk about the 3 rules of a sentence everyday before we do SC Writing. We use our little colored pencils on the sentence. We rewrite the sentence. We talk about the 3 rules again and make corrections as needed. This is not independent work. I am right at his elbow the whole time. Has he mastered the 3 rules? Mostly. He can recite them, but will frequently forget a beginning capital or ending punctuation. That error is corrected immediately.

    Switching to Storytime Treasures. This isn't really a switch per se. It's a separate book. So we do writing AND Storytime everyday. They're very similar, in 'copy this sentence' kind of a way. But it adds more of a grammar component. Today he was asked to circle 5 words that should have been capitalized and rewrite the sentence. So, its working on those same 3 sentence rules, but from a different angle. Does that make sense? It's like decoding in reading and encoding in spelling. It's all phonics, but from different directions.

    I would say most of this curriculum is meant to be taught. That makes juggling multiple kids very difficult. Everyone wants / needs mom. It's doable, though.

    Let us know what ages / abilities you have. Anita and I both have several younger kids and Susan has older kids. So, we can definitely give you tips that have worked for us.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

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

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Curriculum Questions

      YEs! Can you tell us some more about the ages of your kids and what subjects you are teaching?

      Yes, even cursive is not independent work for us because she needs to be supervised doing it.
      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


        #4
        Re: Curriculum Questions

        Originally posted by empokorski View Post
        I have a couple questions regarding the curriculum:

        Handwriting - Is this a mastery-based program? I typically take a day to "quiz" the kids to see which letters they remember and which letters they struggle with. Should I stop the progress and go back to review any letters that are being forgotten?


        Simply Classical Sentences - I was using the Bible Stories one, but wishing I had done the regular one to go along with the read alouds. I have since started using the blank pages in the back with out Character Curriculum (Little Lads and Ladies) which has a definition, memory verse and 3 I will statements. Unsure if this is a good use or if I should go back to the Bible verses. Maybe I will switch over to the Storytime treasures.

        I have tried letting the kids do both of these activities independently, but maybe that is a mistake? Is most of this curriculum meant to be taught? I am trying to teach 3 kids how to read and struggling with structuring my day.
        I would think you can expect slow improvement in handwriting. Taking a day to quiz the kids to see how they are doing is a good idea. When they are learning and internalizing letter formation, it really is best to sit there at their elbow and watch so you can catch them and correct them on the spot if they are using poor formation.

        Unfortunately with the younger ages, there really is not much they can do independently. I have two I'm teaching to read and write at the same time. I do those subjects separately with each child and I am with them the entire time. This is what we do: reading with child 1, reading with child 2, fluency with child 1, fluency with child 2, math with child 1, math with child 2, handwriting with child 1, handwriting with child 2. With breaks when I need them. It is time consuming, but I don't see any other way.

        I'm tried using a character curriculum this year, but I have let go of everything that is not in the core. If I pick back up any character materials, I will do them orally together. If you do the writing that is called for in the program it will be enough writing.

        Also, when things feel chaotic it is so easy to doubt yourself. So easy! Maybe take a day or two, think really hard about what absolutely has to be done, what is helpful to do, and what is not needed. It's easy and tempting to think up beautiful plans for homeschooling only to find out that in reality they aren't a good fit for our kids or ourselves. I can't do it all. It's very hard to accept that but I must.
        Susan

        2018-2019
        A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
        C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
        G (5) - Simply Classical C

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Curriculum Questions

          Originally posted by Colomama View Post
          So I'm thinking you're using SC2. With what age/ ability student?

          You're teaching 3 kids to read right now. All with SC2 or a smattering of things? Example, you have one in classic core k, one in SC1 and somebody else in SC2. Or maybe some are using a totally different curriculum (All About Reading, Sonlight, etc)

          You're feeling pulled every which way and worried whose getting short changed it sounds like.

          I'll take a stab at SC2 and await your answers.

          Is it mastery based? I'm going to say yes, but with an asterisk. Mastery doesn't occur overnight, it takes repetition.

          So, my son and I talk about the 3 rules of a sentence everyday before we do SC Writing. We use our little colored pencils on the sentence. We rewrite the sentence. We talk about the 3 rules again and make corrections as needed. This is not independent work. I am right at his elbow the whole time. Has he mastered the 3 rules? Mostly. He can recite them, but will frequently forget a beginning capital or ending punctuation. That error is corrected immediately.

          Switching to Storytime Treasures. This isn't really a switch per se. It's a separate book. So we do writing AND Storytime everyday. They're very similar, in 'copy this sentence' kind of a way. But it adds more of a grammar component. Today he was asked to circle 5 words that should have been capitalized and rewrite the sentence. So, its working on those same 3 sentence rules, but from a different angle. Does that make sense? It's like decoding in reading and encoding in spelling. It's all phonics, but from different directions.

          I would say most of this curriculum is meant to be taught. That makes juggling multiple kids very difficult. Everyone wants / needs mom. It's doable, though.

          Let us know what ages / abilities you have. Anita and I both have several younger kids and Susan has older kids. So, we can definitely give you tips that have worked for us.
          Yes! All is designed to 1) be taught and 2) to work together for integrated skill practice. The more you can teach, rather than assign, the more effective all will be.

          Those early "at the elbow" years -- with skill levels age 5-9 -- are hardest, but the reward for both the mom/teacher AND the student is that independence will come with stronger skills.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Curriculum Questions

            Originally posted by Colomama View Post
            So I'm thinking you're using SC2. With what age/ ability student?

            You're teaching 3 kids to read right now. All with SC2 or a smattering of things? Example, you have one in classic core k, one in SC1 and somebody else in SC2. Or maybe some are using a totally different curriculum (All About Reading, Sonlight, etc)

            You're feeling pulled every which way and worried whose getting short changed it sounds like.

            I'll take a stab at SC2 and await your answers.

            Is it mastery based? I'm going to say yes, but with an asterisk. Mastery doesn't occur overnight, it takes repetition.

            So, my son and I talk about the 3 rules of a sentence everyday before we do SC Writing. We use our little colored pencils on the sentence. We rewrite the sentence. We talk about the 3 rules again and make corrections as needed. This is not independent work. I am right at his elbow the whole time. Has he mastered the 3 rules? Mostly. He can recite them, but will frequently forget a beginning capital or ending punctuation. That error is corrected immediately.

            Switching to Storytime Treasures. This isn't really a switch per se. It's a separate book. So we do writing AND Storytime everyday. They're very similar, in 'copy this sentence' kind of a way. But it adds more of a grammar component. Today he was asked to circle 5 words that should have been capitalized and rewrite the sentence. So, its working on those same 3 sentence rules, but from a different angle. Does that make sense? It's like decoding in reading and encoding in spelling. It's all phonics, but from different directions.

            I would say most of this curriculum is meant to be taught. That makes juggling multiple kids very difficult. Everyone wants / needs mom. It's doable, though.

            Let us know what ages / abilities you have. Anita and I both have several younger kids and Susan has older kids. So, we can definitely give you tips that have worked for us.
            Thanks for this reply. Things have been a bit chaotic over here, so I am just now getting around to responding.

            I have never really understood the DS, DD abbreviations, but I have four children:

            Son-11 (this poor kid has been through so many evaluations, therapies, testing...so far we've heard everything from Atypical Autism, ADHD, sensory issues, low tone, cognitive delays...Its been a long road)

            Son-9 (diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder. I'm still a bit confused as some of the results labelled dyslexia. I'm a little confused on if they are the same thing.)

            Daughter-6 (doesn't seem to have any challenges other than she is still reversing letters and numbers. For example, when writing the date, 2/10/2017, She did the first 2 great, but then reversed the second one.

            Son-3 1/2 (quite s pit fire. Great language. A bit of an aggressive side partly because older brother continuously wants to rub on his head with his hands or his face.)

            As far as the curriculum, we have done the following this year:

            Classical Conversations - Mondays we meet as a community and the kids have a set of "Memory Work" that they learn together with other kids using many methods, such as music and motion, chants, etc... We review our Memory Work every day typically. Sometimes I will try to find a simple book or activity to read aloud which complements some of the memory work. Sometimes I will have the kids do some other simple games, and cutting/pasting tasks related to the memory work as well. The memory work includes an entire History Timeline, Geography, Math skip counting and various formulas, English, Latin, Science and a separate History Sentence. They are snippets of information to basically place a "PEG" in the brain upon which to hang further information down the road.

            All About Reading/All About Spelling - I use this with my DS(11) and DD(6). My daughter is not yet in the Spelling program. I also use these to some degree to supplement my other son DS(9). He is currently with a tutor doing the Susan Barton Method because he has a tendency to build walls and just shut down when things feel frustrating. I know he is more likely to do that to me than to a tutor.

            MathUSee - I had already purchased this curriculum even before I began Homeschooling. I like the videos that my kids and I can watch together and then we can do the first lesson together. If they seem to understand I let them work on the next practice pages independently and then try to have them "teach" me or demonstrate to me how to do the concept before giving the Lesson Test. We are struggling a bit with the fact fluency and so I let my kids choose the MathUSee online drill or ReflexMath. I try to do this daily.

            Handwriting - NAC Admittedly, I have not been as consistent with this as I need to be. I started off teaching the boys together. Anthony is able to move along with it a bit more quickly and so I tried to let them do it a bit more independently. However, in doing so, I have missed the point of having the music playing. My son (9) has a tendency to complain about me putting on the music. Maybe I should have all 3 of them sitting at the same time and just rotate around working with each child. My daughter is doing random targeted practice on letters that I see the tendency for reversals on.

            Geography - I do a mix of "blob mapping" continents and oceans as well as targeted map work to review the countries (tracing/coloring/labelling), sometimes a puzzle, sometimes an online game.

            Faith Formation - the boys have an online program I am just now starting called "My Catholic Faith Delivered". It reads the lessons to them as well as any questions and answer choices.

            Simply Classical Writing - I have been doing this, but struggling to be consistent at it. The boys seem to be picking up the concept easily. My son (9) can do the entire thing in a day, but typically will say, "Can I do just half?" My older son(11) seems to be picking it up, but still has omissions of punctuation at times. So, he would benefit from me sitting beside him.

            I'm trying to think of what else. In addition to all of this we have:

            Tae Kwon Do for the two older boys (2X per week)
            Piano for DS(11)
            Basketball DS(9) - This is new for us just starting and going for the next two months. We shall see how this goes.
            Ballet/Tap DD(6)
            Cub Scouts for the two older boys.

            I struggle with whether or not my wish mash of things is going to bring the outcome I am hoping for. I want my children to find a love of reading, have other children to enjoy good friendships, and just have an enjoyable learning experience to equip them for life. I struggle with the many friends I have whose children are in the public school and I frequently have to try to put on my "blinders" to not get frustrated by the things they are doing and what feels like a "lack" of what we are doing. My own personality gets in the way sometimes...

            Thanks for all the great replies.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Curriculum Questions

              Some of your comments remind me of my own thoughts before we found Memoria...I was concerned about whether they enjoyed their learning all the time (or even most of the time). I wanted them to learn great things, but I was worried about giving them more than they could handle. They would say things like "can I do half a page?" or "this is too much work" or "I don't like _____" and I would switch whatever it was I had planned for the day. This only made their behavior challenges worse and I'm convinced it was because it made them feel more insecure. If mom isn't convinced of her own plan, kids know and they will either a) take over, b) shut down or c) act out. When I was looking into ways to help two of my children with executive function type issues, I was shocked/encouraged to find that the way Memoria approaches learning is exactly the approach recommended for children with these kinds of struggles! I think you will feel much more peace, and your children will feel much more secure if you can streamline your curriculum into a program where all the parts are meant to work together year in/year out. Our homeschool improved vastly when I began telling the kids "This is what we are doing" and then stuck to it. Switching to MP a year later sealed the deal and has continued the improvement.

              I noticed that you are Catholic as well, and we do add Faith & Life/Baltimore Catechism, use the full Catechism for reference during Christian Studies and we also use our own math program. The only other substitutions/additions I plan to make are for the upper grade history programs where we will use the Catholic Textbook Project, high school level Didache for religion and some Catholic references for high school level literature works. Other than that, it's MP all the way and it's been soooo peaceful to know that everything is being covered, the expectations are reasonable and the challenge level appropriate. There are things we slow down or accelerate for various children, but it's within a solid framework with a purposeful trajectory.

              ETA: You also mentioned the outside activities that you have going. You know your children best, but I do know that my ADHD/anxiety/executive function challenged children get worse the more outside activities we have in one week. If we do outside activities two days in a row we know to expect behavior issues, hyperactivity, migraines, shutting down, etc. If we have a more busy week than usual, we know our almost 5 year old will melt down daily for at least an additional week until she's sure that things are either back to normal or has adjusted to the new normal (which usually takes longer). Just something to consider...
              Last edited by jen1134; 02-21-2017, 08:33 AM.
              Jennifer
              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

              DS16
              MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
              MPOA: High School Comp. II
              HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

              DS15
              MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
              MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
              HSC: Modern European History

              DS12
              7M with:
              Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

              DS11
              SC Level 4

              DD9
              3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

              DD7/8
              Still in SC Level 2

              DD 4/5
              SC Level C

              Comment

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