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  1. #11


    DS12 (Entering 7th grade)
    I want to get him into a more cooperative mindset, and to get him to see the value in doing work to his best ability, not the minimal passable.
    We had good luck with BYL7 this year (world geography), so are going to try BYL8 (world history through science) for next year.
    For math, we are planning to just chill through the Algebra 1 text we have.
    I think we are supposed to pick up an elective topic - we may do a study of Japanese culture / language / history... it is something everyone in the house enjoys.

    DS6 (Entering 1st grade)
    He is still heavily involved with his OT and speech therapies, and that will likely continue. Our charterís reading specialist is recommending we get AAR for next year, so I am willing to try that.
    I need to figure out some sort of theme for what I read to him - Im a bit bored with picture books, but reading stories aloud is like verbal diarhea to him.
    I hate the idea of grammar for a little kid, but his spoken sentence constructions are pretty non-standard. Given all the other language work we do, this is a lower priority, but I know it is going to be needed.
    For math, we will continue with games and Singapore... Singapore worked great with my older boy, but its uninspiring for the baby.
    For social studies and science - Ranger Ricks have been great for checking off the official science boxes Im required to do, and I dont plan on anything more formal than that. He can tag along with his brotherís history and science work. We will watch plenty of documentaries, too.

    Im finding that I am less uptight about curriculum, it seems to be a function of experience.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  2. T4L In Forum Jan20
  3. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by kmc View Post
    This was my first year homeschooling my daughter and I can declare it a resounding success.

    I also like the selection of books and the fact that I can spread out the purchases for books and supplies and don't have to drop $800 at one time. On the other hand, the ease and organization of Book Shark also appeals to me. The curriculum seems more professional and easier to follow. I also love the 4-day school week. I don't think I could do 4 days with BYL.

    I think she would do better if she was held accountable to someone else.
    Congrats on a stellar first year! Regarding BYL, it can totally be done in 4 days a week. We tend to batch our history, science and assigned literature and get multiple days worth of work done in one day. We do the 3 Rs and additional literature on all school days, though. Also, you donít have to buy all the books. We use interlibrary loan for the non-spines and therefore only purchase the spines and the books we truly loved and would like to read again in the future.

    We are trying the same tactic as you for math. We recently switched to TT and I feel like sheís learning more and weíre both less stressed.
    We took the summer off as I couldnít get anything started w/o a regular routine in place. Doing 3rd grade now and so far so good.

  4. #13


    We also do byl in 4 days.... and would never buy the non-spines. Even though we like the books selected, we just dont need novels that we are never going to read again. Theyre good books, lots of Newberry winners, and usually theyre at our local library. I usually read them through Overdrive on my ipad, borrowed from the Los Angeles public library (online).
    Iíd second the idea of reading them before deciding to buy them. Books add up! (Both money and space.)
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #14


    DS1-17, 12th(!) grade.
    Dual Enrollment for him almost completely. He will take English 101, Music Appreciation, and Calculus fall semester. He will finish Thinkwell's Government and Econ courses, and really, he'll be done after that. He's working on the possibility of an internship during the second semester, but if that doesn't work out, he'll just take a few more courses at the CC-as dual enrollment, as neither of us want to him to graduate early. He will also spend the fall filling out college applications and writing essays-his least favorite thing to do! lol. He will also continue working.

    DS2-9th grade
    Math-Geometry-Derek Owens
    Science-Physics-Derek Owens
    History-HO Modern Times
    Spanish- I haven't decided yet
    ELA-with me. We will do a few weeks of scifi, some poetry(because we really haven't done any due to my loathing of it), Greek mythology, several novels and a research paper. Right now we have Julius Caesar, To Kill a Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Things Fall Apart, and then a few others that I am undecided on as yet.
    He needs a "PE" credit, and I need him to move more, so he may start swimming again, unless I can convince him to run with me.
    Piano-he takes an hour lesson each week, and has really put in the practice time this year, and it shows. He has really hit some amazing pieces.
    Art-He has taken an art class all year that he really loves, and he may continue with it.
    That's more than enough, and we'll see how it goes.

    He will be taking an online class through Duke TIP this summer, and volunteering for 2 weeks at the science center summer camps, so he has plenty to do this summer.

    I need a few weeks to recover from this year before I get into deep planning for next year. I'm tired!

  6. #15


    DS 10 5th grade

    Math - Beast Academy and Mathematical Reasoning from Critical Thinking Co.

    Reading - Pick out a book series for daily reading activities. We just move along with whatever DS finds interesting at the time. He really likes getting in to a series, so I have been focusing on letting him pick a series and then he reads through the whole thing.

    Spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. Language Smarts & Word Roots (both from Critical Thinking Co.)

    Writing /Composition- DIY - Using a variety of sources to encourage writing. I collect writing books, so I will pull ideas from those.

    Science - I have so many books & curriculum with science experiments. I have all the RSO curriculums that we have used off & on, as well as many of the Janice VanCleave's series and The Lab series too. And who knows what else. Since we have so much stuff, we are just going to work through experiments and watch Bill Nye, NOVA, Cosmos, listen to audio books on science (like those from Neil deGrasse Tyson). Practice keeping a science notebook of our discoveries.

    History - Covering local and state history. Using resources from the state historical society, state parks. books on regional history, museums, National Park Service visits and resources, and lots of field trips.

    Art -Art Lab for Kids

    Spanish -Gus on the Go and their Stories app, along with workbooks from Carson-Dellosa. While the apps are for a younger crowd, it will work for familiarity right now.

    Typing -Mickey's Typing Adventure

    Computer Science -DK Coding Games in Scratch and others.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  7. #16


    Sorry for my ignorance, but what exactly are spines and non-spines?

  8. #17


    Spines are the books you use throughout the whole year (or longer)... like Atlases, Encyclopedias, art references, etc. Versus the books that you read once and then are done with - novels that you read once, and use for less than a month, sometimes only a week. If you love the book that youve checked out from the library so much that you dont want to be without it, nothing is stopping you from buying one for yourself...
    We have enjoyed nearly every book from this last year of BYL... but none of them are the kind that will be revisited - especially with new books being read. YMMV
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  9. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Only View Post
    Can you tell me your thoughts on reading excerpts of literature vs the whole story? I usually shy away from excerpts or abridged versions, but does that thinking just lessen the amount of literature you can expose your kids to when they get to high school?
    So, I think that we should generally be reading the whole novels when we read novels with kids. Excerpts from novels - while I totally get it - are generally really watered down. I don't see the point, especially for younger students. The whole point of literature up to high school is to get kids reading and understanding texts. Not isolated bits of texts.

    When you get to high school... I think it's inevitable that you additionally read some excerpts. You want to expose kids to a wider variety of authors, time periods, etc. You want to use literature alongside history and so forth. So you're trying to help kids understand texts... but also use texts to understand other things. It gets more purposes. In general, I think you don't want to focus on excerpts over whole texts though.

    But here's the thing... a good literature anthology is actually usually going to be a lot of poetry and short stories. Are those "whole texts"? I mean, not always? But can a student read an individual poem or story and get a lot out of it and not have to worry about reading the other stories and poems in the collection? Well, yeah. Some of them don't even actually have other poems or stories attached. Some short stories are Winesburg, Ohio, but some are The Necklace, which was published on its own in a newspaper.

    The textbook I linked above does have a lot of excerpts, but it also has a lot of short stories and poetry. The modern section is mostly that. It's very international, which is great. The ancients and medieval sections have a lot more excerpts. Bible as literature, snippets of the Book of the Dead, the Ramayana, and so on. But also lots of poems and some complete stories. There are plenty of other great textbooks - I think Prentice Hall used to make good ones in general, but there are lots of options. I just have a nostalgic connection to this one.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
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  10. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by Only View Post
    Can you tell me your thoughts on reading excerpts of literature vs the whole story? I usually shy away from excerpts or abridged versions, but does that thinking just lessen the amount of literature you can expose your kids to when they get to high school?

    IMHO, it depends on your goals. If you want to survey a wide variety of literature from a specific genre or period, then you would want to use excerpts. The same if you are just getting them exposed to the literature.

    With an elementary-aged kid, I am working on general exposure. Mostly for cultural understanding, so that he can see the connections and references within pop-culture and other historical events. For example, he was not fully ready for the unedited form of Shakespeare. We were watching shows that used parts from Shakespeare’s plays and I wanted to use that as a way for him to be introduced to Shakespeare’s work. I found short videos and books that tell the stories in a digestible manner for him. I anticipate, as we get to high school we will see a couple of the actual plays, with the drama that it entails and his understanding of the world will be a little more sophisticated.

    But even in college, as an English major, when I took survey of literature classes, there were some full-texts, but most were excepts, short stories and poetry.

    I work on the concept of deep-reading with texts of his choosing. I want to develop a love of reading on his terms.

    Which reminds me of a couple of other thoughts to consider:
    The level of the child’s reading ability and patience level and the use of audio books.

    When a child’s reading ability or patience level do not match up with their interest level we use audio books.

    The audio books help elevate the level of understanding, as well as the enjoyment of books. We listen to a variety of books that are much more challenging than the ones that DS is reading at this time. He loves the stories and is able to not let his challanges with reading get in the way of a good story.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  11. #20


    Grade: K
    Start Date: Sometime late August
    Math: MEP
    Phonics: Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons. If that doesn't work we will try Phonics Pathways.
    Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears

    Literature/Geography/Science/Art: We will be using Build Your Library Level 0.
    Science: Supplementing BYL with Magic School Bus Science. Really excited about this. This program looks fun.

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