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    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Yes, Sonlight is a Christian curriculum.

    I'd like to hear more about the volcano models. That sounds like fun! Are you building them out of the newspaper/papier mache sort of thing, or something else?


    Kriston
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    Lorel - you remind me that I do need to have a few things in place for DD4 while we do all this! Although she is right in the middle of the science stuff we've done this summer. She is picking up a lot just coming along for the ride! I would like to have some specific reading/writing/math kindergarten stuff laying around if she's interested. I'm not going to be too structured for her until she's at least 5. And she is going to play based preschool 3 mornings a week.

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    I had DS4 do a lot of drawing and cutting while we worked last year, to mixed results. He LOVES that stuff, but he did tend to cry out for my attention more than I would have liked. And I thought he'd listen while DS7 read aloud, but not so much...

    It is tough with more than one. Pre-K has helped us a lot, for a lot of reasons!


    Kriston
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    On our volcano models - they're the standard paper mache built around a jar kind of model! DD4 insisted on building one too, so we have 2 large volcanoes taking over our dining room. It's art, science, and geography all rolled into one - such fun!

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    Good stuff! Thanks kimck! smile


    Kriston
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    Yes, Sonlight is a Christian Curriculum, but mostly it is just great books. Some Christian's won't use it because it uses some books that are not from a Christian background. On the other hand some of the books that they use are very Christian and you would want to leave them out if you are not.

    The thing I like about it most is that you read these really thought provoking books to your kids and then you talk about them. Your kids get to learn from YOU. They learn to think about books and not just accept whatever they read. At first I wondered about how it would work, but I really feel that my girls have learned a lot, even from characters/authors that have very different beliefs than we do.

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    I'm so unsure of what we're doing, we seem to change up every couple of months. I enjoy planning things out, but I hate actually implementing the plans. I think we'll probably use the books we have as loose guides to help us move forward, but do them at our own pace when we feel like it instead of saying "Today is Monday, so we have Math, Language Arts, and History". We're not unschoolers, but with 3 kids I just feel like it's too hard trying to maintain a structured curriculum for the older 2 and keep my DD out of our hair while we work. Plus, with as many books as the kids get from the library, we're never at a loss for interesting books to read and things to learn, lol.

    DS6-
    Easy Grammar Daily Grams Grade 2 (he loves them, so we do them, if he ever wants to stop I'd be a-ok with that, they seem very repetitious to me).

    Aleks Math (we just finished up Singapore Math 2a and he was getting bored with the workbook format and the small chunks of information at a time).

    Cursive handwriting (we use a free curriculum we found online http://www.kidzone.ws/cursive/index.htm and now I'm using their worksheet creator to make copy work sheets for DS from Little House in the Big Woods. My secret hope is that in writing the sentences from it he'll be intrigued enough to try to read it. His print is horrible and it's so hard for him that he's been resistant to writing.)

    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel (I wanted something to give us some guidance for our science studies. It is a formal curriculum, but it's set up in units that build on each other. It's designed for K-2, but it's real science and practice in the scientific method. We use it fairly loosely, more as something to help me set up unit studies than a full on curriculum.)

    Story of the World (We love the story format and unit study structure, I like having activity ideas set up for us already and with the further reading suggestions it really makes it a great spine so we can study as much or as little as we want on a particular chapter).

    French (He wanted to learn a foreign language, I'm fairly fluent in French so we're using Usborne 1000 First French Words to give him some basic words and phrases, strictly for exposure and fun at this point).

    Music (When DS6 was pulled from school the only thing he asked about besides friends was if we could still study composers and classical music like they did in music class. So, we're using Story of the Orchestra as a guide and doing units based on the chapters in it, alternating the composers and instruments).


    DS4- He's very loosely 'homeschooled', I encourage him to sit with me and do his work, but I don't push it, if he doesn't want to he doesn't have to. We pretty much only "do" reading and math and only because he specifically said he wanted to do those. He will often sit in when DS6 and I do science, history and music, but just as often he wanders off. For reading we use Explode the Code A,B & C and the Bob books by Scholastic. I doubt we'll continue with Explode the Code to Level 1, he's picking up reading pretty quickly. For math we use Singapore Math Earlybird Math. I'm sure we'll continue on to regular Singapore because I think it's a fantastic introductory program.

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    I have never used a boxed curriculum for my 10 year old, but I did buy all of the What Your X Grader Needs to Know books and we used to read through parts of those books, but my son preferred reading through history and science encyclopedias that had pictures to look at and more interesting information. For history this year we are reading Story of the World, which he picked out at the book store, even though I thought it would be at too low a level for him. He likes it for bed time reading. We read Book 2 and we will soon finish the 3rd book. He also watches a lot of shows on the History Channel and he plays a lot of computer games that involve history and multiplayer online games where he can make his own alternate history.

    For science, I have the book "Science: If You're Trying to Get Better Grades and Higher Test Scores You've Gotta Have This Book" and I like it because it has basic science vocabulary and info presented in a way that is easy to remember and it is easy for me to make up questions over the material. We do this in addition to watching a lot of science shows. We usually see something interesting on the science channel that we want to learn more about and then read about it. He also uses Wikipedia a lot.

    For math we used Aleks for a while, but we have had a lot of trouble with our internet for the last couple of months and it is very, very slow, so we are using a Spectrum math book and also The 10 Things All Future Mathematicians and Scientists Must Know but are Rarely Taught and If You're Trying to Get Better Grades and Higher Test Scores You've Gotta Have This Book for math.

    We read National Geographic Magazine and use a globe and map puzzles for geography.

    He does more reading online than anything else, but he is getting enough practice reading that he is able to read and answer an average of 6 out of 10 questions on reading sections of an ACT prep book and I think he would do even better if he had more practice taking tests. I usually read to him in the evening, usually a classic book of some kind, the Story of the World, or a science history book, or National Geographic, whatever he wants me to read.

    We will probably use The Chortling Bard Caught'ya Grammar with a Giggle for High School and look for good grammar sites for online practice.








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    Originally Posted by mamaandmore
    Story of the World (We love the story format and unit study structure, I like having activity ideas set up for us already and with the further reading suggestions it really makes it a great spine so we can study as much or as little as we want on a particular chapter).

    mamaandmore - have you used story of the world before, or is this your first time using it? I was thinking of ordering this and the activity book and using at a base for history for a while.

    Originally Posted by mamaandmore
    Music (When DS6 was pulled from school the only thing he asked about besides friends was if we could still study composers and classical music like they did in music class. So, we're using Story of the Orchestra as a guide and doing units based on the chapters in it, alternating the composers and instruments).

    We love to look up stuff on composers too. We learned a lot about composers this summer. At least I did! Many of those guys lead very interesting and scandalous lives! They would be all over the Enquirer if they lived now.


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    Franz Liszt, slayer of pianos and women!!

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