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post #101 of 212
From my understanding, formal spelling isn't undertaken til they're older. (10 sticks out but I'm not sure.)

For now doing copywork from great literature serves as a spelling tool. I'll tell you that I was a bit skeptical at 1st, but we're in year 3 and my son handles spelling fairly well and we've not had any "formal" spelling.
Just lots of reading and copywork.
post #102 of 212
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post #103 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJsmomma View Post
From my understanding, formal spelling isn't undertaken til they're older. (10 sticks out but I'm not sure.)

For now doing copywork from great literature serves as a spelling tool. I'll tell you that I was a bit skeptical at 1st, but we're in year 3 and my son handles spelling fairly well and we've not had any "formal" spelling.
Just lots of reading and copywork.
The Well Trained Mind suggests beginning spelling in first grade.
post #104 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
what basic Phonics program did people like .. without hand writting ... i know Theo's fine motor is not ready to write anything, but by the the summer I'd like to start simple phonics with him -- but i am so confused by all teh programs ...
Deciding to homeschool is a very overwhelming decision to make, and it takes time to figure out what you are doing, so I think it is great that you are starting your plan early. Remember Charlotte Mason advises not to start formal lessons until the age of 6. Many of us break that 'rule'. I am guilty of it. I have an almost 4YO who is special needs. He is a late talker and has some fine motor issues. He is in speech & OT. I can't even fathom trying to teach him phonics next year. He is only a few months younger than your boy.

I know you are excited to start, and there is so much to teach our little ones. Finland is the #1 ranked country in the world for standardized tests. They rank about 50-60 points higher than their American counter parts. They don't start going to school until they are 7, when their brains are more developmentally ready.

I am not an unschooler, but I see some of their philosophy in watching my children learn. I see it more watching my younger two. They learn at their own pace, when they are ready to learn. My 2YO is about to surpass my 3YO in speech, but he is making great progress. I have read your comments about 'there is so much in his head he can't get out'. I totally know what you mean. I see that in my boy all the time. I'm just saying not to rush it and watch for cues from him so you are teaching him what he is developmentally ready to learn. Start teaching him phonics after you know he knows all the sounds - or do it very informally when reading books to him. Like read a book about fish where it goes through the alphabet. First page "this is an Angel Fish...what does A say? A says ahhh or A." Little things like that. I wouldn't start a program with him until you see he knows all his sounds (the sounds that each letter says). The Leapfrog fridge magnet toy is great for learning sounds.

My plan for my SN child is to start teaching him phonics when his sister is ready to learn it so I can teach them at the same time. She is 19 months younger than him. I don't think he will be ready until after 6, and girls are ready to read around age 5. Remember, it's a marathon, not a race. They will all learn what they need to learn when they are ready. It only takes 180 hours to teach your children all the basics.

Just read your boys cues and go from there. Since he is special needs, I would really listen to CM 6-year formal education rule. If my oldest had been the special needs child, I would probably try to rush things. Being that he is my 2nd child, I feel more laxed and comfortable with my decisions.

However, to tell you what I use....I used Saxon K phonics for my 6YO last year. I went to use Saxon 1 this year, and the lessons were twice as long, and I got the rolled eye look when I started it. So I found an Open Court Reading curriculum at a 2nd hand store. Wow, Open Court is much more fun than Saxon. I liked Saxon for K because it is spiral based. Open Court has fun poems and stories. Saxon tells you exactly what to say. For my special needs child, I will probably buy the Saxon K phonics and go in the order that goes in and find the fun stuff from Open Court Reading for each letter when we get to it. Our college has a curriculum section, and I was able to check out the Saxon K phonics from the library all year last year. If you have a college by you, check to see if they have a curriculum area so you can check out different curriculums. They won't have Abeka or other popular Christian based programs if you want to go that route, but it's fun to see what else is out there.

On another note, I took my 3YO to a neurological developmental pediatrician who told me I should never homeschool a special needs child. It was hard not to laugh at him when he said that...or do a pbbbbtttt...whatever...really, do you know how many people homeschool their special needs child because the schools aren't doing it right? However, his occupational therapist has suggested that homeschooling would be very beneficial to him.

Happy homeschooling.

Vicki
post #105 of 212


Hi all! I'm new to this thread, but have been trying to follow along.

We are eclectic with a definite Classical and CM bend.

I'm so excited as I just placed my order for our Latin curricula. After many months of debating over Lively Latin and Latin for Children, I finally decided on LfC for CherryPie. I also ordered Song School Latin for KiwiBoy. I haven't discussed Latin a whole lot with the children, but I am very happy that I finally decided on a curricula and I'm so excited to receive it!

I also just ordered Hands On Equations for both the kiddos and Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard J Nebel PhD. I am constantly looking for a science curriculum to be happy with. I thought I decided a while back that I would just create my own science curriculum, but that kind of went out the window. After more research, this sounds like it might fit us more because of the "big picture" approach to science that the kids (and I!!) really need. This is really something that I've been looking for all along... I don't know why I couldn't find it sooner. I really hope that my expectations aren't too high.

Also, CherryPie started a different Language Arts curriculum. We ordered the Michael Clay Thompson stuff a little while ago and finally started using it this past week. We are starting with Grammar Island and we are loving it so far! It seems like it's a better fit than any of the other Grammar curriculum we've tried with CherryPie.

How is everyone else doing? What are your plans for this week?
post #106 of 212
I just finished reading the Latin Centered Curriculum and I am so glad I finally found it and read it. I'm not big on his curriculum suggestions as I have what we like already in place, but his reasoning and his schedules are wonderful. We had already moved towards an idea of depth for those subjects that are most important (we had already decided that was Latin, math, and language arts), and try and figure out how to fit in the rest. So, now I have a working model and I think I have a good idea of how to do it.

Mornings are:
Latin (Song School Latin; we'll start LfC A next year with ds#1 and maybe ds#2)
math
language arts (WWE/Classical Writing Primer, FLL 1 & 3, All About Spelling, and Hooked on Phonics/Phonics Pathways)

Afternoons are:
Monday: History (we're finishing SOTW 2, but then we're going back in time to read through Child's History of the World for the next couple of years; I wasn't ready to move the boys into SOTW 3 and 4 with them being so young as I want to keep them all together for history) & geography
Tuesday: Spanish (Elementary Spanish through Discovery Education Streaming)
Wednesday: Religion & art (we are progressive, liberal Christians, but I wanted to teach them the Bible; then we'll move on to learning about other religions as well)
Thursday: Science (we're starting the Singapore Science series - ds#1 will do My Pals are Here 3, ds#2 will do Early Bird Science, and ds#3 will do the Child's Play Science because he likes to do what his brothers do)
Friday: Spanish and Literature (I'm using the recommendations from LCC and starting with the 1st grade reading list: fairy tales and tall tales)

I also read through the Workbox Systems book and between that and a thread I started on WTM boards, I came up with a system for us. We have big file boxes from Container Store that I use for their workbooks and such. I made assignment/activity strips that have assignment/activity cards velcro'd on them; and then progress charts that are posted under the chalk board for finished assignments/activities. So far, it's a great visual for us all. I still write down my plans in my planbook and what we actually accomplish on a chart I made. But, the strips let the boys know what they have to do that day, and the progress charts help dh and I both see what they accomplished.
post #107 of 212
Oooh! MLW, I really like how your schedule is laid out. And I love those strips that you made... and how when one strip is done, then it's time for recess, lunch, etc. I hadn't thought of that before. We do workboxes, (we call them "discovery boxes", though), but we don't follow Sue Patrick's method at all. We sort of invented our own style. Do you mind if I "borrow" your idea of the strips with breaks in between? I really like that. I think the kids will like it, too, because then it doesn't seem like they have to get through their 10-12 boxes thinking, "how long is this going to take me?". They'll know that they just have to finish a strip, then they get a recess, snack, lunch, etc.
post #108 of 212
MLW - also love your schedule and workbox strips! You make me want to implement our workbox system now... I also want to rush off and check out Elementary Spanish on DE, my daughter has been asking to learn Spanish again. Think doing both Spanish and Latin will be okay?

I mentioned on WTM boards I just finished LCC as well. I think I'm going to re-read it again and wonder how I can simplify things... Our schedules/curriculums do look very familiar.
post #109 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
Oooh! MLW, I really like how your schedule is laid out. And I love those strips that you made... and how when one strip is done, then it's time for recess, lunch, etc. I hadn't thought of that before. We do workboxes, (we call them "discovery boxes", though), but we don't follow Sue Patrick's method at all. We sort of invented our own style. Do you mind if I "borrow" your idea of the strips with breaks in between? I really like that. I think the kids will like it, too, because then it doesn't seem like they have to get through their 10-12 boxes thinking, "how long is this going to take me?". They'll know that they just have to finish a strip, then they get a recess, snack, lunch, etc.
Thanks! And, borrow away! I got the idea from another on the WTM boards - she shared how she did the workbox idea and I realized it would work so well for us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotnetdiva View Post
MLW - also love your schedule and workbox strips! You make me want to implement our workbox system now... I also want to rush off and check out Elementary Spanish on DE, my daughter has been asking to learn Spanish again. Think doing both Spanish and Latin will be okay?

I mentioned on WTM boards I just finished LCC as well. I think I'm going to re-read it again and wonder how I can simplify things... Our schedules/curriculums do look very familiar.
It's funny, because sometimes I can't remember if I read about something on this board or WTM board with a few of us. I need to read LCC again (and I am trying to hunt down a copy of the 1st edition just to compare). I really, really like it - it is a freeing type of book, at least for me who wonders how I can fit everything all in (especially coming from the WTM model where I felt like I had to do 3 days a week of history, so many days of science, etc. - I love the philosophy of WTM, but I was going nuts trying to make the scheduling work). LCC helped me take those same subjects that are important to me, but gave me permission to only do them 1x a week. I actually will get more done knowing that we're only going to focus on that one subject after lunch instead of trying to do 2-3 subjects after lunch.

Oh, and I think Latin and Spanish together are fine. We're doing SSL for Latin, so it's a nice gentle approach. I plan on doing LfC next year. And I think the year after that we'll start Spanish for Children A (that should give us a couple years of Elementary Spanish under our belts so the language will be familiar before beginning an in-depth, grammar based program). My kids are loving both languages - ds#1 even told me today he was excited about starting the E.S. because he wants to learn all the languages.
post #110 of 212
MLW, those assignment strips do look great! I have found having a visual representation of tasks completed to be a great tool for the kids.

We are doing pretty well. I am happy with almost all of my curriculum choices, and that is a new feeling. I am a bit conflicted about what to do for history and science next year. My oldest will be 4th grade and my middle child will start 1st grade. I'd like to keep them together for history, but have not yet decided how to do that. We didn't start the history rotation until 2nd grade, so my 9yo has done Middle Ages and is now doing some Early Modern with a focus on American history. We have used a variety of history materials, but I would like to simplify. I am leaning toward just doing SOTW IV, but I don't know if she is too young for modern history. If I do this, then I will hold off on starting ancient history with my 6yo. Then, the following year I could start them both in Ancient history (for 5th and 2nd grades). Of course, this means that I need to decide what to do with the 1st grader next year - maybe geography?? On the other hand, I could go back and start the rotation with Ancient history next year. But, I had been planning to use History Odyssey Level II for Ancients, and it is designed for 5th grade and up. Decisions, decisions......

I am also shopping for another science curriculum. We are using REAL Science Odyssey, but it is just not quite what I am looking for. I have Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding in my cart at Amazon, and I am also considering Oak Meadow 5th grade Environmental Science. I too, thought about putting my own curriculum together, but with three children, I really need to simplify, and I want something that dd can do more independently. I love the way the Apologia books are laid out, but the creationist perspective is just not what I am looking for in a science curriculum. Oak Meadow looks like it might be a good fit, but I won't really know until I see the whole book (I sure wish they had more sample pages).
post #111 of 212
Your history dilemma is very similar to what I've been debating for a while. While we started Ancients with ds#1 is 1st grade, it took 2 1/2 years to do Ancients and Middle Ages, and we are/were slated to begin Early Modern in March. But, ds#2 is only 1st grade (and a youngest first grader at that); I wanted to keep them together for history, but I didn't want ds#2 doing Modern Times before at least 3rd grade. I have a couple friends who are currently doing Modern Times from SOTW, and they both feel it is more of a middle school book rather than mid/late elementary (one is using it with her 4th grade dd and the other is using it with a range of ages). So, I thought we'd go on to Early Modern and do US and state history together, and make it a 2 year stage, but I still didn't fully like that option. I also know when we did Ancients the first time through we were not fully committed to Classical hs'ing (we started that way, then delved into Enki and OM, then went unschooling and finally back to Classical), and I feel we didn't really enjoy Ancients (which to me is one of the most enjoyable periods because it is so full of story telling).

After reading LCC this week, I decided to cycle us all back to Ancient after we finish reading SOTW 2. We are going to start with Child's History of the World, maybe add in some SOTW as needed, and just enjoy the story. We will probably keep with our US study (we are just reading books from the library and watching Liberty's Kids, which the boys love - they were quoted Patrick Henry yesterday while they were shredding papers for me ), and probably even do state study after we get through the founding of the US. But, then we'll do all the wars and conflicts in a few years. That way, ds#1 will be 7th grade or so, and ds#2 will be 5th grade or so before we begin Modern Times. Ds#3 will always been in the wrong grade at the wrong time but by then, I can probably do something else with him if I need (he would be 2nd grade or so ... if we don't get there for five years, it might actually work out okay in the end as they'd be 8th, 6th, and 3rd grade when we get to Modern Times the first time through).

I was never planning on a 3-time cycle through; I figured with life happening, we'd end up taking at least 5 years to get through 4 stages of history. But, with them so young, I feel better going back to the beginning again.
post #112 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Your history dilemma is very similar to what I've been debating for a while. While we started Ancients with ds#1 is 1st grade, it took 2 1/2 years to do Ancients and Middle Ages, and we are/were slated to begin Early Modern in March. But, ds#2 is only 1st grade (and a youngest first grader at that); I wanted to keep them together for history, but I didn't want ds#2 doing Modern Times before at least 3rd grade. I have a couple friends who are currently doing Modern Times from SOTW, and they both feel it is more of a middle school book rather than mid/late elementary (one is using it with her 4th grade dd and the other is using it with a range of ages). So, I thought we'd go on to Early Modern and do US and state history together, and make it a 2 year stage, but I still didn't fully like that option. I also know when we did Ancients the first time through we were not fully committed to Classical hs'ing (we started that way, then delved into Enki and OM, then went unschooling and finally back to Classical), and I feel we didn't really enjoy Ancients (which to me is one of the most enjoyable periods because it is so full of story telling).

After reading LCC this week, I decided to cycle us all back to Ancient after we finish reading SOTW 2. We are going to start with Child's History of the World, maybe add in some SOTW as needed, and just enjoy the story. We will probably keep with our US study (we are just reading books from the library and watching Liberty's Kids, which the boys love - they were quoted Patrick Henry yesterday while they were shredding papers for me ), and probably even do state study after we get through the founding of the US. But, then we'll do all the wars and conflicts in a few years. That way, ds#1 will be 7th grade or so, and ds#2 will be 5th grade or so before we begin Modern Times. Ds#3 will always been in the wrong grade at the wrong time but by then, I can probably do something else with him if I need (he would be 2nd grade or so ... if we don't get there for five years, it might actually work out okay in the end as they'd be 8th, 6th, and 3rd grade when we get to Modern Times the first time through).

I was never planning on a 3-time cycle through; I figured with life happening, we'd end up taking at least 5 years to get through 4 stages of history. But, with them so young, I feel better going back to the beginning again.

Maybe I need to read LCC. I constantly feel like I can't fit in all that I want to accomplish. I am completely conflicted about history right now. Good to hear that you have found a plan that you are comfortable with.

I see that you have tried FLL, CW, and WWE. This is our first year with formal grammar and writing programs. We are doing FLL 3 and WWE 2. I am thinking about MCT for next year (4th grade), with WWE 3 and 4. I'd love to hear your thoughts all these (or anyone else who has experience with these programs).
post #113 of 212
This is our first full year being formal with writing and grammar. Last year we did copywork, but I just went through the hard-backed WWE/Complete Writer book and wrote down the different "elements" that are taught for Year1/Year2 and worked with those with ds#1. For grammar, we were informally doing FLL 1 as a family (we actually were working through it for 2 years very inconsistently). This year I wanted to be more consistent and so we eventually went with CW Primer. I love so many things about it, but I still wanted grammar (more than doing FLL 1 as a family), so I bought FLL 3. And then I wanted a bit more meat to our writing program, so I bought WWE 3. Meanwhile, I bought WWE 1 for ds#1 and got much more consistent with FLL 1 for him.

For the fall, I did CW Primer Autumn exclusively and only used WWE 3 for narration and to touch on some issues. We started FLL closer to winter, but have been doing 2-3 lessons a week. This term, I am switching much more liberally between WWE 3 and CWP Winter. I'm also not necessarily going 1 week at a time in WWE when we use it (for instance, I didn't start with week 1 the first time we used it and then did week 2 the next time we used it). I plan on completing WWE 3/CW and FLL 3 by August (we school year round though we tend to only focus on our core in the summer).

This fall (which would be 4th grade for ds#1 and 2nd grade for ds#2), I plan on starting MCT at the Island level. Ds#1 will do Island level (all books) and WWE 4. Ds#2 will be working on WWE 2 and FLL 2, though I have a feeling he'll sit in on the MCT discussions. I might start ds#2 on MCT when he hits 3rd grade, but it depends on how he progresses with WWE 2 and FLL 2.

That's the plan for now. Theoretically, my boys would do WWE 1-3, FLL 1-3, and the CW Primers in grades 1-3, and then move onto MCT and WWE 4 in 4th grade. After that, I plan on only using MCT for language arts and having them do more writing across the curriculum.
post #114 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR View Post
...snip...
I am also shopping for another science curriculum. We are using REAL Science Odyssey, but it is just not quite what I am looking for. I have Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding in my cart at Amazon, and I am also considering Oak Meadow 5th grade Environmental Science. I too, thought about putting my own curriculum together, but with three children, I really need to simplify, and I want something that dd can do more independently. I love the way the Apologia books are laid out, but the creationist perspective is just not what I am looking for in a science curriculum. Oak Meadow looks like it might be a good fit, but I won't really know until I see the whole book (I sure wish they had more sample pages).
I just got my copy of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding yesterday. I tried to start reading it today, but there was just way to much going on. I really hope to start it soon, though, because from what I was able to read, it really does sound like what I've been looking for all along. I just hope it's not too 'young' for CherryPie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Thanks! And, borrow away! I got the idea from another on the WTM boards - she shared how she did the workbox idea and I realized it would work so well for us.
...snip...
Thanks so much, MLW! I have so much to do this weekend!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
...snip... I need to read LCC again (and I am trying to hunt down a copy of the 1st edition just to compare) ...snip...
I'm sure you already know this, but I thought I'd mention it anyway ... ... you can buy the eBook version of the 1st edition online at Memoria Press.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR View Post
Maybe I need to read LCC. ...snip...
I think I need to pick this up, too. I've been trying to do some research on it before I buy...
post #115 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
I just got my copy of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding yesterday. I tried to start reading it today, but there was just way to much going on. I really hope to start it soon, though, because from what I was able to read, it really does sound like what I've been looking for all along. I just hope it's not too 'young' for CherryPie.

Thanks so much, MLW! I have so much to do this weekend!

I'm sure you already know this, but I thought I'd mention it anyway ... ... you can buy the eBook version of the 1st edition online at Memoria Press.


I think I need to pick this up, too. I've been trying to do some research on it before I buy...
LCC is a really great book- but try to get the second edition. He tweaks and improves it quite a bit! Even if you don't want to have a Latin centered homeschool he has some great ideas about history and streamlining things.
post #116 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
I'm sure you already know this, but I thought I'd mention it anyway ... ... you can buy the eBook version of the 1st edition online at Memoria Press.


I think I need to pick this up, too. I've been trying to do some research on it before I buy...
I didn't realize there was an e-book of the 1st edition on MP. I might have to go look it up. I love the 2nd edition, but I've heard they go well together.
post #117 of 212
Here's my public BFSU lesson plans. It can be difficult to figure out how to proceed with it's very flexible format, so this might provide some ideas. I added BrainPop Jr. videos and might throw in some Discovery Education Streaming links as well.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...TbHVXTVE&hl=en
post #118 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
LCC is a really great book- but try to get the second edition. He tweaks and improves it quite a bit! Even if you don't want to have a Latin centered homeschool he has some great ideas about history and streamlining things.
Thanks so much, theretohere. I've done quite a bit of reading about it and I think I will have to pick it up. Especially since it seems to compliment CM so well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
I didn't realize there was an e-book of the 1st edition on MP. I might have to go look it up. I love the 2nd edition, but I've heard they go well together.
Yes, it seems like everyone is saying that! I think I'm going to have to just purchase both at once. I just made a few purchases, so it will have to wait at least another week, though. Which is probably better anyhow since I have so many other projects going on right now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dotnetdiva View Post
Here's my public BFSU lesson plans. It can be difficult to figure out how to proceed with it's very flexible format, so this might provide some ideas. I added BrainPop Jr. videos and might throw in some Discovery Education Streaming links as well.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...TbHVXTVE&hl=en
Angela ~ Thank you for this. My kids love BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. so that is especially helpful.

Did you happen to write a review on BFSU? I did a search on your blog, but didn't see one. And I think I read that you were thinking about trying something different than BFSU for science... did you decide if you are going to keep using BFSU or move to something else?
post #119 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotnetdiva View Post
Here's my public BFSU lesson plans. It can be difficult to figure out how to proceed with it's very flexible format, so this might provide some ideas. I added BrainPop Jr. videos and might throw in some Discovery Education Streaming links as well.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...TbHVXTVE&hl=en
Hi Angela!
Could you please tell me how to use your lesson plans? I am hoping to start BFSU very soon. I don't understand all the abbreviations. Thanks!!
post #120 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeiter View Post
Hi Angela!
Could you please tell me how to use your lesson plans? I am hoping to start BFSU very soon. I don't understand all the abbreviations. Thanks!!
Do you have your book yet? I don't have mine at this desk, but I'll do my best in describing my lessons. Upon receiving your book and paging through it, you'll quickly realize that you do not work through it from beginning to end. It's designed to be more flexible, so you can cover plants in the spring, or take advantage of other events in your school year. There is a handy flowchart in the beginning of the book. There are some lessons that have prerequisite lessons. So I just mapped out our lessons in a way that made sense for us. Other people might have done a very similar format, with a lesson mixed up here and there.

There's 4 sections - Matter (A), Life (B), Physical (C), and Earth/Space (D). I've color-coded them as well as the letter (A-D). That's the first column. You can see at a glance how it skips around to each section - Matter for a few lessons, then Earth, then Life and then Physical, then back to Matter, and so on. Next column is Page #. Next column shows the exact lesson title. Next column just shows the previous lessons this one builds upon. The last few columns will be links to videos and books.

I think this is probably the science curriculum for us. The reason I was wavering, was because I wasn't sure if I should follow a more WTM science approach with a whole year of Life the first year, Earth/Science the next... The book also requires preparation, which may be true with any hands-on science I suppose. For that reason, science keeps getting skipped over each week for us! I've also been waiting to add Discovery Streaming videos to supplement our lessons. I might have to prepare yet another spreadsheet to tell me what exactly to have on hand for each lesson so I'm not daunted in preparing for it. I mean to work on all this over the weekend.

The other program I was thinking of was R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey, but I think I've heard enough about both programs that I have decided to proceed with BFSU.

Then again, I just read LCC and they totally downplay science in the early years. In my heart, I don't think I want to downplay it though, so I think we'll keep with a real science curriculum, but cover it once a week for an hour.
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