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Classical/Charlotte Mason September Thread - Page 4

post #61 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveToBeMom View Post
It's "Bob the Builder" here. blech.

I'm expecting baby #2 any day now, and we're expecting a girl this time. I'm not looking forward to the whole princess/barbie thing!

Anyway, thanks for your input as well.
Ugh, I relate to the Barbie/Princess twaddle. Even "Fancy Nancy"! That's what she's drawn to at the library or bookstore---my compromise is Little Critter or Berenstein Bears.

Now they're making "Littlest Pet" readers . . .

I gave in once in the interest of learning reading and bought My Lil Pony phonics readers, and guess what? They sat on her shelf and I never saw her reach for them on her own time.

She has lately been saying how she's read every book on her bookshelf (not really true, but okay, she's tired of them), and I think there are just too many there for her to narrow it down.

I'm feeling a major book overhaul coming on . . . I wonder if we boxed/donated what she has now and replaced them with quality readers if she would initiate independent reading time more?

It bums me out, but she seems to really only choose reading when I suggest it . . . she struggles with it so much it does not seem like a pleasurable activity for her

Today at the bookstore, I grabbed a "my first reader" Little Critter book, titled "Just Critters Who Care" and she read it as "just creatures how car" when is it going to click for this girl? She's been at the "level 1" level for like two years now . . .

Sorry to rant a little; it's my only major concern that I have with her education. I think we will give it a little more time and if her reading doesn't seem to improve, we may see a reading specialist.


But really, I am so proud of my girl! She has been rocking through her lessons! She finished up her math review and now we're waiting on the next level to arrive . . . in between now and then we'll be doing lots of hands-on activities, and I think we will keep the steam rolling, so to speak.
post #62 of 211
In regards to twaddle- I don't ban it. I pick library books that are good and that I will want to read aloud to the little one, otherwise it'd drive me batty. If she hands me a couple she wants I check them out no matter what they are. I have a shelf in our family room by a lazy boy rocking chair that is filled with really good books I've bought to read to dd who is 2. I sit there to nurse her and often read while I do. Those books I don't mind reading twenty and thirty times, lol.

For the older kids they are allowed to pick whatever they want, no comment from me. I am just totally happy and enthusiastic that they are enjoying reading so much. My ds 8 had been reading Bunnicula books and my dd 10 has been reading Junie B. books, previously both were on a Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes kick. Our home library is filled with good literature as well. They'll be reading The Bronze Bow, The Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland, Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and more for school.

Today we went to the thrift store and I scored a Snap Circuits Jr. set for under $4, all brand new looking and no parts missing! When I was making my Rainbow Resource order I took this set in and out of my cart at least a dozen times and didn't end up getting it. I just couldn't justify the cost. I had already had a bunch of Young Scientist Club Kits, slides, and rock kits in my cart, as well as buying microscopes and a cheaper electronic experiment kit (brand new) at the thrift store. Brought it home and dd 10 played with it for at least two hours with dd 2 following her around watching. Very timely also because we just happen to be currently studying electricity for Science.
post #63 of 211
I give an hour of required reading during "school hours" and an hour of twaddle, before bed. My dd is nine though and does her own reading now.

I think for a lot of kids there is that one book that sparks. My dd did read a lot of twaddle and was very resistent to directed reading until she read Percy Jackson. Ever since she read those books she really loved reading and enjoys all sorts of books.
post #64 of 211
Ah, the "twaddle" issue. I swore up and down when I had kids that it would be just the classics!
But 2 year old DD toddling out of Target clutching a Dora book? How the heck was I supposed to not allow that?

So we have some twaddle around here. We have some twaddlish library books. But they are mixed in with the good stuff.

I love good novels but good authors. I love, love, love to read Jane Austen for fun. I need to work on the Bronte sisters. Shakespeare can be an utter blast to read for pleasure.

But I also love a nice Star Wars novel every once in awhile. I won't grow from it (much) but it is fun to let your brain just relax every now and then.

Craft, if your DD is rocking through everything else - could there be a problem with her reading in a learning disability type of way?
post #65 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
Craft, if your DD is rocking through everything else - could there be a problem with her reading in a learning disability type of way?
This occurred to me too. It's what was going on here. Identifying the issue and making a concrete plan for remediation has worked wonders for both of us! I researched the heck out of home based remediation options and ended up going with All About Spelling of all things. I'm already seeing drastic progress in reading with it vs. some of the much, much more expensive options out there. We were both, honestly, relieved to identify what was going on with DD1 and reading. She was relieved b/c she was getting sooooo frustrated at the fact that everything else comes so easy and the gap between comprehension and reading level was sooooo wide. It still is, but we're getting there and she's hopeful about closing that gap some more. I didn't consider any sort of evaluation until she started getting extremely frustrated and upset during reading. I also went through a lot of different programs trying to see what would help it click. But it wasn't until we identified that she's got some mild dyslexia going on and until I started really educating myself on what that means and how to assist her that she really started moving and accelerating again with her reading.

Some kids just learn it all on their own. It just clicks into place for them. Others, I have come to firmly believe, need some sort of individually tailored reading program to assist them in developing the skill. There is a fascinating non-fiction book called Proust and the Squid: The Science and Story of the Reading Brain that I strongly recommend. Really amazing to actually learn about how the human brain came to learn to read. Our species hasn't always been literate if you think about it. And how different brains learn to read today.

I've sort of gone back and forth about twaddle too. But at the library, I don't limit them at all except in quantity. And even then, our library bag is this giant, tough canvas Costco bag, so it holds A LOT of books. Once the bag is full, that's it. I usually do ask them questions about their selections- why they picked it, that sort of thing. I also pick books for them related to topics we're studying and I point books out to them that I think are high quality. My bottom line is that I want them to develop a love of the written word. If a less than classic book is what originally hooks them, I can live with that. I can also guarantee that they get exposure to rich, high quality literature as well.
post #66 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveToBeMom View Post
Question regarding "twaddle" at the library...

I'm taking my preschool-aged son to the library weekly. I want to fill his world with quality books, and I can certainly do that when I am in complete control over what he's exposed to. However, at the library he is drawn to cartoon-y "twaddle." I want him to experience choosing books, checking them out, taking care of them at home, returning them on time, the whole library-thing.

BUT, I don't want twaddle in my home!

Do you go to a public library regularly? What's your routine? Any ideas as to how we can utilize the library while not undermining our kids' personal preferences?
at our house the Lib is the only place to get 'junk food" books. we buy the good stuff, the stuff i don't mind reading over and over and over.

lib books -- we choose a number he can choose before we go in -- he will be 5 in Nov -- and he chooses free will. Some I tell him "Momma is not reading that, but you may get it if you want to look at it" sometimes he changes his mind, sometimes not. I choose lib books too and i use mine for better or new books we have not gotten before.

Some that other people list as Twaddle I am ok with -- little Critter and Bernstein Bears come to mind.

we have a few books i'd not buy for the boys myself -- hand me downs and a few gifts -- i weed out anything i really don't want. My Sis has a set of DORE phonice readers and i am sooooooooo glad she has a girl the age of my youngest so i know they will not be handed-down to us -- i can't stand them.

I'd say over all in our family collection the ratio is easy 8 or 9 to 1 for the better stuff; maybe not great but better.

But to us the Lib is FREE -- i am not paying for it, it is not part of our collection. I worried about it for a long time, but i have found VERY FEw of the "junk" books get checked out more than once and at least 50% get brought home but never show up at BOOK TIME to be read by Momma. so i let it go -- it is part of the learning process. and the process is FREE at the lib. and no harm in a bad choice, it goes right back and you choose again.

as i see if -- they can't learn with out mistakes; you can't learn to choose GOOD books without choosing bad books too --

It is like his food diet -- i just work to keep the ratio up of good to bad and make sure what i am giving him is the good.
post #67 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jessica* View Post
I'm only filing 6 weeks at a time to give myself flexibility to make changes if we need to. I actually did the second 6-weeks worth of filing today. A n d, I filed the Outdoor Hour Challenges and I'm determined to get to them!
Jessica how goes the Challenge -- what can you tell me about it -- i get the boys outside most days -- but that is it -- i just let them at it ....i worry i should be directing it more; but then i think boys espically but all kids -- just need outside time to be kids ...

Aimee
post #68 of 211
I just took the Outdoor Autumn Challenge and Art and Music Appreciation to the printing shop and hope to get it back in a couple of days. We went ahead and did nature study this am and studied a bit on the sassafras trees. He needs to work more on his drawing though and I need to tape his leaves in his book. Once I get the book back I am going to laminate it and bind it w/ my fancy schmancy book binder

Today was library day the librarian has really added all kinds of things to story time, lots of stories but dances and little projects for the kids. Looking forward though to being at home all day tomorrow and having more time for our subjects. My only dissapointment w/ the year so far is we are not doing as much read aloud time as we are spending lots of time on other things. We are doing chapter reading after lunch but want some more just freereading. I think we might try to add it back in before we start the day as we did that last year and I miss it!
post #69 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
Jessica how goes the Challenge -- what can you tell me about it -- i get the boys outside most days -- but that is it -- i just let them at it ....i worry i should be directing it more; but then i think boys espically but all kids -- just need outside time to be kids ...

Aimee
Outdoor Hour Challenges We have a lot of fun with the challenges when we get to them. (I'm determined to get to them more often than I have in the past.) Nate (age 5) adores the outdoors and would spend hours exploring and catching insects. Nik, though, spends most of his outdoor time kicking a soccer ball or with a baseball bat in his hand and ignores nature. He seems to like it when I direct the time and make him notice things, though. The challenges don't take much time, so they still have plenty of undirected play.
post #70 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
We're dining room schoolers too. A large map of the world is gracing our walls with lots of pins and marks for Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc. on it.

So the Latin showed up and I've got the matching game and the teacher's edition but NOT the student book. It's backordered for a few weeks. I ate when companies have something backordered but don't tell you until you get the rest of the order. I was so excited to start!!

We're going to clean house and decorate for Halloween today. An then we're going to finish history for the week.

Anyone else up to anything exciting?
Decorating for Halloween sounds like fun! This is our first Halloween in our own home so we've not decorated before. We'll have to do something, at least a spider web or two, lol. Funny, the kids are so excited they already are planning costumes. My dd 10 is going to be Luigi and my ds 8 is dressing as Mario. They've had this planned for months. They found red and green caps and shirts at the thrift store months ago. We glued white felt circles on them, then a red M and green L. Last trip to the thrift store the both found white gloves. Now all they need is the overalls and fake mustaches. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to order these from Amazon. Dd 2 wants to be Princess Peach, lol. Too cute that she knows the Mario characters that well! Not surprising though because it is big brothers thing right now. I think I'm going to have to figure out how to make a toddler sized Princess Peach outfit.
post #71 of 211
I'm going to have to go check out the Outdoor Hour challenges. It has been so beautiful outside!

After school yesterday dd 10 and I made some clothespin dolls for dd 2. Let me tell you what, this was much funner than I expected it to be. We both made three and I already want to make more, lol. I highly recommend this craft! Too fun!
post #72 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jessica* View Post
Outdoor Hour Challenges We have a lot of fun with the challenges when we get to them. (I'm determined to get to them more often than I have in the past.) Nate (age 5) adores the outdoors and would spend hours exploring and catching insects. Nik, though, spends most of his outdoor time kicking a soccer ball or with a baseball bat in his hand and ignores nature. He seems to like it when I direct the time and make him notice things, though. The challenges don't take much time, so they still have plenty of undirected play.
thanks

i am going to look at that more closely. I really make an effort to get them outside, but i know we don't "notice" enough. I try on our weekly 'adventures" 9read hike) to discuss the glory of God's creation -- but i think a weekly challenge is just MOMMA needs, momma responds well to check list, goals and objectives

(now if she only knew what the boys responded to )
post #73 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
thanks

i am going to look at that more closely. I really make an effort to get them outside, but i know we don't "notice" enough. I try on our weekly 'adventures" 9read hike) to discuss the glory of God's creation -- but i think a weekly challenge is just MOMMA needs, momma responds well to check list, goals and objectives

(now if she only knew what the boys responded to )
Yes, it was just what I needed! That's exactly it. I also respond well to checklists. My husband teases me and says that I like to make lists of all of my lists! He's not far off, despite the fact that he's only teasing me. When I get around to actually doing the challenges , I read the challenge at the beginning of the week so I know what the subject is. When we're outside I direct their attention to whatever the subject is and if they are interested we do it. If they would rather play then I let them play and do the challenge another day.
post #74 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jessica* View Post
Yes, it was just what I needed! That's exactly it. I also respond well to checklists. My husband teases me and says that I like to make lists of all of my lists! He's not far off, despite the fact that he's only teasing me. When I get around to actually doing the challenges , I read the challenge at the beginning of the week so I know what the subject is. When we're outside I direct their attention to whatever the subject is and if they are interested we do it. If they would rather play then I let them play and do the challenge another day.
Ok, I have a confession. I looked at that link above, and one of the first steps was something about reading a chapter in a book I don't have, so I immediately clicked the back button. Should I go look again? Could I do these challenges without having the book she refers to?
post #75 of 211
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Rana View Post
Ok, I have a confession. I looked at that link above, and one of the first steps was something about reading a chapter in a book I don't have, so I immediately clicked the back button. Should I go look again? Could I do these challenges without having the book she refers to?
The book, Handbook of Nature Study, is available on-line for free. You can read it on-line or download it as a PDF, among other options. I'm sure you could probable do the challenges ahead of time; the book gives you information about the various topics (basically Barbara McCoy used the book as a springboard for her Outdoor Hour Challenges). So, if the challenge is on bats, for instance, you would read the section of THoNS book about bats (to yourself unless your dc are older and you think they'd like the information too) and then talk about them with your kiddos. Or, you could check out a book from the library on bats. Or, look them up in an encyclopedia. From what I understand, the goals are two-fold with the challenges - to learn a bit about various animals, bugs, plants/flowers, etc. and also get outside and start observing things around you.

So, to do the actual challenges as they are written, you'd want some information about that week's topic. Along the right sidebar of her website, you'll find tons of challenges listed, usually by topic (for instance, there'll be 10 challenges on various spring flowers, or 10 challenges on various mammals, etc.). If you click on each individual challenge, there will often be links for more information on the web or free coloring pages, etc. You can also buy her season-themed eBooks, which come with custom made nature journal pages for each challenge (I highly recommend the season eBooks; I ended up changing our nature study focus this year after I bought them).

I hope that helps a bit. You don't have to buy the Comstock book, but it is recommended to read it (in the physical book, as a PDF or online) to get background information on the particular topic. Or, at least find information in another form.
post #76 of 211
I think that you could easily do the Outdoor Challenges w/out the book just reading prep on the subject from the internet. However, I think HNS gives a TON of good info. One could of course do Nature Study straight from it but it has so much info that i like having some guidance in deciding what subjects to concentrate on, at least for us starting out. I am anxious to receive mine back and start the Fall book next week. I find myself so much more aware of things in our environment at all times not just at nature time.

For those doing SSL when do you do it? How long does it take? I plan to start it in 2 weeks but want an idea of when to schedule it.

Right now we have a loose schedule:
religion- bible , catechism or saint reading
handwriting-hwot
math-RSB
lit-fables, poems, etc

then snack break and daily project:
science , nat study, history or art
break
reading

It seems it might be a good fit after our project between reading? I like to do alternate sitting still/listening activites w/ those that work well w/ being up and around.

Everything is going well I am nervous about Math though. He seems to understand everything well but I am nervous that all of a sudden we will get to something over his head and overwhelm him.

On History I have the Eggleston for a spine which I like really but I also really really love the d'Aulaires biographies. It seems we might be doing too much History but I guess time will tell.

I am anxious to plan out my next terms as I want to fit everything in- I want to schedule more reading in and make more thoughts on what chapter books to read. Of course they still need plenty of playtime as well. Sigh. I think there isn't enough time in the day!!
post #77 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
For those doing SSL when do you do it? How long does it take? I plan to start it in 2 weeks but want an idea of when to schedule it.

Right now we have a loose schedule:
religion- bible , catechism or saint reading
handwriting-hwot
math-RSB
lit-fables, poems, etc

then snack break and daily project:
science , nat study, history or art
break
reading

It seems it might be a good fit after our project between reading? I like to do alternate sitting still/listening activites w/ those that work well w/ being up and around.
I had SSL scheduled to do 3x per week, but Nik loves it and we usually do the whole week's worth of workbook pages in one day. Then we just listen to the songs a couple more times during the week. I would guess that one whole chapter takes 15 minutes. Add 5-10 minutes for the songs (which we listen to all of the songs up to the current chapter, so each week this gets a little bit longer) and you have a total that is less than 30 minutes of work for the week. We don't have a specific schedule aside from history as the first subject; I let him pick what he wants to do next, so I couldn't help with when to recommend to fit it in.
post #78 of 211
We're into our second week of homeschooling now, and next week some of our outside activities start. DD1 is really enjoying the MEP math program, and her music class. I've changed the time we work on reading because it is very energy intensive for her, though she is making a lot of improvement.

One thing I haven't been happy with is what we are doing for handwriting, so I am looking for a more directed program. We want to do cursive rather than printing, and DD is 5 - does anyone have any recommendations?

With library books, dd doesn't ask for things much, so if she does I usually get them - last time it was a strange book about garbage. I remember reading some terrible things when I was younger though - Sweet Valley High and so on. I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing if it's mixed with real literature. It's Barbie and Princesses here too, and they drive me nuts. My MIL buys some bad books, which is surprising since she was a librarian in an elementary school.
post #79 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post

Craft, if your DD is rocking through everything else - could there be a problem with her reading in a learning disability type of way?
I think it is a possibility. It's so weird---it's like she's gotten worse at reading I don't know how that's possible---we had the summer "off" with no actual instruction, just letting her enjoy books on her own time, so maybe she's just rusty?

It could just be bad habits, though.

Back story: dd went to public k and had a major personality conflict with the teacher. Dd doesn't like having to work at something--she has this expectation of being able to instantly know how to do smth the 1st time she tries. Well, she figured out that she could get through the ps reading hoops by guessing most of the time, and the teacher would not engage with her about working to correctly read the word, so she got away with just "guess-reading" for about a year.

So now she sees a word that she doesn't instantly know, and instead of sounding it out (and she has known the "rules" for ages), she will just start popping off guesses that have similar letters. Grrr! <--at the ps so promoting "sight reading".


She has been working really hard and seems to be making progress, but really struggles. We are going to keep at it, but if we don't see it getting easier for her, then we will enlist a specialist, and luckily we have one available through our charter school.

It could just be a hump in the road, you know? *shrug* We'll give it some time and see.
post #80 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
For those doing SSL when do you do it? How long does it take? I plan to start it in 2 weeks but want an idea of when to schedule it.
Well, this is what we do: First thing in the morning while starting breakfast, we listen to the song(s) for whichever subject we're on, usually a couple of time. Then while brek is cooking, I look at what the book has for that section. We don't actually write in the book DD has a blank bound book (great! get them made at Office Max or similar) and we will photocopy/cut/glue from various sources or just write similar exercises in with colored pencils.

So I'll write "salve", "vale", "discipuli", "magistra" in colored pencil on one side of the page, and have her match to the English words on the other side of the page. Or when we did the family vocabulary, she drew pictures of us and then labeled with Latin words. Today I wrote dotted words and she traced and copied.

We don't solely use SSL, though (we use the "I am Reading Latin" series and "First Thousand Words" and other sources), and we're jumping around the program to fit with stuff we're doing in other subjects. Plus we sprinkle in Greek.

So today she drew pictures of tomatoes, we looked at stuffed tomatoes recipe from children's Greek cookbook (library), and then she copied the Greek word from her picture encyclopedia. Tomorrow we'll add cheese to the page! Making labeled picture recipes and then we'll cook it.

Sometimes I'll just write something in her book in either language for her to copy, copywork style. But what we do is mostly verbal, we use manipulatives (like fingerpuppets), and Montessori three-part lesson til she "gets" it---however long that takes. Usually she has the material down in a week, but no problems here with doing the same vocab for several weeks if necessary.

It takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on how engaged she is in our activity, and we do it first thing in the AM---the songs are a nice "call to school" start to our day.

So that's my 10 cents worth


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post

One thing I haven't been happy with is what we are doing for handwriting, so I am looking for a more directed program. We want to do cursive rather than printing, and DD is 5 - does anyone have any recommendations?
We are waiting on Cursive First to arrive, and once we start using it, I'll let you know how we like it or not. I am probably going to get that HWOT Contracted edition just for extra to have around, too---I know the actual style of lettering is different, but the idea is just for her to get how to form the letters, and then I'm sure she'll develop her own style anyways.

FWIW, I've heard that the HWOT one is really great for helping the kids "get" how to form the cursive letter.
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