curriculum that you just loved this year??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please share what you used this year that you and your family just loved. Why did you like it so much?

For us, my girls (8 and 6) completely loved headsprout. They loved using the computer and being able to do something without me. They loved the story books that we can print out and the little movies at the end of each session. I loved it because I got an email after each lesson that explains what they learned about on that lesson.

We also used First Language lessons. My girls loved it because the lessons are very short. I like how much review the girls get to make sure they are retaining what they are learning.

Explode the Code has been with us for 2 years now. We love the short lessons, enjoy that there are 1/2 books for more practice, and I like that I can use it for spelling as well as phonics.
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#2 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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My boys love Headsprout. I don't so much honestly. One of my kids was memorizing/sight reading essentially with the program initially (all the way through lesson 20 actually so not so initially). At that point I stopped and taught him to read. We're using I See Sam books which I love. They love them too. It's a genius program really. You teach the sounds as you go through the books, every book is decodable, the pictures add to the story but don't provide clues that a child could use to guess the words, and the order presented is so well thought out. It's designed to eliminate problems essentially. I'm really impressed. I found the first two sets online free and used instructions from the BRI site to use them. I'll keep going with this program. The other thing I didn't like about Headsprout is the sight words (which can be decoded phonetically but they're taught as sight words instead) introduced so early. That said, my kids love Headsprout--it's very motivating and fun for them. I can see that if a child already had the basics of reading (blending CVC words for example) as your daughter did Headsprout wouldn't have the issues it had for my son who was coming in it with only letter sound knowledge.

RightStart math is a really great program. I love how my kids are learning to think in a math way--to understand the why behind math.

I'm using Karen Henley bible materials and I'm very happy with those. My boys love Heart of Dakota LHFHG and I love parts of it. We're not going to love handwriting in this house but HWOT is quick enough that it's relatively painless.

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#3 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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Being our first year, we bounced around finding a good fit.. some we haven't even found yet. BUT what we have LOVED some:

Math U See - perfect for my 2d grader. We started at Alpha bc she didn't have confidence or mastery. We are now 1/2 through Beta and she seems to have gained both confidence & mastery.

First Language Lessons - short lessons, variety... good stuff

Sonlight Core 1 Read alouds. We aren't returning to Sonlight next year though we did enjoy it BUT the books are wonderful. Our entire family enjoyed snuggling around them. We will definitely continue using their list as a jumping off point for our read alouds.

Usbourne Flip Flap Body Book for PreK Science. Cutsy but accurate.

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#4 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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Hmmm. We've liked everything we've used actually. I've really LOVED CLE math though. I mean really love it! It is a perfect fit for my daughter, and after trying so many programs over the past 4 years...it feels good to find the one that is really a perfect for her. my son really loves hooked on phonics, especially the CD-ROM that allows him to play computer games with each lesson. i love that it requires no handwriting. we've also been very happy with "all about spelling", which we didn't start until later. i was hesitant to try this program, as it's really expensive - but we've been using it for a few months now & my dd is in level 2 now. she finally is understanding spelling, so we plan to incorporate books 2 & 3 next year. we have used ETC for 3 years and *may* use it next year too. i don't know if my daughter actually needs it, so i'm undecided. i certainly don't want to give her busywork.

next year, we plan to introduce some new curricula. i hope i don't regret it. i don't consider myself a classical homeschooler at all, yet, much of my choices look like WTM followers. i'm still not sure how that happened, lol.

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#5 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 09:32 AM
 
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The only new thing was MEP math, which we've just begun exploring. We really like it.
Still love Art of Problem Solving math books, and Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts books from www.rfwp.com .
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#6 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I'm mostly not that into curriculum, and DD and DH aren't either. So, we don't use it a lot. I would say that the one thing she has actually enjoyed though is All About Spelling. She really does love learning the rules, and it has helped her considerably with reading too. We're almost done with Level 1 and I plan to get Level 2 and 3 soon.

Holli
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#7 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 12:08 PM
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I second the "I See Sam" books for reading. They are exactly what we needed!

We also love "Draw Write Now"! Anything that keeps my child engaged for as long as this has is a winner. And, she has been writing willingly--she just doesn't think of it as "writing".

This year though, I found more stuff that didn't fit than anything. But, this was just my first FULL year of hs. Last year we started in January. My youngest dd is a much better fit for "curriculums" than my oldest.

Finally, I love "Beyond the Code". The stories are decodable and amusing. They are broken down into parts that take about 10-15 min for my dd to read to me. We aren't as happy with explode the code--my dd just doesn't like it, but we use it as a reinforcement of skills.

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#8 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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We've really been enjoying Joy Hakim's History of US for US History for my 9 year old.
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#9 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post

next year, we plan to introduce some new curricula. i hope i don't regret it. i don't consider myself a classical homeschooler at all, yet, much of my choices look like WTM followers. i'm still not sure how that happened, lol.
This is me right now exactly. I'm haven't thought of myself as a classical homeschooler at all, but lots of my choices for next year are popular among classical homeschoolers. I even started hanging out on the Well Trained Mind forum because I wanted to save money picking up used curricula. Now my interest is peaked, lol.

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#10 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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My 3rd grade ds and I loved Ambleside Online. It's our second year using it and we'll be going into Year 3 in the fall. I love the whole CM philosphy incorporated in it. We follow the schedule as written (we do remove the religious books) and try to get all the "extras" in.

We also enjoy Teaching Textbooks. Ds does so well with it. It's thorough and there's lots of review. It's a bit behind grade level, so we're using TT5 and we'll try TT7 when we finish that (for 4th into 5th grade, since I have it already). Then for 6th grade, my plan is to solidfy the basics with Life of Fred Fractions then Decimals & Percents (I already have those books since I used them with dd). Then maybe TT Pre-Algebra for 7th grade.

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#11 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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These were all new for us this year:

Singapore Math
Spelling Workout
Scholastic Daily Word Ladders
Click'n Spell
Elson Readers from the 1920s (free from Google books - I can PM links for all nine - or they are also available as books from Amazon)
Song School Latin (for really young kids)

As for the whys:
Singapore Math - I had been using workbooks from School Zone and Teacher Created. They were okay for sources of problems, but not really all that helpful in helping me teach why we do math the way we do. I switched over to Singapore level 2 once we reached regrouping. It is perfect for us.

Spelling Workout and the Scholastic Daily Word Ladders - DS1 has struggled with learning to read and write due to vision issues that were diagnosed in January. He had made it through basic phonics, and all the Bob books, but was not making the leap to being able to read sentences, multiple lines of text, or remembering a word he had decoded even just a few words ago. So many of the materials I reviewed took a huge step from sounding out words to reading and writing entire sentences - there was no in-between for recalling, writing or using single words, and he was too overwhelmed by the big step. Spelling Workout and the Word Ladders give him a way to practice using and writing single words. They have been very helpful for him.

Click'n Spell - mixing this in every 2-3 days gives him some nice variety. He enjoys the animation but it is not over-animated and distracting. He is motivated to make 100% on the lesson, and happy to repeat lessons until he gets all the words right. I like the report that points out the words he had trouble with so we can work on them apart from the program. I like that it reviews previous lessons before continuing on. It's a good supplement for him. It also gives him a way to practice vocabulary and spelling that doesn't require writing by hand.

Elson Readers - I like the feel of the writing more than the Dick and Jane or McGuffy series. I was also having difficulty finding material at DS1's level that was a complete story, that was not too long for him, and that gave complete enough stories that I can ask him to narrate them back to me. They also contain nice sentences that I can use for copy work. I also like that by downloading them as pdfs, when I print them, the text is very large, so that his eyes don't get too tired before he's finished the story. With his vision issues, these are perfect for him.

Song School Latin - I barely use the book - I just look up the Latin words so I know what they are. So far I haven't done much as far as showing DS1 the written words. But both boys really enjoy singing the songs in the van and learning some Latin vocabulary and phrases. It makes it fun. I am going to use Latin's Not So Tough when we start reading the written words. But Song School Latin has made the idea of learning Latin interesting and fun for them.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
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#12 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I am very happy with what we are using, but my favorites are:

Song School Latin: This has been such a wonderful introduction to Latin for all of us. All three boys have learned quite a bit, and are now looking forward to starting LfC A in the summer.

WWE: At first I tried to rewrite the program because I thought I knew how to do it better. But, honestly, once I started using it as written, I can see what a benefit it has been to ds#1 and ds#2.

Singapore Math & Miquon Math: I just really, really appreciate the way these two programs teach math. I am very happy that my children are learning math on a conceptual level and not just how to memorize facts and plug in numbers.

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#13 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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We have been using Singapore and Miquon math for the last year or so. Our newest program has been for science and we are in love!

Real Science Odyssey

There are three books - Life, Earth & Space and Chemistry. They go from grade 2-5 (app.) and we all just love them, including my math/physics guru hubby.
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#14 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
WWE: At first I tried to rewrite the program because I thought I knew how to do it better. But, honestly, once I started using it as written, I can see what a benefit it has been to ds#1 and ds#2.
oh, i'm glad to hear this! i plan to try it next year with my kids. i did not like FLL, so i was rather hesitant to try WWE. after researching it over and over and over and over (you get the idea), i finally decided to buy it. i figure the resale of an unused workbook will be pretty close to retail value - so i don't have too much to lose. fingers crossed!

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#15 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen View Post
This is me right now exactly. I'm haven't thought of myself as a classical homeschooler at all, but lots of my choices for next year are popular among classical homeschoolers. I even started hanging out on the Well Trained Mind forum because I wanted to save money picking up used curricula. Now my interest is peaked, lol.
yes, ive visited there a billion times but i haven't come out of lurkdom and posted yet, lol. i read what everyone is using though, and i'm like "hmm... that's what i like too, but i'm not classical at all! am i???". anyway, i've gotten some great information there, and that's all that matters to me. i plan to try WWE next year. i also own writing strands. i finally bought AAS after reading how great it was (and it is!). i still dislike FLL & imho SOTW book 1 will be better suited for my kids when they're in 4th & 2nd - so i'm waiting on that. we also use CLE math, which seems to be wildly popular there. anyway, it's funny!

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#16 of 37 Old 05-22-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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Oh yea, DH and DD seem to have been enjoying the Life and Earth Science ones this year too.

Why don't I remember these things?

Holli

Quote:
Originally Posted by accidental_hs'er View Post
We have been using Singapore and Miquon math for the last year or so. Our newest program has been for science and we are in love!

Real Science Odyssey

There are three books - Life, Earth & Space and Chemistry. They go from grade 2-5 (app.) and we all just love them, including my math/physics guru hubby.
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#17 of 37 Old 05-25-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for sharing
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#18 of 37 Old 06-09-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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subbing

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#19 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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We discovered Zaccaro's math books this past year. Wow how I love them. Perfect fit for my 12 yo ds. I had never heard of them until someone mentioned them right here on mdc.

And, I love Story of the World. Been using it for years. Imagine I might be using them in one way or another for the next couple decades that I'm homeschooling.

Btw aimee, you don't have to actually post to a thread to subscribe. You can click on "thread tools" when viewing a thread, then click on "subscribe to thread".

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#20 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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We discovered Zaccaro's math books this past year. Wow how I love them. Perfect fit for my 12 yo ds. I had never heard of them until someone mentioned them right here on mdc.

And, I love Story of the World. Been using it for years. Imagine I might be using them in one way or another for the next couple decades that I'm homeschooling.

Btw aimee, you don't have to actually post to a thread to subscribe. You can click on "thread tools" when viewing a thread, then click on "subscribe to thread".
What a great looking publisher! A lot of their books look very innovative and interesting. I love learning about smaller publishers like this.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#21 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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We loved Worldviews for the Western World by Cornerstone Curriculum for our high schooler. Very thought provoking, exercises her critical thinking skills and broadens her horizons as well as laying down an awesome foundation for the rest of her life!

Caefi
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#22 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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We love MEP, Miquon, and Singapore Math. And Sonlight Science K.

Those math programs are great for a conceptual and problem solving math approach.

We love the variety SL K offers.
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#23 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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We've only just completed one year homeschooling, but here's what we've loved for the Pre-K/K/1 year.

TOTALLY RAVE ABOUT EVERY CHANCE I GET
  • RightStart Math (after trying 3 other math programs)
  • All-About-Spelling (so glad we started early!)
  • Story of the World and Activity Guide
EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH
  • Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - this does the job very efficiently, we're now almost done
  • Handwriting Without Tears - we are on the second grade printing book, will start HWT cursive later this summer
  • Wordly Wise 3000 2nd edition - the Kindergarten/Grade 1 is so fun and colorful, this is something we end up doing multiple lessons in one session, as my daughter begs for it. She loves incorporating new words in her vocabulary. I'd put it up in the Rave section, but it's not a subject I put high priority upon.
QUITE HAPPY WITH AS IT DOES THE JOB
  • First Language Lessons (although it does go slow, I think we're going to do 2-3 lessons at a time.)
  • Writing With Ease (love the literature selections and the intro to dictation/narration, but I think we're going to add an actual writing program, only because my daughter writes every chance she can get, and I want to teach her how to actually write)
There are other things we're very happy with, but since I failed to use them faithfully this spring, I don't feel justified putting them on this list, hehe. They would be: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding and Artistic Pursuits.

As for the WTM forums, I would bet that a majority of the people there just enjoy the popular and busy forums, and aren't necessarily 100% classical. A big percentage admit in polls that they aren't classical in fact. I know I'm going to be giving up labeling myself as we just use what works for us.

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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#24 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Angela,

When did you start All-About-Spelling? Curious, because you said you were glad you started early. My 4.5 year old is interested in spelling (sometimes I think we are practicing for a spelling bee around here) and is working on long vowel sounds in The Ordinary Parents Guide.

Thanks!
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#25 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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We started All-About-Spelling at about 4.5 years of age. Waiting until later would have been a waste of the Level 1 book. We should be starting Level 3 soon, mid-summer probably.

- Angela
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#26 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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Though I totally agree with starting earlier if the child is ready (I have a feeling ds#3 will be starting Level one some time around the New Year), waiting until later isn't a waste of time either. Ds#1 was almost 8 when we started Level 1. We went through it quickly (I think it took a month and then he continued to progress. Now he is solidly in Level 4 and I can tell so much of it is clicking for him. Ds#2 started Level 1 at 5 1/2 and is in Level 3. I have had to slow down a bit for him (compared to ds#1) though he is doing well too. But, I think that many kids will still excel with AAS (and maybe make the connections more quickly) if it is started in first or even second grade. No matter how fast or slow one goes through Level 1, it is foundational for the program. I think ultimately taking the child's lead is the key (and as a disclosure - I am not anti-early-education; in fact, I tend to err on the side of earlier is better, though it took until ds#1 was half-way through 2nd grade to realize that is what I felt was best for my boys).

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#27 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Absolutely love:

Singapore Math
Explode the Code
Usborne for Science (bias though as I'm a consultant, heehee)

So glad for all your posts as we're always looking to expand and try new things.

Sara: Separated Mom to , DD (9), , DS (5), DD (3), , & 4/5/10 + 2 & 1
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#28 of 37 Old 06-10-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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We are on/off with Explode the Code workbooks. My daughter enjoys doing them, but sometimes they are a bit too much to try to add into our day. Half a year ago my daughter wasn't reading as fluently, so we didn't do the workbook pages with a lot of reading. Now, we are in an ETC phase once again, and she is just zooming through all those reading pages in ETC. I'll follow her lead if we'll continue with ETC 3 and up. I do like this program though, as it is great practice in reading/phonics, spelling, and handwriting (and even vocabulary)!

- Angela
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#29 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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Great thread! This year we've loved:

RightStart Math.

Life of Fred Math.

Intellego Unit Studies.

Meet the Masters art program.

Science Jim web classes.

Mosaic history/literature/world religion curriculum

Ecoutez-parlez french.

Sequential Spelling.

I should clarify that these are things that both I and my son enjoyed. There are a few others that I think have been wonderful for him, but that he wasn't running to do extra in his spare time, you know? And there are a few more I've got on tap, that I think he will indeed love, but we haven't actually used them yet.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#30 of 37 Old 06-12-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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Teaching Textbooks (grade 5) has been a big hit with my son and I like it too. Yes, it frees me up from teaching day to day math, but I help him a lot with concepts he doesn't quite "get." It's a win-win for us.

MCP Math is what I'm using for my "2nd" grade DD. I used this for 1-4 with my son so I know it's a solid program but it's just working really well for DD this year. She started the year saying "math is hard" and "I don't get it" but now she's doing great and enjoys doing it! I think it' built her confidence in math.

Growing with Grammar I'm using this for both my kids-son is doing grade 4 and DD is doing grade 1/2. it's a straight forward grammar program with no glitz but it has lots of review and does the job in 10-20 min a day. We'll be sticking with this program.

I've used Explode the Code for both my kids and it's a tried and true program at our house. I'll be starting it with my Ker this fall at some point.

Lastly, The Boxcar Children series and Jim Weiss CDs have been favorites of the kids. We listen to the CDs in the car and the kids ask for them each time we go somewhere-they love Jim Weiss's Greek Myths, Greek Heroes, and Tom Sawyer best so far.
I've read of a bunch of the Boxcar series out loud and my oldest has read them on his own. They like to hear these stories when we're camping on the weekends too.

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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