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#1 of 10 Old 06-23-2002, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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We are essentially unschoolers but my daughter consistently shows desire for structure so I'm trying to comply with a simple program and have been looking for materials.

I was reading (again) the Colfaxes book Homeschooling for Excellence and this time their 3 R's approach made alot of sense to me. In the early years through to the teens they followed a very simple program of reading, writing, and arithmetic. For reading they recommend the Ginn Readers which I can get here but seem way overpriced and a bit dull. What do all of you think about using Dr. Seuss books for beginning reading? What else would be a good approach to reading? My daughter got bored with the 100 Easy Lessons though I know others love it.

As for writing the Colfaxes had their children keep a daily journal and encouraged life writing - letters, thank you cards, etc. No formal grammer or writing lessons, just parental help with structure and spelling when asked. We've just started that and it has been going well.

Arithmetic - do any of you use the computer for teaching math? What great programs are out there? We've purchased a Zoombini video which is great. Any other suggestions? Beyond daily life computation and figuring could computer programs be a good route to a math education?

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#2 of 10 Old 06-23-2002, 03:24 PM
 
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I think a little structure is a good thing, most kids do desire some kind of ryhtym and predictability for thier day.

We also tried 100 Easy Lessons for reading, and it was a big bomb with us. I have since moved onto a primer called Phonics Pathways, much better fit for us. I think using the Dr. Seuss books is a fine idea, after all- that's exactly whet they were written for. We use a series called the Bob Books which are working well for us, but my ds is not quite at the reading level for Dr. Seuss yet.

For math we use Singapore math, and my son really enjoys it. The workbooks are very colorful and include some hands on projects to practice with. There are lots of math games that your daughter could play, maybe some cuisennairre rods or pattern blocks would be fun for her also?
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#3 of 10 Old 06-23-2002, 11:53 PM
 
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I really love this book and here is my ' review'-
Teach A Child To Read With Children’s Books 3rd edition

"Written by Mark B. Thogmartin, this book is chock-full of wonderful resources, lists, Lots of good practical information here that any parent could pick up and find simple strategies to teach their child to read in a gentle way using real books that the child wants to read over and over again. This method is a no-brainer that will work with a reluctant reader, a child that has been turned off reading by boring preprimers/textbooks, or just too much phonics drill, pressure to perform as well, and not enough fun."
I also really like the Charlotte Mason book Easy Grammar for quick, no brainer lessons when needed. We also use the Singapore mathbooks for our 8 year old. My 5 yr old likes the Treasure Mountain CD and Reader rabbit, mathblasters is my 8 yr old favorite. etc. We also really like games that use money or dice to teach math. Yatzee, connect 4, monopoly, etc.. I try to read the living history books to my kids that have biographys or stories about real families to round out our 'curriculum'.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-24-2002, 04:38 PM
 
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For reading:
You didn't mention your dd age but BOB books were a hit here. Also I have been impressed with explode the code but that may be a bit too structured for you. On the other hand it can be used at any speed.
If she can already read Iwould just hit the easy reading section at your library and start doing 10 minutes or a book a day.

Writing:
My dd keeps a journal in which she writes everything. This has been a huge writing help. For the sake of ledgebility we use Handwriting Without Tears. Cheap, Quick and painless with big results and not a lot of confusing lines.

For math:
I don't reallyt get into computer stuff much. We like Miquon because there are multiple ways to use the workbook, she can come up with her own ways to do the pages, has a homey feel, only a few problems on each page. It moves fast, changes frequently, and you can easily skip pages when you have had enough of oh say adding and freaking subtracting (that would be where we are )

math is so easy though. It is litterally everywhere in everything you do. Get some manipulatives and let her play. Make up games and practice.

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#5 of 10 Old 06-24-2002, 05:34 PM
 
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I would agree with Vanna's Mom. I structure our "reading lessons" around the examples in Thogmartin's book. We have been using the Dr Seuss books quite a bit actually. I let my dd pick from the early reader section in the library and she often picks those. She also has a journal which she uses to write a story in every day (also suggested in Thogmartin's book). We have had no need for a handwriting program b/c she loves to write letters and cards all the time but I ask that, in her journal, she uses lower case letters except when an upper case is required grammatically. She taught herself to write using upper case and kind of saw no need for learning lower case after that (not that I blame her but I felt like it was time to expand a bit).

For math we are using Miquon and love it. In addition, we are easing our way into the Oak Meadow curriculum so that we will be starting that full-fledged in the fall while continuing to supplement with our own reading lessons and miquon.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-01-2002, 08:44 PM
 
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I just bought the Oak Meadow curriculum and it looks like exactly what I've been wanting.

I don't have much experience in any of this but I will say that all of my kids love Reader Rabbit math programs. I would have to say that they are definately the favorite. They even got my non structured 4 year old into wanting to learn his math now. I would definately give those programs an A+!

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#7 of 10 Old 07-01-2002, 11:09 PM
 
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I second Reader Rabbit Math and suggest JumpStart Math also!!
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#8 of 10 Old 07-01-2002, 11:29 PM
 
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Yes! Jumpstart what a great program!

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#9 of 10 Old 07-04-2002, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Just finding time to check in on this thread... Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.

It's true. Math is everywhere!

Do any of you unschoolers keep a log of what your children learn through the week?

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#10 of 10 Old 07-04-2002, 08:24 PM
 
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Hi, Do check out Guided Reading by Irene Fountas and GaySu Pinnell. (I think that's the correct spelling-I loaned my book out!) Also, Marie Clay and Regie Routman have some excellent books out on reading. Mosaics of Thought by Routman comes to mind first.

It's funny, many of us have used Guided Reading in our teaching for years and now suddenly it's become the current "MUSTHAVE" in my district.

Writing-lots of real life experience is wonderful. My kindergartners "write" a daily book report which consists of mainly pictures and labels.

Writing-manipulatives and lots of problem solving.

HAVE FUN
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