- Full Year Packages - like other big-box curricula, you can buy the curriculum for your child's age and everything you need, from curriculum guides for Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Reading/Literature, to books, manipulatives, and supporting material will arrive at your door (this is the kind of mail day about which I fantasize). Add a math program and you're set. Really.
- Full Year Package Online - Includes everything above, but the curriculum guides are online. Save $100.
I am pretty sick of being accused on Facebook of being hateful. I carefully scrutinize what I post, and I just don't see hateful. The fact that it is someone close to me who I have gone out of my way for, well, since she was born, who levels that accusation at me really stings. Still, I'm not going to let it bother me anymore. I simply hid everything I post from her. In the interest of trying to figure out what I am, though, I have come up with a few descriptors. I am:
- Passionate about what I believe
- Consistent - my views on things related to politics and religion haven't changed since I was a little girl. Ironically, the people who call me hateful have known me for decades. I was good enough to be called friend then. I'm the same person now. Now I'm hateful. Someone help me puzzle through this.
- Principled - I believe in First Things. I believe in (capital T) Truth. I don't believe in relativism.
The kids took the Iowa test a few weeks ago and, due to the wonders of technology, their results whizzed my way via email last night. Now I'm stuck with the dilemma of trying to balance simply recording results vs. bragging. N.B. I know this post will be of no interest to anyone other than my family ;-) The twins tested in 2nd grade since that is the grade they would be in in school. They both came in in the top 25%. I'm happy. That means that they are where they should be. Surprisingly, even though we do very little formal science, they both did awesomely in science. Charlotte Mason would be proud! Her method works perfectly!
Nicky's results were my favorite to read for several reasons. First, they exactly mirror his results on the WISC-IV. Dr. P. (his tester on the WISC) told us what to expect of him and his ITBS results bear her out. His overall score puts him in the top 10%, but it is his CogAT scores that are so revealing. His verbal puts him in the top 25%, but his quantitative puts him in the top 1%. His stanine scores are, respectively, 6, 9, and 7 for an average of 8, yielding an ability profile of 8E(Q+). That profile is so unusual that the first thing the writeup tells you is to be sure that there is no mistake in scoring. Essentially, it bears out his WISC results which show that his subtest scores vary within multiple standard deviations of each other. Basically, it confirms what I have thought for many years: he a twice exceptional kid. His SAS score of 127 marks him as gifted, but his other issues definitely mark him as some version of special needs (we're just trying to find his label, other than OCD).
What surprised but gladdened me is that Nicky qualified for the Duke TIP 4th-6th graders program. I am vexed that I didn't know about it sooner for Therese. I find it ironic, but not unexpected given what we know about his brain, that Nicky doesn't qualify based on his ITBS scores (he needs to be top 5%), but he does based on his CogAT.
So...Therese. Therese's CogAT profile is 8A. Basically, she's consistently strong across all three subtests. Agewise, her national stanine is 9 (the highest), but gradewise, she drops to an 8 (slacker). Her SAS is 128. The similarity between Nicky's and her numbers is so funny, considering how completely different they are in every respect!
As to Therese's ITBS scores, she is in the top 1% of all 6th graders. Her grade equivalency for almost every single thing tested is 13+ (or post high school). The sole exceptions are capitalization and math (she is my daughter!).
So, I'm proud. My kids are all smarties. Yum.
Seriously, though, homeschooling is working and my kids are thriving. I am able to work with all of their particular needs and am able to cater to their likes and dislikes. That has turned out to be very important with Nicky (crucial even) and a real treat with Therese (history, history, and more history anyone?). The twins are, so far, very normal students. I suspect that they would do very well in a brick and mortar school setting. I love that I get to have them with me, though!
If you've made it this far, wow! If you think this was boring, just wait until I start writing about speech and debate! ;-)
Memoria Press has been "Saving Western Civilization One Student At a Time" since 1994. Offering homeschooled students top-quality classical materials in all subjects, Memoria Press has become a staple in homeschool schoolrooms everywhere. For this review, I was thrilled to be able to try out a product I have been eyeing since it was published - Geography I.
Geography I, for grades 4-8, costs $48.00, and includes the following (the products are also available individually - prices are in parentheses):
- Geography I Text ($14.95)
- Geography I Workbook ($11.95)
- Geography I Teacher Guide ($12.95)
- United States Review Student ($5.00)
- United States Review Key, Quizzes, and Tests ($7.95)
How We Used Geography I
Although my eldest daughter (11) was the one who actually did the workbook associated with the course (and she was the perfect age for it - she loved it), all of my kids listened as I read them the textbook material. I showed them the map in the teacher book that already had the information filled in that Therese would then fill in herself on her own map. In this way, my younger kids (8, 8, and 9) got a lot out of the material without it becoming another school subject for them. So Therese can count this as an actual Geography course, but the younger kids got to enjoy, essentially, an added read aloud appended to our study of Ancient Rome.
For this review, we focused on the countries of North Africa and Mediterranean Europe, as those are the countries the kids are most familiar with from our study of Rome thus far. We covered three countries per week. If not doing this for review, I would probably cut that down to only two countries, simply because I love geography and have a tendency to want to throw everything into anything we study. Actually, though, that's part of the genius of this program. You really don't have to throw anything else in. Memoria Press includes everything for you. You learn about the past and the present of a country. You learn the physical features. You even learn the flag, food, and other cultural aspects of the country. If you are a perfectionist like me, this is the ideal curriculum for you. You really don't *need* anything else, which makes the price even more appealing.
The Geography I curriculum also includes the United States Review, which is intended to ensure that students retain what they learned previously with Memoria Press' States and Capitals course. It is comprised of states and regions maps and captials quizzes and can be used in a variety of ways to supplement any geography curriculum. My kids have learned their states and capitals on their own through a variety of online games, but we have not formally studied U.S. Geography. Because I want to be able to quiz all of them at the same time to ascertain that each of them is rock solid on their U.S. Geography before moving on, I didn't use this part of the curriculum yet. I plan to buy three more workbooks and have all of them review together this fall ($5.00 - such a great price).
Memoria Press' products are all so wonderful and of such high quality. If you're in the market for a Latin curriculum, you'll definitely want to read all of the other Crew reviews, as some Crew members got to try Prima Latina - a course I have used with most of my kids!
1. We have an a/c man we trust - and he's a good Christian.
2. He was available immediately and we only had to spend one night without air.
3. The house only got to 88. We have spent the night in a house that was in the mid-90s before.
4. We had *just* enough money to cover the cost of the BRAND NEW (I'm grateful, I'm grateful, I'm grateful) a/c unit we need.
5. A broken a/c unit can be replaced; a broken child can't be - and we've been blessed never to have one of those.
My first exposure to computers - ever - was learning to program in Logo on a Commodore 64 in 5th grade. That would have been in 1984! Imagine my delight when I learned that Motherboard Books was still enabling 5th graders to learn to program computers (albeit not Commodore 64s) in this fun language with Logo Adventures!
Logo Adventures is a year long programming course for kids under 12. Since it is self-guided, uses very simple language and no variables, and is quite easy to understand, I would think that kids as young as 9 (my son's age) could do it by themselves and kids even younger could do the course with the aid of a parent. Of course, really computer savvy kids could probably do it by themselves as soon as they could read! The program comes as a spiral bound instruction book, consisting of the following (taken directly from the website):
- Simple lines and squares
- Stop signs and E's
- Tessellations: figures that fit together like floor tiles
- Drawings and collages too.
- A silly story about a giant scared by a small person
- A simple board game, "Yellow Brick Road"
- A crowded park scene
- A bouncing ball that draws a clown face
- An animated birthday card, full of shooting stars
How We Used Logo Adventures
I know the rules of blog posts. Short paragraphs. Pictures. I'm not good at those. I'm not a blogger, I guess. I'm more of a writer, maybe, so I'll beg indulgence. For years (almost his whole life) we have wondered what was different about Nicky. The frustration. The anger. The FRUSTRATION (his and ours). It definitely got to the point where we were hoping something was wrong. I wanted a label because a label would give me a course of action. I didn't have a course of action or a label, so I didn't feel that I could legitimately call my son "special needs." I felt that would cheating. I didn't want to take anything away from the parents who had children with real special needs - autism, Downs, etc. After all, my son was healthy (as a horse!), super intelligent, and to all outward appearances just fine. What right did I have to complain?
The problem was that my husband and I didn't know how to deal with him. We couldn't parent him like our other children. He pushed every button we had. He raised specters of my nuclear family that terrified me. I just wanted to know what was wrong with him so that I could fix it!
In 2010, I thought we were finally getting somewhere when we sought therapy for his anger and he was diagnosed with ADHD. The symptoms fit. I was happy to have a label, even though it didn't necessarily buy me anything, as we weren't planning to medicate him for it. I knew that my anger issues were causing problems, so I tried very hard to moderate my response to him, and I think that helped some.
Fast forward 2 years. We had stopped seeing his therapist for a year and a half, mainly because his anger (shaking with rage) had subsided. All of a sudden, though, he developed very worrisome habits. He started asking "Is anything bad going to happen?" every single night. The only acceptable answer was "No." He started wanting me to do nighttime rituals with him that couldn't be varied. Kissing him three times. Answering the question, "Are you mad, frustrated, or irritated?" He had to be the last kid to touch me (called, appropriately enough "last touch"). We went back to his therapist, but we already knew the diagnosis. Any guesses?
What I look at every day. It's not beautiful (except to me). It's not color coordinated. It's not ever neat. It's hardly organized. But it's still my favorite room in the house. Every set of books has a story, as does every statue. Someday I'll take 360 panoramic shots to get the other bookshelves and the library table I'm sitting at.