A quiet place to work is key.

Teaching Tip:

Do you have a student in 6th grade or above?

Older students naturally have a heavier workload with lengthier readings and weightier material. As students mature, assignments take longer and require more thought. Today’s tip deals with older students and something we’ve discovered by trial and error through years of schooling 4 boys.

For older students, having a quiet place to work with less interruptions is key.

Our older boys do MUCH better with school when they have a quiet place of “their own” to work. Even though our boys are different from one another personality-wise, they each came to a time when they craved personal space. Working in a space with less interruptions was key in their ability to focus during the middle school and high school years.

What are some possible places to use as quiet work spaces?

With our oldest son, we acknowledged the need for a quiet work space and allowed him to work in our bedroom. There were less distractions for him in our bedroom than in his bedroom. As he matured, he later worked in his own room. Then, after we built an addition onto our house, he worked in the new addition. Our next son also did better after he gained a quiet table of his own in our new addition. These days our third son has taken our second son’s place at the addition table. Our fourth son works in his bedroom spread out on his carpeted floor.

Get creative in thinking about possible work spaces in your home.

I encourage you to get creative in thinking of possible quiet work spaces in your home. Some personal work spaces may require more monitoring than others. For example, I had to check on my oldest son more often when he was working upstairs in my bedroom. During those years, I sent a timer with him so he would know when to come back downstairs. If you have to utilize a space on a different floor, it can still be a workable solution. Even with the extra monitoring required, I still found the positive changes in my son to be worth the extra effort.

No matter what type of learner you have, a quiet personal work space can positively impact your child’s attitude and work habits.

I cannot begin to tell you the change a quiet space produced in each of our older boys’ attitudes and work habits! This is true in spite of our four sons being uniquely different in so many ways. No matter what type of learner you have, it will pay dividends if you can give your older child a quiet work space.

A quiet work space means fewer distractions and less interruptions.

In a quiet space there are fewer distractions and less interruptions. In their quiet work spaces, our older sons got more done than when they were working near the rest of us downstairs. Try creating a quiet, personal work space for your older child. See if you think it improves your child’s attitude, focus, and/or work habits. You may find your child gets more done in less time and does better work too!

Blessings,

Carrie

Thoughts on Geometry: A Guided Inquiry after VideoText Algebra?

Dear Carrie

Could my son do Geometry: A Guided Inquiry after he finishes VideoText Algebra?

My oldest is finishing up HOD’s 8th grade guide but doing VideoText Algebra. He is almost done with Module C now, so I expect him to complete the rest of the VideoText curriculum in 9th grade. He has done well with the program. I’m considering using the Geometry Modules but curious as to other options. My question is what the math plan for 10th – 12th would look like if we chose to not do VideoText Geometry. Would he do Geometry: A Guided Inquiry in 10th and then be ready for Foerster’s PreCal with Trig in 11th? And then what would be our options for 12th…Calculus? Other? Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help with Geometry After VideoText Algebra”

Dear “Ms. Please Help with Geometry After VideoText Algebra,”

Yes, you are right!  If you did HOD’s Geometry: A Guided Inquiry, then you would move into Foerster’s Pre-Calculus next. Foerster’s Pre-Calculus may be a bit of a step up after VideoText Algebra, as Foerster’s Algebra II and Trigonometry is quite meaty and rigorous. So, you would definitely want the Math Without Borders flash drive lessons, schedule of assigned problems, and solution’s manual to use with Foerster’s Pre-Calculus!

Options After Completing Geometry and Foerster’s Pre-Calculus

Then, for your son’s senior year, you could consider either doing Foerster’s Calculus or doing College Algebra through www.mathhelp.com. Either option would work.  However, if VideoText is working well for your son, you may simply want to continue on that path.

Blessings,
Carrie

 

Do you have a child who needs to transition to smaller handwriting?

Teaching Tip

Do you have a child who needs to transition to smaller handwriting?

My tip today deals with kiddos who are maturing manuscript or cursive sentence writers. A good handwriting goal for students in grades 2-4 is to work toward writing smaller as they write on paper.

How can you encourage your child to write smaller on lined paper?

There are a few easy ways to encourage your child in the transition to smaller handwriting. One easy way is to have your child switch from special handwriting paper with big lines to regular, wide-lined notebook paper. To aid your child in copying on wide-lined paper, draw a light dotted pencil line in the middle of each wide line. The dotted line will give your child a midpoint guide on each line for lower case letters. This simple change will help your child automatically begin to shrink his/her writing to fit in the space

How can you help your child transition to writing smaller on blank paper?

In Bigger Hearts, Preparing Hearts, and Creation to Christ children are transitioning to writing on blank paper or in blank boxes in a student notebook. You can help shrink your child’s writing by drawing 1/2″ lines in pencil in the assigned blank areas of the page. This will guide your child to write smaller to stay within the lines.

After smaller handwriting has become a habit, your child will no longer need guide lines.

Once writing smaller has become a habit for your child, you can eventually stop including guide lines. Urging your child toward smaller handwriting is easy to do with these simple tips! Give these tips a try and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

MTMM for High School: Science Path Questions

Pondering Placement for High School Science

MTMM for High School: Science Path Questions

We are using HOD’s Revival to Revolution this year. My son will be using MTMM for 9th grade this coming year. He said he would like to do something different for science this year than chemistry. So, we were thinking of having him do biology. In doing this, would we need to use the health resources from WH as well? I know you said this was a good pairing science-wise. I really don’t want things to become disjointed for him. He reads and comprehends very well above his level, and he will turn 15 shortly. We will not make it through all the guides. So, as we go through and incorporate things one year, this may open up room for something else another year. At the same time, we don’t want to weigh him down with too much. Would adding the health with the biology in MTMM be too heavy?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help with High School Science Decisions”

Dear “Ms. Please Help with High School Science Decisions,”

As you look at your son’s year and your decision to use MTMM for his freshman year, we want to take care not to switch out so many things and add so much that MTMM actually becomes more difficult and heavy than simply using World Geography for his freshman year. With that in mind, I would lean toward using as much of MTMM as written.

For your son’s high school science, I’d add to the MTMM science and leave the WG, WH, and USI high school science plans intact.

The science in MTMM is actually a pretty good mix of chemistry, physics, and biology with some geology thrown into the mix through the study of fossils. It is a great year of study and quite different than the science the students have just come out of in Rev2Rev. I would encourage your son to use the science in MTMM as written and add either the Chemistry 101, Biology 101, or Physics 101 dvds on his free 5th day – choosing whichever set best suits his fancy. I would leave the sciences in World Geography, World History, and US1 intact for the time when he arrives at those guides. By the time he gets to his senior year, and is likely using US1, we can look more deeply at his interests and plan his science for that year accordingly

High School Literature for MTMM

For literature, I would either use DITHR Level 6/7/8 with the 7/8 DITHR Boy set, or he could instead use the boy literature set from World Geography along with DITHR 6/7/8 Student Book (and then the following year do only the BJU lit along with World Geography, thus lightening his load for literature for the World Geography year). If you did use the Boy Lit set from World Geography with DITHR, you would just plug each of these books into whatever DITHR genre fits best and teach your way through the DITHR unit with the book. I would stay with WWTB Vol. II as scheduled in MTMM for composition and do the Rod and Staff English as scheduled in MTMM. This combination will give him one full credit in lit/comp.

High School Economics for MTMM

For Economics, he could either add the Economics study from US2, or he could simply do what is scheduled within MTMM and wait to do Economics until his senior year of high school. Either option would work.

High School Foreign Language for MTMM

I would plan to add Getting Started with Spanish from the World Geography guide, which you can do without needing the World Geography guide. Simply have him do one lesson a day of Getting Started with Spanish. This will earn him 1/2 credit in Spanish I.

High School Credits for MTMM

I would leave the rest of MTMM as written. His credits then would be as follows:
1 credit in U.S. History II
1 credit in English (including lit, comp, and grammar)
1 credit in Science with Lab
1/2 credit in Spanish I
1/2 credit in Economics (if you add the study from US2 and 1 full credit if you also do the Farmer’s Market)
1 credit in Math (Algebra I or above)
1/2 credit in Bible (up to one full credit if he is also doing Bible reading outside of school time)
1/2 credit in Fine Arts: Drawing from Nature (if he adds additional nature journal entries during the week or during the summer)

Looking Ahead 

Hope this helps! Just for reference, for each year of HOD high school study once he reaches the official high school guides, your son will earn 6 1/2 to 7 credits each year. So, you can see the credits he will be earning through MTMM will be comparable. Most states require between 18-24 credits to graduate with this requirement differing from state to state.

Blessings,
Carrie

The older overshadows the younger – continue to combine? Or, separate?

Dear Carrie

Should I separate or combine, when the older overshadows the younger?

I’ve been looking over the first week of HOD’s Preparing Hearts plans. (They look wonderful!)  I am wondering how to do the Independent sections with two kids? Would they work on the science readings, experiments, and notebooking together? Or, would you have one do the Independent History reading, while the other is working on Science, and then switch? I also have another question for you. My older son overshadows the younger one frequently. They are only a year apart in age but more like 2 years apart developmentally. I have often thought about separating them. Part of me would like to start Preparing in the fall with my 10-year-old and continue with Bigger for my 8-year-old. But, then I will also have a 5-year-old in Little Hearts. How hard would it be to do three programs? I don’t love the ‘overshadowing’ feeling. Or, do you have any other ideas?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help Me Decide How to Deal with Overshadowing”

Dear “Ms. Please Help Me Decide How to Deal with Overshadowing,”

I understand that an older child constantly overshadowing a younger child can be difficult. If you choose to keep your children combined, I’d probably have them do the experiments together but schedule the rest to be done separately. But, you could easily do their independent work the other way you described as well.  As far as your question about separating or combining, I pictured my own sons when you mentioned the older ‘overshadowing’ the younger. My older son would often overshadow my younger son if they did their readings and assignments together.

It really depends on how independent your older son is.

In this situation, it really depends on how independent your older son is. My oldest is independent and strong-willed. He’s always very much enjoyed being in charge of his learning (with me being the helper). From a young age, the more of his day he could take over on his own, the happier he was. So, if this is the case with your older son, you could use the first 9 weeks of the school year to “train him” to use the Preparing Hearts guide very independently. You could be doing Bigger and Little Hearts at half-speed during this “training period.” After the training is over, you could bump Bigger Hearts to full-speed, while still keeping Little Hearts at half-speed. Once you hit your stride with Preparing and Bigger, you could then bump up Little Hearts to full-speed. This would be one way to deal proactively with the overshadowing.

I’d require a high standard of work from your oldest during this “training period.”

If you choose to do this, during the “training period,” I’d require a very high standard of work from your oldest. I’d set the timer and keep him on schedule. I would also schedule the places where he is to do his work, as well as when he is to do his work. Have him check off his items and hand them all in. Go over the directions in each box with him as you check his work to make sure he followed them all. This will teach him to read directions carefully.

What You’d Each Still Be Doing

In Preparing, you would still be scheduling some time to do the questioning and discussions scheduled in the Reading About History box. However, he could be doing the readings himself. You would be doing the Bible discussion of the Psalms scheduled on Days 1-2  but he’d be independent on Days 3-4).  You’d also be teaching the Charlotte Mason-style poetry lesson, and most likely doing the Storytime read-alouds. But, the rest of the guide can really be done independently at his age. I did still teach the grammar lesson to my oldest, dictate his passages for spelling, and do the DITHR discussions together on alternating days as scheduled. Either option would work! This is just some food for thought on one way to overcome the overshadowing for good!

Blessings,
Carrie