Academics - Rigorous enough for 6th-8th?

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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cbollin

Academics - Rigorous enough for 6th-8th?

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:29 pm

How does Marie keep history rigorous enough for 6th-8th
abrightmom wrote:How is history kept appropriately challenging and skill building for those middle school kids? I really enjoy reading SOTW but I don't find it to be a really challenging spine for 6th-8th grades. I am NOT familiar with the other books used though OR her recommendations for older students that are contained in the guide. Will you share with me how an older student is stretched in all skill areas using MFW with younger, middle elementary aged students?
This is my experience using MFW with 2 children now in those jr. high years. My oldest is now in 10th grade. Middle is in 7th.

I don't think this is exhaustive list...... it was off the top of my head with my experiences and now I have to get back to dishes and then pulling weeds outside. keep asking if this isn't answering it or bring up other questions.....

Language Arts – skills are added by change in materials. 2 year full focus on grammar by the rules. Writing skills are focused. And students do at least 2 Progeny Press guides in a year. This increases the literature analysis feel and students keep practicing more writing. Student and parent are encouraged to work together to develop time frames for completion of those books in order to develop independent learning and staying on track.

Math – Saxon math, with mfw lesson plans. And DIVE CD. Student begins to take more responsibity for staying on syllabus in math, and trying to learn from text and video lecture when needed. Learn test taking skills. Taking notes.

Science – with apologia jr. high and mfw plans, students are encouraged to learn independent skills in staying on syllabus, set up and clean up of lab, and test taking skills. Students need to learn to take notes while reading.

Now in terms of the 5 year cycle programs...

ECC – skills are increase in jr. high with the research and reading supplement. Students will write a country summary sheet about one every 2 weeks. They have to research on their own and write those. There is a longer “research report” on one country of student's interest

CTG and RTR – the jr. high aspects in CTG come from once a month reports either oral or written. Project ideas from selected from the chatper headings in Streams of Civilization. Streams is actually a 9th grade textbook. It is used in MFW in small sections so it can be done in lower years.

EX1850 – higher expectations with the state report. Use of G. Foster books will beef up the hearing of history. Building a City on a Hill – that's upper level book. Book basket, plus notebooking. Memory work is entire book of James.

1850MOD – doing the full fledge SOTW activity book and outlining and map work and timelines...

Additionally, students in MFW can use God and the History of Art. I'm finding that book to have plenty in it for logic stage.

What I've found over the use of MFW now is that the skills that are growing in logic include:
content (not just SOTW, but other books and church history and biographies, etc)
research projects
outlining is formalized
growing responsibility for staying on syllabus in a few subjects before more in high school

-crystal

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: How does Marie keep history rigorous enough for 6th-8th

Unread post by abrightmom » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Crystal,

Thank-you. Those are all important components that aren't seen in samples. I have always been under the impression that I can take the MFW program and build on to it as I see fit. However, in recent weeks MFW has taken some "heat" elsewhere (you know where) as not being nearly challenging enough for 6th and up. Admittedly, those discussions have spoken to some very real fears I have had regarding multi teaching with a 7th grader and a 3rd grader in the same basic program. I feel like I get two completely different views and I just don't know which side I identify with more. On the one hand, many have shared with me that I can use SOTW as a logic stage spine (and therefore use it with all the kids) and "beef it up" for the logic stage kids with the appropriate encyclopedic readings and work, outlining, summaries, etc.(WTM skills) all the while adding in appropriate lit. for each age/stage. Well, MFW uses SOTW and has the other components we really enjoy (book basket, worldview, international focus, notebooking, etc.). Plus, I love Marie's guides. So, it seems like I should be able to use MFW and add WTM skills into that as I want to in addition to using Marie's recommendations for older students. Anyway, I've been super frustrated in trying to decide to stay with MFW because as we get to those later logic stage years I do NOT want to under structure my older students. I want them always stretched and challenged while still enjoying a balanced schedule between school work and the rest of life. I think in the Classical/CM continuum I fall closer to the Classical side. Although, these days what that means exactly is open to interpretation! :)
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

cbollin

Re: How does Marie keep history rigorous enough for 6th-8th

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:10 pm

I understand.

I'm half pulling some of your sentences together here...
On the one hand, many have shared with me that I can use SOTW as a logic stage spine (and therefore use it with all the kids) and "beef it up" for the logic stage kids with the appropriate encyclopedic readings and work, outlining, summaries, etc.(WTM skills) all the while adding in appropriate lit. for each age/stage. Well, MFW uses SOTW and has the other components
yep.. that's exactly it. MFW does those encyclopedia readings (usborne in some years and DK in one), adds in other text, library books (which SOTW activity guide does too.. and MFW just has more...),

it's there. I read that other forum too, you know that... and talk there, sometimes.... other times, I'd rather be on a kilt thread. (blush) blush blush... giggle... or kicking back a Mike's with mrs. m... what? bad crystal! you don't need a Mikes. :) what?

I guess the difference is that in MFW it doesn't say every day to write a notebook page, or do a long summary in each and every day and every year..... and of course some people don't like it if sotw isn't done exactly in the same order. I have had no problem.

after doing mfw all these years, I still don't get the "light" thing. If random person wants 6 hour school day or something like that before 7th grade, mfw isn't doing that.... and only in jr. high once you add in language arts, math, science, etc....
why make it super hard when they hit brain fog at jr. high?

other random thoughts here....
with my oldest, who is way more academic than my other two, I found to add "rigor", it wasn't always in school work. In her 8th grade year, we moved out of state. not fun transition. we added rigor with life (cooking), and church (she started being on student leadership discipleship group), and a new sport (archery).

don't overlook these jr. high years for life rigor as part of well rounded rigor. Find ways to use their academic talents for HIS story, not just "history".

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: How does Marie keep history rigorous enough for 6th-8th

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:29 pm

abrightmom wrote:However, in recent weeks MFW has taken some "heat" elsewhere (you know where) as not being nearly challenging enough for 6th and up.
I'm just going to join in the conversation, even if I repeat a lot from you & Crystal's chat because I get to typing too fast :)

I do applaud you for taking your child's education seriously. I think that even though Crystal and I can be very flexible and adventurous sometimes :) , we both take education seriously, too. So it irks me when folks have those kinds of threads that you mentioned, and I can't resist responding. Usually those kinds of posts declaring what is "challenging enough" are written by parents of elementary school children who plan to have their young ones learn every single fact that they never learned, or parents who have drilled a large amount of knowledge into an oldest child and think they have it all figured out LOL ;) Along the way, there have probably been many whose children crashed and burned, but they aren't posting over on that site !!

The first thing I'm sure you know but you need to remind yourself is that SOTW is not the only book used in MFW. The "spine" in CTG is the Bible, and that is suitable for all ages LOL. Certainly there is plenty more in there if you want to expand. Although I really encourage you to prioritize the fun and meaningful lessons in K-8 (weeks spent on 10 commandments, feasts, tabernacle, etc.), because you won't have time for them in high school, believe me! Anyways, in RTR, you start using SOTW but you still are reading from the Bible, as well as reading a Genevieve Foster book which is generally considered 4th-8th grade (and there is a Foster book in EX1850 as well), and more.

Next, you need to remember or realize that SOTW increases in difficulty from year to year. In fact, when MFW uses SOTW-3 & 4, MFW adds a separate history portion for grades 2-3 because those kids may not be interested in the Cuban Missile Crisis or the Crimean War :~ And the SOTW-4 Activity Book in 1850MOD is not the "coloring book" that you see in the SOTW-1 Activity Book. It has rather intense Q&A with outlining every time you use the book. But it isn't all you use that year. Since SOTW does not treat US history in any depth, MFW guides will add a lot more US history materials, some of which Crystal mentioned.

All that said, history learned in K-8 is not all going to be understood or remembered by 95% of kids. Sorry, it just isn't. However, the worldview that is developed in MFW programs becomes a part of the student, and the training in how we learn, what we learn, and why we learn is much more valuable at my house than all the memorize-and-forget that I purposely left behind when I took my kids out of public school. I know some programs may have the parent read printouts from the encyclopedia to prepare for lessons each day, and other programs may have the student create binders full of outlines, while still others line up workbooks, worksheets, and lovely printouts to insure no detail is missed. But my experience with MFW is that I sat and helped my child explore history from where it started in the beginning, right alongside the exploration of his faith. And Marie Hazell has a gift of knowing (and testing with pilot families) exactly what will reach a child, and what will really be understood. She has a way of putting the child first, before the checklist of tasks. Finally, I'll say that at our house, by using MFW we actually covered all of history in 3rd-8th grades -- we didn't get waylaid or bored or give up, we didn't focus only on the USA or only on the ancients, we did the complete sweep (unlike when I used other things with my older dd). And all along, my son has tested well, he is having no problems with his applications for college courses for some of his 11th grade, he has a good framework of understanding for history and geography, and he has the knowledge to defend God's hand in history even with his nonbelieving friends. But no, I probably didn't teach him every fact on the planet and he doesn't even remember every historical fact I have taught him ;) I just gave him a strong framework to build from.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

IdahoGrown
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:15 pm

Re: How does Marie keep history rigorous enough for 6th-8th

Unread post by IdahoGrown » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:57 pm

Julie, I am handing you a virtual box of chocolates!! :)

Thank you SO much for your post! I find myself worrying about what my dd is learning and remembering, when in reality, the discussions we have, her growth in her faith, finding out who she is...is why I started homeschooling to begin with.

This brings to mind what we were reading yesterday about Genghis Kahn. He was feared all over the known world...so much so that people would lay down on the ground and surrender when they heard he was coming. But the Japanese people refused to surrender to him. This led to a great discussion about the Japanese people as a whole, the pride they felt and patriotism for their country, not wanting to be ruled over, and how it relates to our nation and the fight for independence from England. And how it relates to the Japanese rebuilding after the tsunami and nuclear disaster. And in turn how that relates to our church and if something bad were to happen (building burning down or whatever) that we would stick together with our brothers and sisters in Christ to rebuild.

She may not ever remember the name Genghis Kahn and the many details we read about him and his empire. But I certainly hope she remembers that standing for what we believe in, no matter the army we are facing, is worth the fight.
Jean
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011

TriciaMR
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Is ECC too easy?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:25 pm

mothermayi wrote:Is ECC too easy for an 8th grader..even with the supplement?
I think when you add in the Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, the Exploring World Geography pages, English, and Math at their level, it isn't too easy. My oldest will be in 8th next year, repeating ECC after doing it in 3rd.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

4Truth
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Is ECC too easy?

Unread post by 4Truth » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:58 pm

In my experience (with two high schoolers now), 8th grade seems to be a year where they need more attention in other areas -- the 3 R's and science (high school preparedness), logic thinking and discussion, and other, more serious, real-life issues (emotions and spiritual). So truly, I would NOT worry at this point whether ECC w/supplement will be "enough" when you get there. In fact, 8th grade is actually the BEST year (IMO) to go light on history/social studies, if there's going to be a light or "filler" year at all.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Is ECC too easy?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:32 pm

Hi Rika,
We did ECC in 8th grade and it was very full. Here's a post I wrote about it - warning, very long!
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 897#p94897
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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