3rd grade - Adventures with an academically advanced student

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3rd grade - Adventures with an academically advanced student

Unread post by cbollin »

jenniferblake wrote:I used MFW K and liked it OK. He was an older K (6) and is apparently gifted, but has dyslexia as well. I pieced together my own stuff for 1st or 2nd grade. We are looking to do some American History for 3rd grade, which led me back to MFW with Adventures. He's the only kiddo I have, so I don't need to worry about combining anything. He loves the living books, and is eager to learn anything about history and science and I need to present information slightly above his grade level to keep him from getting bored (his favorite shows are mythbusters, top shot, jeff corwin, pawn stars, time warp trio, time blazers etc.)

Here's my issues :) I'm planning to use whatever curriculum the Dyslexia Foundation recommends for our phonics/spelling/writing, which I won't know about until after our summer reading program. I'm also happy with our Math and our Bible curriculum. I'm also pretty pleased with our science curriculum. This leaves me just wanting something to tie in the more humanities programs- social studies/history, art, music, literature. I know MFW is designed for me to plug in my own math/LA so that is perfect. I don't remember the Bible part taking too long, so I should be able to still use my Bible 2x a week without him getting burned out. I LOVE that program! I know MFW uses lots of living books, which I love since I have access to a fantastic library system here in Memphis.

Here's what I like on the front end:

MFW- curriculum is "subject heavy" for 4 days, and a lighter 5th day which lets me have time for my co-op.
has hundreds of book suggestions (but I can do this on my own using a simple library search if need be)
hands on activities
incorporates overview of the 50 states
inludes classical music into the program

Things I am NOT crazy about on the front end:

MFW- does not include poetry, hymns weekly
does not offer different read aloud options
does not include reading program that ties in (with emerging readers or otherwise)
Art Program

Anyone have suggestions for using MFW and adding in the poetry or a way to change out the read alouds? We've already read Farmer Boy and Plum Creek- which my son LOVED. Also any suggestions on using my own science etc. I don't have access to the Adventures stuff to look at it. I think I'd like to get a better idea- especially using the main "spine" book that is proprietary to MFW for the history. The website just includes one lesson and that doesn't show any of the student materials either. Thanks for reading my long rambling saga :)
Do you plan to go to Memphis convention next month? It might be easier when you see all of it in person. take a print out of answers you get on both forums and take a look.

Can ADV be used with all else you are doing and still be plenty for "gifted 3rd grader"? Well, probably.... you can use other books rather than ones in book basket. I know my oldest was a lot like that at that age. She liked reading all levels of books. Wanted more.. told her to read it on her own and learn other stuff. another crazy option is to do something like a video series or discovery education streaming to present more information. (we're liking Horrible Histories).

so for those dislikes of MFW.. here are ways to turn those around and tweak....
MFW does hymns in EX1850, and 1850MOD. Then Sings My Soul is used. You could use it in Adventures. How? here
that's the order in year 4...

Poems.. well, MFW's poetry is done in the recommended language arts. Not always 100% unit study themed. The first thing in my mind is the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere - that will be a nice poem for history. I know it's in the EX1850 program. too lazy to see if it is in ADV too. :)

reader tie in -- well, MFW does reading in lots of ways. Book basket thing - independent reading, and very tied into the study. Then, a list of other classics in children's that will be at many levels.

Art - do you mean you don't want to use the art program in ADV deluxe?

other read alouds... this is my advice, take it or leave it, ignore at will... yada yada yada..... I can list some other books that match... if/when you do something like EX1850 in the future, it is ok to re-read them and then add in a jr. high study like Progeny Press. I never have regretted with my advanced oldest the opportunity to re-read a book later on. Johnny Tremain. (that's a book title) and instead of other Little House Books - maybe Bound for Oregon. (again... if you are using MFW in later years, it's ok to re-read them.) I'd encourage you to read and enjoy the other books in ADV. Mountain Born - that's going to be tie in with names of Jesus theme. Some of the others -- it's ok even when our smart kids hear at age level.

Science - I'd recommend doing ADV science if you do ADV. It ties in with understanding names of Jesus and helping to think of our Creator when we do science. Then, you can easily add in more science. It's a "get done with science" and then "play more science". Suggestions based on what I did and worked?
Janice VanCleave books. Memphis is showing about 53 of her titles. Wolf River system showing 34 titles. I might start with something as easy to implement as her book Science Around the Year. Then, as your son develops other topics in science that he likes... she probably has an experiment book on it.
don't overlook doing things like going to Lichterman Center for nature walks etc.
oh dear.. you mentioned Memphis... I got carried away telling you about places and libraries you already know.. stupid me....

When my oldest wanted more science, we added more hands on in small ways that we could return to the library and get another one. Also, if you go with ADV, use the internet links in the one book in the science package.

At this age, they are going to get a lot from science from experiments and repeating them again in different ways. (My dh works downtown at a children's research hospital.. so we're big science geeks around here. With gifted label, it's just as effective to let them learn how to set up and clean up and do it again in different ways... at least in my opinion from that label on me as a child.... )

wow.. I sure am babbling .
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by gratitude »

I was starting to post, and I am so glad that you went first Crystal! Thank you! :-) Now I will just add to all that Crystal already said.

We tried HOD this past fall with my oldest doing Bigger, and then in January I gratefully switched back to MFW for ADV for him. He is 8, at the older end of 2nd grade. Very advanced. Reads 2 - 3 hours a day, and is capable of reading at a minimum an 8th grade level; the last time I tested it. He is very advanced in comprehension. But the most important thing to me is to reach his heart with Bible, and that is why we use MFW over HOD; because I like how MFW integrates Bible into their curriculum.

So here is why we left Bigger with HOD:
He loved the books. Many of them we kept and he has read. He enjoyed the approach to American History. The same poem for an entire week wasn't his cup of tea, but it went OK. The hands on activities didn't have the 'fun quality' that MFW hands on activities have, and didn't tie as well into topic. The Bible was much too easy for him, and I thought was on the weak side for this age group. The Drawn into Heart for reading didn't work well for our family; it has them go over one book very slowly for 3 weeks, and it just wasn't a good fit for his age. None of us liked Carrie's questions. I didn't like having to try to have all the 3R's and History and science at the same level; the program could be used though for just History and Bible if you wanted to. The science was much to basic for what he already knew from MFW. The note booking and time-lines weren't as strong as MFWs. I missed PLL (Primary Language Lessons). I really really, more than that, missed Marie's approach to Bible. I also missed her approach to letting Bible do the character conviction; instead of talking about character.

So here is how I make ADV work with an advanced student:
We do more read-alouds than scheduled in the deluxe package. I LIKE the fact that I get to pick out the books, or have the appendix as an option to help me pick.
We do a lot of books that he reads silently. I LIKE the fact that I get to pick the books, or have the appendix to help me pick them.
The I CAN DO ART has been a wonderful addition for our family. My children know how to draw because of MFW1 and ADV.
I do the ADV science and I have added Apologia Astronomy with the Junior Notebook since he wanted more science.
I added R&S English to PLL.
I love Singapore.
We enjoy the Bible in ADV a lot. They are learning so much with the names of Jesus.
We add some history reading, but not a lot.
The Bible alone in ADV is worth the program for me; it is the information I want my kids to know.

Blessings for your decision. It sounds like you already are doing a great job with him.
Last edited by gratitude on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by jenniferblake »

BTW- I didn't want anyone to get the idea that my kid is a genius, or even that I think so :) He's just capable of understanding some things at a little higher level and gets bored easily if it's all introduced _TOO_ gently :) That's the only reason I mentioned that part. I know some programs tout themselves as being "gentle introductions to X... and a gentle introduction might not be the way for us. He certainly has his own set of challenges with his reading/spelling/writing level being below his comprehension level. Hopefully we can make some good headway with that this summer.
cbollin wrote:It's ok if he's smart/genius/ advanced... those are not "bad" or "brag" words. I just was given that label when I was a kid.. ugh... that's why I mentioned it in context of an idea on science.
I was given that label too as a kid- despite also being dyslexic! When I got to high school when kids would say, "Aren't you in the gifted class?" I'd say, "gifted? not too sure about that. I'm leaning toward 'touched'" Ha!
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by gratitude »

I don't like the labels either! I certainly wasn't trying to label mine as gifted; I was given that label too through school and I really don't think of myself as all that smart at this point.

I only wanted you to know that ADV can work for a student that is very advanced in comprehension. ADV is emotionally gentle in its approach, and it is something that I love about it. I don't want to dive into every big topic at these ages. ADV focuses much more on the names of Jesus, science, history, and state study. It doesn't bore my son at all, but he does enjoys learning at all different kinds of levels and the Apologia Astronomy addition was a good choice for him.

The main reason I was sharing the 'advanced' perspective was to let you know that MFW can work for all kinds of students. I spent months thinking 'am I doing enough' with a kid whose comprehension is like mine was at 8? Well yes. ADV for school meets him where he is at emotionally for being an 8 year old boy, and for me that is perfect. Not too heavy, not too much, not too much writing, and not too many hours. Like any 8 year old boy he wants to play A LOT, and so he does.
cbollin wrote:I'm mixed on what I think on labels.... we label our children with names "camille" "ashton" "coleisha".(friends of mine, not mine) Oldest middle youngest. LOL>>>> Low Impact. Express... regular.
LOl.. classical, CM.. LOL LOL

it makes it easier to discuss things and find common solutions. it just means that when looking for materials in school, it's helpful. like the label of anemia.... just means I need to go take my iron pill today. why can't i remember to do that each day? ok ,there I took it.. :) i"m good now...
Crystal, a very good point that you made. After all the reason I have DS in my signature is that I am not Really home schooling an 8,6,5, & 3; it is so much different than that with my 3 being developmentally 2 years social/emotional, 15months gross motor (still taking steps, but mostly crawling and walking holding onto things), and 10 months for eating. It just isn't the same as having one of my other kids at 3; not at all. And as you know it is completely different and impacts how home schooling works. So yes, labels do impact us; don't they? Impact; I still want to do that low/high impact class at 5:30 am. Laughing! Do you think I can pull it off? And guess what our little dd3 got to move up to the 2/3 class from nursery today for Sunday school. Hooray!

Oh, on topic. Another thought I had is I like how I can adjust MFW easily to fit my students for where they are at academically. HOD, for me, was very difficult to adjust for each individual child.
Last edited by gratitude on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Speaking of labels, I had a great conversation this morning about "organic evaporated cane juice" still being really truly "sugar." Sometimes labels help, other times they're just words. It is funny to me that those of us who were labeled gifted in school don't want to call our children that!! They *should* call us all "touched!" :-)

Seriously - I loved teaching ADV. I couldn't wait for my dd to get to it and cried when when she finished it. ADV is the perfect amount of material to give to a 2nd/3rd grader, gifted or not. I found it very adaptable. The book basket list was phenomenol. Our library had almost every book (it uses common books) plus lots more that I was able to add in, especially on the state studies. I love how the Bible and Science tie in to the core study. If you want to add to them, great, but I wouldn't miss teaching it as written. Beefing up is easy, because the material is so basic. You're bound to find lots of extra library books to enjoy. My dd also kept a science journal that year - she made the shopping list for items needed, set up the experiments, and wrote/drew a notebook page for each experiment. I took a ton of pictures. Great memories. My 4th grade niece and 8th grade nephew visited for a week while we were doing ADV and did everything along with us - they said it was the best school week they ever had! Even the 8th grade tough-guy was enthralled with Sarah Whitcher's Story.

Cooking the recipes for the time periods was another favorite thing. Don't forget the cooking. Hasty pudding. Johnny Cakes. My dd wrapped up her leftover Johnny Cakes and headed off to the War. And repeated it for several days!

We still have the paper wigwam and igloo. And the Names of Jesus poster. And we've moved twice since we did ADV! LOL!

I sound like a commercial. Lots of people around here "belong" to the MFW family because of ECC, which is a fantastic foundational year for the cycle. But I'm here because of ADV. That's my spiel. :-)

Oh - and we did add in the hymns like Crystal suggested. We had our poem work from using PLL. I don't have my manual handy because I loaned it out or I would count up all the "above grade level" books in book basket that you can add as either read-alouds or read-alongs. Another cool thing my dd did was interview each of her grandparents -- all four from different states -- about what it was like to grow up in their state when she was at that state study. OK. I'm done now.

I can't wait for EX-1850 . . . .
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by jenniferblake »

I just finished looking through my friend's kiddo's notebook they completed in ADV as a first grader. She had the old book they used as the primary text, and I also got to see the American Patriots/Pioneers book. Tomorrow afternoon some very kind soul is letting me peruse the TM to let me get a better idea of some more things covered.

Here's a couple of questions I know I have right off the top of my head:

1. Some of the things I know my ds wants to learn about are not listed in the table of contents: paul revere, slavery in the usa, civil war, pony express, gold rush. Do you know if those things are covered at all?

2. Does the state study get tedious? It seems like the weeks they study 4 different states might be "dry" and lacking in some of the story of America and heavier in the story of the particular state. I realize that America is made of it's states, but I was thinking it might seem slightly disjointed and seperate from the "bigger picture" part.

3. I guess my biggest concern is that it is lighter on the history part than the other program, which to me is the really interesting part. I know I could EASILY supplement with extra books that I like from the book list, and even some of the books from other curriculum (like the Eggleston books from HoD since they are free online) that I particularly like to beef it up if I feel the history is light, but there's still that concern about the states being so rapidly introduced.
I'm quite comfortable coming up with supplemental activities to do to add hands on things into each time period. (I taught a Pioneer Life class with no textbook, and always come up with my own stuff for our Galloping the Globe studies such as making a Viking helmet, batik dying, soap carving (ivory), eating with chopsticks, cooking native foods, etc.) I know I can make it fun and at the level he needs, I just want to have to put as little extra work in there as I can- and still cover things he has mentioned wanting to learn about.

BTW- you guys are fantastic! Thanks for letting me pick your brains!

Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by cbollin »

Here's a couple of questions I know I have right off the top of my head:

1. Some of the things I know my ds wants to learn about are not listed in the table of contents: paul revere, slavery in the usa, civil war, pony express, gold rush. Do you know if those things are covered at all?
Paul Revere - I'm singing the song from School House Rock.. and the shot heard round the world... I mean.. yeah, he's covered in book basket in Rev War (and if sub out one of those little house books for Johnny Tremain.. you'll have lots of Paul Revere)
Slavery is lightly touched on due to the age. It will be mentioned in context, but not a lot of "eek!" details.
Civil War – not very in depth. More about Lincoln. It’s touched on due to the age. The easiest thing to do for this age is to hit all of those reenactments in Collierville. Oh.. occasionally at that plantation place, Davies.. they hold reenactments too. I know around here it’s a big deal.. other places where there weren’t as many battles and such, they don’t get it that we do that in TN this young. My opinion? keep it light for this age and relevant to state and local stuff. Then, in the "logic cycle" or stage of learning, go more.

Pony Express – yes. Book basket for the right time has some of those.

Gold Rush – uh, it’s covered in EX1850. uh.. for ADV. Uh uh I dunno.. oh wait... week 25.. there it is...

I'm realizing I'm not doing a good job what I mean by lightly touching on topics in Civil War. In ADV, you don't get into all of the battles and details like that. Book basket has several books to discuss the slavery, and underground railroad. But ADV doesn't get into the various battles out there.
It's that kind of lightly touching. They know there was Civil War and who was President, and north/south thing.. and the slavery issue. It is covered.
2. Does the state study get tedious? It seems like the weeks they study 4 different states might be "dry" and lacking in some of the story of America and heavier in the story of the particular state. I realize that America is made of it's states, but I was thinking it might seem slightly disjointed and seperate from the "bigger picture" part.
Sometimes it can feel that way with the routine of the state sheets. States are introduced in the order they were admitted to the union so it’s not disjointed from bigger picture. That is one of more common dislikes on the internet about the state sheets – some weeks (not all) it’s a lot of those sheets. And the routine is similar. Ask that lady tomorrow.. She might talk fast and tell you more about lots of ways to fun that up.
For the folks that have done both
Haven’t done both.

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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by erin.kate »

Crystal did a fantastic job of answering your questions, because she's amazing and we love her to pieces, and you'll see for yourself what a gem ADV is when you hold the manual. :-)

I would love to add a little of our experience using ADV. My oldest is in 2nd grade and has been with MFW from the start with K and 1st. We looooooooooove it. But, come ADV I had the exact.same.reservations as you. Now all that Carin (gratitude) said is exactly how I felt, and still do feel. Number one, Jesus is the heart of MFW, not an afterthought, or a box to check, or an idea, and it is perfectly intentional and leads to great purpose with each year. It is the reason behind every year of this special curriculum. I'll step off my soapbox now ...

But, I also wanted to say how I fretted that all of those topics were not going to be covered "in depth" in ADV ... what about the Salem Witch Trials, William Wilberforce, slavery, Paul Revere, every single battle of the Revolution, the Civil War, Helen Keller, abolition, you name it. Well, I started supplementing ADV and changed the spine and tweaked the life out of it. You know what? I was sucking the joy from my girls.

They LOVE the state sheets. See, it's not tedious for them because it's new to them and darn if making peach pie isn't a fabulous reason to learn about Georgia. They don't know what we know so it's not redundant, it's all new. And coloring is such a cool therapy, in my opinion. We like to do the state sheets in the afternoon with tea and cookies and our hymn or America music in the background. It is what you make of it. While it may seem "dry" to do four states a week ... not in my house ... my girls love the break from history at times and we add a bird study from Burgess Bird Book for Children for the states ~ this foundation of learning about birds and keeping a bird notebook is already rooted in ADV, so we make it part of our weekly nature study, ala Charlotte Mason, and it's a sweet extension of their learning of states and birds. This also has beefed up ADV a bit for my 2nd grader, who is not gifted, but average yet she has a fire for learning.

The overview of ADV is just precisely what a child, whether gifted or not, needs at this moment of maturity. There is so much time to be grown up and so little time to be little. While we may revel in the details of history, children need things to be fresh and honest, yet not overly weighty, and I find that despite my early doubts, MFW strikes that balance beautifully with ADV, and HOD did not achieve that end, both in history (though Eggleston's First American History is a terrific supplement to the Story of the US) and in Bible.

There are I think 5 or 6 books scheduled as read alouds but we've read, um I think, 30 so far, all in keeping with our timeline of American history. We're literature fanatics so it works and it fulfills that desire of mine to enrich ADV a bit with topics that are not lessons, like Paul Revere. We read a great book, America's Paul Revere, and read and enacted Longfellow's poem. Again, there don't have to be scheduled lessons to make it amazing (praises for the book basket). It just happens because the core of the program is rooted in good stuff. On its own it is delightful and to echo Carin, in a minute I'd buy ADV for the Bible and Science alone.

I hope this helps a bit too. The coolest part is that once you gather all of your ideas and reviews, you will be blessed with the right choice that will come from our Father alone.
Cyndi (AZ) wrote:I sound like a commercial. Lots of people around here "belong" to the MFW family because of ECC, which is a fantastic foundational year for the cycle. But I'm here because of ADV.
Yep, yep, yep, yep, and yep. Even my sweet little African LOVED the hasty pudding, and he's not quite a fan yet of our American palate. :-) I am forever thankful for ADV ~ and can't wait to see which I like more, ECC or ADV.
♥Count it all joy ~
Mae 11, Viola 9, Jude 7, & Jack 6
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by gratitude »

erin.kate wrote: I would love to add a little of our experience using ADV.
I am so glad that you chimed in Erin!! I loved everything that you added, and I thought you could help her so much with all of your thoughts on ADV.
jenniferblake wrote:For the folks that have done both- taking JUST the history component into account- which do you prefer from a history perspective? Whichever curriculum we do, I know I can make it fun and at the level he needs, I just want to have to put as little extra work in there as I can- and still cover things he has mentioned wanting to learn about.
BTW- you guys are fantastic! Thanks for letting me pick your brains!
I have been thinking about your question of which I prefer more from a history perspective. A few things to keep in mind before my answer would be that I obviously prefer MFW as a company since I came back, and I was only with HOD from the end of October - January; so I haven't done Bigger in its entirety. I guess the other thing to know is that I tried HOD for some of the same reservations that you have about ADV. God called me back here for the names of Jesus, which are Fabulous. :-)

So looking at their web-site here and trying to remember. The actual history spines I found dryer to read than Pioneers and Patriots and US History. I like literature for history, which they do add in with the extension package for older students. Of the history spines we kept A First Book in American History, and like Erin said it is a great book. I thought I would read it aloud, but I ended up using it for book basket. My ds8 has read quite a bit of it. I did return the Stories of Great Americans; none of us gravitated towards it. My ds8 has read the Story of the Wright Brothers and their Sister and loved it; it is on my list for when we get to the Wright Brothers. The Journeys in Time I didn't like so I returned it. My ds8 liked Thomas Edison and loved John Audubon from the science; he has read the John Audubon more than once. From the extension package, for older students, I returned the following books because I thought the content was too mature for 2nd: A Child's Story of America, Guns for General Washington, Once on this Island, Buffalo Knife, Esperanza, Exploring Planet Earth (didn't like), and The story of Thomas Edison. The following my ds8 enjoyed reading: Pocahontas and the Strangers, The New Americans, Ben and Me (a favorite), Toliver's Secret (another favorite), By the Great Horn Spoon, and Freedom Train. I read Pedro's Journal aloud and I am planning on reading Bud and Me Aloud. I am pre-reading Almost Home and going to keep it for the 4th year of the MFW cycle when they use it for a read-aloud; I thought it was too old for 2nd.

So in summary we liked 50% of the history spines, and a number of the books in the extension package. With MFW I have liked All of the books, and so over all I do prefer it for a history launching point. Then the mom gets to decide how much history they want to do for 2nd grade. I like how it is up to the parent how far they want to go with it for book basket. I think HOD does more history; but I like the fun approach that MFW has to it. It is just more fun, and they remember what they learn. Also for me I did just want this introduction to American History to be an overview; it was the state sheets that I was most concerned about prior to my coming back for ADV. My kids love routine, and like Erin said for them it is all new. They know their state geography, but they only know a little about some states. I think it will be nice for them to learn more about the country they live in, and the state their dad is from.

So I hope that answered the question. HOD history spines are old textbooks; I think from one room school houses a century or more ago. MFW has two main history spines. One is from a Christian publisher, and has wonderful stories with children as the main characters that teach the different events of American History. My children Love the Pioneers and Patriots book. The US History book from Marie my ds8 likes a lot, and he reads it on his own as well as listens to me read it aloud. The other spine I have tied in for fun is the Pilgrim book from the same Christian Publisher from Beyond from HOD. Another book with the children as the main characters, and it brings my kids into the stories.

A little information that also might be helpful is that David Hazel talks on one of his CDs that they purposely left out slavery, wars, Civil War, etc. in ADV. They are mentioned briefly, but not dwelt on. He didn't want anything in the program that would give children night mares. So it is a more gentle overview of American history, but with book basket can become as much or as little as you want.

A last thought is that David Hazel talks on another CD of how MFW is the tour guide for moms, or dads, using their curriculum. MFW works well for me as a tour guide. The TMs make sense, are easy to follow, have good notes, and the program gets better and better the more I dive into it. As long as I dive into it, and don't just skim the surface, the program really has a lot to it to make it shine. And its brightest star in ADV is definitely Jesus Christ. The hands on activities and Bible study bring Him to life in a way my children can really connect to as a part of their studies.

Blessings for figuring out what will work best for your family. Enjoy Crystal!
Last edited by gratitude on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Sheila in OK
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by Sheila in OK »

We used Adventures a few years back for my dd's 2nd grade year and we LOVED it. One of our best homeschooling years ever. I also had a preschooler at the time and he even joined us for parts of it. They both loved the Pioneers & Patriots book. The only book I wasn't crazy about was Exploring American History--sometimes it seemed a bit over their heads. I just supplemented some of those topics with library books and it worked out great. The hands-on projects and fun and very doable (I'm NOT a crafty person at all).

We used Bigger a few years later, when my dc were 6th/3rd graders. We didn't enjoy it nearly as much. I wasn't crazy about the Eggleston spines and I really disliked one of the extension books (A Child's Story of America). We made it through the year with a lot of tweaking. And honestly, it was way too light for my 6th grader which was my own fault--HOD really doesn't encourage combining (which I know isn't an issue for you). I just did it anyway. ;)

HTH a bit--if you have any specific ??'s just ask.
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Re: MfW vs HoD- with some special issues...

Unread post by Mommy22alyns »

Other ladies have said more than I can, but I'm using Adv. this year with a very bright 3rd and 1st grader. We've done extra science (but dropped it because Apologia Anatomy really is too much info for them right now!), way more read-alouds, and both girls do a foreign language and logic. I also tasked them with memorizing the states and capitals and they've both done so. I don't feel Adv. is too light for either of them. :) To add a little more on the history, we've done History Pockets, some really cool 3-D maps, and activities from Colonial Kids and More Than Moccasins. Oh, and the girls LOVE the state sheets!
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8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by jasntas »

kristywr wrote:I'm a new homeschooler this year. We are using Adv. in MFW for my 8 yo son. He is 3rd grade, but "highly gifted."

I'm finding that he already knows much of what I'm trying to teach him and he is complaining of being bored. Last week, I added more hands-on projects and that helped a little. But the science is too simplistic for him as are the Bible lessons. He needs more "meat." We're doing singapore math, too. And that's going ok. But we are WAY ahead as he is just whipping through the lessons.

Any suggestions? He's a hands-on learner. He doesn't like rote work. I'm stumped.
ECC might be a better fit. If you bought the curriculum new from MFW you may be able to call them and see if they would allow you to return it for ECC. Or at least call MFW to see what they would recommend.

If you stayed with ADV I would suggest maybe going with a different science such as Apologia's Zoology 1 Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. You might not want to go with Apologia's Astronomy or Botany as they are used in the MFW 5 year cycle.

I think being ahead in math is a good thing.
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Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by cbollin »

Welcome to the forum!

I have some thoughts. I was cursed with the gifted label when I was in elementary school. My husband was cursed with highly gifted. (I guess I'm the dumb one over here. but I can make some good coffee! yeah baby.) You’ll be bored no matter what you select. Part of working with gifted label is helping them to learn how to learn, and learn what to do when bored. I caught myself being “bored” in church yesterday on the sermon. I definitely needed different materials for that teaching. But home schooling isn’t group teaching, so I digress.

If it were me, and I had no younger children who were tagging along in ADV, I’d go through ADV faster with some modification. Plan to start ECC in spring semester. MFW use to say 3rd grader who were new to MFW, could do either ECC or ADV. Parents would often misjudge gifted and struggle in ECC. So MFW made it easy. Do ADV and call us in the morning. If your younger children are tagging along in ADV.. talk with your 8 y.o about being on the team to help them. But if the younger siblings are doing their own program like Kindy or 1st or preschool... it's ok to fast track ADV if you'd prefer to start ECC in spring.

now to help with the tweaking.... I have some specifics for most subjects in ADV. I'm not really going to touch much on language arts unless you'd like to talk about that....

Let’s tweak.:)
it starts off with the idea of : Get “school done in short time” and then you can plan your productive, but unstructured afternoons to your liking.

Handwriting: are you working on cursive yet? How is his handwriting? That’s something to work on with us too smart for our teachers kind of kids..

Bible: I like the concept of learning the names of Jesus and relating it to science. I think there needs to be more. Add a requirement of weekly service projects. Up the memory work. I’d pick verses from Proverbs, and longer passages with the ADV Bible.
Add each day, a prayer focus. Let’s see.. you’re in ADV.. so for “more meat”, let’s spend more time in prayer. Pray the verses you are learning. Ask God to help you be like Jesus each day. Ask the Holy Spirit to make those names even more part of who you are and not just something that you know, but that you have in you.

Do a prayer for the nation (you’re doing ADV, so pray for the elections each day. Pray for president, congress, judges, the local stuff.. stuff hitting the headlines at HSLDA, etc.... Grab those prayer lists from church. Are you praying for those people in hospital? Are you visiting them? When they come home, are you taking them some bread (like you will make in week 6 of ADV) and sharing it with them telling them Jesus is the bread of life? and explaining to others what that means.

PRAY PRAY PRAY. That’s meat. being a doer of the word - that's meat.

You could also start each school day in song. Do the songs you sing in your church. If it is hymns, modern, or blend. Learn the history behind those songs.

Service projects: well, even if he is bored with ADV, maybe he could give away some of his art work or pictures or something to someone at church who is a shut in. Go to their house and do something nice for them and ask them to tell you stories from when they were young. (oops, that’s history)

Math: I’d get all of the advanced Singapore math books that MFW doesn’t sell and work through them. Intensive Practice, Challenging Word Problems. Check rainbow resource catalog. Do more with the topics instead of just the regular books. There comes a balance point on being ahead in math that down the road, too advanced doesn’t help. My husband holds a PHD in chemistry. He is extremely gifted. He wasn’t put on the advanced track in math until 7th grade year. Finished Calculus in 11th grade. Had to go to local worldclass university to take sophomore college math while in 12th grade. Got 2 undergrad degrees, math, and chem.. So, there’s being ahead in books and there’s being ready for going deeper. I’d go deeper first with Singapore. Then, here are the things that my husband did back in the day in public school: add in logic puzzle books, games, and learned computer programming back in the day. Hee hee.. In other words, enrich the math, instead of “just get to the next book.” Opinions will vary.

Science – do all of the internet links in the book. Read all of that. Do each of those experiments on those links. Do what it takes to do nature walks for what you live. Tell him, part of science is learning how to direct observe, keep good records, and draw conclusions. That’s the reason for doing nature walks. It’s not just about looking at animals and things. It is about being able to observe, record data, draw conclusions and being able to help others who have your notes know what you learned.

And of course, you get him a robotics kit. Tell him, “you can build your robot after you’re done with school. C’mon time to write your 3-5 sentence paragraph summary and then you can build a killer robot.” or get his criminal justice kits. Or again, you can learn how to build a website, or program something. Ah c’mon, didn’t we all learn how to write programs using BASIC and FORTRAN back in the early 80’s when we were bored in math and science class? Well, ok.. I didn’t learn FORTRAN, but the real geeks did. I just learned BASIC and how to load the BASIC star trek game from an external cassette player. LOL LOL LOL LOL oh my kids laugh at that. (you mean you went to the math lab in your school as a student aide and all you did was play video games? oh yeah. pretty much.... I was bored in Algebra so why not?)

History: get as many books from book basket as you can. Add in some field trips around your area. If he really does know all of the elementary level early American history and has a good grasp on the 50 states from what you did last year.. hmm. Maybe that could be tweaked differently. But go back and see how to add in service project. What is he getting out and doing to make history important? What plans do you have for tomorrow (9/11)? What are you doing with See You At the Flag Pole? stuff like that....

What is he doing to help with the elections this year!?!?!?!!? What is he doing to be tomorrow’s history? he likes hands on... is there a politician you like.. can your son help with something to learn gov't hands on?

Add in a foreign language. why not?

Do the music and art with him. He won’t like it. It will be boring. I know. So, get him involved in local homeschool drama product of Nutcracker this year. If he can’t dance, see if he can help paint the set. Or be part of learning how to work sound and lights and that kind of tech “geek” stuff that my super geek husband did.

Would that work for one semester to do ADV that way? You might still “get done with structured school work ” in a few hours instead of all day, but that’s ok. Save up his other hands on stuff (science, history) for the late morning and afternoons.

Hope some of those ideas help brainstorm for you.

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Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I beefed up quite a bit of ADV for my gifted dd even though she was a younger age. There's just lots you can do with it. My dd read a gazillion books. I'm not sure if your son would be interested in that, or if "hands-on" truly means "must be doing things with my hands."

My dd did all of her own grocery list making, set up, clean up and wrote a simple lab report with illustrations for each science experiment. Again, we added lots of on-topic books.

She was really, really into cooking. I have no idea how many times she made hasty pudding and johnny cakes that year. Cooking is good science, too, and the fractions and temps help with math.

I don't have my ADV manual handy and can't think of much else. I know doing the state studies, my dd interviewed (5) different older people who were each raised in a different state and wrote a simple report about each of them.

We had every kind of block/building set available for our dd. We don't have boys in the house, so we weren't overboard with legos or kinex or cars, but she did enjoy setting up the train set or making lego towers or whatever at that age. She's not the sci-fi type to get into all the models that are available, but if your son is, I would let him build those to his heart's content. Excellent logic behind those activities.

OH - another thing I forced her to do (hee hee . . . only child syndrome) was memorize the songs from School House Rock America Rocks and be able to explain the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and what each of the Admentments were for. I think I was a bit of a turbo-mom on that one, though. :-) There is a wealth of information from Wall Builders.

(my dh and I are really, really into American History . . . )
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Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by kristywr »

Crystal and Cyndi, thank you so much for your brainstorming ideas! I think that will help.

This is our first year of homeschooling, so I'm sure that adjustment has something to do with it.

He loves to read, loves projects, loves to "do." Neatness is a daily, minute-by-minute struggle. We're working on it.

I didn't know about Singapore's enrichment books. I will check those out.

My daughter is tagging along but she's 4, so she can only tag along so much.

Anyway, thanks for the ideas. I'm going to sit with my Rainbow catalog and ADV manual and see what I can come up with.
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Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by mlhom4him »

My daughter is not gifted but there were some great ideas in there that we can do to go along with the curriculum. LOVE those ideas.

Another idea that I have is to include lapbooks for the read alouds. These are more indepth studies of the read alouds that are scheduled for ADV. Look on homeschoolshare dot com at least I think that is the name of the website. Let me know if you need more information because I have a number of lapbooks that we will be doing this year.

We will also be adding in health and a study of nutrition and the pyramid of food.

We found a book that cooks across the US which we will be doing as well.

Have him do an indepth report on your own state.

Pick a few of the symbols of the US that are not covered and have him make do reports on them.

Have him make replicas of some of the famous sites in American history.

As for science, have him write up lab reports that follow the scientific method.

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Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by gratitude »

Welcome to home schooling!! :-)

I haven't read any of the great responses that I am sure you have already received. I thought I would add what I did last year with ADV with an 8 year old who complained of being bored & who reads at a 9th grade level with wonderful comprehension. He knew most of the material too. ((Hugs)) I remember some of the frustration I had with the fact that he already knew so much of it.

The things I added to ADV:
*Book basket books and then some (it cost far too much since our library at the time wasn't working for me) ~ Most of the books from Heart of Dakota's Bigger program, Beautiful Feet Books American History, Narnia series, Box Car Children Series, Hobbit, Giant Killer from Lamplighter (similar story line to Pilgrim's Progress), Laura Ingalls series, and then all the other books that he read. These weren't browsed, as they can be for book basket. These are books he read cover to cover and remembers high percentages of. It is a great way though to add to the content of ADV.

*I did some of the science with my ds7 & dd5 (they loved it and were 6 & 4 at the time). For my ds9 (who was 8 last year when we did ADV) I had skip the ADV science (I know it is part of the unit study, but he knew too much of it) and replaced it with Apologia Astronomy and the Junior Note book. He loved the Astronomy and it really helped add some writing to the over all program.

*Singapore Math ~ It is great for these kids. My ds9 takes about 10 - 15 minutes a day to do one complete lesson. It is great for teaching algebraic, geometric, etc. thinking. Caution ~ it is not great at teaching basic math facts. I have added a complete second program to teach basic math facts this year. I received this idea from another mom who did the same thing with Singapore with kids who move quickly & get math easily. One of the challenges with these kids is they can learn the higher math thinking without learning basic foundations that they need to know. They can learn the basics enough to skim through, but if you pay close attention Singapore can leave foundation gaps without solid practice from somewhere else.

*Bible ~ I did as written with my ds9, ds7, dd5 (they were all a year younger last school year), and it was a great experience. My ds9 was ready for more in this area too. Awana verses helped. I added reading the Egermeir for my younger two. I didn't truthfully do a good job last year of adding in this area for ds9 (8 at the time); he did know the material in ADV ((Hugs)). So I do understand. He wanted more 'meat' too. This year I am reading the gospel of John to him line by line, and having him read the Bible one book at a time (he is ready).

The thing I come down to again and again with this issue is the following:
The most important thing I have to teach is Bible and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I also though need to make sure that I do enough academically that I am not closing doors. God wants our children to use their gifts for His glory; this includes the gift of 'quick learner/ gifted/ whatever you want to call it'.

The most challenging part I find teaching 'quick / gifted' learners is that I can end up spinning. They don't fit in boxes. I have to modify. I have to add. It requires a lot more from me as a teacher. I am completely a boxed curriculum type of mom. Give me the instructions, let me follow them, and lets follow it perfectly. In my 3 years of home schooling I have found that my kids don't do that very well. They learn a lot on their own, they are self motivated learners, they like to come up with their own science experiments, they are highly creative and constantly moving and doing, they love to read or be read to, etc...etc. So I will tell you what the boxed curriculum gives me with these kids: structure, motivation, progression, a feeling of being on track, a feeling of not being alone as a home school mom, accountability, and a spring board. The programs probably look much different in our home than how they are intended. It is OK. They help me tremendously, and they help me keep home schooling. I use MFWK and MFW1 with kids who can read. They still need phonics and they still need spelling rules and they still need basic Bible history. So the curriculum can still help you. You just have to make it work for you, and I have found it challenging keeping track of where quick learners even are with learning. The curriculum though can give you an over all base and add in some fun while you add to it what he needs and is ready to learn.


Re: 8yo "bored" with curriculum

Unread post by cbollin »

tagging on and agreeing with Carin about Singapore and "teaching facts" .... one of the reasons MFW sells some facts flash cards is to add in that element of "classroom" instruction that is not directly in the text. Facts (aka number bonds) are part of the program, but rote drill is more of a teacher led versus textbook led thing.

so.. yes.. add in some kind of way to help them know their number bonds faster. lots of good ways to do that and in spite of them not wanting to do it... it's good for them. you can do "fact drills" or games for 5 minutes a day to start your singapore lesson. I know in ECC manual, there's a reminder to do those... and I haven't seen the newest mfw singapore lesson plans to know it if is mentioned each day or not.

but if it isn't... please add it in. it's one of those things long time singapore fans know about and do add to it in some fashion, but somehow gets forgotten to cyber mention in each post... part of classroom instruction in singapore math would involve teacher led rote work for a few minutes to warm up the class.
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ADV for advanced 9yo 3rd grader?

Unread post by manyblessings »

secondchance wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:18 pm I will be hs'ing my 9yo dd who is a 3rd grader. She is the only kiddo being hs'ed.
*Here is the criteria I am trying to meet:
-give her challenging enough work
-yet gentle enough to not turn her off or overwhelm her
-want her to have appropriate time to pursue her other interests (she likes to draw, write, and wants to learn piano)
-strong curriculum in areas of reading and writing

So I am trying to decide between ADV or ECC. Or just starting with CtG, although I don't think MFW would recommend CtG.
I think any would work because I know I can adjust the amount of reading or writing that she is required to do.
Yet I am looking for a fun, yet solid year for her. I don't want either of us to be overwhelmed.

Also, I presently own ECC and CtG, but would buy ADV if that's a better choice for her. Can ADV be beefed up?

I realize that most people are hs'ing multiple children at once. Welcome any input or suggestions, but especially from those who have a similar situation.
I vote for ADV, because you mentioned wanting your daughter to have a lot of free time for pursuing other interests :) ECC and CTG do take more time daily. She is also your only, so take advantage of being able to use every guide without missing any ;)
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Re: ADV for advanced 9yo 3rd grader?

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I have an only daughter and she has been through both ADV and ECC. She did ADV for second grade at age 7/8 and ECC for third grade at age 8/9. She was not particularly advanced (except perhaps in language arts and in reading/listening comprehension), but bright and eager to learn. She also had great fine motor control and was adept at copywork.

If your daughter is advanced, I think that some elements of ADV might not be challenging enough for her unless they are substantially tweaked. For my girl who also enjoys drawing and writing, we put much more emphasis on creating our own style of history notebook rather than using the included student sheets for that purpose. She drew her own pictures, cut illustrations from an old history book, colored pictures printed from the internet, used cute little word bubbles for quotes, and wrote her own summaries for the sheets. Some of the topics that interested her most were given multiple pages. We really took our time with this and she got creative, but we had time to do so because she was the only student. So, ADV could be an option because with her as your only student, you will have time for tweaking for the areas in which she is advanced. That may include other things besides the notebook, of course... that was just an example. There are GREAT books available for this study, especially if she is interested in the early American time period, so it would be easy to add more reading for her. The state study can easily be expanded. We added many more read-alouds than what was scheduled. If you'd like additional science that also includes some more reading and notebooking activities, adding Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day would be very appropriate, even if you just focused on the bird portion. It would be very easy to add elements to ADV for a great year.

In ECC, a 9 year old child can handle the content and it remain a fun and gentle year if you do not push too much for the "advanced" options. Just keep in mind that much of the work in ECC is made to be for various grade levels and a third grader would be in the lower levels of the work. It could be tempting here to push for more, which could overwhelm her or reduce the gentleness that you seem to be seeking. It could be harder to find appropriate books for private reading, because there are so many issues of possible concern when dealing with other cultures. Most library books are not written from a Christian worldview and I know that I would not have handed many of them over to my daughter for reading on her own. We read them aloud together and discussed. There is also opportunity here to tweak the notebooking pages if she needs more, and the projects, crafts and cooking portions are great fun for this age. My daughter did well with ECC at age 8/young 9 despite not being a particularly advanced student, but I avoided the "advanced" topics and chose to forego Properties of Ecosystems until she repeats ECC in eighth grade. It was an enjoyable year that could be tweaked or lightened easily, but which could lead to the temptation of making it too advanced to still be gentle.

I would not have enjoyed doing CTG for third grade, but that could have just been me.

As you decide, keep in mind how the choice you make will affect where your daughter will be in the MFW history cycle for the future if you are planning to continue with MFW. Starting with ADV allows her to go through it all without repeating anything. Doing ECC means that she would repeat ECC in eighth grade, but I do not consider that a negative as it will be a completely different experience with a child of a different maturity level. Starting with CTG means she would not get ECC early on as a basis for geography and the cultures that she will be learning about during the rest of the history cycle.

I hope this helps a little bit...
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Re: ADV or ECC for 9yo 3rd grader? Which one?

Unread post by Poohbee »

I think you could go either way with either ADV or ECC. Both are great years! If you're torn about which one to choose, perhaps ask your daughter where her interests lie. Would she rather study American history or countries and cultures this year? Whichever year you choose, you can adapt it to fit your daughter's needs. Shawna offered some great advice regarding both ADV and ECC! Pray for God's guidance, and I'm sure He'll give you a peace about which program to use for your precious daughter.
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