2nd & 3rd graders - How are they doing in CTG?

Including using "English From The Roots Up," "God & the History of Art," & Composer Studies
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2nd & 3rd graders - How are they doing in CTG?

Unread post by LSH in MS »

3rd grader and CTG
Tina wrote:Hi everyone: I am wondering how those of you are doing using CtG with 2nd or 3rd grader? My dc are 10 and 7. I am excited to be moving on to CtG (we have used K, 1st and ECC). I am just wondering if the work load for that age is too much. I had to scale back on some of the ECC stuff for my now 2nd grader, and am wondering if I'll need to do the same for CtG. He is grasping most of what I teach now, maybe just not remembering some of the terms and definitely not where all the countries are on the geography game. He's doing better with each continent that we study though. Africa he remembered where more than half of them were.

Dh and I are going to press on to CtG next year with our then 3rd and 5th grader. We made that decision last year when we decided to finish ECC rather than Adventures. So, I am committed to my decision to go right into CtG. I am just wondering how others have managed with a 3rd grader.

How are your 3rd graders doing with it?
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
[See the "end of the story" post below!]
I have an older 3rd grader (he will be 10 this Sept) and 2nd grader doing CTG this year. It is going well. My 3rd grader is doing all of the assignments.

My 2nd grader has a little trouble with the Greek vocabulary but he is learning a lot so I don't push it. He is able to handle everything else.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years
Jill S
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Unread post by Jill S »

My daughter (will be 8 in April) is doing CtG this year with us and is keeping pace well. She is actually doing the RS 2nd gr spelling book from MFW (but we will start SP when she's finished). It's too easy for her, but she really enjoys it and requests daily spelling tests! We completed PLL around Christmas, and have started in on ILL and she's fine. She only balks at lengthy writing assignments, but then again so do my older boys!

She has no problem with the Greek root words, other than it takes her a bit longer to write the words/definitions than my older boys.

I taught the cursive letters at the beginning of CtG and that was all it took for her. I guess she was ready. Frankly, I wasn't even pushing it with her and I figured on going back later to refine it.

Obviously, she is an eager learner and that helps. But other than slower writing, she is not a detriment to our school time. ;-)
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Unread post by kellybell »

It can be done. I did it with a 3rd and 5th grader last year and we all enjoyed it. My 3rd grader at the time, a girl, is a motivated student so that helped, but she didn't drown in it. Also, my K kid at the time picked up a lot from it too.

Instead of "scaling down" I would recommend focusing on the hands-on stuff since they seem to "drive the point home." So, don't skip making the tabernacle, celebrating the feasts (you don't have to do a full-blown Passover, even a few elements of the celebration will be nice), etc. Those things helped all of us learn.

Be sure that you read Streams of Civilization to yourself first. I found that if I did that, I could choose what to include verbatim and what to paraphrase for the little ones. I also peppered my reading with some verbal quizzing, not to put them on the spot, but to see if they got it. Sometimes we'd act things out.

Remember that the curriculum is your tool and not your master. Use it how it best works for your family. Slow it down, leave out the hard stuff, and take it at your speed.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by tlemar »

My oldest is 9 and we are doing CtG just fine. He does everything and usually does three or four days at a time. He rally like it.
Trish in MS
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7 or 8 yo Siblings - How young will CTG work with?

Unread post by kellybell »

Angela&Boys wrote:We are presently using Adventures and *loving* it . We have done two years of world geography prior and are contemplating CtG.

My boys will be 10 and 7. I'm concerned my 7yo will be left behind. He *really* needs visuals to keep his attention. Are there enough in the books provided?
Angela :-)
Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:31 pm

We did CTG with a 3rd and 5th grader and my old-K enjoyed so much of it. Look for easy readers on the subjects covered. I remember finding an easy reader book on the Minotaur. Also, the Usborne and DK books have lots of great pictures to look at. The science is downright fun in CTG so even if your 7 yo doesn't truly "get it" he'll have a blast with it. You can always cover it again when he is about 12 or so.
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Unread post by tiffany »

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:05 pm

I have a 7 year old doing CTG this year. He started earlier in the cycle, because he had already completed a complete phonics program when we switched to MFW.

I certainly think you can do CTG with a 7 year old. You can hand pick your books for book basket to help tailor it a bit for him. There is an abundance of books on Ancient Egypt at the library with great pictures. Many of the books in the package have good visuals, Ancient World, Ancient Egypt, the pyramid book and the Victor Journey Through the Bible (I could be forgetting some). I lose him a bit during our Streams of Civilization readings, but he if fully on board with everything else. They all loved the feasts this fall.

I sometimes wish I would have selected an easier translation for our bible readings for his benefit, but I didn't want the older 2 to use the NIRV. We went back and forth between NIV and ESV and finally went with ESV. I kind of wished we would have stuck with NIV, but my husband is happy with our choice. I do think the ESV is harder. They look up the references in their own bible, and I do the reading while they follow. I also think a larger type might have helped him.

One thing to remember too is that Streams is not used daily. It is usually used 1-3 times a week. I just leafed through my manual, and at a glance, I didn't see any weeks it was used more than 3 times. There is an occasional week that it is not used at all.
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Unread post by Tina »

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:13 pm

Hi: This year I am doing CtG with a 10 yr. old dd and an 8 yr. old ds. My ds is doing remarkably well! The study and time frame he understands well. He has developed so many skills this year from this study. Studying along with the bible reading has been good for him, he's learning to follow along and find his place and take a turn reading (new for him this year). He's putting things together regarding history and how God has been sovereign during all that has gone on since the creation of the world. I'm proud of how he's doing. I was also concerned with this being "too much" for him, but as long as I keep in perspective how much he's really taking in and gleaning from this, I can see he's doing well, and enjoying it.

Even English from the Roots up--he's catching it! Streams is above him; he is good to sit thru it, but I really don't think he's getting much from that. Victor Journey we love. Both Egypt books have been informative and interesting. The timeline and history notebook are good visuals and reminders for him as he continues his study of ancient worlds.

As stated above, the science is fun this year! There are all kinds of activities and experiments from Genesis for Kids; we've had fun with it.

We've had feasts, built a sukkah, built pyramids, made games, made costumes, watched informational videos regarding mummies, pyramids, noah's ark and more; we've learned about composers, mixing colors, egyptian art, visited an art museum with egyptian art; and lots more and we aren't even done yet.

It's been a good year.
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Thank you ladies...

Unread post by Angela&Boys »

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:45 pm

You have eased my mind in many ways. This is all such helpful information.

I'm sure the Lord will lead us as He did to Adventures.

Thank you for taking the time to give such detailed replies.

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:49 am

I am currently doing CtG with my 12dd, 10ds, and 8ds. We are all loving it! My 8ds is right in there with the others although, as some stated, may not be getting as much out of the Streams book. I am not at all worried though because he is learning so much. He is usually coloring or doing a maze...during reading time, he is not disruptive, and I do get an occasional question or comment from him.

One thing that has given me a peace about my choices for the age spread is something David H. counselled as I was contemplating my choices for this year: Whatever you child is studying (Hx based) in 2nd and 3rd will be repeated again in 7th/8th grades. This simple realization really helped me! Their understanding at the older age will be much deeper and more mature. His (ds8) enthusiasm for the projects and hands-on rubs off on my dd and I have overheard her re-explaining / elaborating on things to the boys when I am not in the room or during book basket time.

I also was not going to have my youngest do EFtRU but he loves it! He also is enjoying the art...more than my 10ds, but I think he may have more of a gift in that area.
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2nd and 3rd graders

Unread post by GoodCat »

Posted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:27 pm

I'm doing CtG this year with a 6th,5th,3rd, and 2nd grader. My dd in 2nd does just fine. She listens when I read and even reads when we do our bible time (they take turns reading). She does the science with us and really enjoys it. She has her own language and math for her level, but she does the greek and latin with us too. I don't make her copy as much as the older ones. She even does the art (even though it says for 10 +), and really does well with it. I don't worry if shes not getting everything because I know she'll get it again when shes in 7th. Oh, we also listen to the music together too.

In Christ,
MJ in IL
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Re: 2nd and 3rd graders

Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:01 am

I did CtG with my 2nd grader and it worked out great! I've posted before on my experiences. I found a post that I'm going to try to link that may be helpful, and there may be others:


If this didn't work...I learned to adjust expectations through CtG. With 3 children using the same foundational material, my expectations of their notebooking, EFTRU learning & retention were based on their academics/age/experience. My 2nd grader did do everything with us and loved it...even Homer!

If you are concerned about the American Hx portion being missed at the younger age. I would simply add that in a reading about President's Day, MLK Day, etc. Let me know if you have any more specific questions.
Jenn in NC
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Do I need a supplement?

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

gatekeepermom wrote:Also, when you have a child beginning with CTG in the second grade, can the studies be put at his level easily enough or do I need a supplement to achieve this?
Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:41 am
As far as whether CTG is doable for someone in this grade range -- we just finished doing this year with a 5th and 3rd grader, and a tagging along 1st grader who really did a lot of the activities just b/c he wanted too. Our experience:

I was surprised at how much the 1st grader understood, retained, and truly enjoyed. Of course I wasn't looking for any of that. He has his own MFW first grade stuff. He just picked it up a lot of CTG along the way, and we all had a great time learning together.

My 3rd grader started out the year working at more like an early to mid-2nd grade level. He has some auditory processing issues, etc, that slow him down a bit. So I was really concerned going into this year that it would be way too much for him, and to tell you the truth, dh and I almost went with another program for him. In the end we stuck with MFW and CTG and I cannot tell you how glad I am that we did. He has learned so much in terms of history and Bible -- that part alone is priceless. But along the way, with MFW's gentle approach to language arts skills, he was able to participate at his own level and has grown in his abilities SO MUCH.

There is no supplement, but in the lesson plans it will often list an advanced assignment that you would of course skip for your 2nd grader. That is nice b/c it gives you something more for your olders, but clearly isn't necessary for youngers. Only my 5th grader did these.

I don't know how comfortable you are with doing a little tweaking of things now and then for a particular child? I found it very, very easy to tweak CTG to my 3rd grader's level. For example, part of the integrated language arts in the grid every week involved copying the memory verse for the week on Tuesday, and then a dictation of that same verse on Thursday. My 3rd grader was simply not able yet to copy the verse in one day in the given time frame. So I gave him more time on other days to do this. And then we would only dictate part of the verse at end of the week.

Another example would be the readings from Streams of Civilization. You are already encouraged in the TM to summarize this as needed for your children. So I did that when I needed to for my youngers, and then let my older read the whole section. This was surprisingly rare, actually -- we all found Streams to be very interesting. But very doable when needed.

Bottom line: I found it very doable in this grade range as long as there are older siblings in the program. We loved it!
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For those who have used CTG with youngers

Unread post by RuthinFL »

BostonMom wrote:Does anyone else have one child who you feel gets left behind every year? I need help figuring out what's best to do for him.

My older kids have had great experiences every year since preschool. My 7yo, not so. Anyway, we are supposed to be doing Creation to the Greeks next year (we did not use MFW this year), which would put my older kids in an age-appropriate program (5th), but would leave my 7yo as the tag-along 2nd grader.

I would like to combine the kids for my convenience, but am worried that he'll be the afterthought. Can anyone tell me if CTG will really be perfect for a 2nd grader?? I did Adventures in 2nd with my olders and am really tempted to just do two programs; but then, that defeats the whole point of MFW's philosophy. So...I could use some advice, encouragement. 8| Thanks!
I think your youngest child will do fine with CTG. Perfect? If you find a perfect curriculum, let me know! :)

I used it with a second grader and a fifth grader a few years back. The activities are fun to do and not so deep that your child would be lost. The books are colorful and interesting too. I had to do some modifying with the map drawing and just had her find the capitals and draw and name a few major rivers. We did not draw the maps, I photocopied them. Sometimes she would really get into a map and copy the mountains and other cities and landmarks too. Let the creative juices flow!
It was helpful when I got some younger level animal/land forms books from the library. Scholastic has some great younger readers out there! No evolution,just facts and great photos. Animals,natural disasters, weather and other science subjects.

You would be surprised how much the younger ones learn by being with the older ones. Even if your child seems bored, make them stay at the table and do the projects and the readings...make them participate just like the older ones.
I hope this helped.
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Re: For those who have used CTG with youngers

Unread post by niki »

I too have a tag-along 7 y.o., but with olders, that's where they are and I think it is the perfect fit. OK, not perfect because there's nothing perfect this side of heaven- -it's why we long for perfection, looking forward for what's to come for those in Christ!!

ANYWAY...here's my 2 cents. My poor oldest...the one I pushed and pushed, even my middle because he's an above average. My sweet youngest really gets the best of it. She work along side us as much as possible and it's so much more than you may think. I encourage her, allow mistakes and love, love, love her...what more could a seven year old hope for?! And guess what will happen in the big picture (of homeschool), a year will come where I'm all hers. Olders will be graduated, and she'll have all of me - not exactly what she needs now, but certainly what she'll need then because God's timing is perfect and he put your "tag-along" right where he needs to be!!

So in the fall we'll be in RTR and I'm really looking forward to it. Remember if you stay with the cycle your "tag-along" will come around to CTG again and get it on another level - that's what we have to look forward to with these youngers, so really they're not left out, there kinda protected :)

Hugs and be encouraged,


Strong Tower Academy
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Re: For those who have used CTG with youngers

Unread post by LSH in MS »

I did CTG with a 3rd grader and 1st grader. They both loved it. the Bible stories are interesting, and they loved the feasts. Finding the frogs during the plagues was a big hit and also eating "manna" off the "ground" one morning. I think there is a lot for the second grader to enjoy. I wouldn't do Streams of Civ with a 2nd grader.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years
Amy in NC
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Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by Amy in NC »

BostonMom wrote:I'd love to have some encouragement concerning curriculum choices. We used MFWK with our younger ds, and Adv. and ECC with our older two (twins), then last year decided to use another curriculum for all of them, which we loved, but it does not allow us to combine children as they get older. I have a ds who will be in 2nd grade next year, and I guess I'm trying to decide what my philosophy is. To combine, or not combine.

We would use CtG this coming year with twins in 5th who are very bright and eager learners, and my 2nd grade ds, who is not as academically gifted. I don't believe he has any learning disabilities; however, concepts come really slowly for him. He'll be 8 (we already held him back a year). I guess my concern is really about him.

I was really leaning toward MFW because it would keep us all together, but I'm also wanting my younger ds to have something suitable for him. Looking at CtG, I'm just not convinced he will not be totally lost. I've read through the archives where others have discussed having youngers in CtG, but they seem to have kids who are more "ahead" academically.

Any thoughts, advice or encouragement would be so appreciated....
I am finishing CTG with 10 and 8yr old dd's. My 8yo is called 3rd grade, but that basically keeps her with her age-mates at church and in sports. She is very big for her age, so holding her back would make her feel even more different. Anyway, I say all this to say that my 3rd grader reads at a kindergarten level and we are in the process of having her tested for dyslexia.

In spite of this, she has thoroughly enjoyed our CTG year. She loves Aesop's Fables, enjoys Archimedes and the Door of Science, was able to follow the story in The Children's Homer, and even listens attentively to Streams of Civilization. She is able to narrate fairly well on all that I read to her. Her written narrations show that she follows the story lines, even if her composition and spelling skills are lacking. I don't know if this helps you make a decision. Just know that it can work for struggling students.

Married to ♥
Rob♥ for 18 yrs
dd(11.5), dd(10), dd(6), and ds(3.5)
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Re: Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by tiffany »

He will certainly enjoy participating in the feasts. I think you will easily be able to adjust to your needs.
Wife to Tim ('88)
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Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
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Re: Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by LSH in MS »

And there are a lot of great book basket books for the younger ages. I read some aloud to them.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years
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Re: Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by niki »

I'm using CTG this year with a 4th, 3rd and 1st grader. My first grader was using the 1st grade curriculum but she began doing so much with the olders that I just con't with her own phonics and math, but used CTG with her as well. As for what to expect from each child in terms of notebooking, science, and all the "together" subjects, I have found it easy to teach these subjects to all of them, but expect differences in their work while encouraging them to do their best (which would be notebooking our history and science - possibly more, but it's not coming to me at the moment - even narration from each after reading aloud to them). But of course I expect my older's reading to be from time period we're studying, many of those books are found in book basket and many, many good picture books to read to my 1st grader are there as well. I must say that the book basket really makes this history come to life and has something for everyone.

This program, in my opinion, is certainly doable with many grades, as that is how it was designed. My children have learned and RETAINED and enjoyed school so much this year, honestly more than I expected! YAY! I'm really looking forward, and very excited to use the next years of the cycle. RTR here we come.

It's been a fantastic year of ancient history - I was expecting to be bored of it before the year was done and none of us are! But we are so ready for summer break! :) My kids love book basket so much we keep it going over the summer. We'll probably get some of their favorite books of the year again.

Be encouraged!!!

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
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Re: Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by BostonMom »

Thank you ladies. I am encouraged. My husband and I have talked at length today about this, and he has read your posts as well. We're going to go forward and trust God with our little guy (and all the others, too!). Thank you again...
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Re: Curriculum choices--CTG--needing some encouragement

Unread post by niki »

You WILL be blessed! :)

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd
Julie in MN
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CtG for 2nd Grade

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mamacastle2 wrote:I've been reading over the manual for CTG and have a couple of questions about how to incorporate a 2nd grader (ds) along with my 4th grader (dd).

1. How does my ds do the Vocabulary from the Roots Up? I see in the manual where he just has to write one or two words, but then does he look those words up in the dictionary and do sentences also? And do I review & test him, too?

2. Do I do Bible memory verses with ds? Copy & dictation, too?

I'm trying hard to read up and do some planning now (waiting for #5 to make her appearance!!).

Thanks for the help!
Hi Jeanne,
About 2nd grade siblings in CTG, there are some experiences here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1304 [above]

And about using EFRU with them, here:

Also art:

As for Bible, I think a 2nd grader would enjoy learning memory verses and even copying the verse each week -- even if they just did a few words each day. Some of the memory verses, such as the books of the OT and the 10 commandments, are learned in fun ways such as a song and making a poster.

Well, there's a start and hopefully you'll hear from more families with 2nd graders in CTG!!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: CtG for 2nd Grade

Unread post by RB »

No real advice here, because we will be starting CtG with 2nd, 4th, and 5th graders in August so very much in the same boat.

It seems to me that 2nd graders can really vary in their abilities, so my plan is to be kind of flexible with things like EFTRU for my youngest...seeing how much he can do in balance with the other subjects each day. I suspect he will really grow into certain activities over the year, since he seems to be in a time of rapid growth in areas like reading and handwriting right now.

Loved reading those other threads abour CtG with 2nd/3rd graders. Thanks for the links, Julie :)
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)

Creation to Greeks with 2nd grader??

Unread post by cbollin »

4littlehearts wrote:My 2nd grader would be tagging along if we did this program. Do you think this would be WAY above her? How did your 2nd graders do with the content that was taught? She is a very good reader, reading above her grade level (actually she will be an older 2nd grader, with her b-day being in Sept., she will turn 8 then). We just came out of Abeka with her, so she is able to write decently for her age. My only concern is the content either being too boring for her or being too intense for her. Thanks!
Some of it might be boring. Some of it might be harder. But then again, she might surprise you.

Things that I think work well for most ages and we were able to slightly include our autistic kid (who was 2nd grade age, but is delayed so she is not functioning at that level) (therefore I assume that normal 2nd graders can do it too.)

the OT feasts
dressing up in costumes.
most anything from the Ancient Egypt book with activities.
science fun
making the tabernacle
greek feasts/food
reading and listening to fables
(children's homer -- did not even bother to try with her.. but oldest and middle gal listened to it on an audio CD.)

and just in general... the most recent time I did CTG.. i had 8th 5th and the youngest kid. the 5th grader was able to understand a lot in Streams and she is not an advanced academic kid at all. For book basket for her, we found it helpful to not stress out if it was "history" related.

hope you get more answers.
Missy OH
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Re: Creation to Greeks with 2nd grader??

Unread post by Missy OH »

I have a 2nd grader tagging along for CTG this year, too. This is my second time doing this so I have more of a feel for what I don't want her to do. The last time I had a 2nd grader in this program I way over did it w/ him.

My daughter will listen in on the read alouds, I will read Bible stories to her and not directly from our Bible. I do not plan on doing history w/ her accept letting her color the notebook pages, look at book basket, and doing the hands on activities. She will also join in on most of the science (definitely leaving out the science biography-my mind went blank and I can't remember the name), copywork, memory verses. She will not be doing the latin/greek roots. I am keeping it very low key for her which means some days she will not have a whole lot of work, but it's okay because she is still young and will be doing this again.
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