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Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

I'm going through the books, and a few questions came to mind:

1. Next year, my 7th grader is most likely going to use Abeka's 7th grade science. (We tried Apologia General when my oldest was that age, and didn't really like it.) If we are looking to go more CM in our homeschool, should I have him just read, narrate, and do some notebooking (he loves to draw)? My original plan was to have him fill in the quizzes open-book as he reads, plus do the activity book (labeling diagrams, crosswords, etc).

2. My 10th grader will be using Apologia Biology. I purchased that giant notebook that goes along with it. It's basically a place to take notes and write all the answers to the study questions. I'm wondering if it'd be better to just have her answer the questions on paper (or even orally if she feels she learns fine that way), and draw/label things herself? What about the tests? Should we use them? I'm thinking at her age we should probably use them so she's learning study skills to prepare for college.

3. My current 9th grader is using Abeka Literature. She answers the questions at the end of each selection (on paper). Plus she takes the quizzes and tests. The plan for next year is to use Abeka Lit again (I'll have 9th and 10th graders), but should I keep the quizzes/tests? Or should I just let them read the selections and enjoy them, and use them for narration/composition? (dd and I have really enjoyed quite a few of the stories in Abeka's 9th grade Lit book this year, so I don't think I want to drop it entirely. I know whole books are generally preferred, but this is giving her exposure to quite a few books I had never heard of).

I think that's it for now. I appreciate the help! My gut reaction is to super-simplify everything, but I do see the value of using tests in at least some of their subjects.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Here is a good website to help you with CM style if you haven’t seen this already. Charlotte Mason Help: http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com
And, here is an interesting article on that site re: Apologia
http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com/2009/07/apologia-science-texts-what-would-miss.html

My high schoolers will also be using Apologia’s biology with the notebooks next year, and at first glance, I thought the notebook was just a schedule, note paper, some diagrams to label and the study questions. Then I realized what a great opportunity it was to use those Cornell-style notebook pages for study skills. Cornell University has several free videos on their website that help teach study skills/habits such as how to take and “use” your notes as well as time management and other topics that help prepare your students for college. I plan on having my dc watch these videos and start getting use to this style of note-taking/studying. I also plan on having them study science vocabulary with flash cards at least 5 minutes a day since I've seen such great results with dd this year using this method.
This is a great resource and I just wanted to share it. http://lsc.cornell.edu/study-skills/study-skills-videos/
JM2C There is no right or wrong way, but I didn't want you to miss an opportunity to combine teaching study skills with science.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Thanks for the link to that article. :)

Good point about the notebook helping with study skills.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

When people ask questions about using CM methods, I try to respond with pure CM methods. How we apply CM methods in our home is a bit different and I usually share that as well. I just wanted to make that clear because I agree with the other posters that talk about doing what works for your particular family but I also share what CM actually recommended or did in her programs.

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1. Next year, my 7th grader is most likely going to use Abeka's 7th grade science. (We tried Apologia General when my oldest was that age, and didn't really like it.) If we are looking to go more CM in our homeschool, should I have him just read, narrate, and do some notebooking (he loves to draw)? My original plan was to have him fill in the quizzes open-book as he reads, plus do the activity book (labeling diagrams, crosswords, etc).
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You can do it however you want! Charlotte Mason wouldn't have used textbooks with this age group but you are free to pick and choose from her methods to suit each of your children. Narrating from textbooks is much harder than narrating from living books but it is doable. I've done both. We stuck with living books until 8th grade and then we Apologia General science. We just uses the On Your Own exercises to discuss the readings each day and she completed the tests open book. I would actually let your 7th grader pick which way sounds best for him.
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2. My 10th grader will be using Apologia Biology. I purchased that giant notebook that goes along with it. It's basically a place to take notes and write all the answers to the study questions. I'm wondering if it'd be better to just have her answer the questions on paper (or even orally if she feels she learns fine that way), and draw/label things herself? What about the tests? Should we use them? I'm thinking at her age we should probably use them so she's learning study skills to prepare for college.
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My 9th grader is currently doing Apologia Biology. We read a few pages every day, do the On Your Own exercises orally and she usually completes the test open book. My plan was for her to do a few modules a year in the more traditional manner to prepare her for college. However, she recently decided to do every module in this way so now she is studying and taking the tests in the usual manner.

I know that Charlotte Mason sometimes used textbooks in the high school years but I'm not sure exactly how she incorporated them.
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3. My current 9th grader is using Abeka Literature. She answers the questions at the end of each selection (on paper). Plus she takes the quizzes and tests. The plan for next year is to use Abeka Lit again (I'll have 9th and 10th graders), but should I keep the quizzes/tests? Or should I just let them read the selections and enjoy them, and use them for narration/composition? (dd and I have really enjoyed quite a few of the stories in Abeka's 9th grade Lit book this year, so I don't think I want to drop it entirely. I know whole books are generally preferred, but this is giving her exposure to quite a few books I had never heard of).
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Using a literature textbooks is definitely not something Charlotte Mason would have recommended. We have never used them.

That said, any of the above will work just fine! Do whichever method suits you and your children the best. When my kids are this age, I allow them to have more say so in their education so I would get their input as well.

We simply read classics, discuss them, and use a short and sweet lit guide once or twice a year. Our writing program covers lit analysis and I really want to use Windows to the World for lit analysis at some point just because it looks like fun to me. :-) Too much lit analysis is not very CM either but it's an important skill for our college bound kids.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Just thought I'd add...

Melanie, we did Windows a few years ago. I really liked it and one of my ds did too. The ds who is not so into English was ok with it but he'd rather have gone outside. :) ha but overall I think it was an interesting course.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Thanks for the replies!

I know at the end of the day I have to do what is best for our family. But it is so helpful to hear all the different ways people do things.

We are keeping the Abeka Lit because I was asking dd about it and she LOVES the stories. The readings aren't terribly long, so there's plenty of time for reading whole books too.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Here's what I would do, for whatever that's worth:

1. Either of these plans would work well. I would go with whichever one is easiest for you to implement, or the one your son would rather do.

2. If you already have the biology notebook, I say just use it. It seems like more work to do it all yourself when the notebook has it done for you. As for tests, I think you're right that test-taking at this age is inevitable, and good prep for college. I'm going to be doing the same thing with my son in 10th next year.

3. I would keep the Abeka Lit, especially if she loves it. I would probably drop the quizzes and tests and just let her enjoy the literature and answer the questions. The Abeka lit books are really well done.

re: Bear with me- a few more random CM-related questions!

Thanks for sharing your experience Sixwaterpots! It looks like something my daughter and myself will enjoy doing together.

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