Tag Archives: writing

John Gatto’s Dumbing Us Down

dumbing us down

I actually got rid of this book a few years ago, after I had put my children back in public school, because a friend of mine was starting to homeschool her kids. I was decluttering and getting rid of things that were no longer essential to my daily life. Annoyingly, she sent it back when she was done. I hate it when that kind of thing happens… like when I would go through my kids toys to get rid of things they no longer played with and they’d freak out over finding a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy with missing parts in the throw-away bag and all of a sudden half of the objects I thought I had gotten rid of were back in my life.

But I digress.

She returned it and I stuffed it back in the bookshelf that I keep in the basement that has all the books in it that I never, ever read but don’t want to get rid of. After the dust settled from pulling Eden out of the middle school I retrieved the book and re-read it this week. All my underlined passages and notes scribbled in the margins still there waiting for me.

I left a review on my Goodreads page.

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7th grade curriculum

Last time I homeschooled I had all summer to research books and choose our curriculum. This time I’ve had about two weeks. I pulled out all our old materials, of which I actually kept a lot because I’m ridiculously nostalgic. Going through it I was surprised to find so many unused A&O units. Then I remembered that they were great for my 2nd grader, but a terrible match for my 7th grader.

She is now in 7th grade.

So… pushed those to the side and pulled out the Apologia science. That book was AWESOME. Johnny used it in 8th grade and has great reading comprehension, so it will be a bit of a challenge for Eden. I’m ready to see what she can do though. If she is really struggling with reading the text it will only be an indicator that she needs help in that area. Next I found our Ultimate Grammar set. That was a life saver after the A&O language arts unit. I liked it a lot. I looked online at the 7th grade unit and realized that she is NOT ready for that.

What have they been teaching her in school???? I don’t think there has been any grammar going on at all.

Had to order her the 6th grade unit. She wasn’t too pleased to see ‘6th grade’ on one of her books till I pointed out that the work would be easier.

Didn’t even consider anything else for math besides Teaching Textbooks. That program was a life-saver for both my son AND myself. He did the pre-algebra in 7th grade so I gave her the placement test and she isn’t ready for it. I ordered 7th grade and then I’ll already have pre-algebra here at home for her next year.

I think spelling is essential and she hasn’t had regular spelling lessons since 2nd grade I think. I could be wrong because I’m so pessimistic right now. I found Spelling Workout and it looks like a good way for her to work on her own.

I want to use Focus on US History but let her choose the time period. I’ve read some really great reviews on this. We used another history book for Johnny in 7th/8th grade but it was a looooooooooot of reading and memorization of names. She is just not that kind of kid.

So, the breakdown…

Reading – lots of free reading. She came up with a goal of reading 3 books by the end of the school year. I crossed it out and wrote ‘6’. After a lengthy stare down we compromised at 5.

Spelling Spelling Workout grade 7

Math Teaching Textbooks grade 7

Science Aplogia Exploring Creation With General Science

History/Geography Focus on US History: The Era of Exploration and Discovery

Civics – This is actually kind of the Mr. and I. I want to read Dave Ramsey & Rachael Cruze’s Smart Money, Smart Kids and make some more concentrated efforts on teaching all the kids about finances.

Literature – Eh. We’ll just keep reading for this year I think. She wants to read The Hobbit and do a study guide like her brother did, but I’m not in a hurry.

Writing – We did these really fun writing prompts from the Unjournaling book last time every morning. She wants to do that again. I just want her to write SOMETHING everyday. I actually still have the book.

Grammar Easy Grammar grade 6 and the corresponding Daily Grams.

Can’t wait for everything to get here! (she can)

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