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Chosing a Lang Arts/Lit program for next year HELP please!

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 I made my own literature program this year, and although it has been going fine...we're having trouble staying on track and my daughter likes to think because I don't have a "teachers manual" infront of me that wasn't actually published (she didn't like the one I made for myself :( lol) that I have no idea what I'm talking about. Soooo...I've decided to give up on making up my own stuff and we'll stick with boxed sets.

We're using All About Spelling for spelling, and I've been using Spectrum for Language Arts but she's getting really bored with it and I'm tired of fighting her with it. I really want to keep using AAS, but she'll be going into 4th next yr and AAR doesn't have anything and I really want a literature program for her.

My neighbor had suggested Sonlight and I'd like some extra opinions on their Literature/Lan Arts curriculum. I'm adding a link so those that use it can tell me if I'm even looking at the right thing... http://www.sonlight.com/readers-4-5.html My neighbor mentioned that even though it is a Christian company, there really isn't much religion mixed in with this? (We're donig all secular subjects). She also said it'd be easy to take out spelling.  If the link I posted is right, I can see that being reasonably priced for what is all included. 

I had someone else mention Lifepac. So out of curiosity I go look and also see Monarch and SOS. Again I notice it is a Christian company...so my first question...how indepth relgious does this go? I don't want to be reading Bible passages or having it heavily influenced with the different thigns she'd be reading. Lifepac is just labeled as Language Arts so does it have a good Literature aspect to it? From the samples I could see it looked like it wouldn't clash with still using AAS and didn't seem too bad, and the price was half that of Sonlight...

Does anyone know of a really good secular Langauge Arts/Literature boxed set? I'm still looking at reviews online between all the different programs I mentioned too, I just thought I'd ask for your opinions as well :)

Thank you!

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by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 9:05 AM
Replies (31-35):
No_Difference
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 1:00 PM

 Week 1 - not great at all....
I ask her, "What do picture is happening? Can you describe it?"
Her, "What do you mean?"
Me, "If you close your eyes and picture what we just read, what do you see?"
Her, "Black."
I try prompting with other questions and I get one word answers. Then I ask her to put herself in the main character's shoes for the little that we read and had her tell me how she thinks she's feeling. Again, one word answer, and not amount of trying to pull an answer out of her helped...
We'll keep at it, but I may just go insane by the end of htis year...
For writing, I mixed it in a little more in with geography/social studies. We started doing the regions of the United States and looking up the difference between climate and weather in each region. For today it was to write a little on what our climate is like here with all the information we found on average temperatures, average rainfall, and average snowfall throughout the week. We discussed it first so that I knew she knew what she was supposed to be writing about...and 2 hours later...her paper is still blank and she's not even looking at her school stuff but staring at the clock. I made a check list of what we went over that should be included in her paragraph and then she breaks down crying saying it's too much and too hard, and...the kicker... "This is making me think!"  Needless to say...we're done with that today, but she is so not getting out of it...

Quoting kirbymom:

Now that your plans are all set, Go Relax and enjoy yourself.  :)  

Let me know how it goes too, please.  :)  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Monday seems like a good day to start to me :) lol. I think she still likes spending time with me to want to lol. j/k. She'll be ecstatic that I'm reading with HER and not a book for her brother!

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you have a plan. Now all you have to do is just go start it!  lol  :)  Also, you just might want to act like this is going to be so much fun just because you two will be spending some mom and daughter time together. 

Quoting No_Difference:

I've been wanting to read with her the Fablehaven series...this might be a good excuse ;) Thank you for the idea!! The nice thing with the series is at the back of each book, there is a reading guide which "can be useful in promoting discussion about some of the themes and ideas found in Fablehaven." There isn't necessarily one question for each chapter, but at least it'll help satisfy my neuroticness about school stuff lol.

Quoting kirbymom:

Then what you should do is break up the lessons and make them smaller for now.  This will give her the break she needs but she will still be doing some schooling in english.  Take the focus off of her doing english for now too and put it on one of her other subjects.  Also, when you are the one reading to her, read a paragraph or two and then ask her to close her eyes and describe to you what she thinks she see's in her mind's eye.  Do this for the entire story but don't read the entire story in one sitting. Break the story up over a few days.  She may like doing english better after she actually gets a *feel* for words.  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Yup. She flat out told me she hates it and would prefer not to learn it at all... I have a feeling what ever I get it's going to be  a struggle to get her to do the work. She does learn best with hands on learning though (which I'm pretty sure why All About Spelling is working for her), and she is very much a visual learner.
Her version of reading is reading one page at the beginning, middle, and end and then calling it done without giving what ever it is she's reading a chance, but she'll sit down and have me read to her all day, but she's not listening 90% of the time. She loves going to the library and checks out books....and then never reads them.... The only time I can get her to write stories or poems or anything like that is taking her to the Writers Club at the library which meets twice a month. If I ask her to do the same stuff she won't do it at all.
Normally she doesn't mind worksheets and workbooks, but she's tired of learning the same stuff over and over again in the Spectrum workbooks, and I'm kind of tired of them too so it's definitely time for a change in the LA department.
I'm really focusing on a lit program for her tho to really boost the reading since that's where she struggles most and it's starting to show in other subject areas.

Quoting kirbymom:

Have you tried asking her how she would like to learn English?  

 


 


 


 

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kirbymom
by Sonja on Feb. 22, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Awww > That is so very frustrating!  I appreciate that you came back and let me know how things went.  I wouldn't give up just yet. She is very much like my nine year old.  She too hates to think on her own.  It drives me nuts sometimes. For me, it got so frustrating that I just stuck her on one type of learning since I knew it was stubbornness that was the majority of the issue and just let it go. Needless to say she didn't have a whole lot of time where she had play time or game time like she did before she started being stubborn. It has taken me some time getting her to a more productive thought process. It's small, but it is there. Finally.  As they say, Rome wasn't conquered in a day.  lol   

Quoting No_Difference:

 Week 1 - not great at all....
I ask her, "What do picture is happening? Can you describe it?"
Her, "What do you mean?"
Me, "If you close your eyes and picture what we just read, what do you see?"
Her, "Black."
I try prompting with other questions and I get one word answers. Then I ask her to put herself in the main character's shoes for the little that we read and had her tell me how she thinks she's feeling. Again, one word answer, and not amount of trying to pull an answer out of her helped...
We'll keep at it, but I may just go insane by the end of htis year...
For writing, I mixed it in a little more in with geography/social studies. We started doing the regions of the United States and looking up the difference between climate and weather in each region. For today it was to write a little on what our climate is like here with all the information we found on average temperatures, average rainfall, and average snowfall throughout the week. We discussed it first so that I knew she knew what she was supposed to be writing about...and 2 hours later...her paper is still blank and she's not even looking at her school stuff but staring at the clock. I made a check list of what we went over that should be included in her paragraph and then she breaks down crying saying it's too much and too hard, and...the kicker... "This is making me think!"  Needless to say...we're done with that today, but she is so not getting out of it...

Quoting kirbymom:

Now that your plans are all set, Go Relax and enjoy yourself.  :)  

Let me know how it goes too, please.  :)  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Monday seems like a good day to start to me :) lol. I think she still likes spending time with me to want to lol. j/k. She'll be ecstatic that I'm reading with HER and not a book for her brother!

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you have a plan. Now all you have to do is just go start it!  lol  :)  Also, you just might want to act like this is going to be so much fun just because you two will be spending some mom and daughter time together. 

Quoting No_Difference:

I've been wanting to read with her the Fablehaven series...this might be a good excuse ;) Thank you for the idea!! The nice thing with the series is at the back of each book, there is a reading guide which "can be useful in promoting discussion about some of the themes and ideas found in Fablehaven." There isn't necessarily one question for each chapter, but at least it'll help satisfy my neuroticness about school stuff lol.

Quoting kirbymom:

Then what you should do is break up the lessons and make them smaller for now.  This will give her the break she needs but she will still be doing some schooling in english.  Take the focus off of her doing english for now too and put it on one of her other subjects.  Also, when you are the one reading to her, read a paragraph or two and then ask her to close her eyes and describe to you what she thinks she see's in her mind's eye.  Do this for the entire story but don't read the entire story in one sitting. Break the story up over a few days.  She may like doing english better after she actually gets a *feel* for words.  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Yup. She flat out told me she hates it and would prefer not to learn it at all... I have a feeling what ever I get it's going to be  a struggle to get her to do the work. She does learn best with hands on learning though (which I'm pretty sure why All About Spelling is working for her), and she is very much a visual learner.
Her version of reading is reading one page at the beginning, middle, and end and then calling it done without giving what ever it is she's reading a chance, but she'll sit down and have me read to her all day, but she's not listening 90% of the time. She loves going to the library and checks out books....and then never reads them.... The only time I can get her to write stories or poems or anything like that is taking her to the Writers Club at the library which meets twice a month. If I ask her to do the same stuff she won't do it at all.
Normally she doesn't mind worksheets and workbooks, but she's tired of learning the same stuff over and over again in the Spectrum workbooks, and I'm kind of tired of them too so it's definitely time for a change in the LA department.
I'm really focusing on a lit program for her tho to really boost the reading since that's where she struggles most and it's starting to show in other subject areas.

Quoting kirbymom:

Have you tried asking her how she would like to learn English?  

 


 


 


 



No_Difference
by Silver Member on Feb. 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM
1 mom liked this

 I'm sticking to it not matter how frustrated and insane I go lol. I'm running out of options so we're finishing the year this way even if it kills me!! lol. Ok...maybe not that extreme. I think I might just have her orally give me an answer, I write it down, and she reads her answer back to me for a few weeks so she can possible see that writing is much like talking just on paper, and we'll work on it being "proper" after we at least get the writing going. 
I think I also touched a chord with her when I lost it a little today and told her no matter what writing is crucial in no matter what future job she wants to pursue - including art - and showed her how many pages a typical critque of a small painting could be. 

Quoting kirbymom:

Awww > That is so very frustrating!  I appreciate that you came back and let me know how things went.  I wouldn't give up just yet. She is very much like my nine year old.  She too hates to think on her own.  It drives me nuts sometimes. For me, it got so frustrating that I just stuck her on one type of learning since I knew it was stubbornness that was the majority of the issue and just let it go. Needless to say she didn't have a whole lot of time where she had play time or game time like she did before she started being stubborn. It has taken me some time getting her to a more productive thought process. It's small, but it is there. Finally.  As they say, Rome wasn't conquered in a day.  lol   

Quoting No_Difference:

 Week 1 - not great at all....
I ask her, "What do picture is happening? Can you describe it?"
Her, "What do you mean?"
Me, "If you close your eyes and picture what we just read, what do you see?"
Her, "Black."
I try prompting with other questions and I get one word answers. Then I ask her to put herself in the main character's shoes for the little that we read and had her tell me how she thinks she's feeling. Again, one word answer, and not amount of trying to pull an answer out of her helped...
We'll keep at it, but I may just go insane by the end of htis year...
For writing, I mixed it in a little more in with geography/social studies. We started doing the regions of the United States and looking up the difference between climate and weather in each region. For today it was to write a little on what our climate is like here with all the information we found on average temperatures, average rainfall, and average snowfall throughout the week. We discussed it first so that I knew she knew what she was supposed to be writing about...and 2 hours later...her paper is still blank and she's not even looking at her school stuff but staring at the clock. I made a check list of what we went over that should be included in her paragraph and then she breaks down crying saying it's too much and too hard, and...the kicker... "This is making me think!"  Needless to say...we're done with that today, but she is so not getting out of it...

Quoting kirbymom:

Now that your plans are all set, Go Relax and enjoy yourself.  :)  

Let me know how it goes too, please.  :)  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Monday seems like a good day to start to me :) lol. I think she still likes spending time with me to want to lol. j/k. She'll be ecstatic that I'm reading with HER and not a book for her brother!

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you have a plan. Now all you have to do is just go start it!  lol  :)  Also, you just might want to act like this is going to be so much fun just because you two will be spending some mom and daughter time together. 

Quoting No_Difference:

I've been wanting to read with her the Fablehaven series...this might be a good excuse ;) Thank you for the idea!! The nice thing with the series is at the back of each book, there is a reading guide which "can be useful in promoting discussion about some of the themes and ideas found in Fablehaven." There isn't necessarily one question for each chapter, but at least it'll help satisfy my neuroticness about school stuff lol.

Quoting kirbymom:

Then what you should do is break up the lessons and make them smaller for now.  This will give her the break she needs but she will still be doing some schooling in english.  Take the focus off of her doing english for now too and put it on one of her other subjects.  Also, when you are the one reading to her, read a paragraph or two and then ask her to close her eyes and describe to you what she thinks she see's in her mind's eye.  Do this for the entire story but don't read the entire story in one sitting. Break the story up over a few days.  She may like doing english better after she actually gets a *feel* for words.  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Yup. She flat out told me she hates it and would prefer not to learn it at all... I have a feeling what ever I get it's going to be  a struggle to get her to do the work. She does learn best with hands on learning though (which I'm pretty sure why All About Spelling is working for her), and she is very much a visual learner.
Her version of reading is reading one page at the beginning, middle, and end and then calling it done without giving what ever it is she's reading a chance, but she'll sit down and have me read to her all day, but she's not listening 90% of the time. She loves going to the library and checks out books....and then never reads them.... The only time I can get her to write stories or poems or anything like that is taking her to the Writers Club at the library which meets twice a month. If I ask her to do the same stuff she won't do it at all.
Normally she doesn't mind worksheets and workbooks, but she's tired of learning the same stuff over and over again in the Spectrum workbooks, and I'm kind of tired of them too so it's definitely time for a change in the LA department.
I'm really focusing on a lit program for her tho to really boost the reading since that's where she struggles most and it's starting to show in other subject areas.

Quoting kirbymom:

Have you tried asking her how she would like to learn English?  

 


 


 


 


 

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kirbymom
by Sonja on Feb. 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

That is a great way to help her learn how to visualize and turn it from her mind to a piece of paper!  And letting your child(ren) see your frustrations are not the evil that a lot of people try and make that out to be.  Sometimes that is what it takes to get them out of their mental comfort zone to a place where they can actually see/understand what truly needs to happen.  I think you are doing a great job and if you need any encouragement or help, just ask me and I shall do all in my power to help.   :) 

Quoting No_Difference:

 I'm sticking to it not matter how frustrated and insane I go lol. I'm running out of options so we're finishing the year this way even if it kills me!! lol. Ok...maybe not that extreme. I think I might just have her orally give me an answer, I write it down, and she reads her answer back to me for a few weeks so she can possible see that writing is much like talking just on paper, and we'll work on it being "proper" after we at least get the writing going. 
I think I also touched a chord with her when I lost it a little today and told her no matter what writing is crucial in no matter what future job she wants to pursue - including art - and showed her how many pages a typical critque of a small painting could be. 

Quoting kirbymom:

Awww > That is so very frustrating!  I appreciate that you came back and let me know how things went.  I wouldn't give up just yet. She is very much like my nine year old.  She too hates to think on her own.  It drives me nuts sometimes. For me, it got so frustrating that I just stuck her on one type of learning since I knew it was stubbornness that was the majority of the issue and just let it go. Needless to say she didn't have a whole lot of time where she had play time or game time like she did before she started being stubborn. It has taken me some time getting her to a more productive thought process. It's small, but it is there. Finally.  As they say, Rome wasn't conquered in a day.  lol   

Quoting No_Difference:

 Week 1 - not great at all....
I ask her, "What do picture is happening? Can you describe it?"
Her, "What do you mean?"
Me, "If you close your eyes and picture what we just read, what do you see?"
Her, "Black."
I try prompting with other questions and I get one word answers. Then I ask her to put herself in the main character's shoes for the little that we read and had her tell me how she thinks she's feeling. Again, one word answer, and not amount of trying to pull an answer out of her helped...
We'll keep at it, but I may just go insane by the end of htis year...
For writing, I mixed it in a little more in with geography/social studies. We started doing the regions of the United States and looking up the difference between climate and weather in each region. For today it was to write a little on what our climate is like here with all the information we found on average temperatures, average rainfall, and average snowfall throughout the week. We discussed it first so that I knew she knew what she was supposed to be writing about...and 2 hours later...her paper is still blank and she's not even looking at her school stuff but staring at the clock. I made a check list of what we went over that should be included in her paragraph and then she breaks down crying saying it's too much and too hard, and...the kicker... "This is making me think!"  Needless to say...we're done with that today, but she is so not getting out of it...

Quoting kirbymom:

Now that your plans are all set, Go Relax and enjoy yourself.  :)  

Let me know how it goes too, please.  :)  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Monday seems like a good day to start to me :) lol. I think she still likes spending time with me to want to lol. j/k. She'll be ecstatic that I'm reading with HER and not a book for her brother!

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you have a plan. Now all you have to do is just go start it!  lol  :)  Also, you just might want to act like this is going to be so much fun just because you two will be spending some mom and daughter time together. 

Quoting No_Difference:

I've been wanting to read with her the Fablehaven series...this might be a good excuse ;) Thank you for the idea!! The nice thing with the series is at the back of each book, there is a reading guide which "can be useful in promoting discussion about some of the themes and ideas found in Fablehaven." There isn't necessarily one question for each chapter, but at least it'll help satisfy my neuroticness about school stuff lol.

Quoting kirbymom:

Then what you should do is break up the lessons and make them smaller for now.  This will give her the break she needs but she will still be doing some schooling in english.  Take the focus off of her doing english for now too and put it on one of her other subjects.  Also, when you are the one reading to her, read a paragraph or two and then ask her to close her eyes and describe to you what she thinks she see's in her mind's eye.  Do this for the entire story but don't read the entire story in one sitting. Break the story up over a few days.  She may like doing english better after she actually gets a *feel* for words.  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Yup. She flat out told me she hates it and would prefer not to learn it at all... I have a feeling what ever I get it's going to be  a struggle to get her to do the work. She does learn best with hands on learning though (which I'm pretty sure why All About Spelling is working for her), and she is very much a visual learner.
Her version of reading is reading one page at the beginning, middle, and end and then calling it done without giving what ever it is she's reading a chance, but she'll sit down and have me read to her all day, but she's not listening 90% of the time. She loves going to the library and checks out books....and then never reads them.... The only time I can get her to write stories or poems or anything like that is taking her to the Writers Club at the library which meets twice a month. If I ask her to do the same stuff she won't do it at all.
Normally she doesn't mind worksheets and workbooks, but she's tired of learning the same stuff over and over again in the Spectrum workbooks, and I'm kind of tired of them too so it's definitely time for a change in the LA department.
I'm really focusing on a lit program for her tho to really boost the reading since that's where she struggles most and it's starting to show in other subject areas.

Quoting kirbymom:

Have you tried asking her how she would like to learn English?  

 


 


 


 


 



No_Difference
by Silver Member on Feb. 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM
1 mom liked this

 Thank you :)

Quoting kirbymom:

That is a great way to help her learn how to visualize and turn it from her mind to a piece of paper!  And letting your child(ren) see your frustrations are not the evil that a lot of people try and make that out to be.  Sometimes that is what it takes to get them out of their mental comfort zone to a place where they can actually see/understand what truly needs to happen.  I think you are doing a great job and if you need any encouragement or help, just ask me and I shall do all in my power to help.   :) 

Quoting No_Difference:

 I'm sticking to it not matter how frustrated and insane I go lol. I'm running out of options so we're finishing the year this way even if it kills me!! lol. Ok...maybe not that extreme. I think I might just have her orally give me an answer, I write it down, and she reads her answer back to me for a few weeks so she can possible see that writing is much like talking just on paper, and we'll work on it being "proper" after we at least get the writing going. 
I think I also touched a chord with her when I lost it a little today and told her no matter what writing is crucial in no matter what future job she wants to pursue - including art - and showed her how many pages a typical critque of a small painting could be. 

Quoting kirbymom:

Awww > That is so very frustrating!  I appreciate that you came back and let me know how things went.  I wouldn't give up just yet. She is very much like my nine year old.  She too hates to think on her own.  It drives me nuts sometimes. For me, it got so frustrating that I just stuck her on one type of learning since I knew it was stubbornness that was the majority of the issue and just let it go. Needless to say she didn't have a whole lot of time where she had play time or game time like she did before she started being stubborn. It has taken me some time getting her to a more productive thought process. It's small, but it is there. Finally.  As they say, Rome wasn't conquered in a day.  lol   

Quoting No_Difference:

 Week 1 - not great at all....
I ask her, "What do picture is happening? Can you describe it?"
Her, "What do you mean?"
Me, "If you close your eyes and picture what we just read, what do you see?"
Her, "Black."
I try prompting with other questions and I get one word answers. Then I ask her to put herself in the main character's shoes for the little that we read and had her tell me how she thinks she's feeling. Again, one word answer, and not amount of trying to pull an answer out of her helped...
We'll keep at it, but I may just go insane by the end of htis year...
For writing, I mixed it in a little more in with geography/social studies. We started doing the regions of the United States and looking up the difference between climate and weather in each region. For today it was to write a little on what our climate is like here with all the information we found on average temperatures, average rainfall, and average snowfall throughout the week. We discussed it first so that I knew she knew what she was supposed to be writing about...and 2 hours later...her paper is still blank and she's not even looking at her school stuff but staring at the clock. I made a check list of what we went over that should be included in her paragraph and then she breaks down crying saying it's too much and too hard, and...the kicker... "This is making me think!"  Needless to say...we're done with that today, but she is so not getting out of it...

Quoting kirbymom:

Now that your plans are all set, Go Relax and enjoy yourself.  :)  

Let me know how it goes too, please.  :)  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Monday seems like a good day to start to me :) lol. I think she still likes spending time with me to want to lol. j/k. She'll be ecstatic that I'm reading with HER and not a book for her brother!

Quoting kirbymom:

Sounds like you have a plan. Now all you have to do is just go start it!  lol  :)  Also, you just might want to act like this is going to be so much fun just because you two will be spending some mom and daughter time together. 

Quoting No_Difference:

I've been wanting to read with her the Fablehaven series...this might be a good excuse ;) Thank you for the idea!! The nice thing with the series is at the back of each book, there is a reading guide which "can be useful in promoting discussion about some of the themes and ideas found in Fablehaven." There isn't necessarily one question for each chapter, but at least it'll help satisfy my neuroticness about school stuff lol.

Quoting kirbymom:

Then what you should do is break up the lessons and make them smaller for now.  This will give her the break she needs but she will still be doing some schooling in english.  Take the focus off of her doing english for now too and put it on one of her other subjects.  Also, when you are the one reading to her, read a paragraph or two and then ask her to close her eyes and describe to you what she thinks she see's in her mind's eye.  Do this for the entire story but don't read the entire story in one sitting. Break the story up over a few days.  She may like doing english better after she actually gets a *feel* for words.  

Quoting No_Difference:

 Yup. She flat out told me she hates it and would prefer not to learn it at all... I have a feeling what ever I get it's going to be  a struggle to get her to do the work. She does learn best with hands on learning though (which I'm pretty sure why All About Spelling is working for her), and she is very much a visual learner.
Her version of reading is reading one page at the beginning, middle, and end and then calling it done without giving what ever it is she's reading a chance, but she'll sit down and have me read to her all day, but she's not listening 90% of the time. She loves going to the library and checks out books....and then never reads them.... The only time I can get her to write stories or poems or anything like that is taking her to the Writers Club at the library which meets twice a month. If I ask her to do the same stuff she won't do it at all.
Normally she doesn't mind worksheets and workbooks, but she's tired of learning the same stuff over and over again in the Spectrum workbooks, and I'm kind of tired of them too so it's definitely time for a change in the LA department.
I'm really focusing on a lit program for her tho to really boost the reading since that's where she struggles most and it's starting to show in other subject areas.

Quoting kirbymom:

Have you tried asking her how she would like to learn English?  

 


 


 


 


 


 

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