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MFW Adventures vs. HOD Beyond/Bigger Hearts....


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#1 Another Lynn

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 09:31 PM

I'm thinking about combining an older first grader and a K-er in the fall doing a year of American History (probably start ancients the year after that). I'm comparing Adventures in My Father's World, with HOD's Beyond LIttle Hearts for His Glory and HOD's Bigger Hearts for His Glory. With any of them I may have to adjust a few things down for lower skill levels - but I think that's okay as long as the read alouds are engaging, etc. (i.e. Beyond Little Hearts may be a better fit with skill level, but the history spines look light-weight to me?)

I've looked at the samples online, but I would love to hear what you liked/disliked about any of these programs!

Thanks!

(P.S. Please forgive - I know this has probably been asked before)

#2 NorCalMom

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 11:44 PM

Bump - would like to know also.

#3 Leslie in TN

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:29 AM

Okay, let me preface these remarks by stating that we used Adventures for my girls' 2nd grade year and I have extensively looked through both Beyond and Bigger, but will not start until the fall.

We enjoyed most of our year with Adventures.. my only complaint would be that it got pretty redundant by about 2/3 of the way through, especially the notebooking, and we were all pretty happy to finish up.

With the ages you are talking about, I believe that Beyond would be a much better choice. It is a great introduction to American history that is very appropriate for its intended age range, which is 6-8. The hands-on activities are varied, but not expensive or overwhelming, and the lessons are kept short and filled with interesting literature. Overall, I'd say much more "fun" than Adventures. I'm planning on using this with my ds in the fall.

Bigger is intended for 7-9 yos and has significantly higher expectations, so I don't think you would want to use it with your dc's ages.

If you haven't done so already, check out the placement chart over at HOD.. it is VERY accurate in placing your child in the right program, and you will be able to see at a glance if Beyond would work for both kiddos. I would also check out the HOD message board, as I believe this same discussion (Adventures vs. Beyond) has come up many times.

:001_smile:

#4 Another Lynn

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for your insights and the link to the placement chart. I hadn't seen that yet and it was very helpful. I think you're right that "Beyond" would be the better choice and yet I wonder if 20+ weeks of reading about people settling America before we move on would drive us batty. I really like the Eggleston book used in "Bigger" and I'm really feeling in my heart that my older first grader needs a bigger challenge this year. Yet, I still want the convenience of combining them.

I guess I want my cake and eat it too! I think this is the problem I have with lots of planned curriculum - to get the skill level right, I feel like I give up too much in substance (I'm sure there's more substance in "Beyond" than I'm giving it credit for, but maybe I want more?). To get the substance I want I have to ignore have the assignments in the curriculum because the skill level is not right...

Hmmmm.... something to think about.

Thanks again - your help is keeping me from jumping into something too quickly!

#5 Leslie in TN

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:20 AM

(I'm sure there's more substance in "Beyond" than I'm giving it credit for, but maybe I want more?). To get the substance I want I have to ignore have the assignments in the curriculum because the skill level is not right...


One of the top comments I hear from people new to HOD is "Wow, this is SO much deeper than it appears on the surface!" and from reading through the guides, I wholeheartedly agree. Their programs are almost deceptively simple, meaning IMO, that the daily "portions" of reading and activities are bite-sized and easy on mom, but yet all of them taken together provide a wonderful depth and richness.

It's true that the focus in Beyond is on the early settlers and pioneers. When you think about it, that's what most young ones find fascinating.. the thought of journeying into an unknown new world. The next year in Bigger, the focus is on a biographical survey of American history, as the child is a little older and ready to absorb more about all of those wonderful heroes.

Another thing to consider, is that there are lots of wonderful read-alouds that go along with that time period. Adding in some of those, or maybe some extra hands-on activites, would perhaps provide a little more of the "depth" you're seeking. The beauty of HOD's short lessons is that you can add more if you choose without burning out!

HTH a little!

#6 Another Lynn

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 11:43 AM

HTH a little!


Actually it helps a lot. I think this option is still my best choice.... just going to chew on it for a bit. I suppose it's easier to add in and adjust up then it is to eliminate to adjust down (and then wonder why I'm using the program in the first place....)

Thank you very much!