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This is not a Heart of Dakota bashing thread...


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#1 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

But the more I learn about Charlotte Mason and her ideas, the less I think there are any curriculum suppliers that are Charlotte Mason in nature. For instance, HOD has projects that are absolutely nothing like CM's ideas about Handicrafts. They really are silly useless projects, not projects that build up lifelong skills. I realize that the only thing about Heart of Dakota that is CMish are narration/dictation (for History only most of the time), a little bit of poetry study (although the poetry is not simply enjoyed, it is often used as a Language Arts assignment) and... well that is all I can think of. I guess the books are usually CMish. Is the only way to have a CM homeschool is to make it ourselves?

#2 elegantlion

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

Have you looked at Ambleside? http://www.amblesideonline.org/

#3 Ewe Mama

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

That's one of the things I disliked about HOD when we tried it last year. I was looking for CM in a box. I still like MFW because I think it is closer to the CM ideal, but it still isn't perfect. More and more I find myself spending time on the SCM site and trying to make my own plan.

#4 Rebecca

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:32 PM

I think HOD is CM- inspired. If you look carefully, I do think you will find more CM than you listed above in your post- but it is okay if it doesn't suit what your heart truly wants.

AmblesideOnline and Living Books Curriculum are CM pure (or more so) , in my opinion. I also think Simply Charlotte Mason and Higher Up and Further In are more true to the original CM philosophy. Living Books is a packaged curriculum. She does add in story-telling as a key component to her program and I am not sure how that fits in with pure CM.

I think every curriculum provider shapes their curriculum to reflect their own priorities and values.

#5 ~Phoenix

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

The reason I thought HOD was supposed to be CM was because it had short lessons that packed a punch. When I think of CM science, I think of very hands on, nature study, not the reading that we did when we did HOD. I always really liked HOD because I thought it combined a lot of CM ideas with a lot of modern school structure. I thought it struck a real balance in the two ideas for me.

#6 mom2samlibby

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:34 PM

Hmmm. . . well it sounds like a HOD bashing thread to me. But, I guess I am curious as to what the CM's handicraft ideas are and why you think the HOD projects are not building skills. My kids are learning some art skills, how to read and follow directions, and how to express their creativity through art.

#7 Ellie

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

Is the only way to have a CM homeschool is to make it ourselves?


I think it's probably the *best* way. :-)

If I were hsing again with young dc, I'd probably be spending a great deal of time studying CM's books and working on making AO's schedules into my own.

#8 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

Have you looked at Ambleside? http://www.amblesideonline.org/



Yes, I have been on a quest the last month to really understand CM's way of teaching and looking at all the available resources. My oldest daughter has been using HOD for a number of years and has loved it. This past year I used Preparing Hearts for His Glory and I think it is great in a lot of ways. I was saddened to find that I haven't enjoyed about 1/2 of it while loving the other half. I am realizing now it is because I really relate to the CM that is in it, but the other areas feel really poorly done.

I am also upset and struggling with the fact that my high school daughter, who has done this program for about 4 years, will want to continue with the program next year. I feel sad that what has been revealed about the new guide is very schoolish and not CM at all. It is also crazy expensive. I believe it is going to be over $1000 for the new program. I feel like Carrie (the author) has led us to believe that she has a CM philosophy and we have gotten really deep into the program and it would be foolish and difficult to change my oldest now. I feel sad that Carrie has not worked hard to choose materials that keep the program reasonable. I mean I have 3 other children to home educate next year. I know this is rambling, I am just upset.

I am still going to search for my younger kids and see what I can come up with. I may end up putting together my own thing. I just feel like I lean towards AO, then towards Charlotte Mason Help, then I think about Beautiful Feet... I am really unsure.

#9 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Hmmm. . . well it sounds like a HOD bashing thread to me. But, I guess I am curious as to what the CM's handicraft ideas are and why you think the HOD projects are not building skills. My kids are learning some art skills, how to read and follow directions, and how to express their creativity through art.


Have you studied Charlotte Mason's Original Series, to learn from her in her own words what she meant by "handicrafts?"

I agree with the OP that HOD is a nice curriculum option but not Charlotte Mason's style.

#10 lovemykids

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:44 PM

I agree HOD is just “CMish”…good description. Ambleside is very close. I have used it in the past, and used the booklist extensively. We never follow it exactly but I am also not trying to follow CM too closely. But there are many who do…and they have to read CM’s original articles and come up with their own handicrafts.
I will be using a blend of LCC/ AO next year for my first grader. I much prefer AO in the early years.

You can also check out Living Books Curriculum…see if you like the books they use. While I don’t remember if they schedule handicrafts, everything else should be there.

Pulling together your own thing sounds like a great idea!

#11 ~Phoenix

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

I am also upset and struggling with the fact that my high school daughter, who has done this program for about 4 years, will want to continue with the program next year. I feel sad that what has been revealed about the new guide is very schoolish and not CM at all. It is also crazy expensive. I believe it is going to be over $1000 for the new program. I feel like Carrie (the author) has led us to believe that she has a CM philosophy and we have gotten really deep into the program and it would be foolish and difficult to change my oldest now. I feel sad that Carrie has not worked hard to choose materials that keep the program reasonable. I mean I have 3 other children to home educate next year. I know this is rambling, I am just upset.


Ouch. I think you have turned this into a bashing thread. I'm sorry that you feel this way, I totally don't believe Carrie was trying to mislead anyone. I would take this to her before venting on a public forum about it.

#12 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:51 PM

Ouch. I think you have turned this into a bashing thread. I'm sorry that you feel this way, I totally don't believe Carrie was trying to mislead anyone. I would take this to her before venting on a public forum about it.


Why does this always happen when someone criticizes or disagrees with HOD or its author? I can think of no other curriculum or supplier that is above discussion or criticism on these boards. I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that they can't critique or opine about HOD without being scolded.

#13 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

Hmmm. . . well it sounds like a HOD bashing thread to me. But, I guess I am curious as to what the CM's handicraft ideas are and why you think the HOD projects are not building skills. My kids are learning some art skills, how to read and follow directions, and how to express their creativity through art.


Not bashing, just dissecting. I mean we have used HOD for 4 years now and we are still using it. I love a lot about the program. I am just realizing that it isn't very CM.

Handicrafts are actual skills. Woodworking, Sewing, painting (not the artistic kind), building a fire (I am thinking stuff like boy scouts would do) etc...

The projects are not even actually artistic. I teach art, and have for a number of years. HOD projects are step by step and pretty useless. For instance a recent project in the Preparing Hearts manual while learning about the Star of David...

Day 1 - In this unit you will be drawing and painting the Star of Bethlehem. On a 9"x12" sheet of paper, use a pencil to lightly draw a star that fills the paper. Erase the lines inside the star so that only the outline remains. Cut the star out. Lightly sketch a line around the outside of the star to make a border that you can paint on Day 2. Then, with your pencil sketch 5-10 shapes inside the star. Make sure none of the shapes touch one another.

Day 2 - Take out your star from Day 1. Get blue and white paint, a think paintbrush, and a paper plate to mix paint. First, paint the outside border around the edge of the star with blue paint. Next, place blue paint on your mixing surface and add a little white paint. Paint 2 shapes in the middle of your star with the new color. Then, add a little more white paint to the previous color and paint 2 other shapes. Continue adding a little white paint at a time and painting shapes until they are all painted. Leave the space between shapes white.

Day 3 - Take out your star. On the back, copy in cursive Luke 2:14.

First of all the Day 1 instructions don't even make sense. What are they talking about paint shapes inside the star? Secondly, art concepts are not explored. There is no mention of shades or tints when you are mixing your two colors of paint you are allowed to have. Thirdly, there is no creativity. It is a step by step project. Art is an expression of oneself and ideas. This is an assignment. Art is very different. As I said, this is not a bashing thread, but you did ask.

#14 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

Ouch. I think you have turned this into a bashing thread. I'm sorry that you feel this way, I totally don't believe Carrie was trying to mislead anyone. I would take this to her before venting on a public forum about it.


Actually I have. Are we only allowed to express thoughts that are positive? I am expressing my thoughts on HOD vs CM and the changes to the new HS guide that include books/materials/methods being used and the cost.

#15 ~Phoenix

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

Why does this always happen when someone criticizes or disagrees with HOD or its author? I can think of no other curriculum or supplier that is above discussion or criticism on these boards. I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that they can't critique or opine about HOD without being scolded.


Oh, I don't have a problem with people dissecting or criticizing curriculum. And I do believe that people stick up for other curricula here. What touched a nerve with me were the phrases she "has led us to believe..." and that she "hasn't worked hard..." I feel that crosses the line into bashing someone's character. That was my point.

#16 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Why does this always happen when someone criticizes or disagrees with HOD or its author? I can think of no other curriculum or supplier that is above discussion or criticism on these boards. I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that they can't critique or opine about HOD without being scolded.


I agree. The reason I don't post on HOD's board is because it is like this. I am astonished how whenever Carrie gives a new sneak peak, NO ONE says anything that questions her choices. It is all full of love and awe. I want to stay with HOD because we have used it for so long, but I am frustrated at her choices this upcoming year with literature, science etc... With her choices, the cost will be over $1000.

#17 chiguirre

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

I believe it is going to be over $1000 for the new program.


What element is going to jack the price up that high? If it's expensive textbooks as spines, could you use an older edition even if its going to mean some work for you to find the right chapter? If it's the cost of the guide, can you resale or reuse to lessen the overall cost (even if it's still a lot of money up front)? If its materials, can you eliminate or substitute some of the projects?

If your dd's heart is set on it, I'd try to work out a way to do it. It's much easier to hs an enthusiastic student, even if they're enthusiasm seems misplaced. Good luck finding something you can both agree on.

#18 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

Oh, I don't have a problem with people dissecting or criticizing curriculum. And I do believe that people stick up for other curricula here. What touched a nerve with me were the phrases she "has led us to believe..." and that she "hasn't worked hard..." I feel that crosses the line into bashing someone's character. That was my point.


Rather than shutting down the conversation, why not call for facts? Where or when did the author ever promise such-and-such, or in what way is the new material too schoolish or inconsistent with the earlier offerings, for example.

Also, rather than scolding, you might offer an opposing perspective, making a reasoned case for the authentic Charlotte Masonism of the new year plan, or testifying to the author's dedication, or sharing a link to the author's rationale for her decisions.

#19 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:04 PM

Oh, I don't have a problem with people dissecting or criticizing curriculum. And I do believe that people stick up for other curricula here. What touched a nerve with me were the phrases she "has led us to believe..." and that she "hasn't worked hard..." I feel that crosses the line into bashing someone's character. That was my point.



I do feel she has led us to believe she is selling a CM curriculum. It is right on her website. Where did I say she hasn't worked hard? I know she spends and huge amount of time choosing and writing her guides.

#20 ~Phoenix

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

Rather than shutting down the conversation, why not call for facts? Where or when did the author ever promise such-and-such, or in what way is the new material too schoolish or inconsistent with the earlier offerings, for example.

Also, rather than scolding, you might offer an opposing perspective, making a reasoned case for the authentic Charlotte Masonism of the new year plan, or testifying to the author's dedication, or sharing a link to the author's rationale for her decisions.


Well, I was fine with her first original post and I initially did respond in kind. I stated my understanding of why I thought it was considered CM. It was only in one of OP's later posts that I called her out. Again, if OP has a problem with the curriculum, that's totally her call. My "scolding" was for the part that came later. I didn't feel it added anything to the original issue, as it was just OP's opinions that the author wasn't trying. I will bow out now, because I won't add anything further to this conversation.

I do apologize, stirring up trouble was not my intent.

#21 Molly

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

Michelle,

In the catalog it says that they were drawn to the ideas put forth by Charlotte Mason and found themselves agreeing with much of her philosophy. So for me, that says that while they like the CM philosophies, but it doesn't say that their curriculum is fully CM based.

I believe Carrie is creating a curriculum that is God guided. She puts her heart into choosing these books and writing the guides. If you want CM all the way, Carrie certainly has never claimed it to be, she has claimed a Christ-centred curriculum.

Go where God is guiding you if HOD isn't right for your family. I pray you find peace with it.

#22 HollyinNNV

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

From the HOD website:

As we moved forward into homeschooling, we had discovered some of the same philosophies that Carrie learned about through public education and some that she hadn’t. We were especially drawn to the ideas put forth by Charlotte Mason and found ourselves agreeing with much of her philosophy of education.

We mainly focused on her concepts of short lessons and readings; selection of “living books” read purposefully over time; exposure to poetry, music, art, and nature; and her approach to language arts through narration, copywork, dictation, and memorization.

#23 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

What element is going to jack the price up that high? If it's expensive textbooks as spines, could you use an older edition even if its going to mean some work for you to find the right chapter? If it's the cost of the guide, can you resale or reuse to lessen the overall cost (even if it's still a lot of money up front)? If its materials, can you eliminate or substitute some of the projects?

If your dd's heart is set on it, I'd try to work out a way to do it. It's much easier to hs an enthusiastic student, even if they're enthusiasm seems misplaced. Good luck finding something you can both agree on.


I wish that this were a possibility. But Carrie has chosen books that are specific so I can't use old editions. I also can't resell my other years because I have already invested so much money in them and my next daughter in line is already using them. I am actually a queen at buying used, reselling to get what I need but the way the program is integrated together will make it really difficult, if not impossible to make a working option. For example, last year the Exploration Education Science program is woven in. It is part of the program and not cheap. It would be impossible to find all the parts and manuals for that program. A lot of her stuff is like this. Also, she uses a lot of books that can not be found at the library, even if you have a large system like I do. Also, since we are right at the top of her guides, there are no older used guides to purchase online. The saving money tricks just don't work with HOD.

#24 ~Phoenix

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

Where did I say she hasn't worked hard?


I am also upset and struggling with the fact that my high school daughter, who has done this program for about 4 years, will want to continue with the program next year. I feel sad that what has been revealed about the new guide is very schoolish and not CM at all. It is also crazy expensive. I believe it is going to be over $1000 for the new program. I feel like Carrie (the author) has led us to believe that she has a CM philosophy and we have gotten really deep into the program and it would be foolish and difficult to change my oldest now. I feel sad that Carrie has not worked hard to choose materials that keep the program reasonable. I mean I have 3 other children to home educate next year. I know this is rambling, I am just upset.


That was what I was referring to.

#25 curlgirl

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

I am sorry for your frustration. We tried it once and I do not see us going back to it. I love the idea but not how it worked out in life. I am working on making my own this year. I see mine and my children's time as valuable and precious. Why would I waste it on busy work? I am glad I got her guide and saw how she put ideas into practice. It will help me as I go forward so not a complete loss. I hear you on price too! If it helps I have always pieced my curriculum together very little of it is new. It takes a bit longer but definitely saves money. I'd be happy to give you more ideas if you'd like! :)

#26 curlgirl

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

Oops sorry you were posting about buying used as I typed. Sorry about that.

#27 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

Ya know, I get passionate about stuff. I am upset and feel the need to vent. I really do appreciate HOD and all they do. I guess I my frustration just needed to be let out here. I don't have anyone in real life that I can talk about this with. I want to use HOD. It has been a blessing in many ways. I feel sad that it is getting more and more schoolish as it gets into the older guides. I want my girls to have a CM education but I need it to be planned out. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the notebooking pages. I think they are beautiful. I want to use HOD all though my daughters schooling but I feel like it has changed and the cost has sky rocketed. Most of the programs were around $400 but then last year I spent around $800 (paying monthly) and I didn't even get everything.

I am sorry for getting so worked up. It is easy to do when your not talking to people face to face.

#28 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:17 PM

"Working hard to keep the program reasonable in price" is not the same as "working hard, as in having a good work ethic." Two different meanings. The first is an opinion about the focus of a person's work not being in line with something needed for her own family, that is, an affordable, reusable, or upgradable option. The second, which the OP did not say, would be a comment on a person's character. But again, she was commenting on not seeing a commitment to affordability as part of the author's priorities. That's an opinion statement, not a judgment.

#29 lovemykids

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:18 PM

The really great thing about a CM education is that you can create your own and homeschool very inexpensively- with the library, a schedule, and a good booklist! You just need to "splurge" on math,science, and a foreign language course (although they can also be found at the library). Sorry if I just repeated what previous posters said earlier….I didn’t read thoroughly before posting.

#30 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:18 PM

That was what I was referring to.



I see, ya I think she works hard. That was not what I meant. I was meaning she has chosen products that are expensive instead of providing materials that were good but less expensive.

#31 HollyinNNV

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

For example, last year the Exploration Education Science program is woven in. It is part of the program and not cheap. It would be impossible to find all the parts and manuals for that program. A lot of her stuff is like this.


You can order the logbooks and parts kit for the exploration education stuff separately from the EE website.
HTH,
Holly

#32 speedmom4

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

This is our first year using HOD although this is my 13th year homeschooling. While I have not read much of CM's original writings I have read Karen Andreola's resources. I agree that HOD is not strictly CM but it definitely is influenced by it. Carrie was a public school teacher so that explains her point of view as well.

I actually really like the "art" projects. We are also using Preparing. My boys would be SO uninterested in a more artsy approach. They like having a creative project that gives them a lot of direction. Their drawing skills have improved so much since we began HOD.

I think people get defensive about HOD because they are passionate about the company and don't want the opinions of people who it isn't working for to negatively affect them. I've seen that happen many times on these boards. There seems to be seasons for which curriculum is the most popular and which one gets bashed. Many of us have been homeschooling long enough to know that there are no perfect curriculums and what doesn't work for you may work great for someone else.

#33 speedmom4

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Double post

#34 Chelli

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

But the more I learn about Charlotte Mason and her ideas, the less I think there are any curriculum suppliers that are Charlotte Mason in nature. For instance, HOD has projects that are absolutely nothing like CM's ideas about Handicrafts. They really are silly useless projects, not projects that build up lifelong skills. I realize that the only thing about Heart of Dakota that is CMish are narration/dictation (for History only most of the time), a little bit of poetry study (although the poetry is not simply enjoyed, it is often used as a Language Arts assignment) and... well that is all I can think of. I guess the books are usually CMish. Is the only way to have a CM homeschool is to make it ourselves?


I am kind of with you on this. I love Heart of Dakota. I love the book choices. I love the integration of skills and subjects. But I HATE the crafty, useless projects. My dd loves them, but I can think of so many other things that we could focus on during our day that are useful instead of making a wampum belt out of colored rice.

I am really drawn to Living Books Curriculum. I have printed off their three week sample for grade three and am planning on trying it with my dd in a few weeks. I like how they leave a spot on their planning page for Handicrafts so that I can pick and choose things that are actually useful skills. I don't necessarily like all of their book choices, some seem to be a little deep for the age assigned, but I can easily sub out what I want.

I am also really drawn to Beautiful Feet. We are using their Geography guide right now and my dd is loving it, but I've heard that they have a providential view of American history which we most definitely do not.

Making my own CM based curriculum is just not something I have the time for right now. I tried that one year and it was stressful.

As for the price, I think homeschooling high school is just expensive. Period. Although $1,000 is pretty steep. Have they released how much the new guide will cost?

Good luck on your decision Michelle and let me know what you decide to do. I might follow suit.

#35 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:28 PM

I am kind of with you on this. I love Heart of Dakota. I love the book choices. I love the integration of skills and subjects. But I HATE the crafty, useless projects. My dd loves them, but I can think of so many other things that we could focus on during our day that are useful instead of making a wampum belt out of colored rice.

I am really drawn to Living Books Curriculum. I have printed off their three week sample for grade three and am planning on trying it with my dd in a few weeks. I like how they leave a spot on their planning page for Handicrafts so that I can pick and choose things that are actually useful skills. I don't necessarily like all of their book choices, some seem to be a little deep for the age assigned, but I can easily sub out what I want.

I am also really drawn to Beautiful Feet. We are using their Geography guide right now and my dd is loving it, but I've heard that they have a providential view of American history which we most definitely do not.

Making my own CM based curriculum is just not something I have the time for right now. I tried that one year and it was stressful.

As for the price, I think homeschooling high school is just expensive. Period. Although $1,000 is pretty steep. Have they released how much the new guide will cost?

Good luck on your decision Michelle and let me know what you decide to do. I might follow suit.


She hasn't released the price yet but in an email to me, she said it will be more than last years package. If you add that one up, it takes us over the cliff.

#36 DianeW88

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

Why does this always happen when someone criticizes or disagrees with HOD or its author? I can think of no other curriculum or supplier that is above discussion or criticism on these boards. I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that they can't critique or opine about HOD without being scolded.


Totally, totally agree. Whenever anyone asks for an opinion on HOD as a curriculum, people freak out over the negative ones...no matter how neutrally that opinion is stated. I tried HOD once, and found that I needed to supplement it so heavily to make it even close to what I considered appropriate grade level work for my child, that I tossed it after three months. Apparently saying that is "bashing" HOD. No curriculum is a sacred cow, and those in the curriculum writing business need to develop much tougher skins if criticism of their product is going to get their knickers in a wad.

#37 Molly

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

She hasn't released the price yet but in an email to me, she said it will be more than last years package. If you add that one up, it takes us over the cliff.



It's funny because the cost is not something I've worried about with the blossoms education. Our government spends $8000 annually per child in public school. If I can get away with under $1500 for a curriculum that will need little to be added per each additional child, I'm stoked. I will say we are blessed with financial aid of approximately $1800 annually for homeschooling my oldest three children.

Oh and I have no problem with people finding that HOD doesn't work for them, nothing is perfect for everyone, but when anyone is misrepresented I will say my bit, hence why I pointed out that Carrie is drawn to ideas put forth by CM, not following CM, which it seemed that the OP was saying.

#38 Moderator

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

Criticism of any curricula is legitimate; please do use these boards for such discussions. Textbook authors have put themselves and their product in the public eye by offering their materials for sale. Public criticism of publicly marketed materials is reasonable.

SWB and Jessie Wise allow criticism of their own materials on this site, so no curricula is exempt.

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#39 Ewe Mama

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

Criticism of any curricula is legitimate; please do use these boards for such discussions. Textbook authors have put themselves and their product in the public eye by offering their materials for sale. Public criticism of publicly marketed materials is reasonable.

SWB and Jessie Wise allow criticism of their own materials on this site, so no curricula is exempt.

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Well said!

#40 Juniper

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

Michelle, thank you for starting this discussion. I have typed up three responses trying to say what the moderator said, but they did it much better. :)

#41 elegantlion

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

It's funny because the cost is not something I've worried about with the blossoms education. Our government spends $8000 annually per child in public school. If I can get away with under $1500 for a curriculum that will need little to be added per each additional child, I'm stoked. I will say we are blessed with financial aid of approximately $1800 annually for homeschooling my oldest three children.



It can be a matter of perspective, $1800 can be seen as a bargain compared to the government expenditure. However, many of us are working with tight budgets as sole income or single parent households. I'm in the midst of planning our 10th year of homeschooling. $600 per child seems reasonable and I've worked to get that total down (my eyes are buggy from looking at books), yet some of us just don't have that choice. I've homeschooled with various budgets from $100 for the year, did lots of bartering that year, to $1000 for the year - the one year I bought what I wanted and some supplies. These totals were dictated by income not my desired curriculum.

#42 Ewe Mama

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

I left HOD after daring to disagree with something in their program on their forums. It was something pretty trivial, but by the way everyone on the board reacted, you'd have thought I was the freaking antichrist because I dared to go against "the powers that be." I wasn't bashing it, I just thought something could be tweaked a bit and I dared to publicly announce it.

I think there were some great things about HOD and some not so great things, but I can say that about a lot of curriculum I have tried over the many years I have been home educating. I have learned that I can only express my opinion freely and honestly here.



#43 Dustybug

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

I have used HOD for the past four years as well. There are many, many things that I truly love about the curriculum BUT the one reason that I only peek in on the HOD boards now and then is because it is like "sacred ground" where no questions not deemed okay or questioning of anything is allowed. That is incredibly frustrating. I also think that some HOD users are so in love with the curricula, that they just can't see how anyone could say anything bad about it.

We are leaving HOD next year and I don't regret it one bit. Our reasons have more to do with familial needs than the curriculum, but I have to say that I'm not as excited about the HOD catalog as I once was. I've been heavily researching other options and I do think that there are less expensive and better fitting options for us.

#44 JanOH

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:15 PM

I completely agree about the uselessness of many of the projects in HOD. They drive me crazy and finally I have just left it up to the kids whether they get done or not. In fact, I've made the rule that if they want to do the project, it gets done after all their other school work is done. I've seen a few of my kids moved to tears over trying to follow directions that were not clear enough and frustrated when the final project just looks, well . . . like junk.

The only ones I do require are maps. Also, there have been a few in Creation to Christ that actually go into the notebook pages so my ds does those. Those are items that make "sense" and look good when they're finished (mainly the maps).

I've been using HOD for two years now and have used everything from LHTHG up to CTC. I really like *most* HOD materials but completely agree that Charlotte Mason would not recognize a lot of it as being inspired by her methods :)

#45 TGHEALTHYMOM

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

Wow! I looked at HOD and the pricing for our family was way too high. It has been years since I read Karen Andreola's book on the Charlotte Mason Method of Education. I did just get the entire CM collection in print but have not read much. SO, 99 cents on my Kindle and I am finally reading more of it. I will read more tonight.

I tried MFW One year and we were in a co-op and my dad was dying.... I don't blame MFW at all, but our SL year came next and my kids hated it! Loved the books, although there were too many.

Easy Classical looks great too, but I could not tweak it or implement all of the Science and was having major health problems myself. It is not really for large families either.

I looked at TOG and was overwhemed! With the prices and amount of work!

Now we are trying Biblioplan :) and I realize I can leave out anything and pick to use what we have and order books as we go. I am a PERFECTIONIST!
I struggle with it anyway.


I borrowed BJU K and used BJU 1st grade math.... 12 years ago, and used my own mixture of CM AND Classical.

As I left co-ops, have had more babies, and finally become a part of this forum, I have found out that many curriculum makers claim to be geared for a blending of CM and Classical.


I just got Biblioplan today, minus the Companion which is on back order.
So far, I am impressed with the Family Guide, Map book and Cool History Student pages. The craft book looks like we will be making some of them, but not all. The Coloring pages are very simple and I will supplement with MOH and Knights and Damsels. Lapbooking is my plan for our young children. I think I am going to order the Middles pack from Rainbow now. I need the guide or it won;t get done!

I saw a chocolate fondue in the craft book.... and a few other "practical" crafts :)

We have 2 daughters in a State Youth Chorale this year, and our church is good about teaching us to serve in many practical ways, especially our teens. Samaritan's Purse is something all of us did for many years, and our church has started too.


There are programs like Keepers of the Home, Awanas, and of course Boy Scouts, but we have never been in any of them.

Q: Do books like Backyard Ballistics fill CM style handicrafts or any other books??

I gave our oldest son a Dover book for boys about 6 years ago and there was alot he read about but really needed his dad to help get material for and do along side him. It never happened.
Our oldest son did get to spend time fishing with dh from about 3 years old to about 9 when we lost the availability of some great places and he got too busy with his job. DS15 was very close to my dad too and did many things like helping him deliver gas to propane customers, chop wood and carry it, and recently he spent half the day cleaning out my mom's outdoor wood burner because my nephew stole her wood and gave her bad wood in return... it dripped alot of goo! He was so sore he could not move the entire next day!

Is it also CM style to teach Home economics? Cooking, sewing, laundry, helping with younger siblings, reading aloud to the family, cleaning house?

I know CM teaches outdoor classrooms and we have done alot of that over the years.


Q: Is there a CM Social Group on here??

#46 Molly

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

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It can be a matter of perspective, $1800 can be seen as a bargain compared to the government expenditure. However, many of us are working with tight budgets as sole income or single parent households. I'm in the midst of planning our 10th year of homeschooling. $600 per child seems reasonable and I've worked to get that total down (my eyes are buggy from looking at books), yet some of us just don't have that choice. I've homeschooled with various budgets from $100 for the year, did lots of bartering that year, to $1000 for the year - the one year I bought what I wanted and some supplies. These totals were dictated by income not my desired curriculum.



I totally agree. And yes, if we weren't blessed to receive the aid we get, I certainly would not be able to use HOD, as we are a single income family. I have friends who use the financial aid for home expenditure because that is where they need to spend it for their family. I simply use ours for our curriculum, as it has made my homeschooling journey a far easier one, and while not every aspect of HOD works for us, it is the nearest thing to what my ultimate goals for my children are, and it means I can concentrate on enjoying my children and their learning.

I don't begrudge anyone the right to complain, or to discuss their issues with a curriculum.

I do pray the OP does find what will work for her family and her budget, because home schooling with peace is such a blessing.

#47 Holly

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:34 PM

A few thoughts, we switched from HOD after using it for a few years. I saw how each year was getting more and more expensive...there is no way we can afford $800+! I also didn't like not being able to combine my DC, which was our main reason for switching. My DC hated the art projects because they wanted more creativity...I also found them school-ish and not CM at all. After following the HOD teacher's guides and seeing how to plan it out, I got confident in making my own plans. This year I've been reading the original CM series and following guidelines at SCM and AO. I can work with books I find used or already own, so this has been a pretty inexpensive year...and my DC have really enjoyed it as well!

Part of the reason you are not finding many of the books in the library is that many of them are Christian and quality literature. Our library seems to carry mostly popular books instead of quality books. They also have very little that I would consider Christian. It seems no matter what curriculum we are using, I'm stuck purchasing everything!

I do recommend HOD to newbie HSers, but it's not for us anymore. To the OP, I hope you are able to find a curriculum that works for you...even if it means making your own plans! It's not as scary as it seems. ;)

#48 downthelane

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 07:22 AM

Just finding this thread, but simply wanted all the posters to know I really appreciated reading this discussion.

#49 Sparkle

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:08 AM

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#50 Michelle My Bell

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:30 AM

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