I absolutely ran from ever looking at Reading Rockets because my first exposure to it was at a homeschool convention, where the earnest man with the information at the booth had such bad breath I turned and walked quickly away. To this day, I have had an aversion to even looking at Reading Rockets online -- and it could have been the very thing to help my delayed reader, but I'll never know…
Aargghhh, yes! Totally agree with so many of the above peeves! My biggies:
poor layout/graphic design
Esp. "ransom note"-busy layout (many font styles! and design elements! and clip-art! and randomly placed! all on one page!). And too-narrow page margins with too-wide of a column of text -- the eye only wants to go so far before dropping to the next line, and having to go past that point means when you try to drop to the next line, the eye gets lost easily in reading. Apologia middle school/high school science textbooks are extra-wide sized textbooks, so the column of text runs extra wide. We dropped Apologia for other science textbooks that were a much better fit for us, but I was NOT sorry to see those painfully long lines of text go away.
perfect-bound books you're supposed to write in
These need to be spiral-bound! Jump In's student book drove me nuts -- it's instruction to the student and a workbook all in one, so you're supposed to write in the book (and NOT tear out pages like with a phonics workbook) -- yet you can't get the book to stay open and lay flat while trying to write. My struggling writer also had issues with the physical act of writing, as well as the process of getting writing from his head onto paper, so Jump In's perfect-binding did NOT at all work for him. We switched to having him do the writing in a spiral-bound notebook.
silly reason I like some curriculum:
Slim and concise. A whole year covered in half or a quarter of the pages of other programs. I loved how slim and useful Wordsmith Apprentice was for DSs -- at a time they were really pencil-phobic (lol), having a slim book for a year of writing was SO good for them -- it made writing mentally do-able. That same idea has carried over for me into the high school years -- Leisha Myers' Elegant Essay and Windows to the World -- a lot of meat packed into a slim spiral-bound volume… aahhh… that just makes me relax and know we will be okay doing high school.
Edited by Lori D., 19 August 2016 - 12:52 PM.