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Seldom-discussed curricula favorites


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#1 okbud

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:51 AM

There are a few old threads about hidden (in plain sight) gems for homeschool curriculum, but let's have a new one and see what people have discovered. It's so interesting to me how things will "catch on" for a while and people will talk about them a lot, so then people who are looking for something get exposed only to _those_ things, and therefore they get talked about more, so on and so forth.....And equally interesting to note what doesn't seem to be particularly effected one way or the other by trends. Saxon/WWS/Singapore/SOTW etc aren't going anywhere ykwim?

 

What do you like, that doesn't naturally pop up in conversation (save, perhaps, outside of planning list threads) these days, whether they once did, or not? How do you use it, and how does it fit into the bigger picture of your homeschool?
 

 

 


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#2 okbud

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:30 AM

We just started Latin earlier this year, completely and totally from scratch with no previous knowledge whatsoever about Latin except, essentially, that it exists. Not only that, we went from a pretty straightforward CM day to a day narrowly focused on Latin, writing, reading (for content), and math for my 9 year old.  IOW, we went from no Latin to a lot of Latin :laugh:

 

I asked about the Catholic Heritage Press Latin series and no one could really tell me anything. Reviews I could find on the web, sparse as they were, were not helpful because they largely centered on the "Catholic" aspect of the program...fitting into the lifestyle, as it were, and notsomuch on the "Latin" side of the equation. That's lovely (and in that regard, I couldn't find a single negative review) but I'm not Catholic and neither are my kids.

 

Well, DS and I have used Primers A. and B. and we love them! I already have Primer C, so we'll do that as well. If resources allow, we'll keep going with the series after that as well. I have had one quibble with them in all this time, and that is that in Primer A, lesson 1, they used a term that we had no way of knowing what it meant. I can't recall what the word was off the top of my head, but something along the lines of "declensions." Not declensions, probably, but the point is they used a term we didn't know right off the bat, and did not define it on the page like they did with all other specific terms. From that point, on, they have described everything perfectly.

 

By way of review, the approach is IMO perfect for a beginner. The translation part of the process is basically just like beginning decoding for reading in English once phonics has begun....learning a word and then reading it, in context, in a small story. Vocabulary is introduced at exactly the right pace. Meanwhile, the grammar is broken down appropriately--just slightly more than you need for the reading-- and used and reviewed in the workbook regularly.

 

It is unabashedly, and obviously, both Catholic an ecclesiastical. After ordering the first pronunciation CD, I just didn't order the rest as we generally do classical pronunciation, though, I don't bother getting hung up on this point.

 

They do not use macrons, at least in a,b,c.

 

CHP lists it on their website for younger ages than I started with....and IMO it's *too* young. EXCEPT that they are, of course, assuming that the children using it have actually been hearing, and perhaps reading a bit of, Church Latin since they were born. So, under those circumstances, I can see how a 2nd-ish grader could indeed begin with Primer A without undue difficulty. For the rest of us, however, who would need to go by previous grammar instruction, I think my son was perfectly set up to begin Primer A by the first half of CLE LA 3. Anything comparable would do. I know that some Latin people JUST do grammar through Latin, but we are not those people, at least not to start with, and in any case if you expected CHP Latin to be all the grammar you'd need, I think you'd be sorely mistaken. CHP does sell their own LA program that appears from samples to be in the same vein as, perhaps, PLL/ILL. So they aren't banking on Latin doing all the grammar work, either.

 

Finally, they have just tremendous customer service. I placed my order in such a way that it was more expensive than it needed to be, and they called me to double-check on what I was trying to order, and to let me know they were changing it to the appropriate, less expensive option! IOW they could have sent me the exact same materials, but gotten more $$ out of the deal, but they did not. Also, both orders I have placed with them shipped the same day, with tracking info.

 

I really can't recommend these enough for absolute beginners. Granted, I'm brand new at Latin, but I am talking about something that is for people brand new to it :coolgleamA:

 

I began adding in other Latin resources (remember, we do about an hour a day of Latin) after A. Perfect. But if one took a more typical tract of having Latin be just another subject (ykwim) it would work just as well IMO.

 

 

 

 


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#3 okbud

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:42 AM

Other Latin things I have found, and appreciate, that I don't see discussed often, if at all:

 

A New Latin Primer with accompanying workbook. I do all the writing for this, and DS helps me orally while also writing any new vocabulary in his word book. It's definitely NOT for elementary aged kids, but any random high school, many or most junior high kids and certainly all adults should have no problem.

 

McGraw Hill Practice Makes Perfect Latin. DS does the writing for this, while I help orally. It works exactly as advertised: it isn't a full program and isn't mean to be.

 

Learning Latin Through Mythology. This is definitely a known program, but I think more people than currently use it/talk about it could get something out of it. We translate two sentences per day from it.

 

Mater Anserina. This is not curricula, it's just a poetry book and CD. But it's really nice!


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#4 okbud

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:01 AM

What Do You See? for art appreciation. This is so great! On one page they have a picture, that you are meant to study, and then on the next page they have meaningful and pertinent questions that, through the process of thinking through them, truly lead you to understand art. It's *so* well done and *so* cheap on kindle, it's a wonderful option, even put up against the nicest "art cards" set in the world.

 

Arithmetic Village. Adorable, self-explanatory. Helpful for the kid who doesn't just immediately "get" the relationships between the four functions of arithmetic, as well as a younger child as their regular math program. I do wish she'd sell all the things in hard copy, not just the books. I got the paper dolls and treasures printed on cardstock in color at Staples, and they all look lovely, but I still might have preferred to just order it all at once.

 

Writing Tales has a lot of noise on the forum, if you search threads from over 5 or 6 years ago. It's a GREAT introduction to the progymnasmata//next step after the copywork and narration-alone stage.

 

Steck-Vaughn social studies. I recommend everyone stays as far away as possible from SV science, but the social studies workbooks are helpful, if for some reason you want or need a social studies course in elementary.

 

SV Critical Thinking. We all love these workbooks. More than the more popular programs...lollipop, safari, etc. I think the sticking point is that there are lots of different kinds of exercises in each book, and they are mostly "thinkers." They ARE slightly more expensive than I think they ought to be, but shockingly no one consulted me about the price :laugh:

 

Bonnie Landry's homeschooling booklets. More than any other single non-forum resource, imo, these booklets are perfectly inspiring and confidence-building for new homeschoolers AND not-new HS'ers who need a reality check or who have a case of the Februaries.

 

Mater Amibilis. Another Catholic resource recommendation LOL. But MA is better organized, easier to understand, and perhaps slightly more rigorous in scope than other free-online CM models. The makers referred ONLY to Charlotte Mason and the PNEU (not other people doing exactly the same thing) while creating MA, and it shows.

 

 


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#5 insertcreativenamehere

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:12 AM

I asked about the Catholic Heritage Press Latin series and no one could really tell me anything. Reviews I could find on the web, sparse as they were, were not helpful because they largely centered on the "Catholic" aspect of the program...fitting into the lifestyle, as it were, and notsomuch on the "Latin" side of the equation. That's lovely (and in that regard, I couldn't find a single negative review) but I'm not Catholic and neither are my kids.

 

Thanks for sharing this! I'm not Catholic but am already planning to use Behold and See Life Science next year for my 7th grader. I'm actually attending a Catholic homeschool conference in a couple of months and will definitely check this out! I really like the looks of this Latin program. 


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#6 Sassenach

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

Writing Tales pops to mind.

#7 Garga

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:30 AM

I don't know if maybe it's really popular and everyone knows about it, but for my 6th grader "Discovering Great Artists" has been awesome for us this year.

 

They give the tiniest blurb possible about the artist, so it is NOT a book to learn about the artist.  It doesn't have lessons on shading and line and form or color, etc.

 

Instead, it's for doing all sorts of art projects.  There were a few that we thought, "Yeah, right.  This won't work." But they've all worked beautifully.  I'm so pleased. It has met our needs.  We've studied artists at length in the past.  We've studied shading and form and color and all those things in the past.  This year is about doing an assortment of artsy projects.  Note:  I hate crafts and I hate doing science experiments, but the projects have been pretty painless.  I do have to gather items from time to time, but it's not been horrible for a non-crafty person like me to implement.

 

As long as you know what the book is and isn't, it's a great book.  

 

 


Edited by Garga, 09 March 2017 - 09:34 AM.

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#8 Garga

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:45 AM

A book called "Music" by Donna Latham. 

 

This book isn't perfect, but it teaches about American music from colonial times until now, ending with hip hop (jazz, WWII, music of the enslaved people working in the fields, music of the protesters of the 1960s, etc.).  We have studied composers in great depth in the past, but most books focus on classical music only.  So, we've studied about Beethoven and Brahams, etc, until our ears fell off and were ready for something new. 

 

It's not a curriculum, it's a book.  There are only 7 chapters and it's only 120 pages with big font.  The book gives some activity ideas if you want to do those.  We did a couple, but the activities didn't really speak to me.  

 

We do one chapter a month.  I read the book with my student, pausing a lot to listen to clips of what the book is talking about on youtube.  It's been nice to learn about the background of music that I haven't normally seen taught.  We learned about the birth of Rock and Roll this past Monday--Chuck Berry and Elvis and people like that.  

 

I've been using this for my 6th grader.  It takes me about 1-2 hours a month to plan it, because it takes time to find examples on youtube. 


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#9 Spudater

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:07 AM



CHP lists it on their website for younger ages than I started with....and IMO it's *too* young. EXCEPT that they are, of course, assuming that the children using it have actually been hearing, and perhaps reading a bit of, Church Latin since they were born. So, under those circumstances, I can see how a 2nd-ish grader could indeed begin with Primer A without undue difficulty. For the rest of us, however.


Not to go too far down this rabbit hole, but I kind of doubt this. Most American Catholics do not have access to the traditional Latin Mass. i live in the capital city of my state and the nearest Latin mass is eight hours drive. I still waffle about trying the SSPX, which would be only an hour away. Many priests and bishops are hostile to it, and many choir directors...well, you'll pry that tambourine out of their cold, dead hands. ;). Except for the Agnus Dei and the Tantum Ergo Sacramentum on Holy Thursday, all the Latin hymns, chants, and prayers my children know come from me. :/
Back on topic, now you have me wondering why I didn't go with that curriculum... :). But if I buy anymore Latin curriculum this year I'll be some kind of hoarder. ;)
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#10 Spudater

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 10:09 AM

I love Mater Amabilis. I don't do CM, but their reading lists are a gold mine.
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#11 shinyhappypeople

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:11 AM

Monarch (online version of Switched on Schoolhouse and Lifepac workbooks.)

 

Yes, it's kind of boring and textbooky.  Let's just get that one out of the way.  Not an exciting program.  I got a free trial to check it out and my first thought was, "Oh, heck no.  This isn't going to fly."  However, I went ahead and had my 12 yo try it out and I quickly changed my opinion.  She'd  go on strike if I had her do ALL her subjects on Monarch, but for how we use it, it's working well.  

 

 

The Pros:

  • The subjects we use it for (history, science, Bible) are getting done every day.  This is some kind of freaking miracle in our house (sad but true).
     
  • My daughter is learning a lot.  A nice "pro" for a curriculum to have.  So it's boring, but apparently effective for her.  Go figure.
     
  • It is extremely customizable.  You can assign (or unassign) any unit, lesson, quiz, or project you want.  You can also have your child re-do specific questions on an assignment/test/quiz or just re-do the whole thing.
     
  • Because my mental energy isn't spent on getting the basics of the subject done I can add in the fun stuff - extra books, projects, videos, etc.  This is where I shine.  And yet, if for some reason I *don't* add in the extra stuff, because... squirrel!  (attention/focus issues) the basics are still getting done.   
     
  • My daughter's reading comprehension for non-fiction has gone from abysmal to mediocre, and I see her continuing to improve.  This is HUGE.
     
  • With Monarch you have access to ALL the grade levels for all the core subjects (English, math, history/geography, science, Bible) so you can move up or down levels as you see fit.  You could, for example, pull specific units from different grade levels of science to make a more customized curriculum based on what your child wants or needs.
     
  • It's 95% independent (parent still needs to monitor work and be available for questions).  So, for kids like my 12 yo who strongly prefers independent, get-it-done curriculum, this works well.  

 

Monarch and its siblings (SOS and Lifepac) aren't for everyone.  But it's not this lame, terrible, shallow curriculum that I'd heard all these years, either.  And, it gets done.

 

FWIW, if you're interested in checking it out, there's pretty much always a code for a 30 day free trial.  You can ask for the code on their fb page.  


Edited by shinyhappypeople, 20 March 2017 - 10:22 AM.

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#12 J-rap

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

I'm sure there are many, but I'm some years out now so would have to think too hard to remember them.  :)

 

But one that comes to mind quickly is The Scientist's Apprentice.  We had so much fun with that one!  It was a one-year science curriculum for elementary ages, and I was able to use it with multiple ages too, which is part of the reason I liked it so much.  The projects it had were fun and clever and my kids enjoyed them a lot too.

 

https://www.brightid...tice-clearance/

 

 

 


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#13 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:40 PM

Engaging intro to oceanography:  http://clearingmagaz...g/archives/1456

 

This book, Awesome Ocean Science, is visually compelling, accurate, and has experiments that you can try pretty easily at home.

 

We live about 40 minutes from an ocean bay, and that's how I happened to pick this up; but if we lived in the Midwest I'd like it even more because it presents the ocean environment in a way that can be pictured without direct experience.

 

 


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#14 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:41 PM

For Latin, I don't think that The Great Latin Adventure gets enough love.  Great pacing, Good instruction.

 

I'm also terribly partial to Latin Book One, by Scott and Horn.  It has done more to make Latin stick than anything else I've used yet. The readings and translation work are fabulous.  

 

I do think that making a Latin notebook (like suggested in this link) is an important part of helping the student organize the material, so that effective drill and review can be done.


Edited by Zoo Keeper, 09 March 2017 - 12:49 PM.

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#15 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

My Book House is an old series that has read aloud and independent reading passage over 10 volumes. It's basically an introduction to Western Civilization in and of itself, with stories from varies mythologies, intros to artists, composers, and authors, stories of great heroes, etc.  For instance, it has the only kids' version of Dante's Inferno that I have ever found.  


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#16 kiana

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 12:56 PM

My Book House is an old series that has read aloud and independent reading passage over 10 volumes. It's basically an introduction to Western Civilization in and of itself, with stories from varies mythologies, intros to artists, composers, and authors, stories of great heroes, etc.  For instance, it has the only kids' version of Dante's Inferno that I have ever found.  

 

These are absolutely brilliant. My mother had two editions of them and we read and reread them so many times. Huge plug if you can find them. 


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#17 okbud

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:05 PM

I thought of another. A bee sees from Hewitt. I didn't really use it just because it's not my style BUT...One of my kids still reads the cute readers, and everyone loved the little "posters"

https://www.hewittho...m/eBeeSees.aspx

#18 Clear Creek

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:41 PM

Daily Mental Math. I have been using it consistently for all three of my kids for the past seven years. I use it as a supplement no matter what math my kids are using.


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#19 clementine

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:52 PM

Reading Made Easy by Bendt was a gem for us.  My adult kids still have fond memories of using this curriculum, sitting together in our overstuffed chair.  

 

It was only preschool/kindy, but that book worked great.  


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#20 ScoutTN

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:02 PM

Thanks for sharing this! I'm not Catholic but am already planning to use Behold and See Life Science next year for my 7th grader. I'm actually attending a Catholic homeschool conference in a couple of months and will definitely check this out! I really like the looks of this Latin program. 

 

 

I am seriously considering their Life Science for 7th too. Waiting on some budget money so I can order it and have it to actually read. We are not Catholic either. I have been looking for something that is thorough without being overwhelming and Christian without being aggressively YE and that combination is hard to find! My humanities girl may spend longer than a school year on it. 


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#21 catie_mac

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:25 PM

I also consult Mater Amabilis! It is a great resource.

I have to plug The Phonics Road for a minute :) I'm not sure how many know what it even is. It's a full language arts program starting in kindergarten, but goes by the levels 1-4. If you are at all interested in the Orton Gillingham research or Spaulding, or just want a really common sense way to teach phonics that incorporates spelling and grammar, check it out. It is the most logical way to teach that I have seen. And I love that is teaches me how to teach. I could go on and on, but if anyone wants to know more I'd be happy to delve in. :)

This is sort of maybe not exactly under this topic, but I'm surprised more people dont consider Saxon math k, even if they don't plan to use Saxon 1-3. We are totally burned out on Saxon 1-3. I appreciate the system of it, but it was just too time consuming to do with multiple kids. But the K is so perfect for a young kindergartener who isn't ready to go straight into workbooks. There is little writing and it helps guide the parent in how to use the manipulative.

#22 texasmom33

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:34 PM

I also consult Mater Amabilis! It is a great resource.

I have to plug The Phonics Road for a minute :) I'm not sure how many know what it even is. It's a full language arts program starting in kindergarten, but goes by the levels 1-4. If you are at all interested in the Orton Gillingham research or Spaulding, or just want a really common sense way to teach phonics that incorporates spelling and grammar, check it out. It is the most logical way to teach that I have seen. And I love that is teaches me how to teach. I could go on and on, but if anyone wants to know more I'd be happy to delve in. :)

This is sort of maybe not exactly under this topic, but I'm surprised more people dont consider Saxon math k, even if they don't plan to use Saxon 1-3. We are totally burned out on Saxon 1-3. I appreciate the system of it, but it was just too time consuming to do with multiple kids. But the K is so perfect for a young kindergartener who isn't ready to go straight into workbooks. There is little writing and it helps guide the parent in how to use the manipulative.


I went to a Phonics Road workshop a few years ago and was smitten. It seems like a gorgeous program. I was nervous about how teacher intensive it might be though. What's the learning curve on the teachers end and how much time a day do you spend on it?
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#23 Hunter

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 06:50 PM

I went to a Phonics Road workshop a few years ago and was smitten. It seems like a gorgeous program. I was nervous about how teacher intensive it might be though. What's the learning curve on the teachers end and how much time a day do you spend on it?


If I remember correctly, mom needs to do some video watching before teaching each and every lesson. Moms complained that was difficult to schedule in consistently.
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#24 JaneEyre

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:11 PM

Konos!
http://www.konos.com/www/

It's not mentioned as much anymore, but we still use it off and on and those are the lessons my kids usually remember.
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#25 beka87

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:29 PM

I LOVE Alpha Phonics alongside Memoria Press's First Start Reading.  I make home done flash cards for review.  The three make a great combination.

 

Dancing Bears from Sound Foundations for building reading fluency.  Highly recommended!!  My eldest daughter adored these books and they worked so well!  They are made by a British company, so the humor is...well....British. ;)  But we enjoyed that aspect, a lot.

 

The "Come Look with Me" series for early art appreciation/picture study.

 

Queen Home School's Pictures in Cursive series for practice.

 

learngaelic.net for gaelic language study at our pace (and free!).

 

The history book "A Little History of the World."

 

The WWI book "Lord of the Nutcracker Men"....we are reading this right now with SOTW and it is fabulous!


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#26 Bluegoat

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:36 PM

I [icked up A Child's History of Art a few years ago, and have found it a great art history resource.  It doesn't have much in the way of pictures, which seems funny, but really it is full of information.  It's older but I've not found that a problem.  What it offers that I haven't found much elsewhere is that it introduces some fairly big ideas about art, what it is, and what it does, in a way young kids can access.  It covers painting, sculpture, and architecture.Unfortunately you have to track it down used.

 

Another book I love, and wonder why it isn't mentioned more, is The Amateur Naturalist, by Durell.  People are so often looking for quality science books, and it's very much a living book, inspiring with a clear narrative voice and treats children as serious people who have real brains and interests.  Plus it has great photos and ideas for activities.


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#27 Another Lynn

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:39 PM

An oldie, but goodie, I'm using for the first time with my youngest (and now wish I had tried with 2 of my older kids!!) is Wordsmith Apprentice.  


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#28 catie_mac

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 07:57 PM

I went to a Phonics Road workshop a few years ago and was smitten. It seems like a gorgeous program. I was nervous about how teacher intensive it might be though. What's the learning curve on the teachers end and how much time a day do you spend on it?


Each week has a video segment that is around 20-30 minutes for the parent to watch. I take pretty good notes so that I won't have to rewatch with my younger kids. The part of the video that goes over spelling words is a little tedious, but I find I can get other paper work done while I watch it (as long as the kids aren't distracting me too!) The grammar parts are very helpful for me. I prefer to binge watch several weeks at a time so I don't have to do it every week.

As for how long it takes to teach daily, my oldest son is at the tail end of level 2 and I spend 30-90 minutes a day (depending on his motivation, distractions, and some variability in the work load). I'm not sure how long it takes others, but this covers spelling, phonics, grammar, reading, handwriting, and composition. Some of her composition assignments weave in elements of history and geography nicely. I love how it is all inter-related. I feel like we get more bang for our buck that way, meaningful assignments, and no busy work.
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#29 Hunter

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:38 PM

FREE
Newspaper in Education. I've been using some of these since they were first written in the 1990s. Many of the activities can be applied to books.

http://www.nieteacher.org/#elmsmulti

http://nytimesinscho...r-in-education/

AFFORDABLE
Composition in the Classical Tradition
The 1st real progym curriculum used by homeschoolers. If you like using just the WWE teacher manual to make your own composition lessons, you will like this next. If you use WWE 1-3 for grades 1-3, you can do one chapter each for grades 4-7, 2 chapters a year for 8-11, and still have a year for duel enrollment or AP. This book has never been revised and is a pre-law textbook. Prices vary throughout the school year. If used as an 8 year curriculum, $15.00 for a used copy is a bargain. Bought new, it is a pricey book though.

https://www.amazon.c...o/dp/0023271418

FREE
Karen Newell Write On teacher manual pages on how to repeat and make up your own writing lessons. And a 3 sentence to 3 paragraph report.
http://www.learn4you...uctorsguide.pdf

AFFORDABLE
Terban's Checking Your Grammar. Contains all the rules and few I don't want to cover for K-8. I had to make very few tweaks to this book. It took me decades to find a book I like so much.
https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/0590494554

AFFORDABLE
NIrV Bible makes awesome consistent copywork that follows the above grammar style except for serial commas.

FREE
How to Tutor arithmetic for math spine for K-4/5, by the author of Alpha-Phonics. Blumenfeld is my hero. May he rest In Peace.
Free PDF
http://blumenfeld.ca...n.net/Tutor.htm
Hard copy
https://www.amazon.c...JW40K2TFZVXJ43E

FREE
Mr Q Blank Lab worksheets
http://www.eequalsmc...nkLabSheets.htm
Instructions are in the free life science teacher manual.
http://eequalsmcq.co...ScienceLife.htm

FREE
Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments
https://en.m.wikiped...try_Experiments
We were using this book even before the book became popular when Radioactive Boyscout was published

Edited by Hunter, 09 March 2017 - 08:59 PM.

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#30 texasmom33

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:51 PM

Each week has a video segment that is around 20-30 minutes for the parent to watch. I take pretty good notes so that I won't have to rewatch with my younger kids. The part of the video that goes over spelling words is a little tedious, but I find I can get other paper work done while I watch it (as long as the kids aren't distracting me too!) The grammar parts are very helpful for me. I prefer to binge watch several weeks at a time so I don't have to do it every week.

As for how long it takes to teach daily, my oldest son is at the tail end of level 2 and I spend 30-90 minutes a day (depending on his motivation, distractions, and some variability in the work load). I'm not sure how long it takes others, but this covers spelling, phonics, grammar, reading, handwriting, and composition. Some of her composition assignments weave in elements of history and geography nicely. I love how it is all inter-related. I feel like we get more bang for our buck that way, meaningful assignments, and no busy work.

 

Thanks for the info. Another question- how well does it work if you have a child who is on different levels within what is covered. Like, they're handwriting lags their reading or their spelling, etc.? 



#31 texasmom33

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:55 PM

My contribution to this list would be the Greenleaf Guides by the Shearers. I haven't used all of them, but they're an affordable, understandable set of discussion guides from what I've seen thus far. I'm hoping to use more in the future. 


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#32 soror

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 05:55 AM

I [icked up A Child's History of Art a few years ago, and have found it a great art history resource.  It doesn't have much in the way of pictures, which seems funny, but really it is full of information.  It's older but I've not found that a problem.  What it offers that I haven't found much elsewhere is that it introduces some fairly big ideas about art, what it is, and what it does, in a way young kids can access.  It covers painting, sculpture, and architecture.Unfortunately you have to track it down used.

 

Another book I love, and wonder why it isn't mentioned more, is The Amateur Naturalist, by Durell.  People are so often looking for quality science books, and it's very much a living book, inspiring with a clear narrative voice and treats children as serious people who have real brains and interests.  Plus it has great photos and ideas for activities.

I have looked at A Child's History of Art time and time again but have been too cheap to buy it, maybe some year.

 

Thanks for your rec for the Naturalist book, that is not one I've looked at but it looks like something we will love, being only $5 used I went ahead and bought it.


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#33 okbud

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 06:39 AM

An oldie, but goodie, I'm using for the first time with my youngest (and now wish I had tried with 2 of my older kids!!) is Wordsmith Apprentice.  

 

Does it teach fiction writing only?

 

Here is part of the blurb on it from RR:

 

Lessons build from focusing on interesting word usage to sentence construction, to scene-setting, characterization, and well-written dialogue, and culminate in the writing of a short story at the end.

 



#34 okbud

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 06:53 AM

Connect The Thoughts changed their name to Steps.

 

My oldest used the lower school curricula from them at a time when his mind was rip-roaring ready to rock, but he couldn't write for longer than two or three minutes yet. I really appreciated them at the time, and I like to have a few on-level units now for the kids to do during long lulls in regular school work. We read through and discussed a few units while we moved, for example. +1 for any curriculum on PDF!  I can see using it as our main "spine" for science and history again in middle school, where there is sometimes another gulf between abilities. It's perfectly fine for using as written, full tilt, but while I've GOT willing readers and writers, we'll be book-based ykwim? In any case, information really is presented with a unique perspective. People not quite feeling "classical" or CM either in general or for a season, in particular, stand to get a lot out of it. Completely secular, and the creator is easy to track down to ask any questions. Some people understandably get tired of the **completely** scripted nature of it, but that's a personal preference. It never bothered me when I was reading it, and my kids certainly don't mind when the text is directed at them.



#35 catie_mac

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 08:56 AM

Thanks for the info. Another question- how well does it work if you have a child who is on different levels within what is covered. Like, they're handwriting lags their reading or their spelling, etc.?


You can slow it down for them, or speed it up. Some of the bigger writing assignments in Level 1 I would spread out over 2 or 3 days. You can use the letter cards to build words instead of as much handwriting. In level 2 I have had my kids read more than is assigned daily, but then let them take longer to complete the composition portions.

I know Susan Wise Bauer disagrees with all in one language arts curricula and advocates for a just get them reading asap plan, but I just don't agree with that. The PR gives them such a strong foundation that by level 2 they can read a novel. That has given both of my older kids a huge confidence boost. And I like that we're not having to spend so much time on readers, but can quickly move into regular literature.

I'm happy to help share what a blessing this has been to our family. I hope it helps others too!
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#36 frugalmamatx

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:12 AM

FREE
Karen Newell Write On teacher manual pages on how to repeat and make up your own writing lessons. And a 3 sentence to 3 paragraph report.
http://www.learn4you...uctorsguide.pdf

*snip*

FREE
Mr Q Blank Lab worksheets
http://www.eequalsmc...nkLabSheets.htm
Instructions are in the free life science teacher manual.
http://eequalsmcq.co...ScienceLife.htm

FREE
Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments
https://en.m.wikiped...try_Experiments
We were using this book even before the book became popular when Radioactive Boyscout was published

 

Hunter - a few questions. It looks like the Write On pdf is an excerpt of a book? Is it worthwhile to buy the book?

 

Also do you know anyway to print out the Golden Book of Chem? Office Depot here refuses because it's copyright {even though it's expired}. Thinking about doing it with dd next year but neither of us work well from PDF. Also how would you schedule that?



#37 Hunter

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

Golden Book of Chemistry is not under copyright. It is too dangerous to reprint. They didn't renew it. It sure is cool though.

I never scheduled it. We didn't do all of it. We had a hard copy. If you can find an old hard copy, it would be cheaper than printing it in color.

It is inspiring to just read. And just do an experiment or two. You could hand copy what you need of the experiment, or print just a couple pages.

This book doesn't need advanced math, but is definitely written to include high school audience. It definitely counts as high school "chemistry lab"

I would read from a screen and just print select pages in black and white.

If you need more free low math chemistry, let me know. Surprisingly I have found more than enough to use, and don't need to make this book a spine.

I just checked. Radioactive Boyscout is at Overdrive. If you have a free library card from your capital city library, you should be able to download that book for free onto an old cell phone or anything that can install an overdrive app. There are quite a few low-math high-interest narrative type chemistry books at Overdrive now.

Pairing a quick skim of Radioactive Boyscout along with a quick skim of Golden Book of Chemistry is great enrichment even if you do not DO the books at all.

I have the same problem with not being able to print books I like. Some pdfs work well enough on a tablet. For eBooks I do best with free flowing text narratives, though.
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#38 Hunter

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:22 PM

Write on is a full curriculum. It is worth the price in general. But some people just cannot afford it, or are going to use something else as a spine and don't need both.

If a mom is stuck and not getting writing done, Write On is my default suggestion to get kids writing tomorrow and to keep writing at least for weeks. It is extremely mom and kid friendly. No family can't write at all if they have this. No one has ever come back to me and said, "Wow, we are still not writing at all." Everyone says, "We are writing."
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#39 Hunter

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 03:33 PM

If you search Wayback Machine
https://archive.org/web/

For the old website, by copying and pasting this http, there are free pages you can download from old writing contests.

http://www.kid-frien...-curriculum.com

Can you get to the intro and conclusion worksheet here?
https://web.archive....ng-contest.html

And more here?
https://web.archive....ng-contest.html

Wayback doesn't always work by linking directly to actual pages, especially directly to the PDF.

Edited by Hunter, 10 March 2017 - 03:53 PM.


#40 Another Lynn

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:02 PM

Does it teach fiction writing only?

 

Here is part of the blurb on it from RR:

 

I think that description goes with a workbook called Wordsmith  (http://www.rainbowre...l.php?id=015773).  It's for grades 7 - 9 and focuses primarily on fiction writing.  I was talking about Wordsmith Apprentice (suggested for grades 4 - 6) with this description:  

 

Quote from RR:  

 

This is the junior version of the Wordsmith program. Grades 4-6 are an ideal time to teach your kids the "tools" of writing. Of course, at that age, if it isn't fun, kids don't want to learn. Wordsmith does a great job of introducing vital writing skills in a fun and enthusiastic way. Throughout this workbook, students pretend to be writers for the local newspaper. Fun comics are interspersed throughout the book to "instruct" your child on the concept they are learning. The lessons will cover sentence review, paragraph writing, reporting, creative writing, and expressing opinions. These skills are covered in three different sections of the book. Part one introduces nouns, verbs, and basic sentence structure to your children. Some of the projects in this section have your child write an invitation, a thank you note, haiku poetry, and four-sentence captions - just to name a few. Part two focuses on modifiers and more complex sentences. Here your child will create some advertising, work on editing, and write a book review. Part three moves on to organizing sentences in a logical fashion and reporting skills. Some of the projects your child will do include writing sports stories, giving household hints, composing a news article, and creating a comics column. Detailed instructions are given at the beginning of every project to help them complete it independently. Answers are printed in the back to help you correct their work. This spiral-bound workbook has black-and-white text and illustrations. 85 pgs, pb.



#41 Vida Winter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 10:08 AM

Bumping!

#42 Shifra

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:10 AM

I taught my son first grade math using Mathematics in Action, which was published in the early 1990's by Macmillan. It seemed to me to be the perfect combination of using manipulatives and other hands on activities with memory work and drill. It had paper manipulatives in the back of the book that you could just punch out (but of course, you could just buy wood or plastic manipulatives, too).



#43 Mrs Twain

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:36 AM

I [icked up A Child's History of Art a few years ago, and have found it a great art history resource. It doesn't have much in the way of pictures, which seems funny, but really it is full of information. It's older but I've not found that a problem. What it offers that I haven't found much elsewhere is that it introduces some fairly big ideas about art, what it is, and what it does, in a way young kids can access. It covers painting, sculpture, and architecture.Unfortunately you have to track it down used.

Another book I love, and wonder why it isn't mentioned more, is The Amateur Naturalist, by Durell. People are so often looking for quality science books, and it's very much a living book, inspiring with a clear narrative voice and treats children as serious people who have real brains and interests. Plus it has great photos and ideas for activities.


For A Child'a History of Art--you mean the Hillyer book, right? Calvert published three little books with pictures that go along with each of the three sections. I bought the painting one, and it is very good to use with the readings.
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#44 Terabith

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:07 PM

Hunter, I love LOVE The Radioactive Boy Scout!!!
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#45 Hunter

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:16 PM

Hunter, I love LOVE The Radioactive Boy Scout!!!


It is a good book!

My boys grew up around low level radiation sources, hearing stuff like, "Don't run in Grampy's shop! you might knock over the Radioactive source." And hearing a lot more not fit to be discussed here.

We enjoyed the book. A lot. And laughed so hard that he liked a book we owned and liked, too.
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#46 Spudater

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:45 AM

I just found the Latin readers mentioned in the op in our homeschool group's library. Mwahaha!
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#47 Bluegoat

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:53 AM

For A Child'a History of Art--you mean the Hillyer book, right? Calvert published three little books with pictures that go along with each of the three sections. I bought the painting one, and it is very good to use with the readings.

 

Yes, that's the one.  I had no idea - I'll have a look at those, thanks!

 

And I suppose, I could probably print somethong off to correspond to at least some chapters.



#48 Mrs Twain

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:59 AM

Yes, that's the one.  I had no idea - I'll have a look at those, thanks!

 

And I suppose, I could probably print somethong off to correspond to at least some chapters.

 

The spiral-bound books are called "Art Card Portfolio." 

 

Here is the one for painting on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.c... Card Portfolio


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#49 sdobis

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 04:24 PM

I've been looking at CQLA as a possibility for next year. There used to be a lot of talk on this forum around 2010 or so, but not much since. I wonder why that is. It looks quite solid, and those who have used it gave it high praise.

#50 okbud

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:52 AM

I've been looking at CQLA as a possibility for next year. There used to be a lot of talk on this forum around 2010 or so, but not much since. I wonder why that is. It looks quite solid, and those who have used it gave it high praise.


What is this?