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  1. This is exactly what I'm thinking. Why do I want to pay all that money if I basically have to re-write all the assignments? I think I'll just use their sample pages as a guide and go through and set up my own schedule. I was hoping to avoid having to do that, but I'd rather save the money than the time.
  2. I am considering using History Odyssey but my ds is 10 and starting 5th grade. I think Ancients Vol 2 would be best for him, BUT I already own the Usborne I-L History Encyclopedia. I do not have the Kingfisher book that they recommend. Has anyone mixed these two together. I realize I could just use Vol 1 which does use UILHE, but it doesn't have the same notebooking expectations as Vol 2 has. Has anyone already tried this or know of any schedules already available. Hate reinventing the wheel! Wendy
  3. Send a Howler. I would make one of those Kootie Katcher things we made when we were kids. You know the folded paper things? The outside could look like a face or something and then in the middle when you open it up is in big red words GET THAT ASSIGNMENT IN MATE!! DON'T MAKE ME SEND ONE OF ARAGOG's WEE ONE'S AFTER NOW! TOMORROW!!!
  4. By the way, this is SUPER fun to do while up in the woods! We did it one summer at our cabin. Hagrid sent an assignment that involved using a map (burned on the sides by an errant dragon of course) through the woods and requiring them to follow some strange animal/creature tracks to find some magical potion ingredients at the end that they then needed for one of Snapes assignments. Owl posts ended up in some high trees they had to climb sometimes. It just got to be a lot more naturey. We also did more nighttime stuff because it was more spooky being outside at night in the woods. Searched for giant spiders with our flashlights, made fairy houses and looked for signs that they'd been there over night, etc. Wendy P
  5. Hi there everyone, I'm Wendy, the HSCS list owner. I know it seems overwhelming with all the groups, but it was the only way we could do it way back when with all the file space that was required and the limitations within Yahoogroups. Now, we would probably just do a blog, but I just don't have the time and energy (or know-how) to do all that! Once you join the main group, you will find that there are many things already prepoared for you. There are sample letters already done for instance form Professor McGonagall or Snape so you can just use those as a springboard for your own creativity. Change up the names and some ideas here and there, and your ready to go. There are Hogwarts and Harry Potter fonts on the web, I think we have some in the files section too. Download a few and you're all set to create magical letters. We usually printed them on parchment paper and rolled them up like scrolls. I think I used gold sticker seals on them to hold them closed and then hid them in our rose bush or tree outside for the kids to find in the morning - viola - owl post. Once you get started your creative juices will start to flow. There are lots of ideas in the files. The Year 1 group has everything laid out to get you going for your first year very easily too. If you have questions just ask. The group is quiet now. Many of us have outgrown it (or should I say the kids have!). My 8 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 2 years ago, so for the past 2 years I really haven't had much time to devote to the group, life has had other plans for me. You'll have to forgive me if I haven't gotten to your membership approvals quickly or answered questions in a timely manner, but I know that my own kids, and the kids of my friends had such wonderful lasting memories doing this for several years of their childhood. They still look back at notebooks and work they did from those years with smiles on their faces. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did and continue to bring some magic into your kids lives just for those few short years when they'll cherish it. Lumos maximus!
  6. Derbygirl, This is Wendy, the list owner of HSCS. I would love it if you would post the link to your blog over at the HSCS group! It's so cute to see actual kids doing the activities. I think it would be inspiring to other people. When we started the whole thing, I don't think there even was such a thing as blogging! Now everyone does it :) I'd love to see everyone's stuff! It's neat to see ideas put into action. Especially now that most of my kids have outgrown it.
  7. I agree with you. I used the Level 1 materials. I don't think you have to discuss evolution in regard to the parts of a plant at that level.
  8. Yes, her curriculum IS secular, but it doesn't espouse evolution. But to be clear, I don't really think the subject of evolution would need to come up with the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (at this level). For Biology she talks about cells, vertebrate vs invertebrates, living vs non-living, parts of a plant, etc. It doesn't go into natural selection or evolution. At least with the Level 1 books I used.
  9. I have used all 3 of the RS4K books and I think they are completely secular as far as I remember. I didn't see any reference to intelligent design other than in her own commemts oon the website about her own beliefs. It doesn't come through in the books though. I think she wanted to make it usable for anyone.
  10. It's an excellent program - bottom line. Check out a sample lecture and decide for yourself http://www.historyatourhouse.com/main/samples/HAOH%20-%20Sample%20Recorded%20Lecture%20(excerpt).mp3 Wendy
  11. Ooooh! I second the Beautiful Feet Geography stuff. The maps are so nice and I love the H.C. Holling books! Wendy
  12. I am certainly not an expert on Objectivist philosophy. I have read Ayn Rand's books and enjoyed them. I am interested in the philosophy but am not much further than that in my understanding of it. I'm sure that any invidual will necessarily interact with the world based on their philosophy/belief system, and it would naturally have some bearing on how things are taught in a class. That's true of any teacher or adult your children come in contact with, and for that matter, any curriculum or learning materials you buy (They had to be put together by someone who came to the table with their own beliefs/philosophy). I can tell you just as a parent using the program that Scott is very careful about stepping on anyone's toes as far as belief/religion. When one of the kids comments on something where you can tell it is based on their own family teachings and beliefs, he says something like, "That's an interesting idea, but let's get back to out story." I have not myself been offended or bothered by anything that has been said or by how anything was presented. Here is what I have noticed: He loves America, especially it's founders and government. He rejects communism and seems to feel that a Republic is the best form of government. He doesn't think that people should be ruled by others. He is disappointed when a group seems to have been on a positive path and then moves to a more negative one (i.e Roman Republic to Roman Empire). I regard to the "hierarchy of knowledge," my understanding of it is that it is chronological, but also based on what we as humans learned first (Scott will have to correct me on that), for instance Newton's ideas about Gravity should be taught before a discussion about black holes which we as a species only learned about much later. (Don't quote me on that. It's just my understanding of it so far.) I am thinking that the comment about "there is no Objectivist History" just means that Objectivist philosophy doesn't specifically address how to teach History. Wendy
  13. We LOVE History at Our House. It was the one thing that was missing from our History curriculum. It provides a chronological spine of factual information taught in an intersting and engaging way. I use Ambleside Online for my main curriculum. Of course I have to tweak it to remove Christian content, but otherwise I like it's emphasis on History and Literature. I also appreciate the fact that it is challenging. But it relies mainly on the reading of stories about History. The stories are great, and I even like the History book they use, but what was missing was that chronological spine of information that ties it all together. HAOH provides that for us. The class is in a lecture format. The kids call in on a conference call either once a week or daily (or you can choose just to listen to the recorded lectures on your own time) at a set time and listen to a half hour discussion of the day's topics. Visuals are provided on the class website. So for instance, when they learned about the Rosetta Stone, they had a link to a picture of it to look at. Mr. Powell involves the kids in the lecture by asking questions and by patiently listening to their ideas, predictions, and insights. There is review built into the lectures, but I think in a good way. My daughter needs that to help her remember the important points. She doesn't seem to be bored with it. I would not have her doing other work during the lectures because I don't see how she would be able to focus and pay attention to what was being taught. I do have her write down any key words or names that come up just to help her remember them. Sometimes she'll doodle, but I hear her answering questions and participating so I know she's listening. Weekly class notes are provided. This gives her something to refer back to when she has forgotten a name or something, and also gives us something to study from for tests. Sometimes they do timelines so they can understand what different things were happening around the world at the same time. Mr. Poweel patiently spells out the words the kids need to fill out their timelines. Along with all of that, there are weekly Geography and History Through Art lessons. For Geography there are blank maps to fill out and map keys to know what to put on them. I am amazed at what my daughter knows now compared to when we started. For Art, he chooses beautiful historical paintings and slowly helps the children to understand what is going on and to look closer than they ever would have on their own. Often he doesn't tell them the title until later during the lectures when one of them excitedly realizes that what they are talking about is what they saw in their art class. There are occasional tests for both Geography and History that are graded by the parents based on their child's levels. Grading keys are provided, but you can grade them in whatever way works for your family. I have found the testing to be very low-key with plenty of prep provided to help them be successful. They are also great for impressing grandparents! I really can't say enough about HAOH. It's a great opportuntiy for my child to learn with other kids around the country and still be safe at home. As with all curriculums, it won't be a fit for every family, but it has sure been a great fit for us. My high school age daughter listened to the Lower Elementary class lectures this year and enjoyed it enough to want to do the highschool level lectures next year. At the very least, you should check it out for yourself http://www.historyatourhouse.com/ Wendy
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