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  1. I purchased the Art Reed DVDs for several Saxon levels because my kids grew "tired" of the DIVE DVD year after year. But Art Reed makes a lot of mistakes! And he does not notice his mistakes as he is working out a problem or even afterward. I have noticed this at all levels in many, many of the lessons. It is very frustrating and in the eyes of my kids, makes the teacher (or the math) look stupid. It is really hard to respect the DVD learning aspect when the instructor makes a mistake and then just smiles at the camera and says that's all for today. I do not understand why he would not review his own recordings and re-record if he slips up and writes things wrong. He writes something wrong and has to erase it on nearly every other lesson it seems like. His confidence while making mistakes..... well, it drives my kids nuts. Sometimes he notices the mistake a whole 2 minutes later, when he is working out a 2nd example the same way..... then he sees, whoops, he should have done this. He is probably a great teacher in person! (I personally liked him and could tolerate all this messing around with the problems, but my 3 kids could not!) We found the Art Reed DVDs very disappointing, indeed, at the 7/6, algebra 1 and advanced math levels. I would suspect the other levels are similar.
  2. Pattern Blocks. Math counters (teddy bears). A number line. A 100-chart. Classical music. Stuff that can keep them busy without needing Mom is always a good thing.
  3. Child number six and last one. I think God is making sure that I will not look back at homeschooling with wistful fond memories. Sigh. That's all.
  4. I have been thrilled with Ellen McHenry programs! My 10-yo has used Chemistry, Carbon Chemistry, The Brain, Cells, and next semester I have planned the Botany program. I have also paired much of his science with plans of Guest Hollow (Anatomy, Chemistry, Botany !!!).for added books, websites and experiments, but my son is not into lapbooks or worksheets so much. So the question I have is: What are you going to use for Physics? I am looking at Guest Hollow physics plans, but I am not thrilled about the spine choice. I've looked at Elemental Science, but have not used that program before. One alternative I have considered is Apologia Physical Science with Catie Frates videos (I LOVE her!! -- she saved high school science for my older kids -- did I say I LOVE her?!!) Although Apologia certainly seems more bookish than I want right now. My son will be in grade 6 and has been quite certain for more than 5 years that he wants to be a chemist when he grows up, so science needs to be a highlight. Physics suggestions?
  5. My 11th grade dd passed a college algebra course with a B. This was for her first semester of 11th grade. The university only offers precalculus to high schoolers in the fall session, so she has not done any math since December. She will be taking Precalculus at the University in the fall. She is afraid she has forgotten much and hopes the class will not be too difficult. Any suggestions for regular review before September? Prior to college algebra, she used Saxon Advanced Math about 2/3 way through the book. I am not familiar with other textbooks. I wondered if Teaching Textbooks Precalculus might be worthwhile? Please, any other suggestions?
  6. Advice on putting my 5th grader (next fall) into Rev to Rev as his first time using HOD? He's my last of 6, above grade level in all subjects. He dislikes writing, but seems on grade level to me. He's done Ancient History and finished Middle Ages with VP online this year. I cannot put him in those earlier levels -- no way -- the content would drive him nuts. Beyond seems beneath his abilities in a number of ways. My thought was to do the Rev to Rev and the next guide by stretching them out to 3 grades total for the 2 guides. I want to switch to HOD!! Will this work? Any dangers you foresee in this plan? Advice?
  7. I saw this at a convention last year -- It's a daily handwriting program with BJU font (I think - or something very similar). I think it is sold as a PDF file or E-book. This is for elementary - all grades. I think they sell all grades in a bundle. Maybe the daily assignments are quotes? Anyone?
  8. I am looking to add video components to the regular courses. This would be for 5th grade. We are using Veritas Press online lessons for history, and that is sort of what I am looking for in other areas, although not necessarily interactive. My son is especially interested in ALL science topics (middle school level). He's way past Magic School Bus (have those). Any ideas for any other video subjects -- in any learning areas -- you've liked for upper elementary/middle school? I am not looking for anything that requires more than plugging it in on my part, snort.
  9. Yes. I updated my siggy just now to take out the references to the Sonlight programs my kids are using. Well, they read books. They use the schedule sometimes. My Sonlight guides are so old that there are very few notes, and I just don't think they are comparable to what they sell now. I just don't want to admit anymore that we are using Sonlight. I have been a closet user IRL for years and I have recommended it to no one. I am really starting to be ashamed to say I still like it. The old, old SL.
  10. Snort. Ha.ha. I first typed that and almost hit the reply button while only typing "snot". Maybe that fits, too. Gosh, I'm feeling snarky.
  11. Yes, as an above poster said, this is spreading awareness. And how quickly it has been forgotten how last year at this very time, they were not only telling us that their curriculum had been updated to include more of a "Christian" stance, it was all in a very specific -- non-Catholic, non-any-other-not Sarita's kind -- of religion. Is this a 180-degree about-face or not? The mystery is that on their forums, people have asked for secular for absolute YEARS. Last year they identified more strongly than ever the absolute necessity of their very particular CHRISTIAN stance (which offended many, even long-time customers). Why would they not want to announce a secular version -- seeing that they are offering such a thing -- to customers who have asked for it. And why act like they are not affiliated with Sonlight parent company (which was established by John and Sarita after the development of Sonlight curriculum)? Now that customers know that a secular offering is possible -- are they going to deny its purchase by homeschoolers at large? How can they offer it, if they deny that they are at all related? That is so lame. Even here in this thread have been responses that hey, even I might buy it now. I see this product marketed to a charter school of sorts within a public school distrist. Have they offered it to homeschoolers? No, to us they are not affiliated and one has nothing to do with the other. What kind of smart business decision is that? Elsewhere in the homeschool businesses I have known over 20 years, vendors are so upfront. Hey, here's how were changing. Sonlight is not like that -- at all. So many things are found out this way -- with very little Internet research actually -- and then denied by Sonlight, with Judy playing the part for a long time that she does not understand what the question is and/or telling people that we are not their main customers and we just don't understand. Misinformation, that is what she tells us we have. All these facts on the internet? Just misinformation. Yes, I believe that, I do. Just like I believe in their THUMB theology and providential Christian manifest destiny to rule and reign over America. This is what is bothersome about Sonlight. It really has nothing to do with this particular move by this company at this time. It is a very, very long history of bad PR decisions. Note I said bad PR decisions, not necessarily bad financial decisions. Sonlight has often failed to see that PR affects their business.
  12. This time last year, Sonlight was defending their implementation of the very "popular" books (I say that sarcastically) of the Light and the Glory, and Sea to Shining Sea. These books purport the providential view of the Christian manifest destiny to rule over the United States. Many people (including me) were offended at the inclusion. The SL forum pretty much said "we can do what we want," we're a business, lalala. We want to display the fact that we are teaching from a Christian viewpoint, lalala. So now this. I am not defending the need to keep Sonlight Christian -- whatever! It just makes me speechless because last year it appeared that they were shoving this need for Bible inclusion in every note down their customers' collective throats (Have you looked at, say, the sample of IGs for elementary US History?), and yet this year, they are saying that this whole curriculum can be done without any Christianity references at all. . . . which is what customers have been wanting for what? -- maybe ten years I have seen this request? It's just amusing. Sonlight in the news again. Are they not always in the homeschool community news in March? Oh, P.S. -- in their 27 reasons not to buy Sonlight, number 9: "We believe that academics ought to be based on and intentionally related to Scripture. Bible readings, themes and memory verses are an integral part of each Sonlight Core program. . . rigorous Bible study is woven into the Cores." So, as I said this time last year, "This ain't yo mama's Sonlight!"
  13. And maybe this bothers me personally more than anything. Yes, people have asked for a secular Sonlight for years. And seems to me that they should announce such a development to their customers first, since they place a great deal of emphasis on the fact that they "listen to their customers." Sonlight is adding to their long history of bad PR decisions, most especially among long-time Sonlight users. The "feeling of wrongness" has been brewing for years over there, with entire public forums "poofed" in their entirety at times. Nothing dismisses a person's opinion so much as to just pretend they aren't there and erase all proof that anything was ever said. Now their forums are private and that keeps the riff-raff out. Feeling of wrongness? Yes. But it's not the first time.
  14. I understand the need for more secular homeschool materials, but for a Christian company to rewrite their curriculum to leave all hints of religion out of it . . . well, that's like leaving my Christianity at the church door on my way out. Great news for those who want secular, but disappointing to me. It's like hiding my Bible in the closet in case anybody should see it. You either stand for being a Christian or you don't. I've never felt that people should try to have both sides of the fence. Off my soapbox now.
  15. http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/lonetree/news/christian-curriculum-provider-makes-secular-edits/article_9e6fc25c-8b68-11e2-8e65-001a4bcf887a.html I am just speechless.
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