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Posts posted by wehave8

  1. I've seen these 3 writing program mentioned in different posts from years ago...

    Thinking in Threes: The Power of Three in Writing

    Writing with a Thesis

    The Lively Art of Writing

    I have looked at their TOC and see similarities and differences.  I could only find an age level on one of them  What is the order of difficulty?

    Could/should they all be used?  Would there be a specific order they should be used in?

    I am thinking of using 1 or some with my (entering) 8th grade ds for next year.  Not much in any formal writing program so far.



  2. I read some reviews on Exodus Books.  C. Hollis Crossman says this about BJU history... "This course will give your kids a solid knowledge of history. It may not give them as much of an understanding, since it doesn't cover ideas or movements in as much detail as it might, but they will be familiar with the general flow of events."

    Do you feel the same?  I'm trying to decide on BJU American vs Notgrass American. 

    Maybe Notgrass will give them a better 'understanding'?  or "cover ideas or movements... (and) be familiar with the general flow of events" better?

    But will Notgrass give "your kids a solid knowledge of history"?  Does it go deep enough (I know... enough for what? :) )



  3. On 1/13/2020 at 8:45 AM, Mom28kds said:

    Did you ever get answers for this? I'm trying to find information on both of these for 2020 school year for my not so intense learner.

    I heard from 2 people I know that they did the 2 together for 1 credit.

    My 16 year old son is doing FB.  He really likes it.  I know a family who has Biology 101, who I might borrow it from just to view it.

    Sorry, that's all I know.



    • Like 1
  4. We decided on TT this year because I looked at some samples of R&S, CLE, and TT, and TT had the best explanation on that particular topic.  Then I just read this:

    "My kids appeared to thrive in TT until we tried math outside the TT program and books. Then unrealized though they aced the TT assign nuts, they had lost two full grade levels of math ability by the time we left TT. It was sobering to see how important it is to dive deeper and not just tell kids do it this way because that's just how it's done (which TT actually said!!)

    Oh, NO!  

    So, I LOVE the way MUS teaches the "why", but is just knowing the "why" enough?  Does MUS teach enough beyond the "why" for a son interested in tool & die?

    He has done Saxon Alg. 1 and liked it, but he wanted a different geometry.  He's not sure if he wants to continue with Saxon after that.  He likes somewhat of spiral, but Saxon was too much for his liking.  (I know they call Saxon incremental, but to us, it still felt spiral).  He did mostly Saxon an CLE for elementary.



  5. Are you still using Writing Strands?

    Which levels have you used?  How far do you think you will go with it?

    I would really like some feedback from someone who uses it, sticks with it, will continue to the end.



  6. 2 minutes ago, kfeusse said:

    For what it's worth...my daughter (who is not mathy in any way shape or form) struggled with the last couple chapters of the book, so I hired our local PS high school science teacher to help her finish the course....and he told me he thought the book was  quite good.  In fact, there was one little "trick" that my DD had learned and the teacher was so impressed he planned on taking it back to his classroom the following year.  


    I am hoping to 'expose it' more for others!  Thank you for sharing that.



  7. 20 minutes ago, kfeusse said:

    I looked at Friendly Bio but decided not to do it.  Since my kid wasn't super sciencey, I actually had her (and now my other 2 kids too) do Biology on Virtual Homeschool Group.  They used Apologia, but it's a live class....so that make it way more doable and understandable than just trying to work through the book on our own.   

    On a side note, We did the Friendly Chemistry and it worked pretty well.  So I am planning on using it with my last high schooler this fall..but I think I will use the teaching videos as well (those weren't available the first time we used the program). 

    Does that help?


    Have you seen this Blog post?... 


    "In addition to my initial scanning of the materials, I decided to select one chapter and compare it to the Apologia, Bob Jones, and RealScience4Kids textbooks I already owned. 

        Guess which chapter I selected? 

        Quantum Mechanics!  (Dad, you would be proud!)  

        First, I read through Friendly Chemistry's chapter on Quantum Mechanics.  Um, okay.  That seemed pretty straightforward and easily understandable. 

        Next, I read through Apologia's chapter on Quantum Mechanics.  Say what?  Oh my goodness!  It was explained in such a confusing, complicated manner that I wouldn't have really had a clue what was going on if I hadn't first read Friendly Chemistry's explanation. 

        Well, surely Bob Jones' Chemistry book would be easier to understand Quantum Mechanics, right?  No way!  I couldn't believe how complicated both high school chemistry texts were and how they made the concept of Quantum Mechanics so difficult to understand!

        I was sold on Friendly Chemistry."
    That was part of what intrigued me about Friendly Science.  I understand that some programs may be more in-depth or 'rigorous', but if the student doesn't understand what they are suppose to be learning, and they just answer questions by memorization, what's the sense?  And, I don't like when people label a program 'for learning disabled' either. (not saying you did this)   I hope this program works out for us!
    • Like 1
  8. On 6/21/2019 at 10:06 AM, kfeusse said:

    I looked at Friendly Bio but decided not to do it.  Since my kid wasn't super sciencey, I actually had her (and now my other 2 kids too) do Biology on Virtual Homeschool Group.  They used Apologia, but it's a live class....so that make it way more doable and understandable than just trying to work through the book on our own.   

    On a side note, We did the Friendly Chemistry and it worked pretty well.  So I am planning on using it with my last high schooler this fall..but I think I will use the teaching videos as well (those weren't available the first time we used the program). 

    Does that help?


    Thank you for the update.  I had all 3 courses (Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy) with videos given to me to review.  I am planning on starting with Biology next school year.  I cannot find enough reviews for them to convince me that I really want to do them for our high school science.  I don't think that our boys are going for STEMS programs, but one is very good in math and I don't want to shortchange him if he changes his mind.  It's good to hear that you will be doing the Chemistry again. 



  9. On 3/7/2016 at 5:46 PM, kfeusse said:

    we are doing Friendly Chemistry next year in our home.  In fact, I just bought it.  I have been speaking to author of the program through emails.  He has been very kind and gracious to answer all of my questions.   Although I don't know if it will be "fun"...I do believe it will get the job done....and done well.  We also are currently using Apologia Biology and also find it dry and boring.  So I have high hopes for Friendly Chemistry.  If we really like it, I hope to buy "Friendly Biology" next year for my other children....which he is currently working on.  



    Did you do both Friendly Chemistry and Friendly Biology?



  10. On 6/13/2019 at 12:41 AM, Paradox5 said:

    I love this yearly thread. It is always so interesting. We started back in August, finished up then started up again in March.


    SOTW 1 and 2: (August-December) DD did this at one chapter a day then we made notebooks from each book. She read, narrated, drew a picture, mapped, and colored the review card. We stopped for 2 reasons: 1) I have heard 3 and 4 become war, war, and more war 2) I want to see what the revised versions are going to be like. I am hoping for graphics/maps that match Vols. 1 and 2.

    Memoria Press Greek Myths, Science, States and Capitals, and Lit guides: I was actually surprised by this one because in the past, anything by MP was met with extreme protesting. Now the kids have asked that we never switch!

    John Tiner Science series: (started August) Son 4 loves these and has finished 3 so far (Medicine, Biology, Planet Earth). The first one he used the MP guide but that was sucking the life out of him so now he does the end of chapter bits. He wants to finsh the remaining 4 books by the end of 2019.

    CAP W&R Fable: (August, then March) After a rocky start, a break, then a restart, this is going amazingly well with my 3. It is not too young or too hard. 

    BJU Math 4 and 7: I had said never again but it just works as long as I am teaching it. Son 3 originally gave me fits about copying problems back in August but come March, he had no issues. Just goes to prove what a couple months maturity can do. Son 4 and DD asked for BJU after a few math mishaps (in misses). I'm good with that.  


    CLE/Saxon Math: Why is it spiral math seems fine at first until about 15-20 lessons in and then KABOOM! Even having the little subscript lesson numbers did not help my lost children to find their way.

    SWO: What a waste of time! DD sped through 2 books in 2 months and learned nothing!

    BJU DLO 7: Yeah, I knew it was biased but oh. my. gosh.! No, no, no! So biased and so. much. work.! 

    Writing Skills: No answer key, no further instructions in the book. It was mostly grammar and not enough writing. This did not help my boys to improve but did get Son 3 to write an actual 5 sentence paragraph. 

    Hake Writing and Grammar: The writing is not enough instruction or practice unless you are doing loads of cross-curriculum writing (see WTM 4th ed. for a more in-depth review). The grammar gets confusing. No more spiral grammar! It has the same faults as Saxon Math for us.

    WWE 3: DD did finish this but struggled mightily by the end. On the plus side, she can now take dictation like a champ whereas her brothers can't.

    FLL 3: While DD finished this, it was SO tedious to get there. Now she can spout off definitions but cannot apply them at all. Still, I am glad she did it. But we will not be moving on to GftWTM.

    History Odyssey L2: It is soo boring.

    R&S Spelling 4: While this is excellent, the old cursive font and too many religious words rendered it dead after a few weeks. I was having DD keep a Rules notebook, like I had done with Son 1. It just took forever.

    MP English Grammar Recitation with Core Skills LA wkbk: This one was easy to get done each day and I'm fine with the kids using it as a review after FLL but as a long-term solution or first/only intro? Not by a long shot. I now see why MP says it is intended to be used alongside their Latin program only. It really is not enough application at all. We ditched and the kids voted for BJU English.

    I have Hake Grammar on its way.  😞  I knew it was spiral.  What was I thinking??!!  Same as CLE LA.  So, what isn't?  They do not like R&S. Easy Grammar?  Back to the drawing board.


    ETA: I just decided to sell my W&R Fable.  I bought EIW.  UGH!  Can you tell me more about your journey with W&R? 



  11. 16 hours ago, Paradox5 said:

    CAP Writing & Rhetoric: Fable is what I am using with all of mine (15, 14, and almost 11). It is not babyish at all for the older guys or too hard for my daughter. 

    School writing and fun writing are 2 very different beasts. 

    If he hated WWE, WWS will drive him up the wall. 

    I am considering doing W&R with another family who did it last year.  My friend, my age, is a teacher, and she is homeschooling her grandkids.  They are the same ages you and I have.  She did not think it babyish, either.  I listened to some of their stories they had written, and you could definitely see progress and how each child wrote from the same lesson, but at his own level.



    • Like 1
  12. On 6/20/2017 at 11:23 AM, Chelli said:

    I taught Narrative II and Chreia at a co-op this last year, so I'll share my thoughts.


    1) You absolutley need to be using these books on the higher end of the grade level that it's suggested for. I believe you could even use it past that grade level. For example, my oldest, who was in 7th grade last year, was in my Narrative II/Chreia class at co-op. While she could have done Narrative II earlier, I felt that Chreia was perfect for her age. I can't imagine handing Chreia over to my 4th grader and expecting her to write a 6 paragraph essay. Not to mention that Chreia expects kids to have some base knowledge of figures from literature and history to do the compare/contrast part of the essay that younger kids might not have.


    2) As for outlining in Narrative II, I never required them to fill in the outline on their own. We always did that part in class and talked about it. What I did as the teacher was really hammer home what an outline is for when it comes to writing. You need to have an idea of where your story/narrative is heading BEFORE you sit down to write, so even if you don't do a super detailed outline like the ones in the Narrative II examples, you do need to outline your story in some fashion. The final assignment in the Narrative II book is to write your own story. I had all of the kids turn in an outline of what was going to happen in their story and we talked a lot about the parts of a fictional story using the book, The Most Wonderful Writing Lessons Ever (It's for 2-4 grade, but the information is really good and easily adaptable) So, yes, I brought in extra teaching, because I tend to do that for pretty much any curriculum I'm using. To me the ability to outline the stories in the book was not the important part. It was the ability to outline your story before you start writing so you know where you are going and what actions/events are going to get you there. Not that those things are set in stone, but at least you have an idea instead of just sitting down to write with no forethought whatsoever. 


    3) My thoughts on Chreia are that it's too much of one thing. That being said, I feel that Chreia is what helped my students the most on actually learning to write non-fiction. I hammered paragraph construction (topic sentence with supporting points) and smooth transitions between paragraphs. By the end of that book, their writing had improved 100% compared to the first Chreia they wrote. I think we were all burned out on writing 6 paragraph essays following a set format though. My suggestion would be to purchase Chreia with the intention that once your child has solid paragraph construction down and the ability to find and use supporting points from a source to expand on their topic sentence, then feel free to stop and move on to the next book because there is nothing new taught or assigned in Chreia except writing chreias.


    All of the above being said, I fully plan to continue on with Writing and Rhetoric in the future.


    Hope these thoughts help.


    Are you still doing W&R?

    Can you write an update review?



    • Like 2

    On 1/16/2016 at 11:16 PM, Ellie said:


    Alpha Omega publishes both. Lifepacs are 10 workbooks for each subject for each grade. SOS is Lifepac on DVD. Monarch is Lifepac on-line.


    I don't care for high school-level Alpha Omega. I especially don't like the science. 


    On 1/16/2016 at 11:37 PM, kfeusse said:

    would you mind sharing why you didn't care for it?  thanks.

    (bumping)  I'd like to know, too.



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