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  1. I am really having a hard time deciding between HOD Bigger or AO Year 2 for second grade next year. I have always been an Ambleside fan. I first discovered it when dd was less than 2 years old! I bought nearly every book on the Year 0 list, started collecting higher-level books whenever I ran across one cheap, etc. I was absolutely determined to use it and couldn't wait for first grade to begin year 1. When it came time, I chickened out. I wasn't comfortable with the lack of formal spelling and grammar. I absolutely stink at nature study. I liked the systematic box-checking structure of HOD, so I ended up with that. However, after practically memorizing the HOD catalog, I still think that overall, the reading material of Ambleside is superior. To make matters more difficult, dd is in an all-day tutorial once a week. It's just to give her some time with kids her age and to give us a break from each other (she's a very intense child, lol). There is no way to do any school on Tuesdays, and so I'm having to hyper-focus on the calendar in order to get the HOD plan done by the end of the school year. So for that reason, Ambleside would be easier to manage. But then there's still that pesky feeling like I need to add things to Ambleside -- science, grammar, spelling, etc. And did I mention that I really stink at nature study and that whole outdoors thing in general? Any thoughts?
  2. My HOD catalog came in the mail Saturday and I am drooling. I have not used an all-in-one type of curriculum before but am wondering if in my desire to KISS that I'm not developing as full of a program as I might for my dc. So maybe a "program" will help me both to keep it simple and also to flesh things out better or make better connections to enhance my dc's education. You might recognize the title is a spin-off of an article in the Sonlight catalog. Would you past/present HOD users please fill in the blank. I want to make sure that I've thought this through. 27 Reasons NOT to Buy HOD... My reason #1 is.....If you already own TOG Year 1 and want to get off the decision-making roller coaster, then HOD might not be for you. :lol: Obviously not a very compelling reason because I'm not getting off the ride. Help please. :001_smile:
  3. My head is spinning :) Hoping for some input. Quick background: We switched to HOD this year. Part of the appeal was having a curriculum geared specifically to each child's level. I was running three guides: Rev2Rev (12.5 yo dd), Preparing (10 yo ds), and Beyond (6 yo dd.) I also have a 12 yo ds with special needs and HOD was not a fit for him so he's doing other stuff. Most days we are done by lunch. I thought HOD was just what I was looking for....but 7 weeks in, I am not impressed. I have already dropped Beyond, and am really considering dropping Preparing, too. My oldest dd works in Rev2Rev independently, so I will continue that until the end of the year. My options at this point are: drop HOD and switch to MFW Exp 1850s and combine my youngest three drop HOD and switch to MOH (we used this last year and everyone liked it) keep going with HOD and just get through the year (maybe it will grow on me?) Maybe my reasons for not liking HOD will help....basically, the history feels really choppy. I'm used to MOH where we really dug in and got a clear view of history. I feel like we are just reading bits here and there, and then ds is reading all of the extension literature....but there's no real framework. I don't like the science. I'm tired of the One Small Square books and it's only week 7! It just feels really light, even though we are doing the extensions and everything. There seems to be a lot of busywork. Ds is not an academically advanced 5th grader...and yet, I don't feel like we're getting much out of HOD. I want to make our school time count for him. He struggled early on and has a lot of catching up to do. MFW would be nice because we could combine again. I miss that. I also love the missions focus. But would it be any meatier than HOD? Would it be less choppy? Would Exp to 1850s be a good fit for combining an advanced 1st grader, a struggling 5th grader, and a 4th grader with special needs? Or we could go back to MOH which we love (and the price is better, too!) But then I'd have to figure out what to do for science....and do more planning.....and MOH isn't as good a fit for my 1st grader. I left MOH because it felt like we were doing so many disconnected things, and I wanted a curriculum that pulled everything together for me. Oh my, I've rambled :) Anyone who is still reading deserves a medal! I appreciate any thoughts or suggestions from those who have used these programs! Jen
  4. Hi! I was wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me. I'm really considering using HOD, probably Beyond, for my son's 1st grade next year. But the two page format of the TM drives me batty. I really like a weekly grid that I can check off. It frustrates me with the LHFHG manual that it's so hard to see what's coming up for the week, or month, or year! I like to be able to see at a glance the whole week and move things around as we need to. I'm also really considering MFW since it has the weekly schedule I like...but I do like a lot of the living book choices in HOD. Arrgh! One of the reasons I was thinking of going with HOD is that I wasn't sure that my son would be ready for MFW Adventures if it requires a lot of writing. Can anyone tell me how much writing there is in Adventures? So, has anyone else used HOD but made their own weekly grid schedule to go along with it? I'm sure I could do this, even though it's a lot of work...I was just wondering if I'm crazy, or maybe I'm not alone?? I'm also wondering about doing Beyond and Bigger back to back...has anyone else done this? Does the American history for two years get really repetitive, or does it seem fresh? Did you feel like it gave them a strong American foundation for the following guides? Just looking at Beyond, it seems kind of bland. I would want to be adding in more American picture books. (And of course, in the back of my mind, I'm wondering if I should just start a 4 year rotation with SOTW. :tongue_smilie: Sorry, overwhelmed with choices!) Thanks for any thoughts!
  5. Hi Ladies. This is my first post but I've spent hours reading your threads gleaning wisdom from you all. This is our first year hsing. We are about to finish MFW K, which we used as a kinder prep over the summer. I am having trouble deciding what to buy for our official kinder year. It is complicated by a couple factors... 1. My son is 6.5. I decided to hold off any academic instruction until he was 6 (following a CM philosophy). So after his birthday we started MFWK. He has loved it, breezed through it & is easily reading the word lists (mostly CVC words). 2. We haven't supplemented MFW K math at all. It is very light & we will need to start at the beginning for kinder. I'm just not sure if I should continue with MFW and use their first grade program. I heard it's a big jump from their K to 1st program, but because of his age & how easily the reading is coming to him maybe it would work? Or should I choose something else? I was really considering HOD LHFHG. But would he just go quickly through The Reading Lesson until we reach information MFW had not covered? I like a CM philosophy & because I have 3 kids including a baby I am looking for as open and go as possible. I am wondering if you all have any advice? I am most interested in MFW 1st, HOD LHFHG, Living Book (not sure if I should pick K or 1st based on his age and reading skills), and WP Hideaways or Animal Worlds. I'd love some advice! Thanks in advance!
  6. Has anyone used Little Hands to Heaven? I'm interested in hearing your review of the program! I'm looking for a light, play-based pre-K program to do with my 4th kid (turns 4 in Oct) this fall. Any recommendations are welcome! Thank-you for taking time to reply.
  7. We will be doing Preparing next fall. Our girls are not that great at narrations although there is some improvement. We will not be doing R&S level 3 but either GWG, EG, BJ or the like. I am torn as to whether to add a writing program (BJ English, new Essentials in Writing, GWG's new writing program) to it OR should I really try to just do HOD writing? Is it enough? I like the idea of using DVD's in BJ or the new Essentials in Writing because I think the girls can learn more but it will add to our day which gets long as it is. I heard someone say that they wish they would have just stuck to the writing in HOD. We don't see the big picture until you've gone through it. Any suggestions for a mom that does not like to teach writing and girls that have not done much and are not great at narrations. Thanks so much. Thank you, Amy
  8. I'm starting my 5 yo dd in LHFHG in August for Kindergarten. But she's already reading, and totally ready for the Emerging Readers that go with Beyond. I want an honest opinion - should I buy the Beyond guide to have the schedule and questions that go along with the readers? We might end up using it for 1st grade next year, I don't know how this year's going to go :) I might be able to resell it if I don't want it, but I might take a loss :( I can't get an honest answer about it on the HOD boards because everyone says of course that's what they do, and it's so worth it, and so on. But no one has actually told me what the sections in the appendix for the ERs are like, and how helpful it REALLY is. So any input?
  9. If you do, HOW?! When? Do you have plans I could borrow? I'm pretty set on using Math Mammoth, but the daily plans and hands-on lessons of HOD really tug at me. I'm very happy with MM for my oldest as she's doing well with it and I'm just not a mathy person, and having not started from the beginning with SM I found it difficult to teach. But, I have a chance to start at SM 1B with my next child and I may just take that opportunity so I can better choose between the two programs for my next two dc. DS7 is a mathy intuitive child, so I think the larger number of problems in MM would not be to his benefit, and although I can cut out problems, I think the clean layout and non-traditional sequence would be good for him. I can rest easy knowing the scope will be almost identical by end of 6B of either program. I do know that MM covers more probability, statistics, and graphing concepts than SM US ed. though. I'm so very intimidated by SM. I'm also very short on time and have loved the simplicity of just reading over the lesson in MM with my DD, doing a couple problems together, and letting her do about 1/2 to 3/4 of the problems. I also like how the problems often increase in difficulty through the lesson. I just keep feeling pulled to use the already printed, colorful, clean pages of SM and fear I'm never going to rest easy until I've just tried it out again, in it's entirety. I'm also drawn to it b/c HOD has daily plans for it. I FULLY trust and love Carrie's choices, I'm just so scared of being able to teach SM! Maybe going through MM now with DD, and starting SM from 1B will make it easier for me????
  10. I am trying to decide on HOD with my limited budget and also the fact that I work part-time. What do you HOD users think about just using the history portion of the program. Is it worth it? Would I be sacrificing so much of the program that it wouldn't be worth doing at all? With time and resources limited I need something that is somewhat independent and not so hard on my pocketbook. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  11. I was comparing HOD programs to the Living Books Curriculum. I noticed that LBC seems to have more elements of Charlotte mason, such as Picture Study, a real outdoors kind of Nature Study, and Shakespeare readings each year. Does anyone add more of these elements to HOD? How about Latin? Just curious!
  12. Hello Everyone! :) I 'm new here and a new homeschooler...and I am overwhelmed in trying to decide between these 2 curricula! I've already started HOD and LOVE it!!! I am hooked! But...i am equally drawn to CC's memory work. However...we can't afford the "co-op", so that's not an option for us. Can I add Classical Conversations memory work on to HOD? I am not even sure how CC works! Is it a whole curriculum in itself? (i've combed through the website but still don't understand...does it come with phonics, writing, etc). How do I pick *which* memory work to do with CC? I've tried to get with the coordinator here but don't feel like I can ask as many questions since we don't plan on doing the co-op, but maybe that's just my perception :tongue_smilie:. I'm just not sure where to get started and what to order with CC, or if it's even doable on top of HOD (our oldest is 5). And I'm not sure how the program works long term...is it a part of Veritas Press, does it merge with their curriculum or is it complete in itself? Please forgive my ignorance...I'm trying to read everything I can on the message boards here but it's a lot to sort through...i'm just overwhelmed in trying to come up with our curriculum plan...do i stick with HOD (i LOVE the character/Bible emphasis) but I also love the amazing memory work from CC :P Thank you all so much...have any of you tried both? :P
  13. This looks great to me...BUT.... Can I use it with all 3 kids if they each have their own LA..and math? I was thinking I could get each of them their own literature....skip our 20th century studies until my dd is in high school and emotionally ready to deal with the bloodbath.... I already own most of the books...and the bible, history, geography looks pretty do-able even for my 7 year old...especially if I add in SOTW 1 for him and my 9 yo ds. Can I use just the one guide for dd...and bring the boys along? I really don't want to do 2 history time periods. Faithe
  14. Ladies, How do you feel about HOD's flexibility? I am envisioning having 100 post its in my HOD guideS (!) marking where I am with each child on each area of study. Do you feel as strongly as Carrie and Julie do that every activity planned in the HOD guide is critical? For example, I'd always intended to allow my son to skip a hands on project if it was uninspiring to him (unless I felt otherwise based on the project). But, that is not recommended as the projects are designed to teach particular skills along with learning to follow directions. Thoughts? Do you think the Independent boxes work as well as they are intended to? Do you find the placement chart to be helpful? There is so much talk about training, the HOD way, strong narration skills, etc. that I don't see mentioned on the placement chart. This gives me pause. Many Moms have placed their kids in Preparing (as they thought fit) only to wish they'd stayed with Bigger. Is there more to the placement chart than meets the eye? I asked this question on the board there and received a helpful answer from Julie about running guides half speed versus placing in a lower guide. I'm till pondering that... I guess what I'm finding is that Carrie's progression is rigorous if used in the target age range. But many Moms SEEM to be using HOD with much older children (not all, but many). I am reading about many Moms using Bigger or Preparing with 5th or 6th graders and feeling very content with that plan. Bigger's target is a 2nd or 3rd grader while Preparing's is a 3rd or 4th grader (not counting extensions). It throws me for a loop because as I read the Preparing Guide it contains skills within the guide that I would want my 3rd grader to learn! Waiting until they're much older than that would be too long unless I have a child who is struggling. I would want my 5th or 6th grader to be using the skills taught in RTR (via the IEW writing and such). Help! Thoughts? Using the extensions provides more reading and narration/writing opportunities but overlooks the fact that there are specific skills woven into each guide that you would be learning much later than perhaps you'd like to. Am I being too aggressive in what I want skill wise? :001_smile: I consistently under challenge and underwhelm my oldest. We are tired of feeling like this kid is just barely getting anything that he needs. School is easy for him. DH feels strongly that I need to choose well for this year....he is pushing for Preparing but is open to hearing the reasons why Bigger may be better (for training purposes; adjustments;etc.). We feel that 3rd grade is a pivotal year where the tide needs to turn as far as expectations with the work load. He is on the older end for his grade as well. He'll turn 9 right after 3rd grade begins. How do you assess narration skills? That is really tough for me. Is there a HOD thread that would help me to evaluate my son on his narrations? I really have no clue here and it seems to be important in proper placement (though it isn't mentioned on the placement chart). Science in HOD -- Pros, cons, likes, dislikes? Please share. HOD is providing much fodder for discussion these days.... :001_smile:
  15. Yep I am in love with HOD suddenly and I am looking for blogs :)
  16. I am seriously considering using Preparing and DITHOR for my DD for 4th grade. My other option is MFW ECC. I have read all the threads on here about HOD-Here are my worries: I am worried that there is too much Bible in the programs. I am looking to intertwine the Bible in our studies, but I feel that maybe the History program will be lacking if the Bible is the main focus. Is the History part sufficient on the non-biblical side?? This is my main hang up with the program. I feel the Science is very gentle, would it be worth it to use HOD, but do my own Science, or will that take away from the "togetherness" of it all?? Do you like DITHOR? It looks great, but I didnt see too many threads about it. I would be using Preparing, DITHOR, R&S, WWE, and MM. Oh this would so simplify my life. I did buy LHFHG for my K'er to use with OPTGR, ETC, and HWT.
  17. I'm reading the WTM and using HOD's Preparing. I really don't see that HOD is moreso Charlotte Mason than Classical. Other than the fact that HOD uses dictation for spelling only, and I use a spelling program, where does the difference in Classical vs CM lie other than shorter days? Preparing is taking us a good portion of the day. In actuality, I can't imagine spending so little minutes that HOD states it should. HOD seems to inspire a lot of discussion w/dd and I. Is it different when it comes to the logic stage? We're 4th grade this year. Logic starts 5th, so I haven't read much into WTM in that level yet. In a nutshell, what's the difference? HOD uses a lot of Classic books many of them mentioned in WTM.:001_huh:
  18. I started another thread regarding curriculum that can be used for multiple ages, and Heart of Dakota was recommended. I looked at it & I really like it a lot. I am specifically looking at Bigger Hearts for His Glory for my 2 children next year (they will be 7 1/2 & almost 10 - grades 2 & 4). For my 4th grader, I would get the extension package. For my son, I would get the "boys" book package. For English & Math, I will separate those subjects for them. How is HOD with geography though? THere seems to be no reference to geography at all in the Bigger sample or book list??? If you use this program - do you like it? How do your kids enjoy the books?? Thanks! Susan
  19. After reading a lot of threads about both programs, I am seeing these general conclusions: 1. Sonlight uses more books. 2. HOD wants you to savor the books and not feel rushed through them. 3. HOD holds off on some books to allow for more maturity before reading them. 4. HOD uses a lot of the same books as Sonlight. 5. SL uses Usbourne books. 6. HOD uses CLP books. 7. SL uses historical fiction to create an emotional connection with the reader. So here are my remaining questions: 1. Is HOD mostly historical fiction as well, or a blend with something else? I have the catalog, but since I don't know the books, it's hard for me to tell. How would you classify their books compared to SL? 2. What books does SL use that HOD doesn't? What will we miss? What types of books are these? Are they possibly eliminated due to maturity of content, sharing of different beliefs, or something else? 3. Does SL use more books with a missions/cultural/international focus than HOD? 4. In your personal opinion, which program has the "right" amount of books? I hear that some SL users feel rushed to "get through" the books. Does more books translate into more learning/coverage of material? Does SL feel "fuller" and more "complete" than HOD? Or is it just "too much"? 5. Which program has more interesting/engaging/intellectually stimulating spines? Or are they both doing this in their own ways? 6. HOD seems to tend toward Christian authors where possible. How do you feel this affects worldview? Does SL give a more balanced approach to history and still teach biblical discernment at the same time? Which program do you think will help a child know the Word, be able to discern the truth, be able to speak the truth with conviction, and yet still have a knowledge of other cultures and religions and be able to engage comfortably with those who share differing viewpoints? I guess my concern is with how much HOD is going to share different viewpoints. Since all the guides aren't written yet, it's hard to tell. 7. HOD starts off light in LHFHG as far as literature goes. Do you feel SL gives more depth in reading overall? Or does HOD catch up to SL in this as the levels progress? Thanks! Kathy
  20. Now I see it all over the place. This has been within the past 2 months or so. How long has it been around and why the sudden interest?
  21. Hi, For those of you who have used HOD and SL in the elementary years, which one did you feel furthered your child's love of learning and discovery the most and why? I'm not looking for how easy it is for the parent to use. HOD wins hands-down for me on that. I mean which one had your child excited about what they were learning, wanting to share with others what they had learned, wanting to know more about a subject, wanting to go back to the books again and again, that type of thing. I think the other HOD years would be different for us because they use more books and a wider variety of them, but with LHFHG I don't think we'll be wanting to reread the Thorton Burgess books (even though we've enjoyed them) or the CLP history and science books, which got me to thinking about the love of learning aspect. I would say the activities have been the most enjoyable part of school, but I'm trying to assess to what extent the love of learning and discovery has occurred. Thanks! Kathy
  22. What are you doing with your older kids??? Just curious... HOD looks nice for my boys...still looking...but was wondering what I would do with dd 12. I am really not enjoying SOTW 4...so, it isn't getting done...not good! Also, tell me why I should use this program with my youngers...convince me. Faithe
  23. Next year will be my first year officially homeschooling both my children ds8 who will be doing bigger hearts and dd4 who will be in little hearts and I'm having a really tough time coming up with a schedule. I feel like I'll have to spend so much one on one time with ds because he has learning disablilites and needs almost everything presented one on one. What kinds of things should my daughter be doing while I'm working with my son? How do you guys plan your days with more than one child? I just don't want my dd to be bored or to get lost in the shuffle.
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