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krystal70
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I really wanted to like this program! Sadly, the boys are not interested in it at all and are not learning much from it. So the search is on once again for the perfect history spine. Here are my current options.

 

1. Notgrass American History (will have to purchase and that is NOT going to make hubby happy)

 

I wonder if anyone has used Notgrass with an 8th grader?? Could it be used as a spine for a 5th grader??

 

2. Use "Freedom, the Story of US" as a spine and pull stuff together from that. I know about the website and I am still looking around it.

 

3. For the YDS, just use SOTW 3 and have him to read "The Story of US" along with it so he gets his American history.

 

For the YDS, my concerns are that he is only home for one year and this is the year that they do American history.

 

Opinions?? Thoughts??:bigear:

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Since you're not wanting to buy a lot, what do you have access to? Do you have access to Hakim's whole set, maybe through your library? If you do, you could have your older read it in entirety but only use snippets with your 10 yo. The VP cards schedule that out. Child's Story of the USA, the Story of the USA books (what SL uses in 3/4), or the DK Children's Encyclopedia of American History would also make great spines with your 10 yo. I don't have a 13 yo, but I don't think those latter would be ideal with an 8th grader. I take that back. The DK book would probably work (and be inexpensive!) if you really make him expand and read about topics. You're wanting to cover american in one year? You can still do that with the DK book. I have my dd outlining it, another handy thing if you're hoping to do the outlining recs for 5th and 8th graders in WTM.

 

I notice they like weapons. The VP catalog tends to have good boyish options for books to go with the cards. Check it out, even if you decide not to use it. We use the VP cards as a spine to coordinate our stuff. They schedule Hakim, CSOA, etc. on the backs of the cards. I think they also schedule in 8th gr level BJU history text btw. So that would give you a way to bridge the two dc, where you could use one schedule, one card, and have both reading at their appropriate levels. Then you have them read extra, write paragraphs, and do projects.

 

I may have loaded my schedules at the VP_Elementary website. In my table I think I included the extra topics too, stuff like Daniel Boone. It's just so easy, with a spine like that, to flesh it out exactly how they want.

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Hi,

 

I can certainly understand your frusration about being unhappy with a curriculum. We spend hours trying to find the right thing, and it looks god when it arrives, and then it just is not a good fit I second the AAHHHH!

 

I have used Notgrass American Histoy - but not with a younger student. I think it might be difficult for many younger students.

 

I also own the DK American History book - it is beautiful and I know we will get a lot of use out of it. I agree with the previous post that it could be a good spine. You may also wish to look into TruthQuest as well. These are excellent books to list history books you can obtain from the library - generally these guides can be found used at a reasonable cost. If you used of these together, you would be free to pick & choose which areas to zero in on, you would have the visual and literature/study book references.

 

Hope this helps!

Pam

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OhElizabeth,

 

Thank you for your response! I would like to follow the outlining from TWTM so the DK book might be an option. This could be one of my problems with AAH. I want the boys to do the outlining but find that the text is difficult for them to sort out for the main points. Neither Ty nor Ry have ever done outlining or written summaries before so they are lacking in those skills. It does not help that one has some reading difficulties and the other is NVLD. So one is overwhelmed by the way the text is set up and the other just finds it hard to read. Anyway, I do like the DK as a jumping off point for the YDS. He loves to read so that book plus some interesting books on history just might do it for him.

 

As for the HoUS, my library (overseas military family) does not have the complete set so that is not really an option. I have looked at the VP cards but once again, money and access to the needed books was a hinderance.

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Then I'd get the BJU 8 history text VP recommends and the DK book. Between the two I think you'll be great. Your older can outline the BJU text and your younger can outline DK. Or have them both outline DK. I'm thinking you can get the BJU text cheap used off the HSLDA marketplace or something, so it's an inexpensive, age-appropriate spine. I know the BJU tm's recommend outlining one of the earlier history texts (7th gr? I forget), so the 8th gr book will probably work great for outlining. As you say, outlining is easier as a newbie if you have something conducive to it. Your 5th grader just needs to do one sentence per paragraph. So we're talking 5 sentences for 5 "paragraphs" in the DK book. Don't make it more complex than that. Your 8th grader I'd start off like that, do that way till it's easy (a week or two), then work up.

 

You might see if you can get an ebook on outlining. I'm using Paragraph Writing Made Easy with my dd, and it covers outlining, paragraphing, lots of good stuff. I think it's available as an ebook directly from the publisher. Something like that would be ideal for you. You could do it profitably with both of them, just at a difference pace (your older faster).

 

I use TQ for booklists too, but that's no good with your library.

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Just so you know, I'm not saying you're going to drop dead in a groveling love affair over it. But it will work, be affordable, and get the job done. Sometimes a spine is a little bony. It's the muscle and stuff you surround it with, the hands-on projects and rabbit trails you research, that make it come to life. I think Hoggirl made the same choice about a year ago and was happy. And definitely check out some hands-on stuff for those weapon-loving boys of yours. American is a great thing to build. Through Wowio you can download (if it's still up?) books for free like "Great ... Projects You Can Build Yourself."

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I just looked it over online and I think that I do like it! It looked easy to outline and still leaves me some areas to let them just read books and some hands on stuff. Also, on CBD there is a work book that goes with it as well for just $21! :D I just picked up some BJU science stuff at the thrift store the other day and I did see some history items but did not pay it much attention...now Thursday (the day they are open ) can not get here fast enough!:auto:

 

I will also check out that site you mentioned! :)

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Then I'd get the BJU 8 history text VP recommends and the DK book. Between the two I think you'll be great. Your older can outline the BJU text and your younger can outline DK. Or have them both outline DK. I'm thinking you can get the BJU text cheap used off the HSLDA marketplace or something, so it's an inexpensive, age-appropriate spine. I know the BJU tm's recommend outlining one of the earlier history texts (7th gr? I forget), so the 8th gr book will probably work great for outlining. As you say, outlining is easier as a newbie if you have something conducive to it. Your 5th grader just needs to do one sentence per paragraph. So we're talking 5 sentences for 5 "paragraphs" in the DK book. Don't make it more complex than that. Your 8th grader I'd start off like that, do that way till it's easy (a week or two), then work up.

 

You might see if you can get an ebook on outlining. I'm using Paragraph Writing Made Easy with my dd, and it covers outlining, paragraphing, lots of good stuff. I think it's available as an ebook directly from the publisher. Something like that would be ideal for you. You could do it profitably with both of them, just at a difference pace (your older faster).

 

I use TQ for booklists too, but that's no good with your library.

 

I was JUST going to recommend a BJU history text for outlinning purposes and as always, OhElizabeth was spot on and way ahead of me! LOL I personally do NOT like outlinning from encyclopedias (Sorry SWB ;)). I find they are usually already at the bare bones snippet level and hard to find the meaty main points, etc. I like how BJU's texts make outlinning do-able without even meaning to.

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You have received some excellent suggestions so far! Here's the option we went with.

 

My DD is using AAH in a co-op and it moves too slowly for us. She's still participating in the co-op, but I bought LFBC US History to use at home. We successfully used LFBC World History last year so I'm partial to it. It's an all-in-one/open & go with text, worksheets and quizzes for $37.99. She is outlining the text and it's going very well.

 

Each week looks like this:

Day 1: Define vocabulary and read text

Day 2: Worksheet

Day 3: Worksheet

Day 4: Write an Essay

Day 5: Quiz

 

We combine Day 2 & 3 as the worksheets are pretty short and that gives her time to do outlining on day 3. And of course she reads corresponding literature every week.

 

It's a 9th grade curriculum, but I think it could be used with an enthusiastic 5th grader with a little help and minus the weekly essay.

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