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Why aren't there more McRuffy users?


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I think it's because it's not very well known.

 

It didn't have a yahoo group until I asked Brian if I could start one earlier this year.

 

The math is great, has lots of fun games and activities in it. Some say it moves fast, but I've found it to be just right. I think Horizons moves much faster.

 

We that really enjoy it just need to keep putting it out there when others ask for suggestions.

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I always try to recommend it whenever possible. We have K SE Phonics, Color Math and Science. I already have the SE Phonics for 1st and 3rd on the shelf for when we get to them. I still gotta find 1st grade Color math and Science (I would prefer used to save a little $$, but will buy new if need be....new prices really aren't bad for what you get). So far we love it here and hope to stick with it. :001_wub:

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This is our second year using it, and we love it. It doesn't require any setup, it just a really easy open and go program with just enough script for me. I was very hesitant at first because the name and logo kinda turned me off. I thought it may be too easy, but it has exceeded my expectations. I love how the LA program is all in one and each weeks lesson is based on the books that are inculded in the program (although I am using spectrum writing just for added supplement), and the math is similar to saxon but it holds my sons' attentention. I am currently using 2nd grade LA and Math for my 6.5 yo and Kindergarten math and 1st grade LA for my 4.5 yo. I do about ten lessons per week so we have been able to accelerate with the program and my children have been able to retain and comprehend the info because the materials have been fun, diverse, and engaging.

 

Peace,

Candace

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This is our second year using it, and we love it. It doesn't require any setup, it just a really easy open and go program with just enough script for me. I was very hesitant at first because the name and logo kinda turned me off. I thought it may be too easy, but it has exceeded my expectations. I love how the LA program is all in one and each weeks lesson is based on the books that are inculded in the program (although I am using spectrum writing just for added supplement), and the math is similar to saxon but it holds my sons' attentention. I am currently using 2nd grade LA and Math for my 6.5 yo and Kindergarten math and 1st grade LA for my 4.5 yo. I do about ten lessons per week so we have been able to accelerate with the program and my children have been able to retain and comprehend the info because the materials have been fun, diverse, and engaging.

 

Peace,

Candace

 

So glad to hear y'all like it. Candace, your kids are still young, but what is your opinion of the spelling and grammar portions of LA?

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We used McRuffy for Science and neither DD or I couldn't stand it. It was too easy and fluffy. We switched to Sonlight last year and we're using Elemental Science this year. Both of them were significantly better than McRuffy, IMO.

 

This is why I chose it (not that I think it will be too easy for my immature 6yr.) but because I wanted something fun. Lance, is my last child and I want some fun time. Lots of coloring, cutting and pasting.

 

McRuffy's Science is a perfect fit here, it's not overwhelming at two days a week. We are looking forward to starting McRuffy Science next week, or should I say, "I'm looking forward to McRuffy Science" :D

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I often wonder this myself. I do believe it is because many don't use things that they have not heard enough about. I do believe that it will become more and more popular. I do know that in the short time I have used it that I have noticed double the people using it already. Now another thing I think some tend not to use it is the whole fact it is open and go and that it is scripted. Now to me these are part of the best thing about the program. I believe it is scripted just the right amount that you can fiddle with it as you please, yet still there when you are at a loss for words on that day or topic.

 

Now we have used K phonics and loved it. Now we are starting Grade 1 phonics, science and math. We love all of them. I like the math because it moves at a steady pace without being overwhelming. I found Horizons to be way too overwhelming. We love the Phonics program. Now I personally supplement with some ETC to hit more Phonics while doing it. Now the science it perfect for those of us who want everything on hand, not too overwhelming with information or supplies.

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I will tell you why I haven't made the plunge...even though I have seriously considered it. I'm a tactile person, I need to touch it...sit with it, look thru it to really decide.

 

I haven't been able to do that. I've gone to a couple conferences, but I've never come across a real life sample. Does that make sense? I wish I could see it IRL, then I probly would buy it.

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So glad to hear y'all like it. Candace, your kids are still young, but what is your opinion of the spelling and grammar portions of LA?

Michelle,

I have no complaints with the spelling and grammar portions. Throughout the lessons for the week you are given plenty of assignments to practice the spelling words for the week. Each week you are introduced to a list of new words that have the same phonetic connection with the book for the week. The grammar has been easy for my son to intake and understand. Things tend to repeat when it comes to identifying parts of speech, using the correct punctuation, constructing proper sentences and and using the correct tenses. It like it has a gentle way of drilling the info in. Because of the ease of the program for the parent to use, it also allows for the additional suggetions that the author list at the beginning of the program for added work, without things becoming overwhelming. I hope this helps.

 

Peace,

Candace

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I will tell you why I haven't made the plunge...even though I have seriously considered it. I'm a tactile person, I need to touch it...sit with it, look thru it to really decide.

 

I haven't been able to do that. I've gone to a couple conferences, but I've never come across a real life sample. Does that make sense? I wish I could see it IRL, then I probly would buy it.

Hi,

The samples listed online did it for me. I looked at each grade level to see how the program progressed. You could just print out what is there and really look at it that way.

 

Peace,

Candace

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I LOVE McRuffy! It's probably one of my absolute FAVORITE homeschool purchases of all time.

 

I'm not sure why I didn't pick it up until last summer. I certainly wish I'd found it sooner! It reminds me a lot of how my mother taught me to read... sitting on the couch with a pad of paper. No bells and whistles! My son was a struggling reader, and I used McRuffy's Dynamic Phonics learning book to go over the K-1st grade stuff, then worked through the entire 2nd grade Phonics and Spelling program last year. We used the older black and white version.

 

Last week, he had a comprehensive evaluation, which put his oral reading skills at a 4th grade level (totally on target for his age!), and his silent reading skills a bit higher. I totally credit that to McRuffy.

 

Anyone who finds the price prohibitive might want to consider picking up McRuffy's Dynamic Phonics Learning Book, which sells for under $20 and is a condensed version of the entire K-2 phonics curriculum.

 

My son rereads the McRuffy readers frequently. They're funny, interesting and make sense, unlike a lot of phonics readers.

 

The grammar is a little light in the 2nd grade curriculum, but the spelling is solid. I didn't add anything to McRuffy last year. We used the copywork sentences in the teacher guide for handwriting, but I bought the handwriting book this year. There's quite a bit more grammar in the 3rd grade program (which I bought for this year, but I'm not sure if I'll bother with it since he's taken off reading...)

 

When my little guy is ready to learn to read, I absolutely plan on using McRuffy K with him.

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Hi,

The samples listed online did it for me. I looked at each grade level to see how the program progressed. You could just print out what is there and really look at it that way.

 

Peace,

Candace

 

:iagree:

I actually happened upon McRuffy by accident. I was just about to place my Rainbow Resource order for our K and thought I'd just type in "kindergarten" to see if I saw anything new.....there was McRuffy (of course, Rainbow has mostly the original versions without much/or any color). I went to the website and was so pleased with what I saw. The color and the cuteness.....plus it's just great stuff. Someone mentioned about the Science....yes, it is very simple. But, that's ok at the K age. We plan on using Elemental Science along with it for 1st.

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You all have been so helpful and encouraging! I have always loved the look of the samples, and now that I have the Phonics K in my hands, I like it even more. But I wasn't sure about the higher levels. I guess the cartoon-ish look makes me nervous that it's not sophisticated enough. (I know - it's so ridiculous! For one thing, since when do 2nd graders need sophistication? :tongue_smilie:)

 

The reason I ask about math is b/c there are so many good options out there. McRuffy seems to do a great job at meshing the spiral approach with logic and critical thinking. Is that an accurate assumption?

 

Thanks again! :001_smile:

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Hi,

The samples listed online did it for me. I looked at each grade level to see how the program progressed. You could just print out what is there and really look at it that way.

 

Peace,

Candace

 

 

I tried it last night...it still doesn't work for me :confused:. I think my problem is that I literally need to see how lesson 1 flows into lesson 2 and 3. How lesson 25 flows into 26, 27.

 

I can't get a good feel for it. I wish there was a place I could hold it in my hands.

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We just started using this. My DD is doing a bit of the end of K SE because the first grade SE La program seemed a bit beyond her.. but in a few months it will be just right. She (and I) are enjoying the K SE program and she loves the readers.

 

DS, grade 4, just started their new Language Arts grade 4 program. We both really like it a lot.. although the spelling words are super super hard.. in both our opinions.. (and he is a good speller.. coasting through Spelling Workout).. I may skip the spelling lists but still use the spelling activities for grammar etc..

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I just started 2nd grade LA with my ds--3rd grade. That was my problem. Even the 2nd grade spelling is beyond him, but he reads very well. I'm guessing that might be the problem with more people not using the LA. It's an all-in-one LA, and my kids have never been at one level for LA. But I've wanted to use McRuffy for several years now, so I just decided to go for it. I matched my son's spelling and writing level--not his reading level. My son loves the books, even though they're easy. And I love not stressing over what he's missing in LA. I've been piecing together LA for 11 years. :tongue_smilie:

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It doesn't appeal to *me*. Not the phonics, not the math. I prefer Spalding for reading and spelling, or PhonicsPathways, or AlphaPhonics...McRuffy's methodology just doesn't do it for me. And I prefer R&S, or Miquon, or even Making Math Meaningful.

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I just started 2nd grade LA with my ds--3rd grade. That was my problem. Even the 2nd grade spelling is beyond him, but he reads very well. I'm guessing that might be the problem with more people not using the LA. It's an all-in-one LA, and my kids have never been at one level for LA. But I've wanted to use McRuffy for several years now, so I just decided to go for it. I matched my son's spelling and writing level--not his reading level. My son loves the books, even though they're easy. And I love not stressing over what he's missing in LA. I've been piecing together LA for 11 years. :tongue_smilie:

 

I can totally see both sides. AIO is a dream come true in terms of gaps. As well as seeing how all the facets of LA are interwoven. But yeah, if you have a weak speller, for example, I'm sure it can be a challenge to make it work. I guess tweaking the curriculum is the way to go in that case. And in your situation, he can practice reading "at level" in other subjects or during free-reading, so I think it's great that you are matching the grade level with his weaker areas.

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Hmm.. should I put him back in 3rd grade LA then? He reads very well too.. but his grasp of grammar is weak..

 

I have no personal experience, but McRuffy seems spiral in LA, am I correct? So, if he's weak in grammar, maybe he'll get the built in review throughout the curriculum? I would email Brian and ask. Otherwise, you can always supplement maybe?

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I asked Brian about the grammar when I was deciding between 2nd & 3rd. He said that if the student could find nouns and verbs in a sentence and knew what adjectives, adverbs, & pronouns were, he should be fine in 3rd. I didn't save the email, so I can't quote him exactly.

 

Jennifer

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I think it's because it's not very well known.

 

It didn't have a yahoo group until I asked Brian if I could start one earlier this year.

 

The math is great, has lots of fun games and activities in it. Some say it moves fast, but I've found it to be just right. I think Horizons moves much faster.

 

We that really enjoy it just need to keep putting it out there when others ask for suggestions.

 

:iagree: I found it after having tried a bunch of other curriculum (for math), and we are just thrilled. To me, it gives great teaching instructions, and I like that it combines workbook, hands on, games, and oral math. Yeah!!!

 

I wish we had heard of it 2 years ago.

 

I'm afraid to look at any of their other products besides math, because I've already made my purchases for the year.:D

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anyone use Science for grade 1?? We are using, currently, rs4k prelevel chemistry and it seems very abstract and DD is not getting anything from it.. I was wondering if McRuffy Science grade 1 might be a better fit..?

 

Anything in the works for a grade 5 language arts? I'll need one next year!! *hint hint*

 

We are. McRuffy is very child interactive. IMO. The child has to do to understand. Like when learning about taste they have to taste different things on different parts of their tongues. Or with weather they have to fill in there weather chart daily. It always has them doing the stuff. This way they learn by doing not watching or hearing. The only thing I do different is add in more books and a few activities. Like making our own weather vane. They have a version, but I found one we like better. Just little things and also to make it a daily program for us.

 

I hope that helped.

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I know I'm a little late on this thread, but wanted to add that we're using and loving McRuffy Phonics and Math this yr. (Well, loving the Phonics, we'll see about the math. We just started it today) :001_smile:

 

Great to hear you love it. Give us an update after you've done Math for awhile! :bigear:

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I hope McRuffy becomes more well-known. It's the easiest thing ever to teach and a lot of fun.

 

I'm using the math for the first time this year. I bought both K and 1st grade, because I wasn't sure where to place DD (bright K'er). I went ahead and started her in K (skipped most of the first couple of weeks, because they were VERY basic). Now that we're at lesson... 39, I think?... we've hit a nice groove and I doubt we'll need to skip anything else.

 

What I like about it:

 

 

  • It's fun. Lots of games, lots of hands on.
  • It's lightly scripted. (I know *how* to do math, just not how to explain how to do it, kwim?) It has clear, totally idiot-proof teaching notes.
  • The lessons are short and the worksheets don't require a lot of writing.
  • It places a big emphasis on thinking skills (patterns, visual memory cards, geoboards, pattern block designs).
  • My DD likes it. Today, we finished our lesson and DD2 smiled and said, "That was fun. What's next?" and then flipped to the next page in her workbook. Math is a fun treat that she looks forward to doing.

 

DD1, who was enjoying Math Mammoth, saw the 1st grade book and begged me to switch her so I did and so far so good (not quite a week into it, though). We're still supplementing her math with MM.

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I hope McRuffy becomes more well-known. It's the easiest thing ever to teach and a lot of fun.

 

I'm using the math for the first time this year. I bought both K and 1st grade, because I wasn't sure where to place DD (bright K'er). I went ahead and started her in K (skipped most of the first couple of weeks, because they were VERY basic). Now that we're at lesson... 39, I think?... we've hit a nice groove and I doubt we'll need to skip anything else.

 

What I like about it:

 

 

  • It's fun. Lots of games, lots of hands on.

  • It's lightly scripted. (I know *how* to do math, just not how to explain how to do it, kwim?) It has clear, totally idiot-proof teaching notes.

  • The lessons are short and the worksheets don't require a lot of writing.

  • It places a big emphasis on thinking skills (patterns, visual memory cards, geoboards, pattern block designs).

  • My DD likes it. Today, we finished our lesson and DD2 smiled and said, "That was fun. What's next?" and then flipped to the next page in her workbook. Math is a fun treat that she looks forward to doing.

 

DD1, who was enjoying Math Mammoth, saw the 1st grade book and begged me to switch her so I did and so far so good (not quite a week into it, though). We're still supplementing her math with MM.

 

Thanks so much for the great review! I doubt there is much drill in the K, but from what you can see in the 1st grade, do you think there is enough practice problems built in? I seem to remember that there were drill sheets in the supplementary packet.

 

Can't wait to start math!

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Thanks so much for the great review! I doubt there is much drill in the K, but from what you can see in the 1st grade, do you think there is enough practice problems built in? I seem to remember that there were drill sheets in the supplementary packet.

 

Can't wait to start math!

Hi Michele,

With 1st grade math I like how there is a lot of emphasis on computation and understanding how it works. There is a sense of drill with the math facts. Now that we have moved onto 2nd grade I wish that I would have had my son commit the math facts to memory when we were moving thru them in 1st grade. So, we are now doing that as we move thru 2nd grade math. In about 4 weeks he has been able to memorize most of the addition facts by just making up my own flash cards and we are moving right along just fine. It is not necessary to do this but I want him to get these along with subtraction facts up to 18 before we are done with the 2nd grade work. He really loves the games and looks forward to doing these as a reward for completing his work. He loves this program so much I have been able to double up the assignments since we started with K when he was 5 and he has never complained about the amount of work(and he complains about everything!). This has allowed us to do both k and 1st grade last year and the way we are moving now I anticipate doing 2nd and 3rd this year(we school year around, so this is quite doable). But we will see!

My plan is to use Mcruffy Math as a stepping stone to Saxon 5/4. I really like the fun but thorough approach to math, I like this approach to the LA program as well.

 

Peace,

Candace

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Thanks so much for the great review! I doubt there is much drill in the K, but from what you can see in the 1st grade, do you think there is enough practice problems built in? I seem to remember that there were drill sheets in the supplementary packet.

 

Can't wait to start math!

 

Hi Michele,

With 1st grade math I like how there is a lot of emphasis on computation and understanding how it works. There is a sense of drill with the math facts.

 

:iagree:

 

 

I just skimmed through the workbook and it looks like for the first 50 lessons or so, there is addition practice (5 problems) for most of the lessons. Then it moves into double-digit addition. Addition is first intro'd in the K level, so the single-digit addition done in 1st grade is all review. There are also timed tests to help cement the facts.

 

For memorizing math facts, I'm adding in some games (esp. Sum Swamp). Also, we still have (and like) Math Mammoth blue (topic) series, so I do oral drills from the Addition 1 book.

 

Hope this helps. :)

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We are. McRuffy is very child interactive. IMO. The child has to do to understand. Like when learning about taste they have to taste different things on different parts of their tongues. Or with weather they have to fill in there weather chart daily.

 

But if the program is teaching that each part of the tongue is only receptive to a certain taste, it's teaching inaccurate, outdated information!!! The tongue is receptive to every major taste on all parts (the FIVE tastes - there are not four - being sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, by the way). The truth is that each part of the tongue has more receptors for a certain taste, but that every part of the tongue has receptors for every taste. It's just not true to claim that the tongue has receptors for 4 major flavors and they're all confined to specific parts of the tongue. This is especially the case when taste buds aren't even confined to the tongue, since they also occur on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat.

 

I taught my daughter this without any curriculum when she was 4. I just don't see any excuse for a curriculum that's supposed to cover what parents forget to still be teaching the old, inaccurate information, when it's so easy and simple to teach the truth. Hopefully that's not what McRuffy is doing, but if it is, McRuffy is not teaching true, reliable science.

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But if the program is teaching that each part of the tongue is only receptive to a certain taste, it's teaching inaccurate, outdated information!!! The tongue is receptive to every major taste on all parts (the FIVE tastes - there are not four - being sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, by the way). The truth is that each part of the tongue has more receptors for a certain taste, but that every part of the tongue has receptors for every taste. It's just not true to claim that the tongue has receptors for 4 major flavors and they're all confined to specific parts of the tongue. This is especially the case when taste buds aren't even confined to the tongue, since they also occur on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat.

 

I taught my daughter this without any curriculum when she was 4. I just don't see any excuse for a curriculum that's supposed to cover what parents forget to still be teaching the old, inaccurate information, when it's so easy and simple to teach the truth. Hopefully that's not what McRuffy is doing, but if it is, McRuffy is not teaching true, reliable science.

 

We are. McRuffy is very child interactive. IMO. The child has to do to understand. Like when learning about taste they have to taste different things on different parts of their tongues. Or with weather they have to fill in there weather chart daily. It always has them doing the stuff. This way they learn by doing not watching or hearing. The only thing I do different is add in more books and a few activities. Like making our own weather vane. They have a version, but I found one we like better. Just little things and also to make it a daily program for us.

 

I hope that helped.

 

I'm not sure if this is something to get all worked up about. All hsmom said in regards to this is what I highlighted in bold. This in no way means that McRuffy is outdated and teaching anything wrong. I'm sure there was much more to that assignment than what was mentioned. I think most science curriculum, when it comes to talking about the taste buds, has the children taste different kinds of foods on different parts of their tongue. Yes...you can taste that food on all parts of your tongue, but it's more sensitive to certain tastes in certain areas. I don't think it's wrong to have your children experiment with this. I'm just hoping that anyone who is interested in trying McRuffy and reading these comments don't get the mistaken notion that McRuffy is teaching "outdated", "old", and "inaccurate information". All of this from one little comment? :confused:

 

ETA: Snowfall, you had said, "But if the program is teaching that each part of the tongue is only receptive to a certain taste, it's teaching inaccurate, outdated information!!!" But.....hsmom never said that McRuffy teaches that each part of the tongue is only receptive to a certain taste.

Edited by ~AprilMay~
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But if the program is teaching that each part of the tongue is only receptive to a certain taste, it's teaching inaccurate, outdated information!!! The tongue is receptive to every major taste on all parts (the FIVE tastes - there are not four - being sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, by the way). The truth is that each part of the tongue has more receptors for a certain taste, but that every part of the tongue has receptors for every taste. It's just not true to claim that the tongue has receptors for 4 major flavors and they're all confined to specific parts of the tongue. This is especially the case when taste buds aren't even confined to the tongue, since they also occur on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat.

 

I taught my daughter this without any curriculum when she was 4. I just don't see any excuse for a curriculum that's supposed to cover what parents forget to still be teaching the old, inaccurate information, when it's so easy and simple to teach the truth. Hopefully that's not what McRuffy is doing, but if it is, McRuffy is not teaching true, reliable science.

 

Wow, that last part was pretty harsh. McRuffy isn't trying to "not teach the truth". McRuffy is a small company and everything is written by one man, Brian Davis. He's been trying to 4th grade LA and Math done for many who've been waiting and hasn't gotten around to updating the science books. This is only K-3rd grade level stuff and it's not like the child won't have time to cover these things again in their school years. I hadn't even heard of Umami until watching Food Network. Science is one of those areas that can change quickly and often. It's not always possible to update everything as it happens. I'm sure that there are many other curricula that have outdated information in it simply because the author/publisher hasn't had time to go back and update things.

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It's not harsh at all. And as I already said, the criticism is only directed towards McRuffy IF (IF, IF) they are teaching that there are only 4 tastes and that each can only be tasted on a specific part of the tongue. I have no idea if they are teaching that or not, and I didn't say they were, since I said 'if'. But IF they are teaching that, they are teaching old, outdated information. It's been known for years. Of course kids will cover this again, but that doesn't justify giving them incorrect information the first time around. I can't follow that logic at all. The first time a kid covers a topic, they don't need as much depth as they will later. That doesn't mean they don't need to cover it factually. It's sort of like teaching that Christopher Columbus was the first person to "discover" America. Of course he wasn't, and we don't need to teach that he was just because we'll eventually admit that this isn't actually true. I know that many adults have never heard of umami and still believe that each region of the tongue is only receptive to certain tastes. That's why a science curriculum needs to be accurate - because many parents don't know better. I'm sure there are some scientific falsehoods I still believe, because I'm not a scientist.

 

This is definitely not the only curriculum that teaches this fallacy. I think RSO does, too (I can't remember if it's them) and I find it equally disappointing, no matter who does it. If they aren't reliable about something that simple, how do you know that the rest of what they say is true? I DO think it's important that my 1st grader learns factual information, even though she's only in 1st grade. The last thing I want is for her to go 3 or 4 years believing something that isn't true - or worse, go her whole life believing it because every science curriculum I used was inaccurate.

 

I'm not trying to talk anyone out of buying McRuffy. As I said, I don't even know if McRuffy makes this mistake. I own RSO and I *think* it makes the taste mistake (not pulling it out to look right now). I find it annoying no matter who's doing it, and I think everyone ought to be aware of it when a science curriculum isn't accurate, so they can be on the look out for other mistakes.

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NO, it is just an experiment. It does state in the lesson that all parts of the tongue taste all the same, yet some parts are more sensitive. It is kept simple and for the child to explore. I like that part that you can give all the facts and let the child explore.

 

My answer was not very clear before and it was a quick example of the lesson. I have yet to find something out of date or inaccurate in the program. I am not saying it is perfect, but to me it is.

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  • 1 year later...
Does anyone have information on writing in the LA program? I have been debating about adding WriteShop Primary to McRuffy but really would rather not if writing instruction of some similar kind is there.

 

Some thoughts about Write Shop Primary:

 

It is fun but very, very, very teacher-intensive. I can't think of even one aspect that is truly independent for the student.

 

If it were ME, I'd wait and work with just McRuffy LA for awhile and see if you even need to add anything else.

 

Good luck :)

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I've never used it, but I've been to the website a few times. I'm always turned off by the way the pictures look like free internet clipart. I know, I know... but I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on something that looks so... yeah. It's probably fairly shallow on my part, but I can't help thinking, if they can't take the time to update the website and the books, how much time are they spending designing and updating the curriculum?

 

ETA: And I'm not making any judgments about whether or not it's a good curriculum, just trying to answer the op's question about why it might not be as popular as some of the others.

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My bank balence (and dh) thank you, Shiny, for saving money and irritation. I was looking over the samples again and if it is that teacher directed the whole way through, I'll gag. I will do as you suggest instead.

 

Oh, and I ordered Science this morning. My box is being shipped today!!! YEAH!!!

 

Glad I could help :)

 

Have you gotten the LA yet? What do you think? After you've used it awhile, post a review. I'm tempted by it, mainly because we love the math so much, but it looks difficult to jump into midstream. If we used it, we'd probably start with 2nd grade.

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