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What are your opinions on MOSDOS?


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I am looking for literature programs for next year (7th grade). I have just learned of this program and I'm really curious about it.

 

I'm trying to decide how it compares with LL? Is it worth the price tag?? How does it compare with BJU7? I've only used the reading programs in BJU. So, my knowledge of LL and MOSDOS is minimal. I'm kinda nervous about leaving BJU next year b/c they cover so many wonderful topics in their reading subjects. But, I do believe it would be ok to change the pace for 7th grade.

 

I'm really just curious about this program. It seems very thorough, but it's a bit pricey for my taste. However, if it's a really solid program, I'm all over it.

 

Any thoughts on the program? Your experience with it and how it compares with other programs you've used?

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I am pondering MOSDOS myself for 5th grade next year. But it would be a lot of money if it's a "miss." So I'm anxiously in the bleachers waiting for someone to talk me into it.

 

With my older son we already did Lightning Lit 7 and loved it, but I feel it's a half year program.

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I was going to use it for my soon-to-be sixth grader next year based on a recommendation that I received on this board, plus the fact that I looked at it and liked how it looked. We've actually managed to go for the rest of this year without a literature program at all (just using real books) and it has been fine. Still, I think I may go with the program for next year.

 

I thought the LL program might be something to consider when he gets older.

 

I hope someone who has used the program pipes up!

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I used the Ruby level last year and really liked the stories. I found it difficult to implement the actual instruction as most of it is strewn throughout the teacher's manual in the form of annotations to the story. There are also lots of questions for each page of the story. The annotations and the questions on each page are the heart of the instruction. I found that I didn't like to interrupt my son's reading to point things out or ask questions and he got cranky if we went back after he was done. The questions at the end of each story weren't very instructive.

 

We tried Coral at the beginning of this year, and for some reason I didn't like the stories nearly as much. The instruction is a little more coherent in that what's in the book applies a bit more to the literary element supposedly being taught. We abandoned it after a few months and are now happily using K12's 6th grade literature course.

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EKS- so, did you find the questions at the end of each story to be more 'busy work'? I'm really tired of busy work, we are both ready for him to move on to meaty material.

 

It sounds like you didn't find the literary analysis to be very strong. Would that be true?

 

thanks so much!

 

The literary analysis is not focused. There is a lot in the teacher's manual that I didn't use because there was *too* much. I didn't have expertise to pick the things that were relevant, I didn't have the time to figure it out, and I didn't have the energy to go through every last thing.

 

The questions at the end of each story generally didn't help the child focus on the literary element supposedly being discussed. Of if they did, it was in a peripheral way. Here's an example. For the section on characters in the Ruby book there is a very short story called Starfish and then a longer passage called Two Big Bears (from Little House in the Big Woods). Actually, this is the pattern for every concept, a short passage followed by a longer one.

 

On the same page as the passage Starfish there is this description of what characters are:

(1) The characters are all the people in the story

(2) The characters who are the most important are called the main characters

(3) In some stories, the characters remain the same from beginning to end

(4) In other stories, the characters change because of something that happens in the story.

 

Then the kid is supposed the read the short passage and answer the following questions (this is usually the most focused part):

(1) Who are the three characters in Starfish?

(2) Two of the characters remain the same throughout the story. Which two?

(3) The third character learns a few lessons near the end of the story. What is one of those lessons?

 

Then the kid is supposed the read Two Big Bears and answer the following questions:

(1) Do you think Laura knew how much her parents cared for her? How do you know this?

(2) Why was Pa going to town?

(3) Why were Ma and Laura surprised to find Sukey out of the barn?

(4) Why couldn't the girls fall asleep and what did Ma say to reassure them?

(5) What did Pa have to leave at home that he wished for later?

(6) Compare the atmosphere in the house on the night Pa was away to the night after he returned.

(7) List at least three of Ma's characteristics and three of Laura's (this is the most focused question)

(8) Write about why it was important for Laura to follow her mother's' instructions without question.

(9) When a writer describes something that is not human as though it were a person, the writer is using personification. The author uses personification when describing the wind: "All around the house the wind went crying as though it were lost in the dark and the cold. The wind sounded frightened." Imaging that the books and supplies on your desk could think, talk, and move around. Write a paragraph in which you give human traits to something in your desk.

(10) Laura will surely want to share stories with her children just as Pa shared stories with her. Make a storybook with illustrations describing Laura and Ma's encounter with the bear.

 

I think a more helpful approach would be to have the end of section questions focus specifically on the literary element being taught. Mosdos just doesn't seem to take this approach with the Ruby book. Things were a bit more focused with the Coral book, but for some reason the stories weren't nearly as compelling to me.

 

Sorry this is so long--I wanted you to be able to see if you thought it was busywork because everyone has a different take on that.

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The literary analysis is not focused. There is a lot in the teacher's manual that I didn't use because there was *too* much. I didn't have expertise to pick the things that were relevant, I didn't have the time to figure it out, and I didn't have the energy to go through every last thing.

 

The questions at the end of each story generally didn't help the child focus on the literary element supposedly being discussed. Of if they did, it was in a peripheral way. Here's an example. For the section on characters in the Ruby book there is a very short story called Starfish and then a longer passage called Two Big Bears (from Little House in the Big Woods). Actually, this is the pattern for every concept, a short passage followed by a longer one.

 

On the same page as the passage Starfish there is this description of what characters are:

(1) The characters are all the people in the story

(2) The characters who are the most important are called the main characters

(3) In some stories, the characters remain the same from beginning to end

(4) In other stories, the characters change because of something that happens in the story.

 

Then the kid is supposed the read the short passage and answer the following questions (this is usually the most focused part):

(1) Who are the three characters in Starfish?

(2) Two of the characters remain the same throughout the story. Which two?

(3) The third character learns a few lessons near the end of the story. What is one of those lessons?

 

Then the kid is supposed the read Two Big Bears and answer the following questions:

(1) Do you think Laura knew how much her parents cared for her? How do you know this?

(2) Why was Pa going to town?

(3) Why were Ma and Laura surprised to find Sukey out of the barn?

(4) Why couldn't the girls fall asleep and what did Ma say to reassure them?

(5) What did Pa have to leave at home that he wished for later?

(6) Compare the atmosphere in the house on the night Pa was away to the night after he returned.

(7) List at least three of Ma's characteristics and three of Laura's (this is the most focused question)

(8) Write about why it was important for Laura to follow her mother's' instructions without question.

(9) When a writer describes something that is not human as though it were a person, the writer is using personification. The author uses personification when describing the wind: "All around the house the wind went crying as though it were lost in the dark and the cold. The wind sounded frightened." Imaging that the books and supplies on your desk could think, talk, and move around. Write a paragraph in which you give human traits to something in your desk.

(10) Laura will surely want to share stories with her children just as Pa shared stories with her. Make a storybook with illustrations describing Laura and Ma's encounter with the bear.

 

I think a more helpful approach would be to have the end of section questions focus specifically on the literary element being taught. Mosdos just doesn't seem to take this approach with the Ruby book. Things were a bit more focused with the Coral book, but for some reason the stories weren't nearly as compelling to me.

 

Sorry this is so long--I wanted you to be able to see if you thought it was busywork because everyone has a different take on that.

 

Thanks, Kai. I had briefly flirted with the idea of checking out Mosdos and you have saved me a bunch of money. That kind of literary analysis (which it isn't) gives me a rash. I think I will stick with K12 and tweaking my own thing. I am assuming you think the K12 selections are much better. My son enjoys the readings in the Classics for Young Readers books.

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Thanks, Kai. I had briefly flirted with the idea of checking out Mosdos and you have saved me a bunch of money. That kind of literary analysis (which it isn't) gives me a rash. I think I will stick with K12 and tweaking my own thing. I am assuming you think the K12 selections are much better. My son enjoys the readings in the Classics for Young Readers books.

 

I like the K12 selections for the most part, but what I really like about K12 is that they do a good job focusing on what they're trying to teach instead of trying to teach everything all at once and ending up not teaching anything very well. The interactive element with the online lessons also appeals to my son, which helps immensely.

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We have loved Mosdos! It is definitely my pick for best choice that we've made, and when we have talked about dd going back to school, she has mentioned that she would like to continue afterschooling Mosdos.

 

I find it very easy to use - each page of the student's reading is reproduced in small format in the teacher's book, with number notes around the other edges. These draw attention to theme, plot, metaphor etc etc. It makes it very easy to be a "professional". I either interrupt dd's reading to comment, or I comment on several issues at the end of the page. This is very much the procedure I recall from high school literature studies.

 

There are also a number of questions for each page of the student book - these are either literal questions, which simply test attention, and a few are analytical question, of the "what/why do you think" variety. As dd has good recall we generally skip the literal questions.

 

There is a lot of additional info for dedicated teacher - I must admit I generally don't do any pre-reading, and just open the book and work through the basic material.

 

The stories are enjoyable, and all show solid values, which is a core aspect of Mosdos.

 

We used Ruby last year, and Coral this year.

 

Great programme - I really can't speak highly enough of it.

 

Nikki

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Confusing! Based on the price tag I was tempted to turn away due to the mixed review. However, I went back and looked at the sample again (6th grade Pearl), and I still really like the sample! I think I'm going to go ahead and give it a try anyway. I appreciate everyone's honest opinions.

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