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s/o Curricula that didn't work for you this year?


Halcyon
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As a s/o to the curriculum you've been happy with thread, I thought I'd start a 'curriculum that bombed with you this year' :) just to even things out.

 

I'll start:

 

1. Elemental Science: I know it's sacrilege to say this didn't work with us, and I had high hopes for it, but this didn't work for our family, primarily because my boys (and I) prefer to have a varied diet of chemistry, biology, physical science and earth science throughout the year. Initially, we all really liked it, but all the cutting, gluing, and such got old. I think we needed a bit more variety. I also found the multiple printouts and pages too much for me to deal with (this was before I bought my laser printer, however; it would probably be much easier now). My younger ended up just reading through the assigned books and doing his own narrations and drawings. For my older, we moved to a Core Knowledge curriculum.

 

2. Math Mammoth: this is a great curriculum, but my younger didn't like the density of problems on each page. Plus, I thought the sheer number of problems in 1a (the section we purchased) was overwhelming. For a child who needs more review, I think it would be a great choice. We've moved to Singapore but I retain the right to use MM for review when needed :D

 

3. McHenry's The Elements: I think my son was too young for this, plus there was his desire for a more varied science curriculum (see above). I think we'll revisit it next year, not sure.

 

Add yours.

 

ETA: I'll add one more which we actually enjoyed (so doesn't quite fit on this thread)but simply could not find the time for: Homeschool in the Woods New Explorers Lap Book. It's an amazing thing, but it's HUGE, time consuming and it just didn't get done. One day, perhaps. But not this year. :)

Edited by Halcyon
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Apologia Astronomy. Ugh. This is my second time TRYING to make it work, but I just really don't like reading aloud from the text. My daughter even gave me permission to quit....

 

The KBC lapbook that went with Apologia Astronomy almost drove me insane, I just couldn't handle the way it is designed, VERY hard for me to figure out which elements needed to be done for which lesson and where they were in the file! I had to have like three or four pieces of paper out at the same time.

 

I think those are the only things we officially ditched this year!

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The only thing we dropped was FLL 3. Just not a good fit for us, but my youngest is enjoying FLL 1. Go figure!

 

Making lots of switches for next year. Never regret trying something though because otherwise I will wonder how it would have worked. :tongue_smilie:

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What didn't work for us?

 

Worldy Wise (just a weird way to learn vocabulary for my DD)

A Little History of the World

SOTW 1 Activity Guide (but we love the text of the book)

Funnix 2 (boring, too repetitive)

CLE LA 200s (not sure why my DD hates them with such passion)

 

unit studies, in general :(

Edited by mamatohaleybug
added another miss
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Noeo Biology I and II - not sure why I thought a notebooking curriculum was going to work with my dyslexic and dysgraphic kids lol

 

Math U See Epsilon and Zeta- too much repetition, and the kids were bored stiff

 

FLL 1- Everytime I grabbed this book, my 6yo dd would cry and hide. I am sure it is a wonderful program, but for us it was mind-numbing

 

WWE Textbook- nope, just not a good fit

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Science was a total bust here. I tried A Beka for my little guys....should have known better...

Apologia Genersl Science bombed for dd...even with the lap book. She is not too sciencey...and this just was torture for her....sigh. All my older kids loved Apologia...this kid is always different.

 

I tried CLE science...it was a bust for all 3 kids

 

Basically, we ended up watching some Nova videos, lots of Magic School Bus, Beakmans World and Bill Nye, myth busters etc.

 

Latin never got started....sigh.

 

SOTW 4 seems so disjointed to me...we are having such a hard time getting through this volume. I am determined to finish it up though. I can't ditch it now after spending 6 years in 1-3+ 12 chapters into Vol.4. We read up to the Boer wars this year...and I plan to do the 20 th century next year. I think I may reorganize it into geographical and better chronological order to make it flow better for us. I have searched high and low for history plans for the 20th century that uses SOTW 4 to no avail, so I guess I need to go back to the old drawing board and put it together myself...which I will probably end up liking better anyway.

 

So....that's about it.

 

 

Faithe

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My bust was Teaching Textbooks. It was wayyyyyy too hands off for me. I could see which problems dd got wrong and I could verify that she reviewed the helps, but there was no way I could really see which step in the problem was wrong. I should have bought the workbook for her to work it all out in, then I could see it and be a part of her math instruction more. And it's SO expensive! We went back to CLE (which worked great for her and we never should have left!)

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This year it was RS4K Chemistry level 1. The text is decent, but the program itself was a bust for us. We much prefer RSO Chemistry.

 

I think that was the only thing that we actually tried and then switched due to disliking it. I bought some other used curricula to check out that we never used, but I don't consider it a bust as we never even started.

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All American History. Too explorer-intensive. Also I found it dry. And presented in a disjointed way.

 

DS11 was okay with Easy Grammar, DS9 really disliked it, so we started MCT mid-year with him.

 

Wordsmith and Wordsmith Apprentice got done, but I didn't like them as well as I thought I was going to.

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None of these were bad programs - they just didn't fit us:

 

Rod & Staff English 2 - I couldn't take the text making it sound like if you didn't use a complete sentence, you were sinning. It also used verses out if context (like doing all things decently in order - applying that to writing, when the actual context is the assembly of the church). I loved the exercises, and it was easy to do. I would just need to pre-read the lesson and reword it in order to not go insane. I also got bored, doing the same thing for 6 weeks. I may use parts of it in the future, but for now, it's shelved.

 

Rod & Spelling 2 - didn't seem to be teaching phonics much, though the next levels look much better. The words were too easy, and without having any rules to learn, it ended up busy work.

 

CLE Reading 100 - religious differences, overuse of the schwa, busy work

 

Elemental Science Intro - This would have been good for my son at 3 or maybe 4, but at 6, he already understood the concepts being taught.

 

Sequential Spelling 1 - My son had no problem going through the daily tests, but he wanted to know why words were spelled the way they were. He does very well with learning a rule and applying it, so we needed an explicit phonics/rules based program.

 

Rightstart A - I disagree with the way they teach numbers to a K'er, and the whole thing felt... Silly? I just much prefer the method used in Singapore Essential Math K. It's exactly how my kids learn well. My oldest would have been bored with RS, with all the manipulatives.

 

Biblioplan Ancients - I could have just as easily used the redshift list that merges SOTW with Egermeier, but I found that it was much easier on me to do separate threads - one SOTW and one Egermeier's. Now history easily gets done, and I'm finding us making more connections with the separate threads - go figure. Even my 6 year old will hear something in one or the other and remember something we talked about previously in the other thread that connects them together.

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NOEO Bio I & II--loved Chem, looking fwd to Physics, but Bio was *boring*--too much reading, not enough experiments.

 

Suppose the Octopus...

 

I was disappointed in the mapwork for SOTW 4--haven't felt that way previously, but this time there was no color-coding, & very little other than labeling the relevant countries to that chapter. Oh well. Ds knows his political geography better than me now. :lol:

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ARTistic Pursuits K-3 Book 1

I like the program, but it doesn't work for my drawing/coloring "challenged" 7yo just quite yet. My 4 & 3yo started groaning and whining when it was time to use the watercolor crayons AGAIN, so we stopped.

 

I plan to dust it off in a couple of years because I think it's a good program, just not at this point in their development.

 

We ALMOST ditched WWE 1 because we just couldn't get "into" it, but then we dropped behind schedule and I made her do some extra work for a couple of weeks and it just clicked after that and we're fine now.

Edited by MrsBrooke
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I only had two go wrong this year...

 

CLE Reading (both 3rd & 5th ) - both dds hated it and I actually heard moaning when I got the books out. We ditched it midyear and just went back to reading whole books and discussing.

 

R&S English 3 - only for my younger- this series is just not for her. She hates it and retains nothing. My older has gone through 5th grade and loves it and retains everything.:001_huh: Uggh.

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OPGTR- dry as a bone- we like Phonics Pathways much better

WRTR- need a summer to get comfortable with it

MUS- just no working for us anymore- was great to get us up to speed, though

MFW ECC- it turns out I don't like everything scheduled for me but I think it's sweet

Sonlight- too relaxed- good when they're really young

Spelling Workout- not so great for kids with dyslexia

Latin- in an ideal world yes.. realistically- Spanish

 

 

Whoa- that's a long list. I guess this was the year to learn about teaching/learning styles.

Edited by MyLittleBears
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Good programs that just didn't "click" with the student:

 

 

 

  • Right Start A at the beginning of this year with DS. I'm considering giving it another shot, however, now that he's older and more mature.

 

 

 

  • Peterson Directed Handwriting with DD. Meltdown central every time I tried it with her. I finally bit the bullet last week and switched her to Memoria Press' New American Cursive.
  • a creative writing program called Adventures in Fantasy. It's a great reference book but without actual lessons, I haven't been able to figure out how to implement it.

 

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Every year there are some, aren't there?

 

Teaching Textbooks- argh!

 

Lightning lit- my DD hates the exercises in those books!

 

For youngest DD- so far bombs were CLE LTR (DS loved), OPGTR, and Phonics Pathways- again all used and loved by the other kids- she hates. :confused:

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Megawords- Annette, didn't care for it. She did well with it though. We switched to Soaring with Spelling and now she's happy.

 

Horizons Math 4-dd was okay with it but I needed a better TM.

 

McRuffy Math-I loved it and the kids didn't complain but it took too long. I started it in the summer when we had more time. I may finish it this summer as review.

 

Getty-Dubay Italic-the kids couldn't get use to the font.

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Lightning Lit 7 & 8. I can't put my finger on why we didn't like it but it was awful. Didn't really like Figuratively Speaking either.:glare:

 

Trail Guide to U.S. Geography. I think it's an O.K. idea. We just really didn't have time for it.

 

Saxon Grammar & Writing. We switched to R&S and love, love, love it!!

 

Also some Logic text...blue cover, white spirals..can't think of the author's name. It's not a well-known text but it was recommended in a thread here a while back which is how I heard of it. Anyway, it made me cry. Real tears. I think my son liked it O.K. but I don't know why. He'd miss a bunch of problems and I couldn't tell him why they were wrong. Ditched it.

 

I also could not get Bible off the ground for my 7th and 8th grader. We tried The Greatest Book You'll Ever Study (or something like that) by Starr Meade and a study guide for the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

 

I also could not get Fallacy Detective or Thinking Toolbox off the ground though I do like these books alot.

 

Oh, I also ditched SOTW 2 for TruthQuest. I was just in the mood for more real books and no text though we kept it handy for random topics.

 

I think that's everything. Sounds like a lot. :tongue_smilie:

But we really had one of our best years ever.

Maybe that's not saying much for previous years. :lol:

This is the second time ever, since we began homeschooling that I've not been either pregnant (which makes me sick and very tired) or nursing a newborn (which just takes tons of TIME and makes me a little grumpy) The first time that happened we moved cross country....kinda stressful, very time-consuming. So this has just been a stellar year! :001_smile:

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MEP didn't work out so well... Not even revision - no retention. I'm switching to SM (don't know if getting Essential or Earlybird yet).

 

Step by Step Reading - I think it was because my ds is not that good at writing yet so having to write letters at the same time than learning the sounds was drivig him crazy. Also, it was a bit dry... I'm going with Jolly Phonics now.

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Spectrum Spelling: even though ds was okay with it, no learning taking place and no retention. I know he needed something else, and we switched to Wheeler's Elementary Speller. Both mama and ds are happy now.

 

El Espanol Facil - The Easy Spanish: just.. Meh. I'm giving it another shot from now until July. In conjunction with Muzzy it should be good, and if we add Rosetta Stone even better.

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Spelling Workout: We ditched this by the third week of school. Too much busy work.

 

Megawords: I got this for my oldest and it too was busywork for him. Ditched it after two lessons. I am still searching for the right spelling programme for him.

 

A Reason for Handwriting: My son did finish it, but didn't like it. He found it dull and wasn't at all motivated to do the verse and colour it.

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Oak Meadow--It took a lot of one on one time for me, as ds wasn't ready to just jump in and work on his own, and we were just too busy through November. Then Christmas came and....well I gave up before then. Too much time for us and the math is just not how my brain works so I can't teach it.

 

Elemental science--The problem with this is rolled into the too much time factor coupled with trying to do OM and TWO Elemental Science programs because my dc each wanted something different and I said "okay!" :001_huh:

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Tapestry of Grace: Great program but it moved too fast for us, we were always reading and I have one that hates to read with a passion and another that likes reading but is a very slow reader so it would take all day. There were a few books that were a complete bomb. My non-audio child was lost in the discussion periods. My Aspie son couldn't keep up with the worksheets (and his mother was too overwhelmed to go back and make a notebook mid-year). We never had time to do the cool hands-on. Mostly, it doesn't fit my check boxing style that precludes me from most programs.

 

MCT Paragraph Town: We loved the story but my kids needed to back up to the actual structure of a good paragraph before applying the tips to making the paragraph better. I felt slammed. We are working on paragraphs and suddenly, the book is asking for an essay and essays had never been covered. I feel essay will be same way so I'm teaching the essay and then reading Essay Voyage.

 

Caesar's English: The references to literature that my kids have never read goes over their head.

 

The Way We Work (Book by MaCauley)-way over my kids heads.

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Rod and Staff 4 and then 5 didn't work for us this year. We got 3/4 of the way through 5 and dd flunked her pronouns test. I realized she hadn't retained anything so what was the point in continuing to torture her? So we moved over to FLL4 and are flying through it. All 3 of my older kids love FLL but I am keeping R&S on the shelf just in case the fourth one needs it.

 

Lively Latin for dd11, but it is working for ds9. Maybe it is because she is also taking Greek.

 

Everything else has worked out great for us.

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Just two for us:

 

Elementary Spanish: We hung on with this for two years because the program runs through 8th grade and because I had already paid for my Discovery Streaming subscription, but in the end we had to face the fact that the kids learned nothing. We switched to Getting Started With Spanish/Scholastic Spanish magazines and we are all much happier (and learning more).

 

Writing Strands 3: Weird. Odd. Disjointed. Unfun.

 

Oh, and I guess I should add Right Start C. I switched my ds8 to Math Mammoth after RS B because I knew C would be a disaster for him. I planned to stick with RS (all the way through, as I already have D and E) for dd9, but after C, when I looked at D and saw that division didn't start until more than 100 lessons in, we jumped to MM in a hot second.

 

Tara

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Apologia Gen. Science - This text reads like a political campaign- definitely has an "agenda" and sucked the love of science right out of my child! (BTW- we are Christians, I just don't want my science text to try to "prove" creation by God.)

 

Cambridge Latin- Did not like this approach- (whole to parts)

 

Chalkdust pre algebra text - Only used the text (not program) at a co-op. My son does not do well with "mastery" approach.

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1. Thinkwell Prealgebra: The lectures are wonderful and just what we needed, but the problem sets are terrible on many levels. So terrible that we stopped using Thinkwell even though my son was using it very happily.

 

2. Foerster's Algebra II: I realize this isn't the high school board, but I'll put it here anyway. I found that there was a disconnect between the harder problems and the instruction in the book. We moved to Lial's Intermediate Algebra and were much happier.

 

3. MCT's Magic Lens I: The first part was ok, but the loops were not what my son needed. It looks like he has revised the book and taken them out, though.

 

4. SOTW 3 (and 4): We found that the adherence to chronology was making the narrative lose coherence. We moved to K12's History 4 and it has been much better.

 

5. Mosdos Coral: The stories were boring (in stark contrast to the Ruby book) and the instruction was lacking. They introduce a literary element and then never really get back to it. We moved to K12's English A, the literature part only) and it has been mostly perfect.

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Only one total flop for dd11 and only because the level wasn't right for her---------the upcoming Writing with Skill curriculum (we beta-tested it). Dd was already comfortable with multilevel outlines so she hated going through the steps. She also didn't like some of the reading passages either, sigh. We just stopped the beta test as daily tears were not very enjoyable :rolleyes:

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For whatever reason, Math Mammoth did not work for my DS. He was using Handwriting Without Tears at the same time as we were doing Math Mammoth, and he took to calling it "Math With Tears." I have no idea why. He loves Miquon, and he's doing okay with R&S Math now, but Math Mammoth was a total flop. I really pushed us to finish out all the work for the year, and I wish I hadn't.

 

Rod & Staff English 2 - I couldn't take the text making it sound like if you didn't use a complete sentence, you were sinning. It also used verses out if context (like doing all things decently in order - applying that to writing, when the actual context is the assembly of the church). I loved the exercises, and it was easy to do. I would just need to pre-read the lesson and reword it in order to not go insane. I also got bored, doing the same thing for 6 weeks. I may use parts of it in the future, but for now, it's shelved.

 

We're using R&S English 2 after my not really loving FLL 1 for first grade.

 

I totally agree with some of the religious issues of the text. Plus, I'm a pretty liberal Episcopalian, and some of the sentences just do not work for us. But at this point it's too much for my son to rewrite entire sentences anyway, so I go over the lessons we're doing each week, and make up my own worksheets for him. If they want him to write out the entire sentence and then correctly punctuate it, I just type out the sentence and all he has to do is write in the punctuation. And that way I can edit or just totally change out any sentences that don't work with our family's beliefs.

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Song School Latin ~ somehow I just forgot about it :o Too many other things going? I don't know. We'll try again this year.

 

FLL & WWE (2 & 3) ~ These were not a good fit for me. I learned years ago (i.e. when I tried using Saxon & Shurley with my oldest, now graduated student) that I'm not a scripted program type of gal. I should have passed these by :glare:

 

MUS is no longer working for us. I think maybe we just need some variety. The kids are bored (and so am I).

 

MCT Magic Lens I ~ Just could not get this going. What is up with not having any kind of lesson plans ?!? Wondering if he addressed these issues in the re-write.

 

TOG as our main program ~ I wanted this to work for us sooooo bad. But it didn't (too teacher intensive). Maybe for highschool when I don't have any littles? We ditched it and have been using a SL/WP combo instead. Working somewhat better, but still not a great fit. Next year we're going w/ HOD, because I think it will address some of the areas where I see weaknesses in the kids i.e. my teaching (grammar, spelling & writing) I hope that it's not another bust. You'd think that after 14 years I'd have this down cold :tongue_smilie:

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We ditched R&S math half way through and R&S Phonics part-way through. They are both good curriculum, and if you are looking for a traditional approach to math and a thorough workbook approach to phonics, I would recommend them. However, I found that Math Mammoth teaches the why behind math that I like better, and Phonics Road teaches the why behind phonics and the spelling rule better.

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This was only my second year of attempting to hs so I am still trying things out to see what is good for our family.

 

We tried and it didn't work for us:

Winter Promise Animals and their worlds I thought my boys would really love this but it was too much for me. I wasn't crazy about the books or activities.

 

Galloping the Globe we tried and did like this but I couldn't keep up with searching for things and making my lesson plans.

 

FLL and WWE both my ds and I got very bored. I wanted to like both of them but we never clicked with the programs

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R&S Science. We just really did not like it.

 

We changed my daughter's LA in December. We were using WWE2, Writing Strands 2, and R&S English. We liked them all (or I like it anyway), but it wasn't working for my daughter. So we switched to BJU English, which is working much better & we're sticking with that next year.

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This is such a good thread. Whenever a curriculum doesn't work for our family I always feel that it is my fault; that I have failed somehow. It's a nice reminder to see that some things just don't work for people - we all have to find the right fit.

 

The only thing that didn't work well this year for us was doing mindbenders on the computer. I bought them for the pc because I thought it would be cheaper over the long haul than getting workbooks at 10 bucks a pop. But it didn't really get done - I think we would have accomplished more if we had had the workbooks in hand.

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This is such a good thread. Whenever a curriculum doesn't work for our family I always feel that it is my fault; that I have failed somehow. It's a nice reminder to see that some things just don't work for people - we all have to find the right fit.

 

The only thing that didn't work well this year for us was doing mindbenders on the computer. I bought them for the pc because I thought it would be cheaper over the long haul than getting workbooks at 10 bucks a pop. But it didn't really get done - I think we would have accomplished more if we had had the workbooks in hand.

 

I have found that this always holds true in my house. I think it's because the kids can actally see the progress that they're making and have a sense of accomplishment. Whenever I buy a computer program instead, we stall.

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