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ok I have so far liked LHFHG but we are only finishing unit 5. I thought the science was supposed to be tied into the history/bible reading for the day and so far I've been able to make the connection but today we discussed how God provided quail and manna for the Israelites and the science lesson was to read a page on migratory patterns of birds?!

 

In frustration I just finished the entire unit in one sitting - took us maybe 20 minutes to read all the bible/history, act out the bible story and "build" a calf and "smash" it - 3 days worth of lessons. We were aleady ahead on the read-alouds and she's finding the activities to help her learn the bible verses redundant and boring - she'd rather just repeat the verse and memorize them straight up without the "activity" to go with it.

 

I'm annoyed. I spent good money on this curriculum... was this just a bad unit or is the science generally pathetic?

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I added Elemental Science to HOD. We did Bigger Hearts this year. We still did HOD science because in Bigger it is tied in with the history. I don't think it is as integrated in LHFHG and BLHFHG. I will add science to Preparing as well, but I'm going to try to see how CtC goes before adding anything else to it. A lot of people think science is light in HOD in those early guides. I have to agree which is why we added it, but doing the extra has been easy. My boys love science so they'll take as much as I will throw at them :)

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I guess I am just feeling frustrated today - like I spent all this money after hours of research and now what I thought was * perfect* is in fact not working for us anymore after just 5 units.

 

I did the same thing with phonics - after hating 100 ez lessons, I did a bunch of research and picked an *awesome* program (alphabet Island) that I was sure my DD would LOVE (and she did love the first part - learning the letter sounds/how to write them) but she hated it after that. I ended up buying AAR1, which we have enjoyed, and I have now also bought phonics pathways because it's a complete program and cheaper than AAR.

 

I did a bunch of research on K curriculum and bought LHFHG... I've been shifting to a more classical style (after being trained for public school teaching, so quite a shift) and as I get more into it, I am learning my priorities are going to shift away from what HOD can offer and I need to move to a multi-age learning program like TOG or MFW. I prefer the look of TOG because I can use it through HS and pick and choose will work for us for each unit (and I can stretch or compress each unit as necessary).

 

My mom's opinion is that I need to stop researching and stick with HOD because I already bought it (she homeschooled me and my bro back when Abeka and Bob Jones were basically the only options, so not using a text book is foreign to her). my DH's opinion is that I should go with TOG and I am struggling to trust my opinion in anything after this morning's lesson!

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I guess I am just feeling frustrated today - like I spent all this money after hours of research and now what I thought was * perfect* is in fact not working for us anymore after just 5 units.

 

I did the same thing with phonics - after hating 100 ez lessons, I did a bunch of research and picked an *awesome* program (alphabet Island) that I was sure my DD would LOVE (and she did love the first part - learning the letter sounds/how to write them) but she hated it after that. I ended up buying AAR1, which we have enjoyed, and I have now also bought phonics pathways because it's a complete program and cheaper than AAR.

 

I did a bunch of research on K curriculum and bought LHFHG... I've been shifting to a more classical style (after being trained for public school teaching, so quite a shift) and as I get more into it, I am learning my priorities are going to shift away from what HOD can offer and I need to move to a multi-age learning program like TOG or MFW. I prefer the look of TOG because I can use it through HS and pick and choose will work for us for each unit (and I can stretch or compress each unit as necessary).

 

My mom's opinion is that I need to stop researching and stick with HOD because I already bought it (she homeschooled me and my bro back when Abeka and Bob Jones were basically the only options, so not using a text book is foreign to her). my DH's opinion is that I should go with TOG and I am struggling to trust my opinion in anything after this morning's lesson!

 

 

The early guides of HOD don't give a good picture of what the program is like as a whole. As I look at CtC it is very different. The upper guides are far more challenging. I started out with using the classical model for my little guy. We had a great first year, but we didn't have nearly as much fun as we are with a CM approach. I love both methods, and think there is merit in both. I wish I had been easier on my little guy in K and 1st. We will get to the more challenging material by 3rd.

 

Most of my friends who were public school teachers first have a difficult time embracing the gentleness of a CM approach for the early years. I get it. I had a difficult time with it at first too. For me being easy on them in K, 1st and 2nd gives me a chance to really focus on the 3 Rs which gives me the time to have fun with all the other stuff. I'm going to be easier on my 2nd grader next year. He's only a little guy once :) You have to pick something that you really believe in though, and it sounds like you are being pulled in another direction.

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Yes! The science is light. I get so excited when I see that we have a scheduled science reading and then we do it and I'm wishing for so much more! But, it is a $10 book, and I feel the rest of the curriculum is worth it, for us. (I actually do like the book, I just wish it had more!) In all honesty, we mainly skip that rotating box; if I see a science reading we read it and I don't even try and tie it into the lesson. LHFHG has not been my favorite guide, by far, but we are getting it done. My favorite guide so far is Bigger, I am enjoying the science much more in that one. I just bought Preparing last night, and can't wait until it arrives. We do add Apologia readings for science, when we are able to fit it in. Sorry you are disappointed - I don't think you will feel much different about the science in MFW, and TOG doesn't have any science. TOG will definitely feel like steroids after LHFHG, though!

 

Good luck!

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The early guides of HOD don't give a good picture of what the program is like as a whole. As I look at CtC it is very different. The upper guides are far more challenging. I started out with using the classical model for my little guy. We had a great first year, but we didn't have nearly as much fun as we are with a CM approach. I love both methods, and think there is merit in both. I wish I had been easier on my little guy in K and 1st. We will get to the more challenging material by 3rd.

 

Most of my friends who were public school teachers first have a difficult time embracing the gentleness of a CM approach for the early years. I get it. I had a difficult time with it at first too. For me being easy on them in K, 1st and 2nd gives me a chance to really focus on the 3 Rs which gives me the time to have fun with all the other stuff. I'm going to be easier on my 2nd grader next year. He's only a little guy once :) You have to pick something that you really believe in though, and it sounds like you are being pulled in another direction.

 

:iagree:

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I get the whole take it easy thing for younger grades, I am really trying to hold myself back and not push - maybe TOG is too much even if I do pick and choose carefully.

 

But, how do you join the whole cm style approach, which I do agree with in many ways, with a child who asks to do more? She will ask to do math, or, can we do more reading? and will often get really excited when I get some kind of hands on activity out to do (like at Thanksgiving we made a wigwam on our table... boy that was messy but fun) and she asks questions about all kinds of things - soaks up any half decent lesson I throw at her (like the turtle in our yard - she asked a bunch of questions about it, which we wrote down and I found a kid friendly article online to read about turtles and after reading it to her she went through each question and answered them all - then got all excited to tell Daddy the extra thing we learned, that turtles like the color red!). we went through a magic school bus science kit on the human body and loved every activity we did. I just feel like there's not much content to LHFHG, just the same thing repeated. She is getting all the same basic "history" lessons in Sunday school and from our family devotions. I just am not sure where to turn from here.

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Is this your first and your oldest? I don't want to be giving you advice if you've been there done that with kids older than mine. (I know that never goes well. :))

 

If so, here's my thoughts. With my son (oldest), I probably would not have stuck with LHFHG. He was (is) very precocious and I would have felt like it wasn't enough. I would have given my front teeth for TOG, I wanted it soooo bad. So, I don't think it's a bad choice. I think it's a lot, and may be a good fit for your dd! LHFHG is perfect for *my* daughter b/c she wants to get school done as fast as possible and go play. With what you are saying, don't feel like you can't add to LHFHG! If she asks for more math or reading, by all means give it to her! (We are not on the HOD math schedule, although we are using Singapore.) What if you added in a fun math, such as Miquon? My son did a lot of Miquon in K & 1st. Read, read, read - don't worry if you are reading more than scheduled. As for the Bible/history - it's a good fit for us b/c I like that I am introducing it and talking to her about it, even though she already knows the story. I especially like when we do the reading from A History for Little Pilgrims, I feel like it's a little more substantial "school". ;) Your turtle unit study sounds like a blast, and my son does a lot of stuff like that. (DD, not so much.) We're you planning to continue LHFHG through next year? She sounds ready for Beyond...

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it is my first, which is probably why I feel so frustrated, I feel like I am screwing it up already. I wonder if I should try MFW K, and just start from a clean K level to solidify skills and keep things easy and gentle.

 

I have added some work from math mammoth, and totally abandoned the math square. She loves reading so much that it is like pulling teeth to keep close to the read-aloud schedule. She would have me go through the whole book in one day if I agreed.

 

My first thought was to continue on and move up to beyond whenever we finished, probably mid year next year. Then I started looking ahead to see what was coming so I could see what books I could sub out of my own library and I realized how expensive it got in the upcoming years. And I think I would prefer a curriculum that allowed cooperative learning across all ages instead of keeping each child in a single guide (and I am going to have to run at least 3 guides eventually which looks stressful). So I started looking at MFW and TOG.

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For Little Hearts and Beyond I just do the science experiments when scheduled but I just read the science text straight through a couple pages a week. Yes the science in those two guides is fairly light but we are talking K-2nd here at the most. The amount of science is appropriate for those ages. It is honestly more science than many PS teach at those ages. I understand the whole oldest child who you feel like needs more in those early years(been there done that). I wish now that I had not pushed my oldest in K with academics. I honestly wish I had purchased LHFHG for him instead of what I did use. Enjoy your K year and have fun. If she wants more and you are up for it then do more. I let my daughter who is doing LHFHG do as many pages in her math and fine motor skills book as she wants. I actually ordered her the three R&S GHI books because I know she will use up the two scheduled before the end of the year.

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it is my first, which is probably why I feel so frustrated, I feel like I am screwing it up already. I wonder if I should try MFW K, and just start from a clean K level to solidify skills and keep things easy and gentle.

 

I have added some work from math mammoth, and totally abandoned the math square. She loves reading so much that it is like pulling teeth to keep close to the read-aloud schedule. She would have me go through the whole book in one day if I agreed.

 

My first thought was to continue on and move up to beyond whenever we finished, probably mid year next year. Then I started looking ahead to see what was coming so I could see what books I could sub out of my own library and I realized how expensive it got in the upcoming years. And I think I would prefer a curriculum that allowed cooperative learning across all ages instead of keeping each child in a single guide (and I am going to have to run at least 3 guides eventually which looks stressful). So I started looking at MFW and TOG.

 

How far is your daughter in phonics? I started MFW K with my oldest at 4 1/2 and that was the perfect age for us. We start Little Heartsin July. We will probably stay with HOD until 3rd, take a break and do MFW ECC and then jump back to HOD. I have heard that the early guides aren't as great but that it really picks up in preparing.

 

Is your daughter reading CVC words well. If she is, I would venture to say do MFW 1st instead of K. When my daughter hit 5 years old, the K program became too easy.

 

I think all three of the programs you mentioned are great. We add extras to everything. We will more than likely do Singapore 1A with Little Hearts. We are finishing the K book now. It's just too easy. We are also doing Apologia Astronomy because my daughter loves science so much. I have no problem adding though. Sometimes you have to add to get exactly what you want. Don't be afraid to tweak. If you have any questions about MFW K, let me know. It is a very fun year, but I do believe it takes even less time than LHFHG as is.

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I actually ordered her the three R&S GHI books because I know she will use up the two scheduled before the end of the year.

 

I was SO excited to see they added those and that they are out! I hadn't realized there were more out! My kids both asked for them when they saw me looking at them. I only ordered G&H since that's what HOD's website had. Those are such a great deal and such gems!

 

To the OP - I don't think MFW K is where you want to head. If LHFHG is too easy, MFW K is going to be even easier; many people say it is an appropriate PreK program. For the read alouds - why don't you double up on the scheduled and add more of the Burgess books in? And you are not screwing her up! I know we feel that way, but we aren't!!!! I have/had Abeka books for K & 1st, and they aren't learning any more in those than they are in LHFHG (or MFW, for that matter). :grouphug: I'm not sure I understand exactly where she's at - is she ahead in math, able to read fluently? If so, I'd compare Beyond & MFW Adv. They are both very similar. If she's not, then I would stick with LHFHG and work on those skills. I was considering switching my daughter from LHFHG to MFW 1st next year, b/c the reading component appealed to me. The history in that program is going to be all Bible, though, too. I only have two, so the combining element is appealing to me, but not completely necessary. I do understand that it's appealing, though. Not to mention that the price will probably end up resulting in us switching over to MFW down the road, just not sure when. I hope you find what works for you!

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I was SO excited to see they added those and that they are out! I hadn't realized there were more out! My kids both asked for them when they saw me looking at them. I only ordered G&H since that's what HOD's website had. Those are such a great deal and such gems!

 

I didn't realize HOD was selling those two now. Is that the new 1st grade option. I used the GHI for my older daughter a few years ago. My dd who is using LHFHG right now already did the ABC books that aren't used for HOD for PreK. I love those little R&S books. ;)

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Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't used LHFHG yet (planning to) but I wanted to let you know that I think MFW K is even lighter then LHFHG (I"ve done a ton of research and my sister uses MFW) so if you're not happy with HOD I don't think you'll be any happier with MFW K. It's a lovely program but very gentle even more so than LHFHG. LHFHG is more history based while MFW K is more science based so if you want more science maybe it would work better in that aspect for you but the overall program is still very gentle and many consider it more of a pre-K.

 

You could double up the lessons and move her into Beyond a bit earlier or supplement with more math and science if you're daughter is interested..just a thought. :-) I'm not a science gal so the simple science in HOD is actually attractive to me (I know, I'm odd as that complaint about HOD in the early years is something that appeals to me...lol) and I still think my children will get more than what they would get in PS.

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For Little Hearts and Beyond I just do the science experiments when scheduled but I just read the science text straight through a couple pages a week.

 

 

This is interesting :) I'll be doing Beyond next year, and think this is a great idea. I may have to take your suggestion. It was kind of irritating to me that I had to read the science book all out of order. We'll be adding Elemental Science to the HOD science as well, but the out of order thing wasn't making much sense to me.

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She is ahead in some areas - math she is at a beginning first grade level.

Reading, not sure - what is K level? she can read any CVC word, CC blends, th, sh. some sight words.

Reading comprehension - high - she's an auditory learner and picks up on a lot as I read.

vocabulary/verbal language - high - she often surprises me in her ability to use a new vocabulary word, even if I only explain it once. She was an early and advanced talker.

Writing - I am just now starting to work with her on dictation - she can do the CV dictation from phonics pathways. She can write legibly and in the lines when she wants to.

 

She needs to work on her ability to draw, and she is starting to ask me to teach her how to draw.

we read a lot - we read the entire Little House on the Prairie series in about a 3 month period of time, following her interest level/attention span.

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But, how do you join the whole cm style approach, which I do agree with in many ways, with a child who asks to do more? She will ask to do math, or, can we do more reading?

 

 

I don't think CM is as light as people tend to think it is...We use CM and I will add extra if they are requesting it (and I have time). If you are interested in CM, you could add in some nature studies and journaling which would give her more science. Could you add in some related (or unrelated) science books?

 

There are some more great ideas here for K: http://simplycharlot...anning/eyguide/

This page lists some read alouds for science...I think any of the 1st-3rd grade selections would be fine for K and you could add some simple notebook pages if she's interested: http://simplycharlot...mguide/science/

 

We previously used HOD, but moved to a more traditional CM approach. My DC enjoyed the science in Bigger, but found Beyond's science a bit light. We didn't use LHFHG, but I imagine it's similar to Beyond since they both use CLP's books.

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she will start official K at the end of summer, she recently turned 5.

 

I've just recently started looking at the draw write now books. thanks for the suggestion!

If that is her age I would stay the course with LHFHG. You can let her go at her own pace for the 3 R's and add in fun extras like DWN, nature journaling, science shows, picture books or other chapter books etc. ;) Spring and Summer are the perfect time to do nature studies and enjoy the outdoors.

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well I will likely stay the course at least for now regardless, just adding fun stuff for the summer. I have a few weeks until our local homeschool curriculum fair and I would like an idea of what we will be moving into next, so that I can try to find stuff used. (buying LHFHG new worked for right now but it would be better for our budget to buy used as much as possible...)

 

I think the first thing I am going to do is read TWTM and research CM methods. I may just ditch the "boxed" curriculum idea and buy individual pieces that I want to do for K, adding whatever we are interested in (like more art) to LHFHG until we're finished with that, and continuing on from there.

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she will start official K at the end of summer, she recently turned 5.

 

I've just recently started looking at the draw write now books. thanks for the suggestion!

 

For the record, I am a curriculum whore. :o

 

I am currently using HOD, MFW, and TOG. Yes you read that right. :lol:

 

I also have soon to be 9 children.....so that is part of it.

 

I LOVE TOG!!! That said, it is NOT a full program like MFW or HOD. It is humanities only (a TON of it) but no science, math, and very little language arts. You will be adding in. It is our main curriculum as a family and my older ones are in an online co-op using TOG.

 

I am currently using Beyond for 2nd grader (we are behind), LHFHG for a Ker, and MFW 1st for both (reading mostly as I have not found a reading curriculum that has given results like MFW 1st)

 

I will be using MFW k in a couple weeks with dd just turned 4.

 

 

So......if I haven't lost you....my plan looks like this:

 

2-3years HOD LHTH

3-4 years MFW K

4-5 years HOD LHFHG

5-6 years (Kindergarten) MWF 1st

6-7 years Beyond (1st grade)

7-8 years Bigger (2nd; slowed down if needed)

8-9 MFW ECC

9-10 years HOD Preparing

 

Then they go full time into TOG. During previous years, they do history and literature readings from TOG and whatever they would like project wise from TOG. Very lite and interest led.

 

May sound like a TON, but it s working better than anything we have done yet. They all have a bit of their own projects and some shared.

 

I also have NO problem skipping any history or things they don't like in HOD and MFW.

 

For you....I would suggest STICKING WITH IT. I add MUS Alpha to LHFHG. I also add science videos and extra books (that you own or from library) to flesh out more from the topics. If dd loves listening to books, I would add selections from the following:

http://www.amblesideonline.org/00.shtml

http://www.sonlight.com/TMSP.html

http://www.sonlight.com/homeschool-curriculum.html?core=P

http://www.oldfashionededucation.com/0kindergarten.htm

 

MFW K will NOT solve the issue, as I believe it to be lighter than HOD LHFHG.

 

I can answer any questions that you may have. As you see, I have a bit of experience with the different curriculums and tweaking things to make it work. :D

 

Also for those of you in shock...........most of this has been purchased used. :) I got MFW K for 25.00 :p I am a HUGE discount shopper and really try to make it stretch.

 

If I have to spend money on any of it, it is for TOG. That is our program we are using through 12th grade.

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I really like the looks of TOG - especially as the kids get older.

 

I think the big thing that I have to get over is doing anything as written. I am going to change how I do HOD - doing things as we want to do them and not necessarily as written, and adding to it - more art and more books, including more science books. Thanks for the links - I'll peruse them for book ideas!

 

I was considering getting the book Honey for a Child's heart from the MFW 1st program to add richness to more of our read alouds and to guide my choices in read alouds - is that useful do you think?

 

Can you talk to me more about MFW 1st reading? what we are doing now is mainly phonics pathways, which is not super thrilling but is working. I went to that after going through most of AAR 1 because she is having difficulty with fluent reading and that frustrates her and is keeping me from moving her forward with more phonics and I had heard that PP is really good at building fluency.

 

Where do you find your used curriculum deals?

 

(and where do you find the energy to take care of 8 children with number 9 on the way? I was so worn out with my pregnancy for number 3 I'm scared to have anymore!!)

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I really like the looks of TOG - especially as the kids get older.

 

I think the big thing that I have to get over is doing anything as written. I am going to change how I do HOD - doing things as we want to do them and not necessarily as written, and adding to it - more art and more books, including more science books. Thanks for the links - I'll peruse them for book ideas!

 

I was considering getting the book Honey for a Child's heart from the MFW 1st program to add richness to more of our read alouds and to guide my choices in read alouds - is that useful do you think?

 

Can you talk to me more about MFW 1st reading? what we are doing now is mainly phonics pathways, which is not super thrilling but is working. I went to that after going through most of AAR 1 because she is having difficulty with fluent reading and that frustrates her and is keeping me from moving her forward with more phonics and I had heard that PP is really good at building fluency.

 

Where do you find your used curriculum deals?

 

(and where do you find the energy to take care of 8 children with number 9 on the way? I was so worn out with my pregnancy for number 3 I'm scared to have anymore!!)

PM me your address. I have an extra copy of "Honey for a Child's Heart" :)

 

I am actually due with baby 8 AND 9! :lol: It has been interesting. :p

 

I am not sure why they like MFW 1st so much. It is phonics...more of kind of a review, for first 38 days I believe. Then it adds in a Bible reader they read from. There are worksheets daily (quick ones), copywork once a week from Scripture, and it is all kind of scripted for you. I actually have the first edition purchased cheap off Ebay. I have heard the 2nd edition is even better. :)

 

I am a part of sale groups for MFW and HOD on yahoo and facebook (LOVE the FB ones)

 

I also check ebay periodically. I have gotten GREAT deals on sets of Sonlight books, TOG booksets, and HOD/MFW sets.

 

Honestly.....as the kids grow, it gets easier and easier. Not because I make them help more or anything....the dynamic just changes. I thought after TWO I was done. :D God showed me a different plan. :wub:

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I get the whole take it easy thing for younger grades, I am really trying to hold myself back and not push - maybe TOG is too much even if I do pick and choose carefully.

But, how do you join the whole cm style approach, which I do agree with in many ways, with a child who asks to do more? She will ask to do math, or, can we do more reading? and will often get really excited when I get some kind of hands on activity out to do (like at Thanksgiving we made a wigwam on our table... boy that was messy but fun) and she asks questions about all kinds of things - soaks up any half decent lesson I throw at her (like the turtle in our yard - she asked a bunch of questions about it, which we wrote down and I found a kid friendly article online to read about turtles and after reading it to her she went through each question and answered them all - then got all excited to tell Daddy the extra thing we learned, that turtles like the color red!). we went through a magic school bus science kit on the human body and loved every activity we did. I just feel like there's not much content to LHFHG, just the same thing repeated. She is getting all the same basic "history" lessons in Sunday school and from our family devotions. I just am not sure where to turn from here.

 

She is ahead in some areas - math she is at a beginning first grade level.

Reading, not sure - what is K level? she can read any CVC word, CC blends, th, sh. some sight words.

Reading comprehension - high - she's an auditory learner and picks up on a lot as I read.

vocabulary/verbal language - high - she often surprises me in her ability to use a new vocabulary word, even if I only explain it once. She was an early and advanced talker.

Writing - I am just now starting to work with her on dictation - she can do the CV dictation from phonics pathways. She can write legibly and in the lines when she wants to.

She needs to work on her ability to draw, and she is starting to ask me to teach her how to draw.

we read a lot - we read the entire Little House on the Prairie series in about a 3 month period of time, following her interest level/attention span.

 

I dropped LHFHG after 5 weeks also. It was boring IMO. History was too hard and the rest was too easy for my newly turned 5 daughter. We switched to sonlight p4/5 and just did that with math, the reading lesson (yuck), and crafts here and there.

 

I just started MFW1 since her reading didn't take off with the reading lesson (like they go on and on about of the HOD message board). I appreciate the direct and explicit phonics instruction. My dd lives worksheets and MFW 1 has the perfect balance.

 

We are adding in the extra science books from the appendix (easy to find at my library unlike LHFHG). I love the nature exploration day! The hands on math games and activities are sure fun! Not just food related... I am continuing with Singapore 1A and using the math from MFW1.

 

I like the weekly grid format of mfw1. It allows me to look ahead easily and tweak as needed. I felt I couldn't do that at all with LHFHG.

 

I have heard that the older guides are so much better! I may switch to hod in the future. I'm not ruling the older guides out but LHFHG is not a very good guide IMO. It's not balanced for a kinder or 1st grader.

 

PM me your address. I have an extra copy of "Honey for a Child's Heart" :)

I am actually due with baby 8 AND 9! :lol: It has been interesting. :p

I am not sure why they like MFW 1st so much. It is phonics...more of kind of a review, for first 38 days I believe. Then it adds in a Bible reader they read from. There are worksheets daily (quick ones), copywork once a week from Scripture, and it is all kind of scripted for you. I actually have the first edition purchased cheap off Ebay. I have heard the 2nd edition is even better. :)

I am a part of sale groups for MFW and HOD on yahoo and facebook (LOVE the FB ones)

I also check ebay periodically. I have gotten GREAT deals on sets of Sonlight books, TOG booksets, and HOD/MFW sets.

Honestly.....as the kids grow, it gets easier and easier. Not because I make them help more or anything....the dynamic just changes. I thought after TWO I was done. :D God showed me a different plan. :wub:

 

Can you PM the MFW FB used page? Thanks!

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I have used MFW K and it would be too light for her and I don't know that MFW 1st grade would be exactly what you are looking for. I used MFW K for my son when he was 2.5 to 3, but I modified it as a Letter of the week curriculum that tied in all those terrific science themes. Now he is starting LHFHG at 3.5 because he is already reading. We are only on Unit 2, but because of his age, he actually loves the rhyme time, and the science activities in Unit 1 he found fun, though I thought they were lacking. But I add in other things like reading from the other Burgess books (The Burgess Seashore Book, the Burgess Bird Book, etc and one that is on audio CD called Bedtime stories). He would love for me to read the whole Reddy Fox book in one go, but I am making him stick to that schedule because this particular kid needs to learn patience :huh:

 

We also add in a lot of Let's Read and Find out Science books and Rookie Science Readers (all available at our library).

 

For math , writing, and the R&S books, I let him do as many pages as he wants per day and not sticking to the schedule. I bought some ETC books to add to these to stretch it all out since right now he LOVES workbooks. We use Singapore, Miquon and Mathematical Reasoning K for math because he enjoys alternating for variety.

 

My DD is 5.5 and though she is the right age for LHFHG and enjoys sitting in, it does not challenge her in the least so I have Bigger to start with her in August when she turns 6. She's really excited about it and it will be just the perfect amount of work for her. I have no plans to use HOD for the long run so I am not worried about her being too young for later guides.

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I really like the looks of TOG - especially as the kids get older.

 

I think the big thing that I have to get over is doing anything as written. I am going to change how I do HOD - doing things as we want to do them and not necessarily as written, and adding to it - more art and more books, including more science books. Thanks for the links - I'll peruse them for book ideas!

 

I was considering getting the book Honey for a Child's heart from the MFW 1st program to add richness to more of our read alouds and to guide my choices in read alouds - is that useful do you think?

 

Can you talk to me more about MFW 1st reading? what we are doing now is mainly phonics pathways, which is not super thrilling but is working. I went to that after going through most of AAR 1 because she is having difficulty with fluent reading and that frustrates her and is keeping me from moving her forward with more phonics and I had heard that PP is really good at building fluency.

 

Where do you find your used curriculum deals?

 

(and where do you find the energy to take care of 8 children with number 9 on the way? I was so worn out with my pregnancy for number 3 I'm scared to have anymore!!)

 

 

I spent an entire summer going through Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook and put all of the book recs into lists by grade. I've got them posted on my blog from Pre-K to third grade. The links are below in my signature. It might help you get a head start on your read aloud list.

 

As for LHFHG, there are two reasons that I don't use LHFHG or Beyond. One reason being the science. I wanted more for science than what those two programs offered. The second reason is the history books that are used. I'm not a fan of those. We start using HOD at Bigger which is when, IMO, HOD gets really good.

 

I tried using TOG with my oldest when she was in first. It did not work. At all. I taught history in the ps and it was too difficult for first grade and the program was difficult to implement for me. We quit after 9 weeks and moved to Biblioplan to finish out the year. TOG still tempts me though, especially for upper elementary and above.

 

I'll share with you what I'm using for Kindergarten with my dd right now to give you an idea of what we're doing:

 

Bible: Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Math: Singapore Essentials and Miquon Orange

Phonics: LOE Foundations and Reading Made Easy (alternating days between these two programs) plus ETC workbooks for fun because dd LOVES workbooks, and she can do these on her own.

Handwriting: Built into the phonics programs, but we use Italics style. My workbook loving dd is also using the GHI Rod and Staff books and Draw Write Now for handwriting practice. She does these on her own.

Literature: This is dd's favorite part of the day. We take a beloved picture book and read it three days in a row. After each reading I choose one or two activities to do related to the book. To do this I use this book which I bought as a $1 pdf file at the Scholastic Dollar Days sale sometime last year. We started this book last year for Pre-K and will finish it up soon. When we are finished with it we will start Peak with Books (I bought this used from Amazon to save on cost) which is the same format (read book; do activities) to finish up K.

 

These are done every day, but for fun I add in the following.:

 

Logic using Lollipop Logic

Spanish using Salsa Spanish and my homemade worksheets.

Science using Sassafras Science Zoology.

World Geography using Expedition Earth with my own twist.

 

These are not mandatory, but are based upon how much time we have left in our day.

 

I shared what we're using because I wanted to let you know that if LHFHG is not working for you, you can adjust your K year without spending a lot of money, especially since you already have phonics, math, and handwriting covered. The Rod and Staff and Draw Write Now books are cheap. The literature books that I use cost me about $20 total. Lollipop Logic is inexpensive. Salsa Spanish is free. And it would be very easy to use Magic School Bus movies as a jumping off point to check out books from the library (especially the Read and Find Out series) about different science topics. Or you could go with Elemental Science's Kindergarten program, Introduction to Science, if you wanted something more planned out. My girls are both REALLY enjoying Sassafras Science too, but I probably wouldn't use it if my oldest was Kindergarten.

 

Anyway, don't panic and don't throw in the towel with HOD necessarily. But definitely tweak to make it work for you. Curriculum should be a tool not a master.

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We found LHFHG to be too light for us on its own, but a very good base to work from. We added a lot from Memoria Press K - the read-alouds, the recitation, and the music and art appreciation. You could also add the Exploring Art with Children books if you wanted more. We like the Draw Write Now books, too. You could also add Sonlight Science A. I plan to add the Sonlight P4/5 books with my younger dd going into K next year. To me, LHFHG needs more rounding out in the areas of literature, math, science, music, and art (appreciation). We added RightStart A to the Singapore work and it was a nice combo. I plan to add MUS Primer as well with my younger dd.

 

What's nice about having a good base is that it's planned out for you and on days when that's all you can get done, you know you've done enough, but on days when you can add more, you have that base to work from. HOD is a good program and I try to keep it intact and just add more to it. I don't read ahead in the Storytime section at all. I just read other books at the same time. I think HOD works best when you keep it intact and just build upon it. It is better if you can keep the "theme" of the day intact. And I think it is good to work slowly through some books and teach a child how to savor them.

 

HTH,

Kathy

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I'm not an expert on HOD. All I know is that every time I've looked at it I've come away thinking I must be misunderstanding something pretty major, because it just seems so....without substance. I've never actually bought it, I'm sure that's not fair, but that's how it seems to me. I don't think it's CM, either, FWIW.

 

So I'm not all that helpful about curriculum; I'm just posting because I disagree with your Mom. Do not stick with it just because you bought it. You sound to me like a very smart Mama of a very smart child, and if you sense that this material is beneath your dignity and hers, you are almost certainly correct. There are other approaches out there. There are ways to "feed" the mind of a very quick-thinking, capable child, but the answers don't usually come in neat boxes! You're going to have to broaden your horizons a bit.

 

The real Charlotte Mason's methods are actually quite perfect for an advanced thinker, because there are no worksheets or schedules. You study at the child's pace, focus on what the child is getting from the material in ways that cause her thinking and reasoning skills to develop, use the very best books you can get your hands on, eschew contrived connections between subjects and let the child make her own connections...and there are absolutely no redundant or silly "enrichment" or "reinforcing" activities.

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We were disappointed too by LHFHG. Some of the parts are great but overall not a winner. I added SL P4/5 along with it and helped. You can always for now add to it books from the Sonlight catalogue and FIAR book list and even veritas list. I will say that we did like Beyond a lot more than LHFHG but not enough to stick with HOD

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I read TWTM over the past few days (or at least the parts that pertained to me for now), and I feel much much better about what I want to do now - I am going to use HOD as a finish to this year and filler for over the summer - I have learned two important things from your comments -

1st, make any curriculum work for me instead of feeling tied to doing something a certain way.

Second, I need to stay away from "boxed" curricula, because of my personality

 

my plan right now is to focus on a lot of phonics over the next few months, and then I am going to piece my own thing together in the fall.that way I can spend the summer planning and have it pretty easy to implement over the school year. It should also be cheaper than trying to buy the "perfect" boxed curriculum.

 

(oh and I'll mention this too - I was again disappointed this morning when I got my HOD guide out - we reviewed all our previous memory verses as we do each week and then I looked to see what our new verse was and it was .... a review of unit 1's verse. well, ok, I guess I will be picking the verse for us to learn this week!)

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