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Independant? Huh, that's new.

 

I had it on my "to scrutinize" list for next year, but if its independant, its not what I thought it was.

 

I thought it was more of a discussion based guide for the teacher (which is pretty much the way I teach most of the time - interest-based discussions). I'm not sure whether it has answers in it, but if you look at the samples, the book is set out for the teacher to read aloud to the student.

 

Perhaps I have it all wrong though.

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We used those last year and it just didn't work for us. We didn't even get to the technology one. It might work for deeper thinkers or if you have more children who can discuss things, but my son would give the shortest answers possible just to get through it. We switched to something more hands-on which was a much better fit for us.

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We used those last year and it just didn't work for us. We didn't even get to the technology one. It might work for deeper thinkers or if you have more children who can discuss things, but my son would give the shortest answers possible just to get through it. We switched to something more hands-on which was a much better fit for us.

I use them for my oldest, but I never even thought about using the lower grades ones. I love them for the discussions. My talker would love something like this! I'll have to look at some samples and see if I can fit an hour into the schedule somewhere because I can imagine him going off on tons of tangents. ;)

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I used those specific ones with our family and it was our FAVORITE curricula of all! Independent? I know it says it is, but we didn't use it that way and I wouldn't because we used it for conversation starters and mini-debate. We used almost all of the Elementary History, and now we are using the Current Events curricula after a year off and finding the high school program they have wouldn't fit our needs for a variety of reasons (we have special needs all over the place! Hahaha!). But we missed our great, thought provoking questionsand conversations, so the kids asked if we could do something else, so I dug around and found the current events. We started it just last week (Current Wars), and they were so happy...and what should have been a 15 minute lesson turned into an hour long conversation.

 

I think this curricula works best when:

 

You have kids who are very verbal

You, as teacher, enjoy this sort of back and forth engagement

You really "get" how the curricula works (it's easy, but there are reasons it is written the way it is written)

Socratic style is more comfortable to you and you tend to stop often and ask your kids questions or their thoughts when using other curricula

Your kids like meaty things to think about

 

I think it might not work as well when:

 

You have quieter, less verbal kids

You have an only (this would still work great if they are talkers and analyzers!)

You are not someone who can use something and then bring in your own thoughts about it

You prefer a textbook

 

What we found was:

 

The curricula has very short writing assignments with it...25 words or so, or drawings. Our kids ended up writing SO much more without thinking of it as writing practice. Why? Because they wanted to share their opinions and the answers are opinion based...What did you think about..." What if this happened today...? Because it wasn't asking for simple facts to be regurgitated, and because EVERYONE loves sharing their opinion, they wrote and wrote and wrote! After not using it for a year, and coming back to it this week, I saw the same effect once again. A 25 word requested answer turned into a full page for 3 of my 5! Terrific for sneaking writing practice in without them thiinking of it as that!!

 

Our kids quickly learned how to view things critically and not simply accept what they are told as gospel.

 

It teaches how to view things from both sides of an issue, and that carries into real life.

 

Overall, it is on my Top 5 list of my most favorite curricula we have used in our four years, and it has led to some of our most delightful family moments shared in homeschooling.

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What CyndiLJ said, is what I originally thought it was, we are very much the type she listed.

 

Most of our is informal, and is made up of discussions, these discussions lead down rabbit trails. Lately, my brain has been so scattered, that I haven't been able to keep on track well (for instance, I literally forgot the name of a movie over 20 times in less than 4 minutes, it kept jumping in and out of my brain). Its starting to make me a little haphazard (no idea what is wrong with me lately), so I have been looking for something that is more of a record, guide & planner for discussions & rabbit trails. We would still pick up on interest-led that we currently do, but it takes a little stress of my shoulders right now.

 

You could use it as a running guide. Discuss it with them (maybe during dinner, or whilst they help you with the laundry or housecleaning) then have them go off and do individual assignments on the subject. You can use the discussion as your starter/ice-breaker, then follow on with books & assignments/reports or other independant work. This allows it to not take time out of your day (in regards to seperate school time) they have to help out with cleaning or whatever so they can listen and interact, then they go off and do there own thing.

 

If they are a messy teen, maybe use discussion time as time when you both clean up his room or do his laundry, or make dinner....gets him involved with the household, and gets school done, plus when your finished he goes off to do his school and you get quiet time....do I get triple bonus points for that thought? :laugh:

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