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Considering two programs....opinions?


rowan25
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Hello everyone,

 

I thought I had everything set for next year and then......I didn't.  Right now I'm flip-flopping back and forth between History Odyssey Level 2  Ancients and Oak Meadow's fifth grade English/History.  I'm looking for opinions on both, please.

 

English hasn't been a focus the past two years because my daughter was very advanced in this area.  But as a result, writing hasn't been a focus either and needs to be brought up to snuff.  She isn't very excited about doing ancients, but most of the books in OM's program have already been read multiple times.  Nothing is really lighting my fire.  We tried HO level 1 ancients a few years ago, but she really hated SOTW and CHOW. 

 

Any thoughts on these programs, or even suggestions for others would be greatly appreciated!

 

rowan

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I don't have much knowledge of the programs you're considering, but I don't think history should be something that you spend too many sleepless nights over, especially not in the elementary stages. Had you thought of doing a bit of unit studies and/or interest-led stuff from the Ancients periods, using your own mix and match books and activities? 

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IMO, HO will suck the life right out of history.  I think SOTW or CHOW either one would be more enjoyable without using HO.  The great thing is that you can add as little or as much as you want.  Busy week?  just read it (or listen to the cds in the car) and discuss.  Hit a hot topic?  go to the library and get more books on it (don't shy away from easier reading, high enjoyment books, and picture books), encourage her to share what she's learning in a creative way - a poster, a mini-book, a poem, a puppet show, whatever.  If you want mapping, you could get the SOTW Activity Guide - which will also give book and activity suggestions as well.

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We're doing ancients in 5th next year too, and I'm using a combination of K-12 Human Odyssey 1 and Oxford University Press World in Ancient Times. This is talked about a lot more in the Logic stage forum, and many folks use both or either of these. OUP had a sale earlier this year, and I got most of them there and then the ones I couldn't find I got from Amazon.

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We tried History Odyssey level 2, and we hated it. It was dry as dust and way, way, way too busy. The kids really hated doing 5 or 6 different, little things each day, and as someone else mentioned, it sucked the life right out of history. It's truly one of the worst curriculum choices we ever made.

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I like the Pandia Press curriculum, history and science, and the gorgeous timeline.  But it's not for everyone. I look at the schedule as options rather than a checklist of things that must get done.

 

I've also decided to read K12 Human Odyssey next year.

 

I've drooled over OM forever, finally started jumping into it a couple years back and was insanely disappointed. 

 

I hear their history for the older grades is decent, but my longing for OM or Waldorf inspired anything is firmly buried.

 

If you child didn't like SOTW or CHOW then they probably won't like TSOM. I'll be using Pandia Press level 2 next year, but I already know that my child will not like the Van Loon book. At least not as a history spine. So I'm going to try to inject the K12 text into it instead. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Both of my dd's wanted to try HO 2 Middle Ages but we are using Kingfisher & Human Odyssey as a spine. They wanted to add in Project Passport for activities..... I do have SOTW AG, but my oldest has done that already. We of course are still going to be listening to SOTW audio.

 

Human Odyssey(could be a RA) and Project Passport/Time Travelers might work for you. Include videos and reading......

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I don't have much knowledge of the programs you're considering, but I don't think history should be something that you spend too many sleepless nights over, especially not in the elementary stages. Had you thought of doing a bit of unit studies and/or interest-led stuff from the Ancients periods, using your own mix and match books and activities? 

 

Yes, we've done this until now and I will continue to do this with my younger son.  But my daughter is moving into middle school and is requesting a bit "more" while still keeping it fun.  I'm running out of steam for creating my own thing and would really like something to use as a springboard/spine.

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We tried History Odyssey level 2, and we hated it. It was dry as dust and way, way, way too busy. The kids really hated doing 5 or 6 different, little things each day, and as someone else mentioned, it sucked the life right out of history. It's truly one of the worst curriculum choices we ever made.

 

Thank you.  That is sortof the feeling I got from flipping through it.  :-/

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I like the Pandia Press curriculum, history and science, and the gorgeous timeline.  But it's not for everyone. I look at the schedule as options rather than a checklist of things that must get done.

 

I've also decided to read K12 Human Odyssey next year.

 

I've drooled over OM forever, finally started jumping into it a couple years back and was insanely disappointed. 

 

I hear their history for the older grades is decent, but my longing for OM or Waldorf inspired anything is firmly buried.

 

If you child didn't like SOTW or CHOW then they probably won't like TSOM. I'll be using Pandia Press level 2 next year, but I already know that my child will not like the Van Loon book. At least not as a history spine. So I'm going to try to inject the K12 text into it instead. 

 

What grades did you try for OM?  What was disappointing?  We also tried K-2 and were disappointed.  Like you, I've heard better things about the upper levels, but......once bitten, twice shy!

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What grades did you try for OM?  What was disappointing?  We also tried K-2 and were disappointed.  Like you, I've heard better things about the upper levels, but......once bitten, twice shy!

 

4th grade mainly. I really tried to follow the syllabus for that, but I found it difficult to follow. The language arts sections were way way below my ds's level and useless. So I tried to focus on the science and history. 

 

The quality of the materials for the price , even used, was what really bothered me.

 

I also had some 2nd grade materials that I was going to use this year for 1st. I was not impressed with the books at all.

 

I just find it so overwhelming in projects and unwieldy to implement. The Teacher's process book for the younger grades was basically a joke. The health book recommended for the elementary grades is difficult to use and better suited to a day care/preschool class setting.

 

Recorders!!! I can't do it. I cannot stand the sound of a recorder. The arts and crafts books border on silliness. 

 

I found the NativeAmerican stories in OM4th Indian Legends very poorly done. 

 

Basically my main issue with OM is $$$ for poorly done materials, behind grade level, and way too teacher intensive.

 

One of the first lessons was to make a topography model of your area and over the year you're adding to it and learning about the Native tribes from your area. We tried to do that..and got a bit far with it, but the directions and pictures were fuzzy (like a bad photocopy of a bad pencil drawing, the science section was the same) and it required me to do a ton of research and looking for other materials. It gave me nothing to work off of. 

 

Honestly if I had wanted a book of projects or activities I can find better materials for those things. I prefer the project to be an extra...not the entire lesson itself. 

 

Now I didn't have a Teacher manual, but of it were anything like the one for elementary little good it would have done me. I have no idea if it would have been helpful.

 

We read some of the novels. But I didn't really need  OM to get read aloud suggestions. 

 

The only good thing that came from it was discovering The Private Eye and jeweler's loupes.

 

I try to look for used curriculum, so mine wasn't a recent copyright. No idea if more recent OM is done any better, but I just didn't like it.

 

I prefer a main text to read and discuss, extra reading booklists (fiction and non fiction) to pull from, project ideas when and if we want to work on one. SOTW, HO, and WTM booklists work well for that.

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4th grade mainly. I really tried to follow the syllabus for that, but I found it difficult to follow. The language arts sections were way way below my ds's level and useless. So I tried to focus on the science and history. 

 

The quality of the materials for the price , even used, was what really bothered me.

 

I also had some 2nd grade materials that I was going to use this year for 1st. I was not impressed with the books at all.

 

I just find it so overwhelming in projects and unwieldy to implement. The Teacher's process book for the younger grades was basically a joke. The health book recommended for the elementary grades is difficult to use and better suited to a day care/preschool class setting.

 

Recorders!!! I can't do it. I cannot stand the sound of a recorder. The arts and crafts books border on silliness. 

 

I found the NativeAmerican stories in OM4th Indian Legends very poorly done. 

 

Basically my main issue with OM is $$$ for poorly done materials, behind grade level, and way too teacher intensive.

 

One of the first lessons was to make a topography model of your area and over the year you're adding to it and learning about the Native tribes from your area. We tried to do that..and got a bit far with it, but the directions and pictures were fuzzy (like a bad photocopy of a bad pencil drawing, the science section was the same) and it required me to do a ton of research and looking for other materials. It gave me nothing to work off of. 

 

Honestly if I had wanted a book of projects or activities I can find better materials for those things. I prefer the project to be an extra...not the entire lesson itself. 

 

Now I didn't have a Teacher manual, but of it were anything like the one for elementary little good it would have done me. I have no idea if it would have been helpful.

 

We read some of the novels. But I didn't really need  OM to get read aloud suggestions. 

 

The only good thing that came from it was discovering The Private Eye and jeweler's loupes.

 

I try to look for used curriculum, so mine wasn't a recent copyright. No idea if more recent OM is done any better, but I just didn't like it.

 

I prefer a main text to read and discuss, extra reading booklists (fiction and non fiction) to pull from, project ideas when and if we want to work on one. SOTW, HO, and WTM booklists work well for that.

 

Ok, that was my overall feeling as well.  My daughter is continually drawn to the promise of project vs. so much constant writing, summarizing, etc.  I was drawn to the combination of english with the history as my last few english purchases have been a bust.  Think we might just use SOTW and HO as a jumping off point and find project to match.  sigh.......................LOL

 

And now to find something Englishy........  :-P

 

 

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Ok, that was my overall feeling as well.  My daughter is continually drawn to the promise of project vs. so much constant writing, summarizing, etc.  I was drawn to the combination of english with the history as my last few english purchases have been a bust.  Think we might just use SOTW and HO as a jumping off point and find project to match.  sigh.......................LOL

 

And now to find something Englishy........  :-P

 

 

 

Do you have the SOTW activity guides? I really like them. Also one of our favorite activity books has been Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors. There's a whole series of these, but that was our favorite.

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Do you have the SOTW activity guides? I really like them. Also one of our favorite activity books has been Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors. There's a whole series of these, but that was our favorite.

 

Not yet, but I'm planning on it.

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We just finished OM 5. Overall it was great. My only complaint is that the science didn't match up to our seasons. Can't collect pond water when it's all frozen. More preplanning on my part would've helped that.

 

What did you like about it?  I've only used the early grades and wasn't overly impressed.  I'd heard the upper levels were better, but I'm unsure. 

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