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What curriculum works for your family that virtually no one else uses?


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Sister Wendy DVDs for art.  She has a thick British accent, but we love her ; ) Thankfully, I bought the DVD set when it was on sale. : )     http://www.amazon.com/Sister-Wendy-The-Complete-Collec

We love Saxon math. It gets hated on a lot.  

LOL, we are using Hooked on Phonics, believe it or not.  I appreciate its first two levels.  Then, I switch them to Progressive Phonics, which is another one that we use that I don't see mentioned too

The free Core Knowledge curriculum for grades K-4 available on this website: www.engageny.org. I use mostly the Skill units (phonics and literature) for my DD in 1st grade. I used it last year for K also. I only print the pages I need (no blank pages or teacher "stuff")—it takes awhile to go through and print but then I put the pages in a  binder and go from there. The reinforcement exercises are good (from the student workbook) and the readers are truly engaging and interesting as well as decodable. I also sometimes use the Listening units for various history and science topics. It's a high quality program that I rarely see anyone mention except to complain about the printing (amount and cost). Again, I solve this issue by taking time on the front end to only print what I need (and I only print in b & w to save $$ which does not bother my daughter in the slightest).

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Spell to Write and Read along with Cursive First. Using no other program, my little man literally spelled his way into (cursive) writing and reading.

 

It seems as though most jump ship from WWE after Level 2 or 3, but we benefitted from doing all four levels before moving to the W&R series.

 

RightStart Mathematics has been our primary math resource from the beginning. Most users switch to another program after Level B or during Level C, but we've successfully stayed the course—completing Levels A-E and currently working our way through RS Geometry—and are reaping the benefits. 

 

VideoText Algebra alongside RS Geometry. In our experience, these two programs perfectly complement each other. We love the practical application that RS Geometry provides, and VT's conceptual teaching only enhances RS. 

 

 

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I finally found a writing program that I love and is working for my high school son. It's called The Power In Your Hands by Sharon Watson. It's strongly Christian, and reminds me of Apologia in style. I've tried everything else and stumbled across this on Christianbook.com. 

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I taught ds to read with the same books my mom taught me with in the 1970's: A Pig can Jig

http://www.mheducation.ca/school/products/9780076020133/basic+reading+series/

 

DD didn't like those, but she has learnt to read with McGuffey Readers.

 

Also IEW's Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. 

http://iew.com/shop/products/linguistic-development-through-poetry-memorization-book-cds

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We also use Didax Mental Math (one level above) and love it. It's fun and effective.

 

We are also using Mindware Analogies and Perplexors for logic. Seems like everyone else uses Prufrock. We have too, but are enjoying Mindware more.

 

Early on, we used a lot of Evan-Moor books, which were a great fit for DD at the time. We've also used a lot of teacher resource books by The Mailbox. I'm not shy about using public school-marketed materials if they are good and fit our needs.

 

We used HOP, but I regret that.

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We used Saxon Phonics through Grade 2, and I credit it for giving my child a solid foundation in phonics and spelling. I enjoyed it so much, I wish I could other curriculum written like it that created such results.

 

The vintage book Composition book by grades, Wheeler's Speller and Dictation by Day

 

Prufrock Logic books (I find these to be a better value than others on the market)

I looked up the Dictation by Day (I'm assuming the actual title is "Dictation Day by Day: A Modern Speller") on www.books.google.com and looked through it and I'm getting it.   It looks really good.  Thanks for the suggestion.   I'm always looking for dictation/copywork ideas.  Let's see if this link works (in case others want to peruse it):

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=-s4AAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=dictation+day+by+day&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jc8EVaHSFo_HsQSmuoJ4&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=dictation%20day%20by%20day&f=false

 

 

And here it is on amazon: (although the cover looks different than the one that was on books.google.com  link)

http://www.amazon.com/Dictation-Modern-Speller-Classic-Reprint/dp/B009ATAFCU

 

and then there's also this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Dictation-Day-Modern-Speller/dp/1146607547/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426379732&sr=8-1&keywords=9781146607544

 

 

 

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Yes there are two versions of this book. Modern Speller, which combines grades into two volumes and Dictation Day by Day which brakes years up into separate books. We start using them in year two, after we finish Saxon Phonics.

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We did studied dictation with the Modern Speller (I liked the graphics better, so I chose it over Dictation Day-by-Day. Hah!) for a bit. DD really enjoyed it. We both liked how it builds upon previously taught words. DD really found it appealing/comfortable in that way. Sadly, we ended up dropping it when we moved to WWE. Didn't have time for both, plus grammar too.

 

I really, really wanted to use Good English by Elson for composition, but couldn't figure out how to make it work.

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I just started Christian Liberty Press phonics for my youngest girls. The oldest of the two gets very nervous when she's asked questions or has to interact, and this phonics program is worksheet based. And she is learning without having to interact with me a whole lot. She can do the worksheet fairly independently and she is progressing more than all the other phonics programs I was trying out at the beginning of the year.

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I just started Christian Liberty Press phonics for my youngest girls. The oldest of the two gets very nervous when she's asked questions or has to interact, and this phonics program is worksheet based. And she is learning without having to interact with me a whole lot. She can do the worksheet fairly independently and she is progressing more than all the other phonics programs I was trying out at the beginning of the year.

KrissiK I see your kids use God's Great Covenant. Are they all using the same level? What do you think of it?

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A couple of things we like that I don't see mentioned much;

 

Write From History - the lazy girl's way to do SWB/CM style writing across the curriculum! I love it, and it gets done.  And dd loves it!

The Fun Spanish - from the same publisher.  One verb a week, memorize the conjugation, learn a bit of vocabulary, and put together sentences.  It's been great.

Writing With a Thesis: A Rhetoric and Reader - for middle school essay writing.  Awesome!

And then we love the Arbor School math books - Jousting Armadillos, Crocodiles & Coconuts.  These are pretty new, so maybe it's too soon to say how popular they will be, but my dd loves them.

 

I also liked How To Teach Spelling - it taught me how to teach spelling without a curriculum! So I guess it belongs on the curriculum list?

Thanks for posting this! 

Writing With a Thesis in in my amazon cart.

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Is there a sample for this somewhere?

 

A couple of things we like that I don't see mentioned much;

 

Write From History - the lazy girl's way to do SWB/CM style writing across the curriculum! I love it, and it gets done.  And dd loves it!

The Fun Spanish - from the same publisher.  One verb a week, memorize the conjugation, learn a bit of vocabulary, and put together sentences.  It's been great.

Writing With a Thesis: A Rhetoric and Reader - for middle school essay writing.  Awesome!

And then we love the Arbor School math books - Jousting Armadillos, Crocodiles & Coconuts.  These are pretty new, so maybe it's too soon to say how popular they will be, but my dd loves them.

 

I also liked How To Teach Spelling - it taught me how to teach spelling without a curriculum! So I guess it belongs on the curriculum list?

 

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I just ordered it too... It looks great!

 

We just finished Lively Art of Writing so we'll be diving back into this on Monday.  So it looks like a bunch of us might be using it together - maybe I'll start a thread on the Writing Workshop board!

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KrissiK I see your kids use God's Great Covenant. Are they all using the same level? What do you think of it?

My three older kids are using it altogether. Now that they are a little older, it's great. When my dd was younger, it was hard for her to keep up, but I really minimized the writing for her. Now that she's in 3rd grade, she keeps up just fine. I just needed to combine some subjects and it worked well for us to combine that one.

 

Regarding the curriculum, I like it. We go a lot slower than they recommend. It takes us about a year and a half or even more, to finish a book, but that's ok. I think it's good, thorough, interesting and well written. We are in our third book now in the series.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have used Houghton Mifflin books to teach all 3 of my kids to read.  I tried OPGTR and PP with my youngers thinking that maybe it was going to be better in some way, but I quickly dropped those and went back to what I had used with my first. 

My I ask what Houghto Mifflin books you used? Thanks

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I use The Phonics Road, Atelier Art, MCT, and The Reading Lesson.  I know that all of those have been mentioned here, but I don't know any real-life homeschoolers who use any of them.

 

ETA: Not that any of you aren't real-life homeschoolers, but I think you understand what I mean. :lol:

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We aren't using it anymore, but dd loved going through Jolly Phonics.  We did it when she was really young and wanted to learn to read- maybe three?- and it was a fantastic way to teach her the different letter sounds.

 

Oh yes, we liked this too, and Jolly Grammar, which came after it.

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My I ask what Houghto Mifflin books you used? Thanks

 

Hi,

 

I used an older version of this set of 5 books:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grade-1-Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Phonics-Library-Readers-Set-of-10-1st-Reading-/291414918207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d9aec43f

 

 

along with these smaller phonics readers that go along with them (about 10 stories in each little book):

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grade-1-Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Phonics-Library-Readers-Set-of-10-1st-Reading-/291414918207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d9aec43f

 

I also used some of the pages in these for reinforcement/writing:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Practice-books-volumes-1-2-for-1-st-grade-/371228601389?pt=US_Texbook_Education&hash=item566ef2ec2d

 

 

None of the items linked are my own listings - I am just using them as examples.  My two oldest children love to read and are both above grade level, and my 3rd child is still making her way through these books right now.

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Thank you so much!  We have been thru many phonics program and I think I have killed the love of reading with my middle child so I was wanting to find something that maybe would make phonics a little more fun for him. Thank you for the links too! 

 

 

Hi,

 

 

 

I used an older version of this set of 5 books:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grade-1-Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Phonics-Library-Readers-Set-of-10-1st-Reading-/291414918207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d9aec43f

 

 

along with these smaller phonics readers that go along with them (about 10 stories in each little book):

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grade-1-Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Phonics-Library-Readers-Set-of-10-1st-Reading-/291414918207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d9aec43f

 

I also used some of the pages in these for reinforcement/writing:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Houghton-Mifflin-Reading-Practice-books-volumes-1-2-for-1-st-grade-/371228601389?pt=US_Texbook_Education&hash=item566ef2ec2d

 

 

None of the items linked are my own listings - I am just using them as examples.  My two oldest children love to read and are both above grade level, and my 3rd child is still making her way through these books right now.

 

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I love threads like this and discussing little-known curriculum.

 

Our current little-known or little-loved gems are:

 

Natural Speller by Kathryn Stout (or really anything by her)

 

Foundations 1: Creation to Christ Bible Study

 

Igniting Your Writing- Volume 1- I'm using this to tutor my teenage brother in creative writing

 

Making the Most of the Preschool Years by Valerie Bendt- not really "curriculum" but this is the BEST preschool acitivity book I've ever seen! It's simple and my dd3 loves the activties.

 

Language Lessons for the Elementary Child 2 by Queen Homeschool- Queen Homeschool gets hated on A LOT no matter what board you visit and I ordinarily don't like their products but my language arts phobic dd10 who couldn't come up with a two sentence summary for a picture book is now writing POETRY!  Its gentle and non-demanding for a child who shys away from writing.

 

That's it for this year.  Who knows what we will be using next year.  Maybe this should be a yearly thread.

 

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A Beka math.

 

Seriously...

 

I don't plan to use it all the way through, but for grammar stage math and its logical presentation of math facts, it works. We have completely converted from Saxon. I know the upper levels of Saxon are better, but my boys have such a bad taste in their mouth from the K-3 Saxon, I don't know if they will ever go back. Saxon presents math facts in a totally haphazard way with oddball facts and out of order bits and pieces. What is so odd about 8+5??

 

A Beka is colorful, which made a huge difference for my visual boys. It is logical in presenting math facts in order in families. It gives me 30+ math game ideas to help learn math facts that they love...no Pinterest searching. It has great visuals, lots of mental math and a well organized teacher's manual, which I found lacking when I looked at Horizon. It does have a lot of review and drill, which is easily modified. I do sometimes add manipulatives for better understanding to illustrate a concept.

 

I never wanted to use any A Beka. I grew up with it and wanted something very different and loved the classical model. But their k-3 math works well for us in laying down that math foundation in the grammar stage. My youngest workbook lover son loves it so much that he is asking that he uses nothing but A Beka as I am shopping for first grade for him. He doesn't always get what he wants. :)

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I have fond memories of those videos from art appreciation in high school. Sister Wendy is the best. I wish she was on Netflix.

 

I saw the $158 set linked to, but it also shows a complete collection for $53 on the same page. Is it the same thing?

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We aren't using it anymore, but dd loved going through Jolly Phonics.  We did it when she was really young and wanted to learn to read- maybe three?- and it was a fantastic way to teach her the different letter sounds.

 

I remember when this one was mentioned all the time! (not so much anymore)

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Classical Writing - it has produced really, really great writers around here.

 

Oh, my. I remember when this was popular, too. In fact, I still have Aesop on my shelf and several free supplements (prior to when they had workbooks). I incorporated a lot of the ideas in my homeschool. 

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A Beka math.

 

Seriously...

:)

We use A Beka math and love it. It is recommended in TWTM, too. My oldest DS did Singapore for 3-4 years and I felt did well, loved the mental math part of it, but was not doing well with the mastery format. He got bogged down with assignments of 10 3-5 step word problems each day and got discouraged. And then we started fractions... it was making no sense. A Beka is very strong with learning the algorithms and processes and I know the buzz words now in math is "understanding the concepts, not just the process" but good grief, while it is nice to understand the concepts and the "why" of things.... in the grammar/logic years, teach the processes, the equations when kids are most capable of memorizing things. I am so glad we switched back to A Beka for him this year. He seems to be more comfortable with math and he knows that "pi times diameter equals circumference." He doesn't know why, but that's fine. If he's interested when he's older, he can certainly find out.
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We use Everyday Math. **dodging stones being thrown**

 

Yep, you know, the one that everyone fills your f.b. feed up with how they teach long complicated ways of multiplying and subtracting.

 

I used it when I taught public school and loved it. My son has done 1st grade - 5th and is ready to skip 6th and move on to Saxon 8/7. My two daughters will follow right along and use it as well.

 

Never found another homeschool whose has used it. Anyone? Anyone?

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My 6 year old is loving this vintage LA program--With Pencil & Pen. https://books.google.com/books?id=-lIXAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=pencil+and+pen&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7iwfVcqUJYLcsAWS3oNo&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=pencil%20and%20pen&f=false

 

We use Christian Light reading & LA but skip one of the handwriting tasks and do this "other book!", as he calls it.  I used a similar vintage book with DS1, Sheldon's Primary Language Lessons, but this is sweeter.  DS3 loves interpreting the old-fashioned cursive to copy into manuscript.

 

Someone on here recommended it; thanks!!

 

 

B

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We use Everyday Math. **dodging stones being thrown**

 

Yep, you know, the one that everyone fills your f.b. feed up with how they teach long complicated ways of multiplying and subtracting.

 

I used it when I taught public school and loved it. My son has done 1st grade - 5th and is ready to skip 6th and move on to Saxon 8/7. My two daughters will follow right along and use it as well.

 

Never found another homeschool whose has used it. Anyone? Anyone?

 

I taught their prek in school, and carry a lot of the ideas here at home. I don't plan to use it through, though.

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We use Everyday Math. **dodging stones being thrown**

 

Yep, you know, the one that everyone fills your f.b. feed up with how they teach long complicated ways of multiplying and subtracting.

 

I used it when I taught public school and loved it. My son has done 1st grade - 5th and is ready to skip 6th and move on to Saxon 8/7. My two daughters will follow right along and use it as well.

 

Never found another homeschool whose has used it. Anyone? Anyone?

Never used EM but have successfully used many methods that it teaches with my 2e dyscalculiac son.
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We use A Beka math and love it. It is recommended in TWTM, too. My oldest DS did Singapore for 3-4 years and I felt did well, loved the mental math part of it, but was not doing well with the mastery format. He got bogged down with assignments of 10 3-5 step word problems each day and got discouraged. And then we started fractions... it was making no sense. A Beka is very strong with learning the algorithms and processes and I know the buzz words now in math is "understanding the concepts, not just the process" but good grief, while it is nice to understand the concepts and the "why" of things.... in the grammar/logic years, teach the processes, the equations when kids are most capable of memorizing things. I am so glad we switched back to A Beka for him this year. He seems to be more comfortable with math and he knows that "pi times diameter equals circumference." He doesn't know why, but that's fine. If he's interested when he's older, he can certainly find out.

I agree. To me, this follows the classical model of the stages of learning. Facts down first, then we can talk more about concepts and whys as they move into that level of thinking. Number symbols are an abstract concept in and of themselves that represent a concrete number of objects. Plus, it is easy for me to add in the why and help him understand a concept with the gazillion math manipulatives I have at home, such as place value. I am ok explaining the concept behind elementary math algorithms. What I want most is a solid foundation in math operations so they are not bogged down in higher math by simple math problems.

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