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What curriculum are you loving and hating this year?


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Is it to early for this?  


What are you loving and hating so far this year? 


Maybe the hate will turn into love?  I hope so.




Reading Eggs and math seeds    LOVE


Khan   Love


Saxon Math  I don't like it all  ( I wish I would have done MUS)


Phonetic Zoo     I don't like it.  ( I wish I would have tried AAS)


Story of the World   Love


Easy Grammar   I don't like it.


Story of Science   I don't know if i I like it yet.  

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We're not using a whole lot of curriculum this year, but so far we've only one major dislike: Mr. Q Life Science.  It's falling flat here.  I scrapped the lessons and am following roughly the same outline but with our own plan of attack.


The rest:

Spell Correctly


Artistic Pursuits


are firmly in the like/look-forward-to-doing camp, though we slowed MEP down some to tackle some pesky multiplication problems.



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We do a lot of our own because DS has Dysgraphia and I have to modify almost every part of the curriculum to reduce writing. Most work is completed orally, just learned I am using the Socratic method, flashcards, and extremely tailored worksheets when needed.

Saxon Math Intermediate 3 although he tested into 5/4, dysgraphia again causes so many issues. Above expectations. I also added Sunshine Math (free) for more word problems and conceptual ideas. In NC we have to test, so I gotta cover the bases
SOTW--I like it but use History Odyssey with it. I like SOTW1, but all the books had DS running, I need to do a lot more hands-on in history and I think the program will be just fine.

WWE2--lack of quality reading in public school is causing issues here, we are going to stick with it. Could not stick with it. No matter how much background info, DS did not like the reading selections. I am doing my own thing along the same lines by choosing books recommended for better reading that include history, science, and fiction. I have DS complete comprehension questions on Book Adventures (free) and then we summarize. Is it just me or why does a book have to be old to be considered well written? Sometimes the reading is laborious and boring. If I was an 8-year-old boy I would run too. I just can't believe that we do not have more current authors and topics for children to read and learn from.

most Homeschool science--too Christian, not enough meat. However, if you read a school textbook they are worse and the lovely encyclopedia is so DRY. Probably do our own. Ended up building our own. Using a combination of encyclopedia and books from the library that DS can read with the addition of many hands-on projects, flashcards, etc. We work through the main points for every lesson that he should come away with. I use flashcards (Montessori 3-part style), either free or made to review these important ideas. We review these every science day. Teaches him to pull the most important info, review a little often, prepared for the test, no stress. Dysgraphia is a pain, but the flashcards allow DS to remain in control of his learning without making his hands ache or getting stressed out.

Doing our own thing
Science--Earth Science and Astronomy
Reading--various recommendations for 3rd graders concentrating on comprehension and fluency (see WWE2 above)
German--orally and making personalized booklets for DS
Grammar--standard old grammar workbook, I am moving toward low-key grammar instruction, mainly as it pertains to writing. For example: using more colorful or juicy verbs to create more exciting sentences, same for adjectives, and adverbs. No diagramming or boring worksheets, I use matching cards to play synonym, antonym and homophone games.
Spelling--trying to figure this one out, DS is a dictionary; ended up switching to Words Their Way style spelling and vocabulary
Vocabulary--using words from books and novels we are reading across curriculum plus math and science. Really concentrating on breaking apart words such as rebuilding = re*build*ing and teaching prefixes and suffixes, how the word is used in a sentence.

Edited by jgrabuskie
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For ods, continued loves are:

Mbtp la (I will need more explicit teaching help soon, so I plan for this to be his last year with it)


New loves are:

Mp astronomy

Hoffman academy

Bombed and kicked to the curb:

Seton spelling


For DD, loves:

Shiller math

IEW bible heroes


For both, my homegrown history is rocking on...

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Biggest hits:


-I abandoned the younger guides of HOD for my youngest two and put them together in Science in the Beginning (absolutely love this - I'm learning science I never knew)   with SOTW Ancients (loosely following Biblioplan) and it has been a hit for them and for me.


-Continuing Fix-It Grammar for the older boys.  It just keeps getting better.


-  Climbing to Good English for the younger two has been a great fit.  My 8yods even likes the dictionary respellings.  He sees them as a secret code he gets to crack!  


-Older kids are all doing HOD Guides and it's going well with the modifications I've made.  They like it, I like it, we're all happy.


- Surprise big hit has been Getting Started with Spanish for my oldest still at home.  I was expecting that to go badly as he has always hated any attempts at foreign language but this one is working.  He'll only get a 1/2 credit this year but that's ok for now.




-  Surprised that I'm enjoying so much that I dropped HOD's Bigger for my 8yods and LHFHG for my 7yodd.  It worked well for my older kids but I just couldn't do it again!  Combining the younger two has been the best move I've made in a long time even though I feel guilty because I've been such a big defender of HOD over the years.  Combining the younger two was just too tempting for me this year!  In fact, I've been trying to talk my 11 yods into joining us but he's resisting so he'll continue HOD this year.  





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Math Mammoth: I love the way it teaches, the kids do well with it though they don't love it. 


AAS: Love


Megawords: new this year but we are loving it (absolutely best follow up to the early levels of AAS I have found) 


Analytical Grammar: Love. A lot of grading for me which I am having a hard time keeping up with, but I love that she is almost done with the first season and therefore most grammar for the year! And it gets done independently which is amazing


Quiver of Arrows: going well so far. Love the books and having copywork already chosen for me


Reading and Reasoning: Love


Veritas Press Self Paced History: I have a love hate relationship with this. I love and need the independence right now. I love what we are studying MARR. dd despises the games (I think they are frustrating and unnecessary most of the time). Retention is still up in the air. I miss teaching history, but I can't do everything with 3 kids-- we can't fit it all in. The VP literature is hit or miss too...(I think dd just doesn't like classical literature though)  :huh:


Legends and Leagues: not sure....the story is strange, but I like the activities... 


Treasured Conversations: Love!


Writing with Skill (Expository Writing 1 through WTMA) dd absolutely LOVES this class! Major hit this year. 


AIG Life Science: Meh. It's getting it done. No frills or thrills. But I just wanted a spine for all the kits we have on hand and the many science related field trips we have this year. 


Middlebury Spanish: Love the independence. It has required more involvement from me, and dd thinks it is "hard" but I am still pleased with it overall. 



Overall things are going well and our choices are working well for us...



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MCT LA: Dd is loving this. We started level one this year and she has so much fun with it. 


MiF: Not her favorite subject, but she likes it better than MM. There's a lot less on each page. She'd rather do five pages with a couple problems on each page than one page crammed full of stuff.


Mr. Q Earth Science: Dd likes this. The experiments don't require a bunch of bizarre supplies, which is nice, and I'm finding way fewer typos and factual errors than with the RSO level we used last year. I could do without all the exclamation points!!! but nothing's perfect. ;) 


SotW3: Dd loves this one, too. History is one of her favorite subjects.


Mango French: I'm so glad we get this for free through the library. It's a fantastic program.


So yeah, some stuff dd loves and some she tolerates, but nothing she outright hates so far this year.

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So far... loving Mathematics: A Human Endeavor. And loving a lot of our DIY stuff - one ds is studying planes and rockets the other is studying "weird" physics (at the moment, time travel in literature and science).


We hated Spanish for Children so that got dropped.


Everything else (Duolingo, Dolciani PreA, some Evan-Moor stuff, etc. etc.) is doing the job.

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SOTW 3: DS likes history, as usual, and I'm sure we'll use volume 4 next year as well. We're doing a lot of supplementing with American stuff just now, and he loves that too.


BFSU 2: Going fine. It'd be handy for me to have it all fleshed out more/open-and-go (of course that's what everybody says about BFSU), so I wouldn't quite say I love it. DS likes the topics so far.


Beast Academy: The practice is a stretch for DS, especially now that I'm no longer scribing for him, but he loves the guide. We've done Times Tales to help with his facts, and that has made things much better. He'll finish 3B within the next couple of weeks. I think it's a good curriculum.


Treasured Conversations: So far, so good--we're starting the paragraph structure section. He is going to need another pass at the parts of speech later (we started TC last year), but I'm fine with that. Since I only print a month's work at a time, both teacher and student, the PDF layout could be better. It's set up as though you want to print and bind the whole student book, and print and bind the whole teacher book.


Wheeler's Elementary Speller: I despair of teaching this child to spell, but we're going to keep plodding through. I'm making him do his spelling in cursive, in pen (after building it with Montessori letters). Meanest mom ever. The content of the book is what I was looking for (arranged by word families), but having it printed at FedEx Kinko's made it very expensive for a free book, and I regret doing that.

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"Loving It!"


For older DD:


Winston Grammar - Where have you been all my life?  LOVE.  The perfect fit for older DD.  For the first time grammar makes sense to her and she is succeeding!   :)


Teaching Textbooks - I don't love it, but she is doing well with it and has asked to continue with TT all the way through.


For younger DD:


American Pioneers & Patriots - She reads it on her own and is learning a lot.  No tears, no complaining.  


ACSI Spelling 6 - This is definitely in the category of strange-love.  It's really stretching DD.  The spelling words aren't the problem; she rocks spelling.  It's the requirement that she really think during spelling that's frustrating her.  There's pretty much no busywork.  The activities center around phonics, grammar, vocabulary, and word study (roots, suffixes, etc.).   It requires more effort from her, because she's used to smooth sailing in spelling.  But from my perspective I can see how much she's learning and I have no regrets.  


Grammar Ace - For a kid who's a natural at almost everything related to the language arts / grammar, this is perfect.  Just enough practice, covers the basics, fills in the gaps, gets done.  



"Hating It"


Teaching Textbooks for younger DD.  She's begged to change, so we're switching her to old school 1st ed. Saxon.



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Beast Academy for my 4th grader

Middlebury Spanish for grades 1, 4 and 6

Mystery Science

FLL & WWE for 1st grade

All about Reading 2 for 1st grade

Natural Speller + Spelling Wisdom for grades 4 and 6

Prodigy Math

Getting Started with Latin




Math Mammoth for my 4th grader

Math Mammoth and Beast Academy for my 6th grader; he's back to CLE. :)


Just OK:

Zaner-Bloser GUM for grades 4 and 6. I don't see the same retention we saw with CLE Language Arts, but it is short & sweet.

Hoffman Academy for piano; just can't find the time.

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Mystery Science

BJU earth science 8th grade (for one middle schooler)

Landry Academy Earth science (for my other middle schooler)

Uncle Eric books


Horizons math

Dolcinai Pre-Algebra

Daily Paragraph Editing

Notgrass From Adam to Us (goes along splendidly with CC memory work)

Critical Thinking Company's US History Detective

Khan SAT practice

Khan Intro to Java Script

Map drawing with http://map-of-the-whole-world.weebly.com/

Word Wealth Jr.


Notwithstanding tween/teen hormones, we are having a good year!

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A Servant's Heart Year 1 (Geography / Habitats) - I wrote it myself, and in spite of that, I am loving it! 


BJU Press Math (My son LOVES math this year. First time ever. My daughter loves it, too, and looks forward to it.)


A Beka Handwriting and Health, Safety and Manners 2, Phonics (K4 and 2nd)


BJU Press English 2 (I don't know that grammar really is necessary at this age, but the writing chapters really are fantastic. I think long term, they will produce very good writers.)




Spelling Workout (It's thorough and relatively simple, but there's certainly nothing inspiring about it.)


YGP Welsh Year 2 - Also one I wrote, but it's nothing to write home about. It does the job, but I have no idea how to make it better.


Nathan Vocabulaire CP - Again, does the job, nothing to write home about. No one's jumping up and down when it comes out.

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For our second grade daughter...


All About Spelling Level 1 - I loved, loved, loved this after switching from Spelling Workout A. But somehow for the life of her, she cannot spell "shrunk" the first time around and so my enthusiasm is a little dampened.

Practical Lessons in the Use of English - Short and sweet. We do this 2 or 3 times a week. I am more comfortable with this than R&S.

WriteShop C - I just ordered this, so I am not sure. I tried doing the writing workshop thing according to Lucy Calkins, and while my child is writing, I really hate having to wing it day by day. I am hoping WriteShop will help.

Joy of Handwriting Cursive - By far, my daughter's favorite subject this year.

Math-U-See - It gets the job done, but we have never tried anything else. If it ain't broke.....

Xtramath.org - Love! She has gotten much faster with her math facts since using this. She works on it about every other day.

Story of the World Vol. 2 - Well done - my daughter likes it a lot and misses it on the days when we just read library books.

Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding Vol 1 - Because I believe it does a fantastic job in living up to its title, I would continue to do it even if my kid didn't like it, even if there were much easier options for me as the teacher.

Song School Latin 1 - We are just finishing up this volume and will go on to the next. Latin is her next favorite subject.

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7th grader: I am just loving her Thinking Tree Journal. It isn't really a curriculum. it is basically just a notebooking source that you use and customize yourself, but I am able to make it work so well for her. I am thinking next year of getting the Charlotte Mason one for both girls and doing some morning time stuff together with them. There is a video a hs mom made on Amazon of what she is doing with it that I adore.


Science in the Age of Reason: this is for k-6, but it is just what we need. It is perfect for her. We notebook with it and use the Usborne Science Encyclopedia for further work.


EasyPeasy Spanish. I have finally found something for Spanish that works and gets done around here!


Dyslexia Games/Thinking Tree Spelling. We are doing two different ones from them right now. They are perfect for her. One includes a lot of notebooking/social studies stuff like the above journal, so she gets a lot of research and writing practice with it as well. We will go back to R&S spelling at some point to hit on the phonics again, but this is what she needs to learn to spell.


This is all that's new for us. Everything else works, but we've been doing it so long, it's nothing new: R&S math and English and WTM logic history and Memoria Press Latin.


9th grade. I am not sure yet. It's our first time doing high school and it is a little soon to see how some of the new stuff is going. I have no major dislikes for any reason.


dd2: I have been doing some Little Visits devotions with her. She really enjoys those. And lots and lots of Dr. Seuss and Nursery Rhymes. Sweet sweet times.

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We are on week 10:



BJU Math Fundamentals (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Best thing ever.)

Abeka Math 4

Tapestry of Grace :wub:

IEW & Teaching the Classics - we use loosely but follow the ideas

Fix It Grammar (picked this up again after we dropped R&S Grammar)


Too new to say:

Learning Language Arts Through Literature...so far, so good....


Don't love:

God's Design for Heaven & Earth (the kids don't complain and it's getting done, but I don't love it)


Dropped after the 1st quarter:

R&S Grammar...ugh, I hate this one.

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RLTL for spelling. Loved it last year, love it again this year.


ELTL. New for this year. So easy to use, stuff is really getting done. My 11yo complains about the length of the lessons and copywork in level 3, but he complains about everything. Because someone else has laid it out for me, I'm telling him to suck it up rather than second guess myself. Yeah today's copywork was the longest he's every done. But it was only four sentences for Pete's sake! Lol


MUS is going well. The kids are understanding the math and getting enough practice. It's easy to use. We are also doing 5 min of oral math from the Singapore textbook most days, its quick and easy.


HWOT K book. This is the first time I've used HWOT to teach a kid letters and it's gone very nicely. I find it much more kid friendly than getty dubay.



Miquon. My 6yo struggled too much with this. I might possibly try again in the spring, but then again I might not. MUS is working for us.


McHenry the elements. It's just too much for my kids ages.

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Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (this has been so easy and the kids do it! I am shocked)

AAS (we are on levels 5 and 6)


Math in Focus 

Prodigy math

Ancient history using Human Odyssey and OUP's ancient world

Read alouds

MapTrek (it's easy)

playing games for geography

Reasoning and Reading

Prufrock Press Logic books

Hoffman Academy

Artistic Pursuits


Still assessing:

Latin for Children A

Fix-It  (I love how easy it is compared to last year's FLL4 but I guess that is also what makes me nervous).




AIG's God's Design for Life.  The content is not awful, there just isn't enough of it, and I didn't plan to supplement it (which it appears I should have). There is just not enough discussion in the book to aid understanding IMO.  We do like the experiments. This is going to be a light science year I guess.


Not accomplishing:

Literary analysis is not happening at all like I want it to. We at least managed one book a month last year. I'm hoping we get to it eventually. 

Composer study--I have it mapped out. The time is not there. Ugh.



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We're on our 5th week, and I can't believe it, but so far we love everything!  This hasn't ever happened before.  Usually there's at least on or two classes that we trudge through.  I'm hoping it stays that way.


Maybe the difference is that we're not really using any standard curricula.  Every class is homegrown this year except math and Fix-It Grammar.  DD usually hates math, but is actually fine with CLE Algebra.  She's getting it, and doesn't mind doing it.  We gave up on Fix-It last year, but I decided to revamp it, and do it in a totally different way which DD is enjoying quite a bit, and I'm seeing tremendous progress in her writing mechanics already.


So, for right now, it's all good!

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We didn't change much from last year, just moved on to the next level.  I like all those things, but of the things we added/changed...


Love, love, love, love, love Real Science Odyssey Biology 2.  I never fully love science.  That has changed this year.


I'm surprised how much I am liking Rod & Staff English 5.


Not loving Typing Pal.

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We are finishing up our 6th week of our school year.


Picture Smart Bible: Seriously LOVE this. Even 10 y.o. DS, who hates to color LVES this!!!

Elemental Science - Biology for the Logic stage: LOVE - so easy to adjust for each kid's level

Wordsmith Apprentice: DS LOVES this

Beast Academy: Love

AAR: I really did not want to use this, but DD and I both seriously LOVE it.

Winston Grammar: love


Biblioplan: I was sure we were all going to love this. I like it ok, but all 3 kids hate it. :sigh:

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On a whim, I purchased MCT's Lincoln's Ten Sentences and it was such a rich way to start our year. I'm really looking forward to using Free at Last in the spring.


Using MIF for the first time- DD loves it.


Cells by Ellen McHenry is a big hit. I love her stuff.


Beautiful Feet Modern and World is going really well. The pacing is sometimes uneven, but I like the book selections so far, and the writing assignments have been great.


Center for Lit class has also been great.


That's all of our new stuff. Carrying over from last year: MCT LA- finishing off last year's level, we like it. All About Spelling, effective, but she dislikes it. Effective wins.


Edited by Sassenach
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I'm not sure we have anything we absolutely LOVE.  We have some we like and some that are okay but nothing special.


DD - 9 years old/4th Grade

Math Mammoth - We've been using this for years and like it.

Beast Academy - first year dd is using it and so far so good.

Mosdos Press Ruby -  New this year.  DD is really enjoying the stories and so far the assignments have gone well.  Only "bad" thing is the write the vocabulary words in cursive in the workbook and dd can't read cursive very well yet.

Evan Moor Spell & Write - Been using this for years and we like it.

Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4th Grade - Another new program.  We like it so far.

Spectrum Writing 4th Grade - Okay. Nothing special but seems like it will get the job done.

Squidy - 11 years old/6th Grade

Math Mammoth - Down to the home stretch, still liking it


Beast Academy - Still liking it.

Jousting Armadillos - Another new program.  Going okay.  Ds likes it but is being somewhat lazy about putting the time and thought into it.

Mosdos Press Pearl - Going okay.  He's not as excited about it as dd, but does fine on the assignments.

Vocabulary from Classical Roots 6th Grade - Going fine. 

Spectrum Writing 6th Grade - getting the job done.



The rest of our stuff we haven't started yet.


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dd5 (Kindergarten/1st)
Love: 10 Terrific Weeks: Apple Tree Farm (Usborne Books)
Like: topical readers from Usborne; LOVE the Quicklinks.

dd9 (~4th Grade):
Dislike: Analytical Grammar: not enough practice for what is covered.  Looking at Easy Grammar.

Like: Chemistry: A mishmash of Chemistry Odyssey (Pandia Press), Elements (Theodore Gray), Cartoon Chemistry, C550 and C1000 Lab sets, other books, websites, and some stuff I have designed myself.  It should take us two years to conquer.


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Landry Academy German

PA Homeschoolers AP Comp Sci

Electives at homeschool co-op (who doesn't love to take electives?)

Sonlight Core 100 (We are one week in and my daughter LOVES it.  She is talking all about what she has learned, and we are really enjoying having read aloud time again! Yay!!!)



The academic classes at the local co-op with more CHarter School homeschoolers signed up.  The character of the kids, overall atmosphere, isn't that great, and the academics have been way below expectation.  


Apologia Biology- my son thinks it's so verbose, and we also just found out it doesn't have enough content to pass the SUbject exam so he will have to supplement.  We may use it again anyway next year though :) It's not terrible...at least it is super homeschool friendly!





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I think our only new love is Shiller Math it is easy to use and to compact.


We don't have any hates but I think we will be moving on from EIW for older DD

We are not crazy about Math U See here. It's fine; it's not great. I am thinking about switching to Shiller next year. I'm glad to hear it's working for you.
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We're only on our third week so I hope to have more loves after more time has gone by.


I am cautiously in love with Writing to the Point by Kerrigan. I've loved it since I read it this summer but now I'm teaching the concepts to my 14yo son, so we will see how it pans out in the real world of actually writing essays. But so far, it seems like such a natural progression after all the outlining and summarizing he did in middle school.


I was most curious about how LLATL and TT would go this year, since both are new to our homeschool. So far, so good, but it's still early.


The Fallacy Detective was a miss for my 12yo but I think he just isn't ready for it yet. And the jury is still out on Apologia General for him as well. So far I've had to help him think through every On Your Own question... and I wonder if that means he's not really understanding what he's reading.




ETA: We're in our 7th week of school now so I will update my original reply a little bit. I still love the concepts in Writing to the Point, but it does not work for my son to use as a writing curriculum. So he is just writing narrations/essays 3x a week and I'm giving him tips and it is working really well.


LLATL and TT are still going well, and even though no one really loves them, they are good fits for us. Apologia General is going well now for 7th grade son.

Edited by hollyhock
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Singapore Math (6) "Just right" math for our family

Writing and Rhetoric (6) I love this curriculum 

SOTW (6) My son is reading and narrating vol. 4 independently and he adores it

The Reading Lesson (K) Great fit for my daughter



Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (K) utilitarian and scripted. No soul. Yuck.

Saxon 1 (K) just because I can barely teach with scripted lessons



Apologia Science (K&6) Surprised at how much I love the book...but not the notebooking journal. I just don't utilize it enough to justify the cost

Mystery of History (K&6) On the fence about this one. I really want to use this as a family curriculum, but I have to do a lot of work to make it work with my littlest learner.


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DS 12 7th grade & DS 9, 4th grade




R&S Grammar--loves this, gets it, retains it, easy to teach. 

R&S Math--same for this 

IEW SWI-B--easy to understand, easy to do. 

Guest Hollow Jr. Anatomy--great reading, videos & experiments. We are all having fun with this one. 

Memoria Press lit. picks & guides--kids love the books, MP makes it easy to throw in vocabulary and double check that they are comprehending what they read. 




History Odyssey--reading and outlining from an encyclopedia inspires no one. Topics jump around, too many parts, literature ok, but ds needs someone checking him for comprehension and doesn't particularly enjoy reading fiction.  




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All About Spelling: we flew through level 1, but it was great for shoring up some rules that DS had let slip to the back of his mind since he did Barton and now Level 2 is actually teaching him a few things he didn't know. I'm sure we'll go fast through it as well.


Cottage Press Fable and Song: Well, DS doesn't love it, but he does mostly like it and I love it. Copywork is hard for him and we're not even attempting full dictation yet, but I've already seen a lot of progress in his attention detail because of the copywork.


Morning Time with devotion, Bible reading, and a variety of readalouds. If I could just read aloud great books - both classic literature a historical fiction- all day long we'd both love school all day long :). DS loves every minute of it and it's amazing how much he's learning. I'm so glad I heard about this idea on this board.


HWOT cursive: DS is thrilled to finally be learning cursive and this program is super easy to use and works really well for him


Getting Started with Latin: I don't actually love this as written, but I took Latin in high school and have been able to use it as a spine for teaching a relaxed introduction to Latin that we're both enjoying. 


Just Okay:


Notgrass From Adam to Us: It's so Christian sometimes it makes me want to bang my head against the wall - or maybe bang the book against the wall. The author takes pains to point out, for instance, that the gods worshipped in ancient Babylon were false gods - you  know, in case Christians couldn't figure that our on their own. I often skip the Bible verses at the end of each lesson because they don't always seem to apply. That said, the actual history overview has been really informative, the timeline is great for understanding history that was happening all over the world at the same time, and the mapwork has taught DS a lot. Also, the literature component has gone over really well, though we're using the books as readalouds as part of morning time instead of independent reading as part of history.


Math Mammoth 6: Now that I'm adjusting my teaching strategies I think this one will turn out well, but Math in general is just a tough subject and I don't love all the mental math that this book expects.




Saxon 8/7 - we only lasted three days with this one. The format had us both in tears


Artistic Pursuits - This is a good program but DS just wasn't ready for a full art program after coming out of a school experience in which he learned to hate art (mainly due to a personality conflict with the art teacher, whom many students and parents absolutely love. She rubs me the wrong way too). I switched to having him do free drawing during readalouds and he's learning to enjoy art again.


Novare Earth Science - this miss makes me really sad. I was so excited to find an Old Earth Creationist textbook. The book is lovely and I'm reading it myself to self educate, but there were two main problems - 1, it's written for school use and I, as a nonscientist and first year homeschooler, was having a really hard time adjusting it to our context. 2, more importantly, much of the info was simply over my 6th grader's head. It's intended for 7th or 8th grade, and it turns out I should not have blown that off.


Dyslexia Games:This is the one miss I wouldn't recommend to anyone else. I'm glad I only gave one book a try. I see absolutely no value in it for helping remediate dyslexia (I didn't really expect it, and DS's dyslexia is pretty well remediated anyway, but I was curious). DS has enjoyed coloring some of the pictures, so I guess it wasn't a complete waste of money :).

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Just Okay:


Notgrass From Adam to Us: It's so Christian sometimes it makes me want to bang my head against the wall - or maybe bang the book against the wall. The author takes pains to point out, for instance, that the gods worshipped in ancient Babylon were false gods - you  know, in case Christians couldn't figure that our on their own. I often skip the Bible verses at the end of each lesson because they don't always seem to apply. That said, the actual history overview has been really informative, the timeline is great for understanding history that was happening all over the world at the same time, and the mapwork has taught DS a lot. Also, the literature component has gone over really well, though we're using the books as readalouds as part of morning time instead of independent reading as part of history.




We are so annoyed with Notgrass as well.  It was included in the MFW 10th grade package and IMO it is so below level, it's offensive.  THe primary sources, would make up for that somewhat as they often include the language as it was originally written.  However, the Bible lessons interspersed constatnly are NOT helpful!  They are only highly annoying, distracting, and detracting from the history lesson at hand.  

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We school year-round, taking off a month to go home in late spring (we live overseas) so we've been going since the final week of May. Overall things have been going really well, though DS is moving through material rapidly so it is turning out to be an expensive year!



RightStart Math A (2nd Ed.)

We will finish in October & move on to B. It has been a perfect fit for my DS thus far & I have heard great things about B so I'm excited!


Logic of English Foundations A & B

DS completed Book B today! He is now reading Level 1 books. We will take a week off, then move on to Book C. The first reader is about trains, which is sure to be a hit!



Evan Moor Principles of Art.

It's directed at a classroom, so there's been some necessary adaptation. It doesn't require much prep, I got it as a freebie & it gets done so I can't complain too much. DS enjoys the projects. It just isn't... exciting.



So far, nothing! Hopefully that remains the case!

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli
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Well, this is our 6th year so I would like to think I have learned a thing or two by now about what works... but there are still some areas I need to perfect LOL....


7th Grade:




Saxon Math- After working though 1b-4a of Math in Focus my daughter tested into Saxon 7/6.  We needed something more spiral.  It has been slooooooow like we still have have 7 lessons, 2 tests and an investigation before we get to start 8/7 and we started 7/6 over a year ago!  She still manages to test  off the charts though so I will take it.  I wonder sometimes if MIF wouldn't be more fun but I am so happy with how well she is doing and she is happy with how well she does that we see no reason to jump to something else.  


BookShark Eastern Hemisphere-  We are longtime Sonlight turned BookShark lovers in this house.  She adores nearly all the book selections and asks me to pick their books for summer reading also.  She has been completely enthralled with Eastern culture since she was little because she was born in Korea while we were stationed there so this has been fun for her.  


Elemental Science Chemistry for the Logic Stage-  She loves that the experiments come first and the DK book.  I also ended up getting a subscription for MEL Chemistry just because she loves science.  


English LA-  Easy Grammar, AAS, Vocabulit, Writing According to TWTM (Narrations in Science, History Outlines & Literary Analysis based on her readers)  


Latin For Children A 


Rosetta Stone Japanese 1




Shakespeare in Bits (A Midsummer Night's Dream)


A Child's History of Art Sculpture



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Mystery Science

Beast Academy

Michael Clay Thompson

Evan-Moor Daily Science and Daily Geography, but especially geography, which kinda surprised me, but okay.


Story of the World


Just okay:

Real Science 4 Kids Building Blocks (DS#1 loves this, but I don't, so I'm averaging it as meh)

Right Start math.  DS#3 just doesn't love this the way DS#1 and DS#2 did.  It's still a good program, but maybe not the best fit for him.  We'll see.



First Language Lessons 3. Everyone hated it.


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From the past year (we school year round)



Dynamo Math (really cementing things for Atlas, who really needed it - dyscalculia)

Story of the World + Activity Book (of course)

KONOS (Love this, I use it my own way/as a framework)

Math on the Level (Love this, allows me to do math our way, at individual levels)

Bravewriter etc (Love, I use the main manual and ideas from things like Jot it down etc, its a lifestyle rather than "lessons" for us though)

Creek Edge Press Task Cards (I use as a framework)

General Handwriting Book (used for eldest, just picked up locally, I get her to do half a page a day, freely, without criticism, its slowly improving her confidence with grips & writing)

Unplugged Play book (I have a couple of books like this, but love this one)

Anti-coloring Books (love)






Mathseeds (blah)

Daily Writing - Schoolhouse Teachers (not involving enough, wasn't suitable for the child in question)

Behold & See Science (liked the idea, but wasn't the right fit for us)

Susan Evan Unit Study Treasure Vault (not what I expected, wasn't for us)

Bush Calendar - (Forgotten the author - Amy Mack?) (Not fond of the writing style, its a bit stilted and all over the place for us, and a bit too descriptive so rambles on a bit too much)



Teach Your Monster to Read (went too fast, easy to manipulate without knowing anything)

Reading Eggs (Only use this because I have problems teaching certain parts of phonics)

McRuffy Math(Love, but time consuming due to my thought process)

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (Love this, but I survive sometimes on little sleep due to medical needs of family, so I can't focus on prereading lesson when needed, similar problem with mcruffy, pity :( )

Living Math Cycles (I liked the book suggestions in it, but the writing style and lessons plans weren't definitely not me)

Harmony Fine Arts (I like this well enough, but it never gets finished/done, no idea why, I'm moving onto a different curricula for the moment, but may move back to it)

Earn it, Learn it book (Not exactly what I was after, however, I just used it as a framework, so now that its more "us, I like it, but not something I'd buy again etc)



Telling God's Story (Just started, so far, I quite like it, similar to SOTW)

Language Lessons through Australian History (just begun, not sure if I like it, it started anxiety in my eldest, we'll give it a chance and see how we go, but relaxed-ly)

Winterpromise Syllables to Sentences (waiting for it to arrive)

Wonderland of Nature - Nuri Mass (planning to start, but I misplaced where I put the book LOL)

Kids Cook Real Food (Only just started, but so far, we love it)

Winterpromise Children around the World (Only begun this today, but so far so good :) )

Atelier (Haven't started this yet)



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We are so annoyed with Notgrass as well.  It was included in the MFW 10th grade package and IMO it is so below level, it's offensive.  THe primary sources, would make up for that somewhat as they often include the language as it was originally written.  However, the Bible lessons interspersed constatnly are NOT helpful!  They are only highly annoying, distracting, and detracting from the history lesson at hand.  


I'm so glad I'm not the only one! So many people rave about Notgrass, and we're making it work for us, but I had a vision of using all three middle grade programs and that's definitely not happening.

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Two other things I forgot about when I posted yesterday:




Getting Started with Spanish: Trying to do two languages at once was a flop to begin with, but I figured out in just the few days we used this that, if we do Spanish again, we will not be getting started with this book. I think it's a decent resource for someone with no access to a teacher, but, as a former Spanish teacher, I'm really unimpressed with it. I can use a real textbook, and I will if my son wants to pick Spanish up at some point.




Exploring Planet Earth - I had this on my shelf after purchasing it used from my homeschooling neighbor just because I thought it might be fun to read through sometime (this was before we started homeschooling). We picked it up after I admitted that Novare was over DS's head. DS is learning, but I would never use it as the core of a science program. There's just not enough to it. Also, it's not as annoyingly Christian as Notgrass, but it's headed in that direction. I guess I just don't like most Christian material. Maybe I'll write my own someday for Christians like me.

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I'm so glad I'm not the only one! So many people rave about Notgrass, and we're making it work for us, but I had a vision of using all three middle grade programs and that's definitely not happening.

I agree about the Bible lessons being annoying, but then I think maybe it is a good thing in a way. My kids are headed to public school for ninth grade when they will mostly be taught in secular courses. After 8th grade they may not have another Christian teacher.


Also the photos in the book are a huge plus. I have been reading narrative histories to the kids for years, but the photos in Notgrass bring it to life much more.

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I agree about the Bible lessons being annoying, but then I think maybe it is a good thing in a way. My kids are headed to public school for ninth grade when they will mostly be taught in secular courses. After 8th grade they may not have another Christian teacher.


Also the photos in the book are a huge plus. I have been reading narrative histories to the kids for years, but the photos in Notgrass bring it to life much more.


I agree that the photos are awesome. That's a huge plus to the book. And Our Creative World is really cool as well. I'm just not nearly as impressed as I thought I would be.

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I'm not using many standard curricula, but we are quite happy with what we're doing:


  • Spanish--Still very happy with Español Santillana
  • Math--very glad we switched to Foerster's for algebra 1. It's the right fit, and we are using it with the Math without Border videos, which are fine but we don't love them. I just like that the pressure is off me for the main lesson and I can just explain anything she is having difficulty with in a different way, but so far she's been doing great. I don't understand why he uses a calculator for the arithmetic that DD can do in her head, but whatever! She loves the funny names they use in the word problems. We also have time to keep doing living math on Fridays with this program, which we're thrilled about because we love supplementing.
  • Literature--Mosdos Jade is fine. We actually love the stories, which push beyond our normal comfort zone, and we have great discussions. But, the workbook materials are not great. I feel there is a lot of busy work so we reduce that significantly. We are doing Figuratively Speaking too, but I don't really think it goes into enough detail about each element, and I'll be switching to the Waltch Pose and Poetry book soon once we finish it.
  • Science--my own plan, and we are doing a lot of it, and we love it all. Mix of McHenry, Hakim, Science Matters, MELScience, microscope stuff, just a huge variety of things we're working on as a family. We'll be switching things up again after we finish a bunch of this in December.
  • History--doing a lot here too with Renaissance. I am using a big mix of materials so I'm basically designing our approach, and we are pretty happy with how it's going. Doing a lot of reading, source materials, historical fiction, documentaries, etc.
  • Food history/science--not sure what to call this but we are reading several books as a family that focus on the history/science/politics of a particular food. We started with "Banana: The Fate of Fruit that Changed the World", and we are thrilled with how this is working out. The book is excellent and is yielding a lot of thought-provoking discussions. We'll be done soon so we need to pick our next one, which will probably be "Chocolate: Sweet Science & Dark Secrets of the World's Favorite Treat."
  • Logical reasoning--another one designed by me. We are reading "nonsense" and "Illustrated Guide to Bad Arguments" and with this election year, we have so much material to evaluate. This is one of our favorite courses.
  • Writing--another one I'm putting together with a mix of materials, focusing mostly on persuasive essays right now.


Honestly, I think other than wishing we had more time for everything, this is our best year ever, probably because I'm relying more heavily on materials that I've pulled together.

Edited by deerforest
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Singapore PM US 5...so glad I stuck with it, 4th year using

Singapore Intensive Practice... new this year. (Thanks, Kbutton, for recommending it!)

CLE Reading 5...still very impressed, 2nd year using

Modern Speller/Dictation Day by Day...typed this up in HWT cursive using StartWrite...I love the passages and that she's getting both spelling and cursive practice and some history thrown in, 2nd year using

Apologia Land Animals... used this before but I love how DD keeps chatting about what she's reading...the notebook journal is scheduled for today so we'll see how that goes, 3rd year using the Apologia elementary series

CHOW second half...still loving it, 2nd year using

Map Skills for Today 5...just a workbook but I love it, 2nd year using





Hake / Saxon Grammar 5...New this year and it's getting done without complaints, but I think DD prefers Easy Grammar for the shorter lessons and I can see now that she retained a lot from it




First Form Latin...I love this and have used it for many years with my own kids and at coop. But the workbook requires a lot of writing and it's repetitive, so it's not a perfect fit for this kid. I'll stick with it for now unless I find something better.


Faith and Life...I like the textbook but this year we're using the workbook for the first time. Some of the workbook questions don't line up well with the text. As someone else said here, the quizzes and tests might focus better on the important points.

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We just finished six weeks of school and are on our break week.  So far...


Older daughter:


Singapore Math - she has a love/hate relationship with math in general, but this works brilliantly for her

Math Mammoth topic books - she'd rather not, but they are helping her multiplication facts along... :)

Math games from RightStart - she LOVES these


MP 50 States - she loves this

GeoPuzzle of North America - I thought she'd love this. She HATES it.  Huh.


Home grown literature (Parables from Nature, The Hurricane's Children, Otto of the Silver Hand), history (Of Courage Undaunted, SOTW 4, Lord of the Nutcracker Men, picture books, Number the Stars), and science (physics with JVC activities and lots of books) - she LOVES all of these. :)


Cottage Press Primer 2 - we both adore this series.  I am so glad it exists.


Apples and Pears B - she isn't exactly fond of spelling, but she doesn't hate it.  This is a very effective program!


Simply Grammar, Part 1 - I love this, she wishes we were still reading Grammar Land. ;)  I may read it to her again late this year...


Logic Safari book 1 - she doe this for fun.... :)


Morning Time - loved by all, missed by all when it doesn't happen...



Younger daughter...


Right Start Math A - looks great, seems perfect, but we only just started it, so we'll see


Alpha Phonics/First Start Reading from MP - FANTASTIC combo.  My little girl loves her learning to read time


FIAR vlm 1 - LOVE.  Of course. :)

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For DS 8:

-love Reflex Math. He is enjoying it and is definitely becoming more fluent in his math facts. Times Tales was a bust last year, so I'm glad this is working so well.


- love Math in Focus. We do this every year so it's no surprise. I still use Math Minutes and and more word problems and it all works very well for DS.


- love Math and Magic in Wonderland by Lilac Mohr. It was our first living math book and it was so much fun. I now have the Penrose books to do next.


- love Around the World in 80 Days, narrated by Jim Dale. I adore Jim Dale, and this may be my favorite audiobook ever. It feels like such a treat to listen.


- love Growing with Grammar, but I'm bumping DS up another grade level to get more of the details of grammar.


- love First Step Espanol videos paired with Teach Them Spanish worksheets and Rockalingua songs/videos.


- huge love for Tinker Crates and Doodle Crates. These kits are so well done.


- Not impressed with Sequential Spelling online. Many unclear pronunciations, and some outright mistakes and software bugs.


Everything else (lit, history, science) is fine. DS likes it and is learning, but it's nothing AMAZING.


DS 15:


Nothing amazing, but everything is adequateand getting done. Oh, we are really enjoying Art of Argument.

Edited by ondreeuh
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I'll play!


DS 9 (grade 5)


G3 scratch workshop

Uzinggo Biology

McHenry Cells

Biology Coloring book



American Odyssey - Too dry for DS, he needs a more narrative approach.  I ordered Hakim US history, hopefully he likes that better.


Not sure yet:

AoPS Pre-A - I think this is going to be a love, but we have some growing pains.


DD & DS 6 (first grade)



ZB Italics

TWTM grammar stage approach to science with notebooking

BW Jot it Down



The American Story - I think I need to add in some activities/projects

Edited by Runningmom80
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We haven't been running very long here, but we don't have any hates or flops so far.





-Build Your Library's grade 8 history of science is his favorite hands down. He has nothing negative to say about it. The math being tied in chronologically tickles him. Two hearty thumbs up. I'm so glad I purchased this schedule for him! I never would have taken the time to add those extras that he enjoys so much.

-He's reserving judgement on Campbell's Biology: Concepts and Connections, but he is doing well in it.





I keep looking at BYL for my oldest.  We are doing US history and I need some hand holding.

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