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What curriculum are you loving and hating this year?

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Nothing has been a runaway hit this year, but stuff that is working:

 

Spelling You See (still! yay!)

Oak Meadow Environmental Science

Paragraphs for High School (Killgallon)  (but now we've finished it and I'm not sure what we are currently using is working)

Iguana Art Academy

 

Like pulling teeth:

Horizons Pre-Algebra

Moving Beyond the Page history (even though she likes the projects, getting her started is a pain)

getting DD to write anything

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HITS this year:

 

Spelling You See

-- I'm with nixpix on this, I am LOVING this program and my bad speller is showing so much improvement!

 

Right Start math

-- Funny because when I originally posted in 2016 it was on our misses list.  DS#3 likes the later levels much more than the early ones, and he adores the drawing lessons.

 

Beast Academy

 

IEW

-- I big-puffy-heart Pudewa telling my kid what to do for writing so I don't have to in the student writing intensive

 

MCT Island level for DS#3

 

Picciotto Algebra and Algebra Lab Gear

-- These were great finds!

 

Build Your Library 5

 

Jacobs Mathematics a Human Endeavor

 

 

JUST MEH this year:

 

Fix It

-- Neither boy really likes this, but it gets the job done and is quick and easy.  It's certainly better than Evan-Moor Daily Paragraph Editing, which was their other option.

 

MCT Town level for DS#1

-- He likes the grammar, but isn't thrilled about the vocab book.  I'm holding off on using the paragraph and poetry books until next year.

 

 

MISSES this year:

 

AoPS Prealgebra

-- It just isn't fun like BA was.  We're going to keep at it here and there between the other math texts DS#1 is using and liking more.

 

BookShark history and lit

-- These turned out just not to be secular *enough* for my tastes

 

 

TO BE DETERMINED

 

We just started RSO Bio 2.  So far we really like it, but we're only a couple of weeks in.  It's hard to say it's really a hit quite yet.

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MISSES this year:

 

AoPS Prealgebra

-- It just isn't fun like BA was.  We're going to keep at it here and there between the other math texts DS#1 is using and liking more.

 

 

 

Lace, Can I ask what you're using instead? Just the Picciotta book? Or another as well? And what do you find the differences between the two to be? I was planning on using AoPS soon, but apparently need to do some more research.

Thanks!

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Hits and misses for 2018:

 

Hits:

Morning basket :)

Middlebury Interactive Spanish (after a few years Dd is finally putting some effort in and I can see some good progress)

Math Mammoth for Ds and ydd

Biblioplan

Bravewriter

Art of Argument

FLL 2

AAR

AAS

Megawords

IEW Fix It

 

Misses:

Tabletclass prealgebra (dd is taking a break and trying some other options)

 

Meh:

God's Design for (weather and water, planet earth,universe) it's doing its job...just uninspiringly

Analytical Grammar it is working, but it is a bit of drudgery...

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For DD5- just started Horizon Math K workbook 1. She likes it but says it's too easy and it is. She knows about 85% of the stuff in the book. She says she likes easy so she will finish this. Workbook #2 will be delivered tomorrow. I hope it will be more challenging. It's colorful and the lessons are short. Which is a plus for her age. Taking the placement test put her in this, so we will see.

 

Phonics- Reading Made Easy with Blend Phonics and Phonics Pathways. I like both.

 

She has a wipe and clean book for practicing her numbers plus her math book practices that as well. It works when she is interested.

 

Her letters she practice's those on the white board. It works.

Edited by Mommyof1
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Loving: 

 

Writing with Ease

Rod & Staff Math

Getty Dubay Handwriting (for printing, not cursive...using other for cursive)

Singapore Math as supplement

 

Okay:

First Language Lessons

All About Spelling

MCP Plaid Phonics

Edited by nwahomeschoolmom

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Another one I forgot to mention that we are loving is Math U See for my disabled kiddo. He had reached a plateau in math until we made the switch to MUS.

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I can't say my kids love any of these. We are in the "school is stupid" preteen phase.  There are some they tolerate less than others, which will be reflected here:

 

Love:

 

Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind  (This is what we needed. I had bought Analytical Grammar and there was NO way that was going to work for us. They needed a different sort of program. This is just right for us.)

Latin for Children Teacher's course.  Not curriculum, but something for me.  I am SO glad I bought this used. It has helped me tremendously. I have no background in Latin. 

 

Like and working:

 

All about Spelling (although I'm ready to retire--oldest is in book 7 and youngest in book 6)

SICC-B  (significantly more difficult for us than SICC-A, interestingly)

Math in Focus (5A/5B and Course 1)

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (but only doing twice a week, so super slow progress this year)

Prufrock Press Logic Books

Maps, Charts & Graphs (although the printing is very poor quality. I wish they would fix that.)

Human Odyssey Vol 2 and OUP books (I am still liking this series in year 2)

Artistic Pursuits

Hoffman Academy piano

WTM reading selections for Medieval/Early Modern (less Sir Gawain--we crashed and burned on it and I am waiting for a different translation from the library)

 

Like, with reservations

CPO Earth Science  (and virtually every science curriculum ever . . .)   It's okay. It's too light on some topics, and since I am teaching the labs I am struggling with filling in the gaps. I had hoped this would be more open and go but it is not. 

 

Oldest Complains about:

 

Latin for Children B--I have an older version of the DVD. I would not have thought it would make a big difference, but it does. The video quality is poor. There are a lot of mistakes, and it doesn't line up well with the workbook. They mention the daughter being sick for about four weeks.  It's weird.  We are making it work because I am too cheap to buy a newer DVD.  

 

The Fallacy Detective.  Occasionally they throw in an answer such as "huh?" and this throws my rule-follower, compliant son into fits.  Really, they could have addressed this in the instructions for each exercise. I think ultimately this is a book that will work best if you do it together and not assign it.  We have about 15 chapters left so that is probably what we will do. 

 

 

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This was my last year:

 

Hits:

Mystery Science ("Mom, please, please, please can we do science today!?!?!?")

Hoffman Academy

CLE (for my math-challenged child)

Miquon

Evan Moor Beginning Geography

AAS

OPGTR (It's an unexciting but incredibly effective power horse at our house.)

 

Getting the Job Done:

WWE

FLL

HWT

 

Miss:

I Speak Latin. (I should have been true to myself and realized that the teaching style of this doesn't mesh with how I like to do things. Very good, just not for me)

Latin in general- We're putting it off for a bit.

History in general- I'm doing great at sort of unschooling this but I'd like to be more regular/formal. That's on me and not any particular program. We watch Liberty's Kids and listen to SOTW in the car. That counts, right?)

 

Jury's Still Out:

Beast Academy (dd is young for the program and we are taking it really slowly as a supplement. I plan to do it as her primary math as soon as she finishes Miquon, probably in about 9mos)

 

Its interesting seeing where we are now. A lot has changed, but most has stayed the same.

 

Hits:

Beast Academy. DD7 does it as her spine and DD5 is doing 2a on the side. Both love it (usually)

Hoffman Academy piano for all girls. We love Mr. Hoffman so much.

OPGTR. Almost done with dd5 on my third time through!

AAS 

Getting Started with Latin for dd9. Suprisingly for this dd, she loves it.

Miquon

Redbird Math, although we're going to stop it for a while once dd7's subscription is up.

Prodigy

Well-Ordered Language CD

SOTW Audiobook

TypingClub

FLL 3&4

W&R Fable

Kiwi Crates

 

Meh:

WWE 1&2. Gets the job done with little complaining

 

Misses:

CLE. Still love it but dd is having some extreme attention issues combined with some math learning issues and this was turning into a HUGE battle daily, with tears and yelling. Not worth it. We're deschooling math for a bit right now by doing Prodigy only. We're looking into medicating for attention and might try it again then. For now I'm going to try switching her to Teaching Textbooks for a while.

 

FLL 1&2. I just got to the point where I felt like I could do the content of this better informally and by the girls listening to the Well-Ordered Language CD on a regular basis, so that's what we're doing. DD7 just "graduated" this method and started right into FLL3 and is doing great. 

 

Mystery Science. I love it, I just never do it. That's totally my own fault, but just is the way it is. The girls still beg me to do it on regular occasions.

 

 

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HITS:

Singapore 2A/2B with IP - DS loves the intensive practice & it’s easy to accelerate.

DIY Continents & Cultures - This has been so much fun! Well worth the effort I put into planning.

Logic of English Foundations - Book C was brutal, but Book D has been a lot more fun!

 

MEH:

RightStart C - Loved A & B, but C is too much repetition. We’re using a handful of lessons.

Evan Moor Reading Comprehension - Perfect at the beginning of the year, now too easy. Got it for free.

 

MISSES:

None! Yay!

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli
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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:

Grammarland

Spell Correctly

MEP

Artistic Pursuits

 

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

 

That was last year.

 

Hits this year:

-ELTL with Grammarland character cutouts/Montessori color coding.  He understands diagramming almost completely because of this.

-Dictation Day By Day

-Right Start level D, paired with Life of Fred and using MUS blocks.  We finally found out sweet spot with it during multi-digit multiplication.  I teach it the way Gamma taught and he's finally able to visualize the steps instead of trying to go rote when the problems get big.

-BFSU.  It's more work on my part but science is one of his favorite parts of the day.

-Artistic Pursuits

-GSWL

-SOTW v. 2

-One Third Stories

 

Misses

nothing *yet*, but looking at ELTL it may be best for us to take a break after this year due to writing requirements and small hands.  We'll see how the end of year looks, though.

 

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Always fun to see what people say here!

 

Loving: CLE math

RSO chemistry

SOTW

Apples and Pears Spelling

Barry Stebbing Drawing Lessons

 

Middle Ground: FFL

WWE

 

Not loving:

Rod and Staff spelling (before switching to Apples and Pears)

ETC

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This year I like a continuation of last year's. We are starting each day with a mix of therapies and morning basket time with Thinking Tree journals as our guide for the morning basket work and readings. Starting together with hands on and together time is something I am going to stick with.  I loop through things that we might never get to otherwise, supplements to the rest of our work. Things I think look good that I am not using for full curriculum type of things and books I want to read through, but don't have another place in our day. 

 

We started A Workbook for Arguments just barely this semester. So far so good.  I also really like Mr. D's math for my high schooler. Really really a lot. MP for latin whenever possible is always the best path for us. NLEs and studying for them with friends, also good.  Doing SOTW type projects in co-op to supplement logic and rhetoric history has been nice. They take their projects to a new level. We just pick some that are age appropriate and skip the really elementary ones.

 

I

 

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Hits:

 

AOPS.... DD finished Algebra book and just started Geometry book

Teaching Textbooks...... DS finished Algebra 2. Started Geometry.

Elementary Greek 1

Word within the Word 2

Progeny Press guide to Julius Caesar

EIW 7 and 10.... 10 with scoring service!

EIL 7

Czech Step by Step 1

Growing with Grammar 7

 

Misses:

 

Notgrass World history, high school..... Nothing wrong with the program, but DS wants more. So we have tweaked it, and changed it, and added to it, and now we basically use the Textbooks as a spine.

 

MapTrek..... high school geography. We are continuing to use it, but it’s just ok. I think as we head into more modern times he will like it better, since the names/locations will be more distinct.

 

 

Like but not love:

 

From Adam to Us, Notgrass..... DD likes it. The pictures are beautiful and we have enjoyed all the middle school texts. I think I’m just ready for her to switch to my plans for next year 😊

 

DIVE Biology..... it’s fine... the kids have learned a lot. I just expected that we could actually do more of the labs since I purchased the lab kit.

 

First Start French. DD likes it. We just never have time for it!

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We're trying out The Good and the Beautiful. I love their LA for my beginning readers, 4th grade, and 6th grade, but dropped it for my 8th grader and moving on to IEW and analytical grammar this week to shore up those skills before high school. I tried the good and the beautiful history, but I just don't have time to do history with the kids, so I opted for independent history.. Notgrass.

 

I still love CLE math, but I switched my oldest three to TT because 5 kids in CLE is too much of my time to check work. :(. My kids love TT because it is so easy compared to CLE.

 

Our first year with Notgrass history and my middle schoolers love it, as do I. I'll be using it for high school next year.

 

As always, we love the elementary apologia science with notebook journals. My 8th grader is doing physical science and it's great. We'll stay with apologia for high school as well.

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Lace, Can I ask what you're using instead? Just the Picciotta book? Or another as well? And what do you find the differences between the two to be? I was planning on using AoPS soon, but apparently need to do some more research.

Thanks!

 

Lately, DS#1 has been alternating between the Picciotta algebra book (available FREE on Picciotta's website: https://www.mathedpage.org/attc/index.html) using the Algebra Lab Gear blocks and Jacobs Mathematics a Human Endeavor.  He's done the first 3 chapters in both books. 

 

He took foreeeeeeeeveeeeer to do the first 3 chapters of AoPS pre-A earlier this school year, and there was so much complaining.  I don't think there's anything wrong with AoPS.  The pre-A book is a seriously solid.  It's just very dry, wordy, and well, textbooky, and DS#1 is an active 9yo boy.  The layout and presentation of concepts in BA went over way better than AoPS. 

 

I do think AoPS will eventually be the best program for him, he's just not mature enough to happily plow through it yet.  For now he needs more pictures, some color, and explanations written in more of a conversational tone.  He likes AoPS more when I make worksheets for him from the exercises and change word problems so that they fit in the BA universe; however, I don't have the time or energy to do that for him every day.

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Hits:

Beast Academy

Abeka math for my third grader before he transitions into Beast Academy

MCT Town level, especially Caesar's English

CAP Writing Chreia

Maps, Charts and Graphs

CAP Reasoning and Reading...great topic sentence skills and other great skills.

 

Good:  AAS, waiting on the next level since we were told to race through from the beginning.  Jury's out on whether it will shore up my third grader's skills.

Fallacy Detective...now I need to convince my sixth grader that ordinary household conversations are not debates, and we don't always need to be so overly concerned with red herrings and straw man arguments.

 

Misses:

Good and Beautiful Science...not meaty enough for my oldest in sixth...very crafty oriented rather than doing good science experiments.

Good and Beautiful Language arts for my third grader...using it just for some reading exercises now.  It's ok, but not great.  We do like some of the geography mixed in, and some of the assignments are creative, but the grammar is not as thorough as it could be and has a few errors or weird examples that frustrate me.  Just ordered Abeka grammar 3 for him.  If I'm using something else for grammar and spelling, than the all in one isn't really working for me.  But it's free for using a few things.

 

At least these weren't too expensive of misses.

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Hits: Daily Word Ladders (I used it as a bridge as I was switching spelling programs but needed time to do some research)

 

Misses: Heroes and Heroines of American History-I want to love it. It's a lot like SOTW with a reading, and activities. But it seems like I'm having to "interpret" it so my kids understand what's happening (seems more written to sound good rather than be understood by kids), and it jumps around A LOT since it focuses on the different people and events, and chronological order is the second tier. 

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Hits- Math Mammoth for my 4th grader- this has been an awesome switch for us. I love that the books have lists of online games for each math topic. If my son is having trouble with a topic, it's super easy to           find a game to reinforce the topic. https://www.mathmammoth.com

 

Field Trip Journal from Coastal Explorers Press. We do so many fun trips, that this has been an awesome way to record them

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Trip-Journal-Navigator-Level/dp/1548750956/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1516835828&sr=8-5&keywords=field+trip+journal

 

Misses- The Good and Beautiful Language Arts, it felt choppy and my kiddo hated it. 

Edited by mamakelly
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Love:

AAR1, we'll be moving to level 2 and AAS in a couple of weeks!

Sassafras Twins, dd and I have decided to reread zoology after summer before going on with their anatomy

Looking forward to trying Brave Writers free Charlotte's Web free sample next week

 

Hate:

BJU Math, we're switching to MM soon

A Child's History of the World, dd can't stand it so we'll be switching to SotW

 

Somewhere in the Middle

Handwriting without Tears, don't love or hate it. It just is.

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Love:

AAR1, we'll be moving to level 2 and AAS in a couple of weeks!

Sassafras Twins, dd and I have decided to reread zoology after summer before going on with their anatomy

Looking forward to trying Brave Writers free Charlotte's Web free sample next week

 

Hate:

BJU Math, we're switching to MM soon

A Child's History of the World, dd can't stand it so we'll be switching to SotW

 

Somewhere in the Middle

Handwriting without Tears, don't love or hate it. It just is.

I recently started Handwriting without Tears with my youngest and feel the exact same way.

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I have 4 kids so the lists include different things they may be using together or separately .

 

Loves-

Moving beyond the page

Bookshark Science

BJU dlo Math

SOTW

GFTWTM

Oak meadow high school drawing course

 

Didn’t work-

Teaching textbooks

Bookshark history or language arts

Singapore Math

BJU history or science

 

We have some meh things as well that we are just plugging away at.

The kids are loving their extra curricular activities as well.

Edited by peaceful isle

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Loving this year so far:

 

All our content books - D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, The Children of Odin, Home Geography Lessons, James Herriot's Treasury for Children, The Thornton Burgess Animal Book, A Little History of the World, Fifty Famous Stories Retold, Of Swords and Sorcerers, Our Island Saints, A First Book About Geology, Stories from the History of Rome, William Shakespeare Landmark Biography

 

Morning Time reads - The King of Ireland's Son, Beatrix Potter, Bulfinche's Mythology, Mr. Revere and I, My Book House

 

Shakespeare, using Leon Garfield and Bruce Coville retellings

 

Poem memorization, using The Harp and Laurel Wreath

 

Ray's for Today

 

Cottage Press

 

First Start Reading

 

Apples and Pears

 

I SPEAK LATIN!

 

Creating Art (Memoria Press)

 

Picture Study from Cottage Press

 

Poetry Tea Time

 

Nature Study - Anna Comstock's book and the journal from Jenny Phillips

 

music lessons with Mom

 

 

Doing a good job but not loved:

 

Singapore Math and Math Mammoth

 

Prima Latina

 

online Gaelic resources

 

 

Really not liked by my eldest and I may just drop it:

 

The Story of Inventions

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Hits 4th grade:

FLL 4

Math Mammoth 5 (best decision to switch for Saxon)!

Memoria Press Literature

All About Spelling

SOTW

Mystery Science in a coop as a supplement (LOVES this)

 

Ok, gets the job done:

Elemental Science Earth & Space Science

Trail Guide Geography

 

Missed: Saxon 6/5. Switched to MM5 and much happier!

 

Hits 8th grade:

Rainbow Science (years 1 & 2): fabulous!!!

Derek Owens Algebra 1 (switch from Saxon)

Grammar for the WTM (great switch from Hake Grammar)

Bravewriter online classes (Writing the Short Story)

 

Ok, gets the job done:

Trail Geography

Lightning Literature

Spelling Workout

 

Misses: none really, but from last year we gladly switched from Saxon Math and Grammar, and Holt Science (terrible fit for dd)

Edited by Maryam

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