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BYOL - am I missing something?


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I am not sure if it's my expectations or still not understanding how curricula works or what but!!!

I was looking at BYOL and all the great reviews  - but what I am basically seeing is a schedule.  A schedule of what to read and when to read it.   It reminded me of History Oddysey - just a list of what resources to use and how to schedule it during the week.  So, if that's what it is - is it a typical thing for people to sell /buy - schedules of proposed work?

Thanks

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Yes, it's basically 'just' a schedule. But also a well-considered, robust booklist, plus lists of extra resources (documentaries etc)

Curricula like this are serving a need - not everyone wants to take the time to research and put together a booklist and resources. Not to mention the time it takes to then sit down and sort them all out into a week-by-week schedule. A lot of curricula take this approach. 

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Maybe it's the philosophy that's the hang up?  BYL is a Charlotte Mason style curriculum.  It's a list of good books, along with a schedule and work assigned to go with those books.  There are not worksheets or workbooks, no. 

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I haven't looked into build your library specifically but I feel the same with sonlight and wayfarers.  They're a booklist and a schedule. I think the benefit for me is some external accountability. I can find good books and stuff myself and make my own craft activities but honestly I won't.  Feeling that I'm getting behind gives me a bit of motivation sadly.

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We have only done a BYL unit study so far, but it has been so wildly successful for our family that we're switching over to BYL next year for our history/lit/science. And in the unit study, at least, there are several activities and projects included, so it's not just a list/schedule. The BYL site has detailed lists of what is included in each level. For example, level two includes

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 36 weeks of study
  • reading list
  • a set of 6 – 8 narration cards
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions and copywork passages all tied to the literature readings
  • poetry memorization
  • timeline figures
  • research projects
  • 22 activity pages (including mapwork)
  • science lessons and 34 science activity pages
  • art projects

(copied from BYL site)

It's well worth it to me. Actually, since most of the books are available at the local library, this is going to be pretty inexpensive for us to implement. :) My biggest problem is the kids fighting over who gets to sit next to me on the couch while we do read-alouds. :D No, that's not really a problem....I'm relishing it because I know that it won't be long until they want to be anywhere but next to me! 

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56 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

One more question - do you guys actually print hundreds of pages or just selected pages?

I printed BYL double sided 2 pages to a side. That way I could have the print schedule in front of me but using much less paper and the whole thing proclicked together isn't too thick. 

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When I had a chance to look at it, it was definitely more than a schedule. It's not as detailed as a giant Sonlight binder and there's less worksheet type activities than Moving Beyond the Page, but definitely more than only a schedule, as others pointed out.

The only comparable thing, IMHO, to BYL in the secular sphere are MBtP and BookShark. MBtP is definitely secular, but it's unit studies and has a radically different language arts and history approach. Whole other ball of wax from BYL, though they're both full curriculum (just add math) based on literature. BookShark was not created by secular authors and it shows. The science is "neutral" and not acceptable to a lot of secular users. The book choices are good, but much more old-fashioned than BYL's book choices. Basically, I don't think BYL reinvented the wheel at all.

I wish the high school years weren't so wonky. The upper elementary and middle school years are SO well-planned and have such great book choices. If they had not overlapped us in the wrong way, coming out as we were going past those years and thus we'd already covered some things and not others, then I would have liked to have used them. I thought, high school, maybe? But they haven't been as good looking at all. I guess if you have a kid who loves science - but isn't going to do a traditional high school STEM path - and loves to read - but isn't going to read many classics - then it would make some sense? Except, who the heck is that? That's such a niche audience.

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It has vocabulary, memory work, maps, copy work and dictation, narration, comprehension questions and timeline stuff too. I actually like having the schedule of books. I know I can figure it out ahead of time but I did not do so good with trying to combine spines and extra books this year. I was working through my spine too slowly. I did one of the unit studies in the past and it was really well liked so I wanted to try a full year. I do wish the dictation and narration had a clear direction though like WWE or the SOTW activity guide because I would really like a writing accross the curriculum plan laid out for me but I really like the way it combines spines with literature type books as well as factual type books with a schedule to follow. I also prefer that it sticks with the theme rather then jumping around with a bunch of different types of unit studies like MBTP does. I do like unit studies for topics of interest that are hard to cover well time wise in a full year curriculum. I like that it uses narration and has work to go with it but not tons of worksheets like MBTP. I like a lot of the themes they chose but I also like the world history cycle too so not sure what years I will use. I also do not like their science (elemental) so I wish it had more choices for that but I think they are changing that part. Non secular choices are not an option for me though. 

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1 hour ago, MistyMountain said:

I also do not like their science (elemental) so I wish it had more choices for that but I think they are changing that part. Non secular choices are not an option for me though. 

I think Elemental was used in BYL 5, 6, and 7, but Emily has been working on replacing it. BYL 5 now uses RSO Biology 2, and BYL 6 uses RSO Astronomy 2. RSO doesn't have anything in the upper level besides Biology and Astronomy, so she's been working on something else for BYL 7 (I believe Chemistry related).

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Yea I did RSO this year and I want a break from it. I like all it covers but the format was not my favorite. Since elemental is neutral I did not want that either but the format might of been better. I just am doing something else for science. There are more secular options over time at least but I wish there were more options out there for secular curriculum.

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On 4/22/2018 at 3:27 PM, SereneHome said:

Oh that's interesting.  I actually just got Elemental Science bc I didn't like RSO Earth and Science at all!!!

Now I wonder if I should email and ask her for "old" ones that had Elemental Science instead of RSO

 

It might be worth a try to email Emily, but I'm not sure what her policy is on that. 

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I've only used BYL 8, but I gladly paid that $$ for her work. I've built courses from scratch before, these pages there, that project here, trying hard to keep it balanced, scaffolded, and reasonable. It's a LOT of work and time. BYL 8 was so much more put together than the ones I built, and included things like math history even, which my son loved but I never would have even thought to put in there, let alone map out over a whole year. :P It included history, science, literature, geography, poetry, art, and CM style writing/narration. We dropped the poetry and CM stuff.

I printed the schedules and pages my son needed and organized them in a binder so it was open and go. He ran it himself and we discussed it heavily as it happened naturally in our homeschool days. I printed all the other pages and put them in a master binder for myself, which I hardly touched after the first month. LOL

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I got Level 1 for younger two and Level 2 for my oldest.  I know level 2 is meant for younger kids, but we are STILL on SOTW 1 (don't ask), so I thought getting Level 3 would be too confusing for him - history wise.

I am doing Elemental Science with two oldest and will probably follow science suggestions  for my youngest.

Now I just need to figure out if I want to print the whole thing myself or do 3rd party printing

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On 2018-04-22 at 12:56 PM, SereneHome said:

One more question - do you guys actually print hundreds of pages or just selected pages?

 

I haven't used that program, but I've done both with others.  If I'll really be using a lot, I will take the file to Staples or a print shop and have them print and bind it.  At a certain point the cost isn't that different, especially since I don't lose pages and such, and the time saving becomes really significant.

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I have used BYL K and 8.  I tend to print a week at a time and then the following week's grid schedule (so I can put library books on hold, look at any projects, etc.)

It has been very successful here.  It's a good mix of hands on and reading.

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