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Just in case any curriculum writers are hanging around here, I think we should make a list of homeschool curricula that we wish existed.  I can't be the only one who thinks about this stuff, right?

I'll start.  I wish for materials for older, struggling learners that are designed for use in a homeschool not a classroom.  Lots of bonus points for materials from a Christian worldview.   What's available now are mostly textbooks you find at Wieser Educational (Ex: AGS, Pacemaker, etc.).  I've never used those textbooks because they're geared towards classroom teachers, which means a lot more tweaking and work for me, especially when the subject isn't an area of strength <glares at science>.  

I suspect many homeschool companies could just tweak what they already have to make their materials suitable for older learners.  Ex: use more mature artwork, remove references to grade levels, have audio book versions with kindle/audio immersion reading, etc.  I swear to you there is a market out there for this stuff.  Take my money! 

Anyone else??  What are your curricula wishes?

 

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37 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

Oh man, a math curriculum starting in K and going all the way through high school that is suitable for my big picture thinker, right brain learner.  That would have been amazing.  

 

That sounds interesting.  What would it look like?  Or is it just whatever's the opposite of Saxon? ?

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Middle school sciences...

- from the perspective of scientific investigation using the scientific method

- from the basics of the universe (elements, cells, forces, big bang) towards various ‘science facts’ topics; 

- with *kits* (not just ideas) for lots of projects, demonstrations, experiments  and learning games that work *well*; 

- written as friendly to-the-student or read-aloud manuals, combined with online videos, reference books and living books

- integrated or sequential to one another by the same publisher

- where the cost of shipping to Canada does not exceed half of the cost of the product

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I want a strong elementary grammar program that isn't scripted (the way FLL is), isn't written for classroom use (the way R&S is), has frequent sentences to diagram, and also includes application for how to use the grammar concepts it teaches to improve writing (through exercises where you write a sentence from a model; combine sentences using different techniques; improve wordy sentences by improving noun and verb choices in order to drop modifiers; etc).

I also want it to include more than occasional, glossed over, or sparse coverage of things like verb tenses and mood, principal parts of the verb, case and class of nouns. One of the reasons I teach grammar is to make learning a foreign language easier. I always had the hardest time understanding when to use what conjugation, because I didn't understand what the various tenses even meant. I could use them in English, but I didn't know enough about them to apply them to another language.

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Curriculum in any ONE content subject, such as specific history or science topics, that's broken down into chapters/narratives, and each chapter has immediately following narration prompts, discussion/comprehension questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, related copywork and dictation sentences, and related memory work, each of these having three different levels so all students could be combined.

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4 hours ago, perkybunch said:

Oh man, a math curriculum starting in K and going all the way through high school that is suitable for my big picture thinker, right brain learner...


Isn't that Math-U-See? :) It goes gr. K-12, and was a fantastic fit for our visual-spatial learner who's a big-picture, whole-to-parts, random processing right brain thinker. (Although, we only stumbled over MUS for him in 5th grade...)

Or possibly Life of Fred? It runs from grade 1 to grade 12 (Trigonometry).

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My dd would have loved an East Asian history curriculum for Middle/High school. That went deeper than "Japan has Samurai" but not as dry as the college textbook we ended up using. There's like nothing out there for that age group even in non-fiction books to check out at the library. It's either too light or too dry. Maybe she could write one some day.

 

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More music curricula...even maybe a series on how to learn different musical instruments.

More foreign language curricula written for homeschoolers.

More unit study curricula written for older kids.

Like someone mentioned - more curricula written for right-brained/creative learners.  I have a house-full of them and their brains just don't work like everyone else's.

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14 hours ago, perkybunch said:

Oh man, a math curriculum starting in K and going all the way through high school that is suitable for my big picture thinker, right brain learner.  That would have been amazing.  

 

 

We ended up biting the bullet and buying Math-u-see last year.  I should've used it earlier.  DS3 is already clearly left-handed and his mind seems to work just like his brother's (apparently, I'm only able to create left-handed/right-brained boys), so we're not even going to try anything else.  I'm just going to start off with MUS and Handwriting without Tears.  I don't care how rigorous anything is...I just want to get through this alive!

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Mathusee didn't cut it for us.  Life of Fred was interesting but not helpful.  Singapore Math was a bit better.  We went back to the 1B book so many times because it covered what multiplication and division actually were, conceptually. 

But honestly, something that started from way high concept -- I honestly think like my college class Abstract/Modern Algebra and working backwards would be great.  This is our number system, this is how it is grouped, these are operations, they can do all these different things.  Seriously.  My big picture thinker would have been great at the high concepts.  Arithmetic for the first 6 years of school like to killed us both.  

We do like Mathusee for high school.  But really, a completely backwards scope and sequence of K-12 math would have been better.

 

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4 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

Mathusee didn't cut it for us.  Life of Fred was interesting but not helpful.  Singapore Math was a bit better.  We went back to the 1B book so many times because it covered what multiplication and division actually were, conceptually. 

But honestly, something that started from way high concept -- I honestly think like my college class Abstract/Modern Algebra and working backwards would be great.  This is our number system, this is how it is grouped, these are operations, they can do all these different things.  Seriously.  My big picture thinker would have been great at the high concepts.  Arithmetic for the first 6 years of school like to killed us both.  

We do like Mathusee for high school.  But really, a completely backwards scope and sequence of K-12 math would have been better.

 

So something more like Mortensen where it's all mixed, but still using the MUS blocks.

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2 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

So something more like Mortensen where it's all mixed, but still using the MUS blocks.

No, not really.  The Mathusee blocks were only slightly helpful.  My visual spatial learner is more visual and less hands on.  Manipulatives alone aren't the answer.  See, it's hard to even verbalize it... like how Dianne Craft says if the kids are struggling with division or something, give them some algebra to do because they'll be able to do it.  Arithmetic is hard and Algebra is easy.  Abstract/Modern Algebra is even more high concept than that.  Abelian groups and Modulo and open and closed number systems and stuff.  But I couldn't pull out my textbook for that because of course it is written to assume the background knowledge of math through Calculus.  

I am now wondering if starting with set theory, like they did in the good old days of new math, might be a solution.  My dd is great at set theory, always has been.  Maybe I just needed to find math books from the 70s.  Ha ha 

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Kits with everything included and sorted by lesson to accompany BFSU.  Seriously, that is the best elementary science I have encountered, but it is so dang hard to implement.  Science goes so much more smoothly and happens so much more consistently when I have pre-made kits like that for myself, but it takes so long!  I wish I could just throw some charter school funds at it and be done.

 

 I’ve considered the idea of making and selling kits myself (because honestly, it wouldn’t take that much more time and effort to make twenty kits than it does one, since most of it is locating and acquiring the different items), but would there be a problem with selling a product based off of someone else’s product?

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3 hours ago, perkybunch said:

...The Mathusee blocks were only slightly helpful.  My visual spatial learner is more visual and less hands on...


My VSL was similar -- more visual, less hands-on, and didn't really need to manipulate the blocks as much as watch the videos.

3 hours ago, perkybunch said:

...Manipulatives alone aren't the answer.  See, it's hard to even verbalize it... like how Dianne Craft says if the kids are struggling with division or something, give them some algebra to do because they'll be able to do it.  Arithmetic is hard and Algebra is easy.  Abstract/Modern Algebra is even more high concept than that...


I understand what you're saying here, and do think that is the solution for many students -- and at times, in things other than abstract academic topics, that was a solution for DS#2 (i.e., go to big picture/overall pattern, rather than rote parts). But it was not the solution for our extremely VSL / right-brain DS#2 when it came to math. For him, it was the fact that Algebra is *abstract*, and DS needed not only big picture, but also *concrete*. So not only the overall pattern, and not just presented in a visual or hands-on way, but most importantly (for DS#2): "what's the point of it" ("why do I need this" or "when will I use this"). In other words, for DS#2, it has to have *purpose* in order for it to be worth the work.
 

3 hours ago, perkybunch said:

I am now wondering if starting with set theory, like they did in the good old days of new math, might be a solution.  My dd is great at set theory, always has been.  Maybe I just needed to find math books from the 70s.  Ha ha 


Jacobs Algebra does this. :) Written/published in the 1970s, and it starts with set theory, and it shows a real-life application for each and every lesson/concept.

We used Jacobs as the first go-around of Algebra 1 with DS#2, and because he was still a bit muzzy with Algebra (probably because those abstract thinking portions of the brain were delayed in developing), we did all of MUS Algebra 1 the following year, to get it to click.

Another option that I wish I had tried is Keys to Algebra. The Keys to... series is written by the son of the woman who created Miquon, which was the one math of all the many programs we tried with DS#2 in grades 1-4 that "clicked" the best for him.

Just a thought! :  Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I really want a logic stage Canadian history book that's narrative and more balanced than what is currently available. Still hoping that SWB will write a NA history book for this age group! I think it would be perfect.

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5 minutes ago, FawnsFunnyFarm said:

The newly updated Writing Strands in a secular version.  

Oh, yes!  I nearly bought the new one until I saw the samples up close.  I ended up hunting down one of the original volumes instead.

I'd like a set of history texts between Story of The World and History Of The World.  And a U.S. history text (or two) that follows the same format as SOTW with an activity guide.

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5 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Oh, yes!  I nearly bought the new one until I saw the samples up close.  I ended up hunting down one of the original volumes instead.

 

I have dreamed of a flexible all in one secular LA forever. The new WS would fit it completely if it was secular. I looked it it as a flook last night and got all giddy until I really read the sample. Broke my heart, seriously.

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2 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

I'd like a set of history texts between Story of The World and History Of The World.  And a U.S. history text (or two) that follows the same format as SOTW with an activity guide.

 

Oh, yeah!  Logic stage history by SWB!  (I don't have any idea what to do for history with my oldest after she finishes SOTW4 in a year.)

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8 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

:snip: 

but would there be a problem with selling a product based off of someone else’s product?

 

Does anyone know where to find information about this? I have lesson plans for days that I could sell. I'm assuming, based on what I see on TeachersPayTeachers that you can offer almost anything for sale, even if it's based on other people's products??? Doubt about it has always held me back, though. 

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On 6/22/2018 at 6:01 PM, OKBud said:

 

Does anyone know where to find information about this? I have lesson plans for days that I could sell. I'm assuming, based on what I see on TeachersPayTeachers that you can offer almost anything for sale, even if it's based on other people's products??? Doubt about it has always held me back, though. 

 

I can't imagine there's an issue with selling lesson plans.

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Secular, challenging, engaging, in depth science, history, and random electives. Like AOPS is to math and MCT is to English, but for everything else. At all levels.

Foreign language that starts at the beginning and goes through at least basic fluency, available for a variety of ages. Either a set of texts that I could hand off to a tutor or something like Homeschool Spanish Academy but for languages like Mandarin and Arabic.

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I would love some foreign language options that combine some elements of the methods used in Excelerate Spanish and Minimus for input and initally learning the vocab with more clearly laid out, in-depth plans for output wherein they have to use what they've learned so it sticks.

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Echoing the need for more secular/neutral, non-fluffy, rigorous courses for all levels especially science (with kit), history, and self-contained, non-shocking/depressing/sad literature! Roughly like BJU without the religion and written for homeschools would make me happy.

Something like Core Knowledge comes to mind but more easily available/implementable and written for homeschools, not classrooms. Downloading CK is free but printing would be prohibitive!!

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This isn't curriculum per se, but lesson plans or a schedule to go with every single curriculum out there.  Also, those schedules would need to have multiple options for those of us that would use the curriculum for 1-5 days/week.  "If you will use this 2 days/ week, look for the schedule on pg. 20. If you will use this 4 days/ week, look on pg. 22 for the schedule."  etc.

Some of my favorites don't have a lesson schedule/plan, and yes, I do create my own but it would be nice not to have to do that with a bunch of kiddos. ?  Time is in short supply!

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On 6/22/2018 at 8:20 AM, Michelle Conde said:

Kits with everything included and sorted by lesson to accompany BFSU.  Seriously, that is the best elementary science I have encountered, but it is so dang hard to implement.  Science goes so much more smoothly and happens so much more consistently when I have pre-made kits like that for myself, but it takes so long!  I wish I could just throw some charter school funds at it and be done.

 

 I’ve considered the idea of making and selling kits myself (because honestly, it wouldn’t take that much more time and effort to make twenty kits than it does one, since most of it is locating and acquiring the different items), but would there be a problem with selling a product based off of someone else’s product?

If you decide to do this, let me know. ?

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An open-and-go review program for Barton Reading & Spelling.

Math for 1st or 2nd grade that's short (1-2 pages/day) and has instructions written to the student...for the kid who wants to do everything without mom's help.  MM has instructions on the page but it's way above my kid's reading and comprehension level the way it's written.  CLE has too many pages per lesson.

First aid for jr. high age kids.

Some sort of herbal medicine or learning-about-medical-herbs course for jr. high-ish age kids.

Not curriculum exactly, but I would love pre-done narration questions for various books and for Child's History of the World.  

 

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20 hours ago, caedmyn said:

An open-and-go review program for Barton Reading & Spelling.

Math for 1st or 2nd grade that's short (1-2 pages/day) and has instructions written to the student...for the kid who wants to do everything without mom's help.  MM has instructions on the page but it's way above my kid's reading and comprehension level the way it's written.  CLE has too many pages per lesson

Not curriculum exactly, but I would love pre-done narration questions for various books

 

 

Yes to this. I do wish there was some review for Barton. I also want the same thing in math but for higher grades too. For some reason the CLE instructions make it independent but MM instructions just are not as clear to do independently but I have two kids CLE would be too many pages per lesson. I also would like just pre made narration questions to go with books. 

 

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I wish there was a math curriculum that was a like CLE in it had one new concept a day that was clearly demonstrated with clear instructions and it had mixed review but less pages of review and it was a little more conceptual. It would not have two years of pre algebra just one. I have a child who is doing well with CLE as is but I want something more like the above for my other kids but it does not exist. 

I wish there were more middle school history and science options. I would like something similar to SOTW with the activity book and audiobook options but completely secular and at a little higher level. For science I do not mind having it split in 4 topics but I would like something that had narrations and optional experiments that you can pick and chose. I like more options where you do not need higher level math but the concepts are not really simplified for younger kids either. It would not have a lot of worksheet writing but would have a combo of open ended and factual questions you can do orally and a few options for narrations once a week that you pick depending on where the student was in writing skills. It would have a few important definitions but not lots of workbook type pages. The writing could also be fun sort of like Elen McHenry but secular and with full science topics. 

i would like something like BYL or torchlight with primers or questions that was a mix of Socratic style and factual but more pick and chose with books and spines. You can get them a certain number separately and make your own studies. 

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11 hours ago, denarii said:

A modern rigorous secular Charlotte Mason style curriculum. I think I may have found it in Ursa Minor but they only have grades 7-12 finished.

What about Build Your Library? They currently go up to 10th grade.

My fantasy curriculum is high school American literature that doesn't leave you wanting to throw yourself off a bridge. My poor DD (in public school) read Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Handmaid's Tale this past year.

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A six year literature based world history with integrated geography, art and science.  Of course if it did exist I'd still make my own.

A full, rigorous Japanese curriculum that will have my son fluent before high school. 

I don't ask for much.

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On 6/22/2018 at 9:00 AM, perkybunch said:

Mathusee didn't cut it for us.  Life of Fred was interesting but not helpful.  Singapore Math was a bit better.  We went back to the 1B book so many times because it covered what multiplication and division actually were, conceptually. 

But honestly, something that started from way high concept -- I honestly think like my college class Abstract/Modern Algebra and working backwards would be great.  This is our number system, this is how it is grouped, these are operations, they can do all these different things.  Seriously.  My big picture thinker would have been great at the high concepts.  Arithmetic for the first 6 years of school like to killed us both.  

We do like Mathusee for high school.  But really, a completely backwards scope and sequence of K-12 math would have been better.

 

Actually, it sounds like Montessori would be a great fit for that.  The elementary school Great Lessons has one on the history of math and how it developed, and then math concepts proceed from there.  Keys to the Universe are the best guides I've found for that.

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On 6/21/2018 at 8:55 PM, Lori D. said:


Isn't that Math-U-See? ? It goes gr. K-12, and was a fantastic fit for our visual-spatial learner who's a big-picture, whole-to-parts, random processing right brain thinker.

That is exactly what I thought!

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