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We have one on the high school board, so I figured we might as well have one here.  :smile: Hopefully, there isn't already one I missed......

Any hits and/or misses so far for the school year? 

My biggest hit has been A Beka Language Arts- particularly phonics. Like seriously life-changing. So much so I went whole-hog and bought  the rest of their LA to round it out. Not that what we were using was bad- but I think A Beka just works better for them. Everything else we're using I'd give at least a B, so I'll take it. 

Thank goodness we haven't had any big misses so far for the younger two since we started our fall term. I had enough misses with oldest this year, I don't know if I could handle any more! 

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Well my 7th grader is doing great with a plain old fashioned math textbook.  I puffy heart love the Lial's series of math textbooks.  We are finishing up Basic College Math and about to head into Pre Algebra. 

I am doing two different history programs which seems stupid with two kids so close in age.  I have never attempted this before, but it is working out.  The younger one is doing History Odyssey 2, Early Modern.  He prefers outlining, map work, factual books.  The older is doing a Beautiful Feet history guide over a similar time period.  Much more literature based, with notebooking etc... They were both miserable with each other's program as we tried both.  So they are doing their own thing but since it is mostly independent work at these ages it is working out.  

Misses would be my idea of a self created health and wellness curriculum.  Too unstructured and just not getting done. I think we need an old fashioned text book.

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Surprisingly, Spencerian handwriting books are a big hit here.  He loves how orderly they are and the low-pressure practice (there's a LOT of lines to practice on). 

Misses: Right Start E.  The book started to have some serious gaps in instruction and teaching methods that drove the two of us nuts.  I supplemented with MUS Zeta, but I think we're going to have to drop the program entirely after this book.  He only has a few lessons left or we would probably drop it now.

 

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Visualize World Geography is brilliant--fun (What else in school has you flip a hippopotamus upside down and put sunglasses on it, then teach a poodle to balance on its hind legs on the right lens, then train an eagle to sit on a rock on top of the poodle's head? And that's the whole east coast of Africa, from Egypt to South Africa!) and effective for learning the names of countries.

For a novel to read and discuss, White Lilacs is going very well. Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind was a hit as a read-aloud.

No major misses so far. The Sciences' chapters are a little long, though, so we aren't getting to nature stuff as much as I'd intended.

 

Edited by whitehawk
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Hit: Story of the World 3 with my boys. For yet another year, history is one of their favorite subjects. We don't get to a lot of the extras, and narration is still very difficult for them both. But they enjoy it & like it. (Last year, I didn't give them coloring pages and they missed them. So, this year I got them both coloring pages. Guess what? Only one is using them and even he isn't doing them very often. I can't win!)

Neither a hit or a miss:  Beowulf Grammar with the boys. I started out printing it, but quickly went to them just sitting next to me as we went through. I screen shot the pages we need to do & pull it into Paint to complete together. I make a decision on the crafts (only a few of them) as we go. I don't like how it teaches some things, but I just adjust as we go. It has been working ok to do sitting together. They like it better than filling out everything by hand. I feel like some of the work is below their grade level (3rd/5th) but every once and awhile there is something really tough (like this one sheet which had a bunch of words & you had to pick which ones were spelled correctly vs. incorrectly to color in -- I had printed that one out & it was super difficult). Not sure how much they will retain, but it isn't a bad way to do grammar.

Hit:  Fallacy Detective with dd#3. This is my 3rd time through, sitting on the bed or couch together & just going through it one chapter at a time, answering questions & debating stuff. I'm always glad we follow up with Art of Argument, but FD is a good & light introduction with lots of rabbit trail possibilities. Gets the kids talking about informal fallacies. It is an easy & cozy subject.

Hit:  Herpetology 2 @ Athena's Academy. DD#3 loves this class. Today is the last day & she's skipping the field trip to the pumpkin patch to attend live. She'll miss it.

Miss: Middle School Chemistry @ Athena's Academy. I had high hopes for the class, but the format combined with a teacher who really doesn't know much about the subject have led to it not being the hit I had hoped for. DH sat in on some classes & was amazed at how the teacher handled the material (obviously didn't have much knowledge past what the curriculum gave) & some questions that he thought were fairly straight forward. My dd#3 likes Athena's Academy for the community of kids but I'm not sure if we'll use it for more classes (unless Dmettler's daughter does a Herp 3, 4, 5, or 6....)

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Hit: LLATL Green. I love both Green and Grey. DS is even writing poetry! He likes it, too; he requested to do it this year.

Miss: Progressive Phonics for K'er. Not enough practice and repetition. We have switched to The Reading Lesson, and while she doesn't love it, it is working much better and seems to be the right fit for her right now.

Hit: Everything else for K so far: tons of colourful math workbooks from Amazon (this series especially), Spectrum Phonics K, HWT. She adores copywork and drawing.

Miss: Language Lessons for Today 5. Nothing really wrong with it, but DS asked to go back to R&S English after two weeks.

Other hits: TT math, Apologia Astronomy (DH and DS made the most epic Alka-Seltzer rocket this week using 24 tablets and a 2 L bottle!) and SOTW.

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DD5 Kinder finally able to handle using the Phonics Pathways book (no white board needed). Blend Phonics works well too.

She likes Horizon K but we both know its too easy. She is okay with that though.

I guess nothing is a bust, yet.

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We are having a pretty good year with only one miss, Shakespeare! I’m not giving up yet, but my kids wish I would. 

Hits: Sequential Spelling,  Addition Facts that Stick, and Memoria Press Insects (science). Also, a random Star Wars handwriting workbook for my 6 year old who doesn’t really like writing.

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4 hours ago, Rachel said:

We are having a pretty good year with only one miss, Shakespeare!  

What are you doing?

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Big miss for us was Torchlight Level 1. I so wanted to love it, but we just don't. I have all the books and we will read them, but I threw out the plan. It was just not a good fit for us. 

History Odyssey 2 Ancients is a huge hit with my 6th grader. 

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Misses: 

  • Elemental Biology for the Grammar/Logic Stage.  I really like the looks of this program, but I just don't have the time.  :(  We switched to MP's science which is quite a bit lighter, but gets done.
  • Any extras I purchased (Art of Argument, Artistic Pursuits, etc.)--not because they weren't good, but just because we haven't gotten to them.   I'm hoping we'll have more time this winter.  

Hits: 

  • Memoria Press Cores--I started this year just planning to use MP for a few subjects, but gradually kept adding more and more.  Finally I added their full curriculum guides.  One of my kids is using their scheduled pre-algebra program, but the rest are using CLE for math.  My kids like MP's books and I love the teacher manual layout.    We've done a few Latin programs, and MP is hands-down our favorite. 
  • CLE math--very little teaching on my part, it gets done and two of my kids are thriving with it.  We've been using it since January.  One kid switched to College of the Redwoods Pre-algebra (which MP schedules) because he didn't like all the review.  He's a strong math student, so I felt okay with the switch. 
  • Pentime penmanship--simple, inexpensive, and effective.  We skipped MP's handwriting because of the cost factor.  We had already been using Pentime and liked it.   My 6th grader has really taken off with this and is the first one of my kids to embrace cursive handwriting! 
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Preschool hits:  Rod and Staff ABC workbooks! still work like a charm! dd4 will sit and do 5 a day sometimes, other weeks one or two for the whole week, but she learns from them. The Bible stories combined with her Sunday School/children's church classes and hands on activities there are really sticking. 

9th grade: (you will begin to see a theme here with funschooling journals) Minecraft funschooling journal for Biology. She has core books she is using alongside like LOF prealgebra/biology, the Usborne Science Encyclopedia, Crash Course videos, a microscope, homeschool group activities with an animal theme this year, etc. She is actually doing a full science curric co-op Physical Science class as well, but joyfully works through Biology on her own on top because the journals are such a nice way to guide her through it on her own. 

a selection of funschooling journals for other topics. She uses a different journal to start each day, doing a page or two and studying from a stack of books that she rotates through, the internet, etc to cover the supplemental things like geography (not a full credit in our current homeschool,) current events, and nature study, and to supplement full courses like art, writing, and music and literature. Don't know how to say how much we love these as a guide through creating our own classes. 

Art: all kinds for her. This year she is doing a co-op class with a phenomenal teacher, two classes from SchoolHouseteachers.com (units from Studio Art for Teens and from Drawing with Realism,) the occasional class at Michael's with a working artist and all kinds of self projects. The co-op class isn't something I can recommend to everyone of course, but the SHT has a great assortment of art classes for those of you with artists. There are plenty with videos that are helpful, and some very creative ones all in one place. It is worth the yearly cost for us for this. Plus I am really looking forward to doing the Fashions in History class with her next as a major part of our American History alongside a Funschooling Fashions in History Journal and other books I got her.

11th grade:  Mr. D's alg. 2. The child is getting As in alg. That is all I can say. Can't wait to see if her score has gone up on her PSAT after taking Mr. D's for geometry and starting Alg. 2. She also has used Kahn academy to study specific topics for the exams, but Mr. D's has been a great way for us to get through math without me teaching it and without causing her stress. We will stick with him for senior year for sure. 

Funschool Devotional Homeschool Journal for Homeschool girls journal: Again, this is really just a guide that we use to work through a stack of WTM suggested reading materials like Strunk and White, The Well Educated Mind, the Great Books, plus our own music studies, geography, and whatever she wants to study. But I love the help with guiding us through the self courses.  For example today 11th grader did a nature study page first thing this morning. She has chosen to do a semester of Astronomy for science this year. She joined an Astronomy club with scouts and has attended the first meeting there and they attended an event with our city's Astronomy club already where they got lots of hands on and teaching from experts and will continue to attend all events that we can. After Christmas I do plan to pick her up the Self Teaching Guide recomended in WTM 3rd edition.  Today she read through a stack of magazines they gave her, chose an article to highlight, drew with her colored pencils a picture from the article, and recapped what it was about- science and art for today. The next page is a "reading page," where she has 4 small squares and is required to read for 15 minutes from 4 books and give a small narration from them. She chose two of her writing books: the STrunk and White and How to Write a Winning Essay. We then discussed how to use what she learned from those in upcoming essays we have planned. Then she read an Edgar Allan Poe story and recounted. Her sis read a story from The Canterbury Tales and orally narrated to us and we all discussed since 11th grader recently finished that book. For her 4th book she read from a Hymn study book on the history of a hymn used by Martin Luther. We will play it aloud from YouTube soon to learn it- music (along with piano practice) and history and English for today. After she finishes her Mr. D's math, goes to dance classes, and does some work in her Latin (Henle 2 and 3 and Memoria Press Latin 2 guide,) she will have added Alg. 2, rhetoric (henle 3, Cicero,) more history, and Latin IV to her day's work. And they love these journals because it gives them control over their learning, but we can use  them to cover the things I want covered as well. I can't say enough good about them, even for high school. 

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19 hours ago, Rachel said:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

No, I mean how are you teaching it?

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Hits:

  • IEW
  • Strayer Upton
  • Elementary Greek
  • Nihongoshark
  • Artistic Pursuits
  • Singing Made Easy

Misses:

  • Super Grammar (fabulous concept, just not for him)

Fine:

  • Bible & Catechism
  • RLTL
  • Notgrass American
  • Flying Creatures
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Hits:

  •  Strayer Upton
  • Math Mammoth
  • Apples and Pears spelling
  • IEW ATFF
  • MP Simply Classical 4 recitation, science, geography, and literature
  • Treasure of Daily Prayer for Bible & Catechism

 

Misses: R&S Math and MP's Traditinal Spelling- I wanted these to work so badly so I could simply follow MP's lesson plans across the board but they're just not a good fit for us.

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Hits: Great Courses Plus, AoPS Academy, Generation Genius, Smartick Math, Reading Eggs, Outschool classes, Online G3, Brain Pop, Mystery Science, Prodigy

Misses: AIM Academy Biology (we dropped it early because there was too much busywork for my kid) 

The rest get done, but we don't feel strongly about them either way

Edited by SeaConquest
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I don't want to jinx it but this semester is going so, SO excellently. 

The only programs we are using are:

  • CLE math
  • LLATL 
  • Daily Spelling practice.

For the rest of our school time, it's all reading, writing, and discussing. 

We always add things after Christmas break, so hopefully that'll be just as seamless. 

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DD16 is loving Guest Hollow's new High School American History.  It is super affordable (unless you buy all the books)

No misses, but I did purchase 2 forensic type science experiment books we haven't used yet. 

 

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Things are working out well for our 4th grader, but there is nothing new there.

For our K'r, I LOVE MEP Reception. The lessons are short, and they are only twice a week. There is very little writing involved. It is just the right level for him. I pull together a mish-mash of mathy things the other days, cuisinaire rods, basic measuring, some RS games, and other games I find on the internet that I can't believe he finds engaging because they are so simple, but it must be what he needs, so we are going with it.

I picked up MP Reception because people here gushed about it. And then a month or two later I found out about Torchlight K. I thought I could blend the two because MP tends to focus on older titles, and Torchlight's suggestions are all much newer, and then we would have the best of both worlds. For us, Torchlight has been a bust. The projects have been drawing-heavy, which is not a good match for this particular child. He much prefers the traditional young child crafts found in MP. They also schedule all of the Zoey and Sassafrass books for science, along with units from Be Naturally Curious. I understand why the Zoey and Sassafrass books are popular. They feature a girl into STEM things, and the text explains the scientific method and other concepts in an understandable manner. I have picked these books out for my daughter. However, I cannot stand reading these books out loud. The quality of writing is not terribly engaging, and I just can't do it. Torchlight also has several spines which are not available to me through the library, and each title is at least $30 or more, and I guess I'm too cheap. For us, Torchlight has devolved into an expensive book list.

Edited by knitgrl
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We are having a good year, overall! We begin our year in June and complete it in March / April, so we are about halfway through.

Math: I am loving Singapore’s Intensive Practice books for DS, who just finished 2B. Next we’re going to play with Beast Academy a bit, but I have every intention of continuing Singapore as well; probably alternating books. 

Language Arts: Michael Clayton Thompson’s Island level has been another huge hit. DS adores the fun, quirky style. We’ve paused for NaNoWriMo, then will pick up with poetics and Latin in the spring. Looking for something to bide our time a bit between this level and Town, because I’m not sure he’s ready for that jump, but it will be a hard act to follow! At the moment I’m considering a focus on composition with Killgallon, paired with something like Editor in Chief to keep grammar skills sharp.

Literature: TorchLight was an epic failure here. The first several literature books nearly turned DS off of read alouds altogether. Many of the history pieces were excellent, and I have similar hopes for the human body items, but as a curriculum it will not work for us. Also, it turns out I really don’t like being told what to do... not matter how intriguing the different parts may sound! ? So for this we have reverted to me simply selecting book I think DS would enjoy listening to, then following up with sequels when we hit one he particularly loves. His independent reading is the same; he simply chooses any book to read aloud (or silently, followed by narration, but he hasn’t taken me up on this offer yet). 

Spelling: Words Their Way has been precisely as simple and straightforward as I had hoped. The word study lists have DS really think about why things are spelled a certain way (sometimes according to a set “spelling rule” but just as often not), and it’s done in a painless 10-15min a day. 

History: History Odyssey has struck the perfect balance of guiding our studies without taking them over. I feel I have ample time and opportunity to add extensions without overwhelming DS, but if I can’t do so one day for whatever reason, the basic content provided is sufficient. We are putting together a notebook from all of this which is shaping up quite nicely without requiring too much additional effort or feeling like busywork. 

Science: I never could find something I was truly happy with for this, and piecing it together myself has felt less cohesive than I’d prefer. DS is enjoying it, though, so that’s something. I passed on RSO Life Science due to lack of access to live critters, but I very much look forward to trying RSO Astronomy and Earth and Environment next year. 

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IEW Student Intensive B has proved a hit for my sixth and eighth grader.  They really like it, and I've seen some improvement in writing already.  

Apologia Science Astronomy is proving popular for all three kids.  I've added in Qur'an quotes (there are a ton regarding astronomy), other videos, etc.  So glad I bought the experiment kit... makes my life so easy.

Curiosity Chronicles Medieval Times has been more engaging than I thought.  Key was having the two older kids read it to the younger one.  I expected to hate it.

Saxon Algebra 1 and 76 are working for my older kids.  The spiral is great for my kid who needs awhile to really get a concept.  The mixed review really helps.  I bought Saxon Teacher for both which they use to watch problems they gets wrong.  We are doing *all* of the problems, but haven't done much of the fact practice yet for 76 because it's not needed.  

Writing With Ease Level Two is working well for my third grader who had zero experience with copy work and dictation.   We're also doing FLL Level Two.  It's painless.  Is it rigorous enough for this level? I think so.

HWOT has worked well for three other kids, and is working well for my third grader.  I went all out and bought 500 sheets of their paper this time.  (First time ever.)

Build Your Library's Hobbit Study is going well for my sixth and eighth grader.  

Misses.... Not sure about Saxon 3.  The calendar math has been very useful but the actual math seems one or two grades behind.  We've switched to CLE and it seems to be more on his level (even though we started with 206.  He missed the 3rd grade placement by one point.)  

 

Unsure Yet:

All About Spelling.  We went back to level 1 for my third grader....so it's been pretty boring so far.  We're moving faster, although it took us two weeks to make sure he knew all of the sounds for the letters.  He does like the tiles, but I can see him getting board with them and us moving to the app as time goes on.   (Plus the cat likes to play with them....so they may have a short life.) 

Shurley Grammar and IEW Fix-It Grammar.  My older kids have had very little formal grammar, so we're doing Shirley Level 6 and Fix-It Grammar.  They love Fix-It Grammar....Shurley....is more of a chore, but the jingles do seem to work.  

 

Edited by umsami
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Our biggest hit this year has simply been how we're doing school. We've gone to doing "core" subjects like Math, Grammar, Writing, Spelling, Reading etc 3-4 days a week and then doing science and history on the other days and even then, each week is different depending on what activities and things we have. For example last week we had a lot of outside activities (both school and non school) so we did science and history for four days. The two weeks before that we were home a great deal more so we focused mostly on other subjects. It has worked surprisingly well for us. On a day to day basis I frequently think that we're not doing "enough" but we're on schedule or even ahead of where I'd expect to be after three months of schooling and neither the kids nor I are feeling burnt out or frustrated. 

The other big hit is Saxon (Hake) Grammar for my 4th grader. We'd previously used FLL and he was ok with that for levels 1&2 but 3 made both of us want to pull our hair out, largely because of the amount of teacher involvement needed. Saxon Grammar and Writing is a much better fit for him and he loves that he can do it mostly (and sometimes entirely) on his own. He's understanding and retaining concepts better and applying it to other areas of study without prompting.

 

Misses... hmm. Pretty much everything I'm using with my k'er? He learns completely differently than either of his older brothers and I'm still figuring out how to meet his needs and finding the approach and/or materials that will work best for him. Meanwhile, we're watching lots of leap frog videos and doing normal "integrating letter recognition/sounds and counting into everyday conversation" things while he destresses.

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New update: We changed our writing program.  DS had done CM-style before (homemade, then ELTL) and Writing Strands was getting to be too big a leap for him.  I put it on the shelf to come back to later and bought Treasured Conversations.  It is looking to be much more in line with what he needed!  WS wasn't bad, but he is preferring the format we came from and how comforting it is, so this is ideal to stretch him a bit out while guiding him along steadily.  We will come back to Writing Strands another year.

 

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Hits: Facts That Stick books, Essentials in Writing, Guest Hollow Geography.

No misses yet. We have some things we haven't gotten to but maybe we will in the new year.

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This year is feeling uninspired to me. No real misses, but nothing I’m super excited about, either. Our biggest hits are the extracurriculars.

AOPS Intro to Algebra - anything was going to be a letdown after Beast Academy. The textbook was overwhelming to my kid, but she loves the problem sets, so we’re using Alcumus and the online videos as our primary math.

NaNoWriMo - the clearest hit. DD does this every year, and she’s especially enjoying it so far this year.

Homeschool Spanish Academy continues to be a favorite, though she’s only doing it once per week this year to maintain fluency.

Robotics - she’s doing an enrichment class twice a week, and really enjoying this. It’s one of those things we kept meaning to get around to, and never quite did it, so I’m glad to be able to outsource it.

Destination Imagination - her hands down favorite thing, just like last year!

She’s decided that she’s not doing online classes next semester so she can use that time for more unusual choices. First up looks like buying a sewing machine and learning how to use it. She’s especially excited about getting to make clothes.

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We might have another miss, but it's too early to tell.  I bought Homeschool In The Woods' Time Travelers pack for the American Revolution.    The lessons are starting to fall into the category of utter carp with a Christian label stuck on it.  We've got stories in there that are clearly written not by anybody present but trying to attribute divine intervention of God into one people's attempted slaughter of another.  It smacks of "George Washington chopped down the cherry tree" moralistic stories but tripe.  No substance.  No reality. And the bonus of a side of racism served up with it.  And it's a shame because there are real stories there that should be told.  I'm guessing shoving God into a man made hole is the goal here, not a telling of actual events.
I'm skimming the provided lessons but using the activities to supplement other reading this week, but that may end up being our de facto for the rest of the unit.  Just once, I would like to find something similar to SOTW for American history that isn't carppy "christianity".

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Hits- Miquon, Explode the Code, Pathway readers for 1st, Maps Chart and Graphs, FLL, Veritas Press history and Bible

 

Misses- Workbooks for Pathway readers, Artpac, Singapore (still using bits of it, but I didn't like the textbook at all), WWE 1 (saving it for next year ds just isn't ready yet) 

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I'm hesitant to respond in case I jinx things....lol 

Hits:

Easy Grammar has been a hit. It's just simple, straight forward and gets done.  Oldest started IEW this year.  After viewing samples in the past I was incredibly reluctant to try it. It just didn't seem appealing to me - at all - and my opinion of it has always been kind of negative.  Well, here I sit, humbled.  It's been awesome.  I watch the videos with her and though I really wish they'd redo them (I do not need to sit for 10 mins while kids get papers in order, thanks!) I actually enjoy the lessons and it's been a great fit for oldest.  However, I do think the program could use some serious revamping for ease of use.  

Misses: 

Lightning Lit.  I want to love this.  Every time I flip through it, I do love it.  There is so much good stuff in there!  But actually using it may be the death of me.  There is only the 1 TG, a workbook and then a student text.  You'd think it would be simple enough, but the flipping between books is driving me mad.  First you're in 1 book, then the next, then three pages over.  Correcting it sucks.  DD has also complained about the lesson plans being hard to follow.  And I bought 2 years of it.  Why do I do things like that???

A somewhat miss: Abeka Gr. 9 History.  DD is actually really enjoying reading through the text, but after about a month we decided to drop all the review questions and extra work.  We're supplementing with our own map work and she'll write some chapter essays instead.  The details that Abeka focuses on were making her head spin.  

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DS 12 -

hits:

online G3 LotR class (I continue to be impressed by the quality of instruction in these classes 

Homeschool Spanish Academy (same as above, it’s well worth the money!)

uzinggo: another easy choice and we both still like it

independent study of the industrial revolution with great courses and supplemental reading 

misses: logic but that was my fault, I ordered a book that was too easy

NaNoWriMo: this is disappointing but he might be more of a non fiction writer 

twins 8

hits: AAS, pin it maps, morning basket bow that I have figured out a way to do it secularly that’s engaging.

misses: Torchlight. This pains me because I spent a ton of money and I really love the idea of a secular and diverse curriculum. I think she has some kinks to work out and then it will be awesome. The schedule is extremely hard to follow, the map work is useless because it is so convoluted, and there are too many parts to keep track of. it would be easier piecing it together myself. I also don’t find it engaging enough in general for my kids. I did buy the second grade curriculum for third graders but it’s marketed for an age range.

 

 

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Misses:

  1. Mr. D Math wasn't a good fit for us this year -- but I'm not writing it out for the future. DD just wasn't ready for it. 
  2. Notgrass AtB -- I absolutely did not care for this (and it was expensive!)

Hits:

  1. AGS United States History -- to the point, just-right reading level, easy to supplement 
  2. Teaching Textbooks -- hits the spot for what oldest DD needed this year
  3. REWARDS -- 2nd child going through this program -- youngest has seen great growth these past few weeks

Meh:

  1. CLE Reading -- *I* see great value in it (vocab! word roots! literary terms!)...but DD is just kinda "meh". Oh well, it gets done with minimal/no complaint. 

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Misses:
Oak Meadow 6 was a total no-go for us. We enjoyed it at the start, but I just couldn’t manage all the project-based kind of work. It was also hard to bounce from my younger doing OM and my older doing BYL Level 8 (although the book selections are excellent and will be on my son’s free read list for the year, and he can work through it at his pace and leisure). We scrapped BYL8 for my older, and kept the booklist. 

Hits:

We decided to move to mostly MP, using their Charter edition materials. So far we’re loving it. 7th grader is using: First Form Latin, Traditional Logic 1, Book of Ancient Greeks + Iliad + Odyssey, and working on Poetry For the Grammar Stage with his sister during our poetry teatime. We’ve got a few other bits we’re rolling in but the MP Charter products have been a really big win for us.

My 5th grader is using MP also: Grammar School Latin, Famous Men of Rome, and Poetry for Grammar Stage. She’s doing Writing & Rhetoric (about to move into book 3 soon), some BW-style writing projects, and loads of reading. 

Biggest hit is just getting both kids doing more similar style of work. That’s made my job much easier. The older doesn’t want to work alongside his sister for much, but at least having them doing similar products makes things more streamlined. Everyone seems much happier about the new path we’re on. 

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14 hours ago, Above The Rowan said:

Misses:
Oak Meadow 6 was a total no-go for us. We enjoyed it at the start, but I just couldn’t manage all the project-based kind of work. It was also hard to bounce from my younger doing OM and my older doing BYL Level 8 (although the book selections are excellent and will be on my son’s free read list for the year, and he can work through it at his pace and leisure). We scrapped BYL8 for my older, and kept the booklist. 

Hits:

We decided to move to mostly MP, using their Charter edition materials. So far we’re loving it. 7th grader is using: First Form Latin, Traditional Logic 1, Book of Ancient Greeks + Iliad + Odyssey, and working on Poetry For the Grammar Stage with his sister during our poetry teatime. We’ve got a few other bits we’re rolling in but the MP Charter products have been a really big win for us.

My 5th grader is using MP also: Grammar School Latin, Famous Men of Rome, and Poetry for Grammar Stage. She’s doing Writing & Rhetoric (about to move into book 3 soon), some BW-style writing projects, and loads of reading. 

Biggest hit is just getting both kids doing more similar style of work. That’s made my job much easier. The older doesn’t want to work alongside his sister for much, but at least having them doing similar products makes things more streamlined. Everyone seems much happier about the new path we’re on. 

MP has been a hit for us too. We were doing an MP and MBTP combo where we were just going back and forth to keep it interesting. My kids revolted and begged for only MP. They absolutely disliked the busywork and repetition of MBTP but loved the consistency and deeper questions of MP. I was shocked by that assuming MBTP would be seen as more fun. MP materials have been loved across the board here in our home by all 3 kids. 

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4 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

MP has been a hit for us too. We were doing an MP and MBTP combo where we were just going back and forth to keep it interesting. My kids revolted and begged for only MP. They absolutely disliked the busywork and repetition of MBTP but loved the consistency and deeper questions of MP. I was shocked by that assuming MBTP would be seen as more fun. MP materials have been loved across the board here in our home by all 3 kids. 

What are you using for MP this year? I always perk up with your posts because I feel like my kids lean similarly to yours on many things. So just curious as to what you're using out of MP this year.

I have a friend who had a train wreck experience with an MP cottage school last year that gave me pause, and she swore off their stuff forever, but I've had trouble separating what was the materials and what was the school/instructors.......I have another friend who puffy heart loves their stuff. I liked the Enrichment I used in K, but that's my only experience with it. Just looking at options as a curriculum junkie. I doubt I'll be using SL next year- it's too soon to tell, but I like looking and thinking, even way in advance. ?

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I guess I’ll jump in with the MP fans. My 5th grade dd has been in a MP Core since K so it is not new. However, when she was in K I also had a 5th, 8th, and 10th grader so she was not a priority. The next couple years we trudged along doing what we could, skipping things, never quite finishing the year. Last year in 4th we finally did everything (except the Latin). This year in 5th we are finally doing the whole core very thoroughly every day, although we are one year behind in the Latin. I absolutely love how it is all coming together for her at this age and grade level. We are really enjoying school and she is learning so much. 

We also gave the online academy a try. She is in Latina Christiana and Narrative Composition. Both are big hits. She is doing so well and has made such big leaps and is so happy. Just really loving this year.

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6 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

MP has been a hit for us too. We were doing an MP and MBTP combo where we were just going back and forth to keep it interesting. My kids revolted and begged for only MP. They absolutely disliked the busywork and repetition of MBTP but loved the consistency and deeper questions of MP. I was shocked by that assuming MBTP would be seen as more fun. MP materials have been loved across the board here in our home by all 3 kids. 


I am really enjoying the MP stuff. I am definitely looking forward to a day when they have full core levels from their Charter/PS editions. I’m finding their products so easy to teach from, so clean in their layout, and I do really appreciate the fact that everything is really cohesive and works so well together yet can easily be mixed and matched to whatever level you need. I wish I’d done MP from The get-go, though I never thought it would work as we’re a secular homeschooling family. I’m really grateful now for the Charter School edition materials. 

Even my more ‘resistant’ older kiddo is doing the work as asked. I think this might end up being a really great year for us, after a REALLY rocky start to the year. 

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We switched almost entirely to MP this year. While I’ve made some adjustments to their schedule and we do some of the work orally, I’m happy with how it’s going. 

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4 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

What are you using for MP this year? I always perk up with your posts because I feel like my kids lean similarly to yours on many things. So just curious as to what you're using out of MP this year.

I have a friend who had a train wreck experience with an MP cottage school last year that gave me pause, and she swore off their stuff forever, but I've had trouble separating what was the materials and what was the school/instructors.......I have another friend who puffy heart loves their stuff. I liked the Enrichment I used in K, but that's my only experience with it. Just looking at options as a curriculum junkie. I doubt I'll be using SL next year- it's too soon to tell, but I like looking and thinking, even way in advance. ?

I think we do a lot of similar things for sure ?

So I am all about killing two birds so to speak so I will often use the lit guides for WWE instruction (for my 2nd graders) So if there is 6 comprehension questions they might narrate two and I will write, then they will narrate two and I will write them down for copywork and then two questions I might have them do on their own. Anyway, I started the year having purchased the 2nd grade lit core guides (Tall Tales, Prairie School, Sarah Noble, Little House, Beatrix Potter) along with the vocab dictionary. I also got a number of MBTP guides for the 7-9 range. They are on their 3rd MP guide (Sarah Noble) and they are genuinely loving those guides. We also use the 2nd grade enrichment guide (love it!) and Prima Latina. That is it from core 2 but I kind of wish I would have just embraced the whole core. My DD is doing some of the 3rd grade core; IEW, Mythology, US Geography, Farmer Boy and Charlotte's Web. She has liked it all. I am tempted to do all of core 3 for one of my boys next year. I think it speaks to him. He loves the organized consistency and how things seem to fit together. I just am not a box person. I kind of want to be and want to trust it but I love putting my own stuff together. 

I actually love MBTP and would have loved it myself as a kid but it just doesn't speak to my kids at all. They find it below their capabilities and a bit "babyish" is their term for it. They much prefer what looks to me to be a dry lit guide Haha. Who knew? ?

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A lot of my hits are two for ones this year. My DSs have stealth dyslexia (#3 isn't diagnosed, but presents exactly like DS 2 who is...so safe educated guess that DS3 is too.) I have really been struggling to find things that work for DS 2, who struggles more than DS 1, and so the things I was using for DS 1 don't usually work for DS 2. This has been really challenging, but the two for one is that whatever I do figure out, works great with DS 3 as well...at least so far!

Hits:

MCT: I have looked and looked at threads on this one and always said, nah! After 4 years of trying to get simple grammar instruction into DS's head (R&S, EG, PR), I decided MCT would be the last ditch effort. IT WORKED! He can finally tell me what the parts of speech are, label sentences, and actually remember it!

Returning to HWOT. I tried this with DS 1 and changed to Getty Dubay because HWOT wasn't working for him. When DS 2 was old enough to start handwriting, I just continued with GD. That didn't work! So I returned to HWOT for DS 2 and started DS 3 on it as well. This is working.

FLL: DS 3 is doing well in this. I had not tried it with the older kids, but after all the trouble I have gone through with DS 2 and Grammar, I figured a good gentle start and then MCT later on might be a good tactic. 

AAS and SYS combo: This is also working for DSs 2&3. After years of really really bad spelling, DS 2 is finally making headway. Now if we can just remember that it is WH not HW!

Science Fusion: It reads the text aloud to the student! SO VERY HELPFUL! However, the original set up to gain access to the online components nearly caused a marital breakdown, LOL! So Science Fusion...thumbs up...but software access department: YOU STINK!

Great Courses Plus: Having this introduce our history topics helps the kids become familiar with the vocab they will be reading about. This helps them identify words they may not have read before.

Not a curriculum. A wake up light and a sonic boom alarm clock combination to wake up the teen who wont wake up. YAY! She is finally starting to go to bed at a more decent hour and wake up in time for school.

Misses:

We don't have any major misses this year. There are a few things that the kids just grumble about, but nothing major. Our hardest task is just shoring up weaknesses in executive function (DD and DS 1) and reading, writing, and spelling (DSs). 

 

 

 

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Hits:

Megawords. My dyslexic ds is doing well with this, and he usually doesn't grumble about it. lol 

Latina Christiana. On its own there isn't enough practice, but ds practices conjugations or declensions each day and we made a memory game for vocab review. All of the kids enjoy playing the memory game so maybe they'll be ahead of the curve when they start formal Latin study.

Miquon. This is great for my K and 2nd kiddos. Cuisenaire rods are fun, and the worksheets are uncrowded and unintimidating. 

History of US by Joy Hakim. My fifth grader loves this. I love that he loves it. ? I think it's a little busy with all of the side bars, and I'm not crazy about the tone, but it's written to kids so that's not unexpected. 

Handwriting without Tears cursive. All of my kids are doing this. They are all doing great and are proud of their pretty writing, so that's a win.

Ellen McHenry The Elements + Theodore Gray's Elements book. We all do this together, and the kids absorb the age-appropriate amount of knowledge. 

Misses:

Torchlight K. Like a previous poster said, this has turned into an expensive reading list. We do like the books, and will continue to read them. We don't use the schedule or the assignments.

Beast Academy. It was a hit last year, so I don't know what happened this year. Oh well. We'll try again in the spring or next school year. 

MCT language arts. I so wanted this to be a hit. I think that I need to accept that this is not going to work for my 5th grader. Maybe it will work for the next kiddo. 

                              

 

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We've changed every single thing since we started school in late July, at least once...

So, misses: Sonlight PreK, A, C  I've finally come to see that I don't like having a nitty gritty syllabus.  It stresses me out.  And I like to take history much, much slower.  And Bible, too. 

Sonlight LA C and A: too many bits and pieces and not enough practice and direct instruction.  Too much writing about made up subjects.  I'm a CM Narration lover at heart.

Sonlight A and C Science: not enough cohesiveness or true study of "science" as it's own art

Math U See: my kids don't like worksheets and they like tutoring style math

Handwriting Without Tears, Print: the second grader doesn't need more print practice

Saxon: too tight of a spiral, not enough thinking about math

Singapore Math Kindergarten: the K4 was bored to tears doing a full on mastery program

FLL: too much grammar at this point, too dry...we just did a few days

Spelling You See: too repetitive, too many tears!

Apologia: entirely too much text and entirely too creationist

But we've managed success!  Here are our hits!

Bible reading and picture journaling from the Ambleside Online schedule

Bible Scripture memory from Simply Charlotte Mason

All About Spelling

Queen Homeschool Cursive for the second grader, print for the Kindergartener

MEP Math for the K4 and 2nd grader

Real Science Odyssey, Earth and Environment

Story of the World 2 with activity books and supplemental literature

All About Reading, PreReading for the K4

Second grader reads aloud and narrates to me

Principles from The Complete Writer for the 2nd grader; I give her copywork and she copies her history narrations. 

 

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We're finishing up almost everything in December (we school year-round), so I have a great perspective on what worked and what didn't this year.

High Schoolers - Hits:

Sonlight 300 History and 200 Literature - they really learned a LOT.  We're probably not using SL anymore, but I don't regret our year with it.  It was simple for me and they actually learned a ton of history.

Mathusee - My son is doing so well with MUS.  He actually understands the concepts, instead of memorizing what to do.  

Apologia Biology - especially that microscope slide kit 

Aceable Driver's Ed - wonderful.  I plan to use it for all 5 of my kids.

Komm Mit 1 and 2 with readers - Yep, a public school German textbook.  

High Schoolers - Misses:

Apologia Chemistry...Oh....my....  Yes, it's rigorous...it covers everything...there is a ton of math....and NOW my daughter HATES chemistry, which really upsets me, because I was just one class away from a minor in chemistry in college and my first real job offer was a chemist job.  I love chemistry.  I was so excited to teach it this year.  Thanks, Stupid Textbook.  I should've known.  My kids don't do well with textbooks.  I won't make that mistake twice.

VEX IQ Robotics - boy, we are really having a hard time with this.  I'm thinking I should've bought Mindstorms instead.  

 

Younger Group Hits:

My Father's World All Aboard the Animal Train - my son actually threw FITS to do this curriculum.  He loved it so much.  He would grab the teacher's guide at the most inconvenient times and bang on the bathroom door or cry while I was cooking dinner and ask if we could do "preschool".  *sigh*

My homemade Earth Science course using living books, the sky map app and Celestron astronomical binoculars - this is the second time we've used this and they all really enjoyed it.

Saxon 6 - dd11 is doing very well with this and likes it.

Writing with Ease 3 - writing-phobic dd11 needed some remedial writing help and this helped so much.  Instead of telling me her narrations, though...I had her write down her own narrations.  

Aesop's Fables - for some reason, dd11 is obsessed with these things.  I tried to skip reading aloud this book once, because I was so tired of looking at it and dd11 got really upset.  "Why would we skip it?  I LOVE this book!"  Ugh...   

Younger Group Misses:

Science from the Beginning - Ok, this is a great book, but it was just way too simple for my 6th grader.  It would be awesome for the K-3 group.

My Father's World Creation to the Greeks - this was probably our least favorite MFW year.  

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23 hours ago, FireweedPrep said:

I've finally come to see that I don't like having a nitty gritty syllabus.  It stresses me out. 

 

Me, too!!  

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8 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

We're finishing up almost everything in December (we school year-round), so I have a great perspective on what worked and what didn't this year.

<snip>

High Schoolers - Misses:

Apologia Chemistry...Oh....my....  Yes, it's rigorous...it covers everything...there is a ton of math....and NOW my daughter HATES chemistry, which really upsets me, because I was just one class away from a minor in chemistry in college and my first real job offer was a chemist job.  I love chemistry.  I was so excited to teach it this year.  Thanks, Stupid Textbook.  I should've known.  My kids don't do well with textbooks.  I won't make that mistake twice.

<snip>

Do you have recommendations or ideas for what you will use instead next time? 

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Our year (and school year) has been utterly crazy so the verdict is not in on everything and my opinion is subject to change. 

Old favorites we are using this year: 

Writing with Ease 3- for dd2- 3rd- She has not loved this series but it has been an enormous help to her developing her comprehension and narration skills. She has learned to highlight relevant info to help her remember. We started the year with oral narrations but she started pulling the book away to write them herself, she will not do WWE4. All my kids have used WWE to some degree and I plan to continue it with dd3. 

Apples and Pears Spelling- dd-6th- Ds went all through the series and dd is now on the final book. It is not a program that they love but it has served them well.

I See Sam and HWoT- for dd3/k- these are like old friends. I used LoE for dd1 and dd2 but dd3 has taken off with reading and LoE seemed like extreme overkill for her and entirely too slow. I See Sam has been a breath of fresh air, it is simple but it works. 

MiF- I've used MiF k with all the girls, dd has continued to do well with it I've continued the series with her, she is now doing MiF 3. Dd/k has gone through MiF k and is slowly working through 1st  (interspersed with various other things). 

Poetry tea and Read Alouds- Poetry time has long been a favorite and is rarely missed, even though it is pretty low key. Read alouds have been a bit lacking the last couple of years but having just the younger ones at home gave me more time and realigned my priorities. 

 

New Favorites

Beowulf's Grammar- I'm using this with dd3rd and 6th. They are both loving it and retaining the info after some failed attempts at FLL with dd6th. They were crushed when I told them that there is only 1 year of the program. 

Good and Beautiful Handwriting- dd3rd is using this to learn cursive, she likes it there is some variety with drawing and coloring as well.

Spelling Workout for dd3rd my natural speller, A& P would be overkill for her and I don't want her and dd6th to compete

 

Gets the job done:

CLE Math- I used 5 some with ds for review and now dd is using it for the same purpose, the spiral nature works well for her, I like that it is a worktext and it has practice drills in it. As of now I plan to continue on with grade 6 but we'll see when we get there. She did Saxon before this and like it ok but needed some more practice so I pulled out CLE since I already had it on hand.

SoTW2 The kids go back and forth on this one. The girls preferred CC b/c they were reading it themselves (outloud) but they like the coloring sheet of SoTW. I think it is handy to have the activity book to go with it and short sections to read. 

 

Verdict's Out:

Science in the Beginning and Behold and See Science 6- I like SiB ok but don't always care for the focus, my kids will want to study a topic but the lessons on that topic don't cover what they are interested in; Behold and See I only used for  a month or so with dd before a stint in PS- we are trying it out again for the Astronomy section as group work, we'll see how it goes

Torchlight Dd3rd and k loved CC but I decided not to continue after the preview chapters to save money and then dd6th came home totally changing everything. I'm still looking at the booklists here and there but using SoTW. I did buy some of the spines and are checking it for rec's to fill in but making my own schedule. Dd3rd is doing the writing projects as some easy creative writing to go alongside WWE3rd. As mentioned above the mapping didn't work and going back to SoTW I can use their sheets. The kids liked the logic book but we didn't find it wortwhile to feel out worksheets for everything. We did the Vocab/Spell book for 1 week before deciding that the spelling we are already doing is fine. The science looked fine but my kids weren't interested in that topic. 

Misses

Guest Hollow Language Arts- I had high hopes but there are just way too many components and the skill work is lacking, some weeks there is not much writing at all and then there are weeks working on letters. I think have a lit-based program for LA is overkill on the books- I don't need a stack of books to get it done and although some have high reviews it just felt like a hodgepodge to me. I should have known better!

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Another Lynn said:

Do you have recommendations or ideas for what you will use instead next time? 

 

Wow, I don't know.  I need to figure out soon, too, because ds15 will be ready to start chemistry in March.  I will probably put together something using living books + experiments...but I like the looks of Guesthollow Chemistry.  I also am interested in Mr. Q's Chemistry.

Weren't there some "science for poets" threads on the high school board a couple of years ago?  I might go looking and see if anyone put together a reading list for chemistry.

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1 hour ago, Evanthe said:

Weren't there some "science for poets" threads on the high school board a couple of years ago?  I might go looking and see if anyone put together a reading list for chemistry.

I found "Physics for poets" and there was maybe a link to living book biology, but I didn't see a Chem one. I am using Guest Hollow Chem this year-loosely (as a buffet). There are pros and cons.

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13 hours ago, Evanthe said:

We're finishing up almost everything in December (we school year-round), so I have a great perspective on what worked and what didn't this year.

High Schoolers - Hits:

Sonlight 300 History and 200 Literature - they really learned a LOT.  We're probably not using SL anymore, but I don't regret our year with it.  It was simple for me and they actually learned a ton of history.

Mathusee - My son is doing so well with MUS.  He actually understands the concepts, instead of memorizing what to do.  

Apologia Biology - especially that microscope slide kit 

Aceable Driver's Ed - wonderful.  I plan to use it for all 5 of my kids.

Komm Mit 1 and 2 with readers - Yep, a public school German textbook.  

High Schoolers - Misses:

Apologia Chemistry...Oh....my....  Yes, it's rigorous...it covers everything...there is a ton of math....and NOW my daughter HATES chemistry, which really upsets me, because I was just one class away from a minor in chemistry in college and my first real job offer was a chemist job.  I love chemistry.  I was so excited to teach it this year.  Thanks, Stupid Textbook.  I should've known.  My kids don't do well with textbooks.  I won't make that mistake twice.

VEX IQ Robotics - boy, we are really having a hard time with this.  I'm thinking I should've bought Mindstorms instead.  

 

Younger Group Hits:

My Father's World All Aboard the Animal Train - my son actually threw FITS to do this curriculum.  He loved it so much.  He would grab the teacher's guide at the most inconvenient times and bang on the bathroom door or cry while I was cooking dinner and ask if we could do "preschool".  *sigh*

My homemade Earth Science course using living books, the sky map app and Celestron astronomical binoculars - this is the second time we've used this and they all really enjoyed it.

Saxon 6 - dd11 is doing very well with this and likes it.

Writing with Ease 3 - writing-phobic dd11 needed some remedial writing help and this helped so much.  Instead of telling me her narrations, though...I had her write down her own narrations.  

Aesop's Fables - for some reason, dd11 is obsessed with these things.  I tried to skip reading aloud this book once, because I was so tired of looking at it and dd11 got really upset.  "Why would we skip it?  I LOVE this book!"  Ugh...   

Younger Group Misses:

Science from the Beginning - Ok, this is a great book, but it was just way too simple for my 6th grader.  It would be awesome for the K-3 group.

My Father's World Creation to the Greeks - this was probably our least favorite MFW year.  

Okay I’m just going to let you decide my High school plan for next year because the amount of overlap we have  on successes for this year are crazy. 🙂  Let me know what you decide, LOL! I had way too many fails to trust myself at this point. 

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