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RootAnn

Hits & Misses 2018-2019

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The high school board has had this thread for awhile, but as many of us are wrapping up our school year, I thought it would be interesting to share hits & misses.

I'll likely add more later, but here are some of mine.

Hit:

SOTW3 - Once again, history using Story of the World is a hit at our house. I had my ds#1 & ds#2 doing it this year. Some would say ds#1 is too old to use SOTW3 without significant additions/modifications, but it was 'just right'. Both boys consider history one of their favorite subjects. This is ds#1's second time through the cycle & ds#2's first time.

Spell to Write & Read - I've lost track of how many years I've used SWR for spelling. I know when I've tried other things (Megawords, Spelling through Dictation), I regret it and always come back to SWR. We don't make nearly the progress the guide tells us we should make and my kids miss a lot of words on each list the first two times through, but usually by the 3rd or 4th year on that list, they've gotten the words down. It is not the easiest program to use. It certainly isn't "fun" as written, but I've learned how to add to it or modify it for each kid. This year, my ds#2 said spelling was fun and one of his favorite subjects. That's crazy talk in my house. The boys have many more years of spelling to go (and I'm glad my DDs are done with SWR because three levels at once is more than I have time for), but I know the kids can come out decent spellers by the end.

Miss:

Beowulf's Grammar - The boys enjoyed going through grammar with this fun program, but it seemed all over the place in terms of level (sometimes too easy, sometimes too hard). It also didn't have enough spiral reinforcement for my kids who need a LOT of constant review. I was going through some of the weekly review sheets (again) since we are near the end of our school year and they have pretty much completely forgotten the early material, have a grasp of a bit of the middle material, and still remember half of the latest material. Whenever I use a non-spiral program, I feel like a failure at the end of the year because my kids retain nothing. So, it'll be back to a spiral grammar program that isn't as 'fun' (or as cheap) next year.

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These are my personal hits and misses. My kids are still in the "all school is tedious and boring" phase.

Hits

Human Odyssey 3 with Oxford University Press' Pages from History Books--I really appreciated the rounded view all the primary sources brought to the history

Dolciani Pre-Algebra and Math in Focus Course 1

ACS Middle School Chemistry--I really enjoyed this and felt this was well-written and hands-on. My only complaint would be all the supplies but I am used to that with science curriculum.

Latin for Children C--I only wish they had extra worksheets like they did for A and B.  

All about Spelling. Youngest finished Level 7 and we are done! Yay!

Misses:

My oldest *hates* Latin Alive. We did LFC A and B so I thought it would be a good transition. He is doing fine but he hates, hates it.  He refuses to watch the videos. Alas, it is super hard to change gears at this point. So Latin Alive 2 is coming next year. Then we are stopping Latin.

Lost Tools of Writing. I love the ANI chart idea, and generally, the outline for a persuasive essay is good. However, IMO this produces very simplistic writing and moves super slow. There is not enough there about style. If I had forced the kids to use the style they had learned through IEW, we might have been better off. Because I didn't, we lost ground. We spent about half a school year on this to do the entire book. I really think the pacing is too slow for a junior high student with prior writing exposure. My other potential complaint is that it is written based on responses to literature but no suggestions are given (other than the three examples). Not every story lends itself well to this approach. Suggestions would have been nice. We figured it out though. If I had it to do over, I would teach the ANI, the outline, and then use the IEW stylistic techniques with it. 

The Elegant Essay.  Oh boy. We have liked IEW, but I don't like this book.  We didn't actually finish, truth be told. I don't like the part to whole approach to this book. My kids have been through a lot of IEW (SICC-A and SICC-B, and a bunch of others) but this is so different from everything else. I disliked toggling between the student book and teacher book to present the lessons effectively. My kids disliked writing conclusions and introductions for papers they did not have.  I understand that they were trying to teach the pieces before teaching the whole, but I think that teaching approach doesn't work well with my kiddos. I talked with three different IEW tutors and none of them teach it the same way, and only one teaches it as written. There are some really useful pieces here but the delivery didn't match our needs.

The Geography Coloring Book--I thought this would be an easy addition to our week and a means of review, but I am not convinced anything is sticking and I *hate* that they printed almost all the way to the inner binding.  It won't lay flat if you want it to, and if you had them cut the binding off, you would lose part of the page.  IMO poorly formatted for a coloring book.

 

 

 

Edited by cintinative
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17 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Lost Tools of Writing. I love the ANI chart idea, and generally, the outline for a persuasive essay is good. However, IMO this produces very simplistic writing and moves super slow. There is not enough there about style. If I had forced the kids to use the style they had learned through IEW, we might have been better off. Because I didn't, we lost ground. We spent about half a school year on this to do the entire book. I really think the pacing is too slow for a junior high student with prior writing exposure. My other potential complaint is that it is written based on responses to literature but no suggestions are given (other than the three examples). Not every story lends itself well to this approach. Suggestions would have been nice. We figured it out though. If I had it to do over, I would teach the ANI, the outline, and then use the IEW stylistic techniques with it. 

The Elegant Essay.  Oh boy. ...  this is so different from everything else. I disliked toggling between the student book and teacher book to present the lessons effectively. My kids disliked writing conclusions and introductions for papers they did not have.  I understand that they were trying to teach the pieces before teaching the whole, but I think that teaching approach doesn't work well with my kiddos.

Re: LToW

DD#3 took an online class that taught LTOW1 and built in IEW stylistic techniques (because the teacher used to teach IEW, I guess). DD disliked the LTOW stuff, the IEW stylistic stuff (that we've never done before), and pretty much all the "dumb" stuff she had to do. She liked the teacher & fellow students, but I will agree that the pacing is slow and the results are not awesome. I wouldn't choose this class again. The pre-LTOW class (that is no longer offered by that provider) was fine. I'd take that & move onto something more beneficial. But, honestly, good writing classes are hard to find because each kid needs something different.

Re: Elegant Essay

I tried teaching this to DD#1 a long time ago. I agree with what you wrote that I quoted above. It absolutely didn't work for my kid or me. Horribly written, IMO. I also didn't like that it was written for a classroom, so I had to adjust for just one student and I. More power to those who can make it work. I hated it with a passion.

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Misses:

Language Lessons for Today - not really anything wrong with it but I have finally quit trying to like CM-style elementary LA programs. They just don't work for us. Back to good ol' Rod & Staff we went.

Learning About Birds (SCM) - this was too young for my son. He didn't feel like it was real science. It would be fun for early elementary but probably not past 4th grade, IMO.

Hits:

Apologia Astronomy - this is the easiest book of the series, I think, and my youngest son LOVED it. Wish they had more on a similar level. The others are still too much over his head. 

Easy Grammar - not sure what it was about this book, but my 7th grader flew through it, said it was EASY, and skipped a lot of the pages because they repeat so much. And he wasn't really good with grammar before that. I was surprised.

Apologia Flying Creatures - perfect for my bird lover. Lots of really neat info. He really enjoyed this one.

Learning cursive via dictation - not a program, but doing it this way, my 11yo FINALLY learned to write in cursive!

Pathway Readers Grade 1 set - my K'er adored these, read the whole set this year.

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I am thinking we had no misses this year. I am loving doing Considering God's Creation again. I had worried it was too old, but it is still just perfect, for us anyway. Mystery Science is a hit of course. SOTW has been enjoyable.  

 

I do not like the writing portions of BJU. I do not think I ever have. But I love the grammar portions. Not sure what to do for this. But I guess that would make this a miss, sort of. I love the grammar chapters but really dislike the writing.

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Misses

I wanted to like Torchlight Kindergarten, I really did. I even tried just ditching the schedule and using the books but so many of them were just "meh" that we ended up ditching most it. I will probably just use the book list for suggestions from here on out.

 

Hits

Logic of English is my new favorite language arts for elementary, especially Foundations for kindergarten. It is everything I wanted SWR to be but I just had to come up with all my own ideas for the activities most of the time. My son likes it, it makes my life easier to do just "do the next thing" rather than have to constantly come up with ideas for teaching wiggly little boys to write and read. This is my 4th and last little boy to teach and I will admit, I've been doing this since 2002 and I am just tired lol. Letting someone else do the thinking for me this last go round has been just what I needed.

Ivy by Kathrine Coville, used in Torchlight kinder, has been one of my son's favorite read alouds this year. It is just the right level for a kindergarten read aloud and we even got the next book in the series, Ivy and the Goblins, and we are reading through it right now. I wish this had been around when my other kids were little, it is such a sweet story and just perfect for reading aloud to 5 and 6 year olds.

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Hits
Gattegno math -They're available free but I bought the set.  Math is presented "out of order" and with things not normally taught, which made it extremely interesting for my kid.  There's not a heavy focus on writing for most of the first two books, which definitely helped, too.
Treasured Conversations - It was just right.  We didn't finish it because next year's curriculum will pick up right at the end of the unit we did finish, but both of us really enjoyed how...well, gentle is not the right word.  Carefully scaffolded, maybe.  It started out reviewing what my kid already knew so by the point he got to the "hard" work it was easy again.

Misses
Writing Strands -
I wanted this to work.  I did.  It overwhelmed my kid to have to think up a subject (even within a narrow scope) and do the writing projects. 
BFSU Vol. 2 - A failing on my part.  I was not organized enough to begin with and it fell to pieces.  I am putting it on the back burner this year and doing something more our style: an easy anatomy study plan with readings and activities all laid out for me.  I'll add in some, but this lets me do all the prep now.    We'll have 25 weeks with this and I may finish off the year with some BFSU.

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3
19 hours ago, cintinative said:

Hits

Human Odyssey 3 with Oxford University Press' Pages from History Books--I really appreciated the rounded view all the primary sources brought to the history

Dolciani Pre-Algebra and Math in Focus Course 1

ACS Middle School Chemistry--I really enjoyed this and felt this was well-written and hands-on. My only complaint would be all the supplies but I am used to that with science curriculum.

Latin for Children C--I only wish they had extra worksheets like they did for A and B.  

All about Spelling. Youngest finished Level 7 and we are done! Yay!

Do you feel like the Dociani and the MIF Course 1 was enough for your child to move on to Algebra next year or are you going to finish the MIF Courses? I've got MIF Course 1 on hand for my middle child, so I'm trying to figure out how to get her through Pre-Algebra quickly since MIF takes three years to do so and she doesn't have that amount of time.

 

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Hits:

BF Geography - This is sweet and fun. We use it as part of our RA time and my kids enjoy coloring the maps. 

Writing and Rhetoric Fable - creative enough to keep my writing-hater engaged and making progress. We worked on good paragraphs, transitions and some style things in the context of the given assignments, since the level of difficulty is below what this student can do. 

 

Meh:

Apologia Physical Science - Dd used this in an outsourced class. She enjoyed the class and the teacher, but not the book. Overly wordy, just not very engaging. 

 

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@Chelli

Do you feel like the Dociani and the MIF Course 1 was enough for your child to move on to Algebra next year or are you going to finish the MIF Courses? I've got MIF Course 1 on hand for my middle child, so I'm trying to figure out how to get her through Pre-Algebra quickly since MIF takes three years to do so and she doesn't have that amount of time.

It won't let me quote so I copied and pasted. We were in the same situation. My oldest finished MIF 5A/5B in 5th, and we did Course 1 in 6th (and Pre-A in 7th). I didn't see any reason why we would put off Algebra I until 9th based on how he had done, and I didn't see any easy way to accelerate through Course 2 and 3 in one year based on how Course 1 had gone. I didn't skip problems and such in Course 1 though. (ETA: I was told Courses 1-3 = Pre-Algebra.)  A friend also brought up that it was good to get the children used to a traditional math textbook.  So I decided to search on here for an appropriate Pre-A book. Dolciani came up as an option, so we went for that. We didn't have trouble with it. It is very different from MIF in that there is not nearly so much instruction before the lessons, but so far that has largely been okay.  

My oldest just finished Pre-A and I am now going over some of the statistics material from Course 2 to supplement it. Due to the age of the Dolciani book, some of the more recent statistics methods are not in there (box and stem plots, etc.) so we are spending a few days to go over that material before moving on.  I do own both Course 2 and Course 3 and did a side by side comparison of concepts with the Pre-A just to see the differences.  

I hope this helps?

Edited by cintinative
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Most of our stuff that I used are hits. I didn't change it up much this year, but a few things that stood out:

Hits:

  • Writing and Rhetoric Fable. I ditched WWE2 a little more than halfway through so far with both my older girls and moved them to this. Despite being very different learners and having different strengths, this is working well for both.
  • Beast Academy Online. I got it more on a whim for dd8. She's been working through the workbooks. She LOVES the online part and while we're keeping the workbook part for now, it's been great for extra practice and review. And stands alone on days I really can't help her. We're in the middle of moving right now, so its been nice just to have her work on that when I'm busy. DD7 just started as well now that they have level 2 up and running.
  • Mystery Science. I've had the subscription for a few years but we haven't used it a whole lot. Several months ago I mentioned to the girls that they were welcome to do it on their own if they wanted, and they took that and ran with it. They watch the lessons, discuss them among themselves, print activities, and do them all on their own, totally hands off for me. My elementary science philosophy is fairly unschooled anyways, so this fits right in for us. We do discuss things together a fair amount informally too.

Misses:

  • Killgallon Sentence Composing for Elementary. DD10 didn't need this as this is a strength of hers and dd8 just struggled to the point of tears with it. I think it was too hard for her and not enough scaffolding. It wasn't always clear on what it wanted. Maybe if we wait a year or two and try again? But for now, she's much happier with W&R alone. 

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HITS:

  1. CLE Reading (love this for 4th-8th grades)
  2. AGS United States History - simple and to the point
  3. TT7 - just what oldest needed this year

MISSES:

  1. Apologia General - so. many. words.
  2. Notgrass AtB - we bailed on this verrrry early on
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1 hour ago, alisoncooks said:

MISSES

  1. Notgrass AtB - we bailed on this verrrry early on

I am almost afraid to ask because I need easy history for next year for my youngest, and was planning the AtB Notgrass you mentioned. But go ahead and tell me. What did you hate about it? 

My issue is I have so much to plan for next year I am scared to add another thing for me to plan but I have fiddled with every history we have ever done (or added to it) since we finished SOTW.  That makes me feel a bit uneasy about this. 

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17 minutes ago, cintinative said:

I am almost afraid to ask because I need easy history for next year for my youngest, and was planning the AtB Notgrass you mentioned. But go ahead and tell me. What did you hate about it? 

For me, it just felt disjointed/poor flow from lesson to lesson. Maybe it's because they're trying to maintain the pattern in each unit:  a history lesson /landmark lesson /biography lesson/etc. Sometimes it felt like a stretch or the parts were unrelated...

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1 hour ago, alisoncooks said:

Maybe it's because they're trying to maintain the pattern in each unit:  a history lesson /landmark lesson /biography lesson/etc.

No. My Star Spangled Story is the same way. Lessons are not in chronological order, the lessons themselves are often nonsensically ordered. Why are you giving the names of the last four generations of the person we're reading about? I will not be purchasing another Notgrass product.

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16 minutes ago, Slache said:

No. My Star Spangled Story is the same way. Lessons are not in chronological order, the lessons themselves are often nonsensically ordered. Why are you giving the names of the last four generations of the person we're reading about? I will not be purchasing another Notgrass product.

 

do you have a favorite American History resource?

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5 minutes ago, cintinative said:

 

do you have a favorite American History resource?

Pft. No. If I were to try again it would be a combined Sonlight year ($$$), Master Books curriculum, The Complete Book of United States History or The Landmark History of the American People.

I actually regret using a curriculum in general and am piecing together my own world geography curriculum for next year. The art projects, additional reading and movies we've watched this year have made Our Star Spangled Story just an expensive reference for us.

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4 minutes ago, Slache said:

Pft. No. If I were to try again it would be a combined Sonlight year ($$$), Master Books curriculum, The Complete Book of United States History or The Landmark History of the American People.

I actually regret using a curriculum in general and am piecing together my own world geography curriculum for next year. The art projects, additional reading and movies we've watched this year have made Our Star Spangled Story just an expensive reference for us.

 

I hear you. I have fiddled with every history year since we finished SOTW. We did use the Complete Book of U.S. history one year with a bunch of other things. 

ETA: I do have a complete set of Chester Comix. 

Edited by cintinative
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This is for my 13yo ds, who has ASD and OCD and hates all schoolwork. My other kids loved learning, but this kid is so resistant to everything academic. 

Hits: 

PAC English Communication skills: I would never have guessed this would be a hit. He does the lessons without complaint, writes in the activity book without complaint, and actually gets really interested in the vignettes sometimes and ends up looking up more information or watching documentaries.

Thinkwell 7: He likes videos, and his conceptual understanding of math is much better than his computational ability. Thinkwell lets him move along conceptually without long pages of problem sets tiring out his computation skills. I can separate his fact practice out from the fun part of math. He loves Ed Burger.

Crash Course World History: He watches these every day (sometimes more than once) and looks up more info afterwards. He retains more than he ever did with SOTW or anything else we've ever read. 

Duolingo: He does this every day without argument. Shh. Don't tell him it's not a game.

Misses: 

Everything else I've tried. 

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Hits: Destination Imagination, AOPS book + Alcumus, Great Courses Plus

Misses: AOPS online classes

Everything else fell somewhere in the middle

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Hits:

Treasure and Tradition — it’s a book on the Latin Mass, so prob not of interest to lots of boardies, but wow, is it well done and GORGEOUS!

Tan publishing’s Story of Civilization CDs and having my older dd outline Seton’s history. First year no one complained about history

I don’t know if Apologia Gen sci was really loved enough to be considered a hit but it was a good solid course, easy to teach and dd didn’t find it too wordy, but she’s a bookworm

MP First Form Latin...the kids did not find this fun but man did they retain information!  They aced the 7 pg final.

Notebooking lit like in TWEM and discussing it with my oldest  

Jacobs Algebra. 

Misses:

Traditional Logic II. The teacher’s guide assumes you know what you’re doing. I could keep up in TL1 but by TL2 I was just lost. 

 

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We didn't have any earth shattering hits this year.  Some things that we were previously using (TT, AAS, AAR) are still working wonderfully.  Two oldest started Easy Grammar Plus and that's been a good fit.  Younger two are loving Apologia Swimming Creatures...

Misses:

Apologia Physical Science.  It was just too much reading.  The books are so dense and there's just so much in them.  I had hoped it would work, along with the audio, for oldest DD, but it was a complete fail.  She retained very little.  We sent them off to be loved by someone else.  

IEW...I have a love hate with it.  When I watch the video I am always pleased with the concept taught, but it just seems to take forever to get to where it's going.  The lessons and the flow of the program just seem incredibly slow. I often felt like they could have just gotten to the point and moved on weeks before it actually happened.  After using it for the 1st semester we decided to try something else.  I was having trouble seeing the big picture.  I'm debating about trying a theme book to see if that moves at a quicker pace...

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On 5/16/2019 at 3:09 PM, Janeway said:

I am thinking we had no misses this year. I am loving doing Considering God's Creation again. I had worried it was too old, but it is still just perfect, for us anyway. Mystery Science is a hit of course. SOTW has been enjoyable.  

 

I do not like the writing portions of BJU. I do not think I ever have. But I love the grammar portions. Not sure what to do for this. But I guess that would make this a miss, sort of. I love the grammar chapters but really dislike the writing.

We're in the opposite boat.  I find the grammar in BJU very heavy, but we love the writing portions.  I love the samples they provide and the variety of writing projects.  Also really like how they incorporate the proof reading marks and the writing process very early on.  We've always found it to be a very solid program. 

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I have to second the Apologia Exploring Creation with Phyisical Science "hate," lol. We actually used this last year for DS (then eighth grade)  only because it was a co-op selection. At times I wanted to throw the book against the wall and scream, "Just get to the point already and move on!" SO "conversational" in that points meandered and went into asides and then maybe circled back...... Really made it impossible for my son to follow and complete questions on his own. I was paying for a co-op class and had hoped that DS could do most of the homework independently, but nope, not with THIS book! Unfortunately my co-op is in love with Apologia science texts and all science classes for upper grades use them, sigh. This year we took a break from the trauma of last year, and next year DS is doing Clover Creek Physics with Jetta which I hear is *wonderful*.

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28 minutes ago, Spudater said:

Hits:

Treasure and Tradition — it’s a book on the Latin Mass, so prob not of interest to lots of boardies, but wow, is it well done and GORGEOUS!

Tan publishing’s Story of Civilization CDs and having my older dd outline Seton’s history. First year no one complained about history

MP First Form Latin...the kids did not find this fun but man did they retain information!  They aced the 7 pg final.

 

 

 

 

Misses:

Traditional Logic II. The teacher’s guide assumes you know what you’re doing. I could keep up in TL1 but by TL2 I was just lost. 

 

 

Hey hey ----- Catholic momma here! Do you have a link on the Treasure and Tradition Book? Did you just use it as a read-aloud, or as formal lessons? 
What about Story of Civilization? Again, a formal approach, or just listening? 
My boys are heading into FFL in the fall, so this makes me happy! ❤️ 

Re: Logic ---- what ages took this class? We're putting off Logic for our daughter until 9th grade, likely. 

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 8:44 AM, sweet2ndchance said:

M

Ivy by Kathrine Coville, used in Torchlight kinder, has been one of my son's favorite read alouds this year. It is just the right level for a kindergarten read aloud and we even got the next book in the series, Ivy and the Goblins, and we are reading through it right now. I wish this had been around when my other kids were little, it is such a sweet story and just perfect for reading aloud to 5 and 6 year olds.

 

Ah! I didn't know Ivy was part of a series. Thank you! Birthday gift idea!

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Hits:

Beast Academy for DD (5th) and, to a lesser extent, DD (2nd). I have been using mostly level 4 for DD (5th) and some level 3 stuff that we hadn't finished from earlier years (variables, etc.) Challenging and fun with lots of variety, BA has been a supplement this year for Singapore Primary 5A & 5B. I have also recommended it to another hs'er who found it a perfect fit for her generally "academic resistant" 3rd grader.  She started with level 2 with him. Typically BA works well about 1 level behind the current grade, but I have found that picking and choosing among the books, depending on what our spine curriculum is covering, works very well for us. Of course, I do have all the BA levels from 2 through 5, lol.

I also tried the new BA level 2 with my quite mathematically inclined 2nd grader and it's been a mixed bag. She loves the guide stories but gets tired of the  lengthy amount of exercise pages between each guide reading portion. I do not have her complete every problem or every page but she still gets tired of them. I think she may enjoy it more as she gets older and her stamina increases. At this point, in general, she is academically advanced but also academically resistant to some extent.

Misses:

I'll have to think more about this but off the top of my head I would say that Open Tent Academy's online class Research Writing in 10 Classes (or Sessions, not sure...). This was for my DD (5th grade). The class is based on IEW type of writing which my DD currently uses (Level A Continuation). I thought from the name of the class that it would be more of a research paper writing course (long form) but really the students are just writing one five paragraph expository essay broken into easy steps. My DD has already written multiple paragraph essays so most of the class so far have been review and boring for her. We had to miss one class already and she didn't even bother watching the video recording. The last two-three classes deal with Introductions and Conclusions and I am hoping that these sessions will be helpful but I also think I could have taught the same information to her and saved the money (my son currently is taking Open Tent's All About Essays and the Intro/Conclusion curriculum is basically the same). So, I think the "miss' is a combination of the class being titled inappropriately and making me think it would be something it is not  (maybe it should be called Introduction to the Expository Essay or something like that) and my DD being ahead of where I thought she would be when I signed her up last summer for this spring class (not Open Tent's fault but it's what happened).

I'll have to think more about other Hits and Misses.....hmmmmmm.....

I find this topic to be one of the most helpful on these boards, so thanks everybody!!

Edited by CAtoVA
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Hits:

Evan Moore Daily Science - we've tried so many science curricula over the years, and this was by far our most successful year. It got done every day, DS retained things he had learned, and he didn't complain bitterly about doing it. 

IEW SWI - this one was actually a miss last year, but we tried something else this year (see "misses"), then went back to IEW (moving from A to B) and now it's a hit. Who knew?

Math on the Level - we've been using this since kindergarten, and we'll be finishing it up early next year (only a few concepts left to cover). This has been the one constant in our homeschool since the beginning, and I'll miss it!

 

Misses:

EIW 6th grade - the grammar portion was fine, but once we got to the writing, there were so many tears. Having to come up with his own thing to write about (even given a topic), and then being told to edit it to make it sound better, without a lot of direction... It made me realize that IEW really was the right method for this child, and so we went back to it!

 

A hit and a miss:

A History of US - *I* learned a lot from it, and often shared tidbits with my husband in the evening. Plus, it really helped my Jeopardy game 😄 But DS nicknamed it "People are Terrible," and we both had a hard time reading about all the ways people have been awful to each other, day after day. (It quickly became our tradition that after reading our history chapter together, we'd spend ten minutes looking at cute animals on Instagram, by way of palate cleanser.)

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Hits: Cozy Grammar

Misses: Writing & Rhetoric (1 & 2)

Edited by alisha

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7 hours ago, DiannaKennedy said:

 

Hey hey ----- Catholic momma here! Do you have a link on the Treasure and Tradition Book? Did you just use it as a read-aloud, or as formal lessons? 
What about Story of Civilization? Again, a formal approach, or just listening? 
My boys are heading into FFL in the fall, so this makes me happy! ❤️ 

Re: Logic ---- what ages took this class? We're putting off Logic for our daughter until 9th grade, likely. 

 

Here is the link:

http://www.staugustineacademypress.com/treasure-and-tradition-the-ultimate-guide-to-the-latin-mass/

It’s not curricula so we read a two page spread once a week.  Usually the kids had questions and we discussed, sometimes not. This publisher also prints The King of the Golden City by Mother Mary Loyola that I LOVE for First Communion prep. Mother Mary Loyola wrote a lot f books; I use her book of Eucharistic devotions called “Welcome” every Sunday. 

I did logic with my 12 year old 7th grader.  She actually grasped it better than I did, but by the second book I could no longer help her when she got stuck despite working alongside.  

My 7th grader listened to Story of Civ along with outlining Seton and I used the questions in the back of each chapter of Seton as an oral open note quiz. My 5th grader just listened and colored historical coloring books. I know most ppl don’t consider that enough for that age but (edited out specific reason).

Edited by Spudater
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2 hours ago, DiannaKennedy said:

 

Ah! I didn't know Ivy was part of a series. Thank you! Birthday gift idea!

 

It just came out in March! So far the second book is just as good as the first, we aren't quite done with it yet. ;-)

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3 hours ago, Spudater said:

 

Misses:

Traditional Logic II. The teacher’s guide assumes you know what you’re doing. I could keep up in TL1 but by TL2 I was just lost. 

 

 

This is good to know. Did you use the videos at all? I am wondering if you still felt lost even with those in the mix. 

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4 hours ago, cintinative said:

 

This is good to know. Did you use the videos at all? I am wondering if you still felt lost even with those in the mix. 

I didn’t. So if anyone has and thinks they were a lifesaver, let me know!  🙂Dd was still interested in doing it later. 

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We’re only midyear

hits

Story of the world - as always - if all our other curriculum was this fun and accessible homeschool would be a breeze

first language lessons 1 - I never did grammar with my other kids this young.  I’m doing it with my grade 2 which is a bit below level but he’s enjoying it and it’s quick, painless and getting retained

singapore 2 and 5 are working well for my younger kids which is nice after dds math struggle last year.  I’m not using the textbook as much as we should but that is the difference between tears and happiness.

IEW SWI B is going pretty well.  I like how easy it is to substitute sources and apply the concepts to other writing

busuu for Italian - we are enjoying this app and making more progress than we’ve made in awhile

in between stuff (neither full hit or full miss)

grammar for the well trained mind - we are doing through way way slower than the schedule.  My kids haven’t had a tonne of grammar so they aren’t retaining everything.  However I like what’s taught and the systematic approach.

wayfarers - we haven’t really hit this this year.  The combined read aloud was a flop (Lloyd Alexander’s chronicles of llyr) because it was just too scary for youngest. We didn’t get the geography read alouds for ages due to some holdups with interlibrary loan.  And I’m struggling to fit much reading aloud in this year sadly.  We also didn’t use their science rec so the science reading doesn’t line up.  And we are way behind on history stuff because we decided to finish up the last four chapters of story of the world and just generally dawdled over history.  The one part of it we’ve stuck with is the literature recommendations and they’ve been ok.  Not brilliant but acceptable.

picta dicta Latin - dd has quite enjoyed it but the progress has been extremely slow. There is an online spelling component for each lesson and dd cannot spell accurately to save her life. This means she’s ended up stalled on one or two lessons instead of moving forward with oral vocabulary.  I ended up telling her to write down the spelling minus definitions and so she could get through it and now she’s making progress.  Our subscription runs out in a few months though.  I dislike subscription based stuff because if you don’t keep up you waste a lot of money.

misses. Math for ds12 has been all over the place. AOPS algebra was too hard and he just wasn’t getting it.  He started out well with math mammoth but hit a wall. We are currently in Saxon and it’s ok but I feel like this year has been messy.

RSO science - not totally a miss but we just keep not getting it done for stupid reasons. I seem to really struggle with running two science programs at once.  Plus I keep forgetting to buy stuff we need for the experiments or dh helpfully stole the science box to catch the water from the leaking roof ditching out what probably looked like a junky kids craft but was actually our home made weather measuring tools so we now need to remake them.

expedition earth. We have literally done geography once this year 😬. Not good.

barry stebbing renaissance art.  The religious flavour is not really the same as our belief set and my kids absolutely hate the sort of “talking down” tone this program has. I really need to find art we like.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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mid year as well

 A hit with the twins has been All About Spelling. We are going VERY slowly. only doing 4 words per day. but they can now hear then form a 3 letter word with the magnets sound it out and write it down. This is absolutely amazing for them.

misses

 😞

All About Reading. We completed AAR1 last year. I then sold it (big mistake) and started AAR2. the twins have completely freaked out about looking at multi syllable words in the readers and practice sheets. they will not even try to read them. They complain that the words are too long and the stories are too long. to them it is a huge jump in levels. one that they cannot do just yet. I also am a little confused why AAR has gone straight to multi syllable words instead of teaching bossy "e" and long vowels as do most other phonics programs at this stage. So we are having a break, and doing Fitzroy readers with me modifying the workbooks ( sa they cannot write yet), plus some jolly phonics , and ittle phonics readers from multiple sources

 

with DS15 IEW  is a hit as is Balance Benders and Vocab From Classical Roots 5

not so many misses with him 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

mid year as well

 A hit with the twins has been All About Spelling. We are going VERY slowly. only doing 4 words per day. but they can now hear then form a 3 letter word with the magnets sound it out and write it down. This is absolutely amazing for them.

misses

 😞

All About Reading. We completed AAR1 last year. I then sold it (big mistake) and started AAR2. the twins have completely freaked out about looking at multi syllable words in the readers and practice sheets. they will not even try to read them. They complain that the words are too long and the stories are too long. to them it is a huge jump in levels. one that they cannot do just yet. I also am a little confused why AAR has gone straight to multi syllable words instead of teaching bossy "e" and long vowels as do most other phonics programs at this stage. So we are having a break, and doing Fitzroy readers with me modifying the workbooks ( sa they cannot write yet), plus some jolly phonics , and ittle phonics readers from multiple sources

 

with DS15 IEW  is a hit as is Balance Benders and Vocab From Classical Roots 5

not so many misses with him 🙂 

We love AAR, but my son also struggled with the progression of some of the skills!  We ended up setting AAR aside from time to time and using Progressive Phonics and Phonics Pathways.  We also used the Abeka Readers.  

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On 5/18/2019 at 10:34 AM, Spudater said:

My 5th grader just listened and colored historical coloring books. I know most ppl don’t consider that enough for that age but ...

I have a 5th grader who loved what we did for history & retained enough to make it worthwhile. Some people would say it isn't enough or a high enough level, but it works, so I don't care. 🙂

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Elemental Science was both, hit and miss

Hit for my 3rd grader - we did chemistry.  I have no idea how this kid is remembering all those elements and such (lord knows I didn't like chemistry), but he seems to love it.

Miss for my 5th grader - he did biology.  It was too dry and I am backpedaling and will be getting living books for him and may be some videos / documentaries, etc.  I had a thread about it and a poster here gave me a nice list.

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On 5/18/2019 at 8:54 AM, DiannaKennedy said:

 

Ah! I didn't know Ivy was part of a series. Thank you! Birthday gift idea!

Me too! My 6 yr. old Ivy is going to LOVE this!

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Hits:

SOTW 1 - We used MOH before and I liked it and tried to use it again this year, but it just wasn't right this time through with my 5th grader and 1st grader so we switched to SOTW and loved it!

Fix It and IEW - perfect for my 5th grader this year and I can see real progress in her writing - yay!

Comparative Gov & Politics - perfect for my 11th grader who is really into that kind of stuff - I got a college text and had him read and then do a presentation on each chapter to teach me the material and it was awesome!

Homemade World Cultures & Religions course for my 9th grader - I pulled together various resources and books and then she wrote about each area of the world - she loved it and learned a lot!

Misses:

Destinos was great for my oldest DS but a hard slog for my 2nd DS for Spanish III this year. We finished enough to call it a credit, and I would probably still use it again, but I'm not as enamored with it as I once was.

EE - not sure this is actually a miss, but it was harder to use this time around with my 9th grader than it was with my 2 older DS's - not sure why?

 

Everything else is the same stuff we've been using all along ... so I guess those are technically "hits" because we keep coming back to them and using them successfully ... but they just don't seem new and exciting anymore 🙂 such as Apologia science (middle and high school, NOT elementary), God's Design, EiL, VCR, AG, CT in USH with American Odyssey, Video Text Alg & Geom, Visual Link Spanish, Art of Argument & Argument Builder, MM, AAR, AAS, Wordly Wise, Artistic Pursuits

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Well...my dd is sobbing because she just had her last day of MPOA Narrative.

She tends to the dramatic but real tears and sadness at the end of that class. So I will call that a hit.

 

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2 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

 

EE - not sure this is actually a miss, but it was harder to use this time around with my 9th grader than it was with my 2 older DS's - not sure why?

 

E CT in USH with American Odyssey,

 

Help with acronyms?

EE= Elegant Essay?? (If so, several of us commented on this up thread)

CT in USH with American Odyssey  = Critical Thinking in U.S. History with The American Odyssey (K12)???  If it is the K12 book, do you use the whole thing?

Thanks for clarifying!

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3 hours ago, cintinative said:

 

Help with acronyms?

EE= Elegant Essay?? (If so, several of us commented on this up thread)

CT in USH with American Odyssey  = Critical Thinking in U.S. History with The American Odyssey (K12)???  If it is the K12 book, do you use the whole thing?

Thanks for clarifying!

Yes, Elegant Essay. I've heard other people say before that they had problems with it too as others on this thread said but we never did til this year for some reason.

Yes also to Critical Thinking in US History (the older 4 CD set not the newer books from Critical Thinking Company) and K12's American Odyssey. We used all of the K12 book but only selected lessons from the cd's. Using all of those would be waaaaaay too much! 🙂

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MISS - Science Fusion Interactive Subscription: Dynamic Earth Module - Yup, the digital interface is just as horrible as others say. Plus, there are so many pieces/options to this that I couldn't tease out what was actually important for DD to do. Definitely not homeschool friendly, IMO. I don't see how traditional school teachers use it either.

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Hits

Abeka Phonics K5 (Each year I do it, I streamline it a bit more.  I know what to include and what to leave out)

Zaner Bloser Handwriting- My boys prefer this to anything we try.  You can scan a QR code to see a short video of how to form the letter and this tiny detail has made my boys not mind handwriting.

BJU Math Grade 2 (Singapore math just stressed me out completely.  I am so glad to have found something that feels right to me.  DS loves it too.   He loves the stories for each chapter.  I worry he is missing out not having Singapore math, but my sanity is more important.  sorry.

Veritas Press Self Paced History Old Testament & Ancient Egypt - DS LOVE this, looking back I may for the future save this for 3rd grade for my kids rather than 2nd, but still, we enjoyed it. I HATE history, so not teaching it is a plus.  PLUS I'm learning things with him I never did.  Don't remember a thing about history from my education.

MIsses 

Abeka Grade 2 Phonics - It wasn't bad or anything, but to us it seems completely a review from first and it was not needed for ds.  We did the lesson for a while, then we went to just the seat work, then we dropped.  

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Hits: 

Cottage Press Fable & Song was just what my daughter needed this year.  I had my doubts, but it has worked out well for her.  I love the classical lit selections and how every part of the lesson references the literature.  Writing was building outlines and re-telling of stories, and her writing has much improved.  It was interesting and gentle and challenging.  The diagrams are very complicated at the end of the book, so much that I often draw the structure for her to fill in.  I do have a complaint that space is tight for these tall diagrams with compound parts.  

Getting Started With Latin was painful for the first half of the year when I had my daughter writing out the translations.  Since switching to oral, it has been great, and her retention has improved!  I'm thinking of trying the Getting Started with Spanish, even though they have already had a lot of Spanish.

Abeka Spelling 1 was a good workbook for my first grader.  We didn't test this, I just had him do the workbook activities as extra practice in addition to LOE C & D, but I liked the way it was structured.

SOTW 2 was another good year.  We tried the audio at the beginning of the year and the kids didn't like it.  After a lot of Jim Weiss stories, we tried the audio again, and now they like it, and I think having the audio in the car is great for review.  We also listened to year 2 MOH audio.  It was a lot of church history.  I didn't like it as much as year 1 but still worthwhile.  The kids like it, even my 4 yr old asks for "history of mystery."

Misses:

Spelling Power:  Hated this. Such a ridiculous 50 pages of instructions.  All kinds of placement tests and we never were in a challenging list.  Sometimes she would test through 70 words and not get any wrong.  I retested and we were still in that section.  I gave up on it.

NOEO Chemistry 1:  So disappointing!  I kept expecting it to get better.   I did buy an older used version so maybe the new version is better.  This was very weak in comparison to our previous science years with Bookshark.  The reading sources were so boring, I felt like I would fall asleep reading them (not exaggerating but it was also always during afternoon when I was tired).  The experiments were mostly boring.  I can think of 2 good ones.   I gave up on the experiments at about week 28, and we just finished the rest of the reading.  No workbook pages or discussion questions either (bookshark had nice worksheets) just do your own notebooking, which I don't like at all.  Weird part is that the kids always were attentive to reading and seemed ok with it..  I feel badly because they requested chemistry and I was anticipating a lot of fun.

The Good and the Beautiful language arts 3 :  I purchased after someone I knew recommended it, but after looking through it, immediately resold.  It did not contain classical literature and artwork as I expected, and I did not like the religious content after realizing it was a Mormon publisher.  Definitely not a fit for us.

ETA:  was organizing the school books last night and found another miss. We tried Wordly Wise (I think 3000) but only used it for a couple of months.  My daughter worked through it without complaining and seemed to like the activities.  I did not like that it was so dry and the words in a list were not related.  I would prefer vocabulary based on their roots.  I just gradually left it out of our rotation until it was buried at the end of the bookshelf.

Edited by parent

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Hits

  • Singapore 5
  • The Sciences (Trefil/Hazen)
  • Moving Beyond the Page's online spelling (finally something with enough repetition!)

Misses

  • Steck-Vaughn Spelling 5
  • Hatchet (DS hated the story and we did not finish it)

 

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On 5/18/2019 at 7:26 AM, Sammish said:

EIW 6th grade - the grammar portion was fine, but once we got to the writing, there were so many tears. Having to come up with his own thing to write about (even given a topic), and then being told to edit it to make it sound better, without a lot of direction... It made me realize that IEW really was the right method for this child, and so we went back to it!

This was helpful. It helped crystalize my thoughts. 🙂 My oldest is using EIW6 and after a few other writing program failures, I'm loving it and felt like finally it's teaching HOW to write but without being super restrictive, which my son hates. It's so easy to use too. I've considered having my daughter start using it too, but hesitated and couldn't quite out my finger on why. But she hates coming up with her own thing to write, and now that you mention it, it probably isn't enough direction on how to improve her writing. I have been putting off trying IEW, but I think I just have to bite the bullet. Lol

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Hits:

Logic of English Foundations A for my youngest. He loves this. So fun and yet includes so much review and practice that he needs. 

Right Start Math, also for my youngest. He's very social, wiggly, and hands on.

Singapore math 2. In the middle of the year I switched my 2nd grader to RS so that he could play with all the manipulatives and games that his younger brother was doing. But after a couple weeks he asked to go back.

Bookshark, mostly. K science and history and LA2 were pretty good. The read alouds were a huge hit with both my 8&5yo boys. Science 3 was a hit, but history 3 was a miss for my daughter. Science 6 was not a hit as far as my son is concerned, but I consider it a hit. Lol. It got done and my son learned how to dig for information to answer questions. We will be using Bookshark again next year. It gets done, is mostly what I want, and I don't have to plan it. I'm tired of planning.

CLE math was a hit for my daughter for the second year in a row.

AAS- my daughter hates it, but I see her spelling improving.

Girls of American History- unit studies using American Girl doll books. My daughter LOVES this.

English From the Roots Up with notebook. My son liked this, probably cause he got to draw pictures. Lol

 

Misses:

Bookshark history 3, my daughter couldn't keep up with all the reading on her own and I couldn't read to her as it's intended.

Write@Home online classes. I felt like this was just assignments with no teaching.

Winning with Writing. I don't know, this just didn't work. I guess cause I expected it to be independent and it just wasn't.

Growing with Grammar. IDK it just didn't get done.

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