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Making a more general thread, on top of my CLE/6th grade specific one. 

If you have kids that prefer a more "just the facts/textbook" approach...what do you use and reccomend? Or know about. Or anything....oh and especially what do you hate?

Notgrass history worked well for my older kid like that, in highschool, but I do not like their elementary stuff. Boring as dirt and instead of focusing on major events it was stuff like, "here is this missionary guy you never heard of and his boring family life" for 3 pages. Masterbooks seems to be way too young earth creationist for us, I think. Looking at CLE, but what else?

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For 6th grade, you could consider using Human Odyssey by K12. It's pretty widely recommended on here. The negative is that it is just a textbook. There is no teacher book, tests, etc. I want to say that there might be an activity guide for volume 1?  Anyway, it's secular but I felt like it was not unkind to Christians. I thought all three volumes were well done.  You buy it used on Amazon.  We also used OUP's World in Ancient Times, etc. books.  

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Posted (edited)

Textbook was not our style, but you might check out Abeka. We actually used excerpts from their OLD 8th grade Science textbook and it was fine. I've also heard positive feedback about their History/Social Studies books for the elementary grades.

For Science, you might check out some of the Ellen McHenry units -- I hear loads of positive feedback on these boards about her stuff, esp. Rocks & Dirt, Brain, Elements, etc.

Secular ideas might include the Prentice Hall Science Explorer texts for Science, and History of Our World for middle school History text, or textbooks from Pearson.

Or, the Pandia Press History Odyssey for grades 5-8, choosing which chronological period you want to cover.

Or, the "concise edition" of History of US by Hakim if doing US History.

 

Edited by Lori D.
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5 minutes ago, cintinative said:

For 6th grade, you could consider using Human Odyssey by K12. It's pretty widely recommended on here....

We didn't use this, but from the samples, it looks like this is more for upper elementary grades in reading level and volume of reading -- is that the case?

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Posted (edited)

One of mine did very well with Glencoe's Journey Across Time (middle grades history textbook).  Since it is/was used in many public schools, it is easy to google and see samples (even the whole book...), worksheets, audio, etc.  Like this... https://sites.google.com/a/beaverton.k12.or.us/pinckney/ss-textbook

 

And a few of mine did very well with Abeka science in the middle grades; we would skip the sections that specifically focused on creationism vs evolution, but the rest of the book was very easy to schedule and easy to get done.  One of my children who had HUGE problems with reading comprehension made great gains with doing Abeka science daily for a few years. 

 

 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

We didn't use this, but from the samples, it looks like this is more for upper elementary grades in reading level and volume of reading -- is that the case?

I thought it was designed for 7th, 8th, and 9th (HO1, HO2, HO3) but I know people have used it 6th, 7th, and 8th.  I wasn't completely sure which dc this was for--I thought the rising 6th grader. If that is not the case, please disregard @ktgrok

ETA: I read the first book aloud when my kids were in 5th and 6th

If we are talking rising middle school we did like The Elements/Carbon Chemistry by Mc Henry and we also liked ACS' Middle School Chemistry (although it's very hands on)

Edited by cintinative
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43 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

We didn't use this, but from the samples, it looks like this is more for upper elementary grades in reading level and volume of reading -- is that the case?

We are using the first book in 5th, but it's pretty solid middle school level for the series. The downside is there are no questions or work in the book.  It's very similar to SOTW that way.

For textbooks, I usually have no problem going on AbeBooks and picking one of the top public school publishers - Harcourt, Pearson, Houghton-Mifflin, Glencoe...and typing in that plus the subject.  I can usually find something as a 'backup book' to put on my shelf that way.  Turns out, ds is using one for next year.  He picked the Glencoe Physical Science book off my shelf and is enamored with the set up.  We did a sample lesson and, well, that is now science next year.

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12 minutes ago, Zoo Keeper said:

One of mine did very well with Glencoe's Journey Across Time (middle grades history textbook).  Since it is/was used in many public schools, it is easy to google and see samples (even the whole book...), worksheets, audio, etc.  Like this... https://sites.google.com/a/beaverton.k12.or.us/pinckney/ss-textbook

 

And a few of mine did very well with Abeka science in the middle grades; we would skip the sections that specifically focused on creationism vs evolution, but the rest of the book was very easy to schedule and easy to get done.  One of my children who had HUGE problems with reading comprehension made great gains with doing Abeka science daily for a few years. 

 

 

I hadn't thought of Abeka, I'll take a look. We managed to get through some of Apologia's science in highschool with my son, just skipping creationism chapters, so sounds similar. 

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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

Or, the Pandia Press History Odyssey for grades 5-8, choosing which chronological period you want to cover.

History Odyssey is good, but I wouldn't call it a textbook. It's more of a schedule for reading the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and the Story of Mankind, as well as outline, timeline and summary assignments. Also, they increasingly incorporate historical novels and literary elements into the lessons as the levels progress, which I think is a little bit weird, and not exactly what I was looking for, but skipping them is not a big deal.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, knitgrl said:

History Odyssey is good, but I wouldn't call it a textbook. It's more of a schedule for reading the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and the Story of Mankind, as well as outline, timeline and summary assignments. Also, they increasingly incorporate historical novels and literary elements into the lessons as the levels progress, which I think is a little bit weird, and not exactly what I was looking for, but skipping them is not a big deal.

Interesting! My mistake -- I was thinking their teaching book was a spine text they had written, and then scheduled all the other elements as supplement to their spine text. Thanks for the correction.

Edited by Lori D.
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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Interesting! My mistake -- I was thinking their teaching book was a spine text they had written, and then scheduled all the other elements as supplement to their spine text. Thanks for the correction.

You are not entirely wrong! They recently put out their own books for Ancient and Middle Ages for the lower grades. Middle school is still in their original format. It would be nice to ditch Story of Mankind. I sub in K-12 Human Odyssey for those readings, which they always label as "optional."

ETA: I haven't seen their texts to have any idea if they could be used for middle school or not.

ETA Part 2: I am behind the times! They have their own books for Early Modern and Modern Times for elementary as well.

Edited by knitgrl
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Rod and staff science was/is a good fit for one of mine.  it's very structured and includes built-in review.  There are easy activities you can do i f you wish, but they can also be skipped without causing issues.  The 3rd and 4th grade book aren't young earthy.  I bought the 5th grade book, but haven't used it yet.  It has some goofiness in the first lesson, which also shows up in the review for that chapter.  I couldn't find anything else objectionable.  The 6th grade and up books will probably be too young-earth though.

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My World History and My World Geography were good secular options.  I used both (supplemented with reading books as needed).  They include workbooks if you want to use one.  The Joy Hakim series for American History.  I like a textbook for a base, starting around 6-7th grade.  I can add to it, but it gives me a good outline to build from.  I consider all of those options good for 6-9th grades.

I haven't found a good textbook for middle school science.  DD1&2 used the RSO Biology and Chemistry courses, and my current 7th graders have been using high school textbooks since 6th grade (I think they are advanced- they did the RSO in 4th and 5th grade).  My 4th grader will use RSO Chemistry next year in 5th grade, but its still good for 6th grade if you haven't taught into Chemistry.  

The only textbook-workbook I know of for English is Mosdos Press.  DD2 really liked it, used it for levels 4-7.  I have tried with my boys- they don't care for it, and neither does the younger one- I just put them all in my to sell pile.

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6 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

 

I haven't found a good textbook for middle school science. 

I thought CPO Earth Science was pretty good. The experiments were hard to duplicate at co-op, but we managed with many of them. There is a blog I used that showed how she had adapted many of the labs. 

As texts go, we didn't mind Prentice Hall Science Explorer (we did the physics titles).  I liked that there was a reading guide they could use to help them take notes/digest the information.  I am picky, but we all thought the experiments in the book were awful. They were either too simple or nearly impossible to pull off.  Apparently there is another lab text for the Physical Science book that my friend used, and she said that worked out. 

 

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I have liked the middle grade Science Fusion “worktexts” that I purchased on Amazon. I love the format...it is a combination of a workbook and textbook. You read and then it asks questions as you go, guiding you to read back through the section to focus on vocabulary or summarize a section. I see it as a great ‘learn to study a textbook’ resource, which was what I was specifically looking for. 
There are several different topics you can choose from. The Human Body, Space Science, Dynamic Earth, Force & Motion, etc. I just noticed there are other grade levels, as well.

https://www.amazon.com/ScienceFusion-Student-Interactive-Worktext-Science/dp/0547589417/ref=sr_1_23?dchild=1&keywords=Science+fusion&qid=1621014973&sr=8-23
 

 

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1 hour ago, cougarmom4 said:

I have liked the middle grade Science Fusion “worktexts” that I purchased on Amazon. I love the format...it is a combination of a workbook and textbook. You read and then it asks questions as you go, guiding you to read back through the section to focus on vocabulary or summarize a section. I see it as a great ‘learn to study a textbook’ resource, which was what I was specifically looking for. 
There are several different topics you can choose from. The Human Body, Space Science, Dynamic Earth, Force & Motion, etc. I just noticed there are other grade levels, as well.

https://www.amazon.com/ScienceFusion-Student-Interactive-Worktext-Science/dp/0547589417/ref=sr_1_23?dchild=1&keywords=Science+fusion&qid=1621014973&sr=8-23
 

 

How long does one module last for?

I'm actually not too worried about science - we are a science focused household in general - I was a vet tech, my mom was a nurse, DH is a cybersecurity professional with multiple computer science degrees, DS works at a vet clinic, etc. We naturally enjoy and spend time on science "stuff" in our regular lives - be that listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, watching youtube videos, etc. That, she likes, and my view is as long as she gets an overview I'm fine. We may do one of the Bookshark Science kits together or something like that. But this does look interesting. 

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22 hours ago, Lori D. said:

We didn't use this, but from the samples, it looks like this is more for upper elementary grades in reading level and volume of reading -- is that the case?

Middle school, for sure.

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3 hours ago, ktgrok said:

How long does one module last for?

I'm actually not too worried about science - we are a science focused household in general - I was a vet tech, my mom was a nurse, DH is a cybersecurity professional with multiple computer science degrees, DS works at a vet clinic, etc. We naturally enjoy and spend time on science "stuff" in our regular lives - be that listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, watching youtube videos, etc. That, she likes, and my view is as long as she gets an overview I'm fine. We may do one of the Bookshark Science kits together or something like that. But this does look interesting. 

Oh, sorry. I didn’t see a subject specified so just wanted to share.

Each book has about four units, with maybe 3-4 lessons per unit. My 8th grader completed three modules for the year...she typically read one lesson one day a week and on a second day she would complete the Lesson Review pages. When she was more interested in the unit, she would move a bit more quickly and do two lessons a week. I was a bit more relaxed with science, so she did these almost entirely on her own, but she really loved the structure of them and I love that it guided her to read for deeper understanding. Kind of like I was questioning her as she read, but she could do them on her own. The only con is that I couldn’t find an answer key, ha, so I had to actually do the reading as well so we could have discussions. But it worked out pretty well.

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So, at this point, just to confuse y'all (and myself) contenders for next year for the 11 yr old rising 6th grader are at extremes - Notgrass or CLE on one end, or Bookshark on the other, for history. And for science, either Apologia Astronomy (yes, she knows a lot of it already, but she really does want to study it more, and they have a course that is for up to 6th grade, with the regular student notebook), or at the other end of the spectrum, Bookshark Science F (also has a decent amount of astronomy, but other stuff too). It's not textbooks, but the workpages are clear and factual based, with page references in each section to refer to for the answers, instead of "if you were a scientist what would you create" type stuff that she hates. (basically her main request is no creative writing in her science and history!)

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11 hours ago, Terabith said:

I could never do Apologia astronomy.  The whole young earth creationism thing permeates the whole program.  

I was wondering. My older son did Biology and it was really just one chapter...but if the whole program in Astronomy is constantly talking about stars being less than 4,000 years old or whatever...that wouldn't work. 

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6 hours ago, ktgrok said:

I was wondering. My older son did Biology and it was really just one chapter...but if the whole program in Astronomy is constantly talking about stars being less than 4,000 years old or whatever...that wouldn't work. 

I mean, my main experience with it was glancing through it casually like 8 years ago, so I could be wrong, but I vaguely recall it being pretty prevalent.  I could use their stuff when my kids were early elementary and I was reading it aloud and could edit it on my own, but once the kids were old enough to read it on their own, just.......no.  

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So,looks like we are going to go with Bookshark Level F, Eastern Hemispheres. She likes cultures/geography stuff, which it is, and that level as the student notebooking pages which seem pretty factual and not "how would you feel if" type stuff. And she really liked the look of Bookshark Science. 

So, I think we will do that with her, and if need be can find audio books for some of the books. And Bookshark B for my 3rd grader.  

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15 hours ago, ktgrok said:

So,looks like we are going to go with Bookshark Level F, Eastern Hemispheres. She likes cultures/geography stuff, which it is, and that level as the student notebooking pages which seem pretty factual and not "how would you feel if" type stuff. And she really liked the look of Bookshark Science. 

So, I think we will do that with her, and if need be can find audio books for some of the books. And Bookshark B for my 3rd grader.  

If you find you want/need additional books or substitute books, check out the Guest Hollow Jr. Geography (gr. 1-6).

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2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

If you find you want/need additional books or substitute books, check out the Guest Hollow Jr. Geography (gr. 1-6).

Good idea! We considered doing that instead for next year, with both kids, but I think after a year of only each other as playmates, they need separate, one on one school work with mom this coming year. But a great idea to look for books there!

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