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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HomeSchool » Top Picks
Top Picks [message #814520] Tue, 03 November 2015 18:11 Go to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4138
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
No matter what the grade, without limiting subject...I'd love your top picks for homeschooling. Was it a complete curriculum? A brand of microscope? A scheduling technique? A unique course of study? Projects? An incredible resource?

I'd like to know your top homeschooling picks, the reason they made it to your top and if you tweaked it, and what age or grade bracket your kids were when it was used. I'd like to know your impression, how your kids took to it (if applicable) and what kind of learner you think would most benefit.


Peace
Re: Top Picks [message #814539 is a reply to message #814520 ] Wed, 04 November 2015 15:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cammie  is currently offline Cammie
Messages: 1861
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
Anna is severly dyslexic so our choices were limited.

Visual Latin DVD's (6 dvds over 2 years) middle school or high school. My dd loved them.

Anything put out by compass clasroom.

Lyrical science another favorite of Annas. She also loved apologias elemenarty science series. I read them all to her and we did the expeiments

She loved watching all types of history dvds especially Liberty Kids when she was little. and any subject that could be put to music. The states and capital cd was one of her favorites for a long time.

All the Five in a Row books

Movies as Literature

I did alot of the reading and writing for her in all our choices. We did lots of field trips (not expensive ones but we had family passes to the zoo, sciemce museum, art museum etc.) We went to tons of plays, opera dress rehearsals, symphony dress rehearsals etc . Dress rehearsals were cheap.

[Updated on: Wed, 04 November 2015 15:42]


Cammie
Re: Top Picks [message #814558 is a reply to message #814520 ] Thu, 05 November 2015 10:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Diana P.  is currently offline Diana P.
Messages: 4039
Registered: April 2005
Location: New England
Senior Member
Considering God's Creation (science-younger grades-everything in one book, hands-on)

Mystery of History-We did Volumes 1-3, now there is a Volume 4. (middle-high)-assignments for all kinds of learners (visual, hands on, etc..)

Movies as Literature (high school)-Watch specific movies and complete Literature assignments. Most movies available at the local library or on Netflix.

Geography Matters Trail Guides (Trail Guide for US Geography, Trail Guide for World Geography, etc..). All assignments in the book are given; extra materials required to complete. Kind of a pull-together-your-own-projects geography curriculum. (used for K-6)

We used ABeka's math for grades k-4. Gives a good foundation, and user friendly.
Too many problems, so we just did what was necessary. BUT, after grade 4, it goes downhill. Highly recommend Teaching Textbooks or Math-U-See after that...both computer; one is a teacher on a video (MUS) and the other (TT) is audio lecture with problems worked out on the screen and solutions instantly available.

Reading-When they were younger, I just compiled lists of great books for them to read, no specific curriculum. I recommend getting a copy of "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt. Excellent resource with a breakdown of good books by age, up to 14. (She also has one for teens).

Grammar/Writing-Again, when they were younger, Abeka's grammar was good..solid and thorough. Sometimes, TOO thorough. Wink So, again, as with their math, I pared it down and tweaked it so the kids wouldn't get overwhelmed. As they entered middle school, it just became too much for my dd, though my son used it right through middle school and did well. For high school, he switched to Easy Grammar Ultimate and used Wordsmith for composition. For his last year of high school, he used www.writeguide.com (online writing tutor). Dd is in high school now, and she is using Easy Grammar Plus and doing excellent with it; highly recommend.

Will come back if I think of anything else. Wink




[Updated on: Thu, 05 November 2015 10:18]


Grace & Peace,
Diana

"Do your best, then rest"

Re: Top Picks [message #819528 is a reply to message #814520 ] Mon, 13 February 2017 02:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4138
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
I'm bumping this up with the hopes of catching a few more answers from our CHF ladies.

Thanks!


Peace
Re: Top Picks [message #819529 is a reply to message #814520 ] Mon, 13 February 2017 09:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2166
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
Well, I never bought a whole lot of curriculum (not much money), but I can share what we had that I would definitely buy again:

Five in a Row - My kids still talk about these books and there was a lot of room for learning through play.

Nest, Animated Heroes - These are animated videos and workbooks that teach biographies. They were fun, but a great introduction to important historical figures.

Story of the World - We use this for History in co-op. It is a read-aloud book that even I've learned so much from! There are lots of supplements you can find online to create a whole history program.

IEW - A writing program. We do this with the middle-schoolers at co-op, but they have elementary levels, too. It really teaches the basics of how the write. I went to college to be an English teacher and I was never taught a lot of this stuff!

When they were younger we really liked Math-U-See. They liked the hand-on approach to place value. But, it eventually stopped working for us and we switched to Teaching Textbooks last year, which they really seem to like.


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Top Picks [message #819537 is a reply to message #819529 ] Tue, 14 February 2017 11:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jamie
Messages: 4138
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
praise2christ wrote on Mon, 13 February 2017 09:52

Well, I never bought a whole lot of curriculum (not much money), but I can share what we had that I would definitely buy again:

Five in a Row - My kids still talk about these books and there was a lot of room for learning through play.

Nest, Animated Heroes - These are animated videos and workbooks that teach biographies. They were fun, but a great introduction to important historical figures.

Story of the World - We use this for History in co-op. It is a read-aloud book that even I've learned so much from! There are lots of supplements you can find online to create a whole history program.

IEW - A writing program. We do this with the middle-schoolers at co-op, but they have elementary levels, too. It really teaches the basics of how the write. I went to college to be an English teacher and I was never taught a lot of this stuff!

When they were younger we really liked Math-U-See. They liked the hand-on approach to place value. But, it eventually stopped working for us and we switched to Teaching Textbooks last year, which they really seem to like.


I'm glad you mentioned Five in a Row, as it is one I'm considering. We really enjoyed Before Five In A Row, though we embellished it on our own vs what was found in the curriculum. Could you share if FIAR is fine for kids who don't yet read? Meaning, I'm fine reading to Jonah, but I had the impression that the supporting work would require the child to read / write already. Jonah's still learning.


Peace
Re: Top Picks [message #819539 is a reply to message #819537 ] Tue, 14 February 2017 18:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2166
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
Jamie wrote on Tue, 14 February 2017 11:10

I'm glad you mentioned Five in a Row, as it is one I'm considering. We really enjoyed Before Five In A Row, though we embellished it on our own vs what was found in the curriculum. Could you share if FIAR is fine for kids who don't yet read? Meaning, I'm fine reading to Jonah, but I had the impression that the supporting work would require the child to read / write already. Jonah's still learning.


I think it could go either way. If you wanted him to write as he learns, there are lessons that you could incorporate that. But, if he doesn't yet have that skill, you can easily make the lessons purely verbal or artistic (draw a picture instead of words). Much of it is either conversational or activity based.

I supplemented with lapbooks and we ended up spending two or more weeks on each book. But, even the lapbooks I used, which I found free online, didn't require much writing. I could have easily served as a scribe and I think I did at times.

To give you an idea of what the lessons are like, here are the ones for "The Story of Ping":

- talking about discernment with your child
- placing a "story disk" on a map where the story takes place (this is done for each book)
- discussing how big the Yangtze river is
- learning about Chinese culture and discussing similarities and difference
- introducing the concept of "classic" literature and discussing why Ping falls in this category
- explaining the difference between fiction and non-fiction
- explaining the literary device of repetition (possibly having your child make up a story that uses this device)
- talking about art mediums and figuring out which medium was used for the book
- looking for examples of how to draw water in the book and practicing it
- talking about viewpoint in art
- counting the number of pages on which the Yangtze River appears and discussing how that is a "unifying theme"
- Counting different objects in the book to practice counting
- Talking about ducks and possibly go to a park to feed some
- Introducing buoyancy and experiment with items that float/sink
- Discussing water safety
- Talking about reflection of light by pointing out how things are reflected in the water in the illustrations.

You basically pick and choose which lessons you want to do. Some could be really simple and some could be much more complicated. Also, there are a ton of ideas to add to it on Pinterest. In all honestly, you could probably stretch a book out for over a month if he didn't get bored with it. Sorry if that was more than you needed to know! Laughing


Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Top Picks [message #819542 is a reply to message #819539 ] Wed, 15 February 2017 08:36 Go to previous message
Jamie
Messages: 4138
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
praise2christ wrote on Tue, 14 February 2017 18:54

Jamie wrote on Tue, 14 February 2017 11:10

I'm glad you mentioned Five in a Row, as it is one I'm considering. We really enjoyed Before Five In A Row, though we embellished it on our own vs what was found in the curriculum. Could you share if FIAR is fine for kids who don't yet read? Meaning, I'm fine reading to Jonah, but I had the impression that the supporting work would require the child to read / write already. Jonah's still learning.


I think it could go either way. If you wanted him to write as he learns, there are lessons that you could incorporate that. But, if he doesn't yet have that skill, you can easily make the lessons purely verbal or artistic (draw a picture instead of words). Much of it is either conversational or activity based.

I supplemented with lapbooks and we ended up spending two or more weeks on each book. But, even the lapbooks I used, which I found free online, didn't require much writing. I could have easily served as a scribe and I think I did at times.

To give you an idea of what the lessons are like, here are the ones for "The Story of Ping":

- talking about discernment with your child
- placing a "story disk" on a map where the story takes place (this is done for each book)
- discussing how big the Yangtze river is
- learning about Chinese culture and discussing similarities and difference
- introducing the concept of "classic" literature and discussing why Ping falls in this category
- explaining the difference between fiction and non-fiction
- explaining the literary device of repetition (possibly having your child make up a story that uses this device)
- talking about art mediums and figuring out which medium was used for the book
- looking for examples of how to draw water in the book and practicing it
- talking about viewpoint in art
- counting the number of pages on which the Yangtze River appears and discussing how that is a "unifying theme"
- Counting different objects in the book to practice counting
- Talking about ducks and possibly go to a park to feed some
- Introducing buoyancy and experiment with items that float/sink
- Discussing water safety
- Talking about reflection of light by pointing out how things are reflected in the water in the illustrations.

You basically pick and choose which lessons you want to do. Some could be really simple and some could be much more complicated. Also, there are a ton of ideas to add to it on Pinterest. In all honestly, you could probably stretch a book out for over a month if he didn't get bored with it. Sorry if that was more than you needed to know! Laughing



No, that's great info, Stacy. Thanks for taking the time.


Peace
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