Well, we survived the first year, but our kids were not very thrilled with the curriculum in a can approach as I mentioned last Jan. We did try to lighten up on the rigidity of the kits schedule etc., but felt guilty if we didn't plug along and finish the workbooks we had already started for fear of leaving something important out. The curriculum we used was from Bob Jones, and I will say it was very good material; but the "Heritage Studies" seemed lacking and my son esp. struggled with the Math and English materials from this company. Both our children are very bright in many ways, but are academically challenged (and thats O.K.!,) Here are my questions and again I so appreciate all of you for any input; we are still trying to figure out our kids learning styles etc. I will also mention that due to some limitations with our jobs, that the Unit Study approach may not be for us; since I have heard it requires alot of prep. and may not entirely cover all the basics to the extent needed...?
1. What would you recommend for a weak math student, to transition to from a 3rd and 5th grade level Bob Jones Math book?
2. Same for English (we used Grade 4 and 6 BobJones workbooks)- These books have a guided practice page and then the work page, I know we all need to know how to read and write; but all this sentence diagramming and language rules/parts of speech etc. have given the kids fits; they hate it! Is there a better way to teach English; or, can we simply just teach them how to read and write, (using common sense with the proper "use" of our language, spelling, and vocabulary as a whole, or do we really have to get into the "nuts and bolts" of it by gross dissection of its anatomy and physiology and force the memorization of all the "rules" and terms? I want them to have the opportunity (if they wish) to go to college but our pasto said we need to cover everything if they stand a chance of getting in.....
3. What about History and Science? Again, the curricula we bought was very dry and the kids completely dropped the Science and read a book about Animal Husbandry ( we just got cows- it was helpful) Again, they are in the 5th and 7th grades (except Math and English, a little behind in each by public school standards) We want to be thorough in case of college, but maybe teach in a more exciting way or with fresh materials other than what a BobJones worktext can offer. I know some use the "living books" approach, but my kids are not avid readers either- sad but true, help needed here also.... What are some good quality History and Science resources we could use that would cover all the basics and then some...
4. Basically we want to create our own Family Curricula, based on our kids interests, but also cover the "veggies" needed to reassure the possibilty of college should they decide to go. What do you home-made curricula experts say?
For Math you could try Math-U-See or other similar hands-on program.
I'm using All About Spelling this year and am so excited to start.
For grammar/writing you can use a program like Applied Grammar
Science : Apologia.
I would start with determining each of your children's learning styles that will ultimately drive your decisions. I recently attended a seminar given by Diane Waring that was very helpful to me in evaluating my child's learning style. She has also written a History curriculum.
Attend a homeschool conference near you WITH your children and look at all the options. There is soooooo much out there and what works for my family may not work for yours.
If you are looking at something specific throw it out there, I'm sure someone on THC has used it and would be willing to give feedback.
Thanks!!!! We are planning to attend a conference this July ( our first) in Atlanta.. can't wait! So far I've tentatively planned on trying Math U See, Beautiful Feet-Early American History living books series, and am torn between Apologia and Answers in Genesis for our Science. Still looking at grammar options and will check out your suggestions.. Thanks again! If you see an obvious calamity in the above mentioned, please warn me ASAP!
AiG's History is written by Diana Waring; she's the one that helped me discover my child's learning style. Haven't looked at her curriculum yet but have heard really good things about it.
Please check back in after the convention and let me know what gems you discovered. I go a little crazy at conventions. We'd be broke if my husband didn't control the purse string those two days every year.
Will do1 Thank you for taking time to read my dissertation. I will check out the AIG history, I bet it would be very interesting compared to what we used last year. The kids love that museum in KY
We loved it too. We are planning on going back in another year. We were hoping to go coinciding with The Ark Encounter grand opening but it doesn't look like that is going to be completed any time soon :(
1. Have you tried taking the placement tests for math from Alpha Omega? It is free on their site.
2. I used Rod/Staff until 8th grade then used A&O for a while.
3. I would highly recommend Christian LIberty Press history
4. We gernerally use reading books to teach history and then do a family fun geography together. Math, I let them go at their pace...if a grade takes longer so be it if they are 'getting it'. For language comp we have them read any book of choice then learn to write essays. It may freak out some 'teachers' on here, but past 8th grade or maybe 7th depending on curriculum I do not see the value in spending a year diagramming sentances. It is good to know parts of speech really well though. The best way for your kids to learn to write well and speak well is reading quality well written books:)
Science has always been a weak point for us. they do lots of fun projects, learn the 'table', experiement. learn about plants/animals. We get a science book and all use it according to their level...none of that likely helps but that is for the most part what we do:)