Thursday, March 25, 2010

HS curriculum?

Homeschooling is going very well. It is a perfect fit for Sarah (well, other than a few bad days). I have been happy with what we were doing but it is time to add more in and have a more thorough curriculum - she is ready! Plus, I have been doing this reading program for the last couple months. Some of the books were pretty bad- story without a point, no main subject, bad things happen in it. I was thinking well one bad story is okay I 'm sure the rest will be better... That was not the case and I am dumping the whole LA program. Just to verify I had hubby read one of the books and he said don't do another day of it.

So here I am curriculumless ... (It's a new word!) I have been praying, searching yahoo groups, review websites and curriculum sites- my head is spinning. I am no further than when I started! ugh!

So dear friends, I turn to you- the experts! We need to get settled in before it gets too busy with our new girls!

We are doing Saxon Math 3rd grade and love it (so far).
I need a LA curriculum - it has to be christian based.
I kind of want a full curriculum but I'm not sure?

I would love to do sonlight BUT I do not think it is a fit for us. Sarah does like workbooks and learns from them. She cannot just listen and learn. In some programs she would be a 1st grader and in other she would be a 2nd grader- depends on the program.

Currently I am looking at-
Christian Light Education
My Father World
Rod and Staff

Do you have an opinion on any of these? What do you use? What do you like?

I would love to hear from you!!
We need to find something fast!

Blessing to you!


Lori said...

I didn't homeschool my kids at that age so I'm not a good source of recommendation. But my boys used a lot from Abeka in their private Christian school and it was quite good. I've also heard good things about all the ones you listed!

Sorry, that wasn't helpful at all! :)

Angie said...

I'm using ABEKA with our newest son so he can get a good grasp on phonics and the language. Great workbooks and obviously Christian. I use Rod & Staff grammar with our oldest son. R&S is pretty intensive, but it has worked well for him. Good luck!

David and Sarah said...

I love My Father's World, although I didn't like the first grade curriculum. When Yana was 8 we used the optional 2nd grade curriculum (U.S. history). This worked wonderfully for us. The 5 year multi-aged curriculum is great for different aged children. I've used most of their suggestions for the other subjects and have been VERY happy with their choices. I had tried other things, but discovered that their recommendations were better. The only things that we've done differently are writing and some of the science. They also have a great library list for everything that you're studying. We've been happy with most every book that they suggest. It's a good mix of hands-on, Charlotte Mason method and workbooks.


a Tonggu Momma said...

My sister loved Sonlight and Abeca. And for grammar, spelling and reading comprehension basics, I cannot rave enough about the Sonday System (either level one or two, depending on where she is). It is used a ton with English Language Learners. Any questions about that one, just ask. We own level 1.

Karen said...

If Sarah likes workbooks, Abeka is great. We have used it for all of our kiddos at one time or another. We still use Abeka math for our older ones. The lower grades have a strong LA curriculum with a lot of repetition. The readers are easy enough for the younger children to read and have questions at the end of each story. Abeka lesson plans are very easy for the teacher to follow. They pretty much give you the word to say/teach. I currently have one using Abeka 1 grade, two in Abeka PreK and one finishing up Abeka Nursery. Oh and two older ones using a variety of of curriculums:-) I do love Sonlight, but I do not like their Language Arts program. I felt like it had a lot of holes in it. Sonlight's history and science are great and we continue to use them. Hope some of this helped.

susieloulou said...

Do you know the Happy Housewife? She blogs about her homeschooling :-)

Hezra said...

I have used MY Fathers world US history. We liked it a lot! I have most of the books from that set too ready to sell if you are interested. ;-)
(yes a shameless commercial)
We are finishing up Sonlight core 1/2
I LOVE Sonlight books, but I like the chronological history of my fathers world better. And the sonlight sets are LOTS of reading. We are having a hard time making time for all the reading and finishing up last years stuff!! So my next batch will be the creation to the greeks with some sonlight books thrown in.
Rod and staff is thorough, affordable and God based. I like some of their things more than others.
All about spelling is awesome!
Handwriting without tears-- incredible!
Math u see for 1-3
Teaching textbooks for 3 and up!
read Charlotte Mason handbook! good ideas.
I love McGuffey Readers and My fathers world language books(primary language lessons and intermediate language lessons)
I have never used Abeka so I can't review it for you.

Karen said...

Saxon math I would continue with. I used it up through 10th grade when my older oncs went into Christian school and they were very much ahead. I used all Abeka from pre=K through 10th gr with my older children and for the 2 years (2-4th gr. and 3-5th gr) I homeschooled Abby and Cheyenne. I especially liked the history and science, and well the writing and language, and well I liked all of it! I am an elementary teacher and have reviewed LOTS of curriculum and as an overall program liked this one best. The reason I used Saxon though was because it was constantly REVIEWING what had been taught and I liked that aspect. I'm not homeschooling now at all - had to go back to work (sigh).
Karen in Arkansas

Lacy said...

Hi Jean!
I am a lurker on your blog, but want to chime in on this topic.

For Language Arts we started Bob Jones this year and LOVE it. My son (grade 3) is doing the 2nd grade and he seems to be learning a lot from it. It uses a nice colorful workbook. Which he seems to enjoy.

I have used Rod and Staff for English for the last 3 years and none of my kids enjoyed it. I love R&S but the kids find it repetitive and boring. The do love all of the little readers though. They are the sweetest stories. R&S and Pathway Readers are books I plan to use to teach my grandchildren to read with. I just love them! I used First Language Lessons for grade 2. Justin and I just read it out loud and he loved it! He also just did a little McGraw Hill workbook along with it. Just to keep him busy and reinforce what he was learning.

My kids have also used ABeka and like it a lot too. Like Lori's children, mine used ABeka in their Christian school and seemed to do well with it.

Good luck with whatever you choose. It is such a hard decision. I spend so much time and money on buying curriculum I never use. It is frustrating! We all just want to use the best of the best for our little treasures.

Chris said...

Jean, the reading and phonics for the lower grades from Rod and Staff is very nice and affordable and very workbook oriented.
They will let you return books to them if you tell them as you place your order that you are looking them over. I think there is a place to check your intentions on the order form, but I am sure you could tell them if you call an order in. They also have free samples of most subjects that you can order to look at.
Joely is doing well with it. It is pretty methodical and organized and the reading is pretty much totally Bible stories put in paragraph form.
It is not colorful, but that is what keeps them inexpensive.
R&S would be a good way to go with the additional girls coming.
I also like their Science books, starting with Grade 3 because they are short, to the point and easy to teach.
I agree that the English books get pretty boring, but the 2nd grade book is nice and you could switch after that. We are not into the English book yet, just reading and phonics.
Good Luck, it's always hard to pick.

Tavianna said...

Hi Jean!
I have followed your blog since you were traveling to adopt Sarah. Your family is absolutely beautiful and a joy to watch unfold. I'm so excited to see your girls come home!

I wanted to mention a curriculum that I've been using with my boys for a few years now and it is just the BEST thing we've ever come across. The author is Susan Wise Bauer and she publishes her books through Peace Hill Press. Her history books are wonderful to read aloud together. Her writing curriculum is fun (almost an oxymoron in most cases!) And the grammar is fantastic. I would encourage you to look at all her stuff. It really has fostered a great combination of enjoyable days together, work at your own pace learning, and a good education assurance on the parents part!

Good luck. Curriculum choices are always a good adventure in prayer!!!