Friday, April 3, 2015

Duds and Stars of our Curriculum 2014-15

THE Good THE Bad THE Ugly
This past school year we used and experimented with a lot of different curriculum. Finally, we settled on what was working for our family.
Clever Dragons
My son found this somewhat fun, he just felt that the learning portion of this was disjointed and didn't follow a pattern. This only lasted for one month before I realized it wasn't working for us.

Write Guide
We'd expected more feedback on the written essays, but the comments were too general to really deep dive into helping my daughter. We liked being able to be specific in what she learned, but we needed more.

Abeka Math 6
My son needed more review of key concepts. Although, Abeka touched on these, it wasn't sticking for him. So I had to put together another option.

Abeka Spelling
It was way too many words and definitions for my son to learn weekly. He really struggled with this.


Writing and Rhetoric:
This was working for my son, however, it takes more of my time than I have to give to do this with him. So we are moving it to next school year.

Simply Music:
This teaches piano by teaching the songs. I didn't like that it didn't teach my son to read music also. So I am trying to find a supplement for the teaching of music in addition to this method.

CTC Math:
I'd considered this for my daughter to get some Calculas and Pre-Calculas instruction and practice, but from reviews I see that it doesn't do a good job of explaining the answers to the problems. I'm on the fense with this one and may wait til I see a sale to try it out.

Saxon Calculus with Dive DVDs:
My oldest daughter would like to be exposed to Calc before taking the course at the Community College. I have this on my shelf since it was the only DVD based Calc curriculum I felt would work for us. We had planned on using it with CTC Math or some other online interactive review tool.


Abeka DVDs:
This really worked for us. My husand and I were always on the same page while teaching. The kids seem to enjoy a workbook based curriculum that comes with teaching videos and teacher help.

We all liked that this was a well laid out writing course. My students got lots of great and valid feedback on their work. The only problem is, it seems that we take longer to finish it than the 9 weeks.

Time4Learning (High School):
I used this as a supplement for my 6th grader. He enjoyed it, but even noted that he couldn't do that for his main curriculum. We used it for a review and soft intro into Biology and US History for him.

Saxon Math:
This is working well for my son. It gives him lots of practice and we are able to deep dive into topics.

Teaching Textbooks:
We use this as a supplement - another way to do math. It didn't work as our core math curriculum in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Math 6 or Math 7. It did work as a form of 'review' for those subjects though. However, it was the best option for Geometry and Pre-Calculus simply because my daughter seemed to like the format for those maths and it was an 'easier' choice than Abeka.

This is a good vocabulary tool we got through Homebuyers Co op. However, I don't like that there is limited control on the word review and that the kid has to get each game 100% correct to move on. It has been frustrating for us.

Landry Classes:
These classes were a great 'classroom' experience for my daughter. She learned Python programming language through Landry and is going to their Game Programming Camp.

Currclick Classes:
Oh what a bargain and my daughter mention these were her most fun classes. She took Web Design, Psychology and various History workshop courses. We will be signing up for more of these.

Digipen Courses:
These were very informative. They only need to work on their method for involving kids in the discussion and not just shoveling information. My daughter wants to give their Game Programming Academy a try next year.

Youth Digital:
This is a great curriculum. My older girl is pretty much done with them and took four of their classes. My son, however, loves the classes. He took Mod Design and is taking another class next year.

MineCraft Homeschool:
Fun with a bit of learning thrown in. My son liked the format of the class and the interaction and task to complete within Minecraft.

My son enjoyed this but has since outgrown it when he started with Youth Digital.

My daughter really enjoys the videos and this form of learning difficult topics. So much so she reviewed classes taught by Abeka using this tool.

Code Academy:
This was a wonderful compliment to my daughter's Landry Python class. She enjoyed working the labs here. Although, she noted that it couldn't be a stand alone class.
Java Class (online Free) was a great tool for my daughter to use after learning Java with Youth Digitial Mod Design.

Sequential Spelling with Spelling You See:
We didn't use Abeka's Spelling after our 2nd quarter block schedule. It was too many words for my son to memorize and definitions to learn. So we combined both Sequential Spelling and Spelling You See and it's improved his spelling greatly. Also, he doesn't complain about it.

CLEP Professor Algebra:
This was a great review tool! My daughter said it clarified a lot of what she'd learned in Algebra thus far.

IXL (for Language Arts and Math Review & Drill):
We got a discount through our Umbrella group to try this out and we loved it! It's a great resource for our school day.

MiddleBury Interactive Languages:
We enjoyed this well laid out language review. We skipped the 'with teacher' offer since it seemed the teacher involvement was limited. We used this with feature to get a tutor who spoke the language of choice.

Mango Languages:
This was free through out library and we enjoyed it. However, it wasn't a lesson by lesson lay out that we enjoyed most with Middlebury.

A vocabulary Tool to help with word recognition.

Logic DVD Based Currulum with Compass Classroom
Comes with DVDs, Test, Quizzes and Teachers Manual. Can't wait to try this out.


This week went off smoothly. Also, momma goofed off. Big time. So the kiddos did their work independ of me completely.

I plan on checking their work on Friday, and what they skipped, missed, or need to fix, will be done on Saturday.

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