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Favorite courses of study for homeschooled kids?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm working on dd's curriculum for the next semester, and was wondering what some of your kids favorite things have been.  I'm not looking for a list of random resources or links, but, rather, a specific book for one subject of study.  So, not, "my kids have really enjoyed Sonlight," but, "There was this engineering for kids book."  Or, a particular survey of history.


Dd absorbs information very quickly.  She only needs one pass for mastery, usually, and that includes verbatim memorization of passages.  Anything that tries to "deepen the experience" by endless activities and the like are just annoying tedium for her and I.  Occasionally, she will choose to do some crafty thing in relation to something she has read, or create some dramatic theatrical thing, but usually, she just wants the facts, and to move on to more information. 


I am particularly interested in STEM materials, but I'll take any suggestions.


Oh, and dd is 8, but is working on an upper 5th/6th grade level.


Thanks so much! 

post #2 of 5
For math I'd suggest looking into Singapore Math if she's not yet ready for pre-algebra, possibly Art of Problem Solving instead if she is. We're pretty unschooly so we haven't really used much curriculum other than that. Rosetta Stone for living languages, Cambridge Latin for my kid who was keen on that. Lots of science documentaries and podcasts. Interest led independent reading. Interest-specific books. We're Canadian and enjoyed The Story of Canada (Lunn et al) for Canadian history.

post #3 of 5

Mine is 9 (about to be 10) and works at various levels above his would-be grade level (4th) depending on the subject.  He's currently loving Carbon Chemistry from Ellen McHenry's Basement.  We've been big fans of Life of Fred for math--especially if you don't need drilling.  There's a bit of recall but nothing like regular curricula.  Mine has actually been reading the books ahead of where he is just to enjoy the stories of them.  


We did NOT like Calculus Without Tears because it was straight-up boring.  Same for Calculus for Young People (mine was on a calc tangent).


Otherwise, we are seeking out astronomy to address his level of knowledge and simultaneously his age.  Tough task.  And he's delving into architecture and programming, but has classes for that.  He'll be learning Java by way of making Minecraft mods through YouthDigital.com and we also have the Java & Android TeenCoder curricula from homeschoolprogramming.com.  They've had good reviews.  For architecture, homeschoolarchitecture.com has classes and although the Intro to Architecture lists the lower end age as 11--she is open to considering younger kids.  I've put mine in the "Structures" class but I'm worried that it's not going to be enough.  We did the holiday server from minecrafthomeschool but I wasn't thrilled with it at all.  I'm not sure if it was different because it was a holiday server vs. their normal courses, but I didn't get any head's up about what the group was supposed to be working on that week so it really just amounted to server time best I could tell and from what he tells me, he didn't appear to be given much direction or redirection if he wasn't participating in the group goal.  So, yeah--fun, but not very meaningful.  I don't need to pay someone for that.


We've done classes by Computer Explorers and they've been pretty good.  Check here to see if they offer them local to you (mine was through the park district--who hired Computer Explorers):  http://www.computerexplorers.com/locations


We dropped out of First Lego League for schedule conflict.  Our middle school Math Olympiad team has no leadership and I won't take it on without really KNOWING if my son will want to be involved.  And we belong to a group that does Science Olympiad "prep" so-to-speak.


And we do as many of the National Parks "Junior Ranger" programs as possible.  I actually try to plot any road trip around Nat'l Park sites.  But some of them can be done online and you can still earn the badges.

OH!!  And DIY.org is a cool place to hang out and learn new stuff in a broad range of areas.  We really enjoy that.  It's how my guy learned stop-motion animation.


We're also big fans of most things from Critical Thinking Company.  So if yours has a subject of interest, their corresponding resources are usually pretty thought-provoking; and that keeps mine on his feet.

Edited by heatherdeg - 1/3/14 at 11:47pm
post #4 of 5

My DS, 6, loved Apologia's Astronomy textbook. It has activities to go with it, but he doesn't need those and absorbs the info just from reading it. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all this stuff.  I really appreciate the help.


Is your ds doing the high school version of apologia's astronomy?  We have the young explorers physics and chemistry, and it seems to be an awkward level for dd.  Fine if we want to memorize vocab, not fine if we are looking for new concepts.  Dd2 (age 4) sits with rapt attention, though, so all is not lost. :)

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