What curriculum have you tried and discarded? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-01-2009, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious . . . what didn't work for you? And why?

RightStart Math is the curriculum that just didn't fit our style. It's a great program, and I really wanted it to work for us. But it was just too open-ended. There were too many steps and options in the daily plans. And just too much prep work. I needed an open-the-book and go system. So now we use Singapore. It's going well for us.

But I might revisit RS for dd. I feel like I'm starting from scratch all over again. Kindergarten is coming up, and dd and ds have such different styles.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:49 AM
 
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Modern Curriculum Press Phonics, I wanted to murder the man who made it, it was soooooooooooo lame, kiddish, very dumbed down. I hate spending money on curriculum that ends up sucking.

I used to do Christian Liberty Press, and it's just not my style anymore.
A lot of their material is good, just not my style, if I didn't have this other publisher that I love, I would probably do CLP again.
Rod and Staff English, it's good, but I am really big on creative writing at a young age, and R&S really doesn''t have a lot of emphasis on that. I'm a bog believer in classical education and R&S doesn't seem to fit well in there, plus from a religious perspective, R&S later on really makes it clear that they have no love for my denomination. Those 2 thngs together really made me make the desicion to move to something else, and I did R&S myself as a child.

Abeka's science is good, but for high school I am going to be trying out Apologia.

But seriously I felt betrayed my MCP Phonics, I know it sounds strange, but I was ticked. My mom had used it with me, and I turned out fine, theymust have really really watered it down in years.

I just recieved the Phonics museum from Veritas Press, and even the kindergareten workbook is having kids do things that MCP wasn't even up to after 4 books.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. I read so many glowing reviews of it, and I thought that it was more complicated then it needed to be. And more dry. And inappropriate psychologically- children don't need operant conditioning to learn to read.

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Old 05-02-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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Saxon Math, I really thought the spiral approach would work for us, it was just...too incremental. It was so incremental that after nearly half a year it still wasn't getting to the point. Plus it was boring. Did I mention tedious? Or boring? How about incremental, did I mention incremental? Am I getting to the point yet? Because Saxon Math didn't.

10 Days to Multiplication Mastery, also 10 Days to Division Mastery. I was under the impression that these would actually teach multiplication and division, but they turned out to just be "teaching" math facts...but with the addition of many, many pointless and confusing charts and weird busy work and (irrelevant for us) classroom management "techniques. Never even really explained the concepts. It's faster just to have dd practice her facts on the wrap-ups and then we use something else to teach the concepts.

Language Lessons for Little Ones. It was a nice program and I liked the looks of it, it seemed like a gentle, natural way to introduce language arts...but it was a little too slow and gentle. DD2 picked up language arts faster from daily life than with this book.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:17 AM
 
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Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. I read so many glowing reviews of it, and I thought that it was more complicated then it needed to be. And more dry. And inappropriate psychologically- children don't need operant conditioning to learn to read.
Oh yeah, I forgot, that was another one
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Teaching Textbooks Algebra I/II. Way too incremental, slow-paced and simplistic for my kids who were veterans of Singapore Primary Math.

Powerglide Second Language program.

Miranda

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Old 05-02-2009, 07:44 AM
 
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Saxon Math - tears and a general bad attitude.

We may be getting rid of Writing Strands. I love it, but it's not working for him the way it should. I just ordered Writing Tales at his request so we'll see how that works out.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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saxon K math. i actually loved it... super gentle. but it ws way expensive and incredibly too easy for my dd. we ditched it.

i HATE teach your child to readin 100 easy lessons.

the book Story of the World was boring for my dd. we have it on CD now, and i'm thinking of reintroducing it this way with the activity book.

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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Our daughters love SOTW CDs and activities.

We did not like Five in A Row. I didn't even show it to them, because I did not like the book Ping in it, where a duck is stressed out because he might get a spanking for some reason. The inclusion of that book made me question the entire curriculum.

We also bought Sonlight and did not like some of their books, but most were excellent.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:55 AM
 
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Math-U-See - The mastery approach wasn't a good fit for my daughter. She got bored with the lessons.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons - It was a little dry for my dd. She likes doing worksheets and really had no interest in sitting down and learning from a book.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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Voyages in English. Expensive and we did not love it. My 2 learned but overall we found it dry.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Saxon math 6/5 and up-I thought it was a good program but DD needed the auditory piece.

Miquon math-Ds is waaayyy to concrete for this program. We tried it when he was 6 and he just couldn't get the blocks=numbers thing. He might be able to do it now (10yo) but he prefers Horizons.

MUS-my kids hated *building* things

SOTW-We tried them with Sonlight core 6 and at 11/12 yo my DD felt very talked down to. We liked the first one though and the activity guides are awesome.

100 easy lessons-DS hated it and I felt silly saying the scripted lessons.

Real Science 4 Kids chemistry II-not enough explination for me

Switched on Schoolhouse Science 6-some of it was fun but DD had a hard time reading off the monitor.

and on a more posative note we have loved:

Teaching textbooks
Key to ------ series
Apologia Biology (modified because of christian content)
Sonlight Science (ditto)
TOPS science
Horizons Math
Sonlight Brit lit (modified)
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:09 PM
 
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Oooh, another vote against FIAR. I heard a ton of good stuff about it- and then someone loaned me all the books. Wow. Not a fan.

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Old 05-02-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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FIAR - kids got really bored with reading the books 5 days in a row

OM K- kids loved it, just too much prep and $ for art supplies which we went through faster than we were suppose to

Rightstart - same as OP and too much skipping around

SSRW - moved from phonics sounds of letters to reading in one fell swoop - too fast a change for dd, worked for learning phonics sounds though

Teach your child to Read in 100 lessons - BORED TO TEARS!

Currently using:
Reading Eggs
MUS
New American Cursive

Next year will be using:
Sonlight Core K & LA K or 1 (depending on where we end the year)
Sonlight Science
MUS
New American Cursive
and Reading Eggs if the kids still have interest

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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Teach your child to Read in 100 lessons

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DD 9 love.gif DS 7 yrs   
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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First thing we ditched was 100 Lessons for reading. It was so incredibly tedious and boring...and that was MY point of view. DS liked it even less. Ugh. The thought of opening that book again sends shivers down my spine.

Five in a Row went next. I liked the idea behind it, I really did. But the books were hard to find and completely mismatched on reading/comprehension level, IMO. I liked the activities well enough, but it was too hit or miss and I felt that I couldn't keep track of what was learned and what wasn't. Plus, without a review system, I felt that he was learning something and forgetting it the next week. And reading those books more than once was hard. I never did 5 readings - there would have been mutiny in the ranks. It was a nice "let's sit down together and learn in a happy way" system, but it was just surface-level learning, IMO.

Moving Beyond the Page was this year. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a 7. It wasn't horrible (but it needs an actual artist or some real images, and it needs a proofreader) and I thought it did a good job on teaching concepts, but it was too time-consuming for the end result. I felt like they designed a curriculum and then decided "Oh, let's find some stuff to do so that we can call it a hands-on program" because the activities that went beyond writing on worksheets weren't that great. Cut and glue. Label, cut and glue. Glue and label. Pour and count. Weigh. Count and weigh. Count, add and pour. They were 'projects' that are found everywhere. And the planning was too much for me - finding/buying supplies, getting everything ready, getting my kids to do the writing involved...blech. The little things were irritations and eventually we ran out of the time needed and had to find something that fit our schedule. We had the 6-8 and the Peak with Books. For planning, PWB was tedious. Trying to find song lyrics and relevant poems was a struggle each week. Why not just include this stuff or provide a link to the online info??

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Old 05-02-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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LLATL - Learning Language Arts through Literature. I though dd would like it because she liked the books it covered, but she found it made even good books boring. LOL

Mapping the World by Heart - looked good, found it used but we never could get into it.

Spelling Power - Just didn't stick with dd. She'd miss a bunch of words on pretest, work on them with the worksheets, and then when we would retest she would miss a bunch of words she got right before. Part of it was probably a maturity issue. We are cranking through Sequential Spelling now and it is working great. As I still have Spelling Power we may revisit it when we finish the sequential spelling levels.

Real Science 4 Kids - liked the initial look but not in practice. Also was annoyed to find out the author was ID.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.
Us too. My kids were just not getting it. They are doing much better with clickn kids.

I have a copy of FIAR but we never used it. I think I also had problems locating some of the books.

I've seen several that sounded great but upon closer inspection have decided they weren't for us and was glad I didn't spend the $.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I though dd would like it because she liked the books it covered, but she found it made even good books boring. LOL
That reminds me of when we'd take field trips to the zoo when I was in (public) school. We'd always have these worksheets that had to be filled out and would spend our whole time looking at the signs to answer the questions. I wanted to look at the animals!!!
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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I just wanted to say thanks everyone. This is really helpful.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Great info!

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons-I borrowed it from the library first to see if would work for us. I decided not to buy it. The pics were distracting for dd and it seemed to make learning how to read too complicated.

Other than that I don't have much to say since we are just getting started with K this year.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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These are the ones we've tried in the past and they didn't work for us for some reason or another:

Apologia
Saxon
Life Pac
Singapore math
MUS/MathUSee

But these are also very popular with other people and lots of people do use them. But so far they haven't worked for my children for various reasons.

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Old 05-02-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Oooh, another vote against FIAR. I heard a ton of good stuff about it- and then someone loaned me all the books. Wow. Not a fan.
That one is really popular in the homeschool group I'm involved in. I know a lot of parents that use it. I've never tried it.

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Old 05-02-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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I just wanted to say thanks everyone. This is really helpful.
I agree
We are just starting out on our HS journey and Im getting a lot out of this thread.

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Old 05-02-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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Tossed:

~ Noeo Biology - good thing it was used and cheap
~ Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading (Interestingly Teach your Child to read in 100 easy lessons which I wanted to dislike on principle is working really well for my kid with reading challenges and my other two want to do it too - go figure.)
~ Lively Latin - just didn't engage my oldest but might work for a future kid.

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Old 05-02-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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Teaching Textbooks Algebra I/II. Way too incremental, slow-paced and simplistic for my kids who were veterans of Singapore Primary Math.
Good to know. I looked at that one and was considering it for down the road. Man it is expensive.

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Old 05-02-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Tossed:
~ Noeo Biology - good thing it was used and cheap
Uh oh...... can I ask why?

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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Miquon Math-- the Cuisenaire rods looked fun, but just didn't click with anyone here.

First Language Lessons just proved to be too repetitive.

Five with a Row-- I found I could come up with better ideas on my own.

Handwriting Without Tears-- I just didn't like how it looked.

And I think we're ditching A Reason for Spelling.

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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Uh oh...... can I ask why?
The teacher's manual consists of what pages to read out of which of the living books, and what experiments to do from the kit.

The progression of the reading in the books didn't make sense intuitively and we only bought one of the kits which was very expensive for what we got and could have easily been put together from simple household supplies. I'm in Canada so it's even harder to justify the cost of a kit that amounts to baking soda, straws, ping pong balls and balloons.

The teacher's manual basically didn't add any value whatsoever in my opinion - no extra explanations, no additional resources to explore, no extensions of the experiments or learning. There is no information on what the experiements are supposed to be so you can't gather enough information to put them together on your own.

The suggested books for the most part were good but I wouldn't buy them, other than perhaps the science encyclopedia because if you have a decent library you could easily put it together

For a first year homeschooler, I think it might be of value - maybe. Although imo, you are probably better just copying down their booklists, checking out your library and grabbing a couple of Janice VanCleave or similar experiment books and working through the topic yourself.

Sorry!
Karen

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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First Language Lessons just proved to be too repetitive.
Totally agree there I've taken to combining a couple of the lessons (like the proper nouns section... first names, last names, place names lessons all became one after he informed me Muuum we did this one already! lol)

We dumped Singapore math because while it seemed that my son was 'getting it' while we were doing each lesson... when the book was shut he had a totally blank face

We also only used half of our Oak Meadow grade 1.. he was already way ahead of it reading wise, and then further in the curriculum related far more to the US than to us and it was annoying to have to change bits.

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