Can you help me decide on which curriculum to go with? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've decided to take my kids out of Connections Academy. It was just too much. I didn't mind some tests but they had way too many test. They also required portfolios and study island.

Anyway so the kids are 3rd grade and 6th grade. I want this to be flexible. I wanted to go with a Charlotte Masony style of schooling. Here's my picks so far:

Sonlight- I would either have them do core 1 & 5 or core 3 together. I would take out the religious stuff and replace with other books/dvds. Was thinking of buying mostly used to help on costs. I would be following the ig for the book order mostly.

Oak Meadow- I've heard this is gentle. I've looked at the samples and they seem ok. It looks like they have very few books and read mostly in the syllabus...? I also don't see this used anywhere. The art kit looks expensive and I'm not sure where to buy all of it for cheaper.

Moving Beyond the Page- The site says its for gifted kids but I've also heard from others that is not really gifted at all and actually kind of easy. Its a little more than I'd like to spend but it does look pretty good.

Sotw- Could the kids do sotw 1 together? I have the audio cds that I never opened and then I could purchase the activity and test booklets. Does the activity book recommend other books/dvds to use? Would it be enough for them?


I then would buy their own math, do science projects/experiments together, and copy work, dictation, and cursive. Dd is interest in French and Chinese so I might either buy rosetta stone or either try live mocha.

Stephanie + Dh= Super blessed parents to 1 ds, and 4 dds!
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#2 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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You might want to check out some of the "easy packs" from Queen Homeschooling if you are a Christian homeschooler interested in a pre-made CM style curriculum. I use some of their materials, but am a secular schooler so I pick and choose on their site - I use their Lang Lessons series and have used their copywork/picture study books - really like all of these. I like the Queen's stuff - they really don't overdo it with the lessons and activities, leaving plenty of time to follow your own interests and make your own connections. And it is cheap.

I have Oak Meadow 3rd grade manual and some of the books - this was my original choice for a curriculum when I first started schooling my kids at home. I soon discovered CM and left off with the oak meadow book, but it is a good program and indeed very gentle. I would be willing to sell the book (bought it new 2 yrs ago), if someone would tell me how? I see people selling curriculum all the time, and I have a paypal acct, but I have never done it before LOL. I would only buy the items from the art kit that you could not find on your own - honestly we needed very little. I did buy the beeswax crayons and all that but my kids like to use everything, and these crayons are different but no better than good quality art supplies which you should have anyway, right?

We did all the oak meadow reading selections though, but ugh - their peter pan book was abridged in the worst way! Their reading lists for each year are great - you could get the books yourself if you wanted or from the library.

Oak Meadow 3rd grade includes math BTW.

I don't see that combining different age students into family study is a goal of the oak meadow curriculum.

SOTW is the other curr. that I can comment on - this is a living book "style" textbook in my opinion - not a living book in itself. The activity book is nice and if you don't mind a textbook and a Christian POV it is good. But since we have discovered the joy of some true living books - we just finished "Boy of The Pyramids" - awesome! - it is hard to go back to the textbook style of SOTW. That said, many love it, and you might too. If you have the cds, go ahead and listen a bit before you invest in the additional materials.

You could definitely do family schooling with SOTW.

The only other thing I have to offer is to check out the free curriculum guide at Simply Charlotte Mason. I don't use it (although I use a lot of their materials and their forum is wonderful for CM info and advice), but it seems like a doable CM plan and they have some years available for order as handbooks - like lesson plans. They do put a priority on doing as much as a family as possible, so that makes the days easier.

Sorry to make such a long reply! I remember how hard it was to settle on a curriculum. I am sure you will make a good choice.
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#3 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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i think sonlight core 3 together sounds great. buying 2 cores would be really time consuming imho.

yes, you could do SOTW together with both. you could beef it up if needed easily by adding in extra resources, movies, writing assignments, etc.

i think you'll be disappointed with moving beyond the page. i do believe it is good, so i don't mean to imply that...it's just my experience with it was that it's over priced and still requires supplementing. not worth it imho.

i have no experience with oak meadow - so i'm no help there.


have fun!

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#4 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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Have all the children do SOTW and just pick and chose whatever activities.

I have the CDs. When I first started homeschooling, they only had the first 2 out and it was the original version. We listened to them in the car and never stopped at a chapter a week. We went through both sets rather quickly, maybe within a month or two. The kids loved it! It really opened them up to history. We barely did anything in the activity guides, although the guides are fun. But they would talk about the stories and then get more books from the library on whatever fascinated them. Because my children love history, they elect to watch things on TV related and to read things on their own. They consistently stay in the mid to upper 90's percentiles in the social studies areas on standardized tests. So really, just focus on the big picture and getting them to love history and it will really pay off in the end.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I only mention math and stuff because if I was going with sonlight or sotw I would need those. I know that I won't need them for oak meadow.

Ds really wants to do ancients. Well I know core 5 isn't about core ancients but I'd say its closer than american history. And if we go with core 3 then we'd have core 4 for next year ( 2 years of american history!).

Stephanie + Dh= Super blessed parents to 1 ds, and 4 dds!
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#6 of 9 Old 10-13-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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we use oak meadows K and 6th grade and then supplement by adding in the secular sonlight books. I LOVE it. it provides the the gentle art based approach of waldorf and the reading lists rather like CM. The art supplies can totally be bought cheaper elsewhere so I wouldn't normally buy the OM craft kit and just get the supplies from somewhere else.

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#7 of 9 Old 10-14-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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We use Sonlight.
So my opinion is only based on Sonlight. We tried Oak Meadow first but didnt find it structured enough for me.
If you choose Sonlight, I would go with core 3 or core 3+4. Core 1 and 5 would be WAY too much work IMO. Buying used on Sonlight is great and a much cheaper option, I am using the library this year and I only purchased the Instructors Guides and a few spines. Though if its your first year doing Sonlight, I would consider buying new and using the 18-week love to learn guarantee. Being able to return everything and get all of my money back was worth it IMO, I really didnt want to get stuck trying to sell a used core online.
We are huge readers in my house. And Sonlight has a TON of read alouds. The history and read-aloud books add up to hour of reading out loud each day. Its a lot. If your not up for that I wouldnt consider doing Sonlight.

This year we are doing Core 6 which follows SOTW, and we love it. SOTW has been awesome and the activity book is great. I can find tons of stuff that DS2 can do and still participate in our "school".

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
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#8 of 9 Old 10-15-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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i just read somewhere a couple of days ago that core 3 is a real favorite of families. i wouldn't skip it, based on those opinions (*if* you choose sonlight). everyone really raved about that core specifically.

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#9 of 9 Old 10-15-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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We're going from k12 to Sonlight. I am filling in with core K until we can get core 1 and science 1 to do with the kids. Mine are in grades 2 and 1, and I know that its going to be a much better fit since we use Sonlight already for preschool. I buy new, but then I have 4 kids (two study groups) and we're talking about a couple more possibly in a few years so we have the reuse factor involved in our choice to buy new.

I also keep bible separate from academics whenever possible.

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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