Tag Archive | Curriculum

Heritage History Curriculum

I was given the opportunity to try out the Heritage History Curriculum.  I have used the online Heritage History previously and also had a link to it on my website sidebar.  I realize that many families are struggling to make ends meet while the mom is home to care for the children and to homeschool.  It is possible to homeschool without buying any curriculum.  There are multitudes of free online sources and with some work good resources in many libraries.  The Heritage History online site can serve as a source for many free history resources.  There is enough information available to teach history for years just from reading the many books available.  A creative parent can easily put together a valuable unit study on different time periods of history or different cultures.  The problem is it takes a creative parent and it takes time.

The Heritage History Curriculum meets the need for parents who find developing a unit study challenging or find having time to gather resources challenging.  The curriculums gather related books and provide extra resources such as timelines and maps to help the reading be more integrated with the other books.  The Young Readers Curriculum contains 86 books and a teacher’s guide.   The other curriculums contain 40 to 50 books, maps and timelines.

The Young Readers Curriculum contains books which can be easily read by my second grader who is a good reader.  Some first and second graders would do better with being read to depending on their reading ability.  Books can be printed from the cd, read from the computer directly, read in PDF format or transferred to an electronic reading device.  The other curriculums contain a variety of books from easy readers to advanced readers.  The study guides show which books are better suited to what levels.  Thus one curriculum can cover multiple grades simultaneously.

Several years ago I read Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall aloud to my children.  The first chapters have more myth and legend then actual history but the later chapters have a brief story of history written to a level easily understood by children of multiple ages.  Each chapter is just a few pages and easily read in a short time.  While not written from a specifically Christian perspective most of the books in the curriculum are written from a moral perspective and were written at a time when belief in God was common place albeit flawed in many ways.  I found I even enjoyed reading the book and learning better how names in history fit together.

My older children are studying Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries for history.  Thus the books available in the British Middle Ages Curriculum fits right in with their other studies.   They can read a living book about the subject matter that is covered in the other history curriculum.  The older children have been reading off of handheld devices long before kindles and nooks were around.  PDA’s have ridden in the car with us for around 10 years or so.  The children learned a PDA was easier than hauling several books and a book light.  Now with a kindle I can use the read text feature to have books read aloud in the car while we are traveling.  It isn’t perfect but much better than text reading was years ago.  I must say using the curriculum CD to transfer books to my kindle was so easy.  Normally I find free books from place such as Gutenberg Press and then I have to download them and send them to my kindle.  This time I just copied and pasted from one folder to another, 86 books at a time.

Thank you to Heritage History for providing me copies of the curriculum to review.

 


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Curriculum Time Again

It is time to start thinking about curriculum for next school year.  We use AOP’s Switched on Schoolhouse.  Hard to believe this year is quickly winding down.  {Hint, Hint, that means get caught up.  😉 }

The new Alpha Omega Catalogs are out; got ours today.  Every year in the spring Alpha Omega has a big sale on their curriculum.  April is 20% off and May is 15% off all curriculum.  That 20% makes a big difference!

So if interested get AOP to send you a catalog so you can save some money.


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Plug Your Favorite Homeschool Curriculum

Since I’ve already mentioned the sale at Alpha Omega Publications I decide to share what curriculum we use.

We have used many workbooks bought from Sam’s, Wal-Mart and book stores.  Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills was a favorite in the younger ages.  We’ve used both individual subject workbooks and combination subject workbooks.

For a couple of years we used Weaver from Alpha Omega Publications.  It is a unit based curriculum which was a totally different style then we had used before.  The children enjoyed the extra activities and the fun things but due to the wide age ranges they didn’t care to all sit together and work on the subject matter as a group.  The faster ones wanted to move on and the slower/younger ones had trouble keeping up.  That style probably works much better if you have children close in age and not too separated in ability.  I decided I’m just really not a good unit study person. 🙁   I have Weaver Volume 1 and Volume 2 plus all the stuff in immaculate condition if someone is interested.  Shipping would be a major issue since this is several large notebooks. 

We’ve used School of Tomorrow Workbooks but my older children preferred the Alpha Omega Publications Lifepacks better.

Throughout highschool we have mostly used the Alpha Omega Publications SOS.  This is computer based but doesn’t require the children to be online.  They work from CD’s or the program can be totally installed so that it doesn’t require CD’s for each subject.  You can network computers such that the curriculum is on one computer and the other computer can work off of it.  This way I can see the school work or even grade it on my laptop while another child is sitting at the main computer doing their school.  Now granted it takes a little computer know how to network and keep it up and running.  But since my Mr. IT works fulltime now I’ve found my 15 year old daughter is able to handle the installation and the computer kinks. Just for some reason moma is clueless. 🙁  

The kids like the instant feedback of knowing what problems are wrong and being able to move on ahead.  Parents still grade written (typed-out) answers and reports.  Plus there is always the occasional misgraded problem or more often mistyped answer that must be dealt with.  Mom likes the reusable curriculum and calculating grades and assigning the workdays so that the curriculum spaces appropriately for the number of school days.

But of course when we get right to the truth of the matter the children learn much more just by being avid readers and by actually living life day-to-day.  The curriculum fills in some gaps and meets the state requirements. 🙂

So what do you use and why?  Feel free to add links to your favorites.


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