Have any of you used the free curriculum at charlottemasonhelp.com? It is similar to Ambleside, but she has integrated Bible with History more, has eliminated some of the British History in the early years, replacing it with a bit of US history and has included a year of non-western cultures. I find myself very much drawn to the website, but also drawn to the simplicity of combining everyone into the same stuff as per SCM. I’m a bit torn. I have two girls that are 20 months apart, but the older one is an avid reader and the younger is only just catching on to reading. On the one hand, I want to trust the HUFI curriculum and let them both do their thing (but as of now I fear I’d be reading aloud two different years as I’m not sure if/when I can hand the readings over to my older daughter). On the other hand, I just want the simplicity of letting us all be together and trusting SCM. My girls are 7 and almost 9. We’ve not had any history really up to this point. I feel like they need some US History before we move on, but I’m sort of lost.
Any thoughts? Any of you done both HUFI and SCM and can compare/contrast? Thoughts from you seasoned HS mamas would be much appreciated.
OH NO, Melissa. I thought I was figuring this all out. lol. I will likely grab a cup of coffee and pour over HUFI. Looks very very interesting. My husband will blame you! :) Email me soon. Would love to catch up.
So I’ve been reading … what am I missing? Why can’t the children be in the same year? :)
Please explain, what is HUFI?
Yes, what is HUFI? I’ve been searching and just can’t figure it out. Thanks!
Someone else can answer much better than I, but it is a free CM curriculum similar to AO or SCM, with slightly different twists. More along the lines of AO, but with a Bibilcal core and an American History slant. It’s at charlottemasonhelps.com. Hope that is helpful.
Higher Up and Further In
Another online booklist/curriculum VERY similar to Ambleside except for what I mentioned above. Here is what she says about the differences:
I am frequently asked how our curriculum differs from Ambleside.
The major differences between my schedules and AO are that I integrate Bible readings with ancient history and the children also learn US history during the early years rather than British History. They do the British readings, just later in fourth and fifth year. Also, in fifth year, we spend a whole year studying other non-European cultures-Africa, Middle East, Australia, Antarctica, India, etc…using great literature (places AO doesn’t cover). I also changed many of the readings because they weren’t spread out evenly and easily for children. I also added a few more items we found helpful.
She has homeschooled for many years and had wonderful success with it. Even if you don’t follow her curriculum suggestions, the website itself is a WEALTH of information! She explains very simply how to do things like teach cursive and how to make copywork and dictation lessons simple and relevant to your readings. All in all, she makes it all seem VERY gentle and simple. The only problem is that the “Years” are individual. I mean, I guess you could always tweak (like we all do), but the idea on the website is similar to Ambleside in suggesting that your children each do their own year. There is a yahoo group where you can ask questions directly of Linda Fay (the writer).
I’m torn between a couple of ideas.
1) Do American History with my girls together and then decide what to do from there.
2) Do “Year 2″ TOGETHER with my 1st and 3rd graders and if/when the need arises to separate and let my older one “have at it”, do so. Maybe read aloud Year 2 and Year 3 and then let my older one go on her own while I continue to read to my younger one if need be; maybe even do Year 3.5 from Ambleside with her …
3) Do separate years … not likely, LOL. If they were old enough to do their own reading, separate years would be ideal, but I do not see myself reading aloud two different years to children who are only 20 months apart.
Honestly, I feel like I am set on doing my own thing this/next year (American History, reading the D’Aulaire bios and other books & American Geography using Holling C Holling books) and then starting Ancients when my girls are 3rd/5th grades. BUT … then, I keep thinking about this HUFI thing and I get confused.
Why oh why can’t I make ONE decision and JUST STICK WITH IT???????????
Blessings to each of you. Enjoy your coffee, Erin. At a minimum, like I said, the website has a TON of helpful information! I’ve learned a lot from it!
If it wasn’t clear (and i apologize), HUFI just stands for “Higher Up and Further In”, which is what the “curriculum” at http://www.charlottemasonhelp.com is called.
Well, for what it’s worth, it looks really appealing, but I am not a lover of AO’s House of Education, which is what HUFI uses for 7-12, so it doesn’t feel seamless to me, like SCM, if that makes any sense. :) And now I see why there is no logical way to combine children, but some thrive teaching separate material … not likely for us with four so close in age. Praying for a clear heart and mind for you, Melissa. I know how much you’ve been working through all this good stuff!
Oh….I’ve heard of that before, just couldn’t remember what HUFI stood for!
I used HUFI Year 1 and half of Year 2. It’s an absolutely rich curriculum that I would highly recommend IF your children are spaced out enough to manage it. My daughters are 2 years apart. I had to tweak it so much already to keep them together and then here comes my son, 2 years younger…I just couldn’t do it anymore. SCM is so much simpler when your children are closer together in age (and even when they aren’t). I suggest you pray and talk it over with your husband. In the end, homeschooling is something we DO, it’s not who you are. I felt like it consumed me, the constant tweaking. It shouldn’t be that difficult! Each family is unique. Look at your family and decide what’s best. I’m like you, though. I just couldn’t imagine reading aloud 2 different time periods. We are loving SCM!! You are welcome to PM me if you’d like more info.
I love HUFI too…but we could also never try to wing so many different History studies at one time. SCM is the only place I’ve found that will offer help in the way of combining the entire family (1st-12th)…I absolutely cannot wait to start Module 1 in March. Since Module 6 still doesn’t have acutal Lesson Plans…I still feel like we’re kind of winging it. But, like swineygirl mentioned, if your children are spaced far enough apart, HUFI or AO would probably work wonderfully.
I began with AO for ~ 6 months and switched to HIFI for 1.5 years. I love Lindafay’s site(s) and gained a wealth of knowledge from them as I began this journey. It would have been perfect for me, if I had one child or very spaced apart children. I loved the books. I love how she does picture study, so we do that, too. However, I have 4 kids all 2.5-3 years apart and they would not be able to be combined into one year of study and I would have had 4 years of study going. It is essential that we do as much together as possible to save my sanity! I left HIFI for SCM and have been thrilled. I consider SCM our framework and simply add in or substitute a book here or there as desired.
I made a spreadsheet that included (at the time) all HIFI books, all AO books and all books from Honey for a Child’s Heart. I find that when I need an extra or a substitution, I can easily find it on this list.
Thank you so much ladies. I’ve known in my heart the truth of what you are saying ~ that we want to school as a FAMILY. I just kep finding my way back over to this site. Once again, I need to go with my gut (or, wait, is that possibly GOD talking to me ). I actually had it all “figured out” not 24 hours ago. Why I started to go back again, who knows.
Here’s my idea:
American History over the next 4 terms or so (starting after the holidays, whenever I can get the books) and then start at Ancients when they are 3rd and 5th grades (my daughters). I would do my own thing for the American History, but use books suggested in Module 5 & 6 as well as some D’aulaire biographies and American History books suggested at all the “famous” CM sites. Then, we could start SCM Module 1 in 3rd/5th, have time to go throug the entire thing and then my daughters would still have a couple of years to work with at the end (in case we wanted something entirely different by then like local college courses or AP courses or Sonlight Government or something … who knows where we’ll be when they are in high school).
I just need to remind myself that i can look at HUFI for book additions/substitutions. I can still follow LindaFay’s advice on picture study and cursive (already doing her cursive and Year 1 music). I can read aloud her literature selections. I can glean A LOT of information from her site, but I dont’ need to follow it to the letter.
Thanks again. I think I knew deep down what the responses would be over HERE when I posted the question. Maybe I needed reassurance NOT to “do” HUFI and I knew just where to get it, lol.
Love you ladies!
Christie ~ do you by chance have that spreadsheet you made years ago that you could share? I tend to get so confused when I try to look at and compare ALL the great CM sites (AO, HUFI, SCM, Tanglewood, LBC, Penny Gardner, Queen, Beautiful Feet, etc). If you’ve already got some of the work done, that would be amazingly helpful. If not and I find myself doing it, I will certainly share it here.
btw ~ Christie … aren’t you here in my area (jax, fl)? I want to say I remember figuring that out once. If so, what are the ages of your children? Mine are 7 and almost 9, both girls. :)
Melissa, yes I’m in Jax and lead River City Homeschool Adventures (a CM co-op) here. I linked my list in the above post – see the end of post, I’m on my phone right now. I have 4 kids – dd10, ds7, dd4, ds2. Maybe we will meet sometime.
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