It has a lot of CM in it. However, there is some public school teaching methods in it too. It’s extremely easy to make totally CM. She really does use great living books!!! I have rarely been disappointed with her book choices. I use a lot of her suggestions and plug them into SCM or my own time frame.
We’ve used HOD CTC, but not the younger years. I’ve heard from others that they felt the younger years were much more text-bookish and “schoolish” than the upper levels, and that was my impression from looking at the materials chosen – I’d felt at the time that we could do better with putting together our own resources from places like this site, Tanglewood Online and Ambleside Online. I think you have to go year by year with HOD and see what’s scheduled and whether you agree with it. For example, one of the upper levels uses Mystery of History, and we don’t feel this is a CM-style resource so we won’t be using it.
While we used CTC, we did adapt it quite a bit to make it CM-friendly. For example, the step-by-step watercolor instructions that went with the poetry lessons didn’t involve looking at things to try to reproduce them, but rather, “draw a line here, paint this, etc.” I didn’t feel this agreed with CM or my own personal philosophy on art, so we skipped those, and used SCM’s picture study and nature journaling for art. There are very leading questions and “main ideas” after each reading or history lesson; we skipped those and try to stick to a more CM method of asking the child to tell about what they read, and letting them make the connections. We didn’t do the Drawn Into the Heart of Reading program, as that method of dissecting a book doesn’t seem to agree with CM’s philosophy. There are lots of hands-on projects that we felt didn’t add to learning, but took a lot of time and resulted in “twaddly” crafts, so we skipped those as well. However, for the year we chose, we really did enjoy the book choices greatly and it was a good backbone for other CM resources.
One thing – if you decide to adapt HOD materials, the HOD message board isn’t a good place to discuss it; changing, adapting or substituting materials is strongly frowned upon there.