This may be the wrong place for this…but we are bringing our son back home again for the 2nd time. 🙁 We started in a Lutheran Day School until we moved to Texas for job. We put him in public school down here – and, well…. it was WAY TOO much. So we pulled him out and our first year, we bough the BJU Streaming… after 4 1/2 hours of just one lesson of history… and pulling our hair out… we sold it off – and did a learning assesment test, and a teaching test… we discovered that we were balanced between CM and Unity style… go figure. We did not know how to even start a full Ambleside approach – and had not yet come across SCM. So, we did ECC with My Father’s World. Our son loved it – my wife mixed in notebooking methods.
Math has always been a step in the lake of fire on earth. Saxon was a big BUST 2 times now. We did TT (Teaching Textbooks) but he seemd to move so slow that we felt he was not learning enough. Now that we are coming back home – and we have a chance to do a more CM style… we are scared about the narration, dictation and such. DS is 13 – supposedly 7th grade, not that really counts… butwe are so confused.
We love the look and feel of Notgrass… but worry that it is not meaty enough when it comes to the Lit, Bible, Grammar and Writing… almost seems too simple. SCM is absolutely my fave, because of the heavy Bible, Doctrines, and the gentle approach. However we aren’t sure we like doing both US and World history – we are not opposed to it either. We also like My Father’s World… but, we are not sure it would be enough for him.
SCM has the guides which make it very simple to follow the program… we are just not sure how to really pull off the narration part of it all. We are considering using Essentials in Writing for his overall writing course… and we (I) absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE karen Andreola’s Simply Grammar and Storie Starters. Which again, is more of a CM style approach – but SCM does not offer a grammar or writing program that we can see.
Anyone have advice for us as well. Should we stick to done for us MFW (Exploration to 1850) or Notgrass America The Beautiful, or SCM (I am afraid to do Ambleside, it is just too much design work for us, IMO.
We also still love the notebookingpages website – and that has worked well as we have decided to follow (very loosely) An Old Fashioned Education’s Grade 7 last semester schedule and all – and it is very similar to CM style overall…. with the notebookingpages for Poets, Famous People, and Texas … we are doing a Texas Notebook… which I have come up with the setup and design of a really great notebook for Texas that will space probably 2-3 4” binders worth of information, articles, brochures from all counties, written summaries of county seat, history and industry and sports leagues and such.
Any advice from you seasoned CMers on wat might be best fit for son. We are doing Life of Fred for math… my son was in stitches after I read first assignment to him (big contrast from the fights and tears of Saxon).bethannaParticipant
@my3boys: There are lengthy samples of the Notgrass books on their website. I downloaded them but haven’t yet had time to sit and read. I am considering them for a spine. I really hope the volume of primary source documents is good. @lilypadjumper: I’m not a very seasoned CMer yet (oldest child is 8) but one thought occured to me. If you used the SCM guides and found that your son needs more than what is included, you could simply add in another book or notebook pages. SCM has no “busywork” (I don’t know if the others do) and would not likely overwhelm child or parents even if you added a little to it. And, as Sonya wisely says, teach the child, not the curriculum. I have found that to be so true. It doesn’t matter so much what books or resources I use with my children. The relationship I have with my children makes all the difference.kerbyParticipant
This last comment has really spoken to my heart, and I’ll get to that in a moment.
As for Notgrass, we’re using a couple of those here. My oldest is using the Gov’t text and 2nd is using the World w/ MFW’s AHL. I had contemplated the American but went w/ something else. Not sure if that was any better. Neither are strong/fast readers and my oldest has LD’s in the language area. He/both would prefer not to read much of anything. So it’s all going to be “dry and boring.” They are totally “get it done” type dc. As for ATB, 2nd ds did that for 8th and my dd is chomping at the bit to do it. (She’s been reading it when she can for fun.) For that son, the reading level of the literature was a bit low, but I was working on building up duration of reading for him, and exposing him to decent books. He had been at ps for the previous yr and admitted that he learned nothing. So, we lost a yr. I think it did help him. He’s also matured a lot over the last yr or so and is now choosing some harder books. (I wish I could afford to get a LOT of books to have for him. Our libraries are not an option, unfortunately.) I’ve been fine w/ the outcome so far. I’ve also had to come to accept that nothing is perfect and I need to work w/ who and where we are. (I wish I could be more like bookworm but my dc are just not avid readers.)
bookworm’s suggestion of the Stobaugh books. I have the American set. (Would love to sell it, by the way.) I like the idea of it, but w/out a solid background of knowledge, it was hard to do. Personally, I think it would have worked better alongside a text or other source to help round it out. I liked it overall and like the challenging thoughts that it brought to the table, but we needed more general information to base the fleshing out that this would give.
lilypadjumper, I can relate. We’ve had the put them in school and take them out situation, too. I’ve also been drawn to CM-type learning but couldn’t quite take hold of it. I absolutely love MFW and how it’s set up, but doing it as a family just doesn’t happen here. So, I’ve decided to adapt it for more independent use. It’s taken several yrs to get to this point and I’m finally just doing it that way. It’ll work and they’ll learn. I’m rethinking HS for my son, though.
We’re also new to the narration, dictation, and such. Because we could never get the family aspect to work here, there hadn’t been much of that going on. Also, I’ve always struggled w/ how to start implementing it, especially w/ the older ones. Plus, writing is not our strength.
If he did well w/ ECC, then he’ll do well w/ it again. The levels do get more involved as they move along so those American history ones should be fine for him. It’s also very easy to add in some extra books that will challenge him along the way. I think it has a nice balance to it. I think it would be enough. I’m just starting to really look at SCM much more closely so I can’t comment on that. I’m hoping it will help me.
Have you looked at Math U See? This might be a good fit for math. Mastery but can move on once he gets the concept. It has a video teacher but they are short segments.
“And, as Sonya wisely says, teach the child, not the curriculum. I have found that to be so true. It doesn’t matter so much what books or resources I use with my children. The relationship I have with my children makes all the difference.”
This is just resonating w/ me. I feel pulled into 2 basic directions. I keep going back and forth between them at different times for various reasons. It’s just so hard sometimes to know what to do. I guess I just really need to go w/ my gut. It’s never failed me before, and neither has God who gave me these instincts. (I’m going to post more in a new thread. I don’t want to take away from this one.)
lilypadjumper–have you looked at Heart of Dakota (HOD)? Revival to Revolutions would be the same history era that you are looking to do. It is similar to MFW but I think the author strives to stay close to CM ways whereas MFW is a mixture of CM and classical. Some of the HOD stuff can seem like busy work but on the HOD message board she outlines her reasons for including certain things. There’s narration, copywork, dictation, living books, etc.TailorMadeParticipant
lilypadjumper, have you read the articles on narration/composition on the CMH site? They may help you formulate an individualized plan no matter which curriculum you choose.
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