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Opening with "Steps for Thinking", each lesson is clearly structured and labeled, with teacher notes and any materials needed listed on the side. The main content is interspersed with lesson instructions that are written directly to the child, creating a smooth flow for each day's work.
Lessons include copywork/dictation activities; reader assignments that bring real literature into the curriculum; Parent Read-Aloud, Discussion, Narration, and Reflective Writing activities; and a word study to help students gain contextual vocabularies, as well as improve their spelling skills. Geography, Science and History connections weave history together with geography, while the Charlotte Mason approach to science helps children observe, record, and evaluate nature. Writing exercises are integrated throughout as a response to lessons, while drawing activities help students to improve their powers of observation. "Doing" activities help students think through the information they've learned, while receiving additional motivation.
The included Student Notebook (in the form of printable pages on CD-ROM) serves as a portfolio of student work with maps, charts, copywork passages for lower grades, unit games, and checklists. Required Resource list (by volume)
Sherri CWebster, NYAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great gentle way to learn!October 9, 2013Sherri CWebster, NYAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I have searched and spent a lot of money to find a history program my son and I like. I wasn't sure I was comfortable with only studying 6 characters, but I love the history and geography part of this program. I have found out this is how we like to do history. We have learned so much, and I think this will spur my son to be a life long lover of history.
In years past we have spent much longer on school than I believe was necessary and this has a perfect pace for our family (we start at 9 and end by 2 or 2:30 including math and I have a very busy 3 y/o). I love that the subjects are all connected, it is what I have tried to do on my own and failed at. For us it is a gentle, peaceful way of learning.
That said I was paranoid at the start that it would not be enough for my 5th grade son, but six weeks in I am being won over. Cadi74 gave an excellent review and explained well why it did not work for her son. You do have to trust the Charlotte Mason method in order to do this without adding to the curriculum, in particular with grammar, science, and art. If you do trust that method you will love what the authors have done. And there is no music. We just play a classical pandora station and do one music theory lesson a week from a book we started last year.
In the past we have used My Father's World. I really like that curriculum as well, but found it was too much for us. I would rather do a few things well than too many things halfway. I am looking forward to the best year in homeschooling we've had in a while.
Cadi74Birmingham, ALAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Not as comprehensive as I was led to believe.July 5, 2013Cadi74Birmingham, ALAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2This is a wonderful history and geography curriculum. I could tell that the authors put a great deal of thought and planning into it. HOWEVER, the description leads one to believe you can build your entire school day (except math) around it, which was not the case for us. My DS age 9, started the school year with this as his central curriculum, and by Christmas I had purchased separate science, grammar, and art materials to supplement the shallow coverage of these subjects in this program. With that plus the cost of this curriculum and many of the recommended books that go with it, I had gone way over what I had budgeted on books for the year. For families who like a heavier emphasis on history and geography, this might work. My DH and I both have science degrees, so science and grammar were too important for us to lead with this, and I regretted spending so much on a curriculum that didn't give more weight to those subjects. To be fair, I discovered through this curriculum that I'm not as "Charlotte Mason/unschooling" in my philosophy as I once thought. If you are, you might appreciate Trail Guide to Learning more than I did.
Q: What is included? Are there readers included with this curriculum or is it just the textbooks and the CD?
This kit includes the textbooks and CD only. Additional readers and other resource books are needed to complete the curriculum.
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