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Offline MrsJohnson

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« on: August 02, 2016, 10:55:24 AM »
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  • We are homeschooling the kids this year.  I will have a first grader and kindergartener.  What courses would you recommend?  Do you use one curriculum or do you order different subjects from different homeschool course providers?  I want the emphasis to be on religion, reading, writing, and math.  How involved do you get in history at this age?  I noticed OLOV homeschool wants to include History in the early years.  To me, it seems unnecessary. I also want to be economical, I'm sure these providers would have you pay for tuition and the works when it's not really needed.  Just looking for some guidance from people who have been there done that.  Thanks.

    Offline Zeitun

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    « Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 01:55:43 PM »
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  • Here are my pros and cons for OLVS (from 2014):

    Pros
    Daily lesson plans (6 and below)
    Good catechism/theology courses
    Quality literature selections
    Saxon math
    Will provide testing/grading services
    Provides diploma

    Cons
    No daily lesson plans for upper grades
    Textbooks filled with Americanist ideology  (Founding Fathers and FDR were great men, etc)
    Grammar books that use obsolete vocabulary (some words have profane meanings today)
    Curriculum not best for boys (too much reading)
    Some immodest images in texts
    Some feminist ideology and images in texts
    Protestant science books (too preachy and long-winded)
    Company is owned/operated by SSPX mindslaves
    Overpriced
    Many texts are paper copies but marketed as books
    Some texts are written by the staff and are academically sloppy or contain typos
    Staff made up of SSPX parishoners (not professional educators)




    Offline MrsJohnson

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    « Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 03:39:29 PM »
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  • Quote from: Zeitun
    Here are my pros and cons for OLVS (from 2014):

    Pros
    Daily lesson plans (6 and below)
    Good catechism/theology courses
    Quality literature selections
    Saxon math
    Will provide testing/grading services
    Provides diploma

    Cons
    No daily lesson plans for upper grades
    Textbooks filled with Americanist ideology  (Founding Fathers and FDR were great men, etc)
    Grammar books that use obsolete vocabulary (some words have profane meanings today)
    Curriculum not best for boys (too much reading)
    Some immodest images in texts
    Some feminist ideology and images in texts
    Protestant science books (too preachy and long-winded)
    Company is owned/operated by SSPX mindslaves
    Overpriced
    Many texts are paper copies but marketed as books
    Some texts are written by the staff and are academically sloppy or contain typos
    Staff made up of SSPX parishoners (not professional educators)


    Thanks, Zeitun, I really appreciate the overview.  I was just speaking with a rep from the school and I asked about the history, and whether it portrayed the history of the US according to a Masonic perspective, and she said no, it doesn't, but that it is patriotic, but imagine it's difficult to find a truly Catholic perspective on the history of our country, seeing as how it was founded by masons.  She also said the first grade history material was written prior to VII by a priest and some religious and was very basic.  Not that that would mean there isn't any error in it.  

    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 03:57:48 PM »
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  • Finding what works best for you is the most important, but here is what I do FWIW.

    Right now I have 4 students in 2 grade levels. I pair them off starting in Kindergarten for my own sanity. : )

    I do four subjects for Kindergarten: math, reading, handwriting, and religion. Other things are only as time and desire permits. If they're more interested in building forts or playing house than doing "school", I let them. If they want to sit in on some history or science with the older children, that's fine too. (My oldest 2 didn't even have the option of extra school ... we did the four main subjects only.)

    Religion - Religion books are about the only things I've used from OLVS. I've found the content of their religion books to be great, but I often toss their approach (ex. copy these 35 repetitive questions into your notebook and answer them) and just use the text itself. I don't want religion to be tedious. Chats with God's Little Ones is good for K. We also have lots of saint picture books like the Fr. Lovasik books that we read on their feast days.

    Math - I use RightStart Math. Many homeschool teachers don't want to have to touch a math book and go with something more hands-off, but I enjoy math and have enjoyed using RightStart. Before my 5th and 6th students begin K, I plan to move my oldest 2 on to Saxon. I've never used it, but it seems to be the #1 pick, especially for older grades.

    Reading - I use a single book called Phonics Pathways to teach reading from grades K-3.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1118022432/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1118022432&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20
    I grade K, we alternate between reading the pages and then spelling the words we just learned. We use magnetic letters at first for spelling and then move on to a wipe board as their handwriting progresses.
    My children have all done well with this one, $20 book (which I actually bought for half that at a homeschooler's garage sale), but if ever I needed to try something different, I've read good things about the All About Reading program.
    More Reading - I usually don't officially have books in our school plans. We participate in the Pizza Hut Book-it program throughout the school year and then the library's summer reading program. So, everyone usually has reading goals based on those. One way or another, we're starting into reading BOB Books about 1/2 way through K. Before (and after) that, they're read to regularly by either myself or their older siblings. Before they can do very much book reading, I spend a couple of weeks doing sight word worksheets that I found online as the Phonics Pathways book doesn't spend very much time on sight words.

    Handwriting - I use Kindergarten Handwriting for Young Catholics from Seton along with pages that I print myself online.
    http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/
    Again, the Seton book is handy, but much too boring IMO. We do a page or two of each new letter before incorporating that letter into words. (The book gives you 5 pages of each letter, no words, and encourages drawings and whatnot which we only do on occasion.)
    I have my 2nd group of students learning cursive in K-1 as well, but I'm not sure what sort of difference that will make in the long-run.

    I'll come back and tell you what we do for first grade later today.
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline songbird

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    « Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 05:54:16 PM »
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  • I like Our Lady of the Rosary for the elementary and mid and high, Seton.


    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 06:49:05 PM »
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  • First grade:

    Math - RightStart Math Level B

    Reading - continue Phonics Pathways, reading programs
    I also read chapter books aloud regularly. We've always done this off and on.

    Spelling - All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2
    I have mixed feelings about this program. It's very thorough in that it tries to teach to every type of learner (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc), but also can consume a lot of time. I like the phonetic approach, though, and we'll continue to use this program through at least Level 4.

    Handwriting - Copybook 1 from Memoria Press
    https://www.memoriapress.com/curriculum/penmanship/copybooks-i-iii/
    I also have StartWrite software to make my own handwriting sheets when I want them to work on copying something related to one of our other lessons.
    http://startwrite.com/

    Religion - Living My Religion Book 2 from OLVS "Living in God's Law"
    This is an excellent book for First Communion preparation.
    I also supplement with some stories from "Anecdotes and Examples Illustrating the Catholic Catechism" which is free online.

    Poetry Memorization - We memorize poems using "Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization" from IEW. We've usually saved the extra cost by skipping the recorded audio files which aren't really necessary, but Levels 1 and 2 are completely free right now (through Aug 31) from the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.
    https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/IEW-free-for-summer/

    Science - nothing very formal, but we've done these two things:
     - Science 2 for Little Folks - science-related stories tied into religion with a few questions after each
    https://www.chcweb.com/catalog/ScienceAndMath/ScienceAndHealthSupplementsAndResources/Science2forLittleFolks/product_info.html
     - picture book science - we check out a number of picture books related to a given science topic from the library, picking a new topic to explore every few weeks

    History - Since our religion studies focus mainly on catechism at this level, we use history to learn more about Bible history. This mostly takes the form of reading aloud from "Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories" or a similar text.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/193318471X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=193318471X&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20

    At first grade, I consider poetry and science to be extras that we do based on time and interest (history, too, but no one ever turns down a read-aloud).
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline Marlelar

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    « Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 08:05:59 PM »
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  • Check out Designing Your Own Curriculum and The Well Trained Mind for some good guidance on methodology.  TWTM is a bit intimidating as she covers EVERYTHING, but she has good ideas from the "how-to" standpoint.  I didn't use all her book selections though, I used Catholic materials when I could.

    That said I did go with Rod and Staff Reading and Phonics program for grades 1-3 as it is based on simple Bible stories and I liked their black and white books, nothing to distract young minds, especially boys.  The Catholic readers are all from a by-gone era and my kids could not relate to the material.

    I liked MCP math books and supplemented with Calcu-ladder drill sheets.

    Catholic Heritage Curricula has nice little handwriting books and Memoria Press has good ones too if you want to introduce cursive early.

    For religion I read the Baltimore Catechism to them and discussed the chapters and also read lots of saints books.

    Offline MrsJohnson

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    « Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 09:41:08 PM »
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  • Thank you for all the responses.  I really appreciate all the insight.  I think I would like to take advantage of picking and choosing from different curriculums and you have given me some good info to begin my search.  Mater, I appreciate the detail about how extensive the lessons are in the different subjects you are teaching. It helps give me an idea of how this will pan out :smile:


    Offline LaramieHirsch

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    « Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 11:21:57 PM »
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  • My wife is not the assertive, creative type when it comes to homeschooling, unfortunately.  For that reason, we're going into our second year with Seton.  They have the curriculum laid out nicely.  Should we decide to get more creative with our lesson plans, we'll do that when the day comes.  We started off by teaching our eldest with Catholic Heritage Curriculum in Kindergarten.  But that seemed sort of silly and disorganized to us.  For now, Seton lays the path for us.

    We took a look at a company named A Beka Book.  I think they're Protestant.  But they're pretty advanced, and I've heard only good things about it.  But it's more expensive than Seton, seems to be more than we can handle...and it's not Catholic.
    .........................

    Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.  - Aristotle

    Offline CathMomof7

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    « Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 01:02:06 PM »
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  • I started homeschooling 7 years ago.  I have had children K through graduation.

    The most I have homeschooled at one time is 6.  

    Initially, I though I would pick and choose curriculum from different companies.  But it became very stressful for me.  It did help me figure out what I like and don't like, though.  Some people really like to do this.  I am not one of them.  

    We used Seton for a long time, but we have left them.

    Now we are using Kolbe Academy.  We have good reason to use a correspondence school--mostly for our state requirements for diplomas.  Kolbe is much more flexible than Seton and you can use whatever textbooks you like rather than theirs.

    I have one in K, 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th this year.

    For handwriting I am books from Universal Publishing.  They have a series called Writing Our Catholic Faith.

    For Science for the K and 2nd we are using OLVS, Science and Living in God's World.  

    In previous years, I have used Seton's religion books beginning with Kindergarten.  I think they are pretty good.  However, in the last few years, particularly with the older grades, I found myself going through the books to avoid references to Luminous mysteries, Sister Faustina, etc.

    Since we are using Kolbe this year, I decided just to use the Ignatius press textbooks.  I have no idea what they are like, but I doubt they are traditional Catholic.  I will be supplementing and avoiding, but I was doing that anyway.  I do like Seton's material though, generally speaking.

    I am using Pearson's Phonics this year.  Seton used to use them until they began making their own phonics workbooks.  I like the Pearson books.  I don't mind Seton's but some of the images are confusing and unless you are enrolled you can not have access to clarify the images.

    Our reading is National Catholic Reader.  These are tried and true and have been used for many years successfully.  I have never used them before, but at first glance, these seem very good.  I think they may be even a bit challenging.  I am starting my 2nd grader in the First Grade Reader.  

    I absolutely HATE Saxon math.  Seton uses this for higher math grades starting in grade 5.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is the gold standard for homeschool.  I don't think it adequately prepares students for upper level math, as it is not a mastery approach curriculum.  I am using MCP for my Kindergarten and 2nd grader.  I am starting my 5th grader in Singapore math.  I am going to see how I like it.  If I don't, he will go back to MCP.  


    No history really for my Kindergardener other than field trips we take or coloring pages I will print throughout the year of saints and important events.  My 2nd grader will have Bible History.  After that we will be using the Land of Our Lady series for history.  In high school, we start with the classics---Greek history, Roman history, History of Christendom, then Modern History.

     Seton history books are a mixed lot.  On one hand the do stress the importance of the Catholic Church in the history of the world.  This is especially important when teaching about Christopher Columbus and the Exploration Age.  But the later history books, in my opinion, verge on Americanism and American Protestant superiority.  I actually wrote a letter to Seton about this.  Some of the books they use in the upper grades are A Beka and are vehemently anti-Catholic, even referring to Catholics as Popists.


    Homeschooling has been so valuable to me and my family.  Honestly, I am not sure which curriculum is better.  I think every person has to figure out what works best for them.  More important than the curriculum really is your family.  Homeschool has helped our family grow very strong and faithful.  My husband and I are able to really have a major influence on our children's lives and world view.

    Good luck with your curriculum choices!

    Offline songbird

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    « Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 05:41:12 PM »
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  • We had Saxon math.  We had a tutor.  Then a catholic friend of mine, college math teacher, tutored our 2nd child.  She said that the math, that is all the brackets and negatives are no good and will never be used in life.  One of those secular ways to dumb down the student/ holding back.  So, she taught enough for our teen to pass and get on.  She recommended to let the kids take GEDs and go forward.  That was with Seton in the 90's.  

    So, if you run across that math that I am speaking of, I think they call it algebra, but it is not the algebra that we had in school in the 70's. If you want to skip that nonsense of math, you can certainly do so.  I don't know if one will see it on a test later in life, but our kids are ages 30 - 42 and are doing just fine in life.


    Offline MrsJohnson

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    « Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 09:23:23 PM »
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  • Quote from: CathMomof7

    I absolutely HATE Saxon math.  Seton uses this for higher math grades starting in grade 5.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is the gold standard for homeschool.  I don't think it adequately prepares students for upper level math, as it is not a mastery approach curriculum.  I am using MCP for my Kindergarten and 2nd grader.  I am starting my 5th grader in Singapore math.  I am going to see how I like it.  


    I had a friend recommend the MCP math program to me today.  She said the same thing.  Thank you for all the information.  I really appreciate the time you put into your post.  I don't feel like I'm going into this blind thanks to all the responses!

    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 09:46:08 PM »
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  • If you want to compare 2 or 3 of something, Cathy Duffy Reviews is a useful site. She seems to go into more depth than your standard blog review and will often compare and contrast one program with other popular programs.
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline Mark 79

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    « Reply #13 on: August 12, 2016, 12:12:00 AM »
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  • Quote from: CathMomof7
    ....For Science for the K and 2nd we are using OLVS, Science and Living in God's World. ....

    Since we are using Kolbe this year, I decided just to use the Ignatius press textbooks.....

    I absolutely HATE Saxon math.  Seton uses this for higher math grades starting in grade 5.  I cannot for the life of me figure out why this is the gold standard for homeschool.  I don't think it adequately prepares students for upper level math, as it is not a mastery approach curriculum.  I am using MCP for my Kindergarten and 2nd grader.  I am starting my 5th grader in Singapore math.  I am going to see how I like it.  If I don't, he will go back to MCP.  ....


    There are no Catholic science texts of any value.  In the lower grades, I used A Beka and used the Protestant nonsense as a "teachable moment."  In the higher grades I used some collegiate texts and, as with A Beka, when objectionable material was encountered (e.g., heliocentrism, evolution), we would gloss the errors and then spend 1 to 3 weeks reading a succession of books on geocentrism and intelligent design.

    Ignatius Press is very problematic, almost as bad as Paulist Press. They publish the likes of Roy Schoeman's racialist Salvation is from the Jews.

    Please elaborate on your criticism of Saxon. I have used it exclusively with great relish.

    Offline CathMomof7

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    « Reply #14 on: August 13, 2016, 05:45:48 PM »
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  • Quote from: Mark 79


    Please elaborate on your criticism of Saxon. I have used it exclusively with great relish.


    Many people like it.  I do not.  The spiral approach for math, in my opinion, does not encourage true mastery.  Also in the spiral approach, I found myself introducing concepts that my children weren't really ready for.  It was confusing.

    With a mastery program, they learn one skill and then we move on.  Sure we review, but not like spiral.  

    I don't like it at all.


     

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