Well it's homeschool catalog season and all those lovely catalogs just make you want to curl up and read, read, read...okay maybe that's just me...
I've used Sonlight, FIAR, KONOS and Robinson Curriculum and anything that's Charlotte Mason extensively so I'm really familiar with them. The one "hot" curriculum I haven't tried but have looked at was HOD. Now I have to say I really have not been impressed with HOD in the lower grades because they use text books as their spines but I do like their order of history. I'm not a big fan of a 1st grader doing ancient history. Sure you can explain away the myths and gods but...why? Why go there? There's other stuff to do with kids like...Social Studies. Remember that? That's what history use to be called before we all got programed that your child had to do "cycles" of history. But I digress..
So I decided to do a challenge and find out what all the hoopla was all about and got what I "thought" my kids would fit into. Let me just say right off the bat that I find it a "con" to not be able to combine kids in the content area (history & science). Granted kids won't be the same in skills (aka..3R's). But to HAVE to run different guides would mean that if you have say 5 kids you have the potential of having to run 4 or more guides. I find this ridiculous and a recipe for mom burnout. Even if your kids are somewhat independent with most programs you still have to deal with correcting except with the Robinson Curriculum which truly is independent.
Now I have the guide in my hot little hands and I'll tell you we are combining using Beyond and I'm NOT using the math or language arts so I see that as also a "con". My little one is just listening and doing what he can which is a lot frankly given this is suppose to be 1st grade. And yes, I did look at the placement chart and I have the Bigger just in case. However given all the writing that's needed in Bigger my oldest isn't capable of that yet so it didn't seem like a good fit. The reading...no problem.
We have currently been using Sonlight Core A (use to be called 1) and my first impression today was that I hardly read ANYTHING from HOD. Seriously I read like 2 pages. We then did hands-on stuff which my kids enjoyed. It "kinda" reminded me of KONOS only organized for you, BUT with KONOS you can keep all your kids together and like I said earlier that isn't quite the case here. Also with KONOS you've got books from the library (or your personal library) and this was like...nothing. NADA. If your kid was interested in sailing after reading the first day you'd have to youtube it or go to the library as an example. I have to say that of the 2 pages I read the kids were pretty bored with it. They went over to our Sonlight shelf and started pulling out books from there. Also I had nothing to show where the continents went for the activity so again I had to pull out a Sonlight title (Usborne Children's Encyclopedia) to show where the continents went since I don't have a globe sitting around. Guess I could have looked it up on the internet but I'm not big on computer use at this age.