Monday, April 23, 2012

Sonlight vs. Heart of Dakota (HOD) Day 2

Okay so today didn't go really any better than day 1.  Kids still not really interested in the Pioneers book or the God's Wonderful World.  They did the same thing they did on Day 1 which was to pull out the nature books from our Sonlight A(1) and Bernstein Bears (P 4/5) and look at those extensively and talk about them.  For biography I've been using Eggleston Book "Stories of Great American for Little Americans" that I had on my Ipad Ibook app for biography reading which is more their speed.  I realize this  is in Bigger but they're not interested in the others suggested for Beyond.  I'm starting to think they are just too advanced for this guide....even though they are "suppose" to be in this one based on the placement.  And just as an fyi you're suppose to place based on the youngest child not the oldest so that you add extensions for older but there are no extensions for Beyond.  mmm....another "con".   You're also suppose to place heaviest "weight" with where you're kid is at in LA which is what I did.   At this point I"m not sure we'll go more than a week or two on this test.  Again I realize I "should" be running two guides but there is no way I'm going to do that plus the other guide was Little Hands and it was WAY too babyish for my youngest who is 4 1/2.  This guide also is turning out to be quite babyish for the grade it's suppose to be if you ask me.

So what do I see as the "pros" you may be asking?

  1.  I think if you just want someone to tell you what to do and when this would be great.  "open and go"
  2.  If you would like a combo of Charlotte Mason/Unit studies this would be a great idea.  *However      Charlotte Mason herself was against Unit Studies where all the connections are being made for the child and I see this quite a bit with this curriculum*
  3. If you want God to be commented about in everything than this would be for you.
  4. Uses CM method of copywork for LA
  5. It's more like a Hybrid Unit Study that's planned for you.  This is nice because you won't be overwhelmed with planning like what happens when you first start doing Unit Studies  
  6. If you want more hands on activites planned out for you but don't want to be building canoes this would be for you
  7. You don't have to use what they have scheduled for skills (3R's) content  See #10 below

Cons so far:

  1. Can't combine easily in content areas (science, bible, history etc) 
  2. There is no scheduled bible reading
  3. Uses Rod and Staff for language arts which is not a true CM method.  Yes they add copywork etc but I'm curious as to why Emma Serl's Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons wasn't used.
  4. Uses textbooks as "spines" for history not "living Books".  Living books appear to only be used for read alouds and readers.  You could just use a child's encyclopedia as a spine and get the same results if that were the direction you were going for Unit Studies.
  5. Doesn't have a missions focus
  6. Would be very difficult to use secularly - this isn't an issue for us but could be for someone else
  7. Some of the connections between books is really a stretch.  It would be better to just read the textbook as is rather than jump around to make connections with the "spine"textbook
  8. There are better Unit Study type curriculum out there like Christian Cottage Units that are planned which you truly could combine all your kids with.
  9. If child's skills (3R's) is above what your guide uses you are forced to run 2 guides for one child!
  10. You don't have to use their suggestions that are planned out for skills BUT that is almost half the guide so now you're paying for stuff you are not using and that would make this an expensive 1 year history unit study.
So I'm finding this curriculum to be slightly "schoolish" meaning each child has  a "grade" just like in school which for me isn't what homeschool is about.  Like I've said before, yes you have time in the afternoon for other pursuits (if you have 1 or 2 kids)  but I can't imagine what it would be like for moms with 6 kids trying to do this.

That's all for today :)

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