Thursday, July 16, 2015

Easy Peasy Homeschool Review



We've use EP several times and I've enjoyed and been frustrated using EP so I thought I'd write a post about the pros and cons and ways to get around some of the problems I see coming up regularly about using EP.  Before we get to that though let me say that the woman who did this deserves a shout out because she continues to have it FOR FREE so here's her story and the donate button is on the top. DONATE!  Doesn't matter if it's just a buck.   They are a missionary family so donate...okay off to the pros and cons.



Pros:


  1. FREE!!!  Seriously this is worth it just for this.
  2.  Scheduled.   Nothing for you to figure out...just do the next day.  Doesn't matter if you've missed some days you just march on.   
  3.  Uses free resources.  This is closely related to #1.  It's a pain when other curriculum has history and science that require all kinds of stuff you have to pay for.
  4. Online.  For some this may not be a bonus BUT you can take this anywhere there is an internet connection...including grandma's house or McDonalds.  Or if you're really tech savvy just use your phone and tether or hotspot your laptop...walla!  homeschool at the park!





Cons:



  1.  Difficult to place.  Even with their placement test (on the How To Use tab) you'll find it  hard to place them accurately.
  2. Large disparity between LA & early grades Math as compared to other curriculum.  The author has  her kids reading quite advanced books, probably about 2 grades ahead BUT early math (before end of 3rd level) is almost a grade behind. Once you're in about 5th grade math EP switches to Kahn Academy so it levels out.  But Kahn Academy is Common Core so you decide. 
  3.  Expects a child to be writing well by 2nd grade
  4. The science & history..if you don't like a portion you're stuck ie.. don't want wars(program year 4), Ancients(program level 1) lapbooks (program level 2) or animals (program level  2), world geography (program level  3).  It's too advanced for prior to Third or maybe even Fourth grade if you ask me.
  5. No way to tell if they are doing the work unless you quiz them (or have them leave tabs open so you can see)
  6. Might be difficult for first time homeschooler to figure out
  7. Doesn't run well on tablets..most games don't work properly or you will need a keyboard
  8. Very rarely will you be able to use it's levels (ie. 1, 2, 3) as is.  Therefore you'll have to set up your own schedule using LA, Reading, Math and I've found that when you use the individual components (reading, math, science etc)  things get lost in the shuffle from the Levels.  Meaning you loose typing, logic and other things that were scheduled in the original Level.
  9. Maybe a little TOO easy peasy for some things.  Meaning some days it doesn't seem    like much to do while other days can be really overwhelming.  But like I said earlier the science, history, reading and writing seems advanced. Now I know it sounds like I just contradicted myself but once you use it you'll kinda know what I'm talking about.


All of the cons can still be overcome because...it's FREE! FREE! FREE!  And here's my plug to DONATE...one more time



Fixes:



  1. Have your child leave tabs open to see if they played the games and what the score was.  You can screen shot it and put it into programs like Onenote or Evernote.
  2. Check written work. Honestly this seems obvious but with lots of kids things can get lost in the shuffle.
  3. Have a text to speech program (already available on macs) for children who can't read well.  Yes it can sound robotic but here's my shout out to Macs because it does a great job...even on the poetry!    SpeakIt! for  the Chrome browser works pretty good for PC's.  This is especially great for dyslexic kids!  
  4. If writing is an issue just have the child dictate and you scribe or highlight (with a highlight pen) and have them use what they said for copywork.
  5.  You can skip stuff you don't like in science and history (or anything else)...you're in charge not the curriculum.  The bonus here is there is no guilt because you didn't pay tons of $$$ for something that isn't working.  Ask me how I know this.... 
  6. Use the simple planner and write what level the kids stuff is at on the top (or bottom) so you know where they are suppose to be. ie...Math - 3, LA - 2, Reading - 1.
  7. To find something fast on the page use control-F or command-F (macs)  which should pop up a little thing that allows you to search quickly for something.
  8. Print your week ahead of time.  I use my highlighter and mark a dot on the simple   planner for the days the kids need printouts.  These are what the * (asterisk) next to the day is about.  
  9. Easy Peasy doesn't have tests so it can be hard to assess what your kids are retaining.  Here are some Ideas to make it easier.  Please be relaxed about quizing your kids.  Homeschooling is not a race for knowledge but about relationships...so don't kill your relationship by over quizzing...On to quizzing and testing.  The obvious is look at the vocabulary words and ask if they remember what they are.  Open some of the science or history and look for what is being taught and simply ask them to teach you about it :0)  You can't teach what you don't know!  Have them draw or write about a topic they learned or even have them act it out if applicable. 
  10. This isn't a fix but MAKE SURE you have the recommended ad blocker and your youtube is set to safety mode!  The safety mode is at the very bottom of the youtube screen.
  11. This is my personal opinion but here goes....it goes without saying that if your kid is on the internet you need to have them protected.  So use K9 for browsing and keep your kid's screen in public view.  I have seen WAY too may sad stories about kids on the internet so better to be safe then sorry.


   



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