Golly! I was looking over some of my old blog posts and when I read this, I was wide-eyed and laughing… what a difference a half a decade makes in my selections and reasoning.
Last year, I was looking at the cost of everything, which is good to a point. Through my experiences this last year with two unfortunate investments that I thought were “great deals,” I learned that sometimes, it pays to… pay.
The two $90 products I bought last year were Ray’s Arithmetic and McGuffey Readers, each 12-13 year programs.
I *love* that Ray’s Arithmetic is advanced. The drawback, for me, is that there is no how or why to the problems given. Ray’s simply gives the problems and the answers, with no explanation of how to get there or why we do the problem in the manner needed.
I am still unsure about what to use for math. We will be doing a lot of hands-on activities and printed off free worksheets until I can find a curriculum that seems to fit. I want a curriculum that is advanced, fun, and gives the how-to-do-it, as well as the why (for the student and the teacher!).
Edited 10/22/09 – I’ve found an awesome program for math! It’s free, aside from printing, which can be cheap if you refill your own inkjet cartridges. It’s MEP Math. Seriously wonderful, and we’ve been using it for several months now. It fits all of the qualifications I mentioned above. It’s actually so “advanced” that I needed to put Melody into the “First Grade” year (called Year 2) to help her prepare for the next level!
I appreciated some of the content in McGuffey’s Readers. I love it that God is mentioned liberally, but I dislike how God is portrayed. Here’s just a sample of my discouragement: “Bad boys hurt the cow. God does not like the ways of bad boys.” I get the overwhelming sense when reading these that God is an overwhelming force that is ready to punish us at every turn. That one little snippet doesn’t do justice to why I feel that way.
I felt so good to look at the money spent for those two products and think, “Holy cow! Under $8 a year per subject? That’s awesome!” However, it’s not a savings when you won’t or can’t use them effectively.
This year, all the homeschooling Mom’s advice of how I have to go with the flow, and be willing to change curriculum if need be, hit me square in the head.
Here’s Melody’s pre-planned school list for the coming year. There will be more things we will utilize, from the library, used book store, and also the _____ (homeschooling organization) is going to send us more stuff to utilize as well, that may or may not be permanently implemented for the rest of the school year.
Rod & Staff Little Jewel Books, as readers
Art Adventures at Home, Level 1, year 2
Music Flash Cards (much cheaper than the ones offered through Rod & Staff)
MEP Math, Levels 2 and 3
Pilgrim’s Progress (audio)Aesop’s Fables
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
40 Missionary Stories
High Roads to Geography
50 Famous People
The Goop Directory