Category Archives: Curriculum

Curriculum that we used, reviewed, discarded, or recommend for homeschooling.

7th Grade Homeschooling Curriculum

Updated February 22. 2014

Don’t you feel great when you finally decide on the homeschooling curriculum plan and schedule for the next year?  I know that I struggle with each subject and the multitude of choices.  I always ask the question…Is this the best for my student?  Does the curriculum cover the subject fully with clarity?  Do I need to supplement the curriculum?  Will she be bored or excited with the curriculum?  Did I choose one too challenging or too easy?

From February until May, I spend countless hours reviewing each curriculum option, including the scope and sequences for my student.  I compare these to the typical subjects expected at her age or grade.  Then, I pray for guidance, clarity, and yes, the funds to buy the curriculum.

When looking at our curriculum choices, it is important to remember that we homeschool year round with our year starting in June.  We take breaks throughout the year, rather than taking the summer off.  Following this year-round schedule, we find that her math, grammar, and writing tend to remain at a constant growth and achievement.

In addition, I believe in having a primary curriculum combined with a less intensive supplemental curriculum.  Granted this may seem like a lot of material to cover in one year, however I do believe that it is important to learn subjects from two viewpoints or presentations.  For example, we use Saxon Math along with Life of Fred.  While Saxon Math is thorough, my daughter simply enjoys math with Life of Fred and thinks that Fred is the most adorable math whiz! The result is that she enjoys math.  I have listed our main homeschooling curriculum or resources as ‘Primary’, with the supplementary curriculum as ‘Supplementary.’

***Update: We have made some changes to the curriculum for 7th grade.  Deleted changes are in Red and additions are in Green.

Bible:

  • Bible – Primary
  • Heaven for Kids – Primary

Math:

  • Saxon 8/7 – Primary
  • Life of Fred – Supplementary – Deleted – We are continuing with Saxon 8/7 
  • Added: Saxon Algebra 1/2.

Science:

  • BJU Life Science Grade 7 – Primary
  • Apologia General Science – Supplementary – Selected chapters only

Logic/Critical Thinking:

  • The Fallacy Detective – Primary – Deleted.  I think this would be a little better when my daughter is older. 
  • Red Herring Mysteries – These do not always fall in the school day.  We like these as puzzlers when driving somewhere or waiting for an appointment.

Language:

  • BJU Grammar and Writing – the Grammar section only – Primary
  • Holt Elements of Language – the Grammar section only – Supplementary

Writing:

  • Writing with Skill Level 1 – Primary – Deleted
  • Replaced WWS with IEW Medieval History Based Writing Lessons
  • Assorted research papers, writing projects, presentations, and models throughout the year

Spelling/Vocabulary:

  • Spelling Power – Primary
  • Vocabulary Cartoons – Primary
  • Word Power – Duke TIPS

Health:

  • BJU Health – Postponed 

Reading:

  • Sonlight H – Primary
  • Reading lists – Supplementary
  • Added – BJU Literature 7th grade
  • Added – C.S. Lewis Narnia Series

Latin:

  • First Form Latin

History/Social Studies:

  • Sonlight H including Story of the World – Primary
  • Chester Comix – Supplementary
  • Classical Conversations Timeline Cards

Music:

  • Piano Lessons
  • Composers and Orchestra

Art:

  • Thomas Kincaid Drawing Basics
  • Architecture Camp

Sports:

  • Swimming

Classes:

  • Classical Conversations
  • Summer Camps

*The subject bolded are the core subjects covered each day.  The remaining are scheduled throughout the week or year depending on the length of the course or curriculum. 

Ultimately, I do not schedule all the subjects at the same time.  Some of the subjects and curriculum are not a year-round curriculum.  Therefore, we may do one to two lessons a week thus spreading it out over the year.  My daughter, while challenged, is not overwhelmed.  That would be counter-productive.  I carefully schedule things and adjust as necessary.  Although we have an active academic schedule, my daughter has friends, activities, church, family, and sports to keep her busy and happy as well.  Finding the perfect curriculum does not guarantee a successful school year.  Nuturing the love of learning, does!

Have a wonderful day!

Updated February 22, 2014

 

Christian Non-Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Review : Sonlight

DSCN6994HomeschoolingOne is continuing the Non Traditional Homeschool Curriculum review of four Classical and Literature based curriculum on the market.  Sonlight is the fourth of these reviews.


Sonlight


Sonlight is a popular Christian based literature curriculum on the homeschooling market. Sonlight offers a Curriculum Guide called Instructor’s Guide (IG) along with a selection of books and materials for each Core package.  There are packages for every age group. The Core packages are divided into historical time-periods with suggested age ranges.  For example, Core B is Intro to World History for a 6, 7, or 8 year-old.  The basic Core consists of the Instructor’s Guide, History and Geography books, Bible, Read Alouds, Readers, and Language Arts.  Many of the Core curriculums have a Science curriculum associated with a specific core.  However, this is an extra cost.  The parent adds math, science, electives, and handwriting.

If a student is in the Sonlight program for K-12, they will review World History and American History/Government three times.  The curriculum is easy to use with a choice of 4 days per week or 5 days per week schedule.   Sonlight combines award-winning books with reprinted previously out-of-print texts.  These are some of the best books.  A second grader would read Amelia Bedelia, The Sword in the Tree, and Greg’s Microscope with read alouds including Detective in Togas, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.  There is always an emphasis on missionaries and people, who have explored the unknown by land or by science.   The average 7th grader explores World History in Core G with an appropriate level of understanding into some of historical events in the difficult periods.  The 7th grader would read The Bronze Bow, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Leonardo da Vinci.  Even in 7th grade, Sonlight encourages parents to read aloud book which helps the student in diction and pronunciation.  The Core G read aloud books include The Golden Goblet, God King, and The Shakespeare Stealer.


Cost

Sonlight is expensive at first glance.  The Core B is $459 for 5-day program and Core G is $495 for the 5-day program.   The parent receives many books for their money.  For example, the Core G includes 40+ books plus the Instructor’s Guide.


Author’s Opinion


We have used Sonlight for 4 years.  My daughter is an avid reader and loves the books from Sonlight.  For the student who is a prolific reader, this is a great curriculum.  I do read the books and at times find something that we need to talk about before she reads a particular book. However, this is rare.  We add Math, Science, Latin, Grammar, Health, and Fine Arts.


The Bottom Line


This is by far the best literature based curriculum out there.  If you are looking for a Traditional or even Classical program, this is not the one for you.  Although the books can be used in a Classical program, there is not an emphasis on the stages of learning such as Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric.  However, we combine Sonlight and Classical Conversations together very nicely for the literature portion of the comprehensive Christian Homeschooling program.


Summary


In the end, there are high quality diverse homeschooling curriculum packages providers that deliver terrific books, curriculum guides, and activities to make the homeschooling journey a bit easier.  It is so nice to know that there are Christians and Christian companies, who are willing to help you find that homeschooling package just for your student!  Have fun, relax, and enjoy the process of finding that right fit as you journey down your faith walk!



Have a Wonderful Day!

Christian Non-Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Review : My Father’s World

HomeschoolingOne is continuing the Non Traditional Homeschool Curriculum review of four Classical and Literature based curriculum on the market.  My Father’s World (MFW) is the third of these reviews.

 

My Father’s World

My Father’s World combines the best of Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, and Unit Studies all in one.  They segment their offerings by Discovery (younger ages), Investigate (through 8th grade), and Declare (High School).  In their Investigate series, they have a five-year curriculum series; Geography, Ancient History, World History (Rome to Reformation), US and World History to 1850, and US and World History from 1850 to Modern Times.  My Father’s World provides a combination of their curriculum guides and books from various publishers assembled into a package for their customers.  Following the general guide that a student may start with the geography segment, the Exploring Countries and Cultures includes books such as Heroes Tales, Christian Heroes Now and Then, Properties of Ecosystems, and Living World Encyclopedia.  They have a reading list available for the parent to use at the library to supplement the student’s reading at their level and ability.  Based on the five curriculum series for grades 2-8, a student would get through the series almost 2 times.

 

MFW does adjust for the student’s level of comprehension by adding in progressively more difficult language arts, writing, math, and science.  The language arts early years are based on an old text of Primary/Intermediate Language Lessons, Spelling Power, and Writing Strands. At 7th grade, the language arts changes to Progeny Press along with Spelling Power and Writing Stands.  The Math is based on Singapore Math until 7th grade when it changes to Saxon.  The Science is built into the basic curriculum through reading books until 7th grade at which it changes to the Apologia Science series starting with Apologia General Science.

 

Cost

MFW is very reasonable with the Exploring Countries and Cultures priced at $279 and 1850 to Modern Times at $351.  Although there are some reading books in their curriculum, they do encourage the parent to visit the library for additional books.  The prices do not include Math and Language Arts.  The parent would need to supplement this package with additional cost.

 

Author’s Opinion

We have never used MFW, but wished we had reviewed prior to this stage of our homeschool walk.  We like many of MFW concepts including the rich selection of books to enhance the understanding of history and the world around us.  It is interesting that the publishers offer Read Alouds and suggest going to the library to supplement the curriculum at the student’s ability.  They are aware of the price and trying to help the parent select appropriate material for the student along with not burdening with a high cost.

I agree with MFW in the Science selection especially at the 7th grade level.  Students at that level do need to be moving a little more into the higher science if they are headed toward a science degree in college.

 

Christian Non-Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Review : Memoria Press

HomeschoolingOne is continuing the Non Traditional Homeschool Curriculum review of four Classical and Literature based curriculum on the market.  Memoria Press is the second of the reviews.

Memoria Press

Memoria Press presents a combination of Memoria Press written Classical books and workbooks including Logic, Literature Guides, Latin, Composition, Christian Studies, and Classical Studies with other curriculum vendors.  Memoria Press provides full curriculum packages for each grade from K-12.

Many people are familiar with their curriculum through their Latin series, Prima Latin, Latin Christiana I and II, and First Form Latin series. While much of the curriculum is their own, they do use Rod and Staff Mathematics, market available literature, Story of the World, and various science books.  Some of the literature books for the Second Grade level are Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Courage of Sarah Noble.  The seventh grade literature includes The Wind in the Willows and Robinson Crusoe.

Cost

Memoria Press curriculum is reasonable with the 2nd grade priced at $370 and the 7th grade at $475.  This included everything you will need for the year.  One thing that was very nice about Memoria Press is that they offer a package for families who have already bought previous grades.  Therefore, you only buy what you need.

Author’s Opinion

Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Courage of Sarah Noble are all books that are well within the reach of an average 2nd grader.  In addition, The Wind in the Willows and Robinson Crusoe is also well within an average 7th grader.  For the family with avid readers, you may explore supplementing the literature with additional reading.

A side note: We used the Prima Latin curriculum and found it to be the perfect start to Latin.  Although I found the videos dry, my daughter enjoyed them very much and asked to do Latin.  While I do not like the price of the First Form Latin of $115, we will probably be purchasing this Latin curriculum this year.

The Bottom Line

Memoria Press definitely fits a need for many homeschoolers with their Classical approach.  There are so many great curriculum choices, Memoria Press is among the top choices.  They provide a full curriculum for all age and grade levels.  Take advantage of supplementing the reading with books from the library!

 

Update:

 

We bought the First Form Latin!  We can’t wait to get started on the curriculum! We found the curriculum for $109 at Christianbook.com and combined it with a free shipping coupon.

Have a wonderful day!  Smile

 

Christian Non-Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Review : Veritas Press

This homeschool curriculum review is the first of four reviews regarding Christian Non-traditional Homeschool package curriculum suppliers that use more than just their own books and materials. The four homeschool reviews will be Veritas Press, Memoria Press, My Father’s World, and Sonlight. Veritas Press certainly is attractive to the parents of an advanced student, due to complexity and comprehension available at younger ages.  It has many options for the family that would want a varied curriculum for different ages and abilities.


Veritas Press

Veritas Press offers an advanced Christian classical curriculum guide and books using a variety of vendors including Saxon for math, Memoria Press for Latin, and Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for Writing, and Shurley English for Language Arts.

Veritas Press has three options for their curriculum:

  • Self-paced online
  • Live online
  • Parent taught.

This review is based on the parent taught option.  Veritas Press presents a five-year rotation through history based on their History Timeline curriculum.  This curriculum is separated into historical time:

  • Old Testament and Ancient Egypt
  • New Testament, Greece, and Rome;
  • Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation;
  • Explorers to 1815;
  • 1815 to the Present.

In Veritas Press curriculum, the literature books focus on these history categories.  For example, the Second Grade curriculum includes a choice of the Old Testament, Ancient Egypt.  Within that category, the homeschool parent may choose a variety of books.  Some of the second grade books included is Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Cat of Bubastis, The 5,000 Year Old Puzzle, God King, The Golden Goblet, Mara, Daughter of the Nile.


The Cost

Veritas Press is challenging to price due to the customization available to parents.  A basic second grade curriculum without music and Bible costs around $300 + $99 for the Scholars Lesson Plans(first student, then $49).  One could increase the price rapidly with interesting additions found on the Veritas Press website.


Author’s Opinion: 

We have used the history timeline cards for years and loved them.  The cards have a historical event on the front with a detailed explanation of the event on the back.  Along with a song, my daughter was able to memorize and recite all the history cards timeline events in one year.  This serves as a great foundation to not only history, but a deeper understanding of current events, as well.

Veritas Press is known to be at an advance level.  Some of the literature books, I would feel uncomfortable reading to my child at second grade level such as Mara, Daughter of the Nile, due to character qualities. These same books are found in Sonlight’s Core G for 11, 12, and 13 year olds. Veritas Press does provide many choices for literature.  As with all literature, I do recommend reading your children’s books.  If I do not have time to read the book, I usually check homeschooling discussion groups for any concerns regarding a book before investing in a library of books.


The Bottom Line:

I like Veritas Press for their advanced approach.  They fill a niche for the advance student with challenging books, materials, and curriculum lesson plans.  I highly recommend their history timeline cards.  Consider either laminating the cards or placing them in a binder to reduce wear and tear.

  • Laminate the cards to improve their durability if you have multiple children or you plan to use them for years.
  • Buy the 5×8 3-ring binder in different colors with the sheet protector inserts.  Place one card in each insert.  Each color binder contained a different timeline sequence.  This made it easier for us to retrieve the correct binder quickly.

There are many choices in Christian Non-Traditional Curriculum.  Veritas Press is a good option available to families.


Have a wonderful day!

Christian Non-Traditional Packages: Classical and Literature Curriculum

 

Are you having a hard time choosing a Christian curriculum?  It is that time of year, when homeschoolers are actively looking for curriculum.  Many will review the various curriculum packages and choose one for all their subjects.  However, many others will choose a more customized approach, selecting Reading with Publisher A, Math with Publisher B, and Science with Publisher C.  There are curriculum providers to meet those needs that specialize in assembling homeschool curriculum packages.  This can save hours of researching, planning, budgeting, and lesson building.

Homeschoolers are as busy as the next person, raising and educating their children.  In general, homeschoolers dedicate their time to providing an excellent education, well-managed home, and active community life including church.  There are many of us, who turn to package curriculum, in order to help assemble well-planned curriculum for our children.  Early in our homeschool, we started out purchasing a single publisher traditional packaged curriculum for three reasons.

  1. New to Homeschooling – Homeschooling for the first time can be overwhelming especially when this was not your original plan for educating your child.  Starting with a Grade level package is a great way to make sure that all the subjects are covered and to assist the parent in lesson planning.
  2. Gain Confidence – Although I have multiple college degrees and many years of experience, I was nervous about homeschooling.  I was breaking away from the conventional education to educate my own child.  That first year of using a traditional grade level package helped me gain confidence in my own abilities to teach my child.
  3. Private School material – I chose the same curriculum that private schools in our area provided for their students.  In the back of my mind, I thought.  If this did not work out, my child would not behind. It was my Plan B.

Throughout the years, we have moved toward an eclectic program with Classical, Literature, and some Traditional curriculum. Although our homeschool curriculum worked well for us this past year, I always re-evaluate each subject during the springtime.  It provides a closure the end of the year and a bridge to the next year.

This year, I spent time reviewing Veritas Press, Memoria Press, My Father’s World, and Sonlight.  I wanted to highlight a few of the Christian package curriculum providers that do not produce all their own material thus supplementing with additional curriculum producers.

  • Veritas Press
  • Memoria Press
  • My Father’s World
  • Sonlight

Author’s note: When purchasing any of these homeschool packages, please review the material.  The curriculum complexity and student’s depth of understanding does differ between vendors.

Are You a Homeschool Sonlight Fan?

Sonlight Fans are waiting across the globe for the new 2013 homeschool curriculum catalog.

If you are a member of the Sonlight Forum, you can get a quick and blurry sneak peak at a page of the new 2013 catalog.

We love Sonlight curriculum, however I do pre-read almost all of the Sonlight curriculum.  My daughter has an accelerated reading level.  While many of the books are at her reading level, some of the content is for an older student.  In some cases, we will discuss the book before reading it.  In other cases, I will eliminate the book from her reading list and try and find an appropriate substitute.

I recommend Sonlight for any child whether they like to read or not.  The books are interesting and informative.  Sonlight does have a list of 27 reasons not to buy Sonlight core.  Be sure to read those reasons.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Is Traditional Homeschool Curriculum Right for Your Homeschool?

Does a traditional package homeschool curriculum solve your teaching challenges?  When choosing a curriculum there are a few questions that you need to honestly ask yourself:

  1. How comfortable do you feel about this subject, level, or type?
  2. How involved do you want to be?
  3. Is the curriculum within your homeschool budget?

Answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices of packaged curriculum.

3 Popular Traditional Package Homeschooling Curriculums:

Listed below are quick reviews of three popular homeschooling curriculums in textbook format.  While each curriculum has its strengths, there are meaningful differences.

The parent involvement is nearly equal between the 3 curriculum providers, ranging from 15 minutes – 30 minutes per subject.

Abeka

www.abeka.com Abeka is a complete packaged curriculum that is a traditional method.  The package includes student and teacher books for each subject.  The lessons outlined exactly what the parent will teach each day.  The complete grade package includes math, language, spelling, reading, science, history/social studies, and health. This curriculum is a great place to start especially when coming out of the public school system.  Abeka provides the parent a quality curriculum that helps with the transition.

Our Abeka Experience:

We used Abeka from Grades 1-3.  It is a good solid curriculum especially for the new homeschooler. Their phonics program is one of the best.  I attribute my daughter’s strong reading ability to the Abeka Phonics Program. While we changed our math, science, reading, and health after 3rd grade, we continued to use the language workbook until 5th grade.

Cost of Abeka curriculum

Approximately $370 to $600 depending on the grade plus $100 or more for manipulatives and charts, which can be creatively made at home.

 

Bob Jones University Press (BJU)

www.bjupresshomeschool.com Bob Jones University Press is a complete package curriculum that uses the traditional method.  The package includes a student and teacher books for each subject.  It is good for the parent who is comfortable with more traditional teacher textbooks rather than homeschooling teacher textbooks.

Our BJU Experience

We used the Grade 6 Spelling, English, and Science.  We dropped the Spelling after 12 weeks and moved to Spelling Power.  We continued with the English Writing and Grammar and the Science until the end of the year.  It was okay, but the teacher books are written to be used in a school.

Cost of Bob Jones University Press

Example Grade 6  $737.00


Alpha Omega Publications (AOP)

Note: AOP Horizons is not a complete curriculum but worth reviewing.

www.aophomeschooling.com AOP Horizons product line is geared toward the traditional method.  There is a student and teacher book for each subject.  The student workbooks are colorful and a bit more advanced than others with the exception of Abeka.  One challenge with Horizons product line is that many subjects only go up to 3rd grade.  In addition, a parent would need to add a language arts (grammar), science, history, geography, art and music to the 3rd grade curriculum.  Horizons Math does continue to Algebra.

Our AOP Horizons Experience

We really liked the Horizons math for Grade 5.  The student workbook is colorful and fun while learning the basics.  The math is broken into two workbooks, which is actually a really nice feature.  The workbooks do not become cumbersome to the student.

Cost of  AOP Horizons

Example: Grade 3 $310.00 with current prices.  Please note: For Grade 3, one would need to add Language Arts (Grammar), Science, History/Social Studies, Geography, Art and Music to have a comprehensive program.


Is Traditional Method for You?

The Traditional method of homeschooling is great for the parent who wants to stay close to the traditional schoolroom teaching.  It can be a more comfortable entry into homeschooling for the new homeschooler.  However, the traditional workbook method can be frustrating to some students due to the emphasis of worksheets and fill in the blanks.

Some parents stay with the traditional method throughout their entire homeschooling experience.  However, many homeschooling parents will explore other curriculum, as they feel comfortable with their abilities to homeschool.  If you are new to homeschooling, visit a curriculum fair to see if Traditional method is for you and your student.

Note: All the curriculum providers listed below have online schools or Distance Learning.  Those programs will be mentioned in the article regarding Online Schools.

Have a wonderful day!

Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7

“Do we have to do math, today!” sighed my daughter.

My daughter actually really likes math.  She wants to grow up to be an architect, engineer, or scientist however not the biology, dissection kind.  We used Saxon Math for the past few years, 5/4, 6/5, and then 7/6.  However, I decided to shake things up a bit this year.

Instead of doing one math curriculum, we actually did two.  Yes, we did two math curriculum in one year!  The two math curriculum we chose for this year were Saxon Math Homechool 7/6 and Teaching Textbooks 7.  Here is my assessment of the two math homeschool curriculums: Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:

Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 by Saxon Publishers

Saxon Math is the gold standard.  It is the math program, which so many homeschoolers use. They are confident that Saxon will do a good job at covering math.

While I agree that Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6  is thorough in math coverage, there is a lot to be desire for making math interesting for the student.  The pages are plain text with few graphics. However, Saxon Math is a thorough program and prepares the student in mathematics for upper level mathematics.

Pros

  1. Complete system covers the expected material for testing and standards.
  2. There is a written lesson for the student to read before attempting problems.
  3. There is a substantial amount of practice problems.
  4. The lessons are spiral in nature; therefore, they increase the knowledge of each math concept.

Cons

  1. The lesson material does not explain the concept in easy to understand language.
  2. There are few graphics, which would hinder a visual learner.
  3. There are little supplemental teaching materials for the parent.  There are CDs available for the Saxon Math 7/6.  We used them for the Saxon Math 6/5, but my daughter thought they were more confusing than I am. (Side note:  That made me feel good! )
  4. There is no use of color in the text.  This is a missed opportunity for additional understanding.  It is extremely disappointing since Saxon Math is part of Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, a textbook producer.

 

Teaching Textbooks 7 by Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri

Teaching Textbooks is really a different type of math system.  It is great for the visual and independent learner.  The Teaching Textbooks 7 math curriculum is setup around video CD-ROMs with an instructor who speaks to the student as a coach.  There is a textbook with lesson material and problems. My daughter uses the CDs and solves the problems on the computer.

Simple explanations and examples introduce the lesson material.  The explanations tend to use real world examples at the student’s age level.  Although the language and expressions are kid friendly, the coverage of mathematics is thorough.

Pros:

  1. Thorough mathematics coverage in a conversational approach.
  2. Provides a second chance option.
  3. Lesson material is presented in a kid-friendly manner.
  4. Good for a visual learner.
  5. Textbook has lesson material and problems that can be used without the CDs, if desired.
  6. The grade book is available for parents to review each lesson, individual problems, and tests

Cons:

  1. No customizing the problem set for the student to enhance mastery.
  2. This is not really a con but a suggestion: Teaching Textbooks 7 digital media is computer only.  In today’s world, it would be nice to have it accessible by tablet as well.

 

Assessment of Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 versus Teaching Textbooks 7:

My daughter feels she learns more with Saxon Math 7/6, but enjoys math more with Teaching Textbooks 7.  I believe that both math curriculum are good. Find the one that meets your teaching style, available time, and your student’s learning style.

  • Visual learnerTeaching Textbooks 7 would be the preferred math curriculum.
  • Traditional Textbook or Workbook learner (does not need color stimulation to learn) – Saxon Math Homeschool 7/6 curriculum would be the preferred math curriculum.

Curriculum Review : Spelling Power by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon

Humbly I admit it, this is the third spelling program that we have tried this year.  We started with BJU Press Spelling 6, finally decided on the Spelling Power program by Beverly L. Adams-Gordon.  Spelling Power is expensive around $60 for the basic program and the student notebook. When it arrived, I excitedly opened the package.  I started with the Quick Start DVD right away.

The DVD got us started quickly, for which I am thankful.  We took the spelling placement exams and she placed higher than I thought.  Then after following all the placement exams, we found her niche in the ‘G’ section and started with the first spelling test.  After the first week, she was cruising along.  The true test of a successful program is an improvement with her spelling while completing writing assignments.  Her spelling started to improve. By focusing on words that she misspelled, she made a better effort to learn those troublesome words.

Spelling Power is different from the other systems that we have tried.  The others give you a list and a rule to learn.  BJU did have activities to perform with the lessons. These activities while fun, proved to keep her busy, but did not help her learn.  Spelling Power is different.  The student is given a list of words to spell.  The list is graded and the student is asked to continue on only those words that give them problems.  The student will write the word, spell the word and say it, spelling the word and look at it and write the word.  Finally, to insure understanding, the student is asked to write a sentence with the word using it properly in the sentence.  There are activity cards to use to take the system further, however I found that the basics were good.

In summary, I like Spelling Power for the following reasons:

  1.  Complete system for all grades.  As a homeschooler who has a budget, this is nice.
  2. A student is encouraged to approach spelling through written, verbal, and visual means.
  3. Most of all, it seems to be working.

In fairness, I do want to say there are a couple things I do not like.

  1. I do not like spending around $60 at one time for spelling, even if it is for all grades.
  2. I do not like add-ons, which increases the price. Ordering Spelling Power will give you the Spelling Power book, Teacher’s Resource CD and Quick Start DVD.  However, they have additional products you can buy such as the Activity Cards and the Student notebooks. I recommend the student notebooks.
  3. It is a complicated system that takes time for the parent to apply, even with the Quick Start DVD.  You do not just jump into this one.

All that said, what a difference a spelling system could make. My daughter is getting better at spelling.  I am not suggesting that this system is good for your child, but it is working for mine.  I will write a follow up at the end of the year to let you know if she is going to survive with spelling skills or we will continue our spelling quest.

Happy Spelling!