Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Curriculum

8

I've been stalking our postal delivery guy for the past 12 days waiting on this very order. I placed it on the 7th of April, it shipped officially on the 10th & we watched the tracking as it moved across the USA & then into Australia.

I have to give a huge shout out to Heart Of Dakota {HOD} for their tracking. It's amazing! Seriously, I've never had a parcel come to Australia where I could track it beyond it's port of entry. That includes parcels I've paid triple digits for shipping on. I've always figured if I pay extreme prices on shipping it should arrive in a golden box. While I couldn't track this parcel all the way to the point of delivery I knew when it hit Australia, I knew when it cleared customs, flew out of Melbourne, & when it landed in Tasmania. Pretty impressive, & knowing when it landed in my state made it easier to guess when it would arrive.

The boys were still recovering from the whole dairy fiasco, so I'd sit in the library after getting Mr S off to work, & watch out the window for the daily delivery truck. Yep, I'm pretty lame like that.

It arrived on Friday with 2 delivery men in tow, our normal favourite fellow & a new fellow. We had 2 boxes from HOD & one from CBD. I'd originally planned to place 2 ordered with HOD & one with CBD in an effort to keep all my purchases under the set Australian limit so I wouldn't be slapped with a 30% tax on top of what I was already paying. HOD was amazing to work with though & had me place one order & then broke it up into smaller shipments for me which was a huge relief for fear I'd mess up orders.

Actually, I can't rave enough about the HOD customer service. Seriously, amazing. I was emailing back & forth with them a little bit to verify a few things with them before ordering. They allow substitutions if you already own books, so I was able to swap out MOH3 which we own for Morgan's science book for the 17/18 school year. So so awesome!


Morgan & I unpacked all 3 boxes. It took us a bit as the books arrived wrapped in paper, with lots of extra bits of paper in there to protect everything. This photo is nearly everything that arrived. The CBD box had a science kit in it that we opened up to verify everything was there & in great condition before we packed it right back up & popped it on the bookcase until it was needed. 

I also ordered The Art Of Argument from CBD because I wanted the DVD to go with it.  I heard pros & cons about the DVD, but when possible I try to get Morgan DVD or CD options due to his VPD/Irlen. It means he can maintain his independence while keeping the paces set by the schedules. We'll see how it goes. I'm keen to watch it with him, but the reality is I might have to watch it on my own. This kid is a mover & likes to stick to his schedules!


We ended up ordering Morgan the World Geography for high school that HOD offers. We left the choice up to him because in the end the work is his to do. He was really torn between using Core 200 from Sonlight or moving to HOD. There were a few reasons that led him to make the switch: HOD offers notebooking pages & he really loves that aspect. He loved the idea of the Mapping With Art book which speaks his language: maps & art!  

There were a few other reasons too especially the idea of missing out on a few books that Core 200 would offer him in the literary department. I reminded him that he could use that list to read through any time he wanted, just because a book is on a curriculum list doesn't mean he has to save it for school.

In the mean time I'm really excited about his choice! There are some nerves involved because with SL he's been able to utilize Learning Ally for many of his books which has been extremely helpful with his Irlen, HOD uses a different variety of books & most aren't available in that way. However, I really love the work they have the student do in order to show what they've learned both in history & literature. We'll see how it goes, it will be incredibly weird not to be using Sonlight, but I suspect we'll be using Core 400 before he wraps up his school career.

All up Morgan' won't start any of this until September. He'll wrap up Core 100 & his other choices for this year before jumping into this. We're both really excited about it, but he's relieved he gets to finish what he's doing first. Ahh, that's my box checker!


Jayden's pile isn't much smaller here, but he will start on Monday. I've mentioned elsewhere that Jayden was moving because we felt it was the best choice for him. I didn't see Sonlight as a viable option for him for high school at this point. Jayden is our non-fiction lover & he'd rather be doing as opposed to reading & I was really concerned that using the high school levels with SL would be a walking disaster.

With that in mind I was looking through our HOD catalog that had come in the mail that very week & realised that if we were going to make the switch sooner was better than later. All curriculum companies who offer history work at different paces & it can be hard to make changes without having a child double up on materials. Jayden had just finished up MOH 1 & this was the perfect time to move him into HOD's Resurrection to Reformation which picks up where MOH 1 leaves off.

Again, I'm really excited about the choice, where as Jayden is nervous. He saw the pile of books & immediately felt overwhelmed. I'm guessing I've just never placed all his SL books in front of him at one time. He generally has his 2 spines & his reader. Other books just suddenly appear when he needs them. Ha!

So we pulled out just the books he'd need to start with & that helped him feel a little better about things. Again, this level uses notebooking pages, which I appreciate as a way for the kids to have a record of their journey. However, I also feel that these show the kids which ideas to focus on which helps to build study skills for down the road.

My only real concern with this level is his science which is certainly below him, but he's not done a year of official Earth science yet so it may be some new material to him. It's a perfect tie of year for Astronomy as well with the dark nights. We like to curl up in quilts & crawl on the trampoline to see what we can see. He'll also move through that book pretty quickly & then hit some material that I know will be reasonably new to him.

If you looked closely at the photo you might have also noticed Drawn Into The Heart Of Reading {DITHOR} which I opted to purchase to use with my boy. He is not my reader, he's not super keen on reading & it can often be hard to pick books for him. I decided I really wanted to try out DITHOR with him to help expose him to a variety of genres & help him see there can be value in both. It's advise to go a bit below their reading grade level so you probably noticed 2 student books. I wanted to have both in case the level I selected was way below him. I do think he'll enjoy many of the titles that have been selected, & the first book is a Biography which is right up his alley.

His programme came with audio cds, one of which he'll listen to weekly. He'll have a few research projects, hands on projects, & so on. There will certainly be a bit of a learning curve for our boy, but I'm hopeful it's one he'll rise to & enjoy. I guess we'll find out in the coming week!

8 comments:

Monarch Room said...

HOD deliveries are the best! I always appreciate how quickly they ship because I can't wait to get my hands on the new books. How fun to see someone out there in the world using the same guides as us next year. We will also be using WG and RtR. RtR is a great guide. This will be our second time through it. I'm looking forward to next year! I hope you will share how it's going :)

Kendra said...

Oh, wow company on the journey!! I have to say I had a giggle when I saw your comment because I was actually all over your blog reading about your journey with HOD while we were waiting on our own parcels to arrive! ;)

Monarch Room said...

Oh that's fun :)! Did you decide what you will do for science? We ended up doing RtR science with CtC this year. I will sub out science for both guides. Your packages had to travel a long way! I appreciate how heavy duty the HOd boxes are. Hopefully all your books arrived safely.

Kendra said...

For now the plan is to stick with the science that was scheduled. I do think the Astronomy book may be a little below him, but I think the Planet Earth book & biographies will be spot on! I spotted your awesome science notebook pages which we may use too! I figure that worst case scenario is that we switch into Dr Wile's Science In The Beginning book {which we own & have some lessons he hasn't competed.} Ah, I guess we'll see what we find out when we get moving with everything tomorrow! :D

Monarch Room said...

My son has enjoyed all the science books this year. I love all the biographies that they get to read :) It was his request to learn about Astronomy/earth this year, and that's why we switched it around. I feel like he learned a lot. Hopefully your son enjoys the books too. We are on the Tiner book now, and my son has asked lately more questions about what we are learning in that one. Glad you found the pages :)

Lisa said...

Oh, I LOVED reading this! I'm super excited to see you'll be using HOD, too! ;) We've been using it for 6 years, now. I have 5 children in 5 different guides. Next year we'll be doing the final guide for US History 2, World History, MTMM, RTR (with you and Tara), and Preparing Hearts for my youngest. Agreeing that HOD has the best shipping and customer service. I also use Tara's notebook pages...thank you by the way! ;)

'Mrs' Mum said...

Kendra - can I ask - did you not like Bookshark history 7? I was just about to purchase the program until I came across a number of reviews about the content being inappropriate in some of the books, and worse still, may of the books being about death, illness and sadness. I have a sensitive 12 yo son and this won't work for him. I was wondering if you found this to be the case with the literature selections in level 7? The cost to post this program to Aus is so high that I just want to make the right decision and there are so few reviews to draw info from. Many thanks

Kendra said...

Mrs Mum,

I LOVED BkSk 7, as did my eldest son who used it. A few things to keep in mind though. I use BkSk at the older end of the age range, so when my eldest student used Level 7 he was 14 & turned 15 in that time frame. When he used Level 100 {SL's version} he was 15 when he started & turned 16 during that time frame.

My youngest son is a little different. He was using BkSk 6, & we'd cleared the Ancients time frame. However, I knew long term {high 9-12 especially} he was not going to cope/enjoy BkSk or SL. My younger student isn't into historical fiction as much as non-fiction, & he's more a doer than a reader.

Sonlight & Bookshark are literature rich programmes, but neither of them are hands on. With Heart Of Dakota he's reading, researching, writing, doing narrations, notebooking, etc. He really thrives in this environment. For us the content of the book wasn't an issue except for 1 book. We chose not to read Betsy & The Emperor because after I pre-read it I felt that Napoleon was made out to be a child predator {towards Betsy} & that Betsy really flaunted herself to him. There was also a scene within the book in which her sister confesses she slept with a man because he promised to marry her but the man backed out. Other than that I had no issue with the books.

I'm not sure I'd use it with a 12 year old, but that's because that's me & I'm a "better late than early" Mum, always have been. I also find that despite the books chosen the Bksk & SL cores go over better if you stick with the higher age level on the guides. Anyway, if you're interested/curious I do have Level 6 & possibly Level 7 for sale. Not with all the books as some were too well loved to part with. :)

I'm currently on a Facebook Sabbatical, but there is a BkSk 7 Facebook Group. It's not a very active group to be honest, but there is a Bookshark Homeschoolers group where there is often lots of chatter if it's any help. Of course there is the Australian SL/BK group too, but I'm not sure if anyone in there {aside from myself} have used BkSk. ;)

Feel free to email if you'd like. :)