Monday, April 7, 2014

School Year Update BLHFHG

If your a homeschooler you know life happens, and sometimes things we wanted to accomplish fall to the wayside.  That's what seems to have happened to my blogging.  Sorry for not posting much content.  I was not very organized this year and after a few months everything just started to slide.  We are still homeschooling and surviving, but we tackled a few too many "extras" this year. 

In the fall when we started this year in addition to our school curriculum, we had chess class, 2 different PE classes, and our homeschool co-op classes.  So you guessed it, 4 out of 5 days a week we had something going on.  Then in October, we started speech language therapy for my youngest to help with reading, so no we had commitment every day of the week.  It was rough!

After Thanksgiving both PE classes ended and soon after co-op ended, it was such a relief to have this break.  We were actually getting normal amounts of school work finished.  If you think your child needs lots of "extras" think again or plan them to fit into your afternoons when your own school work is over or you will never survive.

So how is HOD (Heart of Dakota) going this year?  Average, would be my answer.  Lets looks at BLHFHG (Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory), which I am using for my 2/3rd grader who is 8 yrs old and a struggling reader.  I had reservations at the start of the year that this program was not going to be beefy enough and I was right.  Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful program!  However, we have ad to tweak many things and in the end I'm not sure we will be continuing with it next year.  My biggest problem is with the science.  I love science and I want my children to get a very enriching science education.  HOD uses the book "God's Wonderful Works by Eric D Bristley & Edward J Shewan".  In my humble opinion (and I'm no expert) this is about a K-1st grade level book.  Which is probably right for BLHFHG, but not right for us.  The lessons are short and HOD does not use the book in order.  Since this book is teaching about the six days of creation, I found it confusing to talk about how God created animals one day, and water the next week. 

Another thing that didn't work for us was the Language Arts portion of HOD BLHFHG.  It is wonderfully written, but my child is a struggling reader.  If your child does not have any learning disabilities then it may work great for you.  After much searching we finally ended up using Stevenson Learning Skills, which we love.  It is geared more toward the dyslexic student, and my son has made wonderful progress in his spelling and reading skills.  We are also using Language Lessons for the Elementary Child by Sandi Queen, which is a Charlotte Mason style book.  Its also a book my son can work on completely on his own, now that he is reading! (I am so glad he is finally reading!)

But back to HOD, we are loving the history portion of the program which is what I think draws most people to their curriculum.  While it does tend to jump from book to book and back again, we have enjoyed learning about the Pilgrims and early settlers in depth.  The art projects are good and age appropriate as well.  We also added in a few drawings from Draw Write Now.  Overall if you have a normal average child who is 1st to 2nd grade level then HOD is a wonderful program to choose. 

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