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Robin in Colorado
01-14-2014, 10:06 AM
Belle is in her first year of high school and we are struggling.

I bought Tapestry of Grace last spring. Year 2, used. Planning to use it for all four years of high school, following the sequence of years 2, 3, 4, 1. Planning to use it for the learning and the credits in history, geography, writing, literature, as well as a couple of electives. Kitty would also be using it beginning this year. She's a 7th grader.

Began my planning last June. Got my ducks in a row for the familiar and the straightforward out of the way and then started ToG. Just couldn't figure it out. Spent tine on the various websites, could see what a great curriculum it is, still couldn't get it. Have 5 friends who use it successfully. They came over, called, emailed, wrote things down. I still couldn't get it. Read that it takes 4 weeks of using it to get it. Spent 10 weeks, still on lesson 3 (supposed to be doing a lesson per week) and still couldn't get it.

And here we are in week two of semester two.

Turns out that most of the reason I couldn't get it is that by the time of surgery, I had lost most of my reading comprehension, to the point that I sometimes couldn't decode a menu in an unfamiliar restaurant. I'm improving daily. However, we have a big problem. We are fully a semester behind with no way to catch up in this particular curriculum. As I look it over, I find that, wonderful as it is, it just might not be right for us. I'm trying to find a new path, and one that we can hopefully stay on.

Putting the girls in MoH for history and probably geography. Dropping the electives and will figure that out later. Now I need literature for Belle and writing for both.

For lit, I need something that will focus on more than reading, looking for something that will teach analysis and so on. She is a good reader and moderately well-read.

For Belle' writing, I've been looking at Meaningful Composition, Writing with Skill, and Wordsmith Craftsman. I feel frozen. These all look good and I don't want to choose wrong again, it's too late in the game for that. Belle has a good grasp of grammar and is prolific fiction writer. She has zero experience with book reports, essays, research papers and other nonfiction.

Kitty needs a good non-fiction writing course that is a little more basic and touches on grammar as well.

If you've stuck with me for this long, thanks!

I'd appreciate your guidance in choosing lit, writing, and maybe even some light geography.

Rachel Jane
01-14-2014, 10:19 AM
we used this:
http://www.homescholar.org/LOTR%20Curr.htm

- - - Updated - - -

review:

http://www.thecurriculumchoice.com/2013/08/literary-lessons-from-the-lord-of-the-rings/

- - - Updated - - -

and this:


http://www.oneyearnovel.com

Both of these were very student led and enjoyable.
My kids went from reluctant writers to writers who choose to write in their spare time. Jeremy (not the one that is more gifted in this area ...shhhh...) has 3 novels in progress right now with an online writers group.

Rachel Jane
01-14-2014, 10:22 AM
http://www.homescholar.org/objectives.htm

TonyaP
01-14-2014, 11:57 AM
For grammar, I actually like some of the courses at Coursera for my 7th grader. I've not brought him up to speed in grammer so it goes a little over his head, but makes a good introduction to the topic nonetheless. You might take a look at some of The Great Courses materials as well as Coursera.

Shelly L
01-14-2014, 12:28 PM
Would Excellence in Literature be something that would work for you? I have no experience with it, but have been researching it lately thanks to Heather W and some unplanned couch/sick time. I am considering it for next year.

For geography, how about Trail Guide to World Geography"? I think you can do as little or as much as you want with that program...

Oh, and here are some :group: :group: :group: for you as well! I know it will all work out, but the stress of needing to find the best fit soon is not fun... Hope you find the guidance to just the right materials for your bright learners!

Robin in Colorado
01-14-2014, 12:34 PM
The LOTR stuff looks interesting. Both girls have read the books repeatedly and have pretty much memorized the movies. I'm looking for something that Belle can be successful in completing, or close to it, by the end of May. I'm not sure she could do that with this curriculum, though.

I haven't heard of Excellence in Literature... I'll look for that.

I wish there were a store where I could go and touch and look through those 3 writing curriculums (curricula?) I mentioned. Anyone here able to share experience on one of those?

Anne
01-14-2014, 12:38 PM
We have used Lightning Literature. I had some challenges in being able to plan and get things done (due to circumstances beyond my control)and this was good for us. It wasn't as fun as I would have wanted, but it got the job done.

Someone gave me Abeka Geography (9th grade level). We have used it effectively, though not the way they intended, probably. I tend to do that with lots of things: use it the way it works for us.

Miranda.in.WA
01-14-2014, 12:39 PM
I can't recommend anything wonderful because for English credits I have resorted to Abeka video and co op settings. Both these have worked great for my ds16 and has taken the pressure off me.

However, I will pray that you find just the right thing for your girls and you! :)

Glad to hear your recovery is progressing. You come to mind often. :)

Rachel Jane
01-14-2014, 12:47 PM
LOTR: Jeremy says that the hard part would be doubling the reading, not doubling the lessons. If your child is a good reader and as familiar with LOTR as you believe, she should be able to do 180 lessons by doubling them up as 2 lessons a day for 90 days.

Robin in Colorado
01-14-2014, 07:21 PM
I talked to them. Kitty is all. over. it on doing the LOTR. Belle is not interested. Stinker. I will have her sit with me and look at the 3 I listed plus the Excellence in Lit and get her views.

Laura Lee
01-15-2014, 05:42 PM
We use Total Language Plus with our co-op and really like it. You can look at their website and see what you think.

Julie in AZ
01-15-2014, 06:25 PM
I have Excellence in Literature and would not recommend it. I find it very confusing and teacher intensive.

I would suggest you look at samples from Windows to the World: An Introduction to Literary Analysis (http://iew.com/shop/products/windows-world-introduction-literary-analysis-teacherstudent-combo) which I also purchased this year. It looks fabulous!

The lessons (http://iew.com/shop/products/windows-world-introduction-literary-analysis-student-book-only) are written directly to the student and walk step-by-step through annotation of books. You'll want the teacher's manual too. I hope to use it with my ds in the next year or tow.

ETA: It's a semester course!

Julie in AZ
01-15-2014, 06:35 PM
For grammar, I think Julie Y recommended The Language Mechanic (http://www.criticalthinking.com/the-language-mechanic.html). My ds learned a lot using this book. My dd just started it. Both of my dc like that it uses humor to teach skills.

My ds used Writing with Skill 1 and is working on 2. It's a really great program but probably not what you are looking for at this point as it's slow introducing different types of papers. How about Jump In (http://www.amazon.com/Jump-In-Workbook-Reluctant-workbook/dp/1932012745)? It covers different styles of papers and can be done in a semester. Another Julie Y recommendation. See, she doesn't even have to post now. I'm using it with my dc this year.

Both of these are written directly to the student. :)

Rebe
01-15-2014, 07:04 PM
We loved Windows to the World. Even though the student book is written to the student, though, it's teacher-intensive, at least the way we were using it. It's also best for students who are good at LA and like to read. (I should modify this and say that my dd and I loved it. My ds tolerated it but he hates to analyze literature so he only did it because I made him.) Also, you can make it a semester course, which I did, but I had to skip many lessons and exercises to do that. It would really be better as a year-long course.

We also used Excellence in Literature, the American book. I liked it, ds thought it was okay. I didn't find it teacher intensive (except for grading papers), but it definitely requires the student to be self-motivated and a self-starter. If not, then I guess it would be very teacher-intensive because you'd have to do it all with them. I think my dd will do well with it, but my boys, not as much. But one advantage is that you can pick and choose what books you want to do, and make it however long you need it to be. We did half the books for one semester of American Lit.

Julie in AZ
01-15-2014, 09:35 PM
I'm glad you posted Rebe. It's always good to hear from someone who has completed a course. I'll have to take another look at my Excellence in Literature for next year.

Rebe
01-15-2014, 09:47 PM
I'm glad you posted Rebe. It's always good to hear from someone who has completed a course. I'll have to take another look at my Excellence in Literature for next year.

Glad it was helpful! I think you'll really like Windows to the World, if you don't mind teaching it yourself. It's by far the most complete and high-quality homeschool literary analysis course I've ever seen. The literature selections are fantastic. Both of my dc really loved reading the selections -- it's just that my ds hated actually analyzing and writing the papers. It made my dc better readers, writers, and thinkers, for sure.

Robin in Colorado
01-15-2014, 11:40 PM
Ok, I ordered writing for Kitty and both subjects, different companies, for Belle. I can't remember for sure, but I think I went with Meaningful Composition and Excellence in Lit for her and Wordsmith Apprentice for Kitty. And we are planning to get the LOTR lit for Kitty to start in the fall.

Thank you all so much.

Heather W
01-15-2014, 11:45 PM
Interesting Julie...I use Excellence in Literature with grand success...it's almost totally hands off for me. It's in four week modules. Uses classic literature. I love the writing. My kids are in charge of getting resources set. I love it. Great skills, easy to use. ETA- My oldest is not a great self-starter and he's doing very well with it. He's a sophomore this year though.

One Year Adventure Novel is lovely. High recommend.

Loved LLLOTR!

Julie in AZ
01-16-2014, 09:32 AM
Interesting Julie...I use Excellence in Literature with grand success...it's almost totally hands off for me. It's in four week modules. Uses classic literature. I love the writing. My kids are in charge of getting resources set. I love it. Great skills, easy to use. ETA- My oldest is not a great self-starter and he's doing very well with it. He's a sophomore this year though.

Looking at it now, as opposed to last summer, I have a much different opinion. (I should have looked before I gave advice. :eyes: ) I can see it being a good fit for my ds next year. I think he needed the year to gain high school level skills.

He enjoyed LLLOTR last year too.

Joy in Alabama
01-16-2014, 04:34 PM
I'm using Learning Language Arts Through Literature - American Lit this year with Carrie (11th grade) and we like it. You can do it with just discussion or you can assign the writing (there's not heaps). It requires no teacher prep.