Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: For the Love of a Decent Map

Well another week down.  I think it was week five but it feels like 30 so who knows? LOL

Language Arts

We’re still waiting for our LA spine, Advance Language Lessons & Writing With Skill, to be released.  Soon I think.  Woot!!

But we’re still working through Wordsmith Apprentice and Word Root beginnings.  She considers WA to be “for fun” so that is always a breeze.  She loves that she is “learning the ropes at a newspaper.” 

We kind of spaced out on spelling this week.  She always gets 100% on the tests so I’m not terribly concerned.  Although she doesn’t always get 100% in real life spelling situations.  Hmm…

Math

Fractions, fractions, and this week, equivalent fractions.  Those fraction overlays that Math-u-See uses for fractions really earned their keep this week.  I’d like to explain to you how they work, but I can’t.  LOL 

Science

We’re finishing up the lesson on the skeletal system that we started before our vacation.  And as of this post, we’re still not finished with it.  We still have an experiment to complete.  But we have a chicken wing now so we’ll get on it.  That’s right, I said chicken wing.

But we added the skeletal layer to her “personal person” and made the skeleton mini-book for the notebook.

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The mini-book kind of creeps Kayleigh out. LOL  So now she doesn’t really mess with the science notebook.  What a nice bonus! 

Social Studies

Okay, here’s the good stuff…Winter Promise.  (Please visualize my HUGE eye roll now.  Thank you!)

We had a couple of pages in the geography portion that were included the word “review” in the title.

Let me first define review according to the Webster Dictionary: to examine or study AGAIN (emphasis mine)

Naturally, more than half of the material on the worksheet had never been covered.  Naturally, the maps in the atlas provided by WP did not cover the information either.

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Please note that the only city labeled in the Republic of Ireland is Dublin.  Of course…

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So whatever, I have other maps and a computer connected to the internet so what’s the big deal?  Other than I paid a lot of money for this junk and thought it came with everything I need. 

Plus, at this point my eye started twitching.  That’s right, twitching.  I think it’s stress related because when we moved on to science it stopped.  It started again the next day when we moved on to WP.   My daughter thinks it’s hilarious.  You can stop laughing now.

We were studying Switzerland, Netherlands, and, GET THIS, Iceland this week.  (Oh the irony!)  So I while we were reading our the WP thriller Children of Many Lands ( I circle all the errors as I read because that gem is getting mailed back too) I mentioned that the story of Heidi takes place in Switzerland.  I told Kenzie what a great book it is and suggested that she read it.  “Oh I will mom, it’s one of my read alouds.”  So I look on the shelf and there it is.  Then I grab the read aloud schedule to see when it’s meant to be read. 

It’s scheduled in week 26 when we’ll be knee-deep in Africa.  No kidding!!  Really??????  I kid you not.  Why, why, why?????

And while we’re studying Switzerland et. all, they’ve also scheduled this incredibly boring book about…

Spain.   Yes, you read that right.  And most of what we’re reading is common phrases that one might use if they’re traveling to Spain.  So basically it’s me butchering 6 pages of useless Spanish.  (And btw WP, its not spelled SpaInish, it’s Spanish.  For realz.  Don’t worry, I mentioned it in my IG notes for you.  You are welcome.)  Can you imagine how fast my eye was twitching?  I could probably win a contest for us.

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This gem wasn’t even included in the main package.  I paid extra for the Culture study.   There’s one for France and China too.  woo hoo.   I can’t wait to butcher the Mandarin.

Then there was another review page on Switzerland.  If you call new information review, that is.    I decided to flip through all the geography pages and found this shoved in the back.

DSC_0703redo

Now that might have been useful information to have IN THE FRONT.  Although the fact that they expect me to spend more money on paper and ink to print more stuff for this ridiculousness ticked me off. 

So I went to the suggested site and, mistakenly, thought that this new and improved map of Switzerland would make the assignment a breeze.  Of course not.

Screen shot 2011-09-15 at 2.36.52 PM

Maybe it would’ve been more helpful had there been any mountains or things of that nature on the map.  You know, since the majority of the questions were about mountains and such.  Sigh…

Twitch, twitch, twitch…

New Stuff

We started studying Latin this week, with Visual Latin, and that has been awesome.  I would love to tell you more about it but it will have to wait as it’s a TOS review item.  But I will say that I bought the next set so I guess you could say we like it. 

We also started back into our composer studies using another review resource, The Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers.  Love, love, love it!!!  More about it later.

We also got this request chit from Mackenzie the other night.

application

Bwaaa haaa haaa!!!  That is totally going into my Project Life book.

Now my husband has been real tired of all of our WP misadventures so he wanted to see the return policy.  He was over their substandard product.

Oh my are you going to LOVE this.  Please click on the picture and read the policy, noting the part I highlighted.  Double bwaaa haaa haaa!!

Screen shot 2011-09-14 at 6.37.05 PM

You have 4 weeks from the date of shipment to return the material.  “The ‘four weeks’ begins when we ship, so most families have an actual three-week trial time.”

Who are they kidding?  I’m willing to bet the farm that nobody has ever gotten their complete order in a weeks time.  I know it took 5 months to get mine. 

So basically there is no return policy.  You can’t start a curriculum if you don’t have all the parts.  I believe the error-ridden IG was one of the last things that I received.  Plus most people buy well in advance of needing it so wouldn’t even have a chance to try it out before knowing it sucks and needs to be returned and by then your “four weeks” would have been expired.

My hubby was less than pleased and called them last week, to lay into them, but they didn’t answer the phone.  (It was during their posted hours of operation.)  He left a message but has not heard back from them.  Probably they got smart and decided to get nervous because it wasn’t a happy message. lol

At any rate, here’s how Mackenzie’s request worked out…

aproval

So we ordered Sonlight. 

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And they promptly sent an email confirming our order, including a list of what we ordered. And they notified of any back ordered items and included expected arrival dates.  What a novel concept! 

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We sure didn’t get that kind of service from WP.  I’d have killed for a packing list or some sort of shipment update.  You’re flying blind with them.

And just for kicks, read this post from another dissatisfied customer using the same program.  Please note that it was written in 2007.

She had many of the same complaints that I mentioned plus more that she didn’t even bother to go into.   The only thing that has been changed since this was written was the book she mentioned.  It was replaced with an incredibly boring book published by WP.  As you can imagine, it’s not well written.  But it’s been interesting to watch Mackenzie edit the errors. LOL

The really sad thing is that I found her blog when I was scouring the WP forums wondering whether I was the only person who was having a problem with all the errors.  I’m not, there were many people pointing them out.   It makes me sick to my stomach to think that they have known about the issues for years and haven’t fixed them.

I myself have emailed them many times, not only regarding this program, but when I was supplementing Sonlight with some of their U.S. history notebooking pages.  Error, after error, after error I pointed out and never got a response. 

I should’ve known better.  My bad.

It was her post that ultimately made me decide to kick WP to the curb.  She said that she had to spend hours to radically redo the program to make it a success for her family. 

I’ve been checking out their recommended links and such but they’re not adding anything useful to the study, when they actually work.  I have added in a few things like proper maps and Expedition Earth…

But in order to really make this work I need to spend a lot of time researching more useful books and rearranging the whole thing.  I think my head would explode.  I do not have the time or the energy to alter it any more than I’ve been doing.  The eye twitching was more than enough thank you.

So see ya Winter Promise.  You have officially been kicked out of our house.  Our daughter’s education is not something we’re willing to short change and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing while using your products.  Short-changing our gift from God.

Watch for my letter.  It’s coming.  I don’t think you’ll like it but I hope you’ll read and take it to heart.  My children aren’t the only ones who deserve a top notch education.

 

Check out more wrap-ups over at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

10 comments:

Our Side of the Mountain said...

LOL Kenzie's application is a hoot! You DEFINITELY have to save that one! So, you ordered Sonlight does that mean no more "wonderful" "Winterstinks" wrap-ups? I think I'll miss them! ;)

rejoiceandbeglad said...

The application was great! We mostly use Sonlight and have been pleased with both the material and the service.
Becca

whateverphilippians48 said...

We love Sonlight! I think if I were you I would keep calling WP, until I could talk to someone. It looks to me like that return policy could be worked around with all of the mistakes if you could talk to the right person :o I love your daughter's request!

Jennifer said...

I'm wondering about your Project Life book. I don't think I've heard of that before.

Paige said...

I love you daughter's application! I think that I would have switched back if I received that as well. Hope you can work it all out :).

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Wow, I've heard of WP but never really looked into it. I hope you hear back from the company and at the very least, they listen to your concerns.

Mary said...

I used TWO programs the same year for two kids - the Animals and Their Worlds and the Quest for the Middle Ages. I was beyond frustrated. I tweaked and tweaked so much that it was a different program. I spent hours and hours and hours reworking something that was supposedly "open and go" - I used them all the way through and supplemented with tons of stuff. I paid for it and invested time in fixing it so I just stuck with it. After that I decided NEVER AGAIN. I never did write them because I knew from all my previous phone calls, just trying to get what I had paid for, took forever to get a reply - so I just didn't bother.

We LOVED Sonlight Core 5 though!!! SL wasn't the best fit for us, but we found TOG is a great fit and love it.

Have a great school year!!!

Very Blessed Mamma said...

LOVE the application. Love it!

I would suggest selling WP then. i do know people who love it, and they do use a lot of good books. Maybe you can keep the books, but sell the rest?

I hope you get some money back, or find someone to bless with it. I liked the looks of WP, and bought some of the books from my friend a while back, but don't think I would use the guides, but the books. So maybe you will use the books too.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

I will miss your WP updates, but your twitching eye must be so relieved!
Your daughter's application was so precious! I adore your family. :)
Catherine

KGB That's Me said...

A stress-induced eye twitch. Now that takes the cake! LOL Love Kenzie's application! ROFL Reminds me of the tears of joy in Hayden's eyes when we finally tossed SL's LA program halfway through 2nd grade!

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