Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Good, The Bad, and What We LOVED!!!

Well our 2012-2013 school year is coming to a close and that is always a good time to reflect on what worked and what didn't this past year. So here's what we used and what we thought of it.

The Good

Word Roots

Language Lessons for Little Ones

Get Ready for the Code series

Exploring Creation with Zoology 2, Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day

What We Believe Series, Apologia

The Bad

Honestly, nothing that we used this year actually falls under this category. Unlike the absolutely wretched something we tried last year that still angers me to this day.

We did have one thing that stopped working for us this year...

Growing With Grammar level 6 - We started using it last year when Susan Wise Bauer decided not to publish Advanced Language Lessons. (Wahhhhh!!  We loved First Language Lessons.) GWG worked wonderfully for us last year. This year we have seemed to hit a wall with it. So we will be moving on to something else next year. I still think it's a great program, definitely worth a look if you are searching for a self-led program for your child.

The real "bad" for us this year came in the form of two type 1 diabetes diagnosis'. Learning to adjust to a new, and much more complicated, life style takes a lot of time and energy.  On top of the learning curve of just caring for the girls, we quickly learned that blood sugars that are out of range can lead to an inability to focus on things like school work. We often had to "reschedule" our day to work around difficult blood sugars. This, on top of review items, led to us taking a bit longer than normal. Which, of course, meant "lesser subjects" got pushed aside. Things like...

Visual Latin - Wahhh!!! We love Visual Latin. Love, love, love it. We hope to get back to it next year.

Artistic Pursuits - for both girls. Not as big of a deal for Mackenzie as she takes art classes at our local co-op. Kayleigh just did more informal crafty projects that went along with what she was reading.

Composer & Artist studies

What We Loved

Sonlight Core F, Eastern Hemisphere - It was fabulous!!!! Hands-down the highlight of our school year. A wonderful look at the world God created filled with tons of moving books. More than one book had Mackenzie begging to read ahead. It really got Mackenzie and I thinking more about those around us and helped us prioritize how we pray.

Sonlight Core p 4/5, Exploring God's World - This is my second time through it and it's just as good the second time around. Since I had updated the core there was even a little newness for me. Kayleigh just loved the books, and like her sister, likes to read them again and again.

We've been using Sonlight for 8 years and we just adore it. It's content is the absolute best (in my not so humble opinion). It's easy to use, just as easy to tweak. It's always the best part of our school day. :)

All About Reading pre-1 - Love, love, love it. I'm super excited to do Level 1 with Kayleigh next year.

Math-U-See, Zeta and Primer - MUS is hands down our favorite math program.  Despite the unique scope and sequence, Mackenzie continues to get near perfect scores on her mandatory standardized testing.  Mackenzie will be moving on to Pre-Algebra and Kayleigh will continue on with Primer.

Institute for Excellence in Writing - Our first year using it. I don't know why it waited so long to try it. It's revolutionized Mackenzie's writing. We love everything about it. And it provides us with great entertainment because Canadian Andy is hi-lar-i-ous!!!

Raising Rock Stars Preschool Memory Verses, 1+1+1=1 - This was our second time through this. We always enjoy Carisa's stuff. It's sad to think that we've now reached the point where Kayleigh is too old for most of it. :(

So tell me, what did you love this year? Or not.



Luke Holzmann said...

I'm so glad you're still loving Sonlight! Core F is a very unique Core, so I'm thrilled you and Mackenzie love it [smile].


Brandy brockhausen said...

We had a similar experience with Growing with Grammer. It seems like that subject is the hardest for me when it comes to finding a curriculum that works over the long haul!

Brandy brockhausen said...

We also loved Zoology 2 this year. Apologia is definitely on my list for next year!

The Zookeeper said...

We have also loved GWG I am using levels 1, 3 and 7. We are really learning a lot with it and it was the hardest item to pick out for me last year - so hard that I waited until January of this year lol... We are using IEW on lesson 4 and I agree, Why did I wait so long. Great wrap up for your year.

Missouri Mama said...

Wow, we use a lot of the same stuff--Zoology 2, What We Believe, Math U See Zeta, and IEW. My friend also has two tweens with Type 1 diabetes. They have a dog trained to alert to their highs and lows.

mary sanders said...

We LOVE Excellence in Writing. :)

Jenn said...

I love the idea of going through a year in review. I'm a little afraid to look back on ours at the moment (still not finished.)

Your post has me second-guessing my high school decisions for next year. I drooled over the Sonlight booth at our convention last month. I loved it for 3rd grade. LOVED it. But high school seems different somehow. I need to think on this one some more.

I loved your WP post. I have come close to making purchases through them many times, but never have. The grammar errors in the catalogue were a turn-off.

Audra Silva said...

We love Math U See, here, too. I'll have to check out some of your loves...might find something new to try. :)

Praying you all adjust to the diabetes, soon. We're gluten free, and it was a huge adjustment, but got much easier with a little time and learning. :)

Jennifer aGlimpseOfOurLife said...

I've loved having just a little more time at home lately and picking fresh fruit.


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