Thursday, February 9

Are you familiar with...?

As is usual for me this time of year, I'm already thinking about a new year of homeschooling starting next September. With a new baby coming at the start of summer, I'd like to have some decisions made before she arrives so all I'll have to do is acquire the goods so we're ready for start-up. But I'll resist thinking about actually doing school with a new baby in the house for now, I'll just breeze by that part and think more about it when the baby is actually in my arms. Why borrow tomorrow's issues?

A couple different products/companies keep coming into the forefront of my thinking... and I'm thinking about adding a few new things to the mix (as I do each year.) We don't have it all figured out, and I'd like to learn a thing or two from those who've used any of these products and find out what you've loved and not loved about them. Or any recommendations you may have if you have experience with them.

Here are two I'm contemplating at the moment:

Apologia Science
I'm not sure which particular subject we'd choose, but am wondering what your favorites are for the Elementary crowd?  I know of a great used bookstore that carries these so I can get my hands on one for much less, and have had my eye on Apologia for a couple years now. 

Switched-On Schoolhouse
I've been researching SOS for a few weeks now, and even spoke to a representative from the company in the last couple of weeks.  I'm thinking about using SOS for my boys for one or two subjects. They'd share the same subject and level since they're only a grade apart, and you can enter up to 5 students at a time for record-keeping.  I'm trying to think ahead a bit to next year and life with four babies/preschoolers and I'm just trying to be a bit proactive here knowing that my time will be stretched pretty thin.  Plus, my boys love any chance (no matter how small) they get to be on the computer.  SOS is biblically-based and I've read a lot of great things about it.  Have you used SOS?  Known anyone that has? 

Thank you ahead of time for your insight!

8 comments on "Are you familiar with...?"
  1. We went through the entire apologia elementary. I think I liked land animals, swimming creature, botany, flying creatures, and last astronomy in order of preference. We are doing the human anatomy next year. FUN!

  2. We used SOS for one year. I think we did about three subjects in it. It is ok, but for us, the format was always the same, and it wasn't very exciting. For students who are workbook orientated or really like to read a lot on computer and then answer questions it would be good, but for kinesetic learners and those who like variety to the assignments, I would choose something else.

  3. We've been doing Abeka Science, History, and Language Arts for a few years now. Satisfied, but his science scores were lagging quite a bit for last year's testing.
    I've heard good things about Apologia.
    This is what I'm considering for science:
    Robert has watched/listened to some of her free online classes and we were quite impressed.
    I've used Alpha/Omega workbooks who also produce Switched On Schoolhouse. Robert prefers workbook-style learning, but the Alpha/Omega was, without a doubt, too "workbooky" for us.
    I'm also looking forward to getting new curriculum already! Something about this time of year -- we get our second wind! :)

  4. We did Swimming Creatures in Apologia and the girls loved it. It was a bit advanced for them so I read it aloud to them then they did the projects and discussion at our co-op. I think it is geared toward 7th grade. (not sure though)
    We are doing Switched on School house for Kali this year. I love that it schedules and grades for me, but she gets bored with the same format and like Bonnie mentioned it is not really the favorite for kinesthetic learners. I am thinking it would be great for maybe one subject like math and then use other programs to round out the program. I have been thinking a lot about next year with a teenage Russian speaking girl. I am with you on trying to think it through now. :)

  5. We are doing Apologia Astromony and my little guy loves it. I love it because you can buy the kit for the experiments and everything is already together.

  6. We did Apologia Astronomy when NK was in 2nd grade, and I just started it over again with N and K (3rd & 1st grades.) I love it, though I'll say that depending on the learning style of your child/children, it may be perfect OR too much for the young ones.

  7. We are using Monarch from AOP this year for our 8th grader, same content as SOS, just internet based. I "think" my goal is to use books entirely through 5th grade, and start to branch out into more independant learning starting in the 6th grade. My oldest was in the 8th grade when he started computer based learning, but I really wish I had made the switch sooner. We are three-fourths of the way done with this school year using Monarch, and I am really pleased with the whole experience. I chose Monarch over SOS because I didn't want to have to back everything up all the time, and also with it being online, he can do his work no matter which computer is available, or whereever he is as long as internet is available.

  8. Cathy WatkinsFebruary 15, 2012

    This is my first year using SOS and neither of my kids (6th and 8th) have complaints. I was warned that there are errors in the curriculum and this has proven to be true. Numerous time I have had to go in and regrade things because it said something was wrong that was actually correct. I get a bit overwhelmed with how much grading I still have to do at the 6th grade level, but that is because I have not been a homeschooling mom long and am not used to having to grade papers. 6th has much more grading than 8th. I am intrigued by Monarch though. I did not know that it was the same curriculum. My kids have been computerless for a month as their computers are in the shop, so an internet-based curriculum would have been helpful for that; however, we are on the road a lot, so I am not sure that would work as well.


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