Is there really enough "meat" in the Beyond progra

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Is there really enough "meat" in the Beyond progra

Post by lmercon » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:23 pm

I'm pouring over a couple of curricula out there and am trying to make the best fit. The other program I'm currently with has major WOW factor when it comes to the amount of material and the "coolness" of the books they choose. The amount of material here doesn't even come close to the amount of material in the other program. I know that more isn't necessarily always better, but I do want to provide the richest experience for my ds. Please share your thoughts on this if you can. I would love to hear from people who are currently using or have used this program.

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Post by Carrie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:39 pm


I have reworded this post several times to better convey what I want to say.... Since I am completely biased about the content of this program :) I'll bow out of that part of the discussion, but I will point you toward a couple of links on our site that give you our reasoning behind what we do. This first one is a look at our educational philosophy:

This next link is a brief overview of our programs. The third paragraph is especially important to what you're asking:

The last link is a look at each subject area and why we choose to teach it the way we do:

Your educational philosophy and how you feel about the areas linked above will make a big difference in whether Heart of Dakota is for you. Heart of Dakota does fit many different types of families with various philosophies. Many of our books are old favorites which have stood the test of time and qualify as living books. However, these books often do not have the visual appeal or the WOW fator. They are considered living in the way that they are told. While we do strive to use visually appealing books whenever possible, we don't pass on a living book based on that.

If you desire a program focused on consuming a large volume of books, or if you believe the quality of a book lies mainly in its visual appeal, then Heart of Dakota may not suit you. Only you can sort through that.

I used to believe that more was better if I wanted to "cover my bases", but I soon found that while my oldest son read beautifully and in large volume, I couldn't keep pace with him or interact meaningfully with him about all he was reading for school. We missed much pondering and animated discussing of truly excellent books that we now have as we read more slowly over time. He still consumes as many books as he wishes on his own time! :D

I'm sure the wonderful ladies on the board will chime in to help you with your questions! :wink:

Last edited by Carrie on Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Melanie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:01 pm

I've not done Beyond yet, but have it on my shelf for next year. :wink:
I'm looking through and I'm seeing plenty of reading....history reading everyday, storytime reading everyday with the added bonus of using different genres, plus actual reading using the emerging reader books or Drawn. There's also weekly Bible, science text and devotional reading. I may be missing something, but this is just at a glance.

You can always add a book about the time period being studied or an extra science book if you want, you'd have plenty of time. We always have some other type of chapter book going on at night...just finished Mouse and the Motorcyle. There are lots of great book list that you can look at!

I have a dear friend who uses a "literature-based" program that shall remain nameless, but sounds like what you're describing. She does love it, but she hardly ever finishes what is scheduled for the day and it does require some juggling.

I know it's hard to make this kind of decision...we've all btdt :wink: and HOD may not be for you. Just keep asking questions, look at the sample pages, and pray. Hopefully you'll find some peace when you do make that big decision! :D
Using LHFHG with
ds - '00
dd - '00
dd - '02


Post by paliz » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:08 pm

I've been quite happy with Beyond and find it to be enough. Course I have to be able to spread my time out with 4 kids so. I also think as flexible as the program you would be able to add things if your child shows a lot of interest in it.

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Post by Vicki » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:53 pm

I'm a new user of the Beyond program with my 7 y/o grandson.

I can only say positive things at this point with our journey through this program. What we've learned in just the few short days we've been using it is amazing! I've read ahead in the manual, and things look great to me. I love the book selections, the science experiments, history readings, Bible memory work, song CD, and the geography work. Everything blends so well together, and natural connections seem to come easily from that.

Believe me, I've tried the "lots of books, lots of ideas to pursue" way, and it's just not organized enough to provide a slow, steady path. You could possibly add in something with each unit, like maybe read another book or possibly pursue a geography rabbit trail, but it's not necessary. The program looks to be very full as is, and definitely seems to follow a Charlotte Mason-style way of learning. Remember, CM's teachings weren't about lots of bells and whistles.

I have to also say that this is a very affordable program.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

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Post by Tansy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:33 pm

we used Beyond last year, I found it to be exactly the right amount of school for my little one. Yet light enough we could double up on days if we wanted to got o the zoo on Friday.

One of my fears in home schooling was "Am I going to leave out anything that is really important?." Once I got my hands on little hearts I did not feel that way. My neighbor the 2nd grade teacher was asking "Questions" when I started telling her all the subjects in the program she was floored. I was feeling very intimidated at the time and I was happy to see her back down.

I like the fact that we have enough time to purse our interests. Like right now I'm considering adding a 25 min chinese lesson to our daily work. i know i can because we have plenty of time left in our day.
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Post by my3sons » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:40 pm

Hi! It's nice to meet you, and you ask a good question! Yes, I do believe there is enough meat in Beyond...! We used it last year, and my son is thriving this year with Bigger... Many skills taught in Beyond... are done in a rotating manner so that at first glance, you may miss the "meatiness" of the program in its entirety. This rotation of skills keeps them fresh and interesting to children, and provides the basis for deeper skills in the next curriculum. It also prevents school from dragging on forever, which gives needed time for children to be creative and imaginative as they explore personal interests.

My advice would be to be careful of the WOW factor. It's often "eye candy" that lacks much depth. For instance, my children are "WOWED" by the pictures in DK books, but when I read them to them, they often can't remember anything I read. The pictures are beautiful and wow me too, but the information is not written narratively, so it's quickly forgotten. That doesn't mean we don't use DK books at home - it just means they've become more like resource books, like an encyclopedia would be.

The historical people and events my son got to "know" last year in Beyond... are like well-loved, old "friends" to him this year. I give this example because Eggleston (which is what we're reading now in Bigger...) at first glance doesn't seem to have the "wow" factor. Actually, however, it does.. it's just not in a glitzy way. You'll find that Beyond... is a very balanced program that has tough skills in it taught in a simple, rotating way. Hope that helps some, and if there is a specific part of it you are wondering about, please ask some more questions, and I'd be glad to "chat it over" with you! Have a great homeschooling day!
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
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Post by 6timeboymom » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:32 pm

I haven't used Beyond yet, but about the volume of material:
Here's what I've learned-my kids LEARN their stuff. They can still remember it years later. I have yet to meet a public school kid who can do that...unless it was something they were already interested in. We did a curriculum one year that was boxes and boxes of books, hours of reading, and while I loved the content, it was really way too much. It was incredibly overwhelming to all of us! We found that one or two really good books was better then the boxes of sorta good books. Which, I think, is in line with the CM approach.
Nobody gets a perfectly rounded education, regardless of where you get that education. The difference between home and public is that we have the opportunity to teach to their strengths as well as teach them to teach themselves. Crazy concept, but I don't think they get that anywhere these days.
well, that may be a bit off topic. :lol:
mom to 6 great boys-"they've got me surrounded!!"
using: as much HOD as possible! :wink:

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