Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

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InHim
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Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by InHim » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:09 am

Can you give me your opinion on why I would pick using Heart of dakota over something like ACE or another more independent curriculum that is easier on mom with more than 2 children? I genuinely want to know the benefits of HOD as I seewith 2 packages it seems a lot of mommy time will be involved tryingto juggle teaching and discussing with school age while tending to very young ones who can't keep themselves occupied for long. So those of you who do have many children how do you juggle doing the hands-on approach of HOD while tending to younger ones who want to interupt ALL THE TIME- he is so BUSY! :roll: My youngest does take a nap in the later afternoon, but by then the older children want to play with friends and we have places to go, so school during nap time doesn't work well.

Imean is HOD really that doable? :D
Julie

water2wine
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by water2wine » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:38 am

I have six kids and we have tried the only textbook approach similar to what you are suggesting. I found that way more labor intensive than HOD. There is a ton of correcting and coaching in textbook/ workbook learning. I was never more overwhelmed when we did school that way. Doing HOD is definitely a breath of fresh air. I would gladly do three HOD programs and I know I would have way more flexibility and free time than if I had them all in a traditional style program. There was a lot of what can we cut out and go lighter on when using textbooks because it was all so taxing to keep up and finish it all. When I do HOD school is pretty much over when it is over, with textbooks I could never get it all corrected. It was a huge burden for us plus my kids were not retaining the information as much. The difference with HOD is huge to me. Not to mention the depth of having them really connect with what they are learning in their heart when you do HOD.

But having said that what blesses me might not be what blesses you. I do not think in general HOD doing two programs is at all over whelming and in fact I would think three is very doable. But if textbooks are calling you then it is not that one way is better and the other way is wrong. It is a personal call that I would pray about. I know God will be faithful to lead you. But try not to let fear be the reason you pick one of the other. I was afraid I could not do two HOD programs at first two but it has been the biggest hsing blessing to us. :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

inHistiming
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by inHistiming » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:12 am

Well, I'll give my reasons for choosing HOD. I have 3 children...I don't know if you call that many (my husband does!) but it can get pretty hairy around here. And we are expecting another in March...so I've wondered myself if we'll be able to do this when the baby comes. :shock:

We are using Bigger...this year with my dd 8 and my ds 10 (also using the extension pack). I also have LHTH that I use with my ds 5 sporadically...it's supposed to be his Kindergarten year, but he just turned 5 in June. We are not required to start with him until he's 6 so we do have wiggle room there. I have just passed my 12th week of pregnancy, so though I'm still tired and nauseous sometimes, I think I am beginning to get some energy back. I'm giving you background so you'll know where I'm coming from! :lol: Anyway, we started school August 18th, but we are still just in Unit 3 of Bigger...due to the fact that we have a 4-day week until the end of November (co-op on Fridays). Before that Daddy was home on Fridays so we took off for that. We are easing our way into doing 2 programs. I have DITHOR, Carrie's reading program, but we have not started that yet. My plan was ( and still is) to start that once we've really gotten into our 'groove' with the main manual. Same thing with my younger son's program...we have done it sporadically, and intend to add more as we get the other 'more important' schedules in place.

My reasons for using HOD...I found this when we first began homeschooling in 2006. We had actually 'tried' homeschooling twice before, but this was when we did it and stuck to it! I like the fact that I would be involved with all of my daughter's learning...she had been in private school until then and I did not know anything about her day except what she or her teachers told me, which was not a lot. She had been in Kindergarten and preschool before that, and had a vision problem we did not know about until April of that school year. By then she was way behind! I felt that Beyond...would be a gentle guide and we could work really hard on getting her up to par in reading. She enjoyed working with me...she used to cry every day when I dropped her off at school because she wanted to be home with Mommy. By Christmas she was doing much better with her reading, but not as well as we wanted her to and knew she needed to be doing, so we shelved Beyond (well, the left side)...so we could just focus on reading, spelling, copywork, and math. This helped tremendously and her reading had greatly improved by the end of the year. Now, throughout the year, I was also homeschooling my son, using a different program...LifePacs. I chose them because they were very independent and I thought he would like them. And he thought he would like them. However, we struggled all year. He definitely had the ability and did complete the workbooks...but it was like pulling teeth. He wanted to be involved in what I was doing with my daughter. And I felt bad for not spending more one-on-one time with him.

So, when it came time to look for curriculum for the next year, I knew we wanted to go in a completely different direction for him. For some reason, I did not really consider HOD...I think I didn't realize how great Bigger...would have been for him at the time. And, I didn't look into it for my dd either. :roll: Anyway, we went with a completely different Unit Study approach...Learning Adventures. This is for 4-8 grade students, and I planned to just use something different for my daughter in the subjects she couldn't handle...like L.A., Math, History. Well, we loved the literature selections, and all the content and studies were great. However, it took too much time (for us) to get through it each day because I was spending so much time doing separate things for my daughter. We often did not finish until 4 p.m....too late for us! Again, a year of struggling and wishing I had done something different. Not the curriculum's fault; it just didn't work for us.

Around March I got the idea that I could go back and finish the rest of Beyond with my daughter...and after asking for advice here, I decided to do that. Even though that meant doing 2 programs instead of one, it was still easier because I did not have to tweak History, or Math, etc. And I found she was much more ready to listen and understand the readings as a 2nd grader...that's just my daughter. Others do use Beyond for 1st grade. Anyway, at that point I decided we needed to go into HOD for all the kids...because it is NOT time-consuming, it is hands-on, and my children are engaged! My son sat in on our storytime and history readings in Beyond last year...they're just that attention-grabbing. Living books...another CM method.

So, after much research, I decided to use Bigger...with the extension pack this school year with my dd and ds. Once we decided and ordered it, I felt so relaxed. I knew I would be doing 2 programs, but it is doable. And though I didn't know it, God knew our circumstances this year would be changing and he helped me to choose a curriculum that is all laid out for me. It's ready to go, and that will get even more important once the baby arrives. We are still working our way into doing ALL of it, but I feel confident I will be able to manage it, and well. Even with DITHOR and LHTH added, I should be able to finish within 4 hours. That is a huge difference compared to last year, and I'm so grateful. HOD has made life much easier. I tried Sonlight, and another all in one curriculum on our false-starts with homeschooling and I was not as impressed with either the content, Christ-centeredness, or price as I have been with HOD. :wink: Those are our reasons for using HOD over other curricula...I'm sorry it got so long. :oops:

I'm off my 'soapbox' now!

GingerN
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by GingerN » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:30 pm

A wonderful post...thank you!
Ginger

Rebecca
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by Rebecca » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:35 pm

Dear Julie...
I am one of those moms with a lot of little ones- so I felt I should chime in...

First: what are the ages of your school age children? and your little one(s)?
Second: Have you used textbooks/ACE in the past and been happy with your school?
Third: What is drawing you to HOD?


Water2Wine said:
But having said that what blesses me might not be what blesses you. I do not think in general HOD doing two programs is at all over whelming and in fact I would think three is very doable. But if textbooks are calling you then it is not that one way is better and the other way is wrong. It is a personal call that I would pray about. I know God will be faithful to lead you. But try not to let fear be the reason you pick one of the other. I was afraid I could not do two HOD programs at first two but it has been the biggest hsing blessing to us.

This is a great response! I highly encourage you to heed the above words!

Before I share my thoughts I would like to say that it really is true- all that you read on these boards about the joy, ease of use, and efficiency of HOD. However, the Lord is the Master of you and your home school and you have to heed his direction. It is okay to try something, not like it, have it not be a good fit, learn and move on... this I know- as I have tried much and felt guilty over some curriculums that didn't fit me- even though they were awesome in the Lord!


Now, I have NEVER used a true textbook approach- personally by far preferring to use Living, Whole Books in our school- and I would read aloud much, much more than I do to my children if I had the time!!!! However, my husband and I have pondered textbooks- not so much to lessen MY load- but to protect our dc and give them the kind of Christian education we want for them... and also to be more organized with our school. It can easily lend itself to disorder!!

I personally feel that HOD is a wonderful blend of great Christian textbooks and living books...and it is wonderfully organized! :D

I would like to say that I think much depends on your personal priorities for your children/ home school and the goals you share with your husband as far as how deeply involved you are in discussing and interacting with your dc. In fact, just yesterday, I was sitting on our couch with my DH and saying how we have prioritized my interaction with our children in their schooling over housework. It is a full time job to cook, clean, wash, etc. a household of six children at a certain level- I could fill all my days just cleaning and cooking! But we, together, have decided that it is better that I use my time relating and teaching our children- and so my DH shares the load big-time with the work... and we are content with less in some areas- I will say- we need to improve and organize in this area- but it doesn't change the fact that housework is not my highest priority. Because this is my priority, I work- sometimes not so successfully, at training my young children so that I can attend to the olders. I also try to get the olders to follow their schedule so I can nurture the youngers... everyone loses out when children are unruly. This I KNOW ALL TOO WELL. :(

It is my great joy and delight to discuss and interact with my eight year old. It is my great joy and delight to make foil boats and sail them in the bathtub with my young children (and the older ones, too)...

I, for the most part, try to accept that as a home schooling mom- my days are filled with school. In fact, my school day is not really over until 4 and even then, I have a personal read aloud scheduled with my eight year old- right before he goest to bed... We only school 4 days a week- so that I can attend to the house and other things more fully on Fridays. This is because of juggling several levels. I have never been able to get school done by noon- except when my oldest was K age- because I always wanted to have that time with the pre-k ones, too. I don't resent it. I accept it and realize I live by a different plan than others.

I am so happy with HOD because I have peace that we are thoroughly covering school and I have ROOM to include some extra things that are dear to my heart.

My opinion about why I would choose HOD over a self-directed workbook is because I want to be the number one person influencing and directing the hearts of my precious children. Their school and learning is so important to me. I want to have that time to talk and discuss with my children. I want to be there to nurture their faith in a personal way and be there for their doubts and struggles. For me, being really involved in their school is one way I do this... I have a tremendous love of literature- I take this to the Lord- wondering if it is not always right with Him(I have a degree in English)- but it is something I have passed on to my children... and we have such awesome great memories wrapped around stories we have read. It has created a family culture all our own.

Finally- if you got this far- I would like to say that I do not school through nap time. I get the majority of our school done in the morning. I have a thirty minute to one hour break when my children are resting after lunch and then we pick school up again. School doesn't have to be done during nap when you have a two year old- if that doesn't work for your family. For me, I never could- pregnant- nursing- just too exhausted to completely give up the nap. This year is the first year I am schooling at all for any part of the nap- really. But this year- I have three school age students- 3,2, and K...

I hope you can glean something helpful here. I don't know if I really answered your question...
in Christ,
Rebecca

InHim
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by InHim » Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:04 am

Thanks to all of you!
Rebecca,
My children are 9(boy),6 (girl), 2 (boy) and hoping to adopt a baby girl this year. We have used ACE and MFW(adventures) and different things for math and other subjects etc. Right now the children are finishing up their grades of ACE before Christmas as we started last Feb. I have liked ACE because of organization, flow, content, everything covered, all info. in one wkbk, more independent work, everything feels done, etc.
HOD is drawing me because of content, I love books as so does my children, it looks fun for the children, covers more bases than ACE like Bibleand art, more hands-on especially for my boy :) etc.
I think I've researched about every curriculum and tried so many- if HOD is as doable as everyone says, it seems it would be comparable to ACE, but just a different type of learning.

Julie

stellar
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by stellar » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:05 am

Hello,

I have 5 children 8 and under and HOD is very doable and rich. Of course I agree whole-heartedly with the counsel you have recieved to seek God and His will for you. Every family is different.
Homeschooling does take time and effort, this year has been the best so far because the Lord has shown me that I need to be totally surrendered to Him. I need to surrended my time to educate these little guys.
I would not want to do a self directed with wee ones unless I had to. We are enjoying how Bigger slowly helps the child to be a more independent learner. Speaking of investing my time in things eternal I need to get off the computer. :oops: :lol:

Kari

inHistiming
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by inHistiming » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:09 am

One thing I don't think I mentioned in my other post is that it also has to do with personal preference. I am constantly finding myself drawn to 'curriculum' that is hands-on, lots of reading and projects, etc. with my kids. I know many people prefer their children to work independently as much as possible, and that has it's benefits too. For us, it just wasn't working. It was such a struggle getting my son to complete his 'workbook' when he could see and hear the fun we were having with HOD. Also, things come in seasons. I don't know if there will be a time that we switch to a different curriculum (well, high school since HOD only goes through 8th grade) but there could be a time when it no longer works for us. As others have said, I (we all) have to be ready to be led by the Spirit in the direction He would have me go. So, keep that in mind too. You've gotten some great advice from so many of the ladies here. I know God will show you where He would have you go in your schooling. :D

Rebecca
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by Rebecca » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:00 am

I typed a little reply and lost it! oops!

I just wanted to apologize if I conveyed a "know it all" attitude first and second say I know virtually nothing about ACE so keep that in mind!!

Some of the reasons why I would choose HOD (although this doesn't share how I actually was LED to HOD- but these are benefits I am loving!)
Christ- centered
Ease of Use
Time conscious and efficient
Joy-filled
appropriate
Leaves room for other things I also want to do
Organized
Charlotte Mason (this is big for me)
Living Books

I wrote my other post when I was super tired... :roll:

Anyway,
Kari- blessings on you for choosing eternal things-
Rebecca

my3sons
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by my3sons » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:53 am

Welcome to the HOD board! I came to loving HOD's style of teaching after trying many different things beforehand. I taught ps for 7 years first before homeschooling, and I went through a lot of changes in how I teach during those years. I won't share everything I tried (I fear I'd run out of space here :shock: ), but I will give the short version. First, I loved learning by doing, doing, doing. The more hands-on the better. Get up and move... rotate... switch...Does it sound like aerobics? :lol: It felt like it! Plus, a lot of these things took ALLLLL day, and it took me FOREVER to plan and implement them. Then, I swung to the other side, and loved worbooks... workbooks... workbooks... I used to be the kid that loved SRA (if any of you remember that), so this workbook approach felt natural for awhile. But I always knew something was missing, and while a few children thrived on this, I felt like the "joy" of learning was missing somehow. :cry: Next, came the balance of hands-on/activities and sit-down workbook-type learning. That worked very well, and I could tell we'd finally found our "rhythm" with learning. Last, the thing that bothered me was customizing learning toward different levels. While one child was way ahead in math, he struggled a bit with reading. Another child was way ahead with reading, but writing was much harder. Unfortunately, in ps, one curriculum is all you get and it's supposed to fit everyone. (Needless to say, I bought a lot of things on my own to deal with that.) The last and biggest problem for me, was that God was not anywhere in the curriculum. He'd been shut out. There was nothing to do about that in that job.

So, to make a long story short - the main reasons I love HOD are based on all of this past floundering I've done...
1. great balance of hands-on and seatwork and very TIME-CONSCIOUS
2. ways to customize learning so it's balanced for all of my dc (i.e. I can choose higher math, and lower writing; or higher reading and lower math, etc.)
3. Christ-centered and God-honoring in a memorable, meaningful way

I could go on and on about many other reasons about why I love HOD, but they all pretty much fall into one of these 3 categories anyway. I have 3 children that are almost 9, almost 6, and 18 mos. So, your family and mine have a similar make-up (though we are not adopting :D ). You may be at a different point in your homeschooling journey, and you may enjoy a different method than the one I've described. There's really not one right method, though I'm partial to HOD and probably biased that way! :D I guess I'd just say, if your heart is tugging you that something's missing in what you're doing a bit - give something else a try. You can always go back to what you were doing if you want to, and then you'll be more sure that's the best match for your family anyway. Maybe that something you try would be HOD, and maybe not. I think HOD has wonderful programs, and I think you'd enjoy them, but only you can know what's best for you and your family. I've just found that when that little voice in my head is whispering... "Something's missing"...it's helped me to explore what that something might be and see if I can find it. May God bless you and your family and guide you to His answer for your situation!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie


eazbnsmom
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by eazbnsmom » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:25 am

Hi,

I just returned from vacation this weekend and am catching up on these posts. The ladies have imparted a lot of wisdom, but I thought I would add my .02. My background with ACE is that I attended a Christian school that used it from 6th-10th grades and then was homeschooled using it my last 2 years of high school. ACE is organized, doable and more independent and a good program (as far as textbooks go :wink: ); however, it is pretty dry, like most textbooks. I honestly remember more history from reading historical fiction than I do from my paces in school. No matter what curriculum you use in the early years, there is going to be a lot of teacher involvement because they are just learning to read, write etc and all that needs to be supervised.

What drew me to HOD was the fact that is was hands on, living books etc, incorporates Bible, but already organized in and open and go fashion (I have for the past 4 years been pulling everything together myself), the hands on projects are fun, creative but simple and using mostly household items. I am homeschooling 2 girls ages 8 & 9, 2 boys ages5 & 6 and have a 1 yo running/crawling around. I have found organization of my time to be the best way to help (no matter which curriculum I use). I start the boys and hour - half hour earlier than the girls (the boys school only takes about an hour), while the girls do their kitchen chores and help watch the baby....if the baby is still sleeping then I have them start on a subject which they can do independently) Once the boys are done...or doing some of their table work (math or fine motor skills) I start working with the girls. So far this has worked well with us, but each family is different. Praying that you will know which way the Lord wants you to go.

I hope this is helpful!
Kay in PA

Mom to dd12, dd11, ds9, ds7 & ds3 1/2


BHFHG with dss 7&9 and dd11

MamaMary
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by MamaMary » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:38 pm

Hi Julie,

I didn't read any of the responses yet. (looking forward to in a minute) I found that using ACE for my core subjects and HOD for history/science/bible/copywork/art/projects was a perfect fit. I don't think using all ACE is bad and I don't think using all HOD is best. I think the Lord leads each family so very uniquely. HOD has added those forever memories and snuggle time aspects (memories) well ACE gives us a good, solid, consistent foundation.

HTH,
Mary

Ok, just read all the replies and I realize who you are! Hi Julie! I'm so glad to see you here :D (((Big Cyber Hug and Mary Kay smooch on your cheek))) I honestly believe you would not find HOD overwhelming :D :D :D You know that you and I have very similar homeschooling philosophies and have experienced success with the same programs. (mostly) I will tell you that HOD has been such a blessing. It is everything I wanted MFW/WP/KONOS/Weaver/ETC... to be! I would watch others using those programs so successfully and think what was wrong with me and now I know...., THEY weren't the programs the Lord had set aside for my family. HOD IS! Here we are a year later and still loving it! I hope you do it, just because selfishly that would be a lot of FUN :wink:
Mary, Mama to 4 amazing sons and wife to one incredible husband! Come check us out on the blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

Robinchriste6305
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by Robinchriste6305 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:07 pm

Hello ladies,
I am in my fourth year of homeschooling. We have used traditional textbooks and have moved to unit study type curricula. I have been pouring over catalogs recently because I am not happy with what we are doing. My girls LOVE to read and they are able to tell me about stuff much better than reading a bunch of facts and regurgitating them for a test. (Not saying tests are bad) I really like how HOD appears to be what I am looking for. It almost seems "too good to be true". I really like the study of history in a chronological way. I also like using books, rather than a textbook. I am also looking at Simply Charlotte Mason, and am wondering if any of you have an opinion that would sway toward HOD over SCM? I like the "all n a box" aspect of HOD. Do any of you find the books to be "not what you wanted/expected" them to be?
I realize this may not make a whole lot of sense. I apologize.

Blessings,
Robin in IL
Soli Deo Gloria
Robin

my3sons
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Re: Why would I pick HOD over another curriculum?

Post by my3sons » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:08 pm

Robinchriste6305 wrote:Hello ladies,
I am in my fourth year of homeschooling. We have used traditional textbooks and have moved to unit study type curricula. I have been pouring over catalogs recently because I am not happy with what we are doing. My girls LOVE to read and they are able to tell me about stuff much better than reading a bunch of facts and regurgitating them for a test. (Not saying tests are bad) I really like how HOD appears to be what I am looking for. It almost seems "too good to be true". I really like the study of history in a chronological way. I also like using books, rather than a textbook. I am also looking at Simply Charlotte Mason, and am wondering if any of you have an opinion that would sway toward HOD over SCM? I like the "all n a box" aspect of HOD. Do any of you find the books to be "not what you wanted/expected" them to be?
I realize this may not make a whole lot of sense. I apologize.

Blessings,
Robin in IL
Your girls sound like my sons - they LOVE to read and enjoy telling me about what they have read too! :D We have now used HOD for 10 years, and the boys' learning experience has been incredible. The living books have really been amazing. They retain so much more by doing oral and written narrations than they do from endless workbooks or texts. I read everything I could about Charlotte Mason's educational practices, but it has been HOD that has pulled it all together for me. HOD interconnects learning in ways that I could not just pull together, though I am usually a very planned person. :wink:

HOD moves dc incrementally through skills in a Charlotte Mason way that only an author who spent tons of time putting a curriculum together could do. The 'helps' in the Appendix for how to encourage dc to improve their oral narration skills, written narration skills, and editing skills have been totally necessary for me to properly give guidance to my dc in these areas. I believe our sons have become (and are still becoming) strong narrators due to the varied way HOD approaches these skills from guide to guide, from year to year. For example, our sons have narrated orally and in written form in response to excellent living books in science, history, and storytime. They have learned to give summary narrations, as well as detailed narrations. They have given narrations based on quick sketches as well. This keeps their learning varied yet moving along in difficulty as they mature. :D

The Key Ideas in the guides are like cliff notes for me. I can get the overall gist of the books and know how they are doing with their narrations without reading every single page of each book. I also appreciate the thought put into the activities in the guide. For example, as dc are reading/narrating upon scientists from living book biographies, they are also completing experiments such as these scientists completed and learning the scientific method by doing lab sheets. Activities such as these only work to deepen the learning and often aid in the development of strong narration skills, as they all work together to help immerse dc in the topics being studied.

Dictation is another area that HOD excels in implementation of CM methods. Levels 2-8 systematically move dc through dictation from year to year, resulting in dc becoming stronger and stronger spellers and writers. This is far different from the results when dc do dictation sporadically from different sources with no planned pattern of skill progression from year to year.

Poetry, picture study, nature journal, composer studies, hymn study - all of these are facets of CM I love as well, and HOD has planned for these in a variety of ways through the years. We have so enjoyed these aspects of the guides - each one has its own special things that make each year one to remember. :D

Finally, HOD simply has outstanding book choices. Our dc absolutely LOVE their books each year, and I find myself sneaking away with them to read them myself as much as possible. They are that good. I'm not sure if this answers your questions, but as you can tell, I think you'd LOVE HOD! :D :D :D

Since you'd mentioned testing and CM, maybe this post would be interesting reading (if not, just skip it!)...
Testing vs. CM Approach within HOD:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4693&p=34480


In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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