That said...I have decided to do just a basic pros/cons ditty on the HOD program. Since everyone's experience and tastes/likes are so vast and probably unlike mine-it only makes sense to just note those bullet points instead of launching into some long post about it.
So here we go:
Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ Program thoughts:
image from HOD site
*Nicely laid out and easy to follow. Little or no prep outside of the arts/poetry sections.
*Covers Bible, history, science, math (if you want to follow the suggested program), writing, geography, poetry, literature/reading, lang. arts (to an extent, as I am not 100% sure on that since I didn't do their suggested program). [I may have missed a subject as I don't have my guide anymore-so check the website for all that].
*4 day program allowing for 'catch-up' on 5th day or family activities/fun (or whatever) on non-scheduled day.
*Non-overdrawn assignments that are adequate and not overwhelming (esp. for younger/struggling students) with extension options for those kiddos who want more to do.
*Not extremely expensive compared to other lit/larger 'all in one' programs.
*Many of the books they suggest are easily found via the library for those on very tight budgets.
*Charlotte Mason inspired. offers good supply of literature (well for all the reading/history so yah) to satisfy most literature loving families. (You can always supplement with more for the veracious readers).
*My son enjoyed learning about these eras and he walked away with a new knowledge of it-which means he learned something-and believe me when I say this: that doesn't always happen when you use a program.
*Great appendices that list all the info needed for suggested books, supplemental work for older students, etc. Very helpful and easy to use.
*Loved the Bible choice!
*Copywork and diction, very CMy.
*Art lessons for Poetry are very redundant. Would have liked to see different mediums/styles taught (not that one cannot do that, it is just when not all are artsy and can figure that out/do it). I understand the need to keep supplies limited but more techniques and mediums should be taught.
*No personal study of the actual poet (Robert Frost) is included. What? That defies CM methods and needs to be added (see my post about adding extras into the program) to get a better feel for who he was and why he chose those type of subjects to write about. I added it but I am used to finding that stuff and teaching it-to those new to CM or not having ever done an Artist study it could prove to be too much to pull together and therefore, discarded. :(
*No musician study. Again-another "WHAT?" There are plenty of choices and should have been included at least one dude. Since Robert Frost was studied and he is totally not in the era of creation to Christ (which is to be expected since we really don't have that data on poets or musicians from that era) then a composer or musician from his time frame could have and should have been included.
*No artist studied either but there are drawing/crafting activities that pertain to the eras so that is OK here for this time frame. There is enough to give examples of what art was like/used to express in those cultures. Could there have been more-yes. Necessary-eh, probably not. Like the poetry and musician concerns, you can always add in more to your liking. The point here is that when you buy an 'all inclusive" (well for the most part) program, you expect to see it there. I knew this going in (say for no personal study on Frost) so it didn't surprise me. If you read the descriptions you can see it isn't there. But boy would it be nice for future printings. :)
*Like many programs-I feel the age range is not correct, meaning I would suggest this particular one for kids in 6-8th grade for most families. The suggested 9-11 seems -well WOW, I don't know many 9 yr olds that could handle this. I have my thoughts on aging a program and it usually is below what the author/publisher suggests..but that is another post for another day.
Some of the stuff (like the study of the History of Medicine) was kinda deep and heavy. Younger kiddos may have a lot of that stuff fly over their head. For HOD, I wanted to actually get the guide below this one but it had too much stuff we had already done-and we really needed to do C to C-so I went in knowing it may be too much at times since my son is dyslexic and struggles with reading. I suggest you know your kid and make your decision (for any program) based on their skill level. My son had no problem understanding the material-he just could not do a lot of on his own or we had to tweak/drop some things b/cuz he simply was not ready for it.
*Didn't like the geography choice. Dry, boring and so we actually dropped it mid-way. I couldn't do it. There are other great programs out there and I am not the only one to say this about it.
And that is that. As with anything-it all depends on your family, your kids and their personalities/learning styles and skill level. It was a good fit for what I needed this year, my son learned and I didn't have to 'think' too much. Which with all we have swirling around us was the point for purchasing it in the first place. For this coming year, I am going back to what I know works super swell for us and the things we missed. There is a reason my shelves are stocked with this particular program and I am happy to report we're going back 'home' to it.
SO what is on tap for the coming year?
I am glad you asked (well if you didn't, you're gonna read about it unless you click off this post now...).
Ah-well I am excited to report that we are going back to our old fav: Beautiful Feet Books history guides! WHEW! I guess I am more of a control freak than I thought as I like to 'cut and paste' different things together to create a program for our year that is tailor made to us. We're going back to workboxing too! With a program like HOD you kinda don't have the option (without a ton of unnecessary work) to workbox. My son spent a lot of time 'wandering and wondering' and I just got sorta checked out this past year b/cuz I was a passenger not the driver. Not gonna happen again unless we are knee-deep in the adoption process or something....
Here is what we're gonna do this
coming 2013-14 school year:
images from BFB site
*Beautiful Feet: California History and Westward Expansion
(I just need to get the W.E. guide cuz it is relatively new and gasp! I don't own it-yet)
This is a fun one-takes us from Europe when exploration was just getting revved up, to seeking out different continents/peoples and faster ways to the Orient. Then we'll move on to the expansion of the US to the west coast. Think gold rushes, transcontinental railways and pioneers with steely souls searching for their little paradise. Literature based and notebooking and timelining and all that fun stuff.
image from BFBooks site
*Beautiful Feet: Geography study using Hollings C. Hollings books. We're done one map so far but I saved the other 3 (due to difficulty and the subject matter) for now. [I have the older guide, not sure what improvements have been made but since he is our last student (at this point) I am not repurchasing. I am satisfied with the one I have.]
images from Apologia site
*Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 and 2 plus the notebooks.
We've done the Astronomy and Zoology 3 already. Looking forward to these two this year.
image from their website
*Italic Handwriting by Getty-Dubay.
Simply moving along to last two books. Love these.
image from Scholar Pub. site
*Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading Level 2.
This is a continuation to the first level that has been working for him. Dyslexia sucks people-just sucks. There I said it. We started with it a few weeks ago and so far, it's working great. I am holding off starting the Little House study til September.
image from Common Sense website
*LLATL Purple level.
I am going to cherry pick thru this because he get a lot from the Phonics Road study but it will give us a few more literature options and cover grammar, copywork and dictation. I think I could put him in the Tan level but we haven't done much with grammar and this one highlights Farmer Boy-so we're keeping with the Little House theme with this level.
*Math-well here is where I am stymied. We've been using Abeka but I have Saxon and when I get a moment I will go thru the Saxon 54 or 65 to see where he'd fit best. Otherwise, I will get the next level of Abeka and go from there.
*Artist/Musician study: TBD (working on selections and will post once I have them)
*Nature Study: TBD on the focus
images from MP website
*Latin: Prima Latina and then quickly move to Latina Christiana 1
I have held off on this due to the reading issues but want him to start on it. He should be able to handle the switcheroo to Latin back to English (esp. since much of our language is Latin based) so we're gonna try it. This will also help with our nature study and science lessons.
image from Apologia website
*Bible: Apologia Who Am I? and scripture study
We did book one already and will just continue on with the series. We'll also do verses and prayer study like we did this year.
And of course we'll get back to our workboxing to pull this all off! We missed it and altho it is more work for me, the organization and his knowing what to expect are so worth it!
So that in a nutshell is our experience this past year and what we're looking forward to exploring this year. Now to get some energy to start planning, get the final products I need and come up with some fun works and projects too.