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Highschool History

Highschool History

I am looking into Heart of Dakota, Sonlight, Biblioplan, or My Fathers World for high school. I would love to hear from anyone that has used these. What was your experience, and which one would you recommend?

This post was edited on May 19, 2017 11:26 AM

re: Highschool History

We started SL Core 100 and it is ABSOLUTELY overwhelming amount of reading. It's important to note that it's not reading your kids would choose, but assigned reading. I think I thought to myself "Ah yes my dd goes through two novels or historical fiction PER day. SL will keep her busy." No, SL just kept me nagging and her frustrated and overwhelmed trying to keep up with books she would not necessarily choose. It is a LOT of reading. Originally it was designed for American Expats living overseas without access to after school clubs, activities and libraries. It really reflects many hours per day. FOr example, in Core 100 you read 3-4 chapters per day of Story of US, plus another 75 pages per so, per day, from other books.

My son tried a MFW package and was underwhelmed. The Notgrass book is a little condescending and IMO written somewhat below grade level, with big huge font, simplistic wording and even basic concepts spelled out (think, of it as the APologia of Homeschool History)...also we were frustrated by the fact that 90% of the books used abridged versions. They are not difficult books and my son was super frustrated by that. (and my son is a special case, he's pretty advanced/gifted/mature/deep thinker so it is not accurate or fair to judge MFW off of him...)...BUT BUT BUT, with my daughter, I could see it working beautifully because:
- it is not overwhelming
-shoots for depth not breadth
-great notes for moms
-helps kids move along quickly (they can always learn more if they're interested)
-excellent value for the money
-great lesson plans that are easy for kids to follow
-subject matter and CONTENT is beautiful and engaging. I think they may have a great idea about not shooting for it to be mind numbingly difficult. It's important for teens to have a chance to have a life, and MFW gives them a great Classical education, while still having time for a life.

I've looked at HOD and never bought it because I was totally overwhelmed by the TM's. It packs in so many little things in each son doesn't need all the little projects, and my dd would be overwhelmed trying to transition so much. She'd get lost drawing in her bedroom.

Hope this helps.

This post was edited on May 19, 2017 06:59 PM

re: Highschool History

My pick is Heart of Dakota. Although the books are great, I would caution only to use the living library option with a quick reader who enjoys school. Otherwise, there is a lot of reading. I have only used the first two years and looked at the last two. We will be using the third this year. I also think it is fine with Heart of Dakota to leave something out. There is a lot packed in there. However, there is a joy to it. We used one year of My Father's World high school (older two boys, not this set). It worked, but it still seamed more textbook-like than Heart of Dakota. We used Biblioplan this year because we had to have a get-it-done approach. I like it OK, but I think my children learn more with written and oral narrations than worksheets. I am also not as good at adding extra literature, etc. with this one. I am going to throw one more idea out there. One year (older boys) we did two of the Mystery of History books for high school world history (books 2 and 3). We enjoyed that as well. I highly suggest the printable notebooking pages. We ran them off on antique-looking cardstock, and it makes a great notebook.

re: Highschool History

Do you still have high school children? What would you recommend?

I went through high school with our 5 olders, but we didn't have many options. We did some ABeka and Notgrass.

Now that we have 3 more coming up the path, I am looking, too.

I was thinking of using Biblioplan or MOH next year, but at a loss after that.


re: Highschool History

I don’t know what you should use. I cannot compare/contrast as we only used MFW. I can share more details about that than you care to read or hear about. Nothing is perfect for everyone. Using MFW was solid college prep for my oldest. And it was ideal fit for middle gal who is “slow to average” because of the format of the program and my willingness to accommodate her special learning needs with audio and such. Other people hate and despise it and think any of the programs would be better. I hate to say this, but its going to come down to small things that make a difference to you and it may be from trial and error. I know that’s captain obvious, but it’s important to remember that.

I used MFW high school for all 4 years with two of my children and both of them have graduated high school. I realize everyone experienced everything from their own point of view and respect that it sucked for others.

to have context for my perspective, I get the joy of looking back after the fact and it's all done. It's a great feeling on this side of all of this homeschool decision stuff.

My oldest is in college going into her senior year of undergraduate and has been on dean’s list every semester. She has a triple major in STEM (she’s attending an ABET accredited engineering school, that is very well respected in our region). She is very strong academically and is a deep thinker. She enjoys her humanities Gen Eds and philosophy courses as well as her engineering, comp sci and math.

Using MFW was plenty strong in high school even though Notgrass is lighter text, and even if we were tired of ancient history. Middle gal is deferring any post secondary education at this time so I can’t brag and say that she’s college ready. I will say that it’s not mfw fault for that, she has learning disabilities and needs to grow more before college.

Regarding the amount of abridged versions, I was quite confused by that assertion as I didn’t recall it being that high of a level or any frustration on that. Maybe the books have changed? Nope. I just checked on that. hmmm... This is my perspective and I’m sorry if this is longer than anyone cares but helping to see the unseen.

AHL abridged: I was not frustrated that MFW used a condensed version of Epic of Gilgamesh. That story was abridged.

These three: abridged or not? Iliad and Odyssey are translations anyway and plenty long and quite detailed so we were not frustrated or felt it was too low of an academic class with the Fagles translation. I do not know what an unabridged version of Homer would have been like in English translations. The Fagles translations are quite long enough and cover many weeks of school. Bulfinch mythology does not cover all greek/roman myths but covers a huge amount. Neither Fagles book nor Bulfinch are considered anything like a readers digest condensed version or anthology text condensed. I just don't think of any of those as abridged. Other people might. ok.

None of the other books used in AHL are abridged as far as I recall.

Wait a minute, Bible: the academic argument could be made that since it used the 66 books of the Bible that are in common between Catholic and Protestant then an abridged version was used. But all verses of all 66 books are scheduled over AHL and WHL. But ok, if one is Catholic or other group that uses the books that Protestants don’t consider canonical, then an abridged Bible is used. Never thought about that until writing this post.

Maybe the argument could be made that since the student is not reading original ancient text in original language but modern translations? In neither time of doing AHL did I see it as the vast majority of texts as abridged. Gilgamesh, yes that is abridged. Fagles and Bulfinch for Homer and basics of mythology? Maybe but seems more gray area to me on that. But I respect that others were frustrated by it. We were not.

WHL: argument could be made (but not a good one) that Julius Caesar version is light because a form of the play was used that had original and modern language. But it was not abridged as the full original text was in there. With ancient epic poetry like Beowulf, it’s a matter of perspective. This was not your “abridged anthology” version at all.

US1: some of the materials are closer in nature to an anthology style (That would be many things from the American Lit Supplement, but not all of the selections in there were abridged). The novels scheduled are full original text.

US2: I don’t see any abridged stuff. The daily lesson planner has a list of about 18 or so novels and they suggest the unabridged versions.

Again, sorry if none of that matters to anyone. I’m not fighting with CT on her perspective. She has the right to set the standard in her house for her needs. I just did not experience that the vast majority of selections were abridged and needed to go through each year to see if I was blinded to that.

What I did experience was that my oldest never wanted to take another literature course after high school and was sick of literature by the end of MFW. She took and easily passed CLEP analyzing literature and that was accepted by her college for her Gen Ed literature course.

and by the end of homeschool high school with "history" as the focus of what program to pick, all of us are sick of history study as the driving force of what we study. good grief, who came up with the idea of 3 rounds of classical rotation of history?!?!?
With my youngest child, who has moderate special needs, we decided to go for quick and simple history texts to just get er done. Notgrass was light and perfect to get an overview of world history and we went with simplified US history text and workbooks.

*edit to clarify: oldest still reads books (in genre of her choice), but doesn't want to do "literature courses".

This post was edited on May 20, 2017 10:44 AM

re: Highschool History


Back to the OP:

my oldest is going to college at 15. He used a ridiculously easy and basic hostory course just to get UC approved credits, before we switched gears and decided on the CC path.

I was going to recommend you try MFW. I think it's got depth and completeness without being overkill.

re: Highschool History

My daughter did Notgrass Adam to Us, and really disliked it. Do you think she would like MFW since they use Notgrass too? I know MFW breaks it up some though with other books.

re: Highschool History

What didn't she like about it?


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