Learning at Home

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lucsch

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
  • Grades Used: K4
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
I'm a little late with the review, but time and perspective have only heightened my appreciation of Ann Ward's "Learning at Home." In fact, my memories are so good that I cannot bring myself to resell the guide.

My homeschooling story starts with a big.fat.failure of a year homeschooling two of my sons in 2004-2005. We used a popular Christian textbook/workbook curriculum that year--one they had used previously in their Christian school. We were miserable. I knew I had to find a different way to homeschool my daughter, then just a toddler.

I found this guide quite by accident for a few dollars, and, still in the stage of not really having to commit to homeschooling, decided to start using it with my previously unschooled daughter, at age 4-1/2. The results were AMAZING. This guide has a perfect balance of preschool activities (there are Kindergarten extensions in the back). She also learned to read up through CVC words and do some simple math activities appropriate for her age. We bounced and threw balls, learned to skip and hop, danced and sang preschool songs, and read lots of great children's literature that introduced a wide range of topics. There are even suggestions for field trips.

Fortunately, for us, we found nearly every book in long-term storage at our extensive library system. These older books were such a blessing! Older is better, in the case of children's books, especially in those specified with this curriculum guide. A few I purchased, such as "Banner Forward" about a guide dog for the blind, and "Etti-Cat,"manners taught through the antics of a cat.

Best of all, I'd found the type of curriculum that fit "us." I credit Ann Ward for making our success in homeschooling possible. Sadly, she only wrote curriculum through grade 2. I actually own 1st and 2nd grade guides, as well, but did not use it, as the geography is very outdated.

BTW, a wonderful follow-up for "Learning at Home" is "Little Hearts" from Heart of Dakota.

Debora

  • Reviewed on Sunday, May 26, 2013
  • Grades Used: Kindergarten
  • Dates used: 2013
This book is excellent! I originally purchased it when my current 9th-grader was in Kindergarten (at less than half the current list price). I only used it as a planning resource back then. This upcoming school year, I will be using it with my youngest - she will be a couple months too young to start Kindergarten, but is more than ready to learn. I like the layout and that the weekly lesson plans are already put together for you. Many of the recommended books are no longer in print, but it's easy to substitute other books to fit the theme for the week. I already have an extensive children's library, so I won't have to do a whole lot of supplementing - and we go to our library every week so I know I can check online to see what books are available ahead of time. I plan to supplement with the "100 Easy Lessons" reading program, some memory work, and I'm debating about adding in specific handwriting lessons from Abeka - just to be able to get a head start on cursive.

lisam5305

  • Reviewed on Monday, February 18, 2008
  • Grades Used: Pre-K
  • Dates used: 2007-2008
This is a very good book. It's a little expensive to buy brand new, but there is usually no trouble finding it for sale used. I was not able to use this as a "complete curriculum" mainly because we live way out in the country and it is such a chore to go to the library. When I did try to find some of the books at the library, they didn't have them. (This book is a little dated.) What I ended up doing was just including my pre-k'er with my other (older) son's lessons as his interest dictated, then I used this book for song and P.E. suggestions. The author really put her heart into this book, and it's worthwhile. Even just the beginning pages are so good that I copied them to keep them in my teacher's notebook from now on, for encouragement and inspiration. Just keep in mind that if you are going to use this book as intended, you have to have easy access to a good, well-stocked library.

lindsey

  • Reviewed on Friday, September 15, 2006
  • Grades Used: 1st
  • Dates used: 2005
I purchased this book as a starter book to get myself acquainted with homeschooling and to keep my daughter moving along on her education while I pursued my search for another curriculum.

I felt that this was a good book, well worth the cost, but I would recommend it as a frame work book instead of a complete curriculum. It has some wonderful ideas and pages in it but I am not so sure that it delves deep enough into things for them to really master any skills and maintain what they have learned.

It does require quite some prep time on the parents part to pull together all the recommended items, books, and supplies. I also had a difficult time finding their recommended reading books, as my local libraries either didn't carry them or had them checked out (maybe more people were using this and needed the same books?).

Overall I would say that this book is a nice jumping off point but wouldn't recommend it as a sole curriculum.
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