Friday, January 11, 2013

At the Convention - product reviews

Back in May, I attended INCH (Michigan's homeschool conference in Lansing).  I walked around with a notebook and looked at various curric.  I jotted down my first initial impressions, and then kept them in a stack of papers.  Now I'm cleaning the stack of papers and think it would be grand to keep these notes, without actually keeping that torn up, beat up piece of paper from 8 months ago, lol!  So here it is.  I hope no one is offended by it.  And I also hold the right to change my opinion at this year's conference:)

Horizons Pre-Algebra:  "Wow, complicated.  Definitely need the TM & resource book.  Need to work through it myself." This is what I wrote at the time.  I eventually purchased this, worked through the first 20 lessons, and now it awaits my 12yo to start it.

Horizons Health - "very 'feelings' based" LOL.  I remember seeing stuff about "situation - how would you handle it, how would you feel?" and tests about personality and study preferences.  Very "you" focused, and "feelings" focused.

Abeka Health - in contrast to Horizons Health: "very 'safety' focused. Don't, don't, don't" lol.  It was a lot of things like, "don't drop items running on electricity into a sink of water".  Lots of don't statements.  Not so much "feelings" based like Horizons:)

Abeka (in general): "very direct, to-the-point with Science and History.  Grammar was very complicated."

Living Books Curric - very booky.  My younger dd would like it (she likes these sorts of things).  MI History book looked good.

BJU - World Studies (7th?) "visual, great style for a textbook.  Lists to help with geography & people.  Liked grammar better than Abeka.  Science - too conversational & religious tones, seemed to go on..."  I have to add, I love the looks of BJU Science - the photos are fantastic!  However, I really feel the text and the questions are too abstract and too wordy in nature.  I wondered if the DVD lessons would help override this and make it doable.  It does seem very advanced, though, so if you have a science kid, this might be a good option.

I also looked at WinterPromise and MFW.  I love (love, love, loved) that WP has a printable e-book version of the TM AND you can make changes to it.  I'll say it again: I love that!  I think MFW would do quite well to move to an e-book TM like that.  MFW has waay too many problems with copyright (what you can and cannot reproduce for your family).  I think they would be better off making the TM and the student pages on CD as an e-book.  Sell them separately if you'd like.  Having student pages on CD just makes more sense, rather than buying 5 sets of student pages (eek!) so that each of your students, including your 2yo, can mess around with the pages.  Give it a good clear copyright:  you may reproduce for your immediate family, only.  You may not resell the CD.  Or, better yet, have it be a downloadable e-book - this eliminates any potential for used copies to be floating around out there for sale. 

There.  Notes saved for all time in cyberspace.  The original is getting filed in the round file cabinet:)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I am still here, reading. Not commenting much though, am I? I like your product notes. It has never occurred to me to take notes in the vendor hall! What a great idea!