Not long ago we took the dive into unschooling – Jumping right in. To me, I saw this as a time to throw curriculum out the door – My daughter disagreed though. Turns out she really likes all of those worksheets and books. Unlike my boys, she has a need to follow a certain path (at least for now). Needless to say that had me on the hunt for something that we would both enjoy. When I saw Homeschool Complete for review, I was more than happy to explore their Second Grade Complete program. We received this material as a digital download and the moment it arrived we were hooked.
Being that we love to read, this being both a Biblical and literature based program, I was pretty excited. My daughter too. I love all inclusive stuff because, if I can be totally honest, right now I am anything but organized. With an older son who is a very reluctant, sometimes rebellious spirit, and a younger son who is all about tools and building and creating, they alone keep me super busy. We have spent most of this very cold Wisconsin winter, hiding in our house and just trying to work on better relationships, greater character. And working in a place of rest. I worried that this could upset that initially but, so thankful, I was wrong! I especially love that their goal is more than just facts and figures; they desire for our children to learn problem solving skills, to gain higher level thinking abilities and especially to grow a love of learning. I( am reminded that this is what it is all about.
I absolutely love how organized and detailed this program is! Perfect for this season when I feel like such a mess of a mom! Every subject we need is covered; all in fun themed units too! This even covers art and music; I especially love that there is poetry writing too. I am the first to admit how easy it is for me to get overwhelmed at times, so this was refreshing and encouraging to me. The Teacher’s Manual was quite the blessing! Full of guidance, reminders to encourage and stay positive, it did not just act as a how-to manual for the program but also an inspiring, helpful reminder of being gentle, staying positive. Every day is a listing of exactly what you need to do for every subject. There direction is so clear – In fact, I was just using this program as an example to another mom who was expressing her concern about not doing enough. When we are not sure what they should know, we can always go back to the handy skills list that shows us by subject area, the skills being practiced. Trust me, with this program, you definitely have more than enough. 🙂
Doesn’t this all look so very fun? These are designed for a five day week of learning with the program being completed in about 36 weeks. We are very relaxed in our learning so and kind with our young learners. Walking with them; helping them see clearly. I admit, there were times we went a bit slower. However there was also a lot of enthusiasm on the part of my daughter and so there were other days that we really had fun with this! Each day we would print off the pages that needed to be completed, we would head to a special place (a time I am reminded of the value and power of just my daughter and I) and we would begin. Since she loves to write and draw, I think she really appreciated all the different ways that she was able to “work.” The fact that she really looked forward to this and saw it as “fun” was a great relief to me because, I really want to see my children enjoy and love their learning experiences. I had no idea what a cinquain was before we began this program. Moments like this also cause me to gain a greater love for whatever program we are using. I mean if I can learn from it too, that says a lot.
So how do I explain how really amazing this program is? I mean, I do not think I have really enjoyed a curriculum in a very long time. Any preparation that is required is simply getting ahold of books for the unit, and basic materials that we all have or can easily access anyway. With this, there really is no need for other materials (I am a recovering curriculum hoarder so I appreciate it all being in one place, covering all things). Some of the things they cover are so simple (but we can easily overlook them, at least I can) with daily calendar work. What month is it, what day is it? I sometimes joke that “we homeschool, it doesn’t matter.” But then we find times when it really does and while I believe that our children will grow into understanding, perhaps when they have their very own calendar (my daughter likes to have her own) there is value as she identifies each day, and can see the fun times, experiences and explorations to come. Journal writing also became something that we really enjoyed together; she would often write about her dog or her best friend and maybe draw a picture here and there. At times she would ask me to spell a word or help her with a letter, but more often it was a great opportunity to practice letter sounds and “think on paper” as she says. I think part of her enthusiasm came from me showing her some of my old journals. How fun can it be at times to read and see your journey?
This is relationship based. Sometimes we forget about the value of relationships; we become the teacher. We become the task master. A lot of programs we have used have caused me to feel this way. But this one really is such an adventure; math and reading, writing and Bible time. These all are designed in such a way that you can truly enjoy what you are doing. For my daughter, I see her grow in her confidence most of all, with this. As we read Flat Stanley we also create our own adventure – my daughter loves this stuff – of course she couldn’t be Flat Stanley, call her Flat Cora – she would float straight to the Canary Islands to visit her “sister” we hosted some years ago. She learned about symmetry as she designed her very own butterfly (she has a small butterfly garden she plants every spring). One of her reading lessons even included the name of her brother. Another story she read in this had her daddy’s name. It’s simple, little things but her sweet little heart loves to see and connect things like this. She amazes me as we work through these pages; I love how she snuggles up close as we read all these great books. I am not holding my breath, I can breath again and even though this is a curriculum, I can still feel relaxed and free. As we work, we walk in faith. We imagine and create and explore from habitats and migration to bats and tall tales and rivers. We even had so much fun with tangrams and great songs that helped us learn the states, the continents, the basics of economics. Did I mention there are even some amazing, delicious, recipes to enjoy together? I mean, isn’t this program just amazing?
Being such a bookworm, I just love literature based programs; so many great stories we have experienced. Many we even had in our little home library. Other times we enjoy spending the day at our local library, or on the especially cold days, watching and listening to stories through Librivox , Audible, or on YouTube. I am always amazed at all the great discussions and the rabbit trails we end up following as we enjoy so many different books. It can be easy to forget all of the great lessons that can be learned even when we are “just” learning about rocks or eyes or cowboys. Since our children are all unique, fearfully and wonderfully made, there are activities designed for every learning style included in this program. Having four children who are so different from one another in so many ways, I see so much value in programs like this one that allow and encourage our children, however they best learn. Granted, I did use this solely with my seven year old daughter but the way this is designed I really could use this with any of my children and I believe they would do well. I really wish they had this program for middle and high school levels? This is one of those things that I think is a requirement for anyone who says “I can’t homeschool my kids.” It could not be simpler; it could not be more fun.
Want to learn more about Homeschool Complete’s unit studies & complete curriculum for additional grades? For those of you who are as excited as I am about this one, use the code CREW2019 and get 10% off your order until 3/31/2019. What a great deal! Still not sure? Click on the banner below and read lots of other reviews by our homeschool review crew!
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