Friday, March 30, 2012

Language Arts, Part 3

The next year, I bought some used Bob Jones University Press books. They included several textbooks and workbooks for each grade. Again, there was so much work, I felt like we spent half the day doing language arts. I guess if you're stuck on BJU, it's okay. It seemed very thorough. It went into sentence diagramming and a good amount of grammar. But it was just too much.
PROS: Very thorough, good for those who like a classroom approach
CONS: Too much work per child, especially if they are not close enough in age to use the same books.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Language Arts, Part 2

The next language arts program I tried was K12. I really liked it. It was thorough from a grammar and spelling standpoint, and there were a lot of interesting stories to read. However, again there was so much work involved, it just felt overwhelming. While I would highly recommend their phonics program (worth the price if you can afford it), I don't think I would use their language arts again.
PROS: very thorough, no scheduling required
CONS: very work-intensive - there's grammar and usage, spelling, vocabulary, plus phonics for early grades, plus literature. It's also expensive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Language Arts, Part 1

The first language arts program I tried was Alpha-Omega's Lifepacs for 1st grade. In short, I didn't much like it. There was not a lot of substance as far as I was concerned, and it cost way too much for what it was. Fortunately, I was able to sell my teacher's guide the next year and recover some of the cost. I don't think I would try AO again for language arts.

PROS: Nicely laid out, easy to follow, no planning involved. Good for parents who don't like to spend time planning.

CONS: Not advanced enough for my 1st grader, too much busy work.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Here we go again

I have had an almost irrestible urge to blog lately. It seems like it usually comes in the middle of the night. I'm trying to fall asleep, and the same thoughts keep going around and around in my head and I think, "Tomorrow, I'm going to get up and write about that." And then I don't. And yes, this has been going on for a long time. I don't know if you'd call it writer's block or what. But I feel like I need to work through it. So I think what I'll start with is reviewing curriculum I've used. I like talking about things that have worked for me, and maybe it will help someone else who has a question. Then I can move on to less structured topics. So tomorrow, I'm going to start with my favorite subject, Language Arts. In the meantime, tell me what's worked for you?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

It's an app, app, app, app world

A couple of months ago, my dad decided to get an iPhone and pass on his iPod touch to me. Like I needed something new to take up my time.

I instantly became addicted to it. I know this is a big shock to you all, knowing how much I hate technology and all things new and cool (cough cough).  Yes, I am my father's daughter.  Anyway, it is undoubtedly one of the coolest things ever and will accompany me everywhere I go for many years to come.

The one thing I didn't really know much about before I got the thing was "apps."  I thought apps were the things you got before dinner (ba da boom).  Who knew that my favorite thing to do with my new iPod would be browsing the app store for FREE STUFF?  Because, as I may have mentioned once or twice before, I love free stuff.

There are so many cool free games available, it's scary.  I've found a few I really like.  One of them is "Alchemize", a game where you match colors and gradually trade up until you get to gold.  Alchemy - get it?  Anyway, it's horribly addictive and I have been know to lose hours at a time to it.  And I Still. Haven't. Won.

Another fun one is "What Song?" which uses your own music to play a sort of "name that tune" game.  The faster you get the right answer, the more points you get.  It's fun, my only complaint being it doesn't ever seem to end.

I have a neato shopping list app that remembers everything I've entered previously, so the next time I want to buy it, I don't have to retype it.  Nice.

I have an app that lets me send unlimited text messages to any phone.  Free.  So if you want to be texted, just send me your cell #.

And then there are the podcasts.  The Lost podcast, the Vampire Diaries podcast, and on and on and on.  So many podcasts, and all free!  I'm listening to Jay and Jack on the Lost podcast as I write this.

So, do you have an iPhone, or iPod touch, or iPad?  What are your favorite apps?  And more importantly, are they free?