Showing posts with label Curriculum ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curriculum ideas. Show all posts

Friday, September 11, 2015

Curriculum Tour 2015-16. Part 1 and 2 video tour!

OK, here are the video tours of the curriculum we will use this year. 
It's not all of it but the main stuff. I plan on making one for the 
artist study with more details.  Anyhoo-enjoy!
And please be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. That way
you will get notifications on any new videos! Thanks!

Friday, July 31, 2015

2105 Not Back to School Blog Hop : Curriculum

OK, so they started the Not Back to School Blog Hop early this year!  Of course, I didn't think to look when it actually started-but because we were gone for vacation for most of it-it wouldn't have mattered.  So, here I am a bit behind and so I do not have all of our curriculum ordered yet.  I usually wait til mid-August.  I try to find stuff used first, so I wait until folks are selling before I go the new route.  I have a few items pictured BUT it is by no means all of it. Look for a YouTube video (hopefully soon) where I will show what I have.  I may wait tho until I get the rest of my ordering done. Anyhoo-

I have one student.  He is 7/8/9 th -ish.  I hate to put a grade on it because each subject is different for him. This is my "hope to get to this coming year" plan but as with this past one-nothing is in stone. We have learned to go with the flow (last year was a hurricane)-this is what I hope to cover:


Continue studying great artists-Monet, Seurat, Chagall and Tiffany.  Using a variety of materials to do this.  Including See the Light Art Projects DVDs, calendars, stickers, various books from library and my collection. Notebooking is a part of this as well.


Confirmation class.  Finishing God's Great Covenant.  After that-??? I haven't decided yet. Also, memory verses.


Car/Motorcycle and small engine repair:  various books from library, notebooking and a ton of hands on training from his teacher, Mr. Dad.  


Continue with the study Around the World from last year. We have completed Australia, Antarctica and most of Asia.  There about 15 countries left to do, then we will move on to the others. Variety of materials.  Includes: Mapping the World by Heart, maps/atlases, Continent Boxes (see all my posts on those), notebooking, various books from the library on each country/continent, Around the World in 180 days curriculum and Uncle Josh's maps.  


Basically, not planned this year. He will finish the couple of books from the SL 5 series we haven't finished-then we will take a break from the regular history.  Actually, the Beautiful Feet Books History of Science is history but I am categorizing that under the science section.

Literature Arts: 
(writing, reading, spelling, handwriting, etc.)

LLATL: green and tan levels.  He is finishing up the green then we will move on when done.  
HW:  Getty-Dubay Italic (whatever he hasn't completed in book g) and Italic Character HW
Grammar:  Winston supplemental (finishing) and Advanced
Writing:  IEW level B
Reading: various books
Spelling:  IDK  yet (I have a few guides to use, like the one posted but nothing official)
Vocab:  Marie's Vocab flashcards, reading


Saxon Algebra 1/2 after he wraps up a bit from last year's text


One or two composers.  Still debating which ones.  Using various materials I already have and The Young Person's Guide to Composers.  


Beautiful Feet Books:  History of Science guide/books
includes experiments
Archaeology with some fun hands-on activities

I want to do a foreign language (I have some things about) but not sure we'll get to it.  I may wait until next year as this one is a heavy load.

That is what I hope to use/cover this coming year. Looking forward to seeing what you all are going to us too!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Planning and Purchasing next year's curricula-how I do it (usually)

So it's that time of year again, when we moms dive into websites, catalogs, stroll vendors at conventions [if you attend] and poke through various blogs to find all sorts of neat goodies we could purchase for our cherubs.  Usually this is a fun activity-especially if you need a break from the every day schooling to dream upon what you want to do next year.  I do that and actually enjoy it.  Crazy but true.  I love the thrill of the hunt and the planning of new things to study.  Others tho, may not.  I am not sure which category you fall under but if you need some 'how does that old gal do it?' kinda advice-continue on dear blogger pal.

If you have just started homeschooling or you can't seem to get a handle on it-maybe something here will help you out. For those out there that are can do this with mind-boggling precision, then perhaps this is not the article for you.

Now,  I know that some folks are all super organized with everything done all computery like-but  I do not go that route. Too old fashioned I suppose.  I like the ole pen and paper approach. Only after I have that done, I will go ahead and click the goodies onto the 'wish list'  for both Rainbow Resource Center and Amazon.  Mind you-that doesn't mean I will actually purchase it all there or even buy everything noted on it. I do that so it gives me a good visual of what I need to be on the look out for (of course, I can add to it as well) so that I will be ready to order when our pocket book is willing and able.  Plus, having it finalized (in loose terms) I have a list I can cherry pick from when I am out at local garage/library book sales, local shops and such.  I will also scan the resale online sites before paying full price on most things.  Not workbooks tho-I almost always buy those new unless there is a sparkly, spanking new one with the set.  I also make my book list (at least for the first semester) so that I can cruise the library website to see what I can find that way to help save money, then note what I cannot get and just order those books.

One thing I have learned over the years (mainly it's our funds for purchasing which have played a major role) is that you do not need to get everything new!  Seriously-unless you have a lot of kids coming up behind where you know for sure the program will work [for all] then a new item purchase would warrant forking over the larger sums of cashola. Less spency things are not necessarily in this category-I am talking the big bucks stuff. Of course the exception to that would be if it were a new program that just came out on the market.  But you get my drift.  I have also swapped books/materials with good pals from time to time to help save too.  But beware.  You should be sure they are responsible and loving toward your stuff (same goes for you) so that it isn't returned damaged or worse-destroyed or not at all.  Know who you trade with.

Here (finally) is my super simple but effective for me way of doing this.  

Step 1:  Write out some simple educational/personal growth goals you have for each child [and/or for the fam as a whole] for that coming year. Nothing deep or too wordy but just simply what you want to see accomplished. This is your first paper.  This is what you can pull out as the year progresses and see how you are doing. You can always add/delete to it, but by having this you can easily see if the fam is hitting those noted milestones. Remain flexible.  Life happens. I did not know we'd experience the death of my brother this year, so a lot of what I had hoped to cover, simply was not.  And that is OK.  I just carried a few things over to the new year's list. Actually, I was able to add a few things that we didn't think we'd cover too.  So it evened out. *No pic here.  I feel this is a very personal thing and don't feel the need to share-I believe you get the point by the above advice.  This is meant for our family and is something that should remain private-I suggest the same for yours.

Step 2: Take paper-fold into three sections with paper's long side horizontal-write out list. This one can be modified or just scribbled over as you double check and clarify. This is the messy, preliminary list that will be pitched once I am all done spending/creating and organizing this stuff. It's after all that when I make one final (nicely printed) list of the subjects and main curricula/materials needed (sans the have/order list) to refer to throughout the year.

Here is my chicken scratch list-made quickly. 
I went back to it later and noted a few changes 
as you can see with the pink pen. Again, it isn't
super detailed. I don't even have the artists/musicians listed yet.

First up: list each subject and main curriculum choice
and various other little additions. 
Do this off the top of your head and don't worry until you get to the have/buy sides.  Just list away. Sometimes when you over think it-you forget or miss stuff that the 'flow as you go' method catches. You can go back over after to find gaps or make corrections.
Middle-list what you already have.  
Third-what you need to buy in each category.
Once completed-go thru your stuff!  I found I had listed a workbook I actually purchased last year that we hadn't used yet.  I would have re-purchased it-not cool. Actually-I saw I had a couple repeats on it!  Yikes! So double check every nook and cranny first before finalizing 
the wish list on your favorite sites.
  Seriously, that is it!  Nothing too complicated. Just the facts ma'am. Just the facts. 

*When I had more than one student I would simply jot down each child's name at the top of the page and list what was needed for that year.  Then I converged all the 'to buy stuff' onto one big order list.

Step 3:  Once you feel you have the things you want to purchase noted, head to your favorite sites and start your wish list.  I didn't say 'buy list' because sometimes you can find them cheaper somewhere else or you may decide you don't want that item after all.  For example: I am still on the fence at this point for our Bible studies. I don't need to decide right yet-so I listed two curriculum choices that could work.  I have a noted list so I won't forget and I can pick one of those when I go to order or go with something completely different.  It just gives me a visual and frankly, it's a reminder that I need to spend more time figuring out that subject.
**I use Rainbow Resource Center mainly because they seem to have the largest selection and I can make and print a wish list quite easily.  Then I hit Amazon.  But there are plenty of other merchants that offer this as well-so the choice is yours.
For some reason the RR list didn't delete the geography art book had crossed off, so I did it after.  I also noted a few things to refer to later.  I also listed the Amazon and other companies here too.  I can go onto Amazon and see in my saved Wish List items in more detail and move them to my cart later.

This is my newly updated list-I just placed an order for a few things and could remove them. I figured I should type up a new one so I could read it. LOL
I also decided to print out a purchased list because I am already starting to get things for next year. I had to place an order now because we need the Monet calendar and a science kit (was already in my Amazon cart) immediately-hence why I have already made a dent in our next year's list.  I wanted to be sure I wrote those items down so I didn't repurchase or forget I have them.  The art list is for my shopping at JoAnn, Micheals and Hobby Lobby this summer or when I see sales on those items. I got ahead of myself (not sure why) and noted the math download as purchased-but alas, it is not.

Possible Step 4: If you plan on attending a convention then have your list ready to go. BUT for all that is good and gracious-save yourself the "UGH! I could have bought that for $$$$ less!" scenario. List the things you want to look at and or buy at the convention but only after you spent some time online/catalog researching to compare prices.  WRITE the lowest price you found next to the name of the source selling it with some sort of key like A for Amazon, or SL for Sonlight or RR for Rainbow Resource, so you can refer back to it later when you finish your shopping. AND for extra good measure, walk the circuit a couple times and 'window shop' jotting down prices as you stroll about because you may find things cheaper at other vendors or by ordering online later. Most vendors usually have convention sale prices/deals so watch for those as well. That way you know who has the best price for whatever it is you are looking for.  DON'T panic if you come back and it's gone. They usually give you the sale price on an order you can place right then and there which will be shipped to you. That way you don't come home having overspent.  Also beware of the 'bug eye' convention syndrome.  You DO NOT need every cool and dazzling thing out there.  Write down the name/brand/price and who is selling it. Get catalogs.  Think about it! Then after the fuzzy haze of convention wears off you can make a more informed purchase.  I have some books that are pretty much door stops now because I was careless (at first) and didn't follow that plan of attack.  Money gone for something that was an ill fit for us, that we never even used.

Possible Step 5: Now for giggles-I make another paper where I denote anything I need to make/put together for the coming year and that just simply helps me during the summer break.  I will pick and choose my point of interest and work on it as time allows.  Again-nothing elaborate or too detailed.  I don't need to drown myself in the nitty gritty but just give my ole brain a quick reference from the 'do it woman' list.
After I took the picture I wrote down the names of the artists and musicians. That way I can be on the look out for activities and materials to work on specific to them.

And there you go.  That is how I figured out a simple and easy way to plow through the planning of curricula and materials we'd need for our schooling.  I tried the super organized, super detailed way and all it accomplished was to kill the thrill of planning.  So I came up with this easy-peasy way that seems to be working. Hope you can glean a nugget of goodness to help you with your planning/shopping too.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

What's on the Geography Shelf: IKEA Puzzle Box

As promised, I will be posting about what we have on our geography shelf.  Obviously, there are many things one could incorporate into their supplies-this is just a sampling to give you ideas of what you can do.

I will be adding stuff as we move along but for now this is what I have.  The IKEA storage box is great for holding puzzles because of its size.  I am able to stuff the Nat. Geo 2 side World puzzle and a few others in it.  The Animal Jigsaw puzzle book (by Garry Fleming) was given to me by a friend a few years ago, and I am excited we can integrate it into this unit.  It is below his skill level but hey-while I am reading him something about that particular continent-he can be putting it together.  He does well when his hands are busy whilst I read so it is a win-win situation for us.  I also see there are few other puzzle books in this series and I am seriously thinking of getting the continent book.  Again-not difficult by any means but it is way cheaper than getting the Geo Puzzles I want.  Again, being that he is our last student, I hate to drop too much $$ to pull this World Geography unit together.  If I had more coming up behind him, it'd be a different story.

The only issue I have with the puzzle book is that Antarctica is only a picture!  They really should have figured a way to get it to be a puzzle too.  It's a shame. Otherwise, the graphics/pics are very nice.  I see you can pick one up via Amazon for pretty darn cheap too.

The puzzle holding box is on the second shelf, right-hand side.

Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop: Curriculum

Don't forget to participate!  
I'd love to see what you have
chosen for your family!

Wow! It's already time to join the Not Back to School Blog Hop for this year! Frankly, we had a late ending to last year (uh-literally just finished the second week of July) so gearing back up at this point is almost too painful to contemplate! But hey, thanks for stopping by! If you are new to my blog I wanted to give you the 411 on us. We have been homeschooling for over 20 years and have graduated our first three [yep, we homeschooled high school too] and are currently winding down our adventures with our fourth child, who is at the 6/7th grade level.

We follow mostly a Charlotte Mason//Literature (with a tad of Montessori in there) method so our choices reflect those styles but we are also eclectic, so there are plenty of other little things thrown in for variety.

**I linked to where you can find out more about each product, but unless it is an Amazon link-I have no affiliation with the companies.  I just really like their stuff and thought I would share the best place I have found to get them. My best advice for anyone (especially newbies) is to buy used first, reserving new purchases for materials you cannot find that way.  Workbooks and any test booklets, etc. usually fall into that second category. Two great places for used books are Homeschool Classifieds and the Vegsource Homeschool site.   

2014 Curriculum Choices:

We will study:  van Gogh and maybe Seurat if we have time
                          no musician chosen yet

God’s Great Covenant, New Testament Book One | Main photo (Cover)Who Am I? (And What Am I Doing Here?) Volume 2 | Main photo (Cover)
images from
I will either restart the God's Great Covenant Series: Book 1 NT I bought last year or get the second book in the Apologia series: Who Am I?  I dunno yet.  I am still trying to figure out this subject.  Again-I barely finished last year, so I haven't had time to contemplate it all and I had to put the God's Great Covenant series aside as it was just too much for him last year. This is on my "to figure out" list.


5th Grade Homeschool CurriculumSonlight Eastern Hemisphere:  This is listed for about 5th grade.  I have done this 3x already and find many of the books to be above that level so this is a good fit for most 5-8th graders.  I usually try to fit this in between 6-7th grade.  I have a much older version but it works just fine. I will be covering just the history and some of the scheduled Bible from it.

Image from

Our boy is dyslexic so he's a bit behind in the language/reading skills, so that is why some of this seems a bit lower than it should be for his age.  But that is the beauty of homeschooling-you tailor the education to the child not the other way around.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Tan Student Book | Main photo (Cover)Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading Level 2 Curriculum Set | Main photo (Cover)

Learning Language Arts Through Literature Tan Book for the main backbone. A few times per week we do the Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading Level 2 that we started early last spring. I got this used at half price through homeschoolclassifieds. We are also reviewing the All About Spelling materials I have just as an added boost.  The LLATL has some spelling but dyslexics struggle with that so I try a bunch of different things to work through this subject with him.  I will have to do a separate post on that.

Winston Grammar | Main photo (Cover)Italic Handwriting Book G 4th Edition | Main photo (Cover)

Winston Grammar: level 1.  I ran out of time to do this last year with him, so this year we'll get moving on this.
Literature books for history, those assigned from LLATL and misc. stories cover his reading. I have this from previous students, so I only need the workbook.  I also have the second level so if he flies thru this, we'll do that as well.

Handwriting is easy-he's just finishing his last Italic HW book he started in the late spring.

images from


Geography Study Guide rev | Main photo (Cover)
Mapping the World By Heart Curriculum w/ Maps | Main photo (Cover)We are covering world geography this year.  I have a whole area set up in our classroom just for this. We will do this more Montessori style using Continent Boxes (search Pinterest for ideas) and will add in Mapping the World by Heart (I have a very old guide but again-it'll do).  I may throw in a couple other books to guide us through this but haven't determined what ones I want.  I will write a post just on our geography once I get that all worked out.  But you can see the few posts I have on our Geography box and our Geography Board for more info.  We also need to do the last book, Minn of the Mississippi in the Beautiful Feet Books Geography series. We'll tackle that alongside the world geography about once or twice a week until done.

image from


Saxon Math 7/6 4ED Homeschool KIT | Main photo (Cover)Saxon 76.  I am looking at some of the Fred books (we have the Algebra one) like the fractions and such to add in for fun and for a good review.  I will try to borrow those tho, not buy them.  Otherwise, it's all Saxon.
image from


This is a new study for us and we're pretty excited about it.

Archaeology Book, Geology Book, and Intro to Archaeology & Geology Parent Lesson Planner Set | Main photo (Cover)Archaeology and Geology Pack

I am going to throw in a bunch of various hands-on stuff to really make this a fun study.  I have been picking up a few things from the dollar store, gathering goodies I already have about the home and will probably buy a kit or two like these: Dig! Discovery Kit: Maya Temple and Dig! Discover Kit: Easter Island

          Dig! Discover Maya TemplesDig! Discover Easter Island
archaeology/geology image from rainbowresource; kits images from


Spanish for Children Primer A | Main photo (Cover)Latina Christiana Student Book I | Main photo (Cover)OK, every year I try to cover Latin and every year it gets waylaid.  Maybe this year.  I will do my best to work this in.  I want to get him going on Spanish too but with his reading/spelling issues-I simply have not been able to add those to our schedule.  So for now I will just say-if we do get to it I will dust off our Latina Christiana Series.  This looks for for Spanish-I do have an old version of Powerglide for it and we could use that but this looks more engaging....Spanish for Children Primer.  I will have to go thru the Blog Hop to see what other folks are using.  So this is another TBD subject. LOL.
images from

Well that about covers it!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope I helped you find some neat things to use for your homeschool curriculum!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013 : Curriculum

Wow-it's that time already?  I am not in the mode yet but have done most of my purchasing for the upcoming school year-thankfully.

12 year old son

This year I again (sadly) only have one student-my son and I are heading back to our roots this year with doing our own thing (verses using a pre-planned curriculum like we used last year). I am excited about that because even though we learned and expanded our knowledge using the other style, it just left us without much 'us'.  I don't know even how to describe that really, but we kinda like doing our own thing on our time schedule.  It is how I began homeschooling way back in the early 90s and I missed it. We missed using our workboxes too. Probably me more than him tho. I saw how he began to wander and 'escape' the second I left the room b/cuz he didn't have those boxes filled with his activities and he needed to wait on me for much of the lessons so-as you can imagine [an active boy] took any chance he could to go MIA as long as possible.  Workboxes equal order around here and even tho they can be a pain to fill day after day-it is worth it in the long run....but that is another post...

I copied/pasted the post I did recently on what we have planned so far.  I still don't know about the math or the Bible or the artist/musician studies.  I am hoping to have that figured out by next week so I can order those and be ready to roll after Labor Day when we start. 

Here is what we're gonna do this 
coming 2013-14 school year:

*Beautiful Feet:  California History and Westward Expansion
Beautiful Feet Website

*Beautiful Feet:  Geography study using Hollings C. Hollings books.  

*Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 and 2 plus the notebooks 1 and 2.  

*Italic Handwriting by Getty-Dubay.
Getty-Dubay Website

image from Scholar Pub. site

*Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading Level 2.
This is a continuation to the first level that has been working for him. I am holding off starting the Little House study til September. With his dyslexia we are a bit behind but this year we're gonna power our way to his reading more smoothly and efficiently and get him caught up to where he needs to be. :)

image from Common Sense website

*LLATL Purple level.

*Math-Still TBD

*Artist/Musician study: TBD  

*Nature Study: TBD 

*Latin:  Prima Latina and then quickly move to Latina Christiana 1
Memoria Press website

*Bible:  TBD still working on this

And of course we'll get back to our workboxing to pull this all off!  Which means I need to get a general plan on what I want to put in those for each month (extra stuff like seasonal lapbooking/notebooking, projects, etc.). 

*I also need to sit down and tweak the history out b/cuz the Cal. History and the Westward Expansion co-exist and even tho there is a little ditty on how to combine those-it is not detailed enough for I need to sketch out something so I can stay on target and add a few extra things (like more study on the railroads per his request and such)...and whatever else that needs to be done.  I simply haven't had any time to truly do it is my goal here to get this all figured out so I can get the last minute things ordered, do some pre-work to have it ready to go and so forth.  

And that folks is where I am at right now.  Frankly, it is the beginning of August and I am still on vacation (from my problems....or in this case-homeschooling) LOL  I will get serious soon enough.

You can read the whole post I wrote on the Heart of Dakota and this year's choices here.  See you next week!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reflections on this past year with Heart of Dakota C to C, and changes for the coming 2013-14 school session

So, my thoughts are a bit scattered lately and that is just mostly due to the outside distractions going on.  Namely the baseball season.  Our son is the first of our four kiddos to actually play in an organized league for sports and wow-talk about a commitment of time and energy. Whew.  Almost to the end of the season and looking forward to it.  Anyway-on top of that, summer is here (well we keep telling ourselves that b/cuz the weather apparently missed that memo) so there is much outside work to do as well.  I frankly haven't been much into blogging/FBing or anything lately either.  So my long promised post on the HOD program and other thoughts sit idle in my brain.  I want to change that tho and start blogging a bit more frequently and after bball season, I may be able to truly start thinking and planning out the coming school year.

That said...I have decided to do just a basic pros/cons ditty on the HOD program.  Since everyone's experience and tastes/likes are so vast and probably unlike mine-it only makes sense to just note those bullet points instead of launching into some long post about it.

So here we go:

Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ Program thoughts:
image from HOD site

*Nicely laid out and easy to follow. Little or no prep outside of the arts/poetry sections.
*Covers Bible, history, science, math (if you want to follow the suggested program), writing, geography, poetry, literature/reading, lang. arts (to an extent, as I am not 100% sure on that since I didn't do their suggested program). [I may have missed a subject as I don't have my guide anymore-so check the website for all that].
*4 day program allowing for 'catch-up' on 5th day or family activities/fun (or whatever) on non-scheduled day.
*Non-overdrawn assignments that are adequate and not overwhelming (esp. for younger/struggling students) with extension options for those kiddos who want more to do.
*Not extremely expensive compared to other lit/larger 'all in one' programs.
*Many of the books they suggest are easily found via the library for those on very tight budgets.
*Charlotte Mason inspired. offers good supply of literature (well for all the reading/history so yah) to satisfy most literature loving families. (You can always supplement with more for the veracious readers).
*My son enjoyed learning about these eras and he walked away with a new knowledge of it-which means he learned something-and believe me when I say this: that doesn't always happen when you use a program.
*Great appendices that list all the info needed for suggested books, supplemental work for older students, etc.  Very helpful and easy to use.
*Loved the Bible choice!
*Copywork and diction, very CMy.

*Art lessons for Poetry are very redundant.  Would have liked to see different mediums/styles taught (not that one cannot do that, it is just when not all are artsy and can figure that out/do it).  I understand the need to keep supplies limited but more techniques and mediums should be taught.
*No personal study of the actual poet (Robert Frost) is included.  What?  That defies CM methods and needs to be added (see my post about adding extras into the program) to get a better feel for who he was and why he chose those type of subjects to write about.  I added it but I am used to finding that stuff and teaching it-to those new to CM or not having ever done an Artist study it could prove to be too much to pull together and therefore,  discarded.  :(
*No musician study. [She never advertised it would be included, but if following the CM method, it would be nice to have the musician and artist study included] Again-another "What?" There are plenty of choices and should have been included at least one dude. Since Robert Frost was studied and he is totally not in the era of creation to Christ (which is to be expected since we really don't have that data on poets or musicians from that era) then a composer or musician from his time frame could have and should have been included.  
*No artist studied either but there are drawing/crafting activities that pertain to the eras so that is OK here for this time frame.  There is enough to give examples of what art was like/used to express in those cultures.  Could there have been more-yes.  Necessary-eh, probably not.  Like the poetry and musician concerns, you can always add in more to your liking.  The point here is that when you buy an 'all inclusive" (well for the most part) program, you expect to see it there.  I knew this going in (say for no personal study on Frost) so it didn't surprise me.  If you read the descriptions you can see it isn't there. But boy would it be nice for future printings.  :)
*Like many programs-I feel the age range is not correct, meaning I would suggest this particular one for kids in 6-8th grade for most families.  The suggested 9-11 seems -well WOW, I don't know many 9 yr olds that could handle this.  I have my thoughts on aging a program and it usually is below what the author/publisher suggests..but that is another post for another day.
Some of the stuff (like the study of the History of Medicine) was kinda deep and heavy.  Younger kiddos may have a lot of that stuff fly over their head.  For HOD, I wanted to actually get the guide below this one but it had too much stuff we had already done-and we really needed to do C to C-so I went in knowing it may be too much at times since my son is dyslexic and struggles with reading.  I suggest you know your kid and make your decision (for any program) based on their skill level.  My son had no problem understanding the material-he just could not do a lot of on his own or we had to tweak/drop some things b/cuz he simply was not ready for it. 
*Didn't like the geography choice. Dry, boring and so we actually dropped it mid-way.  I couldn't do it.  There are other great programs out there and I am not the only one to say this about it.  

And that is that.  As with anything-it all depends on your family, your kids and their personalities/learning styles and skill level.  It was a good fit for what I needed this year, my son learned and I didn't have to 'think' too much.  Which with all we have swirling around us was the point for purchasing it in the first place.  For this coming year, I am going back to what I know works super swell for us and the things we missed.  There is a reason my shelves are stocked with this particular program and I am happy to report we're going back 'home' to it.  

SO what is on tap for the coming year?

I am glad you asked (well if you didn't, you're gonna read about it unless you click off this post now...).
Ah-well I am excited to report that we are going back to our old fav:  Beautiful Feet Books history guides! WHEW!  I guess I am more of a control freak than I thought as I like to 'cut and paste' different things together to create a program for our year that is tailor made to us.  We're going back to workboxing too!  With a program like HOD you kinda don't have the option (without a ton of unnecessary work) to workbox.    My son spent a lot of time 'wandering and wondering' and I just got sorta checked out this past year b/cuz I was a passenger not the driver.  Not gonna happen again unless we are knee-deep in the adoption process or something....

Here is what we're gonna do this 
coming 2013-14 school year:

*Beautiful Feet:  California History and Westward Expansion
(I just need to get the W.E. guide cuz it is relatively new and gasp! I don't own it-yet)
This is a fun one-takes us from Europe when exploration was just getting revved up, to seeking out different continents/peoples and faster ways to the Orient.  Then we'll move on to the expansion of the US to the west coast.  Think gold rushes, transcontinental railways and pioneers with steely souls searching for their little paradise. Literature based and notebooking and timelining and all that fun stuff.  

*Beautiful Feet:  Geography study using Hollings C. Hollings books.  We're done one map so far but I saved the other 3 (due to difficulty and the subject matter) for now.  [I have the older guide, not sure what improvements have been made but since he is our last student (at this point) I am not repurchasing. I am satisfied with the one I have.] 

images from Apologia site
*Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 and 2 plus the notebooks.  
We've done the Astronomy and Zoology 3 already. Looking forward to these two this year.

*Italic Handwriting by Getty-Dubay.
Simply moving along to last two books.  Love these. 

image from Scholar Pub. site

*Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading Level 2.
This is a continuation to the first level that has been working for him. Dyslexia sucks people-just sucks. There I said it.  We started with it a few weeks ago and so far, it's working great. I am holding off starting the Little House study til September. 

image from Rainbow Resource website
Learning Language Arts Through Literature Purple Student Book | Main photo (Cover)
*LLATL Purple level.
I am going to cherry pick thru this because he get a lot from the Phonics Road study but it will give us a few more literature options and cover grammar, copywork and dictation. I think I could put him in the Tan level but we haven't done much with grammar and this one highlights Farmer Boy-so we're keeping with the Little House theme with this level.

*Math-well here is where I am stymied.  We've been using Abeka but I have Saxon and when I get a moment I will go thru the Saxon 54 or 65 to see where he'd fit best. Otherwise, I will get the next level of Abeka and go from there.

*Artist/Musician study: TBD  (working on selections and will post once I have them)

*Nature Study: TBD on the focus 

*Latin:  Prima Latina and then quickly move to Latina Christiana 1
I have held off on this due to the reading issues but want him to start on it.  He should be able to handle the switcheroo to Latin back to English (esp. since much of our language is Latin based) so we're gonna try it. This will also help with our nature study and science lessons.
Who Am I?
image from Apologia website

*Bible:  Apologia Who Am I? and scripture study
We did book one already and will just continue on with the series.  We'll also do verses and prayer study like we did this year.

And of course we'll get back to our workboxing to pull this all off!  We missed it and altho it is more work for me, the organization and his knowing what to expect are so worth it! 

So that in a nutshell is our experience this past year and what we're looking forward to exploring this year. Now to get some energy to start planning, get the final products I need and come up with some fun works and projects too.