I feel like I've been digging for forever! We try staying as secular as possible and I seem to be running into major road blocks while looking for Science and History. I'm willing to use non-secular material provided I can easily adjust it.
For Science right now we're using Real Science 4 Kids, and it's okay, but it is just lacking something for us. My oldest will be in 5th next year and youngest doing K/1st grade work, and I would love something that can at least work together on so I'm not doing 2 entirely differnet things. I've come across Elemental Science and so far like the looks of it. Has anyone used it? I did read somewhere along the lines that the author believed in creationism but tried to write as neutral as possible but to "be ready to defend your beliefs". So if it does lean one way is it easy to adjust? (This is also where it gets hard for me because I'm not exactly 100% in agreement with Big Bang Theory either...but thats a different can of worms entirely)
For history though, I am at an utter loss. We used just Story of the World last year, and it did not go over well. We used Pandia Press, History Odyssey this year, which also uses Story of the World, and we're having the same issues. My daughter's reading just isn't the greatest and she is an "anti-audio" learner. Her comprehension is non-existant most days it seems too...things we're working on, but in the mean time makes some subjects very hard. We start the week with her reading a chapter on her own and writing down a word she comes across she doesn't understand or know. Many times, it turns out being she flipped letters around or wasn't following phonics rules and just mispronounced it entirely, and we move on quickly when we go over them when she is done reading. The next day, I read it to her, and we discuss after each paragraph usually, otherwise at the end of each page in the chapter. It helps for a whole whopping 5 minutes. The next day if needed, we go over it again, and I try to do some project to reinforce what we've gone over (I've had to come up with all my own projects and we haven't really been able to do any from either History Odyssey or Story of the World). On Friday's we usually take the test that goes with Story of the World, but not on her own. I go over the test verbally with her first, and if she doesn't know the answer, she looks it up, and then writes all the answers down...its basically open book, and with help...and she is still getting almost half of the questions wrong. We also don't call it a test, and it's treated like a worksheet. What this comes to hour wise per day...from 9 am to 3 pm. It is slow going and repetitive. This is what lead us to drop history mid year last year...but then Hubby got his undies in a bunch about it. And out of all the different ways we've tried to use the different programs, this has been the most effective, as sad as it is.
With all of that being said...Jamie is just not a reading/writing/research type of learner. She is hands on, and her brain is hard wired for math and science. I really want her to have SOMETHING for middle school at least...taking the next year off maybe for 5th...I haven't fully decided...I'm open to different suggestions for a history program, but I also was wondering if anyone has used/seen See Time Fly? I'm a little worried with it because it is geared towards Core standards, but at the same time, I'm not seeing anything that is really "wrong" with it....at least from the samples anyway. I don't know if it is really middle school level either. It almost seems too basic? I don't know.
Also, for anyone who has used History Odyssey past the first level and is using the second level, with the books used, is it just as reading intensive as level 1 and I should give up on it completely? I was considering finding just a US History curriculum for next year, and then starting with level 2 so I could start level 1 with Little Man at the same time so they were learning parallel to each other again.
Thanks for the advice/help/suggestions :) Sorry it is so long too!