Average weekly time: Together (5), alone (18), total hours (23)
Rate each book (like, neutral, dislike).
Add a few comments (my comments are italicized).
Any changes for next child or next year?
Dislike. I didn’t understand it and the words just slipped through my brain.
Dislike. She was not into it at all. Save for high school.
Are You There God?
Neutral. Some of the story where God worked with people was interesting but some parts were dull.
Like. I think this is a good one to introduce God speaking to us personally.
Like. Interesting book. It was cool that he included some words of the language; it was a tonal language that the tribes spoke.
Like. Still an amazing story.
Dislike. It’s not the real Bible and I feel like it leaves out a lot. It’s just boring and I could learn a lot from the real Bible.
Like. I read it 1x or 2x per week at lunchtime to all the kids. Then I ask a question or two each. I like the narrative approach to the Bible.
Landmark American History Bios
Neutral. Some aren’t very fun to read and don’t stick in my head and I have to use the book for reference. The FBI book was good. Informative.
Like. This year was the second half of American history through biographies. I chose some and she chose some from assigned categories. She read one bio a week, wrote a summary, I edited, she revised it.
Up From Slavery
Dislike. Used a lot of big words and rather boring. I’ve read a bunch of African American terrible lives and it’s boring reading it over and over again.
Like. I wanted her to start reading some primary sources this year.
Patty Reed’s Doll
Like. Interesting and made it sound like fiction when it’s not. I like those pioneer stories pretty well.
Like. This is local history for us and some time soon we’ll get to the Donner Museum or parts of the trail.
Like. Very interesting. I like reading about how the Jews were tortured and stuff, and the World War. She was so full of courage and love. But I liked listening to the audio book better.
Like. She really seemed to connect with Ten Boom.
Neutral. A little tedious to look up stuff and write it down. Sometimes it’s interesting and I read more than I’m supposed to [on Wikipedia] about their lives.
Neutral. I don’t know how much sticks, but we only do it every 3 weeks so it’s not much effort.
Courts and Law
Dislike. Boring. Tried to make things simple and easy to understand but I felt like it didn’t reach me. Like writing for children but not written well.
Neutral. I agre– not the greatest writing but a decent intro to American government. She was supposed to discuss each chapter with Luke but that didn’t happen frequently.
Dislike. He’s boring and I hate mythology. He could use two sentences instead of one in many places, and stop quoting what other people think.
Neutral. Still quite a slog, but we react similarly to some of his conclusions so I think doing it together has been “fun”.
Halliburton’s Book of Marvels Orient
Neutral. Some of the stories like things he did in the country were interesting but his maps weren’t very detailed and were hard to read. I would have liked if he had a large detailed map.
Like. I still haven’t pre-read the Orient but it’s a great book.
Map Workbook (D America)
Like. It’s a little too easy.
Like. I agree—mostly for fun.
Neutral. I didn’t really get anything out of it, and it was like every other fitness and nutrition book I’ve read.
Neutral. I liked that it was aimed at ballet. Some info wasn’t relevant to her at this stage, and some I disagreed with (strength training makes you bulky?!), but overall decent.
Dislike. It gave me an explanation of a thing and then went right into scientific explanations of things. Some things were helpful, like charts. I don’t like books that aren’t fiction.
Neutral. A bit too detailed and opinionated, but a decent overview of nutrition.
Anatomy Coloring Book
Dislike. Somebody colored over half so I couldn’t. In the descriptions, it spoke of some things that weren’t anywhere, so I didn’t know where things were. But it was interesting to see some things were always color coded in a certain way.
Neutral. Not sure how much she got from it.
Wellness Wednesdays (Rise Up School of Dance)
Like. At first I didn’t at all, but I saw myself getting stronger and improving.
Like. I was happy her ballet classes aligned with my science goals [nutrition/fitness] for her this year.
Dislike. I don’t like nature in general.
Neutral. I’ve had a hard time getting any of the kids to put any effort into them. I may do more directed nature journals or do object lessons next year.
Dislike. I’ve read so many mythology stories. Isn’t new, and I’m not into mythology in general. But I like people reading to me.
Like. I’m glad to be done with the Greek/Roman section. The Norse bit was more interesting. I read aloud to her and Kid Dos.
Sense and Sensibility (haven’t quite finished)
Like. It’s a little hard to understand but she has some plot twists and good characters.
Like. This was my read-aloud to her. We aren’t quite done yet, so we’ll finish over the summer. It’s been fun reading to each other.
Lord of the Flies
Neutral. It got a little hard to read toward the end but I liked the sensible and rebellious characters and his description of the island and how life would be.
Like. A good age to read this.
Dislike. Seemed a lot like Robinson Crusoe. Boring survival. I don’t care if they sharpened a knife and killed some animals to live.
Like. I haven’t read this. Had her read it to learn to compare and contrast (with Lord of the Flies).
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Dislike. A little like Booker T. Washington. Not written in the most captivating way. It did have some good parts.
Like. Worth reading.
Dislike. Wasn’t compelling and dynamic like I like books to be. And written in an old-fashioned “oh I know everything” sort of way.
Like. Worth reading.
Neutral. I liked the plot twists and I liked watching the movie a lot and the characters were interesting.
Neutral. Probably worth reading. I was happy there was also a movie for extra motivation.
Puck of Pook’s Hill
Neutral. It too was written in a different way than I like. It was interesting having old-fashioned characters tell children things and fairy tales mixed in with normal life.
Neutral. I haven’t read it. But I think Kipling is good.
Last of the Mohicans
Dislike. It seemed a little far-fetched and portrayed the Indians in a savage, awful way not as the simple people who just wanted their land.
Neutral. Haven’t read this either.
Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Love Poems
Dislike. I don’t really like his poems. I like funny or silly poems rather than romantic.
Dislike. Not a success.
Like. Interesting and funny.
Neutral. Funny, but totally over kids’ heads.
SU Year 6
Neutral. I enjoy doing some stuff in there, but some stuff is really hard. I want to learn algebra this year because I want to be better than other kids in everything in regular schools and better than N—- [a friend] at everything.
Like. SU is so easy to use. She did well on ADAM this year, so I consider it effective. Except in geometry (so far).
Dislike. Hate. It’s boring and hard and tedious and frustrating and downcasting.
Dislike. I dropped it. I’d still like her to have some mental math practice, but this was too hard to do mentally, and was frustrating to use. I think it’s good through about 4th or 5th grade but diminishing returns after that.
Neutral. It began funny and nice but got a little tedious. I liked the fiction part and the illustrations were cute.
Like. Got it from the library. Don’t think it’s worth buying but it was an easy, fairly fun supplement.
Like. Very fun to do. I wish I had more time to write.
Like. She loves this! Good for writing practice and competition.
Neutral. I find it hard to get time and I don’t really have anything to write about.
Neutral. I agree.
Neutral. I like videos better than just doing a writing prompt.
Like. But I would like to read her writing and give feedback. She did this on her own.
Udemy Fiction Writing
Like. They’re funny and their prompts are really cute and make me want to write.
Like. But I would like to read her writing and give feedback. She did this on her own.
Grammar Rod and Staff 7
Dislike. Boring, hard, we could find a better book that doesn’t talk about egg noodles and beans. I don’t like being thrown into it, like doing Year 5 without any intro, and then going into Year 7. It’s a frustrating subject.
Like. Although maybe I shouldn’t have skipped her from 5 to 7. I think the gaps are pretty easy to cover though. We did it 2-3x per week.
Duolingo Spanish, French, Russian
Like. It’s fun cuz they have the leaderboards now. But it’s frustrating cuz people cheat. I wish I had a book or program or people to teach me.
Neutral. I think the kids spend a lot of time on the computer and I have no idea how much actual language learning is going on.
Big Book of Latin 1
Neutral. Started fun and easy, got harder. I want it to go easy and slowly.
Like. Expensive, but self-teaching. She loved it at first.
Neutral. I felt like I learned more from videos, and our supply of books is limited and I’ve done them all.
Neutral. She’s great at doing her own amazing art, so I have a hard time finding stuff to “teach” her. But I’d like her to continue learning and practicing various art skills.
Five In A Row (Children’s Books)
Neutral. Not very interesting but some of the pictures are interesting.
Like. I really enjoyed doing FIAR this year.
Hoffman Academy Piano
Dislike. I dropped it. I’m teaching myself now. Boring and slow.
Neutral. It’s free and is self-teaching. Kids Uno and Dos found it too basic since they’ve had music lessons before. I’d really like to get real music lessons this year.
Dislike. I don’t like to memorize stuff. Except The Highwayman.
Future children? Probably nothing I would change for a future child except cutting Plutarch out.
Science will be adapted for future children’s interests. Reading a bio a week for history may be too much for some kids. Probably less emphasis on writing for some kids.
Next Year? I’d like to do videos for drawing and take languages to another level, like watch videos and books. I’d like to find more time for writing. At least two hours a day. On the computer. And harder math—advance more quickly. Learn calligraphy or fancy handwriting.
I’d like to find a geometry supplement. Live music lessons. More editing of her writing. Learning to research. Maybe some literature analysis.
Are you from Sac/North Tahoe/Reno? You mention Donner being “local history”…. I live pretty close to it, but have only met one other CM mom up here. I’m new to AO, but I see you eventually moved away from AO for many subjects, so I’m reading all your thoughts on this! Thank you for sharing!