BookShark

Summary

BookShark is a complete, literature-based, curriculum that uses a variety of

educational resources including literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations and hands-on experiments to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbook memorization.

 

Bookshark is easy for parents to teach, providing a 36-week, 4-day schedules designed to save one day a week for sports, field trips or other extracurricular activities.

BookShark combines a proprietary History, Science and Language Arts offering with a wide range of math options, to ensure you have everything you need for an entire school year.

 

Learn More:

Bookshark

Cathy Duffy Review

TimberDoodle Kits

Summary

Timberdoodle kits are perfect for students who want their school at home life to be creative and fun.  Games, arts, and activities are all included in this kit along with specific instruction in every academic area.  

 

Pros:

  • Kits offer something for everyone
  • Creative and specific instruction
  • For the creative students
  • Strong geography for younger students
  • Has weekly schedule for each grade level
  • High emphasis on thinking skills
  • High quality workbooks, games and activities

Cons:

  • Parent needs to have time to prep.
  • You need to be ok with many pieces of curriculum
  • The hands on games and such don’t necessarily follow what’s being taught in the subject areas
  • Subjects are not integrated

 

Video Sneak Peak

Learn More:

TimberDoodle Website

K-3 Quick Reading Assessment

4-6 Quick Reading Assessment

Story of the World History

Summary

Story of the World presents world history through narration and storytelling in a four-volume series. While these books are written at increasing levels of difficulty, they might be read aloud to younger children and read independently by older. Provides a classical education approach to history.

 

Pros:

  • You have the option to listen to the stories on CD instead of reading.
  • Siblings from multiple grade levels can work on curriculum together
  • Includes many optional project suggestions to deepen students’ understanding of each time period in history
  • Parents often enjoy reading/listening to the history
  • Vol. 1 -4 will give you a chronological account of history.

Cons:

  • Some of the history is violent
  • It says you can use starting in first grade, but you will have to read it to the student and explain many concepts for 1-3rd grade students
  • A lot of reading
  • Book and workbook are not colorful

 

Video Sneak Peak

Learn More:

Cathy Duffy Review

SOTW Website

OdysseyWare

Summary

In many ways, this is a textbook online. There are a few games and videos to add variety, but it is mostly text-based. Students find OW to be straightforward and easy to get used to, and comforting in the routine that the program establishes (each unit follows the same pattern of instruction, quizzes, and projects).

Pros:

  • This is an online, teacher-graded curriculum available to grades 3+
  • Struggles readers can use the read aloud feature to have all lessons read to them.
  • It has been around for a long time, so it has lots of courses, especially high school electives in the area of computers, technology, and career fields.
  • Students and parents can go back to content when they need to review or check something.
  • Students to choose 2 projects in each unit and skip the rest.

Cons:

  • Heavy on the reading, though not difficult text.
  • The projects can feel like lots of little research papers and posters, but students are encouraged to reflect and apply to their own experiences.
  • The due dates are sometimes not accurate, so students are encouraged to use the percent progress to determine how much to do each day. As we discussed, this can be inaccurate.
  • Assignments vary in complexity, so it is not always possible to set a consistent daily goal. In other words, finishing 1 lesson per day could mean a short quiz or a long paper.

Video Sneak Peak N/A

 

Learn More:

 

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link:  OdysseyWare

User: Example1

Pass: bakerweb

When in, click on “Learn” at top right.  You will see a variety of lessons/subjects.

Moving Beyond the Page

Summary

Moving Beyond the Page is a unit study approach based on constructivist theories of learning that primarily targets gifted children. Each year’s curriculum is designated with an age range rather than a particular grade level.

  • Age 4-5 (Pre-K for advanced students, kindergarten for average students)
  • Age 5-7 (kindergarten for advanced students, first grade for average students)
  • Age 6-8 (first grade for advanced students, second grade for average students)
  • Age 7-9 (second grade for advanced students, third grade for average students)
  • Age 8-10 (third grade for advanced students, fourth grade for average students)
  • Age 9-11 (fourth grade for advanced students, fifth grade for average students)
  • Age 10-12 (fifth grade for advanced students, sixth grade for average students)
  • Age 11-13 (sixth grade for advanced students, seventh grade for average students)
  • Age 12-14 (seventh grade for advanced students, eighth grade for average students)

Pros:

    • Connects literature across many different subjects
    • Students benefit from literature-based thematic learning
    • Great for students above grade level who are good listeners (k-2) and independent workers (3+)
    • Project based learning – hands on
    • High quality materials
    • Great literature collection
  • Offers an age range rather that grade level

Cons:

    • Hard to use if teaching multiple children at once
    • Students sometimes complain about the amount of reading or lessons being read to them
    • Will need a good amount of 1:1 time for instruction and added parent prep time
  • Weak spelling instruction

Video Sneak Peak

Learn More:

Cathy Duffy Review

MBtP Website

Moving Beyond the Page Placement Tests

History Pockets

Summary

History pockets program explores events in history by having students create folder-like pockets out of paper and cover them with written facts and information about events.  Students who enjoy crafts and hands-on activities will especially enjoy this program.

Pros:

  • Many hands on activities
  • Retain information through writing
  • Must like arts and crafts
  • Brings history lessons to life.
  • The student made history pockets are great keepsakes.
  • Content is not heavy or overwhelming – just enough information to keep interest high

Cons:

  • Need to add in prep time
  • Writing, coloring and cutting are time-intensive
  • Surface level information
  • You may need to print some extra pages
  • Only available for one year in grades 1-3 and one year in grades 4-5

Video Sneak Peak

Learn More:

Homeschool Review

Florida Virtual

Summary

This program is mostly text-based, but it takes advantage of more interactive technology than Odysseyware, embedding Discovery videos, interactive review games and even some avatar clips and virtual labs. These core subject-area classes are very solid and great preparation for students planning to go on to future education after high school. The content relates to the real world, presenting real-world situations and asking questions that connect back to real events and situations as often as possible.

Course Outlines for FLVS

 

Pros:

  • Rigorous
  • Does have ability to Highlight words to do text to speech
  • Some videos
  • Discussion based assessments
  • Compelling and varied
  • Students and parents can go back to content when they need to review or check something.
  • There are opportunities to work with the teacher and other students in the course, if the teacher has set up these assignments as an option.
  • Although the math is partially multiple choice, it has “real world” problems. The lessons present the material in a way that relates back to how math is used in the real world.
  • Students can see how much each assignment is worth so they can gauge how much time and effort to spend on each assignment. This is a great skill to learn.

Cons:

  • Requires strong reading and writing skills.
  • Assignments vary in complexity, so it is not always possible to set a consistent daily goal. In other words, finishing 1 lesson per day could mean a short quiz or a long paper.

 

Video Sneak Peak N/A

 

Learn More:

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link:  FLVS

User- Test@bakercharters.org

Pass- baker2015

 

**Florida Virtual Course Tours

Acellus

Summary

The lessons are in video-form, followed by a set of (usually) multiple-choice questions. In each lesson, students must answer 3-5 questions correctly in order to move to the next lesson. After about 10 lessons, there is a review where student has access to the videos in the lesson to prepare for the unit exam. If the student passes the exam, they progress. If they do not, the program resets them to the beginning of the unit to try again. 

Course Outlines for Acellus

Pros:

  • Predictable and easy to follow.
  • Easy to calculate how much to do each day.
  • Good for students who learn best by listening.
  • Students can work fast if they pay attention to the lessons.
  • Is easy to catch up if students add late (the workload is easy).

Cons:

  • Can be monotonous.
  • If a student is not understanding a concept, they can get set back a lot and end up frustrated.
  • It is a bit of a “Reader’s Digest” version of the curriculum, lightly covering the most important concepts. Students learn at the recognition level vs. higher order thinking. In other words, there is limited analysis, reflection or critical thinking built into Acellus.
  • Students must do assignments in 2 programs to receive full credit for the course: Acellus for lessons and tests; Canvas for written assignments and projects. There is no analysis or writing in Acellus, so students do extra projects in the associated Canvas classrooms that have been created by the teacher in order to flesh out these areas – deeper thinking, and more writing.
  • Students can’t go back and see previous questions or videos except in Review lessons before tests.
  • Parents cannot see what the student worked on. Teachers can see records of time worked, lessons completed, answers and scores for lessons and the whole course. The student (and parent) can only see how many lessons have been completed and what the next lesson is.  Parents cannot go back to see a previous lesson.
  • The videos sometimes start out short and may get longer throughout the course, so students might under-estimate how long it will take to finish their work.

Sneak Peek Demo N/A

Would you like to briefly demo this program?

Link: Acellus

Username: 541-524-4255

Password: uzspg2