Curriculum Review: Mother of Divine Grace

I can’t believe that Andrew has just finished up fifth grade! This year we chose to use the Mother of Divine Grace program for the first time. Previously, we used the Catholic Heritage Curricula which I loved, but Andrew wasn’t a huge fan because the program is a little too workbook heavy for hist taste. Then I switched to putting my own curriculum together which worked well.

Curriculum Review MODg

However, as we were approaching fifth grade, I wanted to find a more structured, academic program. Up to this point, I knew I was doing well on my own but I wanted to make sure that I was on the right track and giving him a good education. I knew several families who were happily and successfully using the Mother of Divine Grace (MODG) Program so after some research my husband and I decided it was worth the try.

What I like

Oh, gosh, where do I start?! There are a lot of things to love about this program! First of all, Mother of Divine Grace is a fully accredited distance learning school based out of California that uses the classical curriculum approach. It is a gentle program, especially for the younger grades, with not a lot of workbooks or writing. However, it is still a rigorous, broad spectrum program that is on par with any top-notch traditional school. With this program, the student gets a well-rounded educational that is fun and challenging at the same time.

I also love the flexibility of the program. There are several levels: you can just buy the curriculum as is and use it on your your own. Or, you can take advantage of the teacher services and learning support services. Of course, you can also substitute any of the course materials for something else if it works better for your family. For example, we use the Right Start Math Program instead of the Saxon program recommended by MODG because Andrew likes it and has been doing well with it.

Another thing I love about this program is the opportunity to work with a consultant. This alone is worth the cost of the tuition! The parents have to chance to speak with their consultant several times a year and they help put together a customized curriculum, offer support, and answer an questions the parents may have. I just love our consultant. She is patient, throughout knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the program and has been such a great help.

Additionally, as the higher the grade level the more online options there are. There are A LOT of online classes available to students, especially in high school. Most of the online courses start in fifth grade but as the student progresses there are online classes for math, science, language arts, several foreign languages and enrichment courses. For sixth grade, I have Andrew signed up for the Latin, History/Literature book club, and Art Appreciation.

What I don’t like

Not a dislike, just a heads up, really. The program is a little pricey compared to some other programs and has several fees included. However, the people at MODG are super willing to be flexible with the payments. There is a discount for paying in full, there is a set payment plan, or if you discuss it with them, you can come up with a customized payment plan.

And to be honest, the program is well-worth the price. I personally believe that I need to invest in my son’s education and MODG is a wonderful place to do it. 🙂

I definitely give MODG five (5) stars and seriously doubt that I will ever switch to another program!

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A Peek Into Our Summer Homeschooling Schedule 2015

Yes, we are one of those who homeschool year-round. However, we do a shortened schedule, and we do take the whole month of August off.

Homeschool2015Summer

Here are our plans:

Reading: Andrew is required to read for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, and I read out loud to him regularly.

Right Start Mathematics: Andrew loves this program because it is very hands-on and the worksheets are minimal.

All About Spelling: Andrew has been struggling with spelling, and I am so happy I found this program through the All About Learning Press. The website suggests starting with level one for new participants and I am glad that we did. Level One has been mostly a review and an introduction into the program, and has been going wonderfully. Andrew LOVES this program. He is gaining confidence in his spelling, and loves the hands-on approach this program has, just like with the math program.

Curclick.com: There are a variety of programs offered through this site, ranging from free clubs to more expensive (and intensive) programs. We are going to do a variety of these programs according to Andrew’s interests.

How about you? Do you homeschool year-round? If so, what are your plans? Let us know in the comments!

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Just FYI: These are NOT affiliate links (meaning I am not compensated for sharing these links).

Our Curriculum Plans for the 2014-2015 School Year

In our family, we usually homeschool year round, although we take the month of August off and bigger chunks of time off during the rest of the year. Therefore, I usually take time in August to plan for the new year starting in September. This year, I decided to do my planning early so that I can really enjoy our time off in August, especially since my school year at Georgian Court University begins August 25.

Andrew enters fourth grade this year, and honestly, most of the resources we used last year we are using again, making this year’s planning pretty easy. 🙂

Math (Done Daily)

We are sticking with the RightStart Mathematics program. There are several reasons I like this program. First, it is an affordable and comprehensive program. Second, it is a hands-on curriculum with lots of manipulatives and games. Third, Andrew likes the program and that works for me!

Language Arts

We loosely follow the Charlotte Mason, and try to use “living books” and resources when possible.

Reading/Reading Comprehension – We get a variety of books from the library (our favorite place!) for Andrew to practice his reading. (Done Daily)

Handwriting – In the past I used kidzone.ws to teach him cursive. Then I moved on to handwritingworksheets to create custom sheets for practice. Now that Andrew is getting better with cursive, my plan this year is to give him various writing prompts and have him write a paragraph or two or three…to help develop his creative thinking and writing skills. (Three times a week)

Grammar – We use the kissgrammar.com program. The lessons are short, with interesting stories to use for practice. (Daily)

Spelling – For third grade I used the k12reader spelling list and it worked well so we are using their 4th grade spelling list for this year. This is their list. (daily)

Science (daily)

Last year we focused on the planets and the solar system, and then we moved on to Earth science, including living and nonliving things, using a combination of InstructorWeb.com and other resources gleaned from the library and online. This year Andrew is going to learn about the scientific method and then move on to chemistry (starting with the above website) which he has been asking to learn about for a while. He really wants to do some chemistry experiments!

History (3 days a week)

We  have been working through American History, and just recently finished learning about the Guilded Age. This year we are going to finish American History to the present and then move on to World History, starting with Canada, Central America and South America.

Geography (2 days a week)

Andrew has been learning the US states and capitals to go along with History; therefore, we will continue that trend and he will learn about Canada, Central America, and South America as we learn about them in History. We use geography games, such as Seterra which Andrew loves to play.

Physical Education (daily)

I try hard to make sure Andrew gets in some form of exercise and play every day. He also does basketball and this year he wants to play soccer. Also, the boys have an hour of physical education every week at the homeschool co-op with one of the dads where they focus on various sports and training.

Religious Education (daily)

I love our church’s religious education program and usually send him to CCD, but this year, my classes are on the same day, so I will homeschool for religious education. However, I will be using the books from the CCD program and working with them so that he gets “credit” for the time we work on it. Also, we read the bible together often, and of course we do our daily prayers. Andrew is working on learning the Hail Holy Queen.

Other

I am not as consistent as I’d like, but I will also try to get time in for music appreciation, art appreciation, life skills and crafts.

Whew! That’s it. If you are looking for ideas for your homeschooling curriculum, I hope these will give you some suggestions and inspiration.

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P.S. Just to let you know, in my Etsy shop I offer some planning worksheets (attendance record, weekly planners, and a literature list) that you may find helpful for planning your new homeschool year. Also, from now through August 31st, you can get 15% discount off anything in the shop when you use the code “BACKTOSCHOOL” (all caps, no quotes) during checkout. 🙂