Having recently finished high school, I can still remember the curriculum I went through quite well (though it’s tempting to try to forget those twelve years of school as soon as possible). I’m not the most experienced curriculum connoisseur, but I’m quite pleased with some of the curriculum I’ve experienced personally, and I’ve also discovered some more recently for myself. I’m a huge fan of language arts and of reading in general, so my list of favorite curriculum is going to be mostly books of that nature. I have, however, discovered some pretty cool mathematics and science curriculums recently, so I’ve included those too.
My education has been a little bouncy. I’m the oldest and the guinea pig, so I’ve been through many different math, science, and reading programs. Lots of what we tried didn’t work as well as we’d hoped, but one thing that was always steady was the history courses we chose. I’ve been very impressed with Veritas Press’s history curriculum, both for their younger grades and their Omnibus high school program. Their approach to history is enjoyable, literature-saturated, and presents a very nice summary of the whole truth. I can still remember the jingles from the history CDs after all these years. I don’t care for curriculum that feeds you answers or is afraid to dive into difficult issues, but Veritas Press, especially in their Omnibus program, does an excellent job of making sure you understand the ideas of history and can think critically about those ideas.
I kind of struck out as far math goes. For middle school, we used A Beka, which was ok. I have since then been very impressed with Singapore math, and wish I’d been able to do that for younger math. After spending years fishing around for a decent high school math curriculum, we settled on Saxon, which I used in my last two years of high school. I need lots of repetition in order for me to retain what I learn, and as Saxon brings up past lessons in each set of problems, it was really perfect. I couldn’t have survived without the Dive CDs though, and I would highly recommend them, especially if you’re a mom who just doesn’t have time to spend teaching more difficult math. Another thing that was helpful for a kid like me who hated math but needed lots of repetition was the Quarter Mile Math computer game, which made pounding multiplication tables into one’s head almost enjoyable.
As far as the other curricula go, I like them because they worked. I tried lots of different things, and the stuff that stood the test is the stuff that’s on this list. Literature and writing come fairly easily to me, so I like curriculum that is more challenging in that area. Math and Science aren’t my strongest subjects, so the curriculum I chose for that is the curriculum that got me to understand and even like those subjects. I’m looking to expand my horizons and cultivate a greater knowledge of what’s out there, but these are some tried and true favorites.
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