Sunday, October 26, 2008

what's that popping in your brain?

I am always asking other homeschooling parents about their experiences with various books and programs, so much so that they are probably starting to run away when they see me coming. To pay it forward, I am going to include some of our experiences here. YMMV.

First up, we just completed a free trial of Brain Pop. Sign up and enjoy. It is not in our homeschooling budget to continue with a subscription but my son has pretty much devoured the site already. He loved it and asked to spend more time watching the videos. Learning disguised as fun -- always a good thing. I would say the site is for older elementary and middle school ages at least. There is also a Brain Pop, Jr. for younger students, but we have not perused that one.

Note that in addition to the free trail offered by Brain Pop, several of the videos are free to watch at any time.

On a less than happy note, we have rid ourselves of Singapore Math for all eternity. I actually liked this program very much (I have an aversion to Saxon Math after my daughter's experience with it years ago) and I thought my son would do well with it. He hated it -- simple as that. I think the core of his dislike came from his familiarity with traditional public school math texts (sound bites and bright, shiny colors -- and some math, too). Singapore is decidedly different and apparently too much so for his taste. We are using a couple of different things at the moment before potentially moving on to Teaching Textbooks in a few weeks. The jury is still out.

A hearty endorsement for Woe is I Jr. It is funny and sometimes gross, which is just about perfect when you are a 10-year-old boy. The grammar lessons are rock solid and I find that my son sometimes reads more than he is assigned. That's the best endorsement around, as far as I am concerned.

More -- good and bad -- to come...

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