Question about Spectrum

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Minthia, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    I have a friend that is looking at the Spectrum books and she is a bit overwhelmed that there are 6 Language Arts type books. She was wondering if she really needs all 6. I have never used them so I didn't know what to tell her. The books she is looking at are the Writing, Vocabulary, Spelling, Reading, Phonics and Language Arts. Are some better than others? Does she need them all? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Brooke

    Brooke New Member

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    I have only used their LA and it was just for one year (3rd grade, maybe?) I think I would try out that first and see if she feels like she likes the format enough to purchase all the others. Depending on the age of her children, she could probably do without some of those in favor of an all inclusive curriculum or making spelling lists herself.
     
  4. Emma's#1fan

    Emma's#1fan Active Member

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    I have used different books from Spectrum. I use them to supplement a subject. For this reason I only used one book every now and then.
     
  5. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    Spectrum isn't meant to be a full curriculum. They're supplement books. I'd tell her to choose whatever she thinks she needs most. I've used the reading one, and it's just comprehension. I liked it, but only as a supplement. I've considered writing, because it teaches creative writing with prompts (if I'm thinking about the right one). Vocab? Nah. I use WorldlyWise online for free. Not a fan of the spelling one, but only because I really like the way Sequential Spelling is laid out. The Language Arts one is a bit too easy for my taste (it's grammar). Phonics is phonics. Take it or leave it. There are a lot of phonics programs out there. (www.progressivephonics.com is free.)
     
  6. dalynnrmc

    dalynnrmc New Member

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    Spectrum LA is very compartmentalized. If a kiddo is really struggling in LA and needs to have these subjects individualized, then it might be a good option. We have used their vocabulary, and have supplemented with their writing and language arts. I wasn't impressed with the latter two, but the vocab was really pretty good IMO.

    Also, about the reading - if the child is reading and being able to comprehend what they read (IE they can tell the story back to you in their own words), there isn't really a reason to utilize the Spectrum reading books. Most of the other things you'd think of as reading instruction - homophones/homographs, synonyms and antonyms, etc - those are all in the vocab book. :)
     
  7. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I've used only the Reading ones, several different levels. I use them as supplemental, or if I get a student in who just can't handle my regular reading, or I'm waiting for an order to come in. I like that there's vocabulary, comprehension, and "skills" (like reading a chart or graph or timetable or whatnot, or time order, or fact/opinion, stuff like that).

    A more comprehensive program would cover all this in reading/English/spelling.
     
  8. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice! I should mention that all her kids struggle with every part of language arts and they are 1-3 grade levels below where they "should" be. She is having a couple of them tested for dyslexia because she thinks that is the main problem with them and why they aren't grasping LA.

    She has 8 kids and is due with her 9th in June and this is her 1st year attempting to hs. She doesn't have a lot of money and really needs a comprehensive curriculum that doesn't take a ton of time for her to prep or teach. She almost needs it to be self explanatory and then the kids can come to her with questions.

    If there are any other suggestions for free or cheap curriculum that you all love, that would be awesome!
     
  9. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    What grade ranges will she have?
     
  10. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    She will have kids in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
     
  11. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    Is she looking for everything, or just LA?
     
  12. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    Free resources that are not too time-consuming (some are printables, though, and would require a little bit of pre-planning):

     
  13. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    She is only looking for LA. She is going to use Saxon for math and she has a bunch of books for history and science. I will pass all those links to her. She doesn't mind a little prep work or printing things off so I am sure she can use something online. Thanks!
     
  14. crazymama

    crazymama Active Member

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    Ok... lets see what I would pick for all of the LA topics. (I do like the Spectrum books and do think they could be stand alone... but for LA there is just too many. I would definately skip the reading and just read real books and have the kids quiz on bookadventure.org)

    Phonics to learn to read, ETC and the list of readers from Sonlight (starting with ETC 1 and Grade 1 readers) Not free but it's working for both of my emergent readers. If you need free www.progressivephonics.com and www.starfall.com and www.literactive.com (I also like HOP and use the readers with Reagan who struggles more)

    Reading~ www.bookadventure.org let the kids pick their own books and quiz on this site. it's free and the kids love it! I have no bought pick for this because I think this and narration are the best (she can get a great list of narration ideas on www.simplycharlottemason.com)

    Spelling~ http://www.zaner-bloser.com/media/zb/zaner-bloser/spellingconnections/practice-pages.html and if they need more practice www.spellingcity.com

    Grammar~the free Scott Foresman is ok, if she can spend money I am liking Growing with Grammar (if she can get the kids to write on other paper she could save buying new every year) or Easy Grammar is pretty decent too. She can buy the parent book and make copies for the kids. They say KISS grammar (it's free online somewhere) is really good, I have looked at it and felt lost and overwhelmed and never went back, there is also an English Grammar 101 site somewhere that is free too.

    Writing~ I don't think I have anything free up my sleeve here, but I like both Writing Strands and Winning With Writing

    The 7th grader may need some beefier things like for Lit, I got Lighting Lit to use for Garrett next year (if he comes home... if not I hoarde it for a few years or go through it myself).
     
  15. Mouseketeer67

    Mouseketeer67 New Member

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    I used the Spectrum workbooks with my kids when they were younger. I bought all of the language arts workbooks and had the kids do a few pages from one subject each day of the week. The only exception was I had them do spelling every day of the week. The Spectrum workbooks are meant to supplement, but I put them all together to make a complete language arts curriculum.
    That was years ago, in the early days of the internet. There are so many online resources now, but I think I would still do things the same.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  16. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    Thank you for all for the advice. I have looked over most of the links and I am think I have found a few that will work well for her. She is going to come over Monday and I am going to show her everything.

    I know she is feeling so overwhelmed since this is her first year hsing (and she wants to start in June) and the stuff I have been using her dh doesn't like, so we are both trying to find something that he will like and is cheap or free. I think with all the links that have been posted we will be able to find something. :)
     
  17. kbabe1968

    kbabe1968 New Member

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    I love this for the older grades: http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/

    I did Learning Page when my kids were little, I did supplement a bit with library books.

    Www.spelling city.com has a dolce word list and phonics word lists, too.

    Www.superteacherworksheets.com does charg now, but not much.

    Also, I like the Scott Foresman Grammar & Writing, too...pain to download and print though because you have to download diff groups of pages instead of the whole book.
     
  18. chicamarun

    chicamarun New Member

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    Has she looked at Ambleside Online? When we needed "free/cheap" that's what I went with and used even the preformatted books that were posted in the yahoogroups. LA was reading, copywork and those types of things. A lot of the yahoogroups have a schedule week by week already laid out - and with older kids, she can have them do some of read-alouds. She can also pick and choose what to use for her children and even cross study - or keep a couple of the kids in the same year (K-2 do year 1, 3-5 year 2, 6+ year 3) I found I didn't need them to be at the same "year" as their age - they both did really well at the years I picked for them to get started.

    Other books now, we would have been able to use free books on kindles as well.
     
  19. Minthia

    Minthia New Member

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    Dana - I haven't had her look at Ambleside, but I will talk to her tomorrow about it. Thanks!
     

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