Thursday, May 24, 2018

Home School Navigator Review

I really like all-in-one, literature based language arts curriculum. Our current curriculum, which we do really like, has everything but the phonics and spelling. I like the idea of everything together, ready to go. For the past few weeks, we have been using the Orange and Green Levels of Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum from Home School Navigator.

Home School Navigator

The levels follow the rainbow color scheme through six levels, K-5. Madison is finishing up second grade now. Since I would rather start a program at the beginning, rather than the last month, I put her in Green, which is third grade. I did the same for Reagan as she wraps up kindergarten, giving her a taste of first grade with Orange.

Home School Navigator

Each level includes a 36 week course with:

· Daily Reading, Writing, and Word Study Lesson Plan (including flex days for your busy schedule!)
· 60 Instructional Videos
· Word Study Program (including word wall headings, cards, and games)
· Activities That Encourage Multiple Learning Styles
· Monthly Skills Checklist
· Portfolio Maintenance
· Monthly Goal Sheet/Portfolio Check-In
· Downloadable Review Games
· Interactive Notebooks

The programs are year long subscriptions. The great part is that you can change levels if necessary. If I don't think something is a great fit, I move the level easily. The program is MORE than thorough. I was blown away by the amount of material this program provides.

We are typically not an online learning sort of family. I use apps and games for extension, and I do like videos, but I did a lot of printing. The printing isn't necessary, but we're paper/pencil schoolers, and the program accommodated that. I need a hard copy of lesson plans so I chose to print out the weekly guide to get us started. On the level homepage you have a list of tabs; these tabs are the Master Book List for the level, the monthly handouts and the weekly lessons. The lessons are listed in month, week and day format like this Level Orange [1.1.1] – this means month one, week one, day one. This makes it very nicely organized and quick to find the lesson you need for the day.

The girls really liked the videos, and I liked that I could watch them in advance while prepping, then use that video time to work with my other child.

Like other literature based language arts programs, an issue is always getting the books for each week. I really liked how you had the FULL book list available to prepare. This site also links you to spots you can buy, but I like to check out the library first, and if I have enough advance notice, I can request inter-library loans.

Each day there is a list of activities for your child to complete, some are in video format and the others are paper/pencil. After your child completes the lesson for the day, you can choose to upload your child’s work and compile notes. I prefer to keep everything with paper,  so I am just keeping all the hard copies in a binder designed for this program divided by the monthly guide. Then you check the box that states your child has successfully completed the lesson for the day (I am terrible at remembering this, thankfully you can go in and do a few at once). This records their progress so if you somehow forget where you are in the program you can find out by the seeing which lessons have been completed. We don't have to report or share portfolios in our state, so this is just for my records, but if you were required to turn in records, I would think this would make it incredibly easy.

We've really been working on writing with Madison, and I think that the writer's notebook finally helped the writing piece sink in. She liked the set up and began to understand more the "purpose" of writing and keeping a notebook. Reagan has been eyeing Madison's word sorts all year, and was very happy to get to do a few of her own!

Overall, I really do like this program. The few cons I have are very specific to my own tastes in how we school:
1. If you're a print person, you'll find yourself printing a lot and plenty in color, which adds up quick. For a program I'm paying for, I do like to have the print outs there.
2. Your child WILL be getting on the computer to do lessons at least several times a week.
3.  Not every book is a favorite, but they all do serve a purpose.

Overall, I highly recommend it. The interface was clean and easy, the lessons are high quality, complete, and well planned, and I was able to manage two kids with almost no confusion!

Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum {Home School Navigator Reviews}

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