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  #1  
Old 04-19-2012, 11:34 PM
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Minthia Minthia is offline
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Question about Spectrum

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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Old 04-20-2012, 12:03 AM
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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.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:44 AM
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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.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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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.)
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:09 PM
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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.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:43 PM
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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.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:41 PM
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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!
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:08 PM
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What grade ranges will she have?
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* Batman (9yo, 6th, DYS, Aspie, ADD, neuro-motor delays) - Bible Evidences, WW 8, LoF F&D + Physics, Web Programming (HTML5, CSS & JS), Bowling, Scouts

.....* Both - Pentime, Apologia Astronomy, MoH 1, ASL, Art, Piano, classic lit

* Robin (6yo, 3rd, PG, progressive hearing loss) - R&S Bible 5, R&S English 3, Reading Comp from Varied Sub Matter, Seq Sp 1, WW 3, LoF Elem, SS Latin 2, Gymnastics


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Old 04-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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She will have kids in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
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Mom to 7 crazy, insane but wonderful children
DS~Chairman~14 Thinks he is always in charge
DD~Generosity~11 always helping others
DS~Astute Lad~10 uncannily perceptive
DD~Persistence~9 very determined
DD~Sweetness~5 sweet girl
DS~Sunshine~3 always smiling
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:58 PM
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Is she looking for everything, or just LA?
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* Batman (9yo, 6th, DYS, Aspie, ADD, neuro-motor delays) - Bible Evidences, WW 8, LoF F&D + Physics, Web Programming (HTML5, CSS & JS), Bowling, Scouts

.....* Both - Pentime, Apologia Astronomy, MoH 1, ASL, Art, Piano, classic lit

* Robin (6yo, 3rd, PG, progressive hearing loss) - R&S Bible 5, R&S English 3, Reading Comp from Varied Sub Matter, Seq Sp 1, WW 3, LoF Elem, SS Latin 2, Gymnastics


Barefoot Books
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