Saturday, February 26, 2011

Decisions, decisions

It is getting to be that time of year again... the time when all these amazing, wonderful homeschool companies start to bombard us with new catalogs filled with shiny new curricula.  Temptation, temptation, temptation...

What kinds of products are singing their siren songs to you this year?

Let me tell you about a couple of items that are calling out to me:

Institute for Excellence in Writing has a new program for littles:  The Primary Arts of Language.  (I'll link it better when it is up online!)  There is both a Reading set, and a Writing set.  And I want both.  The reading uses poetry (yes!) and teaches phonics and whole words.  Games, farm stickers, letter stories... what's not to love?  Trina fell in love with the picture of the farm stickers.  I suspect Richard would love the poetry aspect and be willing to do it alongside her.  And I wonder if my bigger two would go through it quickly.  Not sure.  The package includes a teacher's manual, a DVD-ROM which includes video and four MP3 audios (two of which I own and love), a student book, games, and a farm folder and stickers.  

The writing package focuses on printing, copy work and composition.  It also includes spelling (using All About Spelling... you know, the program I called practically perfect!)  I wouldn't get the whole package, since I own AAS already.  But it includes a teacher's manual, a DVD-ROM (with video and two audio MP3s), and some additional MP3 audio downloads.  I've got the additional mp3s in my cart right now.  If they took Paypal, I'd have bought 'em already.

I love, love, love how IEW puts so much emphasis on teaching the teacher.  I love how they make programs that can be used by a big family.  I want this.  I really want this.  And I haven't really even seen it.  <sigh>  Monday... there is supposed to be samples and more information online on Monday.  And, I'm supposed to get to see it at a homeschool conference in a couple of weeks.


The other thing calling to me relates to a review we are doing right now.  I was introduced to See The Light when I won a Christmas DVD of theirs.  My kids -- especially Thomas -- LOVE the DVD.  And I just this week received the first DVD in their Art Class series.  Oh, wow.  Love this.  Just love it.  I like a combination of art instruction and art history that doesn't take much effort from me, and that my kids find entertaining... and possible to do.  I'm not sure I can work it into my budget, but wow, I sure want to.

7 comments:

Michelle Smith said...

I knew I shouldn't have read this post. You have me seriously wanting this program from IEW now. And I can't even see that much about it yet. Do you know how much will it cost? Is it affordable? I will have two who could use it (possibly together, if I can get them both to be still long enough), and I might pull by my older dyslexic one in for part of it.

If you get it, you'll have to let me know how it goes.

Tristan said...

Too fun to read this post as I just finished posting about how my IEW magalog arrived today. I'm downloading my free audio downloads to listen to later and I'll be reading the magalog this afternoon.

MeritK said...

Yep - I am getting ready with my curriculum list too :) Homeschool convention season - woohoo!

Debra said...

Oh, Tristan -- I'll have to go read your post. :)

Michelle -- okay, the full reading package is $69, and the full writing package is $89. But the writing includes All About Spelling (which I have already) so I'd be piecing that together... $29 for the TM and $15 for the DVD-ROM. Probably $9 for the "bonus e-audio downloads" but I don't know if I'd do that. There is mp3 audio on the DVD-ROM.

Anyway... I think this could be worth it. And if I get stuff at the convention, I get the convention freebies too. :)

Cristi said...

I think this will be the year that I go ahead and break down and get IEW for the big kids. I've always balked at the price, but nothing else for writing instruction has worked enough to justify what I've spent on them. Maybe I should've started with IEW a few years ago.

Tess said...

I'm not sure about the Reading program (love the idea of poetry though!) but I'm loving the description in the magalog about the Writing portion. You're evil Debra. You know that right? :)

Debra said...

I've been reading the samples and such... and wow, I really like the looks of this. But then there is All About Reading... yikes, what to do? what to do?

I think I'm going to end up with PAL though, as by the time I finish AAR pre-level 1, PAL ought to be shipping... and I don't want to be waiting for programs to be published.

Oh, my... I just don't know...