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Old 01-20-2012, 05:41 AM   #1
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"Great Books Academy" ?

Anyone use them? Any thoughts on them?

I tried under search but couldn't seem to find anything. I'm dreaming of finding a complete curriculum - maybe except for math as I'm interested in Singapore - that is Charlotte Mason/Classical Education/Living or Real Books based... but is pretty complete with daily or weekly lesson plans or guidance.

I'm not planning on starting anything formal with DS for years - but am trying to do some super early planning so I can order things early and see how I feel about them, and have lots of time to gather supplies so I can find stuff used to save money.

I was planning on designing my own curriculum based on these philosophies, but was hoping to Public School for a couple years since I'll be working. Now I'd like to find a curriculum that requires less planning time on my part - at least to start out with.

Thanks so much for any thoughts

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

I just posted last night on another post similar to this....

I am right there with you. The thing is, if you want to blend Charlotte Mason and classical, you're going to have to do it yourself. Have you read The Well-Trained Mind? If you haven't, BUY it!

You do have some time though... I see in your siggy that your oldest is 2? Do it yourself, mama! But you don't have to start from scratch. Take what you like from each method, look at the curriculum and books list of each method and pick what you want.

You might want to buy a curriculum and then supplement the parts that it is lacking. Memoria Press has a pretty good classical education package (it is Christian and includes copying scripture verses and studying the Bible, so you might not like it if you aren't Christian.) Also, Ambleside and Simplycharlottemason.com have resources (lesson plans and such) for Charlotte Mason stuff.

My problem is that I like aspects of Charlotte Mason that aren't included in WTM and vice versa. (IF by chance you are catholic, pm me and I'll send you another link that is worth looking into.)

I will be following this for sure. Perhaps there IS the perfect curriculum out there that I haven't come across.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

Sorry, I don't know anything about "Living Books Academy", but...
I, too, am a fan of the Classical/Charlotte Mason/Living books method. Have you looked into My Father's World or Heart of Dakota? They both have aspects of the above methods. I think it just depends on which parts of which methods are important to you. We recently switched to HOD and it's exactly what I've been looking for. They are both Christian based though, so I'm not sure that would work for you.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

Someone needs to make exactly this! There's a demand for it!

I have lots of time - and I might end up sort of making it myself, just combining bits of everything that I like.

I'm not a practicing Catholic, but will live in a community and many of my family are... but one of the reasons I love Charlotte Mason is that it is important to me that faith have a place in education. It's completely okay with me to use a curriculum where there is space for that - I just might include our own instead of what's written. I'm actually nearly ordained - once I finish some papers, so I'd be quite comfortable writing up or including something to add.

I haven't read the whole Well-Trained Mind. I have to do that. I've read the Charolotte Mason books, have one of the Simply Charlotte Mason guides, have been to Ambleside. They're all good resources. I haven't checked out HOD yet and will take a look.

I've been googling like crazy on the "Great Books Academy" this morning. So far all I can find is that the program is great, but when ordering there's bad customer service. Frankly I don't care too much about the customer service part as long as they're great materials and they do actually get to my house... Especially in the early grades I wouldn't plan on him being "enrolled" or using the grading/advising services.

Thank you all so much! I'm trying to work on this early since I have a suspicion I might still have to do it myself - at least sort of. There's a chance that I'll have to go back to work in a year or more - so I want to have something laid out enough that if I'm out of the house for too much someone else could walk DS and eventually DD through it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

If you want to check out the catholic classical curriculum I was mentioning, here it is.

Click on the pdf format. This is good for resources to include regarding education of Christianity in general and if some stuff is too religious for you, cut it out.

Oh my heavens, you have GOT to read the Well-Trained Mind. There are differences in the philosophies of the Charlotte Mason method and in WTM, but in practice, they really complement each other.

I have found the authors of The Well-Trained Mind to be very practical when it comes to advice regarding how you make time for homeschooling, what your goals should be and what books to choose. As opposed to other websites and resources I've read, they don't say "We have everything you need, just click here!". They give you good reviews of different math and science programs and other materials. They tell you if a certain source has a particular religious or political tone to it, and they also remind you to not freak out over getting every piece of material out there, but instead, keep your eyes on your goal, keep the learning fun and do what works for you.

I'd be curious to see what you end up choosing. I'm going to the library tomorrow to get a book on the Charlotte Mason method. In this next year or two I'm going to hammer out exactly what I want to do up to grade 2 with a general idea of what I'm going to do in later years.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide! (Or at least me! )
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:29 AM   #6
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanie View Post
If you want to check out the catholic classical curriculum I was mentioning, here it is.

Click on the pdf format. This is good for resources to include regarding education of Christianity in general and if some stuff is too religious for you, cut it out.
Thank you! Checking it out this morning.

Quote:
Oh my heavens, you have GOT to read the Well-Trained Mind. There are differences in the philosophies of the Charlotte Mason method and in WTM, but in practice, they really complement each other.

I have found the authors of The Well-Trained Mind to be very practical when it comes to advice regarding how you make time for homeschooling, what your goals should be and what books to choose. As opposed to other websites and resources I've read, they don't say "We have everything you need, just click here!". They give you good reviews of different math and science programs and other materials. They tell you if a certain source has a particular religious or political tone to it, and they also remind you to not freak out over getting every piece of material out there, but instead, keep your eyes on your goal, keep the learning fun and do what works for you.
I've quickly read it - but I think I'm going to order the "well trained mind at home" or whatever it's called. Is that the one with the reviews? I'm not sure I read that one. I looked for it yesterday and am going to order it today. Our library doesn't have it and their interlibrary loan takes forever... plus I feel like I'm going to need to write in it and take notes...
Quote:
I'd be curious to see what you end up choosing. I'm going to the library tomorrow to get a book on the Charlotte Mason method. In this next year or two I'm going to hammer out exactly what I want to do up to grade 2 with a general idea of what I'm going to do in later years.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide! (Or at least me! )

This is exactly what I'm thinking of doing also - getting several years worth of stuff ready, laid out and planned. If it needs to be changed a little as we go - then it's okay...

Are you up for me PMing you and we can share our progress? It sounds like we're at similar points of doing similar things.

Thanks!!!

OH - I'm thinking of ordering some of the lesson plans from Great Books Academy - they're only $10. Just to check them out. I have found that the books they use and the books lists are exactly things I like - so if nothing else maybe I'll use their booklists and resources to create my own.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

I didn't make it to the library today; we're snowed in!

The book I was talking about was "The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home" by Susan Wise Bauer and Jesse Wise. I got an older edition from my library, read a few chapters and then ordered the new one online so I can write notes in it also. I got the older edition so I could see how their resource list has changed in the last few years. (I am kind of a nut for that type of stuff.)

I would definitely be interested in pm-ing! I need to give the Charlotte Mason method a really good look and then I need to do some serious investigation of the books that all my favorite websites and books recommend for K-2.

Definitely pm me! I'll have to check out that Great Books Academy. I am focusing on K-5 right now, so I haven't spent much time with any lists of works they will be studying in high school.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:47 AM   #8
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Re: "Great Books Academy" ?

Just posting to update. The homeschool Well-Trained Mind book is AWESOME! I think what I've settled on, for now, is a self-designed curriculum based on all their suggestions, with some of my own booklists included. I want a designed curriculum, for clarity and focus, but aspects of unschooling really appeal to me - and i want our "curriculum" to be pretty flexible.

SO - what I've done, and will do more of, is instead design a homeschool planner that allows me to organize this type of curriculum, but based on started with a resource (book, experiment,etc...) then exploring it/learning from it. That allows a little bit of integated learning (science and LA, etc...) but also - if my kids don't want to read that resource, we'll move onto something else or do something they want. Then just notate using a journal form what we've done. But it'll allow me to still stay organized and know what they've done.

Anyhoo - when I'm done with it I'm happy to share the forms I made. I'll probably put them on my blog or something as a pdf to download. If I can figure out how...
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