Monday, June 29, 2015

My Love for Compass Classroom Part 2 (American History Version)

This post is coming to you a little later than I originally thought, but man this summer has been crazy busy for me. So here is the next product that I really love from Compass Classroom. Grace used Dave Raymond's American History the entire year for her high school American History Credit. As always I tweaked this product a fair amount. If you follow This Link you can read my original review from almost one year ago when I was reviewing the product for the TOS Review Crew. We loved the product so much that we kept using it and loved it.

In the beginning we used the product almost exactly as it was recommended. View one lecture a day to finish out one lesson per week. There are 26 total lessons. Each lesson has additional reading that is supplied for free for you to print you. At the end of the week there are 10 essay style questions for your child to answer pertaining to the lectures, reading, and their own thoughts. A portfolio is created of drawings, graphics, etc. in a notebooking/scrapbooking style. There are also three major projects to accomplish throughout the year (map reproduction project, 40 hour hands on project of the child's choice, and a 3-10 page essay).

Like I said, In the beginning we used it almost exactly as it is recommended. Just like any other homeschooling family we discovered that some parts didn't work for us because of learning styles, etc. The first item we ended up changing was the 10 essay style questions at the end of each lesson group. Grace was having a real problem answering the questions to match up with what the answers were in the teacher's guide and since I was not watching the lectures with her it was a very hard thing to try and grade. I decided instead to have her pick a topic from the daily lectures and write a one page essay each week in place of answering the questions.
We also ditched the additional readings early on mostly do to time constraints from her outside of the home classes. I do plan starting next month to have Grace read through the Genevieve Foster books that pertain to that time in history to just round out the credit some (The World of Captain John Smith, The World of William Penn, George Washington's World, and Abraham Lincoln's World).
Also with her artistic background we leaned heavily on drawing and working in her portfolio by adding portraits of the individuals she was hearing about in the lectures.
Hands down this was the best DVD based product we have ever used. I was very excited to learn that they are in production for the second half of American History with Dave Raymond because the DVDs we just finished only go up to the reconstruction after the Civil War. I am really hoping that it will be ready by the fall of next year to use for Grace's Senior year of high school. In the mean time I will be using the Economics program from Compass Classroom for her first semester of her Junior Year.

I should also mention due to running out of time at the end of the year I allowed Grace to do a four page spread in her portfolio on Harriet Tubman opposed to writing the 3-10 page essay. She had so much writing in her Literature class this year that I just felt it wasn't needed.

1 comment:

LJS said...

I'm ordering it. I need a structured guide to get us through topics lately. I love that interest led has worked thus far, but I need to close some gaps and I find that video based learning is working for us. Plus, Greg wants to join in. He has wanted to learn more about our history too. Thank you for taking the time to do this!