Heart Of Wisdom

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epttigger

  • Reviewed on Sunday, April 13, 2008
  • Grades Used: 3rd-10th
  • Dates used: 2006
This is a 4 year curriculum for teaching History and Science. Science is taught from a creation standpoint and the history incorporates world events with how it fits into bible time-frames. We used HOW when we switched over to the CM method. Although it's not totally CM, because it was so scheduled, it was what I needed to make the transition. We LOVED it! I purchased the Year 1, Ancient History: Adam to Messiah, for all of my children, and for my older children I purchased the science that corresponds to year one. We were really happy with it. This is basically how it worked:

The first pages are dedicated to material gathering, explaining how the curriculum works, what resources will be used the most, internet links, how to make it a unit study, etc. Then the lessons are broken down as follows:

Step 1: Excite---this is a snapshot of what we were going to work on for the lesson --- it would often ask for a small excercise, sometimes a video, etc, but it was a precursor for the lesson. Would take between 5-15 minutes to cover, depending on the topic.

Step 2: Examine-- this section can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the child. This section delves deeper into the subject and then has the child read information on their own. This part is pretty awesome because it has a table with suggested resources broken up by grades K-3, 4-8, and 9-12.

Step 3: Expand -- this section is a project. It has anywhere from 4-7 choices for what the child can do on their own. I really liked this section because it had internet-linked options for most of the choices. My children would usually flip a coin, play paper-scissors-rocks, draw numbers, or something goofy like that to see who would do what project.

Step 4: Excel -- this was the correction, tweaking, etc section. After the child is satisfied with their work from Step 3, they are often asked to share it. We shared the work, usually with dad, and usually during or after dinner.

Again, we were really happy with this last year. Although we worked on the history portion sometimes for as long as 2 hours (which it something Charlotte Mason would NEVER have approved of!), my children really enjoyed it. BUT ... downfall number one, and it is a MAJOR one...the author of this curriculum has only completed year one. She does list a detailed view of all four years but after year one you're on your own. At this point I guess it can be considered CM as you schedule as you go, but it would be great if the author would actually COMPLETE what was started and provide all four years with its resources.

Second downfall is that the website is entirely too large. I had wanted to purchase some other unit studies and it took me FOREVER to find what I needed. The website leaves a lot to be desired and is entirely too "busy." If you click on the individual e-books from the home page you will get an error stating the pages can no longer be found. To find them, go to the free sample downloads page and you will get what you need from there, either to download or to purchase.

Third, the Ancient History is available as a whole one-year study(7 units) or the 7 units can be purchased individually--buying individually would be great if money was an issue because each unit can stand on its own. Only problem---if purchasing individual units, some are available as e-books and others are only available by print/shipping option. Don't understand this one at all because if you're purchasing the volume as a whole, all 7 units are available as an e-book for $65, and you can save on shipping charges. Go figure.

Botom line, in my opinion, is that this was a wonderful one year option only. After that, you're on your own. And since the format that HOW believes in (the 4-step plan outlined above) would be WAY too complicated for me to try to recreate, we chucked it after year one and went TOTALLY CM. Now we use SimplyCharlotteMason.com, and I can't even say how wonderful that's been!!! (too bad this site doesn't have THAT curriculum for reviews--but jump to the forums for more info!)

Hope this helps someone. I tried to be clear, sorry if I rambled!

lisam5305

  • Reviewed on Monday, February 18, 2008
  • Grades Used: 3
  • Dates used: 2008
This book will turn the way you homeschool on its ear. If you long to give your children a truly Bible-centered education, this will give you all the inspiration you need, and lots more. I am still reading through the mammoth book (actually I bought the ebook so I can print and read a little at a time) and have not put it into practice yet. Here's the rub. This book gives you tons of information, but it is difficult to assimilate it into actual materials. The author does offer a Year One package on the website, but you're on your own for years 2 through 4. There are lots of book suggestions on the last several pages of this book, but as I said, you're on your own as to how to assimilate it into a school year. If the author could have packages for all four years as well as some sort of general guide to going through the books, I feel that a lot more people would turn to this style of home education.

Although I cherish the book itself, I feel that we are best to stay with WinterPromise for history and Apologia for science. I'm just not creative enough to "wing it". If nothing else, read this book prayerfully and be prepared to really get tuned into the hearts of your children, and your concern for their spiritual wellbeing. You may never look at homeschooling the same way again!

Another snafu is the Heart of Wisdom website. The author has a lot of irons in the fire, and it all shows on the website. It's frustrating, complicated, and overcrowded. When using it, I am reminded of the saying, "Do one thing, and do it well." The author does a lot of things, none of them completely well. The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach book is wonderful, but they have miles to go before they can actually turn it into a workable "curriculum".

shine4yeshua

  • Reviewed on Saturday, May 5, 2007
  • Grades Used: 3-6
  • Dates used: 2006-2007
I LOVE the Heart of Wisdom curriculum for so many reasons. I love that it brings you to your Hebrew roots, the 4 step approach, and how Biblically centered it is. I have used it almost exclusively this year and my kids love it as much as I do. The Wisdom unit study is amazing. We have learned so much (myself included!). I do not find the need to spend much time in preparation for the lessons. The books that you need to acquire to finish the units I have been able to locate very inexpenisvely through Amazon or Ebay used. The books recommended are so good that I dont mind purchasing them to keep in our family library. Although you dont have to get the books, it does help. Like any curriculum I have used, I have had to tweak things to fit our family but I would HIGHLY recommend this program. It is affordable and thorough!

janineswenson

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, March 21, 2007
  • Grades Used: 4th, 10th & 12th
  • Dates used: 2003 - current
I highly recommend this Unit Study program. It was my first experience with a Unit Study and I had a one year old, grouchy teenagers and an eager 4th grader to deal with when I started in 2003 and one daughter in private school. I still think that was our best year of homeschooling and it was mostly due to the WIsdom Study (Life Skills).

I also have done the Creation (Science) and Adam to Abraham, and Mesapotamia.

The selling points for me are: 1) affordability; although getting the outside resource books was challenging for my budget - but only a few are really needed, 2) deeply rooted in Jewish culture 3) bible based, 4) lesson activity choices; plenty for all age levels, 5) little preparation required; for me about 20 minutes each lesson 6) use real books, not textbooks, as resources which causes the student to think for themselve 7)Ebook versions are available and updates are easy.

Negatives: 1) If you do get many of the outside resources for your "home library", you're gonna need some book shelves or storage of some sort 2) I find their website difficult to navigate and confusing at times, but you don't "need" to log on much. 3)Some of the anticipated studies are not yet complete - this could be a problem if you have high schoolers and need to fill a 4 year plan or transcript, but not really a problem yet if your kids are younger elementary ages. 4)Their regularly bound book will become unbound after much use, stick with the Ebook option.

This program is close to my heart and always will be, even if we don't ever go back to it.
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