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This picture says it all. FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions. and Try out our Course Demo.  Our son has put us through an amazing set of course corrections and though provoking questions about our previous education methods and goals. We had originally made all of our selections for his upcoming High School adventures, when he announced to us his desire to make changes to the structure of his homeschool for High School. He loves to read, and this is probably because we have used a Charlotte Mason, Living Books, Unit Study meets notebooking approach with him all along. He loves to talk bout what he reads. He even keeps a blog for family to read and to file his thoughts away for future reference.

He announces that he has decided he wants to do a more traditional approach to high school with textbook/workbook options. So, we start our investigations into what we think will work, what we can live with (given our love of Living Books, the thought of a text book approach is somewhat nauseating.)  So, then he comes back and says, I’ve been looking on Youtube and reading around, and I want to look at Lifepacs. (WHAT??????)  No. Please no?  Please??????  Lifepacs it is.  We have read so many things about LP and other AOP products. I have friends who have used it and love it, and their children seem to have done quite well in High School and College and two of them are teachers now. But that was the 90’s this is the new era and the naysayers have the majority of votes on the review boards. Or do they?

So we have purchased a few lifepac kits: Science III (Physical Science 2), English 1, Business Computer Information Systems (Elective) and Bible New Testament Survey (only units 901-907).  We purchased the teacher guides and we also invested in the Learning the Lifepac Method book.  Now, I have read the reviews. We have used a lifepac single unit here and there for various reasons… but we have never really worried, it was a workbook to use for a Notebooking session on this or that… added reinforcement if you will. But I must say, the negativity is ill conceived.

Upon deep inspection of the teacher guides, for each unit there are a number of additional activities you can use that can be integrated into a group atmosphere, or individually and they are quite a step above in the area of analytical/critical thought and seem to provide great opportunities to increase cognitive and affective skills. So, my amazement is in the fact that these people who take these lifepacs and  stick their children in front of these and walk away expecting them to flourish (???) when has there ever been a curriculum that truly allows a student to be on his/her own? Seriously? If you are that busy that you cannot be involved in some way with your child’s learning process then you need to consider another educational option; home education may not be wise.

As if the teacher guide does not give you ideas and show you how to schedule and go about working with your child, the Lifepac Management system and training give you helpful clues about how to have them study. How to add enrichment opportunities, how to linger a bit on a topic of interest, how you can correctly grade writing assignments, what type of writing assignments to focus on, how to construct projects, and so  very much more. There was more in the liberty to the teacher to actually construct a curriculum of great value with maximum impact than what we have found in BJU or A Beka books. So my question, how many negative reviewers actually worked with their child, and how many purchased the kits recommended by AOP before they blew up in fits of total stupidity? I’m guessing few did.

You have to be present with the curriculum, you have to be a teacher, whether you want to or not, in order to teach a child. Sure,they are designed for mostly independence but that is the key word, ‘mostly’.

So, we feel confident that the LPs are going to be just fine. We are learning, but my son is totally stoked.  ENTER LIFE CHANGE EVENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My wife may end up being a full time associate manager at our apartment complex. This is nice because that means we will have no rent and no utilities…and we can upgrade next year to a larger unit and possibly adopt.  (Can you say $750 savings per month?)

BUT, this means that we may not be able to finish with the curriculum we have now for the remainder of our school term. 😦 uh oh. So we thought, since we are doing LPs next year we’d try Monarch. Our son LOVES it. And, we have made significant changes to a schedule/calendar that took may be 15 minutes to edit. WOW! NO recopying every thing. So, planning is easier, rescheduling is a breeze.

hdrbklstAnd what about critical thinking and analyzing skills? Well, Monarch and Lifepac both have sufficient opportunities for the student to develop and grow in those areas. Unlike the thought that it is a lazy curriculum, the students are writing book reports based on some of the best Newberry books and Caldecott Books on the list for each grade level. The students also get sufficient review of what a book report, biographical report, essay, paragraph, and literary analysis must look like.

lifepac-complete-set-7-LCS0700As far as the scope & sequence is concerned, we have learned that there really is a very large amount of material taught in each grade level, and with plenty of material coming around over and over in bits and pieces throughout the different units. What was learned abut parts of speed in one unit, is brought back in focus a few units later when putting together a book report, or an oral report comes back later in speech and communication and listening skills, and listening skills comes back around in the area of words and their meanings.

Monarch-PlansWe are quite impressed with the simplicity of use but the breadth of learning and knowledge that our son will be experiencing with this method of curriculum.  So, we are moving forward into a new area.

We still maintain our notebooking principles though–all of his special projects are to complete notebookiExtra Pictures 2009 047ng pages on a wide variety of subjects learned in any particular unit and add that to his Binder for that unit. This way, he can go back and see later on what he has learned and how it has affected him in otter areas of his academic growth.

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