In my opinion, Paths of Exploration combines all of the things I was looking for. The ease of a pick up and go for a busy home, the joy of reading real books and the flexibility of adding plenty of hands on projects if we choose.
So far we have covered Christopher Columbus, Jamestown, and the Pilgrims. Upon returning to our lessons after the holidays we started with Daniel Boone, then follows Lewis & Clark, and Trails West.
When I was reading some reviews of the curriculum, discerning if this would work for our needs, a few people mentioned that the Language Arts portion wasn't meaty enough. I have not found this to be true. We rather enjoy the more subtle approach to language arts through copy work. In fact back in the day, most Catholic schools couldn't afford for each student to have their own book, so students learned much from copying from great works of literature.
Copywork has been a rich way for the children to work on so many different aspects such as handwriting, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. It has helped my reluctant reader improve his reading fluency and my reluctant writer is gently being encouraged to write.
I know the children are learning when they can relay information to their dad around the dinner table, or my son points out punctuation marks in the missal at Sunday mass. "Mom, there's a colon!, I just can't stop finding colons!"
I have found it very easy to organize our notebooking materials. Each week I pull the week's notebook pages out of their large binders and put them in a folder. As they work through the week the completed pages can go into the right side of the folder. Everything is kept together, fairly neat, until it's transferred back into the large binder.
The curriculum covers history, science, and language arts in a relevant and engaging way. We add in our own math program as well as religion, and we are having a great year.
I'm linking up at a virtual curriculum fair today at Homeschool Heart & Mind
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