Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Elementary Comprehensive Language Arts Curriculum - Review

Our family was given a one-year subscription to Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum and interactive notebooks from Home School Navigator in exchange a review.  I am not to fund of teaching Language Arts.  Well, it's not that I don't like it, it's just that I am always doubting myself in that area or I feel like I may be missing or leaving something out.  Home School Navigator was designed for the homeschool parent like me in mind.  They provide your children with a life long learning experience.

What is Home School Navigator?

Home School Navigator is a complete  Comprehensive Language Arts curriculum that includes just about everything you need for a full 36-week school year.  When I say it includes just about everything you need please note that the only we had to get was our reading books, which I got from my local library and the regular stationary items for organization.  I want to also make you aware that the books are read aloud to the child via a youtube video, which a link is provided for in each lesson.  I only got the books because I'm just that mom. LOL

My daughter reading one of the read aloud stories

My son listening to that same story

The program covers reading, writing, vocabulary, and so much more.  Because the curriculum writers understand that all kids don't learn at the same pace they have the curriculum sectioned into a great color-coded level system.


This Scope and Sequence will provide you with a better view of what is covered in each level.  It is recommended for elementary aged kids but again they have it set up so that you can decide what will work best for your children.

Each reading Level includes:

  • 36-week course
  • Daily reading, writing, and word study lesson plan (including flex days for busy schedules)
  • 60 instructional videos
  • Word Study Program (including word wall headings, cards, and games)
  • Activities that encourage multiple learning styles
  • Monthly Skills Checklist
  • Portfolio maintenance
  • Monthly goal sheet/Portfolio Check-in
  • Downloadable review games
  • And so much more!
One of the best parts is that everything is all planned out for you and your kid they even include a book list so if you want to already have all your books together beforehand.

Interactive Book Study

I originally planned to use this with my two older children but after looking at the different levels I decided to use it with my two middle kids.  For the past few weeks, we have been using the Indigo Level for both of them.  Although my children used the full curriculum I will be focusing more on the interactive notebooks study for this review.

So you are probably wondering what exactly is the interactive book study, well, it is exactly what it says, it's a notebook system that is used to provide an interactive study of the book your child will be assigned to read.  Your child will be assigned a book to read.  The first book for this level is Holes.  The book study has differently shaped cut-outs with questions pertaining the story on them.  It is suggested that you have a composition book or spiral notebook to glue them in.  The cut-outs have flaps that your child will glue down to the paper.  We used colored paper and glued them on that instead of using a composition notebook.  The answers to the discussion questions will be written on the paper under the cut-outs.  I hope that makes sense. If not, don't worry I have provided you with pictures.

How we used it

We started out using this as a supplement to the Language Arts program they were already using, but quickly realized it was a complete curriculum so we place the current program on hold and moved on to this one full time.  Although it is planned based on a 5-day school week we school 4 days a week so we made the necessary adjustments to make it fit our homeschool.  There was very little if any planning on my part because as I already stated they have the entire 36 weeks planned out for you.  I made the decision to go with a 2-inch 3ringed binder instead of using composition books as suggested.  I put 5 dividers with tabs and pockets in each child's binder and labeled each tab as followed, Worksheets, Poetry Notebook, Writers Notebook, Word Study, and Interactive Notebook.
Behind each tab, I put several sheets of notebook paper so that the kids would not have to search for it if it was needed.    Each day is planned out for you so each week I printed out all 5 days, all handouts/worksheets, and the interactive notebook pages that were needed for that week.  The schedules were placed in the front of the binder, handouts went in the pocket of the worksheet divider, and the interactive notebook pages when in the pocket of the Interactive Notebook divider.
We followed the scheduled and the kids pulled out worksheets as need.

How we organized our binders

The interactive notebook was assigned in the Independent Reading section.  My kids read the book on their own as scheduled but always begged to read more.  They freely told me all about the chapters they read after they finished reading.  

Monday they read the assigned chapters and did the corresponding interactive notebook question sheets.
Tuesday we discuss the questions and they were able to answer more in depth.
Wednesday they read the assigned chapters and did the question sheets
Thursday we discussed them 
Friday they wrote a response paper to what they had read (we moved this to either Thursday or the following Monday)
You are easily able to tweak the schedule to fit your family's need.  

My thoughts

This program uses reading strategies that create reading success!  My kids did not complain once about having to answer the questions.  The discussion questions kept them engaged and I notice because of the questions and the discussion they made sure to pay close attention to what they were reading.  I would even hear them discussing the book in their own free time.  This is what I loved about it.  They didn't look at it like boring school work they actually enjoyed it and looked forward to doing it daily.

Reading his independent reading book

I would recommend Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum and interactive notebooks to families with children as young as 5 to as old as 13.  This is not a Christian based curriculum so the books and the read alouds are not Bible-based, but so far I haven't seen anything inappropriate for my children or myself.
Navigating the site was a bit difficult at first, but after a few moms emailed the curriculum writers they made some updates and it was a breeze from there.  They are amazing at answering questions and concerns.  They truly care about the child and the parent.

I always like to include my children's thoughts as well just to give you an idea from a child's perspective.  So I asked them both what they thought about the interactive notebooks and the program in general and this is what they said.

My son said, "I like the interactive notebook because it's not like I  actually have to write everything out on a paper. It feels like a fun project instead of school work.  When I see my end results it makes me feel like I accomplished some hard work and I can't wait until it's time to do the next one.  Holes is a really interesting book.  It gives a lot of good details and I like how it goes back and tells about Kate Barlow.  I also like hearing from Stanley's point of view and how he doesn't want his parents to worry about him so he doesn't tell them how bad it is there, and how much hard work he has to do.  Home School Navigator is a lot better than my other curriculum!  At first, I got off to a bad start because I did not know how to work it,  Once I got used to it I grew to love it, how independent it is, and how it shows me what I have finished.  It's not stressful like other curriculums it's not a huge book packed with a ton of things to do.  I really like the stories they have with it."

My son working on week 1 in the interactive notebook

My daughter said, "I like the interactive notebook because I like how we get to cut out the paper it's like an activity.  I like adding it to the color paper.  I'm enjoying the book Holes it is a good book.  The story is interesting and gives just the right amount of detail because I don't like a book with too many details.  I like the way they schedule the chapters for us to read.   I didn't like how the warden was a lady in charge of all those men because I think she was acting like a Jezebel.  Home School Navigator is amazing!  I love it and enjoy how it gives us different things to do each day.  At first, I did not like it because it seemed like a lot of work until I started actually working through it then i noticed it was not a lot at all.  I appreciate how they plan it out for me.  I like the independent reading HOLES.  It's an amazing curriculum!  I really love the actitiviteis it gives me to do and the games, they help me remember the vocabulary words.  I like the videos with the lady reading to us so if I don't want to read or have the book I can just watch her.  I love her facial expressions and how she explains everything.  Especially, the videos that they use to explain how to do the worksheets they even do a sample one to make sure we really know.  I like that I can check the stuff off as I finish it makes me feel really accomplished.  I would recommend this to all kids that are old enough.  I really love this!

You may definitely want to hear from other moms on the crew about their experiences with Home School Navigator, the level the used, and the interactive notebooks.  Click the banner below and don't be afraid to let them know I sent you.

Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum {Home School Navigator Reviews}

Be sure to visit Home School Navigator on social media

Please don't be afraid to comment or email me any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer.  Have a fantastic day!

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