Following the guidebook

I recently ordered another language arts/reading program with guidebook. I was a bit unsure about the guidebook but it was inexpensive so I ordered it. Last year I ordered the Abeka guidebook. We started off the year using it rather diligently. This was new to both my son and I as we didn’t use guidebooks for anything in kindergarten. Anyway, it was a bit of a hassle. Some of the things were great. Other things seemed boring to one or both of us. By the third week, we had figured out what we would and wouldn’t do in the guidebook. That didn’t last very long. He was getting the concepts without the extra activities. At one point my son told me he just wanted to do the workbook pages and to forget the guidebook. I tried a few more times to do some things in the guidebook as the year went on, but that never worked out.

When I was planning this year, I originally was going to again use Abeka. Another homeschool family gave me their old 2nd grade language arts guidebook. They must have followed it very closely. It was underlined everywhere. Some pages had just about everything underlined. To me that takes away the point of underlining, especially since Abeka has the most useful items already in bold. I erased it. Luckily it was in pencil.

Well, I ordered the Christian Light Education’s guidebook for the reading but not the LA program. I need to know which pages from the readers go with which workbook pages. One thing I did like about Abeka is that each page in the different workbooks in printed with which lesson it is for. Their readers aren’t used with the workbooks. That way you can coordinate the workbooks easier. CLE doesn’t have that system. Plus it is a new program to us and I don’t want to guess how it fits together.

That doesn’t mean I may not tweak it to fit our needs. I like a program that allows some flexibility. It seems hard to imagine exactly sticking with any guidebook. They are meant to be a guide not a script. However, that’s just my opinion. I know of some families who strictly follow their guidebooks and wouldn’t think of tweaking it. This just goes to show the great variety in homeschooling.

So how closely do you follow your guidebooks? Do you even use a guidebook? What would be your perfect guidebook?

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