We had the opportunity to review the online program Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum from Home School Navigator.
Language arts usually covers grammar, phonics, reading, spelling, vocabulary and writing. Typically, homeschoolers choose one curriculum each that covers all of those areas. That can end up being a lot of books or resources with none of them having a collective rhythm. Home School Navigator covers all of those areas and more. Teaching those skills with a story book as the focus, results in a comprehensive language arts program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
We were given access to all six levels of the Home School Navigator. The levels include:
Red (average kindergarten reading level)
Orange (average first grade reading level)
Yellow (average second grade reading level)
Green (average third grade reading level)
Blue (average fourth grade reading level)
Indigo (average fifth grade reading level)
Each level is a full language arts program and covers language arts and reading areas with Literature and Composition, Reading, Word Study and Vocabulary, Writing Skills and Handwriting with Grammar added in the second year. Handwriting with manuscript and cursive takes students through the first four levels and finishes in the last two levels with Computer Skills – keyboarding and PowerPoint. You may see the scope and sequence of each level. The levels are defined by comprehension rather than grade level, so it is best to review each level to determine where your child should begin. We had access to all of the levels for some weeks, so we could see what was offered and decide where Canyon should start when using the program. After that period, we had to choose our focus level. I decided he should be placed in Level Yellow.
Getting started using Home School Navigator is straight forward and easy. Also, each level pretty much flows the same as far as the schedule. So, once you complete one level and your student is ready to move to the next one, the structure is the same and the learning may easily continue.
Each level is scheduled to cover 36 weeks of study. The material is planned to be completed over a nine-month period, but you may easily adjust the schedule to fit your school.
I really like that not only are the weeks planned, but each daily lesson is detailed and scheduled. Besides printing lessons, there was minimal preparation each week for me. There is also a master book list, so you can plan to borrow the books from the library, find them online or purchase physical copies to use. Although most of the materials needed to teach the course are included in the program as PDFs or videos, the materials list let me know when I needed certain items. If I did not already have them, I was able to start collecting them, so we would be ready when that lesson came around.
For parents who like to plan months in advanced, there is even a complete month overview, so you can plan your weeks and easily prep for each lesson. This is a list of the handouts I need to teach the lessons. I printed them one week at a time. I am not often that organized, but these helpful parent resources allow me to be prepared.
Another plus about Home School Navigator are the instructional videos. The video lessons are a great part of the program. They range from read-a-louds to content instruction for writing lessons.
Some of the books were a bit elementary for Canyon, but are appropriate for the targeted age range for Level Yellow. He still did enjoy watching and listening to the books being read. I did sit with canyon while he watched them. Depending on the age of your child and level they are covering, they may be able to sit through the videos and complete the assignments independently.
This is a sample of the handwriting practice Canyon completed for Level Yellow. Students will begin cursive writing in month five of Level Yellow.
Over the nine-month period, a variety of genres are covered in each level. Some of the focused genres for Level Yellow are fairy and folk tales, biographies/autobiographies/memoirs, historical fiction and poetry. I really like that independent reading is encouraged every day. I think read-a-louds are wonderful and are great family time, but also think children gain confidence and feel a sense of independence when they are able to read to themselves independently.
And another cool feature for parents. Home School Navigator allows parents (and students) to store/file their work by uploading it into their account or checking off that the work has been completed for the day. That is especially helpful if you rely or are responsible to report your school progress to an outside entity. Everything we do is inhouse, so we did not use the uploading feature.
Holes by Louis Sachar is one of our favorite books and movies. It also happens to be one of the interactive notebooks included in the Home School Navigator program. Reading Holes is presented in Level Indigo. Through the interactive notebooks, children are able to take the story beyond just reading the book. Using language arts skills they have learned throughout the level (and some of the previous levels), students complete activities that review those skills. There are also hands-on projects. If your child enjoys doing lapbooks, the interactive notebooks will be a lot of fun for them. Since Level Indigo is beyond what Kaleb was working on, we just looked through the section and what we did was mostly oral work.
Although Home School Navigator is a computer-based program. There is enough of a mixture of online and offline work where the program can work well for your child, even if you do not like computer-based learning. I looked at the time spent on the computer like time he would spend with a tutor. The time is limited on the computer and most of the learning time and work involves the inclusion of books and writing.
Home School Navigator makes language arts easy to teach, easy to track work and a pleasure for students to learn.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase a one-year membership to Home School Navigator for $97. That is a currently reduced price.