Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Home School Navigator {Review}

Language Arts is an important part of our homeschool.   There is nothing more important than being able to use language to take in information about the world around us and then communicate our own ideas to others effectively. Although I wasn't actively looking for a new language arts program to use I am always interested in learning about new programs and resources to see if they might help in our school.  The Home School Review Crew offered us an opportunity to try Home School Navigator for the purpose of a review so Rachel and I have been working through it together.  She received a one year subscription to Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts curriculum which includes access to their Interactive Notebooks.

Home School Navigator
Home School Navigator is a online comprehensive language arts program for building strong readers and writers.  It is written for homeschool families and it can be used with multiple students.  There are 6 levels named for different colors.  Each level consists of 36 weeks of material to cover one year of instruction.
At first I wasn't sure which level to choose for Rachel.  She is finishing third grade and she is a good reader.  I looked over the Home School Navigator Scope and Sequence for the various levels and decided that Level Blue would be a good fit for her.  However, the subscription provides access for her to use the entire 6 years of coursework so it would be no problem if we started using the Blue level and then decided that it wasn't the best fit for her.  Since we have access to the entire program, we could just move her up a level or down a level to best fit her needs.

Home School Navigator curriculum teaches Literature/Comprehension, Reading Skills Strategy, Writing Skills, Grammar, Phonics, Poetry, and Vocabulary.  The first thing I fell in love with in this program is the organization.  Every day is planned out for you.  Your child may not cover each subject every day but if you follow the lesson plans then all of the subjects will be covered over the week.  
Home School Navigator

I like to print out the lesson plans.  I just have to have printed versions so I can make notes and make check marks when a lesson is complete.  However, the online version presents the same lesson plans for each day and at the end of the week you just click the box to mark it complete.  This way it will keep track of your progress online.

The curriculum is very rich and covers a lot of material.  However, you can choose which subjects and/or activities you want your child to complete.  It is completely flexible and I love that because you can really customize it to meet your particular child's needs.

There are a lot of books to read throughout the program.  To save money, you might be able to find a lot of them at your local library but the creators of Home School Navigator have also made video read alouds so your child can just listen and watch as the story is being read to them.  We already had the book Rapunzel so Rachel wanted to read along with the video.


The weekly vocabulary lists are short so it doesn't get overwhelming.  There are games to make learning fun.  On this week, Rachel learned words with the prefix "pre" and then had to sort and match the definitions with the vocabulary words.


Rachel's favorite part of the program is the literature that she is reading. Her current Independent Reading selection is "The Invention of Hugo Cabret". 



I just love this book and it was fun watching Rachel discover how fun it is to read a story that is mostly just pictures.


The Interactive Notebooks that are included with the curriculum make for a fun way to review what has been read, study the traits of the characters, analyze the story, look up vocabulary words, and more.  It is recommended that you get a binder or even a composition notebook for your child to use for this notebook.  We already had several blank composition notebooks on hand so Rachel chose one of those.  Then she wanted to make a nice cover for it so this is what hers looks like.


The Interactive Notebook pages are printable pages that correspond with chapters in the assigned reading.  There are little flaps to be cut out and glued into the pages of the notebook.



Some are vocabulary words where Rachel had to look up the definition in the dictionary then write it on the booklet.


Somehow just adding flaps and little booklets makes the work more fun.  She never would have enjoyed this so much if I just handed her a regular worksheet to complete.



The Home School Navigator Reading and Language Arts Curriculum is available as an annual online subscription for just $97/year.  If you aren't ready to dive into the full program yet, you might want to start with just trying a few of the interactive notebooks which can be purchased separately for $8.00 each.  

If you would like to see what some other homeschool families had to say about Home School Navigator, just click on the banner below.

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

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