We're doing Bigger... this year, and my son just turned 8 in Dec. He LOVES Eggleston! He always wants me to read more. I always say..."You'll have to wait until tomorrow!" How wonderful it is to have him excitedly looking forward to doing history the next day! I also appreciate how they are paced throughout the curriculum... in a way we can savor them! They are very "living". I understand at first glance you may be unsure, but let me reassure you, they are fantastic books! My son also enjoys the Journeys... book. I do think the extension pack would be a great way to extend it for your older kiddo, and then I think it would be enough, with your higher levels of math and LA.
The science books are also very living, and I like the balance of different types of books there. My son loved getting to know the biographical characters well, and he loves looking at his Audobon society bird books now that he "knows" Audubon so well! The Pioneer Sampler and Science in Colonial America are just neat books, a fantastic switch from dry textbooks if you've ever used those. One Small Square... well, they are just our very favorites! Beautiful pictures, living text, you can't go wrong with any of those, and they tie nicely to the history.
As far as the history and science projects go, they are notebooking type things that utilize the living books, globe and/or maps. They often connect with the Bible as well, and the result is a very beautiful science and history notebook to be proud of.
For the history notebooking, typically, my son writes 3-6 sentences, draws something while looking at the living book/globe/map for help, and colors it. Maps are neatly drawn and added to over time as well. Geography involves the resources I've already mentioned and includes the creation of a neat timeline. We have ours inside a file folder, so we can just open it up and see all of our timeline at a glance. My son enjoys this and understands the passage of time and events much better now.
For science, simple experiments are done, and notebooking involves a similar process as the history one I've described above, only using the science living books and often has some labeling as well. For experiments (which by the way are easily doable and involve materials you have in your home), a lab-type report is done. I really appreciate this because it really follows the scientific process. Each of these has a question that the child must make a "guess" about the answer. The question and guess are written at the top of a blank sheet of paper. I write my son's guess as he says it on a marker board. Then, he copies it under the question on the paper. For example, "What are the different ways birds fly?" could be the question. Then the child makes a guess at the answer and writes his guess. Next, comes the "Procedure" part. This is the fun part that the child looks forward to because he can't wait to see if his guess was right. It is also the experiment part. After this, the child draws a sketch of the procedure on his paper. Last, is the "conclusion", where the child writes what parts of his guess were wrong or right. We only write a sentence or 2 here, and usually I try to help him get the key idea here: like, "Birds fly in 5 different ways, which are...". I think this type of notebooking is going to be a wonderful way to prepare him for future labs in science when he's older, but it's done in such a fun, low-key way, that he enjoys it.
Hope that gives some insight into the program! We are loving it, and I'm sure you would too! If other questions come to mind, just put them on the board. These moms are great about encouraging and lending a hand to each other! It's so nice to meet you, Katie!
Have enjoyed LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, PHFHG, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, MTMM, DITHOR
Wife to Rich for 18 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 13 1/2, 10, and 6
Sister to Carrie