We have been using Ambleside Online for a few years now. I love the whole concept, but little by little we have been whittling away at the AO books. We first eliminated the religious stuff. Then a few books that were just dreadfully boring. Now we're paring back even more due to W's glazed-over look when we read them. Soon we'll have hardly anything left.
I've been focusing mainly on math and reading lately anyway, even though W wanted to spend less time on those this year. I have found that he does better when he reads books that actually interest him - duh - and even "twaddle" isn't bothering me so much. Being able to follow a general subject outline and using books of our own choosing is what I believe will be most effective.
Copywork, dictation, oral and written narrations, nature study, short lessons, and a history timeline are all things we're keeping. We'll also be using lots of workbooks on various subjects since W likes them. Trips to the library will be more frequent and of course lots of field trips and classes all around NYC. We'll do more projects and hands-on stuff. We will now cover a topic as in-depth as we like without feeling we must move on to stay on track with the curriculum.
The Worldbook Typical Course of Study has been the main part of my IHIPs for a long time. Now I'm going to print it out and use it as our guide. Already I'm feeling a lot of stress being lifted. We're both at that point where we just want to be free of a set curriculum and start using our own various and fun assortment of materials.
So, right now our list of materials we have on hand that we're keeping include:
Who was Marco Polo? (Holub)
The Complete Book of Maps & Geography
Basic Series Map Skills (Grades 6-8)
Basic Series World Geography (Grades 6-8)
Basic Series US Government, Economics, & Citizenship (Grades 6-8)
Everything You Need to Know About Geography Homework - Grades 4-6 (Zeman)
American History Homework Survival Guide - Grades 4-6 (Kantor)
Science Lab in a Supermarket ((Friedhoffer)
The Handbook of Nature Study (Comstock)
Science Homework Survival Guide (Dylewski)
Basic Series Science (Grades 4-5)
Basic Series Life Science (Grades 6-8)
Spelling Skills 4 & 5
Word Study & Phonics 5
Basic Series Grammar & Usage
The Heroes (Kingsley)
The Princess and the Goblin (MacDonald)
Flash Kids 5
Life of Fred Fractions
Teaching Textbooks 7
Instant Immersion Spanish
And if W doesn't click with something, we'll toss it. I'm not worrying about it anymore. Homeschooling needs to have that click. I've always believed that kids can only learn (really learn) when their interested in the subject matter. This is something we have to do. I feel at peace with it and W is very eager to begin our new journey, too.