Homeschool Curriculum

#1 I'm a great planner.
#2 Plans change.

Someone wants to talk homeschool how-to with me today so I'm gathering up my sources and information for her.  While I'm at it, I figured I'd go ahead and write it up here just in case anyone else is curious.

***Disclaimer:  I am NOT an expert, and after the way this school year unraveled I may be the last person who should be giving advice.  SO, don't take this as advice...take it as a bare bones survival kit that I'm currently using for my kids.  (And when I say "currently," I mean we are so far off schedule that school has officially merged into our daily life so that there is no beginning and there is no end...just a lot of hard work, fun breaks, and more than enough lazy days.)

How we do it (in no particular order, and the links are just quick finds not necessarily best prices/places to buy):

History:  This year we finished up Story of the World vol. 2 and have since been reading Pages of History vol. 2.  I bought some historical coloring books with pictures that correlate for the youngers, but the older kids color too just for fun. 

The older kids have also been reading biographies and such that have to do with the period of history we're studying...I make them read at least a chapter a day and write a paragraph summary of what they've read.  At the "end of the year," which was technically last week I had them write and present a formal book report.  This incorporated a lot they've studied this year - history, grammar, writing, typing, etc. 

Next year we're going back to Veritas Press for History...the self-paced courses.  I should probably be doing Omnibus for the oldest, but I'm going to just expand what I do with the youngers for him.  I need things streamlined at this point.

Science:  I bought Apologia's Botany Study with the journals...I just got one for the olders and one for the youngers.  I chose this because I do not like science, but I do like plants so I knew I'd be more likely to put time into this.  We're about a quarter of the way through, but I'm praying that we get moved to the country soon where I'll finish it up with them. 

Next year I'm using Answers in Genesis God's Design for the Physical World.  My kids are interested in engineering at this point so I think they'll like this. 

Math:  My sis-in-law is handing me down Teaching Textbooks, which is a gift from God.  Love it.  The youngers are still doing RightStart which I do like for Kindergarten and first grade, and Math-U-See, which is good for 2nd - 4th in my opinion, but I'm sticking with Teaching Textbooks for the olders for the foreseeable future. 

Grammar:  I love First Language Lessons.  That's what the youngers do.  The olders do Shurley English, which is good...I'm going to use their online thing next year. 

Writing:  The youngers do Writing With Ease, which is great! The olders were suppose to be doing Writing With Skill, but this has fallen by the wayside.  I work on their writing skill as they're writing about history, but I'm going to have to kick myself in gear if I want to do more formal writing work with curriculum.  I'm just going to keep going with this curriculum until something better comes along.  I'd kind of like to get them in an outside course on IEW, but I don't know much about it yet.

The youngers also do handwriting...I've always used Zaner-Bloser and don't intend to change.

Spelling:  I've always used the Spelling Workout workbooks and given weekly tests.  It works.  The oldest has been doing Building Spelling Skills from Christian Liberty Press, which I like because it incorporates other things, like Geography. 

Logic:  My kids (olders) LOVE Mindbenders.  My niece has done Memoria Press' Traditional Logic and really progressed.

Latin:  This is my favorite find of the year.  A Latin teacher told me about Cambridge Latin Course.  It's simple and entertaining for all ages.  I would like to have the actual teacher's guide but it's like $65 used and I can't bring myself to buy it. 

PhonicsExplode the Code.  I like it all the way from the bottom to the top.  (For the youngers of course)

Reading:  The olders reading is combined with History, plus I like to encourage them to read stuff just for fun as well.  The youngers are doing Little Owl Books/Bob Books, and McGuffey's Eclectic Readers, which I would never give up. 

Geography:  I do some with history, and the oldest gets some with spelling, but I've got to do more.  I was thinking of getting Little Passports for the youngers this summer, but we'll see.

I think that's everything.  Things are always changing for us, but this is where we are this moment.
I love homeschooling...even on the worst of days.  I love how nobody's homeschool looks exactly like mine, and mine never looks the same from one day to the next.  There's always room to grow.



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