I know I’m sharing our curriculum choices late, but I just haven’t felt like typing out this list before now. Our school year changed dramatically right when we started, due to my pregnancy. I feel like I’ve spent more money this school year on curriculum then any other year, but I have needed to get what will work for our family and not stress about it.
We started out our school year in July doing Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ with the oldest two boys (5th and 3rd). We have not studied the ancient time period and I really liked how it was introduced in Heart of Dakota. I prefer a gentle, very biblical approach to the ancient time period with elementary grades. However there is a lot of reading out loud with Heart of Dakota. After I got pregnant and became sick I just couldn’t keep up. I knew the boys couldn’t do it all on their own either, so I put it all on the shelf and looked at other options. I’m still looking for more history options for my 3rd grader, but I’ll share what we are doing right now.
5th Grade Boy
Math-We have really struggled this year with math. I’ve been using Christian Light math for several years now, and I really like it. However, I talked to three different moms (two former math teachers) over our church retreat last weekend and was sharing about our struggles in math. It does not come easily for my son, and we have worked hard to get to where we are at. When I checked his work recently I realized he just isn’t getting enough of the concepts, and several of the concepts he struggled with was more unique problems because of it being a mennonite math curriculum. We totally stopped CLE a week ago and have been doing multiplication war flashcard games, and went back to Teaching Textbook. So far it’s going much better. We are still behind his grade level, but I feel confident we will catch up with a lot of hard work this year.
History – I had purchased America the Beautiful set by Charlene Notgrass at our local homeschool curriculum fair this year. I’m so thankful I did, as we started this once I got sick. It has been an amazing curriculum, I haven’t found one thing I don’t like about it yet. It requires very little teacher involvement, he just comes and reads to me things he has written for the day. I also purchased the Student Notebook to go along with it and he loves it! History is one of our favorite subjects in this house, and I’m thrilled to have found such a great resource. I only wish there were more options like this for younger grades. I know we will continue to use more books from this author in the years to come.
Spelling – A Reason for Spelling. This is something new we are trying. I love All About Spelling, but we just didn’t do it enough last year. I thought I would try more of a workbook approach and see how he does.
Grammar – We are using Easy Grammar and Language Lessons by Sandi Queen.
Handwriting – Italic Handwriting Series
Bible Time – Walking in Truth (He does this after our devotions together).
Reading – This child goes through books so fast I can hardly keep up with him. I don’t use a separate reading program for him, but just encourage him to read history, science, and good literature books that we provide. When I’m feeling better we try to have a book that we enjoy as a family in the afternoon, but it will still be awhile before I start that back up again.
Logic of English – A review is coming on this later, but we are using this curriculum to help our grammar and spelling skills. It is really intense, but I’m super impressed with it.
3rd Grade Boy
Math – Christian Light math and Teaching Textbooks. This child gets through his school quickly, and enjoys doing things on the computer so I didn’t figure it would hurt him to do both. So far I haven’t had any complaints about it.
History – I’m still really struggling with this one. When I got sick, I looked on my bookshelves and pulled out the three Children’s books of the Light and the Glory, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Sounding Forth the Trumpet. I also got the children’s activity books that go with each book. He has worked his way really quickly through these, and is on the last book. Ideas would be helpful! I thought about using Mystery of History and reading it out loud to my 3rd and 1st grader, but I have never seen the actives that go along with it and I don’t know how teacher intense it is. I’m trying to save my strength for the subjects the children struggle with, and history is just not one they need a lot of my help with right now.
Science – Apologia Land Animals of the Sixth Day, plus the Junior Notebook to go with it. He doesn’t like to do a lot of writing yet, so I didn’t feel the older notebook was a good fit. I’m not exactly sure why we are in two separate Apologia books this year, the boys just read it to themselves, so I guess it’s not that big of a deal. I had both of them, and the boys seemed interested in different topics this year. He is also reading through Machines and Motion, and loving it.
Spelling – A Reason for Spelling.
Grammer – Easy Grammar and Language Lessons.
Bible Time – Bible Light Units by Christian Light.
Reading – Again, this child loves to read as well so I just let him do a lot of reading on his own.
1st Grade Girl
Math – Horizons (we are finishing up the last few pages of her K book and are about ready to start the 1st grade book). She loves math and it comes easily to her. I’ve been so happy with the Horizons Kindergarten books, and hope I like the 1st grade just as well!
Reading – We have been using All About Reading, Level 1 and have made it through the first reader. Reading has not come as easily to her as I would have expected, I’m still waiting for the lightbulb moment where it just all clicks and makes total sense to her. We are sounding out a lot of works still, which takes a lot of patience on my part to sit next to a fidgeting child who is slowly sounding out every single word. We are going to still use All About Reading, but I just purchased the Logic of English Foundations program to teach reading and handwriting together, and my goal is to do both. So far the Logic of English isn’t taking a huge amount of time to do each day. This is where a large amount of my energy goes each day, but it’s very important to get her reading skills improved this year.
Science – We have been slowly working through the BJU 1st grade science curriculum. She loves it, I honestly find it so extremely easy for her I have a hard time doing it. She loves work pages, which I think is why she likes this curriculum so much.
History – History for Little Pilgrims – I have been reading this out loud to both my girls (1st and PK).
Literature – The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton Burgess Both the the girls love this book!
Handwriting – Italic Handwriting Series. She loves handwriting, and begs to do more then one lesson a day so she is already at the end of this book! I guess we will cover a lot of handwriting this year!
Spelling – We are about ready to start A Reason for Spelling book A.
I don’t think I’ve ever done as much preschool work as I have with Olivia! She begs to do school and has cried when we haven’t gotten to her workbooks that day. So I try hard to make sure she has her school time.
We are using Horizons Preschool books with her. The cutting and pasting, and working on forming her letters are good, plus she likes the coloring in it. But the math is super easy for her, so we started the Horizons K math a few weeks ago and it’s going great! I’m also doing Logic of English, foundations book A with her. I wouldn’t have started her yet, but it made sense to have her do this along with her older sister. So far it’s going ok. She will be 5 in December, so it makes sense she is doing some Preschool, some Kindergarten work. That is the beauty of homeschooling, just adjust to where they are at!
I’d love to hear what is working out great for you this school year! Chatting about curriculum is one of my favorite topics.