Our Homeschool Curriculum for the 2014-2015 School Year!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

Our Homeschool Curriculum for the 2014-2015 School Year!

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.

Science – He is reading through the BJU 5th grade science book, and also using the apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day book and Notebook.

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.

Preschool Girl 

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. :)






Kiwi Crate – Fun Crafts for Kids!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

*I was sent a Kiwi Crate to review, and was compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own however and I am not paid to write a positive review.*

This Kiwi Crate could not have come at a better time. In the middle of morning sickness and fatigue, crafts or any fun activieis is the last thing on my list to be doing now. In fact the box sat on my dresser for at least a week before I summoned the energy to let my children open it.

Opening up their first Kiwi Crate Box! I originally thought this would be just for my 6 and 4 year old girls, but after opening it up we gave one activity to the boys (this was done reluctantly, as they really wanted to do both but we shared!).

Discovering what is in the Kiwi Crate box! Obviously Olivia was having a crazy hair day! They were pretty excited to actually open the box up and see two craft kits in it! Included in the box was a city skyscraper to color and build, and a car to build with road tape to play with. I was impressed with how nicely everything was packaged, and all the little extras that the children appreciated. Cardstock actives to cut out, and a nice pair of children’s scissors was included, even though you don’t need them for the actual craft kits.

Building a car from Kiwi CrateThe instructions given are very easy to follow, and even if a child can’t read there are clear pictures given. None of the children had trouble following the instructions. Even though I think the boys were slightly older then the boxes are intended for (10 and 8), they loved putting together the car. A cardboard car shape that you put stickers on, with wooden wheels that roll.

The finished Kiwi Crate Car! The finished car on the track they set up with the tape that was included!

So what exactly is Kiwi Crate? In case it’s not obvious yet, it’s craft sets that are mailed each month to your house! Every month it will be a different set of crafts that are included. I think the crafts are really good for the 4-7 age range, but there are exceptions, like the car above. :) Skill wise it wasn’t for a 10 year old, he just thought it would be fun to put a car together.

These kits are perfect for the busy mom who does not have time to constantly be coming up with new crafts for the children to do. While I can’t fit a monthly subscription into my budget right now, I think this is a perfect gift idea for grandparents to give! And I know there are a lot of families who set the money aside, to give their child something fun and educational to look forward to each month.

The subscription prices are from $16.95-$19.95 (free shipping), depending on how many months you sign up for.  Or you can try just one month, and see what you think!

Use code BTS25 for 25% off  your 1st month subscription to Kiwi Crate. New subscribers also receive free shipping PLUS a bonus welcome kit. 

You can follow Kiwi Crate on their social media platforms!

FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instragram and Google Plus



Back to {Home} School Mega Giveaway!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!


Back to {Home} School Grand Prize Pack GIVEAWAY!

Back to {Home} School season is in full force!! If you haven’t started back yet, chances are you will be within a few weeks. What better way to kick off a new school year than by winning a HUGE homeschool prize pack? That is exactly what will happen to one lucky reader!

Check out the awesomeness included in this Grand Prize Pack valued at over $1000!!


Felice Gerwitz from Media Angels and Ultimate Homeschool Radio Show is giving away $100 in FREE digital products from Media Angels. Use the $100 on ANY digital products of YOUR CHOICE!

Cllassical Composers 125x125

From Classical Composers Monthly, the winner will a receive huge set of EVERY collection they currently offer. This includes 15 collections valued at $210!


ccpFrom Character Concepts, the winner will receive the Character Concepts for Preschoolers Basic Curriculum valued at $89.95! Character Concepts Basic Character Curriculum includes the following:

Crossroads of Character: Learning to Make Wise Choices
This colorfully illustrated book teaches your child 12 basic character qualities, vital to your child`s understanding of how to make wise choices in their everyday lives. The Boyer cousins (my grandchildren) are the main characters in the simple but effective stories in decision making. The goal is to teach your child the definition of the character qualities (your child can`t implement character in their lives without understanding what it is), and also teaches them a Scripture verse, (what God says about it), and how to apply it to life on their level of understanding.

History for Preschoolers: Uncle Rick has recorded a CD set with stories of American heroes who also illustrate these character qualities in their lives. We supply a picture of these heroes in our Mom`s Guide so you can show them to your child as they listen to these Uncle Rick character stories. The whole family will enjoy listening to these inspiring stories with your preschoolers!

Learning Character with the Cousins Flashcards: These flashcards present the Character Qualities found in Crossroads of Character, simple, kid-friendly definitions, and a Scripture Verse to hide in their heart. Full-color pictures on the flashcards also make memorizing easier, as the child will remember the story that is associated with each character quality.

Learning ABC`s with the Cousins: A set of photographic flashcards for learning the alphabet sounds

Hands-on Character Building: Proven ideas and hands-on projects for teaching character along with direction for when to use them to assist in practically applying what they are learning.

Mom`s Guide: Supplies you with information to effectively teach your preschoolers for a full 36 week period. Patterns are given for seasonal and educational crafts. Suggestions are made for family fun trips to help make learning fun,and as a bonus, over 30 recipes are included for fun food to make with your preschooler.

Also included are Bible stories and pictures of a person in Scripture who illustrates this character quality in their life. Provided for your use are coloring pages for your child to use as you read them the Bible story provided. Also included are additional suggested materials we`ve found helpful for further learning, or even for birthday and Christmas gifts to enhance science and history education as well as educational puzzles for preschoolers, some of which can be purchased from Character Concepts.


From WriteShop, the winner will receive WriteShop Primary Book A, B, or C {$40 value}. WriteShop Primary is a parent-led writing program that gently introduces K-3rd graders to the writing process through engaging activities, crafts, and picture books. The winner will receive the package of their choice level A, B, or C which includes the Teacher’s Guide and Activity Book.



From Applecore System, the winner will receive a Gold Membership {$55 value!} Applecore System is a homeschool record keeping service that has proven to be invaluable to many homeschooling families. Here is your chance to check it out for FREE!



Birch Court Books is giving the winner a copy of Story of the World Vol. 4: The Modern Age {$16.95 value}


letterslide_250Simply Fun! is giving the winner their very own Letter Slide! {Valued at $34} Letter Slide is a fun game that helps your child learn about consonants and vowels, vocabulary, and spelling.



We Choose Virtues is giving the winner a complete Homeschool Kit {valued at $99!}. This Kit was assembled with everything a Homeschool parent needs to effectively teach 12 Virtues. It has 5 beautiful posters, a 100 Day’s of Virtue achievement chart with stickers, flash cards and so much more. The Parenting Cards included in this set were created to help you inspire and demonstrate each Virtue and turn your home or home classroom into a place where Virtue is demonstrated with both attitudes and actions!

apologia pack

Apologia is giving the winner a Who is My Neighbor? bundle that includes: Who is My Neighbor textbook, notebooking journal, jr notebooking journal, coloring book, and audio cd {valued at $135}


CTC Math

CTC Math is giving the winner a one- year family membership {valued at $118.80}!




Homeschool In the Woods is giving the winner History Through the Ages Time Travelers American History Study New World Explorers {download} {$27.95 value}. From their website: “Our history studies are designed to create a hands-on learning experience that drives the lessons home in a fun way! Our first in the series, New World Explorers, contains 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks, covering: Reasons for Exploration, A Sailor’s Life, Ships, Navigation, 23 Explorer Profiles, Pirates, and more!


Creative Writing European Recipes Notebook Timeline
Factfile Cards File Folder Games Science Experiments
Penmanship Pages Notebooking Activities
Three-dimensional Projects such as an Incan Artifact, Ship’s Log, Pueblo Diorama, plus more!
10 Lap Book Projects, including mapping, pop-ups, layered books, etc.
And a final “Exploration Celebration” to bring the unit to a close!

All Text, Masters, Directions, Teacher Keys,
Photos, and Resource Lists Provided on CD
(Supplies Not Included)
The CD includes each lesson’s text pages, project overview pages, and a wide variety of masters for projects! Photos and drawings help illustrate the directions for completing the 35 activities. Choose the projects that work best for your family! Five “Project Days” are built into the schedule to help allow for extra time to complete outstanding projects.Also included are teacher helps, resource lists, teacher keys, and a “guide-at-a-glance.” This one-page guide will allow the teacher to see the whole schedule of upcoming topics and projects on one page. Tastefully laid out for inclusion in your three-ring binder, this unit study will give both the teacher and students a thorough, exciting adventure into the classic Age of Exploration!




See the Light is giving the winner a copy of SHIPWRECKED Deluxe Gift Set – {valued at $29.99}

Includes dramatic story of Paul’s shipwreck/rescue + 3 step-by- step related art lessons,+ black light (including batteries) + fluorescent chalk + fluorescent pencils +bonus features = 260 minutes of content


Homeschool Minder is giving the winner a 12-month membership valued at $40.


Pencilscape is giving the winner this awesome pack that includes: autofeed magic pencils, ultra smooth bio-ink pens, multipurpose pencil box, 2 in 1 pencil case and pencil holders, and MORE! {valued at over $30!}


A+ Interactive Math is giving the winner an Elementary Geometry Software {$22 value}. Elementary Geometry – suggested for K1 – 6th Grade – introduces the concepts and gives your student a solid foundation in basic Geometry.



Lessontrek is giving the winner a FREE one- year membership {valued at $60!} Lessontrek is modern online lesson planner that is simple-to-use and saves time.

Items included in the planner:
  • Lesson tracker
  • Grade recording
  • Drag and drop lessons to another weekday
  • Copy/paste lessons across weeks
  • Copy/paste an entire week of lessons
  • Print weekly lesson plans
  • Secure information storage
  • Customer support
  • Ongoing improvements based on your feedback
  • … and more


Inspired Authors is giving the winner 3 copies of the book, An American Crisis: Veteran’s Unemployment {valued at$59.97}. This book is about increasing awareness regarding veterans’ unemployment and gives ideas as to how we can help. They’re giving the winner 3 copies so you can keep one and give two away.
Isn’t this an amazing prize pack?! To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below. Entries will be verified. The giveaway will remain open until 11:59pm EST on Sunday, August 17th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 19th. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Back to School Printables for PK-12th Grade!

This post may contain Affiliate Links. Thank you for your support!

Back To School Printables for PK-12th grade!

We have an awesome freebie available for you all today!! My husband designed these back to school printables for me to share with you all!

If you have a Preschooler or a 12th grader going back to school, we have you covered! You can write your child’s name on these, and even write the date if you want.

Preschool Back to School Freebie Signs! There is a fire hat, sheriff badge, nurse hat, Princess crown, scientist, construction worker, and baseball player that is available for Preschool through seventh grade.

Fifth Grade Back To School Printables! Available for all grades! Don’t worry if you have an older child, or just want a generic look. We made a set that is for all ages as well!

Generic Back to School Printables for all grades! I love the Princess crown set, and my daughter was so excited to see it!

Princess Crowns are available for Preschool through seventh Grade!

To get the Back To School Printables, fill out the form below, confirm your email address and you will be automatically taken to the page for you to download the files!

Don’t forget that our Character Badges Bundle Set is 50% off this week only!

Character Badges 50% off sale!