Back To Homeschool Curriculum Choices For 2013-2014

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This was a difficult year to plan. I purchased curriculum earlier this year that is now sitting in a for sell box. We thought through all the different types of learning styles, and that perhaps we should move towards more textbooks. I just can’t jump into textbooks wholeheartedly though (not for our family, there is nothing wrong with textbooks).

I just can’t leave the learning of my youth. 🙂 I have so many good memories of snuggling on the couch with my mom, singing civil war songs around the piano, and reading history and literature books in the afternoon. I do know that my Mom only had three children (not by choice, but because of medical problems) and I was the youngest, so I was immersed the most in the Charlotte Mason type education.

The reality of our life right now is that I’m extremely busy. My husband is starting his Senior year of college, and will be graduating in May with a Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. I am the sole provider for our income through Deborah & Co. and Lilla Rose while he is in college. Life is good but hectic at times! I am finally feeling like we have the best of both worlds with our curriculum this year.

Our 2013-2013 School Year Curriculum Choices

Mosiah is going into 4th grade, and Israel is going into 2nd grade. I am combining them on lots of subjects, and giving Israel a little grace on some harder subjects. 🙂

Here is the list of what the boys will be doing.

Main Curriculum – Heart of Dakota Preparing Guide Book. We used Heart of Dakota last year, and after much thought and searching other curriculum I decided to stick with Heart of Dakota. There are some things that do not work perfectly for our family, but I’ve realized I just don’t have to do those things! Overall this is how I like to homeschool, and I love how it is all laid out for you. Most of the books I wholeheartedly approve of, and since my boys love, love, love to read, this is a good fit for us!

preparing-hearts1

For the history part of Heart of Dakota, we are studying World History for the year. The books they plan for this year are “A Child’s History of the World“, “Grandpa’s Box“, “Life in the Great Ice Age“, and “Hero Tales“.

I don’t really like the science in Heart of Dakota, so we are doing our own science program.

Science – Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space.  The boys and I both are very excited about using this curriculum. Mosiah loves weather, and this book covers a lot of weather topics. We have used Apologia before, and I’m sure we will go back to it at some point, but this looked like the perfect fit this year. It reminds me a lot of Apologia in how it is set up.

Math – Christian Light Publications. We have used Math U See and Teaching Textbooks previously, but so far this curriculum has been the best fit for my boys.

Grammar – Rod and Staff English, Beginning Wisely and Building With Diligence for Mosiah (my hope is to get through both books this year to get him caught up to grade level) and  Israel will start Preparing to Build. I love Rod and Staff English, it explains everything so well and does not rush through it.

Writing – Mosiah will be using the Student materials from Institute for Excellence in Writing, level A. I will be fitting this in as we have time, since Heart of Dakota has some writing in it as well.

Handwriting – Mosiah is using A Reason for Handwriting Transition book. Israel is using a Christian Light Publication handwriting book.

Social Studies – This is not necessary to add, as Heart of Dakota has a wonderful history program. But I had already purchased the Christian Light Social Studies thinking we would just do textbooks this year, and Mosiah especially seemed excited to read through the textbook so I’m going to have them do this as well. Mosiah will be in the Into All The World book, and Israel will be in the second grade Social Studies. If there are days where I’m crazy busy with the business and we don’t get our history read aloud done, then I know they still covered Social Studies doing Christian Light. I’m being more realistic this year since I know what last year was truly like. 🙂 BUSY!

Spelling – Mosiah is using All About Spelling, and Israel is using Sequential Spelling.

aas-program

Mosiah is finishing up his Building Thinking Skills Book.

Bible – both boys will be doing the Bible Light Units in their grades for individual Bible learning after our family devotion time.

Music-I purchased this last year and we never did it. I think it was actually on our list of homeschool curriculum last year! I’m putting it on the list again in the hopes that we will actually do it. The Story of the Orchestra, it is a wonderful book!

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Kindergarten – I don’t stress about history and science in Kindergarten, and she hears plenty on those topics during our read alouds. 🙂 The only thing I focus on is reading, some math, and handwriting. Carrianna will be an official Kindergartener this year, so it’s time to get busy. 🙂

Reading – We are using All About Reading– Pre Reading this year. I’ve never used this, but am very excited to try it with her. The first part will be pretty easy for her, so we might go quickly through this and also get to the Level 1 All About Reading book as well.

aar-full-pre-reading-lowres2

Math – We are using Horizons Kindergarten math this year. It will be first time I’ve used this math curriculum, but I think it will be a good fit for her.

Handwriting – A Reason For Handwriting Book A.

We will also be using the the Rod and Staff Kindergarten books. We have already done several books, but will finish up the series.

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Preschool – I’m relaxed about preschool. If it gets done, great. If it doesn’t get done, well, my three year old already knows how to count numbers, and I don’t stress about them reading until 5. They learn so much by simply living life. That being said, the more older children you have in school, it seems the more the preschool age children want to do school as well. 🙂 Here is what I have planned for Miss Olivia.

Reading – She will be sitting in with Carrianna and I for the All About Reading – Pre Reading curriculum. They say it is for ages 4 and up, but I think she will enjoy it, and learn a lot. Besides, it will keep her out of trouble. 🙂

Wordbook – For a fun workbook that includes handwriting practice, counting 1 to 10, mazes, matching and sequencing we are going to use Let’s Get Ready by Gakken. Timberdoodle used to recommend this book for Preschool, but I guess the company is not making it any longer so they had to switch to something else. I saw it on Zulily  awhile back and instantly grabbed it for Olivia.

Let's Get Ready

 I also got her the “I Can Cut” and “I can Trace” books, as suggested in Timberdoodle for Preschool.

And of course all my children use the “About Three” workbooks from Rod and Staff. She is almost done with the first book, and loves doing it!

Lord willing, we will be able to accomplish this and have a good school year! I’d love to hear what curriculum you are using this year! Leave me a comment below! 

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13 Comments on Our 2013-2014 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

  1. I love teaching textbooks for my oldest. We tried Christian Light Publications for her, it just doesn’t work for her. Not the way I hoped. We will see with the younger ones. My next oldest is only in 1st so she is doing Horizon Math. I’m excited to start this year.

  2. I’m going with Heart of Dakota this year. I’m using the whole package for Preparing Hearts for my 9-year-old. We’re also using handwriting without tears cursive. I bought the 2-5 year old package for my 2-year-old daughter, though I’m not sure when I will start with her. Once our baby comes (in 12 days!) and I figure out our “new normal” I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I also bought her one of the first Rod and Staff books. I think it’s the coloring one, I forget at the moment. I’m not planning to start until October but I’m excited and wish we could all start now! Come on fall! We’re trying to slow things down and really enjoy our time together, bring the joy back to learning. I got caught up in academic expectations for a while….time to get back to what drew me to home school in the first place.

  3. We have a 5th, 4th, 1st, and kindergartener….along with a three year old and a one year old. We have used My Father’s World from the beginning. I can’t say enough good things about their curriculum. For math we use Singapore through the 3rd grade then we switch to teaching textbooks. For English and Health we have been using ABeka. We have tried Rod and Staff for English but did not like. We too, love the Charlotte Mason style but it just doesn’t work for our current season of life.

    Happy Home Schooling to you! Blessings~~angela

  4. Great choices! I almost picked Science Earth and Space for my 8th grader. This will be just our 2nd year homeschooling and well, she doesn’t like school. I hope by homeschooling she will grow to love to learn. I opted for Gods Design for Science – Heaven and Earth. Blessings!

  5. We are using My ABC Bible Verses and Veggie Tale Devotionals, AllAboutReading PreReading, and I finally decided to give Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 2 a try. I think it’s going to work well. Then we’re doing some Dino Lingo French and using The Bernstain Bears Science book along the way. I’m going to supplement with handouts and Horizons preschool sheets for writing. We just try to get a little in throughout the week.

  6. Thanks for sharing, Caroline. We had also looking into HOD awhile back, but since they weren’t into the high school levels yet, we decided on MFW. I just read that they are now expanding, which is great news! I appreciate your suggestion for math, using CLE sunrise math. We have tried a couple of different math curricula, and they are not working. A friend mentioned CLE to me the other day, and now you mentioned it. I’m going to definitely have to check it out tomorrow, since their website does not take orders on Sunday, the Lord’s day. How cool is that?!

  7. It is great to read about what works for you! I too, loved the Charlotte Mason style, unit studies, literature led learning, but found I do better with a combo. MFW has worked really well for us, which is similar in many ways to Sonlight and HOD.

  8. Thanks for sharing! I’m a first-timer, so I’m so curious to see what others are doing. But I think I’ve finally gotten our plan in place. I’ll share our plan soon, but I’m still waiting for some of my resources to come in!

  9. Hi, its so nice to hear what others are using! I have one not quite finished grade 4 and one halfway done 1st and a preschooler and toddler and one due in Jan. I have tried a few different things, I loved CLE’s bible and their reading, and bonus my daughter loved it too! We used CLE’s LA and Science too last year but switched to Bob Jones science and English. I have completely dropped the ball in Social studies lol and am looking at doing MFW exploring countries and cultures. I have used and LOVED Sing, Spell, Read and Write for teaching my girls to read, their readers are incredible and when I saw a set of them for sale at a homeschool swap I bought an extra set just in case any of my others go missing! I have been using ACSI`s purposeful designs Math, and have enjoyed that as well as Modern Curriculum Press`s Phonics level 1 and 2. There is so much choice out there these days for homeschoolers and I feel so blessed that I can pick and choose what works for us. Thank you for sharing, and many blessings from Alberta, Canada
    Erin

  10. We love using Time4Learning for our kids! Since we Roadschool, using an online curriculum, really helps allow the kids to keep up on their lessons, while we are traveling 🙂
    We have 3 children ourselves. Are youngest is starting first grade, our middle child is starting 5th grade, and our oldest will be starting High School this year. (Still hard to believe?!)
    Besides T4L, we like to focus on learning where we are. Example, if we are at the Beach, we learn about the Ocean, fish, etc. If we are at Mount Rushmore, then we brush up on our Presidents, etc.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing. I have actually been looking for a Writing program for my youngest. So, I will be looking into the writing curriculum you are using 🙂

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