Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013-2014

“What curriculum do you use?” is a question that I get a lot so I thought I’d take a few moments to write-up a list of homeschool curriculum our family is using this school year. Keep in mind that every family is different and what works for us might not work for you (and may not even work for us next year). And always remember to ask the Lord for guidance as you pick out your own curriculum for the year.

homeschool curriculum 2013-2014

High School Curriculum

World Views of the Western World Year 2 (Cornerstone Curriculum)

This intense Biblical world view course incorporates the following subjects: Composition, Philosophy/Theology, Art Appreciation, Western Civilization, American History, Political Theory, Literature, Humanities, World History and American Government.  Students are required to read a lot of challenging books (see full list of books on their website) including Pilgrims Progress, The Federalist Papers and The Communist Manifesto.  My daughter did Year 1 last year and really enjoyed it (although she admits it was challenging). I found that it challenged her to think critically with a Biblical viewpoint on old and new ideas and issues.

Math-U-See Pre-Calculus

I have used Math-U-See for all my children from kindergarten on up and my high schooler (who doesn’t enjoy math) has been able to use the program with little help from me for the past 3 years. Now that’s a plus!

Rosetta Stone Spanish Level 2

We will be purchasing Rosetta Stone from My Fathers World so that we can get the free lesson plans. I like the lessons plans because they schedule the assignments for my teen (so I don’t have to) and they add in enrichment activities to supplement and reinforce what is being learned from Rosetta Stone. My daughter used the lesson plans last year and found it very helpful. You can view a sample of the lesson plan here.

Apologia Chemistry

I am so thankful for Apologia science textbooks that provide a solid science education from a Biblical viewpoint.

Electives

We are still working on this one. My daughter loves writing so she may be taking a fiction writing course from our co-op. We’ll be looking into art classes as well but most likely we will be creating our own electives right at home. I’m thinking Home Economics (ie helping mom out a ton after baby #6 is born), Organic Gardening (ie finally getting our longed for garden started and maintained), Film Studies (watching, evaluating and writing up a paper on various aspects of old and modern films.) We will also be adding in Physical Ed this year as well as Drivers Ed (yikes!). The goal is to find electives that interest my high schooler and help her grow in knowledge and skills that she has a gifting and desire for. That’s one of the benefits of homeschooling!

 

Elementary Curriculum

My Father’s World: Exploring Countries and Cultures

My younger children are really enjoying using the My Father’s World (MFW) curriculum. And I love it because I can teach my 3rd grader, 1st grader and Pre-K children together. We use MFW for Bible, Social Studies/Geography,  Science,  Art and read-alouds.

Math-U-See

This year I’m using Math-U-See curriculum with 4 of my children, all at different levels. My high schooler works independently but I do the other 3 elementary age children at the same time. We just dump out the blocks, pull out the next worksheet and I help each child as needed. I try to only teach one new math lesson per school day so I stagger my children so that on any given school day while one child is learning a new lesson the other 2 kids are reviewing lessons using the worksheets. This makes it more manageable for me.

Spell to Write and Read

I use the Spell to Write and Read (SWR) curriculum for phonics and spelling instruction. This year I’ll be using it with my 1st and 3rd grader. My Pre-K child will be using the Cursive First Curriculum that goes along with SWR.

Winning with Writing and Growing with Grammar

I don’t start formal grammar or writing until 2nd grade. I like to give my kindergartener and 1st grader plenty of time to grasp the basics of phonics, reading and spelling. Last year I discovered the Winning with Writing and Growing with Grammar curriculum and my 2nd grader really enjoyed using this curriculum so we are using level 3 this year with my 3rd grader. (My 3rd grader is more artsy than academic so she is using my Parts of Speech Colored Charts to help her color coordinate her work in these workbooks to the color coded part of speech on the chart.)

Literature Supplements

I am supplementing our literature from MFW with the following literature guides for my 1st and 3rd graders throughout the year.

First Favorites Comprehension Guide Volume 1 & 2 (Veritas Press) (1st grade)

Charlotte’s Web Comprehension Guide (Veritas Press) (3rd grade)

Heidi Student Study Guide (Memoria Press) (3rd grade)

 

Preschool Curriculum

What? Curriculum for preschool? Little ones grow up so quickly so I let mine enjoy being kids while learning through play and exploration. On occasion (when they seem interested) we may dive into some formal learning. Below is a list of a few resources I use when my preschoolers seem interested in more formal education. *Affiliate link*

  • I introduce them to the first 26 phonograms of the English language (using  the Spell to Write and Read program) by playing games and doing fun activities. (Click here and here for some fun activity ideas.)
  • Use the workbooks Developing the Early Learner series to help them develop pre-reading and writing skills.
  • Play games, do crafts, read books and learn through play the following concepts:

*number recognition and counting to 10
*shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, star & oval)
*colors
*sequencing (putting things in order/first, second, third, last)
*patterns (click here for a pattern activity idea)
*cutting with scissors
*positional relationships (over/under, right/left ect.)
*comparing things (big/little, short/long, empty/full etc.)
*sorting objects (click here for a sorting activity idea)
*stacking objects
*running, jumping and climbing (basically developing large motor skills)

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Comments

  1. Pre-school, Elementary, and High school! Looks like you have a busy year ahead, too.
    My children are almost in the same categories. My youngest will be starting 1st grader, 5th grader, and Eeeeekkk!!! Yes, I dare say it, a High Schooler. lol 😉
    I also have made my choices for the year, but I still love to see what other’s are doing.
    For my kids, we will be doing Time4Learning as our core. Although, now my oldest will be doing their new High School courses. I like this program because its online, so that leaves plenty of time for me to do other things with them. I am big on Unit Studies. I just think they are Fun! I like that I get to be creative with books I can add, etc. My oldest is also going to be taking a Biology class through our local Co-op and my middle child will be taking a Drama class, as well. All three of them, will also be participating with other learning projects there, too. Besides this, we also plan on adding a foreign Language. I am planning on using Rosetta Stone this year. Since you are on Spanish 2, I am assuming that this isn’t your first year, which makes me feel better about purchasing it.
    Anyways, you have a Great Blog here. I look forward to reading it again soon 🙂

    Happy Homeschooling!

    • Keri,
      So nice to hear from you. Sounds like you have a full but exciting year ahead for you. We did use Rosetta Stone last year and my high schooler really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I also had my 2nd grader work through part of it as well (since you can set it to different settings for different children/grades).
      Thanks for visiting my blog! Many blessings to you and your family.
      Janelle

  2. This is so helpful as I am exploring the possibility of starting to homeschool my first child. I love all the links and ideas. Thanks!

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