“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.
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.
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!
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.
I am so thankful for Apologia science textbooks that provide a solid science education from a Biblical viewpoint.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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)
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.
- 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 Developing the Early Learner workbooks 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)
*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)
*running, jumping and climbing (basically developing large motor skills)