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Friday, June 8, 2012

Homeschool Curriculum

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Homeschool. When first starting out I thought I would simply purchase the ‘homeschool’ stuff and get started. Wow, once I started researching and asking around the more I realized how many choices are out there! I would love your comments on what homeschool material you use, what you like, don’t like.

 I’ll say upfront I’m learning away from A Beka. I like Spell to Write and Read but I’m starting homeschooling with a second grader and he has already learned the ‘traditional’ way to read and I’m concerned about confusing them! I’m also learning toward RightStart Math but again have some concerns with my second grader because he already has a strong foundation of Math which is different from their approach!

I will be homeschooling my Kindergarden daughter and my Second Grade son. I would LOVE your tips and advice on curriculum. Comments that are against homeschooling are not welcome on this particular post, I may do a future post of why I’m choosing to homeschool which would be open to opposing comments, but for today just want your tips on curriculum :).


  1. Stephanie HenningsenJune 8, 2012 5:23 PM


    We just wrapped our second year of homeschool! I have been blessed to have been given the opportunity to educate our children. I love getting to spend this time with them and it's FUN to learn along with them! Olivia just finished 5th grade, Noah 3rd and Grayson 1st. You are right – there are SO many great resources out there, it is difficult to narrow it down. This is what we use:

    Saxon Math – (but thinking about switching to Horizons for my oldest)
    Spelling Workout (tried SWR and LOVE it but too difficult for me to teach)
    Story of the World (History)
    Apologia (Science)
    Shurley Grammar

    I'm so excited for you!!! Consider joining a co-op to be around others and glean from their wisdom and experience. I'm in Tallahassee, FL and we are with Classical Conversations. I can't say enough great things about this group. It's amazing what their little brains can do!

    For His glory.

  2. We had a very limited budget to begin our first year. My son is in 5th grade and completed five years at an excellent local public school after having preschool at home. We were blessed to be given a large amount of older A Beka curriculum to use for free, as well as Saxon math to borrow. A Beka is excellent quality but it definitely can be overwhelming if you try to complete it all. That being said, we were also very excited to read many books recommended in the Sonlight and/or My Father's World curriculums. We were able to use their catalogs and book lists to find most of the amazing titles in our local libraries and inter-library loans. I highly recommend these life-changing, highly educational materials. Excellent read-alouds that our whole family as enjoyed.

  3. My comment is actually coming form the side of the student. I was home schooled 3ed grade though 8th grade. I can not wait for the privilege to home school my son, who is currently not school age.
    My tip is to not feel trapped by whatever curriculum you use. My mom chose A Beka for reading and writing. I hated the books, so I thought I hated reading. I ended up below level, and my mom was determined that the way to help, was to keep steam rolling me through the A beka novels. Finally, she let me read a book about a topic I was interested in and within a summer I went from below level to very advanced in reading. I had finally been allowed to discover the joy reading can be.
    I am not suggesting that the whims of children dictate what they are taught but rather that one of the benefits of home school is having the freedom to help your child learn in the way that is best suited to their needs.
    I wish you the best of luck in selecting the curriculum that will work best for the needs of your family!

  4. Becky @ purposefulhomemaking.comJune 9, 2012 12:23 PM

    We use Sonlight (I have a 2nd grader and Kdg in the fall) and you can combine most of the subjects w/them except reading and math (usually). 😉 Here's a little bit about what we do–although I need to update it b/c we do not use Abeka anymore. http://www.purposefulhomemaking.com/2011/03/curriculum-for-2011-2012-school-year.html

    Congrats on starting homeschooling. It can be challenging, but the blessings have been numerous!

  5. the Busy at Home MomJune 11, 2012 6:40 AM

    Singapore Math is great. We brought our son home last year during 1st grade and he transitioned very easily to Singapore. If your son is already a strong reader, I might not use an actual reading curriculum. 2nd grade is where they transition from learning to read and begin reading to learn (I told a lot of parents that when I taught 2nd grade in public school! lol). Consider looking for a good grammar program (I like Bob Jones but I've heard Shurleys is good too) and spend time reading and discussing chapter books he likes (my son loves Magic Tree House right now). Apologia Science is very good, and for Social Studies Ido like A Beka. I've heard good things about Story of the World as well.

  6. Brooke makes a very interesting point. One size does not fit all, and it is best to adjust the method and curriculum used by the child's learning style, and family needs.

    Understanding Different Learning Styles

  7. I've used many different ones over the years. Here are my opinions:
    Sonlight is great IF you really enjoy history, your children love to read/be read to, & you can afford it.
    Classical type I liked Rod & Staff best.
    Workbook type- Ace paces/ace school of tomorrow (we currently use this)
    You CAN piece your curriculum together and this can be enjoyable, but it's good you're doing some research because trying things out can be costly in money and time.
    A helpful website is www.homeschoolreviews.com and christianbook.com (cb has example pages with most books)

  8. We are using Heart of Dakota and loving it!

  9. Hi Marcie! We will be starting our 3rd year of homeschooling this fall. It can totally be overwhelming when you first dive into the world of curriculum. There is no one size fits all either. We use Horizons for language arts and math. I love it!! Singapore math did not work for us. It was very confusing. This year we will be adding All About Spelling for obviously spelling, Handwriting Without Tears and we will be using the American Girl doll series for american history (Felicity) and for science we may stick with what we used some last year which was Answers In Genesis.

    Good luck!! 🙂

  10. Thanks everybody for all your helpful comments!

  11. I've settled on this for now and will add as I need to.

    Telling God's Story for Bible.

    Language Arts through Sonlight.

    Saxon Math.

    Handwriting without tears for writing.

    Explore the Code, Decode the Code for phonics

    Wordly Wise for Vocab

    Science I'm focusing on food (how we get it, how it grows, how it helps our health or hurts our health, how it gets consumed in our body). Lots of science experiments and lots of exploring.

    History: I have a few things I will be very instructional with but not a specific book. I want to teach a lot about elections around election time and use this as a natural learning time, thanksgiving and Christmas I will do the same.

    Geography is going to be intertwined with Bible Lessons and learning the States and daily news events.

  12. Sounds like a great year, Marcie!! A book that I have been wanting to read is Educating The Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarkson. She shares her great vision for schooling her children. I have read Season's of A Mother's Heart by her and it was so encouraging. She briefly shares her homeschool vision and it is wonderful!! If you have a chance you should read one of those books. 🙂