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A some point late in the summer I realize….Oh. my. goodness!…I gotta pick our homeschool curriculum for next year! It is typically well past that time of year to be choosing a curriculum for next year. Since “next year” starts sooner than I’d like, I always feel the pressure of what in the world we are gonna do?! It happens every year. And truthfully, many years, we found ourselves bogged down and frustrated and resolve to try something new for the new school year. But here, I’m sharing some of our top homeschool picks!
>>I originally wrote this post heading into a school year with panic. We have since changed our education philosophy, still homeschooling, yes, but our school looks different these days. If you want to read more about that, click HERE. However, if you are looking for homeschool options that are more on the traditional side, keep reading. I hope you find what you are looking for. I still believe these are great options and still are very high up in my book, as we still use many of them.<<
The problem is…finding that something new that works for us in all the hundreds of options out there. I’ve finally decided, after several days and weeks of stressing, what the plan is for next year. I want to share with your top homeschool picks and why we go back year after year, and then some that we love that we’ve walked away from. (If you can hardly stand it and want to skip on down to our line-up for next year, click here.)
Top Homeschool Picks:
We love Apologia! We have since the very first Botany book we read together when Nan and E were in early elementary school. I learned more that year than the kids, I’m sure. Only one year did we venture to something else; we actually liked it but loved Apologia more.
Math U See
Mr. Steve has been teaching my kiddos math since the very first year we homeschooled. There were years we ventured from Math U See, but found our way back each time. We use MUS for 1st thru 7th grade.
Teaching Textbooks have been a lifesaver for this not-so-math-savvy mama! I am pretty good at math up to about Algebra, then…um, I need some help. (Okay, okay, I need help in the second half of Algebra, too.) This particular program is a set of CD-ROM that presents the lesson, has practice sets, and also offers solutions to missed problems. It takes the student step-by-step through the problem so that he or she can see where the mistake was made. AND…it grades all the practice problems for you! Ya’ll. It’s a homeschool mom’s best friend! Our plan is to use TT from 8th-12th grades.
Confessions of a Homeschooler K4 Curriculum
This is a sweet little program that we used for BB and now HR and plan to with the twins and JBear when that time comes. It’s very well put together; all the lesson plans are laid out for you. For an 8th grade teacher, turned homeschool mom, I need all the help I can get with the early grades! We have really enjoyed using Erica’s K4 Curriculum. An added bonus is that she is super easy to work with if you have problems or questions.
Learning Language Arts Through Literature
This is one of my favorites, though I have one big kid who would argue. I love the idea of language arts being thought through literature and everything stemming back to the literary work, which is why it’s one of my top homeschool picks. That’s how our team of language arts teachers taught when I was in public education, and it worked very well. LLATL is our default in the early and middle grades. We have tried several language arts programs, and this is the only one we keep coming back to.
Oh, Sonlight! We loved Sonlight. We haven’t used one of their curriculum packs in several years. While that makes me sad, I know that it’s not a good fit for our family right now. If you love to read, and you don’t have such a wide age range as we do, you would probably love it, too! If you are just starting out homeschooling, and have no idea what’s out there or what to do, this is a good option. It can be pricey, but you can almost always find it on Ebay at good prices.
So, what does our line up look like for next year?
Here’s a quick run-down of what our plan is for next year, and it includes lots from my top homeschool picks from above. I am a little reluctant to share this because I don’t want to bore you, but I know that *I* as a homeschool mom want to see what others are doing. Maybe they have the missing piece I’m looking for. Here goes…
Nan ~ 10th grade
Literature: Great Christian Writers along with Red Badge of Courage Study Guide & Scarlet Letter Study Guide
Grammar: Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: 180 Daily Teaching Lessons (this is purely for daily practice)
Science: Exploring Creation with Chemistry
History: Grade 11 American History PACEs
Math: Teaching Textbooks Geometry
Foreign Language: Rosetta Stone Spanish
Elective 1: Health —Lifepac Electives: Health, Complete Set
Elective 2: Finance–Financial Literacy from a Christian Perspective
E ~ 8th
ELA: I am in the process of writing and gathering resources for his curriculum. (say a prayer, okay?) It will be a combination course in reading, writing, and grammar.
Science: Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science
History: Grade 8 Social Studies PACEs
Math: Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra
BB ~ 3rd
ELA: Learning Language Arts Through Literature, Grade 3
Science: Sonlight Science B
Social Studies: Grade 3 Social Studies PACEs
Math: MUS ~ Finishing up Beta, then Gamma
Spelling: Spelling Workbook Level 1
HR ~ 1st
ELA: Learning Language Arts Through Literature Kit Grade 1
Science: Sonlight Science B (with BB)
Math: Math-U-See Alpha
Social Studies: Library books about famous Americans like Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln
**With BB and HR, I plan to also always have a read aloud handy. I’m not sure what that looks like yet unless I read to them during breakfast and lunch, but I know we need to be reading together daily. The plan includes titles like Charolette’s Web, Ginger Pye, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Homer Price, The Boxcar Children and whatever else we can get our hands on.
In the beginning, we used a complete curriculum each year. We did that for a few years, but as I began to see what worked and didn’t work, we began to break away from full curriculum packages and pull a little of this and a little of that. If you are just starting out, don’t let our eclectic homeschool curriculum scare you. You can do this even if it means buying a boxed set, like Sonlight or My Father’s World. We have used and enjoyed both of them.
If you want to talk to someone about curriculum, I’d be happy to talk with you! If you feel called to homeschool yet feel scared out of your mind, you are normal. It’s a huge step…a rewarding step, but huge. You can do this…remember that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9)