This is our fourth year homeschooling, and I feel more comfortable with our curriculum choices than I have ever before. We've switched some of our curriculum from the beginning of the year, but all the changes have been for the better. We're finally in a routine with both our schedule and our curriculum that works for the kid…and me as well.
Here's the curriculum we're finishing up the year with. Some of these books will not be completed this year so they'll be continued next year. For clarification, Jaden is 11, Jerah is 10, and Joely is 6.
Rod and Staff English (Grade 2, 5, and 6) — all three kids
This is an extremely thorough and parent-friendly curriculum (i.e. no teacher prep!). This is our first year using Rod and Staff, but we'll be continuing with it for years to come. I highly recommend it!
Lightning Literature & Composition 7th Grade — Jaden
This is our first year with Lightning Lit, and I've been impressed. My son, who's not a big reader, has gotten a lot out of the curriculum, and I've enjoyed learning and reading right along with him. We'll be using Lightning Lit & Comp 8th grade next year.
Writing Strands, Level 3 — Jerah
Jerah has aspirations of being a writer, so she has begged me for a writing program. This is our first year using Writing Strands, and we've actually only started it this term, but she and I both like it so far. We've picked up Level 4 to use next year once she's done with Level 3.
Wordly Wise (Book B, Level 5, and Level 7) — all three kids
We've used Wordly Wise since we started homeschooling four years ago. This is an excellent vocabulary program that is again, very parent-friendly. Each child will be finishing the program through Level 12.
Explode the Code, Book 6 — Joely
Joely began with book 2 and is nearly finished with book 6. She's reading and spelling very well now so we're stopping at book 6. She'll be doing a lot more independent reading and reading aloud next year.
SpellQuizzer — all three kids
Jaden and Jerah use their Wordly Wise words as spelling words. I entered all of them into SpellQuizzer and they test on their lists when they begin each new unit. Joely's words come from her Explode the Code book.
Singapore Math (1B, 4B, and 6B) — all three kids
We've tried several programs over the years, and in fact Jaden started with Singapore and went through two years of books, but we switched to Saxon a couple years ago, looking for more "review." But we became quite disappointed with Saxon, mainly with it's approach to teaching the concepts, and decided to switch back to Singapore this year. And I'm so glad we did! Jaden just finished up 6B a couple weeks ago, and Joely finished 1B today (except we're still working on the 1B Intensive Practice book). All three kids will continue with Singapore next year, with Jaden moving up to Singapore's New Elementary Mathematics.
Key to Algebra (books 5-7) — Jaden
I love the Key to… series. Jaden has done the Fractions and Percents books in years past and started the Algebra series this year, mainly as a Pre-Algebra course (which is why we're only going to book 7 of the 10-book series). Jerah completed the Key to Fractions books earlier this school year, and she'll be doing the Key to Percents books next year.
Word Problems — Jaden
I have Jaden complete two of these two-part problems each day. They are practical application problems set in the "real world," using many examples from business to practice various concepts.
Exploring Creation with Astromomy — all three kids
We love Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation series. We completed her Exploring Creation with Botany book two years ago, and finished Zoology I and II earlier this year. Next year I plan to do Zoology III and her brand new Anatomy book with the girls; Jaden will be moving on to Apologia's General Science.
The Astronomy Book — all three kids
I correlated this book with Exploring Creation with Astronomy, so as we move through Exploring Creation with Astronomy, we read the corresponding subject in The Astronomy Book.
Beautiful Feet Ancient History (we're finishing up Ancient Rome) — all three kids
This is our first year using Beautiful Feet, having completed Story of the World last year. We love this curriculum and plan to use it next year as well, although we'll be switching to the American history guides.
"Instilling Values in Our Children" from Bible Class Books — all three kids
Jeff teaches this on Fridays. So far this term we've only covered the Contentment lesson.
The Thinking Toolbox — all three kids
I read one chapter aloud, once a week. We finished The Fallacy Detective last year, and all three kids really enjoyed it and learned a lot. We're enjoying the book so far and we will still have most of the book to finish come next year.
Building Thinking Skills, Figural Book 3 — Jaden
Jaden has been working on this book all year, but it hasn't been much of a challenge for him. I think if I'd have started him with the verbal book he might have been more challenged, but spatial reasoning seems to come easy for him, which might explain why he excells in math.
Basic Music Theory — all three kids
This is the free book download I blogged about a couple months ago. We do music once a week, so far covering two chapters each time. The kids are really benefitting from this programmed approach.
Beautiful Feet History of Classical Music — all three kids
We started History of Classical Music just this term and we read a lesson once a week, but we've only done about three lessons so far. The kids and I are enjoying this study and we plan to continue it next year.
Guitar lessons (taught by my husband, Jeff) — Jaden
Piano lessons (informally taught by yours truly) — Joely and Jerah
Artistic Pursuits (1st-3rd grade, 4th-6th grade, and Jr. High) — all three kids
We just began this curriculum this term, but all three kids are enjoying it so far. We plan to continue it next year as well.
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