Our Spring 2009 Term Curriculum


Our spring 2009 curriculum have some changes from the beginning of the year.

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 kids…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.

Language Arts

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.

As you can see with 8 different areas of study our spring 2009 currciulum is diverse and challenging.

For more WFMW, visit We Are THAT Family.

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing all these. We have some overlaps, but I always find something new. I'm excited about looking into that music program. It is just what I was looking for to do over the summer with all my kids.

    Thank you so much!


  2. says

    I always enjoy seeing what other people are using. I've heard good things about the "Key to…" series. We used the early grade ETC books, then, switched to something else since they didn't seem to be working well for my ds. I'm thinking about going back to them, though, so it's good to hear a positive report. My ds really struggled with reading and it's finally starting to click, so I'm thinking that it might even be beneficial to go back through the earlier levels, even though he's older (9). If you have an opinion on that, I'd love to hear it (as in: do you think they'd be too "young" for him or would it be necessary to go back that far, even if we go through them quickly). This is somthing I've just started considering in the last week or so, so I haven't had a chance to take a refresher peek at the books yet.

    Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’s last blog post..Works for Me Wednesday: Numbering Blog Comments


  3. says

    I'll chime in and repeat what the others have said- it's always great to see what curriculum another family chooses! I haven't purchased much curriculum yet, but I like to hear opinions from others. Thank you.

    Lisa’s last blog post..Summer Art School


  4. says

    I guess we all enjoy hearing about the curriculum choices that work for other families. We also use Rod & Staff English, Singapore Math, and the Key to .. math series.

    My son also likes the (Walsh) Daily Warm-Ups series. I like it, as well, but it can be costly. He finished a few of the books this year, and I didn't purchase any for next year.


  5. says

    Hey Joy, I just stumbled upon you blog and I love it! I just made a list of the curriculum I am working on with my five-year-old last Friday. I may have to add some things to my list based on some of your recommendations.

    Shayrah’s last blog post..Basic Music Theory


  6. says

    Great tips for those considering homeschooling or looking for more ideas.
    Our teen is looking to graduate in January 2010. That will end our homebased schooling journey.
    Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from vinylvineyard at Etsy.com


  7. says

    Great outline to the serious home-school mom!

    My husband created a website that holds all of my home-schooling needs, but now that I am using SOS I don't have to fill out the details quite as much.

    Finding good curriculum that WFY is blessing!

    Hope you all do well!



  8. says

    Next year will be my first year of homeschooling. My children are older, and so I am having to jump in kind of late in the game. Always love hearing what other homeschoolers are using! Thanks for the ideas!

    christi’s last blog post..Homeschool Convention


  9. says

    This is homeschool dad's wife, Amy. I too thank you for sharing your curriculum choices. We have been homeschooling for 4 years also, and each year we do something a little different. Your list seems long to me…I'm just wondering how long you spend on school per day, and if you do each of those things listed every day? Our children are much smaller than yours, so I can understand the difference.


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