Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What Curriculum Do You Use?

One of the biggest questions that I get about homeschooling is, "What curriculum do you use?" We are what the homeschool circles call "eclectic," meaning we use a little bit of everything and pick and choose what we want to use for each subject rather than sticking to one set curriculum like Abeka or Bob Jones. I have posted over the years about each school year.

Homeschooling Your 3/4 Year Old

Homeschooling Your 4/5 Year Old

Homeschooling Your Kindergartner

Over the years we have used the following curriculum:

AWANA - Puggles, Cubbies, Sparks, and T&T books and resources (LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT AWANA)

BIBLE - 24 Family Ways (LOVE), Family Time Bible, reading through the Bible in a year, Picture This Bible (LOVE), Kay Arthur studies for kids, Bob Jones Bible curriculum

READING - Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (LOVE), All About Reading (LOVE), various phonics books, lots of books

SPELLING - All About Spelling (LOVE), Sequential Spelling (LOVE)

VOCABULARY - English from the Roots Up (LOVE)

GRAMMAR - various grammar workbooks

WRITING - various writing workbooks

HANDWRITING - Handwriting Without Tears (LOVE), A Reason for Handwriting (LOVE)

MATH - Horizons, Singapore Math

HISTORY - History for Little Pilgrims, Mystery of History (LOVE)

SCIENCE - Christian Liberty Press science books, Apologia (LOVE)

This year we are doing some things we have done before, but we are also doing a bunch of new things.

Nathan is doing the 4/5 year old curriculum I did with Luke. :) He is also doing the AWANA Appleseed book this year. He loves to do puzzles, pattern blocks, games, color, paint, play doh, and sand.

AWANA - Luke is in T&T and will be completing his Challenge 1 book and some extra credit books this year.

BIBLE - Luke is doing Cat and Dog Theology. Basically it teaches about making God famous versus making ourselves famous. A dog wants to make dog famous; a cat wants to make himself famous. It's a cute curriculum, but gets a lot deeper than that. We learn a verse and character trait each week and read true missionary stories and pray for missionaries all over the world. WE ARE LOVING THIS!

READING - Luke knows how to read. He just reads for school and fun. :)

SPELLING - Luke is using Sequential Spelling which we love. It builds on words so by the end of 4 lessons you are spelling very long words. I love it because it makes sense and isn't just memorizing 10 words that don't go together at all.

VOCABULARY - Luke is doing something new this year. He is doing WordBuild which teaches roots, prefixes, and suffixes. You focus on one for the week (we are actually doing two a week) and do various activities so you learn the meaning and build words with them. It is awesome! Luke loves it! We are also learning vocabulary words in grammar, writing, science, and history.

GRAMMAR - Luke is doing IEW (Institute of Excellence in Writing) Fix-It Grammar with his coop and has homework each day of the week (M-TH). You work on one sentence a day putting the proper punctuation, labeling the various grammar parts, selecting proper homophones, and looking up one vocabulary word. Then you write out the sentence. I really like it. I think it breaks grammar down in a way that is easily understood. Luke even likes it.

WRITING - Luke is doing IEW writing with his coop and has homework each day of the week (M-TH). I LOVE THIS CURRICULUM! It teaches writing in a very methodical way. They write a paper and then work on beefing it up throughout the week. It is just awesome.

HANDWRITING - Luke is continuing with cursive through A Reason for Handwriting. He also does a ton of handwriting between Bible, Spelling, Grammar, Writing, Science, and History.

MATH - Luke is doing Teaching Textbooks this year. We love it because I get to outsource math to the computer. Luke does an interactive lesson, practice problems, and 20ish problems each day. He has quizzes after 7 lessons (roughly every 2 weeks). We love it because Luke can "play on the computer" and I see a virtual gradebook that shows me every answer and I can go back with him and help him if he gets something wrong.

SCIENCE - Luke is doing Apologia Flying and Swimming Creatures this year in his coop and has daily homework (M-TH). WE LOVE APOLOGIA!!!!!!!! It is a Creator-based science that points to God as Creator. He reads, writes down facts in his notebook, has activities to enhance his learning, and does the hands-on projects with his coop.

HISTORY - Luke is doing Tapestry of Grace history through his coop and has daily homework (M-TH). WE LOVE TAPESTRY OF GRACE!!! We read living books, autobiographies, biographies, and other cool history books to bring history to life (more fun than just a textbook). He writes down fascinating facts about various people in history. He studies maps and geography. Then at coop his teachers (1 of them is me - I LOVE HISTORY) make is super fun through games, activities, plays, and projects. IT IS AWESOME!

LITERATURE - Luke reads books related to history for TOG. He also reads for fun. :)

We are really pleased with our school year and curriculum choices so far.

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