Jan 22, 2018

The Heart of Our School

Welcome back to the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair! The Fair is hosted by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and is a collection of bloggers sharing about

The Reasons We Homeschool

Our Method of Homeschooling

and this week, Our Homeschool Curriculum


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I have been homeschooling for a very long time. I started when my oldest started preschool (early because she and her brother were driving me crazy needing to learn something and because it was fun for all of us) and she is now in ninth grade. So I have had a long time to really experiment, shop around and figure out what works best for us.

The curriculum that we use is the curriculum that we love. It is the heart of our school because it is what brings the life to our education. In my years of educating my kids, I have seen and heard a lot of opinions about what makes "good" curriculum and "bad" curriculum. But I think those opinions are a little ridiculous. The best curriculum for you is what you and your kids will use to give your kids a solid foundation and a love of learning. If that means you use workbooks or living books or computers or textbooks or just wing it every day with ideas from your own head, or a crazy combination of all the above, then there you go.

So, with all that said, I want to share with you our favorite curriculum that we come back to year after year.


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Math

This is always Math U See. It works for us. It works for my math-makes-my-brain-twitch and I-glitch-numbers-sometimes and all-that-means-math-makes-me-cry-daily daughter. It works for my son who pulls numbers apart, puts them back together, and makes them like it, who just gets math and breezes right through it. It works with my other two kids who are okay at math but don't really like it. It works for my kids who need lots of review and it works for my kids who don't. It works for the kids who catch onto the concepts right away and it works for the kids who need to slow down and practice. It works for my kinesthetic son and my two visual kids and my daughter who doesn't seem to have much a learning style but just absorbs information any old way. And finally, it works for me, the math challenged mom who could otherwise not teach math to her kids at all because... hello? videos for the kids to watch and Teacher Manuals for the kids to read and all the answers in the back of the book for mom to use to check work.

Grammar

Fix It! Grammar all the way. Again, it just works for everybody. None of my kids are big on grammar, which, honestly, is a rather boring kind of thing to learn. But they are happy to spend five to ten minutes a day "fixing" someone else's mistakes and getting all the credit for being smart. With incremental steps for introducing the concepts and lots of built in review, it meets all the requirements for a great program. My oldest two have almost completed all six levels and we love every level so far.

Spelling

We love All About Spelling. My two oldest worked their way through all seven levels and are both proficient spellers. Except that my daughter still can't spell "friend". I really don't know what to say about that except that I really don't think it is AAS's fault, per se. Because she can spell "pulchritude" so there's that.

Writing
IEW for the win. I owned it for years and struggled with how to teach it. I finally just gathered up some of my friends' kids to provide accountability and jumped in. It has had great results. My son who resisted writing even one sentence with every fiber of his being his entire life is now writing multi-paragraph papers without batting an eyelash. I'm sold.


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Reading/ Literature
For learning to read, we used a combination of Primary Arts of Learning and Logic of English. Now, we just read. And read. And read. We also are a part of book clubs with friends as motivation for some and reward for others.

For high school credit work, my ninth grade daughter adores Sharon Watson's materials. She is currently using both Power in Your Hands and Characters in Crises and loving every minute.

Science
For my high schoolers: Apologia and outsourcing is the way to go. They go to another mom's house and learn all about biology with her and her son. Everybody loves it.

For my sixth grader: Schoolhouse Teachers' Geology. He does it independently and he does it daily.

For my fifth grader: Easy Peasy Zoology. She loves it. She adds in dissection, reading various books and dog care whenever the mood hits us or the need arises.


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History
We use Mystery of History and living books which we glean from the online booklists of Sonlight, Ambleside Online, Tapestry of Grace, Biblioplan, Guest Hollow and here. Sometimes we do projects.

I love history. My kids do not. This is our compromise.

Geography
The high schoolers are using Around the World in 180 Days. Kaytie loves it. Nate tolerates it. I like how simple it is. They research and write and learn World Geography. I read their writing, enforce the occasional correction and check it off my list.

The younger two are using Let's Go Geography. We love how easy and fun it is! I'm not adding to it at all right now, even though it would be fairly simple to do so. We are not hurrying or stressing. We just do a little mapping, video watching, reading and notebooking each week and keep moving forward.


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Foreign Language
My high schoolers are taking a Spanish class from a mom friend. I make sure they get there and do their homework. Kaytie is fluent enough that she can figure out simple sentences she hears in a tv show or reads in an ad. Nate is turning in homework. We all do what we can.

Daniel is learning Latin with Visual Latin. It was his choice and he does it entirely independently. I think the Visual Latin guy is hilarious and am happy that at least one of my kids has my love for Latin.

Bible
The big kids are reading and journaling. The little kids are using Bible Study Guide for All Ages. I absolutely love this program and could sing its praises for days. I'll refrain though if you will just go check it out for yourself. It's an inexpensive, easy, fun way to teach your kids Bible facts.

On their own, my kids draw all the time with various books and YouTube videos. They practice music with Yousician. They mess around with coding at Khan Academy. They read encyclopedias, write stories, and build weapons.

So that is the curriculum that we love.

Looking for more curriculum ideas? Visit my fellow homeschool bloggers! 

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 22nd.
Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool
The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool
Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources - An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ
Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace
Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World
Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Choices, choices - how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home
Our Curriculum Needs - grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time
Curriculum We Have Loved Using - Virtual Homeschool Fair -Week 3 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory url: https://homeschoolingforhisglory.blogspot.com/…/curriculum-… How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset
Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses Freedom Through Nature Journaling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

2 comments:

Amy Jones said...

I'm grateful you led me to Fix It! Grammar, and even more grateful you invited my kids to join yours for IEW Writing. Now I'm off to check out Let's Go Geography.

At Home where life happens said...

I have heard really good things about IEW's writing but have not yet taken the plunge. Maybe soon. Thanks for sharing. - Lori

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