Wow! I cannot believe I am even writing this post. In the fall I will be starting our EIGHTH year homeschooling. My oldest will be in 6th, the middle in 4th and my youngest will be in Kindergarten. I have to say it’s a little bittersweet to know that our preschool years are officially over, but I am also super excited to start this “real” school journey with my baby boy. I can also honestly say that I assumed by 6th grade I would have switched to an online public school. Why? Because two or three years ago I would have thought, I wasn’t equipped to teach upper grades. Now, I know that if God called us to it, He will get us through it. Right? So, we are doing this! And, I am confident that we are in it for the long haul 😉
As I have shared in previous posts, this year we are shaking things up. And… when I say shaking things up I mean it! Other than Math, we are using none of the same materials as our current year.
So, now to the big reveal!
Both girls had a huge say in their curriculum choices for this year. They both work independently and I am proud of the choices they made. This is the first year that they have not been working together for their core subjects. This is bittersweet for me, but we feel it is time to separate and let them each pursue their own interests.
We are continuing with Christian Light Education math. CLE is a thorough program and I feel the girls get a great education with it. That being said, I am also keeping my options open and loosely considering Teaching Textbooks. I know my limits and math is one of them. For now, her dad has been helping her a lot with Math but we are keeping our options open as well.
The past few years we have used and enjoyed Rod and Staff for Spelling and Grammar. I have no complaints with the program at all. However, my girls are readers. They love good quality literature, and that is one reason we used Heart of Dakota. Without that program, I wanted to make sure they continued to read good books. A friend shared with me about Progeny Press and Total Language Plus. I looked over both at the Homeschool Convention. They both have great qualities and I couldn’t choose which one was better, so we are using a little bit of both. For the oldest we are using Shadow Spinner, Anne of Green Gables, and Chronicles of Narnia. For my middle we are using Farmer Boy, Shiloh, and Little House in the Big Woods.
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about our choices. First let’s start with Alyson (6th grade) I first heard of Notgrass from an ad. Seriously. I don’t even remember what blog it was on. I requested a catalog, got it, and never looked at it again. Until Alyson did. And she LOVED it.
I will be sharing a review on this curriculum in the fall once we’ve started it, but I really think it is going to be a hit. I got the chance to talk with Charlene Notgrass at the homeschool convention (SHOULD’VE taken a selfie…) and was so impressed by her passion over her product. She was truly genuine and you could tell they have put great thought and much work into their program.
The cycle we will be using in the fall is America the Beautiful. The program also has a suggested literature guide. We have a few of the books, but plan on getting the others from the library. Again, I will share more about this program in the fall.
For my middle, we are going to be using Prairie Primer. As you know I am a HUGE Little House, fan and we purchased this program a few years ago for a homeschool co-op. I had it in a pile to sell and she came across it. She wanted to know why we didn’t finish it and I told her we only bought it for co-op. She took it and looked at it for an hour. At least. Then came back and asked me if we could do it together next year. Um, yes? Prairie Primer is designed as a Unit Study and we plan to use it for mostly History. However, I am sure we will use other aspects of it as well.
So, this will be a fun year for her and me. I think it will go along great with Notgrass and I plan to make Friday project days so the girls can still work together on their History projects.
We LOVED Apologia and really missed it this year. So, I am excited to say we are going back to it in the fall! The oldest will be using Botany (her choice) for spring of this school year, and fall of next. Then we will switch to Human Anatomy (my choice). My middle will be studying Land Animals. You can read more about why we love Apologia here.
We have never had a “real” Art curriculum that we have kept with. I am not artistic. At all. However, my girls LOVE Art and my middle is showing a HUGE talent for it. So, when I came across Creating a Masterpiece I was intrigued. The program offers videos introducing the art lesson, and showing the student how to create their masterpiece. I met with the creator at the convention and she encouraged me that ANYONE can use this program. Also, she recommends each student only complete six projects a year. This allows flexibility and makes the program not so overwhelming for art failure moms like me 😉 You can see the girls first project on Instagram!
There will be a review on this product coming up in August, so check back in for more thoughts on the program!
My boy will be five in July and while he will be Kindergarten age, we are going into this year knowing that he will either do two years of K or two years of first depending on how the year goes. For this reason, we chose My Fathers World Kindergarten. A fun program that I know will challenge him, yet let him be an active boy while learning.
When he is ready, which may be this year, it may be next, we will add on Hooked on Phonics K. I have taught seven kids to read with this program (my own, my niece and kids I have babysat or tutored) and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone with a child ready to start reading.
We have been going through the New Testament Bible Challenge this year (read the review here). We are enjoying this program a lot, but are going through it SLOWLY. So, we will still be using it in the fall, and will continue where we left off. Hopefully he has one for the Old Testament ready when we are done 😉
Homeschool Planning for ME!
And that is a peek into our homeschool curriculum for 2016-2017. What are you using? Any of the same things? Let me know in the comments!