It’s almost that time of year for us–the time when we jump into our homeschool studies. People often ask what curriculum we use, so I thought I’d take a minute to share our 2014 – 2015 homeschool curriculum choices. You can find more ideas from other bloggers over at the Curriculum Hop!
Last year I wrote this:
“I feel like one of the words God has given me this summer is SIMPLIFY. You may recall, I initially had a blog called The Amazing Mess–because I am NOT an expert at simple living, and I often feel like my life is a mess! Yet, over and over the past few years, I’ve had my eyes opened and actually made some progress in simplifying life. Still, the yearning in my soul is to simplify even more–our schedules, our stuff, and even our homeschool curriculum.
But here’s the problem: I always get so excited at the beginning of every year, and I tend to jump in and bite off more than I can chew. This year, I thought I was being different, but in the end…as I typed out our curriculum, I realized it still feels like a bit of a mess! I do think once our routines are established, it won’t seem quite so messy though!!”
I’m still in the same place–simplifying as much as possible (I think we’ve gotten rid of 60-70% of our stuff over the last few years, which is sad since we still have too much!) and working on our rhythm and routines.
Two Areas of Focus for Our Homeschool Year:
Just like last year, these are two areas I want to focus on this year in our homeschool:
1) Memory work
This year, I am a Classical Conversations tutor again!! We have a small, relatively new campus in our town, and it’s been fun to be a part of it. You can find out more about CC in The Core by Leigh Bortins.
Classical Conversations has been great for *forcing* me to be accountable. If you’ve been following my blog long, you probably realize I love to start new things…but I’m not always so good about finishing them (like the hundreds of blog post ideas inside my blogging binder just waiting to be written)! Anyway, since I’m a tutor and my children need to know their memory work and make presentations each week, it has been an outside force to give a little added structure to our homeschooling week. The encouragement, regular meeting time with other moms, and sense of community on our CC campus have been so good for us.
2) Reading, reading, reading!
The other area I want to focus on is reading good books and engaging in studies surrounding those books. Our main area of history study this year will be United States history, so I’ve tried to pick out a ton of “living” books to really engage the girls. We’ll also read some biographies, various non-fiction books to go along with our CC history sentences each week, and anything that captivates the girls’ interest.
A few of the books we’ll be reading include: A Gathering of Days, Little Britches, Betty Greene, Corrie Ten Boom, Amos Fortune free man, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Follow the Drinking Gourd, several books from The Daughters of Faith series, and George Washington’s World.
**I’ve had a few questions about the cost of our curriculum. I will say that things can add up quickly, but we have also been blessed by finding things at used curriculum sales, garage sales, getting them free from friends, borrowing books from the library, and getting them free because of blogging. Also, because I tutor CC, it offsets my cost a little bit–though this year it is a little more since my oldest is doing the Essentials program. Anyway, I’ve marked where I’ve gotten things if I remember, so you can see that we often re-use or recycle items and many items can be used for more than one year!
Without further adieu, here are our homeschool curriculum plans for 2014 – 2015! Scheduled to change without notice…
All 3 Girls Together:
- Classical Conversations Memorization ($60 for Foundations Guide, 2nd year of use + Cycle 3 Audio Set – $35)
- World map drawing and United States map drawing (as outlined in The Core) and state notebooking pages (free, cost of printing pages)
- Calendar Binder – we’ll use these as needed (free, cost of printing pages)
- Bible readings
- Bible Journals ($0.15 notebooks during back-to-school sales!)
- Grapevine Studies stick figuring New Testament Basics (Catechism) – We love these studies! I can’t wait to try out the new version! (free this year to do a review)
- Draw Write Now (a friend gave me this set)
- Story of the World, Volume 3 (picked up from a garage sale)
- Mystery of History, Volume 3 (purchased with points from Homeschool Buyers Co-op)
We mainly just use these as read alouds and don’t do any extra projects with them unless something strikes our fancy!
- Lyrical Life Science: Anatomy ($29.50)
- My Body ($7.19)
- Discovering Great Artists (found at a garage sale)
- Various other books we have on hand for art appreciation and art projects (mostly free or deeply discounted from when I was selling Usborne Books as a consultant)
- A Young Scholar’s Guide to Composers (free digital download from blogging conference)
- Piano lessons ($$–the girls take these from college students at our local community music school)
- Training for a 5k together
- Daily walks and outdoor play with jump ropes, hula hoops, etc.
Additional Curriculum Choices for the 10 year old:
- Classical Conversations Essentials (language and writing)
- Spelling – building our own lists from the word demons in the Reading Teachers Books of Lists and words I notice she is having trouble with in her writing.
- Teaching Textbooks – Level 5 ($99.95)
- Rosetta Stone Spanish (we’ve had this and used it for the past four years, not sure what I paid–but I know it was a sale on Amazon!)
Additional Curriculum Choices for the 7 year old:
- All About Spelling – Level 3 (purchased several years ago for my oldest daughter, now using it with my middle daughter)
- Teaching Textbooks – Level 3 (purchased last year for my oldest daughter, now using it with my middle daughter)
- Daily reading to me with books on her level
Additional Curriculum Choices for the 6 year old:
- All About Spelling – Level 2 (purchased several years ago for my oldest daughter, used by my middle daughter, now using with my youngest)
- Finish The Reading Lesson + Daily reading to me with books on her level (free to do a review + free books checked out from the library)
- Math – manipulatives and workbooks I have on hand, printable worksheets I find online (free, cost of printing)
- Mathtacular (have used for several years, originally $25)
What are your curriculum plans for the year? Anything you really love that I should know about?!!