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Contrary to any other year in our homeschooling journey, I’m just now wrapping up curriculum decisions!
Oh, we’ve already dipped into some work; the new year-around scheduling a big hit with the kids. But Mama is still slowly organizing, thinking and…praying.
I’ve spent much more time in prayer prep for our year than anything else. More on all of this soon.
Curriculum Choices We Have Loved
As I’ve sifted through our stash of goods, I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite homeschool curriculum from the past school year. These are favorites because they worked so well for our family!
1. Apologia Worldview series
In the market for stellar books teaching children how to view our culture from a Christian perspective? Allow me to introduce you to this series!
I wrote a full review on book 2 Who Am I and What am I Doing Here?, and we anticipate using other books in upcoming years. My children were all incredibly engaged, and many excellent discussions resulted from our reading.
2. Ask Me Whooo? the children’s first catechism
Along the lines of spiritual growth, this CD of songs is structured to teach little ones the Westminster Shorter Catechism for kids, adding in scriptural support for each question. To say we enjoy them is an understatement.
As an incredibly musical family, there probably isn’t a better way for my youngest children (especially the 3 yr old last year) to learn foundational theology in bite-sized pieces.
Check it out and listen to the samples!
3. All About Spelling
We’ve used this curriculum for 2 years now, and I cannot say enough good about All About Spelling! Not only does it teach the how, but also the why.
Sure, we could just learn to spell with a group of like words. But as words become more complicated, the memorization technique may or may not stick. This program teaches why words are spelled the way they are (including the exceptions!).
We love the multi-sensory approach which isn’t gimmicky at all or simply fluff. With 7 levels available, I look forward to using AAS for a long time!
4. Marie’s Words
A great set of 500 vocabulary word flash cards for the high schooler (homeschooled or not!). Great for SAT prep or simply increasing word usage and skills. I wrote a full review on Marie’s words – a handy tool!
Our goal is to use these all throughout high school.
5. Science Roots for Apologia Biology
While I studied Latin in high school, my skills are incredibly rusty.
And while my biology student was in her 5th year of Latin, her understanding of specific Latin roots for science was rusty. So, we’re glad to have found a help – here’s my full review on this little booklet. It made biology a breeze!
6. Five in a Row
Oh, how we’ve thoroughly delighted in Five in A Row (though quite honestly, I take about 2 or more weeks instead of one for each book).
The boys (ages 3 – 3.5 and 6.5 – 7 last year) have fond memories of our units such as Blueberries for Sal, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, and don’t forget We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We plan to continue with FIAR this year.
Find oodles of helps for Five in a Row planning – I gathered them up for you!
7. Elegant Essay from IEW
We’ve not used Institute for Excellence in Writing before; in fact, I’ve not used a formal writing curriculum with the children. By mid-year however, I was having trouble explaining some aspects of essay writing to my 9th grader.
While I appreciated her good attitude, I could see she was growing frustrated. My teaching style for writing wasn’t instructional enough for her style of learning.
I settled on Elegant Essay from IEW, and it was the perfect solution for us both! Highly recommended.
8. Home Art Studio DVDs
I was so pleased to receive these step-by-step instructional art videos (link is to my full review)! Interesting, informative and uncomplicated instruction from a certified art teacher — all right from home.
While my 4th grader also participated in local drawing classes, these DVDs provided her and her little brother with plenty of projects across many art genres.
One of the smartest geography tools ever! A fully customizable set of about 350 maps all at my fingertips, stored on my computer? — yes please.
We’ve used the biblical maps, US and world maps, and were able to quickly change how we wanted to print them out with a simple click. No more map books to copy.
Another gem from Bright Ideas Press, I was so pleased with Illuminations Year 2 for high school. It’s a comprehensive all-inclusive package for every subject except math, but we didn’t use all of these parts. And I do mean every subject including writing, music, art, spelling, geography, life skills and more!
I appreciated how the literature guides provided thoughtful higher order questions; and the selection of books is of great variety.
As soon as I finalize this year’s choices, I’ll share!
Any homeschool favorites of yours?