Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not Back to School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

Homeschooling is our lifestyle, so it is hard to write a regular blog in which I seek to be real and leave it out entirely. If you are against homeschooling, do not homeschool or are not interested in our version of homeschooling, you may want to skip the following  post:

After hours and hours of research, consultation, lists and that big ol’ investment… what did you finally decide for your curriculum? Please share your choices – by age (or grade) if possible. There is no wrong or right way to share your curriculum!

I'm afraid our curriculum list is rather boring compared to a lot of homeschool moms. At this stage of our lives, we are textbook homeschoolers, so the bulk of our curriculum is pre-packaged from a company.

  • We use BJU Press for our core curriculum.  This includes Beginnings (a phonics/heritage studies/science and handwriting course), Reading and Math for our kindergartener. It includes Reading, English, Handwriting, Spelling, Heritage Studies, Science, and Math for our third grader. 
  • This will be our second year to use Anne Elliott's excellent Foundations series for Bible. We will be doing Foundations 2: Christ, Our Messiah. I use this for both children as it is adaptable to different age groups and abilities.

That's all the official teaching I do. I get help with our extracurricular activities and subjects.

  • Music - My third grader takes piano lessons from an excellent teacher. September will mark one year, and I am thrilled with her progress. I use Classics for Kids and My First Piano Adventures sporadically with my kindergartener. We start our children with piano lessons as a foundation and will give them a choice later if they want to pursue another instrument. Official lessons don't begin until second grade, so my job with the kindergartener right now is just to make music fun and whet his appetite for it.

  • P.E. - I enrolled my oldest in our local recreation center's weekly Open Homeschool Gym program last year. She loved it so much that I am enrolling both of my kids this year. Enrolling is a loose term--we can go every week or one week or anywhere in between and pay a very low fee as we go. For almost 2 hours, they get instruction from a veteran homeschool mom that works at the rec center as a fitness instructor. They do basic exercises, a half-mile to 1 mile timed run, and they play a sport and learn about the rules, etc. The best part is, me and the babies can go to the play area and chat with the other homeschool moms while our kids play in a McDonald's-style play structure. Did I mention that we LOVE this program?
  • Art -This is something I have been unable to keep up with myself although I've started out trying every year. Last year we used the library programs. We will probably do the same this year, although I am still checking into enrolling my kids in art classes for homeschoolers once I get more details.
  • Field Trips - As homeschoolers, we fit in more field trips than the average school class. We did several over the summer as well. This year I hope to fit in a visit to the fire department and police department and post office as part of my kindergartener's curriculum. We also have zoo and science museum memberships which we use often. I really wanted to participate in Co-Op this year, but the timing of our youngest's arrival will make that difficult for the fall/winter quarter at least.
  • LOTS of Books! - We go to the library every week and come home with 2 bags of books. We do lots of read-alouds and my third grader reads everything in her bag within 2 days.


  1. Came through from the "hop". I will be checking out that music book for my smallest kiddo. Thankd you. HOpe you have a great school year.

  2. I checked out your music sites. Thanks for sharing. *smile* I have a keyboard and that is a good start to learning the keys and how to read music, so thanks for sharing your stops there. We have one museum in our nearby city that we enjoy visiting. We have been to our fire department and I hope to make it to our aviation museum as well. Have a great day teaching your children as you walk by the way. Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

  3. I am very jealous of your rec center offerings. We don't have anything like that around here in NW GA. Sounds like a great year, and don't be timid about your curriculum in a box...nothing wrong with that whatsoever! Way easier to plan for I am sure! Whatever works for you!

  4. This is the first time I've checked out your blog...I really like it! :0)
    This year we have switched to Abeka for everything except Bible and Math. I'm hoping it works out well...:\

  5. Thanks for stopping by, ladies! Thanks for the kind words, Jessica! My sister-in-law does ABEKA and likes it really well.

  6. We are returning to hsing this fall after a yucky 2 year stint in public school. It's only my 9yo dd that will hs with me. My 6yo son has autism and will stay in the private school he has attended for 3 years.

    We are using the following for my daughter, 4th grade:
    Learning Language Arts Throug Literature, orange
    Sonlight Science 4
    Horizons Math 4
    Beautiful Feet Early American History
    Beautiful Feet Learning Character through Literature
    Beautiful Feet History of the Horse
    Pearables Home Ec-Lessons in Responsibility for Girls
    A Gentle Tour through Texas History

    Can't wait to get started! I love how most of the choices we made are all laid out with number of classes/week, and full lessons. This will be so helpful for me to be able to teach her the best I am able.

  7. Amy--
    I have that Home Ec book. We have tried it for 2 years but haven't succeeded in getting all the way through it. :-( I might pull it out again now that you reminded me of it.