homeschool curriculum

August 30, 2017

This is my seventh year of homeschooling and we are still following the classical education style of teaching and learning. This book has been the most helpful resource throughout the years. I like the structure classical education provides, so we have stuck with it. Of course, we continue to adjust to fit our needs and interest, but for the core subjects, we stick to the classical curriculum. We are a multi-age classroom and I pair the girls off for our instructional time. True and Brave are on the same level (though one is in 6th grade and the other 5th). Soul and Glow receive similar instruction, but I do have to adjust a lot for Glow since Glow is in kinder and Soul in second grade. Below is the curriculum list I use for each pair of girls:

True and Brave (5th and 6th grade)
Math: Saxon Math (this is our first year with Saxon, we’ve previously used Singapore Math, but I wanted to try something different)
Reading: We have a long reading list to get through, but we are starting with Beowulf.
Spelling: Spelling Workout G
Writing: Writing Strands Level 4
Grammar: Progressing with Courage
Handwriting: D’Nealian Handwriting
Science: Earth Science Daybook
History: Story of the World Volume 4
Latin/Greek: Classical Roots A
Spanish: Breaking the Barrier Spanish Level 2 (they completed Spanish for Children Primer A & B)
Critical Thinking: Building Thinking Skills

Soul and Glow (2nd and Kindergarten)
Math: Singapore Math 2A
Reading: Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (for Glow); reading Book of Nature Myths together
Spelling: Spelling Workout B
Writing: Writing with Ease Level 2
Grammar: First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind 2
Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears
Science: More Mudpies to Magnets with nature studies mixed in
History: Story of the World Volume 1
Spanish: Song School Spanish

Extra curriculum support: Duolingo, Brain Pop Jr., Starfall, Life of Fred

Additional activities: Piano,  guitar, swim (though I’m thinking of not doing it this year). Brave has an interest in theatre, so I’m looking for acting programs to get her involved in.

I do a lot of modifying for Glow since her reading, writing, and math ability isn’t the same as Soul’s due to the age difference. This was a similar case with True and Brave when Brave started homeschooling, but their age and grade levels are closer together than Soul and Glow’s. Now, they are both at the point where they can do the exact same things.

You might notice we don’t use an art curriculum. We’re always making things or studying artists, so our art study is pretty fluid, and we kind of go wherever it takes us, so we don’t use a book for it. One day it might be sewing, another day art history, and another day studying an artist and their preferred medium.

We are not part of any co-op, but the girls go to school all day every Friday through our charter school program. Thus, my main instructional days are Monday-Thursday. I’m sure you’re curious about what a school day looks like for us. The days are very full, but True and Brave are quite independent, so there’s a lot they’re able to do on their own. I’ll give a more detailed time schedule of typical school days for us in another post next week.

If you have any other homeschool questions, feel free to ask in the comments! This is from a couple years ago, but here’s our schedule then, a curriculum post a few years ago here, and another curriculum post here. Here’s a post on how we get Spanish lessons done too.

9 comments on “homeschool curriculum”

  • Morgane says:

    Hi ! First time I ever come to your blog and I am already commenting =)
    I don’t anything about you (and your family/your bog/your life) but I like the article, and I can’t wait to read more about your homeschooling aventure during seven year.
    It makes me really curious about homeschooling even if I don’t have any kids!
    From a french new reader, xx

  • what did you do with your kiddos when they were 2.5-3 years old? 🙂

    • Rubyellen says:

      Nothing! We read books and stuff, but I didn’t stress out about teaching them to read or math stuff. I think so much is learned from just playing and all that school stuff comes in time. Now, once we started kinder, then things got serious, but prior, I didn’t push anything on them. 🙂

  • Cathy says:

    We struggled with the Saxon vs. Singapore decision over the summer. In order to prepare for a curriculum switch in the fall (for homeschool), we tried a Singapore math class on-line after our child had spent grades 3-5 with Saxon (at a school). It didn’t go too well and we are back with Saxon . A friend of mine is still urging me to change back mostly for the reason of preparing for future standardized tests (and possible mapping with common sore standards?). Now I’m considering supplementing with a conceptual math curriculum.

    • Rubyellen says:

      I’m finding SAXON is so easy! We love it cause the ease of it means less frustration during math. Do what you love! If you love Saxon, stick with it. I want to try a video program and I’m thinking of trying out MATH-U-SEE.

  • It is always neat to see what various curriculum people use. We are a part of two co-ops this year (one is really small). I think this year is my most chill year than how stressed I was last year especially. I probably should have used the Handwriting without tears for my younger son. His handwriting is so bad and he fights me at times about writing neatly. The older one writes so pretty in script especially haha.

    • Rubyellen says:

      It’s interesting how different kids write. I have two who are extremely neat, and another who is really messy.

  • Katrina says:

    Hi!! Ive been reading your blog for years and before i ask my question, i just want to say you have been such an inspiration to me, thank you for sharing your life!

    and my question… do you have any advice on picking a charter school? I have been wanting to homeschool since I discovered your blog (pre babies) and I think im finally going gather the courage to do it but there are so many charter schools, its overwhelming. Hope you can help.

  • Abbie Nelson says:

    HEEYYYY! A year later, I’m reading this with the eyes of a new homeschool mom. I’ve been working full time outside the home but we are leaving for missionary work outside the US next month and I’m going to homeschool our 3 girls this next year. You are using so many components we are looking at. Have been picking through the Sonlight website and am scheduling a consult with the guy at Exodus Books. Curious: any general advice as I’m getting started? What adjustments do you typically make from year to year? How do you handle frustration/roadblocks on particular subjects or topics, and emotional melt downs?
    I love your blog, have read it for years, and pray for you when I read it. Thanks for being a bright light on your particular hillside. xoxo.

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