Like usual, I cobbled our homeschool curriculum together from many different sources. I have yet to find one curriculum that fits my kids for all subjects, so we stick to our favorites and are willing to change if something is not working mid-year (I have done it many times)
**This year is also a little different because my daughter Emma is a senior (!!) and will be mainly taking dual enrollment classes mixed in with a few homeschool co-op classes for her last year in high school. I am only responsible for teaching her US Government this year, so lucky Ben gets to have all my attention to himself for the school day (he is not amused)
Ben (5th grade, age 9)
Math – Saxon 5/4
**We have bounced around Horizons, Mammoth Math, Teaching Textbooks, and Saxon with both of my kids. Emma hated Saxon (she called it “soul sucking”), but Ben seems to like Saxon so far, so that’s what we are going to go with this year. Both of my kids hate math, so we do the best we can.
Science – Astronomy.
I love this book series. It is written in an easy to understand format and has multiple activities that the student can do to reinforce the “book learning”. It also helps that I wrote an entire set of questions out for this series to sell on my TeacherspayTeachers store, so I just had to print them off and boom…we are good to go. Even if I did not write those study guides, I would totally buy them. My son reads the text and then answers the questions all on his own….that is priceless!
History – The Story of the World
I already had this book and its activity book from Emma’s early years, so we decided to do it with Ben this year. He loves all things history thankfully! The textbook is easy to understand and written in a narrative point of view, so its not dry like most textbooks. Plus the activity book has maps, outlines, and timeline photos that he can work on to enhance his history knowledge even further.
**We also try to incorporate living history books into our week as well, so that keeps us immersed in vibrant history all year long. A new thing we started this year was to find beautiful living history picture books at our library to enjoy together. I was happy to hear that there is no age limit on picture books because I myself love them to death! After we learn about a historical figure or event, we then find it on the world map and log it into our timeline book.
Grammar – Easy Grammar Grade 5
I stumbled upon these books with Emma and we really enjoyed them. Both of my kids are great readers, so they really do not have many grammar issues, but I like to include a grammar text anyway to help them prepare for standardized testing.
Reading – all the books!
We always have two read-a-louds going at once at bedtime because Ben loves to listen to books before he goes to sleep (and he is my last baby!) I also make Ben read for 20 minutes each day from a book of my choice that is of higher literature than our free reads. We also started to incorporate more Charlotte Mason techniques into our school day, so Ben has to narrate to me what happened in the story each day. This year we plan on reading the Chronicles of Narnia, Tom Sawyer, Sophia’s War, Number the Stars, and Carry on Mr. Bowditch. **We get a lot of our reading recommendations from Ambleside Online
We attend a Charlotte Mason outdoor co-op once a week where we get to immerse ourselves in all things culture and nature. We love learning old bible hymns, folk songs, looking at art, going on hikes, and doing nature study with friends. Its all the things I wish we did in our homeschool days in the past, but somehow it fell to the wayside each year much to my dismay. Having weekly accountability does wonders for your homeschool life.
Emma (Grade 12, age 17)
US Government – Selection of books and a power point presentation of an overview of the US Government.
I decided to mix things up this year and freestyled Emma’s last homeschool class at home. She will be reading Just Mercy, The Yoder Case, 1984, and 1776 because all of those books give a wonderful overview of our government and what it could/should be. I also typed up a list of topics that she has to research and present to me in one epic PowerPoint presentation. The beautiful thing about homeschool is that anything goes. As long there is learning happening, it works.
Emma will be taking math, American Literature, Religion, and Sign Language courses online for college credit. She is going to be busy! Dual enrollment is a blessing. She will only have to take two more years of classes after she graduates from high school to complete her bachelor’s at Troy. The fact that I did not have to teach her over half her high school classes and that she got college credit at the same time is priceless in my book. Look into it!
We also plan on attended a traditional homeschool co-op this fall where Emma will take Sign Language Drama, Chorus, and a Literature class.
Whew that sounds like a lot! I hope that helps to see what an eclectic homeschooler uses during a school year for different grades. I just want to point out that homeschooling does not have to be expensive. As long was you are reading widely, doing math, and writing something every day that is basically covering all the bases. **Check out Ambleside online because they are 100% free and its a great resource for new homeschoolers!
Have a great school year!