February 7, 2017

home sweet homeschool: our curriculum

Last week, I talked all about our decision to homeschool our oldest two kiddos.  If you missed it, you can read all about it here.  Today, I thought I would talk a bit about the curriculum that we are using.  Choosing our curriculum for the year was incredibly intimidating and overwhelming for me.  There is so much out there to choose from!  I found it very helpful to read about what others were doing and what was working for them, and so I want to share what has worked, and not worked, for our family!

Caleb is in third grade and Makayla is in kindergarten.  While we do have two completely different sets of curriculum for each of them, we ended up doing so much of it together.  I am keeping this in mind as I plan for next year!  Obviously, my expectations for each of them were different based on their ages and abilities.  But overall, it worked well for us and we are happy with how our first year has gone.

We chose to use curriculum sets from My Father's World.  It is a wonderful combination of classical education, Charlotte Mason, and unit studies - all with a biblical approach.  While the sets for each grade level include a lot, we did supplement some things as well.

These subjects are done mostly together:


My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - Focus on how God created the world and everything in it; Character development.  (Caleb does not do some of the crafts and things that are geared for younger students, unless he wants to.)

My Father's World Adventures - Focus on the character of Jesus, the names of Jesus, etc.

Scripture Memory - We've been using the Charlotte Mason method to memorize scripture, and I think it is such a great way to get the review in each day.

Hymn Study - We've not done anything formal here.  I simply made a list at the beginning of the year of some hymns that I wanted us to learn.  We will talk about the words and their meaning, a bit of the history, and we listen to different versions of it each morning (mainly using Spotify).  We spend about 2-3 weeks on each one.


My Father's World Adventures - Covers the history of the United States, as well as a "trip" through the 50 states.  Includes an extensive read-aloud book list, and many hands-on activities.


My Father's World Adventures - General Science studies through various books: First Encyclopedia of Science; Science in the Kitchen; Science with Air; Birds, Nests, and Eggs

Nature Journals


Read Alouds - We have had so much more time for reading!  We have read so many chapter books together, many of which go along with the historical time period that we are studying.  We usually read a few chapters before bed each night.  I will do a separate post on some of the books that we've been enjoying soon!

Book Basket - Every week I fill up a basket with different books (mostly from the library) that go along with whatever we are studying at the time.  So, books might be about animals, historical figures, the United States, and so on.  The kids spend about 20-30 minutes each day looking through these on their own, and I am sure to read some of them aloud before we turn them back in.  Since these change out each week, this stays fun for them and doesn't get boring.

Quiet Time - We also try to do about 30 minutes of quiet time each day where they can read books of their choosing - although it's still approved by me!  We've been trying to find audio books from the library that have paper copies as well so that they can look and listen at the same time.


My Father's World Adventures - Includes Patriotic songs, and a Tchaikovsky unit focusing on the Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Classical - Many songs and composers are listed throughout the MFW curriculum.  We just try to listen throughout the day to familiarize ourselves with them as much as possible. 

Hoffman Academy - Free piano lessons online


I Can Do All Things - Included with the MFW Adventures curriculum.  Very basic and simple art instruction.  Honestly, we've not really enjoyed this, so we are doing it very sporadically at this point.

Art for Kids Hub - We just started this a few weeks ago, and the kids are loving it!

These subjects are taught separately:

Language Arts

Third Grade
Language Lessons for Today - Grammar and Language; Charlotte Mason style; A very gentle approach that we have enjoyed.

All About Spelling - This is a wonderful program!  Solid teaching of letter sounds, letter combinations, spelling rules, etc.

My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - This has everything needed for spelling, reading, handwriting, etc.

Handwriting Without Tears - Letters and Numbers for Me - This was definitely not a necessary addition, but it has been nice for extra practice.


Third Grade
Horizons - Very thorough math taught using the spiral method.  While I think it's a great curriculum, it does not seem to be a good fit for Caleb, so I am exploring other options for next year.

My Father's World God's Creation from A-Z - Simple introduction to math is included.  We have purchased many workbooks from Dollar Tree or Target for her to work through as well.  (Some of these workbooks seem to use the common core method, which I am not personally fond of, but for the kindergarten level they are usually fine.)

Ok, I think that's everything!  If anyone is still reading, I am super impressed!  :)

Keep in mind, we are still new to this and we have a lot to learn.  I am by no means an expert!  But I do think that we have had a fairly successful year thus far, and I hope that this is helpful to someone.  If you have any questions, let me know!

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