Through the years, readers have asked about the homeschool curriculum I use, and though I’ve written about that a little, I haven’t done a thorough list.
I’m gonna fix that today!
So. Here’s what we’re using this year.
(disclaimer: Just because I like a particular curriculum doesn’t mean that I think it’s the best for every family. We’ll be us and you can be you and all that.)
All of my kids are using Saxon math. It’s not the most colorful curriculum ever, but it is THOROUGH and I love the constant, cyclical review.
I splurge a little and buy the solutions manuals rather than just the answer key because I want to spend as little of my life as possible painstakingly figuring out where math problems went wrong.
And we use the newer version of these books, mainly because I really really love that next to each problem is the lesson number where that problem was taught. This makes it super easy for the student to know where to go in the textbook for help.
(There IS a newer, revamped version of Algebra 2 available, but I read that the solutions manual has some errors, and after having a terrible experience with the errors in the first edition of Saxon geometry, I’m gun-shy about buying a brand new version of the book.)
Only Sonia and Zoe still do a handwriting curriculum, and they’re using Handwriting Without Tears, which is what I’ve used with all my kiddos.
(Disclosure: all four of my children cried about handwriting at some point. So, just because it says no tears….well, that doesn’t necessarily mean your kids will be dry-eyed.)
Plus we use the free DuoLingo app. 😉
My mom also does this with my kids. She’s been teaching composition for a lot of years, and for some grades, she does her own thing and for others, she’s used the Wordsmith books.
I love, love, love Story of the World. I’ve always thought history was an ok subject, but oh my soul, I really, really have loved doing history with Story of the World.
The books are so engaging and interesting, and reading the chapters aloud with Sonia and Zoe has often inspired me to go learn more about whoever we’ve read about.
We got started on the Story of the World train at a weird spot, so Sonia and Zoe and I did the last two books first, which means that this year, we’re starting with Story of the World 1, which is ancient history.
(I’ve never been wowed by ancient history, but I’m optimistic that SOTW can change that for me.)
Lisey did ancient and medieval history the last two years, so she’s doing SOTW 3.
And Joshua is doing an ancient history book by the same author, but it’s meant for high schoolers. I ordered the teaching guide to go along with the textbook. This is my first year using that curriculum, so I don’t have much of an opinion formed about it yet.
I’ve never been a huge fan of reading curriculums per se, partially because they usually seem like a lot of busy work and also because I feel like they tend to suck the fun out of reading.
Plus, since my kids have all been good readers (such a sweet mercy!), the phonics that go along with these curriculums has been largely unnecessary.
That said, I know that in standardized testing, there’s some workbook-ish reading comprehension type of stuff, so I’ve had my kids do the BJU reading curriculum through grade 6.
I’m not generally a fan of BJU, and I’ve come across a few things I don’t agree with in these books, but overall, these books are ok, and they allow me to check off the reading requirement for grade school.
But for super-duper fun reading that is actually way more educational than reading curriculum…well, we read books.
We’ve always got a full library bin, and I’ve actually found Story of the World to be really helpful here. Every chapter comes with literature recommendations, so I always put those on hold at the library, and those books keep my kids pretty busy.
We’ve been using Apologia’s titles for the last few years, and I really like the conversational tone of the books.
(The tone isn’t very textbook-y, which is almost always a good thing in my mind!)
Sonia and Zoe are doing Anatomy and Physiology, Lisey’s doing General Science, and Joshua’s doing Marine Biology (complete with a dissection kit. We currently have a preserved shark, along with other marine animals, waiting for dissection.)
The kids and I do a martial arts class together, and Sonia and Zoe do ballet. Plus there’s plenty of informal activity like trampoline-jumping, bike-riding, scootering, rollerblading, and whatnot.
Reader Molly reminded me to add this! I teach piano to all four of my kids. I use the Alfred basic piano series and then after that I typically pick and choose the songs I teach, not using a specific curriculum.
Joshua also plays guitar, and Lisey plays a little ukelele and bass on the side. 😉
Alrighty! I believe that covers the basics of what we’re doing for school this year.
(Although I’m sitting here wondering if I’ve left out some super obvious subject that we do. Ha.)
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!
P.S. You may have noticed that we don’t currently use a spelling curriculum. I did use one when my kids were younger, but eventually I decided it was unnecessary. Spelling is not a big challenge for any of them, and they get enough spelling practice through their other subjects (especially vocabulary and composition.)
P.P.S. I’m not affiliated directly with any of these curriculum companies, I’ve bought all of our books myself, and my choices are made completely independently. I’ve used Amazon to link to some of the resources, which means that I get a small kickback (at no cost to you) should you purchase through Amazon.