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Sonia and Zoe’s middle school curriculum

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sonia zoe trampoline

Hello Kristen,

I have two questions,

Do you mind sharing what you are doing for Sonia and Zoe for homeschooling? I have a 12 and 9 year old so I thought I would ask you :). It doesn’t have to be in detail unless you have the time to do so.

I was wondering if you have a budget for homeschooling and other things that don’t fall under grocery category (clothes/gifts/vacation etc). If yes, do you mind sharing that as well?


Sure!   I’m using most of the same kind of stuff we used last year (if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.) 😉


We’re still using Saxon math for S&Z. Sonia is in Math 87 and Zoe is in Math 7/6.

saxon math 76

(Lisey’s in geometry this year and we are giving Life of Fred a try.   It is SUPER different from Saxon, but I hated Saxon’s geometry book, and this change of pace seems to be pretty good for Lisey so far.)


We’re still using Story of the World and we’re in the middle ages at the moment.

I adore Story of the World and cannot recommend it highly enough.   It’s so engaging and interesting, and the book suggestions in the activity book really help me to put together a good hold list at the library.

story of the world

I buy two sets of the student pages here so that I don’t have to bother photocopying pages from the activity book for Sonia and Zoe.


We’re doing Zoology 2 this year, which happens to be about marine creatures. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that my fish-fan Zoe is really enjoying this!

(Although honestly, Sonia is too. Both of them prefer it to the human anatomy and physiology that we did last year.)

marine biology

You can make your own notebooking journals, but I know myself well enough to be sure we’d fall behind if we tried that.   So I just buy these companion journals and Sonia and Zoe color, draw, and write in them.


Sonia isn’t doing a formal handwriting curriculum anymore, but Zoe’s in the last book from Handwriting Without Tears, Can-Do Cursive.


As usual, we’re working through the Easy Grammar books. They’re inexpensive, not overwhelming, and provide a handy daily review.

easy grammar wordly wise

(Zoe is in book 6; Sonia is in book 7.)


Wordly Wise is our standby.   Like Easy Grammar, it’s inexpensive, doesn’t take ages each day, and provides consistent daily practice.

(Zoe is in 6, Sonia is in 7.)


My mom does Spanish with Sonia and Zoe, and they use the Glencoe middle school Spanish books.


My mom also does composition with Sonia and Zoe.   They’re both using Wordsmith…Zoe is in Wordsmith Apprentice and Sonia is in Wordsmith.


Our umbrella group requires us to do a health course, so we use the consumable Lifepacs from Alpha Omega to meet that requirement.


sonia zoe dance

Sonia and Zoe have a dance class once a week, a martial arts class once a week, and we’re trying a homeschool yoga class session.   They’re also both learning to play the piano.


For the second part of your question: yup, we do save for some budget items that crop up inconsistently.   We have dedicated savings accounts at Capital One 360 for things like clothing, vacations, car repairs, car insurance, and so on. Money is automatically sent there each month, and when we need to spend from one of those categories, I just transfer the money to our checking account.


I tried to do pretty thorough linking of the curriculum for you guys, but you have any questions, let me know!





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Thursday 20th of October 2016

Kristen, We are considering Piano/Violin lessons for our 9-year old daughter. This would be her first time learning a music instrument besides the Recorder they learn in school. My daughter is small for her age and very lively. Considering her size and temperament, do you have any suggestions ?

Posting my question under this post because it deals with kids curriculum and wasn't sure where to post my query. :)

Thank you !


Thursday 20th of October 2016

I think I'd maybe ask her what she's most interested in playing. Piano is always a great starter instrument because the skills you learn in piano make pretty much every other instrument easier to learn, but violin is also good if that's what she's most interested in.

One advantage to piano is that you don't have to keep buying various sizes like you do with violins, so that's something to think about.

I hope that helps a bit!


Tuesday 18th of October 2016

Thank you for doing this! I would LOVE to see your high school curriculum as well!!! I enjoy these type of curriculum posts, as opposed to posts from people who have received curriculum to review. Because of a past curriculum post you did, my sixth grader is now in her second year using Bob Jones Reading curriculum. This was a very weak area for her, and the books have been helpful! We use a LOT of the same curriculum as you, Saxon, Apologia, Wordly Wise, Grammar & Story of the World.


Tuesday 18th of October 2016

Is Zoë 1 year ahead of her age? I believe she is 2 years younger than Sonia, but by the titles of the books you name, it seems her work is just 1 year below her sister's? I don't know the exact program of scholing in the States, since I'm for Europe. Here you start school age 4 and reading age 6.


Tuesday 18th of October 2016

Yep, she learned to read on her own before she was even kindergarten age, so she's a year ahead in school, based on age. I wasn't sure if she'd be able to keep that up long term, but so far she hasn't had any struggles doing work a year ahead, and I think she'd be pretty bored doing work that's meant for her age.

But of course, I'll keep an eye on her every year and reevaluate as necessary.


Monday 17th of October 2016

Was you mother a language teacher before she started he family? How is it that she knows Latin and Spanish?


Tuesday 18th of October 2016

Well, she actually taught herself (using books and such), then taught a bunch of my cousins, and is now teaching my kids!


Monday 17th of October 2016

My kids went to public school, but I also supplemented their schooling with good books, museums, libraries and exercises of my own or others' making. I feel like what they got was a hybrid education. I'm always interested in what good books can be used now to supplement a public-schooled grandchild. I enjoy these posts!


Monday 17th of October 2016

Involved parents really are the key, whether you homeschool or traditional school or somewhere in between!

And yes to keeping interesting books around for kids. I think that's really important.

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