Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum: What are YOU Using This Fall?

Homeschool Curriculum ~ Make it Work for You!


Over the seven years we have homeschooled, we have used many different curricula. Sometimes it was Ambleside, sometimes Well-Trained mind, sometimes I made it myself. You can see our choices, by grade, in our "Homeschool Schedules." Usually, we started with one idea, and ended up with another one. We've gone to the library, used free materials, and purchased many items. It always changes.

This year, we are going totally boxed. This is the first year we have purchased an entire grade-level homeschool curriculum kit. We're excited, but also a little apprehensive.

http://kimbennett.blogspot.com homeschool curriculum
Un-boxing our Grade 8 homeschool curriculum: Sonlight 100. Exciting! {Photo credit, (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2016}

For me, it was the fact that all my homeschool curriculum was conveniently in one box - the student materials, the teacher materials, the books... And, although I love writing my own lessons, it takes time. Since my small business takes me out of the house a few days a week, I need more time in the day, not less time. So, we paid more and purchased Sonlight Level 100 as our Grade 8 homeschool curriculum for Fall 2016.

What Did We Get in Our Homeschool Curriculum?

First of all, since this was the first year we used Sonlight, we used Sonlight's built-in "SmoothCourse" tools when selecting the proper homeschool curriculum. The tool bases your box on the history course you select  for your child. In our case, it recommended American History. Curriculum selection was quick and easy, and gave us the following selections for our Grade 8 box:

  • History/Geography and Bible Study: American History, Bible 
  • English Language Arts:  American Historical Literature (including grammar, spelling, writing and vocabulary work)
  • Math: Algebra I
  • Science: Physics *
  • Humanities Elective: Dating with Integrity
To these, we will add homeschool gym, swimming lessons and swim team for PE, and, perhaps, some cooking and/or technology classes at the local community college. We may opt to postpone Physics until our son's junior year, when it comes up again. This is for two reasons. 1) I want him to be more confident in math before we hit physics. 2) We have Exploring Creation materials that we haven't used from the elementary years (Zoology 2, 3 and Botany).

Don't feel obligated to a particular homeschool curriculum ~ feel free to modify as you go! {Photo credit (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2016}

Need Help with Homeschool Curriculum?

One thing I love about the homeschool community is how collaborative we are. It's nice to be able to "get by with a little help from my friends." If you're still thinking about creating your own homeschool curriculum for your kiddo, take a peek at the following posts:

  • If you are using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, here is a daily homeschool schedule we developed (instead of the provided twice weekly schedule).
  • I love the book, One Small Square: Backyard. Here are some tips on using living books to teach about biomes.
  • In fourth grade, we built a theme basket based on the classic tale, Swiss Family Robinson.
  • My son loves to write, but hates to be given the assignment. To calm myself, I created a list of 10 things all kids should know how to write. We cycle through the list each year, adding elements as age-appropriate.

For More Homeschool Help...

Katia Hornor offers an online course on organizing your homeschool curriculum at Paradise Praises. For tips on dealing with back to school nerves, see my post, "Back to School Time: Are YOU Ready?" And, as always, keep up with all of our homeschool posts on the "Homeschool" tab at the top of this page.

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What Homeschool Curriculum Will YOU Use This Year?

Leave a note in the comments, below, and share how you chose your homeschool curriculum this year. Have an awesome week, friends!