My homeschool style is pretty eclectic; I pick different curriculums for each subject and just stick with the ones that seem to work for my kids. I like to open my curriculum for core subjects each day and have it all laid out for me – then I add in extra studies that are based on the special interests of my kids. For me, this method gives me peace of mind that my children’s core subjects are covered and gives us extra time to focus on the fun things that my children love to learn!
I have three kids in school this year, a preschooler (he’s 4), first grader, and third grader. When it comes to language arts they are all at different levels so here’s what I do for each child:
Preschool: I long ago decided that any school before kindergarten is optional so every morning I ask my youngest if he wants to do a letter page, math puzzle, or counting together. I bought my youngest a set of Preschool worksheets from “Sing, Spell, Read and Write” that you can purchase here. I got this kit for my firstborn and have only had to supplement it with new worksheets for the younger two kids. We do language arts together 2-3 days a week and he does some letter recognition the other two days at his preschool co-op classes.
First Grade: My middle child is right in the middle of her Sing, Spell, Read and Write curriculum and enjoys the writing, songs, games, and story books. She has been using Sing, Spell, Read and write in some form since she was about 2 years old (when her older brother started preschool and she wanted to as well). You can purchase the elementary set here – https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/SSRWCK. Like the preschool set, I got the whole box originally for my oldest child and then just had to purchase workbooks for the younger kids. It is very expensive to purchase but will last me through K-2nd grade for all three of my kids!
Third Grade: When my 3rd grader finished his Sing, Spell, Read and Write curriculum he asked me to try something different. I wasn’t sure what I wanted him to use and it was the middle of the school year, so I just started using Easy Peasy (after all, it’s free). I ended up liking it so much that I bought the workbook from Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/EP-Language-Arts-3-Printables/dp/1545261172/?tag=hebrews110-20. My oldest has never loved language arts but has always loved computer games. By following the language arts program at https://allinonehomeschool.com/, my son gets the added incentive to do his bookwork with a good attitude so he can do the free spelling, keyboarding, and vocabulary games once his work is done. I like the pace of this curriculum and what they cover so far, so we are planning to stick with it until we feel we need something different.
All of my children are at different levels in math, but I use Math-U-See for my 1st grader and 3rd grader. You can purchase Math-U-See at https://www.mathusee.com/. So far I have found the DVD tutorials and building blocks second hand for pretty cheap and only had to purchase new workbooks books for my kids. My youngest is in preschool and still working on number recognition and simple adding so I focus on counting and number puzzles for him. I have a box of math adding puzzles, counting blocks, magnetic numbers, and card games that I have used for each of my kids when they are preschool aged for math. We just pull out our “math box” each day and he decides what he wants to do that day from the box with me.
We actually do science as a family so that I don’t need to teach it to each of my children separately. This year we are using Apologia’s Astronomy curriculum and we love it! I bought the MP3 to listen to in the car since we do a good amount of driving, the textbook (for pictures and fun experiments), and two workbooks – one for each of my kids in elementary school. My preschooler has even joined us for most of it so I am making him planets to cut out each session and glue in his “Space book”. I highly recommend looking at their science curriculum at https://www.apologia.com/ if you need a good science program that has lots of fun hands-on experiments and crafts to help your kids learn. I do this science curriculum twice a week (the way it’s set up to be done) and my kids also have science classes with our home school co-ops as well.
Technically, we use Story of the World for our history curriculum. Now that we are getting to the late 1800’s I frequently pause in our curriculum to do a stronger focus on American history. So we read a lot of biographies of famous people, watch youtube clips on them, do various crafts, and track them in our timeline book. We do history as a family twice a week as well. You can find Story of the World here – https://welltrainedmind.com/landing/story-of-the-world/. I purchase the audio CD to listen to it in the car and have used their workbook in the past but do most of my own stuff now that we are more focused on American history.
I do some extra lessons on Bible, Spanish, Classical Musicians, Poets, and Artists as well with my kids each week. For Bible we use the “Action Bible” and “Cat and Dog Theology” and also use the Simply Charlotte Mason Bible Memory system you can find here https://simplycharlottemason.com/blog/beautiful-scripture-memory-box/. For Spanish we are studying Spanish phrases in our “Use Spanish At Home” book and reading Spanish/English books as well as using individual workbooks from Sams Club. We also take a day each week to study an artist, musician, or poet and do some research together on what that person was like and what they composed/wrote/created.
Homeschool Co-op Classes:
I was homeschooled as a child and one of my favorite parts of being homeschooled was doing fun classes with other homeschoolers. For that reason, my kids have been in a home school co-op since my oldest was in preschool. Co-ops are a great place for us to network with others and a great opportunity for my kids to study what they are interested in from someone that loves that subject.
Here are the classes they are taking:
Preschool: Little Guy doesn’t have much choice since he’s just in preschool, but twice a week he has a morning of preschool classes that include basic math, literature, crafts, and even cooking.
First Grade: Princess is taking PE, Nature Study, Astronomy, TN History, Food and Nutrition, Art, and Music.
Third Grade: Buddy is taking PE, Nature Study, Astronomy, TN History, STEM, Hands on Science, Games and Strategies, and Life of Fred Math.
They are super excited about their co-op classes this year!
Our curriculum is a little strange and pulls ideas from Charlotte Mason, the Classical Method, and more traditional curriculum resources, but it works for us. There are so many resources out there that if I went searching for something else when our resources already work so well for us I’d just get lost in a sea of the unknown. So we are happy with our curriculum and hope to not change it – for at least this school year. 😉