As many of you know, our family just finished our first year of homeschooling this month! W completed 2nd grade (and 3rd grade in Math) and he is ready to start again in August. The first year learning curves can really be a doozy especially when it comes to curriculum. It is always helpful for new homeschool parents to receive suggestions and advice from mamas who have been there so, as promised, I am devoting a post to sharing our homeschool curriculum with you all.
If you read about Our Public School to Homeschool Transition then you know that we started out with a boxed curriculum called My Father’s World. It is a great set if you are a beginner or if you just really like boxed sets, but we discovered that we lean more toward an eclectic style. This means that we pick and choose curriculum for each subject that works best for us and we don’t stick to just one style or company. W is a very visual learner and we will have a newborn this fall so we have moved to some less teacher intensive, more computer based programs. W will be doing some of his work via online courses and listening to lessons on audio cds. I really feel like this will boost his interest in certain subjects and that will, in turn, boost his grades.
Our 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum
Fall & Spring
- Bible– Answers for Kids
- This is a full curriculum set from Answers in Genesis. It includes 30 Student Handouts, Teacher’s Guide, and a CD-ROM with Powerpoint Illustrations and printable worksheets.
- History– Veritas Press Old Testament & Ancient Egypt
- This is a self-paced online course that teaches Bible & History together with videos, games, and interactive quizzes. We are so excited to give this program a try!
- English– Bob Jones University English 3
- We used First Language Lessons last year and while it covered content thoroughly, we found it to be too dry for our taste. This year we we have switched to Bob Jones University. BJU offers worksheets, colorful illustrations & examples, games, writing activites, and more.
- Math– Math U See Delta Single and Multiple Digit Division
- MUS is an excellent Math program for visual learners. It provides a video lesson on DVD for each chapter as well as manipulatives so children can put tangible objects to the numbers on their paper. We will be working on Delta this year which covers Single & Multiple Digit Division.
- We also used Times Tales over the summer to strengthen multiplication table memorization. Times Tales was purchased rom Educents.com where we received a pretty nice discount. 🙂
- Science- Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day — Young Explorers Series (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))
- We love Apologia! W completed the Astronomy course in 2nd grade and he was enthralled. He even started researching what it would take to become a NASA engineer or to work at the International Space Station! This year we will be starting the Zoology series with Flying Creatures of the 5th Day where we will learn all about birds! This is exciting for us because we live less than 20 minutes from Reelfoot Lake which offers Eagle watching tours and a small area to view Eagles and hawks up close!
- Foreign Language– Muzzy Spanish Online
- Instead of purchasing the hard copy Muzzy courses, we are paying for a 12 month online membership that includes so much more than the hard copy versions…including all 8 language programs! W will be able to do all of his Spanish lessons and quizzes totally online.
- Reading (M,W,F)- All About Reading Level 3
All About Reading focuses on decoding (phonics & structure), vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. AAR moved Q1 from a Kindergarten reading level to a 2nd grade reading level within one school year!
- Art (F)– Pinterest Projects and Local Art Lessons
- We aren’t purchasing any curriculum for art. Instead, we will be utilizing Pinterest like crazy and attending local art lessons 2 times each month.
We have split a few of our classes into block schedule. Art & Reading are completed in the Fall and replaced with Spelling and Music in the Spring.
- Spelling (M,W,F)– Spelling You See Wild Tales
- SYS helps children learn to spell by developing long term visual memory of letter patterns through “chunking”. We used All About Spelling last year which was very thorough in phonics so I feel like W is ready for this program.
- Music (F)– Piano Lessons
- We will use a Hoffman Academy for guided piano lessons. We have tried driving to lessons and this has always resulted in a burnout so we are giving Youtube a shot.
This may seem like a lot of coursework, but we don’t do every class every day. This is our set up:
- Every Day:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
- Reading (Fall)/Spelling (Spring)
- Foreign Language
- Art (Fall)/ Music (Spring)
If you are looking at the prices for these programs and thinking, “There is no way I can afford that!”, just know that I said the same thing. There are so many ways to save money on homeschool curriculum like used curriculum fairs, Facebook resale pages, waiting for sales (Veritas Press offers huge discounts), and more. I usually knock $400/year off of the total by utilizing these savings. I have a post coming up pretty soon that will go more in detail on this topic so keep checking back for that.