This post is part of my Back To HomeSchool Series, see the Series Intro and index to all posts in the series here.
I have used a variety of curriculum over the years. We have used Classical Conversations as our spine for the past six years and intend to keep using it for the next eighteen. Even with CC being our main curriculum, I have tried a multitude of various programs to supplement it. Some have been a great success and others not at all. I share all of this because I want you to know there is no one right curriculum.
That elusive program that will solve all of your problems and fits your personality and all of your kids’ learning styles perfectly while not requiring hours of prep work but being fun and interesting and just all around perfect…..it doesn’t exist. The sooner you make like Elsa and Let It Go the better for your mental health!!
I will share with you what we are planning to use this year but first, you need to know that I am notorious for a few things:
- Starting a ton of stuff then letting most of it fall away throughout the year and ending the year with us only doing math and CC (and sometimes hanging onto that by a thread).
- Changing my mind half way through the year but getting so frozen up in the curriculum selection process that I never pick a replacement for whatever it is I decided I don’t like.
- Getting excited about some new idea and jumping tracks (I’m getting better about not doing this one).
I’m sharing my faults so you will know that even with a few years of homeschooling under my belt I’m not perfect. My kids seem to be developing just fine, they are well spoken, can carry on a conversation with most anyone, and are generally well educated for their age (I don’t take credit for most of that, I’m pretty sure a good bit of it happened in spite of me).
So pick something, make a plan, jump in and see where it goes but don’t shackle yourself to a curriculum. You will buy some you think will be awesome and hate them. The curriculum your best friend loves will blow up in your face (possibly literally). The one you never thought you would like might end up being perfect for that one child.
You just never know. Stay flexible, bend with the wind. And when life gets truly insane and everything seems to be falling apart (or you move across the ocean nine months pregnant) throw it all out and watch documentaries and listen to audio books for six months (throw in some Brain Quest workbooks if it makes you feel better). IT IS OK!!! (Dude, do not literally throw it out, homeschool curriculum has amazing resale value!)
Alright here is what we use:
WAIT! First read A Thomas Jefferson Education. My homeschool style is influenced by many philosophies but this one is probably the best general overview of how I view education. Someday I’ll write a post just on resources for parents.
(*I will put the age of the child(ren) using each program in parentheses)
- Classical Conversations: I currently have two children in Foundations and one in Challenge A.
- IEW: Teaching Writing Structure and Style with Bible Heroes Writing Lessons (8)
- IEW: Fix-It Grammar (8)
- IEW: Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (6, 8)
- Math-U-See (6, 8)
- Teaching Textbooks (12)
- Apologia: Readers In Residence (or purchase here) (8)
- Rosetta Stone German (8, 12)
- Explode the code (6, 8)
- Prescripts Handwriting (cursive) from Classical Conversations (6, 8)
- ARTK12 Draw….series for Geography (6, 8)
- Our Mother Tongue and Grammar and Diagramming Sentences (I will use these one at a time in the spring and summer with my 8-year-old)
- Latin’s Not So Tough (6, 8)
You will notice I don’t list much for my 12-year-old, the Challenge A curriculum from CC covers most of her subjects.
We also keep a variety of history and science curriculum books on hand but more as a free choice study. We enjoy the Apologia Exploring Creation Series and Story Of The World. We are enjoying the Rush Revere series for early American history. Life Of Fred provides another perspective on math in a fun, relaxed way. I’m also working on a list of documentaries and educational audios to incorporate into our days. I will share more of our supplemental resources and video and audio choices in a future post.
We are involved several outside activities as well that provide a multitude of learning experiences. I will share about those later in the week!
I am working on a directory of my reviews along with an ultimate homeschool booklist and supplementary multi-media resource lists to help you in choosing curriculum and setting up your homeschool plan. I hope to have those completed by early spring!
I would love to know what you use in your homeschool or if you have any tips on choosing curriculum, please share in the comments!!
Want more curriculum ideas? Check out these other great posts in the Back To HomeSchool Blog hop!!