“For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7
I often tell other moms that any mom can homeschool, as long as she’s dedicated to doing it well. There are sacrifices made in order to homeschool (ahem, I wonder if my house might be cleaner if I had a few quiet hours each day while the kids were away?)…but there are also great joys and blessings. We are blessed to have lots of opportunities to be together, to experience learning together, to see the “light bulb” moments (like when they first learn to read), and to have the flexibility to travel together or take field trips whenever it works for us.
Lest you think I’m a super-mom, I must put a disclaimer here: My kids bicker and fight. More than I can stand sometimes. And I daydream about being on a deserted island, by myself, with unlimited smoothies, sunshine, and a good book to read. Or just sending them to a boarding school in another country. Homeschooling is amazing…and SO HARD sometimes. Please know that I’m certainly NOT one of those mamas that has it all together. I probably never will be!
So, with that little introduction, I’d like to share with you our curriculum choices for the 2016-17 school year…
History: We are huge fans of The Mystery of History, and are now cycling through it for the second time. So, we’re back at Volume 1. (In the past, we’ve done Volumes 1-4 as well as America From the Beginning by Answers in Genesis for American History.) We love that the Mystery of History has a very Christ-centered focus, and is chronological world history, starting with creation and ending in our current decade.
Language: I have come to love the Institute for Excellence in Writing curriculum for language development, which works hand-in-hand with All About Spelling. We are using IEW’s Primary Arts of Language for our younger kids, as well as Fix-It Grammar for our 4th grader. Our older kids are getting IEW instruction at a homeschool program they attend once a week this year.
Our older two also use Wordly Wise for vocabulary lessons.
Science: Our older kids are receiving Science instruction (using Answers in Genesis curriculum) at their once-per-week homeschool program, and I have taken a break from science with our younger kids.
In the past, we have absolutely loved Apologia science curriculum, especially Anatomy & Physiology and Astronomy. I am NOT a science geek. I rarely enjoy it. But this curriculum is just the perfect amount of detail, with an awesome God-centered worldview. I love it. The kids love it.
Math: Saxon Math and Teaching Textbooks
We love Saxon Math for grades K-2 (during which we use Saxon 1-3). The manipulatives are great, and the repetition is just right for retention. For grades 3 and up, we have switched to Teaching Textbooks. It’s completely on the computer, with a lesson each day as well as practice problems and quizzes. The program keeps a gradebook, which I periodically check to be sure the kids are doing well. This program has given me more freedom and time to help the littles with their work.
We also do read-alouds, independent reading, journaling, and hope to continue piano/guitar lessons in the near future.