Back to School – Homeschool Curriculums

This is the post where I talk about what homeschool curriculum I use and which curriculum I would recommend.  I know this will bore a whole bunch of you and I’m sorry, but when a mother decides to homeschool her child/children, there are so many decisions to be made and books to navigate that picking up a Math book can possibly send her into a mad frenzy.  We need second (and third, fourth, and fifth) opinions.

First I’d like to say that I am not a homeschool expert.  I am a novice.  This is homeschooling year two for us.  So take my opinions for what they are worth – another mom’s thoughts.

(ok, I just wrote around 500 and words and erased them, because I didn’t make it past Math.)

I’m just going to tell you which curriculum I love.  That will save time.

I love Teaching Textbooks for Math.  It’s terribly expensive, but it completely frees the parent from doing the teaching.  It keeps all records and grades all quizzes and tests.  I thought it was wonderful.  This curriculum is made for homeschoolers.  It’s fantastic.

I’m not using it this year for reasons that have nothing to do with the program.

History – Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer (Peace Hill Press) – This is a history program that teaches using the Classical Method of teaching, meaning you begin with the very beginning of history (the ancient world) and move to modern times in four years.  After you complete four years, you start at the beginning and do it again, only more in-depth.

I love starting at the very beginning.  It’s very good place to start. (who said that?)  Story of the World walks you through time with simple stories.  It’s really not meant to stand alone.  The goal is to go to the library and read whole books on each era in time.  We read stories from Ancient Egypt, studied Greek Mythology, learned about the Roman Empire, read books on Ancient China, etc.  I think we spent the most time on Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.  That’s where my kids showed the most interest and there’s so much to learn.

I’ll be using Story of the World again this year.

Drive thru History DVDs – They are worth every single penny you spend on these DVDs.  They are full of information that’s given in such an entertaining way that even my third grade daughter loved watching them.  I learned so much from these videos that I want to travel the world now.  My kids would always ask to watch these and then we’d show them to my husband at night.

Last year we watched Rome if You Want It, Turkish Delight, Greece and The World, East Meets West.  This year I bought Soldiers, Jamestown, and Heroes of Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Washington’s Warriors, Patriots, Penn, and The Freedom Trail, Columbus, The Pilgrims, and Early Boston…that’s 4 DVDs worth.

Apologia Science – I don’t think I would use any other science curriculum.  My kids learned SO much and they read these books even when we aren’t in school.  I love them.  They are set up to do science two days a week, but you can break it down for younger children so that they do a little bit each day.

Reading – An Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.  I bought this to review with my daughter.  It’s very thorough and the lessons are short and easy.  I think the best way to become a good reader is to read.  You can gift your child with a love of reading by reading to them when they are babies and continuing until they are reading everything they can get their hands on.  It’s not a cheap hobby, I must warn you, but once a child can read, he can learn anything.

That’s it.  I’m changing my English and Spelling program this year.  We began Spanish last year and will continue; however, my son will also be taking Greek.  His choice.  He’s wanted to learn Greek for a long time.

That’s it.  If you’d like more specifics, please email me.  Hope you all enjoy your school year whether you’re homeschooling or going to school.  In New York we begin right after Labor Day.  I know, we’re late, but we go to school through to the end of June.

Learn lots and have fun!

I’d love to hear which programs you use.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me all about them.

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6 thoughts on “Back to School – Homeschool Curriculums

  1. Linda

    I appreciated your post. Thanks for sharing! We are using Time4Learning as our core curriculum. Vocabulary and Spelling City is the suppliment we use for spelling since my daughter is terrible at spelling and needs all the practice I can manage to work in:)
    In addition, we will begin Story of the World by the end of the month, we are using both a book and Mango from the library for Spanish. I have grand plans for other things to enrich my daughter’s education, but I am trying not to start off too ambitiously because, after 4 years, I know that I will suffer burn out too soon in the year if I over plan. I’m pacing myself, yeah, that is what I’m going to call it!

    Reply
  2. ladyofthemanse

    I’m with you on Apologia Science! What other textbook would a kid pick up to read by choice?! My son read four of the Elementary Science books this summer.

    I use Math U See for Math, and Sonlight for History and Reading. There is such awesome stuff out there for us to use.

    Reply
  3. Leah

    Thanks for all these great suggestions. I’m going to file these ideas away for the future! While I do not home-school my daughter, I’m always looking for educational learning and craft activities for her.

    Reply
  4. Amber

    Sounds great! We use teaching textbook too. I cannot fathom having to teach Sassy math! 😉 I’m doing an online curriculum this year which frees me up from planning. I’m so ready for the break! We shall see how it goes.

    Reply
  5. marytoo

    It sounds like you have a good grip on everything. 😉 When we started homeschooling back in the early 80’s, there was nothing out there. We were just frantic trying to patch anything together. By the time we finished in the early 00’s, there was soooooo much out there we were frantic trying to narrow it down and make a good choice. I’m not sure which is worse.

    And may I say, as much as I love my children, as happy as I am to have homeschooled them, I am happy to be done. 😉

    Reply
  6. Deb

    I just want to tell you again how brave I think you are to home school. I just know I would have murdered my children if I had attempted it. I so agree that reading is the most important gift you can give your child. My husband and I have have been saying the same thing for years: you can’t learn to do anything else if you can’t read! 😉

    Reply

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