It’s that (not) back to school time of year again, and I am loving it! I am a bit late this year in ordering our homeschooling curriculum for next year because we’re year-round homeschoolers, so thankfully most of it will be here within a few weeks. This year it looks like we’ll be ending first grade the last week in August (or a little before if we push) and starting second grade the first week of September.
This post will outline the homeschooling curriculum choices that we’ve made for Mr. C. If you’ve been here long you know that he is only 5 years old, and technically “should” be going into kindergarten this Fall. That time table never worked for him, so he is currently going into 2nd grade curriculum. That said, we aren’t necessarily calling this his “second grade year” because we aren’t positive if we’ll want to graduate him so early. We just use curriculum that is on-par with his ability and interest which means this year we’re choosing second grade level curriculum.
Our Homeschooling Curriculum Choices
Phonics and Language
This year we are continuing to use Abeka for phonics and language. He does really well with these work books, and he loves that they regularly mention the Bible and God. I like that they focus more on phonics than sight words, and I’ve been really impressed with how quickly Mr. C is picking up reading. He reads *everything* to us now from grocery store signs to the junk mail we leave laying around the house. We are adding the test booklet this year so that he gets practice with tests and he loves to show accomplishments like that to the grandparents (and anyone who will listen).
Reading and Writing Practice
I’m keeping this separate from above because while I love how Abeka teaches the concepts of reading and writing, I want to add some practice to this as well. Mr. C will be reading one book to someone other than me every night. Typically this means Daddy, but he also may read a story to one of his brothers. When he visits his biological dad two days a week he can either read to his Daddy B, Oma, or Auntie. We also will be making him a journal where he will do some creative writing at least once a week. Now that he has a better grasp of the logistics of writing I’m excited to see the stories that he creates on his own! Plus of course we’ll continue to read our chapter books off and on together.
For math we’re also continuing to use Abeka. Again, Mr. C has been thriving with it, and we don’t want to fix what isn’t broken. He really enjoys the colored pictures in the workbook and that his lessons are different every day. I love that they use a spiral approach and he gets lots of practice on each new skill. Just like with phonics, we’re adding on the daily speed drills and tests this year which I think he’ll really enjoy. Of course we’ll continue using games and real life for math as well, like adding Uno cards or practicing fractions while cutting pizza.
We’re sticking with A Reason for Handwriting this year. Out of all of our homeschooling curriculum I think this is Mr. C’s favorite. He gets to practice reading and writing Bible verses and color pretty pictures with them. He just gets really excited whenever his curriculum has to do with the Bible, God, or Jesus which we love of course! We are doing level B this year which still focuses on printing. We’ll probably start cursive next year.
For Bible we’ve decided to use Awana! I am really excited to try this out since I only recently found out that they have a homeschooling program available. We don’t have any Awana groups in our area that I know of, and we really don’t have the time to add another activity to our schedule, so this works perfectly. I love the focus on memorizing scripture, and the program includes everything I need to be able to teach him which is really important to Bible newbies like me!
We are continuing with the same Apologia Botany science curriculum that we got last year. While Mr. C really liked science, I was woefully unprepared to teach it. I never had the supplies for the experiments and the notebook that we got was for older elementary, not younger. It was really not working for a kid that was just learning to read and write. Thankfully, Mr. C still loves plants! We’re ordering him the younger version of the notebook and getting the supplies for experiments ahead of time. Also, we’re letting Daddy take over with most experiments because science is not my strong point!
This is pretty much the same story as science. We bought Story of the World history and maybe got a few chapters in.. I quickly realized that we need to add in a lot more activities to go with the book, so I’m preparing a lot more this year! We’ll have all of the activities planned out ahead of time so that there’s no scrambling for mom, and there’s much less boredom for Mr. C!
Choosing curriculum can be one of the most fun, or one of the most stressful parts of planning your homeschooling year. The biggest tips I have are to trust your instincts, know that you can edit curriculum to fit your child’s needs, and once you pick stop looking! There will always be another curriculum out there that someone things is the best in the world. Pick what works for your family, and feel great about it! What are you using this year?