Trying to figure out what curriculum to use for your homeschooler(s) can be such a huge challenge. It can feel very overwhelming knowing that you are in charge of choosing your child’s books, online courses, etc. One thing that has helped me a ton is talking to other moms who have been homeschooling for a while and have some experience with choosing curriculum.
Another resource I turn to a lot when first trying to figure this curriculum thing out is this website: http://cathyduffyreviews.com
Cathy Duffy also has a book that I checked out from the library and found very helpful:
Last year, we used Math U See and our daughter got bored with it after doing multiplication every.single.day. This school year, math started off a bit rocky as I researched math curriculums for visual learners (for a long time, I might add) and chose Math Mammoth, thinking it would be a great fit for my daughter. After 20 pages of this math, it was a no-go for her. So, I ordered Saxon 5/4 math for her and printed off the first few lessons for her to do each day. She loves it so far because it is pretty straight forward math and that is what she needs.
For my son, who is in first grade, we tried Horizons Math at the beginning of the year. He did not like it at all so we switched to Saxon 1 Math. He is really good at math and gets bored with the repetition so I often skip a lesson or two to give him something different to learn for the day.
As far as English goes for our daughter, she is doing A Beka’s, “God’s Gift of Language A” Writing & Grammar Work-text. It’s a good fit for her and again, it is straight forward English lessons. No fluff, which I like. For our son, we are still using the “Explode the Code” 1 1/2 phonics book. He is almost through this one so we will go on to 2. For Spelling, we just stared using Spelling Power and our daughter loves it so far. Our son will do the same curriculum next year since the one book goes all the way through 12th grade.
Both our kids are avid readers and love to read all the time. They are always reading something so I’m not too strict as far as what they read as long as they read every day.
As far as Science goes, they are doing Mystery Science on-line. It is free and they really enjoy it. Here is the website: https://mysteryscience.com. For History, we do a couple of lessons a week from A Beka’s “Our American Heritage” which my kids really enjoy.
For Handwriting, our son does, “Handwriting Without Tears,” and our daughter does “Beginning Cursive Handwriting,” by Carson Dellosa. She learned cursive at the Catholic school she attended before being homeschooled so we just keep up with what she already learned this way.
I got, “Teach Them Spanish,” grade 1 by Winnie Waltzer-Hackett for both kids. Our daughter had Spanish at school but wanted to keep learning more. Our son was doing the lessons at the beginning of the year but was really disinterested in them. I told him we can pick it up in the next couple years.
We have been through a couple different Religion books and I finally found one that I really like to teach and our kids really like to learn from. It’s called “Totally Catholic, A Catechism for Kids and Their Parents and Teachers,” by Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND.
We found a couple really fun apps to learn Geography. They are:
Our daughter takes some different classes at a homeschool co-op and art studio this year. She is extremely creative and loves music, theater, and art. I, on the other hand, do not excel in these areas at all. So, I leave those up to the experts and focus on the core subjects. I’m that mom who hates arts and crafts and cringes when the kids pull out the play-doh! I’m just being real — I wish I loved all of those things but I just don’t! LOL!!!
We also do a couple of extracurricular activities each week — gymnastics, soccer, and sometimes a field trip. I love taking field trips now. I used to feel like we had to hurry and get all of our work done before the field trip until our daughter said, “Mom, we learn on field trips, too.” Oh, yeah, that’s right!
Have fun with homeschooling! At first, I was so overwhelmed and felt so much pressure but this year is definitely better and more fun than last. I feel more confident and am much more laid back this year, knowing that our kids are learning in the way that fits their learning styles.
It’s all about the journey…