We are getting ready to start school again tomorrow!
It’s hard to believe that we are about to start our third year of homeschooling – time has just flown by!
I have a feeling though that this is going to be our best year yet.
I am so excited to start cracking open all the shiny new books and digging in!
My 3rd grader, kindergartner, and preschooler don’t really understand my enthusiasm about the curriculum yet, but when you read everything – you’ll totally get it!
I am about to burst from waiting to start this new language arts program!
We really did not like our LA program last year, but we managed to slug through.
My 3rd grader also really doesn’t care for writing, so I was busy a good part of the summer searching for a new language arts curriculum.
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I was all set to buy something else, when I stumbled onto this and I couldn’t be happier!
Language Lessons for a Living Education is a Charlotte Mason (yay!) based program from Master Books. It is also a Christian curriculum and requires you to buy 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible to compliment the assignments.
It braids together reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and grammar into ONE workbook.
I have not found that combination ANYWHERE and I know it will be a huge savings in time and money to us this year.
I especially love that the curriculum is story based and follows the lives of little Claire and Micah to give real world application for reading and writing skills.
My little reluctant writer needs that!
She is apprehensive, but I think she’s going to fall in love with language arts this year!
Math has been our achilles heel since I started homeschooling in 1st grade.
My daughter’s passions are animals, science, history, and reading…she has told me that she will be a “horse stable person” when she grows up and doesn’t need to learn math. Sigh.
Anyhow, I have switched math curriculums…hold on, I’m thinking…4 times! But I think we have finally found a good fit for us this time around!
We started using Teaching Textbooks at the end of 2nd grade because there was an awesome free trial and I wanted to give the curriculum a spin.
Well, we ended up sticking with it for the rest of the year!
We love that it has very gentle introductory lessons (builds confidence!), its computer based (yes for independent work!), easy to follow lessons, perfect number of problems to work through, and assigned quizzes to check for understanding and retention.
That is a huge win for us!
We will also be using Reflex Math as a supplement to work on basic math facts. It’s a bit pricey compared to other programs, but you get what you pay for.
It is the highest quality, most engaging math fact fluency program we have tried. By a mile.
For all other enrichment subjects, we are using Exploring Countries and Cultures from My Father’s World.
If you are not familiar, My Father’s World is a Christian Charlotte Mason based box curriculum.
We have used it for 1st and 2nd grade with wonderful results. I am a giant fan and you can read more about why here – Why I Love My Father’s World Curriculum
Exploring Countries and Cultures focuses on world geography for the whole year.
All the subjects included will somehow complement that theme, which is so nice for transitions and truly understanding concepts.
I am so excited to dive into this curriculum and start studying other countries with my kid! I hope she comes out of the year with a much richer understanding of the world around her.
Bible lessons are included with the MFW curriculum pack.
They will focus on missionaries around the world, praying for the persecuted church, learning about major world religions, what Christianity looks like in other countries, and how to specifically pray for those countries.
The MFW pack comes with a music and art program that also complements the global theme.
We will be using the Wee Sing Around the World CD to listen to music from countries all over the world.
It will be so cool to listen to music from countries like Scotland, Switzerland, Kenya, and New Zealand as we are studying about them.
The book Global Art will also be used to study and make art from around the world.
I flipped through and can’t wait for my daughter to discover origami!
MFW pack also includes a science program. The focus this year will be ecosystems and learning about the world around us while keeping a nature notebook.
We have not always loved MFW science, but after flipping through the curriculum, I am excited to get going with these new books!
The quality of co-op classes definitely varies. I mention these classes though because we are blessed enough to attend a very high quality program with paid teachers.
My 3rd grader is enrolled in STEM, Art History, and a Creative Writing class (Ready, Set, Write curriculum is being used).
I strongly recommend looking into a co-op in your area to give your homeschooler a richer education.
It is always a highlight of our week!
MFW has worked so well for us that we have decided to make it our sole curriculum choice for our upcoming kindergartener.
God’s Creation from A to Z is a complete phonics based kindergarten program that includes math, reading, writing, art, science, music, and character development units.
The only thing not pictured above (due to copyright laws) is the student sheets. They include worksheets, handwriting pages, games, and calendars among other learning aids.
We are actually over a month deep into the curriculum because my middle daughter wanted to start in the spring!
We took some time off for the summer because…mommy needs a break too (ha!)…but we are excited to get back at it tomorrow!
It is truly an open and go curriculum with step by step instructions.
Lessons are short and it is also full of hands on activities.
As an example of that, this week’s focus is the letter L.
We will be taking a book about trees outside to sit under a tree and read. We will collect leaves on a nature walk, make a leaf rub book, paint leaves, count the leaves, and group the leaves.
Not a whole lot of seated worksheet time for this kindergarten curriculum!
These programs are a phenomenal supplement and they have a great free trial for you check them out.
I also plan to purchase the Level 1 Bob Books when the time comes. I have used other levels with my older daughter and I think the books are fantastic.
They are a perfect complement to any reading program.
I don’t believe in using a formal curriculum for preschoolers.
If that shocks you, please read my post – Why I Quit Homeschool Preschool.
My sweet 3 year old is going to be running around playing, pretending, and flipping through library books during school time.
She will likely want to be involved in all the activities and art projects my kindergartner is doing, and of course sit in on story time.
She does enjoy doing Reading Eggs Junior on occasion and I have given her a dry erase activity book for practicing letters and numbers.
Nothing is mandatory though.
She will pick up a formal curriculum when she turns 5, just like her older sister.
I hope this has all given you some great ideas and resources for planning your year!
I’ll be sure to post at the end of the year and update you on how it all turned out.
Feel free to leave any questions or thoughts in the comments!
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