We have definitely had one interesting sort of year. Nothing bad has really happened, but some things never go as you plan them. This past year was just like that. However, I do feel like we have accomplished what God wanted us to. To me, I feel like we have even come closer together as a family. Sometimes, book work definitely needs to be set aside while we work our our relationship with one another and also with God. I feel like this year was that big year for us. We have had a lot of great talks around our table during school time. Talks that I don’t think would of happened if my kids were in school all day away from me.
So, let’s get started with what did work for us.
Mystery of History, written by Linda Lacour Hobar and published by Bright Ideas Press, has been a wonderful addition to our homeschool this year. My kids (all three that I am homeschooling) have come to love history again through this wonderful curriculum. We have enjoyed it so much that we are going to begin Illuminations that is also from Bright Ideas Press. I am excited about this currciulum as I can adjust it for my 2nd grader so she can do it along with my 3rd grader and 9th grader.
Apologia Science has also been a big hit in our home. I have used the elementary series with my oldest daughter when she was younger and she loved it. This year, my younger children and I read through Exploring Creation through Botany. We have had a wonderful time learning all about plants from our they grow from a seed, to how they get water and food to why some tree leaves change colors and fall off trees. My oldest daughter has also enjoyed Apologia Physical Science and will be moving on to their Biology course as soon as I can get it ordered!
My younger kids have also used Hooked on Phonics and Bob Jones English this year. It has worked well and the kids are beginning to read. This was our first year using Hooked on Phonics and I like the fun little songs and lessons that the kids watched. They also have workbooks that you can get to follow along with the lessons. I used Bob Jones English with my oldest daughter when she was in elementary grades and it worked well with her, so I thought I would try it with the kids. They have done well with it. I think I will keep using the workbooks for extra practice, but we will be using other curriculum for English, Grammar, Spelling and Writing next year. (Will explain in another post what that is. ) I will still recommend it for homeschooling families that are just beginning their journey.
My oldest daughter has loved using Teaching Textbook for math. It has made a big difference in our family. We no longer have anymore crying breakdowns. She will be finishing up Pre-Algebra and heading right into Algebra this year. For myself, I started the younger kids out with Bob Jones math. I was comfortable with it from using it before and it has worked with our family. My youngest son does get frustrated at times with math, but I think it is because there is so much repetition with it. He catches on to a concept very quickly and is ready to move on. While I think I will look for something else for him, I plan on keeping it for our youngest daughter.
Finally this year, thanks to a great friend, I found an art curriculum that we all love! It is See The Light with Pat Knepley. This art curriculum uses every day art supplies and really captures a child’s attention. However, what I love about it most is how they incorporate scripture at the end of each lesson. I am looking forward to getting the rest of the lessons. They also have wonderful story dvd’s that are told through their art and give the students lessons after the story has been told.
We really had a lot work for us this year compared to what didn’t work for us. What didn’t work for us was mostly with my oldest daughter and her curriculum. At the beginning of the year, we started out with Tapestry of Grace. I have said before that I love Tapestry of Grace and was excited about using it again. We had used it two years ago and it worked well for us then. This year, we just couldn’t get it to work, no matter how hard we tried. By mid-year, my oldest daughter was listening in on the younger kid’s history and doing lessons suggested for her age. It worked so well, that she will begin the Illuminations with the younger kids. Not only am I excited about this change, so is she. They will all 3 be using the same History and reading a lot of the same books, just at their own levels.
We will begin Illuminations soon and continue schooling through the summer. It won’t be a very heavy workload, but I am excited to begin this new season with my three children that I still have at home with me. I am looking forward to sharing with you all soon what new curriculum we will be adding.
Until then, I would love to know what curriculum has worked for you and what hasn’t worked!