The Homeschool Curriculum We Use


our homeschool curriculum choices

The 2013-2014 school year marks our 13th as homeschoolers. When I tell people that I’m often asked what curriculum we use. I have no easy answer for that question. In our 13 years we’ve tried A LOT of different curricula. A lot. We’ve used boxed, online, video, expensive, free, virtual, even public school. You name it, we probably tried it at one point.

*There are some affiliate links in this post, if you click through them and make a purchase I get a small commission of some sort, usually not monetary. Please don’t feel obligated to click on anything or make a purchase. If you do, you will have my gratitude forever*

Do you want to know what curriculum works best for us?

The answer is: None, we pull together our own curriculum from bits & pieces of this & that.

I know, I know. That wasn’t much help, was it?

The good news is that we HAVE figured out what resources work the best for each of our children and I have listed them below.

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Before you read this list you need to know a few things about us:

-We are relaxed homeschoolers, meaning, we don’t follow anyone else’s schedule & the only scope & sequence we bother with is college admission requirements for the teenagers.

-Our goal is to produce people who know how to obtain & process information in order to make informed, independent decisions.

-Our children tend to be visual and hands-on learners. I guess we’re lucky because visual & hands-on go together pretty well.

-We have our share of learning difficulties to deal with. We cope with them quite well by teaching to the child’s learning style, waiting until they are physically & emotionally ready, and delaying most formal academics until they are 8ish.

-All grades are ~ish, meaning they work at their level. I’ve provided what grades they would be in if they were in public school. As we homeschool year-round you may see two different programs listed for any given subject. You’ll also notice that almost everything is taught to multiple kids at the same time.

-This is just the basics. This doesn’t include the extra stuff we add in, or the stuff we review for the website, or the games we play, or the stuff they decide they want to learn along the way, or the books we read, or the projects we add in…you get the idea.

And now, the list:
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Miss Almost An Adult (17, 11th grade)

Reading: Independent

Language arts:
-Language Arts 2 via Florida Virtual School (FLVS)
-Elements of Writing (textbook from Holt, Rinehart, Winston)

Math:
-Algebra 1 (APlusTutorSoft use code MGROOMS at check-out for 20% off)
-Algebra 2 (Teaching Textbooks)
-Geometry (Teaching Textbooks)*
*once Algebra 1 is done we’re doubling up on math for college purposes

Social Studies: nothing formal, all college requirements have been met

Science: Chemistry (FLVS)

Electives:
-Drama classes & musical theater (community theater)
-Computer Science (free classes at the Microsoft Store)

Volunteer:
-10 hours a month with a local organization
-assistant teacher at the community theater

Other: Taking a college success class at local community college

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Miss Growing Up To Fast (15, 10th grade)

Reading: Independent

Language arts: We wing this one. Her father (he’s an editor by profession) and I come up with different writing assignments and help her through the editing process.

Math:
-Algebra 1 (APlusTutorSoft, use code MGROOMS for 20% off)
-Algebra 2 (Teaching Textbooks)

Social Studies: World Cultures (she helps me with the lessons for the younger kids & we add in some additional reading and writing assignments for her)

Science:
-Biology 2 (her father, a scientist by degree, writes the curriculum)
The Happy Scientist (she does the activities with the younger kids because they’re fun)
-nature journal

Electives: Drama & musical theater
-Computer Science
-Art through Mark Kistler Online

Volunteer: Assistant teacher at community theater

Other: Taking Design 1 at the local community college

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Miss Dreamer (10, 5th grade)

Reading: Independent

Language arts:
-Writing journal & editing
-Story Starters by Karen Andreola
-Spectrum Spelling 5

Math: APlusTutorSoft, use code MGROOMS for 20% off

Social Studies: Story of the World (we do it as an extended unit study, taking two years instead of 1)

Science:
The Happy Scientist
-Zooniverse.com
-Biology 2 (see 14 year old for details)
-nature journal

Electives:
-Art with Mark Kistler Online
-drama & musical theater

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Mister Man (8, 3rd grade)

Reading: Independent

Language arts:
-Writing journal & editing
-Story Starters by Karen Andreola
-Spectrum Spelling 3

Math: AHa! math by Learning.com

Social Studies: Story of the World

Science:
The Happy Scientist
-nature journal

Electives:
-Art with Mark Kistler Online
-drama & musical theater

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Mister Giggles (6.5, 1st grade)

Reading: ReadingEggs.com (this is the only formal schooling we require of him, he does 3 lessons a week, each takes him about 15 minutes)

Language arts: We’re just starting basic handwriting with him

Math: AHa! math from Learning.com (This program is game-based and he asked to do the games so I set him up with a mixed Kindy & 1st grade lesson plan)

Social Studies: Story of the World (He listens to the stories because he wants to, and he often does the hands-on portions with us)

Science:
The Happy Scientist
-nature journal

Electives: drama

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