An Example of an Eclectic, Academic Homeschool Curriculum

Some of you have asked what a typical homeschool curriculum looks like and how much is spent. We try to do as much learning out in the world as possible as well as through living books. Here is what we did for my 9, 8 and 5-year-olds last year. I think about $508 was spent total for all 3 of them averaging about $170/kid for the year.

Math
*Horizons Math workbooks 1 and 2 for $22.45 each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/000718
Horizons Math Teacher Manual for $45
http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/000717
*We supplement with Singapore Math workbooks
Singapore Math a and b workbooks $13.20/each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/023997
Singapore Math Home Instructor Guides for a and b $17.49 each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/024006
*We supplement with IXL–2 memberships at $79/each
*We supplement with XtraMath and cycle through it about every 3 months to stay sharp with math facts
https://xtramath.org/#/home/index

Grammar
First Language Lessons 4 workbooks at $12.95 each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php…
First Language Lessons 4 Teacher Manual at $19.50
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php…

Spelling
Spelling.com is an interactive free spelling website
http://gradespelling.com/

Writing composition
I have not found a curriculum I have loved so have done my own thing. The link below will take you to another blog post about writing ideas without using a curriculum. Instead, you can tailor it to passions and experiences. If they write for their peers on a site like MeWe or a blog, they may find it more enjoyable than just writing for their teacher or parent.

Writing Ideas

Penmanship
D’Nealian Handwriting at $10.95 each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=037802&subject=Handwriting/9&category=MODERN+%2F+D%92NEALIAN+STYLE+-+MANUSCRIPT+AND+CURSIVE/2015

Science
Apologia Anatomy and Physiology text @$25.25
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php…
Apologia Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal at $17.50 each
Also, we get many science books from the library to cover a wide variety of topics and greater understanding of the world.

Literature and History
We do all literature and history for free with living books from the library. Reading is a huge cornerstone of our curriculum and we are a family of ravenous readers. Reading aloud during snack and meal times is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling.

Learning to Read (for my 5 year old)
Explode the Code 2 and 3 at $6.95 each
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php…

Would anyone else like to share their curriculum? What do you absolutely love? Let others benefit from your experience.

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13 thoughts on “An Example of an Eclectic, Academic Homeschool Curriculum

  1. Very impressive! I love your blog. Keep it up. You inspire us all. As I continuously learn more and the kids keep growing I change things up a little as we go, so here’s a taste of what we are using this year:

    Math: We just switched over to Math-U-See and love the videos and the approach above the other math curriculums. We will likely stick with it through high school since it’s the only one that masters a topic in proper order before moving onto the next. I love that it has review as an option in each lesson as well.

    Composition: We are going to start using notebookpages.com this year to help making learning stick through writing narrations and drawing. By the way, the sale ends tonight. I’ve told you about our challenges with my visual learner, so I expect this will help and it will help me encourage written narration as well. I also just purchased Lybrand’s The Writing Course which is a natural progression after Charlotte Mason narrations. I love his philosophy so we’ll see if that can work for us. My other interest was Brave Writer, but that involved a lot more money which sounded unnecessary.

    Grammar: According to The Writing Course, a grammar curriculum is unnecessary, but we use First Language Lessons and will likely finish up with that, just because it seems to work.

    History/Literature: We will continue with Beautiful Feet, but will incorporate the Notebook Pages to help with listening and remembering the information.

    Science: God’s Design for Science – Our Universe

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    1. Be careful about using Math U See as your math curriculum.
      It is remedial and does not cover the breadth and depth needed to succeed in the SAT or ACT.
      I have taught Algebra 1 & 2 & Chemistry for several years in a homeschool coop and have also tutored high school math. Students using Math U See in high school are ill equipped for the sciences and upper level math. I cringe when I hear that a student used that curriculum into high school.
      After poor performance in the math portion of the PSAT, having used that curriculum, my friend had her son repeat Algebra 1 & 2 using Saxon Math. He did much better.
      Pearson Math is also good.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Christine. I know your feedback will help many. Those Beautiful Feet books are fantastic! Please keep us posted on the notebooking pages. I’m not familiar with Lybrand’s so look forward to hearing more about it. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Kelli, for your positive feedback. You ask a great question. Here is a good definition of living books from Sassafrass Science. ” A book that engages the reader and draws him or her into learning more about a subject; it is typically narrative in style and written by an authority on the material. Living books are written by someone with a passion for the material or by someone who has experienced the story first hand.”

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  3. I always enjoy seeing what other people use for curriculum.
    We moved to more focused studies with fewer subjects at a time for my oldest who starts middle school this year. He is taking:
    Fitness (with the Great Courses)
    Art Appreciation (Great Courses)
    Math using Right start and other suppliments from me (Prime Climb game, documentaries, and The Math Book (awesome book, btw))
    Spanish for Children from Classical Academic Press and Rosetta Stone
    Writing from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. This will be a first that I’ve used this. I don’t like everything, but they have several tools I think will be really useful to him.

    My smallest is starting Kindergarten!! ❤ I will be doing my own version of Little Passport for Geography, using Let's Read and Find Out Science series for Science. Using MathStart series for math concepts and Spanish for Children (another publication) for Spanish using a little puppet racoon named Rosita. She is SO excited and so am I. It should be a lot fun.

    Enjoy your year. I love the emphasis on getting out there and enjoying life.

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    1. It sounds like you have an excellent curriculum. Thanks for sharing. I would love to get an update on your Spanish programs after you have used them for a few months. Can you come back with an update? Also, please continue to leave feedback here. I’m sure the readers would love to learn from you!!! 🙂

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  4. We have started using Christian Light Education for math and language arts this year. It is great! This workbook style curriculum consists of small workbooks called light units . Each subject has five or ten light units to complete per year, depending on whether it’s intended to be used 5 days a week or two or three days a week. Children can do them fairly independently (depends on age, but even my 4yo does some of his on his own) and they are well laid-out and engaging without using tons of distracting bright colors. Content is uplifting and encourages good character. Of course they are faith-based. It’s also somewhat Advanced, many parents say that they are about a year ahead of public schools. Because it is so straightforward and user-friendly, it’s easy to get the basics taken care of so that we can focus on other activities, experiential learning, etc.

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