2019-2020 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

April 3, 2020

I know school is almost over for some but since you are just getting to know me a bit better I figured you would want to know what we use. We actually homeschool year round. We take breaks as we need them but my kids do great with structure and so does this mama! And like I mentioned before we typically only homeschool 4 days a week and then one day we go to co-op.

Before I begin I should also mention I DO NOT DO SCHOOL GRADES. I mean the kids know which grade they would technically be considered in public school for social purposes (when someone asks them or when they have to be put in a group at church or something similar) but in our house we call them levels because we are all working on what we are capable of doing. For here I will put what "grade" they would be just so you are aware.  Also for the sole purpose of this blog I will not mention our kids actual names just because I want to keep their lives private so they have nicknames that suit them!

Let's dig in!

Jedi Master - 5th Grade

He has always been my early reader and writer. He loves to read and as you can see by his nickname he is a HUGE Star Wars geek. I think he has learned most of his typing skills by searching more info about Star Wars!
We use Christian Light Education for his Core Subjects. We have been using that since the very beginning and it has been great for him. Its more workbook type material but he enjoys that.

Language Arts  ~ The program is superb and goes hand in hand with the reading program. The Language Arts contains grammar and spelling lists. They teach how to write a letter, abbreviations, cursive!! It's a great program that truly builds up every year.

Reading ~ We have loved all the stories in the readers. Mind you that this program is written by Menonites so it has been fun to see stories based on their lifestyle it definitely has been interesting for my kiddos to see how they live.
His grammar skills and Reading are superb and because of that, this is his last semester with Christian Light for these subjects. But we have loved every minute of this program and recommended to anyone looking for a solid Reading and Language Arts program. Its also very affordable.

Math - Oh boy.. so we use Christian Light Education for Math since the beginning of schooling and this year I had the craziest idea to switch Math to give them a break because CLE's (Christian Light Education) is very intensive but if you aren't Math savvy like me then it helps a lot because it walks you through the problems and helps you understand them. I swear I have learned more Math from teaching him than I did when I was in school. Anyways back to my epic fail.... I thought let's switch it up and give you something lighter so we went with Masterbooks (insert screaming, pulling hair mama). I am sure the Math program is great if you have started from the beginning with them but I didn't think so. It was way too light and not enough help for this non-mathy mama. So in the middle of the books we switched back to CLE and we are never changing again until we absolutely have to!

Handwriting ~ This term I did get him a cursive book because I wanted him to practice it some more and definitely do not want him to forget. We love this book by Queen Homeschool Supplies because it is a picture study along with the writing lessons.

The Gentle Ninja - 3rd Grade

My ADHD, Sensory kiddo that surprises me daily. It has been a slower pace with him especially in reading but he is starting to catch on he is so proud of himself! He absolutely LOVES MATH like his daddy. He however can't stay still to save his life but he loves pets and loving on his mama!

Reading ~ He is also doing CLE although he is working on Level 2 and so far its good but we know its definitely not a good fit for him. He loves the workbooks but he still has trouble reading long stories. He is still in the beginning stages of reading and ROCKING IT!!! He is finally confident in his ability and that makes this book nerd mama happy!! That being said we know we are switching to another program that will help him a lot more.

Language Arts ~ As much as I wanted to stick with CLE I knew it wasn't the path for him. Masterbooks Language Lessons for a Living Education is the right fit for him. The lessons are short and sweet perfect for this active boy.

Math - Well you already read my fiasco about that so we went back to CLE and we are so much happier. He thrives on Math and welcomes the challenge with open arms!

Handwriting ~ We have been practicing on his Printing so this is the book I chose for him and it has been working well. It also by Queen Homeschool Supplies. He loves the pictures especially since they are all about animals so doing picture walks with him are always fun. He always has something interesting to say about them.

The Cuddly Scientist ~ Kindergarten

This kiddo is my cuddle bear. He absolutely loves Science and anything to do with learning about animals. We don't push him too much when it comes to learning but we do a little bit of curriculum with him and he enjoys it.

He has started his journey with CLE's Kindergarten Program and so far that seems to be working great for him. He is learning his letters and numbers, simple addition and sounding out CVC words. Mainly he PLAYS!!! Because that's what this age group is meant to be doing! Learning through play! He works on puzzles, board games, play-doh, songs, stories, using his wild imagination and that is what I want him to do. Not be bombarded by a full days of work.

The Firecracker ~ Pre-K

Ah yes, my miracle baby girl. She was not only an unexpected surprise but she truly was a miracle! We are so thankful for her but she is definitely different from the boys. This little girl is pretty fearless and total girly girl. She just started getting interested in sitting down and doing "work" like her brothers so I got her one of those big Pre-K workbooks at BJ's Wholesale. She loves it. But again she PLAYS!! She loves to paint and play with Play-Doh. She already knows all her letters and most sounds all by watching Super Why!

Our Together Time

There are certain things we do together as group. Morning Time is a big part of our day. This is when we do our main chapter book, devotions, prayer, Memorization, Geography, Science and History. This time we do right after breakfast and it doesn't take us that long now that we have a routine in place. (It took us a few weeks and trial and error to get to where we are!) We started on the couch but that was too relaxed for my kids and they lacked focus especially the Gentle Ninja. So now we do our morning time at the dinner table and move on to our classroom for our core subjects. The Cuddly Scientist and the Firecracker definitely stick around for a bulk of it but by the time we get to Geography and History they are playing or coloring and that is totally fine. It isn't fully geared to them. We use Notgrass History which we absolutely love! We are almost done with Our Star Spangled Story. We are sad to see it be done because we have really enjoyed it. The extra activities include crafts, cooking or building something and that is really up my kiddos alley. They really enjoy being quizzed Jeopardy style on the Timeline book and there is literature that you can read along with the units and we chose to do that so although is not pictured here so far we have read and enjoyed: Benjamin West and his Cat Grimalkin, Farmer Boy, Toliver's Secret and Freedom Crossing just to name a few. I highly recommend this program if you want to do it with just one kiddo or multiple children.
For Science we are doing Masterbooks Zoology course this semester. I have mixed feelings on this. We all have loved the books. Its written with strong Christian perspective which we absolutely LOVE! The books are absolutely stunning and full of information. But at times it seems like its very wordy and the workbooks is a lot of busy work and not enough hands on for my kiddos. That being said I would do it all over again because they love animals and with this program you do two field trips to bring the learning to life. A Aquarium and Zoo field trip. We have not taken those yet but hopefully we will sometime this summer.

Next term we will be adding a few other things into our Morning Routine so I am excited about that and I sure I will write all about it when I do our next curriculum picks!

If you have any questions that I can answer don't hesitate to ask me! All opinions are mine and I don't receive any monies from any of these companies.

Until next time,

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