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  1. #1

    Default Your 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices

    I know itís early, but with used curriculum sales coming up in the next month or so, Iím planning next yearís curriculum. This is what we're tentatively doing and I'd love to see everyone else's plans.

    Age: 8
    Grade: 3
    Start Date: August
    Phonics: not necessary at this point?
    Spelling: All About Spelling 2, copywork
    Writing composition: informal journal, BYL narrations (she can dictate a lot of this to me and I can write for her, later she can copy her answers into a notebook), maybe a comic book project
    Handwriting: Zaner Bloser 4
    Math: finish Teaching Textbooks 3, then start TT 4
    Lit., History, Geography, Science, Art: Build Your Library 3
    Logic: Primarily Logic
    Extracurriculars: bi-monthly forest school, bi-monthly co-op, homeschool ski program, swim lessons?

    What changed from last year: We are doing better with getting into the extras that are planned into BYL, but have still been lacking on narration mostly bc I didnít have cardstock to print the narration cards. I guess you can be a perfectionist and slacker at the same time. ;0) Also, we stopped RightStart Math during Level B bc the daily fights were too stressful. Lastly, we are going to have more days at home so we can get our schooling done.

    What are you using?
    Last edited by Only; 06-27-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    Finished 4th grade, doing homeschool light this summer and planning 5th grade.

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  3. #2


    Age: 5

    Grade: K

    Start Date: kinda already started? (January birthday and we don't follow a traditional school year and school year round)

    Phonics/Spelling: my own phonics program based loosely on Spalding, Reading Eggs for fun because he likes it

    Writing composition: my own program based on Bravewriter

    Handwriting: my own program based on Spalding

    Math: Working through MEP year 1 with Miquon and Gattegno thrown in as needed

    Lit., History, Geography, Art: Lots of picture books and FIAR style lessons

    Science: my own lessons based on BFSU

    Logic: I've been thinking about getting him some Mind Benders or other logic puzzles

    Extracurriculars: Nothing really planned, he's still little and we live in a very small, very rural town with few opportunities. We've talked about doing 4-H but that is still up in the air right now. So for now just lots of playing outside (we have 7 acres for him to explore) and taking opportunities for other things as they come.

    He's my youngest of 6 kids and the only one homeschooling. I homeschooled the others as well, hence the reason I'm so much more laid back this go round.
    Last edited by MapleHillAcademy; 05-03-2018 at 12:41 PM.

  4. #3


    Grade 9

    We've been all around the bend on this stuff. Right now, looks like...

    Math: Jacobs Geometry at home with moi

    English: both kids are doing a semester of creative writing in different classes by their own choice, so that'll be fall writing, spring will be essays, lit will be planned by me and we're going to focus on ancient and medieval lit, but also read some modern fun stuff to do along - I'm trying to pair some themes as we go. I have my beloved old high school lit textbook and we'll be using it for selections. It's the bestest lit text that ever there was:

    History: World, focused on medieval to early modern - I'd like to take us up to WWI and leave us there, I'm teaching - I have a lot of old textbooks and I'll pick and choose

    Science: Physics - we're going to do Conceptual Physics online and I'm going to add in labs myself

    Spanish: Homeschool Spanish Academy, probably - I need to schedule

    Electives: Architecture and Psychology at a local STEM center, plus Coding for one kid and public speaking for the other one

    Extracurriculars: BalletBoy will ballet every day all the time as much as he possibly is allowed - dance til you drop. Mushroom will continue overdoing it as his local theater. He's also hoping to start a little basement theater company with a friend who does tech and has a lot of good equipment. They're intrepid. I'm strongly hoping both boys continue Destination Imagination because it's awesome. We'll see.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    DS is grade 7/8 and DD is 5/6 - I combine them as much as possible. We pretty much school year around. We take off June, when the kids are in camps. We do school-lite for July.

    I think I'm sticking with curriculum I've used in the past. My spines are. . .

    REAL Science Odyssey - Astronomy

    History Odyssey - finishing up Middle Ages and moving to Early Modern

    Khan. DH is in charge of math and he has a method to using Khan.

    This is my sticking point this year. Pandia Press includes a fair amount of writing in the science and history programs, but I know I need to beef it up with some kind of formal writing instruction. I'm not sure what that is yet - I'm open to suggestions . I'm also a bit stumped for literature study. I'd like to start a formal grammar study this year (at least for DS), I have my eye on Analytical Grammar.

    Swim team and more swim team. They take ice skating lessons, and DD takes a clay class. I'm not sure if they want to continue after the summer break.
    Last edited by RTB; 05-03-2018 at 07:33 PM.
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

  6. #5


    RTB, what did you use previously for LA? Did it work well for your kids? Also, have you done drafts and revisions yet with their writing?
    Finished 4th grade, doing homeschool light this summer and planning 5th grade.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Only View Post
    RTB, what did you use previously for LA? Did it work well for your kids? Also, have you done drafts and revisions yet with their writing?
    We used IEW, I do think it worked, but we've progressed beyond it. Yes to edits. For other LA stuff we've used Logic of English, which covers grammar at the sentence level - it is a tedious program but I love it (DS was awful at spelling - all the copy work and dictation in the world was not helping). I did a year of Mosdos press and I'm always tempted by it, but my kids are not fans. I've also used Arrows and Boomerangs - both my kids rather not listen to me read out loud anymore - I guess I could do it book club style.

    ETA: We also tried Essentials in Writing. Mixed feelings on that one. The audio is so bad and it was a little too hands off on the part of the parent imo.
    Last edited by RTB; 05-07-2018 at 06:16 PM.
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

  8. #7


    DD6/1st grade:

    Math - Singapore 1.
    LA - continue Progressive Phonics (although she reads the whole text, not just focus words in color, but she loves the stories), try Language Smarts B, a mix of workbook pages for print handwriting, try cursive, Harcourt Spelling Skills, she loves to listen to all of her older sister's Mosdos selections, tons of books to read and to listen to.
    Science - try to pair her up with an older sister for RSO's Earth and Space 1.
    Piano lessons.
    Child-led unschoolish social studies.
    Keep trying to find an activity she really likes - she did ballet, gymnastics, swimming, horseback riding, skiing, and everything so far was kind of meh, no sparks flying.

    DD8/4th grade:

    Math - BA 4.
    LA - MCT year 2, Mosdos Ruby.
    Science - weekly science class for homeschoolers at the local university, RSO's Earth and Space with sister.
    Russian - cobbled up by me.
    Piano lessons.
    Child-led unschoolish social studies.
    Horseback riding and horse care/ownership - her passion.
    Skiing with the ski school for homeschoolers.


    Continue MathMammoth.
    Have no clue what to do with LA - want to be goal-oriented, but cannot envision the goal.
    Tons of books, audiobooks, documentaries, movies, listening to everything her sisters do.
    OT, PT, speech therapy, adaptive swimmimg, adaptive ballet, adaptive piano.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  9. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by farrarwilliams View Post
    I have my beloved old high school lit textbook and we'll be using it for selections. It's the bestest lit text that ever there was:
    Can you tell me your thoughts on reading excerpts of literature vs the whole story? I usually shy away from excerpts or abridged versions, but does that thinking just lessen the amount of literature you can expose your kids to when they get to high school?
    Finished 4th grade, doing homeschool light this summer and planning 5th grade.

  10. #9


    This was my first year homeschooling my daughter and I can declare it a resounding success. That said, I would like to change it up a bit next year. I started out with a 9-year-old who disliked reading and now have a 10-year-old who has read 13 books since school started and is eager to do a lot more reading. We used Moving Beyond the Page for reading this year, but I found it a bit tedious with worksheets that didn't seem to add much value. I'm debating between Book Shark and Build Your Library for next year. I like the open-mindedness of BYL (evolution, global warming, etc. ... topics that more conservative types like to avoid). I also like the selection of books and the fact that I can spread out the purchases for books and supplies and don't have to drop $800 at one time. On the other hand, the ease and organization of Book Shark also appeals to me. The curriculum seems more professional and easier to follow. I also love the 4-day school week. I don't think I could do 4 days with BYL.

    I plan to stay with Math U See for the next couple of years (love it). We did catch-up this year and got through Alpha, Beta and Gamma. We just started Delta this week and will go through the summer since she's still behind. We continue to fill in the gaps left by her four years in public school.

    I use IEW for writing and see the positive results, but she really doesn't like it. I'm seriously thinking about switching to Time 4 Writing. I'm a former editor and can write. However, teaching my kid how to do it is not fun. I think she would do better if she was held accountable to someone else.

    I do plan to stay with IEW grammar books. She's doing The Nose Tree right now and it's great! It's ten minutes a day, four days a week, and she's learning a ton.

    This year we did Exploration Education physical science and really enjoyed it. Some of the experiments were a bit flimsy, but it was quick and engaging (3 days a week). I would probably stay with the same company if they had anything else besides physical science. We both really learned a lot. I'm pretty open to trying either BS or BYL science options, but I do like the topics in BYL. BYL is using RSO Biology 2 with a few extra books to complement certain topics such as evolution and genetics. BS uses Real Science 4 Kids. I’ve heard it’s not truly secular and glosses over certain facts.

    Both BYL and Book Shark do US History, which is exactly what I want for next year. They both seem to use a mix of literature and textbooks. BYL also uses the History of US which has come highly recommended to me. But I also like the timeline and maps used by Book Shark.

    Maybe someone here has an opinion? My children are biracial, so the fair and truthful representation of different races in art, history and literature is very important to me. I don't want them to only be exposed to one racial perspective.

    Thanks for sharing all of your curriculum choices. These posts are always very informative.
    Last edited by kmc; 05-15-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  11. #10


    Great question, and good timing for it, too (a lot of us start thinking about next year's choices about this time of year).

    I have found much success in sticking to reading, writing, and arithmetic as the only formal study in the elementary years, but I like Story of the World because it makes it fun and easy to teach multiple kids/ages at once, and also easy to combine subjects, such that reading, summarizing, copywork, and dictation can be combined with history study, and history is taught sequentially, beginning with the earliest known nomads in the fertile crescent.

    So, as I aim to finish Story of the World: Ancients (revised edition) by the end of the summer this year with all my kids, I want to buy the next year's cycle, (which covers what happened after the fall of Rome, up to the dawn of the Rennaissance, I think) this fall.

    I might also take a look at The Well-Trained Mind's new Grammar series, since I like what I have seen of the methods so far, from that publisher. If it's too expensive or looks too involved, I'll rely on my collection of Houghton-Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary textbooks, which I already own.

    For math, I use Khan Academy along with whatever I happen to find useful for written/textbook work, and for DS7 this means manipulatives. I have them all, but want a curriculum that does the lesson planning, complete with basing it around manipulatives, for me, and so far, the one I know of that does this and is cheap, is Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley Mathematics consumable textbooks from the early to mid 2000s. I hate that they are huge and heavy and the oversized pages won't fit into a binder unless I trim the tops and bottoms of the page, but they are cheap enough that that may be a small price to pay.

    Even though they find it a grind, I may get Math Mammoth Light Blue Grade 4, for my 10-year-old son, to complete over the summer, so I can be absolutely certain he's ready for anything 5th grade in public school can expect of him. All my kids have found Math Mammoth a terrible grind, but in a situation where the anxiety over being fully school-scope-and-sequence prepared prevails, it's worth it as an insurance policy against "gaps".
    Middle-aged mom of 4 kids spanning a 10-year age range, homeschooling since 2009, and a public school mom also, since 2017.

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Your 2018-2019 Curriculum Choices