Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Smile Curriculum ides for 3rd and 5th grade


    I live in Florida and in an A rated school and not even they could adjust to the Common Core. I never thought I would homeschool, but now I believe it's the best option. I have a 3rd and 5th grader. My oldest has a learning disorder, dysgraphia, which is a written expression issue. That I am addressing with Handwriting Without Tears, occupational therapy, etc.

    Now, the hard part, right? Curriculum. I've signed up on Time4learning but I have to admit, I'm not 100% sold on it as I am having some difficulties.

    My question to you all wonderful, knowledgeable folks: With all your wisdom , what have you found through your discoveries that helped you get on some solid ground with curriculums?

    Thanks to all in advance!

  2. Ratings Request Leaderboard
  3. #2


    Hi Michelle, welcome to the forums!

    I would say trial and error! But it's your first year and you're still getting your feet wet. Your kiddos aren't very far apart: would you consider combining subjects for them, like science or social studies/history? I think that would save you some work, and you could trick out assignments per kid per ability. Math might always be separate though and it seems to me, of all the subjects, math is the most tricky to find the "one" that works. (My remedy for math is "all of the above" to my kid's horror hah)

    Is anything working with T4L? I think you can do it cafeteria-style right and just do whatever subjects you do like? If so I would keep it and then start exploring maybe one subject with them. If they have something in common that they both like (Egyptian mummies? American history? Biology?) I would start there. Maybe consider a unit study to break you in (basically, pick some area to study and throw everything at it: lit/writing/history/even math).

    There are good outline-type curricula out there like Build Your Library (and it has unit studies and all the products are inexpensive). We started with Joy Hakim's American history (A History of US) in 3rd grade when we were accidental homeschoolers...we just read the books (there are about 10 of them, aimed at 5th grade, very engaging with lots of sidenotes/rabbit holes) and did some projects. We did lots of workbooky things then too (Explode the Code, lots of logic puzzles from Critical Thinking and Tin Man Press).

    Anyway there is a lot of ways to go with this, and i am quite sure others will chime in too...
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  4. #3


    I think a lot of people start with T4L and then move away.

    Because you're new, I'll assume you haven't looked at a lot of what's out there so I'll try to give you some starting points.

    All-in-one (or almost) options:
    * Calvert - solid academics, schoolish, but good schoolish, pricey - good if you want an all in one and like the school model for your kids but want to homeschool
    * Oak Meadow - Waldorf influenced, artsy, slower academics in the early grades
    * Build Your Library - add your own math, a classically influenced program, lots of literature, solidly secular, great book choices
    * Book Shark - add your own math, science isn't really secular (they say it is, but beware - it's not really), good book choices, extremely laid out, solid academically
    * Moving Beyond the Page - add your own math (they suggest Right Start), unit studies based around literature, some people feel it's creative and excellent, others feel it's too schoolish and worksheety

    Many of us here (and pretty much everyone I know IRL) uses a variety of materials. We pick and choose for each subject. My choices for those years are on my blog. We did classical history and science cycles for 1-4th and then changed gears to be more project oriented for the logic stage. If you go that way, make a list of the subjects you want to cover (math, writing, etc.) and then slot in different things.

    My favorite materials for elementary overall are probably...
    Language arts - Brave Writer
    Math - Miquon, Beast Academy, Right Start
    Logic - Tin Man Press materials, Prufrock Press materials (especially the Logic Safari and Logic Liftoff series)
    Science - Ellen McHenry materials, Inquiry in Action (we mostly DIY'ed science and history, so books are my favorite really - real books!)
    History - Story of the World (note that SOTW1 is not really secular, later volumes are better, there are programs that use SOTW like History Odyssey in a more explicitly secular way), History of US
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?

  5. #4


    As FWP said, combine when you can! Sometimes I wish I had a twin, or my boys were closer together, so theyd have each other for feedback and collaboration. I would even combine more than the science and social studies - Id do language arts and everything other than math. And for math, Id try to find supplemental math games they could both do. Or topically, like Geometry and Fractions and Probability. I know there are math programs that do things this way - others here use them.
    T4L seems like a nice temporary measure, to give you some assurance you're not wasting time, neglecting your kids by them not learning anything. And its relatively inexpensive.

    Im not a fan of the implied snobbery that goes with Mensa, but the Mensa for Kids site has a few good language arts resources that can be easily done with mulitples. They have a poetry memorization series, 10 nice poems with a different strategy for memorization to go along with each one. Pair that with a poetry tea (see and some poetry writing exercizes, you can have one week a month of language arts covered, for free!
    Im in my second year of using Mosdos for reading comprehension and literary analysis - I think if you choose the younger level, you can get the same benefit as they seem to cover the same things each year. The books are designed for the maturity level of content, so are bought based on grade level, but they arent labeled as such on the books themselves.
    After drinking the Bravewriter koolaid, we dropped formal grammar and spelling, and havent regretted it. I wont even bother with them with my younger son coming up. DS9 right now is writing a story for NaNoWriMo, and his spelling has improved much over where it was a year or two ago - with no arbitrary lists.

    What other sorts of electives do you want to do? Learn Japanese, learn Latin? (Or something practical, like Spanish?) There are lots of resources available, you just have to pick. The archives here have all sorts of help, just use the search feature and then ask if you want more information.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
About us was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted. is a community and information source where secular homeschoolers ARE the majority. It is the home for non-religious homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, freethinking homeschoolers AND anyone interested in homeschooling irrespective of religion. This site is an INCLUSIVE community that recognizes that homeschoolers choose secular homeschool materials and resources for a variety of reasons and to accomplish a variety of personal and educational goals. Although, and its members, have worked hard to compile a comprehensive directory of secular curricula, it does not attest that all materials advertised on our site, in our newsletters, or on our social media profiles are 100% secular. Rather, respects the aptitude of each individual homeschool parent to fully research any curriculum before acquiring it, to ensure that it holistically meets the educational, personal, and philosophical goals of each homeschooler.

Join us
Curriculum ides for 3rd and 5th grade