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2014 Homeschool Curriculum Choices for Grades 2, 4, 6, and 8

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2014

This year (our ninth year homeschooling – woot!) we’re adding a few new pieces to our homeschool curriculum choices and venturing into the world of high school credits. Gah!

It was a bit intimidating at first, but after putting together an overall plan for high school,  it was a bit easier. Several of our friends are also venturing into the homeschool high school realm, so that helps even more! We’ll be participating in a small-scale co-op this year for two of our high school credits which will make several of the subjects a LOT of fun.

New to Homeschooling?

If you are new to homeschooling and aren’t sure where to begin in choosing homeschool curriculum, please don’t let this post overwhelm you! Here are a few posts that you might find helpful as you discover what is best for your family. Be sure to check out the entire Homeschool Basics series for answers to more frequently asked homeschool questions.

Homeschool Teaching Styles and Philosphies.png Identifying Children's Learning Styles copy How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum

 

Here’s a look at the overall plan for the homeschool year. This year our kids are working on 8th (Laurianna), 6th (McKenna), 4th (Zachary), and 2nd (Kaleb). Our 8th grader will be working on 5-6 high school credits.  Something may have been left off the list despite my ridiculous list making, so it’s entirely possible that this list will be edited during the year.

 

2014-homeschool-curriculum.png

2nd Grade Curriculum Choices

4th Grade Curriculum Choices

6th Grade Curriculum Choices

8th Grade Curriculum Choices

Laurianna  will be working on 6 high school credits this year. We are also a part of a small co-op and will be combining a literature class and science labs with them.

History as a Group…

Our history text will be our core focus for the year and we will be working on Mystery of History 4 as a group (Early American History to Modern Times). As they fit in, we’ll add lessons from Story of the World 4. Depending on the levels of the kids, they will also use the following resources. The bulk of our resources are from Bright Ideas Press with a few from Amazon:

Mom’s Curriculum & Additional Helps

In addition to a lovely collection of teacher’s manuals that go along with all of the kid’s books, here are a few things that I have on hand to keep me organized:

Additional Resources: Unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices above? Follow the links below to learn more about the companies and resources:

Curriculum Choices from Years Past…

If you’d like to see what curriculum we’ve used in years past, click on one of the posts below. Grade levels taught each year are listed with the posts.

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .


Two choices of student planners from Homeschool Creations - help get your student on track

 

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Comments

  1. JoscelyneHilton says:

    How many hours a day do your fourth and second graders do for school? I only have one third grader and last year we were complete in 2hrs normally. I have increased the workload some for this year and just trying to get an idea what I could be looking at time wise. I know every family is different.

    • Overall, 3-4 for our 2nd (depends on the day) and about 4-5 for our 4th grader. There are days that things go quickly…and some days where things drag on forever. :)

  2. Sara @Save Money,Live Joyfully says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love seeing what curriculum other families are using!

    I want to look more into the Lego curriculum. My 1st grader loves hands on curriculum (which is why we’re doing A Reason for Science which is experiment based, and All About Spelling which uses the tiles), and she would love using Legos to learn!!

    Our curriculum for 1st grade this year (although we’ve been going year-round, so we’ve already started) is: Mystery of History 1, All About Spelling 1, A Reason for Handwriting, A Reason for Science, God’s Great Covenant, Horizons Reading, Horizons Math, and Confessions of a HS Road Trip USA and Great Artists. We spend about 3-4 hours a day on schoolwork, but with a special needs toddler who doesn’t nap at home as well, we have to divide it up into mini-sessions throughout the day.

    • I haven’t heard of God’s Great Covenant – I’ll have to look it up. Thanks for sharing – it sounds like you all will have a great year! :)

  3. We are using so many of the same things. I was wondering how you manage AAS with all 4. I struggled with that last year with my 4 as it can take up a lot of time and I want to continue it this year.

    • I typically work with one of the kids each day – so just once a week with each child and then a quick review with the younger ones if needed every other day.

  4. Sara Hart says:

    Are you coming up with your own Snap Circuit assignments or are they available somewhere?

    • There is a teacher’s manual that you can use (haven’t had a chance to look through it yet), but if they aren’t too in depth, I’ll be working on those! :)

  5. Krystal says:

    What a spread! It all looks so exciting! Can you share more about Biblioplan and Reading Roadmaps and how you plan to use them? Those two are new to me. Also, I was wondering about your Childhood of Famous Americans that you had posted – are those Mom-assigned readers or recommended in MOH?

    • Krystal – Yes!! It’s on my ‘to-do’ list to share more in detail. :) Essentially I’m using the Biblioplan to combine MOH and SOTW lessons in order (or at least decide which ones to use from each). Also, Biblioplan has recommended readers and videos for each week based on grade level and also read aloud suggestions.

      And the Childhood of Famous American books that I shared will go along with the Learning Language arts through Literature that our 4th grader will be using the year (orange level).

  6. I have K, 2, 4, and 6 this year…it’s only our third year homeschooling, and although I’ve done 4th and 2nd already, we’ve changed some curriculums and it always seems like I’m just starting. I hope one of these days I don’t feel like a newbie! Thank you for sharing what you’re using…as well as the past links!

    • You are welcome – and I well know the feeling of ‘just starting’. With the jump to high school, it seems like I’m a newbie at all this!

  7. What does history look like… actually “doing” History??? With your 4 levels.

    We’ve done SOTW together for 5 years. We’re about to start the cycle over and I’m wondering how I tailor our history time to challenge my older student (now that she’s starting the cycle again) and make it still work for the younger ones (who are goiing through it the first time). I love the together time that SOTW brings but again trying to make our time fit everyone’s levels and needs.

    I know narrations, outlining encyclopedia articles, etc are recommended. But I’d love to get your input… you have a more of years experience:)

  8. tammy cordery says:

    I am trying to find The Introduction to Literature for your 8th grade student. Only the website that has it is the one that you click on to. Even Excellence in Literature doesn’t have it in their catalog or web site. How did you find it?

  9. Stephanie says:

    Wow! This is inspiring!! I’m wondering is how do you cover all those subjects in one week? What is your daily and weekly order?

  10. Sounds like a great year! I was curious about how you do MoH and Biblioplan together. This will be our first year using MoH Vol 1 and I think it sounds great to add Biblioplan. We already have the Picture Smart Bible, too. My boys are 8 and almost 7.
    Thanks!

  11. We are using Liberty’s Kids this year too. I bought the DVD pack sometime last year and forgot all about it!

    Do you do something from each of those subjects regularly, or are some first semester and some second?

    • That’s a great question to answer via a post series, eh? :) For the most part, we work on all the subjects each week (art and co-op are typically once a week). Spelling is 1-2 times a week depending on the child and other ‘extras’ like Lego Education are once a week (or further apart). The ‘staples’ of our day are Bible, history, science, reading, language arts, math, and handwriting for the younger two. Our oldest is working on all the subjects except her extra 1/2 credit in science this semester. Then she will have finished up with Greek Mythology and start on that. Hope that helps some!

  12. Amanda Burt says:

    Hi Jolanthe,

    I have always loved looking at what other homeschoolers are using. But this year was to specifically see what others are using for Math. My 2nd grader has been using Math-U-See, Primer and Alpha (STILL working on ALPHA…..yeash). I have purchased MUS Beta and planned on using it when we finally get through last years math book. But I am doubting my choice and am feeling the need to try out something else instead of beating the dead horse sort of speak. Anyway, I see a lot of mention for Life of Fred and TT. Since TT starts at 3 I assumed I had to wait till next year. But I see that you are using if for your 2nd grader. Is it that he is advanced in Math, or could I make the switch. Do you do TT 5 days a week plus the Life of Fred? And do I need to start at the first book with Life of Fred? I know that is a lot of questions but I hope you don’t mind.

    Amanda

    • Amanda,

      Last year (in first grade), our son used Saxon Math 2 – he absolutely loves math! So this year we started him with TT3. With our other kids we did wait until they were 3rd grade to start, but this was based on how he has been doing. The Life of Fred is something we do 1-2 times a week, and TT we do 4-5 times a week. The LOF lessons are typically fairly short.

      I’m not sure on what level to tell you to start with LOF. Much would depend on his current math comprehension. We used both Apples and Butterflies last year with Kaleb in first grade and this year will use Cats and Dogs. I hope that helps some!

    • Amanda Burt says:

      Thank you, this helps a great deal! After reading your reply I will wait on TT since my daughter is doing ok but struggling. I think I will start with LOF Apples and Butterflies, she has finished grade one math, but could really use the reinforcement and so I think if I continue with her Grade 2 Math but add in something fun like LOF that is easier (meaning last year’s review) perhaps I can help her enjoy math a bit more. Thank you again for your response.

  13. Wow this looks great! I’m curious is there an age that you would recommend starting MOH? Biblioplan looks like a great way to combine everyone. I’m teaching a 1st 2nd and 3rd grader to read. We love AAR and AAS. I was wondering if you could recommend a resource for picking age appropriate readers I seem to struggle with this. Thanks so much.

    • Kaleb (our 2nd grader) has been sitting in on the lessons with us since we started. He just uses the coloring pages, but you’d be amazed at what he picks up. :) Our oldest is at the note-taking stage. Since we cycle through, I’m not as worried about them catching every little detail.

      Let me check on the reader source and shoot you another email. :)

    • Meagan – are you looking for readers that tie in with the history, or just readers in general? The Biblioplan guide includes TONS of readers by age/grade level for kids, but that would be tied into the history aspect.

    • Thanks Jolanthe! I was thinking readers in general. When I see your pictures of your books picks I always think “Oh they look so great!” .. I’m not even sure where to start there is so much wonderful lit out there. May I ask you another question.. I’m struggling so much with history choices… I have a 8,7,6, and 4 year old. I was curious since you have been there done that what age do you recommend starting the history cycle. We haven’t done any formal history.. I can’t decide if we should do American history or geography or just something fun like an animal study or began the cycle… I was hoping it would become easier to pick each year… but I’m not finding that to be the case :)

  14. Jolanthe- I’m researching curriculum for next year and due to everything that happened this year we got “way” behind in math. Therefore, we are leaning towards Teaching Textbooks 3 for next year, instead of Saxon 3. My two questions for you are:

    1. Why do you use Life of Fred with Teaching Textbooks?
    2. Why did you switch back to Saxon for your daughter, Laurianna? Do you recommend just sticking with Saxon and using their video lesson options?

    • Life of Fred – because it is fun. :) Kaleb just loves having a lesson from them once a week. :) As for switching back to Saxon – I own the TT Algebra, but Laurianna wanted to use the book this year because one of her best friends was using Saxon Algebra – and we all know that your friend obviously knows more than your mom. That made Saxon much more fun. Overall she is enjoying it – and that’s the main goal. I’m still hanging on to TT for the other kids. (grins)

      And big hugs from here.

    • Life of Fred – because it is fun. :) Kaleb just loves having a lesson from them once a week. :) As for switching back to Saxon – I own the TT Algebra, but Laurianna wanted to use the book this year because one of her best friends was using Saxon Algebra – and we all know that your friend obviously knows more than your mom. That made Saxon much more fun. Overall she is enjoying it – and that’s the main goal. I’m still hanging on to TT for the other kids. (grins)

      And big hugs from here.

  15. Heather Taylor says:

    Thank you for the response on you tube! You and I are a little similar with curriculum choices. I think I am going to start Michael Clay Thomas for LA. I’m pretty excited :) I will be looking at the books next week at the Great Homeschool Convention in Fort Worth. I look forward to looking through the goodies you mentioned too! One random question, I actually have ADD myself, any recommendations?

    • Don’t overwhelm yourself. :) I have issues with that too. Many of the systems in place for our kids (work folders and picture schedules) are as much for me as they are for the kids. It’s easy to get distracted by the ‘shiny’ and veer off course quickly. Be consistent. :)

    • Jolanthe, I’m curious how you use the work folders for curriculums like Teaching Textbboks & A Reason for Handwriting when the work is done in a book?

      Also, Heather, I have ADD myself. I honestly don’t have any good suggestions (as this year has been a struggle for me), but I do know that simplifying is key! But, even though I know that, it seems like my ADD prevents me from focusing to declutter & simplify. We’ve actually been taking more of a relaxed schooling approach this year (after drilling my oldest for 3 years – not fun). I long for balance, where the kids are learning but having fun and are engaged, and I’m not feeling out-of-sorts constantly! Maybe that day will never come? Hang in there! Don’t give up! Blessings to you!

    • Jill – We usually don’t use the textbook with TT, so the kids slide the cd-roms into the pocket. Otherwise they work from the computer. Kaleb recently decided he wanted to work using the book with me (which is nice since it frees up the computer for one of the other kids). As for other subjects, I pull out all of our worksheets at the beginning of the year and just put the work for the current week in that pocket, so no full books in the pockets.

  16. I see that you’re using multiple science programs. Specifically with science I’ve always had trouble using multiple programs. They always want to know what their sibling is doing, or why a sibling is doing a fun project that day & they’re not. How do you manage this to everyones advantage. You’d think after 6 years I’d have this figured out by now ;

    • A few years ago we had three kids working on the same science program together (our oldest three). One of the things that I love about Nancy Larson Science is it is age banded – not grade specific. So we were able to all work together. Now that our older two are at the 7th and 9th grade science levels, they each have their own program to work on and our two boys (grades 2 and 4) are working together on a science program together. It’s been great because one works more independently, but the other is also gaining reading/study skills and the older likes to help the younger – and they get to work together, which they both love. :)

  17. Paige St.Laurent says:

    I would love to know how you schedule all the components of the history (MOH, SOTW, Biblioplan etc.) Is there one of those TM’s that tell you how to schedule them all together? I will only have a 4th grader next year and I’m all over the place trying to decide on history. MFW, HOD, MOH, etc. etc. etc. I love the thought of MFW and HOD but I do already have science (Nancy Larson Yay!) and sometimes I feel trapped in a box if I go with one of those that includes all subjects. I like many different things and think I should just use what I want for each subject – much like you do. So many wonderful decisions to make. I’m attending Teach Them Diligently in Nashville next month so I really hope to make some decisions there too. Thanks for your time Yolanthe! You are a huge blessing to so many.

    • Yes, Paige – Biblioplan does that!! It is a huge help and there are some great read-aloud suggestions to go along as well. :) See you in Nashville!!!

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