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Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

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Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2013

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

 Curriculum Choices for 2012-2013

All four kids are on the official homeschool map this year {i.e. all four were reported to our local school district as homeschooling}. At times the thought is overwhelming to me, but also so very exciting! This is our seventh year homeschooling and we officially start on Monday, August 6th! Our list of homeschool curriculum choices is finally in place {phew!} ~ here’s a peek at what we’ll be using this year…

Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Bible {Daily}

Language Arts {Daily}

Spelling {Bi-Weekly}

All About Spelling-1

Writing {Daily}

Vocabulary {Daily}

Reading ~ {Daily}

  • Kindergarten ~  All About Reading Level 1.
  • 3nd Grade ~ Zachary will be reading books that I pick for him {some are the All About Reading books} as well as other grade-level books.
  • 5th and 6th Grade~ The girls will be reading books at their level to go along with Mystery of History 2 that we are doing as well as books for fun! They will be keeping track of their books on their Reading Log and writing reports for me using our Book Report Form. We will also have read-alouds for the whole family during the week and I’m working on that list. The bulk of the books will go along with our studies, but we want to include some other fun books to read during the year too.

Math {Daily}

History {Daily}

Mystery of History-1

Our ‘core’ focus this year will be Mystery of History Vol. 2 from Bright Ideas Press. In addition to the main book, we are using the following go-along digital pieces:

We started using Mystery of History late last fall. Can I just tell you how much we are all enjoying history?? Very much!

Science {Daily}

Handwriting {Daily}

Art {Once a Week}

  • All ages – See the Light art curriculum dvds {we ordered the art class 1 year set}. We also are planning to do several of the special art project dvds.
  • Draw Write Now ~ these books from Barker Creek have been a staple in our home for years and our kids LOVE them. We have the full set which is available from both Barker Creek and Amazon.

Birds pastels-2

Spanish {Bi-Weekly}

Kindergarten Core

For the bulk of our year we will be finishing up Before Five in a Row, working on some Five in a Row books, and also using various Printable Packs. Technically Kaleb is kindergarten this year, although he is academically ahead in a few areas, so we are adjusting things accordingly.

Additional Resources:

If you are unfamiliar with some of the curriculum choices/names above, you can follow the links below to learn about a few of the products that I’ve previously written reviews for.


It is definitely shaping up to be a full year! What are your favorite picks for upcoming the upcoming year? Link up and see what other moms are using this year at the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop. Leave a comment too ~ I’d love to hear what you are using!

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  1. Looks like it will be a GREAT year, Jolanthe! :-)

  2. RockerMom says

    Those look like the makings of a wonderful year! Robbie is officially K this year, as well. I find it hard to believe they’re that big, already.

  3. Jennifer @ Milk & Honey Mommy says

    I always enjoy reading through your list of curriculum choices. The new school year sounds like it is going to be exciting.

  4. Sounds great. Could you share your daily schedule?

  5. Heather Benza says

    I love these kind of posts. I can’t wait to read what everyone else is
    doing. We are beginning kindergarten this year with our oldest child. My plan is
    to read through eveyone’s curriculum posts and bookmark the blogs using things
    I’m considering to see how it goes. All the bloggers who are thorough are all
    about the “this is what works for us, not the only way” yadda yadda. I know
    people are super touchy and it’s difficult not to step on anyones toes.

    All that said I am REALLY seeking people’s opinions and experiences with
    making changes from one curriculum I’m considering to another. I’ve been looking
    at Story of the World mostly because I read Well Trained Mind and lots of
    bloggers use it. But now I’m seeing more about The Mystery of History and a
    trail something one whose name I forget. I’d love to read about what your kids
    love about the new history plan versus the old and how it’s making your life as
    teacher better.

    • Jamey from Zehlahlum Family says

      I’m in the midst of K with my oldest son and I just joined up to this linky for the first time. :) I LOOOOVE seeing everyone’s curriculum and what they use in the years just above us. Already after a small handful of months I’d feel more comfortable pulling curriculum together than using a boxed set. I bet in a few years that’s all I’ll be doing.

    • Heather,

      I sent you an email. Let me know if you didn’t get it. :)


  6. Looks like a wonderful plan for the year! Sammy is excited that Kaleb is in his class at co-op :) I have my post going up tomorrow!

  7. This is my first time participating in one of these blog hops and I’m super excited about it. I know that the main linky will be up tomorrow, but since you also posted today I thought I’d share. http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/2012/08/05/not-back-to-school-curriculum-week-pk3/

  8. Have a great school year!! We’re also doing FLL1 and AAS1…still up in the air for math…Singapore or Saxon… :p

    • We’ve used Nancy Larson science for the past two years and I love the format of that…so since she wrote the elementary Saxon math programs, I think that it will work great til he’s ready for Teaching Textbooks! :)

  9. MomsMustardSeeds says

    We love listening to MOH on our cd….and some of your curriculum is in my home with fond memories! It’s going to be GREAT year!

  10. It’s interesting reading what others are planning to use this year. It sounds like we are using very similar things for Bible and for Handwriting. I used Life of Fred a few years ago for one of my sons and he got a lot out of it. I hope this is a great year for you!

  11. Love your curriculum choices. Several programs we use are a result of reading your reviews, so thank you for that. Also, I’ll be using some of your BFIAR printables this year–can’t wait! Here’s what my family will be using this year: http://homeschooladventures3.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/back-to-home-school-2012-our-curriculum.html

  12. Sarah @ My Joy-Filled Life says

    Glad to hear how much you are enjoying history with MOH. This will be our first year using it. It has been quite a struggle for me to find a history curriculum we like; hoping this is it!!

    Have a great year!


    • The kids love the coloring pages that go along with it ~ and they kept little hands busy when I was reading. :) Love that!!

  13. Lindsey Aylward says

    Thanks for sharing. My son is only two so I love exploring to see what people’s plans are. I love that you are able to combine so many things to work for all different ages. It is awesome that you can let your kids work together.

  14. Michelle @ Layers of Learning says

    Enjoying your post. I love seeing what other homeschoolers are doing.

  15. We are only starting year two and year one was a bit of a learning experience! Here is what we are using this year:

  16. Glad to hear that you have enjoyed Mystery of History. I agonized over history this year and ended up deciding to give MOH a shot. Hope you have a great year!

  17. I am having last minute misgivings about having my daughter (4th grader) continue with MUS and am researching other math curriculum. Noticed you are using Teaching Textbooks with your kids and Life with Fred… What made you go with TT, how do you like it, was it difficult to switch from what you were using before to this curriculum (I know my daughter has covered some of what TT will teach for 4th grade and hasn’t covered other material). She highly dislikes math right now which is making me think about changing however Teaching Textbooks is a bit pricy and already have MUS (although I can still send it back)… thanks for your help!

    • We switched because we had been using another program that literally made our oldest cry. :) It really wasn’t a hard switch because they enjoyed it so much and wanted to do it more. Although they had already covered some of the material, I just let it go and let them have fun ~ because it wasn’t a ‘chore’ to do math. Keep in mind that although it is pricey on the front end, it has a GREAT resale value {i.e. it is in high demand}. We don’t use the workbooks, but use scratch paper instead. Also, if you have additional children, it can be passed down the line. For us, that means that one purchase is good for four kids {so in my head I can divide the cost by four} and then I can still resell it when I am done and recoup even more in that process.

      Here’s my review I wrote about it. I’ve purchased a few of the levels new and also found a few used. https://www.homeschoolcreations.net/2010/06/our-new-math-curriculum-teaching/

  18. Thanks for all you do! I love the Bible verse printables. Do you know when you may have the OT elementary age verses available?

  19. Leah Courtney says

    It looks like a full year. I’m enjoying skimming these posts and seeing what others are doing.

  20. I love Life of Fred!! We are (or were) supplementing with it over the summer. I plan to keep supplementing with it during the year as well. My 10yr old girl struggles in math. We loved “Who is God” and used it last year. I know you’ll really like it. Blessings to you in your new school year!!

    • I’ve heard so many great things about “Who is God” and really looking forward to the 1:1 time with Laurianna when we use it! :) I know she is too!

  21. Hi Jolanthe,
    We also use Draw Write Now with my boys and like it. Glad you shared about The Mystery of History, as I have been curious about that.

    Popped by from the “Not-Back-to-School” Blog Hop: Curriculum

    Hope that you have a happy homeschool year! Happy planning
    for 2012-2013!

    Hope that you will pop by to say hello over at my blog and
    my Pinterest boards too!

    Colleen a.k.a. Pinterest Mama


    Sunrise Learning Lab


  22. Tameka Bowman says

    Hi! I am a new overwhelmed, excited, single homeschool mom of 4!!! I have set up our workbox system and have spent countless enjoyable hours on your website! I have grown to respect and admire all aspects of your website. I was wondering if you could give me ANY pointers as to how to daily homeschool a Kindergartener, a 1st grader, a 2nd grader and a 5th grader. I am a very organized, however, I just don’t know where to begin! I have the learn at home series for all my children. My finances are limited so I am unable to purchase the costly homeschool curriculum. Any direction would be welcomed! I am homeschooling on my own as my ex- husband has NOTHING to do with our children. May God bless and protect you and your family!

  23. Hello! I absolutely love and admire your website! I am a brand new homeschool single mom of 4! I’m filled with all kinds of emotions….excited, nervous, and a bit overwhelmed! I have set up our workboxes, prayed and am ready…..well…kind of ready! I was wondering how to homeschool a Kindergartener, 1st, 2nd and 5th grader. I welcome any advice from you! I am using the learn at home series complete with lesson plans. My finances prevent me from purchasing any costly curriculum. I have printed a lot off your website! Thank you! May God bless and protect you and your family!

  24. Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I have spent a lot of time examining what you do and what curricular you are using. I have used many of your ideas with my 2nd grader and kindergartner as well as my SS class. What a blessing you have been!

  25. New to your blog – wonderful, by the way. So encouraging and helpful. This coming fall will be my 2nd year schooling our youngest. She will be starting 3rd grade in the fall, and although I’m still catching her up on math, she was able to catch up and zoom past some subjects.

    Did you find that WriteShop Junior D was too easy for your 5th grader? I was able to review the curriculum at a local book fair and was concerned that my daughter would find it boring since she’s already a pretty good writer. WriteShop Junior E should be available in September, 2013. My concern is purchasing something too easy (she’d be bored) or purchasing something too difficult (she’d be frustrated and perhaps skip some basics).

    Thank you!

  26. I would love to ask you how you started your home school journey? Was this something you always wanted to do or was it out of necessity?
    I’m at stay at home mom. I’m a nurse but it is not my passion. I wish I would’ve went for teaching. I currently live in Missouri but all our family lives in Louisiana. I have 2 children. 5 year old girl who is to start Kindegarten in the fall and a 2 1/2 year old boy. I have had Sophie is Pre-K since she was 2 and thought she was going to be SO prepared. Boy was I wrong. Should never assume. After her end of the year evaluation on her readiness to start Kindegarten…she scored extremely low. I have her in Summer school and taking the Sylvan program over the summer as well. We have forfeited our summer vacation because of the time and money $$$ required for Sylvan. $60/hr! yikes! But worth it if it can turn things around for her and give her the start she needs. I’ve always wanted to homeschool but I’ve tried working with my daughter and she just seemed interested. I never pushed the issue because she was going to an expensive PreK I assumed shes learning a lot and I wanted to keep her excited about learning and not give her a bad stigma. Well, turns out she has a hard time focusing and paying attention. When the teacher would give directions she wouldn’t be paying attention and miss the WHOLE lesson. Yes, I blame the teacher but its not entirely their fault because student/teacher ratio is so high. I just am SO scared she will be lost in public school and slip through the cracks. I’m feeling an urgency more than ever to homeschool her. My husband thinks homeschoolers are “weird and aren’t socialized”. I just think its not the case anymore. That I hear about more and more parents going to this and taking matters in their own hands. Would also be nice to be able to set our school schedule so we could visit our family in Louisiana. I’m also a christian and have worked very hard teaching my children about the Lord. morals & values and I’m afraid of what theyre going to be exposed to. ex: I was at our neighborhood pool (in a good area) and over heard some YOUNG kids talking about sex! so scary!
    I browse homeschooling sites periodically and yours seemed so knowledgable and approachable. Just wanted to see what your background is and what led you to your decisions. Do you have any advice for me? Do you think I should press my husband to homeschool? I was thinking about doing a trial run of preK curriculum next month and see how things go. Wow, I apologize for rambling! I just have no one to talk to or get advice from. I would love to hear back from you!
    -Heather L.

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