Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Curriculum Choices of a Newbie Homeschooler

I'm not exactly sure why you'd want to know my curriculum choices, since I am brand new at this homeschooling thing.  But in case you're curious, here you go.

I always though that I'd be a "boxed curriculum" type of gal if I ever homeschooled, since I see many benefits to structured school.  However, I surprised myself when in came down to it that I really just wanted to pick just what I wanted!  I guess I figure that even if homeschooling wasn't our first choice this year, I might as well reap its benefits, like being totally in control.

These books and subjects were also all chosen with simplicity in mind.  I'm not out to win "homeschooler of the year" here.  My goals are the following:
- to keep the girls on par with their classes at school
- to get my first grader reading chapter books fluently
- to have fun and focus on a few areas that we all will enjoy

So, here's what I picked, by subject, for my 1st and 3rd graders:

Saxon Math 1
Saxon Math 3

Exciting, right?  This is what the girls used at school, and many homeschoolers use it as well.  They're used to it.  Why mess with it?

All About Reading Level 1
All About Reading Level 2

My mom is now an Orton-Gillingham trained reading specialist, so I knew that I had to look for something using this method.   Even though H, my first grader, can sound out words well and knows many sight words, we're going to go ahead and start with Level 1, but go through it quickly.


All About Spelling Level 1
All About Spelling Level 2

See above - this is obviously the  related program.  They recommend starting with Level 1 if you've never done the program before, so even my third grader is going to start there.  However, I have a feeling we're going to need Level 3 very soon.

A Reason for Handwriting Manuscript A
A Reason for Handwriting Cursive D

As my friend who recommended this program put it, if they're going to be writing something, they might as well be writing Scripture!  I like how this program has a special page at the end of each week that they can write in their best handwriting and decorate.  My 3rd grader learned cursive in school last year, so I went ahead and got her the 4th grade cursive book.

Abeka Language 3

I was raised on Abeka books, and all of my siblings and I are grammar geeks.  My sister is even a professional writer and editor.  So again, why mess with what works?

Prima Latina

Prima Latina Set   -     By: Leigh Lowe

Our Catholic school started Latin in 1st grade, and I am determined to keep up with it.  This seemed to be the most academic program of the few that exist for elementary students.

American Girl History Study
The dolls having a glass of wine to start off the school year.

You'll be hearing lots more on this one!  This is the "fun" subject that I allowed myself.  I knew that I wanted to give my girls a better sense of American history, and what better way than through the stories of their beloved dolls?  I have lots and lots of ideas for this one - that's definitely a whole separate post.

The Magic School Bus Science Kits
The Magic School Bus: Explore the Wonders of Nature Kit  -

This is going to be an occasional subject, mostly consisting of "workshops" conducted by Daddy on the weekends, supplemented with watching the show and reading the books.


I've saved the most important for last.  This is an academic subject in that there is much to learn, yet I don't want it to seem like "just another subject."   All three children will be attending an Atrium, staring in a few weeks, which will be their main religious instruction.  Besides that I am still pondering what other materials to use, beyond what we normally do as a Catholic family.  That is probably also a future post.

Well, these are the books I've chosen, for better or for worse!  Now, I guess I have to teach with them . . .

This post contains affiliate links for some of the books.

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