Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Our curriculum choices for 2013/14

Can you tell by my blogging absence that I have been busy? While I had decided on most of this year's curriculum by spring, it didn't occur to me to actually start putting together the lesson plans until this week. So as it stands, I will need to write 2 weeks of lesson plans every day for the next 3 weeks in order to get it done before we start school on August 26th. Busy? You bet!

(Calendar template found here)

A typical school year breaks down into 180 days of instruction, or 36 weeks of 5 days each. On weeks that we take days off for holidays, birthdays, or all-day field trips, we make up the lessons for that day on the other days, or on Saturday.

The point of the lesson plans is to help the older kids work independently, and also keep us all on track throughout the year as far as where we should be at in each subject at the end of every week. With 5 students in as many grade levels, and all their subjects, this would simply be too much to keep track of mentally. I will do a separate post on the lesson plans once I am done writing them. 

Our fall, Christmas, and spring breaks are overlapping with the Tempe schools this year, so our kids can keep playing with their neighbor friends when they are out of school. As it stands, we will be doing school past Memorial Day, but the schedule in those last two weeks is so minimal, and the kids are so motivated to finish up, that they typically double up their work and get done by the end of May. 

Today, I just wanted to share our curriculum choices for this year. Most of the materials we chose last year were such a success, that we are simply sticking with the same this year. This being my 10th year of home education, I am finally getting to the point where I feel I have a general idea of what is out there in the way of curriculum choices, and have a grasp of what works best for our family. So if you are new to home schooling, and feel overwhelmed, just keep plugging along until you find the perfect fit of what works for you. Please do not look at my choices as a solution for your own children - what works for mine may not work for yours. 

Solomon (8th)
Isaac (6th)
John (4th)
Miriam (2nd)
Rebecca (1st)
Family reading
Professor Horner’s Bible Reading Plan with Mom

Personal reading
four chapters a day
One Year Bible, entire day portion
One Year Bible, NT portion

church text, review old

Character development
Created for Work/Boyhood and beyond
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends (+ coloring book)
character books, story time
sermons, church, service
daily non-fiction reading relating to weekly subjects
daily non-fiction reading relating to weekly subjects
daily non-fiction reading relating to weekly subjects
A Beka “Handbook for Reading,”
Rod & Staff
J workbook,
letter sounds
A Beka “Handbook for Reading
Rod & Staff
G H I J workbooks,
letter sounds

Pentime 8
Pentime 6
Pentime 3, 4
Pentime 1B, 2
Pentime 1A

Learning Language Arts through Literature, 8th (gray)
Learning Language Arts through Literature, 6th (brown)
Learning Language Arts through Literature, 4th (orange)  
Learning Language Arts through Literature, 2nd  (red)  

R&S Spelling 6
R&S Spelling 4
R&S Spelling 2

Saxon Algebra 2
Saxon Math 87
Harcourt Math 4
Harcourt Math 2
Harcourt Math 1

Abeka 8th grade science
bi-monthly science classes at Arizona Science center

All Through the Ages living books study
All Through the Ages

All Through the Ages living books study
(Year 1 of 2 in chronological order)
Social Studies

Lük box and books
misc. other German resources

Lamb’s book of Art II
art classes
craft related to weekly subject
Abeka arts and crafts books

Typing Instructor for Kids


weekly piano lesson,
playing organ in church
weekly piano lesson
weekly piano lesson
weekly piano lesson

Sports Kids
Sports Kids
riding lessons
Sports Kids
Sports Kids
Sports Kids

weekly field trips or special activities
bi-weekly ESL class, online ESL course (Solomon)
family bike rides, picnics, etc.
animal and household chores
dinner helper rotation (one dinner per week related to weekly subject)

Math: We have been happily using Harcourt Math for years. It only covers the elementary grades, so the plan has been to switch to Saxon Math after 6th grade. No changes there.

English: Last year was our first year of using Learning Language Arts through Literature as our main backbone for English. It was a huge hit with all the kids, regardless of their reluctance in various areas such as composition, grammar, etc.

While LLATL is intended to be a full English program, we have chosen to add extra spelling and handwriting programs. We are using the Rod and Staff Spelling curriculum for the third year in a row. Again, this turned out to be a perfect fit for our children. For extra handwriting practice, we are once again using Pentime, a wonderful little series of workbooks that use Bible verses and topical themes (such as states, animals, etc.) to teach penmanship.

Science: Solomon, now in 8th grade, is the only one of our children to have a designated science curriculum as he is approaching the higher grades, and thus physics, chemistry, etc. Many of the popular science curricula use modern Bible versions, which we do not, so we decided to go with the A Beka Science series. Solomon worked through last year's books entirely on his own, and is continuing in the next grade this year. He is enjoying these books very much.

Additionally, the kids are signed up for science classes every other month at the Arizona Science Center. We have greatly enjoyed these in the past. They have classes for two different age groups. Solomon is right on the dividing line between the two, so he will be taking the higher-level classes (on subjects such as scientific calculation, DNA and genetics, etc.) by himself, as well as join his siblings in all of their lower-level classes. The classes teach neither evolution nor creation, but rather focus only on the subject at hand without leaning one way or another.

Science, History, Social Studies, Geography, etc. for the rest of the family (also including Solomon) will be done as a unit study. We switched to this approach years ago, when teaching multiple grade levels individually became overwhelming. We spent 2 years going through "Galloping the Globe", 2 more years in "Cantering the Country", and are now embarking on a 4-year journey on "All Through the Ages", a history-based unit study. The first two years will be in chronological order, the next 2 years in geographical order of history of various countries the world over. I will do a more detailed post on "All Through the Ages" and unit studies using living books in general as I have found them to be a true gem in home education.

The kids' German is coming along very well. The older boys will often speak in German to me throughout the day if it's something simple. This year, doing German will become a daily morning subject to make sure it never gets neglected. We will also include reading in German into our nightly storytime.

Solomon also started studying American Sign Language last year. He goes to a bi-weekly class on it, and will also start the online free lessons provided on this site. When he has exhausted all these options, I will probably sign him up for a higher-level class offered locally. John has shown great interest in ASL as well, but the teacher thinks he is a bit too young for it, so Solomon has been teaching him basic signs until John is old enough to join a formal class.

Art will continue to be covered in the form of Lamb's Book of Art, various crafts, and a bi-weekly art class that we are in the process of organizing with other homeschoolers and a professional art instructor.

The oldest four will continue their weekly piano lessons, and the oldest five are signed up with SportsKidz AZ for their weekly P.E. Isaac has also been taking weekly riding lessons, and is making great progress both in riding, as well as learning how to care for horses in general. In addition, the oldest four are continue honing their various typing skills using Typing Instructor for Kids (Solomon and Isaac are pretty much done learning, and just improving their typing speed now).

All this is rounded out by weekly field trips or special activities. If you feel overwhelmed just reading this, join the club! :) Again, please remember that we have been homeschooling for almost a decade now, and have a well-running system where everyone plays their part quite nicely on their own. This year, I will also have the older boys play a more active role in helping tutor their younger siblings by having them read with them, etc. They truly enjoy this, and have been playing "school" all summer long. The older ones enjoy the feeling of superiority, and the younger ones enjoy having a teacher closer to their own age. 

Homeschooling truly gets easier each year. We are excited to get started!!! Please check back for a couple more homeschooling related posts in the upcoming weeks.


  1. Thanks for sharing! It is always nice to see what other families are doing. I have also been busy working on our school schedule, though I am no where as organized as you...maybe someday I'll get there :) This will be our first year combining grades for history/geography and science. I'm trying a couple new curriculums: The Story of the World, America from the Beginning, and God's Design for Science. Are you familiar with any of these? I hope I don't regret switching. We were using Landmark, but thought the kids would retain the information better with a more hands-on approach. The new stuff uses the New King James; however, I don't think they contain that much scripture so I'm just going to have the kids look up the verses in their KJV Bibles; and write them out for penmanship practice.

  2. Would you believe we never thought of doing PE at home? Everyone kept healthy enough with the chores. Oh, wow. I'm going to have to let my mom know about that idea.

    You're so lucky to be able to do a foreign language. We don't speak any, but I think maybe I should try Spanish. I could use it for ministry, after all.

  3. Have you read the reviews on Saxon math books? I have seen the books, and they are not on the same level as public school books of the same subjects. The Algebra 2 book is not on the same level as Algebra 2 in public schools. This second review hit the nail on the head.

    Many books that Christian homeschoolers use are terrible. Galloping the Globe, for instance, has many errors in it. The goal of a homeschooling parent should be to provide an education that is superior to traditional school, not sub par. The curriculum for your little ones is not anywhere near first or second grade level in traditional school, but they are young and they still have time to catch up later. But the curriculum for your older boys is awful. Maybe you can call the public school in your district and ask if you can sit in an 8th grade and observe for a day. 8th grade is not like it was when we were young. It is very intense. At least in my state it is.

    1. Congratulations, you take the prize for most uneducated comment of the month. I don't even have the slightest inclination to prove you wrong. Dream on!

    2. Seriously, you did all that homework to decide that public school is superior?!!! It has been proven many times that when children enter public school after being home-schooled that they are well ahead. Forget even that and look at it from the standpoint of a Christian. In public school the children are taught that they are products of evolution. That should be enough reason for a Christian parent to stay well away!!!!

    3. Doesn't the 'kindly worded, constructive comments' apply to you as well Zsuzsanna ?

    4. Anonymous,

      Not only is your comment stupid, but you are also a liar. The fact that you would even compare the first class education that our children are getting at home with what the government school system would be giving them is mind-boggling.

      I graduated from public school, and it is VERY "dumbed-down" in comparison with what we teach our children. I went through Saxon Algebra 2 and Saxon Pre-Calculus when I was in High School, and I had absolutely no trouble at all taking Calculus at Sierra College after high school.

      Sit in on a day of public school to observe? I suppose next you'll suggest that my wife ask McDonald's if she can spend a day observing so that she can improve her cooking.

    5. How can Galloping the Globe contain factual errors? It is not a text book, but rather a book list organized by topic. Are you saying that the hundreds of books it recommends, all of which are readily available at public libraries, are all full of errors?

      And yeah, I'm still laughing at the notion that ANY 11-year old in ANY public school has gone past Algebra II.

    6. To whom it may concern...
      I'm sad to inform you that public school system is negligent in its abilities to teach any said pupil anything of real importance in today's society such as balancing a checkbook, how to buy a house, or seemingly anything that has to do with REAL LIFE. But thank goodness your high school graduates will know all about the Pythagorean theorem! In the words of a true southern lady... Bless your heart :)

    7. Christy.... or "Mrs. E" perhaps? Zsuzsa is not even close to unkind. In fact, I thought she was nice. You have no idea the kind of comments and nasty stuff she has to deal with. I had to comment to you, and I think you know why!

    8. why do you have to comment? its not your blog to defend?

    9. Argon Family/Jessica,

      I did not write the "Christy" comment. I'm sorry you think I did. I'm well aware of the nasty comments she gets, just as I am of the ones you got on your blog when I defended you for your stand on the Word of God. I do not agree with the Anderson's on everything, but I admire their desire to obey God and follow Him. I also admire Zsuzsanna's homeschooling. ~Mrs. E

  4. Thanks for posting this, I am still rethinking my options so this helps!

  5. That's funny, Anonymous, because I taught one of my students only about 3/4 of a Christian algebra book. When I put her in public school the next year, she said that my Algebra 1 teaching had fully prepared her for public school Algebra 2. And no, we do not live in an inner city school district. Homeschooling curriculum may use cleaner literature books and teach a different world view, but the grade levels DO correspond with public school grade levels in award winning school districts.

    After 3 1/2 school years at home and previously being Christian schooled, all three of my students earned excellent grades when thrown into public school. One of them has now graduated and is excelling in college, one is still doing very well in public school, and one is homeschooling again by choice. How many kids do you have, Anonymous? I have SIX.

    As for Galloping the Globe, students do not learn much geography at all in public schools where the focus is mainly on conservation and politics. The government geography curriculum may not have many errors, but they don't spend much time teaching it. I recommend that all public school parents buy a globe and an atlas or their kids might ask to drive to Europe.

  6. You may want to change ESL to ASL. ESL classes teach English as a second language. lol.

    1. Truth! I changed it on my actual file. Thanks!

  7. Oh my, I often disagree with some of your posts, but for goodness sakes, you do this homeschooling thing to the hilt. No one will ever accuse you of being lazy! Your curriculum is great-- what an odd thing for someone to attack you on!

  8. It's great that you found what you wanted. I really love the fact that you are teaching German to the children ! That is something I want to do when I have kids myself. German is such a beautiful and (in Europe) useful language. Raising bilingual children is among the best things you can do for them.

  9. do you start your kids in school one two two tears earlier, bc their ages dont seem to match grades, thanks.

    1. Yes, they typically start one to two years early, depending on their interest level and capabilities.

  10. This looks like a very ambitious curriculum! I'm glad that you include music and foreign language in your plan, as they are both very important aspects of a well-rounded education. I'm amazed that you're able to fit so much in to your schedule!

  11. The problem with Saxon is that it does a very poor job of teaching conceptually, and the procedural speed it produces hides a general lack of any but the shallowest understanding. Saxon is also approximately three levels behind today's public school math curriculum. There is an overarching simplicity that is difficult to access when it is taught incrementally. Saxon is fine for your children, however, as a good college and career thereafter are probably not part of their goals, nor your goals for them.

  12. Beware of the new versions of Saxon. When John Saxon died, his children sold the rights to Saxon to Houghton/Mifflin/Harcourt. They have proceeded to greatly change the Saxon series, first making the books softcover, then even to remove the geometry from Algebra 1 & 2 so that they could make a new book in the series just on geometry. I believe homeschoolers should be careful which versions they use, if they are unknowingly using one of the new Algebra books, for instance, they may not realize that the geometry has been removed.

    I consider the old versions as "Classic" Saxon and encourage homeschoolers to seek out those versions on eBay, amazon, homeschool classified sites, etc. You have to be careful to search out the correct version of the test booklet (if needed) and answer key as each edition will have slightly different problems. When I first heard of Saxon being sold, I went to an educational store and bought the entire series while they still had the "Classic" in stock.

    Linda Schrock Taylor's articles ( were what alerted me to the sale of Saxon. (scroll down half-way to get to the specific articles on Saxon)

    Another resource is Art Reed, who also recommends the older versions of Saxon over the new ones. Here are the versions he specifically recommends:

    1. Thank you for the insightful comment, and the great resources!

      The Saxon editions we are using are all the older ones, since these are the ones my husband used, plus they are cheaper used on Amazon than the new ones from the publisher. It is a pain making sure that the accompanying keys match up exactly, so I usually try to find them as a bundle.

      Personally, I am not even a fan of Saxon, which is why I don't use it in the lower grades when I actually teach the children myself. But Solomon and Isaac work mostly independently at this point, and they both prefer Saxon to Harcourt, so I say more power to them. I am always thankful for their feedback in helping me determine the best fit for homeschooling. Different teaching styles appeal to different learners. Since I am not the one doing the learning, I don't care what they use, so long as they like it, and learn the material.

    2. My comments were more because of the controversy above, how Saxon is filled with errors. I imagine the new versions are. Too bad Harcourt made so many changes.

  13. I happened to love reading this post. I love seeing what others are doing. Most do not realize that homeschooled children are several grades ahead of the public school system. You are doing such a good job Zsuzsa and I know your children are gonna be little brainiacs like their daddy and mommy! :) I am curious to how long each day you guys take to school. Like, what time are you done for the day? Also, are you flexible, if it does not all get done in a day or are you strict about it? Keep it up! I am sorry for all the negative you always get. :( Miss you guys! Take care.

  14. A couple of comments from a retired teacher with a masters degree and 34 years of teaching experience:
    1. I taught first grade for many years, and I see nothing wrong with the curriculum you have chosen for your first and second grade girls. I taught in a Christian school where we used the A Beka curriculum almost exclusively, and I found it to be excellent. My own children attended that Christian school for several years before transferring to public schools. They graduated from high school with high honors and attended college. My daughter is a speech/language pathologist and my son is an attorney. I also taught in public schools, and my school system used Harcourt Math at the time I retired. It is also an excellent program. I am not familiar with Saxon Math, but I do believe it is used in some public schools.
    2. I guess the ASL teacher knows best, but I don't think John is too young to learn American sign language. I had a hearing impaired child in my class one year. She had a sign language interpreter with her all day. The interpreter started teaching daily sign language lessons to my entire class, so they could better communicate with the hearing impaired child. My first graders picked it up so fast, much faster than I did, in fact. Those kids are now in high school, and I have no doubt that they can still communicate with their hearing impaired classmate. I think now is the time for John to learn sign language, especially since he is motivated to learn it.

    1. I too think John is old enough. I think any child, any age, is old enough to at least pick up a little bit of anything. However, it was the teacher's express wish not to have John join the class, because she is mostly trying to aim it at adults and older teens. Since it is her class and not mine, I respect her wishes. Solomon has been working with John, which is good reinforcement anyway.

  15. One more comment from me... I don't see anything about independent reading for your first and second grade daughters, but I'm assuming that you do have them do some independent reading daily. Once young children have mastered or nearly mastered decoding, they should be reading independently as much as possible. I've found that this is the best way to improve their fluency and comprehension skills. Most public schools and many private schools use the Accelerated Reader program from Renaissance Learning. I don't know if it is available for homeschoolers, or if something similar is available to you, but it would be worth looking into. You might also want to check with your local public school district. If they have Accelerated Reader in their schools, it may be that they can make it available to your children as well. It is an online program, so your kids could participate from home. I have no idea if they can do that or not, but I do know that our public schools make many of their programs available to homeschoolers who live in the district. Just an idea.

    1. Lots of independent learning going on around here - I have to pull the kids away from books sometimes, but I never have to encourage them to read.

  16. I know several 10 and 11 year olds who take Geometry or Trig at their schools (they are generally bused to the middle or high school for their classes).

    I think you spend a lot of time in your home, and very little time in public schools. So it is hard for you to know what is going on there, and so you imagine that no one could be more advanced than your kids. The truth is, there are some very bright kids in public school. They may be the minority, but there are many who are several grade levels ahead in math.

  17. I think you do a great job of homeschooling, and far, far better than many other parents. You are obviously organized and put a lot of time into it. However, penmanship? Years of it? Are you aware of the advancement of technology?

    Do your kids know how to make a podcast? Can they edit an imovie? Access google docs? Create a powerpoint presentation? These are the things they'll need to get a job, and they are things taught in the public schools you detest.

    1. I think penmanship is incredibly important, and is actually Solomon's favorite subject. I worked as an assistant in the personnel department for a couple of years while in college, and one of the first things we looked at on applications was the handwriting. If it looked like that of a 3rd grader, the application went in the trash. I cannot tell you how many adults I know who write like they are in elementary school. It doesn't matter how proficient you are in your field, if you come off looking like a fool, people will think you are one. I sure am glad my husband doesn't write me notes that look like they came from a little kid.

      True, computer literacy is also important, but is totally overrated in my opinion. PCs didn't become standard in homes until I was a teenager, and yet, I have been able to learn how to use them just fine. Very few people know how to make podcasts, and even fewer jobs require such knowledge To set your mind at ease, our kids DO know how to make an iMovie, create google docs, and much more. But if they didn't, it's nothing they couldn't learn if they needed to.

    2. Podcasts over penmanship? Really? I don't home school but I love your posts about your home school. It's really awesome to see how serious you and your family take it.

      I don't home school except for supplementing subjects like penmanship, vocabulary and spelling. It's outrageous that people and the school systems think technology is more important than those three skills. You have to know correct spelling to use spell check!

      We took a family vacation earlier this summer that included long drives to and from the destination. People were all over me to buy a DVD player, chargers for iPods and mobile internet for the car. How about reading an actual book for entertainment? Or talk to each other? Or play games with each other. We got along just fine without the screens in the car.

  18. Thank you for sharing your curriculum choices. As a new homeschooling mother (beginning my second year), I find the input of veteran mothers very valuable.

    As far as anon's comment above, I'm not sure how public schools have changed since I attended, but we didn;t learn half of what you have listed in your curriculum. We began foreign language at that age, whereas your children are already nearly fluent in one. And we had things like band, but your child is actually playing the piano during church services. Weekly field trips - didn't happen in public school. Character training - yeah right.

  19. Anonymous @ 10:01 PM - My kids attend public school and I think your comment is ridiculous. As someone who has spent HOURS in elementary school classrooms as a volunteer (had kids in elementary for a total of 12 years), Zsu's curriculum seems to cover all the bases and then some. If a parent does a half-way decent job of homeschooling, most kids that go from homeschooling to public school are usually ahead. No Child Left Behind has basically ruined elementary school for most kids. . . any system that has kindergarten children taking written tests is ridiculous. So thankful my youngest child is now in 9th grade.

    1. Half-way decent? I'd say a 1/4-way decent and the kids would be ahead. It's disgraceful what has happened to the schools due to No Child Left Behind and lots of other reasons. I'm thankful too that I don't have kids in elementary school anymore because it's getting worse, not better.

      I'm not implying that Zsuzsanna's school is half-way decent. It's far superior to any home school, public school or private school I've ever read about.

  20. *I am so sorry your excellent blog post was high jacked by an obviously ignorant individual.

    ~> As far as our choices this year, since most of the materials we chose last year were also successes, we will be using them again too.
    The only difference for us this year, is my oldest will be in High School. Seems like just yesterday I was teaching him his ABC's ((memories)).
    We are planning on using, Time4Learning's new High School courses, for him.
    I really admire how structured and planned out your homeschooling is. I have Besides our Unit Studies and Co-op, I really do not have anything scheduled or planned out. Sometimes I think, if I didn't school year-round, we wouldn't finish each year.
    Anyways, Thanks for the idea about Sigh Language. I was wanting to add something else this year and I think this would be something good to know. A great life skill :)


  21. Wow!!! So appreciate Mrs. Anderson for taking your precious time to give all of your input of knowledge of how to prepare and do home-school. Really , all you written helps more than you will ever know. It is a true guide of showing /helping all whom are interested in homes-schooling plus those whom home-school already. Personally , I thank you much~ always: Rosita :)

  22. Thank you so much for writing this out, Zsuzsanna! I always look forward to reading your curriculum choices - I learn so much reading through your choices and researching them.

    When you have time, I always love to hear details (and more details, and more details!) about how you do science and history. Whether it's ATTA, GTG, CTC, Apologia, etc., it is the practical "how to DO it" details that always mystify me. Posts about those subjects would be very, very welcome!!

    I've printed off your choices so I can spend some time going through them! Thanks again for posting!!


  23. May I suggest Westwood ASL in addition to Lifeprint? John would love it. The URL is: It has several modules, with the initial ones free and a membership to all the rest at a nominal cost (less than $10, and with a family your size that's quite a bargain since all of them can share it). It teaches ASL in a manner similar to how Rosetta Stone teaches spoken languages, very organically. The teacher is a Deaf man who is teaching his own native language, which matters a lot. Most ASL courses are taught by hearing people. I am a late-deafened adult who lost my hearing at age thirty. I took several ASL courses in my first few years of deafness, and the ones taught by Deaf individuals were far superior. Also, it is very difficult for Deaf people to stay off disability welfare programs. Many desperately wish they could work but have a hard time finding employers who can or will accommodate them. Taking ASL from a Deaf teacher helps provide them with the dignity of employment, as well, doing a social good as well as giving your kids the benefit of learning from a native user of the language. Hope you don't mind the suggestion. Thank you for your time.

    1. Wow, thank you for that link, Alexandra! I am totally going to sign up for an account with that website. It looks great; I hope new modules are added regularly.

      You make such a good point about employment opportunities being limited for the deaf. It would be very hard for them, since they have to interact with the hearing all day long. It's like two people working together who do not speak the same language - which reminds me of the tower of Babel (and as we know, that turned out to be impossible). I do not think at all that it would be wrong for the deaf to be supported by the general welfare of others due to their disability. I am just upset that government welfare programs have take away our opportunity (and means) to financially support those we choose to through private organizations or directly. Of course, I also understand and commend the desire of the deaf to support themselves.

      Once we have had a chance for the kids to try a couple of the modules, I will write up a blog post dedicated to promoting the website. Thanks again!

    2. You may also want to see if there is a local social night for the Deaf community in your area. I live up in Michigan and a large group of Deaf adults and kids get together in the local mall's food court. It'd give your son a chance to practice basic conversational skills.

  24. Hi Zsuzsanna. Do you use any curriculum for preschool, such as age 3-4? I have found one that I like that uses the Bible as a basis with a letter of the week and such and only 1/2 an hour a day or so, which would be great. But, I'd just adapt it to use KJV. Do you have recommendations? Thanks!

  25. Hi Zsuzasanna,

    I love reading your homeschool advice! Thank you! We have five little ones seven and under. We homeschool our kids and really love it. We have used an eclectic approach these past two years. But I have found myself needing more structure. I have used some ABeka books and love that my 1st grader reads 4th and 5th grade levels!! My question is, now that there is the new "national"public school curriculum; Common Core Standards, I know that homeschoolers think it doesn't make a difference for us, but, I have read that many homeschooling publishers have "aligned". Thankfully ABeka has made a statement on their site that they are not aligning. However, BJU and Saxon math are among some that have. Will you choose to change? There is also a documentary out made by HSLDA {Homeschool Legal Defense Association} called Building The Machine {About the Common Core}. It doesn't cover all the horrible things that Common Core really is, but it's good to see. Thanks!

  26. How wonderful that your children are speaking your native tongue! My husband and his family speak Spanish and it's pure joy seeing my children learn and embrace this part of their culture. We are also a homeschooling family, however, we are very new to it all. I did K with my 4yo last year and we are now moving on having made the final decision not to enroll him in public school (or any of our children-- we have 3). After much prayer, Bible and soul searching it's what God wants for our family. Your curriculum/school year plan looks wonderful and what busy kids! It's always fun seeing the extras homeschool parents have scheduled for their littles! I look forward to your curriculum post for the 2014/15 school year!

  27. In August I will be homeschooling my children for the first time. I will have a 4th, 2nd, and 1st grader. This blog post has been very helpful with the overwhelming task of choosing their curriculum. Do you use the complete program for Learning Language Arts through Literature or should I only purchase the readers and the student activity book?


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.