Monday, July 12, 2010

Our 2010 - 2011 Curriculum Choices

Finally!  Finally!  Finally!  I have FINALLY decided on all (okay almost all) of my curriculum choices for this upcoming school year.  Good thing since I am planning on starting July 19th!!!!  So anyway, here is what we will be using for 2010-2011 . . .

Last year we used the Beginnings I series from Explorers Bible Study and we all really enjoyed it.  This year we will be using Beginners II: Jesus, My Shepherd by the same company.  I also wanted to use a devotion type book with some real life application.  For this I have chosen The One Year Book of Devotions For Boys.  I hope this works out really well - the reviews for it are great.  We'll see.  This year I am going to try out something new for scripture memory.  We are going to using the Charlotte Mason scripture memory system. 
You either hate it or love it . . . Saxon Math!  So far it is working really well for us, but I'll be honest - I was tempted by Teaching Textbooks.  D and D will be finishing up Saxon 3 (hopefully by October) and starting Saxon 54.  H will be finishing up Saxon 1 and will start (probably around January) Saxon 2.
This has been one area that I have struggled to find a curriculum that really works for us.  No joke I used three, count them, three different spelling curriculums last year.  So, for the upcoming year, D and D will be starting Spelling Power.  H will be using All About Spelling.  I used this last year with D & D. (It was the third one)  Honestly, it is a great curriculum, but the older boys just don't need all the bells and whistles that come with AAS. 
Once again, this will be something new for us.  The older boys will be using BJU Press Grammar 3.  I really like that this switches back and forth between grammar and writing.  This is totally new for us so we will see how it goes.  We might switch back to what we used last year (and loved) - Growing With Grammar.  The only reason we are switching is because GWG doesn't cover any writing and I struggled to find a stand alone writing curriculum that I loved.  If we do switch back to GWG, I will probably use Writing With Ease for the older boys writing.  This was a really hard choice for me!
H will be using First Language Lessons.  I am really excited about this!  I bought this last year to use with D and D, but it was a little too simple for them.  I think it will be just perfect for my little man.
Everybody will be using Handwriting without Tears.  D and D will be using the cursive book and H will be using the print book.  Again, this is new for us!
This is another subject where I am planning to keep using what we used last year.  The older boys will be in Wordly Wise 3000 3rd grade and H will be in Wordly Wise 3000 Kindergarten.  I feel totally obligated to state that Wordly Wise is fantastic - starting in Grade 2.  The kindergarten and 1st grade books are totally useless without the teachers stuff (which is outrageously priced) and even with it - it doesn't offer much.  I am only using it because I already had it.  In my eagerness last year, I ordered both kindergarten and 1st grade.  If I had it to do over again, I would not.  Just my opinion!!!!
Everybody will be using Explode the Code for phonics.  D and D will start the year with book 5 1/2 and H will start the year with book 1 1/2.
As for reading, H will be finishing up Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and using Sonlight Readers 1.  D and D will be using Sonlight Readers 3.  (Please note that these readers are included in our history core that we will be using.  I did not have to purchase them separately!)  I am excited and a little nervous about the readers that the older boys will be using.  They go along with our history lessons so I really hope that the boys find them enjoyable!!
And of course library books!!!  We love the library!
We will all be using Sonlight Core 3.  We will supplement this with History Pockets Native Americans and History Pockets Life in Plymouth Colony.  I am hoping to keep us all in the same core for this year and next year.  After that, I am pretty sure that I will have to split the kiddos up and do 2 different cores.  I am putting that off for as long as possible.  If you are not familiar with Sonlight, it involves a lot of reading.  Alot.  Don't get me wrong, I love it - that's why I keep using it.  However, the thought of doing 2 different cores just about gives me a heart attack.  I'm just sayin'. 
Okay, this year we will be using something old and something new.  We will continue with Maps Charts Graphs for D and D.  And H will start his Maps Charts Graphs.  The new part is Trail Guide to US Geography.  Like I said, this one is totally new to me and honestly, I haven't even gotten it in the mail yet.  So I think it looks really great, but we will have to wait and see if I really like actually doing it!
Um, well, um, I still don't know.  Horrible isn't it?!  I know! I know!  If I plan on starting school in a week, I better get on it.  I just can not decide.  I really like Real Science 4 Kids but for some reason I just won't let myself go ahead and order it.  I also keep thinking about Alpha Omega Life Pacs, but I just can't get comfortable with that choice for some reason. I would love some opinions on this!  Comment away!
Art, Music, Health, Critical Thinking
I hate lumping all these together, but let's face it - this post was getting long.  Real long.  Anyway, here they go in good old fashioned list form . . .
Health - Good ole Abeka (I just linked to the 1st grade book.  The older boys will be doing the 3rd grade book.)
Critical Thinking - Mindbenders
So there it is - our curriculum choices for the upcoming school year.  Well, this is what we are going to start with.  Undoubtedly, I will end up changing some, dropping some, and adding some new ones. That's the way it goes!

I just linked this post up with the Not Back to School Blog Hop over at Heart of the Matter.  So, hop on over and check out everybody else's curriculum!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This post is now linked up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.  Check it out to see what everybody else will be using this upcoming year! 


  1. Elaine, you have a good resource list here for others who might be interested in these. I used First Language Lessons with N for a year (1st grade) and we really enjoyed that. We are currently in Saxon 5/4 (I think it was you I talked to about the Saxon 3 lengthy teacher manual!). We moved on to 5/4 and LOVE the quick lessons. SOOO different. We also used the Beginners and really enjoyed that for Bible last year. Let me know how you enjoy Artistic Persuits -- I am also setting up a place on my website for curriculum reviews and would love for you to review any of the curriculum you've

    C ya in a few weeks :-)

  2. Wow! Really great choices! Choosing curriculum can be so difficult, but it looks like you have a firm grasp on what you kids need :)

  3. You eclectic friend, you! Do you hang out on The Well-Trained Mind message boards?! A lot of what you are using I read about over there!

    I so hear you about the bells and whistles of AAS ... but I think it will be a good fit (at least at first) for my younger son.

    Hope you guys have a great year!

  4. Good morning, Elaine!

    Sounds like you have a very thorough list here and have done your homework really well!

    My name is Ryan and I work for Alpha Omega Publications. I'd love to hear your concerns about our LIFEPAC curriculum. Even if you don't decide to purchase, we'd love to know why you're hesitant. Your feedback is very valuable to us as we consider how to improve our products to make them better for you and other homeschoolers. I'll check back here, but if you'd like you can also email me at regan at

  5. Thanks for sharing! We are using some of the same curriculum! We used the Trail Guide to World Geography last year and loved it! This year we are moving to the U.S. Geography! I didn't know about the scripture memory approach by Charlotte Mason. I will look into it!

  6. you've got some great choices listed, congratulations on making you decision for next year! We use growing with grammar and we also use the Abeka health readers, love both.

    looking forward to hearing about your process as you work through the materials this school year.

  7. I love your homeschool posts! So glad that they are on there way back!

  8. Sonlight 3 users here too and Saxon math. Sounds like a great plan of study for your boys.

    Stopping by from the WUHS Weekly Wrap Up

  9. We loved Maps, Charts, and Graphs! Really gave my boy a good start on geography and map reading. For some reason I never did it with my girl... now that I think about it, I wonder why! Enjoy!

  10. We have a lot of curriculum in common. LOL We're on core 4 this year and I just love FLL. I hope they come out with some new levels before I run out. I'm not sure there even is one after level 4. Ack! LOL

    I so want to use AAS. I've only heard rave reviews about. But alas, my oldest is a fab speller so we're sticking with Spelling Power. I'm counting down til I can buy it for my youngest. But she's only 2 so I have a lot of counting left. =o(

  11. What a full year! I love your choices. I'm glad to read your opinions on Wordly Wise. I have wondered about using it in the future, but my 2nd grader has his plate full for this year. Glad to know we can jump in later and not have missed much!

  12. Looking forward to seeing how everything works out for you this year! Thanks for inviting us into your "home" on blogger. Have a great school year!

  13. Stopping by from the blog hop. I really love your blog! I am now following & look forward to reading more posts. (I have 3 boys also~ and a girl).



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