For the first time in over a decade, I will be only homeschooling 3 kids!
Wow, time flies. I have one high school student and two early elementary kids.
These are my 2018-2019 homeschool curriculum plans for the year.
Math: Saxon Math
All of my children use Saxon Math in my homeschool. It’s not fancy. It’s not entertaining. But it works and works well.
The younger children will be using the early scripted Saxon Math books.
I love these books. The lessons include circle time, a scripted lesson, drill sheets, flashcards, and a 2-sided worksheet. They’re also manipulative heavy.
I do not do every thing!
- I skip circle time.
- I glance at the lesson but don’t bother following the script.
- The kids choose between the flashcards or drill sheets.
- We complete one side of the worksheet unless more drill is needed.
- We use manipulatives.
The kids end the 3 book sequence ready for Saxon 54 where I use the 2nd edition of Saxon Math.
I explain and teach math to younger kids. However, my teenagers prefer Art Reed’s lectures.
Art Reed provides excellent lectures on DVD. And these lectures have made a huge difference in my children’s mastery of math! The DVDs begin with 76 and proceed through Advanced Math. My 10th-grade son didn’t use the first few DVDs but started watching the lectures in Algebra 1/2.
My 10th-grade son will complete Saxon Algebra 2 this year.
English or Language Arts
Language Arts in the Elementary Years
Phonics or Spelling:
We finish phonics before beginning spelling. This means my youngest will work through Phonics Pathways until he’s completed the book.
My daughter used Spelling Workout A for first grade and Rod & Staff Spelling 2 for second grade. Towards the end I let her try Spelling Power. She loved it! So that what we’re using for spelling this year.
Grammar and Writing: I want to work my son through First Language Lessons 1 & 2 this year. First Language Lessons include narration, copy work, dictation, and poetry memorization in addition to the grammar exercises.
My daughter began the Rod & Staff English series last year with the first book, Rod & Staff English 2. She thrived and will be continuing with Rod & Staff English 3.
Literature: Around Christmas last year my daughter asked for more schoolwork to complete. Seriously! So I picked up the 2nd-grade Pathway Readers for her and she loved them. So much so that she requested I order the 3rd-grade readers for her this year.
Tapestry of Grace’s year 1 literature selections are excellent but hard to find. So I decided the easiest solution would be to allow her to read the 3rd-grade readers this year. And begin Tapestry’s literature readings next year when the books are easier to find.
My son will also read through the Pathway readers this year.
Pentime Penmanship: I love this series! The first book focuses on individual letters. Cursive is introduced during the latter half of 2nd-grade, and the series continues through the 8th grade. And yes, my kids have all continued Pentime Penmanship into the 8th-grade book.
High School English
Tapestry of Grace Rhetoric Literature + Writing
High school English studies are simple. The kids read from Tapestry of Grace’s rhetoric literature list and complete writing assignments. I love the list of books! A few of the books are The Iliad and The Odyssey, Trojan Women, as well as selected readings from Egyptian Literature and the Bible.
This year he’ll also be using Tapestry of Grace’s writing assignments. These include a research paper, lots of essays, and interviews.
Third Form Latin
Memoria Press’ Form Latin Series is awesome! So far my 10th-grade son has completed First and Second Form Latin and is looking forward to beginning Third Form Latin this fall.
I’ll tell you, the DVDs help. Having an experienced teacher lecture on Latin makes all the difference in my son’s understanding.
Latin: Prima Latina
Since Memoria Press’ Form Latin series has been so successful, I want my daughter to use the same series. She’s too young for the Form Latin series. But Prima Latina was created for 1st – 3rd graders. It’s the perfect place for a gentle introduction to Latin.
History & Geography
Tapestry of Grace Year 1: Ancients
We’ll be working through Tapestry of Grace’s Year 1 History and Geography. This simply means we’ll be studying the ancients this year.
- Unit 1 covers Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Exodus from Egypt.
- Unit 2 covers Ancient India, Ancient China, Ancient Americas, the Dark Ages of Greece, and the history of Israel through David.
- Unit 3 begins with Solomon and continues through Ancient Greece.
- Unit 4 covers Rome.
My 10th-grade son will use Tapestry of Grace at the rhetoric level.
My younger kids will be using Story of the World and Tapestry of Grace combined. However, I do not like the standard alignment of Story of the World and Tapestry of Grace.
It’s accurate, but it’s also uneven. Some weeks you have 3 or 4 chapters to read in Story of the World. And then weeks go by with no readings in Story of the World. So I decided to create my own alignment between Tapestry of Grace and Story of the World. It’s similar to the standard alignment but it’s evenly spread out through the weeks.
I’ll be reading Story of the World aloud in morning time. We’ll also complete the discussion questions, narration exercises, and map work from the activity guide.
And then my daughter will read additional selections from Tapestry of Grace’s history assignments on her own. My youngest will only be using Story of the World this year.
Confession time. My youngest two children and I didn’t finish biology last year. We stalled out around the human body. After some thought, I decided to pick up our science studies this year where we broke off last year.
That and years and years ago, I used Christian Kids Explore with my oldest kids and loved it. Each week has a lesson for me to read aloud, experiments to complete, and discussion questions. In the back of the book is a list of recommended books to read.
I longed to return to it last year.
So this year, we’ll work through the units on the human body and plants in Christian Kids Explore Biology before moving on to Christian Kids Explore Earth Science. If all goes well, we’ll finish earth science this year and be back on schedule.
High School Science
My 10th-grade son will complete Apologia’s Chemistry textbook this year. The curriculum includes plenty of practice problems and module tests. And I love that it’s written to the student and the experiments are designed to be completed at home.
This is critical. Watching a science lab done online is not the same thing as doing a science experiment yourself. I will not consider using a science curriculum that does not include hands-on experimentation.
And to make those experiments possible, I purchased this kit for high school chemistry years ago. It was a great investment. So far all my older kids have used it!
Fine Art Appreciation: Tapestry of Grace Fine Art
Tapestry of Grace includes a study of fine arts in the plans.
This year my 10th-grade son will be reading about Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artwork. He loves to draw, so I’ll toss some drawing lessons his way and call it good.
Fine arts for my youngest kids will be simple this year. We’ll complete a few of the easy activities from Story of the World. Activities such as doing the cave art, trying our hand at hieroglyphs, and perhaps make a pot.
We are not mummifying a chicken though.
My goal is to have my youngest children homeschool 4 days a week, except for math and phonics. I focus on my high school kids on Fridays. We sit down and complete history and literature discussions. I check writing assignments and grade tests.
It gives me a good balance between the needs of my high school teens and my elementary kids.
Here’s a brief glimpse into our schedule:
Monday – Thursday
- Morning time
- Tutor youngest while 3rd grader does independent work
- Tutor 3rd grader
- Office hours for high school teen (answer questions, grade tests, give extra help)
- High school history discussion
- High school literature discussion
- High school science discussion
- Review high school assignments
- Math and/or phonics with elementary kids as needed
What are your 2018-2019 homeschool plans?