2020-2021 Curriculum Choices
I don’t know about you, but I find it fascinating to look at other homeschool families’ curriculum choices for the upcoming school year.
So I thought I would share my choices for the 2020-2021 school year.
This year I’ll be homeschooling a high school senior, a 5th grader, and a 3rd grader.
Language Arts: The Good and The Beautiful
The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts curriculum includes almost everything you need for complete language arts or English program.
Handwriting is the one subject not included.
Plus the curriculum also includes art, art appreciation, and geography. I find it odd for a language arts curriculum to add art and geography, but somehow it works.
The kids study art and write about it. The kids learn to interpret geographic graphs and tables.
And it’s a relief not to worry about adding an extra art program to my homeschool.
The Good and The Beautiful has a high school language arts or English program that I’m using this year with my oldest.
The curriculum is divided into 10 units that are written to the student. Ideally, your child completes a unit in 3-4 weeks. Hands their work into you at the end of that time and you grade it.
I’ve been homeschooling long enough to know that nothing goes to plan. And I will be checking in on a weekly basis to make certain we stay on track.
A couple of years ago I used The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts curriculum with my youngest two kids.
We had an amazing but exhausting year.
Well, since that time, The Good and The Beautiful updated several of their elementary language arts programs. The improvement is HUGE!
In the old editions, the lessons were topic-based. So one lesson might be nothing but several weeks’ worth of spelling lessons while another lesson had the kids reading one phonics sound.
I found it difficult to judge how much should be done.
We ended up jumping from lesson to lesson because I’d divide the spelling lessons over several days while we kept moving on.
The new Good and the Beautiful Language Arts is much improved!
Each lesson is one day’s worth of work. Plus the work is divided into two parts. The first section is done together and the second section is independent work for my kids.
Sitting down and completing language arts is simple this year. I pull out their language arts binder, we complete one lesson, and I send my child outside to play!
I LOVE IT!
The only thing that The Good and The Beautiful doesn’t cover is handwriting.
But that’s okay because I have a handwriting program I love.
Pentime Penmanship has been my handwriting of choice for several years.
It walks kids from learning how to shape letters, write cursive, and it even includes some calligraphy in the 8th book.
And it also goes all the way up to the 8th grade.
I never really understood why penmanship books ended in the 3rd grade. Kids are still trying to solidify their handwriting.
They still need systematic work to develop good handwriting.
And I believe kids still need good handwriting, even in this day and age of typing. Because you never know when you need legible handwriting!
Math: Teaching Textbooks
This year all the kids are using Teaching Textbooks for math.
Teaching Textbooks is an online program that teaching kids independently.
Basically they sit down at the computer, listen to the interactive lesson.
Interactive meaning that questions are asked during the lesson that the kids are to answer.
In addition, the program is a spiral program, meaning that it constantly reviews material the kids have learned previously in the course.
This gives my kids a chance to truly master the vocabulary and concepts.
Once through the lesson, there are a few practice problems before the kids begin the actual lesson. The best part is that it gives the kids instantaneous feedback on whether or not their answer is correct.
My daughter cheered the first few problems when she got it correct. The feedback is awesome!
One feature of Teaching Textbooks I wasn’t sure about was the buddy. The buddy is a little character that sits to the side.
My youngest son loves the woodchuck. It dove into its hole. Stuck its head up. Popped up with a book. Looked around with binoculars. And periodically chittered when my son got an answer correct.
And I would think my son wasn’t paying attention because he was watching this silly woodchuck and wiggling in his chair.
Then he’d go ahead and answer the question correctly.
Curriculum Choices for History
High School: Tapestry of Grace
My high school senior is continuing with Tapestry of Grace this year. I love Tapestry!
It provides us with geography lessons, world history, American history, worldview, worksheets, and discussions without adding stress to my life.
In fact, it simplifies things enough that Tapestry of Grace reduces my stress load!
Tapestry of Grace is my curriculum of choice for dialectic kids on up.
Elementary: Story of the World series
This year my youngest kids and I are continuing the Story of the World series. We’re reading through book 3 and I’m hoping to get through book 4 by next summer.
The way it goes is simple. I read a section aloud to the kids while they color the coloring sheet. Then I ask for narrations: what did you learn?
I do some pulling to get a sentence or two out of my son.
My daughter will regale me with the entire section in elaborate detail.
The goal is to get through books 3 and 4 so we can start back with the ancients next year.
We’re stuck at home anyway. So why not?
Curriculum Choices for Science
High School: Forensics
Instead of sticking to the traditional lineup of biology, chemistry, and physics for high school, we’re switching and doing a year of forensics.
There are several good high school forensics courses out there.
But in the end, I decided to go with the Easy Peasy All-in-One High School Forensics course.
Elementary: Memoria Press
Right now my daughter is finishing up Memoria Press’ Mammals while my son is just starting the program.
I love Memoria Press’ Mammals. It’s thorough, requires my daughter to think, and she’s able to complete it independently.
And she’s loved learning about animals this past year. In fact, she loved it so much, that she took it to her bedroom to complete before bed!
When she’s finished with Mammals, she’ll begin Memoria Press’ Astronomy program.
All in all, my curriculum choices aren’t spectacular this year. Instead, they’re choices that will keep my homeschool easily moving forward. Even if we’re stuck at home all year.
Hopefully, my curriculum choices will give you a few ideas for programs you can use in your own homeschool!
Read my past curriculum choices: