5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials – Day 5 Curriculum

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials



Welcome to day 5 of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials. Today’s topic is curriculum.

For me curriculum is a huge essential to my homeschool. Finding what works has been difficult for me over the years until I joined the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. The review crew has really opened up my eyes to things I wouldn’t have even thought to look up or maybe not even bothered with. For a long time I was struggling to find a good curriculum for math and social studies (history) and science for my son. Well thanks to the review crew my problems are solved. Now I just gotta figure out a really good language arts/literature program for my daughter. I am on the hunt for social studies curriculum for her as well.

Yesterday I talked about learning styles. The curriculum that I have bought/reviewed fits the kids learning styles. Again I stress that if a curriculum doesn’t work it is ok. You can either go back to something else, try something new, or just get creative with the curriculum you have.

I also hunt for curriculum online that is free and I do make my own if needed. The stuff I make for the kids are either something they are struggling with or something they need to keep reviewing. You can find the stuff I have made by looking in the categories Free Printables and Freebies on my blog here.

Sometimes when we need a break from the curriculum we are using we do unit studies or lapbooks. My two favorite places for lapbooks are A Journey Through Learning and Homeschool Share.

Another site that I like to get printable worksheets and workbooks is at education.com. I like that I can search by subjects and by grade.

I try to look for things that will benefit the kids and keep them intrigued and interested in learning. It’s a little harder for my son because he just doesn’t like school at all. My daughter on the other hand is easy. She loves to do homework and she loves to learn.

For Science – We use Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics. I use this with both my son and daughter. We really enjoy this because this book has a TON of experiments to go along with the readings and even more at the end of the lesson that you can find in the journal. I love the fact that the experiments touch on what the kids have learned and give them a visual. I am not sure exactly how much my daughter is holding in as it is a little older for her but she loves it. For her we are using Science4Us.com now. That will be an upcoming review. It’s visual and can be hands on as well depending on how you choose to use it.

For History – I use America the Beautiful with my son. I like that it’s more like a unit study then a text book with work. The lessons are short but the workbooks we use with it go over the key facts of what we read. We also have family projects that we do that are suggested by the book. I take it a step further and I add different foods in from the time period or the area that we are studying. We make the recipes together and we try them. I throw it in there on a day I know that he really truly needs a break.

For Math – I use A Plus Tutor Soft  Online with my son. That is a multi sensory math program. He watches a video which gives him the visual of the concept he is learn and there is a interactive quiz. You can choose to do the stuff online or printable worksheets. I print out the worksheets so I can visually see if he is understanding it or not. I also print the reference pages that go with the chapter so he can easily go back and look at what he just learned. For my daughter I use Math U See. Right now we are finishing up the Primer. I love the approach to it. She sees it, builds it, says it, and writes it. She uses the manipulatives as well. I want her to get the concept that if you add one to a number it’s the number that comes after but I might have to make some visual worksheets that she can use some bingo daubers for that. Other wise she is catching on to the skip counting of 2’s and 10’s. She also memorized the adding doubles. She is getting the hang of  two digit math by the visuals. There is also a DVD we watch at the beginning of the lesson.

For spelling – I use Soaring into Spelling and Vocabulary for my son. We do a lesson a day. If he can’t spell his words the first day I give him the new words, I have use Spelling City as that is repetition for him and he is allowed to practice with games. He also goes into learning the vocabulary as well which is a plus. For my daughter well I haven’t found anything I like for her yet. I do have my eye on Spelling U See as I think that is what I am going to start with her. That isn’t going to come out until March…..can I fast forward time a little….I am anxious to order it.

For Language – I use Growing with Grammar with my son. I do only one lesson a day. When he needs extra help I put him on IXL.com. For my daughter I am working on letters and letter sounds. I guess you could say phonics with her. I let her log into ABC Mouse and let her go to town. She will stay on it for about an hour. After this year I will need to find a good language/reading program for her.

For Reading – Right now, my son and I are reading chapter books together. We take turn reading the chapters. There are times I have him draw what interested him in a chapter. We stop and talk about what is going on in the book. It leads to discussions which I really like. For my daughter, we are working on sight readers. I make worksheets to go with the books we are using. That way it will help her remember the words. I also use Spectrum Reading with her. We also read library books everyday together as well.

For Music – My daughter is using Kinderbach. She is learning how to play the piano. She is really loving it. My son wants to play the drums or learn guitar but I don’t think he is ready for it. Meaning I want him to take care of things and keep his room clean. Yes I know that sounds lame but I want him to care for the instrument. He is also learning the piano through Adventus. I am debating whether or not to renew it for a year. He also wants to play recorder. My kids love music. They take to it very well.

For Art – Well I don’t have a curriculum. I do have a couple DVDs from See the Light but we have only done one. I have bought some ebooks on chalk pastels and that is what we are going to work on. My son is an abstract type of kid. It makes me wonder if that is how he sees things. If you ever see his stuff he has lots of lines in it and lots of colors. We are going to be working on Valentines Day and Spring crafts next.

For Phy Ed – We pretty much use the outdoors and the Wii. If we aren’t outside then we are doing different games with the Wii. We use the Wii Fit and oh it’s at the tip of my tongue….it’s a Dance game and it’s my favorite. Hopefully in the next couple months we will organize a co-op.

All of the curriculum I have is based off of the different learning styles and interests of my kids.

For more 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials visit:

Lisa @ Our Simple Kinda Life

Tabitha @ The Homeschool Four

LaRee @ Broad Horizons

Gwen @ Tolivers to Texas

Amy @ Counting Change. . . Again

Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Gena @ I Choose Joy!

Adena @ AdenaF

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker

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