Homeschool Resources

School Year 2014-2015
Marian is in 8th grade; Andrew in 6th, Ellie in 3rd.

Here is some curriculum and other resources that I use and love...

My Father's World
We are currently using My Father's World 1850 to Modern Times for Mar, Drew, and Ellie, all at different levels.  I'm so excited that we are in our fifth year with MFW and have made it to the final year of the history cycle!  This covers our history, science, some language arts, some Bible, and music.  Highly recommended!

RightStart Math
I majored in math in college.  I am what some would call a math nerd. :)  And I am absolutely sold on the RightStart approach to math.  Two thumbs up!

Life of Fred
As much as I agree with the RightStart methods, last year I started to supplement Life of Fred one day a week for Drew.  He was getting in a bit over his head with RightStart so I decided to slow down a bit.  The result?  We have rekindled some enjoyment of math, and Drew is learning to handle math concepts from a different teaching style.  Win!

As prescribed by RightStart, Marian is mixing VideoText Algebra in with her RightStart Level G lessons.  She is doing very well in both.  Though she says she dislikes math, it sure does seem to come naturally to her!  There's still time for her to change her preferences!

We are continuing with structured writing curriculum this year.  Marian has enjoyed Writing Strands for the past two years so we are continuing with that, possibly adding some grammar instruction per MFW recommendations, though she's fairly strong in grammar already.  We'll see.   I feel that Andrew would benefit with some additional instruction in composition so we are trying some new material from Essentials in Writing.  I'm excited and think this will be a great program for him.  Ellie is my natural-born writer.  It is one of her favorite subjects.  However, she is not a natural-born capitalizer or punctuator (just made up those words), so I am mixing her creative writing with some grammar instruction this year with some help from A Beka.

I am using words from the lists in Spelling Power to give dictation sentences for two spelling levels:  Marian and Andrew together, and Ellie by herself.  Coming up with dictation sentences (that aren't boring) adds to my workload a bit, but it is worth it.

We've moved to the next phase on this.  Instead of copywork, the dictation sentences for spelling are doing double duty.

The art book with My Father's World had become too... scholastic.  I decided I would rather have more exposure to specific artists and their works, with hands-on projects.  So I am using the book Discovering Great Artists and an art appreciation schedule from Harmony Fine Arts to customize our own program.

Nature.  Just nature.  I cannot improve upon what God has already given.  We look up new birds and wildflowers we see.  Sometimes we draw them in a nature journal.  Sometimes we just smile to know that new little critter by name!

A few years ago at our curriculum fair, I stumbled upon a great little book for preschool.  I bought it for Ellie at the time, and it was a huge hit.  Now it's Reagan's turn.  Kumon makes some awesome maze books for preschoolers.  And Reagan loves mazes!

I also found this book that I think will be fun for Reagan.
I have a goal this year to somehow find time to do some Five In A Row with Reagan; the older kids can join in as time allows.  Who doesn't enjoy a good picture book?!?

Last year, Reagan completed the first book in the Rod & Staff preschool series.  The other books are a little above his level right now, but he may be ready to delve into them at some point this year.

For the first time, I have developed a specific reading list for each child this year.  I have selected a book to loosely fit with each period that we are studying in history.  After reading each book, the kids will complete a short written summary of the book as well as a creative project about the story or one of its characters.   I think this will be an enjoyable way to make sure we're all reading worthwhile books and truly retaining something from them.

Great places for lapbook materials and other print-outs:

Great animal/nature facts and videos:

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