Favourite Curriculum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-05-2014, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I was just wondering if you could post your favourite homeschool curriculum for each basic subject? I could really use a starting point.... My boys are 7 and 12 smile.gif
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#2 of 11 Old 02-07-2014, 08:41 AM
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We really only use a curriculum for phonics, but I'll share some resources I love  I use the core knowledge series as a guideline to help me not worry SO MUCH about leaving holes in his knowledge. I'm super particular about writing quality/style and I'm not really a fan of core knowledge's condensed explanations. I use it mostly to navigate and pick up other sources from the library.

Social Studies

For history we are using Gombrich's "A Little History of the World". I love it. His explanation of history in the beginning is beautiful and inspiring, and the writing throughout is great!

For geography we use a book of folktales "Eighty Tales From Around the World" as a starting point for unit studies of particular countries or Nations.

For civics, he's only a first grader, so I mostly rely on cub scouts to meet this requirement. There is a great website: icivics that might be appropriate for your 12 year old.



We've used the reading list from ambleside as well as the sonlight catalog for literature ideas. I collect childrens poetry books and we read from them daily.

I use Sing Spell Read and Write phonics: expensive and worth it.

ABEKA cursive handwriting.

He loves to make books, so that covers creative writing for us.



We tried Singapore. I know people who love it, but we just went through it so fast. We finished 1 b late November. I've just been making up math lessons. Will be following here for ideas.


Science/ Health

Here we totally do our own thing. I'm a former science teacher so I have fun experimenting on him and trying unique lesson ideas.


He does PE, Music and Art in the community.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-08-2014, 09:47 AM
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I have a 11 year old 5th grader (and a preschooler but just formally HS the oldest currently)


language arts- LLATL purple books

spelling- Catholic heritage 

math - rod and staff 4th grade (felt she needed more review)

history - sea to shinning sea (Catholic based)

Geography map skills E currently

Science - behold and see 5 (Catholic based) 

Religion (online at my faith delivered which uses the faith and life series)

PE- through HS co-opt (plus plenty of free range time)

music- studies piano through a friend

art- as we see fit


It took about 3 years to find what really works well for us. Wasn't an arm and a leg not ALL workbook type but not purposly avoiding it at every corner (she does well with some).


for 6th grade we plan to pretty much stick with the above..

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#4 of 11 Old 02-10-2014, 09:28 AM
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We are newer homeschoolers and tailor the curriculum to each child and his needs; here are some things we like this year:


6 year old boy (first grade - very strong in math):

Singapore (just workbooks)

Beast Academy

A Reason For Spelling

Apologia Human Anatomy & Physiology (with a small co-op)


9 year old boy (third grade - gifted)

Beast Academy 

Singapore Challenge

Wordly Wise

Apologia Human Anatomy & Physiology


We do a lot of things without curriculum - Social Studies we check out books from the library, Math we use supplemental materials and IXL (an online practice program), PE is outsourced, Art is through our Co-op and whatever Mama has patience for, Music is outsourced, Writing is free write and editing, Reading is done with library books, Grammar is piecemeal, Typing is a free computer program, etc.

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#5 of 11 Old 02-10-2014, 12:13 PM
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We use very little curriculum, really just in math. Dd is 11 and is my youngest, and my only remaining homeschooler.


History is based on The Cartoon History of the Universe, historical fiction and documentaries. Interest-led.

Math: we did Singapore and liked it, then did "Challenge Math" by Ed Zaccarro to consolidate pre-algebra. Now moving through a standard Canadian high school text series.

English: Reading lots of great classic and contemporary literature. Watching movies. Writing for communication. No curriculum.

PE: Currently busy with dance, gymnastics, skiing, snowboarding.

Science: interest-based. No curriculum.

Arts: Violin, dance, art class, photography. No curriculum.


We do some semi-organized but entirely child-led project-based homeschooling as well. She's used some reference books specific to those interests. My older three kids were similar.



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#6 of 11 Old 02-10-2014, 12:39 PM
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I am looking at doing Tennessee Virtual Academy (K12).  My daughter is 5 and will be starting kindergarten as an advanced learner. and I am also looking at Classical Conversations memory work (I got a Cycle 1 audio on closeout) and Ambleside Online and also the Ron Paul curriculum. I like free. If she is doing the k12, the other stuff will just be for fun, except I really want to be more diligent with the Charlotte Mason habit training. I guess you can say I prefer the "eclectic" approach. It is very important to me that gets everything covered that she would be getting in a "traditional' school environment. I have a friend who LOVES Charlotte Mason (Ambleside Online) and others who LOVE Classical Conversations, I have heard good things about Saxon math, but to go a grade ahead, since some people think it is "dumbed down."

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#7 of 11 Old 02-12-2014, 05:46 AM
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My ds is also 12.  Here's what we use:

Literature:  Various novels and short stories we read together 

Writing:  Jump In.  This is the first year he is having any kind of formal writing lessons.  He likes this workbook a lot. 

Poetry:  Ds likes Shel Silverstein, so he reads a bunch aloud each day.  The rhyme, humor, and rhythm seem to help with his dyslexia - and he really enjoys this.

Math:  Saxon Algebra 1/2.  He does all the problems on a whiteboard.  I keep trying other math programs (for some variety), but ds only likes Saxon.

History:  K12 Human Odyssey 1.  We read it together.

Geography:  Runkle's World Physical Geography.  We go over key points using a globe, maps, and the whiteboard.  

Science:  We just do the experiments from Apologia General Science.  I have the text (which is only for me) and the full lab kit I got online.  Ds finally likes science again once we loosened up.

Spanish:  Getting Started with Spanish.  It takes 5 minutes a day and he does this on his own.


Other things I like and am looking into are:  Killgallon's writing and grammar books, Life of Fred and Teaching Textbooks math, The Lab of Mr Q science, Mosdos Press literature program, and I really loved the Charlotte Mason method (I used the Ambleside Online curriculum for several years).  


Hope that helped!

DD(23) Hair Colorist/Stylist, DD(20) Dancer/Dance Teacher, DS(16) Unschooler
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#8 of 11 Old 02-13-2014, 08:38 PM
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Spelling: Apples & Pears for my dyslexic kids and All About Spelling for my other kids.

Math: Singapore Math. RightStart Math B is good, but very teacher intensive.

Phonics: Leap Frog Letter Factory and Promethean Press Dancing Bears/Bear Necessities

Science: REAL Science Odyssey

History: History of US book by Joy Hakim

Geography: Mapping the World With Art

Poetry: books my Michael Clay Thompson

These are our "go to" books. smile.gif

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif

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#9 of 11 Old 04-04-2014, 03:00 PM
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I am starting homeschooling next year for my 7 year old. We chose the Global Village School curriculum. It is more just a guide on books to read and fun ideas for projects. I chose it because a lot of the books are about different cultures and lifestyles from around the world and it promotes world peace.

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#10 of 11 Old 04-05-2014, 07:35 AM
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Sometimes we rely a lot on curriculum, sometimes we don't.  Here are some of our favorites over the years.


Math:  singapore, Beast Academy, math mammoth (for subject specific supplement), and Art of Problem Solving (they make the Beast academy books, but we also loved their pre-algebra--however, their algebra is a bit too challenging to say that we LOVE it anymore)



Grammar: "Easy Grammar"  I have tried other stuff, but I finally gave up because this simply works best for my kids.  It is quick, doesn't take a lot of time and it continually reinforces concepts.  

Composition:  So far, no curriculum.  Once we used one, but I can't say I loved it. 

We read all sorts of books and discuss them regularly.  However, I am thinking of using Oak Meadow this upcoming year for my dd's 9th grade year.  Just this subject. 

Regarding teaching reading, that would be a thread on its own (I have a child with dyslexia).  My youngest, however, really got along with the explode the code series--more as reinforcement than active teaching.  

Penmanship:  We like handwriting without tears. 

Vocab:  for my oldest only -- she uses vocabtest.com and likes it.  The younger two learn vocabulary through all our reading, our new science topics, and life. 



I used to "wing" it, but I didn't feel that I was doing the subject justice.  We still do this approach for special interest topics.  However, I have loved Real Science Odyssey from pandiapress.com.  Their level 1s use lots of library materials and have lots of labs.  This is what I was trying to do all along, it just got it organized for me.  We have also enjoyed their levee 2 Biology which has a text.  I shouldn't have bought the teacher's guide though.  I never use it.  


I have also liked Ellen McHenry's Elements curriculum.  It was a fun way to introduce chemistry to my kids.  Lots of games, jingles, etc. 


Social Studies/History:

For this we really do just use the library.  We like to take a different country each month and read about it, read some folk tales from said country, find it on the map, and make some food from the country.  For US History, I made a rough outline and we found book (fiction and nonfiction) and some videos to take us through it.  Even though I love Science Odyssey, I really did not care for their history odyssey.  I lasted a week with it.  Thank goodness for their "try before you buy" option--I didn't spend any money on it. 


Spanish:  My dd loves duolingo.com -- a free, online language program.  




Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#11 of 11 Old 04-05-2014, 09:28 PM
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We use teaching textbooks for math, total language plus and silent reading for language arts, rosetta stone for german, apologia for science, plus we put together our own curriculum for typing, cooking, world geography, sign language, and history. My kids are 13 & 15.
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