I am thrilled to share with you our homeschool curriculum choices for this upcoming school year! We will be beginning our homeschool year next week (August 14th) and I am so excited to get our noses into the books again! This year I have 4 bright students! I will have the privilege to teach an 8th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader and a 1st grader!! It’s starting to feel a little like a one-room pioneer schoolhouse over here!
Every year when I begin choosing our homeschool curriculum I have the same battles in my mind… There are some things that we absolutely loved and KNOW without a doubt we will be continuing in. Then there are those handful of items that I was certain did not serve us well, and sometimes there are a couple of things that are just kinda in the middle somewhere. I know that choosing homeschool curriculum can be diffucult and overwhelming task! It helps to know what your non-negotiables are in education materials before you begin researching, this is a great first step help you discover what you are looking for. Maybe this blog post will give you some ideas!
Some of our family’s homeschool curriculum non-negotiables are:
- Core curriculum choices must come from a Christian world-view, or at the very least it cannot contradict it.
- Core curriculum should be family style as much as possible and literature based. Often these are Charlotte Mason style.
- The children and I BOTH need to enjoy the curriculum. There is nothing worse than having to force yourself through lessons that everyone loathes day in and day out for an entire school year!
- School should not take us hours upon hours to complete. It should get the job done in a pleasant way that is not overly time consuming. This leaves time for children to play creatively and learn life lessons. (I do aknowledge that this will likely change in highschool.)
Our family does a traditional 180 day school year from fall-spring with a summer break. This is what our homeschool umbrella requires of us. I keep a teacher planner with records of the children’s work. I also turn in progress reports 3 times a year along with sample work. Overall this is very agreeable for our family.
Now it’s time for the big reaveal!! I am so excited about this year, and I hope you are excited for your year too! Let’s see if we have any choices in common. Without further ado….. Here is our 2023/2024 homeschool curriculum choices! A full reveal for family and individual studies for grades 8th, 6th, 4th, and 1st.
Our 2023/2024 Homeschool Curriculum Choices:
Family Homeschool Curriculum:
For this year we are continuing our American history studies. We did early American from Beautiful Feet Books last year and are picking back up with their Modern American this year. It is designed for 5th-8th grades, so I will be modifying this for the younger ones. I will choose relevant picture books and we will read the spine together. (You can read my detailed reviews of Early American Primary and Intermediate History.)
Will be family style this year. We will be doing Beautiful Feet Book Holling Geography Through Literature together this year. It is a truly lovely geography that covers many US states and some of Canada. We will read through the 4 books and complete the map work together.
This will vary from week to week. Sometimes it will be as simple as observing nature in our backyard or on a walk through the neighborhood. Other times it could be a beach trip! My boys and I all have a deep love of nature! Basically we go outside and observe nature, then we come home and chat about it and make entries into our nature notebooks. We always have our favorite field guides, and this Handbook of Nature Study, nearby for this part. The children really like using these Nature Journals for their entires.
I have not done a “morning basket” in years, but I decided to give it a try again this year. I chose the most important enrichment studies for our family homeschool time this year. In years past I have tried to do ALL the Charlotte Mason enrichment studies and it was absolutely overwhelming for us and impossible to complete. We would begin strong, but would end up defeated shortly after the first term of the school year. So this year I am choosing what I believe will serve us best! (I will be sharing how I do morning time and my morning basket schedule with you all very soon!)
Bible Time We will begin this time, and our school day with prayer. We enjoy taking turns praying each day. For Bible study, I have several resources that I use as guides for this. This year we will begin with reading through Leading Little Ones to God by Marion Schoolland. I absolutely love this book! It explains doctrine in way that children are clearly able to comprehend and has Scripture along with it. We will also be using the Simply Charlotte Mason Scritpure memory cards and system for Bible memory. (You can download and print these cards for FREE here!! You can learn exactly how to use this system in Sonja’s post.) We will complete this daily.
Literature We will be reading aloud from a living book throughout our school year together as a family. I do sometimes use audio CDs for this if the task becomes overwhelming for me to complete – I also enjoy getting to listen myself and not always being the reader! There are many wonderful living books available on CD or online. Our first 3 books of the year will be: Along Came a Dog, Charlotte’s Web, and A Cricket In Times Square! We will complete this daily.
Poetry Study We will be enjoying the poems of Emily Dickinson for the entire school year. We will follow my poetry schedule. You can find out exactly how I teach poetry study on my blog post here, as well as download a FREE schedule. We will complete this weekly.
Music Study We will be delighting in the music of 3 great composers this year and will be beginning with Chopin. We will follow my music study schedule. You can find out exactly how I teach music study on my blog post here, as well as download a FREE schedule. We will complete this weekly.
Picture Study We will be basking in the beauty of 3 great artists this year and will be beginning with Monet! After that we will be studying Cassatt and Van Gogh. You can find out exactly how I teach picture study on my blog post here, as well as download a FREE schedule. We will complete this weekly.
Hymn Study We will focus on and sing through 2 hymns per term. I will select these and we are going to sing a Capella or around the piano this year. For our first term we will be learning More Love to Thee O Christ and This Is Our Father’s World. If you would like more guided help with this, Simply Charlotte Mason has a Singing the Great Hymns compilation available here. (It comes with a CD of the music as well. It is fine, but I did not like that the hymns began abruptly and without an introduction. This is just my personal preference.) We will complete this 3 times a week.
Inspirational Reading This can be varied in what I choose. I will choose a biographical style book that I think will inspire the children through a story of a past individual’s life. I usually choose a compilation style book. Our first book for this school year will be Trial and Triumph: Stories of Church History. I will probably do this with the older boys only. With the littlest I will probably read one of William Bennett’s Children’s Books; like The Children’s Book of Faith. We will complete this 2 times a week.
Individual Homeschool Curriculum:
These are the studies per grade level for each child. Basically, it is reading, writing, mathematics and science. Here is what homeschool curriculum I chose for each child for their grades. I will share these from youngest to oldest. (Please note: I did not include all of the literature in the photographs! This is just a sampling of the subjects. There are MANY more living books that we will be using alongside what you see.)
- Math Will be Math with Confidence. This is a fairly new curriculum and I REALLY like it. It teaches math in a way that is interesting and sticks in children’s minds. Plenty of real life situations and hands-on learning is included in this method. She even has an optional enrichment lessons that use math picture books and activities! I love that!! You can find this curriculum here.
- Language Arts Will be Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This program teaches phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and higher order reasoning. (It is a solid reading program in the early books) and I appreciate the hand holding it offers at a great price point!
- Handwriting Will be the student friendly Pentime. This book will give him extra practice throughout the school year to continue to work on his penmanship. I love this series and have used it for the all of our homeschool years. I do not choose these by grades, but by what they need to work on.
- Science Will be the newly released Seasons Afield from Beautiful Feet Books. I am so excited for this I can hardly stand it! This is literally the loveliest science I have ever seen. Wonderful living books from beginning to end; and the field-note and watercolor cards are next level. He will enjoy doing this with his older brother SO much!
- Math Will be Math with Confidence. I am beyond pleased with it for my boys. Again, it teaches math in a way that is intersting and sticks in children’s minds. Plenty of real life situations and hands on learning is included in this method. She even has an optional enrichment lessons that use math pictue books and acitivites! I love that!! You can find this curriclum here.
- Language Arts Will be Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This program teaches phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and higher order reasoning. I have come to appreciate this curriculum for keeping them on level and task in this subject.
- Handwriting Will be the student friendly Pentime. This book will give him extra practice throughout the school year to continue to work on his penmanship. I love this series and have used it for all of our homeschool years. I do not choose these by grades, but by what they need to work on.
- Science Will also be the newly released Seasons Afield from Beautiful Feet Books. This is literally the loveliest science I have ever seen. Wonderful living books from beginning to end; and the field-note and watercolor cards are next level. I know he will love doing this, especially the watercolouring!
- Math Will be Masterbooks Math Lessons for A Living Education. This curriculum has been the best fit for him in math so far. We will also finish working through Math Facts That Stick Multiplication to solidify his fact retention.
- Language Arts Will be Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This program teaches Grammar, Vocabulary, Reading Skills, Spelling Skills, Penmanship, Research, Journal Writing, Poetry, Newspaper and Creative Writing, and Higher Order Thinking Skills. I have really come to appreciate this curriculum for keeping them on level and task in this subject. He will also work through a Pentime book for extra handwriting practice and do extra reading practice each day.
- Science Will be Masterbooks Elementary Zoology. He has a passion for learning about animals, and I knew that this particular curriculum would really suit him. It is also the perfect transition from living book reading/narrating style science to reading and answering questions in a workbook. Hopefully, we can do an aquarium and zoo field trip this year too!
- Math Will be Teaching Textbooks. This particular child is very strong in math and just wants to get it done. This has worked well for him. He is an extremely responsible and task oriented child. You can access a free trial here.
- Language Arts Again will be Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This program teaches Grammar, Vocabulary, Analogies, Word Study, Book Studies, Composition, Narrative Writing, Persuasive Writing, and Research. It does well at preparing children for higher level writing and book comprehension. I also grabbed him a Pentime because he enjoys it as well as the last Pathway reader. He requests this reader every year, it is bittersweet to me to have purchased the last one.
- Science Will be Masterbooks General Science 2. He completed 1 last year and we really liked it. I love how these science studies are designed with wonderful books and a corresponding workbook. I think they are very customizable, and extremely well done. They also have Masterbooks Academy that corresponds with General Science 2, and we may subscribe to that too. I do think he would enjoy and benefit from it.
I think that covers it! Of course, I can absolutely guarantee that we will be adding in more good books along the way. Like season stories, nature books, history books, and free reads….. it happens every year LOL.
If you are looking for some books to educate, inspire, and encourage you on your homeschool journey, please take a peek at my Favorite Books for Homeschool Moms post. I hope this reveal was fun and helpful for you! Do we have any curriculum choices in common? Let me know about it in the comments!
Before I close, I want to share my teacher planner with you. It is a vital part of my homeschool planning and execution. It took me several years to find one that I absolutely loved and now that I have I want to be sure and share it with you in case it meets a need. (By the way, this is my 3rd year using this planner.) I love that it has a 2 page monthly calendar at the beginning of each month for me to write down any appointments, outings, etc. It saves so much time by being pre-dated. There is plenty of room for writing down multiple students – it will definitely be enough space for all 5 of my children next year! You can grab it for an amazing price here.