Want to know what our family is using for our homeschool this year? I’ll share a little insight into our homeschooling plans and curriculum as well as how I find the best deal on what we use.
Our Homeschooling Curriculum and Plans for 2021 – 2022
We are now in our 4th official year of homeschooling (plus some easy preschool before that) and yes, this is actually the first time I’m sharing our curriculum. I didn’t share before for several reasons but honestly, it was mostly because I put together a rather random assortment of curriculum and now I finally feel more settled and confident in what we use.
Here’s a bit of background info before I share what we are using. My children are 9, 7, and 4. We don’t keep track of grade levels as it’s not required in South Dakota, I put together a plan to meet them where they are at. (Which is hands down the best part of homeschooling in my opinion!) I love having a set plan but then I also like adding in fun things that go along with the plan. We do school 4 days a week which works very well for us. The other day is used for some kind of hands-on learning, playing with friends, or going to town. We are second-generation homeschoolers. 🙂
I know that this is going to get long so let’s jump right in!
Right now for Language Arts, we are using All About Reading and we are in Level 2 this year. We struggle with some reading disabilities and this has worked well for us because it has so many different ways of helping the kids learn to read.
This only takes the kids a few minutes a day to do but I like the easy way that it teaches them to spell and how to put words together. They can get a little bored with the repetition but sometimes a little repetition is necessary for memorizing how to do things.
I’ll admit that the name of this isn’t always accurate but I do like how it teaches the kids how to form their letters and numbers. We are starting the year with Printing Power and then will move onto Cursive when we are done with that book. I think it will be interesting to see how that goes for my boys.
A few years ago we started using Horizons and are still enjoying it! Eventually, I’d like to switch to Teaching Textbooks when we are at that level but the kids are learning well from Horizons so this works for now.
These are a series of videos produced by Sonlight that go over various math topics. I didn’t find them until the end of last year but the kids thought they were so fun. This year I’m adding them into our math plan to help explain certain concepts even better and in a way that the kids will remember.
We are happily using Sonlight again this year for our History/Bible/Literature. We loved it so much last year that it wasn’t even a question of whether or not to buy it again this year. This year, the boys are doing Core B together which is World History Part 1.
We will be using the science from Sonlight for 3 days of our week. Last year my kids enjoyed the reading portion of their science so it made sense to do it again. The 4th day of the week features a video, book, and experiment but last year we found ourselves not doing them because they didn’t seem related to the rest of what we were learning. So this year we will just use the first 3 days and for the last day of the week we chose something else.
Since the theme of this year’s science was animals, astronomy, and physics, I picked out this amazing Physics Kit from Thames & Kosmos to do on our 4th day of the week. Each week we will build one of the machines (it comes with instructions on how to build 36 machines) to learn more about how physics works. I felt like this was a much better hands-on choice than a bunch of little experiments requiring a lot of things that I don’t have on hand.
Our main Sonlight curriculum includes a large amount of Bible teaching. With it we will be memorizing verses, singing verses, reading from the Bible, and reading from another book that goes with Core B.
Right now we’ve started on the Obedience Study from Not Consumed. If we like it I may do another one when this one is done. We are about a week in (taking it slowly!) and I’ve found it has nice simple “phrases” that we can learn which helps my kids remember what they are reading (“Obey without delay!”)
Here are a few extra books that I’ve added for this first part of school as well. I’m sure I will continue to add things as the year progresses, based on what we are learning at the time.
I felt like a complete secular history book (even with the discussion questions) wasn’t quite enough for us so I bought the first Mystery of History book to read the stories in it when appropriate. I think it’s helped connect the kids to the timeline they know (Biblical) to the timeline they are learning (standard world history).
This book is just for fun and not just science experiments but crafts and other things to go along with our history.
I also got the cookbooks for ancient Rome and Greece as well. We like to cook through history!
We already use Dyslexia Games from Thinking Tree so we are trying the Life Skills notebook this year as well. I still haven’t decided if we will start this later this year or next year though.
How I Save Money on Homeschool Books
Expenses with homeschooling can add up quickly especially if you choose to use a “boxed curriculum” like Sonlight. In order to save money on our homeschooling expenses, here are a couple of things I do.
I get the book list from Sonlight and see what I can buy used first.
- I will shop on homeschooling Facebook groups if I can find anything there first.
- I also buy many of the books through Thrift Books (I’m sure you can tell from the picture above!)
- This year I also purchased a large number of my books from the Salt and Light Homeschooling store in Loveland, Colorado.
Anything that I can’t find used I then compare the prices of what I need between Sonlight’s website and Rainbow Resource.
Want to see a video of me sharing a little more about what we are using for school this year and why? Check out my brand new video below!
If you aren’t able to watch the video here on the blog, you can also watch it on YouTube.
Are you homeschooling this year? What are you using?