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Our 2014-2015 Homeschool Curriculum Picks

2014 - 2015 Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations (for elementary grades with a Charlotte Mason approach)


Here I am again.

[hangs head]

I’m the lady that blogs here.  ‘Member me?  The over-committed pregnant mama who has great blogging intentions and never follows through?  That’s me!

I am amazed everyday when my phone beeps, letting me know that I have new subscribers to this little corner of the web…seeing as how I haven’t been here in….oh, say, a month and a half!  Thank you a million times over for continuing to visit (and sign up!) for blog post updates, even when I’m M.I.A.!

This has been a whirlwind summer, as I’m sure many of you can relate!  Long work hours for the hubby, a summer vacation and a month of church activities have kept us busy and running here and there, grabbing food on the go and crawling into bed with sandy feet and windblown hair.  I will admit that my kids fell asleep in their swimsuits a few too many times and slept in them all night…

But that’s what summer is for!

And now, on to the next phase…. {gulp}….school planning!

If you’re just joining us here at Vintage Kids, check out my posts on homeschooling and then come on back for our curriculum picks for this year!

I’ve gotten quite a few facebook and email messages, asking me to explain our curriculum and give recommendations, so I thought I’d share here.  I’ve tried a lot of different curriculum. Enough that I don’t want to tell you, because then you’ll realize: a.) how severe my A.D.D. is and b.) how much time and money that must’ve cost me.   And you’d be right

So, suffice it to say, I’ve tried/owned/thumbed through/bought-and-resold many of the more popular curriculum options available and I think I finally found a fit for my family (and my A.D.D.).

Personally, I have no qualms with trying something and then ditching it if it doesn’t work for us.  We’ve switched mid-year many times, and I make myself (usually) stick with something for at least a semester, to give it a fair shake.  However, after that semester, if we aren’t enjoying it or it doesn’t work, then we move on with no regrets.

That’s the luxury of homeschooling; teaching so that my children will learn, not just so that they can say that they finished a book.

And if they aren’t learning (or if it’s painful because it doesn’t match our learning style), then we adjust.

I subscribe mostly to the Charlotte Mason school of thought when it comes to our schedule, approach, lesson length and the atmosphere that we are building in our home.  That being said, what I do and how I do it doesn’t really fit in a neat and tidy category, which I guess makes this an Eclectic approach!


So, enough of that, here is what we are going to be using for the 2014-2015 school year with a fourth grader, a first-grader, a 3 year old and in a few months, a newborn!

Bible – all together

Seeds Family Worship (a GREAT resource for scripture memorization that’s actually catchy and won’t make you crazy!)

10 Girls Who Didn’t Give In (wonderful stories of women who were martyred for their faith, written for 8-12 year olds.  There is also a boy’s version.)

Bible readings that correspond to our history lessons

History – all together

This was my biggest headache.  We are doing a chronological study of history, and we’re ready to start with Creation and work through the Greek Empire. I am not one to use pre-planned curriculum, because I don’t like someone (in this case, a knowledgeable scholastic publisher) telling me what to do when.  I know. It’s just my thing.  So I went back and forth on history, because it’s our favorite subject and most of our field trips and major projects are history-related.  I purchased Truth Quest History Curriculum, which I ADORE and which we used loosely last year for some American History.  However, after flipping through it, I realized that the Beginnings Curriculum was going to be WAY over the head of my first grader.  So, I decided to go with My Father’s World for the second year in a row.  We used their Exploring Countries and Cultures package last year, and although I had a few beefs with it, overall, we really liked it.  Plus, I love that the study of the biblical feasts are written into their curriculum for Creation to the Greeks!  So, although we won’t follow it rigidly and I’ll use it more as a template than an actual lesson plan, we have decided to go with:

Homeschool In the Woods Timeline Figures (because I love how detailed and uniform their products are!)  with these timeline books.

Adam’s Chart of History (the most AMAZING timeline

Also, we’re supplementing with a bajillion library books and some from our own stash, as well as MFW’s recommend reading list.

Scienceread together, but worksheets/journals are grade specific

Apologia: Botany (first semester – we’re finishing up from last year) with journals

Apologia: Swimming Creatures (and corresponding journals) (second semester)

Math – grade specific

Math was another source of frustration!  In the past, we have used and loved Math-U-See.  However, they have chosen to align with and promote the Common Core Standards (you can read more about the Common Core here), so we chose to put our money somewhere else.  Last year, because of their CCS alignment, we switched over to Rod and Staff Math, which we’ll continue to use during lower elementary. My oldest has never enjoyed  math, and since we’re adding a new baby at Christmas, for the sake of ease (and because I think she’ll enjoy this a lot more!) we decided it was worth the investment to go with Teaching Textbooks.

Rod and Staff – grade 1

Teaching Textbooks – grade 4

English/Grammar – grade specific

First Language Lessons For the Well Trained Mind – grade 1 (This is the curriculum published by the Classical Method of homeschooling.  I strongly disagree with their secular/humanistic Bible Curriculum, as well as a very secular approach to history, and don’t recommend them for other subjects.  After first grade, we switch to Language Lessons).

Story Starters – grade 4

Poetry – all together

Spanish – lessons through our homeschool co-op

Art – lessons through our homeschool co-op 

The Children’s Book of Art – we’ll do picture studies weekly in addition to our lessons

Music – lessons through our homeschool co-op

The Orchestra and Composers – I’m actually teaching the music class at our co-op, and we are using this great lapbook set from Confessions of a Homeschooler (top-notch homeschool blog, by the way!)


Phew.  So there you have it!

PLUS, in addition to all of the above, we spend a large portion of the fall and Spring celebrating the Biblical Feasts and incorporating those holidays into our schooling and church activities.

We’re jumping in with both feet this week, to get a  head-start on the year before we welcome baby Rea #4 this December!

We’re crackin’ the books and mama’s drinking way too much java!

Have you started school yet?  What are your favorite curriculum recommendations?

(p.s. For more ideas, check out my homeschooling pinterest boards!)

(p.p.s. stay tuned for a look into our homeschool daily routine!)

(p.p.p.s.  Take a look at last year’s homeschooling set-up in our small space)

This post is riddled with affiliate links.  I (and my wallet) thank you for clicking through, and for any subsequent purchases!  Each penny brings us closer to funding our adoption!

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