One of the first things I am asked when people find out that we homeschool is what curriculum we are using. I like and dislike the question. I like it that people are genuinely interested in what we are using, whether they want to compare or get ideas or are even just curious. That’s good. 🙂 What I dislike about the question is that I don’t have a clear cut answer for it. That is the beauty of homeschooling. One size doesn’t fit all. In my family, not even one curriculum fits all.
So we mix and match depending on what works for each child. That is my answer to the question.
I am going to share this years curriculum choices here. My children are going to be in 7th and 8th grade levels this year. Please note that picture links are affiliate links.
Discover 4 Yourself Inductive Bible Studies for Kids/Stand Alone Devotions
As our homeschool family is Christian, Bible is important to us. We have experimented with many Bible curricula over the years and I am always on the look out for things that make the Bible approachable and interesting for my children. Both of my children love to draw so Dare U 2 Open This Book is a great resource because it gives them room to be creative. We used Just Sayin last year and it was fun for them.
God, What’s Your Name? is more in depth and is from the curricula Discover 4 Yourself inductive Bible studies for kids. We used a different book from the series last year and both of my children wanted to continue with it this year.
What I like about this curriculum is that my children are able to work on their own with a workbook. It is in depth with the grammar, but it doesn’t go over their heads the way some of the other English curricula do. The writing includes basic reports as well as fun essay projects. We bounced around using different English curricula until we landed on BJU which both of my children like.
I have a lot of respect for the Abeka curriculum which is a powerhouse in the world of Homeschool and Private School curriculum. It is well known, extensive, and advanced. Because of that, I do not recommend them for everyone. It can be too hard and extensive for many children. Having said that, I like their History curriculum just because it is so extensive. There is a lot of revisionist history going on in History textbooks and I have been able to count on Abeka to stick with historical events without removing uncomfortable or politically incorrect topics. All of my children have liked the Abeka History books the best.
Ahh math. The bane of my existence. We have done much experimenting with the different math curricula, particularly with one of my creative children. I have a very visual learner who didn’t like when we went from a colorful worksheet based math to a text book style. Unfortunately our foray into upper math with worksheets did not go well. The curriculum did a poor job of explanation and, while I am good at math, even I had trouble teaching her from it.
We continue to come back to Saxon Math. I like that it utilizes building blocks. Each lesson is a new block. The child learns something new to add to their math base. The problems for that lesson will have one, maybe two, from that lesson but the rest of the problems are from previous lessons. Because the math is getting more advanced for my children this year, I will be more involved in the teaching of it so I will be using the same book for both children.
I have a family of readers, so the Abeka curricula works well for my children. I like that they are exposed to different styles of literature (poetry, plays, classics, etc) and that they are challenged not only in their reading abilities but also their comprehension of the material.
Okay, I admit that I love the Apologia curriculum. Particularly the high school sections. Dr. Jay Wile, who created the curriculum, talks directly to the students rather than to the adults. My children have all liked that as well. This curriculum allows me to take a step back and let them learn more independently. I also like that this curriculum is available in text book form as well as on CD-ROM. I have one child who loves the computer learning with the interaction and videos available. My other child prefers the textbook method and so we will be utilizing both formats this year.
We are privileged to have a creative arts academy near us that offers classes for homeschoolers at a relatively good price, so both of my children have chosen a class of interest to them and we will be attending those electives throughout the year.
I hope this has been helpful. The main thing I want to emphasize here is that all children are different. They have different personalities, they learn differently, and they are their own person. As such, there is no such thing as one size fits all in schooling. It is okay to experiment to discover what works best for each individual child.
What about you?
What homeschool curriculum works for you?
What tips do you have for others who are navigating the curriculum sea?