In this post I will be laying out all the resources and curricula I have planned for our homeschool year with my kids in grade 5, 2, junior kindergarten (and toddler).
This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.
How we do homeschool
Have you ever been curious about how other people “do” homeschool? I often get people asking how we do ours, and I think I find it challenging to answer that because I can’t just say, “We use Seton,” or, “We use Gather ‘Round.”
So I figured I would do a post featuring what we’re actually doing this year! I am sure you can tell that my title is meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Of course I won’t know absolutely everything we’ll be doing till it is all said and done. That’s the beauty of home education!
You’ll notice I have a lot of Charlotte Mason subjects listed, like Picture Study and Foreign Languages. However, I don’t consider myself to be a purist at all for Charlotte Mason education. I like to have the freedom and flexibility to design my own homeschool. I don’t do strict Forms (Grades) and like in a one-room schoolhouse, everything we can do together, we do.
Homeschool Subjects we do together
- Physical education
- Memory work
Homeschool Subjects we do separately:
- Learning to Read
- Our oldest: Plutarch, literature on Audible
- Middle child: Spanish, piano
So you can see that most things happen together.
Our theme for the homeschool year
Our theme for the year is going to be The Sea, The Saints, and The Ancients. Each of these main topics will be super multi-disciplinary because as we study them, we will be learning history, geography, catechesis, science, and so on.
Previously I have planned things in a lot smaller chunks – so that we were working through a book for only a month or two, or maybe a season. It worked very well with our Sabbath Scheduling (we take a break, or a sabbatical, every 7th week). This year, I am trying to draw the books out a little longer, and go deeper into topics. If that isn’t working for us by the end of fall, I will reassess and feel free to change it up – this is my homeschool, after all.
We are trying TAN Academy Foundations of Science for the first time this year. We will also be using some other ocean books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Other Sea Books
- Ocean Anatomy
- See Inside the Ocean
- The Big Book of the Blue
In the fall we plan to use TAN Academy Story of the Bible: Volume II (New Testament)
I am thinking around February we will switch to Story of the Church but I am going to wait and see how things are going.
Our Saint/Church books
- Saints Around the World (a fun saintly geography!)
- Stories of the Saints
- The Adventures of Loupio
- I’m a Saint in the Making
- Baltimore Catechism
- Jack Giorgio, Future Priest
We are diehard fans of the history curriculum by TAN Academy: The Story of Civilization. This year, we are cycling back to Volume 1: The Ancient World.
In previous years, we have used the audiobooks only, supported by other books I borrowed from the library or purchased and activities that I came up with myself. This year I got the Teacher’s Guide and the Activity Book, too, to expand our learning. I am trying to lean in to resources that have already been prepared for me, to lighten my load.
Reading, Writing, Spelling
Our 10 year old will be continuing with online Logic of English – Essentials program which includes reading, writing, and spelling. Since using LOE, I have decided that there are certain benefits to this program over All About Reading. I love how LOE-Essentials teaches ALL the letter sounds at once, instead of going back and adding more letter sounds. It also integrates cursive, manuscript, and print all at once. Additionally, I love how they teach reading, writing, and spelling together.
Our 6 year old is interested in trying online, too, and will be trying Logic of English – Foundations supplement as well as All About Reading since we already have it. I was not about to go order a whole new expensive reading program unless absolutely necessary. Yet, I have been learning that having one kid doing guided computer work while I help another is a huge blessing to my sanity. The supplement was the perfect fit.
Our 4 year old will be continuing letter practice with Handwriting Without Tears manipulatives and worksheets I make him. He is pretty solid on uppercase letters so we are learning lowercase now. I just put a bunting alphabet up around the dining room with both upper and lower case letters to help facilitate this.
We also use the Explode the Code workbooks and do basic copywork and dictation in our notebooks.
For creative writing, we use our Schoolnest notebooks. We love to use the jot-it-down method, originally taught to me by my mom doing it for us as kids but also “officialized” or popularized by homeschool guru Julie Bogart of Brave Writer.
Basically Jot It Down is that your kids tell you their stories and you write it out for them. This is very helpful for kids whose composition capabilities are stronger than their physical-act-of writing/spelling capabilities, a.k.a. Most Kids.
For typing we are using the free typing program at Typing.com.
Our main read-alouds for the year are not all planned out yet. Here’s what I have so far:
- The Saintly Outlaw (A Robin Hood tale. My kids are familiar with Pyle’s Robin Hood so we will compare!).
- The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic (We decided to start off the year with this and it is very fun).
- The Sisters of the Last Straw, Vol 1: The Case of the Haunted Chapel (This one is very short but it will be a good quick read around Halloween).
I have a big list of books that my oldest son is working through based off the foundational children’s literature throughout history. My list is from the book Before Austen Comes Aesop, if you’re curious and want to make one up for yourself.
I get my kids to do independent listening with Audible books for some of these to help with the demands on my time. They love it! They love being able to wander around outside with headphones on and immerse themselves in story. I’m not sure what I’ll pick for them this fall specifically, but I’ll let you know if we find any gems.
Last year we had a breakthrough when I finally bit the bullet and switched us to Math-U-See. My older two will use their levels of the program and my younger two will play with math blocks as well as practicing counting. We will all do skip counting songs together.
My 4 year old will be doing some basic math sheets I designed for him for now, and later in the year we may ease in to Math-U-See Primer depending on his readiness.
We will be using Foundations of Science as well as attending local monthly science centre workshops for homeschoolers.
Read-Aloud Revival Premium
We have been longtime members of RAR Premium, the membership program for the Read-Aloud Revival. They hold monthly family book clubs, interviews, workshops with real authors and artists, and mentorship for homeschool moms. Can’t recommend it enough!
This fall, we will be tuning into whatever they have on offer that interests us, and it works great as a writing, literature, and art supplement.
We are also members of the Farmhouse Book Co, where they use classic books to teach your kids lost skills. We started with them this summer and it has been very fun and engaging for the kids. They love how the skills are tied into the classic literature that they love. This gives a lot of kitchen and homestead skills so we will tie those into handicrafts, life skills etc.
Full disclosure, I get my membership for free because I am affiliated with them as a Farmhouse Librarian. Does that pique your interest? Check out the affiliate program here.
We also subscribe to the Hallow App as a family and use it to support our personal and family prayer life. Right now we are listening to the Saints Alive radio theatre for kids. It is very engaging and good, holy content.
Shakespeare and Plutarch
We are going to be alternating these two throughout the year. For Shakespeare we are still reading Hamlet from The Usborne Complete Shakespeare. When we finish with Hamlet we will pick another. For Plutarch, we are reading from The Children’s Plutarch.
We keep “Geoggers” super simple: I make a map book for each student with my pro-click binding system and then we colour and label maps once or twice a week. This year we will be mapping our saints we study using the Saints Around the World book.
Music and Art
Hymns, folk songs, and composer study
I know so many songs that I like to teach the kids mostly ones I know and love, but also discover some new ones together. In keeping with our Sea theme, we will be learning some sea shanties as well as sea hymns. We will be studying Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.
I don’t have a plan for this yet, but I will use my easy picture study method that I have blogged about before. The art we study will tie into our overarching themes.
Handicrafts/ Life Skills
My oldest son will by doing knot-tying and my other kids haven’t picked anything in particular yet. I already mentioned typing, which is a very useful life skill.
I love the flexibility to schedule our homeschool around the rhythms of a homestead. Right now we are doing a lot of canning!
We are also breeding our rabbits and along with that will come many more homestead life skills from the rabbitry.
- breeding rabbits
- rabbit gestation
- care of kits
- meat rabbit processing
- rabbit manure collection and use in the garden
- rabbit pelt tanning and use
We do our memory work in Morning Time. We are working on some practical things, like our new address, as well as scripture and hymns. We may add a few saint quotes too, to go along with our theme of The Saints.
This is the first year that I am making Memory Work folders for us to follow along in.
Our first memory work is the scripture from the book The Monk’s Daily Bread. If I get more of those books, we may continue to memorize those verses.
The kids will also be memorizing scripture and receiving catechesis at a church program they attend weekly.
For physical education, the kids are starting with cross country running, and going onto pickleball later in the fall. They are still undecided if they would like to try martial arts or gymnastics.
It feels a bit funny to add this as a subject, but kids learn so much through play! Some of the games I have for our homeschool this fall are:
That’s Everything, or is it?
My ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE part of being a home educator is that we can completely change our plans. I am so excited to use these resources I have curated, but I also know that some we won’t love, some we will forget to use, and maybe there will be other things that suit us better! I will give you all an update on how things are going midway through the year.
Which of these resources would you love to try? Let me know in comments!
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