A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Curriculum Choices - Our School Year Plan

Parents all across the nation are making tough choices, balancing work needs, social needs, educational needs, personal convictions, physical safety, and other factors.  While it's heartbreaking to imagine the stress and fallout of COVID-19, I am encouraged that it's got us all rethinking education. 

For me, personally, the choice was easy.  School feels unsafe; let's keep them home.  Paul reminded me that we had valid reasons for putting them into school.  And it was the right choice at the time.  But our county has closed schools.  This feels like the right choice for now.  Extenuating circumstances and all.  So our kids will be homeschooling. 

Many families are choosing distance learning, but I'm seeing more parents pull their kids and do real, parent-led homeschooling, which I think is great.  This experience could have long reaching positive effects for those families. 

I'm in the thick of curriculum shopping right now, so I thought I'd share what we'll be using this year.  The Amazon links will be affiliate links, the other links are just for your convenience.  I'll be homeschooling 2 students, Hannah & Katie, who will be in grades 8 and 5.  It's looking like Jack will do BJU online, through the kids' private school, in order to earn credits for high school graduation. 

My Father's World
This will be our spine.  We will be doing the Exploring Countries and Cultures year from the 5 year cycle.  I taught ECC when I had Brianna, Eli, and Jack as my homeschool students, and it was one of my favorite years of homeschooling, ever.  I'm really looking forward to teaching again, and the fact that the material is somewhat familiar (7 years ago) is a nice bonus.  We already had most of what we needed, so I only had to order students sheets, passports, sticker books, a writing program for Hannah, and a few books that I had passed on to other homeschooling families. 

Pardon my messy workspace.  It's been mask making central the last few months (577 so far!) but I set aside masks to do a couple of Cricut projects, including making the cover for this years planner/record keeping binder.  I'm wishing I'd used tan instead of brown on the globe.  The contrast would have been better. 

My Father's World is unit study based, and covers Bible, history, current events, science, art, music, and more.  But what about the other subjects?

When I thought about homeschooling again, my first thought was to kick myself for getting rid of all our Math U See curriculum.  I thought that's what I would use again.  I went to the MUS site to do placement testing for the girls, and discovered they don't have the same placement tests online any more.  Instead they take you through a series of questions about your student's abilities.  So I fell back on good old www.schooloftomorrow.com (we used their curriculum for years) for placement testing.  And I discovered gaps.  Now, some of those might be the summertime I forgots.  But, knowing that MUS is incremental, but ABeka is spiral, I started rethinking things.  As it happens, I've been cleaning out the school room.  3 Rubbermaid totes, plus boxes and bags of books, K-4th grade curriculum, preschool manipulatives, marbles, puzzle, games, dinosaurs, and more (the dinosaurs didn't go extinct; they were hiding in my school room!) have all gone to the rummage sale the kids' private school is holding soon.  I happened across the teacher book for ABeka Pre-Algebra, which is what Hannah would be in this year.  I went to the ABeka site to see if it's still the current edition (meaning I could buy a student book and they would work together) and was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is it the current edition, but that ABeka is much cheaper than MUS.  So, the long and the short of it is, both girls will be doing ABeka math this year. 

Language Arts
Hannah will be using Writing With Skill, as recommended by MFW.  I haven't used this before, so I don't know what to expect there, but Timberdoodle carries it, too, so it must be good. 

Both girls will be using Essentials from Logic of English.  We reviewed this program 4 years ago, and I was impressed with it.  Hannah worked in level B last time around.  I'm going to have both girls do level C this year. 

MFW does have some science included in it.  But it suggests additional science for 7th & 8th graders, and we've used Apologia science alongside MFW before.  We enjoyed their Botany and Astronomy books, so I decided this year we'd do one of their Zoology books. 

I haven't ordered everything I want to do this year, but I've ordered all the basics.  Boxes should start trickling in next Monday, which is always very exciting.  We're about a month out from the start of school, which should give me time to get everything ready, and finish up the school room.  I'm hoping to do a school room post, once it's finished.  If you have school aged kids, I'd love to hear what your plan is for the coming year. 


  1. Gah!!! I have to get an order put together soon!

    1. I saw Timberdoodle post, "Curriculum is the new toilet paper." Seems they're flooded with orders and stuff is selling out. I'm glad all my base stuff has been in stock at the various publishers.

  2. Sounds so good! Isn't it just a miracle when plans like your math curriculum choice come together like that!?!?!? I think it is just marvelous.

    I'm still plugging away at my 2019-20 assessments, so I'm not ready to post my 2020-21 plans, but they're finished, and the books have been ordered and (mostly) delivered.

    I will say that we're doing a big geography focus, too, and we're also about a month away from our first day. I wish you joy in your continued preparations!!

    1. I remember reading your assessments in past years. <3 Your love for your kids shows in the way you always find strengths in them.

  3. I agree that it will be so interesting to see families start homeschooling. I hope it is a wonderful experience for them. My last homeschooler started her schoolwork two weeks ago. She is ready to graduate and there isn't much else to do under current restrictions.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Love that flexibility! Might as well start now and take time off later as desired.