It’s that time of year again where homeschooling mommas are getting busy planning and preparing for a new year of learning. In my opinion, one of the most time consuming, challenging things about starting a new year is making curriculum decisions for each child. I am happy to share I have our choices (mostly) nailed down! Keep reading to learn more about what we are using for our eclectic homeschooling curriculum and why…
Choosing Curriculum for the Eclectic Homeschool
One great thing about choosing an eclectic learning lifestyle is that you have a LOT of freedom in choosing HOW to approach learning. You aren’t tied down to one specific method or books that fit into that specific style.
At one time or another, I have tried just about every methodology/philosophy out there. At this stage in our family, we really love using a combination of Charlotte Mason, Interest-led learning, and funschooling. So what does that look like practically? Keep reading to see what we’re using and why!
Jack – Kindergarten
Because we follow a “Better Late than Early” philosophy to formal education (a la Raymond and Dorothy Moore), we start off very gently, stretching Kindergarten over two school years. This is his second year of the K stretch and we will really begin working with phonics and reading more seriously – but still in a super fun, age appropriate manner.
Jack is my very active wild child, so a workbook-ish approach with lots of writing and things to complete would result in meltdowns from him. We are taking a hands-on approach using lots of games, centers, and manipulatives. Here is what we are using this year:
Why so many different resources? We like to take our time really nailing down our letter sounds, phonetics, and blending in a no-pressure way with lots of review and repetition. Reading is tough! So we will be using all of these at least in part for lots of practice and to build confidence. Because there are game-like components to each of these curriculums, it won’t seem as much like “schoolwork” for my very active boy.
SCIENCE, HISTORY, ETC. – at this age we don’t do a lot of formal science or history instruction. He will sit alongside the older two boys for parts of our our History studies and we will do a combination of nature study, living books, and experiments for science. He will also participate in our morning read-alouds and devotion time.
Joey – 5th Grade
Like many homeschool families, my kids’ age/grade level actually has very little to do with what curriculum they use. I choose materials for each subject based on his learning style, strengths, weaknesses and abilities and adapt or adjust as needed. Joey is 11 this year.
MATH – Math-U-See Gamma, Delta, and (if we get to it) Epsilon
LANGUAGE ARTS – Brave Writer – Partnership Writing with selected Arrow guides (literature, poetry, spelling, grammar, and composition) and Easy Grammar 5. So far we have elected to read “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, “The Sign of the Beaver” by Elizabeth George Speare, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, and “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster and work through the accompanying Arrow guides.
SCIENCE – Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy. We will add appropriate experiments and additional resources as desired. We will also be doing weekly hands-on Chemistry study by adding our MEL Science subscription boxes into our eclectic homeschooling curriculum. Joey really loves science so we try to keep that interest alive by doing a lot of varied activities.
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, & WORLDVIEW – We are very excited to be continuing to use Pathway to Liberty this school year! Once we finish up Year 3 – US History, we will move on to Year 4 – World History and hopefully finish it by next summer. This is an all ages program that we do together and Joey will be working with Level 2 materials. We love history and we jump around a lot, so we will be incorporating parts of All American History Vol 1-2 from Bright Ideas Press and Reading portions of The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and The Story of The Great Republic which are edited versions of the Guerber history readers. We also have really enjoyed supplementing with Homeschool in the Woods Time Travelers so we may continue to do some of those hands-on activities as well (read our review here). And of course we will be adding in lots of living books to enhance and deepen our study.
We may throw in other resources from time to time. I have a lot of books from The Critical Thinking Co. that I think he would enjoy, for example.
Isaiah – High School
Isaiah is my tricky kid when it comes to choosing eclectic homeschooling curriculum. Isaiah will be taking an extra year to complete high school, which is just fine! By traditional timelines, he would be graduating in 2020. He has no idea yet what he wants to do after graduation, so we are taking our time and allowing him to go at his own pace. Grade-level wise, he is all over the map.
MATH – CTC Math online. We are currently reviewing this program and because you can custom tailor the progression of lessons according to the child it’s a great fit for him. Math is an area of struggle for Isaiah, so lots of practice with short lessons is best.
LANGUAGE ARTS – We have opted to do Brave Writer – Partnership Writing with the Arrow Guides for Isaiah as well. It’s a good fit for him because he needs a lot of help when it comes to writing. He will also be coninuing to use IEW’s Fix-It Grammar for extra practice with grammar and composition. He will finish Book 1 soon then move on to Book 2 (and possibly start Book 3) in this series.
SCIENCE – Apologia Biology w/ CD and dissection kit. This year he will be dissecting a frog, earthworm, crayfish, and a fish.
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, & WORLDVIEW – As I shared above, we do these subjects as a family. So, Isaiah will be doing Pathway to Liberty Years 3 & 4 as well this year, but he will be working through the Level 3 materials. Any HSITW Time Travelers resources we do will also be done together.
Isaiah also does a LOT to help out myself and my husband when it comes to projects around the house. I am brainstorming a way to document all the things he has and is learning (like plumbing, construction, animal care, etc.) so that he can earn credit for them on his transcripts. I will add basic adult skills to this like budgeting, cooking, finding a job etc. and make it a “Crash Course in Adulting 101” or “Life Skills” kind of class for academic purposes.
SO THAT WRAPS UP OUR ECLECTIC HOMESCHOOLING CURRICULUM CHOICES FOR THE 2019-20 SCHOOL YEAR! If you know me at all, this list is always subject to change. If we get going with something and it’s not working or seems too dry or tedious, we will throw it out and look for something different. That, my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling!
This post is a part of the NOT BACK TO SCHOOL BLOG HOP hosted at the Homeschool Review Crew blog! Make sure you visit the other posts linked below to read more homeschool goodness from our awesome Review Crew members! I will be back tomorrow with another Eclectic Homeschooling related post 🙂