First time homeschoolers here!

I am a mommy of 4 kids, going into 5th, 3rd, 2nd and pre-k, I am excited for our journey together, I know it will be hard at times but worth it in the end, I have to be honest though, I AM TERRIFIED.

My question is if anyone can suggest a curriculum for a first timer, I need a lot of daily guidance on what to do day by day, I also feel that for the first year I would do better with an all in one curriculum that includes everything! I considered Abeka and My Fathers World, using Saxon Math for my 5th grader and Singapore for the younger ones, and for LA I woukd incorporate the language books from my fathers world,I am scared of making the wrong choice, I do not want the curriculum to be too slow for my kids, they went to private school so they are used to lots of worksheets, which is fine with me too, all four of them love reading and writing.

I will also be incorporating Spanish, music and Art into any curriculum we purchase.

Again Id love suggestions/ideas to look into.

Thank you so much!!!

1 Like

Hi there @deld82! would suggest Trail Guide to Learning (Paths of Exploration) by Geography Matters. You could teach your 5th, 3rd, and 2nd Graders together using one curriculum with age-appropriate activities and student pages for each individual child (it is for 3-5th grades and easily adaptable for 2nd Graders too). That is what I am using for my 4th and 2nd graders. For pre-K this coming year we are using Before Five in a Row, but Five in a Row also is appropriate if they are more Pre-K/K prepared (my child is only 3 1/2 and not quite ready for the actual Five in a Row curriculum yet). Here are some links:

Trail Guide to Learning:

Five in a Row:

There are lots of great options out there and I’m sure you’ll receive some wonderful recommendations here! These are just what we are using and I have really loved so far. We are going into our 5th year of homeschooing this coming fall and I still feel new in this journey :smile: . I will say the Trail Guide to Learning curriculum lays everything out step by step, and it is extremely “open and go.” The books that go along are great readers and read-alouds. It suggests to take 2-3 hours per day to complete it and one day each week is a wrap-up day to complete what you didn’t finish or to add in their suggested enrichment projects if you’d like, so if you can accomplish it in 2 1/2 hours, that would leave plenty of time in the week to add in other subjects. We add in a few other subjects each day. It does, however, cover every subject needed except Math.

I wish you the best as you start this journey!! I hope you’ll find a great support system here! I’ve had so many wonderful answers to questions here and wonderful resources found here as well. :smile:
Warm Regards,


Hi Chris,
Thank you so much for your suggestions, I did see the Trail Guide to Learning and caught my attention as well, you are one of many that has loved that curriculum, I am just curious if it includes all subjects (reading, language arts, science, history, geography, etc) I do know Math is not included, I am thinking Saxon Math 6/5 for my 5th grader and possibly singapore or Math U see for 2nd and 3rd graders.

Do you know if I have to get any additional materials with the Trail Guide to Learning program for each additional student?

Thanks again for all the info!!!

Hi @deld82 Okay, first forgive me because I have attempted to post this a few times and something keeps acting funny so it has posted and deleted my post a few times :smile: So I am going to try to re-type it and remember everything :smile: Trail Guide does include everything including Science, Art, History, Geography, etc. It does not include phonics, so if your younger child is still in phonics instruction (decoding words, learning to read, etc.) you will need to use another additional phonics program along with Trail Guide. We use All About Reading but there are other great ones out there too.

On Trail Guide’s Web site you can download an entire week’s worth of lessons to see how they use everything together. Not every subject is taught every day though, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see a Science lesson in that sample week, or an art lesson for example. Everything is there, but not everything is taught every day, or even every week.

I hope this helps! Here is a link to a Facebook group that offers daily questions and answers about this curriculum:

And feel free to send me a private message on here if you need anything else or want me to send you pictures of any of the curriculum (I know it can be helpful to see it sometimes! :smile:)

I just realized I didn’t answer your question about additional students–no, you can have as many students using the curriculum at one time and they all share the materials. You do not need to buy any additional materials for additional students :smile: The notebook pages are reproducible and everything else is used together and/or shared. Hope that helps!

If your kids are used to going to private school and having high expectations of them, then you might consider Memoria Press. In addition to selling individual products (like Latin), they also have full-grade-level all-inclusive packages and it looks to be pretty rigorous. It’s actually kind of the opposite of the way we’ve always done school, but I’ve gawked at it lately. :slight_smile:

Yes, the kids have been to private school every since pre-k, they have done a great job with their academics I have to say, all in the gifted program, however I want to homeschool for several other reasons :slight_smile: I am a bit anxious about choosing a curriculum as I don’t want this to be too easy for them where they will be bored! Im not a teacher just a mom and I hope I can do a good job.

Hi, welcome and best of luck this year! I was/am still terrified, lol and have already completed one year of homeschooling. I also have 4, going into 3rd, 1st, and ages 4 and 2. Last year we used Bookshark. I liked it overall. I really really liked having the lesson plans done. Once you understand their system it’s easy and not much prep. I loved that it had tons of reading. I felt like some of the material was a little dry but you could spice it up/add to it. Definitely worth looking into. (Bookshark is the secular version of Sonlight). This year we’re trying Trail Guide to Learning/Paths of Exploration also. I just ordered right now. I’m pretty excited!

1 Like

Last year was my first year of homeschooling. I have a rising 5th grader and 3rd grader. I considered my first year a “practice” year. You know, to see what works and doesn’t! I was a little scared, but as the year rolled on, everything seemed to fall into place. Good luck and enjoy the adventure of homeschooling!

1 Like

First, don’t worry about making the wrong choice. Whatever you pick will move you forward, teach you about how your children learn, and get you started. If it turns out to not be the best fit, you can sell it to another homeschooler and try something else.

All About Spelling I really liked because it was so easy…they tell you exactly what to say and it’s a real open and go curriculum (simple, easy and works). I’ve heard All About Reading is similar, but it’s pricier and we couldn’t afford it initially. I’ve heard Saxon math is like that for math…very easy to implement. I used Bob Books and Progressive Phonics (a free phonics program your older kids have probably passed, but when your pre-k child takes an interest in reading, it’s a great starter).

For Spanish, I really recommend the videos on for your younger children. And if you can afford it, hiring a Spanish speaking teen to play with your kids while speaking Spanish (cheaper than getting a tutor). Duolingo and Memrise are great starters for older kids (your 5th grader might be old enough for it…but might not, depending on reading level).

1 Like