Give me your best History, LA and Science Curriculum picks please!

I am a new homeschool mom of a current 8 and 3 year old. We wont be starting bookwork things until next year when they’re 9 and 4 however due to finances, but I will be doing sooo much research and working with my girls in other ways.

I am having a really hard time finding and choosing which curriculum to use for History, Language Arts and Science. I REALLY loved the look of level 1 History, level 2 Language arts and Level 1 Science from Bookshark but now I’m worried about it.
I’ve been seeing comments and have gotten replies on how bookshark is actually terrible with wrong history information I guess, the content is dry or doesn’t go in depth very well and just omits evolution etc. entirely.

We’re not a religious family but not hardcore secular either. I’ve tried asking in secular groups on facebook but literally find the people in them to be rude. Hopefully it’s different here.

I also really liked the look of The Good and the Beautiful Science Units but feel there’s not a lot to them.

Anyway any suggestions for awesome faith-neutral or secular History, Language Arts and science for a 9 and 4 year old would be much appreciated.

We’re going to be using Explode the Code, Wordly Wise, Handwriting Without Tears and Math-U-See for the rest of our curriculum.

  • Also I’d like to point out we do seem to be leaning toward the Eclectic Charlotte Mason Method of homeschooling and just really love good informative but visually attractive books. Not so much huge blocks of text without images to go with.

And I am going through the community posts looking up key words to find more information and reviews.


First, I just want to say I’m sorry you have had a difficult time with people being rude in other homeschool groups. It’s hard enough to homeschool and the last thing anyone needs is people being rude. I’ve been a part of this group from the beginning and have never come across anyone rude. Everyone has been so welcoming and informative. With that being said, welcome to the group and the wonderful world of homeschooling.

I don’t have a lot of information for you regarding LA and Science only because we use christian based curriculums. However, I came across a fun and informative history curriculum that I would highly recommend. It’s from Homeschool in the Woods and we use the Time Traveler’s Units. It is quite a bit of prep work but is a really fun way to learn history. They also have several other things that look fun too. I’m pretty sure Erica has a review post over it as well.

Good luck and I hope you find what you are looking for.



Thank you very much for the welcome! I’m glad to hear the users here are much more welcoming and considerate (: And thank you for the suggestion, I’ll definitely check out Homeschool in the Woods and Erica’s reviews :o

Welcome! I am pretty new to this COAH forum too, but found everyone to be nice so far. :slight_smile:

This fall we will embark on our 4th year of homeschooling. This past year, my 3rd grader used Essentials in Writing for language arts. He enjoyed it so much that he requested we use it again next year, so we are. Before that, we used a different curriculum and he was able to transition to EIW without any issue. I loved that and also like how the curriculum breaks writing down into smaller steps.

For history, we haven’t found anything we absolutely love yet, but are giving Homeschool in the Woods “Time Travelers” and “Project Passport” a try next year! We are excited about this since it’s so hands-on. (And, I’m happy to hear the other poster recommended it as well!) I’ll be using Homeschool in the Woods with my 9, 7, and 5 year olds. From the looks of it, it should be fairly easy to do the lessons with all of them together. Just throwing that out there since you could do it with both your 9 and 4 year olds if you wanted to.

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Also, you could look into Easy Peasy Homeschool. It’s an all-in-one free online curriculum. I’ve not used it, but I have friends who do and love it. I don’t think it’s religious, but I guess I am not certain. Could be worth checking out! The science we are using next year is religious, so I can’t help there, but Easy Peasy might be able to give you insight.

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Thank you for your input! :slight_smile: I’ll check out the Essentials in Writing for sure! As for the online schooling I don’t think that’d be a good fit for us. We prefer handheld/workbooks and not too much stuff on the computer. Math-U-See has the instructional DVDs but that is about as much as we can tolerate for computer related education (fun videos, netflix etc. excluded) However I DO like the look of some of the activity packets I’m seeing on there for math :o I’ll think about utilizing those for this year while we work on funds for books. Thank you!

Essentials in Writing is a lot like Math-U-See with the instructional DVDs. We use Math-U-See too and love it.

I don’t think Easy Peasy is online school, but just a free curriculum you find online. I know my friends have ordered workbooks from it. No problem if you are not interested though! I just thought it might give you non-religious science ideas. :slight_smile:

You should do some reading! Check out The Well Trained Mind, and Ruth Beechick to start with. Also head over to Simply Charlotte Masons website they have free audio downloads with tons of information!

Bookshark is SOnlights secular sister, so if you really want to find out about a curriculum, goto the website and talks to them! Call or email and look at samples! Bookshark has tons of samples, so you can see for yourself. If finances are an issue, there’s a ton of free stuff online and just by having a guide of some sort, even the What your ——grader should know, is a Greta place to start. If you have a decent library, there’s no need to buy any curriculum. You would also need a printer though and internet access. If you google free language arts, there’s a wonderful website with language arts and spelling from k-5th. Soo much info it’s crazy sometimes, just stick with simple. Math reading and writing. All other subjects can be covered with read alouds and real life.

Oh I’ve been doing nearly non stop reading and researching the last month and a half haha! I’ll check out the book and the author you mentioned though. I’ve already gone through the Charlotte Mason site (:

As for Bookshark, yes I know it’s the secular version of Sonlight, one of my favorite youtube mom’s uses Sonlight and I liked the look of it and found others mentioning Bookshark being the faith neutral option of it. I’ve combed through their site day after day believe me, and like I said I really loved the look of it, it’s just some reviews are getting me to doubt trying it is all. I think we’re going to try it anyway and see for ourselves if we like it or not.

I bought the book Home Learning Year by Year a lot of youtube mom’s recommend and looked at a lot of other resources so I know pretty what what they need to know. I guess It’s not really finding the curriculum that is my issue (other than ones that are more secular) it’s finding the ones that seem to work best for people and ones that get highly recommended. (which is why I made this post, to find what others recommended most)

Of course you have to go with how your children learn and what works best for them, we’re just stuck with trying only one company/method/whatever a year for each subject we have to cover. So if we don’t like it we have to stick with it until next year when we are able to buy something else. T_T

We’re definitely going to utilize our library and what we find online. Thanks for posting! (:

This is our first year using Bookshark and we love it. We are almost done with History level 6 and looking forward to continue with level 7. I wouldn’t say it is dry. It is just a literature-based curriculum and that means a lot of reading aloud. It does not include hands-on activities, but as it is a 4 day program, you have a free day to add fun projects if you wish.
The books that come in the package are wonderful. Each set includes a timeline, stickers and a markable map that you use almost every day.
I haven’t found wrong information in the books. In the instructors guide there is an explanation about contractions in history. Since they use books from different authors perhaps you will find different points of view, or information from different sources, but I would not consider them as errors. What I have found is that some dates in the timelime figures do not match with dates mencioned in Christian curriculum, specifically for some ancient events.
We have also used the Language and we love the variety of the writing assignments but we supplemented with more grammar.
I highly recommed Bookshark history programs. Honestly, I haven’t used a Language curriculum that I love. Bookshark Language is a good option if you want a relaxed introduction to grammar and focus on writing.
I don’t have experience with their sciece yet, but I plan to use it in the future. It looks really fun.
There is a mom on youtube that uses Bookshark. Her name is Candice, from Homeschool on the Hill. She uses Bookshark’s science books to make her own unit studies.
I hope you find a good fit for your family! Good luck!

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You’re a doll! Thanks so much for your post, it’s really helped me decide to at least try Bookshark for History :slight_smile: I’m still debating on the LA from Bookshark and I want to look for something else at the moment for science. Oh yes! I watch Homeschool on the Hill as well! ^.^ I’ll be sure to check her bookshark videos out again. Thank you!

Hi, I have used Elemental science for my daughter, you would pretty much read from books/encyclopedias for the information learned it also includes experiments, it is secular, not overwhelming we like it, you could go to their website elementalscience and check out the different levels, not to expensive either and the books we need to read maybe find at the library instead of buying. Also if you buy the supplimental reading, you use it more than one year like the encyclopedias. Hope this helps. For your 9 yr old I think the grammar stage would work or the sassafras series.

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Thank you very much! The site/books look pretty interesting :o I’ll keep Elemental science in mind for sure!

I’m so glad you found it helpful! I just remembered a curriculum called Timberdoodle. I haven’t used it but I know they have non-religious kits. The kits are huge and pricey but it can be helpful just to look at what they recommend for neutral science and language arts.

Also, you can contact Rainbow Resource to ask for options. They have a wide variety of curriculum, Christian and secular. For sure they have some options according to your needs.

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Have you looked at Guest Hollow yet? They have a really cute language arts program that we are using for the first time this year. They also have some literature based science and history for all age levels. The author is Christian but the curriculum is secular. Another one I’ve just discovered that looks really good is Barefoot Meanderings, also literature-based. They also have their own language arts materials that are very Charlotte Mason-y. Just two more rabbit trails for you :wink:

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ALSO— have you looked at Erica’s (COAH) materials? They are WONDERFUL!!!

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I’ll take a look at Guest Hallow and Barefoot Meanderings, thank you for the suggestions!

And yes, I’ll be using COAH’s Preschool Daily earning Notebook for my 3 soon to be 4 year old :slight_smile:

So, for those ages, Story of the World would be excellent for you. They really do a nice balance between the secular and religious (seemed to be written expressly so that both secular and Christian homeschoolers could use their curriculum without having to tweak much), and I just love how it’s written (how it weaves the story of history in an interesting way that draws children in).

All About Spelling is wonderful. It teaches spelling based on the spelling rules, not random lists, and is really easy to use.


I am really loving the IEW Fix It! Grammar units, they cover pretty much everything you need to know, but they don’t start until 3rd grade. Prior to that I use Abeka Language Arts (Letters and Sounds workbook and Language workbook) just because it worked and it was fairly easy.

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