Our 2016-2017 choices

Well it’s that time of year again! The time where we are all deliberating what we are planning to use for the next school year and anxiously await our tax money so we can put it all together. We are looking at all the reviews, throwing out what doesn’t work and making big plans.
Been there, done that! Lol I always get into this mode in January which I guess is why I never have the winter doldrums! Ha! So after MUCH deliberation I think we have our lineup for the year and I’m sharing it here because we all have that thing inside us that wants to know what someone else is doing! :slight_smile:
We will have a 1st, 4th and 5th grader, and a toddler who will just be experiencing life!
First Grade is simple:
English- English Lessons Through Literature (which I have on my computer already)
if we finish this in record time I also already have First Language Lessons Level 1
Phonics- All About Reading Level 3 (currently on Level 2)
Math- CLE Grade 1
Handwriting- Copywork
Main Curriculum- Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory (this will include read-alouds, readers etc…)
My 1st grader will also join my 4th and 5th grader for history/science as interested.

4th and 5th Grade
English/Language- IEW and Fix it Grammar, (first year using this) I will also be purchasing the 5th grade textbook/student book from Rod and Staff to work on ‘technical’ stuff as needed. (I already have 4th grade.)
History- Diana Waring’s Discovering History- Ancient Civilizations (Very, very excited about this one!) We were using HOD this year and I have loved every second of it! I was in a real tizzy about whether or not to switch to something else because I kind of knew that HOD was only going to be a one year thing for us as much as I was completely in LOVE with it (long story). I read a book called The Heart of Wisdom Approach Bible-Based Homeschooling and thought I could make HOD work (technically it could have) but Diana’s history is EXACTLY what HOW describes, using the 4-mat system somewhat… plus I can add my 1st grader in with this as interested.
Diana’s history will include writing, art, geography, read-alouds, readers etc… can’t wait for this!
Science- Experience Astronomy online course and just in case we have too much time on our hands Jay Wiles Science in the Beginning (includes note booking and multi-aged another reason to <3 this! Again a first year choice!)
Math- CLE Grade 4

I think that is everything… I will update if I have forgotten anything!
I am looking into home economics and perhaps health this year too. We will see!
What are the rest of you going with? Always love this time of year!


I love posts like this! Here’s what I’ve worked out so far:

Ds12 (7th grade)
Bible: will either continue our daily reading schedule or take readings from Bible Characters Boys Love (Proverbial Homemaker). Since he loves Lego, I will encourage him to recreate the scenes. Will memorize Scripture from Seeds Family Worship CDs.
English: Poetry by Kipling and Edna St. Vincent Millay; copywork; either Schoolhouse Spelling or 1000 Commonly Used Words lists; considering ABEKA Language C (we may take a year off grammar to focus on spelling); Book of Virtues for Young People
Math: decimals, percents, area and other measurement concepts; daily word problems; continue review of multiplication and division; writing remainders as decimals
Science: Intro to Agriculture using books by Storey Publishing and 4H materials
History: Middle Ages booklist

Dd9 (4th grade with special needs)
Bible: Bible Characters Girls Love (Proverbial Homemaker) in addition to sitting in on Scripture memorization
Language Arts; poetry by Lewis Carroll and Christina Rossetti; copywork; spelling using materials similar to her brother’s
Reading TBA. I hope to get her interested in reading simple chapter books such as The Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, or Cul-de-Sac Kids
World geography 2x
Science 2x: some earth science and physical science; books that fit the world geography theme, such as rainforests when we study Brazil or animals of Africa/Australia; longer picture books we haven’t read yet; James Herriott’s books for children
Math; regrouping in adding and subtracting; money skills; multiplication and division facts

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I love love love Tax Refund season (a.k.a. Curriculum Time!!!) :smile: Here are our choices for 2016-2017 which we will start mid-July as we school year-round:

For my upcoming 2nd and 4th graders together:
Integrated Curriculum: Trail Guide to Learning
Bible & Character: Trail Guide Bible Supplement and Bible Road Trip along with Friends & Heroes Videos for fun
Foreign Language: Continuing with Better Chinese
Music: Charlotte Mason’s Hymn Study
Weekly Poetry: Charlotte Mason–Enjoy the Poems–Robert Louis Stevenson
Nature Study: Exploring Nature with Children by Lynn Seddon (sooooooo excited about this!!)
Science (Maybe an add-on to Trail Guide’s Science): God’s Design for Science Our Universe and Plants

2nd Grader’s Individual Subjects:
Math: Life of Fred
Language Arts: AAR Levels 2-3, AAS 2 only if needed
Elective: Beginning Architecture (SO excited about this!!!)

4th Grader’s Individual Subjects:
Math: Practical Arithmetics and Charlotte Mason Your Business Math (Pet Shop)
Language Arts: IEW Phonetic ZOO Level B, IEW Fix It Grammar The Nose Tree and/or Treasured Conversations

For my upcoming 4 year old:
Before Five In a Row and lots of fun learning manipulatives to keep him busy :slightly_smiling:

Our main goal is to enjoy Trail Guide and to drop other items as needed to enjoy the learning process. The subjects listed as “together” in the top section are our main commitments and of course Math for each child which we have to add. The others (Language arts especially) we will add on as needed and as we can fit them in (as they are also covered by Trail Guide), moving slower through them than normal if necessary so as not to stress our days or ruin the process of enjoying the flow of Trail Guide’s integrated system.


Sounds like a great year!! I looked into Trail Guide to Learning before, it looks like a great program! :slight_smile: be sure to update me on your year with them! I’m looking forward to enjoying the process this year too!

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Do you use a particular curriculum for math or do you just teach it in your own way? Looks like a great year! :slight_smile:

So far I’m not using a particular curriculum. I use a variety of methods and have some favorite sites for worksheets. When my son gets into prealgebra, I’ll definitely use something.

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Yay! I love seeing these!

1st grade-
Math- math u see alpha and either BJU or Abeka arithmetic 1 if math u see doesn’t work for him (1st year trying MUS)
English/phonics- BJU 1
Spelling- AAS 1
Reading- AAR 1 and Abeka 1 readers
Handwriting- handwriting without tears my printing book
Science- Abeka’s discovering Gods world
Social studies- Abeka’s my America my world

Letter of the week mixed with some of erica’s k4 curriculum.
Also throwing in some Abeka k4 workbooks :slight_smile:


I love seeing these too! We don’t ever get a tax return but I’m glad I am not the only one thinking about it :slightly_smiling:

Group Work:
Morning work - Life of Fred
Bible - Grapevine
Science - Answers in Genesis Weather/Earth/Planets (new to us this year!)
History - Mystery of History Volume 2

6th Grader:
Grammar - Nose Tree
Writing - IEW Writing Intensive A
Math - Math U See Epsilon/Zeta
Handwriting - Reason for Handwriting Cursive
Spelling - AAS

4th Grader:
Grammar: Nose Tree
Writing - IEW Writing Intensive A
Math - Math U See Delta
Handwriting - Reason For Handwriting Cursive
Spelling - AAS

1st Grader:
Reading - AAR 1 and 2
Math - Math U See Alpha
Spelling - AAS 1
Handwriting - A Reason For Handwriting A

Art - Projects from Deep Space Sparkle
Music - Voice/Piano Lessons/Drama
Spanish/French - Dulingo
Keyboarding - Typing Instructor


I love seeing everyone’s choices!

2nd grade:
Math - Math Mammoth Light Blue Series
Phonics/Spelling - AAR 2/AAS 1 or LOE Essentials (haven’t decided yet)
History - Story of the World 1
Writing - Essentials in Writing
Handwriting - Handwriting without Tears cursive
Science - Science in the Beginning

Road trip USA
Art Pursuits

Character Concepts curriculum and letter of the week


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We have a couple things in common, IEW Intensive A and the Nose Tree! I was looking into the AIG science too. Let me know how your year goes with that, I was interested in seeing how it works for a group and if it is too textbooky? Looking for the ‘perfect’ Science curriculum. :slight_smile:

I will! We did Noeo Biology 2 this year and it is entirely too “open ended” for me. I didn’t want just a blah textbook but I need more direction than it gives. I looked and looked and LOOKED and AIG seems like what I have been looking for. I seriously considered Apologia Astronomy because I wanted to do something like that this year but I think it’s too much textbook stuff. I love that AIG is weather and earth science also. It is geared toward 3 ages (which I have) and every lesson has a hands on aspect so I think it will be great. Time shall tell :slight_smile:

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Yes, I have always wanted to do astronomy too. That’s why I went with the online astronomy class for this year. I am so excited about that one! :slight_smile:

Let me know how it goes. I never would have even thought about doing an online course!

Will do! You can check out a preview here http://experienceastronomy.com

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That looks awesome! Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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6th Grader / 4th Grader / 2nd Grader / Kinder
Basically all doing the same thing - except in own grade level…
Math: Teaching Textbooks
Science: Apologia Science
History: Harcourt Social Studies / US History / Story of the World
Literature: K12

  • Living History Books / Robotics / Music / Art
    :slight_smile: I like to keep things simple. :slight_smile:

I am pretty happy with most of my choices, but I am near a panic attack over trying to decide what to do for math. While we have loved math-u-see, we hit a wall this year with division. It just isn’t working for us - and, because of her learning challenges, we are really focused more on functional math. This isn’t a kid who will be doing calculus someday!

I am trying to decide between switching to Shiller or Right Start, both of which are Montessori based approaches - and BOTH are expensive. The fear is that I make the wrong choice, lose money, and lose time. I really don’t know how hard it would be to go to an abacus after using the rods, but I like RS idea of chunking numbers. Shiller has a lot of manipulatives, but we would have to work back for quite some time before being able to move ahead.

Usually, at this point in the year, I am pretty set on the next year…and this time I am not. :frowning:

I know what you mean. I went through this last year when I knew the traditional approach to school wasn’t working for us but I had no idea what I was supposed to do in it’s place. We switched everything except math. You will eventually find what will work for you. Maybe make a list of pros and cons for each program and see which one will meet your needs best? Hope you find your solution soon! :slight_smile:

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3rd Grade
Mathematics: CLE 3
Language Arts: LA3
Spelling: Rod and Staff 3 (in place of CLE spelling)
Reading: Reading 3
History: Story of the World Vol. 1
Science: AIG Heaven and Earth (Weather, Earth, and Universe): and hoping to throw a little Charlotte Mason style Nature Notebook in
Writing: Just Write Book 2
Art: Using Deep Space Sparkle, COACH- working our way through World’s Greatest Artists, Usborne books
Music: Hoffman Academy for piano, and COACH- working our way through the World’s Greatest Composers
Literature: Read Read Read, will choose books as time gets closer to our start date

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9th Grade-High School eeekkkk!!!:sweat:
Biology: Apologia (loved Physical Science this year)
Geometry: Teaching Textbooks (new for us)
Bible/Literature/World History: Notgrass Exploring World History(excited about this concept)
Language Arts: Easy Grammar, Marie’s Words and Editor in Chief 3
Japanese: Mango (will continue this year, but plan to add workbooks to reinforce)
Piano: Hoffman Academy online (free and both Gremlins love it!)
PE: online soccer academy online practice :soccer:
Robotics/Arduino-alternate with piano days

5th Grade
Science: Anatomy and Physiology Apologia
Math: Beast Academy (loves it-Gremlin won’t let me switch to anything else!)
History/Literature: Notgrass From Adam to Us
Language Arts: Easy Grammar, Editor in Chief 1
Writing: WWS 1
Spelling: BJU
Japanese: Mango with workbooks
Piano: continue Hoffman
PE: online soccer academy :soccer:
Codeacademy-alternate with piano days