Trying New Curriculum Next Year

I’m curious if anyone is looking at or trying something new (to them) in their home school next year? Have you found anything fun and exciting that you can’t wait to try out? If so, please share!

Something new I am trying next year is First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. I’ve never heard of this program before. I saw a review for it in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks and after looking at some sample pages I thought it looked straight forward, to the point, and had great coverage of grammar. I like how it teaches diagramming sentences and I’m hoping it helps us out as the skill of diagramming keeps alluding us!

We are going to use Mystery of History Volume I for the first time too and I’m really excited about it. I ordered the note-booking pages to go with it and I’m very pleased with all the different options for the note-booking pages. We’ve devoted so much time to American history so we’re all excited to be doing something new that explores world history. (Previously we’ve used Abeka.)

I am also trying out Heart of Dakota with my preschooler. It looked so good we started early! (And its going great!)


We are changing everything next year. This year we used Abeka 2nd Grade for every subject except Bible. It is a quality curriculum but is truly written for the classroom in my opinion. We need a different atmosphere. We are switching to Heart of Dakota. We are going to do Bigger Hearts for His Glory with Singapore math and Rod and Staff English as Heart of Dakota recommends. I know curriculum in a box is not the choice for most families, but I really love and need that. We are very excited as HOD is truly written for the home, includes everything you need, and is a high quality, challenging and doable education. I am most excited to be able to do hands-on projects because everything is well laid-out and uses common items. My son loves hands-on projects but i so rarely put it tog ether that I fail him in that area.

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I am joining a co-op this fall and two of the classes my daughter will be taking are American History (Civil War era) with American Girl Dolls and a Lego reading/writing class. I am also using a new science curriculum and a new writing curriculum so we will see how those go! :slight_smile:

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Jenny could you explain the notebook if pages? Where did you get them? From the publisher? We are HS for the first time next year and we are doing MOH. Thanks!

We’ll be trying a lot of new things, mostly for my 3rd grader.

CAP Writing and Rhetoric Fable (Writing)
IEW Fix It! (Grammar)
CLE Math
Beast Academy math

I’m also looking at Home Science Adventures by Stratton House, Mr Q life science, and a set of writing books (for my first grader) called Aesop’ s Fables by Royal Fireworks Press.

We’ll be doing Road Trip USA as well, it is new to us but we did Expedition Earth last school year.

I have been using K12 online school - so basically everything will be new to us! So I will tell you what I am most excited about:

I am so excited to be trying Science Fusion next year! I love the colorful workbook/textbook and the hands on experiments look like great fun. I’m not using the online studies this year that goes with it, so we’ll see how it goes. My two oldest also picked an elective for next year: robotics for my 5th grader and cooking and sewing for my 3rd grader. I am also excited about History of Us for my 5th grader. Also using Spectrum lang. arts books, and writing for all three grades. Also excited to try Horizons math for my 1st grader next year.

Well, OK, I am basically excited about everything. :slight_smile: But these are probably my highlights. Haha :slight_smile:

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@KathiJohnson what have you decided for science and writing. You posted that you were considering science from Dr. J. Wile, did you stick with that? I want to educate myself a little more regarding classical education and learning disabilities. But changes are on the horizon.

@bezona I am going to use Dr. Wile’s “Science in the Beginning” curriculum and have already purchased the books and science kits. I also have Real Science 4 Kids elementary chemistry & physics books & kits to use afterwards. I like Dr. Wile’s approach which focuses on why/how science works. It is very hands on, which is how my daughter learns best.

For writing, I am trying something completely different. WriteShop Level D The FAQ for the book says, “WriteShop Junior lessons appeal to multiple modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), so hands-on learners and children with mild to moderate learning difficulties—including ADHD, dyslexia, and dysgraphia—can gain confidence and experience success. These students benefit from clear boundaries; short, specific assignments; tasks broken into bite-size chunks; frequent repetition and practice; and skill-building games that require no writing—components that are core features of WriteShop Junior. Plus, each lesson may easily be tailored to meet your child’s needs.”

In addition, I am going to use Wordsmith (apprentice level) to see how that works for her. I am basically trying to figure out what will work best for her. I’ve heard great things about WriteShop and, when it is done, I want to see how she does with Wordsmith.

I’m not following a strict classical education style, although I’m certainly using elements of it.

What did you mean “changes are on the horizon”? I’m intrigued. :slight_smile:

We like First Language Lessons this year, I used level 1 and 2 with my 1st and 2nd graders. We will keep it and move on to levels 2 and 3 this coming school year. We also used Story of the World the first half of the year. We are delving back in now (it got shelved for a few unit studies) and will stay with it for next year as well. My son will continue with AAR and finish level 1 and move on to level 2. It works well for him. We use Spelling You See for spelling and will keep that as well.

We are changing some things and will be using Build Your Library for our core. It needs some supplementing (grammar, phonics and spelling along with math) so we will add to it. But it is a literature based curriculum and I am really intrigued with it as well as the positive reviews I have read.

I also want to add geography in for my 3rd grader. Still searching for that one.

We are literally revamping our whole homeschool. We used Abeka Science, Health Safety and Manners and Language. Plus CLE Math and Donna Ward Social Studies.
The only thing not new to us will be Math and social studies.
We will be using Sonlight for the first time P4/5 and Core B. (We tried P3/4 a couple months ago to get a feel for the program but a Core will be totally new!!!)
For Writing it’s a choice between IEW and Writing with Ease- My children need to learn how to write creatively-not sure how these programs work to improve that but I am looking into them in conference season in May.
Grammar- First Language Lessons- mostly for youngest DD, think she will love the short easy lessons. Thinking about it for older DD’s once again will look at it in person. Abeka became a bit dry for us but we still want them to have a firm grip on grammar, hoping this program is not too light
Spelling- All About Spelling- we needed to work on this area in particular, so we took it easy this year while I decided what was best to do and I think we have made the final decision with AAS- hoping for the best!!
Science- Gods Design for Life- Plants plus Sonlight Science A- they kind of intertwine and the girls wanted to do Botany plus we have Botany in 8 lessons so I think the 3 programs put together will get us through one year.
Art- we are looking at Artistic Pursuits- haven’t used a formal art program yet so this will be a great help to us!
And note booking which is also new to us. It will be an interesting and exciting year all these new programs to try!! Phew! Can’t wait to start already! :slight_smile:
Love this post by the way @Jenny

Are you looking for a study of the fifty states or world geography? When ds11 was in 2nd and 3rd grade, I created a booklist for the fifty states. When we finished that, I created one for world geography. I can send them to you if you like.

I haven’t used Erica’s products, but they’re supposed to be good. And yesterday, I read a blogger review of the Adventurous Mailbox for world cultural geography.

I would love a copy of your 50 states list, if you don’t mind sharing.

I just sent it. Let me know if it comes through. Hope it helps.

Yes! I got them right from the Bright Ideas Press. It comes as a download and I think it was 19 dollars. I really debated over ordering the note-booking pages because I thought that was expensive but the pages come with four different options. (And you get all four when you order them.) They have primary lined pages for younger kids, regular lined pages, editable pages that you can type directly into and then, they have the pages that I liked best, which have question and answer spaces that follow along with the days reading. All of the pages have nice drawings or maps or something pertinent to the reading on them and there is a page for every lesson in the book. Here is a link to volume I pages.

Sounds like a good year! I’ve been looking for a good writing program for the kids and I was also looking at IEW and Writing with Ease! As much as I like the look of IEW, and I’ve heard great reviews, I think it may be out of our budget! I’m leaning towards Writing with Ease.

I did see that IEW has less expensive programs like one called, Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons. I thought it would be really cool to do this program for next year because we will be studying Ancient History! But, I’m not sure if you need to go through the entire program before you can use the theme based writing lessons, or if they can be used on their own.

We are going to use First Language Lessons too next year, and like you, I’m hoping that it gives the kids a solid understanding of Grammar. I’ve had the hardest time finding a Grammar curriculum that clicks with the kids.

It seems like many people are trying new things for next year and everyone sounds excited about it! :smile: I’m glad that my kids were happy when all the things I ordered started coming and they flipped through everything!

@sgrrbear I love the Spectrum workbooks! I think they are a great price and have great content. My son used the writing workbook this year and he really liked it. He wanted to write longer than they had lines for in the workbook (shocking for me!) so we got him a notebook and he expands on the assignments in his notebook.

I think its so great how truly excited everyone is about what they are trying next year. Its so funny to me because I went to public school and I honestly can’t remember ever being excited to see what my textbooks would look like and was never excited to see what we would be learning in science for the year. With homeschooling my kids, of all ages, are ecstatic when “the box” arrives in the mail and they look through everything. I have to tell them that no, we can’t start now, the books are for September!


That is great to hear from someone that they liked the Spectrum workbooks as well! Thank you so much! I agree - I was never excited about school either. Homeschooling is truly fun and exciting! I love seeing what they are going to learn for the year. :slight_smile:

@sgrrrbear I am also trying sewing and baking for my 3rd grader next year too :slight_smile: And we also use Horizons math for our current K and 2nd grader. Good luck with all of your new curriculum!!

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It didn’t come…hmm. I checked spam too.

I’d love the list. Thanks! My kids LOVE to be read to, that’s one reason we are taking a more literature based approach for the coming school year.
I am thinking about using Erica’s products for geography but I am also eyeing a few others. I want it to be fun, but I also want to keep it simple. It takes me a lot of time to make up my mind. Its a little amazing that I have as many choices made now as I do. Last spring I was changing my mind right up until I submitted my paperwork to my school district listing our choices.