Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2012 - Week 1

Not Back to School Blog Hop
For the past couple of years, I've participated in the Not Back to School blog hop for homeschoolers. This year it's being hosted by iHomeschool Network. If you're a homeschooler, I encourage you to check it out and join in. I've met some like-minded people with whom to share ideas and encouragement. Just click on the button above.

This week's theme is curriculum. I think it's cool to see what other people are using and how it's worked for them.

I'm really blessed in that my kids are close together in age. Believe me, I didn't always consider that a blessing. But we're able to combine many of their school subjects like history and science, saving me prep time and money. I've always done math separately with them, and this year we're splitting up language arts as well.

Speaking of math, I'm really excited about our new curriculum. For me to be excited about math is quite an accomplishment! We've decided to go with Teaching Textbooks, a CD-Rom based program. The kids tried the demos on the TT website and both of them really liked the set-up. I'm hoping it will encourage a little independence, too.

We've used Mystery of History for the past three years. But this year, we're switching to All American History. I'm an American history buff, so this is going to be so much fun for me! I hope the kids enjoy it, too.

To go along with our study of US History, we're going to take a road trip across the country using Road Trip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler. It's a downloadable book filled with tons of cool activities, maps and games. Each child is going to have a notebook in which to keep all the great workbook pages. We're all going to learn from this one! Plus, I really like supporting fellow homeschoolers who've developed successful curriculum.

We're going with a publisher we love for science - Apologia! Jeannie Fulbright has a complete series of elementary science books that are amazing. This year we're going to do Zoology 3:Land Creatures of the Sixth Day. The children love the notebooking journals that are available for this curriculum. It's an invaluable tool for learning and review.

For language arts, each child will do a level of Queen Homeschool's Language Lessons. This curriculum was also written by homeschooler and uses a gentle approach to grammar that I really like. We've used First Language Lessons by Jessie Wise and this program is very similar.

Spelling this year also comes from another fellow homeschooler, Soaring into Spelling by JacKris Publishing. This program encourages independence, which I'm really trying to emphasize this year.

I haven't emphasized writing much but as the children grow older, they are going to need to write more and more - reports, reviews, college applications (eek! I know they're only 5th and 6th graders, but time is flying by!) So I bit the bullet and purchased a writing program. It's Teaching Writing:Style and Structure by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I attended some seminars by Andrew Pudewa, the developer of this program, a couple of years ago, and I was impressed by his approach to writing. I've been waiting until the kids were older elementary to start it. Yes, it's pricey. Yes, it's all on DVD. But I think it's going to pay off for us. I can hardly wait to get started!

So, what curriculum are you using? What are you most looking forward to teaching?


  1. We are using IEW A/B and their PAL system, so far, we are enjoying all three! This will be our second year covering American History (not the same curriculum) and I can't wait to hear what you think about yours!

  2. Thanks for the link to Road Trip USA. My family and I are currently traveling the US with our kids, and I can't wait to check it out!

  3. We will be using MOH for the first time this year. Did you switch because Vol. 4 is not out yet?

    We also use Apologia for science. This year we will be studying Botany.

    We use Soaring With Spelling too. We have used it for 3 years and I love the independence factor of it.

    If you are interested in connecting with other Apologia users, check out the Apologia Blog Roll that I host here:


  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post. I am returning the favor. We LOVE MOH, I miss it. We are using another curriculum, as you know from my blog, and I miss MOH. I can't wait for vol 4 to come out. We also LOVE IEW, though we did the High School levels. We are not using it this year but I hope to use it again before my son graduates from High School. Sounds like you will have a great year. God Bless.