Our Homeschool: What We’re Using This Year

Josh & Andy watching Jack work on his Spanish lessons.

Josh & Andy watching Jack work on his Spanish lessons.

I saw another mom write a post about what curriculum she was using this year for each of her kids. Her post was a sponsored post so she was getting a little something from at least some of the companies she mentioned. I thought it be fun to write a similar post, both for the sake of my weak memory and just in case you’re curious what we do during our class time. No sponsorship or endorsements here – just the products I chose to use after lots of research and weighing what I know about how my children learn best and how I teach best. I’d love to say I’ll write a post about why I chose each of these products, but we all know how well I follow through on promises like that. So, for now, here are the products and curriculum we are currently using:

ANDY (3rd grade):

Teacher Lead Courses:

Spelling: All About Spelling

Latin: Prima Latina: Intro to Christian Latin

Memory Work: CCM – a classical memory work program that covers 8 subject areas: Religion, Latin, History, Science, Math, Timeline, Geography, and Great Words.

Andy holding Soph while he puts his vocab words in ABC order. He likes to hold her to break up the monotony of tedious activities.

Andy holding Soph while he puts his vocab words in ABC order. He likes to hold her to break up the monotony of tedious activities.

Workbooks:

English: English 3, Seton Press

Vocabulary: Vocabulary 3, Seton Press

Reading Comprehension: Reading 3, Seton Press

Reading: Faith and Freedom Readers and anything that piques his interest. We read a lot during the day. We also have family story time before bed, during which Josh reads from a chapter book to the family. Currently, we’re reading the Narnia series. We’re almost finished – we’re about halfway through the Voyage of the Dawn Treader – so it’s about time to start thinking about what we will read next.

Maps, Charts, Graphs Level C

Handwriting: Catholic Heritage Handwriting: Level 3

Manners & Health

Computer lessons/programs:

Spanish: Rosetta Stone, Homeschool Edition

Math: Teaching Textbooks

Catechism: Faith and Life, Online Edition


Jack (2nd grade):

Teacher Lead Courses:

Spelling: All About Spelling

Latin: Prima Latina: Intro to Christian Latin

Memory Work: CCM – a classical memory work program that covers 8 subject areas: Religion, Latin, History, Science, Math, Timeline, Geography, and Great Words.

Jack showing off a picture he drew.

Jack showing off a picture he drew.

Sacrament Preparation: First Communion Catechism, New Catholic Picture Bible

Building Good Character: God Made Me to be Part of a Family

Workbooks: 

Math: Math 2, Seton Press

English: English 2, Seton Press

Reading: Faith and Freedom Readers and anything that piques his interest. We read a lot during the day. We also have family story time before bed, during which Josh reads from a chapter book to the family. Currently, we’re reading the Narnia series. We’re almost finished – we’re about halfway through the Voyage of the Dawn Treader – so it’s about time to start thinking about what we will read next.

Maps, Charts, Graphs Level B

Handwriting: Catholic Heritage Handwriting: Level 3

Catechism: Religion 2, Seton Press

Computer lessons/programs:

Spanish: Rosetta Stone, Homeschool Edition


2014-05-06 09.28.17

Ben playing with the magnet set.

Ben: (pre-k)

Miscellaneous letter and number coloring sheets printed from the internet.

Any story he wants to hear.

ABCmouse.com

Preschool Prep DVDs

The Real Mother Goose

God’s Rules for Me

Lots of puzzles, manipulatives, and other educational toys of the “Melissa & Doug” variety.


We’re also participating in two co-ops this year. The primary co-op uses the CCM material. Each week at co-op, the kids get a good introduction to the memory work for all 8 subjects, then we practice the memory work at home all week. They’ll also take an extra science class and an art class there.

Our second co-op is much more casual. Our primary purpose is allowing our kiddos to form faith-based friendships from a young age. The kiddos learn about virtues, memorize prayers, and have a lesson pertinent to where we are in the liturgical year. Then, they have lunch and play. I don’t know if the founder would appreciate this simplistic description, but it’s kind of like youth group for elementary kids.


So there you have it – a glimpse at our formal lessons for the year. It’s not uncommon that we’ll put everything on hold and wander off on some tangent, sometimes for a morning or sometimes for several weeks, but that’s the beauty of schooling year round. We have ample time to tackle all of the formal lessons listed above, but without feeling so much pressure that we can’t follow a whim to dig into a subject that we weren’t planning on covering. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, I LOVE homeschooling!

 

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4 thoughts on “Our Homeschool: What We’re Using This Year

  1. They love it! They beg to use it all the time. We got the homeschool version, which is really neat because you can customize the “learning path” for each learner. Jack was having a lot of difficulty with the writing and spelling, so we changed his path to focus on speaking and listening – now he’s doing great! Truthfully, Andy could really benefit from stepping down to the speaking and listening track, but he’s too stubborn. He’d rather struggle through the writing and spelling than step down to an “easier” program. I figure it’s good for him either way. We don’t use it with Ben yet. I think he probably could use it if I sat down and did every lesson with him. It would probably be very slow progress, but it could be done. I am using the program too and staying ahead of the boys so I can help them when needed. It’s a full immersion program, so there is no explanation or anything. You just have to figure it out as you go. There have been a few times that I have been stumped by what it was trying to teach me, but then I just reach out to trusty ol’ google. There are so many wonderful resources available for free, so I can quickly figure out what I need to know and move on in the program. I think Rosetta Stone would probably be a pretty difficult tool for them to use if I weren’t doing it along with them. But because I’m staying ahead of them, I can easily answer their questions and help them move on. If I didn’t know what was going on, there really isn’t any way for me to help them. The program just isn’t set up to work like that. So if you’re wanting to learn along with her, I’d say go for it. We really like it.

  2. But, just for the interest of full disclosure, I’m not convinced that they will successfully learn the grammar and whatnot just by doing Rosetta Stone. I think they will be able to carry on a conversation, but not necessarily with completely correct grammar. For that reason, I will probably add a Spanish textbook to their course load next year. It should be really easy for them because they will already have a great vocabulary base, but it will fill in the gaps that they are currently missing. Of course, I may be wrong. Maybe as we keep moving forward, the grammar really will fall into place, just like it does for little ones as they learn their native tongue. We’ll just have to wait it out and see.

    • Thanks! I appreciate you going into so much detail. I really need to brush up on my Spanish but hadn’t thought of using the homeschool version for myself. We may get it and see how she responds to it and if all else fails, Brian and I will just use it. :)

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