Home School Curriculum 2013-2014

Well, as I embark on my 7th year in homeschooling I've decided that I'm changing my name. 

Yep. I am.   I don't want to be called a homeschool mom, I want to be called the "headmaster."  

Doesn't that sound so much more, well, more official?  And professional with a hint of sternness?  I imagine that a headmaster should wear a pencil skirt with hair slicked back into the perfect chignon. Oh, and definitely speak with a British accent.   

"Dearest students, please take out your blue back spellers, turn to page one and we shall begin by spelling each word aloud in unison.  Ready?  Begin...."

Okay.  Forget it . I'll keep embracing "Homeschool Mom."  I think I like that better. =)  No perfect hair or British accents required. =D

Today we are beginning our first day of school and since I know we all enjoy a curriculum post, I thought I'd share what we are doing this year!  Of all our homeschooling years, this was definitely my most difficult year deciding what to do. But now that everything is finalized, I am so happy with our choices.   

This year we will be studying Introduction to American History, part 1, through Sonlight (Core D.)  You all know I love Sonlight and their book choices....wonderful, living books that make History exciting.  Their Instructor's Guide is so easy to use and everything is scheduled for you! ( This year I'm only using the IG for History, Reading, Read-a-louds, Geography and dictation.) We'll be using regular readers for Caleb and advanced readers for Lydia.  All of the books coordinate with each other and the current time period that you are studying.  Love that!

For Language Arts we'll be doing dictation scheduled in the Sonlight Core, as well as Growing with Grammar for formal grammar instruction, and Wordly Wise for vocabulary.  We've used Wordly Wise for several years now, and this is our second year using Growing with Grammar and we loooove it.  Seriously, my kids enjoy Grammar.  (A dream come true for this nerdy, grammar loving mother!)  

Teaching Textbooks is our math choice for this year. Lydia used it for the first time last year and we were very pleased so now both kiddos will be doing it. 

After that, everything else is new territory!  Which kind of makes me nervous, but hey, change can be good.  If I find something we love I stick with it, but otherwise, I change around to fit our needs.  That's the beauty of homeschooling!

Now onto spelling....one of my children is a natural born speller, but my other really struggles.  After a lot of research and debate I settled on using the Phonetic Zoo Level A for spelling.  After watching Andrew Pudewa's "Spelling and the Brain" DVD and seeing him demonstrate the exact spelling problems my child was having, I knew that it was what we needed.  I'll be using this for both Lydia and Caleb this year.  

Also new to us is a writing program also by Andrew Pudewa and the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I have found in my few short years as a headmaster home school mom, that writing is difficult to teach.  There are so many "gray areas."  And it's just like spelling, I have one excellent writer and one who struggles.  I definitely believe that children learn to write well when good writing is modeled for them, i.e. reading classic literature, etc.  But sometimes you need some more concrete instruction!  I was able to borrow the Student Writing Intensive Level A this summer from a friend to look at before purchasing it myself. Currently I am also working my way through the seminars on how to teach writing and it's amazing what I've learned so far!   

This year for Science I asked the kiddos what they wanted to study and they simultaneously shouted, "the human body!"  So we chose Exploring Creation through Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia.  I am thrilled that we get to spend an entire year on one subject!  Makes so much more sense to delve in deep instead of just skimming the surface of many topics.  We'll be using the student companion journals as well.

Nature journaling is something we're beginning this year...kind of a mixture of science and art.  I can't wait.  I even bought myself a journal!  We live out in the country so we have a lot of opportunity to explore to learn.

For Bible we'll be using a few different sources, well other than the Bible of course. =)  In a world filled with counterfeit religions and warped theology, apologetics is something I believe every Christian should study.  Basically, it's how to defend the faith.  It's knowing what you believe and why you believe it.  This year we are beginning an apologetics course by Apologia.  The first book is "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him."  Along with it we'll be discussing and memorizing The Baptist Primer.  It's an excellent book!  


With Levi, who is beginning K-4, we'll be reading books from Sonlight's Pre-K list, doing some beginning handwriting from Handwriting without Tears, and learning readiness exercises.  I also found some Kumon tracing and cutting books that I may never be able to pry away from him.  Nothing very formal, just enjoying time together and fueling his love for learning. 

And Miss Lucy will be doing a lot of coloring, getting into things and dragging around the cat. =)

I have also added in a few "electives" for Lydia and Caleb such as Critical Thinking Activities (logic), Typing and soon we'll be adding Latin American Spanish to the mix.  Can't wait!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.  Have a great Monday!

Linking up to the Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. When William was little he had a Kumon book and he LOVED it! It sounds like your year will be full of fun and learning! Your kids are going to be so smart when they graduate. :-)

  2. Sounds like a wonderful year! We were in the same place a year ago with science -- my kids begged to study anatomy and we used the same book. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! We're going to be trying out the new chemistry and physics book this year.

  3. It looks like you have a great year ahead of you! (And oh my GOSH what is that bug??) We used The Phonetic Zoo for a couple of years (10 years ago!) with my "big" kids when we started taking foster kids. It was a huge time saver for me and works really well. One thing though: Keep an eye on your kids. I discovered my daughter was CHEATING! She was going through a spelling list a day, and they are supposed to master them before moving on. I caught on when I noticed she was so far ahead of where she'd been a couple of weeks before and started looking at her lists. She had been erasing and copying the words correctly and then moving on. I made her go back to the first list she'd cheated on and start all over. She wasn't happy but she learned a good lesson. :)

  4. You will love Apologia! I don't know if you have used their books or not, but they are fantastic. Our adopted daughter (she is 17) has done Apologia each year, and we both learn so much. Our 4 year old will be starting the Botany book this year. Hope your school year goes well!


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