Our Curriculum
I have to say that we have stayed pretty consistent with the curriculum we had first chosen.  I did change reading programs after our first one, and we have added things in as they were needed, but Jeremiah and I have taken great lengths in researching our options before we buy something.  Here is what has/has not worked for us.

I feel these two subjects go hand in hand.  At our first go around we tried "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons".  After actually using it for a few months I grew more and more not to like it.  I did not like all the 'codes' they used to help the child to know how to sound out the letters.  I thought it just added more for them to remember than learning the sounds out right.  So when Isabella was about 6 I found "Phonics Pathways" and we have used that to teach reading to all of our children thus far. 

As for spelling I tried for years to use "Spell to Write and Read" (SWR).  It was hailed as being the most in depth and researched way to teach spelling.  For their claims, I have no doubt that it is true.  But I don't believe it is user friendly.  It takes a great amount of time to learn and implement and I happen to be short on that at the moment :-)  We then started to use "Spelling Workout" as a supplement to the SWR.  The short and easy lessons really helped my girls with their spelling.  But I noticed that words that they had not been taught, but followed the same spelling rules were being misspelled.  I knew we needed the information from SWR, but without the burden, and I just found that this year, "All About Spelling".  We are new to it, but so far I am loving the laid out lessons. 

We started with "Saxon" and have used it for the K-5th grades.  However even with me shortening the lessons it was taking a LOT of time teaching three girls at their own grade level.  So we started Isabella on "Teaching Textbooks"  for the sixth grade.  By that point they are past the basics.  Moira is looking forward to using this for next years math.  Math for Moira is the epitome of evil :-) On the other hand, math for Isabella is like a day at the park! I have been happy with both programs and would highly recommend them each.

We start grammar in the third grade using "Easy Grammar".  As it name implies it is easy :-)  I grew up hating and totally not understanding grammar and wished I had this to learn from!  The lessons are VERY short and to the point.  They only take about ten minutes at the most to complete.  This makes learning grammar painless for everyone involved.

We have always used "A Reason For Handwriting".  I did try my hand at "Writing Without Tears" when Isabella was 5, but it didn't seem necessary to use their approach.  I do believe it would be useful for a child who struggles with handwriting, I just haven't had one of those yet.

We use "Wordly Wise" for vocabulary.  I have to say that I really do hope to do more 'living' books for their schooling, which would bring up vocabulary as we read.  But for now we use a workbook.  I didn't really do a lot of looking into vocabulary, but have been happy with its results.  The lessons are pretty short (although some do take longer than others) and they have the opportunity to use the words in sentences and other "games" to make them stick.

We bought the whole curriculum of "God's Design" by Answers in Genesis.  I have to admit that we have not spent a lot of time learning from the books.  I dare say we have learned a lot of science, just not from the books.  But I do like that most lessons use materials you would have on hand, or would be cheap to buy.  I also like that they are engaging.  I really do hope to spend more time using them!

We do not start formal history until the children are about 9 years old.  We plan on teaching them in pairs (Isabella and Moira/ Flannery and Saoirse/ Jedididiah and Jonah).  We prefer the 'living' book method as well.  Jeremiah really loves history and he has taken the teaching of this subject into his own hands.  He spends a lot of time researching books for the time period that they are in.  We shy away from using a textbook for history as we do not want to focus on dates and names, but on the how and why.  So far I have found myself hoping to be nearby to listen in on their reading as I am learning things that I was never taught :-)

Currently for our Language Arts/Reading I am following a combination of reading lists from Ambleside Online and other similar sites such as Simply Charlotte Mason.  We have read other books that come up that we are interested in.  Our reading can be for language arts, or maybe life science or for pleasure.  Our current books are the "Bible", "Just in Case", and "Caddie Woodlawn".  I am hoping to have a book list on my site in the future.

Currently we do not have a program that we use.  The girls have journals that they write in.  Plus Isabella has started to write her own books.  I am sure we could be doing more and will probably do so as they get to high school (which Isabella hits in 18 months!). 

Some other things we do that I count for homeschool :
Sign Language
We are using the free online course from "ASL University".  We had been learning sign language from a book I picked up years ago and from the video series, "Signing Time".  I am hoping to become more involved in our churches deaf ministry as we learn more.

This is a specific e-course that we are using currently to teach us proper nutrition and food preparation.  This would fall under Health Class :-)  I try to pass on the information that I read as health and nutrition are a passion of mine.  I am very pleased with how much they know from this way of learning! 

I really love the Dance Mat Typing sight for teaching typing.  First of all its FREE, and free is always good :-)  The girls love it and breeze through it!

I will try to list out my other resources that I have used to supplement, or to do for "fun".  The below sites are used for various subjects and reasons. 

Donna Young This site I go to for printing out calendars, menu planners and a host of other odds and ends.

Math printables Some neat fraction sheets.

Make your own flipbook Something neat to help with reading.


Preschool printables This site has some flash cards.

Preschool printables, crafts and games I've gotten a lot of great stuff off of this site!

Tons of printables! Something for every subject.  You could get lost on this site :-)

Lapbooking with preschoolers or early grades

Mini offices A great idea for keeping needed information in a fun way.

Homeschooling for nearly free! This site has a ton of links for free curriculum.

Listen to books online There are other sites like this I believe, if not there are a lot of sites where you can read a lot of public domain material.

Homeschool Lounge a HUGE gathering of homeschoolers from all walks of life sharing ideas and encouragement.  I have found so many great ideas from these women.

Well that is a sampling of the links I have.  I have a few blogs that focus on homeschooling as well that I will get around to posting someday.  But I think the above links will keep you busy :-)

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