Sunday, April 14, 2013

Home School Curricula

Ages and ages ago, I promised I'd post what we use for our home school studies. ( Many of these are listed in The Well-Trained Mind, which if you haven't read yet, you need to.)  We are very fortunate to live right next to our elementary school and within 2 blocks of the middle school, so my kids are able to attend related arts (art, music, gym) over at the school and district programs (choir, orchestra, band, etc.). Nathaniel also attends the school for math. After skipping him ahead two grades in that subject in the last few years, it was clear that he was nearly to the end of my abilities to help him with math. Because we do related arts over at the school, our studies at home are core classes with a little Spanish and logic thrown in for good measure.

For our 3rd Grade Curriculum, we went back to basics. Caleb had been just scraping by in school with some of his issues undiagnosed and untreated.  Once we pinpointed those, we realized we needed to start with second grade stuff to make sure he had a really solid foundation especially in math.  So after much research, I went with Kumon workbooks. They are great for drilling the basics and the bright, bold, clean pages are perfect for my easily distracted boy.

Here's a link to an amazon list of all the texts and workbooks we've used in 3rd grade. (I created it as a wishlist, but I promise I don't want any of those things. ;) ) I do NOT recommend getting these things on amazon, with the exception of the Kumon books and the one Spanish workbook.  Ebay and the home company sites are your friend for everything else. I've included teacher editions of books ONLY for the subjects where I've found a teacher edition helpful.

And here's 5th grade.

Of course both grades are heavily supplemented with Dover coloring pages and geography worksheets as well as all manner of books read during free reading time.

Also, this is what we use for science.  Supplemented with some fabulous dissections with our friends and neighbors using this kit.  And punctuated with relevant episodes of The Magic School Bus.

I hope you find this helpful! The great thing about homeschooling is that you can tailor it to meet the needs of your chid(ren) and family, so what works for me may be awful for you.  People are usually very happy to let you borrow books to see and touch and feel. Also, our local Barnes and Noble and library have quite a selection of home school type books, so I was able to see what I liked best and for everything else I relied heavily on reviews of other parents.  Good luck!


Tricia said...

We use spelling workout too. This is a great post. I think I will have to do one like it....when I catch up on my blog! :)

Emilia said...

That would be great, Tricia! I'd love to see what you've discovered to be helpful. I just keep getting so many questions from friends thinking about home schooling, and I know I certainly relied heavily upon other people's blogs and reviews when choosing what to use for our family, so I figured it was time to finally do know, a few weeks before the end of the school year. ;)

Sara said...

Thank you for posting this! It's so nice to have friends with experience and knowledge!

Valerie said...

Kumon is pretty great- my Mom used that with my younger siblings. Haha, I love your Magic School Bus comment. We watched quite a bit for science also and I have many a story of knowing more than older friends because of it. If you end up looking for other curricula as they get older, I used Saxon in middle and high school for math, and there's also a great series about math in the real world. Except I can't remember the actual name. But they had several books with different "real world" math topics such as accounting, budgeting, statistics, etc. I really liked it although I didn't go through all of the books. My family also loves The Teaching Company ( and has used them for history, science, study skills, engish, etc.