A Look at Homeschooling This Year + Curriculum 2013-2014

I have been super busy the last few weeks. I never thought I would be homeschooling three boys this year, and it has been quite an adjustment from just one last school year. Now, there are added dynamics like behavior problems when they feed off each other, and it took me a while to nail down how we would work everything out so that I wasn’t teaching multiple classes for each subject. I did a little trimming and a pinch of good old Macgyver work, and we finally arrived at a plan that is working. This is our second full week of schooling, and we are starting to find a rhythm that works, so I wanted to share a glimpse at our homeschooling and curriculum for this school year.

Jayden was supposed to go into 4th grade this year and Jordan is working at a 4th/5th grade level with his dyslexia, so I combined them for all subjects. Because of the curriculum I chose, Jase who is in 2nd grade could be added into the classes as well, although I need to give him extra help at times. I have put together a really eclectic curriculum, but everything I chose has one thing in common. It is very interactive and hands on, making it the perfect option for my visual learners, and ensuring that we do not get too bored.

{Combined Curriculum}

Grammar – We are using a Scott Foresman grammar book that I found online for free! There is a separate 4th grade and 2nd grade version, but luckily they both cover the same topics. So, I teach the lesson and then each child has two worksheets to do at their level. We do grammar 2 days a week.

Geography – During our camping trip, when none of the boys new the names of all 50 states or where they were located, I knew I would be doing geography this year. I found a low cost and really thorough U.S. Geography curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Geography is done 3 days a week.

Phonics – I purchased the Saxon Phonics Intervention program for Jordan to use and debated whether to have the other two do it with him. In the end, I decided it wouldn’t hurt them, so they all do it together.

Spelling – At the end of last year I had started All About Spelling Level 1 with Jordan, and I decided to start over at the beginning of this year. Because of his dyslexia, Jordan’s spelling is extremely phonetic and we are trying to overcome that.

History –  History made it pretty simple to combine all the grades together. I read the lesson and then we do the activities, crafts and worksheets together. I do not require as much writing or detail from my youngest, but he is able to do the work with us. We are working our way through the Time Travelers History Series from Homeschool in the Woods. I am loving this program! It is in-depth and has a ton of hands on, fun activities that really bring history to life.

Reading – In addition to 30 minutes of independent reading each day, the boys and I work together to complete Classic Literature Studies. These take classic books and add interactive activities and lapbooking as you work your way through. This is another program that comes from Confessions of a Homeschooler and is very inexpensive. We are doing ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ first.

Writing – Since we are already doing spelling, phonics, grammar and reading separately, I did not want to add in a full writing curriculum at this time. The boys do journal writing each morning using a prompt that I give them.

{Separated Subjects}

Science – While all three boys are using a program from Elemental Science, the older two are working on Physics for the grammar stage, and my youngest is doing Biology for the grammar stage. I chose this program because it has at least two experiments per week, focuses on writing down what they learned in their own words, and has room for extra and on-going activities as well.

Math – Again, all three boys are using Saxon Math, but the older boys are doing 5/4 and the youngest is doing Saxon Math 2. This is not a “fun” curriculum like most the others, but it is heavy on the review of past concepts and teaching of new ones, so it works well for us.

For art, we are always doing activities and crafts with science, reading, history and geography, so there is plenty of that. On Tuesday afternoons, Jayden and Jase are taking a cooking class at a local community center, and on Thursdays, Jordan takes a pottery class there. Fridays, we have a co-op where the boys will have LEGO learning classes, photography classes and other enrichment type educational studies.

I know there is a lot of worry about socializing when it comes to homeschooling. In addition to the co-op and community center classes listed above, there is a local homeschool group we are part of that meets each Thursday for a few hours at a local park. They have additional activities like a camp-out at the end of this month too. The local Junior Museum has homeschool classes two times per month as well. So, there really is plenty of room for socializing.

So, that is our homeschool year at a glance. It should be a blast, and I look forward to sharing more of it with you, as we go!


  1. You're clearly the most organized person on the planet. I considered doing that for my daughter because she was kinda bored in school but I knew I wasn't organized enough to pull it off to the degree she would need.

  2. I bet your youngest will benefit greatly from learning at an advanced level with his siblings. 🙂 I am thinking about homeschooling through middle school. I'm just not sure if my son and my personalities will make it feasible.

  3. Homeschooling has come so far since I was a kid. I swore I'd never put my kids through it since I was pretty unsocialized, but with the advent of co-ops and large umbrellas it might just work for us.

  4. You seem to be very organized and off to a great start. It's nice that you have a local homeschooling group for interaction and support.

  5. I didn't realize you were going to be schooling two more of your boys this year! Go you! That all sounds like a great mix of books and studies to learn from. We did Saxon Math last year and although my daughter disliked it, she learned a lot from it.

  6. My daughter had Saxon math in elementary school, and when I started homeschooling her in 6th grade, we continued to use it. It's a great curriculum.

  7. Surprisingly Tammy, they really seem to be liking Saxon. They really like the timed review practice at the beginning of each lesson. They are always trying to beat their own time and each other.

  8. I think you are amazing for homeschooling. I'm always in awe of moms that can do it, and you just seem to have it all together. Hope it's a great school year!

  9. It's amazing how many great resources are out there, especially now that you can download stuff off of the internet too! I'm glad you found something that works for you guys!

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