Our Current Homeschool Curriculum Choices (For 6 Kids)

Each year I am asked what we’re using for homeschool curriculum and I’m always happy to oblige because, let’s face it, talking about curriculum is fun! We have tried several things over the years and I’ve logged many MANY hours of research. It’s a great opportunity to share some of that information with others who are looking for a good fit for their kids.

This time, I decided to create one post that I will update every year with our curriculum choices. As I land on particularly big “wins” for different grades, I’ll write separate posts about that. But THIS post will be a running list of what we’re using right now, and I’ll come back to it to share how things went! 

Check out what we're using for homeschool curriculum in 2019-20! I'll be homeschooling a Kindergartener, 1st grader, 2nd grader, 4th grader, and 6th grader. If you're a large family homeschooling mom doing multi-level homeschooling, or you just want some great ideas for pre-K through 6th, you'll love this list!

The Context: How Our Homeschool Works

One thing to keep in mind: Every child, every family, and every homeschool is different. Actually, every year is different, too! The best thing you can do when choosing curriculum for your homeschool is to pray over those choices and remember that there is no magical, perfect curriculum out there that everyone should be using. 

Go ahead an choose what fits your needs best for now, knowing that it may (and probably will) change over time! That’s totally fine. Flexibility is one of the many blessings of homeschooling! 

What Our Homeschool Looks Like

Before I launch into our choices, it’s helpful to know a little bit about our homeschool. 

We have 6 kids 12 and under and I’m currently homeschooling 5 of them.  I tend to choose curriculum that is flexible with a preference for multi-level teaching style or independent learning when possible. 

I also strongly prefer Christian worldview curriculum (and we go heavy on Bible/theology, so that takes up more time in our days), although not everything we use talks about God. We do year-round homeschooling and generally a 4-day academic week. We take breaks and vacations at odd times and as we see fit. 

For 4 days we do a regular academic day and on the 5th day we have a “Home Blessing” which includes housework catch up, extra chores for money, life skills development, and character training. 

Here’s our basic schedule: 

  • We have “morning time” during breakfast, which includes Prayers, hymn, Bible/theology, and memory work. 
  • After chores, we have about a half hour to an hour together at the table for more group work.
  • Then the kids do independent work and 1:1 work with me. Their independent work usually includes daily things like reading and math, and then 1 or two items each day from their loop schedule, which lists all the extras and electives that we rotate through. How long that takes them depends on the kid.
  • During lunch I read from our history selections from Tapestry of Grace.  
  • During dinner, we just chat or pop in an audiobook or some music. Occasionally a child will read aloud to the family. Dad is not home most days for dinner but on days he IS home, it’s just a time to talk and enjoy each other. 

So basically, we do morning Bible and memory work, lots of read alouds, some group work, and then independent and 1:1 work. 

That’s how things run in our homeschool and should give you a context for the resources we choose!

Read More About Our Homeschool:

Our 2019-20 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

(Last updated 12/7/19)

You can watch the video of all our curriculum choices for the year here on my YouTube channel. It’s already a little outdated as we adjust mid-year (so see all the most recent picks listed below), but you’ll get some extra comments about the various curriculum choices.   

*** NOTE: If you choose to purchase any Master Books resources, don’t forget I have a coupon code for you! Code TAUNASFRIEND at checkout will get you 5% off your order. Every penny counts! (One time use.) 

GROUP WORK (SOME DAILY, SOME ROTATED)

These are the resources we use during those group times and read-aloud times. For many of these, one or more of my kids will then do their own notebooking or other activities based on our reading. We don’t do this all every day. See the above video or links for more information about how we incorporate it all in our homeschool easily. 

  •  Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology – My theology curriculum for ages pre-k and elementary. Once a week with some weekly memory review.
  • Bible Road Trip – Our staple Bible curriculum that we’ve used for years. My older kids also do the notebooking journals. 
  • SchoolhouseTeachers  – To pull in electives and supplements to our studies, fun rabbit trails, etc.  
  • Character Concepts (love it all) – Great resource for learning about godly character through engaging stories.
  • My two repeat character studies: Heart of Obedience and Anger vs. Self-Control  
  • Tapestry of Grace Year 1 – We realized that we wanted to keep our history studies all together as a family and have it be our homeschool spine for other studies. TOG is a great, Christ-centered curriculum perfect for multi-level teaching. So far it’s working wonderfully for us.  The challenge has been the planning side of things since I’m one of those gals who doesn’t even lesson plan, but I think I’ve figured out a good solution. More coming on that soon. 
  • Geology (Rocks, Volcanoes, and Dinosaurs) for Little Eyes – Once God’s Design for Life is finished we’ll be starting this creation based geology curriculum from Northwest Treasures. We plan to start with Volcanoes and are happy to try out all the geology samples that came in the kit! 
  • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. Great for teaching them all those life skills I probably should have. LOL!
  • Music in Our Homeschool – We use the Music in Our Homeschool Plus membership for music appreciation and love it! We also enjoy their other courses such as hymns and the Charlotte Mason year long course.
  • No Sweat Nature Studies – Nature studies have been a challenge to do consistently this year so we signed up for the No Sweat Nature Studies membership and it’s perfect for this busy mama! My kids all enjoy it, too. 
  • Masterpiece Society Art – This is a fantastic membership for busy moms with kids at multiple levels. It includes seasonal art projects, handicrafts, art instruction courses, and more
  • YWAM Missionary Biographies – We are going to read / listen to 4 this year and use this free notebooking page.  

6TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

  • Notebooking resources from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words 
  • Math with Christian Light Education – My preferred math curriculum. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much. (we were using TT before and it was great too. See my note on this below in the section about past curriculum we like.)  
  • Writing Strands Intermediate 1 – This alternates weeks of writing (with gentle/natural grammar and other LA elements introduced throughout) with a reading assignment.  
  • Phonetic Zoo from IEW – Audio based, mostly independent spelling program for older kids. Worked well for my 6th grade audio learner. My 4th grade visual gal was not having it.   
  • Reading Challenge – Quiet reading with narration to mom afterward. We alternate literature selections between them choosing the book and me choosing it.  
  • Loop Schedule

4TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

SECOND GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

  • Notebooking – Start simple notebooking with Bible Road Trip
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book. 
  • Christian Light Education – My preferred math curriculum. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • Christian Light Education Reading – a reading comprehension curriculum my daughter enjoyed but I consider optional
  • Reading Challenge – Quiet reading with narration to mom afterward. Alternate they pick the book and I pick the book. 
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard.

FIRST GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

  • Christian Light Education – My preferred math curriculum. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – Our tried and true way of teaching reading. For one of my first graders (I have two at the moment) I’m going to follow this up with Learn to Read by CLE to further his skills and grow his confidence.
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.
  • Reading Challenge – Quiet reading with narration to mom afterward. Alternate they pick the book and I pick the book.
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard. 

KINDERGARTEN CURRICULUM CHOICES

 

I hope you find some fun ideas here to explore. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to share!

~ Tauna 

 

Wondering What Other Curriculum We’ve Used in the Past and Enjoyed?  

(I still need to come back and build this list.)

  • Apologia’s What We Believe Series – This is a great worldview resource we really enjoy, especially with the notebooking journals. 
  • James Scripture Challenge – We studied and memorized the book of James last year.
  • Basic Language Skills – An unexpected favorite for my 1st grader last year.  
  • For Instruction in Righteousness –  for addressing behavior issues and Polished Cornerstones for girls and Plants Grown Up for boys. All from Doorposts.
  • Around the World with Picture Books – This is a wonderful resource from Beautiful Feet Books that uses literature, activities, and additional resources like recommended videos to learn about geography and culture.
  • Teaching Textbooks – We enjoyed this for the older kids but our internet connection tanked and was unfixable. I greatly preferred the online version to CDs (I lose CDs) so we ended up switching back to our previous curriculum. However, I think it’s a great option for kids struggling in math or upper grades. To maximize it, I recommend having your kids write out their solutions and answers before entering them into the system, deleting and re-doing any problems that got them below an 85% on a lesson, and be sure to check into the system yourself once a week to make sure things are going well.   
  • Literature Packs from The Independent Scholar – Christian literature studies that are designed to be done as independent work. 
  • Note Taking Skills – This is a workbook that teaches kids how to take effective notes from various writings. 

Looking for More Curriculum Reviews? 

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Hi, great list, thanks for putting it together. I see innovators tribe online says grades 6-12, how is your 4th doing with it? Wondering if my 4th could start now or would it be better to wait until older? Thanks!

    1. She’s doing fine! She just goes slower and needs more of my help for the more challenging things. She’s doing the Thinking Like an Engineer one – hasn’t tried the others yet.

      1. Thank you! Sounds great for my boys…. one of whom wants to be engineer.

  2. I was wondering if it’s pretty easy to incorporate living books along with America story. I really like living books but I too want a spine from a biblical worldview. Are your living books more picture books or chapter books? Do you come up with your own list or use bfbooks?

    1. I don’t consider it too hard. And coming from me that’s saying something because I like things easy. Lol! There are different ways to do this.

      – I started out with Beautiful Feet Books and loved the living books selection. There is a guide but I felt I needed more of a spine.
      – We used Master Books as our spine this last year and I just pulled in BFB living books. The work there is matching up each living book to the timeline you are studying so you know when to put the spine book down for a bit and pick up a living book to read. It wasn’t too bad though.
      – We ended up deciding to finish up America’s Story this year, actually, and will be using Tapestry of Grace for history. It gives you a few spine books to choose from and then living books to choose from as well as activities you can do if you want. There’s actually a lot to TOG but that’s the gist of how the history works. Biblioplan is a similar program.
      – Notgrass is another history curriculum that provides spine text and tells you where to incorporate their recommendations for living books.

      BUT if you already have a history curriculum in hand, what I’d do is sit down with a notebook and find a living book for each chapter or two. Find a historical figure, event, or whatever you think your child might be interested in. Search online for a living book that matches that topic. You can often use the book lists from BFB or other living books curricula to narrow your search. Once you find something, jot a note in your history text book where you will see it and remember to reserve that book at your library.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

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