Our Current Homeschool Curriculum Choices (For 6 Kids pre-k to 7th)

Each year I am asked what we’re using for homeschool curriculum. I’m always happy to oblige because, let’s face it, talking about curriculum is fun! 😀

Every summer I update this post with our new curriculum choices and make note of any resources that were particularly great from past years. As always, feel free to ask me questions about the picks!

For 2020-2021, we have kids in Preschool, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, and 7th grade. 

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! #homeschool #curriculum #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschoolmom #largefamilymom #multilevelhomeschooling #homeschooling 

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 we take an eclectic approach to homeschooling. 
  • I like curriculum that is flexible (open-and-go when possible) and doesn’t require too much planning.
  • I prefer multi-level teaching style or resources where some independent learning can happen.
  • I also strongly prefer Christian worldview curriculum although not everything we use talks about God.
  • We do year-round homeschooling, taking breaks when we want, and generally a 4-day academic week
  • We do lots of read alouds and audiobooks, some group work, and then independent and 1:1 work.
  • Loop scheduling allows for incorporating a lot of extras.

I do flexible routines and only loosely plan. For 4 days we have 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. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

Here’s our basic schedule: 

  • We have “morning time” during breakfast, which includes Prayers, hymn, Bible/theology, and memory work. 
  • We have “group work” after chores, which includes a rotation through various resources including some Charlotte Mason style activities such as picture study, poetry, music, nature study, etc. 
  • Then the kids do independent work and take turns doing 1:1 work with me. 
  • The older kids have a daily task list and a loop schedule to rotate through. 
  • During lunch I read from our history.  
  • During dinner, we listen to an audiobook or do a missionary read aloud unless Dad is home, in which case we just chat.
  • Sometimes we do another read aloud or audiobook session before bed. 

That should give you a context for the resources we choose! 

Our 2020-21 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

(Red asterisk indicates new to us this year.)

Morning Time (During Breakfast)

  • Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology – My theology curriculum for ages pre-k and elementary. Once a week with some weekly memory review. Includes notebooking pages for the olders.
  • Bible Road Trip – Our staple Bible curriculum that we’ve used for years. It’s excellent and can be used for pre-k through high school.  My older kids also do the notebooking journals. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

Group Time (After Morning Chores)

These are the resources we use during those group times and read-aloud times after morning chores. For many of these, my older kids will follow up with notebooking. We don’t do this all every day. 

  • * The Homeschool Garden This is a recent find and it has been working so beautifully for us. We have the annual membership and it includes access to all the sessions (4- to 6-week themes) that include artist study, music, brushwork, nature study, poetry, tea time, and more. All my kids, from pre-k to 7th grade, enjoy the activities that come with each theme. It’s definitely a win for us!
  • * AwesomeSciTV for fun creation-based science videos – my kids especially love the Science Foundations experiment ones.  
  • Music in Our Homeschool – We use this resource CONSTANTLY. We learn hymns, preschool music, music for history, geography, and more. It’s really become a staple of our homeschool and I love it.  
  • Simply Charlotte Mason poetry study (Carl Sandburg) and picture study (Mary Cassatt).  I explain in the video how these work.  
  • No Sweat Nature Study LIVE membership – This has been such a blessing to help us stay consistent with nature studies. Definitely continuing this year! My kids all enjoy it, too. We’ll also be doing some of her NaturExplorers studies which are downloads. 
  • Dinosaurs unit from Geology for Little Eyes – we are in the middle of finishing up this hands-on science unit from Northwest Treasures. 

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

History, Geography, and Literature

  • BiblioPlan Year 2 (Medieval) I am really excited about using this curriculum. BiblioPlan is a 4-year history cycle that also covers literature and geography. It’s a Christian curriculum that uses lots of living books for read alouds and independent reading. It’s designed for multi-level teaching so all my kids can be studying the same thing, but with varying levels of depth and difficulty depending on their ages.  We ventured into this style of curriculum last year with Tapestry of Grace, which we really enjoyed, but I’m looking forward to the easier planning and usability, as well as features like the timeline, coloring pages, and engaging spine book. And I’m happy to still be using living books and rich family discussions so we can all learn together! 

BiblioPlan Year 2 Medieval

More Group Read Alouds and Fun Resources

  • * Fallacy Detective This is going to be a read aloud on family day when Daddy is home. He wants to be there for discussions and is rarely home during the kids school hours or regular mealtimes. 
  • * The Children’s Character Building Collection Study Guide from Grace and Truth Books – Normally we use and love Character Concepts. But we’ve had this guide and the series of books that goes with it for some time. This is the year to finally go through it together!  
  • * Places, Please! Theatre – We’re so excited about this one! My husband is a big fan of theatre from his school experience and I was excited to find out about this. It is a subscription box for homeschool families that we just signed up for! It includes bi-monthly boxes full of a script, props, and more to help your kids put on a play.   
  • YWAM Missionary Biographies – We are reading Eric Liddell right now and will also cover Adoniram Judson, Betty Greene, David Livingstone, and Henry Hudson. We’ll be using this free notebooking page.  I also purchased some of the young readers and some of their activity guides to go along with them.  

Favorite homeschool curriculum choices for multiple grades

 

Grade Level Homeschool Curriculum Choices

7TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

Heading into middle school… what?!? 😀 This year I let my oldest choose more of his own course of study. He decided to change up his writing and science, and asked for specific electives. 

  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.  
  • * Apologia General Science with Labs- This was my son’s pick and is the newest edition of their General Science. I’ve heard great things about it! We got the Super Set that comes with supporting videos and an audio of the text as well. We will also be purchasing a lab kit to make it easy.
  • * General Science 1 from Master Books (just read and discuss) Seems crazy to do two middle school science courses, but he loved General Science 2 last year and we already had the text books, so he asked to do this as well. He only does the reading and we discuss the questions for this one – so no labs or activities. 
  • * Jump In by Writing with Sharon Watson – this is a 2-year middle school writing course. My son still likes Writing Strands from Master Books, which is what we were using before, so we’ll likely hop back to that afterward. But he asked for a change of scenery this year. I researched this one a lot. It’s a Cathy Duffy top pic, has great reviews, and is Christian. Looking forward to seeing how it goes! 
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • Phonetic Zoo from IEW – This is audio based and a mostly independent spelling program for older kids. Works well for my auditory learner. 
  • Loop Schedule
    • Visual Latin I was kind of a die hard no latin person. Lol! That just seemed so extra. But he enjoyed Word Up from Compass Classroom so much he said he’d like to try this. We’ve already started and it’s going well. I’m learning things too!
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way and exposes them to great thoughts and writing.
    • Typing lessons through Typing.com.  
    • Devotions with Mom – we are doing a “how to study the Bible” book from Kay Arthur right now and then will go back to using our favorite Doorposts materials. 
    • Photography – He’d like to continue what he started with Schoolhouse Teachers and perhaps add on other resources. 
    • * Entrepreneur Course– Visionary Entrepreneurship has some Christian entrepreneur courses for middle and high school that my oldest wants to try. 
    • Innovator’s Tribe – Great engineering courses both my older kids have enjoyed. He asked to do another one this year.
    • Masterpiece Society Art – My older two kids are going to take the drawing courses this year. We’ve loved all their courses!  Individual Courses or Membership (this is what we have – it includes all the courses)  
    • SchoolhouseTeachers  – To pull in electives and supplements to our studies, fun rabbit trails, etc.   

5TH GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

This daughter is my big reader and can really book it through a lot of material. But I’m keeping most of her work in a loop and plan to work with her on her writing skills more through notebooking this year. 

  • Bible Drawing Journal (OT) I created this for my daughter who is big on drawing for narrating and it’s such a win for her personal Bible study. It goes through a survey of the Old Testament and she reads a chapter a day. Then she draws about what she read and writes a little, including a prayer. I’ll need to make the New Testament version soon.  
  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.    
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.    
  • Loop Schedule 
    • Typing lessons from Typing.com
    • Devotions with Mom – we are going through some of the sex ed resources from Intoxicated on Life and Doorposts materials.   
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • * Logic of English Essentials OnlineThis is a spelling, vocabulary, and grammar curriculum for older kids. We already had the paper version of this but decided to try the free online lessons that were available during the summer. We go through the online lessons together and I dictate the spelling words to her. The online version definitely helps with the instruction piece, so we may continue with it. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way. 
    • My First Kitchen Binder for Kids My daughter has been filling this out with recipes she tries. She wants to host the tea party this year and continue adding more recipes that she finds on YouTube and tries out to help make meals for the family.
    • Masterpiece Society Art – My older two kids are going to take the drawing courses this year. We’ve loved all their courses!  Individual Courses or Membership (this is what we have – it includes all the courses)   
    • SchoolhouseTeachers  – To pull in electives and supplements to our studies, fun rabbit trails, etc.    

3rd GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

This year my daughter asked to do Grammar Galaxy, Logic of English online, and Spelling Wisdom for dictation. I also start around this grade working more with them in notebooking and teaching language arts through it. So hers will be an LA-heavy year. We may adjust things down as needed. We’ll see! 

  • Grammar Galaxy Teaches Language Arts in a gentle way with a fun space story line. She’ll be continuing with this mostly independently. 
  • Narration and Notebooking – We use oral narration and notebooking for grades 3 and up to teach language arts skills and demonstrate comprehension for subjects like history and Bible. We use notebooking pages from Productive HomeschoolingBible Road Trip, and Sound Words.    
  • Piano Lessons – Just keeping on. 🙂 Our piano teacher is doing remote lessons for us.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.     
  • Loop Schedule: 
    • Typing lessons from Typing.com
    • Devotions with Mom – we are going through Doorposts materials.   
    • SkillTrek – An online life skills program for multiple ages. They are making great progress learning all kinds of life skills I wouldn’t have thought to specifically teach them about. 
    • * Logic of English Essentials Online –  This is a spelling, vocabulary, and grammar curriculum for older kids. We already had the paper version of this but decided to try the free online lessons that were available during the summer. We go through the online lessons together and I dictate the spelling words to her. The online version definitely helps with the instruction piece, so we may continue with it. 
    • Spelling Wisdom & Using Language Well – Dictation-based spelling and language curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason. We go through it slowly but it teaches a lot of great spelling and language arts skills in a Charlotte Mason way.   

2st GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

My upcoming second grader has a touch of dyslexia and is doing really well with All About Reading (he’s the only kid so far who did NOT do well with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons), so we’ll continue with that. You can read my All About Reading review here. I’m keeping his workload light. We’ll be working on some at-home speech therapy materials that were recommended to me as well.  

  • All About Reading– We’re finishing up level 1 now and will continue on to level 2. We are going at his pace, sometimes splitting lessons into two days. 
  • * STEM Challenges – My son is a hands-on kind of kid who likes to build, hammer, take apart, etc. I don’t have a resource for this at the moment,  but I am putting it here to remind me I want to gather projects, materials, kits, challenges, etc. for my son to do this year. He’ll love me for it and it will be educational! 🙂 
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book. This curriculum focuses on letter formation and Scripture copywork. 
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.   

1st GRADE CURRICULUM CHOICES

My 5 year old is at different places with different subjects. He’s reading at a 2rd grade level (approximately) and will be doing 2nd grade math this coming year at his pace. Otherwise he’ll be doing a few kinder-level things and joining in with his younger brother’s preschool fun activities. 🙂 

  • Daily Reading Practice – Just reading aloud and on his own each day. 
  • Simply K From Master Books. We started this pretty late in the year this past year, so we’re finishing it up. It’s more of a focus on developmental skills and life skills. He likes it! 
  • Narration – the Charlotte Mason practice of narrating back what was just read / heard.  
  • A Reason for Handwriting – Advancing to the next book.
  • Christian Light Education for Math – My preferred math curriculum if you’re looking for something straightforward and not online. Uses a spiral approach and lots of practice. Just delete extra problems if you think there’s too much.   

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM CHOICES

  • * A Year of Playing Skillfully So, all my kids are excited about this one. 😀 They’ve been fawning over the pages and activities that we get to do together. I’m most excited that it will bring a fresh sense of fun to our homeschool! Very much looking forward to incorporating this into our weeks. Review will be coming! 
  • Rod and Staff workbooks – I always have these on hand (see them here and here) for when they want to “do school” at the table with the older kids. 

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?    

This isn’t a complete list. I’m working on it. 🙂 

  • Character
    • My two repeat character studies: Heart of Obedience and Anger vs. Self-Control  
    • Character Concepts (love it all) – Great resource for learning about godly character through engaging stories.
    • For Instruction in Righteousness –  for addressing behavior issues and Polished Cornerstones for girls and Plants Grown Up for boys. All from Doorposts. We still actually use these.
  • Science
  • Bible / Worldview
  • Language Arts
  • History / Geography
    • 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.
    • Tapestry of Grace Year 1 We tried this for 2019-20 and really enjoyed it. I love the multi-level history, geography, and literature.   
  • Math
    • 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.   
    • CTC Math Another good online option. Less review and less interactive, but one subscription covers all kids all levels.   

Looking for More Curriculum Reviews? 

 

This Post Has 9 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! 🙂

  3. HI! I was wondering after reading this article and listening to your video on homeschool summit, how do your children learn on their own without doing online courses? like does the curriculum you choose for your children provide a simple way of learning a new concept for example like in math or even in your writing curriculum??
    I do Singapore math so it comes with a teachers manual, how will my daughter do “independent learning”? Would she read the teachers manual and teach herself?

    1. Once my kids get to about 3rd grade, I only use the teachers manual for helping them troubleshoot or when grading papers. We use CLE math and they are able to do their work on their own and then if they hit a rough patch or I see while checking their work that they are struggling with a concept, we pull out the teachers manual and go over it. That doesn’t happen often, really.

      For writing it depends on the curriculum. My oldest is using Writing Strands from Master Books and I think he is able to do it fairly independently and I guide him through any issues. Another child of mine is using the writing curriculum that comes with Tapestry of Grace and it is much more hands-on. But even then the instruction is short and most of the rest of the time she is working on the assignment on her own.

      I hope that helps!

  4. Hi Tauna! I love this, it sounds like a really great homeschool year! It is also encouraging to see your schedule. I have 2 less kids than you do, but it seems like I’m on the right track with how we’re scheduling things. (I have a 5th, 3rd, 1st, and preschooler this year). I LOVE the “Devotions with Mom” idea, and am just wondering how you incorporate that in? Is it daily? Weekly? I’d love to add this (I have some of the Doorposts books and have been wanting to incorporate them for a long time). I do rotate through working individually with each of my older kids every day, so I’m guessing you do something similar? I look at all this and wonder how you have the time and energy to implement all this and WRITE a lot of your own curriculum, ha! You’re amazing!

    1. Hi Lori!

      So, many of the resources we use are on a loop schedule. I have a list written out and posted on the wall of things we loop through as a group (so I just pick the next thing on the list and do that for the day). My older three kids also have many of their things on a loop. They have a short list of things they do each day and then they do one item (the next thing) on their loop list. It’s how we keep making progress on all the things without doing too much in a day!

      I only write the Sound Words curriculum, but that is so kind of you! 🙂

      Devotions with Mom is on their loop schedule. So it gets done about once a week. Being more consistent with using the Doorposts material is exactly the reason I started doing that!

      I hope that helps! Have a fantastic homeschool year! 🙂

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