We are getting ready to start our third year of homeschooling. Honestly, I’m not sure how its already been three years. I’m still trying to wrap my head around having two school aged kids! This year Finley will be in 2nd grade and Lincoln will be starting kindergarten.
I’ve already done a curriculum overview in my instagram stories/ highlights. However I thought this would be a quicker way for everyone to reference + I can provide links!
Lincoln is still in the late pre k / early kindergarten stages of learning so we will not be using a formal curriculum. I’ve found that play based learning is best until they have a really strong foundation of phonics skills. I have a separate blog post on how I teach the kids to read. This will be our main focus for Lincoln this year.
Finley: We will be continuing with Masterbooks lessons for a living education level 2. We started this curriculum last year and are about 1/2 through the book. Once she finishes this if it is still working for us we’ll move on to level 3. I love that Masterbooks follows a gentle charlotte mason approach to learning. The lessons are short but effective. The fact that these are open and go curriculums is a a huge plus for me. No prep work!! These curriculums are also very affordable, around $45 on amazon and they are for the full year!
If you’ve watched any of my IG stories or FB lives on homeschooling than you’ve heard me talk about these. I’m really big on teaching phonics, and making sure my kids truly know and understand the concepts. We personally do not use sight words. Instead we focus on learning the phonics rules, that way they can simply use those rules to “decode” new words they want to read vs memorization.
My all time favorite phonics teaching tool ( its not a curriculum) is The Secret Stories. If you have a little one learning to read, I promise you need this! Secret stories teaches phonics through story telling. By using story telling it activates more areas of the brain, creating more neural connections. Basically its a really effective and fun way to teach phonics. As far as actual curriculums go we use Explode the code. Finley is able to work on them independently, while Lincoln needs some assistance.
We will be using Horizons math. Finley is currently working on level 1 book one, which she is breezing through as most of it is review for her. We had started last year off using Masterbooks for math as well, but found it wasn’t working for her. After hearing great things about Horizons we switched right before summer. This school year she’ll be finishing book 1 and moving on to book 2. My goal is to have her finished with book 1 by the end of September. Lincoln will be starting with the Kindergarten curriculum. He’s already done a few lessons and loving it so far.
The one thing I don’t love about horizons is if you need a teachers Manual you have to buy it separately. For early elementary you probably won’t need one. However I did prefer how masterbooks intertwined the teaching tips into the workbook. The reason we switched to Horizons for math was because we found materbooks to be too reading heavy and the lessons were taking a really long time.
I spent FOREVER trying to find a science curriculum. Just like every other subject there are so many options! We live in a small apartment so I didn’t want to have to store a bunch of stuff for science experiments. I also wanted a curriculum that would set a really strong foundation for high level learning in the coming years.
I finally settled on Exploring the building blocks of science book 1. This is the priciest curriculum, I bought this year but I’ll be able to use it for all three kids! What drew me to this curriculum is it covers the five scientific disciplines. Chemistry, biology, physics, geology, and astronomy. Everything is age / grade level appropriate, but without being “water down” You’ll also want to get the accompanying laboratory notebook. I personally only purchased one textbook/ notebook. I plan to make photo copies of the notebook pages as needed.
We’re keeping our geography and history lessons pretty light this year. Finley is starting to out grow a lot of the play based early learning games Lincoln will be using, so I wanted to find something she would have a lot of fun with. When I was her age my grandma got me a subscription to Highlights Magazine’s “Top Secret Adventures.” Anyone else remember these? Basically you’re sent a “secret mission” from a different place in the world. I loved them as a kid, clearly since 20+ years later I still remember them! Luckily Highlights still makes them! Our Geography + history lessons will all be based around whatever country her Top Secret Adventure is based in.
Other Resources we love
- Lets Play School on Instagram/ Etsy. We have a ton of the printable activities from LPS. Some of our favorites are the Play and Read packs, and ABC alphabet books. Lincoln will be using both of these this year.
- Teachers pay teachers: Resources created for teachers by teachers! Resources for every grade and subject can be found on TPT. One of our favorites is the moffatt girls. We use their Monthly packs all the time.
- We love the early readers by Dash into Learning. Plus they are made by another Homeschooling Mom! These are the first books Finley learned how to read.
- Highlights Big book of fun activity books. These activity books go from Pre-k to 2nd grade. These are great supplements to your curriculums or in a morning basket.
- Leap Frog Movies. Who remembers these? These movies are still super helpful for teaching phonics concepts. You can buy the whole set on Amazon for only $25 These movies work in a similar to way to Secret stories, in that they teach phonics through story telling. Making the concepts easier for children to understand.
- Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ There are so many educational documentaries on these + Magic school bus is a fan favorite in our house. You can actually find full science curriculums to go with the Magic School bus episodes!
What resources and curriculums will you be using this year?