Today I want to share with you our 2019-2020 homeschool curriculum picks.
I will also share with you curriculum picks we had to change because it just didn’t fit for our homeschool.
What I love about educating my children at home, is the freedom to change curriculum if it is not working for my children.
I have 4 children that I am homeschooling this year. I will share with you what I am using for all 4 of them. I will also leave links to all the curriculum so you can view it.
My oldest homeschooler is 13 years old, soon to be 14, in November. She is in the 8th grade.
We enrolled her in Abeka Academy because it is a accredited program.
My 8th grader wants to enroll in a private high school next year and we felt like Abeka Academy will take care of all the record keeping like attendance, grades, and transcript.
I felt like Abeka Academy could help assist me in that process because I didn’t want to stress over the putting her transcript together when it was time to enroll her in high school.
Included in the Abeka Academy curriculum are videos for every subject, except Jym. They have a streaming option and a DVD option. We chose the DVD option because it was a better fit for my family and we didn’t have to be bound to a computer if we had to travel.
All you need is a DVD player for the school work portion, but you will need a computer to take the tests/quizzes because those are done online only.
Listed down below are all the subjects that is included in the Abeka Academy for 8th grade.
Pre-algebra, Earth & Space Science, History 8, English 8, Bible 8, Physical Education.
All of the subjects combined came with 25 books. It would have came with more books but since I signed up for the academy, my 8th grader took her tests and quizzes on-line.
These 25 books consist of textbooks, activity workbooks, video manuals, and teacher answer keys. As you can see, very overwhelming and a whole lot to keep up with.
Did I mention to you that on the videos are teachers who teach every lesson in a real classroom setting?
That was a bonus for us, and one of the main reasons why we enrolled my 8th grader in Abeka Academy.
Although I didn’t teach any lessons, it is heavily parent intensive and very overwhelming for both the child and the parent. Especially if you are homeschooling more than 2 children.
The amount of work that is assigned to the student is unbelievable. They give you a schedule for the day, and that was great, but the information was coming at such a fast pace that my 8th grader didn’t have a life.
As soon as she finished one quiz or test, she had to take another one, sometimes taking 3 in one day. It created anxiety in her and myself. She didn’t have time to absorb all of the information.
I felt the pressure of keeping up with all of the subjects and assignments because if you get behind, you will be playing catch up and piling more work on top of new assignments.
After almost 4 weeks of stress and anxiety, I cancelled the entire program.
Abeka is an amazing company with excellent homeschool products, customer service and wonderful homeschool support, I just think Abeka Academy wasn’t a good fit for us, because I was homeshooling more than 2 students.
I still use some of their curriculum for my 5 and 7 years old and I love it!
So what did I replace it with?
1. The Good and Beautiful level 6 Language Arts Curriculum.
Which includes, Spelling, Vocabulary, Art, Geography, Grammar, Literature and Writing. That is 7 subjects in one book.
What comes with “The Good and The Beautiful” level 6 curriculum?
1 course book, 1 reader, grammar and geography cards and 1 teacher answer key. That’s it! Amazing!
I heard great reviews about “The Good and the Beautiful” We love it. We are back happy in our homeschool and it is so peaceful and relaxed.
2. Everything You Need to Ace American History in One Big Fat Notebook : The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebook) is our new History Curriculum.
I found out that this book series have the same information as other textbook or curriculum have, but in my opinion these books are not boring.
There 5 subjects in this book series. Math, English, Science, World Histoy, American History. It gives you the information you need in bite size portions.
These books are written in unit studies. Within a unit you have small chapters with questions at the end.
How am I using it?
I give my 8th grader 2 pages to read a day, sometimes 3 pages. Then she goes on YouTube and look at a video about what she just read. Afterwards, she writes down everything she sees in bold black or blue print and their meanings, and that becomes her study guide for her quizzes.
At the end of each chapter, is a list of about 7-10 important questions that she should know for that chapter. I make sure it is always 10 questions. If the chapter only gives 7 questions, I make up 3 more questions on my own.
Each question is worth 10 points which is 100% if she gets all of them right. I subtract 10 points for every one she gets wrong. The answer key is on the back of each questions page, of which I remove so she cannot see what’s on the quiz.
At the end of a unit she has a test of all of the quizzes she’s taken in that unit study. All of the quizzes she’s taken before the end of the unit study becomes her study guide for her big test.
I tally up all of her grades on her quizzes and big test and average them out and that become her letter grade for that unit.
At the end of every quarter, I average out her unit study grades and that is her letter grade for her report card. I do the same thing for her science.
3. Everything You Need To Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebook) is our new Science Curriculum.
We grade and use her science book the same way we are using her American History, so I won’t go into details about how I am using her science.
My 8th grader loved Abeka Acadamy math because her video teacher would explain to her how to do the problems and she loved that, but when I asked about keeping the math with the videos, I wasn’t wiling to pay what they were asking.
So what did I decide to purchase for my 8th grader instead? Lifepacs grade 8 pre-algebra.
Included in the Lifepac curriculum are 10 smaller math books and 1 teacher manual answer key.
Instead of 1 big textbook they broke the math lessons down into 10 smaller books of which the child could do at their own pace and feel accomplished after completing every smaller book.
I did some research on it and thought it would be good for my 8th grader.
We used Ace Homeschool Curriculum in 6th grade and I thought it would be similar to Ace, but it was different. Ace explains and show you how to work the problems, it is very easy to follow.
Lifepacs on the other hand, explains to you how to do the problems with very little examples on how to work out the problems. We went to YouTube a lot to watch examples on how to work out the problems.
Lifepac math curriculum is literature base. My 8th grader was not having it. She is a visual/auditory learner and I realized I made a mistake when picking this Math curriculum for her.
I brought Lifepac curriculum on Ebay and could not return it. It only cost me 50 dollars used, I will just have to relist it on Ebay.
Lifepac curriculum was not a good fit for my 8th grader. So I replaced it with,
4. Teaching Textbook Pre-algebra 2.0. Is our new Math Curriculum.
We love it! I purchased it on Ebay for only 64 dollars. It was in great condition. The textbook had not been written in. If you were buying this curriculum brand new it would be very pricey.
Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra 2.0. Includes textbook, answer key & test bank, and automated grading DVDs.
Literally, the DVDs act as a teacher and does all the grading and explaining on how to do every problem if my 8th grader needs it. It is almost the same as Abeka Academy but without the price.
5. God’s Little Lessons for Teens is what she is using for Bible.
This wraps up my 8th grader curriculum picks. Her curriculum challenges was more than all of my children but we eventually found great fits for her and now we have a peaceful homeschool year as reguards to her curriculum.
Yes, I decided to do all of her record keeping for her transcript.
My second homeschooler is in the 3rd grade. She is 8 years old.
Her curriculum picks for 2019-2020 school year are.
1. Purposeful Design Mathematics grade 3 is her Math Curriculum.
I received this curriculum for free from my church. They were giving away all of their unused curriculum from their Christian School.
Purposeful Design is a Christian company and I have the older edition. They updated all their materials to make it look modern. I think it have all of the same lessons as the older version with a few changes made to the new edition.
I had to purchase the 3rd grade teacher key from Ebay. We love it! My third grader is thriving with it.
2. Evan Moore Building Spelling Skills grade 3
Purposeful Design Spelling grade 3 is what we are using for her Spelling Curriculum.
I use both spelling curriculum interchangeably because I like them both. They both include some grammar.
One week I will give her Evan Moore spelling, and the following week, I will give her Purposeful Design.
Purposeful Design Spelling curriculum was free for me as well, it came in the book lot that I received from my church. I have the older addition. Click here to view the new edition.
Purposeful Design Spelling is from the same company as her mathematics curriculum. It is Christian base and includes some cursive handwriting.
3. Literature grade 3 Celebrate Textbook and Celebrate Activity book and Teacher answer key. Is what she is using for her Literature & Grammar Curriculum.
What I like about this curriculum is that it incorporates reading, spelling, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and word study. Although we don’t use it for spelling, she is getting more spelling practice in by using it.
I use this curriculum as her primary grammar, writing, reading and vocabulary building.
4. Zaner-Bloser Handwriting grade 2C. The C stands for cursive handwriting. This is what we are using for her Handwriting Curriculum.
My 3rd grader use this handwriting curriculum to continue practicing her cursive writing.
I also have her to practice writing in cursive by assigning her paragraphs and poetry to write out of her Literature Celebrate textbook.
5. Rivevrside Phonics grade 3 student edition is what we are using for Phonics.
There is a teacher key that goes with this workbook but I didn’t purchase the teacher key because I didn’t think I need it.
It is very easy to follow. I actually brought 2 Riverside phonics workbooks. One for my 2nd grader and one for my 3rd grader. I brought them from a retired school teacher at a garage sale.
We love it because it teaches the phonics rules of reading.
My third homeschooler is in the 2nd grade. She is 7 years old.
Her curriculum picks 2019-2020 are,
1. Harcourt Math grade 2 is what we are using for her Math Curriculum.
I love this curriculum. I don’t remember when I brought this math curriculum or where. It could have came in the the free curriculum lot from my church. but I really don’t remember. I had to order the teacher’s edition on ebay.
I have yet to use the teacher’s edition, because everything is thoroughly explained to you in the student text workbook. My second grader is thriving with this curriculum.
2. Evan Moore Skill Shaperners Spell & Write grade 1
Evan Moore Building Spelling skills grade 1 is what we are using for her Spelling Curriculum.
I use both of these curriculum together for extra spelling practice. Both curriculum have the same spelling words but not in the same unit order.
I just find the units that are the same and make a packet for the week. My main spelling curriculum is Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write. I use it as guide, and then I incorperate Building Spelling Skills.
My 2nd grader is still learning how to read and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing her or frustrate her. I also want to make sure that she is learning all of the phonics rules, I felt confident starting her off with grade 1 spelling.
We love it and she is thriving at this level. What I love about Evan Moore Spelling curriculum is that the child is not overwhelmed with the material, and Skill Sharpeners Spell and Write includes spelling, grammar & punctuation, writing and reading skills.
3. Abeka Letters Phonics 1 and 2, Abeka Reading Program and student reader is what we are using for her Reading Curriculum.
I love Abeka Reading program. I am using this curriculum with my kindergartener as well.
Like I said, my 2nd grader is still learning all of the phonics rules and I love the way Abeka teaches children how to read.
I tried using Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons, it just did not work for my 2nd grader.
I know this is a great curriculum because my one of my homeschool friend taught her daughter how to read with it, and she is an excellent reader. It just was not a good fit for my 2nd grader.
4. Riverside Phonics grade 2 student edition is what we are using for her Phonics along with Abeka phonics 1 and 2.
5. Zaner-Bloser Handwriting grade 2C The C stands for cursive, is what we are using for her Handwriting Curriculum.
My 2nd grader loves cursive handwriting and begged me to get it for her because she saw her sister writing in cursive. She is thriving with this handwriting curriculum.
6. Premium Education Series Language Arts grade 1 is what we are using for her Language Arts practice.
My focus with my second grader is to get her to read fluently. So a lot of her curriculum is built around that skill.
My fourth homeschooler is in kindergarten. He is 5 years old.
His curriculum picks for 2019-2020 are,
1. Abeka Reading Phonics Program and student reader is what we are using for his Reading Curriculum.
2. Abeka Letters and Sounds K5 is what we are using for his Phonics pratice.
3. Abeka Writing with Phonics is what we are using for Handwriting Curriculum.
When he do not want to write in his Abeka writing with phonics book, we use a notebook that he loves with an astronaut on the front cover to practice writing his number, letters, and reading words.
4. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley MATH for kindergarten.
Purposeful Design Mathematics K is what we are using for Math Curriculum.
I love both curriculums, and we do them at the same time. I received both of these curriculums for free.
Scott Foresman-MATH was given to me by one of my homeschool mom, and Purposeful Design Mathematics came in the free book lot from my church.
OUR COMBINED SUBJECTS
For my kindergartener, 2nd grader and 3rd grader are, Poetry, Reading/Literature Science, History, Music and Art.
What your child needs to know books is what we are using for all of these subjects.
I have a book for each one of my childs grade level. We use all of them interchangeably. Whatever we are learning in any subject, I make sure to incorporate everyone’s grade level into that subject.
We also watch YouTube videos to go along with our subjects and do hands on experiments.
We were using Purposeful Design Bible curriculum workbooks for grades K, 2nd and 3rd but it was not a good fit for us so I got rid of it and replaced it with,
Max Lucado, Randy Frazee The Story for Children Storybook Bible. I love this storybook, we do reenactments using their toys figurines as props, drama/skits and bible art.
This wraps up what we are using in our homeschool for 2019-2020 school year.
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