Friday, May 20, 2011

2011-12 Homeschool Plan: Part Two

Part One here.

Math: Saxon. I had Saxon from 8th grade on, so am familiar with it myself. Since we plan to use it for later grades - it made sense to me to get this going now so we are all familiar with it together and for continuity.

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting

Fine Arts: Childrens Choir at church, piano lessons, and lots of Fine Arts covered through CC.

Foreign Language: Latin via CC, possibly Spanish through Rosetta Stone (we have access to a free copy through David's work)

Physical Education: Dance classes

Grammar, Reading, Spelling: Spelling Plus, First Language Lessons, The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading and Pathway Readers.

Bible: This has been a struggle for me to find something to use - I think I've decided to do some character qualities with Scripture, Awana verses, etc... If you have a great suggestion I'm all ears - I'm kind of interested in this one from Summit Ministries and these character books from Vision Forum. I've been fairly discouraged in my search for quality, Biblical, age appropriate study for Emily. Any input?

I also love this planner from Well Planned Day - it is still small and manageable in size but there is room for lesson plans, menus, chores, shopping lists, etc... And, it is pretty too!!

What are your plans for school next year?


Kimberly said...

Here are a few more resources that we (ages 1-7) have used and enjoyed with our Bible lessons on character:

In Grandma's Attic (Richardson)- this book has been our absolute favorite read aloud this year. My 7 year old started her own collection of stories from Grandma that she is writing down.

Crossroads of Character: Learning to Make Wise Choices (Boyer)

Get Wisdom: 23 Lessons for Children about Living for Jesus (Yonts)

Next year we are going to work our way through the Old Testament using the book Long Short Story: 10 Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God (Machowski)

Lecia said...

I used Saxon for my older three children. For the next two I found Teaching Textbooks. Math is not my strong point,so this was perfect for us because the instruction is on cd. I have not used Saxon for the younger grades, but I did use the morning meeting board in a class in public school when I did a practicum during college. I LOVED the morning meeting board because it gave the children an opportunity to practice math principles in small chunks each day.

I have also found it difficult to find a good bible program that I am happy with. We have recently done a wonderful study for adults and older children and teens at church by Ken Ham with Answers in Genesis. They also have a four book Answers for Kids sets that I plan to use with Hope.,6120,184.aspx

Tasha said...

Monica, I am wanting to start my boys on Saxon this coming school year. They will be entering the first grade. I would love to hear more about it and your thoughts. Boys are hard to have sit still. I am going more the Charlotte Mason approach in some areas, but really just a big mess of different stuff. I used MFW for Kindergarten, which I LOVED, but I found there was a lot we didn't use. Anyway now you have me thinking I better get on this FAST! Summer will past so quickly.

Anonymous said...

I am a homeschooler from years ago, when it first became legal in our state. My youngest is now 27 so that tells how long ago...and we found Saxon Math as well...the most fabulous set of math books I ever came across. So we got the whole set of them at that time, through Trig as I recall, though only our son used them all...they were worth every penny!!

With our youngest child I switched from using Abeka Lit books (which were the best I found then) to just doing whole novels and all the excellent reading we could find. I do think that is the best way to go as have many years ahead of you and may find, as I did, that sometimes we have to switch the type books we use with different children. I remember a set of maps workbooks that all of ours loved...and gave them great map reading skills among other things. The older 2 went as far as getting their master's in college (with honors) and the youngest took extra courses past her associate degree in jr. collge (4.0 gpa)...she loves her job and at this time is not going to go further. I am a very ordinary person, so just providing children with good books, and a good stable home life enables them to succeed. GOD too, of course.

Blessings on your efforts,
Elizabeth in NC

Mrs. Boggess said...

We love A Reason for Handwriting! This year for our Bible time we read Leading Little Ones to God along with Bible reading. It was great and caused my kids (ages 6, 5, 2) to ask some great questions.

Mrs. Boggess said...

We love A Reason for Handwriting! This year for Bible time we used Leading Little Ones to God. The books was great for my kids (ages 6, 5, 2) and caused them to ask some great questions!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

So far all I've really done with my girls is read the Bible, Bible story books, and do scripture memorization and Bible quiz (through our church) work. I'd love to do some rudimentary Bible study with them, so I'll be watching your blog for further reviews and insight. We did start on Little Visits with Jesus, but I found it to be repetitive for my girls. It might've worked better when they were younger. Here's a post with reviews of what we've used:

Melissa said...

Love that you are sharing these ideas. Great planner, too!

I know I will be tapping into these ideas when it comes time to start school. Lots of decisions!

Kristin said...

Anything by Doorposts would be great for character training. We love Polished Cornerstones, Instructions in Righteousness, and a devotional through the book of Proverbs with coloring pages. Hope this helps. We are also doing A Reason for Handwriting. Can't wait to start! I love the outreach pages in the book for the kids to color, write scripture, and share with others! May God bless this year of homeschooling!

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

We use ACE curriculum. Love it! It gives the older kiddos some independence in scoring their work and setting their goals. For Kindergarten this next year, though, I'm using Rod & Staff's Pre-K 5 program.

Our older four kiddos are involved in 4-H. They each are making a food item, the girls are entering a sewing project and an arts and craft project (crochet, needlework, etc.), the boys are entering their chickens and goats and also Lego and drawing.

Our youngest daughter takes dance at a Christian dance ministry. This past year's theme was Celtic...the true story of Patrick. It was really beautiful!

They also take piano lessons and are involved with their Wed. night Bible clubs and youth group.

Lots of busy, but fun and rewarding things!

Erin said...

I understand your struggle to find a good Bible program! That was by far the most difficult part of my prep for next year. I found two resources that looked good. We are planning on trying the first one, but I might try to add in something of the second as well... Here are the links:
and the second one:

Both sites have samples so you can see them. I also second the recommendation of anything by Doorposts. Also, if you haven't read the Heart of Wisdom teaching approach, I highly recommend it - if only to get an even bigger heart for the importance of Bible...and I know you already have one!

Anonymous said...

Love reading your list here! Thank you for giving me some great ideas!!

Also, I've heard a lot about the above Bible study- a lot of really good things!! Our family has not used it yet, but I would certainly like to!

Happy homeschooling!!

Amy said...

My kids love the Betty Lukens felt set that I bought from Timberdoodle ( But I will warn you that it is a lot of cutting! Either have a cutting party or only cut out the stories as you tell them. My kids love to retell the stories and play with the felt board during their free time.

Keepers of the Faith has good character studies (

Sarah E. said...

We love our Jesus Story Book Bible and our Big Picture Bible and right now we are going through Long Story Short: Ten Minute Devotions (like Kimberly said in her comment). We use the Truth and Grace Memory book for bible verses and catechism questions. We like Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers and Carine Mackenzie's book on biblical characters (these are detailed and ask questions).

Hero Tales book and Irene Howat's series on Ten Girls and Ten Boys are good for missionary/church history stories.

Dawn said...

Love the planner...too bad it is only for 4 students. I will have 7 students this year. I read the FAQ to see if it would work, but apparently not.

You will love Reason for Handwriting. My kids love it!!

For character, I suggest Leading Little Ones to God, and also the Miller books. Wisdom and the Millers is my kids' favorite. If you want to look at it, I could bring it to you at church.
Anything you want to look at, just ask, I might have it!

Anonymous said...

I always love hearing about the curriculum others use--I utilize an eclectic mix, as well. It is wonderful there are so many outstanding choices, so that we all can find the right fit for our families. Thanks for sharing! :)

For Bible, we have been blessed the past few years to use several books by Susan Hunt.

We have REALLY enjoyed the My ABC Bible Verses with our oldest two children. There are short, but very poignant verses for each letter of the alphabet, a story to illustrate the meaning, questions, and a suggested prayer focus related to the verse and topic. I have especially appreciated the emphasis on the children having a relationship with the Lord, asking the Holy Spirit for help when facing temptations or problems, and strong overall focus on hearts, rather than only outward behaviors. It demonstrates very practical examples of how to share faith with others, as well.

We also thought Sammy and His Shepherd was excellent, as it walked through the 23rd Psalm. The children learned to memorize it in its entirety. The stories were designed to explain how Jesus is the Good Shepherd and were engaging and my children have referred to them time and time again.

I plan to use the one about Genesis this coming year. It may not be a good fit for everyone, but I thought I would mention it, because it has been very age-appropriate for my now 6 and 5 year olds and has generated so much discussion about the Lord's work in our lives.


Mrs. Rebekah S.

Amy said...

Another one I thought of is A Beka. Their flash-a-card series is beautiful and has the Bible story on the back of the card. It is pricy though.

kate o. said...

I, too, love the new book "Get Wisdom: 23 Lessons for Children About Living for Jesus." here is the westminster link:

Sinclair Ferguson's "Big Book of Questions and Answers" is also great.

both books include prayers that have helped my boys expand their understanding of praying for things beyond their wants ;)

Mrs M said...

For our Bible time we use 'Leading Little ones to God' by Marian M. Schoolland. My two girls are a little older than your girls but this is our second year of going through it and we still find it wonderful.

Susan said...

My boys are middle-schoolers and they love Bible Study guide for all ages.

Anna said...

I just finished ordering all my stuff for school for next year. We're overseas, so my in-laws and my mom are bringing the stuff when they visit us next month.
We are using Sonlight with Singapore Math. (with a few extras added)
We are trying something new for Bible- "Who is God" from Apologia.

I just ordered the same planner you are using. I like to have something that's not too big with lots of room to write all my lists, plans and schedules. I can't wait to see it in person.