Thursday, July 7, 2011

Help! Calling All Homeschooling Moms!

With the hazy, lazy days of summer brings its own share of mommy brain shut-down. Right now mine is on daily living and not as much on the months ahead. That's a good thing, especially in the summer months where it's all about fun, sun, gardening, swimming and lots of stuff to fill the blocks on the calendar.

But then, suddenly, it's July and my 'teacher' brain reminds me that another homeschooling year will begin before I know it. I stop and think about what I've ordered for the year ahead. And then I panic. I've got nothing. Seriously, not.a.thing. lined up yet. Since we did not attend the homeschool conference this year where we usually do a lot of our perusing and buying, there are no boxes of books waiting on my porch.

Oh sure, I've got time, but being that I'm a meticulous planner I really should get to work. The catalogs will come out and the Internet scouting will once again resume. After three years of homeschooling I do have the courses I really like and work for us, so those aren't a problem. But, there are some areas that we just haven't found the right fit yet.

Homeschool Moms to the rescue!!

Please share or pass along any and ALL information you can about curricula in the following areas: History, Geography, Social Studies and maybe even Science. Keep in mind that Lily will be in 3rd grade and Jonah in 1st grade.

Let me know what you've enjoyed and what's really worked for you. I'm counting on you!

My kids will also thank you come February when school days seem to drag on.


  1. Hi Sarah,

    I'm not one of those moms who felt confident enough to put together my own curriculum...and I'm a former teacher :(

    To be honest, I was a bit on the lazy side as well and wanted someone else to do it for me LOL

    I remember those awful Sunday afternoons writing up lesson plans for the upcoming week. Didn't want that at home while I homeschooled.

    So, I chose a Catholic company that did it all for me.

    With that said, going into my 8th year (still cannot believe that!), I have found my confidence to veer off the path a bit in a couple of subjects...subjects that do not fit the needs of my students.

    Long story short...I use Seton but I use Apologia science and Saxon Math in its place. I use Saxon Math starting in 3 grade.

    I also substitute the art with DVD's that I picked up through Seton's media catalog.

    I do not claim for my process to be perfect, but it fits our lifestyle, our home, our family...and that makes for one happy mama - usually :)

    Good luck in this school year!

  2. For those early grades I really liked Abeka, they are colorful workbooks and easy for the mama and the student.

    3rd Grade CHC has I thought a really good program, called Tour the Countries,you can put in a lot or the bare minimum, the kids can really start to do some independent work too on this.

    Gosh, I don't start panicking til August. Seriously. I have a little of "Oh, no, it's almost August" going on but I don't do anything til then. Those books always come within a week of ordering.

    I say relax and enjoy July

  3. I have a third grade girl and a first grade boy and a newborn as well! We use Abeka for math, science, and history. The first grader also uses Abeka for language and spelling. We use Seton for spelling (first and third), history (third), maps (both), and the readers for both. This year we splurged and bought the whole set of faith and freedom readers. The third grader uses the Wordly Wise from Seton and the first grader uses Seton handwriting. We also use the Ginger Himes art dvd set for both. So, we primarily use Seton and Abeka - I prefer Seton, but Abeka is great for math and spelling and language. We also have school year round. Hope this helps! :)

  4. What? I thought you had it all together ; )

    Seriously, I thought you already posted your plans for next year.

    History - read biographies of famous people (history, artists, composers. scientists) and start a timeline. The details and dates can be saved for 4th - 5th grades. (We like MODG for history)

    Geography - some map skills workbooks can be fun, or the Take it To Your Seat Geography is more hands on. Have you ever used Five in a Row? Mapping where these stories take place gives kids a wonderful intro to the world.

    Social Studies - my children have enjoyed books like Wonderful Houses Around the World, How Children Live Around the World, The Most Fascinating Places on Earth. Again, FIAR would cover a lot of social studies too.

    If I were to do science all over I would use the Apologia series starting with land animals. Both kids together, taking notes for them but letting them draw the animals using Draw Write Now. This could tie in with geography also - animals of various continents.

    Good luck and have fun! And don't forget poetry - the Harp and Laurel Wreath has wonderful poems, also the IEW poetry program would be a great choice!

  5. Thank you ladies! This is going to help me out a lot. I'll be checking it all out soon!


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