Today, after weeks of homeschool curriculum planning, we finally received our materials from the US. Yay! So excited to share with you our homeschool curriculum reveal for 2017-2018. Okay, pardon my excitement but I am still amazed at how they got to Dubai so quickly. We always purchase our curriculum directly from suppliers in the US despite the long wait. It is more cost-effective and it allows us greater flexibility in our choices. We ordered them from Christian Book in February and expected them to be delivered after 6 weeks. Imagine my excitement when it arrived after 2 weeks. Totally floored!
What’s even more exciting is that we will be diving on some new curriculum. There were choices we made last year that did not work for us no matter how much we tried. This is one of the things I love most about homeschooling. We can fine tune according to what fits each child and the needs of our family.
When using resources from different publishers, however, ensure that they are approved by your homeschool provider before purchasing. Bridgeway Academy, our homeschool provider for 3 years, have a pre-approved list of publishers in their website which for me is a treasure trove. So, I check that list first before I do my research.
Alrightee! Now, before we unveil our homeschool curriculum choices for 2017-2018, I would like to point out that we are not in any way experts. This list is what works for us right now. It might change in a few years as we adapt to different seasons of our homeschool and family life. There are two things I would like you to keep in mind.
- God in His infinite wisdom created your family in a unique way. What works for us may not necessarily be the right fit for yours.
- A parent’s teaching style is equally important as the children’s learning style. As parents, our role is to provide a nurturing environment for our children to thrive and develop a love for learning. Don’t be afraid to switch curriculum if it is not working.
Okay, so now that we’ve got that out of the way. Get yourself a cup of your favorite drink, a pen and piece of paper. This is going to be a lengthy post loaded with photos.
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5th GRADE HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM
We love Singapore Math and have been using this since we started homeschooling. Math is something that we do not want to rush through. Steady and strong foundation rather than ahead and shaky is what we long for. So, we are starting with 4A & 4B then complete 5A & 5B during the summer. Singapore Math is one of our favorite curriculum. Quite frankly, the lessons are a bit advanced compared to what was taught when I was in his grade level. As a bonus, I am learning as I teach!
We started using Wordly Wise last school year and Keefer’s vocabulary has tremendously increased. I love that it is an open and go curriculum which means zilch prep from my side. This one is definitely a keeper!
I have heard a lot of good things about Institute of Excellence in Handwriting (commonly known as IEW). So for Grammar this year, we have chosen Fixit Grammar’s The Nose Tree and Robin Hood. What I really like about Fixit Grammar is that each lesson takes approximately 15 minutes. For a working mom like me, that is a blessing. I will let you know how it goes.
For years, I’ve searched for a Spelling curriculum and haven’t loved anything just yet. This year we decided to try Spectrum Spelling. From the sample pages on their website, it looks like the lessons are challenging enough for my natural speller. I have yet to find out. This curriculum came with an option to download a digital format. That really matters for us living outside the U.S. as it allows us to save on shipping and we receive the materials right away.
Writing and Rhetoric
Last year, we tried Apologia’s Writer in Residence. Yep, that’s right – TRIED. We had to stop mid-semester because it became frustrating for me and Keefer. I still think it is a great curriculum. Unfortunately, it was a bit too much for my reluctant writer. This year, we chose Writing and Rhetoric’s Fable and Narrative I. We had an opportunity to try out a few lessons and we are positive this will be a great addition to our school year. I can see a review coming up on a separate post shortly.
We’re continuing on Chronicles of Narnia for our Classical Literature. We’ll start with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the first semester and finish off the school year with The Silver Chair. Both will require a book report to be submitted to our homeschool provider.
For Science, we are switching from Apologia to Answers in Genesis‘ God’s Design for Life. I’m a bit disappointed that we have to replace Apologia. We have used it for years and it is amazing how much Keefer has retained. However, the reading can get a bit too much though. And while I love the lapbooks and notebooking, Keefer was not particularly excited about them. This year he looks forward to doing more experiments and hands-on activities with The World of Animals and The World of Plants. The chapters are not lengthy but cover important details of the topic.
We’re taking a break from Mystery of History to try out a new curriculum, The Good and the Beautiful. This curriculum really caught our attention as it is non-denominational Christian approach to history. The materials are of high quality and have an option for a PDF download. By now, you can already tell how much we love downloadable homeschool curriculum. It even came with a board game – much to the delight of my 10-year-old! I am really excited about this. This is our attempt to make History even more interesting and fun.
Bible & Character
A fantastic addition to this year’s choices is the Action Bible. We purchased the Guess-It Game separately to infuse fun to learning His word. It is too beautiful that it deserves a separate post on its own.
Another addition to our homeschool this year, is Sex Ed. More than ever, Godly understanding of sexuality is a crucial lesson our kids need to have as they are exposed to a pornified culture. Sexuality is a blessing and as a Bible believing Christian, that is what we want to echo to our children. How do we teach it? We start as young as possible. Use simple language that they can understand. Easier said than done, right? This is where The Talk Series will come in handy.
The next few subjects are where we allow Keefer to have more buy-in. Last year, we have given him the opportunity to take more responsibility for his education by identifying his goal and allowed him to choose activities and materials that really interest him. It has been working pretty well. He learns independently without being told and can spend hours mastering the skills.
Art & Music
This year we will review past lessons from Hoffman Academy and take advantage of his love for music by building on the necessary foundation. His goal is to learn 5 songs every semester and add variety to his repertoire with hymns and classical music.
For arts, we will continue learning about the Famous Artists. This is the first curriculum that I made specially for Keefer. So I don’t have the link for it.
In addition to skateboarding, we will try to do either Tennis, Jiu Jitsu 0r Swimming.
We had Google CS First for our Game Coding class last year. We will continue this but at the same time learn a new skill. To kickstart our year, Keefer will build his own computer in the first semester, using Raspberry Pi computer kits that we purchased from Amazon.
Last year, I stumbled upon Español de Iglesia Para Niños when I joined the Build Your Bundle for homeschoolers. We used an online language app for our foreign language class so I thought this would help reinforce the lessons. It is Bible-based which is super and the workbook is printable. Also comes with an audio recording.
We’ve had great progress on typing skills from Typing.com. It is free and effective. We will definitely include that this year.
Seth has shown interest in everything his older brother does. So, last year, when he turned 2, we introduced him to letters, numbers, and colors. And I am pleased that he has learned so much in a span of one year. Also, his vocabulary improved tremendously. Our little chatterbox loves to scribble and read books even though he does not know how to read yet. I’m over the moon because it means that he is now ready to learn how to read.
At 2 1/2 he speaks in sentences and can follow simple instructions. By God’s grace, he learned all of that without a proper curriculum to follow. So, this year, we thought we’d introduce him to a more structured curriculum that is fun, engaging, easy to follow and requires minimal prep work.
We found that The Good and the Beautiful by Jenny Phillips is what we need at this stage. It is a Christian non-denominational curriculum that is academically thorough and very affordable. However, the quality of the materials, art, and imagery is beautiful and impeccable. And of course, they have a digital format of the curriculum for those who want to save time and money, like moi.
Whew! There you go. That’s a sneak peek of our homeschool curriculum for 2017-2018 school year. What are your curriculum choices? I would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.