Monday, August 5, 2013

{Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop ~ Curriculum

I look so forward to the iHomeschool Network {Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop every year. I could spend hours (and sometimes do) pouring over other homeschoolers' choices for curriculum, looking at their schooling spaces, checking out their cute back-to-school photos, and reading a day-in-the-life of other homeschooling families. It's a lot of fun and I get lots of ideas and inspiration.

I shared our curriculum choices in a recent Weekly Wrap-up, but thought I would spell it out on a separate post and include links and photos of products. I am not an affiliate of any of these products, but thought you might enjoy easy access to view them.

Here is what we will be doing this year our 3rd/4th grade year (we advance our grade levels in January):

Bible - We will start each morning stick-figuring through the Bible continuing with Grapevine Studies: Old Testament Overview (Level 3-4). In looking at the website, I do not believe they sell this book any longer. They have broken down their studies and have oodles of books to choose from now. And I highly recommend the products. They are fun and engaging. Our particular book can be purchased on Amazon, but it is $45. Geez! Glad I have it in my library! Last year we made it half-way through the book so will finish it this year. It is a great way to start our morning!

Grammar - Grammar for us will come in the way of review products this year until I find something that I really like. I am not too worried about formal grammar studies at this age because they are doing loads of reading and writing and we cover the basics then. However, we already have two products we are reviewing so, for now, our grammar will be coming in the form of Time4Learning and Logic of English Essentials. Stay tuned for my reviews on these products.

Handwriting - We will be finishing up Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Handwriting (Grade 3) in the first couple of weeks back to school and then will move onto Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success (4th grade). The kids really like this program and their cursive handwriting is coming right along.

Writing - Writing is an area where I have one who loves it and one who hates it. We reviewed the WriteShop Primary products on the Schoolhouse Review Crew last year and I loved it! We completed Book A and are moving on to WriteShop Primary Book B this year. I have also purchased books C and D for future use. 

Spelling - We have struggled with spelling products. Last year I received a recommendation for Soaring with Spelling and Vocabulary by JacKris Publishing. I printed off two sample weeks and we completed them and the kids LOVED it! So that's what we are doing this year. We will be using the Level 3 book.

Reading - We will read independently for 30 minutes each day and will have a daily read-aloud. This is just for fun. Brynne is reading the Lily Lapp series. And Eli is enjoying the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Brynne also loves the Puppy Place series by Ellen Miles and Eli has several books in the Captain Underpants series he wants to finish. For our read alouds we are currently reading the books in the Poppy series by Avi.

 I have a few other books on my bookshelf to read ..
  • The Bad Times of Irma Baumlein by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Lunch Money by Andrew Clements
  • Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • I am Jack by Susanne Gervay

and I would also like to read some of the books on the Ambleside Online Year 3 list (although we will not get to all of them).
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley
  • At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
  • Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
  • The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong

Math - We will be starting our year with Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy by Glenda Brown James. It will take us 6 weeks. We started our year last year with the Addition and Subtraction series and it was a great way to get our brains back in the mood for math.

Once we have completed that book we will move onto completing Math U See Gamma (multiplication). We are on Lesson 10. Hopefully we will be able to move onto Math U See Delta (division) before the year is over.

Unit Study - Our main unit study will be Roadtrip USA by Confessions of a Homeschooler. 

In conjunction with Roadtrip USA, we will supplement our studies with Maps, Charts and Graphs Level D, States and Regions

and Our 50 States by Lynne Cheney.

We will also continue to do some delight-directed, relevant or review product related unit studies. But the core of our learning this year will be on United States Geography and state cultures. I will probably do some of my reverse planning with plays, movies, book releases, and other activities that pop up, when we can fit them in.

Co-op - We are starting a VERY small Friday morning co-op with another family or two. We will be having a one-hour art class using The Usborne Art Treasury 

and then a one-hour class doing activities in companion with the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling (literature, science, social studies, and more).

Extra-Curricular Activities - Brynne will be playing volleyball and then basketball. Eli will continue with Scouts and plans to join a Saturday morning bowling league.

We have a full year planned, but I am really looking forward to it! We are covering topics that the kids enjoy, so it should be a fun year. I am ready to get started ... only 9 more days!


  1. You have some of my favorite resources and books listed- wheel on the school and caddie woodlawn are two our our favorite reads!! I am going to look at that multiplication book for james! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I need to pick up a couple copies of Handwriting without Tears for Cursive for my kiddos. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I remember the movie version of "Paddle to the Sea" I went and found it on YouTube at I am going to have to get the book to share with my kids and because I only have memories of the movie.


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!