Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using indian matchmaking singapore for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in popular dating apps in spain  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do thelatest dating sites in usa for free if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in dating after losing 100 pounds again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Crisis Schooling at Home Simplified

Today parents all over the world find themselves crisis schooling their children- This is much different than homeschooling. Even homeschooling families that always homeschooled are crisis schooling, because homeschooling like normal has been brought to a halt. There are no field trips, group hikes, zoo trips, play dates, nature walks with friends, or in person homeschool co-op classes happening.

Most of the schooling new families find themselves doing is indoors, or on the back porch, with cramped spaces, with what they perceive as not enough supplies. But I promise, you can do it, and with limited resources.

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Attempting to educate multiple kids at once isn’t always easy. It’s hard to maintain one child’s focus, let alone several who aren’t used to being taught at home by their parents, or virtually by teachers.

Here are five useful hacks that will take your homeschool to the next level:

Crisis Schooling Simplified

Turn The Garage Into An Open-Air Classroom

Even as a homeschool family that homesteads and spends a lot of hours at home, we all get stir crazy if we are stuck inside. Thankfully, a homeschool classroom is flexible because it doesn’t need to be in a specified place. As you know, the kitchen or living room are fantastic alternatives. We do our “table work” at the kitchen table because it tends to be windy in Kansas for outside paper work, but we do a LOT of other learning out of doors- nature study, reading aloud, reading independently, playing, and just moving our bodies are all done outside.

Even better, you can add a summery element by turning the garage into an open-air classroom. All you have to do is set up the lessons as usual and open the garage door. With the sunshine and cool breeze flowing through, you’ll find that the kids are far more responsive. Homeschooling homeowners love this idea so much that lots of them invest in barndominiums and make the switch permanent.

We have a friend that has an entire separate “rec” building on their property that is a pole barn style. The open space, full kitchen, and lovely porch make for the perfect school house. I would *love* to do this one day! Making a school shack out of the shed, building a new small multi-purpose building, or just schooling on the garage floor all make for great switch-ups.

Anybody who doesn’t have a garage can use the backyard, trampoline, or play house out back. Laying a rug or quilt on the floor adds an extra element to the learning environment. Rather than centering the lessons around the dinner table, you can sit on the floor and mix up the activities. Get creative!

Make Individual Schedules

Each of my school aged children have a weekly schedule hanging on the school cabinet- this has a list of daily work, plus work to be done independently (or with me) on certain days. It keeps us on task, helps us clearly see what needs to be done, and simplifies life for everyone!

Use a simple piece of lined paper to make out the daily work list and hang where ever your family does the most learning.

Utilize Wall Space

Lots of studies show that many young children are visual and tactile learners. Of course, most of us don’t have an electronic whiteboard or smart board, so it’s not as if we can create PowerPoints to teach from (not to mention, this is NOT necessary for learning). More to the point, a boost in screen time isn’t healthy.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, there’s always wall space! Throwing paint on the walls isn’t always ideal, but using chalkboard paint isn’t a bad idea. We have a small chalk board wall in the kitchen.

However, there is a way to let them learn visually without changing the walls- create a writing wall. A sheet of MDF wood works perfectly, and it’s thin enough to hide behind a cabinet. Another option is to use IdealPaint and Krylon products for dry erase surfaces- you can easily paint a sheet of wood from a hardware store. Again, this sheet can be used and then slid behind a cabinet or couch against the wall, when not in use.

I enjoy using a dry erase board for writing out Bible verses we are memorizing, spelling rules we are learning, and other things we need handy and in our face (vocabulary words, phonics rules, and grammar rules are some other ideas).

Spruce It Up

I *love* decorating my house, organizing, and making small changes. Simply adding an art piece (think an original from Etsy), a family photo collage, or new curtains always make me feel fresh and renewed in my home.

When it comes to home or crisis schooling, organizing and creating an inviting space is important. The easier it is to do the work, and the more inviting it is, the more likely we are to stick with it. Adding old maps, wooden frames, or vintage light switch plates to a space can make it fun and enchanting.Check out Etsy for inspiration!


Making homeschooling less complicated for everybody shouldn’t be a grind. Hopefully, these tips will make the process a lot smoother!

2019/2020 Homeschool Year- 3rd grade

Instead of posting everything we are doing in one very overwhelming post, I thought I would break it down by grade level this year. I am late … I know. I’ve been in a deep first trimester exhaustion of random naps and no motivation beyond sleeping and eating. We’ve been sick with one stomach bug after another, and of course with 6 people in the house, it takes forever to get over 1 thing just in time for another to hit! (But I’ve stepped up my elderberry syrup and vitamin C game for the family, so hopefully the rest of the winter won’t be so bad).

And I’m feeling better now, that I’m closer to second trimester! Woo Hoo!

This year, my 9 year old is doing 3rd grade, for all intents and purposes.

Math- CLE Grade 3 math. We like this math so far because it is clean, simple, straight forward, and has students becoming more independent at an early age. I am involved in their lessons, but they aren’t dependent on me for learning 100%. I like this because one of our goals as homeschoolers is to create intrinsically motivated, self taught students who love to read and learn as they grow.

Grammar/Writing/Language Arts- This area is a little more gray. We are using The Good and the Beautiful, and also Easy Grammar (which we have reviewed before). For my 3rd grader, this is working out very well. I would like something that is a little more consolidated so I am not using 2 different programs (we don’t use the reading and spelling in TGTB). I’ve ordered BJU English which includes writing, grammar, and mechanics all in one book. I found it used for super cheap, just so I can look through it. We will see how it is, and may give it a try. Other than using 2 different programs, I *really* like TGTB and also Easy Grammar. Both bring a lot of their own qualities, and most importantly, my daughter enjoys both and does well with them.

Reading and Spelling- This is still All About Reading, and All About Spelling. We don’t really use AAR very often … she just doesn’t need it as much as spelling. I have started implementing he reading aloud to us from our History Core, so I can hear her reading, and help with any difficult words. She is a very fast reader, which is great when you’re studying or looking for key words in notes, or need specific info. But I want her to slow down and enjoy what she is reading, read with inflection, and wait for the good parts. haha  When she reads on her own, it is fast and for the purpose of finding out what happens … which is also great; however reading aloud is so beneficial and she is willing to do it with joy!

Homeschool 2019/202 3rd grade

All About Spelling is what we are working through with her brother, still. They just do it together since he is naturally a great speller, it is easy for them to do it together (and takes some pressure off of me to get one more thing done in the day).

Science– Oh dear science, how we love you. We have really slacked in science since last year, short of nature exploration. So it is my intention this winter to take this season of cold weather, and do a *LOT* more science. We will utilize Apologia’s Creation series because frankly, it is just so good. We love listening to the text on audio, and the activity book that goes along is also great. We have reviewed Astronomy and Anatomy, and really love both. I can’t wait to try their Botany and zoology series.

History/Bible/Read Alouds- This is Sonlight Core C for us, this year. We are finishing up our second year of world history, and will move on to American history next year. I am not entirely sure if we will use Sonlight Core D for American History. I *think* we will, but I also want to look around and see if there is anything else we may want to use for AMerican history years.

Other Stuff- We are using Wordly Wise for vocabulary. I do like to pull words from our read alouds for the kids to learn, but this is something they all really enjoy, can do on their own, and helps develop more than just vocabulary skills. These books are simple, yet awesome.

We get to use lots of other fun stuff throughout the year, like Lit Wits, STEM activities, and foreign languages. We have co op and of course all our handicrafts and arts we enjoy freely.

This homeschool year I definitely feel more organized, and like we have stayed on top of things better so far. Last year was full of concussions, flu, puppies, baby goats, and travels. We got behind and did math through August! NOT FUN; I didn’t enjoy it at all. I DO like doing school year round, because we want to … not because we have to, if that makes sense.

So this school year we do math every single day, whether we are sick or not, or we double up if we miss. Any independent or workbook pages are divided into week in folders, like every year. We put that work each week on their clipboard. Some weeks we do 2 weeks worth of work when things are going really smoothly, to account for any sick days we may have.

Baby #5 should be here in June, so I want us to have plenty of time to enjoy the spring weather, play in the pool, and be homeschool work free! Life is going to change a lot with a newborn, so it will be important for the kids to have a solid routine, without me having the stress of “we must finish.”

What are you using for homeschool this year?

 

Sonlight Curriculum All About Reading Botany Apologia Astronomy

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

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