Our lower grammar curriculum choices for 2016-2017 will include grades K4, 1st, and 2nd. We will also have 1 student in dialectic level (6th grade) and 4 in pre-school, or primer level. I will share about each of those levels in another blog post.
These are the plans I currently have, but I may change some things since I have not actually bought all of our curricula yet. We start our new school year on September 5th, so there is still a little time for changing my mind. Plus, we are going to our homeschool conference this weekend and will be checking out all of the amazing vendors up-close. Praying I can keep my senses amidst all of those new books! lol.
By the way, if you can’t attend a homeschool convention in-real-life, then check out this awesome affordable digital homeschool convention featuring over 30 speakers and tons of virtual vendors for 1-stop curriculum shopping without leaving your house! More info here >> Digital Homeschool Convention
I had wanted to have all of our curriculum purchased by August so that I could spend a month preparing, but our budget didn’t allow that. Now I am feeling like we are cutting things close, but I don’t plan to stress too much if we don’t get all of our books by September.
Need help planning the homeschool year? Check out The Relaxed Mom Homeschool Planner!
Lower Grammar Curriculum Choices
2nd Grade for my 7/8-year-old daughter:
- Language Arts – I am going back to A Beka Book. I actually already had the Language 2, Spelling & Poetry 2, and Letters & Sounds 2 textbooks from a few years ago when I had bought them for my oldest child and then decided to switch curriculum for his 2nd-grade year. I will also be encouraging good penmanship in her lessons and might introduce cursive using a Classical Conversations Prescripts book I have leftover from my oldest. I will be letting her use a Write Your Own Story Book to practice writing skills, as well. The reality is, I need to go back to more workbooks in our homeschool this year to manage properly teaching 4 young students! The great news is, I learned so much myself from using The Phonics Road to Spelling & Reading levels 1-3 with my oldest, that I now feel confident is using almost any language arts program. I now have the solid foundation in phonics that I had not gotten in K-3 grades in public school. Yes, I learned to read very well, but I only learned the basics of phonics and grammar. It didn’t really hinder my ability to read and write as an adult, but it did hinder my ability to properly teach phonics – and language arts in general. Therefore, my oldest learned to read (also very well) but struggled in spelling until I switched him to TPR in 2nd grade. I am sure that it would’ve been beneficial to both him and myself to continue through level 4, but it is very teacher intensive and I simply can not use curriculum that requires a lot of teacher prep – honestly, it is almost like taking an English course for the teacher, which I REALLY enjoyed, but hey, I am also trying to raise and teach 7 children, so it just wasn’t reasonable to continue past level 3 when I needed to start giving academic attention to more than just my oldest student/child during school time! I wish that Barbara Beers would create a language arts course for adults without all of the student instruction because she is awesome at explaining it! Anyway… that ended up being a lot of background story, but hopefully, some of you stuck with me! Moving on…
- Math – I was going to continue with A Beka Book, but recently discovered an awesome-looking lifestyle of learning type of math book! After asking for my daughter’s input, I am planning to use Math Lessons For A Living Education Book 2. This fits with my current need to embrace learning as a lifestyle with my children.
- History – We are continuing Tapestry of Grace with their Year 2. In addition to the literature selections, I am planning to buy the lapbooks to go along with them. Tapestry of Grace also includes social studies, geography, art, and Bible. ToG actually touches on science as it relates to history, and language arts, too, since we read & discuss a lot of quality literature together.
- Science – We will be pulling from a variety of mixed-media resources for science. Audio, DVDs/documentaries, books, and hands-on real life. In lower grammar, we explore all areas of science in a relaxed and fun way (creation, earth, animals, etc.).
1st Grade for my 6/7-year-old son:
- Language Arts – A Beka Book for the win again! I know I can give additional instruction as needed to fill in the gaps that I feel are present with A Beka Book phonics (minimal, but still noticeable to me) and I want the convenience of the open & go workbooks. We’ll be using Language 1, Letters & Sounds 1, and Spelling & Poetry 1. He already has excellent manuscript handwriting, so I will just encourage him to write well for his lessons rather than have a separate penmanship book.
- Math – We are using Math Lessons For A Living Education Book 1. I think this will be perfect for my hands-on and very active first-grade son who struggles a little with memorization!
- History – He’ll be using Tapestry of Grace with the rest of his siblings. I know he will love the cutting, gluing, and drawing that will come along with the lapbooks!
- Science – Once again, we will be pulling from a variety of mixed-media resources for science. Audio, DVDs/documentaries, books, and hands-on real life. In lower grammar, we explore all areas of science in a relaxed and fun way (creation, earth, animals, etc.).
Kindergarten for my 4/5-year-old daughter:
- Language Arts & Math – I decided to go ahead and get her the A Beka Book K4 workbook since she has begged to do school every day this last year with her older siblings. She spends a lot of time tracing, writing letters & numbers, and pretending to read with anything she can find so I want to capture that love of learning and give her somewhere meaningful to direct it. I do plan to be relaxed about it. She may or may not continue in kindergarten next year, as well. Since she will not be 5 until February 2017, I am not worried about her completing kindergarten this year.
- Developing Skills – I bought her this big Activity Book for developing handwriting skills, improving fine & gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. I am going to encourage her to work on one page each school day and I highly doubt she will need much convincing! lol.
- Other Subjects – She will listen to me read the Bible every morning, but otherwise, I will not require her to listen to me read our history/literature/science books unless she wants to. We will be reading fun books of her choice and encouraging arts & crafts, too.
Combined levels and subjects:
Music – We all love listening to a variety of music and a few of my kids play the piano on their own (simple songs). It’s the best we can do for now. Someday I hope we can give the kids proper piano, or other instrumental, lessons (for those who desire them).
So, there you have our lower grammar curriculum choices for the new school year. I am sorry that I do not have photos of all our selections, but like I said, I have not actually purchased most of them. Oh, and if you didn’t notice, we are quite eclectic and use a variety of methods.
I’d love to hear all about your curriculum choices! Please share in the comments and feel free to ask questions about our choices if you have any.
–Giveaway Ended– Now For The Giveaway! It’s that time of year -the time of year when many homeschool families are making important decisions on which curriculum and resources to use for the upcoming school year. Homeschooling can get expensive, and sometimes we aren’t able to get everything on our wishlist for the year, and some years we might be so stretched for cash that we aren’t able to buy much for our homeschool at all. I’ve gotten together with a group of other bloggers to bring our readers a HUGE homeschool giveaway -a $500 gift card to Rainbow Resource Center!