Curriculum Reviews

If I had to start homeschooling all over again, I know exactly what curriculum I would use. Since I can't start all over again, I decided to share my picks and why I love and recommend them with you. I hope that this is helpful to someone who is just starting out.

The curriculum that I personally would use for 3-6 year old children is called Five in A Row and is literature- based. It allows for plenty of cuddle-up reading time together and also exploratory learning for our little ones. 

I currently use this with my daughters (7 & 10 years). We also currently use the Classical Conversations program for the planned 24 weeks and then Five in a Row for the other 12 weeks to complete a 36-week school year.

Every subject is included in the Five in a Row lesson plans except math and a formal phonics program.

For math, we use Math-U-See. I love the manipulatives and visuals even in the upper grades. It is so good for my kids kinetic and visual learning styles.

For phonics and spelling, I use and recommend All About Spelling & All About Reading.  I love their easy to use lesson plans and my children of all ages enjoy it.

Classical Conversations officially begins for children at 4 years of age . Personally, I would use Five-in-a-Row and wait to start my children in Classical Conversations at first grade (6 or 7 years). However, many families like mine have older children as well as younger children so allowing the 4 and 5-year-olds to participate in their own special class is helpful to families.

We love it because it follows a classical method of learning and also provides a social group for us. Every subject is covered except math and formal phonics.The subjects are: history timeline, history facts, geography, science facts, science experiments, math facts, Latin, English grammar and fine arts rotating between art and music study.  The facts are taught as memory work with all ages learning the same facts at the same time.

The group meeting is once a week and is called community day. All the memory work for the upcoming week is introduced and practiced. The group also memorizes Scripture together, plans field trips, some put a yearbook together and plan other activities.

There is a lot I could say about Classical Conversations, but the best thing is that my kids also love it. They offer free three-day practicums every summer from June - August. The practicums are offered in every state where there are communities. The practicum offer a good overview and also the opportunity to meet other parents who are very willing to talk to you about their experiences with the program.  However, everyone there will be pro-CC, so it is a little bit of a  biased environment.  However, going to a practicum is a wonderful way to help you make a decision of whether this would be a good fit for your family and your homeschooling style.

Over the 12 years that we have homeschooled so far, we have used several different curriculum (ABeka, Switched on Schoolhouse, Teaching Textbooks, etc.) I have settled on those above because they work for a variety of learning styles, are cost effective, and work the best with my children. Using these resources, I know that we will finish out our homeschooling career successfully.

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