Homeschool Curriculum 2015-2016

As much as I’m going to miss my sweet girl as she heads off to college this year, I have to admit it’s kind of nice only planning curriculum for two kiddos this year.

My boys are in 10th and 3rd grades.  Yeah, we pretty much won’t be able to do any multi-age homeschooling.  It’s okay, though, because the 10th grader will do most of his schooling without my help.  That leaves plenty of time to focus on my littlest man during the school day.

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2015-2016

This post contains affiliate links.

10th Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Caleb won’t be completely on his own.  We’ll still meet together as a family at the breakfast table for Bible study and I’ll be very involved in his writing instruction.  Before school starts, we’ll map out each semester and set weekly goals for each subject.  A weekly meeting together will ensure he’s sticking to the schedule and comprehending all the subject matter.

Bible/Character Study (1/2 credit)

For the most part, we’ll just read the Bible together and discuss.  I will be assigning a few books (devotions/character/church history) but I’m still praying about which ones to use.  I’ll keep you posted.

Math (1 credit)

We’re going to stray from Saxon this year and give Teaching Textbooks a shot.


English II (1 credit)

I know it seems a bit crazy to use so many materials in one school year, but (in my typical fashion) we are only using bits and pieces of each of these this year.  Writing is a must.  Analyzing & reading living literature is a must.  I think diagramming sentences will give him a great grammar review.  And, it’s important to me that we continue building his vocabulary.  Thus, bits and pieces of several things.  Because we won’t get through everything this year, you may see some of these on next year’s curriculum list, too.


Science (1 credit)

Apologia’s biology it is!  I really appreciate the thorough teaching and Creation worldview in this curriculum.


World Governments & Current Events (1 credit)

I found the world governments book with supplemental CD by chance and really think it’s going to be a great first semester prerequisite to our second semester current events study.  I’ll likely write an entire post on our current events course because it will use a variety of resources.


World Geography (1 credit)

Yes, I know these workbooks say 6-8th grades.  They fit the bill, though, because they cover eastern and western geography and include political geography, population comparisons, physical geography, latitude and longitude, climate, major cities, agriculture, natural resources and more.  Workbook pages make the course hands-off for me, but the assignments within the pages aren’t a piece of cake – even for a 10th grader.  I may supplement the workbooks with a project each semester.


Logic & Critical Thinking(1 credit)

We didn’t quite make it all the way through our logic materials last year, so you’re seeing a book or two on this list from last year.  He’ll work through these one by one until he gets through them all.  I have a feeling he’ll finish these pretty quickly, which is why I have some project ideas stirring in the back of my mind to take him through the entire year.


Foreign Language – Latin (1/2 credit)

Caleb wanted to switch from Spanish to another language this year.  We’re starting with a beginning Latin program to see how he likes it.

3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum

I love teaching 3rd grade!


Eli and I will continue reading through The Child’s Story Bible this year and take breaks here and there to supplement with other books to be determined.  I plan to write an entire post on how I pull together Bible and character study soon.

Brain Games

Each morning after Bible is a time we call brain training.  The purpose is three-fold: to warm up Eli’s brain before we jump into book work; to train memory, processing speed, attention, and logical thinking; and to “get in” some of the extras that don’t need to be done every single day.  This time is very game-like and only takes 10-15 minutes total.  You’ll be able to see a list of everything in my brain training arsenal soon!


As with my other two kiddos when they were in 3rd grade, I’m happy to stick with Horizons Math and supplemental living math lessons with Eli.

Language Arts

Now that Eli is a decent little reader, we will begin to add in various short lessons in many language arts disciplines.  Of course, I’ll expect daily practice in reading, too.


As I mentioned in this post about stretching our history cycles, we will be using Story of the World: Ancient Times with some great living literature this year for history.  (Many of our narrations will come from these lessons.)


NaturExplorers studies will fill in most of our science time.  We’ll complete a human body unit study (and maybe another one or two) during the winter, too.  I already have a great human body spine book that I’m really excited to use!

NaturExplorers - a great way to study science!

And that wraps up the bulk of our 2015-2016 homeschooling curriculum choices.  I can’t wait to share some of the nitty-gritty details from each subject as the year goes on!

I’m so looking forward to this coming school year!  I hope you are, too!

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Homeschool Curriculum For Sale

Lots of homeschool curriculum is for sale - all ages and all subjects!Being a curriculum junkie AND a product reviewer, I tend to have shelves overflowing in my house (to say the least!) It’s time to sell some more! I will update the list as often as possible when items sell.

You may email me directly if you’re interested in any of the following homeschool curriculum for sale.



(Side note: Just because I’m selling something doesn’t necessarily mean I endorse it. Please be sure to research whether or not the products are right for your family.)


Homeschool curriculum for sale

Elementary Curriculum

Primary Arts of Language: Reading – Full set. Some of the file folder games are prepared for you already. Some of the phonetic stickers have already been placed in the Phonetic Farm Folder. Very good condition. $40

The Big Phonics Book. Grades 1-3. Barbara Gregorich. Cover is beat up and 2-3 worksheets are written in, but the rest of the 300+ pages are in great condition. $8

(15) Early Reader Books – And I Mean It, Stanley; More Spaghetti, I Say!; Dinosaur Pizza; A Girl, a Goat and a Goose; The Lunch Line; Amazing Lizards; Snug Bug; Once Upon a Springtime; Mice at Bat; Dr. Suess’s ABC; The Secret Cat; Hester the Jester; King Rooster, Queen Hen; What’s the Matter with that Dog?; Harry and the Lady Next Door. About 1/2 are hardcover and 1/2 are paperback. From good to very good condition. $15

Creative Communications: 30 Writing, Speaking and Drawing Projects for Homeschoolers. Sandra Garant. Spiral. Excellent. $7

Daily Paragraph Editing: Grade 5. Evan-Moor.  Very good.  $10

Mega-Fun Multiplication Facts Activity Book. Grades 2-5. Marcia Miller and Martin Lee. Excellent. $4

Building Understanding with Base Ten Blocks. Primary. Peggy McClean. Excellent. $4

Homeschool curriculum for sale

Janice VanCleave’s Astronomy for Every Kid. Excellent. $8

Janice VanCleave’s Biology for Every Kid. Excellent.  $8

Janice VanCleave’s Earth Science for Every Kid. Excellent.  $8

Janice VanCleave’s Gravity. Excellent. $5

Janice VanCleave’s Teaching the Fun of Science. Excellent. $10

Will sell all 5 Janice VanCleave books for $30.

Dinosaurs: Whole Language Theme Unit. Grades 2-3.  Instructional Fair.  Mel Fuller.  Very good.  $5

Science Crafts for Kids: 50 Fantastic Things to Invent and Create. Gwen Diehn.  Hardback.  Very good.  $5

(2) Liberty’s Kids DVD’s – Give Me Liberty & The First 4th of July. Excellent. $5

Latin for Children A (Entire Set): Workbook, Answer Key, DVD/CD, Activity Book, History Reader.  Excellent.  $70.  (Set retails for $117.)

Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades: Book 1 – Student Activity Book and Lapbook CD.  Zeezok Publishing.  A few pages in the beginning of the book are completed.  Otherwise, in excellent condition.  (The program requires 7 Opal Wheeler composer biographies which are not included.)  $30

Drawing with Children.  Mona Brookes.  Paperback.  Good.  $6

Homeschool curriculum for sale

Living Literature

Stories Worth Rereading. A.B. Publishing. Very good. Paperback. $4

The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad. Thornton Burgess. Excellent. Paperback. $3

A Home for Virginia. Patricia St. John. Excellent. Hardback. $3

The Black Stallion’s Shadow. Steven Farley. Good. Paperback. $3

(4) American Girl Mysteries – Shadows on Society Hill & The Silent Strangers & Secrets in the Hills & The Stolen Sapphire. Excellent. $12

(5) Mandie Books – Mandie and the Washington Nightmare & Mandie and the Mysterious Bells & Mandie and the Holiday Surprise & Mandie and the Secret Tunnel & Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery. Lepperd. Good to very good. $12



Homeschool curriculum for sale

Middle School Curriculum

A Sentence a Day: Short Playful Proofreading Exercises to Help Students Avoid Tripping Up When They Write.  Samantha Prust.  Paperback.  Very good.  $7

Math Dictionary for Kids: Grades 4-9. Theresa Fitzgerald. Excellent. $6

Super Smart: 180 Challenging Thinking Activities, Words and Ideas for Advanced Students. Stephen Young.  Paperback.  Excellent.  $7

The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History: History for the Thoughtful Child. Rob Shearer. Good. $7

Ecopolis: An Interactive Discovery-Based Social Studies Unit for Grades 6-8 (great for a co-op). Richard Cote. Good. $5

Make Up Your Mind: A Classroom Guide to 10 Age-Old Debates for Grades 7-10 (great for a co-op). Clark Porter. Excellent. $7



Homeschool curriculum for sale

High School Curriculum

Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La. Barbara Shelton. Very good. $15

Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High School Paperwork. Janice Campbell. Excellent. $17

Get Into College in 3 Months or Less. Doug Hewitt. Paperback. Excellent. $8

Horse Schools: The International Guide to Universities, Colleges, Preparatory and Secondary Schools, and Specialty Equine Programs. Angelia Almos. Paperback. Excellent. $12

Hot X: Algebra Exposed.  Danica McKellar.  Hardback.  Excellent.  $10

Latin/History Curriculum High School

Latin in the Christian Trivium, Volume I – entire set. Excellent. $60 ($118 retail)

Latin in the Christian Trivium, Volume II – entire set. Excellent. $60 ($140 retail)

Will sell both sets above for$95.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking. Edith Schaeffer. Paperback. Excellent. $5

Why Won’t They Listen? DVD. Ken Ham. Very Good. $5

Homestead Blessings: The Art of Herbs DVD. West. Very Good. $5

You may email me directly if you’re interested in any of the following homeschool curriculum for sale.




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Homeschooling High School Is Worth It!

Y’all.  Homeschooling high school is so much better than you could ever imagine.

I just graduated my first who will go on to follow her equine passions in college this fall and I can tell you unequivocally that homeschooling was worth it.  Every minute – the good, bad and ugly – was worth it.  Notice I didn’t say every minute was blissful or easy, but I am so very glad we made the journey to the end.

Homeschooling high school is so worth it!

Not only do we have great memories of doing life together, we’ve also had awesome opportunities to grow together in Christ, in learning, in trials and in triumphs.

As I prepare for the 10th grade year with my second child, I already see some of the frustrations that might come our way – like battling upper level math dragons and helping him see the benefit of buckling down in foreign language studies.  I know there will be struggles, but I also know that working through those struggles together will make us stronger.  I know that homeschooling through high school means my son will have a much better chance to rise above the status quo of teenagers these days.  I know that in his “rhetoric stage” mind, we still have much work to do to build worldviews and prepare him for his Kingdom work and I’m so thankful for that time.

During these years of amazing opportunity, I’ll keep blogging about our adventures to encourage you (and me) that we CAN do it!

Since this page will automatically update when any new high school post is written, you might like to pin it for quick reference.  Blessings on your journey!

Homeschooling High School: A Quick Reference to Our Journey Westward Articles


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The Four Year History Cycle: Slightly Revised

You may have heard me say before that we follow a four-year cycle of chronological history in our homeschool.  Well, we used to.  My littlest man will be in 3rd grade this coming school year and we’re just now getting into ancient history – year 1 in a four-year cycle.  I still plan to follow a four (or five) year cycle, but he’ll only go through it twice before he graduates – several years from now – which is one less time through the cycle than most classical models.

In order to deeply soak in all of history, I'm opting for a more relaxed study of world history - while still using tried and true curriculum.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Why only twice through the cycle?

My big kids didn’t really need the 3rd cycle by the time they got into high school.  We had studied world history thoroughly twice before and they had a really good grasp.  Of course, we didn’t just skip history during high school.  We still, in fact, stuck with the original plan and completed the 3rd cycle, but it took on much more depth and breadth.

Additionally, I felt like sometimes the big kids and I rushed through great literature or missed some key events trying to fit a particular era into a year’s worth of study.

What did I do with the big kids?  I used Story of the World through the first cycle (with some unit studies.)  The second cycle was strictly project-based unit studies with lots of literature.  And during the third cycle, we took on all kinds of text curriculum, project-based research, video curriculum and literature.

Our four year history cycle will be slightly revised.

Little man and I are going to take our time and bebop through chronological history in a much more relaxed (yet, still rigorous) way.  We’ll begin with Creation and work our way through the 21st century on our own time – and then start the process over again once for good measure and more depth.  The decision feels really good.

You might wonder what in the world we did for history if we aren’t beginning our chronological tour until 3rd grade.  Well, we spent 1st grade focused on cultures around the world (with a focus on missionaries) and 2nd grade taking a tour of the good ol’ USA (with lots of literature which gave us an intro to American history.)  Now that Eli is entering 3rd grade and a good reader, we’re finally ready to hit history harder.

Story of the World will be slightly revised.

I love Story of the World and that’s the curriculum I plan to use during our first 4 (or 5) year cycle.  When I did SOTW with my big kids many moons ago, we did EVERYTHING – all the projects, all the worksheets, all the literature.  I spent HOURS reserving books online and traveling to and from the library.  This time around, we’ll do SOTW on much more relaxed terms.

We’ll hit the text, narrate with the comprehension question, complete the maps and work on our timeline.  We’ll probably only complete the occasional hands-on project (because that isn’t his thing) and I’ll only choose the best of the best living lit books to go-along.

It’s nice to get to a point in your homeschooling journey when you realize relaxed learning is just fine.

These books will be on our informational shelf.

I’m still deciding on the final “best of the best” elementary living lit list to take us through our upcoming ancient history year, but I’m already beginning to gather a pile of informational books that will follow us through the entire first 4 (or 5) year cycle.  We’ll use these to “see” the history we’ve been studying and dig a little deeper at times.

I love that each of these are chronological resources which will help build Eli’s understanding of change over time and relate particular things/events/people with their eras. Since each of the books are colorful and kid-friendly, they will be on his pleasure reading shelf so he can dig in whenever he gets the urge.

Note: Many of these books have at least a mention of evolution-based beginnings. Some of them will also discuss gods and goddesses (which is part of ancient history.) I always read through these types of books once with Eli (if just quickly) to discuss any potential issues before putting them on his read-alone shelf.

What about Eli’s 2nd cycle in middle and high school?  Good question.  We’ll have to see what floats our fancy by the time Eli reaches middle and high school.  I’m sure I’ll keep you posted.  😉

As we jump into the first ancient history cycle this coming August (or maybe September), I’ll be sure to share our journeys with you!  Until then, I’ll be thinking about which timeline we’ll be using this year and gathering must-do lessons from my ancient history Pinterest board.  I’ll also be considering which of my “top 10″ ancient history living books Eli might be ready to read in 3rd grade.

Oh, I do so enjoy lazy summer days of curriculum planning!

More Than Just a Dinosaur Unit Study

My little man and I just finished a Creation-based dinosaur unit study that led to some amazing rabbit trail learning!  What started out as a great “boy topic” to end 2nd grade with a bang, turned into so much more.  And, without my pre-planning, it’s given him a great foundational understanding of events leading up to ancient history – which is our focus next school year.

The best science & history unit study of the year - hands-down!  Dinosaurs + so much more.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Dinosaur Lapbook

My original plans were to simply go through the free Creation Based Dinosaur Lapbook and Printables from Homeschool Share.  The prepared study was perfect for a 2nd grader and I already owned the “spine” book, What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by John Morris.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

Dinosaur Literature

While the lapbook study was a fantastic start and would have been plenty, what usually happens when you allow time for a few rabbit trails is even more fantastic.  After reading What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?, Eli was just full of excitement – so we kept reading!  And beyond dinosaurs, we were led into a world of earth science and history – covering Noah’s flood, fossils, the Ice Age, separation of people groups at the Tower of Babel and their travels across the world, extinction, natural disasters and weather.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible by Paul Taylor and Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham were somewhat similar to the spine book, but much more detailed in their explanations.  All three books covered things like creation, the fossil record, records of dinosaurs in the Bible, records of dinosaurs post-flood, and theories about dinosaur extinction.  Each book has a slightly different style of writing which is why I purchased all three.  After reading What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?, we only touched on bits and pieces of the other two books for further investigation of certain topics.

Dinosaurs by Design by Duane Gish was perfect for dinosaur research and comparison.  It covers many types of dinosaurs and was the only book we needed for the suggested “research report” assignments from the lapbook.

The True Story of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dooley just seemed right to add into the mix because it’s such a big part of the story of dinosaurs and fossils…especially as a precursor to the book below.

Dry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary and Mary Parker was a fun book that teaches fossils as they relate to the world-wide flood in easily understandable terms for kids.  Love this book!  (It’s what spurred on many of our nature walks you’ll see below.)

Life in the Great Ice Age by Michael and Beverly Oard is another really good book!  The first half places you right alongside a cave-dwelling family-tribe who live just south of the great ice wall somewhere in Europe.  You learn all about their lifestyle, challenges and reasons for living as they do.  The second half of the book takes an informational turn as it explains more about the ice age as a result of the world-wide flood and how people groups were spread all over the world during this period in history.  Fascinating!  It was just a little above Eli’s level, but he hung in there with full interest from beginning to end.  I felt like this book was a fabulous ending to the whole dinosaur/flood/fossil study and left us off with the perfect background information as we step into ancient history studies next year.

Dinosaur Nature Study

And then God steps in and provides you with almost unbelievable opportunities to dig deeper into real life examples of what you’ve been learning.  (I find this happens all. the. time. with nature study, by the way.)

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

After some recent flooding, we went for a nature walk looking for signs of the flood.  Much to our surprise, we found a ditch just full of layer upon layer of drying mud left behind by the flood waters.  In that mud we found several things buried – like the wood in the photo above.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

These layers in which we found things buried were formed after only about three days of minor flooding.  Have you heard Buddy Davis’ song, Billions of Dead Things?  The song asks, “If there really was a worldwide flood, what would the evidence be?”  Then it answers, “Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.”  To us, seeing this process begin to happen in real life over the course of just a few day was uh-mazing and further sealed our belief and understanding of the “evidence” of Noah’s flood.  God is so cool.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

Of course, we had to go on a fossil hunt during our study.  Central KY is a great hunting ground for fossils!  We are so blessed to live on a farm where we can find pretty spectacular samples regularly.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

During our study, it just so happened that we took a field trip to McConnell Springs in Lexington.  Through all our readings, we had discussed many times about results from Noah’s flood, like rock layers and caves and even underground water.  It was very exciting to be able to look at God’s creation with a fresh pair of “glasses” that day!

We also have plans to visit Carter Caves in Olive Hill very soon!  I’ll be sure to add pictures to this post.  Oh, and of course we’d visit the Creation Museum if we hadn’t already been there a million times.  It’s a no-brainer field trip for a dinosaur unit study!  And, oh my goodness, I almost forgot that we took a trip to the zoo during this unit study simply because they were having $5 days.  What a wonderful blessing to discuss diversities and similarities, adaptations and habitats, and what life must have been like on the ark.  And, best of all notice how many animals have characteristics of dinosaurs!

Dinosaur Learning Activities

Here and there between lapbooking, reading great books and nature walks, we found some time for a few other activities.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

This cookie fossil dig wasn’t very scientific or realistic, but it sure was fun – and yummy.  Basically, we used (gluten-free) chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies to represent metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, respectively.  Eli was supposed to dig out the chocolate chips, raisins and nuts as gently as possible to do as little damage as possible to the the “artifacts.”  He plotted the “artifacts” on a to-scale map, too.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

One of our books prompted us to complete an experiment to see if various types of soil have a consistent sedimentation pattern and whether or not those layers tend to contain similar items like rocks, twigs and plant material.  The results of the experiment were further proof of the fossil record and a worldwide flood.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

We completed some “typical” school projects, too.

1.  After discussing the concept of “habitats,” Eli designed his own dinosaur habitat diorama.

2.  We completed a pretty thorough poetry writing mini-unit as we studied dinosaurs.  Each day for about two weeks, I used Writing Poetry with Children to teach him  how to write a new type of poem – cinquain, triplets, haiku, limericks and shape poems (pictured above.)  We used the theme of dinosaurs for each poem.  You can see another picture of his poems below.

3.  We completed several fun worksheets and simple activities from a book called Dinosaurs Whole Language Theme Unit by Mel Fuller.  Pictured above is a hands-on “test” of vocabulary from our study.  I just cut up the vocabulary and definitions worksheet for Eli to match.

More than just a dinosaur unit study - covers floods, fossils and the ice age, too!

We didn’t work on the dinosaur unit study every day, so in all it took us about a month to complete.  What a GREAT month it was!  Don’t miss a creation-based study of dinosaurs with your children!  It’s very God-honoring and seriously super-cool!

Oh, and don’t think a study of dinosaurs/fossils/Noah’s Flood/etc. is just for early elementary ages.  Most of the literature books mentioned above can easily be used with kids all the way through middle school!