Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Curriculum Choices...Check!

Finally...I can scratch a highly important task off of my list. I have picked out the curriculum that I will use to teach Anistyn...and I can't wait for it to get here.

We officially have one month and a day left until we say good-bye to public school. Anistyn is doing a countdown...and now that I have decided what exactly it is I'll be teaching her...I can count down also!

In one of my previous posts, I had talked about all of the different 'types' of homeschooling. Well, let me tell you something...there are experts in every single type. These experts have made fabulous curriculum designed for so many different kinds of children. The problem? There are a ton! Not that that's a bad thing of course. Going through the first list is so overwhelming.

You just want to 'nail it.' You want to pick a curriculum that is just made for your child. A curriculum that will be EVERYTHING your child needs to learn in the way that suits him or her. At least, that's what I was trying to do. Until I drove myself crazy, took a breather, and then changed my thought process. Because unless I made the curriculum myself (which is very possible by the way, I'm just not there yet!) there wasn't going to be a curriculum that was made just with Anistyn in mind. Which was perfectly fine.

Really, I had to repeat that to myself quite often.

The worst case scenario is that I will have a curriculum that we start working on and just don't like. So we have to get something else.

Really...not the end of the world.

 (Again...this is another thing I had to repeat to myself. Can you tell I was having some sort of internal battle with all of this? It was serious.)

I really have had to let go of expecting perfection. There were so many options and I just want the best for my daughter, like any parent does. With us just beginning, I had so many fears. I just wanted things to start off well.

I have gotten into some fabulous homeschool groups, and have had many talks with some of the mothers there. I also have my professional homeschooler sister in law also! I have loved how, when I present one of them with my concerns, I often get asked "What's the worst that could happen."

This just proves another reason why I really think I will adore homeschooling. Not only will I teach Anistyn...I feel like I'm already learning things from it as well. I don't have to pick out the perfect curriculum (although I will pat myself on the back...I'm extremely excited about my choices!). This is going to be a fabulous journey for our family. There might be some bumps on the way, and we might have to try different routes. That's life.

I am really having to get out of the public school mindset. Now, some homeschoolers are vehemently against public education. I am not one of them. My daughter has loved school up to this point. Its just that now...I am seeing a plethora of possibility. I am seeing that I can be lenient in areas that I see fit, and if we want to learn about a particular subject more in depth...then we can.

Back to the curriculum. I have spent countless hours researching all of this and am very happy with my decision. This might change once we start to use it, but I have had many talks with a lot of "veteran" homeschoolers, along with reading sample lessons and even asking the makers of the curriculum questions. Yeah...I was a bit obsessed!

So, here is the curriculum that we will be using. One of my main concerns was making sure it wasn't aligned with Common Core. Then of course, I wanted something that would intrigue Anistyn! So here are for the 3rd grade.



This doesn't seem as exciting as my other choices, but from what I've learned its very consistent and most children that use it end up a year or two ahead. Math is my worst this seems like it is user friendly for me! This is a subject I think I'll have to just play with as we go along to find out what works for us. It might be this...and it might not. I've heard great things about it though, so we shall see!


R.E.A.L Science Odyssey by Pandia Press

I am very excited about this science curriculum as it seems to be very hands on. We'll be doing Level One which is Life Science. It will cover the human body, the animal kingdom, and the plant kingdom. Each lesson has a small amount of text, and then you learn even more about it through 2 or 3 activities. There are science experiments, arts and crafts projects, and observations. I love how involved it is. I hope this one works out!


Story of the World

This was the last one I figured out. For some reason, I had it in my head that Anistyn needed to be learning American History right now. I guess because that's what she's learning about right now. So I searched and searched...and couldn't find anything that fit. I really wanted to try Trail Guide to Learning...but that's actually a spine for other curriculum as well, so it wouldn't work. After a ton of time researching I gave up and did something I should have done all along....I asked Anistyn if she would rather learn about the world history or America. She said World History and that was that! This is a very popular history curriculum and it gets a lot of great reviews. I've read samples and it even had me interested. So I think this will be great. It didn't hurt that it was extremely easy to find it used for very reasonable prices!

Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar

Michael Clay Thompson Level One

This curriculum just looks fantastic and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about it. I'll admit when I first read samples I was wondering what the heck was going on...but once you get into it, its great. There are great stories which help kids understand sentence structure that are funny and engaging. This curriculum in mainly for a gifted language arts child, which I have. I really think this will be great for Anistyn and I'm so excited to get it!

So, those are my basics. I also think I'll do cooking with her since she loves to cook with me. I don't want to overload her with too much at first, so for now I think we'll stick to these and then once we have a good routine I might add other things she's interested in. She really hates cursive right now, so I think we might try it again in 4th grade. She also has said she wants to learn either the flute or we'll see!


  1. I think you've made FABULOUS choices! Not too much, just the right amount to be able to add fun things in as you want. I made the mistake of doing too much history early on and really had to dial it back because honestly what about history do you REALLY remember as far as details go from when you were that young? ha ha. And there's only so much of it so plenty of time to delve into the nitty gritty when they are older.
    I went through so many math curriculums through the years and have ended up back in Abeka this year for 4th and 5th. My only warning with Abeka is this: DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING THE TEACHER MANUAL SAYS!!!!! Seriously! It's OVERKILL! Just teach the lessons and do some practice and she will be fine!
    I am very excited for you, and again, I think you have made fabulous choices that will be just right for you guys! SO HAPPY to not see a million different subjects on your plate because again from experience that can get you set up to feel disappointed if you don't do it ALL. ha ha.

  2. As a matter of fact, I ended up selling my teacher manual for Abeka Math because I wasn't using it, ha ha. Just looking at the workbook and teaching what was on each page as we go!

  3. Carrie, I'm so glad you replied! I had read your curriculum choices too and I love the busybox idea! I'm definitely keeping up with your homeschooling...I need at much advice as I can get, lol!

  4. Fabulous! Such a great variety, trying out different things. I am so excited for you. I am super eager to see you. Hurray for Christmas break!
    I will try to remember to bring some recipe ideas too. I am not really good at recipes. I just make things up as I go, which sometimes works and sometimes fails miserably.
    I guess I do the same with school too. If you had met me at 12, you would have never imagined I would end up a "play it by ear" person... but I guess I changed over time. I have a generalized plan, and then just go.
    So excited for you. See you in a month!