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Our 2020-2021 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

With so many families deciding to homeschool this year, I thought it was time to share our curriculum list for 2020-2021. This school year, we have a PreKindergartener, 1st grader, and 6th grader. We keep things much lighter for the younger ones and are combining several of their subjects for the foreseeable future to make my life a little bit easier. The eldest becomes more and more independent each year, but I’m grateful to still have the time with her reading aloud and discussing major topics in history and science each day. Here, you’ll first find a simple list of our curriculum choices by subject, and below that I will clarify how we use some of these in our home if you are interested in that extra bit of information. Some of these items will list two levels; this is because as relaxed homeschoolers, we just pick up where we leave off each year and start new levels as we finish the old, whenever that may be during the school year. As such, I will list the levels we are still completing, along with those we will likely move into during the year.

6th Grade:

History/Bible/Literature
Sonlight Core F (Study of the Eastern Hemisphere)
Supplemented with the additional Chronicles of Narnia novels
Supplemented with the prior novels of Gloria Whelan’s Russian Saga

Science
Sonlight Science G (Evolution, Genetics, and Geology)
Supplemented with graphic novels The Stuff of Life and Evolution

Math
Teaching Textbooks Online Math 6 then Math 7
Life of Fred (Conceptual Math) Elementary Series Book J
Life of Fred (Conceptual Math) Intermediate Series Books K, L, and M

Language Arts
Essentials in Writing (Composition and Grammar) Level 5
All About Spelling Level 6 then Level 7
Wordly Wise (Vocabulary) Book 5 then Book 6
Supplemented with spelling and vocabulary games at spellingcity.com

Physical Education
Up to 8 hours of ballet, tap/jazz, and lyrical dance classes each week with bi-annual recitals
1 hour of tumbling classes each week
All of this is part of the requirements for the eldest to participate in her dance studio’s Company level program, which includes competitions and The Nutcracker performances.

Music
1/2 an hour of piano lessons each week plus daily practice

Other
Girl Scouts First Year Cadette Troop participation

1st Grade:

History/Bible/Literature/Science
Sonlight Preschool and PreK Books at Leisure (Combined with PreKindergartener)

Math
Horizons Math Grade K Workbook 2 then Grade 1 Workbook 1 and Workbook 2

Language Arts
Handwriting Without Tears 1st Grade Workbook then 2nd Grade Workbook
All About Reading Level 2 then Level 3
All About Spelling Level 1

Typing
Keyboarding Without Tears 1st Grade Online Subscription

Physical Education
1 hour of ballet dance classes each week with bi-annual recitals
1 hour of tumbling classes each week
1 hour of gymnastics classes each week

Music
1/2 an hour of piano lessons each week plus daily practice

Other
Girl Scouts Second Year Daisy Troop participation

PreK:

History/Bible/Literature/Science
Sonlight Preschool and PreK Books at Leisure (Combined with 1st Grader)

Math/Language Arts/Readiness
All About Reading Pre-reading Level
Handwriting Without Tears My First School Book with activities and songs
Supplemented with iPad apps like Starfall, Khan Academy Kids, etc.

While our family loves the scope of Sonlight’s program, we have been taking a more relaxed approach over the last few years wherein we do not use the official Sonlight instructor’s guide or any of the worksheets. We often also drop some of the books from their list that we know won’t work for us and supplement those with something in a similar field or with prequels and sequels to the novels from a series listed in Sonlight’s materials. This year, we are using the Core F Notebook for the 6th grader, but we are simply using the book lists from P3 and P4 for the little two to choose books from each day for read aloud time. We usually do not use the Sonlight science experiments at all anymore, as they always got put off and forgotten in the craziness of extracurriculars during the school year. The kids get a lot of STEAM activities by participating in Girl Scouts, visiting museums, and engaging with other community events throughout the year, along with pursuing their own interests, many of which involve technology and art, in their free time.

As I said before, we move through these materials at our own pace, so we may even progress beyond Core F for the 6th grader this year, in which case we’ll just segue into Core G when that time comes. We’re all about just picking up the next page/lesson/chapter each day and seeing where we go. We have made huge efforts to keep the workbooks and bookwork pretty minimal while maintaining standards that would be required by a public school if ever they had to attend one. Most of our schooling is about keeping a good, but relaxed foundation in the three Rs while using literature as exposure to ideas for the remaining subjects and engaging in lots of our favorite extracurricular actives for enrichment. I hope our experience is helpful to you in your own homeschooling journey. Best of luck!