Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices {2015-2016}

Like most everyone else, we are back in full swing of school in our home! I shared with you the other day our daily homeschool routine. Today, I wanted to share with you my homeschool curriculum plans for our 2015-2016 school year.

This post is a doozy of a post. I tried to give as much detail as I could because I get asked a lot about curriculum choices and homeschool in general.

First, some details about my sweet pupils:

sam kinder

Samuel, age 4, Kindergarten

Samuel is my oldest and he is currently 4 years old (5 in January). We have decided to start him on kindergarten work this year, and he’s really excited about it.

If we were sending him to public school, we would probably wait another year for kindergarten. We would want to let him mature more emotionally before sending him to school, but since that’s a non-issue for a home educator, we’re diving right into kindergarten this year.

You can see what we did in past years:

Timothy, age 2, Intentional Toddler Time

Timothy is my youngest and he’s almost two. We’ll be doing intentional toddler time with him.

I have to prepare my day as though he will be right there digging into everything we do (or sitting in my lap). I’ve found that being proactive and planning ahead activities for him has helped our homeschool mornings go much more smoothly. The below curriculum plan has him in mind.

You can see what we’ve done in the past on my Intentional Toddler Time page.

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2015-2016 with a kindergartener and toddler.

Homeschool Curriculum: Together Subjects

There are several subjects that I teach them together. Actually most of the subjects are taught together except actual reading lessons which Sam and I do in the afternoon when Timmy is napping.

:: Family DevotionsFamily devotions include scripture memorization and memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism in the morning. We also do family Bible reading and prayers in the evenings. I need to share an update on how we currently do family devotions, but this post and this post are still accurate. We’ve just added a few more things here and there.

soft heart and hard heart object lesson

Bible :: I am writing a new curriculum for my kids this year (I wrote the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers last year).

My goal for Bible time this year is to place my children’s hand into the hand of Jesus. I am going to be taking a more focused look at Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection … with a heavy focus on his life.

  • Who is this Jesus?
  • What makes him so amazing?
  • What did he do while he walked the earth?

These are only a few of the questions I want my kids to be able to answer! The curriculum plan is multi-sensory and allows me to involve both a four year old and two year old “easily.”

:: What’s in the Bible DVDs and Theo DVDs – You can read my thoughts on these here. We will be using these DVDs to supplement what we’re learning during family devotions and Bible time.

I plan to purchase the What’s in the Bible New Testament set this year, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. We’ve used What’s in the Bible in the past, but it’s not been until recently that my son has REALLY gotten into them. He’s learning so much through them!

5 little ducks

:: Literature Based Units – I have found that literature based units work really well for both boys at the same time. I can pull activities to fit both of their levels of learning pretty simply while ensuring that we’re reading a lot of stories together.

I keep up with literature based book ideas on my Pinterest board here and on here.

For example, we’ve already done 5 Little Ducks, 3 Billy Goats Gruff, Pete the Cat and His White Shoes, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Math :: I’m doing two things with math. First, I’m joining Sam and Timmy together for basic numbers, colors, and shapes. This will be great review for Sam, and it will be a fun introduction for Timmy.

Most of the ideas for this part of our math fun can be found on my 123s Pinterest board. and my Colors & Shapes board. The second part of math I share below because it’s just for Sam.

green kid craft close up

Science & Nature :: We use Green Kid Crafts for science plus various other simple experiment books I have from my mom’s teaching days. I also keep the Berenstein Bears Big Book of Science and Nature nearby for read aloud time.

We spend a lot of time out of doors playing freely, gardening, hiking, camping, and the likes. And, we plan to take advantage of the Virginia Living Museum’s day classes throughout the year. Sam will take the classes while Timmy and I explore the museum together.

You can follow my Science Pinterest board for ideas.

Geography & Social Studies :: We aren’t currently using a curriculum for either of these topics. I have a set of goals and objectives that I want Sam to master by the end of the year. I am creating the “curriculum” for this topic myself.

You can follow my geography Pinterest board for ideas.

map on the floor

:: Music – We will be using Charlotte Mason method for music study. Simply Charlotte Mason has some great resources available. I purchased the Ludwig von Beethoven portfolio.

I have found it more advanced than either of boys need now, but I can pull from it for ideas. I’m more focused on introducing the music rather than learning about Beethoven in a deep way. We’ll go deeper in the coming years.

Art Study :: It’s my desire that my children develop a deep appreciation for art. So at this stage, we’ll be exposing both boys to various forms of art and teaching them in fun ways about different artists and their beautiful works.

Again, Simply Charlotte Mason has some great resources. I purchased the Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Michelangelo portfolios to use this school year. I found it easier to have the package put together for me including the prints than to go try to gather it for myself. The portfolios aren’t consumable, so I’ll be able to use them over and over again.

I try to do a new picture study about once a week, but it doesn’t always happen. We do it as we’re able and attention spans allow. Again, this is about exposing not about mastering.

sam kindergarten

Homeschool Curriculum Plan for Kindergarten

:: All About Learning Level 1The Pre-reading Program was incredible for Sam! It fit really well into my natural way of teaching, and with its multi-sensory approach, he really thrived. I ordered All About Reading Level 1 for this school year, and we’re already into lesson 8. He’s continuing to thrive with this curriculum.

:: You Can Read! – We are using the You Can Read! program from 1+1+1=1 blog. Carissa has put together a really great plan for teaching sight words. This is a great supplement to All About Learning Level 1 based on what my child needs.

I also keep up with additional ways to make reading fun on my ABCs Pinterest board.

:: Math – I decided on Math-U-See for Math. I opted for the Primer to keep me on track for covering all the necessary parts of math. We are really enjoying it, and it’s perfect for Sam. I am supplementing a lot though just to keep it fresh and enjoyable for him.

Again you can see all my math ideas I collect on my 123s Pinterest board.

timmy toddler

Homeschool Curriculum Plan for Intentional Toddler Time

I might do more for Timmy than what you’ve already read about, but he is part of all that we do in the morning (Bible, math, literature and theme units). Therefore, I haven’t planned much more for him except some open ended activities.

Open ended activities:

He comes alongside Sam so much that it’s hard to say what’s just for Timmy! I just ensure there is always something for him to do and that I get on the floor and play A LOT!

Phew! I feel like these early years require so much of me! I feel mostly frazzled and crazy each day, but we make it through by the grace of God and both boys are learning – that’s all that matters!

What about you? What are you using in your homeschool this year? When do you start school?

Other posts you might enjoy:

Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers!

Want to share the Gospel with your toddler on a more regular basis? Want to start teaching biblical truths to your child but not sure where to start?

You’re not alone.

The Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers is a downloadable eBook designed to help you teach early learning skills to your child while instilling God’s truth.

One week at a time, I will guide you through sharing the Gospel with your child through various Bible stories and learning opportunities.

Click here to learn more about the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers.

This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy here.

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12 Comments

  1. I love that we posted about our school year on the same day! Great minds think alike. lol Looks like you have a fun year planned. I’m hoping to purchase What’s in the Bible for Christmas this year! πŸ™‚

  2. I am so excited I found your blog and posts! I am starting homeschooling this year with my 5 yo son and 3 yo son. I also have twins who will be 2 in Oct. Do you have any advice on managing those dynamics? I think I see a lot of busy bags, busy boxes and plans being scrapped in my future! I am a fairly flexible person by nature, but I just don’t want to do a disservice to my oldest by always putting him on hold. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to the Lord!

      1. Interesting! What are your thoughts for Math Mammoth and can you elaborate on why it wasn’t good for your son? I am trying to choose a curriculum right now. Thanks so much for your help.

        1. We used the Primer for Math U See and since it’s not mastery based at that level, it just proved too confusing to him. I think our experience would have been much different if we had just waited and started Alpha for first grade. He’s also a worksheet kid and the manipulatives just threw his brain for a loop. Math Mammoth was significantly cheaper for us and is more of a workbook format. I liked Math Mammoth for the complete open and go format (aside from having to print the workbook myself). I didn’t have to keep up with piles of manipulatives, and it was just much simpler for both of us. I don’t know if I will use it again next year. Haven’t decided, but I was very pleased with the first grade curriculum. I’ve read of others who use Math Mammoth in the elementary years for its simplicity and then switched to MUS for intermediate and beyond. So, it worked for us this year and we were glad for the switch. Math Mammoth wasn’t perfect, but it was a much more relaxing curriculum for me. I think it honestly depends on the child, and it may look different for my next two kiddos. We’ll just have to wait and see. πŸ™‚

  3. Wow! I just stumbled across this as I am considering homeschooling my son and daughter (4 and 2) and this is such a huge help! Thanks πŸ™‚