Mid-Year Homeschool Review

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This is the time of year that I take a look at what is working for us and what is not in our homeschool. By this point I have tweaked and reworked any curriculum that we have been struggling with.  But sometimes no amount of tweaking can help and we just need to scrap it and try again.

This year we are keeping most of the curriculum I chose for our studies. I broke down my elementary kids first (4th and 5th grade). Then I break down my oldest daughter’s High School choices towards the bottom of this post.  If you would rather just look at what we have used and loved for a certain subject, just click on the subject to direct you to that post (History, Bible, Science, Language Arts, Math, Art, Character Education, Preschool, Kindergarten).  And if you find it is easier to see a list of our favorite curriculum you can check out my Amazon Influencer page (

My 4th Grade Curriculum choices for Cupcake:

With Cupcake we have used all these curriculum before and are still very pleased with them so we will be sticking with the original plan for her. 

My 5th Grade Curriculum choices for Bubba:

Bubba has been loving doing his Math on the computer with Teaching Textbooks and mama is glad that there is no more fighting to get his math done.  He has also been enjoying the Draw and Write Through History curriculum since writing is not his favorite, but he really loves drawing. I plan to use it again with him next year.  I also created journaling pages to go along with the first 2 books in this series which you can find here.

Combined Lessons:

Bible – This year we are using a combination of Apologia Who is God?, Answers for Kids and What’s in the Bible? DVD’s.

We are sticking with this plan and it has been going well.

Daily Bible Reading & Devotions –Cupcake is continuing to read The Beginner’s Bible while Bubba works on his daily devotional, Gotta Have God: Cool Devotions for Boys.

This plan has been working out great, but I will be looking to add something in for Cupcake since she is nearing the end of the Beginner’s Bible.

Character Education – This year we are reading through Character in Action as well as Kids of Character and Portraits of Integrity. All three are published by Character Concepts.

Although we have used several of the Character Concepts books and loved them in the past, these are not working as well for us this year so I will be searching for a different Character Curriculum to finish out the year.

Science – We are taking a different approach to science this year and I am using 4 books, each one will cover a quarter of our year. I will have each of the kids pick a topic from that quarter’s book and do a research report for the quarter. We are using Guide to Creation, Guide to God’s Animals, Guide to Dinosaurs and The Archaeology Book.

I have really been enjoying these books and so have the kids. I don’t really have the time to do experiments and such that so many textbooks contain. But these books have inspired so many deeper conversations and that is what I love. I am totally planning to use the Guide to series again next year.

History & Geography– This year we are beginning our journey with the Mystery of History Vol. 1. I have used this curriculum with my oldest daughter and we loved it so much I couldn’t wait to start it with my little ones. Look for a future post on how we use the Mystery of History!

I love the Mystery of History and the kids are enjoying it too.  The stories lead to lots of questions and deeper learning.  I highly recommend!

Spelling – This year I created my own curriculum since I couldn’t find one that had what I was looking for.  I simply copy a few sentences from a book at their reading level, (we are currently using the Read and Learn Bible) and have them read and write it each day.  On Monday I introduce the words and we read and spell each of them outloud. I repeat this process for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Then on Thursday we use a game board to review the words of the week and what ever they get wrong they have to copy 5 times.  Then on Friday I dictate the sentences we have been working on all week.

Art –This year I am going to try really hard to actually get this in, lol. Cupcake will be using Home Art Studio 5th Grade and Mike’s Inspiration Station. While Bubba is going to be using How Great Thou Art and Art Class to help him improve his drawing skills.

Cupcake is loving Mike’s Inspiration Station and Bubba has been learning a lot from Art Class.  We will be continuing with these for the rest of the year.

Typing – This year I am introducing my littles to typing. We will be using Typing Instructor for kids. My oldest daughter used this typing program and loved and my little ones have been greatly enjoying it too.

Cupcake and Bubba have been loving this program as much as my oldest daughter did.  They ask to play for fun.

Music – We are beginning this year using HomeSchool Piano since we will still have a little bit of our free summer subscription still left. Once that is over we will continue with Piano lessons online, but I am not sure which program we will be using yet. I am trying to decide between Hoffman Academy, which we haven’t tried yet, and Homeschool Piano which we have and really enjoyed. If you have tried both I would love your thoughts on them both. They both get great reviews so I am torn.

Music has fallen at the wayside, but I hope to pick back up with Piano lessons after our Holiday break.

Now on to High School.  These are my oldest daughter’s 12th grade selections.  For Princess we have chosen to stick with our original course of studies since they are all working out really well for her this year.  If you have any questions about specific curriculum we are using this year feel free to post them in the comments below.

My 12th Grade Curriculum choices for Princess:

She is continuing to use Teaching Textbooks for Pre Calculus. I am so psyched they came out with the 2.0 version of this last year!

This year Princess is using the Virtual Homeschool Co-Op for her Physics program. It is free, but it is a little hard to know what you are supposed to be doing each day in the self led program. But for free I cannot complain.

She is using The One Year Adventure Novel this year, which she is enjoying so far. Not sure that I can recommend this product though. You basically don’t own the product and can’t sell the product once you are done with it. And to find this information you really have to dig for it.

We are continuing with Notgrass this year for Economics and Government. Not sure you can make these subjects fun, but she needs to take them. She did absolutely love their History program though, so I do highly recommend this company.

Since History did not have a Bible component this year we decided to give Masterbooks a try. She already owned Answers in Genesis Books 1 & 2, but hadn’t read them yet and really wanted to dive into them, so I found Creation / Evolution and the Bible. She is really enjoying this.

This is our second year with Rosetta Stone. It has been the only Spanish program that has worked for Princess and we have tried many.

For electives she is doing Total Health and Foundations in Personal Finance. She has been enjoying Total Health so far and will be diving into her personal finance program in the second semester.

I would love to hear what curriculum is working for you and what is not this year in the comments below.

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