Our Curriculum for 2013-2014

First Day of School 2012

I know, it seems a bit crazy to already be choosing and ordering curriculum for next school year, but I just can't help myself. I like to know what the plan is and start putting it into action as best I can. (Not to mention we'll be having a new baby this summer so I might as well get as much as I can done ahead of time!) In the midst of any planning though I have to keep in mind Proverbs 16:9 which says, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." That being said, this is the direction we are taking in regards to our curriculum for the upcoming year:

Main Curriculum

We will be sticking with Sonlight as it has been a great fit not only for me, but also for our kids. I did some re-evaluating about half-way through this past school year and still decided that Sonlight was where we needed to be. Our older children will both be in Core C which will cover the fall of Rome to modern history. We'll be learning about Vikings, missionaries, astronauts and more. If you want a curriculum that is all spelled out for you for the most part, then this is it.

I feel it is worth mentioning that while there are Christian books such as the Bible Storybooks or the Missionary biographies, many books that are part of this curriculum are not written from a Christian perspective. My husband and I are okay with that though because we feel that we need to help our children learn discernment as they read. At this point that pretty much only involves discerning what is an evolutionary view opposed to Creationism.

Each Core comes with complete and detailed lesson plans that require very minimal prep on the part of the parent. The actual lessons however, do require a lot of parental involvement as this curriculum utilizes a lot of read aloud material. Although this is not as easy as handing our children a worksheet, I feel that the time investment is worth it. Our children absolutely love climbing all around me in our "school chair" as I read various books to them. Some of our Read Alouds have already become our favorites from Sonlight years gone by.

As I mentioned, our two older children will use Core C which includes Bible, History and
Geography, Readers and Language Arts and Read Alouds. I then choose a separate Reading and Language Arts for the second child. In otherwords, one set of readers and language arts comes with the core, but then I choose an additional one for the next child.

I also like using the cores because for subsequent children I only need to purchase worksheets and I can re-use the curriculum from prior years. If you decide that you want to use Sonlight, I'd really appreciate it if you used my rewards code. It's BZ20321238. When you register for a new Sonlight account, and use my Rewards ID code, I will be awarded points for your first order. In addition, you will receive a $5 discount on your first order if it's $50 or more.  Thanks!!


We also purchase the Science curriculum through Sonlight and we use the same level for both of our children.

Click here to get $5 off your first Sonlight order! We really appreciate it if you use our affiliate link because it helps us earn free curriculum for our children.


I'm currently reviewing All About Spelling Level 1 with our two oldest children. Depending on how that goes I may add that into the curriculum line up for the fall as well. You can look for a review for that soon on Purposeful Homemaking. :)


We have used BJU Press handwriting from the beginning and it is going well so we will continue with that.


Latin is something I'd like to add in eventually, but I am waiting on this one for now. It might be too much with a new baby, 4 year old and 1st and 3rd grader, but when we do start, I plan to use Memoria Press Latin Prima Latina.


This coming fall will be our 3rd year using Rightstart Math. It can be a challenging program so feel free to take it at your own pace. It is very hands-on, especially for the younger grades, and is a very thorough math program.

It too, can be parent-intensive like Sonlight, so keep that in mind. You're not just handing out worksheets with this program (although there are more once your child reaches Level C).  One thing that is phenomenal about the RightStart math program is its use of the abacus. This really helps children (and parents who never learned it!) about place value and trading and such. Using the abacus also helps to provide visual and kinesthetic experience as well. Lesson plans are very detailed which is perfect for this Momma whose academic strong suit is NOT math.  

Our oldest has certainly found it to be more challenging this year depending on what concept was being taught, but the foundation he is building upon is excellent. Our daughter has really enjoyed it and is thriving with it as well.


I will not be using a separate curriculum this year for our youngest who will be 4 in the fall. I feel that it will be too much too tackle with a new baby and the older two children's curriculum. However, he will still have access to his preschool basket and we recently got a Kindle and it is amazing how many free learning apps are on there. He loves using his 15 minutes of "free time" for some extra fun learning.

Every once in awhile it's fun to hop on Pinterest and find a cute craft that he would enjoy. And, of course as I read to the other two children he is always nearby playing with cars or in the school chair with us and I know he is gaining knowledge and understanding that way as well because he will interject comments or questions as we go along.

I will focus more this fall on specific letter sounds with him  and blend charts to prepare him for reading.

There You Have It!

I guess that about sums up our curriculum plans for the 2013-2014 school year. It is really hard for me to believe that I am making school plans for a third and first grader. Time sure does go by quickly!

If you homeschool, have you started working on your curriculum for the 2013-2014 school year?

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Brittany Thomas said...

I've already started buying next years curriculum as well. We are going to do Sonlight's Core C as well (1st grader and 2nd grader) but we are using God's Wonderful Works for science, Language Smarts for grammar, Wordly Wise for my 2nd graders' vocab, spelling, etc., Singapore for Math... I've gotten almost all of it now...just need to buy all the readers and read-alouds. said...

I have never heard of that science before, Brittany. I may end up switching Science but we'll see how this year goes. I liked Core B science but wasn't crazy about Core A. I think it might be better to stick with one topic longer. However, I really needed something structured this year so we'll see how this year's science goes. :)

Lana said...

Your post gives me something to think about... I am so close to buying the multipkg. Cora A from Sonlight. Have you ever bought the complete package before or do you usually piece it together yourself? SInce this is my first year homeschooling my kindergartner and preschooler I'm thinking getting it from Sonlight, where it's all laid out for me, would be best. Also, does the $5 off my first order from them have an expiration date? Thank you! said...

HI Lana,

I have always bought the complete package directly from Sonlight. You do get a 10% discount that way. I know it's more expensive buying it from Sonlight rather than ebay but if I'm using it for multiple children it will break down the cost each year. Besides, it saves me a lot of time having to piece everything together. I like knowing I have everything I need and that the books are in excellent condition because a lot of them we will want to hang on to for years to come. I don't think the $5 off has an expiration date...

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