The end of the school year is in sight, and next year is just around the corner. As the semester wraps up, it is exciting to investigate curriculum options for the coming year. This week I started making the rounds to several of my favorite websites. In the past, these sites have recommended resources which have worked well for my kids.
Timberdoodle has customizable kits for every grade level and provides guides for scheduling each course. Because their kits are pretty expensive, I have never purchased one. Their website helps me find individual resources that work well for my kids.
One great find at at Timberdoodle was The Power in Your Hands, the writing curriculum my son has used for the past two years. I am considering having his younger sisters use this in high school as well.
I am thinking about using Easy Grammar for my rising tenth grader to review the grammar concepts she has learned in ACE English.
Timberdoodle includes Mystery of History, a four-volume world history course from a Christian perspective, in several middle and high school kits. We have enjoyed this curriculum in the past. Perhaps I will have twins complete Volume One for their eighth grade year.
Christian Liberty Press (CLP) has curriculum packs for every grade level, but I generally choose individual resources based on my children’s interests, their learning styles, and our past experience with similar courses.
I did not like their high school grammar courses, which seemed more theoretical than practical, but the study packs they have for Abeka science are thorough and economically priced. I am considering using one of them with my rising tenth grade daughter. I may also have her complete CLP’s literature recommendation.
CLP offers special packages for high school students with particular interests: College Prep, Engineering, Foreign Language, History, Law, Math, Ministry, and Science.
Their history track is especially helpful since my daughter really enjoys the subject.
CLP recommends studying French—a language my daughter cannot wait to learn. Their curriculum also contains a Business Math course for students who are not not likely to go beyond Algebra 1 and Geometry in high school. These courses might be just right for my daughter.
Sonlight’s literature-rich packages look amazing. Unfortunately, using their materials with a a houseful of kids is challenging. When I looked at some of their upper level packages this year, the program seemed complicated. Given the high price tag, their complete kit is not a great fit for us.
On the other hand, their literature and read-aloud recommendations have always been favorites in our home. Most of my kids enjoy gathering around and listening to a great story, and we have made treasured memories around such classics as The Wizard of Oz, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Bronze Bow, all of which are part of Sonlight’s packages. I might try to incorporate some of the literature selections in their Eastern Hemisphere package next year since my twins are very interested in Asia—Japan in particular.
Before making a final decision, I always check Cathy Duffy’s curriculum reviews. I prefer resources my children can use independently without a tremendous amount of preparation on my part. I gravitate toward Christian resources with a traditional educational approach.
Cathy’s reviews provide an Instant Key that helps me know whether a particular product fits my criteria.
I am a bit of a curriculum junkie. In my basement there are shelves and boxes full of courses we have tried. Some of these resources did not work for my older kids, but perhaps a few will be a great fit for one of my younger students.
Every couple years I clear out curriculum all my kids are too old for, and this is the year for that. While going through curriculum, I set aside resources my remaining three students might use.
My 13-year old daughter might really enjoy the Art of Argument logic course my older kids never finished. I should also pull aside that Mystery of History book I am thinking of using with my twins.
My SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership includes access to hundreds of courses. I recently had my twins start the video-based Basics of the Christian Faith class to gain a firm foundation in basic Bible doctrines.
I often download free resources we might someday use. I receive emails each week from Homeschool Giveaways with links to many free resources, some of which I immediately download.
Occasionally there is a great deal like a Build a Bundle Sale where I purchase discounted curriculum I plan to use in the near future. I catalogue these resources in an Airtable database so I can easily find them.
I am looking forward to trying out some new curriculum in the coming year and reusing some we already own. While planning, I will be sure to keep our schedule flexible. This will allow the girls to follow their interests for some independent learning. It will also give us the opportunity to try out new resources for Crew Reviews. I can hardly wait for a fresh homeschool start in the fall!
Where do you usually find curriculum for your homeschool? Please share in the comments below.