Mid Year Updates

I wanted to write up a post to share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s in between. So here’s a summary of what’s going on in our homeschool!


Our 4 year old is doing a 30 minute “zoom” preschool each day (excepting Wednesday which is yoga & she is not interested in). While she struggles to refrain from typing on the keyboard, she has become an increasingly willing participant & the teachers prepare an activity bag for her each week!

First Grade

Science— we are currently rotating through 3 difference science curriculums. Blossom & Root Wonders of the Prehistoric World (a third grade curriculum & rigorous), Blossom & Root Wonders of the Earth & Sky (a first grade earth science), and Bookshark’s first grade science (Level B? C?) Animals, Astronomy, and Physics. As well as studies weekly for our charter requirements.

Social Studies— still (slowly) chugging along with Beautiful Feet’s Around the World with Picture Books. He LOVES the books that are assigned & remains interested in reviewing the map for each new country we learn about. My only lament is wishing he could do some of the things more independently. Other than that, I’m loving the content and particular books assigned so far! We are also still doing studies weeklies for the charter.

Math— still working through Singapore Math (Primary) as well as the occasional math worksheet. He’s still loving math.

ELA— Still doing his several workbooks: Explode The Code, Spelling Workout, Handwriting without Tears, and the occasional worksheet. He’s also super into Reading Eggs’ new offering: Fast Phonics. (I’ve had to turn off the video games and shopping functions because he was spending more time playing than actually reading). I printed him out a winter break packet & discovered he understands the concepts of past & present tenses as well as the difference between a noun and a verb—score!

Fourth Grade

Science—this kid did wonderfully with REAL Science 4 Kids Geology! (Check out my Instagram for photos of his finished product.) He’s now moved onto the Elementary Astronomy. The format of the note booking pages works REALLY well for him & I’m looking for something similar for History. He is also doing studies weeklies to meet our charter’s requirements.

History— the Beautiful Feet California History is not working out. We are still reading the books occasionally, but this kid is not a big reader & we have too many standards to manage to do this all together. I’m brainstorming what to have this kid do instead, but had him start on the American History year I lapbook from bookshark to produce something that meets some state standards for the charter. He has started doing his studies weeklies online because he prefers the interface over the paper. He is also currently reading the Oregon Trail books & the assorted WWI & WWII books we got him for this new year.

Math— he is doing a combination of Spectrum 4th Grade math & Singapore math. He is not into Khan Academy at all. Additionally, I signed him up for the 4th grade math class through our charter, so we’ll see how that goes!

ELA— this kid’s writing has been exploding lately! He’s been writing short narrative pages about past presidents, and more recently creative writing passages. He prefers to type on google docs, and he used a dictation function to write a longer book report about an Oregon Trail book. He’s also still doing his various workbooks: spelling workout, Grammar Usage & Mechanics (aka G.U.M.), handwriting without tears cursive, spectrum vocabulary, and a 4th grade test prep workbook which has math and ELA that he really likes for some reason. The only subjects he’s interested in reading about are as follows: wars, presidents, guns (sigh), survival tactics, and rock and roll.

Sixth Grade

This has been a year of immense growth for this kid! Her reading has absolutely exploded & she’s become increasingly independent & self-disciplined with regard to her school work, so yay for her!

Science— she is still working through her Blossom & Root Wonders of the Animal Kingdom and loving it! She has done a few short narration passages and small poster board projects on different animals she’s learned about or wanted to research. I’m not sure what she’ll do once she finishes (as she’s on week 28), but we have several high quality options. She’s also doing studies weeklies for the charter.

History— in addition to having read nearly every historical fiction book in our house, including re-reading the Bookshark Eastern Hemisphere books that she wrapped up last semester (before I loaned them to a friend), she’s been very interested in books with protagonists based in different countries. She started working on the 6th grade bookshark history, which is world history year 1 of 2, and it’s been going well! She works at her own pace and is moving right along!

Math— this girl is loving her 6th grade math class! I even caught her “tutoring” her younger brother the other day in multiplication 😍 As far as curriculum, I’m trying to decide whether I want to switch her over to Saxon, because I’m not so sure Singapore is a good fit. She is also diligently working on Khan Academy on a daily basis.

ELA— in addition to her daily workbooks, GUM, spelling workout, etc. she has been reading up a storm. I am working on figuring out writing projects for her. She will be taking the Brave Writer Arrow class in February for the selection of the month: The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales— “a 1985 collection of twenty-four folktales retold by Virginia Hamilton and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. They encompass animal tales, fairy tales, supernatural tales, and tales of the enslaved Africans.” I’m hoping that the teacher will be able to facilitate meaningful discussions among the kids enrolled in the class, as I believe Black literature should be a cornerstone of any well rounded program. (My goal is to fit as many different perspectives and stories as we can for my children’s educations.)

Seventh Grade

Science— she finished up her REAL Science 4 Kids middle school Astronomy, and is now off to the races on Geology! Very happy with the rigor of the program, and will likely have her doing the physics and maybe chemistry next year. We purchased the lab kid for Geology, so I’m looking forward to her getting to work through the experiments.

History— she is working through the bookshark 7th grade history (world history year 2). She does very well with the format, and is diligently completing the lapbook. She is also finishing up the Beautiful Feet History of Classical Music, which her sister will start when she’s done.

Math— she’s working through Saxon Math 7/6, which is going well. It is going so well I’m considering switching over my other kids. She is also in a 7th grade math class through our charter, which she enjoys.

ELA— she has been THRIVING on Brave Writer Boomerangs this year! In addition to the written work, she took the class in August (EMMA) and has been working on a novel from another character’s point of view for 5 months now with a girl she met from the class. She is taking the class this month for “Other Words for Home” a book about a Syrian refugee family. She’s already discussing writing a sequel with some of the kids from her class! Coincidentally, this month her Hebrew school class hosted 2 girls who were refugees from Afghanistan. Her BW class has various group and individual writing assignments, and includes a weekly live chat on Fridays. I HIGHLY recommend!

I think that’s it! Feel free to let me know how your homeschool year is going in the comments! xoxo

2 thoughts on “Mid Year Updates

  1. I LOVE this post so much. I didn’t realize how much changes within the academic year in homeschooling- online school is usually the same structure throughout. Honestly, this is one of the major things I love about homeschool, it is what YOU want it to be like and goes by YOUR rules! I figured out so many new things along the first semester and added them to the second. Love reading about mid-year and curriculum updates! <3

  2. Yes! I just can’t get enough of the posts where people talk about how a particular curriculum worked or didn’t work for them. I feel like there’s so much helpful insight, and people go more in depth about the specifics of various programs in those posts!

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