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My apologies for not getting this out sooner. As you will soon discover, this year our homeschool curriculum picks have a lot going on! That is because I heard of some new options just before the start of the school year, and after we actually started I decided to switch things up.
So without further adieu, here are our 2022-2023 Homeschool Curriculum Picks, with tons of secular selections. (Note: I believe Ambleside Online & The CMEC are the only providers listed below that have any religious content. We are not using any of the Christian titles contained in their lists. However, I am trying one of the titles for our Jewish learning, but I have not included that below.)
Brand new to us this year, and we will be implementing at least part of for ALL the kids:
Check them out! They have an amazing set of resources, supports, live meetings, recorded lessons, etc. SO good!
Waldorfish Weekly Art Foundations — this class has a limited registration window, but the others do not. Best part is the lessons are always available, even after the school year ends! We will 100% sign up for another course when this one ends.
Another new to me resource is the curriculum offered by the Core Knowledge Foundation. I first heard of this over the summer, from another YouTuber. The idea springs from E.D. Hirsch, author of many books, including the “What your [insert grader] needs to know. e.g. (link is to an older edition, as I believe those covers are more recognizable than the updated versions.)
I began looking into the Core Knowledge Foundation’s COMPLETELY FREE materials, and I kept seeing this book included with several of the packages that you can purchase:
How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation
So I decided to read it. And am I glad that I did! Essentially, it argues that the switch from a content based to skill based system of education is leading to worse outcomes across the board in public schools. A related book by another author that I plan to read is:
The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s broken Education System– And How to Fix It
TL;DR children far much better when they have a solid foundation of information which they can draw on as their education progresses. It’s very reminiscent of the arguments made in classical education books, in my opinion. See, e.g. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (this book is commonly in libraries, thrift stores, etc.)
The point of this long diatribe, is that I’ve begun to think a lot more about making sure that my kids are getting an education based on content, rather than skill. The truth of the matter is that I think they always have, but I am not explicitly thinking of it within the context of that paradigm/pedagogy.
That brings us to the end of this Ted Talk, here are our picks!
There has been a significant amount of movement in terms of our Kindergarten picks, so that’s the reason why this section may seem to have a lot going on! We are trying things, seeing what sticks, making changes, and moving forward.
Memoria Press Kindergarten Program (see the Charter versions) — so far this has provided the strong Phonics instruction and literacy backbone that I was hoping for. My daughter has enjoyed the science & social studies texts, as I suspected, and the art and music enrichment is truly amazing.
Core Knowledge Grade 1 History & Geography Student Book Collection — why first grade? Because they looked more interesting, and had more books. I only ordered the student readers, not the teacher’s guide. If you follow the link in the prior section of this blog post, you can download all of the materials — readers and guides– free, really.
Here are the topics covered:
Continents, Countries, and Maps
Early Civilizations of the Americas
Blossom and Root First Grade Science: Wonders of the Earth & Sky— we started this with my now third grader and loved it. I just had to reprint a student guide!
CMEC Form 1B selections (she will turn 6 in December, so I thought these would be a good fit)
McGuffey’s Readers (individual, or set) I think I got mine from Rainbow Resource, but they no longer have the same set.) You can also find these used on thrift books or ebay.
Ambleside Online Year 1 selections
BW Quill — a brand new program, I haven’t been able to find the books for August, so we haven’t really torn into this yet.
Saxon Math 1 — Saxon K does not have workbooks, so 1 was a better fit. If you’re unfamiliar with Saxon, it incorporates a lot of review, which is why it isn’t too advanced for my 5 year old.
180 Days of Social Studies: Grade K — I get these for my kids each year for what I call a “backstop.” In other words, when we don’t get all of our lovely homeschool plans and curriculum done, my kids will at least have something they can do. I also find that this approach fills in some knowledge gaps.
BW Dart — we are loving the August book so far.
Saxon Math 3 — this format works great for him.
Ambleside Online Year 3 — we are really enjoying these books together. Pagoo is just adorable. Head to the Ambleside Online site for the full book list!
Heroes and Myths— I actually bought this last spring, but it was too much to try to shove in so late. I have been wanting to cover Norse Myths & other Ancient Mythologies, so very recently, I decided to “cut up” the curriculum, move it around, and use it to suit our needs. So that’s the plan! I have posted on IG the other books I am planning to use with the B&R spines. Most of the titles shown are traditionally used by Waldorf educators. I think. What do I know? lol. I am using this for my 3rd grader and 6th graders.
Second Grade Language Arts: Fantastic Journeys and Perilous Quests— I haven’t even actually posted about this anywhere yet, because I haven’t received my printed materials. So, you’re the first to know! I am hoping to somehow use this with my 3 youngest kids, ages 5, 8, and 11– I figured I am shooting for the middle, sort of. It was very helpful for me to see how the creator of B&R herself is using the curriculum. Plus, I already got the American Tall Tales for the AO, and we have :really: enjoyed trickster tales in general. So I’m basically pumped. I am also looking forward to how the curriculum incorporates text passages into writing exercises, and the projects look cool. So yeah. 🙂
Wonders of Worlds Beyond: Oceanography & Astronomy — I’ve already talked about this before. We are just actually doing it now, lol. I am using this for my third and sixth graders.
Spelling Workout (grade 3, I linked to 6th because older son is using that)
G.U.M. (Grammar, Usage & Mechanics — note the cover, as there are different versions of this curriculum.) (grade 3, I linked to 6th because older son is using that). This curriculum has made all of my children very strong grammarians, lol.
Steck Vaughn Core Skills Science
CMEC Form 2 selections (a blend of B & A)
Ambleside Online Year 5 (we will likely do year 6 next year)
BW Arrow — he is LOVING the August book. I thought that he would, which was part of the reason I decided the kids would each read their own BW books this year.
Mr. D LIVE Math Classes (all 3 of my older students)– going well so far. My kids have figured out how to contact their instructors, and so they are getting all of their questions (mostly administrative) answered so far!
Steck Vaughn Core Skills Science
Russian History Reading List — he is really liking the Yelchin books, so far.
Ambleside Online Year 8 — so far she is really liking a lot of these.
Chemistry for the Logic Stage — I first heard of this through BYL year 7 (older edition), but didn’t understand how to actually use it until more recently. Very rigorous and high quality. I am hoping it will fill some gaps that we just haven’t covered yet.
Mr. D Math course
Russian Studies — I haven’t figured out which books to assign her yet, TBD.
Steck-Vaughn Core Skills Science
Mark Twain Media U.S. History Resource Workbook—Grades 6-8 American History, Influential People and Events from 1607-1865 in the US With Timelines
Spectrum Reading Comprehension Grade 8 Workbooks, Nonfiction and Fiction Passages, Analyzing and Summarizing Story Structure Using Context Clues and Citations, Reading Comprehension Skills
Memoria Press Biology (you’ll need to separately purchase the textbook) — very high quality, rigorous, and engaging! She is sharing what she learns with us regularly.
High School Science: Reproducible Physical Science— although we hit this topic last year, there are still some concepts that didn’t stick. I am hoping that using this as a supplement will do the trick.
MP British Tradition The Poetry, Prose, & Drama Book One: The Old English & Medieval Periods
First Form Latin (later Second Form) — finishing this up from last year
AP European History — this has yet to begin, so she has been focusing on Russian History.
CMEC Form 4 selections— including one from Tolstoy! Heart eyes!!
Literature & Composition II (discontinued, now on clearance.) — I really wanted to get her reading Ayn Rand.
Mark Twain American History Textbooks, Grades 6-12, The Dust Bowl, Roaring 20s, Henry Ford, and Industrialization Through the Great Depression
Vocabulary in Context for the Common Core Standards: Reproducible Grade 9
Russian Studies — this is really making for interesting dinner time conversations.
I think that’s it! There’s a good chance I forgot something, so I’ll come back and edit to include that if and when I remember.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this post helpful!