Well, the Summer is passing quickly, as it always does! I am trying not to stress over preparations for this coming school year. As many of you know, I was homeschooled myself from Kindergarten (back when it was practically illegal!) up through my highschool graduation. I have a great memory of my childhood and remember pretty clearly what curriculum worked well for my siblings and I, which books we loved and what books we despised. This knowledge has definitely given me a head start and extra confidence, but there are so many options out there and new publishers springing up all the time.
My oldest daughter is going to be 6 this Fall and will be working at the 1st grade level. I’ve pieced together a variety of books and activities for her over the past couple years to cover Preschool and Kindergarten level work. I’ve purchased a lot of stuff at Dollar Tree, library book sales, Costco and Amazon. Not to mention all the free stuff found on-line and in my mom’s home library. She has tested at a 2nd grade reading level and 1st grade math level. Even though her birth date is on the line between placing her in Kindergarten or 1st grade, we’ll proceed with first grade level curriculum. I feel that with her officially starting 1st grade, it is time to get serious!
I want to share my journey with you through the vast sea of curriculum choices. I haven’t made any final decisions yet, but I wanted to share what I am currently looking into. Though I was homeschooled myself, this will be my first child starting out in homeschooling. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old following behind her. I am also departing on this journey with a friend and her son who will be in 2nd grade. My hope is to find a curriculum that is all-encompassing, complete, with an easy to use teachers guide, lots of customization options and flexibility, i want it to follow the classical education and Charlotte Mason models, to be literature rich and use lots of stories that bring history to life, oh and I want it to be cheap! Am I asking too much? We shall see…
If money was no object, I would totally just purchase, without question, a complete package through Sonlight Curriculum. My family used this for years, and we loved it! But a complete package through them can cost $800+ dollars. You get A LOT of stuff for your money, but still, that’s a lot of money. Their packages can also be used for multiple siblings at various grade levels, which helps cut the cost for families with multiple school age kids. Of course, the advantage I have that my parents did not, is the invention of ebay, craigslist and Amazon used books. No matter what curriculum path I choose to follow, I will always explore the option of piecing things together individually, be it used or discounted.
Follow my trail! Here is a list of the places I have stopped in at this week:
- Cathy Duffy Reviews – Number one site for reviews! Buy her e-book for a complete list, some of her reviews are available free on this site
- Sonlight Curriculum – Somewhat pricey, but a great curriculum that is super fun!
- My Fathers World Curriculum – A top contender for this Fall
- Heart of Dakota Publishing – An other top contender for this Fall
- Calvert Homeschool – A serious education with live support and optional teacher involvement/assessment, but it will cost you over $1,000 a year. Not for me.
- Christian Liberty Press – A basic package of everything you’d need, without a lot of extras. No reading books included. Uses basic text books, so it would be up to you to supplement with stories and activities to bring things to life. Not a bad price though; around $150 for younger grades, $200 for older students.
- The Well Trained Mind
- CBD: Homeschooling
- 10 Tips
Has anyone out there used Heart of Dakota or My Fathers World curriculum? I am currently searching for reviews. Keep checking in and sharing insights from your own journey through curriculum choices!