I’ll Tell You Why. Curriculum Review Pt. 2.

A while back, I began to review my curriculum choices for next year. My overall plan can be found here. I have almost everything in now and will begin organizing and working on overall lesson plans for next year. I REALLY wanted to have this completed before the end of this school year. I will continue to work towards that. However, sudden classroom and pantry makeovers, among other things have stolen my attention and I am definitely NOT on track to complete that goal.


First Grade items make me happy. I think I am a kid at heart. I love fantastic illustrations and the choices that I selected did not disappoint.

A Reason for Spelling ~ There is a lot of Bible throughout this curriculum. Each lesson focusses on one verse that is the same verse that is being used for practice in A Reason for Handwriting. It starts with a short phonics review and then begins with spelling word lists. Each list contains a variety of ways to practice the words and activities and stories to focus on the meaning of the verse for that week.

A Reason for Handwriting~ I chose this because each daily lesson is short and uses words from the verse of the week. These lessons are a “practice” for the big day at the end of the week where your child can select a background paper and then write out the entire verse for that week. It is suggested then to color in the paper and use these completed scripture sheets to send to a sick friend, turn into a placemat, or any other creative idea you can think of.

Apologia Science ~ After aborting A Beka science I was on the hunt for a new science curriculum. I couldn’t turn anywhere without running into Apologia. I read review after review and literally found almost no negative. This curriculum appears to have  a ton of hands on learning. It is for multiple age levels and offers a note booking journal. I am really curious to see how this one will go over. I have just heard so many good things, I can’t help but think, “How can a curriculum be THAT good?” I will let you know. I will be ordering this as soon as I sell off some more of our curriculum that we are finished with from this year. This kit comes conveniently labeled for each science experiment throughout the year with all of the necessary supplies.

Write About Me/ Write About My World ~ These are great and inexpensive books for beginning writing practice.

My Calendar Book ~ Additional calendar practice and practice in charting and graphing daily weather patterns.

6th and 7th grade curriculum just does not provide the cute factor anymore! However,I am looking forward to getting into all of these books and planning it all out. This is completely one of my most very favorite parts of homeschooling.

Teaching Textbooks ~ I  just love it. The kids just love it. It is so easy for them to understand. It provides explanations for missed problems and real life examples to implement the learned material. I found out last year while although I can DO math. I am awful at teaching it and I do mean awful. Trying to explain math concepts is difficult. I did not do well. I completely embrace the online approach and will stick to it. We are all happier this way.

Apologia Science ~ Astronomy for my 6th grader and General Science for my 7th.

Positive Action ~ I love their Bible curriculum. I have used it for 2 years now. These Wise UP books are based on Proverbs and I was able to purchase for just a few dollars each because they have redone the cover for this year. Yay for me.

Reading ~ I have selected 4 titles and purchased the unit guides for each title. We will be spending a quarter on each title. These guides offer, quizzes, project ideas, prompts for discussions and a ton more. In addition, my kids will do at least 30 minutes of reading of their own approved selections.

Writing ~ Open the Deck. I have noticed that it seems that most of the curriculum that I have looked at for language arts seem really skimpy in writing. This may or may not be true, but regardless this writing program that I have found looks awesome. It has very high reviews and goes through what appears to be super creative and thorough teaching of writing styles and basics.

Not so boring grammar ~ basic grammar review of parts of speech and all that jazz. Complete with a bit of a flair when it comes to the exercises. They do really look “not so boring”.

Expedition Earth~ These are the supplemental materials suggested to purchase for our Expedition Earth Curriculum. I still need to do the printing and organizing to put the kids binders and passports together. I look forward to doing this with all three of my kids next year. My crew is not so good at working together with their siblings. Magically they seem to turn into respectable citizens when placed next to a friend or stranger. However, ask them to do a project with one of their own peeps and they need some work. I am hoping that engaging in this year long program will provide some growth in this area for us. This program is so cool. It gives a great overview of different countries, prays for the countries and incorporates listening to their music, cooking some of their foods, and doing some international art projects. It should be a lot of fun for all of us.


IF you are new~ish to homeschooling you may be asking yourself HOW DO I CHOOSE CURRICULUM? This is my theory…you may want to sit down for this, as it’s pretty deep.

I am going to go in with the assumption that while I am quite certain that some curriculums are “better” than others, each one provides an opportunity to learn. All I can do as a parent educator is to pray, trust the professionals who have created the curriculum, read reviews, and talk to others for opinions. Ultimately, you absolutely can get lost and overwhelmed in the infinite number of choices out there. It can make your head SPIN. Spend some time researching, pick, commit and move on with life. Despite the distracting fun of shopping, I am pretty sure that learning is supposed to be the most important part.

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3 Responses to I’ll Tell You Why. Curriculum Review Pt. 2.
  1. Laura
    May 20, 2011 | 7:42 pm

    I love apologia…LOVE it. However, I wasn’t crazy about the notebook. It’s sort of unorganized, and has some boring stuff in it. I prefer making our own. Let me know if you want to take a look at our Botany one. ALSO, you can get kits with all the supplies for the experiments. Makes life SO much easier, and it isn’t too expensive. I think we spent about $60 on the Botany one.

  2. Charisse
    May 20, 2011 | 9:42 pm

    Hey I have a friend who is offering Apologia General Science for upper elementary at her house taught by an ex science teacher. She comes complete with all science experiment supplies etc. They meet once a week throughout the school year. Hit me up if you are interested.

  3. Melissa
    May 20, 2011 | 10:26 pm

    Darcy, I have been following your blog for some time now. Thank you for all of you information. I was wondering if you could give me an example of how you organize your lesson plans. Thanks again for all your homeschool tips. They sure help.

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