I used to review curriculum, now I create it

2016-2017 Curriculum Reveal

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One of the most common questions I am asked is what homeschooling is like with 5 kids. So I am creating a series to help clarify a typical day, our homeschool curriculum, homeschooling multiple ages, managing the crazy, a home tour, and more! Today we are going to talk about our homeschool curriculum choices for the year. I think the biggest indicator of just HOW awesome a curriculum is not how much I gush in a review, but rather if we are using it as our main curriculum. So THIS post is going to be the ultimate review. Not just what we enjoy as a family, but what we are committing to for this year! So go grab yourself a coffee or tea, a pen and a piece of paper, and find out our ultimate favorites for this year!

Feeling lost on what to choose for curriculum? With so many reviews out there, come find out what we CHOSE to use as our official curriculum this year! homeschool curriculum | best homeschool curriculum | how to choose homeschool curriculum | preschool curriculum | new to homeschooling | how to get started homeschooling | curriculum options | best math curriculum | best language arts curriculum | best writing curriculum | best social studies curriculum | best bible curriculum | best art curriculum | grade 2 curriculum | grade 3 curriculum | grade 4 curriculum | homeschool curriculum planning


Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Choice

For preschool this year, I am using an AMAZING all-in-one program I just discovered called Winter Promise. I don’t need to supplement it or add to it, it covers all my subjects including Bible, Math, Language Arts, Early Reading, Arts and Crafts (LOTS of this in there), Science, and Social Studies! It is set up with a weekly page for your main subjects and another weekly page for your language arts. Then you have your worksheets and activity pages after that. I assembled them all into a big binder separated by weeks so it is super easy to pull out the week, see at a glance what books I need (which it came with everything you see below), what pages we are doing, what resources of my own I need and what worksheets we will be completing that day.

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I know a lot of people will be aghast that I am doing preschool at all, citing articles on how preschoolers need to learn through play and all that. I have shared many of those articles on my page! But this is the awesome thing about homeschooling, I didn’t do preschool for my 2 middle children, but my oldest and my 4 year old both are little keeners. They LOVE school, they are ready for it, they are begging to do it and I absolutely refuse to tell them they can’t. Winter Promise is the perfect mix of academics and fun. There is a TON of arts and crafts and games and activities and songs and rhymes to keep it light and fun and gentle while still being a really strong foundation for her.

If you want to learn more or check it out, I am using the “I’m Ready to Learn” themed program with the “Letters to Little Words” Language Arts addition. You can get 5% off your order if you use my exclusive coupon code: HipHS.

Grade 2 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

I’ll start this off by stating that my little 6 1/2 year old son is a bit behind, so “grade 2” is essentially in reference to his age. He is really still using a lot of grade 1 and doing a lot of “learning through osmosis”. I don’t push him when it comes to school, the fight just isn’t worth it when he isn’t interested. Stay tuned for a blog post if you have a little one who you feel is behind as well. This year, he is using:

  1. Math U See
  2. Master Books Science
  3. Home School in the Woods for Social Studies
  4. Home Art Studio for Art
  5. Grapevine Studies for Bible
  6. Piano Wizard Academy for Piano Lessons at Home
  7. Brave Writer for Language Arts
  8. Foreign Languages for Kids for Spanish
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Some of those subjects he does together as group subjects with his older siblings. We do Science, Socials, Spanish, Bible, and Art all together as a family. So this is an opportunity for him to participate with everyone, he also supplements with fun stuff like Reading Eggs and even participating in some of his sister’s preschool crafts/games/activities. With him it is all about the fun. If I am not really engaged in creating an active learning environment, he’s in tears. But so far these programs are tried and true and he is loving them, especially the Social Studies (which I will talk about more in the next grade levels).

Grade 3 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

For my daughter who is going into grade 3 (ahhh!) we are going with a few of the same curriculums we have used in the past that have worked well with her and adding in a few new ones. Take a look at the list and I’ll try to explain it in 2 sentences or less. Ready?

  1. Math U See She really struggles with math and is a kinesthetic learner, so the hands on component makes this the only math that works for her. Read my review HERE.
  2. Master Books Science She will be doing the new Science Starter curriculum from Master Books, which is really clearly laid out, the books are amazing and it means no planning from me!
  3. Home School in the Woods for Social Studies. This is a new Social Studies for us, when I first pulled it out the kids thought it was art because we were making our own passports and postcard racks and timelines! It combines notebooking, time lines, lapbooking, mapwork, and more! It is hands on and the most fun we have EVER had with Social Studies, we do this with all the kids.
  4. Home Art Studio for Art. She will be using the grade 3 home art program with DVD’s and all our art supplies! We can’t wait to get started! Read more HERE.
  5. Grapevine Studies for Bible. This is a Bible curriculum we have reviewed in the past HERE. It is hands on, drawing through the Bible, perfect for my hands on daughter!
  6. Piano Wizard Academy for Piano Lessons at Home. This is an amazing home piano program that connects your computer to your keyboard and approaches learning like a video game! SO much fun! All the kids are doing this!
  7. Brave Writer for Language Arts. She is working on Jot it Down which means only 1 writing project per month, focusing on fun and creativity rather than too much technique and criticism, and she loves to write again! Read our review about the Brave Writer program HERE.
  8. Foreign Languages for Kids for Spanish. This is a super fun video series for kids that teaches them Spanish in like 5 minutes a day! Read the full review HERE.
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Grade 4 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

My oldest is in grade 4 this year (sob!). I can hardly believe how fast time is going! He is probably ahead in most of his subjects, so choosing curriculum is really easy. He reads at a middle school level, is very interested in facts that would bore me to tears! Any curriculum I put in front of him gets him excited so he is pumped about this year!

He is using everything that Selah is using above, just different levels, so refer to that list for links and reviews. He will be going into Delta this year in Math U See, which he loves. He is very familiar with the program, loves the digital lessons on his iPad and then whizzes through the workbook. He does his math completely independent from me now. Reading is as simple as buying him the next book in the series. He can read a large chapter book in a few days so I have trouble sometimes just keeping up with his appetite. He LOVES Home School in the Woods. He repeats what he has learned nearly word for word to his dad at night and loves showing him different presentations he has made, postcards he has received from famous people in history, etc. He loves the hands on component and will remind me if I don’t do it in a day.

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The only thing he is doing that the others are not is a different science curriculum. He is also using Master Books, but instead of the Science Starter series, he is going to be using the Elementary Zoology curriculum pack. He is ready for a bit more of a challenge and we LOVE their curriculum. He is counting the days until the box arrives and you will be seeing a full review on the blog in the months to come!

What are you using for homeschool curriculum this year?

Do you have questions about any of the homeschool curriculum above? Need clarification? Join the conversation below! Let’s chat about curriculum, share what you are using this year and why you love it! And don’t forget to check out the Master Homeschool Curriculum list if you need more suggestions!


  1. Hi Rebecca!

    I just want to say THANK YOU for your awesome blog! Your in-depth review of curriculum and honesty in your homeschool journey have brought me to homeschooling my own kids. I always look to your great site for advice and reviews of curriculum. With so much out there, it’s nice to have a “one-stop shop” for information.
    I’m still a total newbie, but have had great success with my almost 5 year old and this transition. He was in private school prior to our decision to home school. So again, thanks so much!

    Renee Pearson

  2. Hey Rebecca! Thanks for this detailed list of what you are using in your homeschool. I am an educator transitioning to a homeschool mom. Your blog inspired me to write my own homeschool blog. πŸ™‚ I will have a kindergartener and a preschooler this August. I will have to check out Winter Promise for my preschooler and maybe my kindergartener too! Thanks for sharing and being an inspiration to other homeschool families!

  3. You have inspired me to start doing preschool at home! I’m checking out the Letters to Little Words addition you made – which books/set did you get?

  4. Loved reading your curriculum reviews! I’ve got a 3rd grader, 2 kindergarteners and a 2 year old running around. πŸ™‚ I’ve been doing Life of Fred math with my oldest and it’s great for her! We did Saxon (which I’m a fan of) in 1st grade but it wasn’t her style. This is also our second year of Growing with Grammar. Again, a curriculum that works great for her! She’s a super fast learner and doesn’t need a lot of review. This curriculum allows us to go at a fast pace if she’s rockin’ & rollin’ or slower if she needs to take her time on a concept.For everything else (social studies, history, science, art, music etc) I make my own unit studies. This is a first for me this year and I LOVE it! I plan for my oldest while keeping my kindergarteners in mind. It’s super easy to do 2 grades this way! I’m not big on “formal” kindergarten, so I’m pretty chill with my 5 year olds. I have kinder math workbooks for them (that they’re actually almost done with). When they finish up that in the next couple of weeks, I’ll start Life of Fred with them also. They’re starting to read so we just read, read, read. I’ve also put together English boxes for them with games and activities they can do together or by themselves to help with spelling, reading, phonics stuff like that. Then for everything else they fold right in with our unit studies!

    We’ve done every year differently and so far I’m loving this one!! πŸ™‚ Love reading your blog! Good luck with yours!!

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I used to review curriculum, now I create it!