It seems that everyone is blogging about their curriculum choices for the upcoming school year now that the end of summer is in sight! I thought I would join the ranks and publish our choices for the upcoming school year! I’m also going to post the prices I paid because I want to show that it does NOT cost an arm and a leg to homeschool your kids. I’m going to have a Kindergartner and a 4th grader (and a toddler), so my goals in my choices were to (1) have a Charlotte Mason feel, (2) be reusable and/or teachable to the family all at once, and (3) be DIRT cheap because I am THAT kind of a momma. I will buy used whenever possible, and I will wait for sales to get things very low cost. I’ll also use things online – free printables, copywork, etc. Anyway…here we go:
For Bible study/worship: We are using the Child’s Story Bible by Catherine Vos ($18 new). We will also look at artwork relating to the stories from “The Dore Bible Illustrations” book ($1 used curriculum sale) and “The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes” ($1 garage sale). In the evening before bed, I plan on reading the “real” version of the story we studied straight out of the ESV Bible (free tablet app). We will be using the Simply Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory Verse System as well ($3 for index card box and cards):
For Math, we’ll use Horizons math for both kids, and this was my most expensive choice. I bought the kits on sale for $53 each. I also bought a set of Saxon K-3 manipulatives off of Craigslist for $20. I bought Family Math for $7 used just to have on hand in case we needed some fun math activities.
Next up is Five in a Row Volume 1 ($35 new) which is Jacob’s literature, science, history, and art all balled up into one FUN adventure. Evie will also really enjoy a lot of the things we’ll end up doing, so she’ll be taking part in our “FIAR” time as well. The only thing you need to pay for is the manual. The books you use with the program (all classic children’s books) are available at the library for FREE. There are random things the manual suggests using for art projects, etc., but there are so many different ideas that if it isn’t in the budget to do it you just move on to the next thing. There are a plethora of blogs out there as well that detail how they do the FIAR books. Delightful Learning is one of the best, but I can assure you my school day will N-E-V-E-R be that organized!
For Language Arts, we will be using Queen Homeschool Supplies Language Lessons for the Little Ones and Language Lessons for the Very Young 2. I bought these used off of Homeschool Classifieds for $25 total shipped! We will also use the Pathway Readers (New Friends and More New Friends for Evie, Before We Read and First Steps for Jacob when he’s ready). I bought these at a local homeschool bookstore, and they were a combination of used and new for $40 including reading books, workbooks, and teacher’s manuals for both kids.
For history, we’ll use the Truthquest History manual ($20 used on Homeschool Classifieds) and library books (FREE). I also ordered the optional Binder Builder program that goes with Truthquest from A Journey Through Learning ($18). I also purchased The Story of the Thirteen Colonies/The Great Republic for $13 new as well as The Light and the Glory for Children for $6 used on Homeschool Classifieds. These 2 books are optional “spines” that you can use with our Truthquest book.
Our science text this year will be Considering God’s Creation – both the Teacher’s Guide and the Student book. I paid $30 for both used at the homeschool bookstore near me. I also scored a set of 7 Janice VanCleave science experiment books for $15 on Craigslist! (We’ll also read some fiction books from the library such as the ones by Holling C. Holling and Clara Dillingham Pierson…but I digress.)
Our geography program will be through Road Trip USA at Confessions of a Homeschooler. This was only $10, and we’ll use some of the ideas and facts there as well as books from the library about each state (the Discover America State by State books for instance). I also picked up an old version of Close Up USA that have tons of state facts and a giant state map for every state for $2 used. I snagged a giant laminated wall map of the USA and one of the world – both for $10 on Craigslist.
Lastly, we will be using the Prairie Primer for Evie’s literature-based unit study. Just like FIAR, this is based on the Little House on the Prairie books, and it covers Bible, science, writing, history, etc. You can make it as involved (or un-involved) as you’d like it to be by picking and choosing the topics of interest from each chapter of each book. I bought this new (on sale) for $40. We’ll get the books and go-alongs for this from the library for FREE.
For our fine arts subjects, I’ve done the following. For personal development, I bought a copy of A Child’s Book of Character Building ($13 new) as well as Wisdom and the Millers and Storytime with the Millers ($13 new for both). I also have “The Children’s Book of Virtues” that I received free on Craigslist. For poetry study, I have a used copy of A Child’s Garden of Verses that I picked up at Goodwill for $1. From there, we’ll use the library for poetry. I don’t plan on spending any money on music study, hymn study, picture study, or nature study (although I did buy a Nature Journal – $15 new – for my 4th grader). We’ll use Pandora for music study, the internet and Pandora for hymn study, library books for picture study, and the great outdoors for nature study! Art will be covered in our FIAR studies as well as the Prairie Primer study, but if I did need any extra art ideas, I would use the internet to find something interesting or our complete set of Draw Write Now books that I purchased for less than $10. For handicrafts, I bought Evie a latch-hook project at Goodwill for $2, and I plan on getting Jacob some Legos to manipulate (figuring $20 used).
So, for this year I’ve spent a grand total of $494 on my kids! I’ve been slowly gathering these items for 8 months now though, so it hasn’t been noticeable to our budget. I think there is probably about $200 worth of optional items that I did go ahead and purchase. I still will need to get pencils, folders, paper, etc…so I’m figuring somewhere around $50 for the year for those items. I also purchased things like a 3-hole punch, a laminator, some pencil grips, and a labeler with a promo code at Amazon for $16 total for all that. Again, those things are not vital to the success of your homeschool though!
If you’ve read this far, bless you! I hope this encourages you that it isn’t thousands of dollars per student per year to homeschool. For around $300 and some thrifty shopping you could build your own curriculum. Some even do it FREE simply using the library, the internet, and their printer. 🙂 I hope that this also gives you some ideas for curriculum choices you could make in your home as well! I am in love with EACH of my purchases, and I can’t wait to implement them in the next couple of weeks.