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2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum {3rd & 5th grade}

We are on our 6th week of the new school year. This week is our first full week of school and Monday was our first Monday of the school year. We had a very full day and didn't finish school until 4:00, but we did everything I "scheduled" in my logbook. Mondays and Wednesdays are our full days, Tuesdays and Thursdays are our light days (great days for projects), and Friday is a very light day for a few subjects, catch up, field trips, nature walks, and/or co-op. It's also my prep day, but I have to start tidying the house, do the shopping, and plan our meals on Thursday to get that part in if we plan to be outside the home that day.

It's taken me awhile to share what we are using this year because I didn't feel our line-up was complete. I have one box on the way and that will hopefully complete our homeschool line-up.

Here's what I am using for...

History with Eliana

I started Bigger this past spring and took a break from the history at unit 10 - I felt like something was missing. It was all going too fast and my little homeschool love tank wasn't getting filled. So, I ordered the read-alouds and readers from Sonlight as a supplement. I was missing the living history books - real books that make learning history fun! 

Since I have the Core D&E guide, I went ahead and ordered the Landmark History of the American People (2 volume set) to make the most of our time in American History. I originally avoided this core because I didn't love the old Landmark book when we did this core with the older boys, but the new books are supposed to be easier to read and are in color, so I'm anxious to see if that is true.

History with Malachi

Malachi continues to do well with Veritas Press Online Self-Paced History. He is currently working on Exploration to 1815. He uses the history cards daily, and I pulled out one of the most common resources (that I own) for him to use as a reference along with the program (which really is enough in itself). (My review of Veritas Online Self-Paced History).  He is also sitting in with us for our Sonlight read-alouds and is reading the D&E readers.

I'm a visual person, so I fell in love with the "Visual Dictionary" series when I first saw them, so we will read those for a visual of each time period. (I ordered these from Amazon - affiliate link).

I do plan to row a few FIAR books! 

The first one up is The Hatmaker's Sign from Volume 4. I may or may not row Paul Revere, but we will read it as a go-along for sure. 

Language Arts with Eliana

  • All About Spelling 3
  • All About Reading 3
  • BJU English 2
  • Italic C
All About Reading Level 3 Review
Why I love teaching with All About Spelling
All About Learning Press (Affiliate Link)

Language Arts with Malachi 

  • Italic C, then D
  • BJU English 4
  • All About Spelling 5
  • English From the Roots Up


I am going to relax and enjoy nature study with the children this year. Our Botany studies over the summer laid a nice foundation and Pocketful of Pinecones inspired me to use more of Ms. Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study, so we will likely follow up with Lessons at Blackberry Inn. Science will likely include documentaries and books from the library on areas of interest. We will likely continue this through the winter and start something new in the spring. 

We are up to A Pioneer Sampler in Bigger science and will pick that back up when we catch up with the history. Excited for this one! 

(Links to Amazon are affiliate links.) 


We are using Math Lessons for a Living Education. Eliana will do Book 3. Malachi will finish Book 4 and Book 5 this year so I can start him on Life of Fred Fractions and Decimals & Percents next year for 6th.  

Homeschool Co-op

Eliana and Malachi took classes at our local co-op this quarter: art, chess, and music for both, and also sewing for Eliana. They both also played soccer and with such a busy first quarter, I'm really looking forward to settling into our school year. Slow won't come easy, but focusing on what's important will hopefully be easier. 

I may be interested in helping with a Wyoming History class next semester and/or a Science Fair or projects class. We'll see!

Next year

Here's my plan: I want to dig deep and enjoy one year of American History so we can start Prairie Primer in the spring or early summer. I've been wanting to do PP for a few years, but wanted to wait until Eliana was old enough to get the most out of it. I'm excited that we are so close! Malachi will continue with VP 1815 to Modern times during that time as well. I plan to do Young Explorers Human Anatomy and/or Nutrition 101 for Science to tie into Prairie Primer.

The future

After Prairie Primer, the plan is to do one year of Cultural & Physical Geography with MFW or North Star Geography (or both) or something entirely different (who knows what will come up by then) and tie in Five in a Row (by country) with Bo plus do Core A: Intro to World Cultures.

Then the plan is to start over with the history cycle - Cores G and H with Malachi and Eliana and Cores B&C with Bo, then Core 100 and Core D&E again!

Then I would love to do Where the Brook and the River Meet with Eliana. But, I'm getting way ahead of myself here. :)

I do plan to homeschool all three younger children through high school. While my two teen boys are loving public high school, it's on my heart to have them home again. I don't think it would be easy or even fun, but it would have to be their decision.

I am, however, preparing my heart (and theirs) for the long run with the younger kids. I especially need a hobby for Malachi. He plays soccer and chess, but needs some good boy hobbies until he is old enough to work. Luke just finished reading Created for Work to him (required reading in high school) and I'm anxious to keep his time filled with productive pursuits. We tried whittling and I recently bought him a metal detector and a tool for digging and will be looking for fun ways to use that. I even had the thought to find a way to move to our off-grid property to give him valuable work to do, but I'm afraid we'd be too isolated and the work too hard. It's easy to romanticize the Little House on the Prairie days, but it is hard work to live that way.

Wouldn't it be valuable work to teach the children, though? It was wonderful for teaching the older boys the value of work as they helped build the house, clear the land, and chop firewood. We are planning a trip next month to work (we need to replace firewood that was stolen), but it's hard to take the time and money to get up there regularly. Prairie Primer will be great for inspiring projects and I may sneak a survival course in there for Malachi (the sequel to Prepare and Pray) for more projects.

I almost included this in our line-up, but I took it out thinking it would be too much. Perhaps since I am slowing down, this would be a valuable tool to give Malachi some meaningful work to do.

Above all, I pray for God's guidance to do everything heartily as unto Him.