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Homeschool Mid-Year Update | Malachi & Eliana

We're half way through the school year and as it is for many homeschoolers, it's a good time to reflect on how our year is going.

Today, I'll focus on school with Malachi and Eliana both because I have homeschooled them together since the beginning.

Malachi will turn 12 in February and is in the 6th grade. Eliana will turn 10 within a week and is in the 4th grade. Oh my how these two are growing up so fast! I'm so thankful that I get to be just a mom to them and be here to experience them growing up.


Malachi read #1-#11 in the Nancy Drew series, four Hardy Boys books, and many non-ficiton books from a wide variety of topics - like gardening, self-sufficiency, rocks, birds, animals, drawing, history and more.

Eliana is on Lesson 38 out of 63, so a little over half way through All About Reading Level 4. I plan to finish up the last 25 lessons and then start All About Spelling 4. I originally thought I would do both at the same time, but we decided to finish AAR4 first since it is the last level of reading instruction. In her free time, she loves to read stories about animals.


We started out with BJU English Writing and Grammar but felt a pull towards IEW early in the year, so I decided to at least watch the Teaching Writing Structure and Style (TWSS) videos. I did and fell in love! We started Student Writing Intensive A (SWI A) and finished Lesson 10 today with 4 lessons to go. Since we are doing IEW for writing, the kids have just been doing the grammar chapters (every other chapter) in BJU English, but eventually I will drop BJU for good. They are learning how to apply grammar more effectively with IEW, and I will add Fix It! Grammar (link to my review) next school year for a fun way to practice grammar.

They are both where they need to be in their G&D Italic Handwriting, too.


Malachi - Malachi graduated Math Lessons for a Living Education (MLLE) last year, so I placed him in MUS Epsilon. I'm so glad I took a chance with Math U See for him! I'm amazed all that time at what I am learning myself, let alone what he is learning. I really think it will give him a solid foundation as he gets ready for pre-algebra, but I will confess I panic at times when I look at other math curricula and see things he "should" be learning and is not since MUS is an immersion approach. When I mapped it all out, he will take Pre-Algebra in the 8th grade and Algebra in the 9th if I continue with MUS. That's perfectly fine with me. Though, I go back and forth about whether or not I want to do MUS or Teaching Textbooks for Algebra and beyond.

Eliana - I had Math Lessons for a Living Education 4 planned, but bought Math U See Gamma at the last minute. I had her start with Gamma, and so far she has worked through 23 out of 30 lessons. She said it was getting too hard so I let her take a break and start MLLE, and she's happy with it so far. Hopefully, we'll finish Gamma before the end of the year since we are so close.

Veritas Press Self Paced History

Malachi begged me last spring to let him start as soon as I purchased 1815 to Present. I hesitated knowing he would want to take time off in the summer, but he promised me he would finish it before his subscription expired. Well, here we are and it expires March 8th, and he is only half way through. He has finished 82 of 160 lessons. He is doing 2 lessons a day and is confident that he'll finish with time to spare at that pace, but I calculated that he would need to do 2 lessons a day 6 days a week to finish in time. We'll see how that goes.

Prairie Primer

The Prairie Primer which consists of nine units - one corresponding to each of the nine "Little House" books, is our core curriculum this year. We started late spring last year, so we have completed 7 out of 9 books. Topics range from Bible, to History, to Music, and Science. See a complete list of topics here. I added extra science, but I mentioned in My Homeschool Journal that it was too much, so I dropped that early fall, and we are just doing the science in PP.

We have some hands on activities to complete for our last unit and plan to do that this week before moving on to The First Four Years, saving Farmer Boy for last since this unit has us cooking and doing a lot of extra projects. I'm hoping I'll have a little more energy by the time we get there! I'm ready to be done with PP, but I want to finish strong.

That said, we will likely be done with Prairie Primer by the end of February or early March. I will reflect more when we finish, but can say with certainty that we will NOT start a whole year long curriculum in the spring again this year - I need a break!