Monday, September 5, 2016

Curricula Choices 2016-2017

It's been quite a few years since I've shared what we use for curricula. This year I have a tenth grader and a seventh grader. I am an eclectic homeschooler. We use curricula from various companies at various levels and work where my boys are in their abilities. It's worked for us for fourteen years so we continue.

My 10th Grader:

He will be doing a few of his classes online through Virtual Homeschool Group (VHSG). If you've never heard of VHSG it's an online co-op that offers free classes. It's growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, it grew so much this year that only "early seating" families (those that volunteer to teach, grade, or build classes and/or donate money towards the cost of the servers) were able to enroll in live classes. They do offer "at-your-own-pace" science and math classes that anyone can use and it looks like their "Book Masters" classes will also open for AYOP this year as well (literature studies). 

My 10th grader will be using VHSG for the following classes:
  • Algebra 1 - using Saxon math
  • Spanish 1 - using Destinos
  • Government - using Notgrass (1st edition not the new 2016 edition)
  • Chemistry - using Apologia 2nd edition (which can only be purchased used these days)
I used Saxon when I first started years ago with my oldest son and didn't really like it. We have used all kinds of different math programs over the years. We're heading back to Saxon because it's what VHSG uses and he can attend a live class four days a week as well as go to open office hours if he runs into trouble. Math confuses me. Numbers don't make sense to me so all of this makes me very happy!

Spanish 1 will be using an online program. Although, the students do have a textbook and workbook to use as well. It's actually designed for college level and there are 52 lessons. However, for high school, they will do the first 26 this year and call that Spanish 1 and next year they will complete it for Spanish 2. He will also be attending a conversational Spanish hour through VHSG to practice even more.

Government is only a half semester program. In the spring, he will utilize VHSG once more for the Notgrass Economics course. 

Last year he did biology through VHSG and it worked out very well. He does all the book work through the group and our local homeschool co-op did all the experiments. We will be doing the same set up this year. Our co-op will be doing chemistry. This works great for me as all I have to do is schedule it for him. Although, I am correcting lab reports for VHSG chemistry. I also added in a middle school chemistry book, Exploring the World of Chemistry, that he is going through quickly. However, I felt it would give him a very good overview of chemistry that he can then delve into with the Apologia book. 

Off-line he will be doing Notgrass' Exploring America (2007 edition) program. Once he completes this he will earn a credit in history, a credit in English (literature and composition) and a credit in Bible.  I had actually planned for him to do Rod & Staff English 9/10 this year but dropped it (he doesn't even know this yet) once I realized it would end up being too much for him. However, he will still be doing Writing Strands to beef up his writing skills as well as Rod & Staff Level 8 spelling (his last year to do this). 

I also added in Rod & Staff's Level 9 reading comprehension for him this year. I felt it would be good practice for future standardized tests as we have never done a reading comprehension program before. 


My 7th Grader:

Just like his brother, my youngest will be taking some classes through VHSG as well. He will be taking: 
I switched to Notgrass for history for this kiddo as well. We will be going through their America the Beautiful program. This program covers geography as well as literature. It's harder than he's used to but I think we've finally gotten over the issues we had when we started last week. He seems more diligent in getting it done.

He is also doing Rod and Staff Spelling (Level 4), English (Level 5), and reading comprehension (Level 5). His work load increased dramatically this year and he's finding his rhythm. Well, that and we had a rather heated "discussion" about stepping up. He tends to have difficulty in focusing so that will definitely play a role for him this year. 

He will be doing Writing Strands as well as a handwriting book this year as well. Lastly, he is doing math practice online using XtraMath, learning how to type with a free online program, and Spanish using Rosetta Stone

This year he will be learning how to focus better when it's time to do schoolwork and making sure he is diligent about completing everything given him to do daily. 

My boys also participate in our weekly Youth Group on Sunday nights, karate twice a week in the afternoons, and weekly music lessons. Both boys play two instruments. They both play the piano. My middle son also plays the drums (yes, we have a drum kit in our basement) and my youngest plays the violin. We also participate in our local homeschool co-op on Fridays. Needless to say, it can sometimes be a lot but they continue to step up.


  1. Looks like a wonderful year filled with lots of adventure! Hopping on over from the Back-to-School blog hop :)

    Happy Homeschooling!

  2. I hope Notgrass is a great fit for your family this year!


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