We're Almost There


Phew! We’re almost to the end of the school year… (at least for those of us who follow a traditional schedule). How has the year gone for you? Any triumphs, surprises, or setbacks you want to mention? :slight_smile:

For us, I’m just glad we’re going to hopefully finish at the same time as the public school kids after taking September off to have a baby. :+1: I will say I’ve liked using the “Telling God’s Story” curriculum for Bible this year (the lesson book was written by Pete Enns). We supplemented it a bit, but overall the lessons were good and there were some fun projects as well. I’ll try to write up a more detailed review when we’re done. I liked that it focused on Jesus and didn’t try to push a denominational agenda.

We also had our first “mid-year curriculum switch,” but it was a good thing. Sonlight language arts just wasn’t working for us, so we’re doing All About Reading (first grade and preschool) and it’s been a nice change. The kids are doing well with it and I feel like I know what I’m doing, so I can’t ask for much more than that.


(Christy Hemphill) #2

This is our last week coming up because we will be heading to a member care thing in the US, so we have to wrap up a little early. It’s the time of the year when I reflect back on all the things that kind of fell by the wayside and make resolutions how next year I’m going to stay on top of checking their LA assignments more closely and do Spanish every day, and make them practice piano.

One thing that worked out well this year was we read one news article every morning. A lot of times we looked at science articles posted on the BioLogos Facebook page since they started doing that.

(Simone) #3

All About Reading is a great program. I used it with both my kids. With the first one we hit a wall in year 2 and then kept going again about a year later and used the rest of the program. For my second child, she too hit a wall in year 2 but for her it just didn’t end up being worth sticking with it. I don’t know what it is about that level, but I think they’ve made some changes since we used it. We were still using the original version. With my second child we ended up using Susan Wise Bauers “Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading” and it’s so simple and effective. My daughter actually said she wants to “keep it (the book) forever!”. She’s slightly dyslexic and even with that, it’s been a GREAT fit and she’s progressing much faster then she did with AAR.

This has been our 8th year homeschooling and it’s also been our best year with the least amount of curricula switching. Last summer I decided to go all out with Charlotte Mason education. We’ve always done a bit of it, but after reading some Charlotte Mason books last year I decided to really jump in with both feet. (“For the Children’s Sake”, “More Charlotte Mason Education”, and “Know and Tell”.) So we did mostly Ambleside Online this year and I am just SO loving it. My kids are too. The group who organized that curricula did an amazing job. It’s so much more than I expected it to be. I don’t see us switching from this ever. I had always been intimidated by it, but now that I’ve experienced it and played around with it - I am just so incredibly pleased.

One great curricula that is not part of Ambleside that we’ve loved this year is Kay Arthur’s inductive Bible study series workbooks for kids. Perfect for grade 5-7!


That’s a good idea! Great time to talk about assessing the reliability of different news sources too, in the age of fake news.

Glad that worked out! I’ve got their “First Language Lessons” book that I’m thinking of using next year.

(Christy Hemphill) #5

We did Writing with Ease, Paragraphs for Middle School (a SWB recommendation) and one year of Writing with Skill. It worked far better for us than SL LA ever did.


Thanks for the recommendations – I had high hopes for doing an “all in one” language arts program, but it just wasn’t working because there were too many variables involved at such a young age. I’m so glad we just isolated reading for a while and focused on that, but I’m on the lookout for ideas for the later years. I like what I’ve seen so far from Well-Trained Mind.


I love reading about how your years have gone!

I appreciated Telling God’s Story when we used it too. I got a lot out of it myself if I recall, and I appreciated the lack of a specific theological bent and the focus on Jesus. It’s a great curriculum.

I like the idea of a news story a day! I wonder if I could work that in somehow.

This has been our first year of high school. It’s been an adjustment! Managing time with high school work levels together with extra curricular stuff that hog time has been one of the bigger changes we’ve had to work out. They’ve made a lot of progress in developing study and time management skills this year.

I switched a lot of what I intended originally for this year. For example, after a locally taught 12 week LA course, I decided to lay more of a general foundation in composition and literature before we used a set curriculum I had purchased. We’ve switched foreign language curricula multiple times. I’m finding that one the hardest. I think mostly dislike how much time it takes when other things seem so much more important and interesting.

Teens are interesting–fun to teach in so many ways. We’re learning together.

I so appreciate that I can home school!


We school year round, since summer is hot. My high school kid is finishing up AP Computer Science and taking the test next week. Eek. He’s been focused on that course the last month, so he’ll need to focus on all the other subjects over the summer. His online Spanish will finish in June, I think.

The younger kids (4th and 6th) are almost done with history. We’ve actually spent a year and a half on it. Math they just keep going at their pace. They’re both ahead of grade level there. We had started IEW SWI-A a couple months ago, but then life happened and we didn’t get very far, so we’ll hit that hard over the summer. It doesn’t have to be finished this school year. My 6th grader has dysgraphia and autism, so going slow is helpful.

I haven’t thought much about next school year yet, and usually I’m planning that by February and changing things up by March. :joy: I am finding that with 4 kids (one is preschool), block scheduling seems to work better for us.