Homeschool Curriculum for Grades 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10

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Our homeschool curriculum for the year has some old favorites as well as some new items that I’m testing out as I teach 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th grades. 

Homeschool Curriculum | Life as Mom

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This week is the week! The kids and I go back to school! I’m excited, thus the early start. But, I also know I tire easily. We may go in four week sprints. I’m not sure. Time will (most certainly) tell.

This blog serves as a very convenient record of our homeschool curriculum over the years. This is my 6th year recording it for posterity. Haha! I share it so that if you’re looking for something to fill a gap in your own family selections, you’ll have a new idea to try. Or if you’re just curious!

Mine is by no means the definitive curriculum for homeschools, just for our family for this particular year. Next year could be totally different. Total box of chocolate scenario here. You never know what you’ll get.

And I really really hope it isn’t that gross fruit and nut concoction that See’s smuggles into the Nuts and Chews every year, the one that I spit out into the trashcan every time. Ugh. Here’s hoping for a great school year, right?!

Our Homeschool Curriculum for the Year

Homeschool Curriculum | Life as MomIn years past, I’ve shared our curriculum choices in a number of ways. If you’re interested in a walk through time, you can check out these pasts posts. I’m sure they show an electric progression as I learn my way through all the ages and stages. My kids have survived me as their teacher. So far.

Homeschool curriculum by topic

Homeschool curriculum by grade level

This year, I thought I would lump it all together. In this post you’ll get the rundown of curriculum for our kids in grades: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

I’ll be advising my college student here and there — and carting him to the train 4 mornings a week. I’m trying not to be a helicopter mom, but I want to available to offer what help he needs. His living at home during college is a gift, I think. I’m looking forward to those morning rides to the train as a way to connect.

Homeschool Curriculum | Life as Mom

for Everyone

Weekly Check-ins: This is something new thing for this year. These are happening on Sunday nights, I hope. This is when the kids will set up their weekly to do lists and go over them with me. They each have an assignment binder (which I’ll share next week once we’ve tested it for a few days) from which they can copy their assignments for the week. Obviously, this will be easier for the big kids than it will be for the little ones.

Morning Meetings: We’ve always started most school days with a morning meeting. This has evolved over time as the kids have gotten bigger and attention spans have waxed and waned. This year we’ll read a chapter of the Bible together and talk about it. This is also my HEY! I NEED YOUR HELP IN XYZ SO I DON’T GO CRAZY time.

Daily Check-ins: The time for me to check-in with kids about their independent work, sign up on completed items, and make sure they file. I really don’t want a big stack of papers to sort at the end of the year.

Teatime Tuesdays: This is a new addition to our week, influenced heavily by Brave Writer Poetry Teatimes. Poetry is not one of my strong suits, but if tea and scones are involved, maybe I can adapt.

Cursive penmanship: This is not a huge deal to me, but one that I think is important enough for us to give it a go. The older kids have worked on this off and on over the years, but no one really feels comfortable doing it. (It’s really important to Grampa Jack!) My bottom line is that they need to be able to read the original Constitution. 🙂

Ways I’m making it easier: In addition to writing out all assignments for the year, I ordered student pages already printed from Peace Hill Press for the younger kids’  history and the writing. My life is too crazy to make photocopies. I also recorded spelling tests for the whole year in the app on the iPad and printed out all the tests for the year for history and science.

2nd grade homeschool curriculum

My girl isn’t quite an independent reader, so that is my goal this year. That she would love to read is one of my biggest hopes. She is the one who will need the most help from mom on a logistical basis. I kinda think she likes it that way.

Grammar: First Language Lessons 2

Writing: Writing with Ease 1

Reading: finish Phonics Pathways; lots of reading together

Spelling: Spelling Workout A in conjunction with the spelling app on the iPad.

Math: Saxon 2

Science: Science in the Beginning

History/Literature: Story of the World, Volume 1

Extras: swim lessons, running club, learning to type, Latin and French videos, Duolingo and other learning apps

Homeschool Curriculum | Life as Mom

4th grade homeschool curriculum

This girl is a go-getter. She can do pretty much anything once she decides to do it. She’s got a lot of drive and natural ability. Some of the books on her list are those that we didn’t finish last year.

Grammar: finish First Language Lessons 3

Writing: Writing with Ease 3

Spelling: Spelling Workout

Reading: independent an hour a day

Math: Teaching Textbooks 4

Science: Science in the Beginning

History/Literature: Story of the World, Volume 1

Extras: planning and cooking one meal a week (because she really wants to), swim lessons, running club, learning to type, Latin and French videos, Duolingo and other learning apps

6th grade homeschool curriculum

This guy is a sweet heart. He really cares about how people feel and having me tuck him in at night. While he took off like gangbusters in reading at the end of 1st grade, the physical act of printing was difficult. So, spelling and writing were just too much of a fight in his earlier years. I have a feeling that this year we will make up for lost time.

Grammar: English & Grammar, Grade 6

Writing: Writing with Ease 3

Spelling: Spelling Workout

Reading: independent an hour a day

Math: Teaching Textbooks 4

Science: Science in the Beginning

History/Literature: Story of the World, Volume 1

Extras: Minecraft online class, swim lessons, running club, learning to type, Latin and French videos, Duolingo and other learning apps

Homeschool Curriculum | Life as Mom

8th grade homeschool curriculum

This kiddo is the one who loves art and music. As a result, we’ve struggled in math. Oy. We are working to catch up and fill in the gaps before he starts high school work. That said, he’s really a pleasure to be with, so I have no real complaints. Just want those college doors to be wide open.

Grammar: Language: Usage and Practice

Writing: Brave Writer’s Help for High School

Spelling: Apples Daily Spelling Drills

Vocabulary: Vocabulary from Classical Roots B

Reading: independent an hour a day

Math: ALEKS self-paced

Science: Exploring Creation with Physical Science

History/Literature: Beautiful Feet Ancient History

Extras: piano, swimming, running learning to type, Latin and French videos, Duolingo and other learning apps

10th grade homeschool curriculum

Now that one son has graduated from high school, I feel like I have a little more of a clue of how this should all go down. My first child said his regret from high school was not being more on the ball with math. My bad.

With this child, already my regret is that we didn’t get farther in our French curriculum last year. My bad again. I’m delegating this year as a result. As luck would have it, I WON a free semester from Language City. I’ll give a report in the new year to let you know how it goes.

English 10 (Grammar: Language: Usage and Practice High School, Writing: Brave Writer’s Help for High School, Spelling: Apples Daily Spelling Drills, Vocabulary: Vocabulary from Classical Roots B, Reading: independent an hour a day)

Math: Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2

Science: Exploring Creation with Physical Science

History/Worldview: Veritas Press Omnibus 1

Foreign Language: Language City French 1

Performing Arts: Filmmaking from the First Directors

PE: Swimming and Running

You can get a $25 discount off a Language City class, when you use this code: VIZ40

Whew! So, that’s my year. Wish me luck, eh? And pray real hard.

What’s your homeschool curriculum looking like?

If you do extra learning after school with your kids (not specifically homeschool), share that with us, too. What are some of your great finds of the year?

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  1. I’ve been a silent follower for a while now… But I couldn’t help asking: How do you use SOTW with your younger kids (my kids are 9 and 6, plus almost 3 and a newborn)? Just read aloud then discuss?

    1. I use the activity book and tests (for the 4th and 6th grader). We read, discuss, do some of the activities, and the older ones answer the test questions while my youngest does a narration page.

  2. I love your blog, and have pinned many things from it in preparation for our homeschool journey! We just started Kindergarten a few weeks back, and I’m happy to report so far so good! I just published our curriculum choices on my blog, which is slowly but surely getting a homeschool taste. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom! 🙂

  3. 2nd grade this year
    Math – Saxon 2
    Spelling – all about spelling 1
    Reading – anything we can get our hands on 🙂
    Read to the therapy dogs at the library
    Meet 1 time a month with friends who have focused on the same book
    Writing – more focus this year on writing vs narrating
    History – story of the world (blue book, I don’t remember what number-2?)
    Science – apologia -anatomy and phisiology
    Music- violin
    PE – swimming and games

  4. This year I have 4th, 7th, 10th. Our basic rundown is
    Bible: all together- What Can I do (Apologia Press) plus each has some individual
    Math: Teaching Textbooks for the older 2 (Geometry, Grade 7) & Singapore Math for the youngest
    Language Arts: various workbooks & Jump In
    History: Sonlight 20th Century World History (with some additions for the younger 2)
    Science: Apologia Physics (for the oldest), younger 2 not yet determined
    Various Electives like typing, music/art appreciation, French, & other cultural studies

    I was needing a good science for the younger 2, and I really like “Science in the Beginning.” I’m thinking about using that with my 4th grader, and I think the 7th grader will want to join in. The 7th grader has been doing some science just for fun from the “Exploring” series by John Hudson Tiner, and I think she’ll continue to do some of those along with other work. They have a chapter to read and a quiz at the end of the chapter. She really enjoys the independence.

  5. I remember you wrote about missing the PSAT with your oldest son. As a friendly recommendation: you should start planning for the fishboy in 10th grade to take the PLAN test this year even if he’s not ‘fully up on the math’. It’s good experience for the PSAT and if he scores well enough on the PSAT in junior year, many schools will give some money for national merit achievement on the PSAT.

      1. The PLAN is the pre-ACT
        I don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard homeschooled kids could be able to join in on the local high school/district’s test day…
        The PLAN is designed for 10th graders, and the SAT/ACT and PSAT/PLAN have grown closer together over the years.
        The PSAT for National Merit purposes is meant to be taken in 11th grade, so many schools use the PLAN as a practice

  6. Do you do phonograms along with Spelling Workout in early years? Are you pleased with results of Spellling Workout? I want my kids to know the phonograms and spelling rules do you just do those in addition ( I read you did SWR at one point)

    I have a lot of little kids and don’t have time to sit and spend much time on spelling so trying to determine what’s best.


    1. I’ve always done phonograms for teaching reading. I’ve never been super consistent with Spelling Workout. I switched back to it about 4 months ago from SWR because I needed something that took less brain power from me. I will be combining the concepts of both this year.

  7. Man, everybody gets a whole hour of independent reading?? I’m jealous. 🙂 I LOVE to read.

  8. My kids will be starting their third year of online classes from Laurel Springs School. They are in grades 8, 10, and 11. We’ve been very happy with the course selection and rigorous curriculum thus far.

  9. You have years of homeschooling experience. What are your thoughts on the the Classical Conversations Program?

    1. Hmmmm…. that might be a loaded question. Most people I know who do it LOVE it. To the point where they get very defensive if anyone says anything negative about it. I looked into it about 2 years ago, but found that it didn’t appeal to me because my kids would have to be studying different eras of history (at least at the local group – I have no idea if all are the same). I’m kinda a stickler on that because it makes things so easy when you’re teaching several children. My high schooler is reading the original text while my 2nd grader has picture books, but MY MIND is in one time of history. I like that. It also gives my kids common ground with each other for discussion. (And yes, they do discuss history in their free time. haha!)

      I think it’s probably a great program. I get the impression that it’s very intense. If I had fewer children, I might be able to be that intense, but I’m not.

      Anyway, all that to say, I don’t have first hand experience. Those are my impressions and why I’ve chosen not to pursue it.

  10. Thank you for sharing your curriculum! I have a 7 year old boy and 5 year old girl to teach. Plus their twin siblings, 2, and new baby due in Sept. And I help my hubby with his home-based business. Yikes! My plan is to do math independently with each big kid and then do everything else together. They are almost at the same level for reading anyway! Also planning a Tuesday-Saturday school week so I can focus on the business stuff on Mondays when the phones are ringing off the hook, and focus on school on Saturdays when things aren’t as crazy. I know I won’t be able to fit in everything every day so I am planning to alternate subjects on different days of the week.
    We are doing:
    Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays:
    Math: Saxon Math 2 (7-year-old) and Saxon Math 1 (for 5-year-old)
    Spelling: Zaner Bloser Spelling 1
    Grammar: Shurley Grammar 1
    Reading: Hooked on Phonics First Grade (used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons last year, hopefully this builds on that)
    Handwriting: Zaner Bloser Handwriting 2 (cursive)

    Wednesdays and Fridays:
    History: Story of the World Vol 1
    Foreign Language: Spanish Champs
    Religion: Memorizing scriptures, starting with the 23rd Psalm.
    Science, Can’t remember the name of the Science textbook
    Music: Learning the recorder, can’t remember the name of the book
    Plus I hope to read aloud every day for 20 minutes, starting with the Chronicles of Narnia. Whew, I am tired just looking at my list!

  11. I started following your blog when I was having difficulty with my daughter’s school and was considering homeschooling. Haven’t made the plunge yet, but I still follow just in case we do, and I also find a lot of ideas for supplementing her school at home.

    My son is going into his second year of college this fall, and he is also commuting. I look at it as a huge gift, as I know he had always planned on staying in a dorm during college. But, after scholarships and grants and a tiny bit of student loans, it turned out that his school costs were completely covered, except for room and board. I left the decision up to him, whether to get additional loans to be able to live at school or to commute. He chose commuting, and I am so glad to get these extra years with him at home. He still occasionally wishes he was able to live at school, but he remembers how little he’s going to owe when he graduates compared to the loans he knows his friends have, and that he’ll be in a better position than many to afford his own place when he graduates and gets a job because of that.

    And I also enjoy all of those rides to and from the train. It really is a great time to connect and keep up with what’s going on with him.

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I am so glad to hear from a mom who’s gone before me in the college commute thing. I would love to know all your tips. And how funny that your son does the train, too. 🙂

      1. We’re pretty lucky in that the train station is at most a 15-minute drive from our house. That’s nice for me since it’s a round trip twice a day to the station. His train is generally on time, but I always bring a book or some work to do if I end up waiting. He goes to school in Boston and it’s a little over 30 minutes for the train ride and another 15-30 minutes by subway to his school. He brings a lunch four days out of the week, and will buy himself lunch on Fridays. Most days, I make chicken wraps, either Buffalo or Caesar. He could eat on campus, but it would get expensive and while the food is good, it’s not that great. So he chooses to save his money eating homemade lunches most days, and on Friday he goes to a nearby place for takeout lunch. He also got gift cards to Starbucks and his favorite lunch places for his birthday and Christmas from family members, so that helped cover a bunch of those lunches.

        He doesn’t love having to commute, and will occasionally complain, but he also says that he knows it will be worth it in the end, especially with all the news stories about student loan debt now. He especially didn’t like it this past winter with all the snow we got. It doesn’t hurt that his girlfriend is going to school in a town closer to us. Since he’s living at home, he can use the car to see her every weekend and occasionally during the week. If he lived on campus, he wouldn’t have a car and wouldn’t be able to see her as much.

        It was a pretty big transition for me as well. I have to remember that he is an adult now. I do ask that out of courtesy he lets me know when he’ll be out, and especially if he’s visiting a friend and ends up staying the night, so I don’t worry. It’s a little harder to let go, I think, with him here so much of the time, like he’s always been. But I’m making a big effort to do that, and I think I’m succeeding for the most part.

        1. Oh good. I’m on the right track telling him he can pack from home or eat out on his own dime. 🙂

          Our station is just 2 miles away and his ride is about 25 each way which beats traffic most days. Some days he’ll be able to ride home with my husband who works on campus, but other days are late. He has three-day weekends worked into his schedule, but my guess is that he’ll need to be diligent with study time. Does your son go into school for study days or is he able to swing it at home?

          Thanks for all the advice!

          1. He did most of his work at home. The only work he did at school was when he had down time between classes. That will probably change this year, though. His major is Industrial Design, so he didn’t have a lot of studying outside of his required English class. Almost all of his other work was hands-on projects. Sophomores and up have their own studio space, so this year I expect he will do more of the project work there so as not to have to take it back and forth on the train. He worked his schedule so that he will have some down time before and between classes to allow him to spend time in the studio, but may end up having to go in on weekends if he has larger projects due.

            Since his girlfriend is closer to home and he’s living here, he’s also spent more time with her and his other friends that are in schools nearby, and maybe hasn’t made quite as many close friendships with classmates than he would have otherwise. I’d guess if he had, he’d spend more time studying on campus. I sometimes thing it would be nice if he were more involved with stuff at his school, but since he has a good group of friends he’s close with, I can’t complain.

  12. 5th grade:
    History: SOTW2 and World History Detective (selected chapters)
    Writing: Writing and Rhetoric (books 3-4) and IEW Medieval-based History Lessons
    Grammar: Fix It! 1 (Nose Tree)
    Spelling: AAS 3+
    Literature: SOTW2 books
    Math: Math Mammoth 6
    Latin: Latin for Children Primer C
    Science: Mr. Q Earth Science

    2nd grade:
    History: SOTW2
    Writing: WWE2
    Grammar: FLL2
    Spelling: Just starting AAS
    Literature: SOTW2 books
    Math: Math Mammoth 2-3
    Latin: Song School Latin 1
    Science: Mr. Q Earth Science

    History: SOTW2
    Handwriting: Teaching Cursive: This Method Works
    Reading: AAR 2-3
    Literature: SOTW2 books
    Math: Math Mammoth 1
    Latin: Song School Latin 1
    Science: Mr. Q Earth Science

    + Art: A Child’s Introduction to Art and a free drawing instruction e-book
    + Music: Those Amazing Musical Instruments

    I think that’s everything. I keep worrying that I’ve bought off more than I can chew with 2 history programs and 2 writing programs with my 5th grader, but I know she wants to still do SOTW with her brothers and loves both W&R and IEW.

  13. What app are you using for your spelling? I’m trying to find something that will make it fun for rising 2nd grader. She struggles so much with language arts. Not because she can’t, but because it doesn’t interest her. I need some tools to make it more exciting. She loves getting to play on the iPad.

    1. It says it’s called Spelling Free. I downloaded it years ago and am really hoping it won’t crash now that I’ve created all the tests for the year for two levels. LOL!

  14. Thank you for sharing your choices. This will be my second year homeschooling and I’ve come to realize that my style is very similar to yours. In fact, with the exception of Science, our 2nd graders curriculum is the same. I’m also thankful that you start a month before I do – gives me more time to cultivate my plan. I REALLY need to start getting ready for the new year. 🙂 I have a few questions, if you’ll be so kind to answer.
    1. What videos do you use for Latin/French for the littles?
    2. For Saxon – do you teach the lesson or just allow the child to do the worksheets and ask when they come across a new concept?
    3. What app did you use for your Spelling tests?
    4. Do you find the tests for SOTV to be effective? Are they appropriate for the littles? We did the Ancient World last year. I used the Activity book, but we didn’t do any testing.
    5. Thank you for the link for Peace Hill Press! I’ve purchased the pdf for the SOTV activity book through them, but didn’t realize they had the same for Writing with Ease. I assume the pages you purchased are the Student Pages? That will save me SO much time!
    6. Do you use any art or music curriculum?

    Once again, thank you! Appreciate that you are so open and honest with your planning and curriculum!

    1. Hopefully, I will tackle all these questions in a way that makes sense. 🙂
      Language videos: Visual Latin (affiliate link) and I bought the Standard Deviants, but I have no idea if it’s any good. Here:
      Saxon: I teach the lesson always, meeting book (most days), only one side of the worksheet unless they had trouble with a concept, then we do those similar problems on the other side.
      Spelling app: It’s called Spelling Free
      SOTW tests: I only do them for the kids who are fluent readers and writers; My 2nd grader is not.
      Art & Music: It’s a rather eclectic mix of books and videos. My husband is a musician, but only one child plays an instrument.

      Did I miss anything?

      1. Thank you for taking the time to respond! I think the only one you missed was about Writing with Ease. Did you order the student pages?

        I learn so much from reading the comments on this post, too.

        Hope your year is off to a wonderful start!

        1. Ah Shoot! I missed one?! Hehe. Of course I did.

          I did not buy the student pages for my older kids because I want them to write smaller than the practice pages. I typically have done this curriculum at a faster pace with older kids than it was designed for.

          My 2nd grader is doing WWE 1 and I went ahead and got her the pages because the writing size is fine for her at the moment.

          1. Thanks! It’s for my 2nd grader, too. Sometimes paying to not make photocopies is worth every penny.

  15. What program do you use for your typing instruction? My kids need this as well…

  16. This year in homeschooling a 2nd grader and a kindergartner. I also have a 2 year old and 3 month old. I’m struggling with how hands on I need to be with the 2nd grader. Obviously quite a bit, but trying to find what he can do without my constant guidance. Otherwise I may go crazy

    1. I have the same here. A rising 2nd grade boy and trying to get him to work on his own even near the end of this past year was like pulling teeth. He does better “alone” if he’s working with his older sister on something. With my oldest (girl) I would try to get her started, then make an excuse to leave and encourage her to keep going. Language Arts is hard to do independently with the grammar-stage programs that we use, so my goal is to set my 2nd grader to doing MATH independently this year–it’s a worktext–but still getting him starting and answering any questions he has.

      1. I’ve found that when I ask the kid’s opinion about how to do school and present my own challenges as a puzzle for him to solve, we make headway. “Hey I need your advice. I need to XYZ, but I want to make sure that you get my help when you need me. How do you think this could work?” Their solutions are not always the ones I go for, but giving their opinion is empowering and helps them see that they can be independent.

    2. Hang in there. Since the other two have more physical than educational needs at this point, it may be that he sees school as when he can get a bigger piece of you. Just a thought, because I obviously don’t know you or your kids. But, that’s my idea with my 6yo. She knows she gets me all to herself.