Our Homeschool Curriculum for grades 12, 10, 8, 6, & 4

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There is a veritable cornucopia of homeschool curriculum available, so much more than when I started this journey 16 years ago. Here’s what we’re using this year.

Our Homeschool Curriculum for grades 12, 10, 8, 6, & 4 | Life as Mom

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Can you believe that this is my 16th year of homeschooling? I’ve only got 9 more to go! It’s practically the home stretch. 😉

Seriously, this has been the best thing I could have done besides marry Bryan and have these six sweet kids. All three of those choices have also been the hardest things, too. They seem to require that I put others before myself which, if I’m honest, is hard.

I think God meant it to be both good and hard.

Tomorrow we start school. I’m not quite as ready as I would like, but I’m close. The freezer is packed to the gills. My college student has all his ducks in a row, is handling a couple train drop-off’s for me each week, and is on track to graduate close to the 4-year timeline and without debt. He’s a college junior, by the way. He was 11 when I started this blog! Don’t blink, ladies! Time flies.

My high school senior, aka FishBoy16, has run through the paces of taking the train to community college classes, managing a new cell phone (Ting is working very well for us!) and handling the varying political opinions of outspoken college professors with a sense of humor.

The younger four are my homies, 3 days a week, and we’re gearing up for a good, but hard year. That might be my theme song. Good, but hard. Hard, but good.

Our Homeschool Curriculum for 12th, 10th, 8th, 6th, and 4th grades

Our Homeschool Curriculum for grades 12, 10, 8, 6, & 4 | Life as Mom

Our studies for May/June included an afternoon spent on Hadrian’s Wall

Some general comments: We have done a more or less classical style of home education since the get-go. Since I’m not as uptight or as structured as I could or should be, I tend to call it classical unschooling. Go big or go home, that kind of thing.

This is my 4th cycle through the history of the world. Per the recommendations of The Well-Trained Mind, we cycle through the entire history of the world in 4-year chunks. We are in Year 3 this year. We’ve focused on the WTM recs for the majority of that time. This year, since I already had it in the library, we’re going to throw in some Tapestry of Grace resources and see if they work for us in this season.

While there have been things that I’ve liked about WTM, TOG, Teaching Textbooks, and Brave Writer over the years, I am not “all in” with any of them. Teaching six kids at home means teaching six personalized courses of study. Some things work some of the time, but nothing works all of the time. Trust me.

Except maybe this. This worked almost all the time.

Previously, I had nothing but fantastic things to say about the Brave Writer online classes, except that they were expensive. Now that they’ve raised the rates on many of the courses, they are almost TOO EXPENSIVE. $499 for a six-week course is just too much in my book. Readers wrote in to tell me that you can get discounts through Homeschool Buyers Club, but I found this was only for their digital products, not their online classes. Let me know if this is not the case. We will only be using Brave Writer online classes if I’m desperate or the price is doable.

You can find the used curriculum that I’m selling here.

You can see my other homeschool curricula choices of the last three years here:

A stack of books on a black shelf.

Here’s what we’re learning this year.

12th grade

I started FishBoy16 in kindergarten when he was 4. He turned 5 that November. He’s always been on the more cerebral side, so it just made sense. He was once my absent-minded professor, but now he’s just practically brilliant. Or at least his mother thinks so.

He did well enough on his spring SATs that he won’t need to take placement tests or remedial math and writing in college. To warm him to the idea of college and the differences among professors, he’ll be taking several classes at the community college. Here in California it’s called dual enrollment. He’ll earn college credit (for a very reduced rate) and high school credit at the same time.

Here’s what he’ll be tackling this year:

  • Trigonometry (community college, fall semester)
  • Emergency Medical Responder (community college, fall semester)
  • French 3 (community college, spring semester)
  • Economics – Foundations in Personal Finance and The Economics Book
  • US History and Government – Tapestry of Grace/WTM
  • Early Modern Literature – Tapestry of Grace/WTM
  • Brave Writer College Application Essay

10th grade

FishBoy15 is our resident musician and artist. He sees beauty in ways that the rest of us don’t. I’m so much the better for it. Even though he hasn’t had a formal piano lesson in almost four years, he continues to learn new pieces and dazzle me with his playing.

The boy who was an expert in defiance by age 3 has become one of the most kind, compassionate, and polite people I’ve ever met. We have had many a talk over the years. They were worth it. I love the man he has become.

Here’s what he’ll be tackling this year:

  • Pre-Algebra (online) – Math has been rough for us. It hasn’t quite clicked yet, but I’m hopeful this online teacher will break through.
  • Spanish 1 (online) – He did informal Spanish last year which should make this year’s Spanish 1 much easier.
  • Economics – Foundations in Personal Finance and The Economics Book
  • US History and Government – Tapestry of Grace/WTM
  • Early Modern Literature – Tapestry of Grace/WTM
  • Writing with Skill
  • Food Science – I’ve created a curriculum using Food Lab as the base text.
  • Piano

Our Homeschool Curriculum for grades 12, 10, 8, 6, & 4 | Life as Mom

8th grade

The youngest of four brothers, FishBoy13 is coming into his own. It’s been rough the last few years as his brothers pursue interests besides playing Lego and Nerf. He’s growing in confidence and independence, but he’s still my little guy.

Here’s what he’ll be tackling this year:

6th grade

It’s hard to believe that my little girly is in 6th grade. Wise beyond her years, she could probably run the whole school on her own, if she wanted to. It’s always surprising to me that amazing connection between desire and ability. And how when we don’t want to do something, we seem incapable of the task. I’m hoping we can ride the Can Do wave as long as possible.

Here’s what she’ll be tackling this year:

Our Homeschool Curriculum for grades 12, 10, 8, 6, & 4 | Life as Mom

4th grade

My baby just turned nine. I was pregnant with her when I started this blog. How did we get here?

I imagine that it’s the nature of the Baby in the Family to want independence at the same time as wanting to retain childhood as much as possible. That’s where this little girl is. Her eyes still tear up when we part, but she’s able to do soooo very much on her own. It’s a fun time!

Let me know if you’ve got questions! If you’re interested in purchasing our used homeschool books that we no longer need, you can go here.

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  1. I wait for this post every year! So glad you shared with us again. I recently referred to our style as classical unschooling, too. I love seeing what others are using. Blessings on your year!

    1. This is actually an old, but popular post. I do have kids in 12, 10, 8, and 6 this year, but different kids. This is how things mostly played out in 2017. 🙂

      This year, the kids are all taking online classes with a virtual classical school as well as doing some things with me. My 12th grader is doing the bulk of his work for dual enrollment at the community college.

  2. Thank you so much for the curriculum examples! I’m homeschooling 7,9, and 11th this year and we’ve been trying different things but nothing that’s been the “ aahhh that’s what we’ve been looking for” yet. Praying some of yours might be what we’re looking for. Also food lab curriculum? That sounds amazing are you still emailing those? If so if you have time I would love a copy.

  3. Could you please share your Food Lab curriculum with me, also! I would really appreciate it 😊 I just bought the book and I am looking forward to my son using it next year.

  4. We’re in our second week of school- 12th, 9th, 6th. An unplanned trip back to the US has made this year more of a challenge. I had it all planned out how I wanted it to go, but I’m learning to pray, “Your will be done” in regard to my plans for school, too.

    So far, so good. 🙂 We’re using Teaching Textbooks, too (Pre-Algebra & Algebra 1). I’m also using Story of the World to supplement history for the younger two. Right now our books are on a different continent. We’ll be back together soon. LOL

    Like you said, each child is individual, and the same things don’t always work for each.

  5. Would you be willing to sell/share your Food Lab curriculum? The book looks interesting.

    1. It’s a work in progress, so it’s definitely not saleable. lol. But, I’m happy to send you my “syllabus” as it were. I’m sure we’ll be making lots of tweaks along the way.

      1. Hi, I’ve been looking at the Food Lab as well and would love a copy of your lesson plan as well 😀

    2. Could you please share your Food Lab syllabus with me also? I’ve been wanting to use the book with my daughter but not quite sure how. Thank you.

  6. Spanish on line-do you mind sharing who you’re using? We aren’t so thrilled with the Spanish curriculum currently using (although my oldest suffered through it😬)
    It’s been a pleasure reading about your homeschooling journey. Many a time your email came *right* when I needed it. i love that you’ve homeschooled through high school. I can’t tell you how many other blogs I’ve followed that ended up stopping through middle school because they no longer homeschool. (in person friends as well) Here’s to a new year! Thank you for what you do!

  7. Would love to hear or see a sample of what you concocted for writing!? I too have a 6th grader and I’m not sure what to do with her for writing?

    1. The kids will do copywork twice a week (per Brave Writer/WTM), dictation twice a week, and a freewrite once a week. Then on dictation days (with me) we’ll also go over the different topics listed in Writing Aids (Tapestry of Grace).