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Our Curriculum Choices for the Next School Year

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Looking at this website’s statistics, my most popular home school related posts are those where I talk about how we do things and what we use so readers must be finding them useful.  For that reason I decided to share the results of my research and shopping for the next school year.

The 2015-2016 school year was a success for us and now I look forward to the 2016-2017 term with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. I admit that I am a little intimidated at the thought of homeschooling both kids next year (Zen will start Pre-K); because their personalities and learning styles are so vastly different that I know that the things that are working for Shammy now probably won’t work for Zen so in a sense it will feel like starting from scratch again.

Thankfully planning my curriculum purchases for next year has been as fun as ever.

For Zen I am planning a lot less “school time” than his brother got at that age, he doesn’t respond well to a school format of learning and learns more through play, games, and other “stealth” methods so I will only made one curriculum purchase for him.

Our home school style is pretty eclectic with a lot of unschooling elements so at a glance the list below may not seem comprehensive to some simply because I am only covering the core and the rest will be taught informally through life and supplemental resources as they come along.

Something that you’ll notice is that I am planning on using a lot of products from the Critical Thinking Company, I have been so pleased with the products that I have used so far from them that I have decided to expand and include more of their materials. I can see why they win so many awards.

My curriculum shopping list this year:


thinking skills beginningCritical Thinking Company’s Building Thinking Skills Beginning
I have been so pleased with the quality of the Primary level (K-1) book that we used last year that I decided if we were only going to use one book with Zen that this would be it.

star wars preschool workbooksStar Wars Pre-school workbooks
I’ve had these lying around and Shammy liked them so if Zen gets into workbooks we’ll use them, no obligation.



1st Grade:


 LoF Life of Fred Elementary Series and Mathematical Reasoning Level Bmath reasoning
We used Life of Fred with great success last year so we will be continuing that. I have also added the Mathematical Reasoning book as a supplement of sorts.



Language Arts:

language smartsLanguage Smarts Level B and Spelling Skills Grade 1spelling skills
These will be 2 new programs this year. We used Spelling you See last year and while it was ok, we didn’t love it enough to justify the high cost of buying the next level. Shammy has made great improvements on spelling on his own from reading so we decided to give this inexpensive workbook a try.





thinking skills through scienceDeveloping Critical Thinking Skills Through Science- Book 1 and Sassafras Adventures Volume 1: Zoologysassafras zoology
You may remember my post freaking out about what to use for science and these were 2 of the top choices. There is no reason why I couldn’t use both. We are not fans of notebooking so we will be skipping that part. Some people love Sassafras, others hate the writing style but since Shammy is such a fan of living books I decided to give them a try anyway. If Sassafras doesn’t work for us we’ll switch to Real Science Odyssey.





Little Whovians and DK Geography 1st Gradegeography 1st
We are big Doctor Who fans and I already used episodes to teach history so next year we’ll try it more formally with the Little Whovians curriculum, I downloaded it when it was first released so I don’t loose anything by trying.

The Geography workbook is the next level on the one that we used last year. It’s not a stand alone curriculum but good at easily teaching the basic skills and terminology that can be a foundation for learning through unschooling.


With the exception of the Geography workbook I already have all of these materials ready to go.  Some are in ebook format that I may or may not print and the rest were purchased used at substantial savings.  This year I expect to spend for 2 kids less than half of what I paid on materials last year for just one child.

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White collar hippie, tree hugger and crunchy mama living in Florida with her husband and 2 sons. Virtual bookkeeper, breastfeeding counselor along with homeschooling her children.

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