Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices (2012-2013 School Year) — 17 Comments

  1. Looks like a great schedule for the upcoming year..I am curious how the Institute of Excellence in writing works.

    • Thank you, Esther! We used IEW through part of last year, and I was very impressed with it. The kids loved it too and showed tremendous improvement. We weren’t disappointed!

      • I find these posts of yours at the beginning of every school year so helpful…thank you, Michelle! Are you planning to use IEW exclusively from now on, instead of Writing Strands?

        • Hi Joli, thanks for your comment! Yes, we have made a switch to IEW instead of Writing Strands. It gives an excellent foundation, and is so engaging for both the kids and me as the teacher! The downside is cost, but as we can re-use it many times with our big family, it was a bit easier to make the investment. It also helped me to become much more skillful in teaching my children to write and in giving them helpful feedback to make improvements in their writing.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. We are planning to homeschool next year and hope to use MFW. I love to read how people use the program and their thoughts (how they tweak it for their families). I found your blog several months ago and have been enjoying perusing through your old posts. Have a blessed school year!

    • Thank you, Amanda! I always enjoy hearing about other families’ experiences with MFW as well. Lord bless!

  3. Oh yay! I look forward to your posts every year! ;) How exciting to be starting the cycle on year one again. And a highschooler! Oh my! How do you like TT? Im considering it for next year as my oldest will finish up Zeta this year! Wow! And IEW!? Im considering that as well for next year. This year the money is spent. LOL.

    • Hi Vicki, Our older two have used TT for a while now and are doing great with it! Their only “complaint” is that they miss Mr. Demme. :-) He’s been their math teacher since the 3rd grade! TT is a huge help to me as well, since I don’t need to grade their tests or anything. The software grades all their work and keeps records of their scores.

      I do feel IEW is well worth then investment. We thought about it a few years before taking the plunge, but it is really helping them to become stronger writers. It’s also helping me to be a better writing teacher to them.

  4. I also noticed you did not have a foreign language this year……are you taking a break from it this year?

    • Esther, my oldest daughter is doing Spanish II, but for the time being we are taking a break from it. We probably will add in French or Spanish 1 for the younger kids at some point during the school year.

        • Hi Kirsten, So sorry for the confusion! I was actually addressing Esther, who had commented with a question about Rosetta Stone. As a grammar lover, I should have realized it would look like a participle! :-)

  5. So glad I found your site. We are just finishing up our first year of homeschooling. I have one going into K, 4th, and 6th. We are switching to MFW next year. We tried the traditional approach, but did not like it. I took them out of public school for several reasons, one of which was not liking the “kill and drill” of it. Now that I feel more confident I think it will be a good move for us. Your info has great attention to detail. After reading your homeschooling choices, I have decided to add Easy Grammar for my older 2. While checking around I found it cheaper on I can’t wait to see your selections for the 2013-2014 school yr.

  6. Hello Michelle, I really like your site. I also like the curriculum plans you have posted. My little guy is two years old,he’s our only child currently so this is our first run. I’m a bit confused on the curriculum layout you have posted. I read in the blog that you follow mfw curriculum but I noticed that you use other books for some subjects. Mfw does cover all subjects right? Just curious to know why you use other books for those subjects?

    • Hi Denise,

      Welcome! In the MFW curriculum for grades 2-8, the main teacher’s guide and accompanying books cover everything you would need to teach Bible, Social Studies, Science, Art, and Music. Those are basically all the subjects that are done together as a family. MFW also makes recommendations for Math and Language Arts, which they have available for purchase; however, those subjects are not sold as part of the core package. This gives parents the flexibility to use another publisher if they prefer, and to use the years that coordinate with their children’s levels.

      Some other subjects that aren’t included in the core packages are electives (foreign language, logic, etc.) and some items that need to be added on to beef it up for 7th and 8th graders. The science is not quite challenging enough for 7th/8th grade, so they need their own separate science. This age group also needs study guides for literature and a few other items. MFW makes recommendations for all of those as well, and has them available to purchase.

      Some years I’ve used MFW’s Language Arts recommendations, and others I’ve not. For Math, I’ve consistently used Math U See for my elementary kids because it works well for us, and now Teaching Textbooks for Algebra and beyond. For my children younger than 2nd grade, I have always pieced together my selections. I have done this since before I ever heard of MFW, and I’ve been happy with my choices, so I’ve never tried MFW’s K or 1st grade programs. I think the K and 1st programs might actually cover everything, but I don’t know for sure. Hope this helps!

      God Bless,