Aug 13, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum

We are starting school next week!  I am so excited about this school year.  If you are interested in why we are homeschooling click here and to see my homeschool room click here.  When I first decided to homeschool, I was overwhelmed with all the choices with curriculum.   I read about the different homeschooling options and really like the Charlotte Mason method.  However, this method is definitely less “structured” then I would like.  I feel with it being my first year, I was wanting to develop a planned, yet loosely structured day.  I wanted to be able to go with the flow, yet also have everything thought out, so I wasn’t scrambling around gathering materials.  

My main curriculum Hearts Of Dakota: Bigger Hearts for his Glory , Drawn Into the Heart Of Reading and for extra science, Earth Science.

I came across this website, Monarch Room and immediately knew this was what I was looking for.  She used a curriculum called Hearts of Dakota.  It is a planned, boxed curriculum, but using many of Charlotte Mason’s principals.  I liked the idea of having a plan and checklist my first year, to keep me on my toes.  Tara did an excellent job preparing and organizing her curriculum and I will just say I basically followed her method to a T.  I found so many resources on the HOD:BiggerHearts For His Glory Facebook page.  Science notebooking pages, poetry books, timeline sheets, supply lists, everything you need to start your year off smoothly with HOD. 

Bigger Hearts for his Glory, provides guided instruction for history, geography, language arts, storytime, bible, science, poetry and lite activities in art, music and math.  Math, English and reading suggestions are offered, or you can choose your own.  We will be doing Hearts of Dakota, Drawn Into The Heart Of Reading  program and I went ahead and purchased all the books we will be aiming to read for the year.  I organized them by unit and who would be reading them and what genre they cover.  

 All of the history and science books needed for BHFHG are gathered and placed together too.  I have filled this little Ikea cart, with all these books so they stay in one place and I have the ability to move them around the house if needed.  I also placed all the books the boys will be reading in here along with my teaching guides.  

For math we will be using Teaching Textbooks 5 for my 9 year old and supplementing with IXL for both boys.  My younger son will be using a variety of books in the photo below. 

Instead of using the Rod and Staff English books HOD recommends I will be using the below books for grammar, writing, vocabulary and spelling for the boys.   I also purchased composition books, for dictation, spelling (not shown) and poetry.  I do not plan on pushing my 7 year old hard on the writing, spelling or cursive, those are for my 9 year old. 

Along with a weekly co-op (for earth science, astronomy and art), swim /PE class and karate, the boys will be taking Suzuki piano lessons and be involved in Awanas and scouting.  We will also be working on social and life skills each week along with health.  

I have also set aside time each week for a Nature study or field-trip of some sort.  I have packed bags with trail guides, magnify glasses, bug catchers, notebooks, sketch pads and field guides for fun outdoor adventures.  

I found many of these How To Draw books at Goodwill and have time set aside for my oldest to work his way through these.  

For myself I have prepped by reading lots of books and really getting some routines and home organization systems in place.  These are a few of my favorite reads.  

And of course, what homeschool mother doesn't have a good binder, keeping track of lessons plans, calenders and planning tools and the proper documents for a successful school year.  I purchased the teaching planner from Tsh at Simple Mom, it was only $4.00!! I have a link on my side panel to purchase.  My HOD: Bigger Hearts for his Glory Planner, is very much like Tara's at the Monarch Room.....seriously, Tara was the biggest lifesaver for me in regards to planning.  Girl, I need to take you out to dinner as a thank you!!

So that is it.  I am sure I over planned and purchased more curriculum then we can sanely get through in a year, but I feel very prepared and organized for the year ahead and in my book that is a way better feeling then confused and overwhelmed to start. 

We are off to have some last few days of summer fun!  Each kid gets to plan all the activities for a day, where we go, what we eat, the whole bit.  We also have a fun and exciting "field-trip" coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that!   Enjoy the rest of your summer.  


  1. Looks like it's going to be a great year! I'm going to have to check out some of those homeschooling how-to books. I still don't know much about the different styles. (I also just bought that Ikea cart! I hope it's as cute in person as it is online.) Good luck next week!

    -Emily @

  2. 1: I have the same planner/binder as you! Love it's rainbow-prettiness.
    2: Those nature study bags are brilliant! What a fun idea- in fact, I think I'll steal it! ;) I know hunter would love it!
    3. You have planned out an amazing year. Seriously, you've thought of everything and are going to have a great year!

  3. So many great pics here! I recognize a lot of these!! You're gonna do great!!

  4. Lots of great ideas here, Kate! I love how you have planned and prepared and I'm inspired by the nature backpacks. Definitely copying!

  5. You really are my homeschool soul sister :) You are going to have a fantastic year!

  6. What a great plan you have in place! Love that you have notebooks for you too! Happy Fall!

  7. This looks like so much fun! I just found your blog today through your IG! I wanted to home school, but we have one daughter and it was best that she attend school. I would keep her home forever if I could;) I plan to use some of your great ideas with my daughter. I am glad I found you! I blog at Blessings for a fabulous school year! Susan


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