When we started my oldest in kindergarten, I was terrified of curriculum. The vast amount of choices was entirely overwhelming, and so I ended up buying a kit. Even choosing which company to buy the kit from was hard.
I'm only four years into this homeschool journey, but I am comfortable picking and choosing my books for the most part. Probably because we've established a learning style and I can usually get an idea of how a product will work for us by reading reviews. I like to use books or programs that the kids can share or do together because it cuts down on sitting time for them and stress for me.
K-2 grades: Abeka
3rd grade: Saxon Intermediate 3
I like Abeka's language program, but I'm not impressed with their phonics. I will probably go back to Christian Liberty for phonics because a feel that it gives a stronger foundation for reading.
1st grade: Abeka
3rd grade: Sequential Spelling 1
Amber was really struggling with spelling this year, so I wanted to try something different from the average workbook. I like Sequential Spelling for a few reasons - 1) Instead of giving them a bunch of random, progressively harder words, they give them a root word and build on the root word in multiple ways. Words range from easy to challenging. 2) I bought the dvd-rom for the computer and Amber can do this program by herself. 3) Because of the method used to teach words, grade level is irrelevant. In other words, all the kids can use the same spelling list. This saves so much time.
All grades: Story of the World Vol.1
I like SOTW, but I feel like some of the mythology is unnecessary. I like that they mix Bible characters into the timeline because it's fun for the kids to know who else lived in the times of Joseph, however when they talk about God, I don't get a sense that they're referring to the one true God. It almost seems as He's just another god in the mythology stories, which is not the impression I want for my littles.
That being said, we just skip the mythology. It's not a big deal for me to skim past it, and those specific stories are clearly separate and italicized. The history text itself is interesting and keeps the kids attention, so we'll keep using SOTW.
All grades: Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy
This is the second year we've been in this book. It's a good book, but I think the kids are getting bored. It's very in depth and maybe some of the stuff is irrelevant to them. We're excited to move on to zoology next year.
We bought the Lab Kit to go with this and the Junior Notebooking Journal. I'm glad we bought the Lab Kit and will again for the next book. The Jr. Notebooking Journal was just busy work. Some of it was fun, but I won't be using it again.
So those are the basics.
Story of the World, Saxon, and Sequential Spelling are new to us this year. I'm happy with them for the most part and plan on using them all again next year.
We supplement with several different things, and I'm working on some posts to share our favorite educational computer games, Netflix TV, and apps.