Here are the elementary curriculum plans for our large family! Combining as much as possible for multiple children makes homeschooling easier for us, so I am mostly doing that with my kids for grades K5, 1, 3, & 4.
Read on to learn what we will be using and why! As always, these plans are subject to change, especially since I am going to be purchasing what I can in person at our homeschool conference June 22-23.
Favorite Elementary Curriculum For Large Family Homeschooling
Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1Spell to Write And Read / Core Kit – Teacher’s EditionZoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))Tapestry of Grace, Year 3The ONE Smart Piano Keyboard, 61-Key Portable Keyboard, The ONE Light Keyboard, Electric MIDI Keyboard, BlackMike’s Inspiration Station 6 DVD Collection
Elementary Curriculum Plans | Large Family Homeschooling
Math – We have been using Math Lessons For A Living Education for two years now and I think we will continue using it. It is not perfect, but I haven’t found anything better.
I don’t like moving my kids around between math curriculums because then they end up on a different scope & sequence each time… and that causes gaps in their education. Considering input from my oldest, who experienced some gaps because I switched his math a few times, I am going to try and stick to one curriculum for my younger kids.
However, I have one child starting first grade who hasn’t done any particular math curriculum yet. So, the question was: do I use MLFALE with her since her older siblings are using it and I will be familiar with teaching it? OR do I use another program that seems to be a better fit and plan to stick with that one for her?
And what about the next school year when my next child is ready to start a math curriculum? Do I want several kids in all different programs, all said and done?
So, I came to the decision to continue to use MLFALE with my kids until they each finish the books in the series (there are 6). At least for now. 😉
Pros: gentle approach at first but becomes challenging as the child advances in the levels. Cons: some typos/errors in the printing. A little too hands-on for a large family to manage to do each of the activities with each child, so we skip them most of the time. Depending on your teaching/learning style, the fact that it has a story theme throughout the 6 books might be a pro/con.
Language Arts – We will be using Spell to Write & Read with all of our elementary level kids. This will be our 2nd year using this program and so far, so good!
We approach language arts in steps, mastering one step before moving on to the next one. Of course, there is some overlapping in the steps and, they continue applying the skills they’ve learned moving forward.
I will give a brief overview of what I mean about language arts for elementary below.
We study language arts in this order: phonics, letter formation, spelling, and then reading. We touch on grammar, vocabulary, literature, and writing instruction in the elementary years, but don’t start a formal curriculum for those until middle school.
Pros: I’ve managed to use it with 3+ kids at the same time. I love the thorough phonics/spelling foundation it lays and builds on. It’s an old-fashioned style of teaching language arts, which I love. Cons: It is hard to start and seems confusing at first. There are no “textbooks” for the students and it uses a notebooking/journaling method (I kind of feel this is a “pro”, though). It is teacher-lead (but we can do most lessons in about 30-minutes for all of the kids together).
Science – The Apologia Zoology series will be our core science curriculum, but I also read the Christian Liberty Nature Readers and animal adventures by Thornton W. Burgess out loud. The kids also explore nature on their own.
History – We are using Tapestry of Grace year 3 for history and my elementary children are in the grammar levels. We are exploring history through living books! We also use Mystery of History audio to fill in any gaps and the audio versions of quarters 1 & 2 of vol. 1, 2, & 3 are in the BYB sale this year and when you buy, you get a 20% off coupon to buy the other quarters!
Music – We have the Yousician app and our kids use it for piano, guitar, and ukulele lessons.
Art – My kids in these grades are natural artists and spend tons of their free time drawing, creating comics, crafting, etc. We do have a few sets of art instruction DVDs and enjoy watching Bob Ross on Amazon Prime, too.
I would love to know what your curriculum plans are! Please share in the comments!