Our Curriculum Choices: 2014-2015

Hi everyone, it’s that time of year again! And I’ve been getting tons of emails asking what we’ll be using for our 2014-2015 school year!

So without further ado, here are our curriculum choices for the 2014-2015 school year.


Teeny Tot: Kindergarten



Tinkerbell: 3rd Grade



Turbo: 5th Grade



Strawberry Shortcake: 6th grade




Extra-Curricular Activities:



We are trying out a new history program this year, the Homeschooling in the Woods Time Traveler’s units. They look like a lot of fun, and we’re excited to give them a whirl! Right off the bat I will say that they’re kind of labor intensive to prepare. It took me a solid FULL day to print everything, organize it all, then another day to add it to my lesson plans for the year. But it’s more hands on and exciting than Abeka and we’re just ready for a change. Honestly Abeka is fine and we’ll probably go back to it at some point, but I wanted to do some more fun things while my kids are still young and we’re not worried about high school credits…which is just around the corner for us…ugh!

We’re also trying a new Bible program The Picture Smart Bible. My kids have loved Grapevine, but we’ve done almost all of their units, and the Picture Smart Bible looks like it’s an excellent choice for a little older kiddos as well. So we’re really excited to try something new.

Strawberry Shortcake chose photography for her extra elective this year. My friend Ernie at Foto Finch has developed a photography curriculum for Jr. High to High School students, but I took a look at the lessons and think that she’ll do fine with the Composition & Photojournalism one. I’ll have a review coming up soon once we get more into the program. But I can tell you she’s excited to get to start photography. Maybe she can take over my blog someday ;o)

The last new to us curriculum we’re trying out is the Vocabulary Workshop. I wasn’t thrilled with Wordlywise, and so I moved to Evan-Moor Vocabulary Fundamentals which were fine for last year. But I had a friend who teaches English that suggested Vocabulary Workshop so we’re going to try it out for a year. Just a note…it is a secular curriculum.



And there’s our 2014-2015 curriculum choices!



Need HELP GETTING STARTED?????  Get your copy of Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!



Need PLANNERS? Check out my fun homeschool lesson planners!




Need MORE IDEAS? Check out the awesome curriculum available on my website!

Aside from the preschool and kindergarten curriculum all of my units are geared towards elementary aged students from about  kinder-6th grade.


Letter of the Week:


K4 Kindergarten Curriculum:


Road Trip USA & Road Trip USA Animals!


Expedition Earth World Geography & Animals of the World:


World’s Greatest Artists Vol. 1 & Vol. 2


World’s Greatest Composers Vol 1 (Vol. 2 NOW AVAIL!)


Classic Literature Unit Studies (Vol. 2 & 3 NOW AVAIL!)


Scientists & Inventors Unit Studies:



  • Shari July 29, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Have you planned out your whole,year already? Meaning, a daily schedule for all 180 individual days?

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Hi Shari,
      Yes, I always plan my whole year. I know some people don’t like to do that in case of changes. But I always find that our year gets crazy and I do not have time to plan during school so I just do it all before we start. If something changes it’s easy to go in and update my lesson plan.

      • Cindy July 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Hi Erica,

        What type of program/software do you use to lay out your lesson plans?

        • erica July 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm

          I’m currently using http://www.homeschooltracker.com to keep our records and lesson plans.

          • Shannon July 31, 2014 at 10:28 am

            Yes, I was wondering too, if you would share your lesson plans… I have a home business and it keeps me so busy, that I am worried about getting myself organized ahead of time. Suggestions on daily lessons would be so helpful.

            thank you!

            Love your site and it has helped me immensely!

          • erica July 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm

            Hi Shannon,
            Our lesson plans are different for every year and every student. And I did do some posts on our schedules by grade level just to help give you an overview if that helps any. Here’s a link to those:

  • Suzanne Pace July 29, 2014 at 4:26 am

    Are you still doing Keepers? I am surprised that is not listed on your curriculum. It’s such and important part of the girls lives. Thanks for all the great ideas and posts. We have been doing Homeschool in the Woods for years and love it!

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Hi Suzanne,
      YES! We are still doing Keepers, Contenders, and LEGO, I guess I should’ve listed our extra curricular activities too, but didn’t think to do it!

  • Dawn July 29, 2014 at 5:11 am

    What a great year you have planned. I look forward to following along.
    Blessings, Dawn

  • Lauren July 29, 2014 at 5:32 am

    I love how their books match their “colours”! How did you swing that?!?!

    How many literature units do you schedule? IE how long do you take to go through each one? And can you share your daily schedule or link to it? Thanks!

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      I know, how cool huh! It was just a coincidence!

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      For the lit units, I usually have them read 4 days per week, we do co-op on Fridays. So it really depends on how often you assign them to do a lesson. I would say my kids went through about 5-6 books each last year.

  • Shammah Garcia July 29, 2014 at 5:38 am

    I noticed you switched from Rod and Staff? What are your thoughts on it?

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      See my response in Meghan’s comment below…

  • Tiffany July 29, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Looks like a wonderful year. I have an older version of Typing Instructor for kids, the newer version looks better I’m going to check it out.

    • Tiffany July 30, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Sorry it’s a completely different program called jump in. I don’t like it though.

  • Meghan July 29, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Are Grammar program are you using for third grade?

    • Meghan July 29, 2014 at 6:34 am

      Oh I see you are using ABeka. Why the switch from Rod and Staff?

      • erica July 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

        Hi Meghan,
        I didn’t mind Rod and Staff, but my kids hated it so we’re just going back to BJU Press. My kids didn’t like Rod and Staff because they had to hand write out all of their lessons and after a whole year of tears from Turbo regarding English I decided it wasn’t worth it to continue. He doesn’t love English anyway, but at least with BJU he didn’t hate it. Otherwise, I do not have any bad reviews for Rod and Staff, it seems like a great curriculum, just not great for my son.

        • Emily July 29, 2014 at 11:40 am

          My daughter did not do well with it either. The diagramming was too intense. She uses Analytical Grammar now and LOVES it.

        • Meghan July 30, 2014 at 8:13 am

          Thanks for the reply Erica. I am trying to decide between Rod and Staff and Sadlier’s Grammar Workshop. They appear to be very similar in scope and sequence. Sadlier’s looks like its more fun and colorful. The only difference I see is Rod and Staff begins in 2nd but Sadlier begins in 3rd.

  • Deanna July 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

    For the see the light art DVDs, how do you schedule those? They run about $100 for the entire set but each DVD only have 4 art classes. Did you purchase the whole set at once? Or one DVD per year?

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      I received a couple DVD’s to review, and we only do 1 art lesson per week, so I alternate them in with my artist lessons just for a little diversity.

  • Amber July 29, 2014 at 8:35 am

    How do you personally adapt your Classical Literature studies for older kids? I’ve used several of your other items before, and was thinking about adding these this year for my 3rd and 6th graders, but not sure how to adapt them for the older one.

    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Amber,
      I would have them read the original book instead of classic starts. The questions should correlate okay since it’s mostly subject matter type questions and the classic starts are just watered down to make them a little easier for younger readers.

  • Emily July 29, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Couple questions:
    1. Can you tell me what you did with the Abeka Phonic Flashcards in that binder?

    2. Why did you switch to BJU English with your older students and what grade did you make the switch?


    • erica July 29, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Emily,
      The Abeka reading lessons refer to the phonics flashcards all the time from grades 1 and up, so I just keep them in that binder. They have special sounds like “ck”, “st”, “ph”, etc. on them so they review the phonics cards during their lesson before reading.

      I switch to BJU at grade 3 usually. However this year Tinker Bell is using Abeka for 3rd grade simply because I’ve had it and didn’t want to waste it. But normally I switch to BJU because Abeka language starts getting really repetitive from 3rd on up, however I like how they teach phonics for the younger levels. I will say BJU is more academically aggressive, so it while Strawberry Shortcake handled the switch from Abeka to BJU well, it was definitely harder for Turbo. I don’t use BJU for the early grades because I really do not like how they teach phonics, but once you hit 3rd grade they don’t do phonics anymore, just English/grammar.

      • Emily July 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Did you laminate the flashcards before hole punching them? I have the same set and had never thought about adding them to a binder. Great idea!

        Thanks for your response =)

        • erica July 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

          Hi Emily,
          No I didn’t laminate them, just hole punched and put them in the binder. You might consider it if using for multiple years, but so far ours are holding up just fine ;o)

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