Curriculum Review 2018/2019

It was an interesting year! Our only one with all four kids in school, and the first containing a high school graduation. Here’s the curriculum recap:

12th Grade

Community College Classes (Math, English, Science) – This was a big win, but I think a lot of it was that our student was prepared. Dusty had a driver’s license, his “own” car, academic preparation, some classroom experience from online classes, and the right kind of personality to take himself to a big, new school in a secular setting. The hands-off-ishness for me was nothing short of marvelous, and I was happy he was getting college credits. It was also great for him to get out of the house on a regular basis.

Liberty Classroom – An excellent resource for homeschoolers. Dusty did two classes, one reportedly boring and the other very interesting. It would probably be good to preview the classes with your student before selecting the courses; there are a variety of instructors.

Dave Ramsey High School Finance – Very good course. I’m glad we went with this, especially in the senior year. It seemed to make a real impact in Dusty’s thinking and plans. This will be required for all of our students, I think!


This looks like a rather light year, but Dusty had enough credits to get into his school of choice, and he had no desire for more. The CC classes were done by Christmas, so Dusty finished 12th grade half a year early. I have mixed feelings about this. Many homeschoolers exalt the idea of graduating early, but I really think it depends on the individual student. Some may not have the maturity to wisely use the resulting free time or to move on to things like college. Dusty worked long hours for the remainder of the school year, which was good for his bank account, but had other ramifications.

As I mentioned in my high school post, Dusty made the decision after completing high school not to pursue college at this time. I guess some of it is my own fault for having him listen to Ramsey on the folly of huge college debts! Dusty is in the process of enlisting with the Air National Guard. He will have the option of getting a paid-for college education in the future, though the selection of schools will be much smaller.

(FWIW, Dusty was accepted into the two colleges he applied for with partial scholarships.)

6th Grade

Systematic Mathematics 6 – I was so happy to introduce Duncan to Mr. Ziegler, the instructor in this older video-with-worksheet curriculum. I was also pleased to see Duncan is learning just as well with this program as his older brother did. I have a short review of this curriculum at the end of my math post, but sadly Mr. Ziegler has gone home to heaven and the program is out of print. See if you can find it used.

CM Skills w/ Writing Trails – Excellent, simple combo. Just structured enough to give direction. Not to mention cheap.

Thinking Tree Adventure Handbook (Science) – We never got to Ellen McHenry this year. He had some work to finish up from last year’s science, and after that I got him the Adventure Handbook. We took this on our travels and it was a good way to to combine science, art, and writing, plus it indulged Duncan’s interest in the outdoors. These journals are a great way to take a break from traditional schoolwork while keeping the learning moving forward.

A Child’s First Book of American History/What in the World audios – Duncan read through aCFBoAH without much fanfare, but I decided to switch out A Little History of the World with an audio history. I suspected he would do better with audio and I was right. I assigned the What in the World audios by Diana Waring which Dusty used, and they were a big hit.

3rd Grade

Learn Math Fast, book 1 – As I mentioned earlier, this is an experiment for me. I really like the clear instruction and incremental learning. The one thing I don’t like is that it does not contain review. This makes it great as a remedial program but a little trickier as a primary program. We took some time off toward the end of the year to focus on multiplication tables with Times Tales, which I love.

CM Skills – easy and effective as always!

Complete Book of United States History – Pearl had no problem reading through on her own and finished early, before our travels, which was nice.

Behold and See 3 science – Pearl has read all our Magic Schoolbus and Let’s Read and Find out books which are my favorite resources for this age. I had a copy of the 3rd-grade Behold and See which I had her read through so she had something more systematic. We skipped the experiments unless she saw something she wanted to do. I had her do the copywork included.


Wee Folk Art – I still love this curriculum after three children using it. Being the youngest, Jack did not do as many of the projects as I would have liked, but I may revisit some of them for first grade. They have new resources available on their site, including some geography studies which I will be looking at.

Reading Lesson – We got as far as simple CVC words and then it was time to put it away.

Jack also had fun with the Cuisenaire Alphabet Book and Mighty Mind this year.