Each year I evaluate our schedule to see when works best for us to start the girls’ new grade level. With a long trip scheduled for early August this year (the time I generally like to start), it’s either we start now or not until after Labor Day.
Since I like to give us more flex time in the fall for beautiful weather days and in December for holiday fun, our best choice is to get things rolling in July. I have our materials, am really excited about some shifts we are making this year, and though they might not admit, I think the girls are ready for a little reinstatement of structure, too.
Below I’m breaking down our homeschool curriculum choices for Hailey’s 4th grade year, Kaitlyn’s 2nd grade year, and the subjects we will do together. 2021-2022 school year… here we go!
Hailey – Entering 4th Grade
IEW Style and Structure for Students 1A – I am SO excited about this program. Hailey is a naturally gifted story teller, but until now we haven’t done any structured writing curriculum. I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this program and flipping through the pages I believe she will have a lot of fun learning how to dress up and structure her writing.
Fix It Grammar: The Nose Tree – This course presents a short snippet from an ongoing story each lesson. The child defines bolded vocabulary words and makes usage, spelling, punctuation, and spelling corrections. They also identify parts of speech, phrases, and clauses, and learn to dress up writing to make it more engaging.
Singapore Math Primary US Edition – One of the homeschool curriculum selections we are keeping the same is math. Singapore has proven to work well for us, as both girls advanced more than anticipated in the subject over the past year, so we’ll continue on.
Handwriting Without Tears (cursive handwriting) – We’ve used Handwriting Without Tears before and their methodology and practice length (not too long where hands get tired) have worked well for us. Hailey knows the basics of cursive, but is excited to sharpen her skills.
Explode the Code (book 7) – We’ll be using this for continued practice with phonics and spelling. It’s open and go, making it an easy practice workbook she can do on her own.
Kaitlyn – Entering 2nd Grade
Singapore Math Primary US Edition – One of the selections we are keeping the same is math. Singapore has proven to work well for us, as both girls advanced more than anticipated in the subject over the past year, so we’ll continue on.
First Language Lessons (book 2) – I love the ease of The Well Trained Mind’s First Language Lesson books. They are open and go, with most lessons taking 15-20 minutes. It’s straightforward and for my kids, the lessons have proven to be engaging.
Handwriting Without Tears (printing power) – Kailtyn needs more practice on correctly writing letters and writing legibly, so this will be great structured practice for her to improve upon those skills.
Explode the Code (book 3) – This books begins with words that use y as a vowel, then move on to words that have long vowel sounds and the silent e. I actually think she needs to move on to the 4th or 5th book, but since I bought book 3, we are going to start with working through it (it’s open and go) for extra practice before we move forward.
Collaborative Homeschool Subjects
Early US History (K-3) from Beautiful Feet – We began this last year and loved it so much that we tend to draw it out and go deeper into each topic. We have learned so much and really enjoyed the kick off unit on the Vikings!
I appreciate that it’s a subject that is very each to do together, that both girls are enthralled by, how it’s taught through literature (my girls learn so well through stories), and that it includes engaging extras, like cuisine, art, and more.
Around the World Part 2 from Beautiful Feet – We did Around the World in Picture Books Part 1 two year ago (read my in-depth review and breakdown of Around the World Part 1 here). It was captivating and we are all looking forward to continuing to travel the world with Part 2.
You could use this for homeschool curriculum or just for a fun around the world journey to do at home for fun if you don’t homeschool.
Co-op – Last year we did not join a co-op, after having spent two years in a wonderful one. Our main reason was because the co-op we were in was quite a drive (45 minutes one way). This year, a friend is starting a co-op that is 5 minutes from our house and it sounds like a great fit! We hired a Spanish teacher so the kids will take Spanish, and the other subjects (art, science, and PE) will be led by us, the parents. It will take place one day a week (9:00-12:30) and start after Labor Day. I think it will be a great fit for us this year!
Homeschool Spanish Academy – Can you tell I’ve been missing exposing the girls to a foreign language? One day a week the girls will take a live, private Spanish lesson online. The classes are 25 minutes long and you can sign up for a free trial class. We will begin these after Labor Day.
Codeverse – I received some questions about our Codeverse experience via Instagram. Yes, we are still doing Codeverse classes and yes, the kids love them. I’ll be honest, a class for each of them each week is expensive and we might cut it down to every other week. However, they both enjoy it so much and they’ve learned so much about coding quite quickly, so we plan to continue with these.
Piano – I found a woman that does in home piano lessons at a reasonable rate. She will come and give the girls back to back piano lessons (30 minutes each) once a week. Since I have no musical skill or knowledge myself, I’m grateful to find a way to expose the kids to it.
And that’s it! We start on Monday, July 5, and now I just need to think of a fun way to kick things off and signify the start to a new year! Any ideas?
You may also like:
- 3rd Grade and 1st Grade Curriculum Picks
- 5 Solid Kindergarten/Pre-K Curriculum Options
- My Homeschool Curriculum Category featuring all curriculum related posts
I used to follow a mom on Instagram who always had a special dinner the night before the new school year. It was really cute and her kids loved it.
Brittany Dixon says
I think that’s such a sweet idea!
I think its great that you’re getting a jump start on school. I actually wish that kids didn’t have such a LONG summer break. My niece struggles with academics due to autism, adhd, and a few other cognitive delays and these summers lead her to regress terribly. It doesn’t help that her mom is a single mother and while we continue to support her in trying to get my niece into some additional tutoring, my nieces mom refuses and thinks it will “all work out” and we don’t think that will be the case. She is going into 2nd grade and still can’t read. But because of COVID none of the schools are holding kids back. Its terribly sad. On an unrelated note, are your kids required to take any type of standardized testing each year? Some states require that the kids complete standardized testing each year to “prove” that the home schooling is effective.
Brittany Dixon says
NC requires notification of intent to homeschool, attendance, and end of year testing. However, the notification of intent is the only thing they ask for proof of. They don’t want to see tests or work. I keep it all for our own records, but the state is not very involved.
Have you looked into code.org? I teach in a public school district in a neighboring LKN county, and it’s the website we use to introduce coding. (Did I mention it’s free?!)
Brittany Dixon says
Do they offer live instruction? I’ll check it out! I hadn’t heard of it before. Thank you!
Your curriculums sound fun! Out of interest, how much do you spend each year on resources for homeschool (including coops and external lessons)? I would love to be able to do something like this but the costs seem so out of my reach!
Brittany Dixon says
Cost of supplies varies so much. I’ve heard it said you can homeschool with nothing but an active library card and I fully believe that. Also, some curriculum offer free material (The Good and the Beautiful, Teachers Pay Teachers, etc) that are great. Our materials range from totaling $350-$700 for both girls combined depending on the choices for the year. Co-op this coming year is $150 for Kaitlyn and $200 for Hailey for the year. External lessons certainly add up. We are constantly evaluating which ones are worth sticking with.