Our 2013-2014 Curriculum Choices for grades K,3,and 4



Although I have a deep respect for Bob Jones Bible Truths and we enjoyed using it last year, it proved to be too “schoolish” for our style.  It just ate up too much of our time each day.  This year we are taking a different approach.  We have chosen to go with Kids of Integrity for the spine of our Bible Curriculum.  My review so far is that it provides comprehensive Biblical character training, discussion opportunities, memory verses, and fun activities that make it stick.  Other than the cost of printing Kids of Integrity is FREE!  Kids of Integrity is brought to you by the lovely folks at Focus on the Family and covers 20 character traits including Obedience, Acceptance, Courage, Faithfulness, and many more important traits that parents want to see cultivated in their children.  I am especially excited about this choice for many reasons, but most importantly I believe it is answer to prayer and will touch on the needs of our family and help us all to grow in our walk with Jesus.

In addition to Kids of Integrity we will be doing unit studies on and memorizing The Armor of God, The Fruits of the Spirit, The Ten Commandments, and The Books of the Bible.


By the end of the year we despised Math in Focus!  We are so happy to announce our switch to a combo of Teaching Textbooks and Life of Fred.  I absolutely love Teaching Textbooks for the simple fact that I don’t have to worry!  My kiddies ask to do lessons and I know they are getting everything they need out of this curriculum.  Using Teaching Textbooks frees me up to teach fun math or “living math.”  Life of Fred came into our lives by gift from my homeschooling mentor and aunt.  We were in need of a math intervention last year while struggling through our expensive yet dreary Math in Focus curriculum.  We enjoyed Life of Fred so much that we will continue enjoying it this year.

Life of Fred Elementary, Apples, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Butterflies, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Cats, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Dogs, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Edgewood, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Farming, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Goldfish, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Honey, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Ice Cream, Horrible BooksLife of Fred Elementary, Jelly Bean, Horrible BooksTeaching Textbook Math 3 CDs only

In addition to the tag team of Teaching Textbooks and Life of Fred I will also be leading my bunch through Your Child and Money by Larry Burkett.  In adding allowance this year, I was thrilled to find Your Child and Money in a local used book store.  I purchased it for $2.00, which intensified my excitement.  It is a goal of mine to teach my kids Biblical stewardship  and this book is a great start.


The expense and the time element drove us away from Bob Jones English this year.  I would still recommend Bob Jones for its ease of teaching, logical organization, and comprehensiveness.  It wasn’t the right fit for our family long-term.  This year I am nearly in love with our Grammar line-up!  First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind will be at the center of our Grammar line-up.  For reinforcement and extra practice we will be using Easy Grammar Grades 3&4.  A theme for this year was shopping my shelf, and in doing so, I found both of these amazing curriculums.  They were also gifted to us by my awesome aunt!  We will end the week with fun lessons from Grammar-Land or, Grammar in Fun for the Children of Schoolroom-Shire.  To record our learning we are using We Don’t Need No Education’s FREE printable Grammar-Land Worksheets.  I have been wanting to add Grammar-Land into the mix for a long time.

Dictation and Copywork

We will be incorporating dictation/copywork 3 days a week using Hymns for Infant Minds, A Child’s Garden of Verses, and excerpts from literature we are reading.


Our only formal writing curriculum will be Writing Strands Level 2.


I loved the ease and logic of Sequential Spelling, but I have found an equal alternative that doesn’t cost me anything, so I’m going with FREE!  This year I’ve chosen to use McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book.  I’ve decided to start at the beginning (so that I can catch any gaps or trouble spots) and test everyday as suggested in Sequential Spelling, adding trouble words to the test the next day until they are correct 3 days in a row.  Also, as suggested in Sequential Spelling, the kiddies will be self-correcting immediately after each word.


Spectrum Phonics Grade 3 seemed like a good choice to seal the deal on their phonics journey.  What I liked most about the Spectrum Phonics books was that it included spelling rules and are neatly displayed in a green box.  I require my kiddies to write these spelling rules in their spelling notebooks under the tab Spelling Rules.


We will be gleaning words from our other subjects by keeping the words recorded on post-it notes throughout the school day.  In addition to that we will be using Marie’s Word Cards and adding a new word each day.  At the end of the school day we will take all the words from the post-it notes and look them up in the dictionary and record the words and their definitions in our vocabulary notebooks.  I have divided the notebook into subjects and A-Z.


Our book list so far:

Stories of Beowulf Told to Children

The Door in the Wall

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

The Twenty-One Balloons

The Chronicles of Narnia

Robin Hood

and many more to be announced……..


When I first saw the new handwriting curriculum from Classical Conversations I instantly adored it for it’s beauty, simplicity, logic, and price ($12.99). So far, I have purchased the Scripture Version of Prescripts and plan of purchasing Prescripts Cursive Sentences and Art Lessons soon.

PreScripts Cursive Words and Drawing

History (Middle Ages)

The jumping off point of our studies will be Story of the World Volume 2 and the activity Book.

Story of the World, Vol. 2 Combo Pack (1 of everything for Volume 2!)

Our support materials will include, but not limited to:

Centuries Around the World (a Noah’s Ark Homeschool Academy creation)

Veritas Press Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation (Teacher’s Manual, Cards, and CD)

Streams of Civilization

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Eyewitness Books; Knight


We will be taking a Unit Study approach to science this year.  We will be studying Dinosaurs and Dragons, Anatomy, How water systems have transformed from the Middle Ages until now, and Inventors and Inventions of the Middle Ages.  To teach each subject I will be using living books and weekly trips to the library, along with notebooks, and experiments.  I am only planning on spending about 1-2 hours on science a week.  I plan to keep it low-key, and keep the wonder and curiosity flowing.


As usual, geography will be tied into History and won’t be counted as a seperate subject.


We will be starting our first year of Latin study with Prima Latina, and Prima Latina Copybook.

            Prima Latina

We will continue our adventure with Typing Instructor for Kids.  My kiddies adore this program and are really improving their typing speed and accuracy!

Since I have no musical ability at all, and I actually don’t even enjoy listening to music I bought a software program called Music Ace and I’m relying on that to teach them the basics for now.  They seem to be learning a lot, but I’m not a good judge since I couldn’t tell you if what they are saying is correct or not. 😉

Physical Education

We live right across the street from the park and we have a back yard.  My kids also play baseball and softball in the summer.

Central Focus

Our central focus will be memorization, and I have compiled a binder with everything in it that I would like them to memorize by the end of the year that I have pulled from different subject areas.  We will practice every school day in the morning right after Bible and Calendar.

A key component to all of our subjects is the use of notebooks.  We will be recording most of the learning process in these notebooks and strengthening our comfort level with writing, and developing ideas.  Our notebooks are set up similar to what The Well Trained Mind suggests.


Phonics Pathways

Singapore Math, Math Essentials

Lot’s of hands on math experience.

Five in a Row

Veritas Press K&1st phonics readers and their literature selections.

Do you want to know how we seem to fit it all in?


2 thoughts on “Our 2013-2014 Curriculum Choices for grades K,3,and 4

  1. Looks like a good line-up. My son loved LOF too. I need to figure out a way to continue with it. I was doing so good then stopped. This year we will use Memoria Press core curriculum so I went with the math that was scheduled. I’m kind of wondering if I made the right decision. We too were going to use TT and LOF before.


    • I haven’t felt strong enough in math to choose a curriculum like Rod and Staff. I do like the practice that they offer for basic math facts. Most modern curriculums don’t practice the basics for long enough. I love Memoria Press! If I were going to order a box curriculum that would be at the top of my list. Sometimes LOF is our bedtime story 😉 My kids also pick it up for entertainment. I wouldn’t worry yet about it. Once you start plugging through it, you’ll know if it’s going to work. Choosing curriculum is such a hard, creative, and exciting process.

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