Mid-Year Homeschool Curriculum Changes and Additions

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At times a mid-year change in homeschool curriculum is needed {or desired}. I try not to change things mid-year too often, but I am not scared to ditch something and go for something new if it is needed. Below you can read more about some changes we made with our 4th and 7th grader!

4th Grade

From Carson Dellosa Skill Builders Reading Comprehension to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reading Comprehension

Homeschool Curriculum Changes

This was for my daughter who is in 4th grade. She used the Houghton Mifflin book{on the right} for 2nd and 3rd grade and on a whim I ordered her a different brand for 4th grade. She does NOT like the new one, so we switched back. Ironically, the old one {now the current one – her choice} has MUCH more work to do. She is my reader and likes the layout better. I accidentally ordered 5th grade instead of 4th, but we decided to use it anyway!

Finished Growing with Grammar, switched to Fix It Grammar

Homeschool Curriculum Changes-3

Also for my 4th grader – she finished Growing with Grammar 3 {which we didn’t finish last year} and I planned on moving on to GWG 4. However, IEW offered Fix It Grammar for FREE during their 12 Days of Giving so I decided to give it a try!! I do love Growing with Grammar and so far love Fix It Grammar. TOTALLY different ways to teach grammar. I have no idea which one I will choose for next year!

Finished IEW Bible Heroes, added IEW SWI B

My 4th grader finished up IEW’s Bible Heroes and I had planned to move on to IEW’s All Things Fun and Fascinating with her. After much thought over Christmas break I changed my plan and decided to use IEW SWI level B with BOTH of my kids this semester! So far so good and we are 4 weeks in, take a peek at them working here on Instagram!

 

7th Grade

From LIFEPAC Language Arts to IEW Fix It Grammar and SWI B

Homeschool Curriculum Changes-2

This change was for my 7th grade son. We gave LIFEPAC Language Arts a shot and neither of us prefer it. It isn’t a bad curriculum at all and if he had been using it for many years perhaps it would have worked. It was too random for him, he likes the structure of former language arts programs better {Growing with Grammar, Spectrum Vocabulary, etc}.

Knowing we needed a change, I decided to go to all IEW for him. Since we got Fix It Grammar for free, I am using that with him and so far he LOVES it. As I mentioned above, I am using IEW SWI B for him. Level B is the perfect level for him, it is a bit challenging for her, but we make it work.

In addition to grammar and writing/vocabulary we are focusing on our reading together more. There is one unit from the LIFEPAC Language Arts I do plan to use as it is a literature guide to go along with the book The Hiding Place. We just aren’t planning to finish the rest of the booklets.


See our original 4th and 7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum posts by clicking below! See all of our grade levels here!

4th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices L   7th Grace Homeschool Curriculum Choices K

Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices



7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

7th Grace Homeschool Curriculum Choices K

My middle son is 12 and going into 7th grade this year. Below are the 7th grade homeschool curriculum choices we have made for Krash!

Curious to see what he did in the past {since I’ve been blogging}?

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7th Grade Subjects

The Visual Version

TT Prealgebra IEW Ancient History Theme Based

Lifepac 7th HistoryLifepac 7th LALifepac science 7th

You can see our 4th Grade Choices here.

Stick around and see our homeschool year unfold!

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Homeschool Curriculum Reviews and Choices



7th Grade Reading List

7th Grade Reading List

Yesterday I shared my daughter’s 4th grade reading list and today I am sharing my son’s 7th grade reading list. He is much less of a bookworm, so the visual choice list helps him a LOT. Thankfully he glanced at the list and already saw several books he wants to start with!

7th Grade Reading Book List (1 of 1)

I used many sources to find books I thought he might enjoy and that I wanted him to try. I have not read all of these, but looked at reviews and am comfortable with giving these a try. After deciding on many book choices for him, I created a page with each cover so he can browse and choose his next book easily. We do not own all of these so I have him choose and I put the book on hold at the library!

Some of the books carried over since he didn’t choose them last year. I removed most of what he didn’t choose but left a few I am hoping he will pick this year!

7th Grade Book Checklist

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.

Downloads…

I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for him. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

Here is a blank reading record like his. I just have her write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on her opinion.

Reading-Record32

Here’s another reading log we have used.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

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See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

Booklist Video…

I recently did a Facebook Live video sharing about these visual booklists, and why we love them! You can watch that here!

FB Live 7.24.18[14]

More Book Lists

6th Grade Book List  Slide1741 

3rd-Grade-Book-List8 4th-Grade-Book-Checklist_thumb8

2nd-Grade-Homeschool-Reading-Plan4  1st-Grade-Library-Book-Favorites5



LIFEPAC ~ History/Geography Review

I have been going to homeschool conventions for many years now, and have been homeschooling since my 16 year old was in PreK. This past spring I spent some time at a booth I had mostly ignored all of these years and really dove into looking at Alpha Omega’s LIFEPAC curriculum. This was sparked by a need to switch a few things up, especially for one of my kids. I spent hours at the booth browsing and asking questions. In the end I have decided to give LIFEPAC a try for a few subjects!

Alpha Omega LIFEPAC History and Geography Review

In addition to being personally interested, I was contacted by Alpha Omega to ask if I would be interested in reviewing a subject from LIFEPAC – one branch of their homeschool curriculum options. This worked out very well, as you can imagine, and I said yes! They sent me History/Geography for my 4th grader and 7th grader!

My daughter is going into 4th and my son is going into 7th. I wanted to be sure we liked the format of LIFEPAC before I bought the other subjects I am interested in, so we completed the first unit to give us a feel for it.

What is LIFEPAC?

Lifepac ad

LIFEPAC is a Christian homeschool curriculum for grades K-12. Designed by a team of accomplished educators with years of classroom experience, LIFEPAC is based on the principle of mastery learning. Students master content in each unit worktext before progressing to the next. Ten LIFEPAC worktexts provide one full year of learning content per grade level; individual worktexts can also be used as supplemental material. In addition, you can mix and match subjects or grade level worktexts to personalize your student’s curriculum content. Individual worktexts take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

LIFEPAC features

What SHE Thought…

I must be honest, when I first showed it to my daughter {rising 4th grader}, she took one look and frowned. Not a fan. I encouraged her to give it a chance and no joke – by the end of the first lesson, she loved it. I did it with her, although eventually it may become a subject she can do on her own.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)

After our first lesson I asked her why she decided she did actually like it. She told me that when she first saw all of the words and blanks she thought it would be boring but once we started reading she actually enjoyed learning what we read about. I think she liked that we did it together too, which is fine with me. I want to make it fun for her instead of just another workbook. The workbook gives me a clear guide to spring from!

Want a peek inside of the workbook she is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What HE Thought…

It was my rising 7th grader that inspired my initial investigation into LIFEPAC. There are a few reasons for this, all centered around his gymnastics. He trains 6 days a week, many hours per day. Homeschooling has allowed him to pursue his dream but I know that the hours we actually spend doing school are only going to increase as he gets older. I wanted a curriculum that would be easy for him to take to the gym with him – the magazine format of LIFEPAC intrigued me. I didn’t want him having to carry several big textbooks just to get one simple assignment done during his break.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (3 of 3)

He doesn’t really care what publisher I choose, he just wants to get his schoolwork done and get to gymnastics. As we worked through the first unit of LIFEPAC History/Geography he didn’t love or hate it. He did like the smaller book and said that will be much easier when he needs to take it to the gym {or anywhere}.

Want a peek inside of the workbook he is using? You can download great samples here on the AOP website. Just scroll down and you’ll see the links to samples.

What MOM Thinks…

I love…

  • small books
  • simple planning
  • text and worksheets all in one
  • two subjects combined in one {history and geography}
  • Christian worldview

I love that the year is divided into 10 smaller books, this just works with my brain. I adore this concept. I made a planning sheet and was able to duplicate it for each kid since the layout is the same! I am all for simple planning. I love that we don’t have a separate textbook and workbook – the idea of them being all in one is genius. The only downside of this is not being able to reuse it, but at this point I see the value in keeping it all together like this and just making the investment.

LIFEPAC History and Geography Review (1 of 3)-2

In the beginning of our homeschool journey I thought I would reuse curriculum with each younger child but now I see how different my kids are. The Apologia science is a great example. We loved it for my oldest but know it is not a good fit for the next kid. So it isn’t getting reused anyway! At this point in our homeschooling, simple is KEY. The worktext format is perfect for us!

The fact that this particular subject covers history and geography from a Christian worldview is a great fit for us. I love that these two subjects are woven together and look forward to diving in deeper with my kids.

If you have any questions about our experience with LIFEPAC, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer! If you’d like to purchase LIFEPAC for your homeschool you can do that here!

Lifepac ad



7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Year-End Review

7th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices Year-End Review

The homeschool curriculum choices blog posts are great, but what I really want to know is what families thought AFTER they used the curriculum they chose!  I will be sharing a series of posts with you; evaluating our choices in each grade level and our group subjects.

First up, 7th grade!  Here’s a reminder of the original 7th Grade Curriculum Choices post.

Overall it was a very successful year for my son, despite many interruptions to our homeschool schedule.  Everything went crazy a few months into the school last year when my husband fell off of a ladder and broke both legs 6 weeks before we were moving.  Needless to say, that affected our homeschooling greatly.  Even with the crazy, he did really well and made it through all of these subjects.

Below I will give a small review of each subject, if you have more specific questions about anything, just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer!


Science ~ Apologia General Science

He did this subject mostly on his own, with guidance and leadership from his Dad.  Daddy manages science and math in our house now for the boys.  They both felt this was a solid science program and have chose to complete the 2nd portion {Physical Science} for 8th grade.

The experiments were his favorite part…

7th Grade -7439 7th Grade -0022 7th Grade -1496 7th Grade -3633


Math ~ Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra

This was a big success for our son.  I can’t say he loves it, because it is a lot of work, but he likes it better than other math curriculums he has used.  We will be continuing on with Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 for 8th grade.

7th Grade -6000


Math ~ Life of Fred Fractions

He loved this book, but this is the only one he completed {meaning I didn’t buy anymore beyond this}.  Originally I planned to use the whole Pre Algebra series, but after the first we decided not to buy the rest. If someone gave us these books we might continue to use them, I just decided not to pay for more at this time.


Reading

We were SO slack with reading this year! He read The Bronze Bow, Hittite Warrior, I Am David and The Hiding Place. I let him choose books and read at his own pace. These were the books I had borrowed from a friend for him to choose from. Sadly I had to return them when we moved, so he didn’t get through all of them as I had planned.

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I wanted to see what his pace would be without a strict curriculum guiding us.  His pace was a little slower than I would like.  I decided we both need more of a guided reading program so I bought Sonlight’s American Historical Literature 130 for 8th grade {bought the manuals, will be getting books at the library}. He already read the first two books {Peace Child, and Stink Alley}.


Grammar ~ Growing with Grammar 7

This is a good fit for both of us.  He doesn’t love grammar, but said he prefers this program if he HAS to do grammar.  We will be continuing on with this program with level 8.


Writing ~ Write Shop 1

Slacker.  That’s me.  We got through 3 lessons done, yup 3. I got very overwhelmed with real life {my husband’s accident and our move} and writing was pushing me over the edge.  So, we quit.  I do love this curriculum and we will be picking up right where we left off and hopefully NOT giving up this year. 


Vocabulary & Comprehension ~ Vocabulary Connections G

I like this workbook, he does not.  He completed it and was very thankful to be done.  I am not requiring him to do a vocabulary workbook for 8th grade, he will be focusing on vocabulary through his reading with Sonlight.


Spelling ~ Spelling Workout G

He did not like this spelling book and honestly neither did I. Many of the words were words I have never heard of and didn’t know how to pronounce {maybe that shows my intelligence level?}, but even when my husband took this subject over in the spring, he said it was an obscure word list.  We will not be using this again and will instead use the spelling list in Sonlight.


Bible/Worldview ~ Who is God? 

We basically just read this book together.  We both enjoy it, but have no plans to purchase the rest at this point.  If they were given to us we would definitely use them, it’s a budget thing right now.


Stay tuned, I will be sharing our year-end review for 3rd grade, Kindergarten and our All Together subjects.  I will also be sharing our curriculum choices for 8th grade, 4th grade, 1st grade and All Together subjects.