Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Finchnwren’s 3 R’s

Back to Homeschool Blog HopWelcome back to the TOS Crew’s Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far…there are such awesome posts for preparing for your homeschool year!

I’d like to share with you our curriculum choices for the year, for my last two contributions to the Blog Hop.  So, today:  the three R’s!

Finchnwren’s 3 R’s

We’re all familiar with the old expression, “the three R’s”….reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic.  Of course this phrase excludes a lot of what students learn in school….but it defines the foundation that all of them require in order to move into other areas of education.  I’ll be discussing those other areas on Friday, but here are the things we expect to use this year for the foundation!


This year, we are relying on Sonlight’s reading list for seventh graders.  Sonlight is famous for its excellent reading lists for students in all grades. We’ve used their books in the past and have been stretched, moved, and educated in what we have read, together and individually.  In Sonlight’s seventh grade curriculum, the company provides both read-alouds and readers for the students.  We love read-alouds as a family and look forward to experiencing this great literature together!  And Jackson will also pursue the readers on his own, although I’ll probably secure my own copies from the library to read alongside him.

Here are some of the read-alouds I’m anxious to get to:

  • The Ravenmaster’s Secret:  Escape from the Tower of London
  • God’s Smuggler
  • The Endless Steppe
  • The Sherwood Ring

And here are some readers that sound incredible!

  • The King’s Fifth
  • The Breadwinner
  • Escape from Warsaw
  • Snow Treasure

If you’d like to see more of Sonlight’s incredible curriculum, you can visit their website here.


We’re going to be using some exciting grammar and language arts resources this year!

Erin Karl, teaching a lesson from the DVD set

Erin Karl, teaching a lesson from the DVD set

  • Analytical Grammar:  Analytical Grammar is a three-year, complete grammar course for middle schoolers and high schoolers.  It comes with a student book, a teacher’s manual and an exceptional teaching DVD.  We reviewed Analytical Grammar for the Crew earlier in the summer, but we only completed a portion of the first year’s lessons.  So, we’ll be finishing that up during the winter section of our school year.  You can read my review of Analytical Grammar here!

    Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive Chart

    Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive Chart

  • Rhythm of Handwriting Cursive by Logic of English:  This handwriting course has become our family’s favorite.  We’ve used other, quite excellent, products for teaching handwriting, but the way the Logic of English folks designed and teach cursive is just perfect for Jackson.  No stress, easy-to-follow, wonderful instructions and examples.  I recommend this very highly!  Again, you can read my review of this product here, to learn a bit more about it!
  • Institute for Excellence in Writing:  This product is completely new to us, but I believe it teaches skills that will equip Jackson further in the mechanics of good writing.  The product we’ll be using is called Fix-It Grammar, and it uses literature to teach the workings of excellence in writing.  Uh, as the company’s name would suggest.  Although friends of ours have used IEW’s products in the past, this will be the first time we’ll be exposed to it.  So I’ll let you know what we think a little later in the fall!
  • WriteShop:  We’ll also be using WriteShop from time to time.  This product teaches ten different types of writing (humorous, science fiction, mysteries, poetry and others).  It also has a great grammar section which it builds into its writing.
  • Home School Adventure’s Creative Freewriting Adventure.  This wonderful “freewriting” adventure, where one sits down and writes for 15 minutes on a topic, is just as cool as I’d expected it would be!  Each lesson is based on a historical figure or an event, or a situation in a story, and the student is given directions for creative writing related to those.  We just completed our first lesson yesterday!

Lest you think that Jackson is going to be gagging on this much grammar, rest assured!
We won’t be doing it all at the same time.  Rather, we’ll intersperse them with one another on everything except the handwriting.


Despite the fact that Jackson has a math genius for a father, and despite the OTHER fact that he does quite well in math, this is probably his least favorite product.  Fortunately, we’ve found some excellent curricula that make the process at least a LITTLE more painless for him.

  • CTC Math (see my review here)
  • Teaching Textbooks 7

And join me on Friday for all the OTHER fun things we hope to study this year!

Hop over to see my group’s 8 bloggers’ Blog Hop posts today, at the links below!

Nikki @ Angels of Heart
Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Linda @ Linda’s Lunacy
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio

And don’t forget to check out all 50+ bloggers, on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Enjoy!  –Wren




6 thoughts on “Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Finchnwren’s 3 R’s

  1. Love all those choices. Sonlight does a fabulous job selecting books and my boys have almost always loved them. So, we’ve gotten to where we look at their list and pick them up to read regardless of whether we are studying that particular time period or not.

    • Some of our family favorites have been Sonlight reads….and sometimes the hardest things the authors write are in the read-alouds, which I love! That way we can process them together.

  2. Those reading books sound fascinating. I need to pull a list together for my second grader so far we have read books in no particular order but I would like to be a bit more intentional next year.

    • Sarah, I definitely recommend Sonlight’s books. Some of the 2nd grade readers/read-alouds have become some of our family’s favorites!

    • They really do, Leah. Some of our best-beloved family books have come from Sonlight. They’ve definitely got a great eye for literature!

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