Hello again! It’s Day 3 of the Homeschool Review Crew’s Not Back to School Blog Hop!
Today, we get to talk about our curriculum favorites! I’ll be looking back on our 14 years of homeschool (preschool plus kindergarten to senior year) and sharing with you the things that: we loved the most, or that made learning amazing, or that had an enormous impact on Jackson or our family in general. There is SO much great curricula out there for homeschool families! Here are just a few of our faves.
Five in a Row
Five in a Row Book 1 was the first “real” curriculum we used in our homeschool journey. Although this series is keyed to ages five to nine, Jackson was an early reader and it was a perfect fit for us. And, a beautiful one!
The “five in a row” idea is focused around excellent picture books in children’s literature (e.g. The Story of Ping, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, A Pair of Red Clogs, Grandfather’s Journey, and much more.). For one week, you read (or your child reads) the picture book each day. Then, the book provides a math activity, an art activity, a geography activity, a science activity, and a literature activity. Together, you and your child complete one of these per day during the week. It was gentle, beautiful, and a lovely way to begin home learning. Just a joy to do together!
We purchased the Five in a Row Book 1 (and Book 2), but we checked the literature books out from the library. Along with many other families, I’m sure, because I remember we couldn’t get the book Cranberry Thanksgiving until sometime in mid-December!
I was also able to track down a copy of of The Five in a Row Cookbook , which contained recipes keyed to each of the books we read. Some of our favorite family times cooking together came out of this book. (Steak fries and apple pie are two that come to mind!)
Eat Your Science Homework and Eat Your Math Homework
This was the most charming, hilarious, educational “cookbook” ever! It’s a wonderful way to integrate scientific principles in visual, aromatic, and palate-pleasing ways! You and your child will have the opportunity to make:
- Sedimentary Lasagna
- Atomic Popcorn Balls
- Invisible Ink Snack Pockets
- and more!
The Eat Your Math Homework book is just as fun (maybe more so!). Using this book, we cooked as we learned about fractions, tessellations, tangrams, pi, probability, and more math ideas that are sometimes difficult to visualize in real time and space. This book brought these to life and we had a blast reading the book and creating the foods!
These books are designed for kids aged 7-10, but I honestly think middle schoolers and even high schoolers will find them fun and hilarious.
Bridgeway Academy’s Marine Biology Course
When Jackson was in fifth grade, we had the distinct pleasure of reviewing Bridgeway Academy’s Marine Biology course. This course was taught in an online classroom and was a complete and fabulous marine biology course. The class met weekly for teacher-taught sessions, then completed coursework during the week. Students learned about ocean zones, sea creatures (mammals, invertebrates, crustaceans, and more), taxonomy, and food webs. And their homework was so interesting and really helped lock the information in Jackson’s mind. We were truly sorry when the class was over!
Ben Roy’s Go Science!
This is an incredible and precious science resource. Ben Roy presents scientific concepts (everything from magnetism to flight to chemistry to water, and tons more) to elementary-aged kids. The science is rock-solid and absolutely SO cool. And, he draws all the scientific concepts back to God, the Creator. As Christians, we just were so moved and encouraged by this series and appreciated the great science. There are 7 volumes/DVDs.
EEME provided one of our most fascinating science/tech experiences. They are a company devoted to teaching kids the wonders of electronics and technology, with monthly kits. Each of these kits starts with a breadboard, a battery, a plastic plate, wires, and other electronica; and future kits send additional tools and tech so that kids can build different projects and learn about the coolness of programming. Online videos show students how to build each one, step-by-step. We highly recommend this!
It is funny, I noticed that most of our curriculum faves were science-related! We loved many other educational processes, but these stood out for the unusual and beloved.
We really have used SO many amazing products over our homeschool career. If you’d like to see more of our wonderful experiences, you can put “TOS Reviews” or “Reviews” in the search bar (found in the sidebar of the blog) to find out more about them. There is a LOT of incredible curricula out there.