Our 2008-2009 Curriculum

So, what have we been using this year for our homeschool journey?

Bible and Devotions (with the oldest 3 kids)

  1. Listening to the Bible on CD using the Word and Song Bible
  2. Worship songs – from Chris Tomlin CD’s to Cedermont Kids to breaking out in our own songs periodically
  3. AWANA Bible Memory – We currently have a Puggle, Cubbie, and a Spark!
  4. ABC Bible Memory Verses: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt – one a week, in ABC order
  5. Learning the Ten Commandments using the Bible and Hand Commands
  6. Learning the catechism and how to apply it using Susan and Richie Hunt’s book Big Truths for Little Kids: Teaching Your Children to Live for God


Reading and Language Arts

our first grader…

  1. Readers:  Sonlight Readers 1  (with additional leveled readers from Abeka which we are borrowing from a friend, Pathway readers which use a lot of sight words and have very sweet stories that my daughter enjoys, and any other readers we find that are appropriate for her =) )
  2. Explode the Code books 3 and 4 for phonics
  3. Spelling from Sonlight Language Arts 1
  4. Reading and spelling words from a high frequency word list
  5. Copywork – the ABC Bible memory verse for each week
  6. Draw Write Now book 1
  7. Handwriting Skills Simplified for Grade 1
  8. Grammar – Daily Language Review
  9. Writing Folder

our Pre Kindergartner…
I’m using parts of my 4’s curriculum with my 4 year old for LA.   She already knows all of her letters and sounds and has started reading some of the BOB books, predictable readers, and decodable words.  She is learning her sight words, word families, rhyme, letter formations, etc.  She can also work on activities in the literacy tubs. She also loves to write in her writing notebook and comes up with some cute 1-2 sentence stories!  (We will be staritng Explode the Code 1 and Horizons Math K with her in January.)

our toddler…
For my 2 1/2 year old, I am trying to set time aside to read aloud just to
him. I have Before Five in a Row for him, but so far I am just reading the
stories to him as he chooses them.   I also have a special  ‘school bin’
with hands on activities just for him during school time.  This poor little guy is missing out on most of the 2’s curriculum that his sisters used, but he is still getting some one on one with mommy and is learning God’s Word through his Joyful Heart Memory Verses!



  1. Horizons 1 Math (We used BJU last year and she did well with it.  However, it didn’t focus as much on math facts and skip counting by 3’s. 4’s. etc. at the K level, so when we switched to Horizons, we were a little behind in those areas.  She is on par with everything else so far =) )
  2. Math flashcards and hands on activities for practicing addition facts.  Here is a link to several easy ideas we have been implementing.  (Counting and Simple Addition)
  3. BJU math workbook 1 (on her own for fun and to coordinate with the math homeschool class that she is taking)
  4. Calendar Binders (We’ve added tally marks and money for our first grader.)
  5. Mind Benders
  6. Math tubs


Sonlight K Science (The kids LOVE the Discover and Do DVD!)

History and Read Alouds

  1. Sonlight Core K (ages 5-7)  We have been using the Core K history selections and read alouds.  The girls have loved the read aloud choices so far.  They have especially enjoyed The Boxcar Children and My Father’s Dragon.  We did a lapbook to coordinate with My Father’s Dragon and it went really well.  They liked it so much that we are going to try to do another one with our Johnny Appleseed book this week. www.homeschoolshare.com .has tons of free printable lapbooks which makes this so much easier to attempt!
  2. YWAM publications – The girls also enjoy listening to us read aloud the YWAM Christian Heroes Then and Now books and often listen on their own to the YWAM Heroes for Young Readers CD.



  1. From time to time, painting just for fun!
  2. Crafts related to the seasons or holidays
  3. Art Appreciation – Come Look With Me series


Extracurricular Activities

  1. AWANA (oldest 3 kids)
  2. Gymnastics (oldest two girls)
  3. Homeschool group (one day a week for our first grader)  She has a full day of classes!  She is taking ballet, math, physical education, art, music, science, and storybook cooking!
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  1. amber brown says

    Could you explain more about the daily writing notebook that your children use?

    Your blog is really wonderful and I’m so happy I found it, now that I’m an avid fan of your hubbardscupboard.org!


  2. Michelle (Joyful Heart) says


    Below is a link to a photo of our writing notebooks (for my 4 year old in PreK). She simply draws a picture and then writes about it using her ‘kid writing’. Then I use a pencil and write smaller under her writing, using ‘book spelling’. We compare the two writings, and I make sure to praise her for hearing certain letter sounds, knowing popcorn words, using capitals, punctuation, spacing, etc.

    As for my first grader, she has lined paper with space at the top (bound in a 3 prong writing folder). She also draws and writes, but I no longer feel I need to add the underwriting. She also has some half sheets if she wants to work on a book. To be honest, I am still trying to figure out what is best for her at this stage =) Here is a link to the writng paper from Donna Young’s website…

    Hope this is helpful!

  3. amber brown says

    hi michelle,

    i am trying to figure out my curriculum list for the upcoming school year and wanted to ask you a question…. i noticed that you were using the sonlight K read alouds even though your oldest daughter was a first grader (last year). we have several sonlight K readalouds that we did not get to read last year (because we were actually using My Father’s World curriculum and adding in some of the SL readalouds). anyway, i was wondering about your choice to use the K readers for first grade… was it because you just had not gotten to them the year before, or some other reason?

    i love reading your blog! hope you are doing well!


    • Hi Amber,

      Last year was our first experience with using Sonlight. Although we used grade level math and language arts for each child, we planned for the read alouds to be used with both of our older two girls (ages 4 1/2 and 6 1/2 when we started the year). The reason we chose to use the K level read alouds was that the age range recommendation set by Sonlight for Core K is 5-7. It was a perfect fit for our girls last year. Now, my oldest is wanting to read some of those same books – ones she might not have been interested in reading quite yet had she not already enjoyed them and remembered me reading them aloud to her =)

  4. amber brown says

    michelle, that is a great point about the read-alouds—– i also read the “read-alouds” to both of my children (now ages 4 and 6). we have so many leftover from last year that i need to think about using those this year.

    i just read your recent blog post and it is so funny to see that you are using MFW! we used it last year and i have been thinking about using it instead of sonlight and i have had a REALLY, REALLY hard time deciding between it and sonlight. if you don’t mind me asking, what were your reasons for choosing MFW over Sonlight this year?

    thanks so much for your help :)

  5. Michelle (Joyful Heart) says

    Hello again, Amber!

    It was difficult for us as well- trying to choose between Core 1 of Sonlight and MFW Adventures. We had a freind who raved about Adventures. Also, the idea of studying US History with the children was appealing. MFW also incorporates more hands on projects, which I thought would be good for the ages of our kids. I also found out that my sister in law is using the same curriculum with her children this year, so the thought of sharing ideas and similar learnings with our children played into the decision somewhat as well. I know, somewhat random reasons! We are still using the Sonlight readers and their science experiment DVDs this year.

  6. amber brown says

    well that is really interesting to hear about your decision! God guides us in all kinds of different ways, doesn’t He? that’s what i need to ask Him to do— He says if we ask, believing, for wisdom, then He’ll provide it:)

    i’m not a big blog reader (only b/c i don’t have much time), but i love your blog and your website and have encouraged friends to check them out!

    have a great week and don’t grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you’ll reap a harvest if you don’t give up:):)

  7. Can you explain what “math tubs” are?

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