Our Curriculum for this School Year (2013-2014)

Laynie will be in 2nd grade this year. My how time flies! When I first started this blog, she was only 3 and I was daydreaming about homeschool.  I’m so glad and grateful to have the opportunity to teach her at home (and soon her little sister and brother). I’m really looking forward to this year!
I thought I would post about what our homeschool morning looks like, as far as the “school” side of things.
First, let me say that the title of this blog has always been “The FRUGAL Homeschooling Mom” – and that’s because I knew that no matter how hard I tried, homeschooling would never be free. All those blogs out there that claim to be homeschooling for “FREE” – I don’t believe it, not for one minute. No matter what you use (unless you’re a really serious Un-Schooler) – you have to pay for it – even all those free printables cost money for printer ink and internet access… just sayin’. So, nope, my curriculum choices are not all free. But, wherever possible, I’ve tried to save money when making my purchases. I buy “gently used” over 90% of the time (homeschoolclassifieds.com or Facebook “buy/sell/trade” groups for example). Or else I buy on sale with coupon codes, or go to book displays so I don’t have to pay shipping, or I use Homeschool Buyers’ Co-Op, etc. etc. etc.). Homeschooling is expensive – don’t ever let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. Even for us frugal folks. But, I’ve learned lots of ways to save money on the brands, supplies, and resources I love. And here they are:
English/Language Arts
Phonics, Language, and Handwriting – A Beka (yep, I bought this because I love it – but just a few workbooks (Letters and Sounds 2, Language 2) because I couldn’t afford the teacher’s manuals this year and I feel ok without them). Handwriting I’m following the A Beka style, but didn’t buy the workbook, I’m just using some plain-ole handwriting paper someone gave me (free) and a Dollar Store workbook.
Reading Comprehension/Guided Reading – I’m simply using books from the library and from our bookshelves (mostly classics I’ve researched online and pinned to Pinterest here and here). I’m also using resources from my K-2 list on the left sidebar (here and here for grade 2) – printables and activities related to those books. But mostly we’re reading for enjoyment this year. I’m also using A Beka’s phonics readers (the first 10 items here), they’re great, and the reading level is perfect for Laynie and gives her confidence with her reading.
SpellingHigh Noon Spelling (given to me free from a friend). This program looks like it will be perfect for my reluctant speller this year – quick and easy.
Math
Math – I’m using a combination of A Beka’s Arithmetic 2 workbook and lots of hands-on practice using manipulatives I already have on hand, and Time4Learning‘s online program for enrichment. This is our first year using A Beka’s math, we’ve used Horizons the past two years (also a great option!).
Science and Social Studies, and More
Classical Conversations – For 24 weeks, I’ll be following the Classical Conversations curriculum, and our family will be involved in our local co-op, learning about World History (Pre-Reformation to Modern), Geography (Europe and the World) and Science (Ecology, Astronomy, and Physical Science, as well as hands-on experiments) from a Christian worldview. We’ll also be learning Latin conjugations. In Fine Arts, we’ll study Impressionists and practicing Drawing skills, and we’ll also learn about composers and music theory. Classical Conversations is NOT CHEAP – but the past three years we’ve been in it, God has provided the means for us to do it. Not kidding – each year He has provided Laynie’s tuition in various ways, and we haven’t had to pay it ourselves, including this year! Otherwise, we would never have been able to do it. But I highly recommend it – it’s a wonderful experience for us, and I would say if there’s any way you can afford it, by all means, do – it’s well worth the money.
For the remaining weeks in our school year, I’ve planned some fun books to read, websites/videos to visit, and related activities to do (using my links in the left sidebar –  here and here for grade 2) to touch on some topics in our state’s Science/Social Studies curriculum (it’s the public school teacher in me). These things I’ve managed to find all FREE, online.
Bible – In Classical Conversations, we’ll be memorizing Ephesians 6 (yes, the whole chapter!). We will have nightly devotions or Bible reading together. And we’ll follow our church’s AWANA program (which is really great, and I would highly recommend if there’s a church in your area that offers it!)
Physical Education – Laynie attends a weekly homeschool PE class offered locally by a wonderful and amazing teacher. We will also allow her to participate in one sport this year courtesy of her generous grandparents (in the past it’s been dance or gymnastics. This year is still to be determined).

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