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I can’t believe I’m coming up to the end of my 4th year homeschooling. It’s been such a wonderful ride! I feel like I’ve learned more in the last 4 years, then I ever did in school.. one of the perks of homeschooling is being able to learn beside our kids!
Anyone who has homeschooled for more than a week, knows the trial and errors that come alongside picking curriculum. What works one month, has the ability to slowly fade away and the kids or myself lose interest in whatever approach is made, etc.
I am going to do a second grade, end of year review on the curriculum I’ve chosen. Some of them will differ from the original post I did about second grade, because things change and my girl’s needs change. I felt confident with the choices we made for the year and have decided to move forward with the next levels for third grade. I will share with you the items I chose for 3rd grade, once they come in the mail!
Grammar: This year I didn’t utilize Language Lesson’s for a Living Education as much as I had hoped. I am not sure why this happened, but it sort of works out because I was always one year ahead in this curriculum, as they didn’t have level 1 when I began. Depending on what First Language Lessons Level 3 looks like, I may incorporate LLFLE level 3 with my 3rd grader this year.
Often times I’m asked about why I chose two grammar curriculums and it’s because First Language Lessons Level 1 & Level 2 are all done orally, so I wanted to add in something to incorporate some review and writing. This year coming up, I noticed that First Language Lessons Level 3 comes with a student workbook, so I may not need Language Lessons for a Living Education at all next year. Once I get my curriculum for 3rd grade in the mail, I will share the inside of the curriculum with you all. Then I can make the decision whether I want to keep moving forward with LLFLE.
I will link both books below, but will say, to those wondering, that I would recommend First Language Lessons 100% over Language Lesson for a Living Education. I feel like the repetition done in the book, as well as the poem memorization is fantastic and I feel like my girls do so well with it. It also gives them a break from having to write a lot as well.
Language Lessons for a Living Education
Math: We are still going strong with The Good and the Beautiful Math.. We will be finishing this curriculum in time for 3rd Grade. I just checked the website and it says they plan on putting out level 3 in June, so that will be perfect. After many failed attempts at finding a math curriculum that suited my girl’s needs, I was so happy to collaborate with The Good and the Beautiful and ended up trying their math program. What a blessing it has been to our schooling. I recommend this curriculum 100%. After using Saxon and Math U See, this one really sparked my girls interest in math. They both love math and I’m pretty sure it’s up there on their’s favorite’s list.
Musical Multiplication: My oldest knows how to do multiplication utilizing skip counting, but she is learning her facts via Musical Multiplication. It is so catchy, my girls love the songs and it really does work quite well.
Spelling: I was searching for a great spelling curriculum for a while. Luckily, a wonderful mama on IG took the time to make some stories of the inside of this book for me to look at! Instantly I loved the simplicity of it. I used it this year with my first and second grader. The book linked is for second grade. I highly recommend it!
History: I can’t say enough good things about The Story of the World. My daughters both love this curriculum. I am so glad that The Well Trained Mind suggested it! My girls look forward to the coloring pages, map work and the stories. I highly recommend this curriculum, it teaches history chronologically and the workbook gives you review questions, examples of narrations, recipes, craft ideas, map work and coloring pages. I am often asked whether the Workbook is necessary, and although I believe the textbook can be utilized as a living history book, I think there is a lot of benefits to having the workbook.
Story of the World: Volume 2 Text Book:
Science: I have been using The Good and the Beautiful’s Science Units for some time now. This year I slacked on having the girls utilize their science journals for narration and drawing, but we did do a lot of reading aloud from the curriculum as well as discussions about the topics. Some times I get questions or comments about the curriculum being advanced for younger students and it’s important to keep in mind that these units are ranged from K-8th. I would suggest skipping over the tough reading and wait until a later age to add that in. I maneuver my way around the curriculum according to my girl’s levels. It’s such a great investment because you pay for it once and you can reuse them as your little ones move up in grades.
The Good and the Beautiful’s Water and our World: We weren’t able to complete this entire unit as I received Mammals in the mail and couldn’t wait to start, but I will be going back and reading to them from the curriculum to catch them up with the information.
The Good and the Beautiful’s Meteorology We really enjoyed this unit. My girls learned so much, in a fun way. We didn’t do too much journaling with this one, but I highly recommend it!
The Good and the Beautiful’s Space Science: We really enjoyed this unit. It came with great mini books on all the planets and the girls really enjoyed the journaling pages we did for this entire unit.
The Good and the Beautiful Mammals: We are currently half way through this unit. It’s so convenient because I decided to combine my daughter’s science and history to be on the same level and so my youngest didn’t get to work on animals, like she should have in first grade. So this was a blessing in disguise, because what kids don’t love to learn about animals? The girls absolutely love it! I also received some other reading books from the Mammals Read-Aloud Book Pack and highly recommend those as well! We loved them all!
The Good and the Beautiful’s Safety Unit I love this unit.. it is something we continue to review and I will go through it next year as well.
The Burgess Book of Birds: I was contemplating this book for so long and I’m so happy that I decided to go with it. My girls and I love the natural flow to the stories and the great lessons hidden within the stories. I highly recommend this one as a great living book! We haven’t completed it but will continue to move forward with it all next year.
The Burgess Book of Animals: This is another one that is a favorite of ours for the same reasons the Birds one is so great. We will also have this as part of our read alouds next year!
Geography: I didn’t use anything, except what our history taught us, for geography this year, but I did end up buying the next level of DK Geography books for next year, which I will show when I receive them.
Writing: So last year I started Writing with Ease and then stopped because I wasn’t a fan. But after seeing it being used in a story on IG, I did a better look through of it and spoke to the mom on Instagram about it. I soon decided to give it another shot and I’m so glad that I did. We ended up loving the curriculum, it has such short lessons and they are very helpful with finding main ideas, dictation, copywork and narration. It helps guide your little ones to understand main ideas and how to summarize. My second grader did level 2 without completing more than 10 lessons in level 1 and now my youngest, who is in first grade, is half way done with level 1 and is loving it as well. I highly recommend it!
Shakespeare: I won’t lie, we didn’t do much of this, this year, but this book is fantastic. I plan on utilizing it next year as well. The stories are somewhat gruesome at times, but I never shield anything from my girls when it comes to history and/or topics that Shakespeare touches upon either. I am so glad I purchased this book and highly recommend it.
Cursive: I was searching for a cursive book for a while and while at Barnes and Nobles, I purchased this book and my daughter loves it. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s cheap and effective. We aren’t done with it, and I’m sure we will take next year to complete it.
Religion: I fell short with our curriculum this year for Religion, but plan on utilizing it more next year. I don’t even know why it was put on the backburner, but (no lie) my daughter just asked to have it brought back into our school days! I feel so terrible I didn’t make this number one priority, but I will be asap! More than Words is a fantastic religion curriculum. It is fun and very engaging for my girls! I will move onto the next book, once my girls are done with this one! We LOVE the I Am books as well as The Ology. I highly recommend all these choices for religion.
Review: I love this book, the illustrations are so gorgeous and the content is easy for my girls to follow. It’s such a great addition to our days.
Read Alouds: I will try to remember the read alouds we did this year and list them below for you! You can click on the photo to view in amazon!
We love the Little House on the Prairie Series. I think the girls are fearful of running out of the books so we will move onto something different in the beginning of next year and come back to it at the end! This is a great starting point for read alouds, in my opinion!
There are more of these books that we read, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. We love these books, I have the entire set and I can’t recommend them enough. I have had moms reach out to me to explain that some of them were too gruesome for their little ones and as I can agree there are some parts that may not be suited for children, you can easily skip over those parts. I don’t with my girls, but it’s definitely doable. History is filled with some terrible moments and I have found that my girls, while astonished by it, understand that it’s a part of the story.
Nature Studies: If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I don’t put a huge emphasis on nature studies.. it’s just a personal preference or lack of urgency to teach it. But I did end up buying a book to help. I haven’t utilized it much, but plan on reading through it more for next years studies. Also, because I need an open and go curriculum for everything, I think the Nature Notebook from The Good and the Beautiful is fantastic and highly recommend it.