Home Education. What we are using or plan to use for Pre-k grade 1 and grade 3 and stepping up.

I’ve been sorting out and planning for the rest of the term to the Summer. As we have moved more towards workbooks and bought curriculum things have become a little easier on my foggy brain. One thing that has been fortunate is that the workbooks and curriculum I already have is working well so that I am not having to buy lots of new stuff over and over. So here’s the list.

As this post is going to be very long and some of you might want to come back to check resources and links I’ll make it sticky.

So here’s a list of stuff we are using or will be using in the next few weeks.

Seton Homeschool is now our “core” for curriculum. The Seton own books are well written and presented and stretch the children just enough to keep them engaged without burning them out. We have a nice set of the Glory Stories thanks to a friend (and I passed the second set on to another family whose oldest dd in particular loves them).

We are using the recommended music but I get it as a download direct from Adventus. Got the keyboard from Amazon UK. This programme is great and all three of the children are doing very well with it. Ronan has just started Premier. All three children have lessons three or four days a week or more for $10.95 (which is about £5-6) a month. I think that’s brilliant.

They learn about composers, their music and in the first three volumes they are taught by a composer. The first one being Beethoven.

Alongside a little set of First Discovery books about the Composers and  you’re set up.


Heleyna (age 5 pre-k/reception) is using the Pre-K Early Lit book which is good fun, with songs and little activities along the way.

She is also using more.starfall  which now includes some good basic maths, and Starfall . I print off the reading books for her as well as the worksheets as she sometimes prefers the less “high colour” option. We’ve been using more.starfall and Starfall for some time now. All three of the younger ones have learned a lot from it. The newer additions in more.starfall are very good. I’m not so keen on the skip counting songs but the children have alternatives from Youtube and a friend has lent us the MUS skip counting CD which is very good.

and we have the complete Funnix  learning to read set for free which she is working her way through very well.

Visual Perceptual Skills Vol 1 (I bought this for Avila as a way of training her out of her dyslexic tendencies. I’m using it with Heleyna just as exercises, but they do show where her perceptual abilities are.)

She will start the Hands On Thinking Skills book in the next few weeks. I think she will get a lot from this as she is a very kinesthetic learner.

She has the Oxford Reading Tree Books as back up reading, just because she enjoys them.  She does, however, cope better with the strongly phonics approach.

She is using MUS Primer for her main maths but we intersperse this with basic adding, measuring and weighing and she likes the new maths stuff on more.starfall mentioned earlier.

She has a Children’s Bible and I read her a short saint’s story from the St. Joseph Picture Books and I have just started bit by bit to go through the little St. Joe Catechism.

With friends she is using Sylvan Dell books. I’ve bought a year’s worth subscription. There’s enough in these books to cover a lot of basic education and even the older ones get to learn stuff.

A bit about cost. Obviously doing things this way can cost more than the old, DIY and free books approach. However,  you can spread the cost over time and children and swap and beg for stuff you need. It’s not always easy and it does mean doing without sometimes – or even quite often.  You all know this. Home Ed mums don’t go clothes shopping, wear makeup very often or eat out much (if at all). We make do and mend. And of course when we need something we can’t afford we save and pray.  Like many people I have both been given and given so  much stuff that a little alternative economy grows up.  I am aware that many home ed families aren’t so blessed, but look around and see what you find.

I also have the added bonus of a daughter who trawls second hand book shops and charity shops and has come home with many a 50 pence treasure.

GRADE 1 to 2 (This is Avila’s stuff)

From Seton English 1  and Religion 1 which she has just finished. So she is moving on to Language of God (level c) and CHC spelling until she’s got it well enough to cope with the Seton Spelling which is tougher. I like the fact that I can use CHC material which is much “gentler” than Seton alongside the Seton material. This means we can work at different levels depending on need. Avila has moved on quickly since her “stuck” phase and I think being able to move over to CHC for a while helped that.

Handwriting from CHC

Math U See beta along with mathematical Reasoning B (It’s good but I’m not going to bother moving her up to MR C because we are now using the excellent LIFE OF FRED books. She is completing Complete the Picture Math 1 and will start Bk 2 .

Having finished the Hands on Thinking Skills book she is moving onto Building Thinking Skills Level 1 (grades 2 to 3) Ronan is nearly at the end of this book.

As Avila finishes off many of the workbooks already mentioned she will start English 2 and Phonics 2

She will be on Religion 2 alongside her Faith and Life bk Jesus Our Life which I am using as her core for Sacramental prep. There are other books to go with prep which I think I’ll put in a separate post.

Independent reading of Science 2 even though she has read it with Ronan last year.

She is using Draw Write Now which is good for both penmanship, basic knowledge and hand eye skill for drawing. (I have the set but notice it is now horribly expensive so shop around if you can).

GRADE 3 to 4

Complete the Picture Math 3  is nearly finished and he’s well through Mathematical Reasoning C but that will be it as he much prefers LIFE OF FRED.

Math U See Gamma This will take him into grade 4 as he has only just started it.

Ronan has finished his Seton grade 3 stuff and so I have him doing some CHC and then next week he is moving up to Grade 4 Seton material.

We haven’t used the Art books before so this is a first go. It looks like a good starting point book.

English 4 will come alongside CHC Language of God for a while I think. Then Reading 4 Thinking Skills.

Science 4 for independent learning.

Religion 4 alongside Faith and Life bk 4 .

Then there’s the work they do together.  Ronan and Avila work together quite a bit. The age and skill gap with Heleyna is a little too big at the moment, but thanks to another HE family with children around Heleyna’s age she has the chance to work with other children too. Also she and Avila sit together for reading sometimes.

Joint work then:

From Classical Academy Press Song School Latin and Greek. Heleyna has learned some of the songs but I’ll redo them with her later on.

They are about to start Latin Primer A. We are not quite ready to start Greek Primer A as yet. I rate the Greek and Latin lessons from Classical Academic Press very highly.

History books are mainly Seton at the moment while I try and look around for other stuff. So we have Legacy vol 1 and I do want to get vol 2. We finished Our Father’s World ages ago- it was good fun. We’ve got the older version of History 3 which is giving a good overview of Catholics and their work in the America’s.

I am slowly buying the Catholic History books from the Catholic schools textbook project. All Ye Lands looks very good but I haven’t read it in depth yet, so I can’t vouch for it yet. I am thinking of using it over next year even though it is recommended for grade 6, as we can come back to it and do it in more depth after that. We’ll see.

Now that’s about it curriculum workbook wise. I’ll do a separate post on reading and literature.

Meanwhile I’ve got the syllabus for Vol 1 of RC History. It looks like there’s a lot of work I’ll have to do to make it fit the pre-k to K children but I’ll let you know.

In joint science we are still using the Mr Q Classic Science free book and units. I do think I might buy other units at some point but not yet. As it is I’ve made some science stuff to go with the science lab boxes I bought from Seton. I wont be buying any more because the duty tax on them made them stupidly expensive. Shame really because they are just right for when I’m too “duh” to come up with science experiments myself.

So there you go. A short overview of the next term to year.

One response to “Home Education. What we are using or plan to use for Pre-k grade 1 and grade 3 and stepping up.

  1. Somehow I thought of you when I read this — http://catholicexchange.com/why-are-homeschooled-kids-so-annoying/

    It’s written by a homeschooling mom, so it’s not what the title might lead you to suspect. 😉

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