Our Delight-Directed, Literature-Rich Homeschool Curriculum Choices

When you’re homeschooling creative girls who love to read and you want to encourage their interests and talents, a typical textbook approach isn’t always the best plan. That’s why we tend to stay flexible in our curriculum choices so we have the freedom to purposefully explore delight-directed learning. We also like to focus on relationships and character, so we use our morning basket to spend time together and start our days on the right foot. Since I get a lot of questions about what our delight-directed, literature-rich days look like, I wanted to share a few key curriculum choices that we’re using this year in our homeschool.

Our homeschool curriculum choices for delight-directed, literature-rich homeschooling | what homeschool curriculum we use and why

Our Delight-Directed, Literature-Rich Homeschool Curriculum Choices

This year my girls are entering second, fourth, and tenth grades. My, how times flies! I can’t believe my oldest is in high school and at the rate she’s going, she will finish high school a year early. Grade levels tend to be very arbitrary for homeschoolers since we have the freedom to work at many different levels for different subjects and different abilities. Grades are just a loose guideline for us because we have to state a grade on our official homeschool paperwork. These are the highlights of our curriculum choices, though we add and subtract from this list as the homeschool year progresses.

Tenth Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Language Arts & Literature: American Literature from Apologia — We’re really looking forward to digging into this one. Here is the description:

This American literature homeschool curriculum for high school will teach students to analyze major works of American literature from a biblical perspective.  The course is authored by Dr. Whit Jones, a homeschool dad and professor at Bryan College. By completing this high school  course, your student will earn 1 literature credit and 1 writing credit.

The course uses the Socratic method of asking probing questions about each work and leading students to a deeper understanding of what the author is saying how he or she is saying it. This book is beautifully illustrated in a stunning hardcover edition.

The student notebook is a key component of the American Literature course. Every study question from the textbook is included, with ample space for students to record their answers. Also, the notebook is where you will find the chapter tests, semester exams, and detailed, step-by-step instructions for writing insightful and persuasive literary analysis papers on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark” and Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” This outstanding feature makes the American Literature Student Notebook invaluable preparation for future college coursework.

Math: Life of Fred algebra and geometry

Science: nature studies, hands-on experiments, and Apologia Marine Biology

Technology: Youth Digital offers several courses in general programming and game design. My daughter has taken 3D Game Design I and has almost completed 3D Game Design II. She has also learned coding from CodeMonkey. Kids from grades 3 through 12 can give Java-like scripting a try with this resource. Coding, scripting, and programming are way beyond my comfort level, but she is interested in doing this for a future career so we’ve found the resources she needs to learn it all. It has been really cool to watch her excel with this.

Art: Chalk pastels and Sparketh

American Landmarks from Sea to Shining Sea

In addition to these things, Big Sis is also doing her own Bible study topics. We have daily discussions on her reading and talk about Biblical worldview in application to current events and life in general. I can’t really explain how proud I am of the young woman she is becoming, how impressed I am with her reasoning skills, her talents, and her eagerness to put those talents to work for the glory of God. She’s not just my daughter — she’s a really great person to know. Even though I’m sad that she is growing up so fast, I also look forward to seeing her future plans come to light.

Fourth Grade Homeschool Curriculum

Language Arts: We’re trying something new for language arts and reading this year. We’ve long used Learning Language Arts through Literature, but this year we’ve had the chance to try Readers in Residence and Writers in Residence from Apologia. I’m very impressed with these and love using favorite books for language arts lessons. You can read my complete reviews here: Readers in Residence and Writers in Residence.

Readers in Residence books

Math: Life of Fred

Science: Apologia Land Creatures

Art: Chalk Pastels are a big favorite in our homeschool. There are so many different projects to choose from and we haven’t run out of ideas yet!

Blast off into chalk art!

Second Grade Homeschool Curriculum

My youngest daughter has responded really well to some online learning programs we’ve tried. Yes, I generally gravitate toward real books rather than games and online learning screen time; however, I also believe in encouraging strengths and shoring up the areas where my daughters might lack confidence. I’m not going to fight to have my way when it might kill the joy of discovery and learning in their hearts and minds. Remember the freedom of flexibility in homeschooling? To that end, she has been doing well with ABCmouse.com. She looks forward to using the computer and the lessons really stick with her. It has actually improved her attention span and retention, which is a huge plus. She can use it on the Kindle and on the computer, too. ABCmouse.com has learning activities for preschool through second grade in math, science, social studies, reading, and art/music. You can even try a month for free. {By the way, I’m not being paid to say this. We really like ABCmouse.com.}

In addition to her online learning time, we’re also using the following resources:

Language Arts/Reading: For reading and language arts skills in the early years, we love, love, love Five in a Row and Learning Language Arts through Literature. Using real booksliving books and classics — to teach reading comprehension, handwriting skills, spelling, and grammar is a dream come true for us. It’s so great to share quality read-alouds together and then carry those over into our language arts lessons!

Five in a Row covers more than just reading/language arts. It also includes geography, social studies, some math, and science when you do the included activities. They are literature-based unit studies for the elementary years.

Math: We’re using Life of Fred books for math in addition to ABCmouse.com. These are great math stories that engage the reader while “sneaking in” math concepts. Perfect for literature-rich homeschoolers.

Science: We really enjoy Apologia and have for years. We’ve tried other science options, but always come back to the Apologia series. We also like hands-on projects that we pick up along the way, like Creation Crate or Magic School Bus. You can read more about our hands-on projects in this post.

Geography: U.S.A. State-by-State Geography Notebook — this includes notebooking and coloring pages for each state with information about the capital, the state bird, state flower, and more.

Bible: Grapevine Bible Studies — this includes Bible study and creativity as we stick figure through the Bible. We also use the Apologia Worldview series, which is excellent.

Art: Chalk pastels for the win!

Video Art Course for All Ages

We use lapbooks to explore other interests and have creative learning time as well.

You can see that we like many of the Apologia resources in different subjects. Most Apologia resources take a Charlotte Mason-influenced approach, which we enjoy, and they all represent a Biblical worldview while being comprehensive and free from doctrine of any particular denomination.

If you want a peek at some of our reading selections, I recommend these posts:

10 Chapter Books Chosen by a 10 Year Old

101 Books Every Girl Should Read

Our Favorite Caldecott Honor Books

Classic Books for Girls

Classic Books for All Ages (free printable guide included)







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    1. Thanks! I love so much of Charlotte’s philosophy, even if we aren’t purists. 🙂 I think great books make a big difference in character development and encouragement of lifelong learning for our children. I’m so glad you stopped by because now I can read your lovely blog, too.

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