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Before I jump in let me say that I am no expert and although I know quite a few homeschooling mom’s, none of our choices/curriculums/schedules are or will be the same. Every child is different even within a family, so what works for my oldest may not work for one of her siblings. Over the last 2 years I have been researching how different families ‘do’ homeschool, looking at different homeschool curriculums, what homeschool ‘looks’ like, but with all the research came one big point: no two families do it the same way and there isn’t a ‘wrong’ way. With all that said here is what we’ve done homeschooling year 2 wrap up.

Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

Curriculum:
The first thing I do when starting to plan out my year is printing off a list of what each child would be learning if he/she would be in public school (Bella is in 1st, Ashton did a mixture of pre-K/K). It’s really easy to get overwhelmed and doing this helps give me some foundation. Like last year, I ended up using a variety of {mostly free} resources:

Khan Academy I found out about this mid year. We started Bella off with the math and English sections this year, but they have world history, science, engineering, computer programing, and even SAT test prep! I think this is a great resource, each child creates a profile and it keeps track of where they are, and it’s FREE! I definitely think we will continue using this.

Workbooks: Most of the workbooks I have bought are either for math or writing practice (letters/numbers). Both last year and this year I found great workbooks at the beginning of the school year in the Target dollar spot! Target also has a section of workbooks back in the movie/ book section.

United Art and Education This is a store for teachers and parents. Teachers can go there and buy all of their classroom décor as can parents. We bought posters (for a small fee they also laminate them!), paint, papers, workbooks. They also have a clearance section which is where I found and bought a variety of flashcards.

Library. We love and use the library lots! We go to story time which usually includes a little art project too. Our library also has some homeschool classes, but are mostly geared towards middle school/high school.

Easy Peasy. We used this last year for some of Bella’s learning but I didn’t this year. Another free resource!

ABC mouse. I didn’t renew our membership but the kids enjoyed this, and I think it really did help reinforce some of their learning. It’s fun and every activity is educational!

Pinterest. This is such a great resource, seriously. I have found so many great ideas, activities and free printables. You can follow me on pinterest here or more specific my homeschool board, kids books, or my general kids board.

Teachers Pay Teachers. A lot of my homeschool pinterest pins ended up coming from this site, which is how I found out about it. You can find free printables, printables for a small fee, or use it as your main curriculum by buying bundles of already made up work! I can always find free holiday activities and printables.

Netflix/Amazon Prime. We watch lots of animal and nature shows/documentaries. We also rent the corresponding movies when we finish a chapter read aloud book!

*The curriculum choices are many. I have been already looking into a few for next year myself, but I only listed ones that we use or used last year.

Supplies:
Pencils, paper, crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks,… I assume you have those things. These are additional things that we have and use lots!
Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

Dry erase boards and markers. From practicing letters and math to playing Pictionary! And saves on paper 😉 I bought each of them one and no fighting!

Happy Planner. (Michael’s always has 40-60% off coupons!) This is my homeschool planner. It helps me keep track of what they did each day along with jotting down ideas, planning our field trips, play dates, and other outings.

Microscope. We bought this for Bella’s Christmas present the year before last and she uses it all the time. Most recently she used it to look at Ruby’s skin that she shed (our bearded dragon).

Flashcards. We have a variety: numbers, first words, letters, sight words, math, etc. Everyone uses these including Melanie (she’s 2).

Books. We have lots, so many actually that the bookshelf my husband made this winter is already full. We have cardboard books, early reader books, homeschool activity books (thanks to a lady asking my mom if she wanted some- for free! thank you!), classic books (my kids loved Heidi, and we are currently reading Robin Hood), and learn to draw art books.

Large blocks. Not only are these great to occupy younger kids (and play with in general!), we incorporate these in math and letters!

Binoculars. Sometime we go near the airport to watch the planes or we use these to look at the birds in the backyard or take them on our nature walks.

Watercolor paints. These will last a whole lot longer than regular “kids paints.” A little goes a long way! You add a small dab (like, less than a dime small!)  to a old container lid, or Styrofoam plate and the kids wet their paint brushes and paint up a storm! The kids learn to mix colors, make light or dark depending on how much water is on their paintbrushes. My kids love drawing pictures and then painting them in (like a coloring page!). Endless fun!

Field Trips:
I thought this was important to add in. This year I decided I wanted to do a monthly field trip with the kids. Some were community hosted and some we just did on our own.

Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

Apple picking. We did this last fall and the kids had fun. We invited our friends to go with us. The kids saw first hand the different kinds of apple trees, how they grow, the different colors, how to pick them, how heavy the bags got 😉 . We brought them home and made applesauce, apple pies, and made apple pie oatmeal for dinner! Definitely doing this again next year.

Indianapolis Children Museum. We usually do this in May or June. We starting going here because my husband has training in Indianapolis and we tagged along.  The kids love it; so much to do. I will be packing our lunch this time to eat, last year the kids were too excited to eat and they ended up not eating much because they wanted to go play more!

Nature Walks. We just did this last week. It was to learn about turtles, they read the kids a little bit about turtles, asked them questions, showed them an empty shell and we went on a walk to try and find some. We didn’t see any turtles but we did see empty bird shells, bird tracks, a blue heron, a snake swimming in the water, and snails.

The Zoo. My kids love animals and actually know a lot about them. So this is a no brainer for my kids 🙂

See Christmas lights. We’ve turned this into a December tradition.

Due to having Theo in February we took a couple months off, but one that I wanted to do and haven’t yet is to take the kids to the fire department.

Miscellaneous:
We see homeschooling as learning life skills not just to sit with books and be lectured at.(Disclaimer: Calvin and I both went to and graduated from public school; there isn’t anything wrong with that, but we both believe that learning does not stop when you step out of the classroom and there are so many more things we want our kids to be taught that are not part of public school).  We want to enrich our children’s lives and help them grow into successful adults and with that comes life skills including things like:

Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

Learning CPR. Our oldest is only 7, but if something were to happen to me when Calvin wasn’t home, God forbid, they should at least know how to call 911.

Kitchen skills. Not only does it encourage them to try new foods and eat healthier–  they are learning!
science: the process of bread-making and the changes it goes through…, hypothesis on what color their smoothie will turn, etc!
math: fractions using teas/tBs and measuring cups.
reading: Bella has learned to read, so she will read the recipe and get the ingredients out.

Fire safety. This includes fire drills randomly, even at night!

Outside work. they help garden, pull weeds in the flower beds, help wash the cars.

They learn how to build things and fix things. For the last two years we’ve been slowly redoing our house and we include the kids as much as we can!

How to send snail mail. Writing a letter, addressing the envelope correctly, adding a stamp, and how to put it in the mailbox so the mail lady knows to pick it up.

Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

If you have any questions feel free to email me findingfaithsfuture@gmail.com or leave a comment and I will be happy to reply. Remember every family dynamic is different, and two families will never do everything the same including homeschool. As a new-er homeschooling family this is how we have done things, which I’m sure some aspects will change over the years. I wrote this post as an encouragement to others. Feel free to leave curriculum that you have tried and used (loved or didn’t work), field trip ideas, or supplies that your family loves!

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Our homeschool year in review: curriculum, field trips, and supplies!

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