We usually hold off on beginning our new homeschool year until the first week of September each year. Which means we’re starting up this week! Woohoo!
Since we’re entering our 8th year of homeschooling, I don’t have the same intense excitement I once did. Now it’s more of a relaxed anticipation to what we’ll learn this year.
I’ve also changed my entire homeschooling approach this time around. After many years of hoarding curriculum and books, I’m making the change to minimalist homeschooling. I’ve been exploring it for the past few months and now I’m finally ready to take the plunge.
So – what does minimalist homeschooling look like when you’re trying to teach four children? Take a look at our minimalist homeschool program for 6th grade, 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and PreK!
Image c/o: Mr. Webicon / depositphotos
A Minimalist Homeschool Program for 6th Grade
Our sixth grader has definitely become a more independent student. So her workload is substantially heavier than the younger kids, as it should be for a middle schooler.
Still, since she has ADHD, it’s important that I don’t overwhelm her with lots of different curriculum choices. All that changing up takes a mental toll on her and adds to her stress level. This year, we’re keeping it pretty simple.
Here are my 6th grader’s homeschooling resources for this year:
- ELA: National Geographic Hampton-Brown Edge Interactive Level B – A teacher friend of ours gave us this book and the accompanying practice workbook when she retired and, boy, am I glad. This is an excellent resource for teaching reading, writing, and language.
- MATH: For math, we’ll be using CTC Math, which my daughter is loving. Plus, we’ll be supplementing with pre-algebra classes via Mr. D Math.
- HISTORY: This year, we’re focusing on the 1920s using the book The 1920s in America from Kendall Hunt Publishing. We’ll also be reviewing ancient civilizations
- SCIENCE: We had so much fun with Real Science-4-Kids Level 6 that it’s going to be our science curriculum!
- GEOGRAPHY: I’m putting together her geography curriculum based on the National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers and the book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. We’ll be covering both world cultures and the inequalities of human society.
A Minimalist Homeschool Program for 3rd Grade
My third grader has a huge interest in animals, so we’ll be visiting the zoo a TON this year. Since he’s an avid reader (as are all my kids), he’ll have a substantial reading list to complete. (I’ll be sharing all the kids’ reading lists in the coming weeks.)
For 3rd grade, we’ll pretty much be using these three resources:
- What Your Third Grader Needs to Know – The CoreKnowledge series is excellent for giving you a framework for the elementary grades.
- CTC Math – We have the Family subscription, so all of my three oldest kids are using this program.
- Ancient and World History Unit Study Bundle – It’s time to introduce my boys to ancient civilizations, which is one of my favorite history topics! This is a super huge unit study bundle that is worth every penny.
With these, we’ll get the math basis we need and we’ll get the introduction to our other topics as well. When we find a topic of interest, it’s off to the library we go!
Since this is a standardized testing year for him and for my 6th grader, I picked up Spectrum Test Prep: Grade 6 and Spectrum Test Prep: Grade 3. But other than that, I’m not stressing too much about teaching to the test.
A Minimalist Homeschool Program for 2nd Grade
My ultimate goal is to combine my 2nd grader and my 3rd grader into one mega grade each year. Think of how much lesson planning energy I’d save! Plus, they could study together and help each other out! One day…
For now, I’m doing a sort of 2/3 year with the two. So their topics of study are pretty much the same this year. I’ll just be adapting specific lessons as needed to make sure they each understand everything they’re learning.
Our 2nd grader will be using these resources:
- What Your Second Grader Needs to Know – Yes, again. It’s a really good way to make sure you cover all the bases.
- CTC Math – This is my most active child and he has really taken to CTC Math. I couldn’t be happier!
- Ancient and World History Unit Study Bundle – My boys are pretty much on the same level with reading comprehension, so they’ll be taking history together this year. Plus, it saves me time!
A Minimalist Homeschool Program for PreK
It feels a little strange to think about what a minimalist homeschool program is like for a preschooler. After all, we’re talking about a preschooler. But I’ve been a first-year homeschooler and I remember stressing about planning my preschool curriculum for my first daughter. Oh, how times have changed.
My preschooler’s homeschool program will consist of two main resources:
- Teach Me Mommy – A wonderful preschool-at-home program written many years ago that is affordable and thorough. Just really, really good.
- Starfall – This is a free website and app, but you can pay $35 a year and get the full version. It’s worth it. My preschooler loves it! And because it’s has PreK through 1st grade content, she can skip around and learn whatever she likes. She’s already learning about parallelograms!
What are you using for homeschool curriculum this year? Have you ever tried a minimalist homeschool program? Let me know about your experiences in the comments!
Interested in learning more about minimalist homeschooling? Check out these posts!
Get more ideas for your homeschooling year on my Homeschool Planning board on Pinterest!