When choosing curriculums, we wanted to choose what was best for students. In many cases, this didn't mean reinventing the wheel since there are many high quality curriculums available. But not all curriculums are created equal, and not all curriculums meet the needs of all students.
The biggest factor when choosing curriculums was whether they were multi-sensory. A wealth of research supports the concept that students (children or adults) learn best when they can see, hear, and touch (or do) what they are learning. That's why we chose the following curriculums for our students:
This uses a hands-on visual method of learning math.
Musical Math Facts
We use Sue Dickson's Songs That Teach to help students with the important skill of
memorizing math facts.
Dianne Craft's Multiplication Cards
These large cards incorporate pictures and stories to help students memorize
multiplication facts for easier mathematical computations.
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write
This is for children PreK to 2nd grade to learn how to read and write through the use of
phonics, pictures, songs, and games. Students learn the sounds of the letters before the
names of the letters - a technique shown to make it easier for children to learn how to
To help students improve fluency and sight word recognition, we use SnapWords which
are flash cards with an integrated picture, a corresponding sentence, and a motion to
make it multi-sensory.
Pathways Reading Program
Once students have a firm grasp on reading, grades 3-5 shift focus from learning to read
to reading to learn. Pathways Reading Program involves having an adult pre-read a short
story that encompasses a moral lesson. Students then read the passage for themselves
and review vocabulary words and reading comprehension.
Step Up to Writing
K-2 students focus on spelling and basic sentence structures. To teach paragraph writing to our 3rd-5th graders, we use Step Up to Writing prompts, activities, and graphic organizers.
Diane Craft's Writing Instruction Method
We use Dianne Craft's "Zany Correction Method" when teaching all students to write.
Instead of focusing on what is wrong, we give points for everything done correctly. This
is incredibly motivating and encourages students to continue working to improve their
writing. We write one "paper" per week, starting with a specialized webbing technique
followed by a focus on writing good sentences until students build up to writing
Sank Magic Handwriting
These are imprinted, reusable books for K-1 students and those who need additional
The primary focus in grades K-1 is reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, since most states
require that students receive education in the area of science, lessons are provided for these ages with a focus on topics such as plants, animals (care and types), five senses, seasons and weather, etc.
Students in grades 2-5 will use the Rod and Staff science workbooks to go through science lessons.
Grades 2-3 work through the level 2 workbook.
Grades 4-5 work through the level 4 workbook.
Social Studies (U.S. History and Geography)
Kindergarten uses Abeka's My America.
First grade uses Abeka's My World.
Second grade uses Abeka's Our America.
Third grade uses Abeka's Our American Heritage.
Fourth and fifth grades use To Every Nation by Not Consumed.
State History: To learn state history, we use:
My State History Funbook for K-2.
Teachers use the Master Lesson Plan Book to teach grades 3-5.
In many states, students are required to take music, art, PE, health, and fire safety. For homeschoolers, music lessons, art classes, and sports are all acceptable ways to meet these requirements. If your child is taking courses elsewhere in these topics and you do not wish to have your student attend lessons in one or any of these subjects, simply show proof of outside lessons to your evaluator (Pennsylvania requirement - other states may vary) at the end of the year to meet these requirements.
However, if your student isn't taking specific lessons in addition to the academic lessons provided here or would simply like to join in at specials time, we also offer live lessons to meet these requirements.
In art class, we will go through various art subjects including ancient art, early American art, cultures, modern art, drawing, and painting. We will complete art projects as a group (minimal supplies needed - parents will be notified of needed supplies the week before the lesson.)
For music, we will cover ancient, early American, and modern music as well as music in different cultures.
Physical Education/Health and Safety
Fire safety, first aid, exercise, and nutrition are covered throughout the year.