The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool

We are in the final week of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair. We were are going to talk about the things that help to enrich our learning, our elective classes that we do because we want to! These are usually the fun classes that everyone wants to do first, but sometimes I don’t care because I am having fun also!

With Moe Man being in high school, we have spent some time looking at great electives that he could do to help him get some credits in for his future choices. It has been so much fun to sit down with him and check out all the options that are available.

One elective course that I decided for him was Bible History. I want him to know about the history of the Bible, but I want it to be fun for him. To make this happen, we have started Drive Thru History Adventures (Review to come), using Drive Thru History: The Gospels. These videos make the learning fun and bring you to the location!


We also like to spend time looking at SchoolhouseTeachers has to offer for elective options. The best thing about this? Our one membership gives everyone access to these electives.

I love seeing that there were two different home economics style classes listed here. They were for elementary/early middle school, and I wish I could have found one for Moe Man, but I love that I can use these for the younger kids, and add more to the lessons, to give Moe Man an elective credit. Plus, why wouldn’t I want my child to get a good grip on taking care of themselves?


Not only that, but SchoolhouseTeachers also offers courses in Art, Computer/Technology, Drama/Speech, and Foreign Languages. These give us so many options all over the board that I am happy to know my kids will be able to learn something they want.

Along with all these excellent courses, SchoolhouseTeachers has a great sale happening for the next few days. Lock in these great prices and homeschool your whole family for one low cost!!


Not only that, but we have found some great fun in finding a way to add music to our homeschool. You have heard me mention Miss Mason’s Music, a Charlotte Mason Music program for your homeschool. This is so fun and simple to add to your day. Everything you need is right there on the website! Little Miss loves this the most. She has always loved singing, and I am glad to find a program that works for her!


Every homeschool is different, and the ways that we enrich our homeschools will vary. I love being able to follow the interest of my kids when it comes to finding a way to add enrichment to our homeschool. Finding the resources to allow us to do this is just as important.

How do you enrich your homeschool days?

This is the final week of the 7th Virtual Homeschool Fair. Our topic is:  Enriching Our Learning.

Note: All posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 29th.

Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

All of the Extras by Christy Schaefer @ Unexpected Homeschool

How To Explore Special Interests In Your Homeschool by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Learning outside of the box by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Putting the Heart Back into our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Adding in the Fun by Michele @Family, Faith, and Fridays

The Electives We Use in Our Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

The Fun Parts of Homeschooling by Annette @ A Net in Time

How we add in the fun stuff. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Running – for fitness & fun by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Adding in the Extras by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

What About the Fun Stuff? by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

And the Learning Goes On, And On, And On by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Let’s See What’s Out There! (Electives and Extras) by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

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2018 Homeschool Curriculum – First Grade and Preschool

First Grade

Monday I told you about the curriculum that my boys are using. Today I want to share with you want we are using with our girls. Their schedules are a little different due to their age. While I still try to cover all the topics with them, they are just presented differently.

First Grade

Little Miss – First Grade

Little Miss is in the first grade and is just starting to get into the formal education as Charlotte Mason talks about it. I haven’t done much with her over the years, besides learning her letters, colors, numbers and reading to her. By doing this, it has been just the right way for her to enter into the whole school thing. She isn’t stressed out about school, and finds it fun!

To keep this love of learning going with her, I have been looking at things that keep lessons short, sweet, and simple. I am having her listen while I read Ray Ray his history lessons. She doesn’t do much besides color or draw while I read. She also will answer orally about what we have read, and am starting her on narration after I read.

Math is something that I am looking into. I am currently using the Math 1 on Easy Peasy, and Little MIss enjoys it. Finding something that is fun and short is what I am looking for. I also use Easy Peasy for her Science lessons. These she works with Ray Ray on. I love that he can read the lesson to her and they work through the worksheets and projects together.

Now for reading and writing, I have a few issues. I want to find something that works for her, but she doesn’t want to “read” yet. I am not pushing it. This is why I can’t buy a box curriculum! She is currently using Growing Writers for her writing. Growing Writers starts with simple letter practice and moves into the sentences and grammar. The lessons are short and end with her drawing and being creative.

First Grade

I am busy trying to find a just right reading program for her. For now, we are reading aloud, playing on Reading Eggs and Starfall. These are fun ways for her to pick up on learning to read without pushing her. Until I find what I want, we are going to keep this up and let her learn the fun way.

Baby Girl – Preschool

Baby Girl is just three. I haven’t done much with her school focused besides singing the alphabet and working on counting numbers. She is my little go-getter and loves to pick up on things. She always wants to have something to do like the big kids, so I have been looking around. Besides what we are currently doing, I am going to let her start with Easy Peasy’s Getting Started 1 lessons. These are not hard; they are a lot of listening to songs and working on the alphabet and the sounds the letters make along with a fun craft to do with it.

First Grade

While three might seem like a young age for her to be getting started, I only intend to have her working on these lessons for 2 or 3 days out of the week. The rest of the week will be what we are already doing, playing and talking about things to learn them. What better way to learn about the weather than to go out and be in it. There isn’t a better way to learn about food than to be in the kitchen with me learning about them. Not to mention touching and smelling them at the grocery store!

I don’t expect to do much more with the girls for a few years. They are still having fun learning while playing, and they love to cuddle up with good books. This is all they need right now, and I don’t intend to change that!

What kinds of things do you do with your younger students?

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Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Homeschool curriculum! It is the one thing that many people ask about, talk about, plan about and think about. This is the one thing that I pray about every year! I want to make the right choices for my kids, to give them the best chances at whatever it is they want to do. After a few years of playing around, I am happy with our homeschool curriculum choices for this year!

I have kids all over the school spectrum. I have a junior who is getting his credits so that he can graduate, and I have a preschooler who is just wanting to play all day. Not to mention the 3rd grader who wants to play video games or watch tv all day and the 1st grader who loves to do school, just on her schedule, not mine.

Finding curriculum that fits the kids, how they learn, and what they want to learn can sometimes be hard. But I am thankful that I have had the chance to find what works for my kids. Each one of the kids have something different for curriculum. Sometimes they share lessons, other times they are all over the place. But they are learning, and I am happy!

So, what is it that we use? A little bit of everything and something different for each of them! That is the best way to sum it up. Each child learns different, so I get the curriculum that works for them. We have not had much luck with boxed curriculum, so we tend to use a little of this and a little of that.

Moe Man – Junior

Moe Man is my junior this year! I am not ready for this to be happening! I have been denying it since he started his freshman year, but that still hasn’t stopped it from happening. We have tried a few different things. I know that anything that is writing intensive is not going to work for him. So, I was super happy to find Train Up a Child Publishing! Their Essay Styles for High School goes over the Narrative, Descriptive, Expository, Persuasive and Comparison/Contrast Essays, along with a short section on Honors Essays. Each essay is broken down, step by step and takes 4-6 weeks or longer. This has been a lifesaver for us!

Math is another area where I need to research before getting for Moe Man. We struggled for many years before we found No-Nonsense Algebra. These lessons are short, to the point and are video lesson. There is not a lot of reading and nothing extra to confuse him. His only request for me was to find a Geometry course that was similar. This is where I was lost and confused. Where would I find a duplicate of something that was new? Lo and behold, has a great geometry course with MrD! When I went in and looked at these lessons, they seem similar. Maybe a little longer, but still the same idea. I am so excited to start this next month!

Ray Ray – 3rd Grade

This kid…he tests every button I never knew existed! Especially when it comes to school. He doesn’t want to do school but is super smart. He has taught himself almost everything he knows, just from reading and life in general. He is my child who taught himself how to read after fighting me in the lessons. He is the one who taught me some of the common core concepts with math. This is the kid who wants to play video games instead of do his lessons.

So how in the world am I supposed to teach him lessons? I keep them short. I keep them interesting. I find him something to read that is interesting and fun and full of learning! I found that with the Charlotte Mason style of learning. I also found that with Masterbooks. While I love most of their subjects in their boxed curriculum, there are still some that I change.

We do America’s Story together with Little Miss, but only Ray Ray does the worksheets. Little Miss colors while listening to the stories. Math, oh this is a blessing. This is a math program that Ray Ray won’t fight me with. We are 5 weeks in and he does it first thing! This is not like him, but I like it.

Science was where I had to make a change. I didn’t like the program, so I found one that both Ray Ray and Little Miss could work on together. This was found at Easy Peasy. I was so happy to find something that helped both of them and could take another subject and combine them together for these two.

Now, with four kids, this post could get long! I decided to cut it in half, literally! I will share how I have the girls learning on Wednesday with you! I hope you check back and see what I have found for them!

Looking for more curriculum ideas? Visit my fellow homeschool bloggers!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 22nd.

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Freedom through nature journaling. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources – An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace

Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Choices, choices – how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Our Curriculum Needs – grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time

The Heart of Our School by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

What I Use with 7th and 9th Grader – Virtual Homeschool Fair -Week 3 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses

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How We Homeschool – Our Method

Welcome back to the second week of the 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair. I am so glad that you are back! Did you have fun reading about all the different reasons why families choose to homeschool? This week we are talking about how we homeschool! Read about our methods and make sure you check out how everyone else homeschools as well!

When looking at homeschooling, there are many different methods that a family could follow. I spent time looking at these, so seeing if traditional, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Unit Studies or Eclectic would work for us. One thing I did know, there are so many methods, I was sure to find one that would work. Little did I know that it might take a few years and numerous trials to find that just right method for our house. Not only that, but to find out that each child might prefer a different method than their siblings.

I homeschool so that my children can learn in the way that best fits them, not to force them to learn how I want them to. Because of this, I have found that we have three methods of learning in our house. Everyone is a little bit eclectic in the house. We love to pick things that we are interested in, and not always what their homeschooling style would say to work with. I love that we can add in fun with our lessons and not have to worry about it.

Moe Man is my traditional learning. He had some years in the public-school system. He was used to the schedule that came with public school. While we don’t have times set up for everything, he does enjoy sitting down and looking at what he needs to do. He loves knowing how much needs to get done before he starts, and he loves to use videos and text to learn from. He doesn’t really care for the living books, unless it has to do with American History or the World Wars.

Now, I tried this same thing with Ray Ray. Only he didn’t like it. He fought me every time we would have to sit down. He would be brought to tears about school, and he didn’t like it. But, he liked to read. He is the child that taught himself how to read. If I handed him an interesting book, he would read it and tell me all about it. Guess what I did? I looked into Charlotte Mason and found the thing that worked!

Charlotte Mason

I am able to plan short, sweet, to the point lessons that Ray Ray will do. He doesn’t fight me as much, and when I hand him a book to go and read, he doesn’t argue me. I am able to ask him about it after and hear some great stories.

Finding this style for Ray Ray, I tried it with Little Miss. She loves to have me read to her. I love finding the classics like Lamplighter Books to read with her. I have plans to start Little House on the Prairie as well. The nice thing with Ray Ray’s curriculum is that I can have them work together with science and history. I make Ray Ray do more, but they are both learning and having fun with it.

Charlotte Mason

Having three school age children in the house, and finding out that they all learn a little different, makes my job a little harder at times. But watching them learn and having fun while they do it, makes it that much easier on me. I love to know that I am allowing my children to learn in the way that works best for them. This gives them the joy for learning that they need.

How do you homeschool? Do you have one method for everyone, or does everyone have their own method of learning?

What do my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about their Homeschool Method? Go visit them to find out!

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 15th.

How Our Academic Co-op Completes Our Eclectic Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

A Method to Our Madness by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Finding Our Homeschool Method by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

How We Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Give Us…. by Annette @ A Net in Time

A day in our Home by Sarah@DeliveringGrace

Lit-Based Education: How We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Overhauling Our Homeschool – Adjusting our “How” to fit our “Why” by Sabrina Scheerer @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler: Expectation Vs. Reality by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

How Charlotte Mason Transformed Our Homeschool by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Captain’s Log, Supplemental – Our Homeschool Days by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

How we get it done. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How to Organize Daily Curriculum with the School Cart by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Learning For LIfe by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

Eclectic Homeschooling: When It All Comes Together by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

A Typical Day? by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

This is the Way We Do Our School, So Early in the Morning by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Little of This and a Little of That: Eclectic Homeschooling by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Still Classically Educating After All These Years by True North Homeschool Academy

So what exactly is Life Led Homeschooling? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

The way we learn ~ 2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Our Homeschool Routine by Joelle @Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Methods – 8 Tips for the Journey by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

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The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool

The reasons to homeschool are many and vary from family to family. One family’s reason will not be the same as the next. That is what makes homeschooling so much fun. You don’t need a right reason to homeschool, you just need your reason. So, let me tell you the why behind Hopkins Homeschool!

Hopkins Homeschool was not something that was planned. Sure, we had talked about, but we never acted on it. Moe Man was attending public school, we did try to homeschool him once, and failed. Not giving up on something was the best decision ever!

However, Hopkins Homeschool didn’t officially start with Moe Man the second time. This time it was Ray Ray. It happened fast, and there was no turning back. Ray Ray was going to preschool and was so excited about it. At four-years-old he was thrilled to be like his big brother. But that is not what happened.

After the first day, I couldn’t get him to go back without a fight. He cried, he screamed, and he was not himself. The teacher didn’t seem to know what was going on and wanted him to switch to the afternoon class instead of the morning class. I could no longer stand to walk away from him, so I took him with me. It turns out that at four, my son was being bullied daily at preschool.

Having a preschool child at home didn’t worry me. This I could handle. I had Pinterest and no worries. We were having so much fun, and I was building some great confidence with my homeschooling skills.

Now, we noticed some issues with Moe Man. Having to sit in a classroom all day and expected to sit still was not a good thing for him. He needed to have some medicine to help with these skills. To go along with this medicine, he needed to stay hydrated. Not a hard thing to do, at least I didn’t think so.

When your child has an IEP that allows them to have a Para Helper sit with them through the day, a basic request of making sure they drink water should not be a problem. However, it was a problem. Day after day he was coming home with his water bottle still full.

I spent a lot of time in prayer over this problem. But every time I would pray about it, I felt in my heart that he needed to be at home. I could almost hear a voice telling me to bring him home. This lead me to looking at resources for homeschooling a 6th grader.

I was so happy to find so many great resources and support. This made me feel at ease. I was successfully homeschooling my preschooler and had found what I needed to homeschool my older son. This was going to work.

We are now in year 5 of homeschooling. Our whys have not changed. We still don’t want to have our children bullied daily, and we want to make sure that their simple needs are met each day. Now, I have a Junior, 3rd grader, 1st grader and a soon to be preschooler in our homeschool. All of them are learning in their own way and loving it, most days!

Now, let’s see what my fellow homeschool bloggers have to say about The Reasons We Homeschool.

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST.

5 Reasons to Homeschool High School by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Weird Homeschoolers by Kim R. @ Good Sweet Love

How We Make Homeschooling a Lifestyle by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine

Our Ever Evolving Homeschool Story by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

5 Reasons You Will Want to Homeschool by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays

How Our Homeschool Came To Be (and why we continue) by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Home Education – 10 Reasons we keep going…even when it’s hard by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

So… Tell Me Again Why You Homeschool? by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Virtual Homeschool Fair 2018 – Week 1 – Why do I Homeschool  by Joelle@Homeschooling For His Glory

Homeschool Reasons: Bullies, Faith and More by Annette @ A Net In Time

In Pursuit of Purpose by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

A Long Time Ago . . . Why We Decided To Homeschool by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Why Behind Hopkins Homeschool by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

5 Reasons We Love Homeschooling by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Why We Homeschool – It’s What We Do by Kristen H @ Sunrise to Sunset

Why we Home Educate and Extra Benefits by Sarah@Delivering Grace

Homeschooling: The Big WHY? by Lisa @ True North Homeschool Academy at Golden Grasses

Regaining Your Homeschool Focus by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

Why do we homeschool? by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our “Homeschool” Why by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

It’s Worth it! Why We Homeschool, Even After All These Years by Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully

Because Life is Precious by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

1998 vs. 2018: Why We Homeschool by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter


What is your why for homeschooling?

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