2015-2016 Curriculum List

Yesterday marked the first day of our 5th year of homeschooling. And this year is Audrey’s first day of Kindergarten. Every single year I wonder how I got here, how is it that my kids are even old enough to be in school?

But here we are, and here is the list of curriculum that we will be using this year!

Sydney is in the THIRD GRADE. Like Whoa.


Math: Math-U-See Gamma

Science: Sonlight Science D (Biology, Taxonomy and Human Anatomy)

English: Writing With Ease Level 3, First Language Lessons Level 3, All About Spelling Level 3+

Reading: Ginger Pye, School Story, B is for Betsy, Enyclopedia Brown, Betsy & Tacy, Along Came a Dog, The Lightning Thief, James and the Giant Peach, Ramona Forever

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting Transition

Art: Home Art Studio 3rd Grade

Read Alouds: Little House in the Big Woods, Stuart Little, The Cricket in Time Square, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, Prince Caspian

History: Story of the World Volume 3 (Early Modern)

Biographies: This year we are focusing on some biographies and she will read one each month from the Whoe Was…? Series.
Clara Barton, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Sally Ride, Louis Braille, Claude Monet, Queen Elizabeth, Franklin Roosevelt, Daniel Boone, Babe Ruth.


Math: Math-U-See Primer

Science: Sonlight Science A (Biology, Biotoany, Physics)

Reading: Bob Books Box 1+

Handwriting: A Reason For Handwriting K

Art: Home Art Studio Kindergarten

Read Alouds: Sonlight A


Together they will be reading Old Testament Stories and doing Expedition Earth: Europe!


2014-2015 Curriculum


This year is going to shake things up a bit in the Sherman household. This year I’ll be adding a new student, AND adding a new baby! This is something that I’ve spent a good deal of time and energy worrying about. How am I going to juggle both girls’ educations and the demands of a newborn? Will one of them not get enough attention or time? Of course these emotions, worries, and thoughts are very similar to the ones I had when I was pregnant with Audrey. So I’m hoping the answer will be exactly the same. Everything will be great, nothing will be the same, find the new normal.

sydneyI still can’t believe that Sydney is already in 2nd Grade! What?

Gospel: Studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Baptism Prep (more about this later.)
Art: Home Art Studio 2nd Grade
Math: Math-U-See Beta
Spelling: All About Spelling Level 2 and up
Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Level B*
History: Story of the World Volume 2: Medieval
Writing: Writing With Ease Level 2
Grammar: First Language Lessons Level 2
Science: Sonlight Science C (Geology, Meteorology, and Mechanical Technology)*
Read Alouds: See here. *
Readers: Sonlight Readers Level 4/5


Audrey will be doing preschool this year! She will be doing Letter of the Week curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler. She will also be doing bits and pieces of Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten and All About Reading Level 1 and up.

*Personally when I’m reading someone’s blog and they’ve switched curriculums I always wonder why. So here are the answers to the whys:

From Handwriting Without Tears to A Reason For Handwriting: Sydney really enjoyed HWT and had no problems with it. It’s a great handwriting curriculum. My only problem with it is simply that they teach writing on a different set of lines, this didn’t confuse Sydney at all but Audrey was VERY confused by the paper. How tall do you make that letter A? I had also noticed that when Sydney was doing her copywork or narrative exercises for Writing With Ease she didn’t know how to form her letters because WWE uses traditional lines, which differ from HWT. So to help keep things all uniform, we are switching.

From Apologia BACK to Sonlight Science: We used Sonlight’s science curriculum for Kindergarten and we really enjoyed it. I planned on using it with Audrey when she was in Kindergarten. My reason for switching last year was because I wanted a curriculum I could easily do with all the children at once. Apologia fulfilled that. However, there were many theories they discuss that I don’t agree with, some paragraphs that I wondered why they were included those were things I could ignore, and censor out. However, what I couldn’t ignore was when Apologia came out with an anti-Mormon statement. It was uncalled for and I refuse to support such a company. I was really sad about this because I did love Apologia, I loved the rich pictures it provided and the easy experiments. But I feel like going back to Sonlight is a good fit for us!

From Sonlight Read Alouds to my own choices: This is simply because there are SO many good books! I poured over a few lists (including Sonlight’s) when choosing our readers, and added a few childhood favorites!

nbts-blog-hop-calendar-2014I’m participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop!


2nd Grade Read Alouds

In the previous two years we’ve just bought Sonlight’s read aloud kits. And I loved them, but I wanted a little more choice. So I poured over SO many lists for 2nd grade readers for Sydney for this upcoming school year. I now present to you what I decided upon for 2nd Grade. A few months ago I started labeling all the spines of my books so I could easily identify them. I bought Sonlight’s stickers but I have my own method for which grade they correspond to.


Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Little House in the Big Woods by Lauren Ingalls Wilder
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Stuart Little by E.B. White
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Mary Poppins by Dr. P.L. Travers
The School Story by Andrew Clements
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka
Jumanji by Chris Val Allsburg

*These are my Amazon affiliate links. Any purchases will help bless our home school for next year, and is greatly appreciated :)


Curriculum for 2013-2014

webSydney is a First Grader!!!

Writing: Writing With Ease, Level 1 & First Language Lessons, Level 1
History: Story of the World, Ancients
Spelling: All About Spelling, Level 1 (we are repeating to make sure it’s solid.)
Math: Math-U-See, Alpha
Gospel: Discover the Scriptures: The Book of Mormon
Read Alouds: Sonlight Core B
Readers: Sonlight 3rd grade readers
Science: Apologia Astronomy
Art: Home Art Studio, 1st Grade
Geography: Expedition Earth
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears, 2nd Grade

Continuing with piano and dance (ballet/tap III)

DSC_1960 copy


Audrey is in Pre-Preschool!!!!

Um, yes, that’s a thing…

Pre-Reading: All About Reading, Pre-Reading

She also joins us for Expedition Earth and Gospel. She is participating in Joy School this year with friends from church, and continuing dance class (ballet/tap I.)


Substitutions for Readers

I *love* Sonlight books!

 There are a few that we don’t use, though. Sydney is currently reading First Grade Readers. She was not impressed with the I Can Read It! books. Not. At. All.

So I spent the summer writing up lesson plans with books that would replace those three books. And just switched them out. They take up the same amount of time, and once we hit week 25 she’ll be back to using their Readers lesson plans.

I thought I’d share them with you.

I raided our book shelves for books we already owned. And the first stop was Bob Books Set 5. We hadn’t gotten to those before we were done with Preschool, so I had her read those first. There are 8 books in set 5, so she read one per week.


Did you know the Bob Books now has readers for the older student? I thought these were pretty awesome, so I bought three four (one is not pictured, I realized this upon writing this blog entry.)

1. Cupcake Surprise
2. Outdoor Adventures
3. My School Trip
4. The New Puppy (not pictured, I forgot to take it out of my binder)
5. Sammy the Seal
6. Morris the Moose
7. Drip Drop

Do you see Sydney’s super cool bookmark? Her Aunt Holly got it for her. It even has “Sydney” stamped across the front of it. I love the googly eyes. I really like the idea of having unique bookmarks that have the kid’s name on them. I might have to order/make more!


2012-2013 Curriculum


My Sydney is now a Kindergartener! Wow, when did that happen? Seems like just yesterday I was bringing home this tiny baby girl with giant amounts of hair. And now she’s in Kindergarten?! Ugggg.

Ahem, not the point of this post.

 Core: Sonlight Core A
Readers: Sonlight Grade 1 Readers
Math: Math-U-See Primer
Science: Sonlight Science A
Handwriting: Handwriting Without Tears Grade 1
Phoenics/Spelling: All About Spelling Level 1 and up
Bible/Gospel Study: Discover the Scriptures New Testament
PE: Dance class
Music: Piano lessons
Art: Home Art Studio Kindergarten


I thought I would also give you the why I choose each curriculum. I spent 9 months studying and researching all kinds of different curriculum and getting other’s advice on what to choose. Lots of prayers were said when it came to these choices, discussions with my husband (too many, according to him 😉 ) and then doing preschool with Sydney this last year helped make the decision, based on how she learned best.

Why Sonlight? First of all, around this house we LOVE books. And Sonlight was rich in books, which is great for us. Second, I will admit it, I would never think to make a list of books to read to my children each year. In public schools there would be a book list that their teachers would read to them everyday, along with a list of books they are expected to read. I like having this built into the curriculum. BTW, I’m also the kind of Mom who buys Zoo Passes yearly to make sure I take my kids there at least 4 times a year, otherwise it wouldn’t happen 😉

Why All About Spelling? I used what my interpretation of their reading program to teach Sydney to read. She does great with hands-on and visual learning. I also loved the idea of her learning the rules of spelling. Spelling is NOT something I am good at! I was told many times in school that I am dyslexic, and while my husband has some doubt on this matter, I thought this program would be great for teaching her spelling. I might learn a thing or two along the way! Who knows, maybe I’ll actually get better at spelling, lol! 😉

Why Math-U-See? Again, Sydney is VERY visual when it comes to learning. Math is another subject I struggled with. My husband is going to school currently to  be an accountant, he does NOT struggle with math, whereas I consider “higher math” to be Algebra 1 😉 But since she is so visually inclined Math-U-See seemed like a no-brainer for me.

Why Handwriting Without Tears? Um, because I liked the name. I really hope that school this year won’t result in too many tears, from either myself, Sydney, Audrey or Zachary 😉

Why Sonlight Science? I wanted a curriculum that included caterpillars/butterflies and tadpoles/frogs. Originally I was going to use My Father’s World for Kindergarten and then use Sonlight for 1st grade, until I realized that MFW would be teaching Sydney her letters, but I really liked the idea of us raising tadpoles and caterpillars. This taught about them, and I bought kits so we can raise them and have fun watching them grow and develop.

Why Home Art Studio? I really wanted an art curriculum that didn’t just involve art history but PROJECTS! I love art projects, I’m just not any good at coming up with my own, so when I saw this reviewed at 1+1+1=1, I knew I just HAD to get it! :)

I read a great piece of advice somewhere in the blogging world. I’m not quoting it exactly, I can’t even remember where I got it from, so please no suing me if I got the quote wrong 😉 “Unless a curriculum doesn’t work, don’t switch.” So next year I’ll probably be using a lot of the same curriculum for Sydney. There are a few I plan on changing, as it was in my original plan, or who knows? I might really like the curriculum I choose this year and not change anything next year!

(This is part of Grateful for Grace‘s Homeschool Link-Up)

(It’s also part of iHomeschool Network’s Curriculum Blog Hop)


Letter of the Week Preschool Book List


I’ve debated making this list public for a while, but finally decided to do it, as I know I would have LOVED to find someone’s master list when I was coming up with my own.

Yes, it’s a lot of books. I know this. Before I came up with the list I went through our books and tried to match up as many as I could with each letter or theme. I bought (almost) all of the books used, which also saved me a lot of money.

First, I’ll start by saying that we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom every Friday that we have a letter. It’s going to be one well used book by the end of the school year!

Most have 4 books (normal school week) and a few have 5 books (holiday and themed weeks.)

Letter A
Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothes by Judi Barrett
The Lady With the Alligator Purse by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Letter B
The B Book by Dr. Seuss
My, Oh My, A Butterfly! by Tish Rabe
Buzz, Buzz, Busy Bee
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss

Letter C
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss

Letter D
Oh, Say, Can You Say Dinosaur? by Bonnie Worth
Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andrae
How Do Dinosaur’s Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
Go, Dog, Go! by PD Eastman

Letter E
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Elves and the Shoemaker by Jacob Grimm
But No Elephants by Jerry Smath

Letter F
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer

Letter G
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
The Bubble Gum Kid by Stu Smith
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Franklin and the Bubble Gum by Sharon Jennings

Letter H
Horton Hears A Who! by Dr. Seuss
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Suess
Hattie Hippo by Christine Loomis
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Letter I
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
Inchworm and A Half by Elinor J Pinczes

Letter J
Arthur’s Jelly Beans by Marc Brown
The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

Letter K
Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone
The Kissing Monster by Marion Dane Bauer
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
The Frog Who Would Be King by Kate Walker

Letter L
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
Ladybug Girl by David Soman
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes

Letter M
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
Are You My Mother? by PD Eastman
Milk and Cookies by Frank Asch

Letter N
The Best Nest by PD Eastman
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Too Much Noise by Ann McGovern
A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins

Letter O
Angry Octopus by Lori Lite
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Have You Ever Seen an Octopus with a Broom? by Etta Kaner
An Octopus Is Amazing by Patricia Lauber

 Letter P
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

Letter Q
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
Quick As a Cricket by Audrey Wood
Waddle, Waddle, Quack, Quack, Quack by Barbara Anne Skalak

Letter R
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman
The Magic School Bus Makes A Rainbow by Joanna Cole
Over the Rainbow by Judy Collins

Letter S
The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

Letter T
Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett
Teddy Bears’ Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy
How the Turtle Got Its Shell by Justine Fontes
Ten Tiny Turtles by Paul Cherrill

Letter U
Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss
Umbrella Day by Nancy Evans Cooney
The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
The Umbrella by Jan Brett

Letter V
The Berenstain Bears’ Funny Valentine by Stan Berenstain
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
Arthur’s Valentine by Marc Brown
The Night Before Valentine’s Day Natasha Wing

Letter W
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
One Watermelon Seed by Celia Lottridge
Wings on Things by Marc Brown

Letter X
Fox in Socks by Dr. SeussThe Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Jessica’s X-Ray by Pat Zonta
Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss

Letter Y
Yard Sale! by DK Publishing
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
The Yawn Heard ‘Round the World by Scott Thomas
You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest

Letter Z
Curious George Visits the Zoo by Margaret Ray
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!: I’m off to the moon! by Dan Yaccarino

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet by Jane O’Connor
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon
This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed
The Best Thanksgiving Ever! by Teddy Slater

J Is for Jesus by Chrystal Bowman
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor
Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

A Whale of a Tale! by Bonnie Worth
Wish for a Fish by Bonnie Worth
Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
Down by the Bay by Raffi
Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward

The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
Tea for Ruby by Duchess Sarah Ferguson
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Marianna Meyer

St. Patrick’s Day
Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky
The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater
Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing

There’s No Place Like Space by Tish Rabe
The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn M. Branley
The Planets in Our Solar System by Franklyn M. Branley
The Magic School Bus Sees Stars by Nancy White
Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer! by Jane O’Connor

Old Macdonald Had a Farm
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley
Barn Dance! by Bill Martin Jr.
Big Egg by Molly Coxe

Fancy Nancy’s Elegant Easter by Jane O’Connor
The Berenstain Bears and the Real Easter Eggs by Stan Berenstein
The Biggest Easter Basket Ever by Steven Kroll
The Night Before Easter by Natasha Wing

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss
Clifford At The Circus by Norman Bridwell
You See a Circus, I See… by Mike Downs
Paddington Bear at the Circus by Michael Bond
Emeline at the Circus by Marjorie Priceman

Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird
I Wear My Tutu Everywhere! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
Ella Bella Ballerina and Swan lake by James Mayhew
Ballerina Princess by RH Disney
Belinda, the Ballerina by Amy Young

*All links are Amazon affiliate links, but buying books through my link you are blessing our homeschool. Thank you1 <3




Sydney is 4-years-old, and in preschool.

We are currently using Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week curriculum.

Along with 10 added lessons (Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Farms, Circus, Space, Ocean, Ballerinas, and Princesses) from various sites (credit will be given in the post about that topic.)

Her book list is here.

She will be taking a Ballet/Tap Combo class once a week starting in September.

Starting in October she’ll have co-op preschool with friends from church.

In January 2012, Sydney started learning how to read using Bob Books and lesson plans from Teaching Reading With Bob Book.

We start August 22nd, 2011 and go until June 8th, 2012.