I get this question a lot and thought it would be helpful (to me) to write it down so others can come read it.
Jacy is going into the 6th grade this fall. He is using Switched on Schoolhouse for History/Geography, Language Arts and Spanish. He is using Apologia Anatomy and Physiology for Science. For Math he is using Jump Math. To supplement his spelling he is using Sequential Spelling.
Gabriel and Promise (4th and 2nd) are using the same things, with some workbook adjustments for skill levels. They are using Switched on Schoolhouse for Language Arts and Spanish. We are using Sonlight for Bible, Memory Work, History/Geography, Read Alouds and Readers. (Jacy joins us often for our Sonlight lessons). They are also using the same as Jacy for Science, Spelling and Math
We just started Zion this year with Sonlight’s p4/5 curriculum and MyFather’s World K. I also got him a Horizion prek workbook, since the SL for p4/5 doesnt have many writing activities.
So that’s what we are using, and here’s my reviews of the thing we are using now and somethings we’ve used in the past.
Switched On Schoolhouse – http://www.aophomeschooling.com/switched-on-schoolhouse/
We tried it this year for Spanish, History & Geography and Language Arts. Jacy really, really likes it. He likes being able to do his own thing and go at his own speed. It didnt work at well for Gabriel and Promise because there is a lot of textbook-like reading for them to do on their own. I did keep them doing the Language Arts portion because it was catching a few things they hadn’t learned in depth yet. Next year we are going to try Sonlight’s LA program for at least G and P. If Jacy wants to stick with SOS, that will be his choice.
We also tried Spanish through SOS, but I dont think they are retaining enough knowledge. I really want to try Rosetta Stone sooner than later. Jacy is still doing the Spanish, but G and P have dropped it because it wasnt a good use of their time. Unfortunately.
Apologia Science – https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_65
I really, really love our science. The Anatomy and Physiology have regular notebooks and jr notebooks to go along with the text book. This was really helpful because I can have the J, G and P all doing the same thing, with different notebooking journals. The regular journal is at least at a 3rd grade level in my opinion. We are hoping the author comes out with more jr notebooks for her other science books. They are all creationist based, so follow along with our faith. Hugely important to us. We got our supplies through Christianbook.com http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product/1248294658?item_no=436262&event=CF so it made that part easy peasy.
Jump Math – http://jumpmath1.org/publications
This one is a bit harder to get a hold of. We get ours through a coop, but i think amazon carries some of the workbooks. It is a Canadian company, but i really appreciate how it teaches concepts from different points of views. After Zion finishes the Horizon workbook, we are going to try that math with him since its easier for me to get, plus has fun manipulatives.
Sequential Spelling – http://www.avko.org/ss/301.html
It is basically a bunch of spelling list, but teach using spelling families that build upon each other through out the week and the lessons. It has really helped Gabriel gain some confidence in his spelling, the others dont need much help, but are most definitely benefiting from the practice. And yes, we are all doing Book 1 together. It was made to be done in a way that there are not grades, but spelling levels. As long as the child can read at about a 2nd grade level, they are reading for Book 1.
Sonlight – http://www.sonlight.com/
This is my favorite thing we do. It is a literature based curriculum that rotates around History. We pretty much follow the included schedule word for word, except we don’t get much use (so far) of the notes that are included. It has discussion questions, etc. We just make up our own. We are doing the readers currently, and plan to try their full language arts program next year. The books included with the program are well worth the expense in my opinion, but are mostly easily found at the library. Some of them are SL publications so those would have to be purchased through them or skipped. The read aloud often include poetry or arts books.
Zion is using their p4/5 program since the K program is a bit over his head. We also added in My Father’s World K Curriculum. This should give us 2 years of PreK/K work. We are using MFW for the solid phonics foundation and SL for the beautiful books.
My Father’s World – http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/20/0/0/1#products
We just started using this so I don’t have a complete review. So far so good. I spent a good part of last week mixing the weeks from MFW with the weeks of SL to make a 2 year K program for Zion (and tag along Israel). Just from going over it, locating supplies and extra books, I really like the way it is set up. Zion seemed to enjoy the quick lesson that we did this morning, but time will really tell how well he likes it. One think I do like about it is that the cost is far lower than Sonlight’s and yet it seems to be just as good of a curriculum. They are both very similar in that they use a lot of books. The one disadvantage MFW has over SL, is that it isn’t entirely all inclusive. MFW does expect the parent to use outside sources for some of the subject, like science. Every week it asks the parent to reference an encyclopedia, other books, the internet or magazine articles. Thankfully, we have plenty of that lying around the house being unused.
Southwestern Ask Me! Books – http://www.southwestern.com/Docs/Customers/Products/AskMe.pdf
I saw these books on TPW blog http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2009/07/who-has-a-hairy-nose/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pioneerwoman-full-rss-feed+%28Pioneer+Woman+FULL+RSS+FEED%29&utm_content=Google+Reader and knew I needed to have them. Long story short, we bought them through a kid selling them door to door two years ago. I’ve added them into Zion’s curriculum at regular intervals.
I hope this helps someone