Our Mostly Planned Homeschool Year for 2016-2017

This is the latest we have ever started our homeschool year and I feel a bit behind. We just started last week!  

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We usually start the first week of August. We couldn’t do that this year because we had so much going on….a mission trip, painting the exterior of our house, remodeling and painting inside our house, and so many other things.

Actually, we did do some school work through the summer. My daughter wanted to earn credits this summer which would put her on track to graduate high school a year early. I’m not rushing her out of our home by any means, but it is a goal she set for herself and I want to see her succeed, so I have encouraged her to do this. She also wants to attend college right after graduation.

Since my daughter was doing school work over the summer, I thought that my son could continue with a few things as well. He did not think this was such a good idea, but he was a good sport and went along with it anyway :-).  He didn’t do a full work load, only a couple of things and we didn’t do them every single day.

So, last week, the first week of September, officially started my daughter’s senior year and my son’s fifth grade year.  Honestly, with everything going on this summer, I didn’t even look at any curriculum for the upcoming school year until a  few weeks ago. Thankfully, last year, my daughter and I mapped out her senior year, so I didn’t have a whole lot of planning to do for that and only had a few things to order, one of which we are still waiting on.

This year finds us with a very small budget for school material and most of that budget goes toward the senior in the house. Since we have homeschooled for several years, I now have a pretty good stash of things for elementary students, so it’s really not a problem to come up with a plan for my fifth grader. I was trying to get by without purchasing anything for him, but I most likely will have to buy an additional math for him in a few weeks and a few other odd and end things through out the year,  but hey, that’s not bad! I’m pretty excited about what we are doing for homeschool this year!

Here is a look at our {mostly} planned out school year for 2016/2017.

Introducing our {Mostly} Planned homeschool 2016-2017
Introducing Our {Mostly} Planned Homeschool 2016-2017

For Our Senior

This is what her plan looks like:

For Our Senior
For Our Senior

BibleShe will do A Beka’s  “The Book Of The Revelation” for the 1st semester,  and I’m not sure yet about the second semester (we have a few things to choose from).

English IVFor literature, we chose a few books which we already had at home. She will read these and write a paper after each book. For grammar, I have ordered the Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and plan on ordering one of the Fix-it books, probably this one from Institute of Excellence in Writing. This book works for grades 3-12 so it will also work for our fifth-grader. fix-2-sb_thumb

I really wanted her to take a writing class this year but most of her budget went toward an elective she wanted to take which we are really excited about (I’ll share that with you in a minute).

Books we already had....
Books we already had….

Chemistry Answers In Genesis Chemistry 101. This is a DVD which came with a downloadable study guide including questions and quizzes. She did the Biology 101 last year and felt that she learned a lot and enjoyed it. We bought this set last year, which made it easier on us to already have Chemistry 101.90-7-602

This course may not be as in depth as your child would need if your child is interested in the medical field. My daughter is not so this should work nicely for her.

MathShe opted to take Business Math from ABeka. She worked really hard to finish Algebra 2 over the summer (and we are looking forward to a break from the intense math, lol).

American GovernmentShe will use BJU American Government Text Book.

Personal FinanceShe will do Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University for Homeschoolers next semester.

ElectiveWe chose a filmmaking course from Compass Classroom. She is super excited about this class. We do not know much about it at this point. I plan to write more about it once we know more. She did an economics course through this company and really enjoyed it so I believe she will enjoy the way this is put together. One of the exciting things about this course is that she will have to actually make short videos and submit them for review. They tell you in the description that they may not review every single piece of work but that they will be reviewing some of it and giving feedback.

Click on the banner below for more information about the class or to make a purchase.


I think that’s all for our senior, now on to our fifth-grader…

For Our Fifth-Grader

This is what his plan looks like:

Looks like a lot of books but it’s really not that bad…

BibleI have 3 Alpha Omega Lifepacs that he will finish. (As you can see we do not do workbooks for everything but I do not mind using them once in a while and for some subjects.)   He will also use this book that I pulled off our bookshelf.



How God Stopped the Pirates is part of a 5 book set; The Building on the Rock Series by Joel R. Beeke and Diana Klein.  I love this book. This book is a collection of short stories and can also be used as a family devotional book, but my son will use it as part of his Bible class. At the end of each story, there is at least one scripture reference, prayer points, and a question/discussion section. There is also a section in the back of the book where you will find answers to the direct questions, and a scripture index section as well.

Product Description from Christian Book Distributers:

As the pirates near the helpless ship they raise their grappling irons and prime their cannons for battle. The captain stands ready to defend his vessel and the lives of the people on board. The missionaries go to their cabins to pray. Can anyone stop these pirates? God can.
There are lots of stories in this book. Read about the pirates, a burglar and a Russian servant girl as well as many other stories about the amazing things that missionaries get up to as well as how God can change lives.
Scriptural references are taken from the King James Version of the Bible and the questions are based on this. Suitable for 7-12 year olds. 

Right now, at Christian Book Distributers, the paperback version is $7.19, the ebook is $5.75 or you can purchase the entire set for $29.99.

The Entire Set
What the entire set looks like.

Language Arts I am pulling together several different things for this. So far, each year we have worked on phonics. I feel that it is important for him to continue work on this so we will still do phonics this year, which includes spelling. I don’t always do formal spelling tests (just checked spelling in his other written work), but this year, we are going to try a spelling test once a week. I will use A Beka for this.

Grammar – Did you see that big ol’  Student Handbook in his stack? This book is part of a set of three books I purchased when I was pregnant with my son, more than ten years ago, before we ever even decided to homeschool. I kicked myself over and over for buying these expensive books (I think they were about $400!). I can’t say we’ve used them enough to justify paying that kind of money, however they have come in handy over the years. We’ve used them a little in our school work (early in our schooling, I didn’t utilize these books to their fullest potential), we’ve used the books as a booster seat for little ones,  we’ve used them for weights (when we had to glue something and put a heavy weight on it to hold it down), etc. We’ve used them for all sorts of things 🙂 .  This is the only book we have left out of the set of three, the other two were damaged and I had to throw them away.  This book actually has a section of grammar and writing, so I will be using this to teach parts of speech to my son this year. He will also start a notebook of grammar/spelling rules.  As I looked through the book, I realized that we can use this in his other subjects and it may also be helpful for our senior as well so I will definitely be keeping this book handy.

For reading comprehension,  I have a few  A Beka readers from last year that we did not complete and I have at least one for this year. He will read these and answer the questions at the end of each story, sometimes on paper and sometimes verbally. If we run out of these, I will pull a few books from our bookshelf to read and discuss.

For writing, up until this very moment,  I thought I had writing all figured out. A few years ago, I printed off a list of free writing prompts for elementary aged kids. Since I have not visited this site in a long time, and before I recommend this site to my readers, I wanted to look it up to check on what other resources you might find there. Good thing I looked it up! I cannot recommend this site as it promotes views that do not align with our beliefs.  So….I will be looking for other free creative writing prompts online….or making up some myself.

Although my son is creative and has a great imagination, he struggles with creative writing. He has trouble putting his thoughts down on paper. This year, he will keep a creative writing journal in which each day he will write a short story based on a story starter. I will not focus on spelling, punctuation, or proper use of grammar with this at first. I just want him to get used to getting his thought down on paper. Later in the year, I will focus more on his spelling and usage of correct grammar in his stories.

MathWe are going to finish up the Math-U-See book from last year. We have moved at a slower pace with math which is easy to do with Math-U-See, and this has worked well for my son.  I suspect he will be done with this book around the end of October in which case I will purchase the next level.

ScienceWe have used Apologia Science for the past two years and will use it again this year.  We have used Exploring Creation with Astronomy and Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy & Physiology. This year we are doing Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 : Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. These books are packed with information but at the same time, broken down on a child’s level. I happen to already have the Zoology book on hand, so I did not have to buy it. I really like how the series is laid out and most of the projects are simple to do with things you already have around your house.

Each book in the series comes with a notebooking journal that can be purchased.

Junior Zoology 1 Notebook
Junior Zoology 1 Notebook

There is a notebooking journal that corresponds with each book. The journals come in two versions, the junior version for younger students and  one for older students (both elementary age).

We purchased one last year to go with the Human Anatomy & Physiology book we did. My son enjoyed it. The journal had different activities and plenty of space to write about what he was learning. Our budget doesn’t allow us to purchase the journal that accompanies the Zoology book this year so we are going to make our own. We are using a simple composition notebook.

History/GeographyI was a little concerned about what we would use for history and geography this year, but once I got to looking at everything I had, I’m now worried we will not be able to do all I want to.  I had a lot more material for this than I first thought.

We did not finish the American History he had from A Beka  last year because we went very slowly through the book. My son loves American History and especially loves studying our past Presidents, so I want to make sure we finish up this book this semester. Along side studying American History we are going to learn all of our states and capitals, state birds and flowers too. I picked up this coloring book at Reel Foot Lake last year.


He is excited to get started on this.  At first I thought he may not want to do it because of all the flowers but he seems excited to start it. We will also learn more about the geography of the United States.  I hope to be done with this by the end of the first semester. 

The second semester, we will focus on North and South American Geography and then branch out from there if time allows. I have a few workbooks that will help us with this. Oh, and that big Student Handbook will also help out with this. There are many project ideas for geography in the book! Glad I’m getting so much use out of that book this year!

Art/MusicI plan to study the history of some of our favorite hymns and have my son make a notebook of this study. We will do the same with famous artists, past and present. I plan to do this once a week. At this point, we will pick a hymn or artist and do research and use free material I find online.

And last, but not least….

Our Preschooler

Our Preschooler is three and I do not have a detailed plan for her this year. Of course, she will sit in on all the above 😉 but I do have a few goals for her in mind, such as:

Learning Basic Colors

Learn to say ABC’s

Recognize ABC’s (I plan to use ABC magnets and make ABC flash cards. She may learn all or some, just depends on how interested she is in it :-))

Count to 20

Recognize numbers 1-20 (I would be happy with 1-10)

Learn parts of body

Holding a pencil correctly, etc.

Sing Songs

I have extra Sunday School material from a fews back so I will be using that with her for Bible.  As for the material, I will search the internet, there is a plethora of free printouts for preschoolers out there.

That wraps up our Mostly Planned School Year. If you are thinking about homeschooling or just getting started, I hope sharing our plans with you gives you an idea or two, and keep in mind homeschool mom….

** Plans are subject to change ** That’s a freedom of homeschool we can take advantage of if the need arises! **

What do your plans look like this year?

Economics for Everybody

You will find this post and many other great posts about curriculum on  the 8th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Curriculum Week @ iHomeschool Network.



You'll catch Amanda at mendedandblended.com writing about her
family's journey of being mended and blended together by the thread of the Word of God. They are a homeschooling family on this journey with 4 children talking about real life andseeking to encourage others.
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27 thoughts on “Our Mostly Planned Homeschool Year for 2016-2017

  1. This is great. I bet you had fun putting this post together and seeing everything line up so nicely. Your kids are really spread out in age. We had two sets of kids – our first 3 were born within 3 years then we waited until they were all teenagers and had two more (15 months apart). Our kids are now 40, 38, 37, 23, and 22. LOL. Fun!

    1. Yes, we didn’t really mean to spread them out so far. Actually, after having the first two, I didn’t really think I would have anymore. I’m glad I did! They are such a joy 🙂

  2. I thought I had our school year all planned too…until we started, and realized that some of the online classes for one son may not work because the videos are sooooo slow in loading….and the other son just doesn’t like them….so I dug out some text books again. Hopefully no more changes for a while!

  3. I’m always so intrigued and amazed at all moms do to equip their kids through home school- and seeing your curriculum plans just confirms this. It sure looks like you have some incredible plans for your kids! LOVE learning about the resources out there!

    1. Thank you Christine. There are so many resources out there, and that becomes a problem in itself….sometimes it stresses me out just picking something! I am greatful for the choices we have though 🙂

  4. Renee, this sounds wonderful. As for writing for your son, look at positiveaction.org. They have the book In Their Sandals by Rand Hummel. It is probably a little too advanced for your son, but you can download the free Teacher’s Resource to use to help him. It is a Bible study /writing course using Bible stories. You basically study Bible stories using the different information in the Gospels to write the story in your own words. We are using it this year and my reluctant writer loves it. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays. I hope you all have a wonderful school year!

    1. Lori, I actually have that book and yes, I feel like it is too advanced for him right now. My daughter did that book in 8th grade and really enjoyed it. I did not know, however, that you can download the free Teacher’s Resource. I will definitely do that soon so that I will have it when he is ready for the book. Thank you so much!

  5. Wow, I thought I had a big age difference with a 10th grader, 4th and 1st grader but yours are a little more spread apart. I love that you can choose the electives and resources yourself when you homeschool to cater to what you and your child want to learn. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and I hope you link up with our Pretty Pinterest Party too that starts Friday morning. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!

  6. How fun to be able to adapt both your budget and your time to work just the way you need them to. I love homeschooling and the freedom it gives us to choose our curriculum and electives based on interest and abilities. Best of luck to you in you year.

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