Get Excited! Top Curriculum Picks + Plans for the New Year (Grades 12, 8, 6 and 1!)

Summer is drawing to an end. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer nights and lake days, but I have managed to get organized and get our curriculum picks and plans in order for the new homeschool year.

This year, even more than summer ending, I’m digging in my heels a bit because this year will be my oldest’s last year in our homeschool. A senior! How time has flown! Hold them close, mamas…when they say it goes fast, they’re not joking!

Regardless of my readiness, the school year is coming quick! So here’s my annual curriculum picks and plans post!

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Our Curriculum Picks and Routine for 2019-2020: Grades 12, 8, 6, and 1

The school year is coming quick! Currently homeschooling grades 1, 6, 8 and 12. Here's my annual curriculum picks and plans list!

I’ve been writing these posts for a long time. Maybe I’m old…maybe it’s just because we’ve been homeschooling for 12 years! If you want to check out all the curriculum we’ve used over the years, you can check out these links:

If you love to follow along with others’ homeschool routines, I would love foryou to follow me over at @learningwell on Instagram. Every Wednesday during the school year, we feature a different homeschool mama who takes us through her day in the life. On all the other days, I share what we’re doing in our homeschool!

Our Homeschool Plans for 2019-20

If you’d like to listen in and hear a bit more commentary on the picks in this post, listen in here:

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

We always start our days with a Morning Meeting

We love to start our mornings with a family meeting. Here’s what we’ll cover in our Morning Meetings this year, we won’t do all of these things each day, but here’s the resources we’ll use:

What We’re Reading This Year:

We’re doing something a little different this year for our literature picks. We will have some choices that we’ll read together during morning meeting or at night together. It’s pretty easy to deviate from our read aloud plan as we find new books and get off-course, but that’s totally fine with me! It’s fun to find new books.

But this year, in addition to our family read alouds (my oldest two sometimes join us for these and sometimes don’t), my boys (12th and 8th grade) will be reading the same titles each month. We’re not going to do a really in-depth study or anything like that, but they’ll just be reading the same book each month and we will discuss it and/or watch the movie version if that applies.

Here’s what my boys will read this year:

Our Family Read Aloud Choices:

Some of our read alouds will come from the Beautiful Feet Books Character study we did last year.

After morning meeting, our weeks will look like this:

  • Daily:
    • Math lessons
    • Language arts
    • Reading
    • Phonics
  • Homeschool band + gym one day/week
  • Noah to his co-op classes one day/week
  • History 2x/week with Geography
  • Writing 2x/week (or so)
  • Foreign language several times/week
  • Art 1x/week or more!

Our Picks by Subject:

After being at this homeschool gig for a while, we have kind of gotten the hang of what will work and what won’t. We do like to change things up a little bit each year though to tweak the areas that need improvement.


We’ve tried many different math curricula, but we always come back to Saxon. Math used to be so much harder for all of us, but then we discovered Nicole the Math Lady and everything changed!

This year, we’re adding something new that will make all our math lives even easier–My Math Assistant! This is a new-to-us program where the kids (or the mom) can input their answers to their Saxon math lessons. The program scores their answers right there, so they can make corrections where needed.

Correcting math lessons used to take me FOREVER–not so anymore! So excited to use My Math Assistant this year!

You can sign up for a free trial of My Math Assistant HERE and

use the code: 25OFF18788

for 25% off

If you’re interested in trying out Nicole the Math Lady for free, you can try her 7-day free trial! I hope you love her as much as we do!

My 12th grader will be focusing on learning more about business math and how math and money works in the adult world! Here’s what he’ll be using and reading:

My 8th grader will use:

My 6th grader will use:

I didn’t think my 1st grader was quite ready for Saxon 1, so she will use:


We love doing logic each day in our homeschool. Sometimes we do this in the morning during our Morning Meeting. Other times, we do this instead of a math lesson or in addition to. We use a combination of workbooks and games.

Language Arts

We’re honing in on grammar skills this year. We also want to tune up a regular spelling regimen too. We’ve using Spelling Workout forever, but we got away from it last year. This year, we’re back at it!

My 8th grader will use:

My 6th grader will use:

My 1st grader will use:


We’ll be working through our writing curriculum a couple of times a week. My 12th grader has checked off all his writing credits he needs for high school–he even has a few college writing credits too–whoop!!

My 6th grader will be using:

My 8th grader will be using:


We will all use:


We love history in our homeschool! This year, we’re heading into the Ancients! Super excited to study this again….

Here’s what the youngest three and I will be using:

Want to know something interesting? We started homeschooling 12 years ago, when my oldest was a 1st grader. There’s so many things on this list that we are STILL using after all that time. In our first year of homeschooling, was used Story of the World volume 1 for history. And I’ll be using that same book with my first grader…my last baby first grader again!

Here’s my idea for history:

Vera (1st grade) and I will use Story of the World vol. one. I’ll read the text aloud while she colors the coloring sheet. The bigger kids will be working on independent work while I read–and I’m sure they’ll be listening in too.

Jack (8th) and Sophia (6th) will be using The World’s Story Volume 1: The Ancients Creation and Roman Empire more on their own. This is a new book to us and it looks really good! It has a daily text–much like SOTW. There’s also a guide book too that has maps and tests and more.

We’ll all do projects on certain days together.

Homeschool in the Woods studies are some of our favorites too. We’ll do at least one of those, for sure Ancient Greece and possibly Egypt or Rome as well. I love to combine Home School in the Woods with Beautiful Feet Books too. I have a post all about combining the two HERE. (Coming soon)

In a nutshell:

Story of the World Vol. One (for Vera) and The World’s Story Vol. One (for the bigs) will be our “spine” texts

Home School in the Woods Ancient Greece will be our fun addition


Beautiful Feet Books: Ancient History will offer tons of vocab, all our literature, and a timeline for our study.


I am not a great science mom, I fully admit it! This is where fun project kits and great books save my life! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m kinda done buying science curriculum! It never gets used in our house!!

If you want to know how we do homeschool science without curriculum, here’s how! (coming: 8/24)

My 12th grader needs one more lab science for his high school transcript, so he will use:

The rest of us will use:


I love art so much–if it was up to me, we’d do art every day! For me, it seems that we never get enough art time. We’ve got some really awesome resources that help us get to art often and not over complicate things.

The three younger kids and I will be using:

Foreign Language

My 12th grader (and probably everyone else, because it’s awesome!) will be using:

Everyone else will use:

  • Duolingo App

Extra Fun Stuff

  • Homeschool band
  • Baking club
  • Book club
  • Boy Scouts
  • American Heritage Girls
  • Field Trips
  • Tinker Crates
  • Church groups

Looking for the perfect homeschool planner to get more organized this school year?

Need to create a calendar framework for your homeschool year? Get it here:

The school year is coming quick! Currently homeschooling grades 1, 6, 8 and 12. Here's my annual curriculum picks and plans list!

Your turn! Let me know in the comments what you’re most excited about to use this year!


  1. Looking into homeschooling my daughter on her junior for the first time ever. The idea is overwhelming and your site is terrifying. Seems like an unattainable goal with my lack of knowledge. Is there anything u suggest I do to even remotely attempt to do this? Should I hire a tutor? Help! Angie

  2. Hi Shelley! I’m honestly not sure! I have been using My Math Assistant and Nicole the Math Lady together for a long time–her grading feature is brand new so I can’t comment on it quite yet! Sorry!

  3. I wonder how Nicole The Math Lady’s new online grading would compare to My Math Assistant? Nicole just rolled her upgrade out on July 1st.

  4. Not at the moment. We started going a different direction after Christmas last year. Needed more grammar and structure. But it worked great for us while we used it!

  5. Hey! We’re Saxon Math folks too – it’s not every day you find a kindred math spirit!, so I just wanted to drop in here and say we’re a Saxon family too…. until that day when we might change math curriculums – because we might just have to eventually, right? (especially if I get another book without the answer key in the back – that almost killed me last year!)

    Thank you for posting your curriculum recommendations. I love posting mine every year too, and it’s so fun seeing the differences and similarities between all the homeschool blogs. I love the diversity!

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