After homeschooling for 15 years, we have used A LOT of homeschool curriculum, but only a few can really be considered our favorite curriculum. In this post, I have laid out what my all-time favorite curriculum has been for the younger years, middle school, and high school.
In my curriculum directory, I share what we have used each year of homeschooling for each grade. Some of these have worked better for different kids and we’ve made some tweaks along the way. But some resources have been genuine staples that I’ve kept pulling from over and over through the years.
Each year, I share what we use for curriculum, but we are not opposed to setting things down if they’re not working. The following are our favorite curriculum resources that we have used through our long road of homeschooling!
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Favorite Curriculum for the Younger Years
Hooked on Phonics: This is how I taught my kids to read. l love this gentle approach to phonics and I do think phonics is the very best way to teach kids to read. I started with levels 3+4, the purple box, not the preschool box. I basically did not do anything formal until my kids were 6 or so. Before starting Hooked on Phonics, we worked on letter recognition and sounds. When those were mastered, we started the purple box of HOP.
Go for the Code: I used these in addition to the Hooked on Phonics. They work great together. These are consumable workbooks and your child can easily do a page or two a day. They are painless and are great at committing to memory what they’re learning in HOP.
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Easy Grammar: This is a great beginner grammar! Super simple, one sheet per day and only takes about 10 minutes or less. I would start my young kids on this when they could read really well and we did this for a year or two.
Nature Explorer Guides: We have used these nature study guides since the very beginning of our homeschool journey 15+ years ago. We have loved dying cloth with walnuts and going on nature walks with a theme in mind. Highly recommend these guides and working through one per season.
Favorite Curriculum for Middle Grades
Homeschool in the Woods Unit Studies: If you love unit studies, but don’t want to have to plan it all, you will love these. We have used these for YEARS in our homeschool and absolutely love them. They include a short daily text to read each day and then you can add in as much or as little you want to. The studies have writing projects, hands-on projects, lapbook pieces to go with each lesson and then complete a beautiful lapbook at the end of the study. They include a timeline to build, book and movie suggests, audio stories and more! They suggest grades 3-8 and I think that is pretty accurate. You can find my reviews here:
First Language Lessons: I don’t like to do grammar with my kids for every single year. What I like to do in the early years is make sure they’re reading really well. Then add in a year or two of spelling, then a year or two of grammar. For those upper elementary/middle school grades, I love to use First Language Lessons. This uses such an easy incremental approach to breaking down sentences, diagramming, parts of speech, that you can complete it in just 15 minutes or so per day.
Favorite Curriculum for High School
Apologia Science: I’ve never been a great science mom, but Apologia Science has helped me so much! We have used their Zoology and Earth Science for the elementary and middle school years. High school science has been wonderful with Apologia too. You can find my reviews here:
Favorite Curriculum for Any Age
Mind Benders: Logic is necessary for any age. I have loved using Mind Bender books in our homeschool for all ages. These are different than math, but give kids a puzzle to solve instead of computation. I love working on these with my kids too.
Saxon Math: Math curriculum in general gets a lot of hate, but Saxon gets the most hate of all. I might be in the minority here, but I love Saxon math. I think for us, math will never be a favorite subject, no matter how many manipulatives we use. Saxon uses a spiral method, which means your child will keep coming back to topics over and over. They will also build on a skill from very simple to more complex. I recommend this for any age.
Favorite Curriculum Video!
If you like video, here is a detailed one on some of these favorite curriculum and how we’ve used them!