Homeschooling: Our First Month

Tracy / September 5, 2015

Our first month of homeschooling has officially come to an end.

When I posted after our first week, I was very happy with the direction we were taking.

It’s been an exciting year, so far. With exactly one month done, my children still adore the curriculum we are using. That makes this mama a very happy woman.

The following are the updates to what we are using:

Scheduling Software

We are still using the Illuminations 1 software for our over-all scheduling of the rest of our school work.

I’m still astounded that I’ve not spent more than an hour planning this entire year for my children. If you are using curriculum from Bright Ideas Press, you click on the curriculum and the assignments are plugged in for you to cover each week (it can be customized easily).

It incorporates all my different age groups- which is amazing to me! My older children obviously have more in-depth assignments, but they are all learning about the same things, at the same time. That is excellent when you have several different grade levels to teach.

You can watch my introduction to Illuminations here:

Probably my favorite part of Illuminations is that it can be re-used. We are currently using year 1 but when we have rotated through the other years, we can come right back to this one and use it again. That is just smart for those of us who have many years of homeschooling ahead.


We are still using Teaching Textbooks for math. This isn’t going to change any time soon. I have one child who wakes in the 5 o’clock hour each morning so she can work on her lessons.

It’s self-grading. It’s built-in lessons give each child the lectures they need and plenty of practice. I love it– it is that simple.


The Mystery of History is excellent!

I truly think it has breathed new life into our homeschooling experience.

Last night, I took three of my children out for the evening. On the way to our location, they were discussing whether they find the Egyptian or Mayan culture more fascinating, and why.

That really happened, folks.

I have LEGO pyramids being built on the dining tables and ¬¬¬¬my children are reading our MOH timeline— for fun.

I’ve made a quick couple of new videos on our latest Mystery of History projects. (You can see the previous videos here.)

Here is one on our challenge cards:

and one on our memory cards (with a quick tip of something NOT to do!):


We are using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry for science.

I have not gotten but a few chapters in on this curriculum so I don’t have a whole lot to share here except that it is very well written, and seems to be inspiring them to want to learn more on their own.


Northstar Geography has been a learning experience for my entire family.

I’m going to write an entirely different post on this curriculum.

It’s technically a highschool level curriculum, but my younger children are using it with no problems.

This is the only subject I’m having a hard time fitting in each day, but Illuminations builds in “catch-up” time so it has been easy to stay up-to-date with our assignments.

In addition, they just released an MP3 version (over 10 hours of audio!) so your children can review their material during the week, as they go about other activities.

I can see some areas where I want to improve.

My children still need more work on handwriting. I know it will improve as we go through this year but honestly, I get impatient and want to see immediate results.

I also still struggle with grammar curriculum. I have yet to find anything that I really like- any ideas ladies?

What do you use for your family??

The one curriculum I keep thinking I need to take a closer look at is Shurley English. It seems like it would be terribly complicated to teach.

So, that is our first month of homeschooling for this year, at a glance.

I hope the rest of this year looks like this first month, that would be a huge blessing.

How is your school year going, thus far? What curriculum do you love?  Do you wish you had made different choices with your curriculum?

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