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Our Homeschooling Plans (2011-2012)

It’s back-to-school time again! This year, we’ll be homeschooling the following grades and ages:

  • 10th Grade Son (age 15-16)
  • 7th Grade Daughter (age 12-13)
  • 6th Grade Son (age 11)
  • 4th Grade Daughter (age 9)
  • 1st Grade Daughter (age 6-7)
  • Preschool Daughter (age 4)
  • Little Guy (age 1-2)

Here is a peek at our plans for the coming school year.

Wake-up Time

We usually wake up around 7 a.m. at our house, and everyone gets dressed and ready for the day, some moving slower than others (that’s me!). The older kids take turns making breakfast, usually eggs with a rotating schedule of oatmeal, cream of wheat, oven pancakes, oatmeal casserole, coffee cake, or apple cake. As we finish eating together, Dad reads aloud from Keys for Kids, we all try to guess the day’s “key” (and I never can unless I’ve had my coffee), and then we have prayer together.

After breakfast, the kids do chores. Except for the youngest two, they each have a kitchen job plus a housekeeping job.

Morning School

Our goal is to start on school work by 9 a.m. In previous years, we always had “together school” in the morning, but with several little ones, it’s just not working out. I recently read in the The Duggars: Twenty and Counting! that they have their together school in the afternoon, while the little ones are napping. I used to find myself falling asleep at that time of day, but since I’m not pregnant or with a newborn this year (for the first time in many years!), I think it would be the perfect time to give this a try.

Our Little Guy

So my plan is to have the kids start right in on their independent subjects, as soon as their chores are done. I will help them as needed, starting with the youngest ones and moving up to my high schooler. My little guy (age 1, almost 2) will probably need some attention, too. If I have any time left over, I’ll work online.

Our 4yo Daughter

My Preschool Daughter

Our 4yo daughter is an affectionate “perceiver” who is loud one second and quiet the next. She has a great imagination, and she loves to sing.

She will be having a short school time each morning using Rod and Staff’s ABC Workbooks. We’ll just do one or two pages a day together. My goal is to help her continue to improve on her ability to sit still and concentrate. She will be learning to color in the lines, which will help her as she learns to hold a pencil and begin to write her letters. She’ll also learn her letter sounds, her numbers, and many Bible stories and verses.

Our 6yo Daughter

My 1st Grade Daughter

Our 6yo daughter is my little “helper.” She’s rather quiet, but she also loves to play pranks on her siblings. She loves animals.

Her birthday is in November, and her skills are a little older than a first grader and a little younger than a second grader. I’ve decided to be easy on her and call her a first grader, not that it matters too much.

She loves math, so she’ll be using Abeka’s Arithmetic 2. For phonics, reading, handwriting, and spelling, she’ll be using Abeka’s first-grade curriculum. She’ll also be reading through their first-grade science book with me once or twice each week.

(I’m a big Abeka fan! I love their emphasis on daily review. It makes the work easy for them each day, but because they review so often and so thoroughly, my children learn their stuff well. I also love their handwriting and reading, which includes much Scripture. That’s very important to our family. Read my full Abeka math review here.)

She’s also taking piano lessons with Faber’s Piano Adventures. (Read how I use it here.) She’ll also begin to do typing lessons each day, using Keyboarding for the Christian School. I like it because it’s very simple and uses Scripture.

Our 9yo Daughter

My 4th Grade Daughter

Our 9 yo daughter is our “exhorter,” and she never stops talking. She’s full of ideas of everything she wants to do. She especially loves technology, cameras, and video.

She’ll be using Abeka’s Arithmetic 4, as well as their reading, handwriting, and spelling. She’ll be using Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy, which is a very gentle approach to science. We’ve used this book before with our older children, and I’m looking forward to using it again.

She also reads from a chapter book each day (from our family’s “library” shelves), plus she’ll be reading through the Old Testament.

She’s also taking piano lessons and flute lessons, as well as typing.

Our 11yo Son

My 6th Grade Son

Our 11yo son has a combination of many gifts (just like his Daddy), and he’s pretty competitive. He loves learning about wild animals, especially fish. He also loves sports.

He’ll be using Abeka’s Arithmetic 6, as well as their creative writing and spelling books. He’ll be doing science with his older sister each day, using Apologia’s General Science book.

He’ll also read a chapter book each day, plus he’ll be reading through the New Testament.

He’ll do typing each day, plus piano lessons. He wants to start guitar lessons, but we haven’t got this all figured out yet.

Our 12yo Daughter

My 7th Grade Daughter

Our 12yo daughter has the gift of “compassion,” and she’s a loving friend to girls in our neighborhood. She loves to sew, and she also loves horses.

She’ll be using Abeka’s Basic Math, as well as their literature and spelling/vocabulary books. She’ll do Apologia’s General Science with her younger brother.

She’ll also be reading a chapter book each day, plus reading from the New Testament. She especially loves biographies right now.

She’ll do typing (with Abeka’s Keyboarding text) and piano each day. She says she would prefer not to do flute any more.

Our 15yo Son

My 10th Grade Son

Our 15yo son is our “administrator/teacher,” and he always has his nose in a book or in his laptop. He loves Lego robotics and anything else dealing with physics or engineering. He also loves to draw.

He’ll be doing Algebra 2 from Abeka. He’ll also be using their United States History and American Literature curriculum. He’ll also be doing Abeka’s Chemistry curriculum this year, as well as their 10th grade vocabulary.

In addition, he wants to do some advanced computer programming, using the Teen Coder curriculum, which has Windows and game programming. He’ll also be taking Science and Math for Technology, so this is going to be a science-and-math heavy year! (He’s considering a possible engineering major in college, but maybe it’s a little early to know for sure.)

He’ll also be doing an SAT preparation course each week, as well as taking driver’s education here at home. Finally, he’s still working on Spanish, using a book we bought plus some Abeka.

Lunch Time

Around noon, we’re planning to take a break, do some P.E. (our curriculum), exercise and play outside when the weather permits, then I’ll start on lunch. We keep lunch as simple as possible. I also enjoy spending some time with my husband. β™₯

My Sweet Hubbie

Together School

The “plan” is to put the youngest two down for naps around 2 p.m. Then we’ll do the following schoolwork together. (This is my favorite time of day.) Oh, and I should mention that we only do this on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. My husband is home each Monday, so we enjoy him instead (or do some shopping). On Friday, I clean the house and prepare for taking a day of rest on Saturday, as well as ministry on Sunday.


We use our own Bible curriculum, of course. This year, we’re developing Foundations 4, which is a Bible doctrines and character course, so we’re trying it out with our own family. It includes Bible reading and discussion together, Scripture memory, and some Bible drill games. It should be for sale by next spring.


After Bible time, we enjoy singing together. I’m not planning anything official this year. We have a hymnbook we’re using, plus some fun folk songs that are on my shelf. The older ones are perfecting their ability to sing parts, so this should be fun.


We’re planning to use the Fallacy Detective and the Thinking Toolbox to work on our logic skills. This should also be fun.


We’ve been writing history curriculum all last year, and we’ll be using Seals and Trumpets: The Middle Ages, which is the 3rd year of world history. It will be for sale to the public by next spring, so we’ll be trying to work out all the bugs this year. This should be very fun.


We’ve also been developing our own grammar curriculum, which uses the Bible as its primary textbook and which we can use with all the older kids (4th grade and up) together. It will also be for sale soon. This is one of my favorite subjects.


Finally, I’ll be assigning them each writing assignments several times each week. We’ll finish our afternoon together with these.

Late Afternoon

In the time that’s left, I try to get some work done online. The kids take turns playing with the little ones and helping with supper. My 10th and 7th graders are wanting to start their own online businesses, so I’ll have to keep you posted on these. They also love doing arts and crafts projects, 4H projects, and just playing Legos and Littlest Pet Shops with their neighborhood friends.

Evening Time

After supper, no night is the same. However, as often as we can, Daddy reads aloud to the kids before bed. Right now, we’re reading an old book, Fight on for Hicklesnifter, by Stan Best. Dad and I choose books together, and our list of books we want to read is way longer than all our lifetimes combined. πŸ™‚

I think that’s all. If you’d like, you can read more about our homeschooling philosophy and methods, my planning notebook, how we organize our toys, how we manage so many ages in one school day, and more.

If you’d like to send us a link to a post about YOUR homeschooling plans, just add it below in the comments.


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  1. One quick question, do your oldest children participate in the together school too?

  2. Anne Elliott says

    Hi, Melinda! Yes, everyone but the two youngest (ages 1 and 4) do together school. (They’re napping.) So that’s my 6yo, 9yo, 10 you, 12 yo, and 15 yo. It works out really good, although I sometimes wonder how much the 6yo gets from it. (It’s amazing how much she does absorb, though.)

  3. Do you have a list of books compiled that you read to your kids? I am always looking for good book titles for my kiddos (9 yr. old, 21 mo. old, 9 mo. old) for both read aloud and personal quiet reading time. I’ve gone through all my stand-by books with my daughter (who LOVES to read) and, after trying to pick out some titles at the library, I’m discouraged at finding some reading material that is at her reading level and appropriate. Any suggestions?

  4. Anne Elliott says

    Diane, every time I hear of a book I want to read, I add it to a list in OneNote. A lot of ideas are from Sonlight’s catalog, to be honest ( but I don’t love all their books. I also have some books that I’ve just heard about from my mom or other people I trust, such as Christine Miller at I’ll try to get a list together for you, okay?

  5. Anne Elliott says

    Diane, I just added in a bunch of books at They are in no particular order. We’ve read all these and own them. I have another list of books we’re planning to read this coming year, and a lot of them we’re borrowing from the library. I’ll try to get them added later today… but I need to go get some schoolwork done now.

  6. Anne Elliott says

    Sorry to post again, but I wanted to give the direct link to Christine Miller’s books, since it’s kinda hard to find on her website:

    Hope this helps!

  7. Thanks for posting this Anne! I have been sitting on the fence with Abeka (“school-at-home”) after pulling my kids out 2 years ago. But I have also been making myself crazy trying out all sorts of different curriculum’s and being all over the place with everything.

    I wondered also, if you could repost the link to the “checklists” you had on previous year’s blogs that you use for each child for daily work? Another thing I spend countless hours on perfecting, only to change it almost weekly…..thanks!

  8. I really do love Abeka, Wendy. Not all of it, I guess, but especially their math. Try reading Ruth Beechick’s books on teaching math, so that you feel comfortable adapting if you ever want to. But I’ve found through the years that I wish I had followed Abeka’s recommendations *more* closely, rather than always trying to make life easier for my children. I think it would have truly made math easier for them in the long run, rather than in the short run. I hope that makes sense. πŸ™‚

    Here are some checklists from our past two years. I hope they help! Feel free to post if you are having trouble in a specific area, because there are a lot of smart moms on here, and surely someone could give you ideas. πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks so much Anne!!

  10. Wow! How do you do all that.. Maybe I need to look at some of my priorities. Of course we all have different circumstances as well. One of mine is that my 4 children range from 8yrs (October baby so 2nd grade) to 10 months.
    I look to you as encouragement. Thanks!

  11. WOW, thanks for posting this and sharing so openly with all of us your day. It helps to see ow someone else does things. I personnally have taken a lot of the book work out of our day. We spend more time focusing on life on life skills than book work. I worry that I may be neglecting areas, but I once had a wise older homeschool mom tell me that if you teach yur kids to love learning, then they will be able to teach themselves anything. I believe she knew what she was talking about because she is a mom of six and the last one graduates from home high school this year. Alll of them are productive members of society and by all out word apperiences they are good Christian’s beginning lives of their own. So, in faith I press on in teaching my kids the best way that I know how.

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