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Large Family Homeschooling {Part 2}

Today I am going to talk about Adalia (14), Judah (13) and Tilly (12). These three have been neck and neck academically as long as we’ve been homeschooling. All three were born within 2 1/2 years of each other and began “school” at the same time. Our first year of any type of “formal” homeschooling was 2004. All three could read by then and we dove headlong into the Civil War.  We lived and breathed Civil War. Our meals, clothes, books, and play were Civil War inspired. The kids were about 6,7 and 8.

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Each year since then has gotten increasingly more structured as their brains and bodies have grown. So here’s the nitty-gritty, real-life homeschooling today.

All three use:

Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. This program is a bit of an investment, but well worth it since all my students can use it. Teaching Textbook is hands down my favorite math textbook. We use it in our house from third grade (where the program starts) on up.

We supplement with Life of Fred. These are the BEST math books ever. I dare you to read one (yes, for fun) and not laugh out loud and read bits of it to anyone who will listen.

All the kids (from second grade and up) use Wordly Wise 3000. It’s an awesome thorough vocabulary program. In addition to doing a chapter per week, Adalia, Judah and Tilly each write me a paragraph on Friday using a minimum of ten vocabulary words. This way they get practice with writing and grammar and I am assured they really understand how to use the words.

We use Story of the World for History, for everyone. I recommend using the book and activity book. This incredible program has inspired us to have a medieval feast, Japanese dinner, build an edible Norman Castle, make Turkish cannons. Not to mention the weekly map work, which familiarizes the students with basic geography.

We also use these Geo Puzzles to reinforce what we are learning in History.

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For History, we’ve also done informal unit studies as they’ve struck our fancy. Two of our favorites were: Titanic Week and Chocolate Week (you’ll have to click on a few posts to read the whole thing).

All my children use Basic Italics. Not exactly exciting, but it gets the job done.

Adalia is using Editor-In-Chief, and I like it so much I plan to use it for all my older children.

They take Rosetta Stone Spanish.

For science this year we are using SuperCharged Science. This is an active, real-life kind of program designed by a former NASA rocket-scientist-turned-homeschool-mom. How cool is that?!

Other than that, we live life.

All three can cook, bake and clean.

Adalia volunteers at Mustang U weekly has taken a doula course down in Seattle, attended four births, she can ride the city bus, and babysits. She is active in Girl Scouts, loves to draw, paint, bead, knit, read and sew.

Judah is active in Boy Scouts. He’s gone winter camping, river rafting, hiking, biking, and running. He’s shot rifles and built a knife. He loves to read, build with Legos and then read some more.

Tilly loves photography (she’s my newborn assistant), loves to read, bead, knit, create and sew. She is also active in Girl Scouts. She loves to write stories and letters. She babysits, jogs and bikes.

And for those who care, all three scored well above grade level in last year’s standardized testing.


  1. sarah

    Thanks for sharing. I wondered how the home grown kids turned out. My son is 9 and doing technically second grade work. He hated school until he turned 9, now magically, he is doing great. I haven’t pushed former school on the others due to the fight with the first. It’s nice to know (hopefully) they’ll catch up. I was also thinking about buying the Teaching Math series and am glad to hear it does a good job. :).

  2. Neale Sheneman

    Grandma once asked me what phonics book I was using. I mistakenly said “worldy wise”. She said, ” Worldly Wise, that doesn’t sound very good at all”. LOL

  3. jo

    Does your state require state testing or do you choose to do it? We have lived in so many states, some require every other yr and some, like here, require none! We have them tested by choice to have it on file. I like a lot of the curriculum choices you use, either because we use them or some I have seen and dont use yet.

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