I don’t know about you, but my boys go back to school tomorrow. (Tomorrow!!)
I hope you enjoyed the last post about Homeschooling High School. (I remember being so nervous about the idea of homeschooling high school, but it has turned out to be a blast!)
As promised, I am back today to give some quick updates on the homeschool curriculum my boys are using this year, and also to share some of the books they’ve been enjoying.
^^My 4, yesterday — at a Hawaiian Rodeo! 🙂
I’m down to homeschooling just three boys, as Josiah graduated a year ago, just finished his gap year (which was so good!) and is headed to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Ca. in a few weeks. Crazy! But really — he is SO excited and SO ready, it’s almost hard to be sad that he is leaving. 🙂
As for the other three…
Jonah is heading into his Senior Year.
Luke will be a 9th grader
Levi is starting 3rd grade.
And as for curriculum:
- ALL of the boys are using ABEKA online Videos for their language arts classes and Bible.
- Luke and Jonah are using the DIVE curriculum for Math and Science.* (see note below.)
- Levi is using a variety of science and history books (mostly read-aloud) and Abeka Math.
- All of the boys will be using IEW for various writing classes. ** (see another note!)
* DIVE CURRICULUM: My boys have loved using the DIVE curriculum for everything from Earth Science (Luke in 8th grade) to AP Calculus and AP Physics (Josiah and Jonah senior years.) DIVE is growing in popularity all over the world, and if you hop over to their website you will find some great giveaways going on now! Some DIVE classes have live options and others are web-based, and self-paced. DIVE is the most affordable curriculum we have used, and even in the higher level classes (Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus and Calculus) my boys have been able to take the classes completely independently because Dr. Shormann’s teaching is so good. (Which is really nice since asking their Mom questions about Calculus would not be very helpful. 😉 ) If you’re looking for Math or Science curriculums, I highly recommend DIVE! (Be sure to follow them on Facebook, and Instagram.)
*a few more fun facts: The creator of the DIVE curriculum , David Shormann, is our good friend, and he lives here on the North Shore. Dr. Shormann and his family are originally from Texas, but have been living here in Hawaii for a few years. They go to our church and their daughter Ellie is a good friend of our boys. (and she helps out with Levi’s homeschooling a bit, too.) We have so much respect for Dr. Shormann! Each of the boys have worked with him on his research projects, and they spend as much time fishing and boating with him as possible.
Also, my son Jonah is the current face of the Dive website. Hehe.
**IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing.) We’ve used the Institute for IEW for years, beginning when Josiah was in about 3rd grade. Andrew Pudewa is such an engaging, funny, and super-smart teacher, and the kids love him! Writing can be challenging for boys, and finding a good curriculum is a game changer. I am convinced that Josiah’s early experiences with IEW inspired his love of writing, and prepared him well for great essay writing, which helped earn him college scholarships. We are big fans of IEW!
Aaaand, after years of being fans of Andrew Pudewa, I was honored to be a GUEST on Andrew’s IEW PODCAST in an episode called “The Joys of Boys” a few weeks back! (<–use that link to listen to my episode!) It was a super fun chat!
What about Abeka? We’ve used Abeka as our core curriculum for much of my boys’ homeschooling. I think it’s a great balance between kids learning in a pseudo-classroom environment (students watch a video of a teacher in front of a class, so they get to see a full lecture as if they are in the classroom) with seat work done at home. I don’t have to “teach” but I do correct and grade their papers, quizzes and tests. I feel super confident that they are getting a very thorough, college-prep. education, from a Biblical perspective.
Now for some books!
Here’s a short list of books my boys have been reading lately. This summer has been a BIG READING SUMMER for all of my boys. (Josiah decided to “train himself” for a lot of reading in college and his brothers followed suit!
LEVI, 3rd grade:
The One Year Book of Devotions for Boys
(We read this with him every morning for his devotions. It’s good for his age and I’d recommend through older elementary school.)
The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection: All 7 Books Plus Bonus Book: Boxen
(We are reading this series aloud to him, and are currently in the 3rd book. He loves it!)
The Absent Author (A to Z Mysteries)
(I picked up the first few books in this series while we were in California because Levi needed something to read to himself. He is finishing the 2nd book, “The Bald Bandit” now and seems to be really enjoying it.)
LUKE’s recent favorites, 9TH grade:
Okay for Now
(I got this after seeing that Sarah McKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival recommended it. Luke really enjoyed it and I want to read it next.)(And BTW– Sarah at the The RAR ^^ has heaps of great book recommendations, an awesome podcast, and tons of encouragement, so follow her now if you haven’t before!)
(^^both of the last 2 are great, especially if your kids are competitive athletes. I love finding positive role models like Tim Tebow and Scott Hamilton. I highly recommend both of those books!)
JONAH’S recent favorites, 12 grade:
The Great Divorce
(and other CS Lewis books…He and Josiah have been devouring CS Lewis. :))
How to Win Friends & Influence People
(great for learning to work with people at his new restaurant job, and though some people don’t love this book, I think it can be great for self-awareness and social skills.)
JOSIAH, pre-college reading:
Confessions (Oxford World’s Classics)
(a requirement for his Augustinian program at Westmont.) (He loved it!)
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest
(recommended by Westmont for entering students. Another good one!)
Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People
(Gotta love Bob Goff. :))
The George MacDonald Treasury: Princess and the Goblin, Princess and Curdie, Light Princess, Phantastes, Giant’s Heart, at the Back of the North Wind, Golden Key, and Lilith
(He hasn’t read all of these but has been on a George MacDonald streak after hearing that C.S. Lewis was inspired by MacDonald. :))
**AFFILIATE LINKS: Some of the items listed here are affiliate links which means if you click through and purchase, I will make a small commission on the purchase. I am not an affiliate for any homeschool companies. 😉
I’d love to hear what your kids are reading, especially in the younger years as I am always looking to inspire Levi to love reading as well! Also: If you have any questions about our homeschooling, feel free to ask!