Every spring I begin thinking forward to the coming school year. Usually we are done with formal lessons, formal being said very loosely, around May. The weather is warming, the days are longer and none of us have any desire to be indoors more than we have to. Evaluating what worked and what didn't work so well as I had hoped is a part of looking forward. Mostly I try to tie the kids learning into real life but we use books too. Our favorite books for learning change every year, here are some of the ones that have been working really well for us this year.
Saxon 5/4 - Andrew is using this for his math this year. I had shied away from it for a long time because of it's enormous size. I have had to remind myself that one of the perks of homeschooling is you can do as much or as little as is needed to learn a math lesson, or any other lesson for that matter.
Rod and Staff Spelling 5 - we use this for Annaliese and I'm very happy with it. She is a voracious reader so I don't worry too much about her spelling.
Rod and Staff Time to Plant - this reader and accompanying workbook are great. While Annaliese likes to read a lot, these help her slow down, think about the deeper meanings, comparisons, analogies and such that she might quickly pass over.
A Reason for Handwriting D - We have lefties. Four so far. And for whatever reason, several of our kids need some purposeful handwriting practice. This is one great book for that. Another is:
Draw, Write, Now - all of our kids love these.
Rod and Staff Stories About God's People. At the beginning of the year I determined that Andrew and I would work through these short chapter stories and the accompanying workbook one sentence and one paragraph at a time. At that time he could read the sort of "fat cat sat on a hat" stories. Five months later we've worked halfway or so through the book and I think I could just skip him ahead to grade 3 now if I wanted to. I have loved how everything with Rod and Staff is tied together and it presents the same material from different views. We'll keep reading through this level 2 book for now, since Andrew loves, loves the Bible stories.
For history this year we've been using A child's Geography for a guide and for science we've been loosely using Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day and we are enjoying both.
Four year old Eleanora is working through the Rod and Staff kindergarten books, which include a lot of tracing, coloring, cutting and gluing. She loves having her own "school" books. Other than these I've mentioned, we use a few other workbooks but mostly we order stacks of books from the library.