Hannah Elisabeth, Homeschooling, Life, Mommyhood

{Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop: Curriculum Week

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9


If you compare what I am about to say below, to what I said around this same time last year… You might notice a bit of a difference…



If we are friends on Facebook or Twitter, then you already know that I was contemplating a change to our homeschooling method and philosophy.  And, I can’t tell you how many comments and e-mails I got asking if we were giving up homeschooling altogether, and putting Hannah in school.  Let me assure you that while the change is a big one (for us), it is certainly not that big!


This will be our second “official” year of homeschooling.  So, it may seem like changing things up isn’t that big of a deal.  And, in the grand scheme of things (and if you are someone other than me!) it probably isn’t.


But, long before I was ever married, or even had any children to homeschool,  I had decided on using a classical approach.  And, about 4 years ago (Hannah is only 6!), I found a curriculum called Tapestry of Grace…which was pretty much everything that I was looking for.


I love academics and education.  I actually find it fun to research educational philosophies, and methodologies, and to compare the pros and cons of various curriculum.  But, I think that I allowed myself to get so caught up in my “hobby,” and finding “the best” curriculum – in my opinion, that I lost sight of what would truly be the BEST thing for my child.


As we spent some time this summer trying to catch up, and finish some subjects that had been put on hold during our big move, it became clear that she was really struggling in some areas that I thought she had already mastered.  I don’t know if was the time off, the stress and chaos of the move itself, or if we had been moving so fast in order to cover everything, that she really hadn’t grasped the concepts before we moved on.  Whatever the reason, we were both incredibly frustrated…


So, although I already had “our” plans for this year set – to the point that I was actually ready to sit down and place my orders! – I began curriculum shopping….


I was looking for something that would still effectively accomplish all that we needed (and wanted), and do so from a solidly biblical perspective…   And, upon the discovery that a new little one would be joining our family in February, something that would significantly simplify my preparation time!  The cost was also a big factor… We are living on a pastor’s salary.  And, although our church is incredibly generous, I still want to make sure we are being good stewards!


I looked at several different options, and had pretty much settled on one.  So, after much prayer, and before we made our final decision, I sat down at the computer with Hannah, and we flipped through some of the online book previews together, looking at workbooks, reading book samples, history activities… And, some of the concepts that we have been working on (and struggling with!) for the last several months finally “clicked” for her – in just a few minutes!!  And, she loved it!  (I’m sure the novelty will wear off at some point, but for now, it was nice to see her so excited about school, and especially about reading, again!)


So, we’ve made the switch…


And, we are very excited to be using BJU Press Homeschool for First Grade this year!  They have a strong biblical foundation, as well as teaching Creation (in Bible, Science, and History) from a literal, 6-day perspective…both of which are very important to me…More so than finding the most academically challenging program, or the most popular curriculum!


I still love the classical approach.  And, I don’t know, we may go back to Tapestry of Grace someday.  But, for now, at this stage in our life and in our family…I think this will be the best choice for us.



Our books arrived last Wednesday – in four large boxes!  It was like birthdays and Christmas all rolled into one – presents included!!  I am still not sure who was more excited – Hannah or me!  I am slowly getting to know my new teacher’s editions, and creating lesson plans in anticipation of our first day of school!


What was in all those boxes?  This:


1st Grade (age: 6-year-old) Curriculum
(all materials from: BJU Press Homeschool – Grade 1)




Bible Truths: A Father’s Care


Language Arts:
Phonics & English 1
Reading 1
Spelling 1

Pre-Cursive Handwriting


Heritage Studies 1


Math 1


Science 1
(Not pictured above…
We also used this last year, but we didn’t finish…
…so we  will continue working on it this year!)




Did you make a huge change like we did?  Or, are you sticking with something that has worked wonderfully for several years?


Link up your curriculum choices, and join the fun at Heart of the Matter‘s {Not} Back-to-School Blog Hop!

. Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Really, really proud of you for doing whatever it takes for you precious daughter. That’s really what homeschooling is all about, isn’t it?

  2. We made some switches this year as well–to BJU for History for my 8th graders. I really wanted their logic/rhetoric years to have that Biblical worldview foundation. I am really pleased with how BJU presents this. Glad you’re excited for your switch. Happy homeschooling!

  3. How fun! So glad you found something that fits the stage your family is in right now, and aligns with your values! Have a wonderful first grade year!!

  4. Amy

    Gald you have found somethgn that will work for you and most imprtantly for Hannah. That is what I am looking forwward to with homeschooling-is creating or buying things that work best for each individual child. I though may have also gotten to far ahead of myself when mine were “little”-my oldest is four, but I am sure I will at some point use anything I prepared ahead of time. With three of them, they are all bound to be different and learn differently anyway.

  5. Amy

    Perhaps I need a good grammer and spell check system after what I just wrote. I apologize-it is late and I did not proofread till after I hit submit…

  6. Margaret

    Got any recommendations for preschool materials? I’m not going to be doing any formal homeschooling with Madeleine this year, seeing as how she’s only 2 1/2, but I’d love to hear what you did for preschool and when you started with Hannah! BTW, so excited for your pregnancy! Are you going to find out gender?

  7. We made the switch to BJU Distance Learning this year! Hoping it’s a a success for us!
    Glad you were able to find something that will work better for you! We had a baby join the family last September… it does make hs’ing a bit of a challenge for sure! 🙂

  8. Hi there! I’m stopping by from HOTM Online and the Curriculum link-up. Your blog title caught my eye!

    We made a major shift this year as well, but it was actually just the opposite as yours. : ) We went from the BJU package to unit study type stuff with My Father’s World. One of the most amazing things about home schooling, I think, is the ability to change things based on where our children are at!

    I hope your year with BJU curriculum is a good one! It really is a solid, Biblical curriculum set. Sounds like your daughter is going to enjoy it!

  9. Thank you for sharing about your journey and also your curriculum choices. I look forward to reading about your year and how things go! I’m always looking for new curriculum options in order to “better” our homeschool learning and am anxious to hear how the BJU curriculum works out for you.

  10. I hope you like the new plan! I had myself a full and ready plan for Kindergarten this year… then I got Lyme’s Disease and the Lord used that time of laying around reading to show me something else. One of these days I’ll blog about it, but I’m trying to finish reading Clay and Sally Clarkson’s newest edition of The WholeHearted Child and I love it! Next step is making a working plan. Maybe we won’t be ready for full swing next week after all. 🙂

  11. Amy

    We are using the same history book.

  12. Don’t you love when the boxes of books come in the mail? It always feels like Christmas to me.

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