Return to Homeschool!

We got bunnies during the spring quarantine!

I’m so excited to be back in the homeschool world after two years of my kids attending a public charter school. We had a wonderful experience of schooling, but I’ve really missed our full Charlotte Mason days, and I can’t wait to get started.

I have made my curriculum decisions for the year, and I always love hearing what everyone else picked, so this is my official 2020-2021 curriculum list! Here are my choices for my 6th grade son and 7th grade daughter! Drumroll please*

I made a huge change this year by jumping from Ambleside Online as my “spine” to Build Your Library. I absolutely adore Ambleside Online, and I am forever indebted to the Advisory Board for the incredible curriculum that they put together. I relied on it almost exclusively during our first five years of school. The main reason for the switch is accessibility. My kids both have special needs, and the richness of language in Ambleside Online’s picks was going to require enormous adaptations on my part. Build Your Library offers quite a bit more handholding for me, and the books are generally on the more modern side, which makes them more accessible to my two kids. There are also simply less total assigned books, so we have more breathing room to add our own. Another factor was that Ambleside Online is 100% Christian, while BYL is a secular & multicultural curriculum, which suits our needs as Unitarian Universalist/Buddhists more closely.

  • History, Science, Art, Poetry & (some) Literature: Build Your Library, Grade 6 (shared family curriculum)
  • Literature, Spelling/Mechanics: Brave Writer Arrow & Boomerang single issues
  • Writing: Brave Writer Partnership Writing & Faltering Ownership
  • Math: Math Mammoth Blue Series (targeting specific areas of weakness based on placement tests)
  • Music: My kids are old enough now that they are most motivated by group lessons with our local “Rock School” so they will continue their instrumental and singing lessons there. Our early sol-fa and piano training with Mr. Hoffman was a fantastic foundation!
  • Science: In addition to Build Your Library, we will of course be doing regular nature study, which I learned from Ambleside Online, and I have posted about a few times on this blog.

You might wonder why I felt the need to substitute Brave Writer for Build Your Library’s literature and writing assignments. Honestly, it’s because my kids’ needs are so different in this area that I wanted to differentiate them to prevent too much comparison. Julie Bogart over at Brave Writer has a good understanding of Charlotte Mason and incorporates a lot of her ideas into the curriculum as well.

I am still planning our day-to-day schedule, but when I have it ready, I will share it, too!

Wishing you all the best as you kick off your school years!

2 responses to “Return to Homeschool!

  1. Appreciate you sharing what your plans are for the year. I’m hoping to implement some of the tweaks you posted about to AO Y1 & 2 with my kids. Currently in Y0 but I’m starting the prereading process to see how I can best diversify it from how AO is scheduled. Curious to learn more about Build Your Library – so many great options available to customize each homeschooling experience!


    • I’m so glad you stopped by! One thing I learned from our first few years with AO was that simply reading books written in different eras is an eye-opener from a diversity standpoint. It’s the closest we have to a real time machine! As much as possible, I tried to use the scheduled resources and talk frankly with my kids about modern perspectives. That said, sometimes it was just too much. Hence the additions and changes. Build Your Library is very modern and includes a lot of more recently published books, so we are losing that diversity of perspective in time that we had with AO while gaining a more “user-friendly” format. We have plenty of extra time, though, so I see how we can add books that I like from AO and other resources as needed. This homeschool life can sure be a tricky balance but I love it!


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