ditching some of our textbooks

We now have 1 year of homeschooling behind us and are already 3 weeks into the term (mind you I had to ask one of my girls what week we were up to!). For those who are new, last year we started homeschooling twins in year 2. One went to a new school after 6 months (his request and he was never the big reason we were homeschooling) and he’s doing great. He loves caching the bus, lunch orders, playing footy at lunchtime and just being in school. His twin sister loves being at home and having her own time to do things and work at her own pace. She is doing the most amazing art and has come so far in all subjects and just her overall happiness and life.

When we started out last year we used a mixture of textbooks and workbooks that we found at the educational bookshop and from a catholic curriculum. This year we chose to go with a different catholic curriculum but it hasn’t gone as well as I planned. It’s a classical curriculum and just too much book work and memory work for my girl. The maths (Abeka) was from the US and very arithmetic based which would have suited my son but he’s not home anymore. So first we ditched the maths and swapped back to her favourite maths book which is Stepping Stones (by Origo Education) and it’s a really good one for kids who don’t love maths. Lots of pictures but a big thick book and lots of exercises to work through at their pace. Her school had used it in year 2 and it’s working well for us. We picked up a new copy on ebay.

Science was lots of book work so we’ve ditched that for an experiment book and nature book. Nature Anatomy is a book I had seen on instagram and has been a great choice as its a really interesting book. I read the reviews on amazon and decided it would be perfect. Lots of illustrations and an interesting book full of facts. We picked up our copy on book depository and it’s been a huge hit so far.

At the start of the year I had swapped the history and geography books from the catholic curriculum for australian books aimed at year 3-6 but they were so boring and wordy we lost her interest. So now we are using The story of the world for history and MAPS and our own interests for geography. We are researching different countries we are interested in and creating posters or brochures on those countries. That is working out really well as she learns a lot more and has fun with it.

I think what we’ve learnt is that there is no right or wrong way to approach homeschooling and that it’s ok to ditch it if its not working. I already know that each of my children will learn differently but I’ve ended up realising that set curriculums aren’t going to work for us and neither are lots of textbooks (with the exception of maths and english as they are working well supplemented with our online programs too). We do love the Seton handwriting books, they are really thick and both my girls are using them (kindergarten and year 2 because we didn’t get through it all last year) and they’ve been a great choice.

Next week I’ll be sharing how our homeschooling a little person with a disability is going and spoiler alert….the progress is beyond what anyone expected!


  1. I am so glad to hear that it is working well for you. I guess that’s the beauty of home schooling, being able to change the resources you are using to get just the right fit. Will be very interested to hear how your little home schooler is going.

  2. Marilyn Miles says:

    Corrie I love the books you at using. I had a look on Amazon for them and the peek at the pages Paddy loved it and found it engaging so I am going to get them for him as well. Thank you for showing us what you are using it really has helped me to sort our books out here to.

  3. Hi Corrie.
    I started home schooling at the start of last year with my gr 1 & 2 girls after pulling them out of the Catholic school. (We are Catholic)
    This year I had my son starting with us too, and I have a 4 yr old and 3 month old.
    It’s been a wonderful journey and I love being with them.
    There are so many choices out there so it is hard to know what will work!
    I’m doing Singapore maths which I think is great.
    We have Nature Anatomy too – so interesting but I wish it was a bit more Southern Hempisphere.
    We love SOTW 1 too but as someone mentioned on instagram, the next books are not written favourably towards Catholics. We’ve bought the The Story of Civilisation (Tan books) – available from book depository – as it is written from a Catholic point of view. The second book has just been released. They also have them as audio books so we listen in the car too.

  4. Hi Corrientes
    It sounds like you’re doing well with working out how your kids learn best. I wondered if Tilly has read any of the Australian girl series? My 11 year old has really enjoyed them since she was in year 2 (or 3, I can’t remember) and they led on to further discussions around history – especially Australian history. Though my girl is at school, we looked up further facts for the era and it really helped bring it to life for her.
    There are lots of different books, I just wanted to link to one: https://www.booktopia.com.au/a-friend-for-grace-sofie-laguna/prod9780143305293.html

    • Sorry Corrie, I didn’t notice the auto correct for your name! Technology is great but auto correct isn’t.

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