Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2020-2021

Our homeschool curriculum choices for the 2020-2021 school year! This will be our 18th year of homeschooling!

our homeschool curriculum choices

Eighteen years of homeschooling. The time has flown by so quickly!

Our oldest two children have graduated from our homeschool, and now we just have three students. This year we’ll have fifth grade, ninth grade, and eleventh grade.

One in elementary, and two in high school.

RELATED: Homeschool Graduation Party Ideas

And, this will be the last year that I have an elementary-age student! Oh, the time goes by so fast!

Teaching the younger years has always been my favorite. I love doing nature walks and nature study, and reading picture books.

RELATED: Charlotte Mason Nature Study

They grow up quicker than you can ever believe possible. It literally feels like one day you have young children, and the next day they’re all grown up!

Since this will be my last year of elementary, I’m trying to make the most of the time with my youngest. I’m adding in as many fun things as possible.

And I don’t think I can give up the picture books any time soon. I still think picture books are a delightful way to learn. I enjoy them myself!

My Homeschool Lesson Planner

Every year I use an Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner for my homeschool planning.

erin condren homeschool teacher planner

I’ve written about this planner several times before.

(If you create an account with Erin Condren here, you can get a $10 off coupon to use on your first order.)

Erin’s planners are beautiful and inspiring, and that’s why I keep using them.

Here’s how I modify the Erin Condren planner to work for my homeschool planning needs.

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices

I always choose our history curriculum before anything else. This year, after spending this past school year in the Middle Ages, we’ll be moving into U.S. history, which I’m really looking forward to.

Some of the things we’ll be using this year will be new to us, and others are old favorites that we return to again and again.

Watch the Video


My personal preference is to have everyone on the same page in history. So, even though we’ll be studying history at different levels, we’ll all be in the same time period.

For history this year, I decided to go with My Father’s World.

our homeschool curriculum choices

We’ve used bits and pieces of the My Father’s World curriculum through the years, but this will be our first year to use a whole year plan from them.

After getting an overview of the books, I’m really looking forward to it! I think it’s going to be a very productive year.

I love that the high school guide focuses on biblical worldview. This will be perfect for my two high schoolers.

homeschool curriculum ninth grade

My ninth and eleventh graders will be sharing the books for this course (they will each have their own lesson plan book to follow). This will save money and also keep us all studying the same historical period.

homeschool curriculum eleventh grade


There is some geography included in the MFW lessons, but we’ll also be continuing to use our Pin It! Maps. These are my favorite geography/map resource!

RELATED: Hands-On Geography with Pin It! Maps

homeschool geography pin it maps

This year our U.S. history maps will be especially useful. If you haven’t seen these maps yet, I highly recommend them!

RELATED: Pin It! Maps U.S. History Bundle Review


For math, we’ll be using Teaching Textbooks for the 8th year in a row! This math curriculum has definitely saved my sanity.

I also add in some math activities and games for my youngest from Right Start Math.

RELATED: Best Homeschool Math for Busy Moms


I am totally impressed with Master Books’ science curriculum. We’ve used it for several years, and I have only good things to say about them.

My high schoolers will both be using a Master Books biology course. They will also be doing a biology lab, also from Master Books. Again, they will be sharing this course, to make it more affordable.

homeschool high school science

Part of the course involves using a microscope (which is available on their website).

My fifth grader will be doing the science included in his MFW lesson plan.

In addition to the recommended Apologia Botany book (which we already had on our shelves from when we used it years ago), I’m also adding the following recommended activities:

And possibly also an owl pellet kit and an aquarium. My son is very hands-on, and loves living things, so this is right up his alley!

Years ago, when my oldest children were little, we did the very same butterfly garden and ant mountain, and we enjoyed it so much. I wanted my youngest to have these same experiences before he loses interest in these types of things.

Nature Study

Some nature study is included in the MFW guide for elementary, but we’ll also probably continue to go through Exploring Nature with Children. Read my review of it here.

Book Basket

In addition to the literature books we’ll be reading for history, we’ll also be filling our book basket with more living books the kids will read independently.

The MFW guides include lists of book suggestions for book basket that we’ll be referring to, as well as just using the books already on our shelves.

homeschool curriculum books


My two oldest will be using Easy Grammar again (we’ve been using this for many years).

My youngest will be using My Father’s World’s Language Lessons for Today. This will be our third year using it.

language lessons for today

We tried a different program for my youngest last year, and it wasn’t a good fit for him, so we went back to Language Lessons for Today.

It works really well for him since you can do most of it orally.


Some writing is included in the High School MFW guide.

My youngest will be using the MFW Writing Skills for Today book.

writing skills for today book

For handwriting, I’m using Handwriting Without Tears for my youngest. We’ve used this before, and it worked well for him.

My high schoolers wanted a handwriting/penmanship program, so we’re using Patriotic Penmanship this year. This also serves as copywork.


For picture study, we’ll be again using Simply Charlotte Mason’s Picture Study Portfolios. We’ve been using these for years.

For actual art lessons, we’ll be using these free watercolor art lessons.


Hymn study and composer study is also included in the MFW elementary guide.

Foreign Language

We’ll be using Rosetta Stone for Spanish, and Duolingo for French.


If you’re familiar with Charlotte Mason, you know she recommended that children learn how to do what she called “handicrafts.”

These are some of the skills we’re continuing to work on:

natural wood christmas ornaments


These are some of the electives our children will be working on:

  • Piano lessons
  • Computer programming
  • Photography
  • Landscaping
  • Logic

Evening Time

As I mentioned last year, Evening Time currently works better for our family than Morning Time. When the children were younger, I always planned for Morning Time.

Now, we gather in the evenings and focus on those things that matter most to us. It’s a time to study the Bible, memorize verses, and sing together.

RELATED: Why Morning Time Is Worth Planning

Starting a New School Year

For the first time ever, I’m planning to start our school year in July! I usually wait until August or even September, but I’ve decided I’d like to be done earlier in the year. So, we’re hoping to get a head start.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our homeschool curriculum choices for the coming school year. I’ve got our school room all organized and just about ready to get started!

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Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices

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  1. How is it going with the High School MFW.
    Are they continuing with the government 2nd semester? Was there anything you tweaked?
    Also have you liked the biology?

    1. Hi Rachel! We have loved the MFW for high school. We didn’t tweak anything, and did government just as written in the course materials. The biology has also been a win. Overall very happy with everything we chose for this year. Hope that helps!

  2. I’m planning to homeschool my son. And I get excited and overwhelmed by all the curriculum choices and resources out there. I always enjoy seeing what other moms are doing. Thanks for posting! I’m featuring your post at this week’s Friday Favorites party!

    1. That’s so exciting, Jerri! I know how overwhelming it can be. Hope you have a great year! And thanks so much for the feature!

  3. I love reading about homeschool curriculum choices. Both of my homeschooled kids are now college graduates, and I never thought I would say this, but I so miss choosing the curriculum. There are so many good options! We used Easy Grammar for several years, and it was really great. Thanks for sharing at the TFT link party and letting me continue to live the homeschool life, vicariously, through you!

  4. My daughter just finished that biology course from Master Books for 9th grade. She loved it! The author happened to be my husband’s biology teacher in college, and it really has been an excellent course 🙂

    1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear that she enjoyed it! And how neat that the author was your husband’s teacher, too! We can’t wait to get started on it. 🙂

  5. Do you think Master Books science would work for an 8th grader? An 8th grader who is a little weak in science. We have done a Charlotte Mason approach to science up until 6th grade then we did science through a co-op and it was ok. Last year we again did science with our co-op and it was horrible. Dull curriculum, lack of teaching, then Covid shut down in March and we finished it at home but we both despised it and I feel like we wasted the science school year. I supplemented it with living science reads so that was salvaged a little. You are the second person who has mentioned Master Books in the last week to me and I’ve been praying for some guidance. What’s your thoughts?

    1. Hi Rebecca! Sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back to you—I’ve been away from my computer for a few days. We’ve used Master Books science for several different grades, including 8th, and we loved it! It’s my new favorite resource for science, and I’m planning to continue using it in the future. A couple years ago, my 7th grader enjoyed the Master Books General Science course. They also have several other science choices that would work well for an 8th grader. If you look on their website under “grade level,” it will show you what they recommend for 8th grade. They have a general science, astronomy (my older son used that this year), Anatomy and Physiology, and a couple of other courses. We’ve enjoyed all the ones we’ve tried so far. Hope that helps!

  6. Do you find that Teaching Textbooks does a great job in teaching Algebra and Geometry? My son is currently in pre-algebra and I’m having a hard time devoting the time to teach him some concepts and correct his work. I have others that I homeschool as well, and need to outsource a bit.

    1. I think it depends on the child and their math ability. If math is a struggle, they may need extra help. One of my children found that a combination of Teaching Textbooks and Khan academy Algebra (Khan is free) helped her understand it better than Teaching Textbooks alone. I have another friend whose child did well with Teaching Textbooks until they got to Algebra, and then they hired a tutor to help them with the difficult parts. After they gained understanding with the tutor, they did fine with the rest of their Teaching Textbooks work. And then I have other friends whose children did very well using just Teaching Textbooks in the upper grades, but they seemed to have more natural math aptitude. Teaching Textbooks does have sample lessons on their website. I would give the sample lessons a try to see if it would be a good fit.

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