Sunday, January 29, 2017

Putting the Fun in School- VCF Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds.  Last week we talked about Science, History, and Geography- some pretty heavy subjects.  But for our final week we get to have some fun with the subject of Seeking Beauty, the Fine Arts and Everything that Brings Beauty into our Homeschools.

Beauty?  Can there even be beauty in our homeschool day?  Is there time for that?  Is it even allowed?

I ask those things in jest, but let's face it- when we have to get in Math, Literature, Grammar, History, Geography, Science and more just to fulfill the state's requirements, sometimes the "fun" subjects, the beautiful ones, get pushed to the side.  I have to admit that for us they are the ones that often get skipped because mom is just too tired at the end of the day!

One way we have found to combat this is to dedicate a day or just an afternoon for subjects such as art, music, foreign languages, and other electives.  It often works for us to do those things on a co-op day if we are out of the house only part of the day.  In the past, we have deemed Fridays our "Fun Fridays," teamed up with another family or two, and done these subjects in more of a group setting, even adding music lessons to that day.  The glory of homeschooling is that you can change your schedule from year to year or even semester to semester to fit your family and situation.

We have used a lot of different things (we have been doing this 18 years remember) but I do want to share a few of our favorite programs with you.  There are so many great curriculum choices out there that it is often hard to choose!

BIBLE- Yes, we actually do Bible everyday, but it is for sure something that brings beauty into our day! Starting with God's Word and the reminder of His love for us is not only a perfect way to begin any day, but it often helps us re-adjust our attitudes before we start into heavy schoolwork!

  • Veritas Press Self Paced Bible- Because we LOVE Veritas Press Self Paced History with a passion, I figured I would love this one as well!  I was right!  It is aimed at younger children with the online activities, but the information taught is by no means watered down.
  • Grapevine- With a tagline of "Stick figuring through the Bible" how could you go wrong?  Really, these lessons are very thorough and will keep a hands-on kiddo quite engaged!
  • Apologia's What We Believe Series- This series of books teaches a Christian Worldview better than many I have seen.  They even have student notebooks if your child likes that kind of thing.

  • Creating a Masterpiece- This program is relatively new to me, but wow!  The lessons are so much fun and the results I see from people using it are simply amazing.  We cannot wait to get started and hope to write a review of it soon
  • ArtAchieve-  This online program uses inexpensive supplies to teach art from around the world, so your kids can learn a little art history as well!


  • Kinderbach- A fun program for younger children!  At a highschool level I do require a semester of Music Appreciation, but honestly, it looks different for each child.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES- OK, here is where I could go crazy, but I will try to restrain myself for your sake.  Also, we learn Spanish at our house, so that is what I will share, but know that many of the programs offer other languages as well!

  • Elementary- Song School Spanish- It is just FUN and a great way to expose younger kids to Spanish!  Flip Flop Spanish- Again- just so fun!  Exposes kids to a ton of vocabulary!
  • Middle School- Classical Academic Press' Spanish for Children
  • High School- Middlebury- They actually have levels for all ages, but we are using it now for high school.  Great at covering grammar and cultural information as well speaking and listening comprehension.
  • Homeschool Spanish Academy- In my opinion, the best possible way to learn a language is from a native speaker.  Our experience with this company has been stellar and I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about learning Spanish!  You will love them!

That's it friends.  Well, that probably just skims the surface really.  If you are new to homeschooling, I pray that the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair has been a blessing to you, introducing you to a wide variety of curriculum that is out there to choose from.  I encourage you to find what you like and what works for your kiddos, and forge ahead!  The best is yet to come.  

For fellow veteran homschooler who have joined us, I pray this month you have been renewed in your choice to homeschool and reminded that you are not alone!  Let us continue to fight the good fight, knowing it is worth it in the end!

Be blessed!

Now I invite you to visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about seeking beauty in their homeschools:

Links will all be live by Monday at 12 noon EST.
Living & Loving Art by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Putting the Fun in School by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Art Fun In Our Homeschool by Amanda @Hopkins Homeschool
Fine Arts Is The Fun Part by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Washing Dust Off Our Souls by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Bringing Beauty Into Your Homeschool Through Poetry by Dana @ Roscommon Acres
Seeking out the beauty... by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Joy in Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Teaching Drawing (When You Can't Draw) by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Homeschool Art for the Artistically Challenged by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Jesus, Peace, Freedom & Our Homeshool by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos
Fine Arts Options in High School by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Reluctant Artist? What do you do? by Annette @ A Net in Time
Making Fine Arts a Priority by Lisa @ McClanahan 7
Creative Pursuits by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Arts and Crafts in Our Homeschool by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Where Do You Find Beauty? by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Looping our Beauty Topics Saved our Homeschool by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully


  1. My 8th grade boy loves Veritas Press Self Paced Bible, and History, but more so the Bible. He really wants to use it again in 9th grade. Should I let him? We also loved ArtAchieve. Thank you for sharing!

    1. The format seems a little young for him, but if he doesn't mind it and has never learned the content before, I would use it! We often break the "age" recommendations! Yes, the self paced courses and just THAT GOOD!

  2. We are really looking forward to trying out Create a Masterpiece, too. It looks like a great program. :)

  3. I like your run down of what you use. All the choices do make homeschooling beautiful. :)

  4. my lad loves veritas press materials. :) Visiting from the VCF.

  5. My kids really enjoyed Grapevine, and I love that it really is just stick figures! :)

  6. We are excited about getting to use Create a Masterpiece, too! I love art programs that do all the work for me because I know less than my kids do about art!


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