Streamlining advice needed

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  • mrsmccardell

    So I am in my 5th year homeschooling and I am feeling a little burned out.  I’ve been putting together our curriculum using various resources and while they were good for us, I’m at a point where I need to just find things that are open and go.  Kids are 11 (special needs), 9, 6, 4, 10 months.

    I chose Truthquest AHYS I because I really wanted the commentary to help me understand History.  I had a terrible education so I felt it best to go this way.  We are moving very slowly and it’s challenging to find a good book that isn’t too long in pages that makes it even slower.  And the commentary can be very disjointed if we didn’t cover certain areas so I’m barely even reading it like I thought I would.  I’m wondering if I should just wait to cover it (Truthquest commentary) until we reach the older years where we’ll want to go much deeper versus planting seeds this first go-round.

    We’re struggling in the Bible dept too.  We just need some guidance and it would be nice if it ties in with the context of our History.

    I’ve had the best of intentions to use the Visit to Series but it’s currently collecting dust.  I’ll admit that the map work has intimidated me a little…okay, a lot!  We’re currently visiting other areas using the book Give Your Child the World.

    So, would you suggest that we start using the SCM History books?  If yes, where would we start?  We’re just about to learn of the Great Awakening via Truthquest.  Thoughts?


    I’ve not used Truthquest but what about simply choosing fewer books and getting what you can as an audiobook if it isn’t a short picture book? Select 1 or 2 books for a topic, instead of more. Also glance ahead to the topics in the next 500 years from where you are and pick the ones that you want to cover this time around – because you can’t cover everything.

    For Bible – We just read through it slowly, and with younger kids emphasize the ‘story’ portions. A great free resource is the lists by Penny Gardner linked on this page as Old and New Testament. Each is simply a listing of the stories (she calls them episodes). Print it out and read through.

    We’ve not used Visits To, so I can’t speak to that.


    It sounds to me like using the SCM history plans might really help to bring everything together for you and to simplify your home school in the areas of history, Bible, and geography.

    I’ve never used them myself, but having only 2 children, 6 years apart made it easier to pull my own plans together. Even then, I have always been a keep it simple kind of mama. I love Truth quest but we often ended up skipping the commentary or I assigned it to my oldest student to read independently. I, too, found Truthquest to be a bit overwhelming sometimes and hard to plan for unless you have a huge personal library. We only used it for a couple of years.

    I love the Visits To series and find it super easy to implement. We are on our 2nd year using it and it only takes us 15-20 minutes once a week.

    Honestly, your kids are still so young that you can start in whatever time period you want. 🙂


    When I needed to simplify Truth Quest, I just read from a spine and would go through a topic per day. Then I would give my kids, who could read, a list of books for independent reading. If your children seem to young to connect with a spine, you could just pick out the good picture books, on topics you’re interested in, and read one every time you do history. You don’t need more than an overview at there ages. Oh, and you don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t read the commentary. Sometimes I read it and sometimes I didn’t. My goal with young kids is to keep history light and fun. HTH!

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