I am in the process of purchasing resources for three children for next year, in grades 8 (13 yo dd), 4 (9-go-10 yo ds) and 2 (7 yo ds).
For the most part, I will be combining grades 4+2, at least for content areas (history, science, religion).
My 2nd grader will be making his First Confession/Communion, and my 8th grader will be helping to make a plan for high school (home school).
We will include a significant number of courses offered by a homeschool resource center, which we have been using successfully for about 4 years now.
I detoured from Sonlight to CHC for a year, and I have to say, I don't really like the CHC resources. (More on that another time.) I am attracted to purchasing High School of Your Dreams from CHC, but based on this experience, I'm not sure I would like it. I can't find any recent reviews of HYSOD at all, and not a single review(!) by anyone who's actually used it; so I guess there's my answer, huh? :)
I'm returning to Sonlight this year, at least in part, having taken enough time off to forgive them for having way too many books for me to adequately preread before handing them over to my daughter, while including books with subject matter I'd rather not introduce at 5th or 6th grade. (More on that another time, perhaps, as well.) I do love their literature and living history focus, and my daughter is a delight with whom to discuss any controversy, so I'm not as worried about the content as I was two or three years ago.
My dd is a natural learner who loves to read and can handle navigating the vast majority of her subjects with little more than guidance and discussion from me. My boys? Not so much; they need more direct, and more creative approaches to, instruction in the basics. This is fun and inspirational to me in many ways -- I rise to this challenge! -- but it is also often tiring and headache inspiring, and a frustrating process of trial and error along the way. No matter; I carry on! :)
That said, here's what I'm already in the process of purchasing/planning:
Homeschool Resource Center courses:
For my 8th grader:
Writing/Literature course (7th gr-high school level; this will be her third year with this instructor and it has been an excellent and encouraging experience)
Art History (middle-hs level)
Drawing (traditional instruction in technique; this would be her 2nd year)
Debate (depending on when offered; took a Critical Thinking course this year and this seems a natural follow-up to that; plus I'd really like her to hone her skills in recognizing fallacies, defining and articulating her own point of view, and seeking to thoroughly understand alternate perspectives)
Vocal Music or chorus (depening on what is offered; is currently taking a vocal instruction course with 2-3 other students and she is really enjoying it)
Acting (currently enjoying this course and wants to continue; an alternate acting class focusing on developing audition techniques is also a possibilty)
PE (currently in a traditional PE class for students in 7th-12gr, but depending on how her schedule works out may substitute an aerobics class also offered here)
Instrumental Music (private flute instruction, year 3, provided at the site by a teacher we already know and respect)
For my 2nd & 4th graders:
Elementary Art classes (K-2 and 3-4 grade divisions)
Elementary Music classes (K-2 and 3-6 gr divisions), including recorder instruction
Elementary PE classes(K-2 and 3-4 gr divisions)
Acting (my 4th grader would love this, but we'll have to see if it fits in/is affordable in the whole scheme of things)
These classes have been a wonderful resource for our family, worth the added expense and travel (45 min drive away). The feedback from teachers, especially in the area of writing, has been invaluable. But they do double our homeschool costs. (I try not to think about that too much.) :)
Local Community Resources:
Sunday School -- local parish; sacrament prep and weekly lessons (gr 2-3) and Gr 9; home instruction for gr 4 (that's another story, too). Possible alternate arrangements for First Communion, e.g. with homeschooling group or with cousin of same age; TBDecided.
Baseball (spring), soccer (summer). Would love to include swimming lessons, too, but that's a little trickier to find around here. Boys only; dd has tried, and now given up on, formal/team sports (including soccer, softball and karate). If we could handle the costs and the additional travel (nearest opportunity 25+ mi away), I'd love for the boys to take gymnastics as well. Maybe some day.
Horseback Riding instruction (all year; the three children have a 1-hr weekly session together. DD's been at it since 2006; ds9 since 2010; ds7 had shorter introductory lessons on his own last summer, then joined the group in the fall. We don't own a horse and the kids are not in 4H; we just enjoy the lessons! If she were interested, dd could compete in dressage, but she just doesn't want to commit to that right now. Fine by me!)
The Main Dish: Home Instruction
Sonlight Core H, nearly all of it; with modifications to provide Catholic focus/context along the way
CHC's Light to the Nations, Part II (just the text, coordinated with Sonlight's plans)
"Luther: The Rest of the Story, with Ken Hensley" (3-disc CD audio presentation)
Other literature as time/interest allows, from the Reading Your Way Through History list
Easy Grammar Plus (I'm getting the Teacher's manual, student wkbk and test packet)
Daily Online grammar practice, as needed
Teaching Textbooks Algebra I -- completed
Phonetic Zoo Level B -- spelling, jr hi level.
Apologia General Science, supplemented with Creator and Creation (reading & discussion, toward a Catholic view of the evidence regarding human origins) -- we actually already started this this school year, and I really like the Apologia approach. (We had planned to use CHC's Life Science program over two years, but we really, really hated it.) Concerns I had re: anti-Catholic bias in the Apologia text have not been realized, since the tone is actually very kind if somewhat shallow, and easily handled via discussion and presentation of facts frequently misunderstood -- eg Galileo. We will supplement remaining modules with books we never finished in Sonlight Core F (e.g. Blood & Guts, History of Medicine).
Practical Arts: Will focus on high school planning and consideration of college and career paths. Resource to be determined.
Study Skills: Continued regular use of internet and library resources for research and enjoyment; use of personal planbook to further increase independence and self-discipline in completing coursework each day.
Religion: I'd like to start Confirmation preparation, and possibly complete next year via local Catholic homeschool group (which I left in a bit of a huff a few years ago, so maybe not.) :) This would be in addition to parish weekly classes, most likely; though Confirmation takes place in the parish at Grade 11. Resources TBA.
Part II: Grades 2 & 4, coming soon!