2022 Term 1 Wrap Up

Treasure Time 

Memory Work 
I keep all of these categories of memory work in rotation consistently. 

Scripture- We are currently working on Romans 8. This will take all year, at least. 
Catechism- This is ongoing and we've been at it for several years now. 
Creed- We reviewed the Nicene Creed a few times this term, but we aren't currently working on anything new. 
Shakespeare- We are memorizing Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy and we will work on this all year. 
Poetry- I forgot to choose a poem by last term's poet, so we didn't memorize one this term. Oops! 
Speeches- We are working on the West Point Cadet Prayer. It's such a rich prayer!
Theology Definitions- We are working on memorizing the definitions of key theological terms, using the cards from Daily Grace Co. 
Citizenship Questions- We are memorizing the answers to all questions on the US Citizenship Test. 

Bible and Christian Studies 

Bible and Christian Studies as a "structured loop" has worked wonderfully this term. This simply means that I have several items that we loop through but not by starting at the top and continuing through to the bottom like is typically associated with loop scheduling. 

Instead, I anchor that loop by nearly always starting with our Old Testament study on Day 1 and starting with a New Testament reading on Day two. I then add to that each day with other items from the "loop" as time allows. 


We are very much enjoying our study of Old Testament Law using Jashub's Journal from Simply Charlotte Mason. 

For New Testament lessons, we are reading through John and narrating. 

Other items in our "Loop": 
Bibliology. Using Bible Breakdowns and the Books of the Old Testament cards from Daily Grace Co, we are working through a bibliology of the OT little by little, one book at a time. 

Character. Using the Character Cards from Our Coopers Nest, we usually discuss a character trait each week. 

Persecuted Church. We read updates weekly from Voice of the Martyrs and other sources. 



Poetry 

Our poet this term was N.M. Bodecker, and we thoroughly enjoyed him. He is a nonsense poet whose work is similar to Edward Lear, and his witty rhymes and clever illustrations were fun, with some lovely phrases and surprise wisdom mixed in. 

Group Math 

For this term, we 1) worked on a timeline of the history of math and mathematicians,2) worked through a section about lines and angles in Elementary Geometry, and 3) copied one math vocabulary word each week using Math Vocabulary for Elementary Students

Read Aloud Loop 

In our Read Aloud loop, I keep literature, biography, nature lore, and what I call "interest reading", which is any picture books or topical readings that I have grabbed to supplement a current interest of the boys or a current event or a family experience, etc. 

This term, we finished Bears on Hemlock Mountain, and made progress in That Quail, Robert and Roman Diary both of which we will keep reading next term. 

Special Studies 

This term's Special Study was Endangered Animals and we used the Delightfully Feasting curriculum for this. This was one of our favorite Special Studies of all time. Everyone was entirely engaged and thoroughly interested and we all learned so much. We all care significantly more about being good stewards of the world God gave us, and we are all aware of the impact of our small actions. 

Group Grammar 

For Group Grammar, this term we copied quotes from Wheeler's Graded Studies in Famous Authors and diagrammed them together, learning one part of speech at a time. This is gradual work, and it will continue to be layered through the years, particularly for my youngest. 

Art Loop 
This is another one of my "structured loops".
It includes Picture Study, Studio Art, Individual Drawing and Group Drawing. I generally try to do Picture Study on Day 1 and Studio Art on Day 2 and to work in both kinds of drawing when time allows; I aim for 3 lessons of Group Drawing and 2-3 individual drawing lessons per term. 

For this term, our artist was Picasso and it was our first time studying him. 

For Studio Art, we completed several lessons from the 3rd Grade year of Arttango. 

For Group Drawing, we are using Art for Kids: Drawing and completing a page or two at a time. 

For Individual Drawing, each boy has a variety of quality drawing books that they can choose from. 

Hymn Study 

Unfortunately, Hymn Study slipped through the cracks this term. We will do better next term, as we really do love Hymn Study. Sometimes, a term just slips by without Mom remedying a lacking area. 

Folk Songs 

Our Folk Song this term was Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and it wasn't our first time studying this song, so we all had the fun of familiarity but our study this term also included some versions we had never heard before. Folk Songs are such a small thing with such a big impact. 

Vocabulary 

We still do two vocabulary words each week from Evan Moor Word a Day, and we've been doing it so long that it is an uncomplicated part of our day, yet everyone still loves learning new words and thinking about ways that familiar words can be used. 

Handwriting 

My youngest is in Book 3 of The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting and it still works well for him. 
I skip lessons, and pick and choose the ones I'd like him to complete. He does two lessons each week, but because I skip lessons, he finishes one book each year. 

My oldest is using the HEV videos and accompanying worksheets this year and it is new to us.
So far, I believe it is improving his cursive and also helping to cement the letters. As a dyslexic, I realized last year that he could copy cursive well, but that he couldn't write in it because he didn't actually know the letters. I think this is helping. 

Drill 

We are using Swedish Drill and Sash Drill from The Schoolyard, and also Yoga for Kids from DK. 
I schedule one of these each week, rotating through them every three weeks, but then aim to do some practice of what we have learned on our other school day. We enjoy Drill and our days are always better when I don't skip it. 

Group Lessons 

Architecture 

This term's Architecture lessons covered American barns. 
We love Architecture, but have never studied Barns, so this was a fun term. 
Just like with all Architecture lessons, there is so much culture and history and art wrapped up in the structure of barns throughout time. 

Hand Clapping 

Hand Clapping is always a favorite subject. We simply continued our lessons and practiced this term using Hand Clapping Fun. Nothing changed, but we still love it! It is so good for both of my dyslexics, but it is also a productive lesson for every brain! 

Culture 

This term we learned about Iran using the free unit from Little World Wanderers, and also learned about the religion of Islam. This required hard conversations, but they were worthy ones. My children already know the differences between Islam and Christianity, and they will learn the apologetic nature of sharing Christ with Muslims as they continue their theological studies. So, for these lessons we focused on the importance of the Imago Dei and the significance of religious freedom for all. We talked at length about the implications of this in how we treat others that don't share our faith. 

We also have a slot for "Historical Culture", and this year we are reading about both historical Judaism in ancient Palestine and also modern Judaism. This has been short, sweet, and impactful. Both boys are remembering and bringing up aspects of these short readings outside of lessons. Both books we are reading for this are out of print, which is sad because they are both lovely treasures and I wish I could link you to them. 


History 

For Ancient History this year, we are in Greece and Rome, and this is always a bit of a valley between our Egypt year and our Medieval year. We don't *not* enjoy Greece and Rome, but Egypt and the Middle Ages are just areas of intense interest for my boys, so Greece and Rome tend to fall a little bit flatter. This year we are stopping at points of interest and diving in a bit deeper with picture books and videos. That is helping us grow in our affection for this time period. 

This term we enjoyed a bit of a deep dive into the first Olympics, Aesop, and Buddha. 

For American History we are in the Westward Expansion this year, and I am seeing the evidence of the layering that comes from repeating history cycles several times. We are using the free picture book suggestions from the free program U Read Thru History, as opposed to a spine. This has benefits and drawbacks but it is working well for us this year. 


Solfa 
Solfa is always seamless and enjoyable for us. This term we used Unit Three of Solfa Sofa and it really "clicked" for my youngest for the first time. My goal with solfa is always exposure, basic knowledge, and slowly built skill. I keep it simple, light, and fun and this term it was fun to see them understand more than they have before. 

Music Theory/History 

I usually rotate between Theory and History and am always covering at least one. This term we reread Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera. We narrated, added some events to our history charts, and I added a few videos. 

Geography/Mapping/History Charts 

Geography fell flat this term, because I dropped a reader and then never replaced it. I always reserve time to mapping related to our history and culture readings, and so we did that. I also try to read a geography reader as well, however, and this did not happen. 

Our History Charts were completed about half of the weeks in this term. It is easy for me to skip past them, but I am attempting to solidify a good habit of not doing so this year. 

Spanish 

Spanish for us is a matter of exposure. Raising two dyslexics means that I have no expectations of my children being fluent in a second language (and we won't even attempt a third like *real* CM'ers ;p). But, I still see the value in exposure and in a basic foundational knowledge of a language that we so often encounter. So, year after year we simply learn what we can and I don't have expectations of mastery or fluency. This year I am using the free plan from Joy and Valor Life and adapting it largely to fit our Spanish schedule of one lesson per week. 

Composer Study 

This term we studied Bach using my Bach Composer Study and we enjoyed it very much. My youngest still just mostly listens and is exposed, but my oldest is slowly but surely developing a discerning ear. We all always find the life of the composer to be especially fascinating and although we have studied him before, we got to know Bach more than we ever have this term. 

3rd Grade 
It is a sweet time with my youngest son. He is agreeable and cooperative, and he tries hard at most things that we do, despite his attention deficit and personality (and despite claiming that he hates school.) ;) He crawls in my lap for these lessons and he gets so excited when he perseveres and succeeds. He's still "little" but old enough to be cooperative and to engage in conversation with me and to reason with as we face what is difficult. It's just one of those sweet seasons of mothering and teaching when it comes to him. 

Math  
Math is going well with him. As I displayed in my Week of Math on social media this week, I prioritize the mathematical imagination and that means that variety is my guiding practice when it comes to math. We use many resources, but his favorite is by far the (free) Anton app. He uses this one day each week, and he loves it. He mainly just loves earning coins to play games, ha, but he also gains from the lessons. 

Reading 
This term, he read his first book and he discovered Elephant and Piggie. He has now read a few of them and I will continue buying them for him to read for lessons. They are clever and fun while still being phonetically arranged. He loves them. 

Reading his first book also gave him confidence in his Independent Silent Reading. Up to now, he has simply looked at pictures in the picture books that I choose and assign him. But lately, I have heard him sounding out words quietly and reading at least some of the story. 

Coding 
Coding is a highlight of the week for both boys. My 3rd grader is wrapping up Course B on Code.org and he has done well and had a lot of fun. 

Logic 
If you have seen my 12-Year Logic Plan or taken my Logic Workshop, then you know that Games is my priority at this point. But, my youngest requested Logic "like his brother" and I do love the Logic Workbook for Gritty Kids, so I implemented that in his lessons. We just do a page at a time, and it is perfect for younger children who want logic activities and a mom who wants them to be quality and to not contradict the natural progression of logical acquisition. 

Career Studies 
This term he completed his Create Your Own Pizzaria book from Usborne (no longer available) and he was so delighted with the menu he created at the end. He showed everyone and we all had to order from it. :) 


7th Grade 
7th Grade isn't as "sweet" a time in mothering or teaching, and I won't lie about the difficulty of it. It is keeping me on my knees. Preteens parenting is difficult, but it is also rewarding. The fruit of many years of labor at a living education is just beginning to be borne. It isn't a sweet time, but it is a rich one. Our conversations are deep and meaty, and his rightful affection for all forms of truth, goodness, and beauty propels us forward into a rich feast despite our butting heads. ;) 

Typing 
This term, I allowed him to forgo typing for the time being, as his independent list is quite full and he works hard at managing it and he shows initiative in getting it done each week without me having to prompt or remind him. Typing is extremely difficult for him, and he has had weekly lessons in for several years now so he was due a break to focus on other things. 

Reading 
He is about to finish the free lessons from Treasure Hunt Reading, which I had him complete for review and practice. They are phonics lessons (which my youngest son also uses) so they are "young" and very remedial for him. But, as a dyslexic with no formal intervention (personal and prayerful family choice), practice has been key for him. And, it has helped. He is finally reading independently for pleasure, and he has confidence to do so even knowing that he will struggle and get fatigued quicker than he'd like, that he will need my help with occasional words, and that it will always take him much longer than he'd prefer. He started a chapter book series that he really likes and he is reading daily for pleasure. That is victory. That is huge. I am crying just typing it. Praise the Lord. 

Current Events 
Just like always, he has been using a combination of CNN 10, BBC Newsround, and occasionally DOGO News. He examines one current event each week independently. Then, as part of Citizenship, we also examine headlines and discuss bias together using All Sides. We really enjoy this. 

Citizenship 
Also for Citizenship we do 1) Plutarch and 2) Government. 

We read one Plutarch life each year, so this means we take it very slowly. We read, narrate, discuss and along the way we learn a lot about people and have deep conversations about character and virtue and patriotism and what happens when your country and your conscience don't align. This term we have read about 1/3 of the life of Brutus, so we are on track here. 

This year for Government, we are reading A User's Guide to Democracy, and this has been a highlight of the term for me. It is a great book, and although he doesn't understand everything and will need more layering of how the US government functions (so do I!!), he is gaining a foundational understanding in a truly bipartisan way, and he already has more rationale about the things that people rant and rave about in news and on social media than the average adult, based solely on his very foundational and still limited understanding of how the government functions.
He has said more than once "That's not even how it works. Why are they freaking out?" 
I love this book. 

Logic 
We are tracking in my Logic Plan, and this is a favorite time for both of us each week. We are finishing up the Basics of Critical Thinking from Critical Thinking Company this year, and this term we have loved The Fallacy Detective. We both love this topic, and I love that I am intentionally building the skill of logical thinking. He can identify fallacies in the arguments of both himself and others, and he
self-corrects often when he is making an illogical case for something. 


Math 
Math is difficult for him, and it's sanctifying for me to teach ;), but we still prioritize variety and his mathematical imagination, go at his pace, and work slowly but surely. 

This term he learned decimals, and to my surprise, he understood them with no problems. They just "clicked" so that was fun because so often he has to struggle profoundly to grasp mathematical concepts. His mathematical imagination is fruit I am seeing from years of planting and that is a joy. 

This term, we have used a good bit of Khan Academy, which we always include to some degree in our lessons, and he enjoys the days that we use it. 

Coding 

He is wrapping up Course D on code.org and moving on to the next course. He loves it and although it is more difficult than his brother's course and he sometimes needs to slow down to grasp what he is doing, he finds it enjoyable. 

Career Studies 
This term we finally finished his Chef Academy book from last school year, and he chose it as one of his favorite items of the term. During Exam Week, he chose it as one of 5 items to show his dad to display his work from the term. These books are simple and bit easy for him, but he says he still learned from it and enjoyed it. Next term, we will pivot to something else, but I am glad that we got to use several of these books and that he liked them. 

Grammar/Composition 

This term, he took the Spring Sampler class from Redefining School, and it was truly an answer to prayer. I was looking for something that I wasn't teaching that was just for him and didn't involve his brother. Yet, our plates are full and something demanding wouldn't have worked. This class was perfect! Each week's work was entirely doable, yet it was rich and meaty. He loves the more in depth study of genre and literary devices and I love the gentle, yet rich approach. He displayed courage to come outside of his comfort zone to record audio answers to some group questions, and to participate in live class discussions even though it wasn't required. We will be signing up for the full year course. 

I placed this course work into one (of two) of his language arts slots for the week, so with the other slot we combined lessons from the purple book of Learning Language Arts Through Literature, some lessons from Editor in Chief, and some lessons from Wordly Wise Book 3. It was a good term! 



Family Studies Day 
On Family Studies Day, there is no individual instruction and instead we meet together for 2-3 hours for a variety of lessons that our best done communally. 

Natural History 
Last year and this year, we have studied Birds as our "long term topic", and this term we kept it simple by reading from Birds Every Child Should Know and a collection of other books, narrating, journaling, and utilizing the Audubon app for bird calls and youtube for videos. 

Tales 
This term we read Norse Mythology, and although the collection we read wasn't my favorite, Norse myths were a highlight for both of my Marvel fans. :) They loved seeing the origins of Thor and Loki. They laughed at Loki's antics and Thor's attitude and talked animatedly through it all. 

Ballet 
This term our Ballet was Swan Lake, and we used my simple Swan Lake study.
I failed at getting us to watch the performance at the end, but we still enjoyed the term. 


Computer Science 
We are working our way through the Big Fat Notebook of Computer Science and Coding, and this is a simple lesson each week. We simply read, narrate, and discuss. This term, my youngest engaged with these lessons in a way I didn't expect, and my oldest grasped the concepts well. 

Business Math 
This term we finished Understanding Business from Usborne, and although I haven't chosen where to move on to next, I am glad that we read this simple but informative book first. We had livelier conversations this term than I expected to with this subject, especially when it came to ethics and business growth. My oldest related it to what he knows of several actual businesses (and moguls, ahem), and he had opinions. ;) 

Games 
We alternate between Logic and Math games each week, and although we missed a few weeks of playing a game, it was a pretty standard term where this is concerned. I didn't add any new games that were huge hits, but we simply continued with many of our favorites. 


Experimental Science
This was a HIT this term. We used our first unit from Learning With Friends, and we LOVED it. We used the Biology unit and it is the first of MANY that we will be using. 
These units are a truly wonderful resource. This was another answer to prayer. 

 I fully intended for my oldest to have individual science lessons with me to prepare him for high school (and I have even discussed this online and in workshops), but his load was simply too full. We were accomplishing his individual lessons, but we were rushing and cramming. I wanted to allow space for Logic and Citizenship and the things that are prompting deep discussions, but I didn't know what to cut. Enter Learning With Friends. I had already planned to use this with both boys, but thought it would primarily meet the needs of my youngest. Once we started using it, though, I realized that it was meeting the needs of everyone, organically. Everyone was learning, even Mom. This allowed me to cut Science from my oldest's plate in complete peace. 

Handicrafts
This term our Handicraft was cooking (and we are continuing this for Term 2), and we really enjoyed it! We didn't get to cook every recipe I intended, but we cooked more faithfully than we have done other Handicrafts in the past. It is quite the effort to fit this in, but it is worth it. We used both the Children's World Cookbook from Usborne (which provided some cultural studies as well) and also the Through the Eyes of a Professional Chef unit from Campfire Curriculums, which is also providing us great material for Career Studies.
Both have been a great part of our homeschool this term. 

Scouting 
This term, I didn't have a new Delighting in Scouting unit available in time to use, so while we will be using Volume 3 next term, this term we just read about medical conditions and treatment in survival situations and journaled. There wasn't much Field Work or Skill Practice this term, so I am looking forward to beginning Delighting in Scouting Volume 3 and beefing up our Scouting lessons again. 

Psychology
This year's Psychology studies are Personality Typing and Tests. We are using the Book of Personality Tests and Who Do You Think You Are. We are taking one typing system at a time and reading a bit of background, sometimes going beyond the book to my own knowledge (I have taught Personality Typing in Homeschooling Seminars) and other resources I own but often sticking to the books and keeping it simple. Then, we take a test and discuss. Sometimes it is more fun than accurate, but other time we are diving deep into the actual psychology of personality typing. It has been enjoyable.  

Practical Skills 
Psychology and Practical Skills alternate every week, so when we aren't diving into Personality, we are looking at the skill of Architecture. We are working our way through Architecture for Kids and loving it. This term both boys put time and effort into some site plan drawings and other activities from the book and I love watching a wide feast come to life in so many ways. 


School With Friends 
One day each week, we spend the entire day with friends in fellowship and doing several lessons in community. On these days, we do some combination of: 
1. Shakespeare (using Delighting in Shakespeare
This term we started the Hamlet study, and there's just nothing better than a group of children of all ages gathered around Shakespeare and loving it! 

2. Geography and National Parks (using Delighting in the World
This term we started Volume 2, and we do most of the supplementary activities and take our time. This is such a great thing to use in a group and we have so much fun. 

3. Etiquette 
My friend teaches this at lunch time and this term we had great conversations about how good manners serve others and about the art of conversation. She does such a great job at facilitating these discussions and I am so grateful for community and the freedom to include so many subjects in homeschooling. 

4. Poetry, Logic and Math Games, Conversation Cards, Glyphs, Emotional Intelligence, and various Christian Studies- we use a variety of things for this and we implement it in different ways 

5. Tea Time- we have Tea time every week with a spread of snacks and volumes of poetry. 

This is our favorite day each week, and it is such a gift. This term was especially sweet and rewarding. 



Logical and United: A Call to Repentance

 

Logical and United
An Essay and a Call to Repentance



I expect what follows to ruffle feathers, but I pray that if you know me then you know that I have thought, prayed, considered, and wrestled with what I am about to say thoroughly and deeply.

Every week, there is a hot-bottom, divisive issue that moves itself to center stage for both culture and the Church. In response, my feeds are filled with thoughts and more often than not those responses all share come common problems:

They are filled with faulty logic.
They are communicated poorly.
They display an idolization of party, country, and doctrinal position.

Friends, here’s the thing:
Christ was logical.
He was a good thinker and a good communicator.

When you engage in anything less, you aren’t reflecting Him.

When your posts, your shares, your comments, and your stories are fired off thoughtlessly and without a heart humbled and oriented towards the good of the entire Church, then you look nothing like Christ.

In fact, you look much more like the father of lies himself that you claim to be “radically and boldly fighting against’’. Not only do you reflect the enemy more than you reflect Christ when you are illogical and divisive, you also further his agenda instead of the agenda of the Kingdom of God.

I implore the Church to realize that the ends do not, in fact, justify faulty means.
Even if you’re “right”, you have no right to be illogical and to lack compassion.

Propaganda is always wrong.
Faulty logic is always wrong.
Poor communication is always wrong.
Hatred is always wrong.
Speech that isn’t “always with grace” is always wrong.
Idolizing your country or your party is always wrong.

Even. If. You’re. Right.

Just because we believe that we are standing upon Truth doesn’t mean we are off the hook for being logical thinkers, debating respectfully and effectively, and communicating well.

In fact, we have more of a responsibility to those things.
We’re supposed to be different.

If you want to be truly “set apart” from this world, start with being radically logical.

When you have Truth to share, sharing it wrapped in illogical arguments is not an act of “fighting the good fight”. It isn’t okay to be illogical simply because you feel strongly about what you’re saying.

Quite frankly, you’re making Christians look like idiots.
You’re making the Bride of Christ look like mindless fools with big mouths and fast fingers.

Christ’s great commission wasn’t to be a phenomenal keyboard warrior.
You’re not winning any medals for responding the fastest and coming down on the “right” side of every issue by parroting the loudest voice of social media.

Stop it.
For the actual and literal love of God Himself and the Church,
please stop it.

Let’s start here:
What Truth are you standing on?
Is it the gospel?

Or is it secondary to that?

Have you elevated your secondary doctrinal positions above the gospel of Christ?
Have you allowed their importance (because they are, indeed, important) to be clouded by the importance of being right and being “bold” (loud isn’t the same thing as bold, fyi)
and being the most conservative conservative that ever conservatived?

Do you know the opposing position on the secondary issue you’re spouting off about?
Do you know it well enough to represent it actually instead of creating a straw man argument out of it?
Do you know it well enough to state it in a respectful and thorough way?

If the answer to any of that is “no”, then you have failed.
Strong words? Sure.

I hope they’re at least half as strong as the power of countless loud and obnoxious and illogical voices on social media engaging in meme wars and tearing apart their siblings in Christ in the name of being right.

Because those voices are powerful.
They are full of power to make the enemy roar with laughter.


As he watches us rip each other to shreds over things less than the gospel,
he rubs his hands in delight.
He dances in glee.
He sits back and relaxes because he doesn’t have to lift a finger to tear the Church apart….

We’re doing it ourselves.

Dear God, help us.


We must return to an ability to know that the gospel is primary and that most other things are secondary or tertiary (if you don’t know what those terms mean, don’t share another thing related to theology or social issues on social media until you do- it’s your job to know.)

Once we’ve done that, we will then need to return to a biblical understanding of unity.

Unity isn’t agreement.
Unity in the Church isn’t everyone agreeing about every hot topic.
That, instead, is an idol of our own making.

It's a mirage.
It can’t exist.
And, it shouldn’t.

Agreement on every secondary issue is indicative of a cult, not the Church.

Not the beautifully diverse and thoughtful and intelligent and wise and biblically literate
Bride of Christ that we are supposed to be.

Unity is in Christ alone.
It is in the gospel.


And when we actually understand that, we can fight for it.
We can fight for it instead of sharing our memes parroting positions on secondary issues that we
haven’t thoroughly wrestled through in the name of “getting everyone to agree”.

If we have to agree to get along, then we need to stop calling ourselves the Church,
 because we are so poorly representing Christ that it makes me physically ill.

A lack of true unity is a SIN.
Walking in unity in Christ alone is a direct command.
And, we aren’t obeying it.

We are in direct disobedience to Christ, and it isn’t the fault of “liberals” or your “enemy” on whatever issue you’ve made your idol. If you fight poorly or lazily, then the fault is with you.

If your political party, your opinion about a social issue, or your doctrinal position matters more to you than your brother or sister in Christ, then you are committing a far more egregious sin than the “wokeness” that you think your “opponent” is wrapped up in.

Take the massive beam out of your own eye before you share about
the speck in someone else’s on social media.

It isn’t a “speck” because the issues don’t matter.
They matter.
It all matters.

It's a speck in their eye because it pales in comparison to the pillar of pride in your own.

Social Media isn’t your battleground and the “good fight” isn’t the fight to further Republicanism.
The good fight isn’t the fight to be right.
The good fight isn’t the fight to win faulty arguments.
The good fight isn’t the fight to squash every opinion or doctrinal position other than your own.
The good fight isn’t to be the loudest voice.
The good fight isn’t for everyone to know what you’re against but have no clue what you’re FOR.

The good fight isn’t to burn everything down with the flames of an argument that is
far more fire than it is wood.

The good fight isn’t to make liberals conservative or to make your Baptist friend a Presbyterian or to bring people to your “side” of any racial, social, practical, or theological issue.

The good fight is to share the gospel with the lost and
to be united in that gospel with EVERY one of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Every. Single. One.
The one you don’t like.
The one you disagree with.
The one who holds a position that makes you see red.

You won’t spend eternity around the throne of grace with those you agree with.
You will spend eternity around the throne of grace with those who have placed their faith in Christ.

And, you’ll likely find that you were wrong just as often as they were
about everything lesser than that saving faith.

In the meantime, as temporary citizens in this land that isn’t our home nor our hope,
the world is watching as we tear each other to pieces.

The world is watching and the enemy is celebrating.

Repent, Church.
Turn away from the altar of your party and your position and return to your first Love.

Apologize to those you’ve been unkind to.

Stop sharing unless you’re being logical and you’re communicating like Christ did.

Stop parroting thoughtlessly.

Stop moving your fingers faster than you move your heart and your mind.

Stop elevating your opinions, and even your well-thought doctrinal positions above the gospel.

Stop tearing apart your siblings in Christ and using His name to do so.

Stop talking more than you listen.

Stop ranting more than you think.

Stop running the race of being the most right the most times instead of the race of the Christian life.

Stop trying to be the best and loudest keyboard warrior….

And start trying to be more like Christ.

If you want to truly be set apart….
Be radically logical.
Be radically good at nuance and communication and thought and quality debate.

Shut your mouth and use your brain.
Now, THAT will be radical.


Exam Questions: 2022, Term 1

I Love Exam Week.

Charlotte Mason Exams are one of the most vivid and beautiful portraits of the essence of a living education that our homeschool contains. 

During Exam Week, we culminate and celebrate and commemorate our pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty over the past term. 

We bring together all that we've learned over 12 weeks and each child shares the ideas that have shaped them and become part of them. 

We celebrate all that we've encountered, discovered, mastered, persevered through, loved, endured, grown our affections for and been nourished by. 

We culminate our pursuit of ideas by drawing connections between them and choosing the best of them to share, narrate, create work inspired by, recite, and record. 

We commemorate twelve weeks of effort, diligence, breeding good tastes, edification, togetherness, pursuit of goodness, awe, wonder, frustration, perseverance, growth, beauty, and nourishment. 

It is truly a wonderful time. 


If you are new to the idea of Exams in a living education, I have written about them in this article, I have an IG highlight discussing them, and my Exams Workshop will walk you through them in depth and in detail. 


Here are all of our Exam Questions for Term 1 of our 2022 school year. 
I have a 7th Grader and a 3rd Grader. 


Both Boys: 
(These are Exams conducted together, but you can see the variation in some of the questions for each. These are conducted together because I draw my children together for communal learning as much as I possibly can, and because one can do drawn narrations while I record oral narrations for the other, or they can wait patiently, and they can learn from each other while listening. This also adds to the ongoing conversation of the ideas we've encountered and the commemoration of them.) 


Group Math-
T: Draw an obtuse, an acute, and a right angle and measure each ray. 
Draw a line and bisect it. 

S: Draw some angles. 
Draw a line and find the middle 

Poetry- 
How would you describe the poetry of NM Bodecker? 

Picture Study- 
T: What kind of artist was Picasso, why do you think he is influential, and do you like his work?
Why or why not?

S: What kind of artist was Picasso and do you like his work; why or why not? 

Literature- 
Draw a comic book narration of The Bears on Hemlock Mountain? 

Special Studies- 
Choose an endangered animal and illustrate what you know about it, its threats and status, and how efforts can be made/are being made for conservation of it. 

Art- 
Create a work of art that shows what you've learned and practiced this term. 

Hand Clapping- 
Show me a ryhme you've learned or some various clappping moves/hand positions. 

Coding- 
Write and illustrate a set of code that would operate a simple game. 

Nature Study- 
How has the natural world changed since we started exploring the woods at Jack Brooks? 

Tales- 
T: Draw a depiction of your favorite figure from Norse mythology and tell me how he fits into the mythological narrative. 

S: Draw your favorite figure from Norse mythology and tell me why he's your favorite. 

Natural History- 
T: What did you learn about feathers? 

S: What is interesting about feathers? 

Architecture- 
T: Illustrate architectural features of barns and tell me why they were significant. 

S: Illustrate an architectural feature of barns. 

Ancient History- 
Tell me about the first Olympics. 

Solfa- 
Use your Notes Book to illustrate the use of notes and rhythm. 

Career Studies- 
Tell me about some different types of chefs. 

Ballet- 
Illustrate a scene from Swan Lake. 

Composer Study- 
T: How would you describe the impact of Bach's music, his style, and how his life is displayed in his work? 

S: How would you describe the music of Bach? 

Etiquette- 
Make an illustrated manners chart displaying proper etiquette for formal meals, casual meals, and troublesome foods. 

Emotional Intelligence- 
T: Choose an emotion and tell me what it is, why it is important to understand, how it reflects God's image, and how we can use it well. 

S: Choose and emotion and tell me what it is and how we can use it in the way that we should. 

Handicraft- 
Complete your Embroidery project. 

Recitation- 
Recite Hamlet's Soliloquy 

Memory Work- 
Say Romans 8:1-10 

Drill- 
Create a Swedish Drill sequence and lead us in it. 
Create a yoga routine and lead us in it. 




Teddy (7th Grade) 

Bible- 
What kinds of questions does bibliology answer and why is it important to study? 

Vocabulary- 
Choose a word-of-the-day from this term to define and illustrate. Then, give me some examples of ways it can be used and some synonyms of it. 

Handwriting- 
Show me some cursive strokes you've learned this term and some words that make use of them. 

Reading- 
Choose anything to read aloud. 

Math- 
3 Fraction Addition Problems 
3 Converting Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers Problems 

Shakespeare- 
What questions does Shakespeare have Hamlet wrestle with and how does he form the reader's relationship with him? 

Cultural Studies- 
Tell me how the Muslim faith is practiced and how it impacts the lives of its followers. How can we remain respectful of it while also sharing Christ? 

Grammar- 
Write an exclamatory, declarative, imperative, and interrogative sentence with correct punctuation. 

Typing- 
Type any two sentences for time, with no errors. 

Logic- 
What are some ways that we can illogically avoid the question in an argument and why is it important to avoid doing so and to be able to recognize when others are doing it? 

Music History- 
Tell me about some of the people that bring an opera to life. 

Language Arts- 
What is theme in literature, how is it used, and why is it important to the reader? 

Computer Science- 
Choose an area of computer science to tell me about in depth. 
What does a computer scientist do? 

Biology- 
How are the cells of plants and the cells of animals different and why is it important to understand how life of all kind functions? 

Psychology- 
What is one system of analyzing and understanding personality and how can understanding your own personality impact the way that you live and serve others? 

Political Science- 
What are some components of the Executive Branch and how is the power of this branch checked and balanced? 

Current Events- 
Why is it important to read news from multiple sources and to have the capacity to identify bias?
Why is it challenging to do so? 




Sheldon (3rd Grade) 

Bible- 
What is something Jesus said that helps us to understand who He is? 

Vocabulary- 
Choose a word-of-the-day for this term to define and illustrate. 

Handwriting- 
Write the following words with perfect formation and placement on the line. 
(truth, peace, explore, Texas) 

Reading- 
Choose anything to read aloud. 

Math- 
Complete an array. 
Create a chart displaying the following data. (5 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hamsters, 1 fish) 
Write 5,432 in expanded form. 

Shakespeare- 
What kind of person is Hamlet? 

Culture-
Tell me something you learned about the Muslim faith. 

Language- 
Add -ing to these words. (make, jump, be, take, go) 
Match the following words to create compound words. 

Computer Science- 
What is the difference between a computer's hardware and its software? 
What does a computer scientist do?

Biology- 
How are plants and animals different and how are they the same? 




Other Exam Week Activities: 
Exam Week Checklists &
Exam Week Interviews 

Display Work for Dad
(The boys are each choosing 5 pieces of work that they are proud of or that they believe showcase the ideas of the term and are sharing those with Dad, narrating them and discussing them.) 


If you want to read through more Exam Week Questions for other grades, I have previously posted our questions for several terms.





Architecture: The Study of Humanity

Architecture: The Study of Humanity 


"Architecture is the most universal of all the arts. It is also the most expressive of all the arts, expressive not only of the artist, but of whole peoples and their times.
Furthermore it is the one art which touches everybody." 
~Joseph Watterson 

"Architecture is a speech known and read for all men: and it is by its great buildings, even more than by its literature, that a country or an age is estimated by posterity." 
~H. Wykeham 

Why Architecture? 
Architecture tells the story of humanity. It is a study in the values, pursuits, talents, failures, struggles, triumphs, and impact of each age of history, and it is both an art and a science that gives insight into the world. From the pyramids of Egypt to the cathedrals of the middle ages to the log cabins of the western settlers to the skyscrapers of today, every study of humans will include a study of their structures. 

Charlotte Mason identified Architecture as History, Art, and Science and scheduled it in various ways, utilizing various books. She mentions its importance in the study of any period of history, suggests it as a Handicraft (building clay models of buildings), and scheduled it as a "general science". 

We too can study Architecture alongside our History, as an Art Study or Handicraft, or as a Science, but it also benefits from its own place in the schedule in which all aspects of its study are pursued. 

A Few Principles of Architecture: 
*Architecture is a study that appeals to all learning modalities and is accessible to all ages and types of people (making it perfect for communal learning) 
*Architecture is the study of the history of humanity, not just of structures. Buildings are intimately associated with the life of humans and even when looking at Architecture through the lens of science, humanity should never be removed from its study. 
*Architecture is a prime example of, and a great opportunity for, the science of relations to occur
and be displayed. 
*The study of Architecture contributes to a greater and more holistic understanding of and appreciation for history, science, art, religion, culture, math, Scripture, Shakespeare, Literature, practical skills, and politics. 

Here are a few examples of the connections between Architecture and the rest of a living education. 
(See if you can discover and understand each connection and its significance!) 



A Breakdown of Architecture as History, Science, and Art

Architecture as History

To know and understand buildings is to know and understand men. 

1. Study the Most Important Buildings of Your Current Time Period 
2. Study the Most Important Features of Your Current Time Period
3. Add to BOC and History Charts 
4. Discuss the Architecture Involved in Significant Events 
5. Study Artifacts and Buildings Individually

Architecture as Art 

"The artist has indispensable lessons to give us, whether he convey them through the brush of the painter, the vast parables of the architect, or through such another cathedral built of sound..." 
1. Do "Picture Studies" and "Picture Talks" With Images of Buildings 
2. Make Building Models as Handicrafts 
3. Study Design and Its Connection to Architecture 
4. Discuss the Elements of Buildings and Eras That Are Aesthetic in Purpose 

Architecture as Science 
1. Study Technique, Design, Technologies, Physics 
2. Follow Development of Architectural Science and Advancement Over Time 
3. Compare Modern Methods w/ Ancient Ones 
4. Examine Specific Materials and Their Evolution and Use  (example: concrete) 
5. Examine Specific Design Elements and Their Physics (example: domes) 
6. Examine Specific Structures and Their Physics 


Whether you choose to combine Architecture with History, Science, or Art or whether you give it a place of its own, you can structure all lessons in this format: 
1. Read
2. Narrate (oral, building, or drawing) 
3. Examine (photos, models, etc) 
4. Timeline (History Charts or Discussion) 


How We Do Architecture Lessons
My family gives Architecture a place of its own, combining elements of Art, History, and Science in
1-2 lessons each week, dividing our lessons into: 

1. Architecture Study (History and Art) 
2. Practical Architecture (Science) 



Architecture Study 
Each term we study Architecture related to our History time period. We have studied Pyramids for Egypt, Log Cabins for the Westward Expansion, Cathedrals and Castles for the Middle Ages, Indigenous Homes for Early America, the many structures of Ancient Greece, the library of Congress, and much more. 

For two terms we read and narrate a book; these narrations include building models (with lego, clay, etc), drawing plans and diagrams, and orally narrating. 

We love the books by David Macaulay and read one every time there's one available for our current time period. We also love the Fast Forward Series and books by Bobbie Kalman. 
We spread each book out over a term, reading two each year. 

For our last term each year, we do Picture Studies and Picture Talks of the structures and artifacts of our time period, using the Stuff They Left Behind Portfolios. 


Practical Architecture 
Every other week, we study the Science of Architecture by applying its various elements to practice exercises and activities. 

For lessons, we use Architecture for Kids, which guides children through a variety of activities to explore architecture's elements and understand them contextually and through a scientific lens. After repeating this book a few times, we will (as a family) move on to Architecture for Teens

Each boy also looks at Architecture as a career in one term of their Career Studies, and one of them pursues it as an Occupation of his own. For this, we love the Architect Academy and Architecture Scribble Book from Usborne. 



Other Resources We Love/Use/Plan to Use: 

Archidoodle: The Architect's Activity Book
The Future Architect's Handbook and The Future Architect's Tool Kit
Sketch Like an Architect
Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures
Dover Architecture Coloring Books
The Story of Buildings
Architecture: A Visual History
Dover Architecture Series
Architecture Shown to the Children
Architecture: Five Thousand Years of Building (out of print-watch for used copies) 
Architecture of the World Series (for older students/reference) 
Great Buildings Collection Website




 















A Mind Alive: My Schole Routine


A Mind Alive:
My Schole Routine and
Current Schole Selections 

My inbox is full of discussions about Schole, and that truly delights me.
The mind of a homeschool mom is one in great need of vitality and it is a powerful force for goodness and beauty when it is well nourished. ⁣

⁣One thing that I’m consistently asked is how I actually *do* Schole, daily and weekly. When I was new to the idea of Schole, I too wanted to see exactly how it is *done*. 
Schole is a wonderful concept, but it only gives vitality if it’s an unwavering habit of life, so I’m happy to share a look into my own Schole routine: ⁣


Morning
From 5-7 am, I do the bulk of my Schole for the day. 
This is how that typically goes: 

1. Scripture and Prayer
I inductively study one OT book and one NT book of the Bible at a time, (more below about how I study inductively) and I also keep a study going of some form of Apologetics or Theology.

I do these on different days of the week. 

Occasionally, I finish off this time with a “devotional”, but 90% of devotionals available are of poor quality at best and terrible theology at worst, so I don’t prioritize it.⁣
I prefer to read and study Scripture like a theologian, armed for battle not pacified. 
(I go into great detail about inductive study and how to study Scripture well in my workshop called
The Living Word for Moms.) 

Current Selections: 
Old Testament Book: Haggai 
I use several commentaries, and I read through the commentaries available on the
Blue Letter Bible app. I also do a study of the original language and translation of key themes and words within the book. 

I highlight inductively (this process is also explained in the workshop linked above), and I also mark the entire book in my Bible with key word and theme symbols. For this, I typically use the keys provided by Kari King Dent

I also enjoy the book studies (which are inductive in nature) from Daily Grace Co, and am currently using the one for Haggai entitled "The God That Comes Near"

New Testament Book: 1 Thessalonians 
I am doing everything for this book as explained above, and am also working my way through the inductive study for this book from Bible Study Fellowship on the Word Go app.
(I am not endorsing BSF as an organization, but I enjoy working through their studies on my own.) 

Theology Study: Atonement Theories 
I am currently studying various theories of atonement, and am doing this with various articles from trusted sources and commentaries. I have studied atonement theories thoroughly before, but am doing it again based upon various conversations I am currently engaged in. 

Theology Book: Gospel Wakefulness by Jared C. Wilson

2. Scripture Writing and Memory ⁣

I always have some portion of Scripture that I’m writing and/or memorizing. ⁣
Right now, I am writing a Scripture each day for my Obedient Joy Challenge and I am memorizing some Psalms using the Dwell Scripture Memory Journal from Daily Grace Co. 

3. Keeping⁣

I then move on to my commonplace, which I generally keep daily and then either my Nature Journal or Book of Centuries for a weekly entry. ⁣
You can read more about all three of these in my "The Art of Keeping" Post.

I am also currently working through the daily challenges in my Delighting in Schole guide with a group of ladies and I think I will do this again when finished as it provides refreshment to these habits. 

4. Serial Reads⁣

I require myself to spend at least 30 minutes reading each morning, and I start with my current subscriptions on the Serial Reader app, which are always classics. ⁣This helps me ensure that I have cycled through a few books each day so that if my afternoon and evening reading keeps me in a single book I have still spread a wide feast for my mind each day. It also helps ensure that I am making progress in my "Slow and Steady" book and always reading through Shakespeare and other classics. 

Current Selections: 
My current serial subscriptions are Anna Karenina (this is my current Slow and Steady read),
Jane Eyre, The Taming of the Shrew, and Notes From Underground. 

5. Poetry⁣

It took my years, but I made reading poetry daily a solid habit and I now can’t imagine my mornings without it. ⁣Poetry is life giving and provides my moral imagination with metaphor and my mind with beautiful language and ideas. 

Current Selections:
I am currently reading an out-of-print book of Wordsworth selections. 

6. Handicrafts, Art, Music⁣

I do a handicraft once each week, which is usually a pastel piece and on the other days I either do a picture study, listen to a new piece of music and some old favorites, or create some other form of art.

If any of that is new to you, you might enjoy the daily challenges in Delighting in Schole, as it provides some exposure and guidance for all of this. ⁣

7. Mother’s Education⁣

I then move on to a lesson in either Writing, Logic, or Math depending on the day of the week. ⁣
This is vital in order to be a lifelong learner, to continually stretch myself, and to model for my children that learning is a worthy pursuit no matter what stage of life you are currently in. 

Current Selections: 
Math: A Concrete Approach to Abstract Algebra
Logic: Logic Self-Taught Workbook
Writing: On Writing Well

8. Job Training⁣

I finish off my morning readings with some form of educational philosophy or classical reading, because I consider good research to be both an enjoyable and a nonnegotiable part of my job (I would never want to “influence” anyone regarding anything I wasn’t highly researched in 😘)⁣

Current Selections: 
A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason (I read this once each year) 
Why Knowledge Matters
Various Articles, etc 

Finally, I exercise and get my work and school day started. ⁣

Afternoon
In the afternoon, I follow my 30-30-30 rule and sit down for at least 30 more minutes of reading physical books. I also play audiobooks while doing my exercise and all of my daily chores. 

What I am currently reading: 
One True Thing (audio) 
The Big Rock Candy Mountain (audio) 
Salvation of a Saint: Detective Galileo #2 (audio) 
The Taming of the Shrew (serial reader)
Jane Eyre (serial reader) 
The Summer Book (physical book) 
New Girl in Little Cove (audio) 
All American Boys (audio) 
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (physical book) 
Before the Ever After (audio) 
Charis in the World of Wonders (physical book) 
The Great Gatsby (audio) 
And Now I Spill the Family Secrets (physical book) 
Why Knowledge Matters (physical book) 
The Midnight Library (physical book) 
A Fatal Grace (physical book) 
Notes from Underground (serial reader) 
Great American Short Stories (physical book) 
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living With Books (physical book)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (physical book) 
The Joy Luck Club (physical book) 
Let's Play Math (physical book) 
Gospel Wakefulness (physical book) 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (physical book) 
Anna Karenina (serial reader) 
City of God (audio) 
Towards a Philosophy of Education 

Evening
In the evening, I again read for at least 30 minutes. 
Then, I will finish up anything from my morning routine that I may have missed.

Sometimes I also use the evening schole time I have available to work on some light, yet stimulating things like sketching or watching an educational video. 


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