2020 Favorites


Terms 1 and 2 Favorites

  January-August 2020

As we near the end of Term 2, we have chosen our favorite books, curriculum, supplies and games. Some are their favorites, some are mine, but we all loved each of them. Some are serious, some are silly. Some are new, some are re-reads. Some we will use time and time again. Some we have been using for what seems like a lifetime. From poetry to picture books, and everything in between, these are the books that we have loved the most for this school year thus far, and all of the games and supplies that we are SO glad that we purchased. Every subject and lesson isn't represented here, but the wide feast of our days certainly is. These are the books that come to mind immediately when we are asked the question "What have you LOVED this school year?"



First Up, Books! 
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes
We read Tiny Creatures as part of our Special Studies. For each Habitat, we talk about the microscopic creatures that live in that particular Habitat, and I wanted to find a book that explained what Microbes are. Tiny Creatures was a fun and thorough explanation with illustrations that both kept my children's attention and also aided the explanation of what microbes are. 

Cool Tessellations
Cool Tessellations contains short explanations about tessellations along with simple activities that can be done to practice what is learned. I am always searching for creative Math resources that promote mathematical reasoning, and this book was perfect for that! I used it for several math lessons for my 5th grader, reading one short explanation and assigning the corresponding activity. 

Heroes, Horses, and Harvest Moons
This is a repeat favorite. We read this poetry collection each autumn, and we never tire of it. It contains a wide variety of nursery rhymes and poetry that are perfect for fall, but not necessarily specific to solely fall. There are short bits of information about various poets and some of the poems. 

We LOVE the Ology books, and this year we are using Dragonology and Knightology in our lessons. Our Myth lessons this year are all about Dragons, and we have several books that we have enjoyed, but Dragonology is our favorite. One of our Biography lessons each week for the entire year is about Knights (we are in the Middle Ages for history) and again, Knightology is the favorite of the books we've read. We just read one two-page spread at a time. The boys picked up Oceanology at the library, so we are reading that in our Evening Basket. These books are all worth every penny!!

What in the Wild
What in the Wild is a book of Nature Riddles. Each two-page spread contains a close up photograph of something in nature, a riddle in the form of a poem, and a fold-out page revealing the answer for the riddle and giving a detailed explanation of that element of nature. It is fun, informative, and has a good variety of nature information that we haven't encountered in many other nature reads. 

50 Wacky Things Animals Do
We always have an animal book with short entries in our Evening Basket. Our current book is 50 Wacky Things Animals Do, and we LOVE it. It's so much fun, and contains unique animal information, which my children can't get enough of. 

All Aboard the Voyage of Discovery
This is also in our Evening Basket, so we also read one spread at a time, and my boys BEG me to read it more often. The book takes a journey through time chronologically looking at different elements of history in each time period, particularly through the lens of inventions and various tools. It's a lovely read, and we all enjoy it immensely. 


Next up, a few curriculum favorites! 

This is what we use for my 5th grader's weekly Coding lessons, and he absolutely loves it. I am making him go slowly, but he would do it for hours if I would allow him to. It is fun and witty, but is also easy to use and he's learning from it. He is able to progress without getting frustrated because there are tests, troubleshooting, prompts to save your work, and room for failure. The book and an internet connection is all that is needed, and it gives detailed instructions for everything. 

Draw Write Now  and Draw and Write Through History
Both of these series have worked perfectly for Drawing Lessons. Each boy works on his own with help from me as needed, so they can work on their lessons simultaneously. The books in both series contain Copywork along with the drawing lessons, but we mostly just use the drawing lessons. Both have thorough, easy to follow explanations and both allow the natural acquisition of actual useful drawing skills, rather than just being a prompt that takes up momentary space in our day. My 1st Grader is using the Farm book from the Draw Write Now series this year, and will be using the USA book from the series in 2nd grade. My 5th Grader is is using the Vikings and Middle Ages book from the Draw and Write Through History series this year, and will be using the Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots book from the series next year. 

Gentle Grammar
I use a variety of gentle grammar resources for my 5th grader, taking a slow and thorough approach to understanding the parts of speech and how they function together, as CM prescribed. Gentle Grammar is a free program from Mom Delights that is an updated version of C.C. Long's grammar books. I love several grammar resources, and I am still using grammar resources that I have shown and featured before. But, I have really loved adding in weekly lessons from Gentle Grammar. 

Draw the USA
Last year, we used Draw Asia, and this year we are using Draw the USA, and next year we will be using Draw Africa. I LOVE this series of mapping books. We are taking all year to draw the US, step-by-step, and these books make drawing maps accessible for all ages and all abilities. We use this book weekly for our Mapping lesson, and I enjoy pulling it out every single week. 

A Castle With Many Rooms
A Castle With Many Rooms is the most engaging and living history spine for the Middle Ages that I have ever read. We use it for my 5th Grader's history lesson, but I wish that I would have chosen it for our Family History Spine for our study of the Middle Ages this year. It is SUCH a lovely book, and I am learning so much as I read it aloud. The chapters are short enough to leave room for narration, discussion, and pondering but they are also packed full of ideas and descriptions that allow me to understand the Middle Ages in a way that I never have before. 

I have featured Cheryl Harness' books before, and I can never get enough of them. This one is no exception. Her use of language and understanding of the heart of people draw us into the story, and ALL of us can't take our ears or our eyes off of these readings. I have adored every book I have read of hers, and we really enjoyed her portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt. 

Delighting in Habitats: Desert and Delighting in Scouting Volume 2
I am not sure if it's "proper" to put your own curriculum in a Favorites post, but I am doing it anyway. ;) I am doing it because both I and my boys absolutely LOVE these units. I am also doing it because I can say without hesitation that I would purchase these materials from someone else. Both Special Studies and Scouting have become the absolute HIGHLIGHTS of our homeschool week. We have had both Special Studies and Scouting in our homeschool schedule for years, and we have enjoyed many resources and books...but these units are our favorite resource for both of these subjects that we have ever used. Both boys love every single element of the curriculum, are diligently and thoroughly filling our their Student Journals, are engaged in every word of every reading, are making what they have learned a part of their play and their every day conversations, and can't wait for the next lesson every time we finish one. I can't possibly NOT feature these units as favorites, because they truly are. 


Games are important to our homeschool. We play a Logic Game and a Math Game weekly as an official part of our lessons, but we also enjoy science games and language games regularly. These are our favorites for this year so far! 

Mental Blox
This is the most requested Logic Game when I ask the boys for input while planning our week. It contains two sets of shape blocks and a large amount of 3-D Puzzle challenge cards. There are a few ways to play, and the game is versatile and gives you mileage for your money! 

Logic Links
Logic Links is another simple, effective logic game that we love. It can be used by all ages, with varying degrees of difficulty included on the challenge cards. This game is perfect choice during busy weeks, because it doesn't take long, but packs a punch in effectiveness. 

National Parks Opoly Jr.
We LOVE this game. I purchased it for our next round of studying the National Parks next year, but of course, we couldn't wait until next year to play it. I bought the Jr. Version because while my 6 year old can (and does) play monopoly, I wanted the play of this game to be focused on the Parks themselves and on the natural history element of gameplay, rather than on building his math skills. I am so glad that I did. This version enables games to go much faster, for everyone of all ages to enjoy the game equally, and for us to have time to read about the parks as we collect them. This will be played for years to come, even as my children get older. 

Chickapig is our most recent Logic Games purchase, and since we played it during lessons, the boys have ceased to put it away. They always have a game going between them, and they have even figured out how to enjoy it alone, strategizing and planning moves with the pieces. 
*Note, part of gameplay is to avoid the cow poop while moving your chickapig toward your gate. If that bothers you, don't purchase the game. ;) 

Circuit Cubes
Both boys have gravitated back to their Circuit Cubes this year, and have spent hours experimenting with them, both together and independently. They have engaged with these so often that I have added more sets to my list for Christmas this year. 


Next...several Usborne favorites! 

For a long time, I avoided Usborne. I knew that they publish a lot of twaddle, and while I enjoyed their Reference books, I always purchased them used at a lower price. I have recently discovered several items that we LOVE and that have been a huge benefit to our homeschool. I purchased a few things to support a friend, and was pleasantly shocked at how very useful several items have been for us...and enjoyable! I won't link each item individually, but here is a list of a few of the items that we have absolutely loved: 
1. Architect Academy 
I bought this for my 5th Grader, and in doing so I discovered a treasure! We love this book so much that I have already purchased 3 more books from the series (Vet Academy, Engineer Academy, and Chef Academy) for next year. We are utilizing these in my 5th grader's Career Craft lessons, and the books are thoroughly engaging while also being practical. The activities are not "busy work", but have actually benefited him with understanding and practical skill. 
2. Architecture Scribble Book 
My 5th Grader has this in his Independent Morning Basket and he chooses it every single day. It supplements his lessons in Architecture Academy, but it is thorough and useful enough that it could be used for lessons as well. 
3. Number Puzzles and Games and Logic Puzzles 
Both of these are in my 5th Grader's Independent Morning Basket as well, and they both contain puzzles that are both fun and also promote reasoning. Neither contain mindless busy work, and both have challenged him in a fun way! 
4. Pencil and Paper Games 
We use this sometimes for our weekly Logic Game, and we have enjoyed every game we have played so far. Each game contains several sheets so that you can play many times. Each game is for 2 players, and only requires a pencil to play. All of the games that we have played so far have been accessible and enjoyable for both boys. 
5. Bear Grylls Animal Activity Books 
These are in both boys' Independent Morning Baskets and they both adore them. They work for both ages, because although some of the actual activities/puzzles are a bit challenging for my 6 year old and a bit too easy for my 10 year old, the variety provides plenty for them to enjoy, and the information contained (especially in the "Bear's Tips" notes) are what both boys really enjoy. At such an affordable price, I have purchased every book in the series, and both boys say they want to complete the books that the other has, so I will be purchasing second copies of every book. 
6. Young Puzzle Series 
The price of these Puzzle Books is unbeatable, and they are perfect for my 6 year old. They are challenging, but accessible, and they are lovely while also being FUN!. 

If you'd like to purchase any of these resources, here is the shopping link for my personal Usborne representative (and my dear friend). 


Lastly, a few supplies and assorted items. 

I needed a few storage carts for different areas in our homeschool spaces, and the two pictured above were my favorite purchases, and have proved useful in exactly the ways I intended and hoped for. 

3-Tier Rolling Cart  
I purchased this cart for Math Manipulatives and other various items that didn't really have a proper storage space, and it is functioning perfectly for that. I chose it because the top tier is deep enough to store items but not so deep that it couldn't also function as a shelf for a bit of decor/ letter board. It stores a supply caddy, a seasonal decor piece, and my letter board perfectly. The quality is sufficient for the price, and the peg board/hooks/baskets on the side is an extremely useful feature! 

15- Drawer Cart
I purchased this cart for all of our Treasure Time books and resources. It is serving its purpose perfectly. The quality is about the same as every other rolling cart of similar design, and it won't last forever, but I will certainly get my money's worth of use. I chose it because of the two sizes of drawers, and because the shelf on top would hold my binders. This holds everything used for Treasure Time as I intended for it to, and it has plenty of space, with a couple of drawers to spare. 

Paper Mate Comfortmate Ultra Pencils
My 5th grader has recently invested in more quality mechanical pencils than the basic ones that I provided. He has considered all options carefully, and even researched so that he could invest the money required and get a quality pencil in return. He is loving these Comfortmate pencils so far, and says that he thinks it was money well spent. I used it briefly and I have to agree. I am including it because it is a favorite of his, and also because I am planning to invest in some for myself! 

Bic Intensity Dry Erase Markers
My personal favorite supply item this year has been the Bic Intensity dry erase markers. I am constantly trying and buying different dry erase markers, and I am not attached to any of them. I like some, love some, hate some, but always rotate through many kinds. But, I will be keeping the Bic Intensity markers in stock constantly. They are perfect for writing on my dry erase calendar, and for writing the date and week number in the corner of my board. They are also great for drawn narrations, because they are finer than a regular marker, but not as fine as a wet erase or a fine-point marker. I plan to purchase each boy a pack on my next trip to the store to keep for doing narrations. 

There you have it....our favorite books and resources of this year so far. Spreading a wide feast is such a joy, and hearing what everyone loves the most reminds me that children TRULY are born persons, that ideas TRULY are living sustenance, and that the feast TRULY is worth my effort to spread before them. 

I would love to hear what you are loving most right now, or what you have loved most in your most recent term. What are you favorites, and why?

May all your days be spent....Delightfully Feasting 

Crystin <3

Exam Week Interviews and Checklist

Exam Week Interviews 

1. What is your favorite part of our homeschool week? 

2. What excited you and interested you this term? 

3. How have you grown or been challenged this term? 

4. What is a strength that you are glad that you have, and how can you use it to glorify God? 

5. What is a struggle that you'd like to improve or progress in? How can you do that? 

6. What is something fun you'd like to do during our next term? 

7. How can Mom help you have a rich and successful term 3? 

8. What would you like to learn more about, explore, create, or do during Term 3? 

9. What have you enjoyed more or learned more about than you expected to? 

10. What is something you'd like to remember and something you're looking forward to? 

Exam Week Checklist 

1. Clean Out Desk 
2. Supply Inventory 
3. Clean Out/Restock Treasure Time Drawer
(these are drawers for each child in our Treasure Time Room with items the boys have chosen for keeping their hands busy while I am reading)
4. Clean Out/Restock Independent Morning Baskets 
(each boy gets to throw away books/activities that they are finished with and choose new ones) 
5. Clean Out/Restock "School With Friends" Buckets 
(these are the buckets stocked with supplies for our meetings with friends for homeschool lessons) 
6. Clean Out/Restock Nature Backpack 
7. Explore New Term Books/Art, etc 
(we just spend time perusing the new items for our new term) 
8. Choose Read Alouds/Pictures Books, etc for Evening Basket
9. Pick Out and Purchase 3 New Supplies 
(I take the boys shopping and allow them each to pick out 3 new school supplies for the coming term)  

Resource Roundup: Citizenship

Citizenship Resources
Here is a roundup of some of my favorite resources for Citizenship Lessons. Included are links to the books I presented in my Digital Session (recording available for purchase) on Citizenship and Plutarch. As such, this is not a comprehensive list, but rather a sampling of examples of resources for Civics, Cultural Studies, and Plutarch. Enjoy! 

Cultural Studies 

Approach 1: Missionary Stories
Missionary Stories With the Millers 

Approach 2: Country-by-Country 
Colors of....Series (I am not sure why this book is currently so expensive. It is a picture book- so watch for it at resale shops, or search other online book sellers instead of purchasing from Amazon) 
Look What Came From...Series 
Bobbie Kalman Books 

Approach 3:Spine Books: 
Children of Many Lands  (worth every penny!) 
Children of the World 
The Travel Book 

Approach 4: Focused on Product or Historical Aspect 
Biography of...Series 
Wonderful Houses Around the World
Around the World Series

Approach 5: Tales (or Poetry) by Region or Country 
Adelita and The Persian Cinderella (same tale, different regions or countries) 
The Adventures of a Spider 
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain 
Grandfather Tang's Story 
Native American Legends Series 
A Pot O' Gold 
(Tales given as examples of the countless books and options for making Tales the focus of your Cultural Studies- reading Tales from a region and then exploring the culture of the region and people) 

Approach 6: Photography of Peter Menzel 
Material World 
Hungry Planet 
Man Eating Bugs 

Basic American Civics (in context of History): 
Capital and Liberty by Lynn Curlee 
The Pledge of Allegiance and American the Beautiful 
The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan 
The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier 
(Picture books given as examples of variety of ways that simple Civics lessons can be worked into study of History- occasionally taking the place in the school week of Cultural Studies) 

Formal Civics

Presidential Elections, The US Constitution and You, and others by Syl Sobel 
Painless American Government 
Uncle Sam and You by Notgrass 
Exploring Government by Notgrass 
Tuttle Twins Series
Uncle Eric Series by Richard Maybury
(all books given as examples of ways to present Civics formally- in Middle and High school and only AFTER much exposure to Cultural Studies and contextual basic civics ideas) 

High School History/Civics Readers: 
1776, John Adams and others by David McCullough 
Thomas Jefferson Revolutionary by Kevin Gutzman
Thomas Jefferson President and Philosopher by Jon Meacham 
(these two books given as an example of reading multiple authors on the same topic or person) 
The Real Revolution 
(These books given as example of reading widely, reading biography, the connection between history and citizenship, and encountering multiple perspectives). 

Stories from the History of Rome or Public Domain
The Children's Plutarch Greeks and The Children's Plutarch Romans or Public Domain
Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls by W.H. Weston 
Our Young Folk's Plutarch by Rosalie Kaufman 
The Plutarch Primer and The Plutarch Project by Anne White 
Anne White's Guides free on Ambleside

Citizenship and Plutarch: A Rational Patriotism

Citizenship and Plutarch 

I recently gave a digital session on Citizenship and Plutarch, and it was one of the most robust talks and subsequent conversations that I have given and had. We were able to dive deep into the ideas of nuanced perspective, the coexistence of gratitude for freedom and knowledge of the sins that helped secure that freedom. We discussed the complexity of human character, and the depth of understanding that it requires to see each human with nuanced eyes, neither reviling nor idolizing them. We not only discussed the importance of these ideas, but we discussed how to impart them to our children. 

While I can't possibly replicate that discussion (the Session Recording is available for sale, should you wish to partake in the real thing), I will lay out here the Principles and Practices that I laid out during the Session, and my "Program of Citizenship". 

Principles of Citizenship: 

  • Citizenship's foundation is laid in tales, fables, and biography. 
  • Citizenship is motivated by the character necessary for being used in God's work by being used in the world. 
  • Loyalty to integrity is more important than loyalty to a nation. 
  • A valuable citizen benefits society by being of intrinsic value, not by way of profession or social class. 
  • Being able to evaluate perspectives and determine the Truth is the outcome of a study of Citizenship. 
    "There are few better equipments for a citizen than a mind capable of discerning the Truth; whether it lie on the side of our party or on that of our opponent." ~Mason 
  • People are handicapped when relying on current political culture to inform their political ideals. 
The essence of a good citizen was defined by God: 
Seek Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly 

"It is not too much to say that a rational, well-considered patriotism depends on a pretty copious reading of history, and with this rational patriotism we desire our young people to be informed rather than with the jingoism of the emotional patriot." ~Mason

A Program of Citizenship 

1x weekly 
20-30 minutes 
Cultural Studies, Occasional Basic Civics (in context of history) 

4th Grade 
Children's Plutarch 

5th -6th Grade 
Add Plutarch 

Middle School 
Add Ourselves (Book 1) 

*At this point, Citizenship can take on 2-3 "Streams", with 2-3 weekly lessons of various types 

High School 
2x weekly (at least) 
30 minutes each lesson 
Civics/Government, Ourselves, Plutarch 

Principles of Plutarch 

  • Primary, early sources of history and biography are best. 
  • Plutarch= foundation for study of Ancient History 
  • Plutarch refrains from moral commentary. 
  • Plutarch is a study in history, literature, character, and citizenship. 
  • Children ARE capable of digesting Plutarch 
    "We read him his Tanglewood tales and when he is a little older his Plutarch, not trying to break up or water down, but leaving his mind to deal with the matter as it can." ~Mason 

    "Instead of worrying about the hard words in Plutarch, let's celebrate the richness of our language! We have an opportunity to explore the ideas behind words, the reasons behind names, and the fact that the English language is a flexible and growing thing." ~Anne White 
  • We should draw children UP to Plutarch, rather than pulling their study of history and citizenship down to where they currently are. 
  • The only way to expand the child's horizon, in regards to the understanding of human nature, is to actually go about the work of expanding the child's horizon. 
    "His announced intention [Plutarch's] was not to write a chronicle of great historical events, but rather to examine the character of great men, as a lesson for the living. Throughout the Lives, Plutarch pauses to deliver penetrating observations on human nature as illustrated by his subjects, so it is difficult to classify the Lives as history, biography, or philosophy. These timeless studies of humanity are in a class by themselves." 
    ~Wilmot McCutchen 

Benefits of Plutarch 

  • Moral instruction as opposed to moralism
  • Extensive exposure to words (the best of the English language, along with Shakespeare) 
  • Trustworthy historical commentary 
  • Requires attention and engagement 
  • Direct portrayals of human character 
  • Broadens understanding of ancient history 
  • Meet the minds of great men 
  • Greater understanding of other historical works and works of literature 
  • Connects history of entire world to Rome and Greece 
  • True, relevant moral literacy 
  • Understanding of policies and government 

    "If we are to understand why people think as they do, act as they do, or feel as they do; if we are to understand the foundations of our institutions, the tenacity of our traditions, or the precariousness of our own policies then we need to have substantive background information. Plutarch's Lives has been the primary lens through which western intellectuals, educators, artists, musicians, dramatists and historians have viewed the Greco-Roman world. If for no other reason than to grasp the significance of that influence, the Lives are vitally important." 
    ~George Grant 

Basic Practices of Plutarch 

  • 1 Life per term 
  • Start slower- 1 life during your first year 
  • Start with Publicola 
  • Read small portions- narrate communally 
  • Identify proper names and vocabulary 
  • Discuss at length 
    More Discussion > Faster Reading 
  • Use your freedom to read widely (prioritize Plutarch, but not above everything else)
    "Civics takes place as a separate subject but it is so closely bound up with literature and history...and with ethics (every day morals)...that the division is nominal." ~Mason 
  • Keep a Plutarch Journal- include character sketches, narrations, vocabulary, diagrams, t-charts, drawings, etc (highly personal) 

2021 Schedule, Plans, and Book List

Each year, I keep our updated schedule and details about what we are using on the Our Delightful Feast page. However, since we start our school years in January, and many other mothers start new school years in the Summer or Fall, the information about our next school year is most relevant and helpful for many mothers during those seasons. In order to provide inspiration for your planning process for your upcoming school year, I am sharing our schedule and resources for our 2021 school year. We won't be using this schedule or these resources until January, and at that point, I will move this information over to the Our Delightful Feast page, where it will stay for the duration of 2021. 
In 2021, I will have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader (Form 1a and Form 2a)

A Typical Week in Our Life:
House Cleaning, Grocery Shopping, Teacher Development (studying, planning, etc)
Tuesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Wednesday- Morning Lessons, Occupations
Thursday- Family Studies Day/ School With Friends/ Forest School
Friday Morning- Free Time
Friday Afternoon-
Coding, Housecraft, Sporting, etc

Days 1 and 2
(usually Tuesday and Wednesday) 

Mom Awake
5:00- Bible Study, Prayer, Daily Readings
6:00- Workout and Podcast
7:00- Make my Breakfast and Begin Work/Ministry Tasks, Etc
8:00- Start Boys on Independent Morning Baskets/ Mom Finishing SCHOLE
(read more about Mother Culture/SCHOLE here.)
8:30: Start Boys on Daily Tasks and Drill/  Mom Doing Daily Cleaning and Laundry
*During this time, I also make the boys an easy breakfast. 

Boys Awake.
If the boys are not awake by this time, an alarm goes off to remind me to wake them up. If they wake before they have to be up, they can engage in quiet activities until it is time to begin their tasks. 

Independent Morning Baskets
The boys officially start their morning with their Independent Morning Baskets. These baskets are filled with word searches, logic puzzles, drawing books, riddles, and a variety of other activities that can be done without my help. These are things that wouldn't be a part of our official Lessons, but that the boys enjoy and provide a gentle start to the day. During this time, I remain nearby either wrapping up work/ministry tasks or reading a book. I can help as needed, but I am engaged in my own activities and we are all starting the morning together, but quiet and at peace. 

Daily Tasks
The boys go to their chore list for the day and work through their chores together. They each have a cleaning bucket filled with all of the supplies that they need, so there is no arguing over or spending time locating supplies. They have 3 tasks to do each day, in a different room depending on the day. They then have a checklist of every day tasks to complete. This usually takes about 10 minutes. 

 During this time, I do my daily tasks as well. This includes getting some essential oils diffusing, taking out meat for dinner, starting a load of laundry, etc

The boys do dance, Yoga Cards, or Swedish Drill, depending on the day. 
During this time, I either join them (for Swedish Drill, I instruct) or I wrap up any tasks that I needed to do for the morning, so that I can set everything aside and focus on our school day.

Treasure Time
When drill is wrapping up, I play Little Boy Heart Alive in the central area of our home. When the song begins, the boys know that they have approximately 4 minutes to arrive at the Treasure Time table. They gather a snack and beverage, a sweater if they're cold, etc. We then gather at our Treasure Time table by the end of the song. At this table, we have our daily books, and our Daily Binders. These binders are laid out in front of each person's spot at the table.

Our Treasure Time consists of the following: 

Day 1
1. Holy, Holy, Holy
3.Bible: Old Testament Reading (Joshua) 
4.Literature 1 (Term1: King of the Wind, Term 2: Black Beauty, Term 3: White Stallion of Lipizza)
5.Poetry (using the Poets of Nature, Revelry and Rhyme lessons from Under the Home) 
6.Church History (using Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church)
7.Biography 1: Pirates (using Pirateology, Pirate Diary, and Pirates: Dead Men's Tales)
8.Special Studies A: (Term 1: Endangered Animals, Term 2: Medicinal Plants, Term 3: Foraging)
**Using Delightfully Feasting Special Studies Units (see Book List Below)

9.Picture Study (Term 1: Whistler, Term 2: Monet, Term 3:Homer) 
11. Latin and Greek Roots (English From the Roots Up Cards
12. Memory Work (Shakespeare and Scripture)
13.Life Poem and Benediction

Day 2
1. Holy, Holy, Holy
3.Bible: New Testament Reading (Acts) 
4.Literature 2 (Term1: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Term 2: The Silver Chair, Term 3: The Last Battle- all by C.S. Lewis)
5.Poetry (using Poetry Reader Volume 2 from Cottage Press) 
6.Tales (using the upcoming Tales and Folk Songs unit from Delightfully Feasting)
7.Biography 2: Pharaohs (using Landmark's The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt)
8.Special Studies B: (Term 1: Habitats Coral Reef,  Term 2: Shells, Term 3:Ocean Life)
**Using Delightfully Feasting Special Studies Units

9. Music Appreciation (Using Plucky Strings and Peppy Percussion from Under the Home) 
11. Recitation (Poetry)
12. Memory Work (Catechism)
13.Life Poem and Benediction

Morning Collective
After Treasure Time, we head to the back porch and the boys complete a few items in their Daily Binders (calendar, weather, math daily word problem, etc) and their Daily Nature Calendars, and then we complete our Collective Lessons. Being outside for this time allows a change of scenery and the opportunity to observe the subtleties of the weather and nature for that day, without being rushed or simply "checking a box". 

Day 1: 
1. Daily Binders 
2. Nature Calendar
3. Handwriting
(Form 2 Using Handwriting Level 6 from The Good and the Beautiful)
(Form 1 Using Handwriting Level 1 from The Good and the Beautiful) 
4. Folk Song Lesson (Using the Tales and Folk Songs unit from Delightfully Feasting)
5. Word of the Day (using A Word a Day Intermediate by Evan Moor)
6.Thought of the Day (using Morning Exercises for All the Year) (also in the Public Domain)

Day 2: 
1. Daily Binders 
2. Nature Calendar
3. Handwriting
(Form 2 Using Handwriting Level 6 from The Good and the Beautiful)
(Form 1 Using Handwriting Level 1 from The Good and the Beautiful) 
4. Hymn Study Lesson (Using the Delighting in Hymns units from Delightfully Feasting)
5. Word of the Day (using A Word a Day Intermediate by Evan Moor)
6.Thought of the Day (using Morning Exercises for All the Year) (also in the Public Domain)

Note- Although sometimes presented as such, the materials offered by The Good and the Beautiful are not fashioned after the methods of Charlotte Mason. I do not use or recommend their science, language arts, or history programs. I do, however, like their Handwriting and Typing materials, as you can see linked above and below.

Our Hymn Study selections for 2020 are as follows:
Term 1: How Great Thou Art, It Is Well With My Soul 
Term 2: Be Thou My Vision, My Jesus I Love Thee 
Term 3: All Creatures of Our God and King, And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Group Block 1
At this point, we head to the School Room and each boy heads to their desk.
During this time, we complete the following lessons:

Day 1:
1.Architecture (Term 1: Pyramid, Term 2: Fast Forward Pyramid, Term 3: Ancient Egypt Artifacts)
2.Spanish (Using the upcoming Delightfully Feasting Spanish) 

Day 2:
1.Charts and Mapping (based upon history lessons, and also using Draw Africa)
2.Shakespeare Tales (Form 2 Student also reads plays in addition to reading Tales as a group)

Lunch Break 
The boys grab their lunch trays and then grab lunch from our Lunch Drawers. While they do this, I change over or fold a load of laundry, grab another cup of coffee and grab a bite to eat. 

Breakout 1 
At this point, the boys separate for a lesson. My Form 2 student does his Typing lesson independently (using Typing Level 3 from The Good and the Beautiful) and my Form 1b student does a Reading lesson with me. 

Group Block 2
At this point, we gather again on the back porch for a few more lessons together.

Day 1:
1.Ancient History Spine (using Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors from Simply Charlotte Mason)
2.Art Around the World from Under the Home
3. Solfa (using Sing Solfa and Solfa Sofa ) (one unit from both each term) 

Day 2:
1. Ancient History Supplements (see Book List below)
2. Composer Study (Term 1:Bach, Term 2:Vivaldi, Term 3: Mozart) 
3. Hand Clapping (using Hand Clapping Fun from Triumphant Learning)

Breakout 2
At this point, we head back to the School Room to separate for some individual lessons. This is done independently (with help as needed) for my Form 2 student and I am working with my Form 1 student at this time.

Day 1 and 2: 
Form 2 Student- 
1.Current Events using CNN 10 and News O Matic)

Form 1 Student- 
1. Math Lesson 
2. Geography Lesson (using Where We Live II from Under the Home)

Note- We use a combination of Life of Fred, Khan Academy, MEP, and public domain books for math.

Form 2 Studies
 At this point, my Form 1 student is free for the day and can move on to Afternoon Occupations
My Form 2 student continues working with me on lessons that apply solely to his age and form.

Day 1

1. Geography (using The Boy Travelers Africa  from Under the Home)
2. Grammar  (using Grammar Land from Under the Home and Gentle Grammar   from Mom Delights)
4. World History (using Stories of the Nations Volume 1 from Simply Charlotte Mason)
5. Math 
6. Science (using Rocks and Minerals  from Under the Home)

Day 2

1. Shakespeare 
2. Composition (using Poetic Forms from Under the Home and Story Starters by Karen Andreola)
3. Logic (using Primary Analogies Book 3)
4. Plutarch (using the Anne White guide for Brutus)
5. Math
6. Equine Science and History 
(using History of the Horse from Beautiful Feet Books and How to Think Like a Horse)

Day Three: Family Studies Day

On our third day of school, we have a more relaxed morning and we have a much shorter day. We gather for only a few hours on these days to complete several more lessons as a group. Those lessons are as follows :

1.Natural History/Nature Lore 
(using Shared Wonder: Birds and Weather from A Modern Charlotte Mason)
2. US Geography and National Parks (using National Parks and America's National Parks
3. American History (See Book List Below) 
(Term 1: Explorers, Term 2: Indigenous Peoples, Puritans, Pirates, Term 3: American Revolution)
4. Science Experiments or Handicrafts
5.Geography Reader (using Letters From Egypt from Simply Charlotte Mason)
6. Math Games (using a variety of games and the Math Games Bundle from Triumphant Learning)
7. Studio Art (using Grade K and Grade 4 of Studio Art from Under the Home)
8. Scouting (using the Delighting in Scouting units from Delightfully Feasting) 
9. Piano/Music Theory 
(using the Delighting in Hymns units from Delightfully Feasting and Music Theory Made Easy Book 2

*These days are often combined with our weekly meeting with friends to do supplemental lessons. In 2021 these lessons will constitute a weekly Book Club. 

*Sometimes these days are combined with our monthly Forest School meeting. Depending on which event is scheduled for the week, Days 3 and 4 can look differently in their structure, but between Days 3 and 4 each week we complete the Lessons listed above, our weekly meeting with friends, Forest School, and the list of items below.

Day Four
On the last day of our school week, we complete various combinations of the following items:

Patch Work and Assignments (from our Forest School and Homeschool Group meetings)
Coding Lessons

Book List
Here are many of the living books, reference books, and resources used for our lessons in 2021:

Rulers and Their Times: Hatshepsut and Ancient Egypt

American History 
Revolutionary Solider: Illustrated Living History Series
The Amazing Life of Myles Standish
George Vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides
Around the World in 100 Years
Dover Coloring Books: Life in Pre-Columbian North America
Dover Coloring Books: Life in Colonial America
Dover Coloring Books: Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution
Dover Coloring Books: Uniforms of the American Revolution
Dover Coloring Books: George Washington
Dover Coloring Books: Story of the American Revolution
A New Nation
Liberty or Death
Discovery of the Americas

Natural History/Nature Lore
Feathers: A Beautiful Look at a Bird's Most Unique Feature 
That Quail, Robert
An Owl in the House
Nests: Amazing Ingenious and Intricate
Birds That Every Child Should Know
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists: Songbirds
Peterson Field Guides for Young Naturalists: Backyard Birds
The First Book of Birds

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