2023 Curriculum Choices

 Note 1:

Each year, I give a detailed plan of our schedule and our chosen resources. 

Our 2020 schedule and resources can be found here, our schedule and resources from 2021 can be found here , and our resources from 2022 can be found here

In addition, you can find free printables of my 2021 and 2022 schedules here

We begin each school year in January, but I choose resources and plan for the following year well in advance. So, I have made our choices for 2023 and will share them below. 

Note 2: 
I hold to Charlotte Mason's principles, but I apply her practices with my own wisdom and discernment. I love her, but I don't idolize her, and I believe her principles and practices provide us with both a foundation for education based upon personhood and also with great freedom. 

I use a variety of resources, and I both choose and avoid resources based upon their quality, merit, approach to education and personhood, and my needs....not upon how high they would rank with the "Charlotte Mason Police". ;) So, if you see a resource that surprises you, assume that I am using it according to Mason's principles, and feel free to ask any questions whatsoever! 


2023 Curriculum and Book Choices: 
8th and 4th Grade

Group Lessons 

History

Modern 
Combining parts of Story of the World Volume 3 and Story of the World Volume 4
In the Steps of the Titanic from Campfire Curriculum 


World
Adventures in the Sea and Sky from Winter Promise 


British
The Story of Britain by Patrick Dillon 

Humanities 

Cultural Studies 
France
Germany  

Citizenship: 
Drawing the Vote
What Does the President Look Like


Architecture

All Year: The Story of Buildings
Term 1: Ship by David Macaulay / Working Boats
Term 2: Round Buildings, Square Buildings and Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish
Terms 3: Wonders of the World  (and Wonders of the World Coloring


Biography
Term 1-  Amelia Earhart 
Term 2-  Katherine Johnson 
Term 3-  Neil Armstrong 


Mapping 

Language 

Group Language
Simply Grammar 
Basher Grammar and Basher Punctuation 
Word Ladders  
 

Literature 
Term 1- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 
Term 2-  Carry On Mr. Bowditch 
Term 3-  Marry Poppins 

Poetry
Term 1- Langston Hughes
Term 2-  Walt Whitman 
Term 3- Carver: A Life in Poems (Marilyn Nelson) 

Tales
Term 1- Lang's Around the World 
Term 2- Cinderella Around the World (using Delighting in Song and Tale Volume 1
Term 3- TBD  

Shakespeare
Delighting in Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream  (not yet released) 
We will use this all year rather than for a term like it is written.
We do this at School With Friends with a group of all ages and take it slowly. 

Vocabulary 
Word a Day Intermediate


Group Math 
Go Figure! A Totally Cool Book About Numbers
Math Vocabulary for Elementary Students
Understanding Economics
Life of Fred: Farming
Games- Assorted 

Personal Finance:
Hands on Banking


Art 

Studio Art :
Living Art Lessons from Master Books 
 

Picture Study 
Term 1-  Matisse 
Term 2-  Braque
Term 3-  Rene Magritte
All Year- Exploring Modern Art 

Handicrafts 
Theatre: 
On Stage: Theatre Games and Activities for Kids


Music 

Hymn Study
Term 1- In Christ Alone/ TBD 
Term 2- Be Thou My Vision/ My Jesus I Love Thee (Delighting in Hymns Volume 2)
Term 3- Oh God Our Help in Ages Past/ TBD 


Folk Songs 
Term 1- TBD 
Term 2- Lavendar's Blue (Using Delighting in Song and Tale Volume 1
Term 3- TBD

Composer Study
Term 1- Debussy (Using Delightfully Feasting Debussy Study)
Term 2- Bernstein (Using Delightfully Feasting Bernstein Study-upcoming) 
Term 3- Holst (Using Delightfully Feasting Holst Study-upcoming) 

Music Theory
Recorder: Squeaky's Recorder Playhouse
Forte! Music of Invention from Growing Gardenside 

 
Solfa 
Term 1- Sing Solfa Unit 4
Term 2- Sing Solfa Unit 5 
Term 3- Sing Solfa Unit 6 

Ballet 
Sleeping Beauty 
For Ballet I Use: 
A Child's Introduction to Ballet
The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories
The Orchard Book of Stories From the Ballet
101 Stories of the Great Ballets



Christian Studies 
Bible:
Psalms/Acts  

Memory Work
Psalm 38
Catechism 
Attributes of God
Truths About the Word of God


Theology 
Term 1: Foundations of Faith from Not Consumed 
Term 2: The Character of God from the Daily Grace Co 
Term 3: The Story of the Bible From A-Z from the Daily Grace Co 

Evangelism: Children Around the World from the Daily Grace Co


Natural History and Science 

Special Studies
Nature Calendar 
Monthly Forest School Meetings 



Other Subjects 

Art Journals (daily)
Daily Workbooks 

Hand Clapping: 
Hand Clapping Fun

Skills: 
Inventing
How to be an Inventor

Psychology: 
Psychology for Kids

Computer Science: 
Common Sense Digital Citizenship


Individual Lessons 

Language 

Handwriting

3rd Grade: Loops and Tails: Cursive
7th Grade: Loops and Tails: Blackletter

Language Arts
3rd Grade: 
Learning Language Arts Through Literature: Yellow  
Explode the Code

7th Grade:
Learning Language Arts Through Literature: Tan 
Editor in Chief: Book 3 
Wordly Wise Book 7
Middle School Literature Survey from Redefining School (enrollment is closed) 


Math 

3rd Grade:
Plain and Not So Plain Level 4 &5 
Anton & Khan Academy

7th Grade:
Plain and Not So Plain Level 6 & 7 
Khan Academy 


Career Exploration 

That's a Job Series (Space)


Coding 
Both Boys: Courses from Code.org 

Logic 
7th Grade: 
The Thinking Toolbox
Traditional Logic 1 from Memoria Press 

3rd Grade: 
Another Logic Workbook for Gritty Kids
Grids for Kids



7th Grade Lessons 

Citizenship 
Painless American Government & Voices of the American Past Volume 2
Current Events- various sources 
Plutarch: Life of Ceasar 

Science 
Middle School Earth and Space Science from Khan Academy 

Life Skills 
Life Skills for Teens
Teenagers: Preparing for the Real World

Personal Finance
Building Your Future Book 1


Not Yet Listed/Determined: 
Recitation Pieces 
Scouting 


Term 2 Wap Up 2022

 Treasure Time 


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

Scripture- This year we are working on Romans 8, focusing on verses 1-11. They have this down pretty well, so I may add the next set of verses for Term 3. 
Catechism- This is ongoing and we've been at it for several years now. 
Creed- Having memorized the Nicene Creed a few years ago, we are just reviewing this a few times each term. 
Shakespeare- We are memorizing Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" soliloquy and we will work on this all year. 
Poetry- We (once again) didn't work much on poetry memorization or recitation this term. I plan to remedy that in Term 3 and have chosen a piece to work on so that it doesn't get passed over again. 
Speeches- We are still 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. We will spend Term 3 finishing these up and move on to memorizing the definitions of God's attributes next year. 
Citizenship Questions- We are memorizing the answers to all questions on the US Citizenship Test. They have currently mastered about 20 questions. 

Bible and Christian Studies 

Bible and Christian Studies as a "structured loop" has continued to work well 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 nearing the end of 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. This term we finished the books of History and got through the books of Poetry, so we will be moving on to Prophets in Term 3. 

Theology Study this term, we completed the free Best Family Ever study from Not Consumed. I wanted to try out their format (and content) to see if their studies would be a good fit for us next year. We enjoyed this and while I don't think the content was perfect, it was solid and engaging. 

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 

This term, we didn't have an individual poet, but instead read through the book Hip Hop Speaks to Children. This was fun! 

Group Math 

For this term, we
1) read a chapter of Life of Fred Edgewood each week
2) read a section of The Book of Math each week 
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 Roman Diary, and continued That Quail Robert, The Sorceror's Stone, and Tollins. We started The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, to fill our biography slot. We also read a plethora of picture books this term, and in Term 3 we will focus on wrapping up the books that we are in the middle of. 

History 1 

I moved one of our history streams into Treasure Time about halfway through this term. This is a result of tweaking my current schedule in order to build my 2023 schedule and realizing that the small tweaks I was going to make between years would actually be great to implement for the rest of this year. 

This stream is Texas History (this year) is our Texas History. We are reading through The Story of Texas as our spine and adding in a variety of books such as L is for Lonestar, and Round Up: A Texas Numbers Book.  I also added in some resources that we collected during our trip to San Antonio this summer, particularly pamphlets about the Alamo. 


Special Studies 

This term's Special Study was Wildflowers and we used the Delightfully Feasting curriculum for this. Although not an all time favorite, since my boys prefer animals to plants, we all enjoyed this. We didn't finish the last few lessons, but I am okay with that as we added several supplementary books and spent more than one week on a few of the lessons that we did complete. We relished the study and dug deep, which means that I consider it a successful Special Study. 

Science 1 

This term we started a study of Dinosaurs. I am pulling topics and Notebook pages from the program from Winter Promise. I owned this program already, but I didn't want to complete all of its material (we have completed it before), so I skipped to the dinosaurs section and used it as a spine. I have also added a variety of dinosaur guides and books that we have to each week's lesson. We will continue this in Term 3, as convincing my boys to only study dinosaurs for 12 weeks when you can study them for 24 would be an impossible task. ;) 

Group Grammar 

For Group Grammar, this term we completed several lessons from Simply Grammar, doing just a couple of exercises orally each week. We did that one day each week, and on the other day the boys did a Word Ladder. This is active practice for my youngest and it is remedial, but still good review, for my oldest. Both are dyslexic, so although they are at different reading levels, they can often benefit from the same practice work. Grammar is gradual work, and it will continue to be layered through the years, particularly for my youngest. 

Finance 

We are using the Elementary book of Hands on Banking (free from Wells Fargo). The videos are cheesy, but my youngest loves them. The content is helpful and everyone is gaining from these lessons, and particularly from completing them together. 

Group Citizenship 

We are reading Exploring the White House and we all LOVE this book. It is perfect for the exploratory, light, fun atmosphere that I desire for these group lessons, yet it still provokes conversations among us, and that is always my aim. 

Vocabulary 

We still do weekly vocabulary words 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. This term, instead of using Word a Day twice, we have used it once added in the discussion of one word each week from Giveaways. 

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. 
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. This has been extremely helpful. 

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 Greek structures and artifacts. 
We used the Greek set of Simply Charlotte Mason's Stuff They Left Behind Portfolios . We have used these portfolios nearly every year, and they are wonderful. We use the photos much like a picture study, and then discuss the history and culture that is brought to mind by the context of the artifact or structure. 

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 Brazil and Peru using the free units from Little World Wanderers. These are perfect for simple, meaningful lessons that are flexible enough to keep short and sweet when needed but also to add to and supplement when time allows. I take the material and spread it out slowly, adding to it as I can with books suggested in the units, videos I find, and more. 

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 2 & 3

For Ancient History this year, we spent the first two terms in Greece and Rome. In choosing my history streams for next year, and aligning the rest of my oldest's history through high school, I decided that it would be best to do a shortened version of Middle Ages in Term 3. So, this term we went through the Fall of Rome, and then we started Middle Ages a few weeks ago in order to get a good thorough look at this, particularly for my youngest as he begins to remember and really understand how history fits together. 

For American History we are in the Westward Expansion this year and going through the Civil War and Reconstruction in Term 3. In term 2, we focused on slavery a lot and the lives of the abolitionists and this led to many great discussions. We are using the free picture book suggestions from the free program U Read Thru History, as opposed to a spine and I am supplementing it with online content and other books. We won't have an American Stream in 2023, so I am turning my focus towards cemementing this rather large period of history while not losing sight of the lives within it for the remainder of this year. 


Solfa 
Solfa is always seamless and enjoyable for us. This term we used Unit Two of Sing Solfa and it has continued to really click for my youngest and has become an enjoyable time for all of us together. 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 covered some history and theory together using the Music and Masterpieces issue of Forte! from Growing Gardenside. 

Geography/Mapping/History Charts 

I still didn't add in a Geography Reader this term, so we had strong Mapping lessons, but not any narrative geography. This will likely remain true for the remainder of this year because everything is flowing nicely and we're getting lots of geography that everyone is connecting with across all of our lessons. 

For Mapping, we worked on drawing Central and South America using the Draw the World series. 

Our History Charts were completed pretty regularly this term, but I am still working on building a habit of never skipping these. 

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.  I finished and realised Unit 3 of Delightfully Living Spanish, so we started that and I am spreading it across two terms instead of one. 

Composer Study 

This term we studied Stravinsky using the Delightfully Feasting Stravinsky 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. Stravinksy was a hit with everyone, and his Firebird is now a favorite piece of music for both boys. 

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. 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 is using a variety of other resources, and I focus primarily on oral math with just a few written problems. 

Reading 
This term, he continued reading books on his own, and he loves to read Elephant and Piggie, and also read his first story from Henry and Mudge. He is doing very well, and he has also already developed the ability to know when his mind is fatigued and he needs to ask for help. He is perserverent in reading, so I know that when he asks for help, he truly needs it. This self-awareness and advocacy took much longer for my oldest to develop, so I am pleased with this. 

One day each week, we complete portions of lessons from the red book of Learning Language Arts Through Literature. This works really well, and I adapt it to his needs. 

Coding 
Coding is a highlight of the week for both boys. My 3rd grader wrapped up Course B and worked through a portion of Course C 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 have alternated this term between that and the puzzles in Grids for Kids Level 1 from the The Math Profs. He loves both of these! 


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 encourages my heart and reminds me that I am sowing seeds that will bear fruit in the long term. 


Language Arts  
He is using the purple book from Learning Language Arts Through Literature, along with some work in Wordly Wise, and a few practice pages in Editor in Chief. We are officially focusing entirely on grammar, vocabularly, and composition. He still struggles with reading, but he is reading for pleasure and he gets sufficient practice in reading throughout all of his lessons. This turning from long term phonetic practice to other language arts is a huge win for a dyslexic. 

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
2) Civics 

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. We have continued reading through the life of Brutus this term, and we enjoy these lessons. 

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 is becoming quite capable of nuance, consideration of multiple perspectives, and good conversation and I am so happy about that. 


Logic 
We are tracking in my Logic Plan, and this is a favorite time for both of us each week. We finished up the Basics of Critical Thinking from Critical Thinking Company this term, and we will finish up The Fallacy Detective with the remainder of our year.  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 often self-corrects often when he is making an illogical case for something. We also still do occasional practice in Analogies, because we both enjoy them. 


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 continued practice with decimals and did some work with angles and started to lay the foundation for mutiplying and dividing fractions, which will be his focus in Term 3. 

This term, we increased our use of Khan Academy even further, as it is his favorite. 

Coding 

He wrapped up Course D from code.org and moved on. 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. I have stopped planning these lessons ahead of time and allow him to fill the available time and then pick up where he left off during the next lesson. 


Literature Survey

This term, he started this year's Literature Survey Course from Redefining School, and it has continued to be such a delight. Redefining School was a direct 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. 

I placed this course work into one (of two) of his language arts slots for the week, so with the other slot we combined his other language resources. This is working extremely well. 


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. 


Tales 
Following Norse Mythology in Term 1, we are reading Greek Mythology for the remainder of our year. This has been enjoyable, particularly for my youngest as it is the first time through Greek Myths that he is really grasping what we are reading and connecting with the stories. 


Games 
We alternate between Logic and Math games each week, and it was a pretty standard term. They definitely prefer Logic Games, but they somehow both have really enjoyed Real World Math this term, although it isn't the most exciting math game in my opinion. 


Science 2
This continues to be a hit with  Learning With Friends. We are working through the Anatomy unit this term, but I am going slower than I did with the Biology unit. Anatomy will be continued and completed in Term 3. I am adding lots of supplemental books to it, and both boys enjoy it. 

 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. I have found a perfect solution for my oldest's science in 2023, but for the remainder of this year, this is absolutely enough. 

Handicrafts
This term we continued Cooking for our Handicraft, and we continued to enjoy 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 (which is why I have cut Career Studies from our schedule elsewhere).
Both have been a great part of our homeschool this term, although we didn't cook as much in Term 2 as we did in Term 1. Overall, Cooking was a successful handicraft! 

Scouting 
This term we started Delighting in Scouting Volume 3, and we are spreading it out to last through Term 3. We enjoy Scouting, but my boys don't love every topic equally. I keep these lessons simple and often spread the Field Work out across multiple weeks. 

Psychology
This year's Psychology studies are Personality Typing and Tests. This term we have used the tests and background knowledge in Psychology for Kids . We discuss as much as interest allows for, sometimes going beyond the book to my own knowledge (I have taught Personality Typing in Homeschooling Seminars) and other resources I own but also often sticking to the book and keeping it simple.  

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 continued to put time and effort into the activities from the book and I love watching a wide feast come to life in so many ways. We will finish this book early in Term 3, and will just wait until 2023 to start our new Practical Skills topic. 

Art 

For this term, our artist was Degas and it was our first time studying him. We focused on his extensive Ballet works, and he wasn't an all time favorite of either boy, but they did engage wholeheartedly in these lessons, which was nice to witness. 

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 

Our two hymns this term were Amazing Grace and O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go. For Amazing Grace, we simply followed the DF Hymn Study Schedule with a playlist of versions that I created. For O Love, we used the guide from Happy Hymnody, and it was engaging and enjoyable. This was our first time studying this hymn, and everyone enjoyed it. 

Folk Songs 

This term, we didn't have a single Folk Song, but listened to the songs recommended in Sweet Tea and Cookies. We completed this wonderful study this term. It was purely "extra", added in on top of everything else, and I have zero regrets. It was rich and the books recommended were FABULOUS. We didn't make the recipes as much as I would have liked, but we loved the books and music. I got to introduce my boys to Johnny Cash and Elvis, and that was a delight. :) 



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 rotate between: 

1. Shakespeare (using Delighting in Shakespeare
This year we are doing the Hamlet unit, and this is truly one of my favorite parts of our homeschool. There is simply nothing better than children of all ages gathered around a table enjoying Shakespeare together! 

2. Geography and National Parks (using Delighting in the World
This term we continued Volume 2 and we do most of the supplementary activities and take our time. This is PERFECT for 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. 

5. Tea Time 

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

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. 



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