Friday, August 23, 2013

Homeschool Series: Curriculum Year 2/3

Thank you to those of you following along my homeschool series! You can find our how I lesson plan here, and the curriculum we're using for Year 0 here.

I am doing a combined year 2/3 because I added in some classical curriculum last year and couldn't quite get everything from Ambleside's year 2 in.

Tristin does his own quiet time every morning and then we do a Bible study together and he follows along. We still use The Family Reading Bible.

This year we will be keeping a Bible notebook. This is how we will learn as much as possible using His word. So yes, we will be writing scripture and drawing pictures but we will also include any and everything you can possibly think of.

For example: if we read Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

We will copy it. Learn any new word we didn't know.  We could talk about different spellings and meaning of the word right. Talk and draw about which way is left and which way is right. Then, we could take it further by learning other ways to describe left and right like north and south. We could find it on maps, or go outside to figure it out. After that it would only make sense to learn east and west :)

I will be keeping track of these lessons in our notebooks and will share them on the blog as we do them


We will be reviewing multiplication and division as well as his mental math with long addition and subtraction, then we will go through Math Lessons for a Living Education. as well as Family math and Ray's Arithmetic.

Fine Arts Term 1:

A Treasury of Poetry for Young People 

Giotto Picture Study Portfolio 


Tales from Shakespeare


Ambleside online year 2   year 3 (we have read some of these already)


 combined Bible,  Story of the World volume 2, and Child's History of the World

Language Arts:

The Bible.

Proverbs to Cursive to learn cursive and then He will start copying the Bible.

He will be finding and writing phonograms from Bible passages as well as new words that go along with the phonics or spelling we are studying.

He will find synonyms, antonyms, homophones, nouns, pro nouns, plurals, compound words, the subject of the verse, predicates, diagramming etc..

He will learn to use a dictionary for words he doesn't know.

He is also doing Don Potter's Roman Reader and Gospel of mark Club.

We are using Learning to Spell Through Copy work and I will use it as a guide to plan lessons using the Bible for spelling.

Nature Study/Science:

We will be taking nature walks with a nature backpack full of sketch books, pencils, paint, magnifying glass, and jars.

Books to use:
Burgess Bird Book
Handbook of nature Study
Science in Your Own backyard
Drawn to Nature
Big Book of Science and Nature
New Way things Work
My Nature Journal

We will be studying birds, apples, pumpkins, moon phases, weather patterns, the sun, the way things work (when it gets too cold to go outside) simple machines, the earth: layers and rocks and minerals.

I think that about covers it! Are you all ready for the new year? Or have you started?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homeschool Series: Curriculum Year 0

If you've followed me for any amount of time you know I love Charlotte Mason. Her method is so gentle and rich in living books and learning, and that's exactly what I love.

In the last year or so I branched out to include the Classical method which I love as well, but was happily surprised this year when God interrupted my plans and asked me to use His word instead of the grammar and writing (more for 3rd grade) I had originally had been planning to use under the classical curriculum.


So with out further ado here is what we've come up with this year.

Let's start in Year 0 shall we?

Year 0 is similar to Kindergarten but very short and gentle. You can adapt this to use in Preschool as well.

He does quiet time first thing in the morning using one of the children's bible we have.This one or this one. He usually goes through the pictures or stories we've read before, and he loves to copy them word for word.

We will be reviewing the letter sounds, Leap Frog Letter Factory is a favorite way to review this and I'm going to let home make his own alphabet scrap book using Mr. Printables Alphabet book.  I will have him cut and glue items from magazines and draw. He loves stuff like this and he knows his sounds but I would like to make sure it's mastered.

Reading: 20 min a day.

I mentioned above that we will be using the Bible a lot, so this is how I will use it for him.

Every morning during Bible time, we read the Bible. He will sit right by me and read along side me. Tristin opens his own Bible and reads along with us.

I will read the same story/verse all week so he becomes quite familiar with the words.

Along with that I use The 3 R's as a guide on blending and new words. We will not get in any hurry and just keep going at his pace. We will use the Bible, Bob books, Nora Gaydos books , Frog and Toad, and
 Little Bear to practice reading.

I can go into more detail of the actual lessons if anyone is interested.

He is copying the Bible and using Delightful Handwriting


I want to finish Singapore Essential Math and then we're going to move into more of a living style math.
I love using the book Family Math for games and ideas that reinforce math. We love Sum swamp for adding and subtracting. And for oral practice and on the board I'll use Ray's Arithmetic.

Some fun math ideas and goals:

play dominoes
roll dice to 100
use beads and pipe cleaners for counting and number bands
sorting by size, color etc.
3D shapes Mummy Math
Introduce measurement, estimation, volume, estimate, money

We will be using Five in a Row
I love this because we will read the same story all week and use the guide for discussions about the history, geography, and more each day.
We may add a project per book but I haven't planned that yet.

We will also be reading the Ambleside booklist for year 0.

Nature: he will join our nature walks which I will post about, but I wanted to add that we LOVE the
Barenstain Bears Big Book of Nature


I love this List of Attainments that we'll be working towards:

"A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six", a reprint of a curriculum outline from a CM school in the 1890's.

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm
3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters
4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child
5. to copy in print-hand from a book
6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows
7. to describe the boundaries of their own home
8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach
9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)
10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views
11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.
12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees
13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape
14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed
15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.
16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences
17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song
18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How I Homeschool: Lesson Planning

It has been requested by a few beautiful ladies that I share more of how I homeschool. You're in luck! I love to homeschool and I love to talk about it with friends. So feel free to chat with me, ask questions, share ideas!

This will be broken down into a few topics over the next week or so:

Lesson Planning
Curriculum: Kindergarten (Year 0) and Year 3
The Potter's House (letting God sculpt our days and be the center)
Morning Gatherings
Projects we will include this year (art, handicrafts, notebooks)
Nature Studies
Life in a Day: what our daily life looks like

Today, we will start with lesson planning!

I usually over think things to the point where it overwhelms me and then I get stuck and do nothing. Please tell me I'm not the only one? ha

This is our 4th year of homeschoolilng and every year I grab a lesson plan book and fill up the first few weeks with what I plan to get done and then I fall behind. After that I realize I'm writing the same thing over and over again....Monday: bible, math, reading, science or history. Tuesday: bible, math, reading, science or get the idea. I'll throw in a few project ideas, or verses or chapters to read, but that's about it.

It's complicated and stressful when I fall behind because something came up and we didn't get all of our Tuesday work, but am now staring at what needs to be done on Wednesday too. So, this year I decided to do my own thing and simplify. What may work for one may not work for another. I'm just sharing what works for me.

So instead of buying a $20 planner, I grabbed this $2 notebook and called it a day.


It's small enough to grab and go if needed. It's filled with book lists I can take to the library, and projects and supplies I can grab while at the store. All in one place. I know planners have places for that, but the thing about this one is that it's laid out the way my mind works haha, so it works for me.

When you open it I have our daily schedule written out.
*this is ideal but doesn't always happen*


I will go into more detail about our schedule on another post.

Then I have the tabs. These are sticky tabs you can pick up in the office supply section of most stores. The first tab is Brighton's Kindergarten tab.


This is where I put the Math games and activities about what I'd like him to know throughout the year. I will just start at the top of my list and play games and find activities for whatever it is we are working on at the moment. On the back of the page I have specific games and activities I have found on Pinterest or in books.
That being said, I do NOT over do it. I write out the projects I think will benefit us most and I know I can get done without a hassle.

I write out lessons I'd like to get done with him in literacy, plus a few extras we can do if we make it to that point. Again, I'll share more on my curriculum post.

And then I have a literature list of books we'll read together that will make library trips and amazon orders much simpler. I leave space to add to it...but not too much space!

Next tab is Tristin's goals for year 2/3.


His subjects are divided by tabs, and what I'd like to get done and use in each one. Brighton does participate in some of these.

Morning Gatherings (which include habits, memory work, fine arts, geography)
Language Arts
Nature Study


In the rest of the notebook is room for me to take notes, write out field trip ideas, do record keeping, and whatever else I feel I want to add.

I LOVE this notebook. It's simple and easy to get an overview of the entire year. I simply open it and choose what we'll work on that week, and get it ready before hand. We will work on it until we're ready to move on.


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