Monday, July 22, 2013

In which I share how we learn together

{This post contains some affiliate links.}

While many of my curriculum choices came easily this year, I had a tough time with history and science-- not because I wasn't sure what to do, but because I wanted to do too much.  I needed to narrow down what was feasible and decide how to implement my ideas into our year. 

During the months of June and July, we  ambled through world geography with Thriving Family's Around the World in 60 Days.  I decided to move straight into U.S. geography at the beginning of our school year.  Since the kids already have a grasp on United States culture, history, symbols, and landmarks, we are focusing on location and memorization of the states and capitals.  We'll be using  States & Capitals Book and CDand  Yo Sacramento! (and all those other State Capitals you don't know)Since I want and need to incorporate all five kids, I've already begun to work with Ben and Alaine on state memory after being inspired by How to Teach Your Toddler All 50 States at Breakfast.  I found a great source of free printable maps that I'm using for a variety of learning activities, including a group project where the kids will interview family members and visually record the states they have visited (original idea here). 

map that accompanied our study of world geography

I'm tentatively setting aside our first 2 months of school to study geography before we switch back to ancient medieval history.  We finished  The Mystery of History Volume I: Creation to the Resurrectionin May so we will review what we learned by reading Augustus Caesar's Worldby Genevieve Foster.  The book is told in story form and is rich with information.  I want to take it slow so we can savor it and not feel rushed.  

When we finish-- whether it be November or February-- we will begin reading our way through medieval history with a literature book list that I'm compiling myself. 

Gavin, 6th grade & Owen, 2nd grade

Over a year ago, when I chose to study astronomy for the 2012-2013 school year, Maddie asked if we could study mammals next.  I kept that request filed away so now the time has come.  We'll be using  The Burgess Animal Book for Children.  (The link provided is for the edition currently in print.  We are borrowing an older edition which includes the original watercolor illustrations.)  I'm planning to take time for science twice a week, one day for reading the text and another day for sketching.  I'll be using The Burgess Animal Book Companion, free online and compiled by a homeschool mom! It is a wealth of supplemental information and it includes links to coloring pages that will help keep the youngest kids involved. 

Alaine, pre-pre-school

There are
3 more subjects that we learn together.  Bible is the easiest.  We will continue the daily Bible plan for children, moving on to section 2 this year.  We will also continue using our scripture memory box system for Bible memory after the tremendous success of last year!


For music, we will use Stories of the Great Composers (Book & CD).  We will study the first 6 composers this year and save the last 6 for next year. I plan to spend the first Monday of each month reading the short text in the book and listerning to the selection and then spending the rest of the month listening to that composer's work from CDs we'll borrow from the library. 

Maddie, 4th grade & Ben, kindergarten

I wanted to try something new for art this year.  I discovered over the past two school years that when we study famous works of art, my children enjoy trying to replicate them.  They will sketch their interpretation of the whole painting or mimic a small section. Now we can do that all year.  The three oldest kids will be working their way through art workbooks.  Gavin will be using All My Own Work: Adventures in Art which includes use of colored pencils, scraps of colored and metallic paper, tracing paper, paint, and markers while Maddie and Owen will use Create Your Own Masterpiece: On a Journey Through Art which concentrates solely on sketching.  There are 22 lessons in each so I plan to have them do art 2-3 times a month. 

Are you beginning anything new this year or are you sticking with old favorites?


  1. I'd love to see what verses you've chosen for the Bible Memory Box. We (I) got off track with that this spring and want to start back at the beginning of our school year so I'm making a list of possible verses/passages.

  2. We've been trying to decide on a simple science for the fall. I think The Burgess Animal Book will be a perfect starting place for us. We're so glad you introduced us to his stories. You probably know this, but you can get a free Kindle download here.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...