Monday, June 22, 2015

2014-2015 Year End Wrap Up...

It's that time of year when I begin looking ahead to the next school.  Oh, I've been planning for some time because that's just my nature.  But as we tie up loose ends from the 2014-2015 school year,  I've been specifically reflecting back on what worked and what didn't.

Regarding our Family Study, something that did work was combining Beautiful Feet and TruthQuest History.  I absolutely LOVE both of these programs for different reasons, but I think they are very complimentary to each other.  We will continue with both of them next year for history as we study the Civil War to Modern Times.

God's Design for Heaven and Earth served it's purpose.   It wasn't our favorite subject, but it certainly wasn't the worst.  I guess I feel pretty neutral about it.  This fall, we'll be using Beautiful Feet's History of Science study.  I may or may not use a set of the God's Design series in the future.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages was another Family Study program that was just OK.  In the beginning, I liked having a bible study resource/spine/plan, but towards the end, it became tedious.  The kids lost interest part way through and this was disheartening.  I think it was too much of the same.  Sadly, it just didn't come alive for us.   This is one of the areas I'm researching for the future.

As I look back, scripture memory, artist study, hymn study, nature study, and handicrafts were off and on.  Each of them happened, but not to the degree I had hoped.  I started strong, but in the end I wasn't intentional in teaching any of these areas.  I actually farmed some of them out, such as art and music.  Riley learned several handicrafts through Keepers of the Faith.  She's been doing independent nature study and scripture memory.  Ruben not so much.  However, I've been looking into loop scheduling and am thinking about trying something different in scheduling these areas next year. I'll keep you posted...

Regarding Independent Study, RileyAnn gained great independence this year and loved having her own schedule and checklist.  This gave her freedom to work at her own pace.  She liked not waiting for me to complete her studies.  On one hand, I'm a little saddened that she no longer needs me...did I really just say that!  On the other hand, it's very exciting to watch her fly.

Riley enjoyed her assigned reads, including Shakespeare and poetry.  She also liked Apologia Swimming Creatures, Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts, and the Beautiful Feet Horse study.  We ended up dropping Latina Christiana and Plutarch part way through.  Both of which, I'm hoping to pick up at a later time.  In addition, we swapped Logic of English for All About Spelling.  Typing and the Book of Centuries did not happen because I didn't make the time to follow through....sigh!

Ruben didn't like his checklist.  He found it confusing, which was alright.  He and I work together anyway, as he has few independent subjects.  I thought The Story Book of Science was great.  Ruben liked Aesop's Fables.  Explode the Code and Logic of English Cursive worked for him.  Daily Grams did not.  Ruben made huge gains with his reading tutor this spring, but he continues to struggle with handwriting and spelling.  I am thinking of trying Language Lessons Through English this fall for his Language Arts.  I'm also thinking he's ready to start All About Spelling. 

As usual, one thing I'm researching for both kiddos is math.  At MACHE, I purchased Simply Charlotte Mason's Business Math.  Riley's been enjoying Life of Fred and wants to continue it.  Ruben's subscription to ST Math runs out at the end of June.  We're still trying to decide if we'll continue with it this fall. 

What worked for you this school year and what didn't?  Feel free to leave a comment below....and ENJOY the's going way too fast here in WI!


  1. Hmm, things that worked well for us this year:
    Apologia Physical Science for Makayla - she is pretty independent with it.
    God's Design for Science - the blue Heaven and Earth books - it was easy enough I could grab it and we were set to go, not much prep, so that worked well.
    Math U See - it is getting better the more kids I teach because I remember how to teach the topics from going through it with older kids. And everyone seems to learn well with it.
    BraveWriter - it has worked well for us too. It's pretty CM friendly with oral narration when they're younger and you transcribing it, then moving them to writing on their own in stages.

    Changes for next year - we've started History Revealed by Diana Waring already and like it, so hopefully that will continue to work weel the rest of the year. I look forward to seeing how One Year Adventure Novel works with Makayla. We're starting Latin too, Song School Latin for littles, Latin for Children A for middles, and Latin Alive for Makayla. I'm planning to go slow this first year and spread it over 2 years I think, just slow and steady unless someone really wants to dive in.

    1. Thanks for sharing Tristan...our older dd used some of upper level Apologia sciences and liked them as well. It must have been the year for God's Design for Heaven and Earth :)

      I'm interested in hearing more about History Revealed and the One Year Adventure Novel, please do check back!


  2. What worked this year was Writing with Skill book 1, SCM Bookstore, ELTL, BF Medieval for High-school, SCM Roman History, SOTW vol 1 (we read what the rest of the world was doing while we were in Roman history), MUS for my 10th grader, scripture memorization, SCM copy work, Writing with Ease, First Language Lessons, written and oral narrations.

    What we loved but I just couldn't keep up with was SCM Geography and CM Feasts, Notgrass Psalm Study.

    What didn't work which surprised me was Apologia Astronomy for my 1st grader and our Math program for my 8th grader and 1st grader.

    For the upcoming school year:DD;11th grader will be doing Ambleside yr 9/10 w/ a few SCM history readings as well, Apologia Biology, MUS, MP Logic, Latin, French, Greek, continuing doing ELTL as a refresher course for grammar and using Susan Wise Bauer's Lecture as a guide for her writing skills.

    DS will be in 9th grade and he will be doing Wayfarers History and Science w/ AO yr. 7 Churchill's book as a spine. He will continue using Writing with Skill, Logic, MP Greek, Classical Academic Press Latin. For math we will be using a mix of resources this year. Education Unboxed, Let's play math, Family math for Pre-Algebra and Life of Fred. He will continue using ELTL for Grammar and dicition and RLTL for spelling.

    DS will be in 2nd grade with 2 Tagalogs (preschooler and K). we will be focusing on Reading Math,Writing and Oral Narrations w/ Aesop's Fables For Reading we will use RLTL and for Math Education Unboxed, Living Math books and Family math for younger children. Science: SCM Outdoor Secrets
    History, Geography, Literature will be in a loop schedule.

    Except for Bible and Scripture Memorization all of family work/CM Feast will be in a Loop schedule.

  3. Thanks for logging on Sarai...I'm intrigued by your use of Wayfarers and Ambleside. I'm new to the Barefoot Ragamuffin curricula, but really like what I see so far. Apologia didn't work for my kids at that age either. There's a lot of depth there and I really feel they're geared for older elementary kids.


  4. Melissa,
    I'm curious how you meshed BF and Truthquest. I have a couple TQ guides but feel as though I need more structure with it. I've purchased BF Early American history and am truly smitten by it.

  5. Hey Tami,

    You ask a great question as we love both BF and TQ! I've used them together for the past few years, a couple of different ways, but as my process has changed over time, I think it's a bit lengthy to describe here. I'm working on some TQ planning posts, which I hope to get out in the next couple of weeks. Please keep your eye on future blog posts and I will be sure to specifically address your question there.