Tuesday, June 20, 2017

2016-2017 Year 6 and 7 End Wrap-Up....

I finished my Homeschool Audit yesterday. It's a good feeling to wrap things up. Since our 2016-2017 academic year has been finished for about a month, I've had time to reflect. Back in August 2016, I posted our original Year 6 and Year 7 plans. Today, I plan to share what worked and what didn't.

Year 6

Ruben used Heart of Dakota Creation to Christ this year, but part way in, I started making modifications and swapping out books. There was much busy work that I cut. You can find Ruben's original plan here.

Bible - The DK Illustrated Family Bible (HOD) - Ruben read this independently and enjoyed it. I will continue to have him do some type of bible reading on his own. - hit 

Citizenship - I'm still thinking about Plutarch and will most likely add something later in the year.

History and Literature -
The Story of the Ancient World by Christine Miller (HOD) - read aloud; provided a great spine; short readings; Ruben was on the fence, but in the end decided against it - miss
Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick (HOD, AO 6) - read aloud; skipping some parts; miss
What in the World? Vol. 1: Ancient Civilizations and the Bible by Diana Waring (HOD) - Ruben listened to audio independently and enjoyed; I will most likely continue with the next vol. next year; hit
Draw and Write Through History: Greece and Rome by Carylee Gressman (HOD) - used as a resource for illustrating notebook pages; hit
Dinosaurs of Eden by Ken Ham (HOD) - read aloud; miss
The Golden Bull by Marjorie Cowley (HOD) - read aloud; hit
Boy of the Pyramids, A Mystery of Ancient Egypt by Ruth Fosdick Jones (HOD, SCM) - read aloud for the second time; hit
Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson (HOD, Sonlight) - read aloud; hit
Jashub's Journal: An Old Testament Law Story by Simply Charlotte Mason (HOD, SCM) - read aloud; hit
Within the Palace Gates by Anna Pierpoint Siviter (HOD)
Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Greece by James Baikie (HOD)
God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanne Williamson (HOD) 

Life in Ancient Greece by John Green (coloring book) - Ruben enjoyed coloring while I read aloud; hit
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths - read aloud; hit
The Golden Days of Greece by Olivia Coolidge (Truthquest History) - read aloud; hit
The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge (Sonlight, Memoria Press) - read aloud; hit
Alexander the Great by John Gunther (HOD) - read aloud; hit
Cleopatra by Diane Stanley (HOD) - read aloud; hit
Famous Men of Rome by John H. Haaren & A.B. Poland (HOD, SCM) - only read minimal sections; hit
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay (HOD, Beautiful Feet) - read aloud; Ruben really enjoyed this book! hit
Traveling the Way by Drusilla McGowen (HOD)
Twice Freed by Patricia St. John (HOD, My Father's World)

Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster (Ambleside Online, Beautiful Feet) - read aloud; Ruben didn't enjoy, but I did; I think the readings were too long for him; if I had it to do over, I would schedule shorter readings; miss/hit
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Beautiful Feet; Sonlight) - read aloud; excellent!; hit

Book of Centuries - I plan to have Ruben begin a BOC this year

Geography - A Child's Geography II - Explore the Holy Land by Ann Voskamp and Tonia Peckover (HOD) - we started this, but ended up dropping because we had too many other books going, but I think it's a worthy book and we pick it up again some other time. - miss

Math - I plan to use the Math on the Level approach with Ruben this year. MOTL will allow me to teach math concepts in an order appropriate for Ruben's readiness rather than a contrived scope and sequence. The program's "Concept Chart" helps me keep track of the concepts he's mastered as well as the concepts I have left to teach. The program is very flexible and offers enough math instruction for pre-k through pre-algebra. - We did misc. maths, focusing on concepts using a variety of resources; Ruben didn't enjoy it. He made progress, but not as much as hoped. I will attempt to find some type of scheduled program for him for math in the fall - miss

Science - I did an in depth science review last week here.

Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day (HOD)
Birds of the Air by Arabella Buckley (HOD, AO)
Plant Life in Field and Garden by Arabella Buckley (HOD, AO)
Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner (HOD, Sonlight)
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick (HOD, Beautiful Feet)
An Illustrated Adventure in Human Anatomy by Kate Sweeney (HOD)

Literature - Much of Ruben's literature is a part of his history study this year. I'm still working out which books he'll read on his own and which will be read alouds for me. I'm also in the process of planning another book club for Riley and Ruben this year, which will add to their literature. I will post more about that in the future as it comes to fruition. Book Club -

Poetry - Ruben will study the poems of Robert Frost this year through HOD. - Frost study was good, but, I wish we would have spent a term on Frost. Then studied two other poets in addition; miss

Composition - Ruben will continue oral narration and begin written narration this year. I also bought Writing & Rhetoric by Classical Academic Press to aid us in this transition. - miss - W&R was a bust. We ended up switching to IEW Student Intensive B. Ruben much preferred this. - hit

Grammar - I plan to use a combination of Winston Grammar and Harvey's Grammar, which are both new programs for me as far as teaching. - WG worked wonderfully! We will continue with it. - hit

Latin - I'm debating on Latin. I have English from the Roots Up and may use it in the beginning or I may have Ruben follow along with Riley in Latin for Children (Classical Academic Press). I hope to tie grammar and Latin together to make it more practical as Ruben is a no nonsense kind of guy. I love the way Henle Latin does this, but I'm a little intimidated since I've never studied Latin personally. This will be a learning experience for both of us.

Spelling - I'm going to have Ruben try IEW Phonetic Zoo along with Riley. I'll also pull from How to Teach Spelling, which was a program his tutor referenced at the Children's Dyslexia Center.

Shakespeare - I'm hoping to lead a group of 6th through 8th graders in the study of Julius Caesar toward spring. Shakespeare will be a new adventure for me and Ruben as well. - see book club above

Art - Ruben will participate in our local homeschool art class. - hit

Music - Ruben will participate in our local homeschool choir. - hit

Overall, it was a good year! Ruben gained independence by use of the daily notebook check box system, which I will continue in some shape next year. We were not fans of Heart of Dakota and I will most likely not use it again. Math is a definite area of concern that we need to focus on in the future. 

Year 7

Riley worked independently this year for the most part. It was her request. She did well with what was assigned, but I failed to assign a couple of things. I missed her greatly in our discussions. This fall, I aim to find a few subjects that we can all do together, going back to the circle/morning time approach. Her original plan is here

Bible - Ambleside Online Year 6 Old Testament of "Through the Bible" plan. Since we read New Testament and church history last year, I'm only going to assign her the Old Testament portion this year. The plan is laid out as follows:

Term 1: Genesis; Psalm 1-20; Proverbs 1-6
Term 2: Job and Exodus 1-24; Psalm 21-37; Proverbs 7-11
Term 3: Exodus 25-40 and Leviticus; Psalm 38-55; Proverbs 12-16

In addition, Riley will copy the Psalms as she reads them into Do You Journible? Psalms 1-72, The 17:18 Series. I actually bought this for myself, but after seeing it, decided it would work well for Riley. I will be ordering another copy for myself so I can copy the book of Psalms along with her. - Riley enjoyed her bible study - hit

Missionary Study

Jungle Pilot: The Life and Witness of Nate Saint by Russell T. Hitt - She said, just OK - miss
God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew - She said, just OK - miss
Teresa of Calcutta by D. Jeanene Watson - hit

Citizenship - I'm still thinking about Plutarch and will most likely add something later in the year.

History - Beautiful Feet Ancient History; - Riley loves BF and we will continue with their Medieval study in the fall - hit

in addition, Riley will read the following books as part of her history study:

Genesis: Finding Our Roots by Ruth Beechick (AO 6) - content was OK, activities were a drag - miss
Adam and His Kin by Ruth Beechick - hit
The Story of the Greeks by H.A. Guerber (AO 6) - hit
The Story of the Romans by H.A. Guerber (AO 6) - hit
The Boys' and Girls' Herodotus by John S. White - dry and confusing - miss

Book of Centuries - Riley will begin keeping a BOC this year. - used as a timeline because my directions weren't clear - miss

Geography - Riley will be mapping the world this year based on a the Classical Conversations Challenge A Debate model. We saw it put into play last spring when we observed a CC Challenge A class. She and I were both very intrigued by it. You can find a full review here.  - hit

Math - Lial's Basic College Mathematics, We are trying something totally different this year for math. I began hearing rave reviews of Lial's math years ago on the Living Math Yahoo Group. This spring, I happened across a copy at a used book sale. After a bit of online networking, I found out about My Homeschool Math Class, where Mrs. Perkins teaches online classes using Lial's. Riley is signed up for the online math class. This will be our first experience with online courses. I'm looking forward to trying something new. - Overall, this ended well and we will most likely continue with an online Pre-Algebra class in the fall. You can read a review here.  - hit

Science - Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology and Exploring the History of Medicine by John Hudson Tiner   I did an in depth science review here.

Natural Science - Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie - hit; Secrets of the Woods - hit and School of the Woods - hit both by William J. Long (AO 3 & 6)

Nature Study - Riley will venture out on a weekly nature study. A while back I bought Journaling a Year in Nature from Simply Charlotte Mason to guide her in her study. I have been on again off again with nature study, but Riley has been fairly consistent. I'm interested to see what she does with this journal. See science overview. 

Literature - I'm in the process of planning another book club for Riley and Ruben this year and will post more about that in the future as it comes to fruition. The following literature will be assigned to Riley by term. In addition, she has a "Free Reading" list to choose from, which is a conglomeration of AO Free Reads from various years. - Book Club 

The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum (Sonlight) - excellent! - definite hit
Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff - she said, just OK - hit
The Ides of April by Mary Ray (Sonlight) - confusing and hard to comprehend - miss

Poetry and Fairy Tales

Gilgamesh by David Ferry - miss
The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang - not into fairy tales, just OK - miss

Composition - Riley will continue with oral and written narration. I also purchased The Lost Tools of Writing from the CiRCE Institute, but am trying to figure out whether or not to incorporate it this year. I'm going to see how it goes, I just may wait until next year. - hit

Grammar - Jensen's Grammar by Frode Jensen (AO 7) - miss - This program didn't work for Riley so we ended up scrapping it after a few weeks. She then switched to Easy Grammar Ultimate Series which she liked. 

Latin - Latin for Children (Classical Academic Press)

Spelling - We are going to try IEW Phonetic Zoo this year for spelling. Riley and I both love All About Spelling, however, if something was going to fall by the wayside, it was this. At the end of last year, Riley asked if there was a spelling program she could work through independently...I guess she was sick of waiting on me :( After a bit of research, I found IEW's program and we've decided to give it a try. We always have AAS to fall back on. - hit

Shakespeare - I'm hoping to lead a group in the study of Julius Caesar toward spring. Shakespeare will be a new adventure for me. Although Riley is familiar since reading Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare a couple of years ago. - see book club above

Logic/Rhetoric - Riley's been working through Building Thinking Skills for the past couple of years and will finish it up this year. She will also be reading It Couldn't Just Happen by Lawrence O. Richards, which is a Sonlight, Ambleside Online, and Classical Conversations recommendation, in addition to The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn (AO 7).  - Riley finished Building Thinking Skills. We have both decided that it was busy work and time wasted. I will not use it again in the future. Riley really liked both of the other books and prefers to study logic and rhetoric through reading and not a workbook - hit

Handicrafts - Riley is interested in learning to crochet. Since I have Handicrafts Made Simple by Simply Charlotte Mason, she will most likely use it to learn. I'm also thinking about having her chose a couple projects from Nature Smart by Gwen Diehn. Riley enjoys the outdoors and is very crafty so I think this will be a good fit for her. - I failed to schedule this so it didn't get done. 

Art - Riley will participate in our local homeschool art class. - hit

Music - Riley will participate in our local homeschool choir. -  hit

Overall, Riley showed growth as well, particularly in math. As mentioned, I greatly missed her in our discussions and will somehow find a way for her to remain independent for most subjects, but join us for some. Some areas that lacked were because I didn't give clear direction or "put it on her schedule" and I didn't follow up. Even though both Riley and Ruben are gaining greater independence, it still behooves us all if I follow through. At a minimum, we will need to have some sort of weekly meeting next year.  

How was your year? Have you done an audit? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section...


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. It's always intersting to see the books different children take to & those they don't. My two younger ones enjoyed Explore the Holy Land & Easy Grammar has been easy to use. I like how it teaches prepositional phrases first up - makes it so much easier to find the other parts of speech once you've done that.

  2. You're welcome Carol! I'm near certain we will try Explore the Holy Land again. It just happened to be a season of too busy and something had to give.