Thursday, June 14, 2018

Spring 2017-2018 Term Three Wrap-Up and Year End Reflections....

I've been reflecting on particular subjects from our 2017-2018 school year over the past few weeks as I prep for the 2018-2019 year. I love to look back at the end of our academic year. It's always shocking and reaffirming to see what we really did accomplish, as it's not always apparent in the day to day. I also like to do my next year's plan shortly after finishing our current year, while things are still fresh in my mind. I have learned that if I wait, our challenges and struggles become rose colored. This prompts me to plan unrealistically, which ultimately leads to failure. If for some reason I can't plan immediately, I make notes and do Mystie's Homeschool Audit at a minimum. That way, when I do plan, I can be more realistic which leads to future accountability and success.

Today, I'm completing a Term 3 wrap-up post, along with our year end reflections. I will post books read and resources used in Term 3 first. Then I will include some overall reflections of the total year at the end, including our hits and misses. You can see our Term 1 here and Term 2 here.

Year 8

You can find RileyAnn's Year 8 initial Curriculum Preview here. The list below is from Term 3.


Riley finished the AO Year 7 Bible Reading Plan and continued to copy Psalms in Do You Journible?


The New World by Winston Churchill (Chapters 1-10)

Riley also finished the Beautiful Feet Books Medieval History Study. I wrote a post specifically about her third term here...Beautiful Feet Books Medieval History It includes sample notebooking pages.


English Literature for Boys & Girls by H. E. Marshall (Chapters 1-49)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain


Riley studied the life and poetry of John Keats in Term 3 as suggested in AO Year 7.  She also finished the Prescripts Poetry book for practice with penmanship.


Riley finished Easy Grammar 8, which I had on the shelf. I started using it with Angel, our older homeschool graduate, when she was in 8th grade, but it wasn't a good fit. Riley pulled it off the shelf after discontinuing Jensen's Grammar. She preferred Easy Grammar and did well completing it.


Spelling had been a challenge for Riley throughout her younger years. However, last year, I started her on IEW's Phonetic Zoo and she showed great growth. This year, she finished Level A and began Level B.


Riley completed Pre-Algebra using Margaret Lial's text through an online class.This was her second year of study under Mrs. Perkins and she has grown to love math. At this point, we plan to continue math online with My Homeschool Math Class through high school.

Science/Natural History

Riley finished the AO Year 7 Science readings, of which you can read more about here.

Year 7

You will find Ruben's 2017-2018 Year 7 Overall Curriculum Preview here.


Ruben completed the AO Year 6 Bible Reading Plan.


We read from Famous Men of the Renaissance & Reformation and finished the following historic literature books this term....

Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thomson
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI
Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley
Michelangelo by Diane Stanley
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
Good Queen Bess by Diane Stanley
Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley

What in the World? Vol 2 Middle Ages: Romans, Reformers, Revolutionaries by Diana Waring (audio)

You can read more about Ruben's Year 7 History here and see sample notebooking pages.


The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain


Ruben completed Let's Write and Spell by Mary and Warren Johnson. He also copied assigned verses from Proverbs.


See Morning Time below.


Ruben completed a good part of IEW's Medieval History-Based Writing Lessons, of which you can read more about here.


Ruben and I have been working through RightStart Level C. We have approx. 20 lessons left that we hope to finish this summer.

Science/Natural History

See Morning Time below.

Year 0 (Kindergarten)

I did not do formal kindergarten with Levi. Yet, he some how learned his letters with sounds, how to write his name, and some number skills. We read misc. books. He completed notebooking pages along side Ruben and often participated in our Morning Time. Overall, it was a great year. I was surprised by how much he picked up. You can read much more about his informal year here in Term 1 and Term 2. Levi showed much growth and many readiness skills for Year 1.

Morning Time

In our third term Morning Time, we read from and/or finished the following books...

In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
Ourselves by Charlotte Mason (through page 102)
Simply Charlotte Mason's Picture Study Portfolio - da Vinci
How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger - We read the first few chapters of this book, but then stopped. The chapters were too long for a one sitting MT read. We may or may not pick it back up in the future.
The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin Wiker
The Elements by Theodore Gray
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Man for All Seasons - we watched the movie version
The Story of Painting by Janson (through page 101)
Grammar-Land by M. L. Nesbitt

I wrote several posts about our Morning Time over the year. You can find them here....

2017-2018 Curriculum Preview - Morning Time
2017-2018 Morning Time Reflections - Six Weeks
Middle School Chemistry in Morning Time
Middle School Introductory Chemistry Wrap-Up

Misc. Fine Arts

Riley, Ruben, and Levi also participated in art classes through a local homeschool co-op during part of Term 2 and Term 3. In addition, we attended the Charlotte's Web musical, performed by our local children's theater.

Overall Reflections

Upon reflection of our year as a whole, each child showed tremendous growth. Riley stated math and spelling are both getting easier for her. Ruben picked up several assigned books and read them on his own. Levi was eager and voluntarily participating. He is very excited about beginning Year 1 in the fall. There is a sense of accomplishment as I look back.

Books we didn't get to or decided not to:

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges (Morning Time)
The Story of the Renaissance and Reformation by H. A. Guerber (Riley's History)
Lost Tools of Writing (Riley's Composition) 
Secrets of the Woods by Willliam Long (Ruben's Natural History)
School of the Woods by William Long (Ruben's Natural History)
The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Alder

My Hits

I loved reading along with Riley and Ruben! I found book discussions more enjoyable when we read independently and then came together to discuss, rather than me reading everything aloud. It was like having our own book club, which was very much something to look forward to.

Both Riley and Ruben made great progress in math this year!

Vol. 4, Ourselves by Charlotte Mason (Morning Time)
The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (Morning Time)
Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo (read aloud to Ruben)
Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite de Angeli (family read aloud)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (read alongside Riley)
Robin Hood by J. Walker McSpadden (family read aloud)
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (read aloud to Ruben)

My Misses

I didn't find time to work with Riley on composition. She continued to do independent written narrations, which certainly wasn't all bad. However, as she enters high school, I would like her composition focus to narrow on a few particular types of writing in addition to narration.

Ruben's natural history and science was a little weak. We spent a great amount of time on history, which we both love, as well as writing. However, that didn't leave enough time for some of the science books I had scheduled. Fortunately, Ruben's an avid outdoors man and he loves to tinker. So he does get a broad range of nature study and hands on learning aside from books.

How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Morning Time)
Daughter in Time by Josephine Tey (read alongside Riley)
How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger (Morning Time) - didn't finish
Idylls of the King by Tennyson (Morning Time) - didn't finish
Macbeth by Shakespeare (Morning Time)

Riley's Hits

Beautiful Feet Medieval History
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
AO Year 7 Science

Riley's Misses

How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Morning Time)
The Once and Future King by T. H. White - didn't finish
Daughter in Time by Josephine Tey
Classical Conversations Prescripts 

Ruben's Hits

The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin (Morning Time)
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard Maybury (Morning Time)
Black Fox of Lorne by Marguerite de Angeli (family read aloud)
Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Ruben's Misses

How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (Morning Time)

After reflecting, I have set some goals for our 2018-2019 year which includes me working more closely with Riley on her writing. Also, I will continue to guide Ruben in gaining further independence with his studies. I may lighten his history load in order to add a little more science. Ruben also needs some work in spelling. Levi will begin formal reading lessons. I will also gently begin formal math with him, but the greater focus will be in the area of language arts. Now that I've wrapped up our 2017-2018 academic year, I am ready to focus on the 2018-2019 year! 

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