Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018-2019 Year 9 Curriculum Preview....

As we begin our fifth week of the 2018-2019 academic year, I thought I'd share with you RileyAnn's Year 9 curricula and book choices. These are items Riley is working on either independently, in High School Community, or with me. They do not include our Morning Time reads, which I shared with you last week. Things like Geography, Economics/Government, and Fine Arts are covered there.

In regard to History, I'm trying something different this year in that Riley will study two streams of history throughout high school. In the past, I had my high schooler complete one full cycle of history chronologically over four years. However, since Riley just completed a cycle of Ancient History in 7th grade and a cycle of Medieval History in 8th grade, I didn't want to go back and begin again with Ancients, and neither did she. Instead, I have opted to spread a thread of Ancient History alongside a thread of American History over three years. The plan will look something like this....

9th grade - Ancient Greece & American 1500-1800
10th grade - Ancient Rome & American 1800's to Civil War
11th grade - Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation & American Post Civil War to Current

This plan will afford us time in 12th grade for possible dual enrollment, to focus on a particular history study of interest, to extend the Modern study or catch-up if need be. So far, it's going great! Riley is happy to be back in American History, as well as working toward her Ancient History credit. Overall, her books look as follow...

Bible, Character, Citizenship

Ambleside Online Year 8 Through the Bible Reading Plan
Continue copying Psalms in Do you Journible?


A History of the American People by Paul Johnson - AO Year 9
From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun - We decided to drop this book for now. I'm not sure if we will pick it back up in the future.
The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster - Beautiful Feet Books
George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster - Beautiful Feet Books
Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford - select chapters
A variety of historical documents - AO Year 9
John Adams by David McCullough - AO Year 9
Abigail Adams by Natalie Bober - AO Year 4
Founding Fathers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis - AO Year 9
The Book of the Ancient Greeks by Dorothy Mills - along with Classical Lessons....by Lisa Kelly of A Mind in the Light

Natural History

Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper - AO Year 8

Science - many selections from AO Year 8

First Studies of Plant Life by George Francis Atkinson - select chapters
Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson
Adventures with a Microscope by Richard Headstrom - select adventures
Great Astronomers by R.S. Ball - select chapters
The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday
Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman
A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking 
The Microbe Hunters by Paul De Kruif - select chapters
Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy by Jay Ryan - select chapters
For the Love of Physics by Walter Lewin - along with Sabbath Mood Homeschool Physics 1 study guide

English - Literature, Poetry, Composition, Penmanship, Spelling, Shakespeare, Recitation

The History of English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall - continued from last year
The Iliad by Homer, translated by Richmond Lattimore - The Epics by Roman Roads Media
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Richmond Lattimore - The Epics by Roman Roads Media
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni - AO Year 8
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas- AO Year 9
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - AO Year 9
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - AO Year 9
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - AO Year 9

Riley's poetry will be in conjunction with our High School Community study, of which I'm using portions of Janice Campbell's Excellence in Literature American Literature for the base of the study. She will also study A Midsummer Night's Dream and one other Shakespeare play with her High School Community, as well as Recitation and Current Events. She will write various narrations throughout the year on a variety of readings and will write a handful of papers based on lit readings from the High School Community. For practice in penmanship, Riley will complete PreScripts Poetry from Classical Conversations. She will continue IEW's Phonetic Zoo for Spelling.


Introductory Algebra online through My Homeschool Math Class


Introductory Logic - Canon Press Series

Fine Arts

In addition to the Artist Study, Composer Study, Hymns, and Folk Songs in our Morning Time as well as Handicrafts, Riley is taking two private art classes this year. One is a two hour weekly study on drawing and painting and one is a one hour weekly study, in which she will learn the art of print making. Both are taught by local homeschool moms.

Overall, things are going well so far. To some, this may look like a lot of books. However, you must keep in mind that they are spread out with short, slow readings throughout the year. Also, many of the science books are a continuation from last year or will be continued into next year, so she is not reading the entire book at one time. On average, Riley spends approximately 4-5 hours per day on her studies with some days being a bit longer and some a bit shorter.

I try to build margin in my kid's lessons by scheduling book work only four days a week. This allows time for extra-curricular and outside activities, as well as added time for leisurely reading. Riley has many interests outside of academics and I believe it's important for her to have time to develop those interests.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

2018-2019 - Morning Time Curricula Preview....

We are three weeks into the 2018-2019 school year and have worked out a few kinks so I'm fairly confident in sharing our curricula choices at this point. This year, I'm teaching Year 9, Year 8 and Year 1. Since I have a great span in ages, I have chosen a variety of resources for our collective Morning Time. Some geared for each particular child, as well as some that are great for everyone, age 1 to 101.

I currently schedule school four days per week and have for the past several years. This does not mean learning is not happening on the other three days. It's just that I formally schedule our "bookish studies" in those four days. Sometimes it takes 6-7 days to complete what is scheduled, which is fine, as long as we start fresh on Monday morning with the new week's work. I don't schedule my kid's every day because over the years, I have found some of the best learning happens when they have free time to pursue their hobbies and interests. Our Morning Time follows this same four day schedule.

This year, I chose to read aloud The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos in our Morning Time. This is a re-read for my older kids, but the first time around for my Year 1 student. It's such a beautiful children's bible. I think it's appropriate for all ages. I will read the Old Testament section this year and New Testament next year. My Year 9 student is also doing a separate bible study independently, but reviewing the timeless narratives in the Vos children's bible is good.

Along with our bible readings, I have chosen two devotional type readings. First we will finish In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, which we started last year. Then we will move into Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. These books were chosen with my older students in mind. Although, I have never read Lewis and am personally looking very forward to it.

Other resources we will use this year in our Morning Time, along with sources, are as follows:

Citizenship: Ourselves by Charlotte Mason - We started this book last year and will continue this year.
Economics/Government: Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Maybury - AO Year 8
Music Study: Classics for Children - audio CD, Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes, The Carnival of Animals, Peter and the Wolf, The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Nancy Willard, and The Nutcracker - A Mind in the Light Year 1
Folksong: She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, America the Beautiful, Frere Jacques/Brother John - Term 1 - We will spend four weeks on each song. I will pick Terms 2 & 3 at a later time.
Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness and Come, Thou Fount - Term 1 - We will spend six weeks on each hymn. I will pick Terms 2 & 3 at a later time.
Art: The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson - AO - will continue from last year
Artist Study: Degas, Cassatt, Cezanne - A Mind in the Light Year 1
Recitations: Misc. passages for each student and review The Pledge of Allegiance

We don't do all of these subjects every day, but rather, 1-3 times per week, depending on the subject. So our daily schedule looks like this....

Day 1 – Bible, Poetry, Recitations, Citizenship, Natural History
Day 2 – Bible, Folk Song & Hymn, Artist/Music Study, Economics/Government
Day 3 – Bible, Recitations, Geography/Art, Literature
Day 4 – Devotional, Folk Song & Hymn, Tales 

As you can see, I tried to have a bible/devotional reading daily. From there, I attempted to stagger subjects according to difficulty. I wanted some form of daily student interaction, whether through singing or reciting, as well as me reading aloud. I also tried to break up subjects geared for Years 8 and 9 vs. Year 1, altering between light and heavy readings. In addition, I do ask for narration once per day from each child in Morning Time. My Year 1 student narrates the Vos story bible or the tales as these are resources I primarily chose for him. The older kids take turns narrating from the citizenship, natural history, econ/gov, literature, and devotional readings. So far, this has been working well. Our total Morning Time typically takes somewhere around 45 minutes, give or take. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Back to School and Other Musings....

I've been neglecting this blog while trying to remain present in real life. I feel like I should apologize and yet I won't. My kids are blossoming before my eyes and I don't want to miss a thing. My mom passed away at age 59. Life can be short! This is us celebrating her mom's 99th birthday in August. Why Grandma Della was given 40 more years than her daughter is something I'll never know. I also have no idea how much time I have here in this life. No matter, I do know that whatever my time here in this life, I want it said that I am present and not a slave to social media. I have made that mistake in the past and reaped the consequences. So there is my explanation on absence without apology....smile!

There will be future posts. I can't wait to share a follow-up on my Summer Mother Culture and Schole, as well as thoughts on our new CM Study book. Next week will be our first High School Community gathering, which I've been busy prepping for. I will let you know how it goes. We started back to school two weeks ago. There have been bumps along the way, but for the most part things are settling in. The second week was better than the first, which is a good sign. I am also working through blog posts on our curricula and book choices so stay tuned to future posts.

For now, I am relishing in my children and the final fading days of summer. RileyAnn turns 15 tomorrow!! I cannot believe it. She is a dear friend and such a gift to me. Ruben is growing steadily and has passed me in height. His journey to manhood has begun. Levi brings joy. His sweet spirit is balm on those less than stellar days. Overall, I am blessed and looking forward to all that the future holds.