Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Holiday Book Sale....

I thought it would be fun to list some Thanksgiving and Christmas themed books that I have for sale since it's nearing that time of year. Prices do not include shipping. I accept PayPal and ship media mail throughout the U.S. We are a smoke and pet free home.

This is just a sampling of the many great books we currently have available. I will be posting updated history and literature lists over the next couple of weeks for Christmas gift giving! Please feel free to send your questions or desired shopping lists via the contact form on the ride sidebar.



Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (hardcover) $5 each (x2)

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick $4

The Pilgrims by R. Conrad Stein (hardcover, ex-library) TQ CoF $4

Down Ryton Water by E. R. Gaggin SL 7/H $4

N. C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims text by Robert San Souci TQ VT $3

Sarah Morton’s Day by Kate Waters VP TQ VT $4 each (x5)

Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters VP TQ VT $4 each (x6)

Eating the Plates, A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners by Lucille Recht Penner VT TQ $5 each (x2)

Pilgrim Voices edited by Connie and Peter Roop (hardcover w/Mylar dust jacket ex-library) TQ VT $5 each (x2)

Thanksgiving Feast and Festival by Mildred Corell Luckhardt (hardcover ex-library) $5

Thanksgiving Unit Study by Amanda Bennett $3

The Story of Thanksgiving by Elaine Raphael and Don Bolognese $3

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Craighead George $3

Margaret Pumphrey’s Pilgrim Stories by Elvajean Hall TQ VT $3

Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret B. Pumphrey BF TQ VT $3


The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader $3

Pedro, The Angel of Olivera Street by Leo Politi (hardcover, ex-library w/Mylar jacket) $6

Nine Days to Christmas, A Story of Mexico by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida BF $4

The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumer Godden $4

Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies, illustrated by Tomie dePaola (hardcover w/Mylar, ex-library) $6

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Arthur Rackham (hardcover w/jacket) $20

The Nutcracker adapted and illustrated by Warren Chappell (hardcover) $5 (x2)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens AO 5 SL $3 each (x4)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson SL 7/H/W $3

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (hardcover) $4

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fall 2018 Mother Culture...

I've decided to start a new series of blogs about my personal reading and Mother Culture. This is not entirely new as I have posted my reading lists in fits and spurts in the past, but now, I would like to make it a regular part of this blog. If you're a recurrent reader, you may remember my Summer Mother Culture and Schole list back in June. I did finish Les Miserables and The Liberal Arts Tradition and will do a follow-up post on each book in the near future. Unfortunately, I did not finish Westward Ho!, but still hope to find time this winter. I will continue to read from Charlotte Mason's volumes as they are an ongoing project that I draw from on a regular basis.

The plan going forward is to share quarterly lists and progress, most likely aligning with the seasons. These posts are not meant to show off or make you feel less adequate if you are not reading. Instead, I aspire to inspire and demonstrate how this busy mom makes time to read. I feel mother's reading is as important to your child's education as mother reading directly to child. My hope is to give ideas and encourage you in your reading journey.

With that said, here are is my fall list....

CM Study Group

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass - 2 chapters per month for group discussion

High School Community

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - started in Aug for discussion in late Sept.

Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving - short stories, finished for Oct 26th discussion

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper - will attempt to read throughout Nov for end of the month discussion

Read Along

The History of the American People by Paul Johnson - very slow read over the course of three years alongside RileyAnn, approx. 4-6 pages a week

The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni - 1-3 chapters weekly over 18 weeks (I am slightly behind my daughter, but not worried about catching up now that the weather has turned colder.)

You may notice that I like to read with people and read very little by myself. I do this for accountability. The books I read are for myself, but I like to have others to discuss and share ideas with. I believe this is part of schole. For this reason, I read books with groups. This may be as little as one other person, like the read alongs I do with my kids. However, there is still accountability.

What are you reading? I would love to see your lists in the comments below!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Reflections on a Math Immersion Retreat

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a Charlotte Mason Soiree Mini Retreat - Math Immersion day, which was led by Richele Baburina, author of Mathematics, An Instrument for Living Teaching and The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, both of which are published by Simply Charlotte Mason. Richele has done an immense amount of research on the teaching of mathematics using Charlotte Mason's principles and methods. I have corresponded with her off and on over the years online, but this was my first chance to meet her in person. I love meeting online acquaintances in real life! Richele did not disappoint. She is a lovely person with a real heart for providing home educators with an understanding of Ms. Mason's means to teaching mathematics.

The math immersion day consisted of five sessions, each of which were broken down as follows:

Session 1 - Form I Mathematics
Session 2 - Form II Mathematics
Session 3 - Forms III & IV Mathematics
Session 4 - FAQ & Outdoor Geography
Session 5 - Algebra Crit Lesson

Richele began by explaining Ms. Mason's reference to mathematics as a mountainous land. She then took us through each of the Forms, explaining how the P.N.E.U. motto, "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life." applies to mathematics. Richele made it clear that Charlotte Mason mathematics is not discovery based, nor child led. It is imperative that the child has guidance along the proper path. Let's take a brief look at what atmosphere, discipline, and life look like in mathematics.


1. Attitude of teacher/mother sets the tone of lesson
2. Short lessons
3. Developmentally appropriate
    a. Mainly oral in Form I, moving into written thereafter
    b. Use of manipulatives to introduce concepts allows concrete to abstract thinking


1. Must be consistent in frequency of lessons
2. Methods used and natural orderliness of mathematics breed habits, such as:
    a. Attention
    b. Accuracy and Neatness
    c. Reasoning and Thinking
    d. Ability to find truth
    e. Best effort
The chief value of arithmetic, like that of the higher mathematics lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers, and in the habits of insight, readiness, accuracy, intellectual truthfulness it engenders. (Charlotte Mason, Vol. 1, Home Education, p. 254)

1. Life giving ideas are gathered by allowing the child to draw natural conclusions and allowing them to reason through problems
2. Student builds relationships
3. Experience beauty and enjoyment

Throughout the day, Richele referenced a paper written by Irene Stephens in 1911, under the direction of Charlotte Mason, on the teaching of mathematics. I have skimmed through the beginning pages and it's clear Richele modeled her curricula after the ideas presented in this paper. I have been using Book 1 of The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series with Levi and can see the similarities. Also, in Session 1 of the retreat, Richele gave us an example of how to teach multiplication tables, which can be found on pages 9 and 10 of Stephens' paper. Reading through Ms. Stephens' paper in it's entirety would be a valuable way to learn Charlotte's methods for teaching mathematics to young students.

One caveat I would like to stress is the importance of understanding Charlotte Mason's 20 principles before trying to tackle her methods of teaching. The reading of Charlotte Mason's Vol. 6, A Philosophy of Education, was foundational to the paradigm shift I experienced in my thinking about education. Whether or not you aspire to be a Charlotte Mason educator, I believe Vol. 6 is super important to understanding the personhood of a child for anyone involved in education.

OK, off my soapbox and back to mathematics...ahem!

I found Richele's findings on Algebra and Geometry intriguing as they were closely aligned with the 'Quadrivium' chapters in The Liberal Arts Tradition by Keven Clark and Ravi Jain. I will not get into a debate as to whether or not Charlotte Mason was a classical educator. You will need to do the research and draw your own conclusion. However, I will say that Charlotte's way of introducing geometry first and then following with algebra concurrently is very much in line with classical educators of the past. Also, the fact that she used a proof based geometry after exposing students to practical geometry is a more traditional approach. Richele's proposed example of the method of teaching geometry and algebra via Charlotte Mason, was outlined as the proposed method of classical teaching in The Liberal Arts Tradition as well.

A few of my biggest takeaways from Richele's math immersion day were:

1. How to construct multiplication tables
2. The idea of not getting stuck in a rut in regard to math facts, but rather to keep moving on conceptually, while reviewing. This was a particularly helpful reminder for me in teaching my child, who has the gift of dyslexia. He does not and may never have rapid recall. I have made the mistake in the past of camping out on facts, only to rob his mind of exposure to other concepts.
3. Outdoor Geography and Sloyd were not part of the math lesson. They were separate subjects, taught at a different time.
4. Practical Geometry can begin in 5th grade, after the child has been exposed to fractions.
5. The child must have a strong foundation in fractions, decimals, and percents, as well as a firm understanding of fact tables before beginning algebra.

Overall, the math immersion day was great! I highly recommend it if you get the opportunity to attend. Richele is a humble teacher with an incredible intellect for Charlotte Mason's methods of teaching mathematics. I was reminded of the importance of my role as a teacher/mentor/model for my children. Consistency is a must and my attitude plays a huge part in my child's success.
Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the text-book and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas, what Coleridge calls, the 'Captain ideas, which should quicken imagination. (Charlotte Mason, Vol. 6, A Philosophy of Education, p. 233)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2018-2019 Grade 1 Curriculum Preview

It's been a few years since I've taught 1st grade in our to be exact! Truth be told, I was a little more anxious about it than beginning high school again this year. There's so much more to choose from now. It's almost overwhelming. I have pinched, pulled, and tweaked along the way, pouring over a variety of resources. It's going well so far, but we are still settling in.

Today, I'm going to share the resources we are using at this point for 1st grade. It does not include the Morning Time list, which you can see here. You can also check out our 8th grade and 9th grade plans to get an idea of the big picture happening in our home.

Bible and Character

The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos - See Morning Time plans
Polite Moments by Gary and Cathy Maldaner

A Mind in the Light Year One - The Complete Guide by Lisa Kelly - You will find the complete list of books used at her website. I will simply list the books I am personally using here. Some are suggested in her guide and some are books I've chosen.

History and Geography

A Child's History of the World by V. M. Hillyer - We started this book, but have since decided to hold off and will most likely be starting Beautiful Feet Book's Early American History Primary over the next couple of weeks, since it is the same time period as my older kids. I found that I don't like having everyone in a different period. For this reason, we will not be reading the other AMITL suggested history books this year, but will wait until we go back to Ancients.

Regarding the geography books listed below, I will use the ones I own or can easily find from the library. I also plan to begin using Beautiful Feet Book's Around the World With Picture Books as a substitute for our Morning Time Geography read. I will post more about that at another time.

The Nile River by Allan Fowler 

Science and Nature Study

Literature and Poetry

Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne - AO Year 1
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost  - Five in a Row
When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne - AO Year 1
The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen by Jane and Dennis Yolen
Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson
The True Story of Peter Rabbit by Jane Johnson
Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams - AO Year 1
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White - AO Year 1
Andersen's Fairy Tales by H. C. Andersen
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder- AO Year 1
Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends by Beatrix Potter - Five in a Row
Aesop for Children by Milo Winter - AO Year 1
Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater - AO Year 2
C. W. Anderson’s Billy and Blaze books:
     - Billy and Blaze
     - Blaze Shows the Way

The Arts - Will be done in Morning Time

Classics for Children - audio CD 
Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes
Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf illustrated by Peter Malone

All About Reading Level 1 by Marie Rippel



Charlotte Mason's Elementary Arithmetic 1 by Richele Baburina - Simply Charlotte Mason

This may look like a long list for 1st grade. However, many of the readings are broken up into small parts. Some of the literature reads, I do at bedtime. This allows for short lessons, as we are still grooming the habit of attention. It doesn't feel heavy in the day to day. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

2018-2019 Year 8 Curriculum Preview

Ruben's 2018-2019 academic year is off to a great start! He is in 8th grade this year. We are six weeks into the year and the majority of his resources are working very well for him. Below is a preview of the books I chose for him this year. The list does not include things like Bible, Geography, Economics/Government, Poetry, and Fine Arts because they are covered in our Morning Time, which you can learn more about here. This lists simply includes subjects Ruben works on independently.

Character & Citizenship

Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz


The Rainbow Book of American History by Earl Schenck Miers - This book was republished  in 2012 by Beautiful Feet Books as A Child's First Book of American History.

What in World?, Vol. 3 World Empires, World Missions, World Wars by Diana Waring - audio CD's

Language Arts

As with last year, Ruben's Language Arts ties in with his history. He is using IEW's U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons, which has a suggested literature list to accompany the study. Ruben has previously read a couple of the books listed so I will sub books where appropriate. As of now, his tentative reading list looks like this....

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare - He finished reading and loved!
Landmark The Explorations of Pere Marquette by Jim Kjelgaard - He is currently reading.
America's Paul Revere by Esther Forbes
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
(book on Lewis & Clark or Daniel Boone - still deciding)
Riders of the Pony Express by Ralph Moody
Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson -OR- Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Journey to Topaz by Yoshida Uchida - AND/OR - Landmark Air Raid-Pearl Harbor! by Theodore Taylor

I may add other books on topics after WWII, depending on time. I would also like to add a spelling program at some point in the year. I'm trying to decide between How to Teach Spelling by Rudginsky and Haskell and IEW's Phonetic Zoo. The first was a resource used by Ruben's tutor at the Children's Dyslexia Center. The second option is one that has been used by RileyAnn successfully over the past couple of years.

Natural History

The Lay of the Land by Dallas Lore Sharp


Term 1 Astronomy - The Planets by Dava Sobel - along with Sabbath Mood Homeschool guide
Term 2 Physics - Secrets of the Universe by Paul Fleisher - along with Sabbath Mood Homeschool guide
Term 3 Weather - Look at the Sky by Eric Sloane - along with Sabbath Mood Homeschool guide


Ruben is finishing up his current RightStart Math level from last year and has only a week or two left. I'm not sure if we will begin the next level or switch to something different. I'm slightly modifying RS and focusing on concepts rather than a particular scope and sequence. I'm heading to a Math Immersion retreat by Richele Baburnia in a couple weeks and will make a more concrete decision after that time.


Introductory Logic - Canon Press Series - The original plan was to have Ruben work through this with Riley, but I have since scratched this from his list as it was not a good fit him.

Fine Arts

In addition to the Artist Study, Composer Study, Hymns, and Folk Songs in our Morning Time, Ruben will take a private art class in the spring taught by another local homeschool mom.

Ruben also works for several neighbors in the area. He has a regular three hours per week position on a horse hobby farm. In addition, he picks up extra hours periodically for other neighbors doing misc. handy man jobs. He is learning a great deal of hands on skills through these interactions and is developing a solid work ethic. His handicrafts involve mechanics, wood cutting, and farm maintenance. Ruben also enjoys hunting and fishing in his free time. I schedule our academic book work four days per week to give him free time to pursue these other endeavors. 

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