Friday, June 21, 2019

Spring Term 2018-2019 Wrap-Up

Much like the slow spring season this year, our 2018-2019 academic year limped to a close. We got'er done, but it wasn't pretty. Today, I'll share with you what we did and didn't do.

First, here are the lists of resources I had planned at the beginning of the year when things were shiny and new....

Year One
Year Eight
Year Nine
Morning Time

Next, you can find our Fall Term Wrap-Up here and our Winter Term Wrap-Up here.

Finally, here is a list of resources we used in Term 3 to end our year....

Morning Time

Bible: DK Children's Bible - we finished the Old Testament
Citizenship: Ourselves by Charlotte Mason - we finished Book I - Self Knowledge
Economics/Government: Whatever Happened to Justice? by Richard Maybury - finished
Literature: The Holy War by John Bunyan - finished
Tales: 50 Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin - we only got about 2/3 of the way through. I'm undecided if we will pick this up again.
Poetry: When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne - finished
Natural History: The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson, adapted by Terry Ann White - finished
Music: Classics for Children - audio CD; Peter and the Wolf; The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Nancy Willard - finished
Art: The Story of Painting by H.W. Janson - skipped
Artist Study: Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist: Paul Cezanne - finished

All three kids also participated in our local homeschool choir, as well as art classes outside the home this spring. Therefore, I dropped the Folk Song and Hymn study this term. In addition, they each memorized multiple poems this year for Recitation. They practiced them during our Morning Time.

Overall, I would say MT was a slog this year. I saw value in the books we read and yet, there wasn't much enjoyment. Many days were like pulling teeth. Sometimes, this is OK...and actually necessary. However, in the case of MT, if truth, beauty, and goodness are the goal, there must be some enjoyment or else it's hard to see the beauty and goodness of it. I will definitely be reassessing MT for fall.

Year 9


Riley finished the AO Year 8 Bible Reading Plan and continued to copy Psalms in Do You Journible?, which she finished at the end of Term 3.


A History of the American People by Paul Johnson - finished reading Parts 1 and 2 this year.
John Adams by David McCullough - finishing over summer
The Children's Plutarch: The Tales of the Greeks by F. J. Gould - finished
Book of Centuries - ongoing


English Literature for Boys & Girls by H. E. Marshall - finished

IEW's Phonetic Zoo Level B - finished


Introductory Algebra by Margaret LialMy Homeschool Math Class - finished

Science/Natural History

Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper - finished spring reading
Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif - finished assigned reading 
Great Astronomers by Robert Stawell Ball - finished assigned reading

Riley also finished up her participation in our local High School Community. I will post more about that in the future. 

Overall, Riley finished well! She has a couple books that she'll be working on completing over summer. She met both goals I set for her at the beginning of the year, which were: to participate in a High School Community and to begin formal composition. Her two favorite subjects this year were History and Literature. Some of her favorite books were The Last of the Mohicans, The Betrothed, The Tale of Two Cities, and she is also loving The Count of Monte Cristo, even though she's not quite finished yet. A few books Riley didn't care for this year were A Briefer History of Time, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and she is struggling to finish Founding Brothers, not because of difficult content or reading level, but rather interest level. All in all, Riley had a great year and finished strong.

Year 8




The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien - 2nd time reading - finishing over summer


RightStart Mathematics - switched mid term to MCP Mathematics and began tutoring at local Christian School - will continue over summer

Ruben had a very difficult winter and spring after his farm accident last November! He was laid up for several months, really until April, and had many doctor appointments to attend. Through it all he was a real champ and made tremendous progress in his academics. He also met each goal that I set for him at the beginning of the school year: 1) increase science; 2) focus on math; and 3) increase independent study. Ruben completed three different Sabbath Mood Homeschool science studies this year and he read most of his books independently, creating notebooking pages or giving an oral narration after each reading. We started the Fall Term very strong with math, but that is one subject that fell by the wayside after his injury. However, in April, we picked back up again with a tutor. She helped Ruben to gain some ground that he lost over the Winter Term. Math is an area we will continue to focus on in the upcoming year. Ruben LOVED his all his Literature books this year, in particular, Rifles for Watie was a favorite and seemed to leave a lasting impression. He highly recommends it!

Year 1

Phonics & Reading 

First Start Reading by Cheryl Lowe/Memoria Press - continuing


Charlotte's Web by E. B. White - continuing over summer


History/Science & Enrichment

A Mind in the Light Natural Worlds 1 - finished parts and pieces

Levi was such a trooper this year! He started the year very excited about "school". Unfortunately, things faded after the First Term when Ruben had his accident. Being completely dependent on my teaching, his academics took a sabbatical while I tended his brother. We did pick back up in the Third Term with some sense of regularity. However, we have taken a break now in June. I do plan to begin again with him over summer to make up for lost time, but it will be light as I do want him and I to have some free time to recoup and refresh before fall. Levi did meet the goals I had set for him at the beginning of the year to start formal academics and begin reading instruction. I feel like we finally have a great phonics and reading program in place and it will be easier to carry on. 

If I focus too much on my beginning plans, I feel a little deflated that I wasn't able to carry them out. However, when I look at the big picture, I see so much positive! My children are alive and well. Each and every one of them met the academic goals I set. They all showed tremendous growth, not only academically, but physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I am so thankful the 2018-2019 academic year is behind us....and, I am looking forward to planning the new year. My biggest takeaway this year is that sometimes God's plan isn't my plan. :)

This post does contain affiliate links. 


  1. Good job, mama. :) God's plans always trump ours. He knows exactly what we need, and He knows exactly what we don't. I get a slice of humble pie every year, and while it may not taste like the cherry I had planned, I know it's good for me. :) Lots of God vitamins!

  2. How do you like "A Mind in the Light: Natural Worlds"?

    1. We enjoyed the books we read, which were primarily from the Fall and Winter term. We didn't get to the Spring term, which were the books I was most looking forward to, LOL. We didn't do the activities, but instead I read the books aloud and my son narrated orally.

  3. Thank you for this inspiration! Could you please share how you determine History selections? Do you follow a certain rotation?

    1. Hey Hannah, you're welcome! Hmmm...that's a good question! I teach history chronologically and have since the beginning, so each year, I just pick up with the next time period. When the kids were younger, I always kept everyone in the same time period, but now that they are older and studying more independently, they are not necessarily in the same time.

      I use multiple resources for choosing books. Some of my favorites are TruthQuest History, Beautiful Feet, Sonlight, and Veritas Press. As far as American history, I also sell the Visual American History Timeline of Books, which is an amazing resource for finding good, wholesome, living books. There's a link in the sidebar and on top of the blog page if you're interested in seeing photos of what I mean.

      I've been researching books for years and have learned about various series and authors. We tend toward older books and have built our own home library based on years of research and scouring many used book sales. If possible, I try to schedule books what we own. I also look at curricula like Ambleside Online for book suggestions. I tend to choose the books that are on multiple lists. For example, when studying the American Revolution, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes is not to be missed! When looking at different lists, it's included in SL, BF, TQ, and several other curriculum company book lists.

      There is no one right or wrong way to schedule, it's really personal preference. Since beginning to homeschool, living books have made history come alive for me and my children, so choosing books to study history has become a labor of love. Not everyone will develop that same love. :)

      Thanks for reading! Blessings in your year...