Saturday, July 10, 2021

2020-2021 Curriculum Recap

I know many of you plan your upcoming school year over summer like me. When I was looking back over older blog posts here, I realized that I didn't post our 2020-2021 curriculum preview, so instead I will do a recap, partly to give you ideas for future planning and partly as a record of our homeschool when I look back. I'm going to add all three kids in one post (Year 2, 10, and 11) so I apologize for the length in advance. Grab your latte, kick back, and enjoy! Here goes...

Year 11

Bible & Character 

Riley continued to work through Ambleside Online's Bible Reading Plan. She also completed SCM's Life in the Word, which received groans when I originally assigned it, but turned out to be a great study. This guide leads you through seven different ways to study the bible and Riley really enjoyed it. She also read Charlotte Mason's Vol. 4, Ourselves, Book II as part of her bible and character study. 

History & Geography

Riley began working through Beautiful Feet's US & World History study. Back in the day, it was originally a two year study, but recently, it was revised to be completed in one year. However, because it's such a rich and important time in our history, especially in light of current events, we still opted to spread it over two years and added a few extra books and resources to boot. In addition to the assigned BF books, Riley read from and used the following resources...

Prescripts Cursive Passages and Illuminations: American Documents - this was continued from Year 10 and finished in Year 11

Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Beecher Preachers by Jean Fritz

The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

Unconditional Surrender by Albert Marrin

The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin - You may remember from previous posts that Riley has been working through two streams of history throughout her high school years. This year, her second stream of history covered the Middle Ages/Renaissance/Reformation. Riley was originally scheduled to read The Book of the Middle Ages by Dorothy Mills. However, with two online courses, work, and her other studies, she was not able to complete it, which was very well because she did an in depth study of the Middle Ages back in 8th grade (Term 1, Term 2, and Term 3) and remembered a great deal. I scheduled her too heavily this year and gave grace when needed. With that said, she did complete Coffin's book and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Riley has also been keeping a Book of Centuries since Year 7.

Government & Political Philosophy

Riley took an online Vita Beata course using several Memoria Press books for a credit in Political Philosophy. The books included:

The Republic and The Laws by Cicero

On Obligations by Cicero

City of God by St. Augustine

Riley also completed Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass, as well as the literature below...

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough

The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

Born Again by Charles Colson

God and Reagan by Paul Kengor

I like to teach high school government during an election year. We traditionally watch the debates, attend rallies, and keep up with current events to enrich our government study. And WOW!...this election cycle was definitely a real learning experience for better or worse!! 

Science & Health

Guest Hollow Chemistry - This was our first year using a Guest Hollow course as written. I have pulled books from other Guest Hollow courses in the past, but I bought the full Chemistry plan this year. One caution I have if you use Guest Hollow Chemistry is to cull down. This was a great plan, but there are way too many books/videos/projects scheduled for a one year course of study....especially if you are taking a literature approach in other subjects. Riley had already read a few of the assigned books in former years, which allowed her to focus her time and energy on more of the videos and projects. She also notebooked through the course. In an effort to conserve words here, I plan to write a separate post about her overall Chemistry credit on the blog at some point. In addition to the Guest Hollow Chemistry, Riley read the following science and health books this year...

The Structure of Matter

Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman

Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry by Bernard Jaffe

Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif 

Total Health: Choices for a Winning Lifestyle

Nature Study

English 11

We take a literature approach to our learning in most subjects so Riley completed several books this year in other subjects like history, government, and science. In addition, she read and used the following books and resources toward her English credit...

Sir Gawain & the Green Knight by  J.R.R. Tolkien

The Divine Comedy by Dante - online Vita Beata Literature class

Beowulf by Seamus Heaney

Joan of Arc by Mark Twain

Idylls of the King by Tennyson

Fierce Wars & Faithful Loves  Edmund Spencer's Book I of the Faerie Queen

Poetry by Czeslaw, Milosz, and Edna St. Vincent Millay

Written narration, notebooking, and composition

Invitation to the Classics by Cowan and Gunness - continued from previous years - finished

IEW's Phonetic Zoo - continued from previous years - finished


Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2

Overall, Riley had a great year! She also kept and harvested a garden, milked cows on an organic dairy farm, helped homeschool Levi, took an art class outside the home, and played volleyball. As you can see, she kept very busy! I can't believe she's already heading into Year 12 this fall. Time goes so fast!

Year 10

Ruben had a pretty unconventional year. He worked many long hours outside the home in the fall and spring operating heavy equipment to pump pits, which was a learning experience in and of itself. The focus of his traditional academic subjects was completed in the winter months and continues over summer. His subjects of study have been...

Bible - Ruben is reading select assigned passages.

World History & Geography - Middle Ages/Renaissance/Reformation - Ruben is currently reading When Knights Were Bold by Eva March Tappan and then will read The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin. Ruben also completed an in depth study of this time period back in Year 7 so the goal this year was simply a recap, as he heads toward a World History credit. He is working through Memoria Press's Geography I course as well, which covers The Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. 

Biology - Ruben did a great deal toward his Biology credit in Year 9. However, I want him to finish up the Sabbath Mood Homeschool study using Men, Microscopes, and Living Things by Katherine Shippen

Math - Ruben is working through a set of math skills and concepts pulled from a variety of resources rather than a traditional text. 

English - He re-read The Hobbit  by J.R.R. Tolkien this year and has been reading through The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, as well as other misc. books including....

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

In addition, throughout the year, Ruben has taught himself  to weld, strengthened his abilities in auto mechanics, and engineered various small engine machines, such as repurposing a non-functioning pressure washer into a lawn mower, and combining a 4-wheeler and a mini bike into some type of ridable non-traditional looking machine. He also resurrected an old snowmobile from the 1970's and keeps all our vehicles on the road. Ruben is constantly building, tearing apart, and rebuilding any machinery he can get his hands on. He watches numerous YouTube videos and then spends hours outside and in his shop constructing and configuring. This is all part of his education! 

Year 2/3

Levi made great gains in his reading this year!! He has a summer birthday and bordered between 2nd and 3rd grade. Grades are a measure of public school standard. When home educating, we teach to the child, not any one particular grade. His books and resources were consistent with his age of 8 and included the following...

Bible & Character 

Assorted Old Testament passages from The Children's Bible. 

The Golden Bible Atlas

Oral Narration


A Child's History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer - will continue next school year

Kingfisher History Encyclopedia - excerpts

Usborne Pharaohs & Pyramids by Tony Allan and Philippa Wingate - excerpts

Seeker of Knowledge by James Rumsford

Tut's Mummy Lost...and Found by Judy Donnelly

Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs: A Book About Ancient Egypt by Gail Gibbons

Growing Up In Ancient Egypt by Rosalie David

The Trojan Horse by Emily Little

Hidden Army: Clay Soldiers of Ancient China by Jane O'Connor

The Secrets of Alexander's Horse by Tony Palazzo

Cleopatra by Diane Stanley

Pompeii: Buried Alive by Edith Kunhardt

Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall - will continue next school year

Sword in the Tree by Clyde Robert Bulla

Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson

Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by Edward Eggleston

Oral Narration

Levi completed notebooking pages to correspond with this Bible and History study. Riley helped him compose a sentence or two from his oral narration to summarize each reading. Levi would then copy the sentence(s) and illustrate them in a notebook. I used this method with Riley when she was young and it turned out to be the start of a great thing, as her notebook pages have evolved over the years into beautiful scrapbooks of her education. You can read more about our notebook keeping here


Under the Home - Where We Live: A Home Geography, Part II

Notebooking pages

Science & Health

The Great Dinosaur Mystery & the Bible by Paul S. Taylor

Under the Home - Animal Nature Study

Notebooking pages

Naturalist Kids Podcast

Wild Kratts on PBS Kids

Oral Narration

Language Arts

Prairie School by AVI & Memoria Press Lit Guide

Animal Folk Tales of America by Tony Palazzo & Memoria Press Lit Guide

All About Reading 2

Core Skills Phonics 3

McGuffey Pictorial Eclectic Primer with The Lesson Book

Memoria Press Grade 2 Literature

A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa

Animals Animals by Eric Carle


Oral Narration


Rod & Staff Arithmetic 2

Fine Arts

Memoria Press Music Enrichment

Memoria Press Art Cards

Under the Home Studio Art - Drawing 2D and 3D Shapes

Levi also attended an art class outside the home. 

Overall, Levi had a great year! As mentioned before, he made tremendous progress in reading, as well as math. Due to me working outside the home, Riley guided him through most of his lessons. I chose the books/resources and created the schedule that she implemented. Some of his lessons had audio books/story components so Riley would set it up and Levi would listen, while she worked on her own lessons. Then they worked together on other subjects. Riley and Levi have very similar personalities and many common interests. She is nine years older than him, very mature, and kind, but firm so he respects her. 

I am very proud of all three kids and their accomplishments this year! It's been a little difficult to balance work with homeschooling, but they persevered and we have all been blessed by the fruit of our labor. 

I do plan to post a few follow-up blogs to showcase some of the new curricula and resources we used this year, namely Guest Hollow Chemistry, Under the Home, and McGuffey readers with The Lesson Book. These were all new to us and ended in success so I can't wait to share!

This post contains some, but not all, affiliate links. Proceeds from the links allow me to continue homeschooling and adding future content to this blog.  

No comments:

Post a Comment