Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Failing to Plan Equals Planning to Fail

So with that adage in mind, I've been spending time pulling together the notes I’d made earlier this summer and finalizing our plans for the coming year. I’m going a bit more out on my own this year, pulling from Ambleside Online, TWTM, and other sources, such as Catherine Levison's books. This will be our fourth year homeschooling, and I feel like I have a better handle on what works for us and how to best mesh CM and classical philosophies into an eclecticism all our own.

So here are some of our plans thus far:

- Language Arts will include copywork, spelling with Spelling Power (thanks, Jennifer, for the recommendation!), and possibly Rod & Staff grammar. Since Miss Priss will be in fifth (ACK! When did THAT happen??) grade, she’ll have one written narration per week, which we’ll edit together.

- Our family literature selections are Treasure Island, Heidi, The Age of Fable, Paul Revere’s Ride, Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. If need be, I can certainly add to these. We’ll also read two or three more Shakespeare stories from Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare.

- Individual assigned literature includes selections for Tiny Girl: The Princess and the Goblin, Alice in Wonderland, and Lassie Come Home; and for Miss Priss: The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Calico Captive thus far. Both girls are also reading the Chronicles of Narnia. These assigned readings will be further fleshed out as we go along.

- I also have a list for our family nighttime books: Return to Gone Away Lake, The Borrowers, The Complete Peterkin Papers, The Little White Horse, Pollyanna, and Justin Morgan Had a Horse. We’re reading The Secret Garden now.

- The poets we’ll be reading this coming year are Dickinson, Tennyson, and Wordsworth.

- In math, we are going to change tack.  I found a curriculum entitled Mathematical Reasoning in the Critical Thinking Co. catalog.  After perusing sample pages on their website, I decided to give it a try.
- We’ve read biographies of Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare already. Michelangelo is on the list as well.

- In foreign languages, the girls will continue Rosetta Stone French; Miss Priss and I will continue Latina Christiana; and Tiny Girl will be studying Latin at Timothy Ministry (classes for homeschoolers offered at a nearby church) this fall.

- Our geography selection is Minn of the Mississippi, and our natural history book is Madam How and Lady Why.

- Anatomy begins our scientific exploration, and we’re using Uncover the Human Body as our text. After that, we’re going to study rocks and seashells with some kits I inherited from my mom when she retired from teaching. Also, Tiny Girl will be studying astronomy at Timothy Ministry.

- Miss Priss and I are beginning a formal study of logic, and we’re using the MindBenders books from The Critical Thinking Co., as suggested in TWTM.

- We just keep marching through history. This year, I’m going to use Story of the World as our spine, with narrations and mapwork. Right now, we are learning about Elizabethan England. For further study, we’re going to read The Shakespeare Stealer and Mary Queen of Scots, from the Royal Diaries series. (Miss Pris just finished Elizabeth I: The Red Rose of the Tudors from that same series and loved it.) Other additional works as the year progresses are Squanto, My America: Our Strange New Land, Stories of the Pilgrims, and the Colonial America History Pockets. I also recently purchased Philbrick's book, The Mayflower, an adaptation of his longer work, Mayflower.  I’ll add in others as we travel on.

- For artist study, I'll pick and choose.  We often use AO's suggestions.  I also see what our city's museums have to offer for upcoming exhibits, so we can see works in person.

- I think it will be fun for us to study Elizabethan music and composers to bring to life our study of that time period. Here's a website I found to help us.

After reading this over, I see that we will be reading a mountain of books.  Yippee!

Wish us luck!


  1. I´m wishing you ALL the luck. Your plans are fantastic...

  2. Just to say ... Sasha LOATHED Madam How and Lady Why. She DESPISED it! I gave up in the end!
    Your children are probably much nicer and will love it!

    Shakespeare and Elizabeth 1? Does that not call for a major field trip??!! xxx

  3. Silvia, thanks so much! Jackie, if Sasha loathed MH&LW, then I hold out not much hope for them around here either. We'll have to see! As to the field trip, that is a MUST, but most likely not this year. But I am certainly whetting the girls' appetites for England!

  4. Sounds great. I'll have to check out that composer site you mentioned, too.

  5. Sounds like a great year. It's always nice when you get to the point when you know what works, and doesn't work, for your family.


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!