Classical Conversations Cycle 3: Before Week 1.

We started our Cycle 3 American History year a week early because VIKINGS (+ other awesome explorers). Here is a look at what we did.

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First, we enjoyed some of our favorite viking stories which included:
Leif the Lucky by Ingri D’allaire
Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky by Barbara Schiller
Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross
Viking Adventure by Clyde Robert Bulla

We also used our wonderful history spine “A Child’s First Book of American History” by Earl Miers.

I read these books aloud while the boys made Viking longships out of modeling beeswax. This beeswax is a bit pricey BUT it lasts a great deal longer than playdoh, I had my last box for two years, and it smells amazing! I really love setting out a welcoming invitation for my kids to come and learn. I light a candle, put a few play silks on the table, I give them the beeswax, their composition notebooks and a bunch of art supplies. Then I step back and let them do as they wish with the materials. One boy made a mermaid (complete with seashell bra). This had absolutely nothing to do with Vikings, but he wanted to make a mermaid he could giggle over and he gave an absolutely lovely narration so I let it go. The mermaid was not a hill I wanted to die on. I’ve found that when I nitpick about too many things in their schoolwork, the boys shut down fast. They like to lead the way in learning, they love to make decisions, so I evaluate our time and find the crucial day-shaping decisions and I make those–the rest I leave to them. We are all happier for it.

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After I posted our Charlotte Mason Approach to Cycle 3 posts for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, I had a number of people asking for my list of rare living books. I didn’t post them earlier because some of these are extremely hard to find (read: ridiculously expensive) and I never want to send the message that you need to drop $125 on ONE book or else your child will have an inferior education. Cuz guys, you don’t need to drop all that money on one book. There is an ABUNDANCE of books available on these topics and you do not need to drop a fortune on one subject. If I had a limited budget I would purchase or borrow the Mier’s book and the D’Aulaire book and call it a day. But for everyone wanting the list of vintage living books we used, here is a handy dandy bookscape of all the book porn. Please know that most of these books came from our local living library and the others were rescued by me for just a couple dollars. We are not millionaires. We are a single income homeschool family. Keep your eyes open at book sales, library sales, estate sales for these gems. If you have the chance, be a book rescuer!
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By the end of the week we were ready to move on and we spent a nice chunk of time reading about the early days of Columbus. Remember that we spent this summer reading  “They Put Out to Sea” by Roger Dusoivin, which is the story of how our world map was slowly put together through expedition and discovery. This has sparked an Explorer Frenzy in our home. We have read in depth about everyone from the Phoenicians to Marco Polo to Henry Cabot. This week we read about Amerigo Vespucci, Vasco de Gama and Magellan. The boys were so captivated by these stories! They loved to hear the perspectives of other explorers in and around Columbus’ day. History told from several different perspectives is so powerful. The Genevieve Foster books are particularly wonderful with this idea.  We also read “The Story of Chocolate” to understand the history behind one of the goods being traded in this time period. We are big fans of chocolate and we were riveted by this story. The boys loved including two or three pages of illustrations and narrations on chocolate in their history journals. We enjoyed some while we read, of course.

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Most of our explorer research was done using Gerrard Discovery Biographies which the boys read independently. I found a box of 40 books at a library sale for $10 a few years ago. We adore the writing for this reading level. My eldest children (age 9 & 8) read for one solid hour each afternoon. They loved reading these biographies so much they would ask for them in the evenings as well, bringing their independent reading to almost 2 hours each day. It sounds crazy when I write that, but with little bits here and there added to that solid one hour chunk, they are getting a lot of reading in! A few years ago I wasn’t sure if this would ever happen for us, but I kept faithfully reading aloud to my children every single day and I have watched a love for reading grow within them. From a tiny flame to a full on blaze, it is the slow work of many days that has brought us to this place.

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We studied history every day because we are geeking out over it right now. Other subjects we did every single day? Math, Latin, Spelling, Writing and 2 minutes of Geography.  Our current lunchtime reads are  1) The Burgess Bird Book for Children and 2) Sherlock Holmes.
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We are continuing to move forward in our mathematics with Right Start Math and I am still singing its praises. Teach multiple levels with this curriculum is so doable! Here is how we do it:

We all sit down with our math  materials and we open up with a game that all three children (9,8 and 6) can play using our Right Start Math games book to build our math fluency. After a couple of rounds (5-10 minutes) I hand my six year old a slate of sums to practice while my eldest children run through their skip counting and the opening portion of mental math questions found in each lesson (>5 minutes). By the time they are done my 6 year old is usually finished with his sums. I take his slate and hand him his wooden pattern blocks to build large geometric shapes or animals with. As he plays and explores shapes, I teach the new material to my older children. This takes about 10 minutes, 15 at most. They open their workbooks and complete their sums practice or work page as needed. I turn to my six year old and admire his creation. He explains what he has made and we look for and name geometric shapes he has made. The I open his book and we run through mental math and skip counting. I teach his new lesson which takes about 10 minutes. By this point the older children have finished their work and they are ready for it to be checked. My six year old dives into his workbook. I check the older children’s work and we walk through any corrections that need to be made. Once this task is complete the six year old is ready for his work to be checked.  We wrap our time together by playing one more game.  Math takes about 45 minutes total for both levels of math. This include 2-3 games, skip counting, mental math problems, two new lessons, worksheets if applicable, pattern block play, and sums practice.  Guys, I never ever ever thought I would say this, but math is fun! I’ll be sharing a bit about our favorite lessons each week from here on out!

We devoted 20 minutes to our Latin studies each day. The boys practiced their respective instruments for about 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening.  We also take about 20 minutes to work on our Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A Spelling program. Between each subject they are still racking up 15-30 minutes of play time depending on their age. Multiply that by 4-6 learning block each day and you’ve got a nice chunk of free play!

The boys worked on their independent loops which included:
Handwriting (cursive)
Typing
Handicrafts
Pin it Maps

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Our Morning Time for this cycle opens each morning with prayer, scripture meditation (one verse that changes every three weeks), recitation of the creed and prayer requests.  We take a couple minutes to work on our CC Geography (Literally two minutes). We eat breakfast and then dive into our morning time loop.
This week’s loop:
Poetry– The Lamplighter by Robert Louis Stevenson (older boys)
Celery (IEW Poetry Memorization) for youngest son’s speech therapy
Spanish- Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E Nesbit
Architecture- A Child’s History of Art by Hillyer
Hymn- O God Our Help in Ages Past Verse 1
Art Study- Leonardo daVinci
Character Study from Animals in Nature

On Fridays we use Beautiful Feet Book’s Music Study in the morning. We are enjoying this study ever so slowly (I anticipate a two year time frame on this one) and we simply adore it.  I’ll be sharing more in depth about this one next week! Their Geography study, History of Science study and Horse study are gorgeous as well. Check them out!

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The CM week is not complete without a nature walk. Its hot as blazes here right now and usually “nature walk” = “sit in lukewarm water” but this past Friday was nice and overcast so we took a walk.

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We spent the first half of our walk tracking a raccoon. For my boys this was the highlight of the day. Follow a raccoon around, find a pile of his scat and feel like a king. Find the remnants of his crayfish lunch and loose your mind with excitement. We also found gorgeous mole cricket tunnels (which look a bit like subnivean tunnels for all you northerners) and we raced around trying to find the point of origin.

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We rounded out the week with lots and lots of baking. Have I mentioned that my children are officially British Baking Show junkies? They have become food critics overnight and love to whip things up in the kitchen. My splurge for the year was a subscription to Raddish kids and I am loving the resulting  independence and confidence in my children’s cooking skills. They each took a turn baking something fun while I taught the other children their new set of chores for the year. My eldest children are doing their own laundry start to finish now. I love writing that sentence as much as I hate doing all the laundry for six people. The six year old is almost done learning how to unstack the dishwasher and my little guy is in broom bootcamp right now.

We are so excited to dive into our Week 1 material for Cycle 3 this week. Who else is doing cycle 3? What are some of your favorite reads leading up to this cycle? Share in the comments below!

A Year of Planning Skillfully: Learning Spaces and Sensory Bins for my Homegrown Preschooler.

With our Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations year underway, I can now turn my attention towards prepping for our THIRD year with The Homegrown Preschooler, which thankfully fits beautifully with Classical Conversations. Its not an exaggeration to say that Homegrown Preschooler changed our lives, if you haven’t heard of them before, please check them out! I’ve been slammed with requests for information on our parallel learning spaces and sensory bins so I thought we could begin there. Please remember that all the information below is what works for MY family, MY particular situation, MY home, MY schedule. I am happy to share all this in the hopes that you might find a piece here or there to take and use in your home. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what works for me, what matters is that you are able to take pieces from several different places and find what works for YOU.

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Purposeful Planning
As with all my planning, I sit down to do a heart check first. I remind myself not to panic buy things I don’t need. I have been using this curriculum on its own for two years with my youngest and it has served me well without add-ons or extras. This year is his first time in class at our CC Community. What sorts of things will be changing for him? What challenges will he be facing with his SPD?  How can I best equip him to tackle the year with joy and wonder and freedom? What character traits or habit training does he need to get to the next place with confidence and grace? How does my plan fit into the greater WHY behind my homeschooling? I sort through all these questions and make my list of goals.

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HGP is divided into 9 months of activities within a wide array of developmental learning. (You can find a free month of activities here). Some of the activities he enjoyed as a 2 year old will still work and many of the activities out of his reach then fit fine and dandy now! Since its our third year I’m looking to get to those once out of reach activities.

I plan three months in advance. The first thing I do is look for common supply needs between the activities, or even acceptable substitutes. This way I can save money and use what I have on hand. Next, I make a list of things I definitely need to acquire in the order I will be needing them so I can slowly chip away at the supplies.

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Then I look at what my older boys are doing and I find spaces to introduce new items to my youngest.

For example:
This year my eldest children are paying special attention to explorers in American History. They are drawing TONS of maps. When they are working on their maps I can work on the “My World” book activity with my youngest. Once its created we can go over it whenever the older boys do map work. We can also review his CC Geography at that time.
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Supplies
Before I buy anything new, I rummage through art/craft supplies, kitchen items and other household items to make sure I actually need the item. As I stated above, sometimes I can find something similar that stands in as a great substitute. I purchase scrapbook storage tubs from Michaels and I group subject resources in there. Then I use plastic shoeboxes to store theme items for each month of HGP, now that its my third year I have a nice supply of reusable items. For example, the November shoe box is full of felted acorns, crocheted leaves, velvet pumpkins, indian corn and other sensory rich fall materials. All of these shoe boxes are stored up high and brought down as needed.  I prepare new sensory bins every month and on Fridays I check the bins to see how they are holding up, track down any loose pieces or replenish base fillers if needed. I match several up with HGP and the rest I create based of my son’s current interests.  (More specifics at the end of this post!)

Environment
My third born still occupies his own desk in the corner of our classroom. My eldest boys meet at the table or at our new Science/Art bar. My youngest has his own desk and chair, which are height appropriate for his age. I have a Waldorf Playstand set up behind him, filled with manipulatives and Montessori style “work” that he can do during the day. A small adjoining open bookcase houses his current sensory bin work. The boys can all work at their stations  at the same time, but there is also room at the main table for everyone. In laying a feast of ideas a lá Charlotte Mason, I don’t want to simply distract my preschooler so that he is left on the floor begging for crumbs. If he wants to join us he can. He can come be with us at the table or he can go back to his own space where he has full reign over his resources. Lesli and Kathy have written about environment extensively in their initial Homegrown Preschooler book. Check it out!

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A Quick Disclaimer
Before I go any further I would like to clarify two things:
First, a great deal of habit training went into this system. We started with one tray…not thirty. Once he demonstrated that he could care for the tray, his environment, etc we moved on to two trays. He is responsible for fetching his tray, using it appropriately and then putting it away. For the most part, he is able to keep this area tidy and if a mess occurs he is more than capable of cleaning it up himself. But he is not limited to tidy work! Kids are messy. Part of the their learning IS mess-making. The trays that require mess-making are not stored on this shelf. Messy trays are prepared by me and used outside in our “No-free” zone. There the kids can run riot with these things to fully discover them and enjoy them. We usually leave the messy work at the ready to use during our free spaces. By then all four boys are ready to go outside and make a big mess!

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Secondly, because of my son’s sensory needs and our lack of coverage for services, I provide his therapy here at home. Therefore, I have an abundance of therapy tools for him to use. You do not NEED to fill your home with these tools in order to homeschool or in order to use Homegrown Preschooler.

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Weekly Execution
My eldest children have asked to help their brother with everything in the Social/Emotional category and I am so excited to watch them teach and lead in that area.  Language/Literacy and Math will be done in the morning hours and I have made trays for the majority of those activities. Sensory activities will be included there as well. Our science activities will be done in Fridays before we meet up with our Wild + Free nature group. I have laminated a copy of HGP’s fabulous “5 Common Topics for Preschoolers” chart (p14) and tucked it into the inside pocket of my little guy’s nature journal.  I made copies for the older kids too! We plan to use this chart as often as possible. Art/Music activities and Gross Motor activities will be interspersed throughout the week. These usually occur when my older children complete their block of study and are waiting for the next block to begin. They are already anticipating the week when they’ll assemble PVC pipe into a pendulum with their little brother.

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Family Style Learning
Have you picked up on that inclusive language? HGP is not just for my preschooler. Its become a family lifestyle for us. We are a family that plays together. I don’t ever feel like I have to FIT IT ALL IN SOMEWHERE!!! Because I don’t treat it like a box that has to be checked off. At the beginning of each month I list a bunch of HGP activities on our board, kind of like a monthly bucket list, and I tell the kids all about it.  They latch on to it and when their free time comes they ask for those activities instead of a movie. Come September I’ll hear “Doggie, doggie, where’s your bone?” float in through the open window. They’ll build their pendulum and an obstacle course and make clay tree faces. I leave the supplies out and they take care of the rest!

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This year I will be sharing posts about our HGP and Classical Conversations year, so be on the look out of those updates. With each post I will add info about our current trays and bases we are using. Here is an example using our current bins.

Current Trays:
Black eyed peas, colored craft sticks, farm animals Safari toob.
Gems, seashell Safari toob, small magnifying glass, small bowl.
Kinetic sand, butterflies Safari toob, small net, small geometric forms
Water beads, frog pond life cycle toob, foam cut outs, measuring cups.
Play sand, Desert animals toob, small test tubes.
Potting soil, ant life cycle safari set, small terra-cotta pots, flowers safari toob.
Geometric shape tack set
Organs safari toob, Humany Body book, magnifying glass, three part cards.

General Sensory Bin Base Supplies
Gems
Water Beads
Kinetic Sand
Play Sand
Black-eyed peas
Black Beans
Beeswax pellets
Buttons
Corn
Rice
Potting Soil
Oatmeal
River Stones (Dollar Tree)

We are so excited to start our THIRD Year of Playing Skillfully! Thanks for following along!

 

 

 

A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Quarter 2

 

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Friends, thank you so much for your excitement and patience as I finished up quarter 2. It was a very busy summer for our family between travels, conferences and practicums. I was blessed to be the practicum speaker at two events this summer which gave me the opportunity to study Logic in depth for the first time. What a blessing it was! Now that the practicums have wrapped I can get back to updating the blog more often. What better way to jump back in than with our Quarter 2 list for Cycle 3. Remember that my family will not read every book on this list. This is a feast of offerings and we aren’t looking to gorge ourselves, we are looking for a healthy portion to savor.

Please the read the following post: “A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Quarter 1” for background information regarding book of narrations, book of centuries, math, latin, map work, science, morning time, etc.
The only change is the decision to use Lyrical Life Science for my two eldest children.

Week 7

Timeline:
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hanula
—Polycarp
—Balinda
—Constantine
Step Back into Ancient India by Daud Ali

Geography
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy by Augusta Stevenson
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet by Penelope Niven
A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Aldrich

History
The Flag Maker by Susan Bartoletti
The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
By the Dawn’s Early Light by Stephen Kroll
An American Army of Two by Janet Greeson
Cornstalks and Cannonballs by Barbara Mitchell
Young John Quincy by Cheryl Harness
Once on this Island by Gloria Whelan

Science
I’m growing by Aliki
Week 8

Timeline
A Castle with Many Rooms by Lorene Lambert
Chp 1– The Long Fall (Visigoths sack Rome)
Trial and Triumph
Chp 6 Monica and Augustine
Peril and Peace by Mindy Withrow
Chp 10 Early Creeds and Councils
Chp 17 Jerome

Geography
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan
Tree in the Trail by Holling C Holling
Buffalo Bill by the D’Aulaires
One Day in the Prairie by Jean Craighead Moore
Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh
Prairie School by Avi
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell


History
Unspoken by Henry Cole
A Gathering of Days by Joan Blos
Moses by Carole Boston
Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Science:
Hear your Heart by Paul Showers

Week 9

Timeline
A Castle With Many Rooms by Lorene Lambert
Chp 2 Justinian the Great
Chp 4 The Monastery
Chp 6 Making a Nation (Franks)
Chp 7 The Scroll and the Stone (Muhammed founds Islam)
Chp 8 Charles the Hammer (Battle of Tours)
Chp 10 The Rushing North Wind (Vikings Raid)
Monks and Mystics by Mindy Withrow
Chp 6 Islam
Peril and Peace by Mindy Withrow
Chp 19 Benedict
The Vikings by Elizabeth Janeway
Viking Tales by Jennie Hall
Viking Adventure by Clyde Robert Bulla


Geography

Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
Welcome to the Sea of Sand by Jane Yolen
Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr
Hoover Dam by Elizabeth Mann
Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi
Redwoods by Jason Chin
By the Great Horned Spoon by Sid Fleishmann
Cactus Cafe: A Story of the Sonoran Desert by Kathleen Zoehfield

 

History
Who Own’s the Sun by Stacy Chbosky
Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chapter 3 The Sad Story of Slavery
If you lived when there was Slavery in America by Anne Kamma

Science:
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole


Week 10

Timeline
A Castle With Many Rooms by Lorene Lambert
Chp 3 The Earliest Explorers (Erik the Red)
Chp 9 Charlemagne
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
Chp 11 Alfred the Great
Lief the Lucky by Ingrid D’Aulaire
Monks and Mystics by Mindy Withrow
Chp 5 Charlamagne Crowned by God
Chp 8 Vladimir
Chp 9 A Divided Church (East West Schism)


Geography
A Year with Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
Balto by Natalie Standiford
The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White
Where the Red Fern Grows by Willis Rawls
Cowboy Charlie by Jeanette Winter
Prairie Town by Bonnie Geisert
Davy’s Dream by Owen Lewis

History
Daily life in a Covered Wagon by Paul Erikson
A Pioneer Sampler by Barbara Greenwood
Dandelions by Eve Bunting
The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Frontier Living by Edwin Tunis
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 1 Heading West on the Oregon Trail

Science
The Respiratory System by Christine Taylor Butler


Week 11


Timeline
A Castle with Many Rooms by Lorene Lambert
Chp 13 The Battle of Hastings (Norman Conquest)
Chp 14 Feudalism
Chp 16 The Cross Upon the Shield
Chp 17 Lionheart and Robin Hood
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
Chp 15 Francis of Assisi
Monks and Mystics by Mindy Withrow
Chp 11 Crusades
Chp 13 Francis of Assisi
Chp 15 Aquinas
Machu Picchu by Elizabeth Mann (Incas)
The Sad Night by Sally Matthew (Aztecs)
Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by PJ Oliver
Ashanti to Zulu by Margaret Musgrove
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisnieski
Ancient Japan by Fiona MacDonald (Shoguns)

History
Abraham Lincoln by the D’aulaires
Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster
The Gettysberg Address by Abraham Lincoln
The Emancipation Proclomation by Abraham Lincoln
Stories of America
-Chp 4 How Lincoln Became President
-O Captain My Captain by Walt Whitman
-Chp 5 The Great Civil War
-Chp 6 War on Land and Sea

Science
Germs make me sick by Paul Showers

Week 12

Timeline
A Castle With Many Rooms by Lorene Lambert
Chp 19 The Great Charter (Magna Carta)
Chp 20 The Mongols
Chp 21 The Travels of Marco Polo
Chp 25 The Black Prince, The Black Death and the White Knight of Orleans (100 years war + Black Death)
Chp 29 Rebirth (Renaissance)  
Chp 28 Conquest of Constantinople
Stories of the Nations Vol 1 Lorene Lambert
Ch 2 The Ottomans
Chp 9 Kangxi, Emporer of China (Ming and Qing Dynasties)
The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo
Khubla Khan by Kathleen Krull
Masters of the Renaissance by Jim Weiss
The Magna Carta by James Daugherty
Genghis Khan by Demi

History
Marching to Appomatax by Ken Stark
Robert E Lee by Helen Monsell
Ulysses Grant by Mike Venezia
Ulysses Grant by Red Reeder
We Were There When Grant met Lee at Appomattax by Earl Miers
Abraham Lincoln’s World by Genevieve Foster
Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 7 After the Civil War

Science
A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers

I will be adding Quarter 3 once I have finished my research for those weeks! In the meantime, we are gearing up with our Cycle 3 into study. Stay tuned for our “before school starts” study.

 

Review of Simply Charlotte Mason’s New Study Edition of Charlotte Mason’s Original Home Schooling Series

Last November I attended an excellent Simply Charlotte Mason Encouragement Conference in South Florida. After one of the sessions I was catching up with Sonya Schafer, who is easily one of my favorite speakers, and she mentioned the ongoing work of reproducing the original Charlotte Mason Homeschooling series. My heart almost stopped!  Like many other CM homeschoolers, I treasured my original “pinks,” which had been published by the Andreola family until they could no longer make copies. Once publication of the original pinks ceased, a few “reproductions” were released that were not true to the original writings. I was always so frustrated when trying to help incoming families that were trying to understand the CM philosophy.  I was grateful to have the online reproduction of Charlotte’s writings on Ambleside, but for those mothers desiring to read unabridged, unedited, paper copies of Charlotte’s writing they had only eBay to look to and the prices on there ranged from barely affordable to YIKES. When Sonya said they would be reprinting this series with the blessing of the Andreola family I felt such a rush of gratitude knowing that these new books would be authentic and authorized!

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You guys know I love my books. Between rescuing and restoring old books, finding new treasures to love, and snapping up deals for my community, book deliveries are a fairly regular occurrence around here. This was probably one of the most emotional box openings ever for me! I read Charlotte Mason’s writings at a time in my life when I had prayed that God would cut through confusion and disorder and show me a clear path for my children. Through a series of events that only He could have orchestrated, I met Charlotte. Oh, how her writing pierced me! I walked away feeling like God had given me a firm plan through Charlotte’s faithful work. The influence of her writing on our homeschool life cannot be measured.  When I opened the box and pulled out this beautiful new edition, I was instantly teary-eyed, remembering my first reading and thinking of all the other parents out there that now have access to these books.  The love and dedication that went into preserving and publishing these beauties is evident from the moment you open the first book in the six volume series, entitled “Home Education.”

A touching forward by Dean Andreola, an endorsement by Susan Schafer Macaulay, the original introduction to the series by Dean and Karen Andreola, the original forward by John Thorley, and the original prefaces to the Home Education series and the 4th edition of the series by Charlotte Mason, are all included in the opening pages.

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I am happy to say that the differences between the Simply Charlotte Mason books and the original Pinks are differences I am pleased with. No missing passages, no heavy edits, no disordering of pages. The text is complete and authentic. The text is also bigger. Hallelujah, the text is 28% bigger! No more late night squinting while I transfer words back and forth between my original books and my common place journal. Speaking of my journal, there are wide margins for note taking in these new books which means these reprints serve as both source text and personal journal.

I gave it a whirl the other night and am happy to say that reading, note taking, and journaling have never been easier when studying Charlotte’s words. The new books also lay flat when opened. If you have ever tried to transfer notes from the original books you will understand the glory of that last sentence.

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Another meticulous detail I greatly appreciate? Original page numbers are preserved at the top of the newly enlarged text while new page numbers hold guard at the bottom of the page. I had to smile when I saw that, I have always loved how organized, and thoughtful Sonya Schafer is. All of the resources SCM releases are beautiful, practical and functional and these long prayed for reproductions are no exception.

I had high expectations for these books and I am so happy to say they were met and surpassed.  I received an email from a brand new homeschooling mother the other day. She asked how to get started with Charlotte Mason homeschooling and how to find out more about Charlotte Mason. How wonderful to include in my response, “You can find Charlotte’s complete and original writing over at Simply Charlotte Mason.”

Thank you to Sonya Schafer and the dedicated team over at Simply Charlotte Mason for this labor of love.

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Materials were received free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions stated above are my own.

 

 

 

 

Essentials Preparation & Approach

I am someone that likes to look ahead. It was January 2015 when I realized that my son would be entering Essentials August 2017 and I knew very little about the program itself. This means I had a solid 2 years and 8 months for prayer, research, reflection, conversation, preparation and more importantly, surrender.  I thought I would share a bit about our process of preparing for Essentials and the approach we are taking this fall.

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Preparing for Essentials
My first step was prayer. I felt utterly overwhelmed at the thought of my barely able to read dyslexic child entering such a rigorous program. I wasn’t sure it would work with our Charlotte Mason style. I began to ask God whether or not I should delay a year and allow him to join in the 2018-2019 school year alongside his brother. I prayed for God to illuminate the right path for our family and that He would bless us with discernment in knowing how to prepare and encourage our son.

Next, I began reading The Core and The Conversation, both by Leigh Bortins. They were tremendously helpful in casting that beautiful long term vision for what we are doing now and where we are going. With this excellent road map in hand, I began to read the arsenal of articles on IEW’s website about reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I started speaking to Essentials parents, talking to my local area support team, and chatting with Essentials students themselves. Then I made sure to review our English grammar memory work as much as possible without over doing it. There is a fine line there. Memory work comes naturally at this stage of learning and you don’t need to beat a dead horse. Once they have it, move on.

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When the 2016-2017 school year hit, I felt confident with the game plan God had led me to. We purchased IEW’s Student Intensive A and began slowly working through the lessons at our own pace. I cannot begin to express how beneficial this was for us. Those first 6 intense weeks of Essentials? We just had a year to work through those units at our own pace. It was the perfect gentle introduction! My second born (12 months younger than the eldest and a gifted learner) joined in for these lessons and loved them. The lessons are written with squirrely, active children in mind. I don’t know that the boys would have tolerated another program half as well. I never had to ask them twice to come and read about slime eels or sea snakes. All of the stories drew them in and every exercise gave them the material, tools and confidence to write on their own and to do it well.  I am amazed at how much they accomplished this year! I did not push them farther than they could bear. It was important to me that their writing time be filled with encouragement and excitement. Hear me when I say that the cook setting on this operation was LOW AND SLOW.

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One of my kiddos met Andrew Pudewa this year. He totally geeked out.

We also picked up IEW’s fantastic Spelling program, Phonetic Zoo,  which is auditory based and worked beautifully with my son’s dyslexia. So many spelling programs out there are geared towards very young learners and my son was instantly turned off by their abundance of stickers, graphics, and curriculum “twaddle” that instantly offended his taste for rich language gained through our living read alouds. He wanted something on his level! This program is based off of a zoo full of interesting animals, with clever rhymes to remember spelling rules. The spelling words are presented through the audio CDs (or mp3s) by Andrew Pudewa and another fellow my children refer to as “The Gentleman Pirate.” They insist that he sounds like a man with a touch of sea salt to his voice. They imagine that he is a sea Captain of some sort, though not the pillaging sort hence “Gentleman” before “Pirate.” They have also enriched his backstory to include a possible foray into the world of science as a mechanical engineer and inventor of silly machines like “The Handy Dandy Tea Stirring Robot.” Needless to say, they love the audio CDs and always remind me that we have to do spelling every single day. The children used this spelling program completely on their own, freeing me to do work with my younger children while granting them an enjoyable responsibility that felt very much like freedom in and of itself.  My eldest now has the experience of independent work. He knows how to care for materials, pull out what he needs, set work up on his own, discipline himself to work through his portion and put everything away when he is done. Surprise! We got a boatload of character and habit training with our spelling program.

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Where does that leave us now? Well, we feel that we are ready for Essentials. Not because he has mastered reading, spelling or writing, but because we feel the Lord telling us it is time. I also feel that my son needs a year of Essentials on his own, away from his brothers, to test his own mettle and to forge deeper friendships with others.

Here is our approach for Essentials this year:

1) Consistent, protected steps:
We have THREE years with this program. Making room in our schedule for daily, small portions of work is important. I am protecting my son’s time and space by scheduling his Essentials work at a time when his mind is sharp and clear. For him, this is in the afternoons.  One of his best dyslexia superpowers is skilled memorization abilities. I am not too worried about those grammar charts (EEL). However, writing is exhausting so we will allow for writing some charts and filling in other charts with laminated labels. On days when his dyslexia is really exhausting him, we will save the writing portion (IEW) for the evenings when his mind and creativity really come alive. I am a night-owl writer too and can empathize with that need to put a creative burst born of the midnight hour to good use. These dedicated allotments of time each and every day will yield much by the end of the week.

Note: The schedule below is in block format (see page 36 of the 4th edition Foundations Guide for a great explanation of this system!) My son has a one hour block of time to complete his allotted Essentials work for the day but he likely will not take the full hour, leaving him with a free chunk of time to play or rest before beginning the next block on the new hour.

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2) Rightly sized portions:
Again, three years to master this stuff. I don’t see the need to do everything all at once.  After viewing several helpful webinars and reading many handouts on Learning Pathways (Ask your Director!) and reading several excellent articles on CC’s Writer’s Circle, I am confident in our decision to take small bites this year. Aside from rotating between writing and labeling our charts with laminated cards, we will not be doing the editing exercise this year and I will be scribing for him. I will also help with typing his papers for class. These papers are not a hill of mom-pride expectation I want to die on. We will master a small layer this year and tack on another layer next year.

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3) Rightly sized attitude:
I plan to recite the following often: He is not a product. He is a soul. Its not about what he is learning. Its about who he is becoming. Its not about perfection. Its about practicing.

He does not have to know this all by next April! Heck, I don’t even know it all right now! Before I bought school supplies for Essentials, I picked out Bible verses brimming with grace and encouragement to give my child on those tough days. This isn’t just about grammar and writing. Working on hard things requires right attitude before the Lord, dedicated effort and willingness to persevere. This gifts us with ownership over what we have earned. It shapes character and sets habits in place. When done for the glory of God, these things point us to wisdom.

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4) Partnering in learning
Lets not ask our children to do something we are not willing to do ourselves. Its not up to our tutors to make this a successful year. We need to dig in and model life-long learning for children. How we use our time speaks loudly. Lets say with our days, this material is so worthy we are giving our own time to do it! We are not just the teachers, we are the lead learners in our homes. Find your place at the table and work alongside your child. Carve out the best space in your learning schedule and reserve it. Maybe your spouse would like to join in too?  One of our local Essentials tutors makes the parents in her class do all the charts. I love that.  I love it so much I am requiring all our parents to do the chart work each week. I’m even making checklist sheets for the parents and kids to sign when their partner has completed their daily chart work for the week. Relationship building through grammar charting? Yes, please.

5) Holding the handle bars:
Where did that CC metaphor of bike riding come from? I stayed up too late last night to remember it now. Someone, somewhere along the way, spoke or wrote about our children’s educational journeys on the extended metaphor of learning to ride a bike. Our littlest ones learn the parts of the bike and sit upon them with training wheels securely fastened before peddling away to spin in little circles around the driveway. When connections and questions begin pouring forth we take off those training wheels and walk alongside those shiny bikes and their occupants, gripping those handlebars tightly as everything wobbles back and forth. I’ve thought about that metaphor often these days. I see now that the time for letting go is on the horizon. Ownership, Discipline, Freedom, Choices, Consequences, Leadership all lay further down the road and at some point I have to let go so that bike can get there. But right now, I am holding the handlebars, and recognizing that each individual rider reaches that ready point in his own time. I watch and observe. The rider might one day shout “I can do this! Let go!” and sail off down the road without a backward glance. Or I might observe until the spirit nudges me to wisely let go and allow a few bumps and scrapes to occur before that bike goes sailing off on its own. But for now, my job is to hold the handle bars without losing sight of the rider or the road ahead.  How do I accomplish this? I equip him. I encourage independence and ownership in small little steps. We’ve organized our Essentials notebooks with these things in mind. We will partner together to further his education and to continue redeeming my own. We look beyond grammar and writing and fix our eyes on wisdom, knowing that the struggle for this knowledge leads us somewhere worthy and wonderful. We order our days wisely so we that by God’s grace we can complete our daily portion. We stick with it, one day at a time. I hold on to the handlebars, without losing sight of the rider or the road ahead. I remember how I came to hold these handlebars in the first place. I’ve been blessed, called and equipped to stand here. Fear has no place alongside the joy of this confidence.

Anyone else starting Essentials for the first time this year? Any other learning SUPERPOWERS out there? Chime in with your thoughts, ideas, verses, favorite brand of ice cream below in the comments!

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IEW links above are affiliate links. All opinions of IEW products are my own. All IEW products used in our home were purchased by us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient History Year 4: Weeks 9-12

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We are faithfully working our way through Beautiful Feet Book’s Ancient History pack. I had planned to use this beautiful program slowly, stretching it out over the course of one whole year. My boys, however, ask for it every day and so we now find ourselves a mere 30 lessons away from completing the whole thing.

This is probably the most concentrated formal academic growth for them I have ever observed. I am so glad we waited!!! I see the fruit now. I am witnessing this coming of age and for them, its happening swiftly and with great confidence. No pushing, cajoling, begging, etc. They are eager to find new ideas and encounter great thoughts.

 

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One lovely evidence of this change is found within their personal research journals. Simple composition books filled with written narratives, drawings, quotes, maps, and a detailed glossary in the back. They treasure their notebooks! I believe they value them because they OWN those notebooks. The information contained within was truly taken in, processed and then put forth by them into their journals. The truth of Charlotte Mason’s words, “What a child digs for becomes his own possession,” shines forth here for us and it has been such a great encouragement to my heart.  Oh that I could travel back in time and encourage my fretting self.

 

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We have not lacked for living books around here. We are constantly reading and I am thankful that the older two are now confident in their independent reading. We are reading the Bendick, D’Aulaire and Padraic Collum books aloud as a family. The rest are enjoyed here and there with individual children or independently during their self-imposed “research hour.” Let me be clear, my children do not devote an hour to independent study every day of the year. This typically happens in the sweltering months of tropical heat when no one really wants to be outside. In the lovely winter months all “research” is conducted out of doors, preferably up a tree.

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The boys have built up their independent reading time to a little over an hour now. I love seeing them nestled in my grandparent’s old armchairs, sipping tea and reading. My little one is typically in his room listening to an audiobook and partying with his stuffed animals. The third born and I like to work on his Right Start Math during this time.

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Speaking of Math, we are still THRILLED with the Right Start Mathematics program. I am so thankful we found it early enough to rectify/reverse a lot of confusion. Their math fluency has increased so rapidly these past few months. We are almost ready to begin the next level! The older boys love to bring out the card games book and play through their favorites. Their next youngest brother usually joins in by the end of the game.

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The short, focused lessons fit in so nicely with our CM style of learning. We have played around with a few different ways of organizing the materials so the children can use them and care for them well. I think we’ve found one method that works well, a few more weeks should let me know if we’ve found the right solution! Once I know for sure, I will be sharing it on here. I also plan to keep sharing about Right Start on our daily Instagram stories so keep an eye out for those!

Lastly, we have finally finished our Latin books from Memoria Press. We enjoyed them so much! We’ll be taking a break from Latin until August when we start up the next volume.

These summer days are focused on History, Math, Music, Writing and Spelling and whatever goodness we serve up for morning time. We have found a good rhythm for our days— feasting on beautiful ideas and plenty of time for lingering, thinking and resting.

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A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3

I have received hundreds of requests for the information below which details our Charlotte Mason approach to Classical Conversations. Please understand that this is not the only possible approach to CC with CM. You do not need to have every single book on this list. This is simply what works for my particular family, in my particular home, within our particular schedule, with my children’s particular learning styles and my particular teaching inclinations. In other words, dear reader, I am sharing this in the hopes that it gives you inspiration to compile your own schedule for your own family’s needs. Keep in mind, this is not the only way!

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    A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Weeks 1-6  


Book of Narrations & Book of Centuries
Each week the child can choose two pieces from the TIMELINE to study and narrate. I have included a list of books we use for these, if there is no book available then we use the timeline card. If the child is too young for written narration, I will record his oral narration and then type it out. He will then illustrate the narration and put it into his Book of Narrations. An older child will write their own written narration and illustrate it for their own Book of Narrations. With each passing year we add more pieces to our Book of Narrations, slowly moving towards a completely narrated Timeline. We will update our Book of Centuries with new information as we go along.  One series that we use for Timeline study is Olive Beaupre Miller’s A Picturesque Tale of Progress Complete Set, Volumes 1-9” If you can find the set, (check eBay, abebooks, thrift books, amazon used, etsy) the illustrations are lovely and the words are lush and engaging. Our set was published in 1929.  

History:
Each child will receive a composition notebook for recording their History study notes. We will read a portion of the chosen book and then narrate and illustrate it. I am listing several choices but only reading a few each week. We will also be reading through “A Child’s First Book of American History” by Earl Schenk Miers, illustrated by James Daugherty as our main history text. The boys will probably listen to The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Vol. 3: Early Modern Times audio at night before bed. 

Science:
For our older children we will either use Lyrical Life Science: The Human Body or Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology (Young Explorer Series) I have yet to decide!
The younger children will use various books for their Anatomy study. I have listed them below.    


Map Work:
The children will practice their map work by tracing a state each day onto a piece of paper and illustrating the state bird and state flower alongside it. Then they can work on their larger laminated map for a few minutes. The youngest child (age 4) will be using these free Crayola state sheets.

Handwriting: We will continue using developmentally appropriate Prescipts from Classical Conversations.

Latin: We will memorize our weekly Latin alongside our consistent use of Memoria Press Latina Cristiana 1.

Math: We will continue using Right Start Math and memorizing our math cycle. We start each math period with memory drills through song.

Language Arts: My eldest is now in Essentials. (Deep breathing) My second born will finish Student Intensive A from IEW and then use one of the smaller writing books for the rest of the year. Both children will use the independent auditory spelling program from IEW. My third born will continue using his current language arts routine. I have listed several family read aloud choices. I will probably let my children choose which ones we read. I don’t know if we will finish one each week or if we will just select a new one every other week.


Our main Morning Time history text will be Stories of America Volume 1 and Stories of America Volume 2 by Simply Charlotte Mason along with selections from a few vintage books we love. (i.e. They Put Out to Sea: The Story of the Map by Roger Dusovin)

Geography:
Poetry is based on the poet’s geographical location for the term.  I have also included a list of my favorite picture books for further geography study of the United States.  We will select one or two poets.

1st Quarter Poets:
Longfellow
Frost
Angelou
Hughes
Emmerson
Bishop
Dickinson
Sandberg
Whitman
Wheatley

1st Quarter Art Study:
Queen Homeschool Observing History through Picture Study: Early American History

1st Quarter Hymn:
O God Our Help in Ages Past (1 verse per week)


We will study our chosen Artist, Poet, Hymn, Shakespeare Play, etc on a loop. The Family Read Aloud list will be featured at the end. The rest of the our morning studies will commence from the lists below. We use the CC memory work to launch into subjects that correlate. I will be blogging through each week so you can get a better idea of how this list comes to life.

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Lessons Plans CC Cycle 3 Weeks 1-6

Week 1
History:
Columbus The D’aulaires

Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus by Peter Sis
Meet Christopher Columbus  byJames T Dekay
Pedro’s Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus by Pam Conrad

** I have been asked by several families for a native american POV story about Columbus that is suitable for children. If interested in a Taino Indian boy’s perspective, check out Encounter (Voyager Books) by Jane Yolen.

Science:
[(Your Skin and Mine )by Paul Showers

Geography:
Surrounded By Sea: Life on a New England Fishing Island by Gail Gibbons
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Clooney
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
One Morning in Maine (Picture Puffins) by Robert McCloskey
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall
Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle

Fine Arts: OiLs Basic Shapes practice
Ish (Creatrilogy) by Peter Reynolds

Timeline:  
The Creation Story for Childrenby Helen Haidle
The True Story of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dooley
Genesis 1-8
Indus Valley City (Building History)by Gillian Clements
Voices of Ancient Egyptby Kay Winters
Pharaoh’s Boatby David L Weitzman
Pyramid by David Macaulay
Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors by Lorene Lambert
    —Chp 2 The Sumerians
—Chp 3  The Indus Valley
—Chp 9 The Minoans

Week 2
History:
The Pilgrims of Plimoth (Aladdin Picture Books) by Marcia Sewall
People of the Breaking Day (Aladdin Picture Books) by Marcia Sewall
The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune by PJ Lynch
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh
N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims by Robert San Souci  
Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl or Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy by Kate Waters
Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla

Science:
The Skeleton Inside You by Phillip Ballestrino
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins
Bones: Our Skeletal System by Seymour Simon

Geography:
A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History by Lynne Cherry
Amazing Impossible Erie Canal (Aladdin Picture Books)by Cheryl Harness
The Erie Canalby Peter Spier
The Brooklyn Bridge: The story of the world’s most famous bridge and the remarkable family that built it. (Wonders of the World Book) by Elizabeth Mann
The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night (Dell Picture Yearling) by Peter Spier
Libertyby Lynn Curlee
The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Betsy Maestro
Kenner’s Lydia by Marguerite de Angeli
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jaqueline Davies
Thee, Hannah!By Marguerite de Angeli

Fine Arts: Mirror Image Drawing

Timeline:
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Lynn Curlee
The Bible (Patriarchs)
God King: A Story in the Days of King Hezekiah by Joanna Livingstone (Kush)
Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors by Lorene Lambert
    —Chp 7 Babylon
    —Chp 8 China (Shang Dynasty)
    —Chp 16 The Hittites
—Chp 17 Kush
   —Chp 18 Assyria

Week 3
History:
The Boston Tea Party by Russell Freedman
Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
George vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen from Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer
Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz
The Scarlet Stockings Spy  by Trina Hanks Noble
Sybil’s Night Ride by Karen Winnick
The Story of the Boston Tea Party: Cornerstones of Freedom
Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak: The Outbreak of the Boston Tea Party Told from Multiple Points-of-View! By Kay Winters
Benjamin Franklin by D’ulaires

Science
You can’t make a move without your muscles by Paul Showers
Muscles: Our Muscular SystemSeymour Simons

Geography:
Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birdsby Cynthia Rylant
When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant
The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

Fine Arts:
Upside-Down Image

Timeline:
Ox, House, Stick: The History of Our Alphabet by Don Robb
Ancient Egypt and Her Neighbors by Lorene Lambert
     —-Chp  19 Cyrus the Great- The Persian Empire
Exodus 3-15
Numbers, Judges, 1 Samuel 1-7
1 Samuel 8-31, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11
The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna by Demi

Week 4
History:
Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? By Jean Fritz
The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
We the People: The Constitution of the United States by Peter Spier
The Declaration of Independence
Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffiths

Science:
Use Your Brain by Paul Showers
The Brain: All about Our Nervous System and More! by Seymour Simons


Geography
Parrotfish and Sunken Ships: Exploring a Tropical Reef by Jim Arnosky
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Georgia Music by Helen Griffiths
Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood by Mike Artell
Sam the Sea Cow by Francine Jacobs
The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle by Lynn Cherry
Swamp by Donald Silver
River Town by Bonnie Geisert
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C Holling
Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by Margaree King Mitchell


Fine Arts:
Abstract Art

Timeline
The Twins by Plutarch
1 & 2 Kings
1 & 2 Chronicles
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Depending on skill level:
The Children’s Homer by Padraic Collum
The Odyssey by Geralidne MacCraeghen
The Iliad of Homer by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
Works and Days by Hesiod
Theogony by Hesiod
Buddha  by Demi
The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching by Demi
Confucius: The Golden Rule by Russell Freedman

Week 5.
History
George Washington by D’Aulaire
We the People: The Constitution of the United States by Lynne Cherry
George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz
A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy Maestro

Science:
My Five Senses (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Aliki

Fine Arts:
Perspective

Geography
Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C Holling
Warm as Wool  by Scott Russell Sanders
The Log Cabin Quilt by Ellen Howard
Too Many Mittens / A Good Place to Hide / The Little Mermaid Who Could Not Sing (Dover Children’s Classics) by Lois Slobodkin
Floating House by Scott Russell Sanders
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
Lentil by Robert McCloskey

Timeline
Daniel 3
Alexander the Great by Demi
The Secret of Alexander’s Horse by Tony Palazzo
The Children’s Plutarch: Tales of the Greeks by Plutarch
Daniel 5
2 Chronicles 36
Ezra
Nehemiah
Herodotus and the Road to History by Jeanne Bendick
Archimedes and the Door to Science by Jeanne Bendick
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine  by Jeanne Bendick
What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? by Julie Ellis
Rome Antics  by David MacCaulay
Famous Men Of Rome: History for the Thoughtful Child by John Haaren

Week 6
History:
How We Crossed The West: The Adventures Of Lewis And Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer
Seaman’s Journal
Year of the Horseless Carriage: 1801 by Genevieve Foster


Science:
What Happens to a Hamburger? by Paul Showers
Guts: Our Digestive System by Seymour Simon

Geography
B Is For Bluegrass: A Kentucky Alphabet by Mary Ann McCabe
Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt
Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Howard
A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers by Deborah Hopkins
Copper-toed Boots by Marguerite de Angeli
Yonie Wondernose by Marguerite de Angeli
The Raft by Jim LaMarche
Saving Strawberry Farm

Timeline
Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
The Life of Julius Caesar by Plutarch
If You Were Me and Lived in….the Mayan Empire 
Secrets in Stone : All About Maya Hieroglyphics
Rome by Andrew Saloway
[(The Children’s Plutarch : Tales of the Romans)
Matthew 3, John 3, Matthew 14

1st Quarter Family Read Aloud:

Landmarks of American History Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1)
The Landing of the Pilgrims (Landmark Books)
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Justin Morgan Had a Horse
The Matchlock Gun
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
America’s Paul Revere
Johnny Tremain
Calico Bush
The Cabin Faced West
Of Courage Undaunted