Between Cycles: Our Summer Study



We have finished!!! I can’t believe cycle 3 has ended, the last few weeks were so crazy I still haven’t fully recovered. I know most of you are expecting an Essentials post and I will be sharing all about our first year in Essentials with a dyslexic child IN DEPTH as soon as possible, but right now I thought I’d address the question we have received most in the last month which is, “What are you guys doing between now and August?”


Classical Conversations is only 24 weeks long. Our community starts in August, takes the entire month of December off and then starts up again and runs from January to early April. We try to maintain the rhythm of 6 weeks on, 1 week off of the rest of the year, save for the months of April and May. These two months are considered our “Summer Break” even though we do a bit of school every day.



This APRIL AND MAY we will maintain the following schedule:

Morning Time
Beautiful Feet Geography Study/A Summer of Playing Skillfully
Right Start Math/Music Practice 



On some days we will sit down and run through everything, some days we will space it throughout the day, and then there will be days when we have morning time and then do the rest of our studies in the evening. The main goal of April and May is to REST, RESTORE and EXPLORE.  We are visiting tons of preserves, beaches, trails, etc before the weather becomes unbearable.



Beautiful Feet Books and A Summer of Playing Skillfully

My older boys (9&10) love the Geography study from Beautiful Feet Books. They love it so much, this is their 3rd time going through it in 3 years. I told them they could choose any study to do and this is the one they picked. We are debating using the IEW writing book that goes along with this study, but I have yet to decide. I want to rest as much as possible, but they really love and enjoy writing right now and I want to take advantage of the momentum they have built.  The boys love the Geography study because there is so much room for them to explore and study on their own. They love studying animals and ecosystems so this feels like leisure time to them. This means I can read aloud to them and turn them loose to explore more, record findings, work in their notebooks and illustrate their narrations.  Once they are on track I can go get the younger set started with their stuff.

We are currently wrapping up our THIRD year using “A Year of Playing Skillfully” from The Homegrown Preschooler and I am elated that Lesli and Kathy have recently released a summer edition of their fantastic curriculum. (It feels wrong to call it curriculum, its more of a heart revolution than anything else!) I surprised my two boys (5&7) with it this past weekend and they screamed their heads off! They can’t wait to use it this “summer” even though the months are labeled for traditional summer, we are using it early because they just can’t wait. You’ll get to see sneak peaks of what we do!

Right Start Math and Music Practice
Everyone keeps asking if we’ll be switching soon and the answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! We are loving how Right Start Math has revolutionized the way we do Math at home. The short, focused lesson are perfect for the boys. Whenever I say “Time for Math” one of them will inevitably say something along the lines of “Yes! I love playing with Math!” No one would have ever uttered those words during the years of Saxon drudgery! We pretty much decided that we’ll be doing math every single weekday of the year unless we are sick or its a holiday.  We are really taking our time, sometimes repeating lessons we really enjoy or taking whole lessons blocks to just play card game out of the book. I am so encouraged to see them loving math. It was one of my greatest fears as a homeschool parent, and now its one of our favorite parts of the day. We’ll be using Right Start for as long as possible! We always combine Math and Music together. Whenever someone finishes their work they then practice their instruments. It takes a full hour to cycle through all 3 levels of Right Start and practice on all the instruments.  It’s all a balancing act!


We’ll begin the “new year” on June 3rd, at which point our “formal” studies kick back in with History, Science, Latin, Math, etc and a new Morning Time line up. I am currently organizing our CC/CM Cycle 1 plan for the year and am hoping to get that out to everyone over the next month. This next school year  is going to bring a lot of changes with it. First and foremost, we are adopting an infant. Its hard to put into words how humbled, grateful and excited we are to welcome a new soul into our family. We are slowly making preparations for our whole world to change. I am also finally setting time aside to work on my book and I have so much fun whenever I am able to write a bit more. I am excited to share that with you all soon. We’ll be updating far more regularly on here from now on. Be sure to sign up so you don’t miss our posts!


A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Quarter 4

We’re back!!! I know I am late with this list. We were sick for so long, I had to make sure that I payed attention to my priorities first by getting my home, family and community back on track before blogging. So here I am, a few weeks late with this list but happy that I took care of my family first.

How is it time for Quarter 4 already?! I can’t believe the year is almost done. We are in the thick of Memory Master prep and Faces of History and all kinds of great stuff. Once again I find myself feeling deeply appreciative of this wonderful spine we have found with CC and the freedom to flesh it out at home in our own Charlotte Mason way. What a gift it has been to us!  Make sure to keep an eye on the Classical Conversations Instagram page the week of March 12th, Farmhouse Schoolhouse will be doing a week long take over of that page so we can share with everyone how we CC at home! We’ll start off with Community Day and work our way through the week. If you have any special requests or things that you’d like to see, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to show you how we do those things in the hopes that it will help or encourage you!

If you have never read one of these lists before, start here. You will find a complete list of our geography, morning time, math and other pursuits there. I won’t be writing it all out here this time, since we are so short on time! Below you will find a list of book suggestions for Science, Geography and Fine Arts for the quarter and beneath that a week by week booklist for  History and Timeline

That’s a Possibility by Bruce Goldstone
Genesis 1-2
The Creation Story by Helen Haidle
The True Story of Noah’s Ark by Tom Dooley
Is Genesis History?
Life in the Great Ice Age
Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton (simple theory of evolution explanation)
Charles Darwin’s Around the World Adventures by Jennifer Thermes
How to Think Like a Scientist: Answering Questions by the Scientific Method by Stephen Kramer

Fine Arts
Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
Hannah Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
by Susan Hood
The Carnival of Animals by Jack Prelutsky
The Musical Life of Gustav Mole by Kathryn Metric

One Small Square: Desert by Donald M Silver
One Small Square: Swamp by Donald M Silver
One Small Square: Cave by Donald M Silver
A Tree in the Trail by Holling C Holling
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C Holling
A Walk in the Desert by Rebecca Johnson
A Walk in the Deciduous Forest by Rebecca Johnson
A Walk in the Rain Forest by Rebecca Johnson
A Journey Into An Estuary by Rebecca Johnson
Amazing Impossible Erie Canal by Cheryl Harness
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
Lift Your Light A Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop, Slave and Explorer by Heather Henson (Mammoth Cave, not my favorite text)


Two of the main texts for Timeline reading can be found at Simply Charlotte Mason. They are:
Stories of the Nations Volume 2 by Lorene Lambert
Stories of America Volume 2 by Lorene Lambert

Week 19

Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 4 How Lincoln Became President
-Chp 5 The Great Civil War
-Chp 6 War on Sea and Land
-Chp 7 After the Civil War
-Chp 14 The Spanish American War

Stories of the Nations by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 2 How Bismarck Made an Empire
-Chp 6 Boer War

Angel on the Square by Gloria Whelan
The Impossible Journey by Gloria Whelan
Burying the Sun by Gloria Whelan
The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

Week 20

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy
In Flanders Field by Linda Grandfield
Angel on the Square by Gloria Whelan
The Impossible Journey by Gloria Whelan
Stories of the Nations by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 12 The War to End all Wars
-Chp 13 The Christmas Truce
-Chp 14 The Red Baron
-Chp 15 The Lusitania
-Chp 16 The Russian Revolution
-Chp 17 The Great Depression

Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 25 A Roar and A Crash
Billy Graham: Just Get Up Out of Your Seat by Catherine Mackenzie
Christmas Truce: A True Story of World War 1 by Aaron Shepherd
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison


Week 21
Breaking Stalin’s Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
Chp 26 World War 2
Chp 27 The Battle of the Bulge
Chp 28 Battle of Iwo Jima
Chp 29 V for Victory
Chp 30 A Long Cold War
Chp 33 The End of the Cold War
Stories of the Nations by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 20 The Second World War
-Chp 21 The Underground
-Chp 22 The Day of Days
-Chp 24 The Creation of Israel
-Chp 25 The Dead Sea Scrolls
Israel by Miroslav Sasek
Gandhi by Demi
Gandhi: The Young Protestor Who Founded a Nation by Phillip Wilkinson
Little White Duck: A Childhood in China by Andres Martinez
Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing by Guo Yeu

Look to the Stars by Edwin Aldrin
Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Bran Floca
Stories of the Nations by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 28 Sputnik
Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-chp 32 The Land of What can Be

Week 22
-Chp 31 For Civl Rights
Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit Ins by Carole Weatherford
Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freidman
Many Thousand Gone: Slavery to Freedom by Virginia Hamilton
Through the Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot
The Vietnam War by DK
Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam by Walter Dean Myers
Moonshot the Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca

The Little Chapel That Stood by AB Curtis
Stories of America
Chp 34 September 11, 2001
Chp 35 A New Kind of War


Week 23

Stories of America by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 34 September 11, 2001
-Chp 25 A New Kind of War
-Chp 36 The Information Age and a Farewell
The Turning by Gloria Whelan
The Little Chapel That Stood by AB Curtis

The Constitution of the United States
Sh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
A More Perfect Union by Betsy Maestro


Week 24

The President’ Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz
Our Country’s Presidents by Ann Basaum

Bill of Rights



I am so glad Week 24 is light! My goodness its been a full year! Please remember that we do not read every single one of these books here at home. This book list is compiled to give you options and is the book list I use here at home to select books from each week depending on our current needs and interest.

We will be sharing our Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 1 this summer, so keep an eye out for it!


Homeschool Books that Shaped Us

Here is a list of the books that have shaped our life of learning the most! Remember that I am a Classical/Charlotte Mason homeschooler and a Wild + Free Mama so that blend is quite obvious in my choices below. While I do not agree with every single concept in every single book, I have found the books below to be extremely helpful in my life as a mother, student, educator and writer. Enjoy!

Books with an asterisk (**) are books that I frequently reread.

Getting Started:
Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson **
Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie **
Margin by Richard Swenson
Laying Down the Rails for Yourself by Sonya Schafer
Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education by Susan Wise Bauer

Casting Vision: 
The Holy Bible (I love the ESV translation)
10 Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen **
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schafer Macaulay
L’abri by Edith Schafer
The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson **
The Life Giving Table by Sally and Clay Clarkson
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Nurtured by Love by Shin’ichi Suzuki
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex Harris
Death by Living ND Wilson **
The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy
How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schafer
The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis

For the Heart:
Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins
Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree
Humility by Andrew Murray
Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic
The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
Reading People by Anne Bogel

For Kids that Break the Mold:
Different by Sally Clarkson
Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels
Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson
The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock L Eide and Fernette F Eide
Good and Angry by Scott Truancy
The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo
Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for any Child by Cheryl Swope

Classical Education:
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy L Sayers **
The Core by Leigh Bortins **
The Question by Leigh Bortins **
The Conversation by Leigh Bortins
Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education by Stratford Caldecott
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: The Re-enchantment of Education by Stratford Caldecott
The Liberal Arts Tradition by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph
Norms and Nobility  by David Hicks (Yes, its ridiculously expensive and will stay that way till someone else acquires publishing rights. Its an incredibly difficult book but I have loved studying it)
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
Climbing Parnassus by Tracy Lee Simmons
Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcy
Charlotte Mason:
Charlotte Mason’s Original Writings (I’d start with either Book 1 or Book 6) **
The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
When Children Love to Learn by Elaine Cooper
The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater
Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass

Blending CM and CC:
Consider This by Karen Glass **
Mind to Mind by Karen Glass and Charlotte Mason
All of Charlotte Mason’s books because she WAS a Classical Educator 🙂

The majority of these are affiliate links.

A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Quarter 3

Hello friends and Happy New Year! Here is our List of Quarter 3 work for Classical Conversations Cycle 3 using a Charlotte Mason Approach and a brief description of our work for the next six weeks. I have grouped all the books for science into one section and all the books for geography into another. History and Timeline are broken up per week. As always, I tried to list only IN PRINT books with very few exceptions. Most of these can be found at the library. You DO NOT NEED to purchase all these books. We will probably choose one or two each week to do as a family and smaller books will be read by my older children during their daily independent reading hour. Enjoy!


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

We continue to use Right Start Math and are thrilled with the success (and fun!) we’ve had so far. The short focused lessons make it ideal for juggling between ages and the family book game helps increase our math fluency at the end of our lessons. I have noticed an increased attention to math in the children’s free play which I connect back to our Right Start Math lessons.

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. The Stories of America book by Lorene Lambert (and Stories of the Nations) can be purchased from Simply Charlotte Mason.

Map Work
We have fallen in love with Draw the USA. The kids are using it every other day and on Fridays they draw the entire US and fill in the features they know. Its fun and challenging and we are having a blast with it. We started this out on a whiteboard together. I drew for the kids and we all had a good laugh at my artistic skills and I think that took the pressure off everyone. We will also be using some of the following books for our study:

Geography (weeks 13-18)
Swift Rivers by Cornelia Miegs
Robert Fulton: Boy Craftsman by Marguerite Henry
Seabird by Holling C Holling
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C Holling
Paddle to the Sea by Holling C Holling
Lightships by Brian Flocca
Beyond the Sea of Ice: Voyages of Henry Hudson by Joan Goodman (NOT a Living Book, but the maps and information are well done)
River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River by Hudson Talbott ** Touches on many Timeline Events too!
Swan Flyway: The Tundra Swan by Dana Limpert
Mississippi Going North by Sana Baker
Hoover Dam by Elizabeth Mann

We completed our Lyrical Life Science study before the holidays and thoroughly enjoyed it! Now that CC is moving on to Chemistry we will need to reevaluate our science study.
Science (weeks 13-18)
What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? by Robert Wells
What is the World Made Out of? by Kathleen Zoehfield
Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Element in the Universe by Theodore Gray
The Story of Salt by Mark Kerlanksy
Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake
The Mystery of the Periodic Table of Elements by Benjamin Walker (We will be using this along with “Medeleyev and His Period Table” by Robin McKown, sadly it is OoP).
Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History by Penny Le Couter

Periodic Videos (one for each of the elements!)

I’ll be reading “Thats the Way the Cookie Crumbles” by Joe Schwarcz

Independent Loop
The boy’s independent work consists of the following components and they have a set time each day to work on the next item on their list before looping around. Some days they do more than one task, some days they only focus on one. I love that they get a bit of time with each as they cycle through. This idea came from Sarah Mackenzie’s wonderful book: Teaching From a State of Rest.

Handwriting (Cursive Prescripts from Classical Conversations)
Typing- The Good and the Beautiful
Crochet Project
Pin it! Maps Work
Elenco work
Paper Sloyd


Language Arts
My eldest is having a wonderful first year with the Essentials Program. To be honest, I am completely taken aback by how well he has done. I thought his dyslexia would make this year a miserable experience for all but we have found just the opposite to be true. Thanks to his fantastic memory (one of the gifts that came with dyslexia) he is breezing through his charts! I am still scribing his papers but he loves the IEW program and is enjoying composing a paper each week.
My next eldest is using an IEW writing book and both boys use the
Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level A IEW Spelling Program every day. They do not get to move on from a list till they have mastered it two days in a row and I am so thankful to see their spelling rapidly improving! (If you have a dyslexic child, you know how amazing this is!) The older two boys still have one hour of independent reading each day. Use the IEW tab on our page to explore the site!

My next eldest is wrapping up his time with My Father’s World 1st Grade and Five in a Row. Since we had both programs already we have been picking and choosing our favorite aspects. By no means did he do both programs in their entirety! He will not start formal spelling for a bit yet. His copywork is from Simply Charlotte Mason.

We are still using Memoria Press Latin Cristiana 1 for Latin and enjoying it tremendously. Its exciting to see how much our memory work helps in this area!


We continue to use The Homegrown Preschooler for our youngest (and his brothers always end up joining him whenever they can!) Along with Right Start Math Level A, this combination has been more than enough for our 5 year old. He is in his 3rd year with HGP and the amount of growth and learning we have seen is far beyond what our evaluators initially projected for him. I am so thankful to Lesli Richards and Kathy Lee for compiling this beautiful program.

Morning Time
A Child’s History of Architecture by Hillyer
Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois by Cherrydale Press
The Harp and the Laurel Wreath by Laura Bergquist
American History Picture Study by Queen Homeschool
Hymn Study (check out @happyhymnody on Instagram!)
Grandma Moses by Charles Graves
Stories of America Volume 2 by Lorene Lambert
Trial and Triump by Richard Hannula
Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade

(See Quarter 1 for details on Poets, Composers and Artists!)


Week 13
They Put Out to Sea by Roger Duvoisin (How I WISH this were in Print!)
Around the World in a Hundred Years by Jean Fritz
The Kidnapped Prince: The Life of Olaudah Equiano by Ann Cameron
Ink on His Fingers by Louise A Vernon
The World of Columbus and Sons by Genevieve Foster
The Royal Diaries: Isabel: Jewel of Castilla by Carolyn Meyer
Blood Secret by Kathryn Lansky
**Books on Spanish Inquisition are for older children, I have not read either one but included them on recommendation from a friend.

14th Amendment (includes links to newspaper articles, opinion pieces, etc published at the time).
Heart and Soul: The Story of American and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
John Newton: A Slave Set Free by Irene Howat
Freedom Over Me by Ashley Bryan
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom by Virgina Hamilton

Week 14
Columbus by D’Aulaire
Courage and Conviction by Mindy and Brandon Withrow
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
-Chp 19-26 The Reformation
Peter the Great by Diane Stanley
The World of William Penn by Genevieve Foster (Absolute Monarchs)
The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell
Johann Sebastian Bach by Mike Venezia
Sebastian Bach by Opal Wheeler
Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

**We have already done an in depth study of the Industrial Revolution and my boys have asked to look at Child Labor a little more closely.

Mill by David Macaulay 
The Chimney Sweep’s Ransom by Dave and Neta Jackson ( I have not read this one yet but its been recommended several times to me so we are trying it this year!)*
Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop*
Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman*
The Industrial Revolution for Kids: The People and Technology that Changed the World by Cheryl Mullenbach
Empire State Building by Elizabeth Mann
Brooklyn Bridge by Elizabeth Mann


Week 15
Stories of America Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
–Chp 2 Captain Smith and Jamestown
–Chp 3 Miles Standish and the Pilgrims
Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
-Chp 31 Jonathan Edwards
-Chp 32 George Whitfield
-Chp 33 John Wesley
-Chp 34 John Newton
Adventures from the Bay by Clifford Wilson
Hearts and Minds: Chronicles of the Awakening Church by  Mindy and Brandon Withrow

Teddy Roosevelt: Young Rough Rider by Ed Winfield Parks
The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barb Rosenstock
The Remarkable Rough Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Cheryl Harness
Theodore Roosevelt by Mike Venezia (available at most libraries)
To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport
Bully For You Teddy Roosevelt by Jean Fritz
Young Teddy Roosevelt by Cheryl Harness

Week 16

Story of the Nations Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 14 James Cook
Stories of America Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
–Chp 16-22 Revolutionary War
–Chp 23 Voyage of Our Ship of State (Constitution)
–Chp 25 America Grows (Lewis and Clark)

The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices by Louise Peacock
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
Coming to America: They Story of Immigration by Betsy Maestro
The Memory Coat by Elvira Woodruff
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest
Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser
The Journey by Francesca Sana
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman


Week 17

Story of the Nations Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 16-19 Napoleon
-Chp 20 Bolivar the Liberator
Stories of America Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 27 How the English and the Americans Fought Again

Where Poppies Grow: A World War 1 Companion by Linda Greenfield
Remember the Lusitania by Diane Preston
Only a Dog: A Story of the Great War by Bertha Smith
Christmas Truce by Aaron Shephard
In Flander’s Field: The Story of the Poem by John Macrae. by Linda Greenfield
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
The War to End All Wars by Russell Freedman **Advanced

Week 18
Stories of the Nations Volume 1 by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 25 Commodore Perry Opens the Door to Japan
Stories of America Volume 2 by Lorene Lambert
-Chp 1 Heading West on the Oregon Trail
-Chp 3 The Sad Story of Slavery
Soft Rain by Cornelia Cornelian
Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac
Charles Darwin by Jennifer Thermes
Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shoguns by Rhoda Blumberg

I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor by Laura Tarshis
Pearl Harbor by Stephen Krensky
Pearl Harbor Child by Dorinda Nicholson
A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Steve Mazer
Pigeon Hero by Shirley Redman
Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Never Give In: The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill by Stephen Mansfield
A Boy Named FDR by Kathleen Krull
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
The Winged Watchman by Hilda VanStockum
The House of 60 Fathers by Meindert De Jong
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
All Those Secrets of the World by Jane Yolen
Twenty and Ten by Claire Bishop
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
The Story of the USS Arizona by Conrad Stein

There is an abundance of read alouds to choose from for this time period. Our family will be reading the following three this quarter in the evenings as a family:
The Evolution of Calournia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly  (1899-1900)
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy (WW1)
The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy (WW2)


Farmhouse Schoolhouse Christmas Guide: Babes, Tots and Homegrown Preschoolers

All right guys, this is the one I had the most requests for! Next up is our Homeschool Mama Gift Guide. Enjoy!

For the Babies (0-12 months): 
1) Sarah’s Silks. This is my go to baby gift- especially the teethers. They are so lovely, soft and a perfect early sensory experience.

2) The softest swaddle blankets. My boys loved these.

3) A bead grasper from Grimm’s Speil and Holz
4) A Bella baby terry cloth doll. These are small and sweet and soft, perfect for little hands!
5) Music by Elizabeth Mitchell. We love “You are My Little Bird,” “Sunny Day,”  and a Christmas album called “The Sounding Joy.” And, of course, my most favorite music album for babies OF ALL TIME 🙂 “Hidden in my Heart.”

6) Beautiful Poetry and Stories recorded by Jim Weiss. The more beautiful words babies are exposed to-the better!

For Toddlers (1-2/3)
1) Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Wooden Stacker is an heirloom quality toy that is incredibly beautiful and well made.

2) Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Nesting Bowls are equally wonderful for this developmental age.


3) HABA’s First board games. We love this sweet collection of first board games for littles, especially those that are mentally ready for “bigger things” but not quite there emotionally. Most of these games are appropriate for ages 2+

First Orchard
Here Fishy Fishy
Animal Upon Animal
Feeling and Touching

4) A sweet percussion station for children to experiment with. We loved handing our kids instruments and turning up tunes for them to jam out with. They developed a special fondness for many different forms of Brazilian music.

5) One of the best things I ever did as a Mom was say YES every single time one of my toddler said “me do it” or ” I help Mama.” They were never discouraged from helping, in fact, I went out of my way to involve them and praise them even if it meant more work for me later. These days my kids do a large share of the chores around here and its a huge blessing to our whole family. A great way to encourage littles is to give them child sized tools. (Remember this is a great gift for a child in that precious little “me do it” phase. Please don’t buy your 12 year old a broom for Christmas with the hopes that they’ll love it and skip off to do chores).
71rLJ0tOqrL._SL1500_.jpg6) I always love to give a gift that says to my child “I trust you to be responsible with the next big thing. I believe you are capable and smart and able.” Now what this item is varies from child to child. My children have received everything from plants to pets to knives. For a child this young maybe the next big step is a toddler bed or a balance bike or a small square of the yard that belongs to THEM and they can use it to grow a veggie garden or make a fairy garden, the point is the gift relays a powerful message just in time for the new year.


7) Wooden animals. We love the Holtziger brand best and purchased most of ours from Padilly.



Homegrown Preschoolers (3+)

1)The Homegrown Preschooler Curriculum! (obvs!) Now just to clarify. There is a wonderful BOOK called “The Homegrown Preschooler” by Lesli Richards and Kathy Lee and its WONDERFUL. I love it and use it often. Then there is their curriculum called “A Year of Playing Skillfully” which is my favorite of all time. (Read this, this and this). If I were to buy this curriculum for Christmas I would set a bunch of the activities up under the tree for my kids to play with right away. Right now Homegrown Preschooler is offering $20 off their curriculum along with the free ebook, 2 sets of water beads, a free sensory kit. Huzzah! P.S. They also have an awesome 12 Days of Christmas thing going down on their Instagram and Facebook page so check it out!


2) An art basket stocked with jumbo brushes, funky brushes , shape sponges, no spill cups, do a dot markers, color diffusing paper and your favorite washable non toxic paints.
3) Sensory Bin tools! Fine Motor Tools, Water Beads, or separated by color if you have one of those kiddos! (Always, always, always make sure the beads you buy are NON TOXIC and safe for play, vase fillers at the Dollar Tree will burn your child). Jumbo tweezers,  stacking cups,  water play cups and safari toobs (We always get our at Michaels with their weekly coupons!)


or try these ready made sensory kits: Ocean Explorers, Jungle Excursion, African Safari, Dinosaur Discovery

4) A Light Table or Light Pad with translucent pattern blocks, letters, or geometric shapes. 


5) Set up a play area in your backyard full of natural materials like river stones, rocks, tree stumps and sticks. You can find great tree trimmings on the side of the road on Saturday afternoons. A nice big tonka truck or two would be a nice touch!

6) Alphabet Tracing Board From Jennifer. All orders at this shop will not arrive before Christmas due to high volume orders.


7) A Big Box of Dress Up Clothes
Beautiful wings and fairytale cloaks from Bella Luna Toys or Magic Cabin are always a great option. Or a simple trip to a thrift store for odds and ends can go a very long way!

8) Element Blocks from Grimm’s Spiel and Holz
or classic wooden blocks

9) Audiobooks like Little House on the Prairie or Hank the Cowdog. Check Read Aloud Revival for great suggestions.

10) A Space to Call Their Own. It can be a nice multi-use table or a beat up old coffee table. Push it up against a corner and decorate with Cavallini paper from Paper Source or odds and ends from places like Tanglewood Hollow or Mirus Toys or Twig and Moth.


Farmhouse Schoolhouse Christmas Guide: Artists & Chefs

1) Art Classes
Creating a Masterpiece comes highly recommended by Simply Charlotte Mason. My son and I stopped by their booth at FPEA this past May and signed up for a free class. It was amazing how much he was able to accomplish by following the video instruction. He really enjoyed the class.  We will probably wait another year or two before diving into this program but I wanted to share it here in case anyone was looking for more formal art instruction for their children or themselves.  Projects are organized by level and come with supply lists directly linked to Dick Blick for easy supply gathering!

If you need something shorter, check out a 9 week online course like “Studying Under the Masters” from Jeanne Oliver.

2) Watercolor Brush Pens
These pens are such a treat!

3) A Sketch Kit


4) A Paper Quilling Kit


5) A Brush Lettering Kit

6) A big pack of blank canvases in multiple sizes 7187qnEFJNL._SL1500_.jpg
7) If you are looking for one big kit that includes many different mediums, this looks like a good deal!

8) Here is a list of our favorite places to stock up on art supplies. We love Stockmar Beeswax and Modeling Clay, they are certainly more expensive than Crayola and Play Doh but their quality is superior and they last far, far longer. We are still using our crayons from last year and they are in great condition!

Bella Luna Toys,  Imagine Childhood,  Palumba, and Paper Scissors Stone 

9) Beautiful Craft boards FROM JENNIFER (Note: We are so excited that this family-owned small business is thriving! They are doing so well that many items in their shop will not be ready in time for Christmas even though they are working round the clock to complete their orders)


10) Crayon Holder






For the Little Chef in Your Life

  1. Our FAVORITE cooking club for kiddos~ Raddish Kids. We eagerly await our new boxes each month. Each box comes with a new tool, grocery list, patch, kitchen project and 3 beautifully laminated recipes that feature a recipe, culinary skill training and geography or history about the recipe.  Dietary substitutions are available as well.



2)  A great children’s knife to work with! You can find additional finger guards here
3) When they are still too small to navigate a larger cooking area, these small electric skillets are perfect for children’s kitchen areas. For more information on establishing an easily accessible kitchen area for small children I highly recommend scouring the blog Our Montessori Life61o80oWmObL._SL1196_.jpg
4) Speaking of easily accessible for children, I have seen such benefit in making sure my children have access to the tools they need to navigate our home and life together. Child-sized tools have made a great difference in our home in encouraging children to be as independent as possible in their cooking, cleaning and life skills. One fantastic resource for finding child-sized tool of all kids is a company called For Small Hands. Check them out! We really love their tableware and bakeware!

5) Our favorite cookbooks for Kids: Honest Pretzels and Pretend Soup911W2dFdNlL.jpg

6) Encourage your chef to branch out into gardening! Check out the Abundant Garden Curriculum IMG_6416.png

7) A Child’s Apron that uses velcro instead of ties! Etsy has many to choose from like these adorable ones from Courtesy and Grace.

8) A Fruit Snack Making Kit
9) An easy peasy apple peeler thats fun to look at and use!


10) Spice up Taco Tuesdays


Our next gift guide: Babes, Tots and Homegrown Preschoolers will be out soon! 🙂