The 3rd round of Cycle 3


Next year my eldest is moving up to Challenge A and I will be his Director. I plan on sharing posts about how we are preparing ourselves and how we are planning to make the most of his Dyslexia superpowers, but right now I want to share about my second born son, who is entering his final year of Foundations. It will be his third time going through Cycle 3 and the first time he and his older brother won’t be in the same class. I didn’t want him to start his year disgruntled and detached and so I took the time to hash out what we wanted next year to look like for him. This is a post about how we are approaching this coming year together.



We met together. This was a helpful place to start. I asked a lot of questions and realized that there were many areas about the coming year that needed clarity. It helped to make sure our definitions were aligned so that our conversations was pointed in the same direction. We also took time to address our expectations of each other and for the year. I let him know what things we would be working on this year to get him ready for Challenge A (2021-2022). We talked about accountability for the next year. I will be directing Challenge A but will still be teaching him, his 9 year old brother and his youngest brother, who has special needs and requires extra services (some led by me). He let me know that he was ready for more of a challenge this year and didn’t need much hand holding. So we talked about what that might look like…


Over the summer we will be working on a 1-2 sentence “focus” statement for the year. He didn’t feel comfortable sharing it here, but it mainly deals with relaying our goals and expectation in a succinct way. This will be a good reminder for both of us in case either one or both of us drifts off course during the year.



Together we drew up his lesson schedule for the coming year. Before we met I took some time to think about his areas of strength and his areas of weakness and found a few places were I could be more flexible. Coming to the meeting ready for flexibility and with an eye for strengths and weaknesses was incredibly helpful! (Knowing my own is also a game changer).


Latin (Form 1)
The boys just finished Latin Cristiana 1 for the second year in a row. Last year they finished and when they took their final exam, I realized that they could benefit from another go around. So I purchased fresh student books and they went through the course a second time. They took their final exam today and aced it. I am so excited for them! While big brother moves on to Henle 1 with his Challenge A class, my second born will progress to Latin Form 1 with Memoria Press. I am so impressed with their curriculum. This will be their fourth year with the program and Memoria Press does an excellent job of introducing new vocabulary, layering grammar rules, working on declensions and conjugations and slowly developing their ability to translate.  We use a four day schedule with the program here at home.
Day 1: Watch the instructional DVD and complete the two workbook pages for that lesson.
Day 2: Latin Drill Sheets and Flashcards (usually a game)
Day 3: Latin Review sheets for that lesson
Day 4: Latin Quiz for that lesson, or test for the unit

Right Start Math (Level G)
We are still making our way through Right Start and have only one or two levels left in the program. This level is a beautiful course on Geometry and we are so eager to dive in. Once he is finished he’ll dive into Saxon. We already agreed that once he finishes (G) he can jump into Saxon, even if Challenge A hasn’t started yet. I love the freedom of choice in the math strand of Challenge and see no reason why I should hold him back. Go baby, go!

We’ve been using these wonderful Geography books along with our Pin it Maps for a few years now. Paired with our weekly Geography work at CC, we have grown quite a solid foundation over the years. This year he has set the goal to work through as many of these books as possible, in preparation for Challenge A’s cartography strand next year. This is a personal goal he has set for himself and not something I’m forcing on him. My boys are big fans of board games like Axis and Allies, enjoy discussions about the world wars and different expeditions, and always run to the map when we read about a new place. This is part of the drive that spurred him forward to set this goal.


Another high up on his list of requests for this year. Because he is very self motivated and organized, I knew I could give him more freedom in this area. We carved out space in his schedule and purchased a Rosetta package that would suit his needs. This study will be entirely independent.

Essentials (IEW)
Once the fall hits he will begin his third and final year of Essentials. His next youngest brother will join him as a first tour student, and I will try not to cry since I won’t be their tutor for the first time ever. (My third born and I have already shed tears over the fact that I won’t be his tutor, but of the joy of knowing that I am still his Essentials TEACHER here at home). The Essentials class with Classical Conversations includes grammar, writing and numeracy. My second born has already worked through all three of the spelling rotations in the EEL and spent two years making corrections on the Bible sheets so he will be using Fix it! Grammar from IEW and I’ll be curating his spelling lists from misspelled words found in his daily written narrations.

Economics: The boy loves studying economics. Never would I ever have chosen to study economics at this point in time but he is so hungry for it we ended up diving in this year with the excellent book on Economics and accompanying guide. I’m still narrowing down which book to use next, but he will have time for economics this year which, along with French and a green light in math, has gone a long way in soothing his heart over not progressing into Challenge A with his older brother.

Morning Time
I will give a more detailed list of Morning Time plans for Cycle 3 when I post my quarterly book lists. This is the time of day when we read and recite scripture, sing hymns, read and recite poetry, study art/architecture, study nature, read fairytales or myths, work on memory work and enjoy a family read aloud. The littles drop off as the hour progresses and soon I am left with just the older two who have their Plutarch or Shakespeare reading and narration, depending on the day.


Tae Kwon Do

I am already working on my Cycle 3 Quarter 1 list for this year (you can find my 4th edition list here). Because this is his 3rd time through American History, he has requested a reading list of “deeper dive” reading rather than progressing through a history spine that hits on the corresponding history for each week.  I told him we would settle on one of Genevieve Foster’s books and use it along with individual reads that paint a deeper picture of American History.

Here is his list of books for the year. Some of these are historical events, some provide a look into a different culture or time period. This list is curated to his strengths and his weaknesses, feeding what he loves and stretching him into new areas that are not his forte. He is a fast reader and we’ll probably add to this list as the year goes on. For now….

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome True Story About Brain Science by John Flesichman
Courage Undaunted by James Daugherty
Water Sky by Jean Craighead George
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
The Great Fire by Jim Murphy
The Wright Brothers by Russell Freedman
The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Elin’s America by Marguerite de Angeli
Prairie School by Lois Lenski
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

While we have nature study all year round, he has expressed an interest in Marine Biology next year. I told him that we aren’t in a rush to plan something out. We’re sitting on this one for awhile. I like to add things in layers, lest I buy more than we can handle in a year. We have a lot of layers going on already and I want to wait before we add one more. This will give him time to think a bit. He’s still wrapping up his current Chemistry study with MEL Science, so he has time yet!

I’ll add to the book list as time draws near or once he reads it all and we need to add more.

Coming up soon on Farmhouse Schoolhouse….

Cycle 3 Quarter 1 Booklist
Preparing for Challenge A: Student
Preparing for Challenge A: Parent
50 States Booklist
Classical Conversations and Neurodiversity


6 thoughts on “The 3rd round of Cycle 3

  1. Thank you for sharing your plans! I have enjoyed your book lists for the last couple of years and have a morning time thanks to your inspiration! We have the oldest starting Challenge A this year also but youngest is also special needs and is a real challenge to manage both. Curious to know what kind of services you have and how you work that out and get time with other children?


  2. Thank you, I always enjoy your beautiful posts. I have two boys, the eldest is dyslexic and moving to Challenge A, and my second is a journeyman this fall. I’m really interested to hear what you are planning for your eldest as there’s not much out there for kids with dyslexia in CC. Please share my gratitude with your son in that he would be helping and inspiring so many who share his “superpowers!”


  3. For your son who loves studying economics – I recently finished this book on the history of the corporation and it was amazing. It is written in such a conversational tone that I think a mature kid could appreciate it. I plan to incorporate it into our homeschooling curriculum.


  4. Thank you for this. I have one going into Challenge I and my youngest, who is in her last year of F/E and third tour of both Cycle 3 and Essentials. We just discovered last fall that she has dyslexia so we are still trying to figure out how to accommodate her best in that, which is partly why I stepped down from being director after 5 years. I was wondering how Latin went with your student who is transitioning to Challenge A next year and how you are preparing for that with him. I am not sure she will be ready to move up next year for so many reasons. I just cannot see her doing all the work (even with tailoring) that is required in Challenge A. I will be keeping tabs on how your year goes in Challenge A for inspiration as well as what I may see for our journey. Thank you for your blog. It is encouraging.


  5. I love this, thank you. Will your challenge A student be doing the history lessons along with your others or will Challenge A be full enough? Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s