With a 3.5 yo, 2nd grader and 4/5 grader
(4/5 grader- what seems to have worked best for my oldest is being in-between grades, giving us flexibility to be at her own pace. So while this will be her 5th year homeschooling, if she was in school, I would have waited another year before sending her to kindergarten so she would be in 4th grade so we just hang in that range.)
We are eclectic Charlotte Mason inspired homeschoolers, have done Classical Conversations in the past as well as experimenting with unschooling which is where my daughter amazed me with the growth and improvements she made in spelling and writing without being forced. I like to cater to inspiration and delight in the moment led learning but with some great tools and resources available too where the kids can get even more inspiration and new ideas from. Unschooling for me involved a LOT of intentional strewing and seeds planted and being observant and available. That is why I can't have a rigid schedule so we can relax and enjoy the unexpected learning, inspiration and rabbit holes that spontaneously happen, a spontaneous lake day when the weather is too perfect to be inside all day and to accommodate our twice a year trips cross country to visit family and a variety of small trips with my husband as sometimes we tag along with him for his work travel. But I find by having a general outline, I can modify and find a rhythm to still be intentional and make it all jive by the end of the year, even if it might make someone else go cross eyed trying to understand lol! This year I will probably be scheduling a little more than I have in the past to just wrap my head around time frames and how to get it all done with other big commitments that we may have this next year outside of the home but that is all still undetermined. I am still finalizing the details but I have lots of notes around and need to gather my thoughts in on place so I'm doing it here.
Also, I do as much combined with my 7 and 10 year old as possible and modify accordingly to make it easier for the younger one or a little more challenging for the older one. I don't want to be going crazy doing everything different for each child and keeping track of it all, I don't think I could handle that, the thought of that makes me go cross-eyed so we will do as much learning together as we can as long as we can, accommodating each child accordingly. When it gets to a point I feel they can't do as much together, then I'll probably start looking at hybrids, virtual classes or something lol! So without further ado, here is my working list for the upcoming school year as of now.
Beautiful Feet Early American History
We began this program this year and are doing it over the course of 2 years so we ended with Pilgrims and will start the fall with Benjamin Franklin.
To go along with this we will re-download the Classical Conversations App Cycle 3 which we already bought all apps in the past. We will use cycle 3 for American History memory sentences as they tie into our BF American History. Should be quick and easy as they will be familiar from before.
I also have gone through the book list for BF and found other great books to add in as additional reading for personal reading, read alouds or audiobooks for book reports or Arrows (by Brave Writer) that coincide with the history we will be covering. I will post a list at the end of this general outline.
*Language Lessons for Today by My Father's World (Grammar, composition, narration, picture study etc) grade 2 and grade 4 books
*Daily reading independently (partnering with 2nd grader til he's more comfortable on his own)
*Shakespeare - I will read to them Much Ado About Nothing this year followed by watching the movie, then let them help come up with a project of their choice, either their own acted out video, puppet show, art project...they'll have to determine their project.
*Friday Freewrites (they were a hit this year) from the Brave Writer lifestyle.
*Movies - another reason why I love Julie Bogart of Brave Writer! I have always found movies and tv series to be great teaching tools but she goes out of her way to give you permission and emphasizes the educational and relational value of watching good movies together! Our movie selections will also coincide with other subjects we will be covering. I am excited! (Listed below this outline with the books)
*Arrows for my 4/5 grader that go with historical books I mentioned above. Arrows use a book to teach copy work, dictation and literary elements learning from great literature.
*Explode the Code (with spelling words coming from the code lessons) and WWT continued for my 2nd grader
*thinking about Writing and Rhetoric also for my 4/5 grader. Will also be looking more at Brave Writers products and IEW just to see. But I do gravitate so much towards Julie Bogart of Brave Writer. Also may use Spelling Wisdom by Simply Charlotte Mason as I found book 1 & 2 for a steal at a used book store. But we will see my daughter has suddenly decided she loves spelling tests and Spelling Wisdom is all spelling through dictation. It was cheap enough to grab but not sure yet if I'll keep it.
*Creative Writing-whether my daughter takes a class again at enrichment for this, we will all spend time writing stories, from my preschooler where I jot it down for him, to my 7 yo where I will jot it down/partner write with him, he still gets fatigued getting it all written and will need support, to my 4/5 grader who already does this as a hobby on her typewriter. I will also encourage song writing, as we do poetry and sing hymns and other songs. This was/is my secret favorite hobby I started when I was around 10/11. It's such a great way to express yourself, as well as enjoy whatever instrument you are learning. Even for the kids being very beginner music students, it's exciting if they can take what little they know and apply it to a simple song of their own.
*Journal Keeping my daughter started keeping a personal journal this past year. My son has a happy times journal that I write in for him. As he tells me some of his happy thoughts about the day.(basically a mini gratitude journal). As he gains more independence in his writing he can go on to do more journal keeping independently, although I'm guessing he won't gravitate to it as naturally as his sister. We shall see. I don't even tell my daughter to write in her journal anymore she just does that on her own and I don't read it unless she wants to show me something. She kept wanting me to read all her entries in the beginning which was sweet but I figure we are around each other A LOT, I told her it's ok to have her own thoughts that she keeps private in there. Like if she's mad at her brothers and vents in her diary, I really don't need to read it because it would probably make me annoyed and my impulse would be to get after her.
*Beginner Blog my daughter started her own little blog so that will be another writing project where she will be motivated to complete her posts because it's fun and have a good attitude about editing as she wants my help to make sure it reads right and doesn't have lots of spelling mistakes. We can focus more on grammar, punctuation and such as she has a reason to care. This also will help with her computer skills and photography which she is interested in.
*CTC MATH. We have a family subscription and my kids and I have really enjoyed this program. It is a great fit for us.
*Occasionally incorporate math games from Family Math and other hands on games like Dino Tracks, Monopoly, Battle Ships etc..there are so many games you can enjoy with your kids that reinforce math skills.
*Will use the Classical Conversations app here as well to memorize skip counting. My daughter has them all down but now it's my 2nd graders turn.
we will start our first real science program this year. In the past we have just been really organic and Charlotte Mason Nature Study focused, with being involved in a nature club and then my kids have taken science classes at an enrichment program each semester that involved lots of hands on science. We also had a little Charlotte Mason Enrichment group and did a science experiment together once a month and then in the past Classical Conversations memory work for science and using nature notebooks. The kids watched a lot of Wild Kratt's which they have retained so much information from and we would watch documentaries on sea turtles and dolphins or whatever they were into. I think the science we are going to do fits really well with our style of doing school and will give us a little more structure in this area.
*We will continue to use My Brother's Keeper. We have been doing it very slowly even though it is designed for a couple weeks or so. But we do it every now and then and it gives the kids time to digest and practice the lessons. I tend to pull it out when siblings need to hit the reset button on the direction of their relationship...and it definitely helps!
*NEST Videos - Old and New Testament
*Bethany Hamilton's 90 Day Devotional RISE ABOVE continued for my daughter
*His Mighty Warrior for my son
*Big book of 5 minute devotions for all three kids over breakfast or lunch and love that it all brings lessons based of lessons about animals as we will be doing zoology.
*Hymn Study - I will teach them a hymn and usually play the piano or ukulele as we all sing along, sometimes give the boys drums to play on. Then later I will use a hymn we are learning as copy work and then we visual journal around it or watercolor paint over it. We do one hymn every month or two.
*Music Practice - for all of us. daughter has taken ukulele and will practice that or piano as I have been slowly teaching her. She will be trying violin this summer so if she decides to continue with that then she will need to practice according to what her teacher says.
My son is trying guitar lessons this summer, so same with him, hopefully he will want to continue as we will have daily practice time. And I will keep recommitting to giving myself time on the piano/guitar/ukulele. I love it so much but get SO out of practice.
*Song Writing- as I mentioned under creative writing in our Language Arts but it overlaps.
*To go along with our American History we will have fun learning and singing American Folk Songs. I can figure those out on piano or guitar but I'm hoping as my son gets comfortable he will enjoy playing the as we sing along as I'm sure there some super easy versions of them. If possible maybe they can play guitar and violin together on easy folk songs and little brother can tap a drum.
*Musicals. My kids haven't seen a lot of the great musicals that I have added to our movies list for the year.
*Live Blue Grass concerts. We live in the south east, we can find some live blue grass to enjoy with the kids. And hope to get them to as much free live music events as we can.
*We will study American Artist Thomas Cole 1830s father of American Lanscape Painting. I'll do some related art projects.
*Charlotte Mason style artist study/picture study (I use Ambleside Online as a guide, this is quick)
*American Colonial and pioneer games and handicrafts will find on Pinterest 😘🤓😎
*Native American handicrafts-cave paintings, stonework, earthenware, feathers, clay, turquoise, silver, glass, fabric, totem poles. symbols-sun, moon, bears, eagles or people. Jewelry-rich in symbolism used to adorn, protect and honor.
*daily drawing (they have sketchbooks for practicing drawing skills either still life, following tutorial or lesson from me)
*Geography is part of our Beautiful Feet as we cover the beginning of the colonies and then expand westward. We will also make use of the 50 states I Want To Take a Trip YouTube video that is fun to sing, use our United States Map floor puzzle and possible work on some sort of project like making state floats, if you look that up on Pinterest it is such a neat idea but my kids would have to make 25 each over the course of the year to get all 50 states for the "float parade" which I think would be a fun crafty, hands on project but we will see if it is too ambitious or not. If so I may just have them do a few. But there are lots of resources on Pinterest for the 50 states so I will be going there for more ideas.
*The Sassafras Science program also includes geography work as well.
This list includes all the books from Beautiful Feet as well as the ones I've added in as part of language arts to tie in. I'll note after each (BF) for Beautiful Feet or Arrow for brave writer or LA other language arts/reading projects. There will be other books we may add in based on child's interest but these are the books that will correlate to our History.
Benjamin Franklin by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire (BF)
Ben and Me by Robert Lawson ARROW-historical setting
A More Perfect Union by Giulio and Betsy Mastro (BF)
George Washington by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire (BF) also watch Nest video on him
Daring Book for Girls p136-137 Abigail Adams' Letters with John Adams and Writing Letters p142-144 (LA)
Boys and Girls of Colonial Days by Carolyn Bailey (BF)
Winter at Valley Forge by James Knight (BF)
George Washington's Breakfast by Jean Fritz (BF)
Matchlock Gun by Walter Edwards (BF)
Meet Abraham Lincoln by Barbara Cary (BF)
Like a River - Civil War novel (LA) book project
Possibly start Laura Ingalls Series
Buffalo Bill by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire (BF)
The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh (BF)
The Indian in the Cupboard (LA reading and book project)
Your story hour CD's H1, H2, H3, H5 through audible. (BF)
Some of these extra books may also be listened to via audiobook.
MAPS Book we already have to look up geography we will cover in Science
Movies- some during school time some as family movie night
many you can find on youtube, amazon, or your local library
many you can find on youtube, amazon, or your local library
Ben and Me Disney Short Film
Disney American Legends
AG Felicity - 1775, just before the Revolutionary War
Newsies - 1899
Nest Entertainment bible and history
Tall Tale: the unbelievable adventure - Pecos Bill & The American West
Miracle at Sage Creek - 1888 Wyoming two families overcoming prejudice
The man From Snowy River - not hisotry related but for my daughter with horse interest
Return to Snowy River also not part of american history really but want to include.
The Black Stallion
Long Road Home
White Fang (gold rush in Yukon)
Rocky Mountain Express (transcontinental railroad)
Mandie and the Secret Tunnel (1899-native American prejudice and African American issues)
Little House on the Prairie Series
Little House on the Prairie Series
SONGS TO LISTEN TO/LEARN
America The Beautiful
this Land is Your Land
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Blowin in the Wind
She'll be Coming round the Mountain
Skip to ma Lou
I've been working on the railroad