Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christian Studies

Another subject from LCC (Latin-Centered Curriculum) and Memoria Press.

Why christian studies?  Cultural literacy.  Many western classics refer to stories from the King James version of the Bible, and authors assumed their readers would be familiar with those stories.

But what program to use?  Religion always gets a little sticky.  Our family is LDS/Mormon and sometimes what is taught in a christian program doesn't match up with our beliefs.  I suppose every homeschool parent runs into the same problem no matter what their beliefs are.  When choosing a program, what it comes down to is how much time you are willing to spend tweaking a program to fit your family.

Christian studies from Memoria Press fits the bill as it is more about becoming familiar with the stories and events rather than spiritual teachings.  Since 11yo and I do this program together tutor style, it is easy for me to insert my thoughts during a lesson about differences in interpretation which might pop up.

I think the hardest thing for me to get used to was the illustrations in the Golden Children's Bible.  They are so different from the style used in our church.

Suggested schedule from Memoria Press:
Christian Studies I - 3rd grade
Christian Studies II - 4th grade
Christian Studies III - 5th grade
Christian Studies IV (review of I-III) - 6th grade

We are currently coming towards the end of Christian Studies I.  We are doing one lesson per week with the goal of finishing I-III before 11yo begins early morning seminary when she is 14.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Classical Studies

I first read about classical studies in Drew Campbell's Latin-Centered Curriculum.  What we do probably isn't anything like he suggested, but we are taking a stab at it.

At Memoria Press they suggest:
3rd grade

4th grade

and 5th grade

Of course, we are playing catch-up.  We finished D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths early this school year.  Famous Men of Rome is included in our Latin program, Lively Latin, and we recently started Famous Men of the Middle Ages.  Siegfried, Kriemhilda, Alaric the Visigoth?  These aren't stories or people I'm familiar with so I'm learning alongside 11yo. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27, 2013

11yo thought she wouldn't have to do school today because other kids had the day off.  Lol!  Yeah, right!   Thanksgiving is one day not two.

Sadly, CNN Student News won't air again until next Tuesday. :/

Math 5 - English measurement (linear to sixteenths, capacity, weight, time)
Spelling - reviewed LOE lesson 8, comparative and superlative adjectives, suffixes -ish and ness
English 4 - subject and object pronouns
Lively Latin - government of the Roman Republic

Classical Studies - Attila the Hun (FMofMA), several stories from D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (Skade, Frey and Gerd,  The theft of Thor's hammer)
Christian Studies - Ark of the Covenant
World History - first civilization
American/State History - mound builders from A History of US
Science 5 - 19 Laws for Moving Things, 20 Friction
Music - Chopin in Lives of the Musicians, listened to "Polonaise in A flat-major"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful for Today

Thankful for a Monday?  Yes!  Today was a great start to our week.  Math, grammar, spelling, and Latin (government during the Roman Republic) were done before lunch.

And ... drum roll ... we did something besides merely the basics.  CNN Student News, Famous Men of the Middle Ages (Attila the Hun), several stories from D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths, a science lesson on force and resistance, and music (read about Chopin and listened to Polonaise in A-flat major).  Listening to Chopin's music was probably the highlight. :),_Op._53_(Chopin)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Awful week!

This week was awful and I'm not talking about homeschool.

How's that for honesty?

But, we did do math and grammar every day.

(edited to add the little we did accomplish)

Math 5
28 - Dividing a Small Number by a Larger One
29 - Changing Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers
30 - Chapter Review
32 - English Units of Linear Measure
33 - Measuring to the Nearest Eighth Inch
34 - Measuring to the Nearest Sixteenth Inch

English 4
56 - Using Set and Sit (w = worksheet also)
57 - Using Let and Leave (w)
58 - Contractions
59 - Using Don't and Doesn't (w)
60 - Using Can, May, Teach, and Learn (w)
63 - Chapter Review

Science 5
Above the Earth
Unit Review

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Awesome blog post!

I should re-read this at least once a year.  Loved it!

The Public School Parents' Guide to Homeschool Parents

A couple of favorite quotes from the blog:

"Some days, we watch with envy as that yellow school bus drives by."

"We do not come to your blogs or corner you at the soccer game to tell you how bad we think your decision to send your kids to public school is because we don't care - not in the negative 'don't care' way, but in the 'that's your family's decision and we respect that' way."

I want to add that I have been cornered ... by church members.  Thankfully it's only happened a couple of times.  Most folks are too polite to tell me that they disagree with my choice. ; )

Sunday, November 17, 2013


When my mom was about 15/16 she boarded in a different city during the week so she could take the classes she needed to be accepted into nursing school.  She was so independent!  I can't imagine letting one of my girls live elsewhere just so they could attend a different high school.

Why do I mention my mom's experience?  She took Latin at her new high school.  Listen, I'm not the brightest light bulb on the Christmas tree, but while listening to my mom's stories, I mourned that I could never take Latin.  I didn't think it was offered anymore.  And then ... I found out that it IS still taught.  And even better?  There are self directed courses marketed to homeschoolers.  I was so excited!

I am so grateful for Memoria Press and all that it offers to homeschoolers.  If you look at my side bar you'll see that I use many of their books.  First we tried MP's Prima Latina and Latina Christiana 1, but it was the blind leading the blind.  I didn't understand what forms, conjugations, or declensions were.  Yes, I should have been familiar with those terms from studying English grammar, but I wasn't.  I was confused!

Then we found Lively Latin.    I finally found a Latin course that helped me to understand what I was doing.  Later, short video lessons were added which made it even better.  I was in love!

There is one con that I can think of ... printer ink.  If you download the lessons you will need to print them.  With so many color pages it could become a costly book.  We are currently in a position that this doesn't affect us.


  • workbook format written to the student
  • short video lessons (approximately 5 minutes or less)
  • classical and ecclesiastical recordings of vocabulary
  • Roman History included along with Art Study
  • I finally get to learn Latin!

The best reason I love this curriculum?  My 11yo ASKS for it!  : )

Check out this YouTube to see what is inside Lively Latin's Big Book 1.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013

Re-read The Witches by Roald Dahl

We've been reading through R&S's Proper Manners and Health Habits.  It is a book intended to be used in Grade 2.  Somehow we never got to it.  We're giving a quick read through before we donate it.

Math 5 - 26/170   Reviewing fractions (adding and subtracting, reducing to lowest terms, etc.)
Spelling - Reviewing lesson seven in The Logic of English - spellings of the long "o" sound.  Phonograms - oa, oe.  Grammar - article usage.
English - direct objects, predicate nouns, proper usage of raise and rise.
Lively Latin Big Book 1 - 2nd declension neuter, Tarquin review, vocabulary D.

Classical Studies (Famous Men of the Middle Ages) - "Alaric the Visigoth."  Listened to a free LibriVox recording.  The reader for this chapter had a Sottish accent.  It was wonderful to listen to but it did make it difficult since we weren't familiar with the story.
Christian Studies 1 - 19 Amalek; Jethro and Moses; Ten Commandments.
American History - Plains Indians
Science - 16 Weather Patterns - fronts, barometric pressure
Music - listened to excerpts from Mozart's "The Magic Flute"

Not the most productive week ever, but we were consistent with the basics.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I love Rod & Staff science textbooks for grades 3-6.  Why?  Mainly because they get done.   I know hands-on science would be better but something is better than nothing.  Also, there is a reverence for God as the creator without religion being shoved in your face. 

So, why did I buy Science in the Beginning if I love R&S so much?  Back when I read through R&S with one of my other students, I found that the love affair ended after grade 6.  I don't know what it was about the grade 7 book but it just didn't click.  I wasn't able to find another science textbook that would work as a bridge between elementary school and high school textbooks.  I am hoping Science in the Beginning can fill the gap and help me to be more hands-on with science.  

At the moment we are doing an Earth Science unit (mountains, earthquakes, waterfalls, oceans, storms, weather patterns, and atmosphere) in R&S 5.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

American History and State Study

American History is another thing we've fallen into this year.

This is how it is currently working:

  • We read in Get Oregonized about one of the six native american tribal regions found in Oregon.
  • Next we read about that region in A History of US: The First Americans.
  • Then we read related information in the "What Your ___th Grader Needs to Know" books and do any corresponding Core Knowledge worksheets I have.

I plan to continue reading through the A History of US volumes and return to Get Oregonized's second chapter "Days of the Explorers" when it fits into the American history timeline.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Current Events

Current events isn't something I ever had a plan for.  As often happens, it fell into place.  Someone mentioned how easy it is to view CNN Student News, we checked it out, and it is now the first thing 11yo asks for in the morning.

The thing I like about it the most is that a child gets an idea about what is going on in the world without the depressing weight that is often associated with news targeted to adults.

We often stop the video to look at maps or to ask and answer questions.  Fun rabbit trails happen too.  After viewing a segment on the upcoming winter Olympics, we used Google Maps to cruise around downtown Sochi, Russia.  Then we checked out a new tunnel which has been built under the Bosphorus Strait connecting Asia and Europe.

Of course, watching a video first thing in the morning is way more interesting than a math lesson on fractions. :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013


We are using The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine as our starting point.  We read about a composer, listen to samples of his music on the accompanying CD and on the Core Knowledge Music CD's, and then read more about him in Lives of the Musicians.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What if there were no deadlines?

We are attempting too many subjects/books.  Our days have been long because of it, but how do we cut back when  I chose all of these resources?  I want to do them all but there isn't enough time in the day.  There have been a couple of times this week when we started school at 9am and still found ourselves plodding through "one more thing" at 5pm.

Note: I am like a private tutor.  I sit by 11yo and guide her through her lessons.  I don't hand her workbooks and send her off to work independently (I wish!).  It is time consuming but this is what she needs at this time.

Every night I sit down with my notebooks and try to figure out a different way to do school, but every day I invariably get sucked into "list checker" mode again.  Last night I wrote, "What if there were no deadlines?"  It felt like a light bulb moment.  Did it change today? No.  I still spent the day trying to see how much we could cross off the list.