Thursday, February 15, 2018

High School Bible Survey

I had planned years ago to have my daughter use Starr Meade's, The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study, for high school Bible.  I decided that I wanted to do it myself, so I went ahead and got it and I'm enjoying it a lot!  It comes with 2 books for the Old Testament, 2 for the New Testament and an answer key.  I opted not to write in it, so my daughter can use it.

Grammar for the Well Trained Mind

We are DONE with Rod and Staff English, neither one of us could take it anymore and I was so glad to see that Susan Wise Bauer had come out with a new complete grammar program!  We have been doing the first book and it is great and we really enjoy the layout and ease it will be to go through 4 years of this.  Combined with writing, this grammar program counts as a full English or Language Arts credit for high school.

Rush Revere American History Books

I hadn't heard about Rush Limbaugh's books on American history for children until about 2 weeks ago.  There are five books so far and they have challenges, activities, games and more on the website.

The main website is: 

They also have a website for homeschoolers!  It has study guides and activity pages for each book that you can download for free:

We are due to the get the first book and audiobook and excited to see what everyone is talking about as many children rave about these books.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

High School Math & English Plans

It seems very surreal that I'm writing about high school.  It seems like just the other day I was writing about what we were using for 1st grade!  I decided to go ahead and show you the progression in the subjects we have already planned the progression for, math and English:

9th - Saxon Algebra 1
10th - Saxon Algebra 2
11th - Saxon Advanced Mathematics
12th - Saxon Calculus with Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry

English (Grammar + Writing)
9th - Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind 2 & Writing With Skill 2
10th - GWTM 3 & WWS 3
11th - GWTM 4 & Institute for Excellence in Writing, basic course
12th - IEW Advanced Communication Series

*We may change the last 2 years of English writing and not do IEW but rather use Thomas Kane's
The New Oxford Guide to Writing

8th Grade Curriculum

I'm a little late in this post and that is because this has been a very different sort of year in our life and homeschooling.  We made a lot of changes with curriculum and are very happy with the new changes and we are actively setting the stage for - *gasp* - HIGH SCHOOL!  😲  I can't believe it is already upon us but it isn't as scary as I once thought.  With the Lord's help, we got this!

Bible - Memoria Press Christian Studies III

Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2 with Saxon Teacher CDs

Grammar/English - Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind 1

Writing - Writing With Skill Level 1

Vocabulary - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A & B

History - Overview of World History

Reading - Our Book List

Science - Botany in 8 lessons combined with Biology to make a High School biology credit

Logic & Latin - on hold till February

We put the brakes on logic and Latin but are picking those back up in February.  Katie also paused the Bible studies with Memoria Press Christian Studies and did her own for a year.  We are now back to doing Christian Studies III with the New Testament.  She does her own personal devotion time and then a Bible study with dad every night before bed.

We got rid of Rod and Staff English because we had had ENOUGH!  I couldn't bear it anymore and she definitely couldn't.  Then, Susan Wise Bauer put out her new grammar program: Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind.  Oh my, this is a God-send!  It is a complete grammar course in 4 books and will count, combined with our writing curriculum, as a full English credit for all 4 years of high school!  We are loving it and extremely pleased to have made the switch.

For writing, we went to Writing With Skill and we are going to follow the progression of doing books 1-3 through high school with the last 2 years being IEW.  Here is a handy chart for writing for the middle and high school years using WWS.  As I said above, this combined with grammar, will complete our English credits for all of high school.

With science, I decided since I'm in school for becoming an herbalist, I would have my daughter also study along with me and finish her life science high school credit.  We decided to go with Botany in 8 Lessons, that, along with me teaching herbology with hands-on "experiments" can count as a full credit but we are combining it with other biology she has done to complete the full high school biology credit.

I plan on writing a post of the subjects we already know what we are using for high school hopefully in the next post.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Future Software Engineer & Coding

Our daughter has decided that she wants to gear her high school courses towards being a software engineer.  She has always been strong in math and then had a fascination with all things technology and robots.  I thought she would outgrow it but evidently that is what she sees herself moving towards as we enter high school next year.  Software engineers average $93,000 a year, so I think we can rest assured this isn't time wasted!

We are looking into her earning college credit while in high school as our state offers that and it is free!  She wants to work from home until she gets married and she is in the right field to do so.  I will be spending the remainder of this school year laying out just how we will go about this.

She started coding a few months ago and absolutely loves it.  Most recently she is using Python but she did other programs before moving to that one.  Here are some book she has used to self-teach herself and some of her coding.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Update On Us

I haven't taken the time to catalog all of our journeys with homeschool the past few years or so due to surgeries, miscarriages and a cross-country move!  Yes, it has been a busy time and my main goal with homeschool was just to keep pushing forward despite all the setbacks.  I'm happy to say that we finally "caught up" this month in several areas but there is no time to slow down because we are changing some things with our original long-term plans for Katie.

Katie has always been strong in math and then the past few years showed a great interest in science and technology.  She is gearing toward a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) high school plan.  Her desires for more technology courses and a life-long interest in space have me rethinking our high school plan.  This school year that we are getting ready to start next month is the year before high school (8th grade) and will determine the path for the last 4 years.

8th Grade Renaissance & Modern Book List

We will only be choosing about half of the books (poems) from this list for the year.  Also, I haven't screened all of the books either, so I won't have a final book list of what she read till the end of this school year.

Late Renaissance/ Early Modern 
  1. Adventures of Don Quixote - Dover
  2. The Complete Fairy Tales - Perrault
  3. Robinson Crusoe - Defoe
  4. Favorite Poems - Wordsworth
  5. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Coleridge
  6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle - Irving
  7. The Pied Piper of Hamelin - Browing
  8. Grimm's Fairy Tales - Grimm
  9. Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
  10. Goblin Market and Other Poems - Christina Rossetti
  11. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Twain
  12. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Verne
  13. The Raven - Poe
  1.  Kidnapped or Treasure Island - Stevenson
  2. The Man Without a Country - Hale
  3. Little Women - Alcott
  4. Sherlock Holmes stories - Doyle
  5. The Jungle Book - Kipling
  6. The Time Machine or The War of the Worlds - Wells
  7. The Call of the Wild - London
  8. The Scarlet Pimpernel - Orczy
  9. Short Stories - O. Henry
  10. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery
  11. Murder on the Orient Express - Christie
  12. Gone With the Wind - Mitchell
  13. The Yearling - Rawlings
  14. The Song of Hiawatha - Longfellow
  15. The Road Not Taken - Frost
  16. Collected Poems - Cummings
  17. Poems 1919-1934 - de la Mare
  18. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems - Hughes
  19. Pygmalion - Shaw
  20. The Hiding Place - Ten Boom

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

7th Grade Medieval History Book List

  1. Beowulf: A New Telling - Nye
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Tolkien
  3. The Canterbury Tales - McCaughrean
  4. The Inferno of Dante - Alighieri
  5. Saint George and the Dragon - Hodges
  6. The Sword and The Circle - Sutcliff
  7. Shakespeare Stories - Garfield

Friday, December 2, 2016

Homeschool Bookshelves

We recently moved from Washington state to Ohio and we love it here!  We have more room in our new home and are able to have a homeschool room that isn't also our dining room (so thankful for that!).  So far, I've unpacked the homeschool room and set up the bookshelves:

I've been sharing a lot of pictures of our life in our Instagram, please feel free to follow us:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stop Motion Video Production

Katie is starting a new subject, which is one of her favorite things - Technology!  She is learning how to make stop motion videos.  How these work is you take several pictures and make a video.  To me, it is a very slow task - taking a photo and then moving your prop and then taking a photo, etc.  However, it does look really cool when it is done!

Here are 2 of her beginning stop motion videos she created:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Logic Stage Outlining

Starting in the Logic Stage, which is grades 5-8, you will want to teach the child to outline.  The Well-Trained Mind explains why a slow progression of this is best as it prepares the child for high school.  Don't make it any more complicated than you should, it really is quite simple!

5th Grade - Begin to teach the child to outline once a week.  Explain that outlining is simply finding the main point (summary) in the paragraph.  You will want to choose a text from that week's history resources that the child read about the topic they found most interesting.  You will start using a text that contains 5-6 paragraphs, or one page.  Have the child take each paragraph, one at a time, and find the main point by answering the question, "What is the main thing or person and why is it or are they important?"

Example of one-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
II.   Main point of 2nd paragraph
III.  Main point of 3rd paragraph

6th Grade - Same as before but you add in subpoints under each main point, which are lettered A, B and so forth.  Use 2-4 subpoints under each main point it relates to.  Outline up to two pages.  To find the subpoints, simply write the additional information given that correlates with the main point.

Example of two-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
      B.  Second supporting point
II.  Main point of 2nd paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
      B.  Second supporting point
      C.  Third supporting point

7th Grade - Same as before and when the child has got down the two-level outline well, you can start adding in more supporting points.  These points are numbers (1, 2, etc.) that give details for the letters (A, B, etc.).  If the child isn't ready, they can hold off until the start of 8th grade.  Now the child outlines 2-3 pages.

Example of three-level outline:

I.    Main point of 1st paragraph
      A.  First supporting point
            1.  First subpoint
            2.  Second subpoint
      B.  Second supporting point
            1. First subpoint
            2. Second subpoint
II.  Main point of 2nd paragraph

8th Grade - Same as before but now outlining 3-4 pages and doing three-level outlines.

Example of three-level outline that sums it all up:

I.    Main point
      A.  Additional information about the main point.
            1.  Detail about that additional information

In The Well-Trained Mind, she states a simple question the child can ask themselves as they write the outline for supporting points - "What else is important to know in this paragraph?"  You can read the whole section on how to outline in the book on pages 297-301.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

7th Grade Curriculum Plans

I planned out our 7th grade year earlier this year and since then, I've made a few changes.  This is our tentative 7th grade plans:

Bible - Memoria Press Christian Studies IV

Logic - Memoria Press Traditional Logic I with DVD

Math - Saxon Algebra 1/2 with Saxon Teacher CDs

Grammar - Rod and Staff English 6

Vocabulary - Vocabulary from Classical Roots A & B

Latin - Henle Latin I with Memoria Press Guides & Quizzes/Tests

History - Medieval history

Reading - Medieval history book list & Classics book list

Science - Earth Science & Astronomy

6th Grade Ancient History Book List

Katie's book list for 6th grade to go along with what she is reading in her Ancient history studies:

  1. Tales of Ancient Egypt - Green
  2. The Golden Goblet - McGraw
  3. Mara, Daughter of the Nile - McGraw
  4. The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles - Colum
  5. Tales of Greek Heroes - Green
  6. The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy - Colum
  7. Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Illiad - Sutcliff
  8. Aesop's Fables - McGovern
  9. Cleopatra - Vennema
  10. The Bronze Bow - Speare
  11. The Eagle of the Ninth - Sutcliff
  12. The Silver Branch - Sutcliff

Friday, February 19, 2016

How Do You Homeschool?

A common question I have been asked over the past 7 years that I've homeschooled has been: "How do you homeschool?"  There are 2 books that I recommend and they are the KJV Bible and The Well-Trained Mind:

I've read both of these books so much and I find that tabbing is helpful and highlighting the WTM is a must.  It is that easy and almost all of the answers about life and homeschooling and are in these books!  I like seeing the whole picture of what I set out to do and both of these allow you to see that - the Bible allows you to see the whole picture of life and eternity and the WTM allows you to see the whole picture of education from birth to college.

The thing is, people won't read anymore!  That is the reason they have problems with life and God because they don't read His Word and then they have problems with homeschooling because they aren't reading the book that shows them the way.  READ!  I can't say it enough but this is my answer to those that ask how I homeschool and it works!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

6th Grade Curriculum - Index of Posts

Here is a list of posts about what curriculum we are using for 6th grade:

6th Grade Sciene - Botany, Anatomy & Zoology

For 6th grade science, we will be doing block studies of botany, anatomy and zoology.  We have several science encyclopedias and will use them as references and we have the 2014 World Book on DVD.

Our main book for botany is Usborne's World of Plants and then we will also reference our DK Nature Encyclopedia.  I have a few books on botany and a guide for Washington state plants/trees.  She will be doing activities/labs from ideas I find online or in a library book that pertains to what she is studying that week and a terrarium.

For zoology, we will be using various encyclopedias and some animal encyclopedias we own.  We have many books on different animals, insects and classification.  She will be doing activities/labs about animals that involve the microscope and a frog (plastic) dissection kit. (no books pictured)

Anatomy will be taught from our Scholastic Human Body Encyclopedia, DK Human Body Encyclopedia (this has graphic images) and combined with other books we own.  We will also be using the My Incredible Body PC program, optical science kit and anatomy coloring book.

For all the science topics we will be studying, I will be giving worksheets from Science Essentials Grades 5-6, it also includes some activities/labs.  I will also be using some free things from the internet to flesh out our studies.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

K'nex Education - Blender

Another awesome physics project from the Gears set!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Narration With Minecraft

Katie isn't a big fan of history and it is the one subject that she isn't too enthused about writing a narration for.  I had her evaluated and we were told her writing was advanced, so that isn't the problem - the problem is interest with history.  We were given ideas of doing history narrations a different way - acting them out, drawing them, typing them, etc. but then the idea of creating them on Minecraft came up and well - Katie was sold! 

She did her first history narration on Minecraft today and it was awesome!  She read a section in Story of the World 4 from chapter 11 about Australia.  She told me a bit about what it was about and then she did her Minecraft creations.

The first one is the map of what Australia was at that time, the next 2 creations are easy to understand by reading her signs.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

K'nex Education - Car Window Crank

Katie built her 2nd physics project - a car window crank.  She didn't understand it at first and I had to explain to her that we used to have to crank up the window manually.  She was shocked that we had to do such "hard" things - yep, pushing a button these days is pretty easy!  Let's not forget the days of hard things...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Organizing Homeschool Books by Subject or Category

We have accumulated a lot of science, history or other books that pertain to homeschool topics and I wanted them organized even more than just grouped by science or history, etc.  I wanted to split my science up into several fields and here are the ones we did: anatomy, botany, physics, chemistry, farms, earth science, astronomy, zoology and insects. 

I couldn't find any affordable dividers, so I made my own with colorful cards but I do want to eventually make some that are sturdier; something like poster board.  I also did the few language-related books we have, math, government services and geography.  I've yet to do the history shelf but when I do, I want to divide it up into time periods; ancient, medieval, etc.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

6th Grade History

Katie has already completed a study of history from ancient times to modern, so she will be starting the chronological cycle all over again.

For 6th grade history, Katie is going to start at the beginning again with Ancient History up until 1400.  We have all 3 volumes of Human Odyssey and that is what she will be using for 6th, 7th and 8th grade history and we will weave in Notgrass American history throughout the years to meet requirements.  The first book is Volume 1 The Human Odyssey; Prehistory Through the Middle Ages.

We have many resources that we own to help her in her studies.  We have timelines, encyclopedias, primary resources, atlases, Uncle Josh's outline maps CD and other various books to read.  I took a picture of some of what we have that she will be using along with her studies.  Katie will also be reading from a book list for literature on correlating topics, you can see it here:

6th Grade Math, Logic and Bible

In Math, Katie will be finishing up Saxon Math 6/5 and starting 7/6 mid-year hopefully.  We use Saxon Teacher and love, love, love it!!

For Logic, Katie will be finishing up Building Thinking Skills 3 and starting with Critical Thinking Book One and then work her way into Critical Thinking Book Two.

Our Bible program is the same and we are continuing on with Memoria Press Christian Studies Book III after we finish the second book.  Katie also reads the Bible on her own and memorizes scriptures.

6th Grade Language Arts - English, Latin, Reading, Writing, Spelling

For English, we are still in Rod and Staff English 5 but continuing on with R&S English 6 - we love this curriculum!  It also teaches writing, so we don't need a separate curriculum for writing.

In Spelling, we are finishing up the All About Spelling series with the last two books, AAS 6 & 7.  Katie will also be doing Spelling Workout E & F and possibly G & H.  Since we have been doing AAS, Spelling Workout is really just extra practice for her and she has been going through a lesson faster since we returned to it recently as an extra.

Katie is still doing Latina Christiana I since we took off time from Latin to focus on the main subjects while I was having health issues.  She will continue on with Latina Christiana II using the DVD teacher.

Reading for us is not a curriculum, it is a book list.  I plan on listing her 6th grade book list in another post, which I will link to here (if I remember!).  She will be reading books that correlate with Ancient History.  She writes full-page narrations after she reads each book and also reads in the evening.
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