Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Z's 6th Grade Curriculum Plans

Bible - MP's Christian Studies I - using KJV Bible

Math - Saxon Math Algebra 1/2 (We use the Saxon Teacher CD-ROM and Art Reed videos)

Language Arts
- Reading* - Assigned Book List; Fun Book List & Family Read-alouds
- Grammar* - Grammar for the Well Trained Mind; Editor in Chief workbook
- Writing* - Writing With Skill I; Writing and Rhetoric 4
- Comprehension - Abeka Skill Sheets; Reading Detective A1
- Spelling - Spelling Workout H (finishing last half of the book and will be done with spelling)
- Vocabulary - Finish MP's Roots of English; Vocabulary from Classical Roots A

Logic - Fallacy Detective (finishing up)

Foreign Language
- Latin - Latina Christiana II (finishing last half)
- Greek - Memoria Press Elementary Greek II
- Hebrew - Miiko Shaffier's Hebrew
- Spanish - Getting Started with Spanish

Science - Jay Wile's Discovering Design with Earth Science

History* - The Human Odyssey; Story of the World; The Good and the Beautiful (we started HO in late 4th grade and continuing on and probably be to the Renaissance come 6th grade)

Geography - Memoria Press Geography I

Fine Arts
- Art - Home Art Studio (my adult daughter teaches art)
- Music - Piano lessons - Hoffman Academy (finishing program in 6th)

Computer - CompuScholar's Tech Essentials

I'm adding in the Science Detective and History Detective workbooks. Our history mix is going VERY WELL!! So, we are going to continue with that through the next 2 years and then move on to American history come 8th grade.

Z is doing 4 foreign languages because he begged to add in 2 more. He will be stopping Latin when he finishes LCII and going into his 3rd year of Greek, so I think he can handle some introductory courses in Hebrew (summer) and Spanish; both he has requested.

*I will be teaching: history, Writing & Rhetoric, grammar, logic and read alouds - the rest Z will be doing independently.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Z's 5th Grade Evening Fun Book List

These are the books that Z will read in the evening for fun for 1 hour and once he completes this list, he will choose his own to finish out the year.

  1. The Moffats
  2. Where the Red Fern Grows
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia
  4. Hatchet
  5. Old Yeller
  6. The Wizard of Oz
  7. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
  8. The Trumpet of the Swan
  9. Pinocchio
  10. Pippi Longstocking
  11. Phantom Tollbooth
  12. Babe: The Gallant Pig
  13. More to come...

Z's 5th Grade Independent Morning Reading Book List

These are the challenging morning books that Z will be reading for 45 minutes:

  1. Herodotus and the Road to History
  2. The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy
  3. Archimedes and the Door of Science
  4. Cleopatra
  5. Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
  6. Detectives in Togas
  7. The Thieves of Ostia (audio)
  8. Medieval Tales
  9. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
  10. Robin Hood

*We're using Memoria Press study guide with King Arthur

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Z's 5th Grade Botany

We decided to go with MasterBooks God's Design: Life for biology and started with botany in the first section, The World of Plants.  I added in YT videos, books and we did some of the activities in the curriculum as well.  I also used some lessons from The Good and the Beautiful Kingdoms and Classification and their Flower Study book and game.  We also read corresponding sections from the Smithsonian Visual Encyclopedia of the Plant Kingdom.  I think this is the absolute best book ever on botany for children, even for adults!

I love the 4D models and we thoroughly went over the plant and cell models.  We also did the carnivorous plants kit and it takes months for them to grow, so we are still waiting.  We also have a great place locally to learn about botany.  Since we did botany this past spring, we got to see a lot of the flowers bloom on the trees and seeds everywhere as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Z's 4th Grade Physics

We really enjoyed physics using Christian Kids Explore Physics alongside YT videos, Magic School Bus videos, books and kits.

Physics Outline of Categories
  • Foundations of Physics
  • Matter
  • Mechanics - Force, gravity, work, friction, energy
  • Matter in Motion
  • Energy in Motion
  • Electricity and Magnetism

You can see my list of Magic School Bus videos by subject here but below is a list of those pertaining to physics:

Monday, July 10, 2023

Z's Standardized Test Scores - 5th Grade

We're not required to do testing in Ohio but I like to see where my kids stand when it comes to these tests.  I read that the 1970's CAT (California Achievement Test) is the best to use before they dumbed-down the testing, so we use that one.  As you can see, Z is very advanced and the vocabulary was a bit antiquated, so he missed some - obviously that's the downside with using a test from 1970.

We purchase the tests through Academic Excellence and if you use my link, you can get $5 off of your first purchase of at least $10 minimum.  If you use my link to get this discount, they also give me a $3 coupon to use for the next test I buy.


Sunday, July 9, 2023

How to Combine The Human Odyssey, SOTW and TGAB

I did a post on our new history and how well it went for 4th grade.  We are covering all years of history from ancient to modern using The Human Odyssey (THO), Story of the World (SOTW) and The Good and the Beautiful (TGAB).  I already owned THO and SOTW, so I had all those and even PDF versions of the SOTW activity guides so I could print any pages my son was interested in doing.

I bought TGAB, all 4 years, because they were discontinuing it and I also wanted the games.  I was also interested in trying out their historical fiction books and let me tell you - those are our absolute favorites!  It is so disappointing that they discontinued printing the reprints of these great books but we went ahead and bought all the ones we wanted that were available and we are enjoying reading them as a family and I'm saving them for my future grandkids.

Here are links to some of the tools I used to combine these histories together:

I used The Human Odyssey as our main spine and we always started reading it first and then we finished a certain time period, we then went on to SOTW and Z listened to all the audios of the chapters that pertained to that time period.  Lastly was TGAB and then we started all over again with the next time period.  Here is a sample of what I'm talking about:

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Z's 5th Grade Curriculum Plans

Here are the plans for Z's 5th grade year:

Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Reading - Assigned Book List; Fun Book List & Family Read-alouds
Math - Saxon Math 7/6
Grammar - Rod and Staff English 5; Our Mother Tongue
Writing - Killgallon's Sentence Composing & Paragraphs for Middle School; Writing and Rhetoric 3; Writing Strands (original edition)
Comprehension - Writing With Ease 3 & Abeka Read & Think Skill Sheets 5
Spelling - Spelling Workout G & H
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise (original edition); Memoria Press Roots of English

Logic - Building Thinking Skills Level 2 CD

Latin - Latina Christiana; Ludere Latine; Latin Cursive Copybook 

Greek - Memoria Press Elementary Greek I
Science - MasterBooks Life (Human body & Animals); Elementary Anatomy; Living Healthy
History - The Human Odyssey; Story of the World; The Good and the Beautiful
Art - Home Art Studio
Music - Piano lessons - Hoffman Academy

Z really progressed a lot this past year and he loves foreign language and wants to add in Spanish but I'm not sure I can do another foreign language when we have Latin and Greek going already BUT, he does do both of those by himself.  If I find he can do this next book of Greek by himself successfully, I will go ahead and add in a Spanish program.  He made me a list in order of languages he wants to learn: Latin, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew.  We actually have a local lady here that teaches homeschoolers Mandarin Chinese for a cost and I'm considering allowing him to do that in 6th grade.  He has an amazing ability with language and grammar is actually his favorite subject.  So, we will continue to follow his passions as we progress each year.

Friday, July 7, 2023

The Human Odyssey, SOTW and TGAB History

We found the absolute best solution for Z and he now loves history!  I had went through so many programs the past few years and most we just stopped early on because it was like pulling teeth.  Then, I prayed and came up with something that worked so well for us for 4th grade that we are going to continue on with it through 7th grade (or whenever we finish it).

I combined The Human Odyssey with Story of the World and The Good and the Beautiful history.  I have had The Human Odyssey for many years because I had planned to use it with my daughter but my hospitalizations and health got in the way and she ended up doing history on her own with Notgrass (which she loved).  So, I already had the books, all 3 volumes and I tried starting it with Z and he, not only loved it, but he retained a large amount.

What we do is read 3-4 pages from The Human Odyssey and then another day he listens to SOTW audio while he follows along with the book.  Then we do the maps and some activities but mostly, we use the book lists from SOTW as extra reading.  I then incorporate TGAB and the book lists, along with videos on YT pertaining to whatever we are studying.  It worked beautifully I must say!  We finished up Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hebrews, China and India and will start in the fall with Ancient Greece and then Rome.

I will post a more detailed post soon hopefully with downloads that show how to combine all 3 of these curriculums if anyone is interested.  It does take work and there is some repetitition but Z enjoyed hearing some things again in the other lessons.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Periodic Table Lapbook

We're catching up on some unfinished things from 3rd grade, one being making this lapbook.  Z loves lapbooks and we finally finished it!  Each part opens up in some way and he wrote about 3 or 4 elements for each category.

Get your free periodic table lapbook here: https://www.homeschoolshare.com/periodic-table-lapbook/

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Z's 4th Grade Evening Fun Book List

These are the books that Z will be reading in his evening reading time for fun.  These are at or below his reading level for enjoyment.  If he finishes the first 11 books, I will be adding on to this list more later on in the school year.

  1. Winnie the Pooh
  2. The Cricket in Times Square
  3. Charlotte's Web
  4. The Cabin Faced West
  5. Homer Price
  6. The Whipping Boy
  7. Sarah Whitcher's Story
  8. Mountain Born
  9. All of a Kind Family
  10. Ginger Pye
  11. The Borrowers
  12. Ralph S. Mouse

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Z's 4th Grade Independent Morning Reading Book List

This is Z's morning reading book list that he reads independently for 40 minutes daily.  Most of these are simpler versions of the original works using the Stepping Stones and Classic Starts series.

  • A Child's Garden of Verses - Stevenson 
  • Kidnapped - Bullseye Classic
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Stepping Stones
  • Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes - Stepping Stones
  • Heidi - Stepping Stones
  • War of the Worlds - Stepping Stones
  • The Time Machine - Classic Starts 
  • Little Women - Stepping Stones
  • Little Men - Classic Starts
  • Secret Garden - Stepping Stones
  • The Little Princess - Stepping Stones
  • The Wind in the Willows - Classic Starts
  • Peter Pan - Stepping Stones
  • White Fang - Classic Starts
  • The Elephant's Child - Kipling
  • How the Camel Got His Hump - Raglin
  • How the Rhino Got His Skin - Raglin
  • The Jungle Book - Stepping Stones
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi - Kipling (Pinkney illustrated)
  • Phantom of the Opera - Stepping Stones
  • Pollyanna - Classic Starts
  • The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle - Classic Starts
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder - some of the novels
  • You Read To Me, I'll Read To You - Ciardi
  • Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - Eliot

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Z's 4th Grade Curriculum Plans

Here are the plans for Z's 4th grade year:

Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Reading - Assigned Book List; Fun Book List & Family Read-aloud
Math - Saxon Math 6/5
Grammar - First Language Lessons 4
Writing - Writing With Ease 3; Writing and Rhetoric Narrative I; Writing Strands 4
Spelling - Spelling Workout F, G & H
Vocabulary - Wordly Wise Book 1
Latin - Latina Christiana I with Roots of English; Ludere Latine; Latin Cursive Copybook 

Greek - Memoria Press' Greek Alphabet
Science - Christian Kids Explore Physics
History - All American History Volume 1
Art - Home Art Studio
Music - Piano lessons - Hoffman Academy

Extras - Archery; Architecture; Woodworking; Chess

Notes on Z progress and curriculum plans:

Z tested into the 7/6 Saxon Math book last fall but I had an uneasiness about skipping 2 math books, and Z cried and said he wanted to do 5/4 and 6/5 books, so we decided to do them.  He rarely misses anything but he is enjoying going through the 5/4 book and should start the 6/5 book soon, so I'm thinking he can finish up the 6/5 and possibly the 7/6 book in 4th grade and start Algebra 1/2 in 5th grade.
He begged to add in Greek, so we are going to be doing Greek along with Latin on different days.  Along with Latina Christiana I, we are doing the coordinating books such as: Roots of English for a beginner's introduction into Latin and Greek roots; Ludere Latine activity book; Latin Cursive Copybook; Rummy roots card games for extra practice of word roots.
He has an amazing ability to understand grammar, so I'm thinking we will need to move on in grammar after the FLL 4 book, possibly starting Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind books mid-4th grade.  
He also has a photographic memory like I did as a child, and has no problems at all with spelling, so he will be finishing up the Spelling Workout books in 4th grade.  We may even start Vocabulary from Classical Roots A book after finishing spelling.
I had added in Wordly Wise books this past year (A, B and C) because Z begged to learn what words mean, so we will be continuing on with those at whatever pace he wants, so I'm guesstimating we will do Books 1 and possibly start 2.
He writes fiction on his own in his spare time, so I just let him fill up small books of his stories but we also do Writing With Ease because he loves hearing all the excerpts from the books, but he doesn't need much help with dictation as he can hold sentences in his mind easily, so I may not do the dictation parts of all of WWE 3.  We are loosely mixing in lessons from Writing and Rhetoric: Narrative I and also doing Writing Strands 4 (original version).

I flesh out the Christian Kids Explore books pretty extensively with other books, videos, experiments, kits, etc.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Continent & Countries - Asia, South America and Australia

We made lapbooks for each continent, then Z read books about each, watched videos from Travel with Kids series using Amazon Prime and any we could find on YouTube and he also did a Geo-Puzzle of each continent.  You can see Africa and Europe lapbooks and puzzles here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Z's 3rd Grade Fun Book List

These are books that Z reads for fun in the evening that are below his reading level.  I will be adding to this list throughout the year.  We are using the 1000 Good Books List and others we come across and like.

  1. The Courage of Sarah Noble
  2. Little Pilgrim's Progress
  3. Mr. Popper's Penguins
  4. A Lion to Guard Us
  5. The Apple and the Arrow
  6. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
  7. The Selfish Giant
  8. The Rumble Seat Pony
  9. Lonesome Little Colt
  10. Pony for Three
  11. Crooked Colt
  12. A Pony Called Lightning
  13. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  14. Runaway Ralph
  15. Ralph S. Mouse

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Z's 3rd Grade Assigned Reading List

These are the books that Z is reading during his morning reading time, he'll be reading Classic Starts, Stepping Stones or Step Into Classics versions of some of the following:

  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Little Pilgrim's Progress
  • Les Misérables
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales
  • Treasure Island
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Great Expectations
  • Oliver Twist
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Last of the Mohicans
  • Moby Dick
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Frankenstein
  • Jane Eyre
  • Black Beauty
  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
  • The Prince and the Pauper

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Z's 3rd Grade Chemistry

We're utilizing Christian Kid's Explore Chemistry as our spine and fleshing it out with various books, videos and resources.  I also have Adventures with Atoms and Molecules books for experiments and many library experiment books we will be trying out (not pictured).

Chemistry Outline of Categories

  • Chemistry Basics (Tools, Matter, Elements, Mixtures/Compounds)
  • Atoms
  • Periodic Table
  • Chemical Bonds, Formulas, Compounds and Reactions
  • Acids/Bases
  • States of Matter
  • Organic Chemistry


Here are some of the books we added in from the library:

Thursday, July 29, 2021

K's 12th Grade Curriculum Plans

We are at the finish line!  K is starting her last year of school and I can't believe we made it through all the challenges that came at us but with God, we made it!  K has some things to finish up leftover from 11th, along with the following:

English IV - Writing exercises with Jump-In Writing; Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind; Book list 

Honors Geometry/Trigonometry - Saxon Advanced Math first 90 lessons; Saxon Teacher CDs; Art Reed DVDs  

Personal Finance - Dave Ramsey's Foundations in Personal finance high school course

Science - Chemistry/Physics 101 DVDs with required supplements for credits

Constitutional Law - Michael Farris' Constitutional Literacy DVD and workbook

Latin - Henle Latin

Monday, June 7, 2021

Continent & Countries - Africa and Europe

We decided to study countries by continent and Z chose Africa to learn about first.  We made an African lapbook, then he read books about Africa, watched videos from Travel with Kids series using Amazon Prime and did a Geo-Puzzle of Africa and then we did Europe the same way.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

New Books I Recommend

We have found some awesome new books lately!  It seems that more publishers are realizing that homeschooling is growing substantially and they're accommodating by coming out with some great materials.

Smithsonian has these Super Simple books and I got all 3.  They are laid out very well and of course super simple.  I find that these can work in any grade, though they are advertised as for grades 6-12.  Adults will even find these valuable!

Z really loves these Ultimate pop-up books, he has looked through them countless times since getting them a few months ago:

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Z's 3rd Grade Curriculum Plans

Here are the plans for Z's 3rd grade year.  We are adding in a lot this year - Latin, cursive, piano lessons, archery, architecture, woodworking and chess.

Bible - Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Reading - Assigned Book List; Fun Book List & Family Read-alouds
Math - Saxon Math 5/4
Grammar - First Language Lessons 3
Writing - Writing With Ease 
Spelling - Spelling Workout E & F
Vocabulary - Worldly Wise B & C
Latin & Cursive - MP Prima Latina & MP New American Cursive w/ Prima Latina copybook
Science - Christian Kids Explore Chemistry
History - A Child's History of the World
Art - Home Art Studio
Music - Piano lessons 

Extras - Archery; Architecture; Woodworking; Chess

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Z's 2nd Grade Astronomy

After finishing up Earth Science, we are moving on to Astronomy.  I'm using 2 encyclopedias as my main spine and then fleshing them out with numerous books, videos, games and other fun extras!  The spines are Usborne's First Encyclopedia of Space and DK's First Space Encyclopedia (my favorite one).  I also have Christian Kid's Explore Earth & Space but it didn't have enough for Z.

I created an outline using the 2 spines (USB and DK) and divided the subject material into categories.  Some of these are short and some are packed full of material, like space exploration and the solar system.

Astronomy Outline of Categories

  1. Intro to Space - USB 4-7; DK 4-7
  2. Telescopes -USB 8-11; DK 8-13
  3. Galaxies, Stars & Universe - USB 46-53; DK 14-23, 96-97, 102-105
  4. Space Exploration - USB 12-25; DK 24-49
  5. The Solar System - USB 28-43: DK 50-75
  6. Comets and Meteors - USB 44-45; DK 76-87
  7. Mysteries of Space - USB 26-27, 54-55; DK 88-95, 98-101
  8. Constellations & Stargazing - USB 56-59; DK 106-117