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Classical/Charlotte Mason September Thread

post #1 of 211
Thread Starter 
Okay, here's a thread for September. For your browsing pleasure, here is the link to the really long one we had going.

Right now my boys are drawing/painting. We just did a lesson from Artistic Pursuits, drawing landscapes using oil pastels and then they wanted to get out paints. So, they are using water colors and water color crayons to do some more landscape pictures.

Next week is a short week (dh has Monday off), but it's a full week. This week has been very nice. We were supposed to do science yesterday but we had to run errands for dh's birthday and then the boys' friend from around the corner came to play. We did read our US History lesson yesterday. Today was art, which we did. Of course, we didn't do the third lesson of Latin or math today like I wanted, but oh well ... we'll get to those. Tomorrow is a day off (planned).

And just to recap ... here is what we are doing this year:

Math: Singapore Math and Miquon. Ds#1 is finishing SM 3B/Miquon, and will start SM 4A in January. Ds#2 is starting SM 2A next week, and will be working with Miquon Blue & Green. Ds#3 is just about ready for the K level of SM (I think Early Bird, but I'm not positive) or Miquon Orange. He has a really good feel for numbers and loves doing school with his brothers.

Language Arts: WWE, FLL, AAS, MCT Island Level, HOP/PP. Ds#1 is in WWE level 4 and is finishing up FLL 3. He'll start either FLL 4 or Growing with Grammar 4 in January (haven't decided). He's starting level 5 in All About Spelling (I cannot say enough good about this program), and is working through Master Reader from Hooked on Phonics.

Ds#2 is in WWE 2, FLL 2 and AAS 3 (though he's almost done with level 3 and will being level 4 by mid-September. He's also almost done with the last level of HOP (just reading the last two chapter books) before moving onto Master Reader, and is also working through Phonics Pathways. Together, both boys are doing MCT Island Level. I love this program and the way grammar/English is presented.

Latin: We just started Latin for Children A. I've spread out the program over two years and am glad we did. It is intense (noun declensions, anyone?!).

History: We are finishing History Odyssey Ancients, level 1 this year. We started mid-way through last year, so I basically spread out the remaining half of the program over this school year. It's a bit slow, but it allows me to combine days if I need to free up time during our week. We are also doing a survey of US History over this year and next using The Complete Book of US History, Betsy Maestro books, and Liberty's Kids from Netflix. I'm throwing in geography of North America while we go and will probably buy Uncle Josh's Outline Maps.

Science/Nature: We are using REAL Science Odyssey Earth & Space level 1 this year. I like the hands-on labs as that is a weak spot for me, but I don't like having to find most all of the information for teaching the concepts. We are also using The Handbook of Nature Study blog for our nature study this year. I have decided to study mammals, trees, and insects. After mammals and then again after insects, I am going to have the older two do a very brief report on one particular mammal and insect.

Art: We are using Artistic Pursuits K-3 level, the first book. I am pleased with this program. It is very open and go, using pretty easy to find art supplies and allows their creativity to come through their projects.

I also plan on starting the boys with piano lessons (I'm going to teach them for now ... maybe in a few years when their abilities catch up to what is left of my abilities, we'll have the money for lessons. We are going to use http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Adventur...ano Adventures starting at the Primer level. Ds#2 is very excited to start. The oldest is going along with it because we have told them that they will learn the piano before learning another instrument.
post #2 of 211

I am here

post #3 of 211
I am here too!

To recap us:

We do History Odyssey. We're on week 7 of the first cycle of the Ancients so we are finishing up a week of Egyptian mummies and gods and moving onto the pyramids. We co-op this with two (3 if you count the baby) other kids once a week.

We do Critical Thinking math workbooks. We're doing the K and the 1st grade books this year.

We do science lessons a'la WTM. But we do 1st and 2nd grade science because we are keeping pace with the above friends from our history co-op. So we are doing 20 weeks of animals and 20 weeks of planet Earth features. Then we move onto the human body and space, I believe. We are finishing up our second week of that.

And for reading, they are listening to me read The Hobbit.

I have kids who absolutely have no interest in reading. However, they have filled entire notebooks with all the words they are copying from around their world. So they don't want to read, but they want to WRITE. Go figure.
I'm thinking about doing the Usborne readers after I get a set of readers from a friend done. I'm also knocking around 100 Easy Lessons that so many here seem to love.

We have some personal life yuck that will be wrapping up by September 17. After that, we may add art classes and my friend and I really do need to make a final decision on swim classes tomorrow. We have decided we are freaks in that we just really do like being home (or each others' homes) and don't really want to run around town much.

Swimming lessons would be twice a week. Art would only be once. Art may win just for that.

My ideal vision of homeschooling would have us cuddled up in bed reading for hours on end and then moving to the dining room table to do our craft work. I feel like a nut because I just don't want to be driving all over creation for "classes." I'd rather add Latin instead.

And we are atheists/pagans so we teach secularly.

We have 10 acres that I'd like to slowly convert into a microfarm as we go through life. I'd really like to spend next summer teaching plant biology as we grow and harvest our familiy's food supply.

I'm 38 and a SAHM married to a traditional medicine doctor. I like to make cheese and bread in my spare time. (Now all I need is some spare time!)

We have 1 dog, 4 cats, 2 English Angora rabbits, hermit crabs, a hamster, and some fish.

My children are 6 and 5. My son has been diagnosed as gifted and has a speech impediment. My daughter is one of those crazy kids who never stops moving or (this is the part I need help with) TALKING. I'm not sure she's ever had a thought she hasn't expressed. And DS keeps almost everything inside.

I'm shutting up now. We still have to make a set of Egytian puppets and do our cave project yet today!!
post #4 of 211
Thread Starter 
Jennifer - I am just like you. I don't want to drive around to classes and frankly, would much rather be home than out and about. It's funny how there are some homeschoolers who love to be out and about all day, every day, and thrive on it. Then there are others (me!) who thrive on being home and skipping the classes. I'm sure there are people in between as well. Oh, and I'd love your 10 acres! We are on a regular city plot and have a dog (poodle) and a turtle (aptly named Speedy - he is awfully fast for a turtle!). Our turtle inspired us to make the desert tortoise our school mascot and "Slow and steady wins the race" is our motto. Now I need to translate that to Latin for our "official" school motto.

My older two play baseball, in what is turning out to be a year-round sport. The both play fall/winter ball and spring ball, and now ds#1 is doing travel ball as well. So, running back and forth to the ballpark (which luckily is just over a mile away) is enough for me (plus swimming 1-2 nights a week). We were doing a homeschool PE class, but it was just before lunch on Wednesdays ... nothing good about that time as we didn't have enough time to do school before leaving and then we'd stay to play with friends, so nothing was done after ... so we dropped it (though the boys miss it). I told them that on our off-weeks (we school about 6-7 weeks and then take one off), we'd go and hang with friends.
post #5 of 211
Ok, short intro. I'm a sahm. Ds are 5.5 and 3. First year h/s, though we are not registered w/ the state, so I count this as our "free" year to see how it goes.
I go back and forth on the staying home deal. We joined a co op, that starts next week, because they are supposed to have an awesome science class, and everyone I meet from there is real nice. Since we aren't in any other group types, or have a lot of play dates, I would like the boys to meet some friends, and for me to have some adult time Now, it is nice here most of the time, so the outdoors draw us-a lot. I might do some trial days of some school work outside.
Here's our curric so far-
Grammar/Spelling-FLL, need spelling still. I'm incorporating it in so far.
Math-Saxon 1, but might switch
Science-Elemental Biology-follows WTM of animals, body, plants.
Reading-Phonics pathways at the moment, and it's working.
Art-they draw almost daily and we do a craft or two a week. Nothing formal.
History-SOTW 1 ( I hope it's not too advanced)

Mylittlewonders-did you start w/ Singapore? That's the other math program I may want to try. I'm keep reading so many mixed reviews on Saxon, that now I'm hesitant to continue it. Ds gets it, but I think he's not actually thinking about the problems, just looking for the answer. We have just started math though.

My biggest thing, is remembering he is only 5. He really wants to learn. Soon as he finished w/ breakfast, he wants to do math. Then he asks if he can write letters, or some other worksheet. We did the first page of history today and he didn't like it. I think once we get into the different peoples he might. I'm wondering if SOTW will be too much at his age? I'm going to see how it goes once we start making notebook pages and projects. If it bombs out, I'll wait a few months. I'm scouring the library for more story type books on ancients, that might get him more excited. Up to now, almost everything has been bugs, bugs and more bugs And then flowers and dinosaurs.
IF, we had put him in school, it would be K, and he's already past what they are teaching for the most part. That's why I decided to go w/ a 1st g curric. I'm trying to stay very relaxed about this whole home school thing. I am for it, but dh has only agreed for a few years. Sure, it may not be working out at all by that point, but I'm confident that it will be. So I feel like I have to prove that it's working sure ds is doing "school" on a regular basis and is either on par or above what his age group would be doing.
post #6 of 211
Still here as well . I'm a sahm and have been homeschooling for 5 years now. The kids are dd, 10, ds, 8, and dd 2. We officially started the school year this Monday. It's been going smoothly for the most part. I've had a yucky summer cold and poor ds, 8, finally caught it. We only did a partial day Wednesday, but have managed a full day every other day. It's not looking like I'll bother with school tomorrow. Dd, 2, started sneezing and looking sick this evening. I'm also supposed to watch my cousin's 2 year old little girl tomorrow. I called and told them dd was sick, but I think they're still bringing her anyway. I guess they don't have a choice, sigh.

We are also doing History Odyssey Ancients this year. We are currently doing some Prehistory for a couple months first. We're using Sequential Spelling, Simply Grammar (would you believe this is ds' favorite, lol), Daily grams, Noeo Science, Miquon, MEP, Singapore, Song School Latin, Draw Write Now, Artistic Pursuits, Writing With Ease, and Roots and Fruits Vocab.

Having my two year old with us has been fun. I wasn't sure how it would go. So far, so good. I've put some time and energy into getting some special things ready for her. She has her own whiteboard, three ring binder, and backpack. The three ring binder has a couple of folders with letter printouts and such for her to color and mark on, and lots of pages inside of page protectors that can be written on with dry erase markers and wiped off. The pages are simple mazes, letters to copy, etc. Then I also used file folder type games, only I printed them on cardstock and placed them inside the page protectors. I don't have a laminator, but this works well. Each page protector holds two games, one on each side and the pieces for each are tucked inside the correct side for that game. These are mostly printed out from the preschool section of filefolderfun.com. I also have the pdf files for a letter of a week curriculum I won from this homeschool blogger during a giveaway. I've printed out some of this for her as well.

The backpack has a bunch of simple activities inside of plastic zipper bags. Activities include colorful construction paper I cut in half and folded along with safety scissors, lacing beads, black paper I cut in half and folded along with white chalk, a button collection to admire, ripped pieces of tissue paper and glue stick, colorful paper cut into shapes and glue stick, pom poms to sort, scratch art paper cut into squares with scratching stick, etc, etc! She can pick one activity at a time, the last activity is tidied up before she picks another.

Aside from that she has access to playdough and paint pretty much whenever she wants, crayons, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, markers, oil pastels, paint by water books, etc. She mostly wants to hang out with us though. She lightens the day for us all and makes us laugh! She really loves Song School Latin as well, lol. Its fun!
post #7 of 211
I can't believe everyone will be here for history in half an hour. Ack!

Anyway, I'm so glad so many of us are talking about Latin. We'd like to start. what do you all recommend for brand new Latin kids? We might do it with our friends so the age range would be 7, 6 1/2, 5 1/2, and 5. Or it might just be the half kids.

I'm a little envious of you, Miss. Although we're having fun with our history this year, it would be a lot of fun to go deeper into stuff. The kids fell asleep to another National Geographic DVD on Egypt last night and I stayed up way past my bedtime because I was enthralled.
post #8 of 211
Thread Starter 
With the age of your kiddos (yours and your friend's), you all might really enjoy Song School Latin. It's a very gentle introduction to the language without the intense grammar (conjugating and declining of verbs & nouns). There's about 5 vocabulary words/phrases each week with an accompanying chant/song, and a couple workbook pages that are typically just copying the vocab, drawing pictures to illustrate them, matching English and Latin, etc. We did it last year with my then 8 year old, 5 1/2 year old, and 3 year old, and all of them loved it. I plan on doing it again when ds#3 is about 6 or 7, and then probably once again with Little Bean is that age.

Oh, if you do end up going with SSL, you do *not* need the teacher's manual. It's only a replication of the student workbook with the answers (and you really don't need the answers with this program ). We did, though, absolutely love the Monkey Match memory cards. They are a bit costly, but we still pull them out and play even now.
post #9 of 211
We are still here though quite. I have no computer right now, so that is a challenge.

Just finished with testing yesterday. So glad to have that done for the year. LOVE the Peabody test and tester though. She makes it fun for the kids.

We school year round, so not really a big "start" for us right now, but the time of year brings alot of scheduling changes for us. My dance academy is in full swing for two weeks now, football has started, and Abby has a dance team class starting. Evenings are BUSY!

Thank God our days do not have to be!
post #10 of 211
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
I can't believe everyone will be here for history in half an hour. Ack!

Anyway, I'm so glad so many of us are talking about Latin. We'd like to start. what do you all recommend for brand new Latin kids? We might do it with our friends so the age range would be 7, 6 1/2, 5 1/2, and 5. Or it might just be the half kids.

I'm a little envious of you, Miss. Although we're having fun with our history this year, it would be a lot of fun to go deeper into stuff. The kids fell asleep to another National Geographic DVD on Egypt last night and I stayed up way past my bedtime because I was enthralled.
I second the rec for Song School Latin. It's fun! My kids are 10, 8, and 2 and they all like it. The songs are catchy and I was singing one to myself as I was working in the kitchen yesterday, lol.
post #11 of 211
MyLittle, so are the monkey match cards you all love so much in the teacher's edition?
SSL is CHEAP! We could throw that in pretty easily.
post #12 of 211
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jennifer3141 View Post
MyLittle, so are the monkey match cards you all love so much in the teacher's edition?
SSL is CHEAP! We could throw that in pretty easily.
They are on the main SSL page, but are a separate purchase. Here's the link to the description. They are a little costly, but are well made and colorful and just fun (at least for us - my boys love playing card games and memory type games). In fact, the other night, ds#2 and ds#3 were sitting in the living room playing Monkey Match memory.
post #13 of 211
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Our turtle inspired us to make the desert tortoise our school mascot and "Slow and steady wins the race" is our motto. Now I need to translate that to Latin for our "official" school motto.
What about "festina lente" It's a real classical Latin phrase which is usually translated as "make haste slowly". Not quite the same as slow and steady, but I think it has the same meaning.
post #14 of 211
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
What about "festina lente" It's a real classical Latin phrase which is usually translated as "make haste slowly". Not quite the same as slow and steady, but I think it has the same meaning.
That might work. I have read that one before but never thought of it for our motto. Thanks!
post #15 of 211
Hi, I'm new to this thread.

We are in our 3rd year of hs, my boys are 8 and just-turned 3. We officially started this past Monday, but we're easing in and not starting everything all at the same time this year. So far, we've done 4 days of math, 2 days of handwriting, 1 day each of spelling, history, and his extras from co-op. Next week we're adding in the language arts, and probably the week after adding science and Latin until we're full-throttle. Reading is year-round for us.

Here's what we're using this year:

Math - Teaching Textbooks 4 & MEP
Grammar - BJU English 3
Writing - Writing Tales (We didn't like the BJU writing units last year)
Spelling - Spelling Workout C
Handwriting - learning cursive; just doing similar groups of letters to start (lowercase l, e, b, etc, then i, j, u, w, etc.)
History - SOTW3, Early Modern Times, Activity Book & narrations/copywork
Science - WTM method, using Atoms & Molecules 1&2 with Usborne spines and science journal, experiments, extra books
Latin - Latin for Children A, but we also have Prima Latina. Not sure which way we'll go yet, but we're going to do this one as a family, everyone on the same page.
Reading - Pulling from Charlotte Mason & 1000 Good Books list, currently reading Call of the Wild.
Logic - I am still unsure of what to do for logic, but a poster in one of my hs email groups just offered up a couple of books free, so I'm going to check those out tomorrow. I'm guessing this will be more of a fun thing, since the kid loves puzzles and such, because I haven't really researched as much as I probably should have.

Then on Thursdays, he does a 5-class co-op for most of the day. This takes care of the things that we usually PLAN to do, then never get around to actually doing. Pricey, but worth it b/c I have chronic acute homeschool mommy guilt about that kind of stuff, lol. That's an official bona fide disease, if you didn't know.

Anyway, at this co-op, he is in 2nd-4th grade/aged groups and is taking:
Pencil Drawing, Tennis, Beginner Guitar, ASL, and PE. He started this week and loves PE and getting to eat lunch with a roomful of kids. I have to admit that my 3 year old seems to enjoy going to the grocery store much more b/c he doesn't have to share the iphone while I shop, lol. And I kind of enjoyed only buying one full-price drink at Starbucks, too. Win-win.

It was very weird for him to not be around almost all day long, though.

With the 3yo, we're just coloring, reading, learning shapes and songs and how we shouldn't throw our food from the table to the dog.

Add to those things scouts, little league fall ball, playdates, 2 hs "field trip" groups, and the Y and we look like one of those always-on-the-go families. However, I'm a devout stay-home-in-our-jammies-all-day kind of girl at heart, so we do that as often as we can, too.

Here's to a great "no whining" year for all!
post #16 of 211
Thanks everyone! I ordered the SSL bundle from Classical Academic last night. I'm kind of excited to start that!!

And I laughed and I laughed about swim classes yesterday. My friend doesn't want to to do them either!! That's just too much running around for fall - maybe we'll do a session in the winter when we're bored out of our minds instead. We're going to try formal art classes instead.

Between that and Roots and Shoots, we should be good.

Anyone doing anything exceptionally good this weekend? MY DH has the weekend off so he's going to help assemble Ramses II's temple, and we've got to finish up caves and hit the library. Then I'm hoping we can knock off a few math pages and a little bit of history.
post #17 of 211
Hi! We're secular homeschoolers using mostly classical/Charlotte Mason methods. Nikolai is in first grade and will turn 7 in October. Nate is in what will probably be his first year of K, and is basically learning to read and doing all of the fun stuff along with his big brother. For Nik we are using:

Math: Math Mammoth, Knoble Knights of Knowledge, Afterwards: Folk and Fairy Tales with Mathematical Ever-Afters
Reading: Hooked on Phonics Advanced Reader - He is almost done with this. He's reading at approximately a late fourth grade level, so he'll move on to just reading good books.
Copywork/Narration: using selections from our history reading
Grammar: FLL
Spelling: AAS
History: SOTW2 + Activity Book
Science: R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey
Art: Discovering Great Artsists
Music: Classics for Kids, piano lessons
Latin: Song School Latin

I know it sounds like a LOT, but we had a talk yesterday and he doesn't want to drop anything. In fact, he asked to add painting lessons and some extra science in the form of chemistry experiments! I have a feeling that Nate is going to be a very different child, so I'm going to just enjoy that Nik loves school.

We're not doing much this weekend. It is a cold, rainy weekend for us. That's a bit of a nice change from nearly-90 and humid, so we'll probably make some chili and start enjoying autumn, even if it is only temporary. We've been studying weather in science, so we'll be measuring the rain with the rain gauge we made, the wind speed with the anemometer, and wind direction with the weather vane. The boys are excited about that.

Then I think we're heading to my parents' house for a Labor Day picnic, and I'm hoping to hear the news that my brother has asked his girlfriend to marry him! He told my mom he is ready to ask, and wants to get married while all 4 of our grandparents are still with us, but I don't know if he has done it yet. We love his girlfriend, and can't wait for her to be an official part of the family.
post #18 of 211
Lovely idea! We have three children here- DD1 will be 7yo in a few weeks, and DS and DD2 turned 4yo this summer. Here's the recap of what we're using this year:

For DD1-
Language Arts- Michael Clay Thompson's Island level from RFWP
All About Spelling- I think we'll work through at least Level 2 this year
Suppose the Wolf Was an Octopus K-2- also from RFWP
Write Source 1
Handwriting Without Tears- Printing Power
Hooked on Phonics 2nd Grade- she's just reading the books out of it at this point and not interested in using the workbook or any of the rest of the program
Math & Logic- Primary Mathematics- finishing up 1B and moving into 2A soon
Gift of Logic Book 0 and maybe Book 1
History- History Odyssey Early Modern Level 2 and SOTW3- history overload, but she adores it and we belong to a History Club that uses SOTW, otherwise, we'd probably just use HO. Plus, tons of topic specific outside reading from the library
Science- Sciencesaurus and Physical Science Daybook from Great Source Press and Classic Physics by Mr. Q for a Family Physics thing
Latin- Song School Latin
Extras- maybe Philosophy for Young Thinkers, Comparative religion study using whatever materials I dig up- a passion of hers, Art co-op using Art Adventures At Home, Girl Scouts, weekly HS co-op that covers all sorts of different unit study topics, Odyssey of the Mind

My 4yo twins demanded school work this year so when they ask for it, we're working through the early Kumon workbooks related to pencil control and early handwriting, using FIAR vol. 1 selectively, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Saxon K Math. They also participate in the History Club, weekly co-op and physics and art co-ops.

Previous years we've ended up running around all over the place all week. This year, DD1 seems to need a calmer, more structured approach. So we're at home, doing school work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is our weekly co-op and OM, Friday is History Club or Girl Scouts and then art co-op. And once a month on a weekend, we get together with some other folks for an afternoon of hands-on science and potluck dinner.

We're two weeks in and I'm already really liking what I'm seeing from the weekly and daily rhythm that seems to be fairly naturally unfolding. We're almost up to full speed now. I like to start with a core and add in all of our subjects over the first month as we all get our footing with new materials and schedules. I still have to add in Latin next week. And I need to get a better handle on working with all three kids. Right now, I'm rolling hot with DD1, but I haven't fully given DD2 and DS what they're looking for yet, so that still needs to work itself out a bit.
post #19 of 211
There are so many of us doing SSL!

Has anyone here tried the Usborne readers? I was thinking about getting that set too.
post #20 of 211
Thread Starter 
I am thinking about adding one of the theme books from IEW for ds#1 this year - basically doing one lesson instead of doing WWE one week. He has always been a grade level behind with writing (mostly because we didn't start formal/classical work with him until half-way through 2nd grade; he was a most reluctant homeschooler for a long time), but he's at a point where I think he can start doing more. He does dictation/copywork every day through spelling and WWE 4, but I'm feeling the desire to teach him some of the key components of IEW (I'm not thrilled with the program as a stand-alone writing program, but I think it might make a great transition from dictation/copywork to the more intense writing he'll get through the MCT materials in a couple years, plus I really want to teach him how to do a key-word outline and then use that as a springboard for summarizing).

Also, after talking with dh last night, I think we'll go from FLL 3 to FLL 4 in January. I was really hoping to get something more student-directed (GWG), but at the same time, we (dh and I) do love the rigor of FLL and feel that he's getting a lot from it, especially combined with MCT Island.

Jennifer - I have never seen the Usborne readers. I'll have to Google them. Are they phonics readers?
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