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Classical/Charlotte Mason September Thread - Page 2

post #21 of 211
Hi there, I've been lurking for a while but now I have a two-handed moment to post. I'm usually nursing the baby during my computer time and it's hard to type more than a sentence under those conditions, lol.

This is my first year officially homeschooling. We basically unschooled for kindergarten last year, but have gradually switched over to more formal schooling for my oldest. I have ds 6, dd 3 (special needs, dyspraxic and SPD) and dd 7 months. Somebody please tell me this phase is hard for everybody, lol. The two younger ones are just so needy, it feels hard to get anything done for school some days. We are adjusting, though, and I've learned to be easy on myself.

We started early and have done 6 weeks so far.
I'm mostly following AO Year 1 for ds, but we're secular so I've taken out some of the more religious book choices (Trial and Triumph, Parables of Nature)

Here's a general overview of what I'm trying to accomplish:

Phonics: OPGTR and Progressive Phonics with Bob Books and the Nora Gaydos readers

Math: almost done with Miquon orange, will just move on to Red

Handwriting: 1 sentence a day copywork from whatever AO reading we have done

Reading/LA: AO Year 1 with the above omissions, plus we're leaving out An Island Story. He narrates one thing we read a day, and answers a couple of questions about other ones.

2-3 times a week:

History: SOTW 1, with the Usborne encyclopedia and supplemental reading

Science: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding

Spanish: Right now he's doing Hooked on Spanish which I found for $15 at a discount store, I don't know what I'll follow up with yet

At least once a week:

an art project
nature journaling
a craft

Admittedly, these last things happen sporadically, but I'm really not worried about it. He's 6, playing should still be his bread and butter, yk? We do informal nature *study* all the time, it's just the journaling that hasn't been happening much, but it's the study that's the important part. I have Drawing With Children on order so maybe that will inspire me on that front more. I'd really like to learn how to draw, myself. We'll probably mostly do crafts from the SOTW activity guide, and more art projects when the weather gets colder and we're inside more.

As far as outside activities, he's playing soccer, just joined cub scouts, and will do a book club for 6-8 year old's at the library. The library also hosts a homeschoolers series twice a month on various topics. Yesterday was geocaching with the director of a local "adventure center", next will be birdwatching at the nature center.

Oh yeah, and I'm planning on being in nursing school starting in January . Not sure how that will all pan out. The plan is for dh to be home with the kids while I'm at school and then work at night so he'll hopefully end up doing a lot of the schooling.

Glad to be here! I subscribe to a few different Charlotte Mason yahoo groups and have gotten so many ideas and so much inspiration there. Looking forward to sharing experiences with you guys too!
post #22 of 211
Thread Starter 
Welcome Neldavi! When my oldest was 6, I had a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. We were taking the 3 1/2 year old to speech 2-3 times a week (my mom would take him some weeks one of those days). It was crazy and very, very little was done. I had switched to Oak Meadow that year (actually did OM K with Enki K the year before) in hopes of having everything done for me might help, but even then, very little was done. We ended up very, very, very relaxed homeschoolers until half-way through ds#1's 2nd grade year. By then ds#2 was done with speech and was wanting to do Kindergarten with his big brother, so it was only the toddler I was running around chasing.

It does get easier (though I say that lightly as I'll have an infant come December). Now that ds#3 is PreK, he's usually at the table wanting to do schoolwork with his brothers. Ds#1 is much more cooperative because he doesn't feel like the only one having to do school while his brothers play. We are able to include more rigor now than ever, and somehow actually accomplish more in less time then when ds#1 was the only one homeschooling formally.

Just remember, this too shall pass. I have found it easier as the academics get more intense just because they boys are getting older and better able to focus and work. Just take this year easy ... focus on the core and consider everything else gravy on top. And WOW on starting nursing school!!!
post #23 of 211
MLW, yes The Usborne books set I'm referring to is phonics based.

The kids want to do more school. It's almost 9:30 at night! Oy.
post #24 of 211
Hi! This is my first year home-schooling. DS1 is 6 and doing 1st grade. DS2 is 15 months, and tagging along. We are eclectic, but classically-inspired. Here's our run-down:

History: SOTW1--the Ancients with lots of complementing RAs and activities
Language Arts: OPGTR--we skipped the first 40 lessons since he already knew his consonant sounds and short vowel sounds pretty well; I throw in review every now and then. I also bought the Modern Curriculum Press Phonics Practice Readers, Sets A and B [1-4]. They don't line up exactly, but they're close. I also have these Scooby Doo phonics readers, and though they do focus on a particular sound or skill, they include a lot of other stuff that he can't always read without frustration, so I don't use those as much. For handwriting, I got Getty-Dubay Italics. Eventually I'd like to start FLL, but not sure when....
Math: Singapore 1A--we're skimming through this since he has the basics of these skills, but I've been told he should learn the "Singapore" way to ease the way for the next books. I'm also contemplating the Mammoth Math for supplement, but I'm having a hard time figuring out which series.
Science: At the moment I'm not doing anything specific for this. He is so interested in Science, it's not hard to do SOMETHING every week without planning ahead.
Art, Music, Health/PE: I'm neglecting these a bit at the moment. We do some art projects, but nothing organized. DS1 is not a big fan of music; I'd like to get him piano lessons, but so far.... And PE? *sigh* I want him to learn to appreciate moving his body and being healthy, but I struggle with this myself, so....
foreign languageOne of the reasons I say I'm classically-inspired rather than flat-out Classical is the Latin element. Meh. I get how it could be useful for learning grammar and vocab, but I think it's possible to do without learning a dead language [Sorry!]. I did buy Rosetta Stone Spanish, but haven't started it yet. I know when I studied Spanish [I have a minor in Spanish], I learned a lot about English grammar and vocab.
"Home Economics": This is my excuse to get chores done and to get DS to help! Sometimes his job is as simple as keeping the toddler corralled while I reboot the laundry. Or I might have him fold the pillow cases or match the socks, or "mop" the kitchen floor. The other day he "invented" a cleaner [water and hand soap in his Erlenmeyer flask from Mad Science camp] and cleaned the floor with that!

Toddler TimeThis is something new I haven't implemented yet, but hope to. I want to do at least one thing each day geared to the toddler. I have the Toddler Busy Book, and will look to it for inspiration. I also want to read to him more.
post #25 of 211
Ack! I'm re-posting it because I put in on the old thread before I realized there was a new one.

I do love our Classical threads!

^ That is how we are starting out this year, too, just adding a little at a time.

I originally intended to be year-round hs-ers, but this summer was just too crazy, so I let it go and she had the traditional summer off. But we have lost a lot of ground in the area she struggles with: reading

So we started back hitting Phonics Pathways harder than ever before, starting with page 1--I previously used the book just as a resource, but I am panicking a little because she was struggling with C-V-Cs after making a ton of progress last year! I am beginning to suspect a visual processing issue or maybe something like dyslexia? I'll save that for another thread, though.

I also found this rockin' Little Critter Spectrum workbook, grabbed the 1st grade one, and she is loving it! So that is a huge relief because she struggles so much with reading, it's hard to find materials that don't intimidate her.

Then we added in our beloved math we are going through the Singapore 1B book and finishing up anything that was left-over as review while we wait on our Grade 2 stuff to arrive. We have some packets we can work on (money, time, fractions) to keep us busy til our next Miquon/Singapore combo gets here.

Next came our Classical Languages which is going GREAT It's our favorite subject. We're using SSL and Hey Andrew Teach...Greek but she makes a main lesson book, we use finger puppets, this is our first week back at it, and she is really retaining a lot!

At the end of the week, we managed to add in Science-just the Human Body.

This year, I'm trying something different in that we are doing Units for everything except Math and Reading, and that I'm setting up "stations" or Montessori-ish shelf areas for the Science, Geography, Biography, and Art---veering a little from the Classical method, I guess. So I'll just periodically "present" stuff to her from the units and then leave the materials out for her to have Choice time in those subjects.

Can't wait to go back over this thread and see how/what everyone's doing!
post #26 of 211
Oh, am I supposed to intro?


I'm a sahm/wahm/wohm, married recently to my best friend, childhood sweet-heart and partner for life!

I sahm mostly but have a new wahm job as a breastfeeding counselor, and I also teach an art class one night a week, printmaking specifically. I don't like leaving the house either, ladies! Major homebody here

I have two awesome children, DD 7yo August Leo, creative, strong-willed, extremely verbal and social, gifted in some areas and struggling in others. She's awesome and has grown so much in so many ways in the time we've been hs-ing (just last year for 1st grade)--and DS *new* who is five weeks now and super-cool, wonderful addition to our family.

Anyways, let's talk curric

I am loosely inspired/following The Latin Centered Education more than any other classical method. I'd like to learn more about CM, but the LCM style just comes really naturally to me, so that's what we do. Trying to mix in some Montessori work as well.

Resources we are or will be using this year:

Miquon Blue and Green
Singapore Math 2A and 2B
Montessori Math presentations--using M. in the Home: Elem. yrs and New Child Montessori

Language Arts:
All About Spelling 1 and 2
Phonics Pathways
Cursive First
Spectrum Reading g1---really trying to reinforce the foundational reading stuff here and hoping it sticks this year!!
Tons of great literature, and this year we'll be reading The Odyssey for Boys and Girls (her request), also on order--lots of Greek/Roman stuff from the Yesterday's Classics website.

SSL with lots of made up activities and Greek, too, from Hey Andrew, SSG, and more made up stuff---also using "I am Reading Latin" books as primary resources, too.

So that's our core ^

I'm thinking about starting a blog lately for hs and hom-ey stuff.

That is all for now
post #27 of 211
We're eclectically relaxed CM-ish with a twist of classical.
post #28 of 211
We finally finished our science report on caves today. I was up until 11:00 last night reading books on caves. Whew.

We're now moving onto seasons and monarch butterflies for science this week.

And dangit, we ARE going to do some math this weekend. Even if it kills me...
post #29 of 211
We started Kinder today. Continuing our bird study tomorrow (began in the Spring.) If anyone is using the Burgess Bird Book for a bird study, I created a video companion for it this weekend.

We're using RS A for math. Also studying prehistory and religion (we're secular homeschoolers.) I am waiting for the HWT Grade 1 book to arrive as well. I also plan to add grammar in about a month. Plus narration.

We're joining 2 homeschool co-ops. Very excited about that!
post #30 of 211
Originally Posted by KathleenSLP View Post
We started Kinder today. Continuing our bird study tomorrow (began in the Spring.) If anyone is using the Burgess Bird Book for a bird study, I created a video companion for it this weekend.
Wow! Thank you!
post #31 of 211

I have a nine year old dd, we are in our second year of HS.

We are using

History: Story of the World
Math: Math U See and we also have some Singapore workbooks (4a+b)
Latin: We are using Latin Christiana
Science: R.E.A.L Science Odyssey
Handwriting: We are using the Zaner-Bloser handwriting that you get off their site
Language Arts: First Language Lessons
Spelling Workout and I also put her words into Spelling City
We have various books for Literature some of those will go along with History like Robin Hood, Adam of the Road, and Saint George and the Dragon

She also takes Karate
post #32 of 211
This was posted on the WTM board today - free Latin a/v course online:

Over the summer, I have been working on an audio-visual Latin course, that is grammar intensive, yet teaches Latin through only using Latin.

It is aimed at complete beginners, and would, I believe, be suitable for children, and adult students. Even quite advanced students are using it, as the course teaches through Latin, doing a lot to activate the language and re-program the brain to think in Latin, using a varied sequence of little dialog sequences. Declensions and verbs etc are examined in Latin.

The course has a lot of interactivity, loads of props, lots of repetition, and a fun dinosaur glove puppet.

So far, I have uploaded 130 short lessons. Some lessons will need to be listened to a few times, others only once.

And all this is totally free.
Here is the link:

I posted about a local HS mom giving away some logic books, among other things, in my last post - and as it turns out I was the only one who responded!

So instead of getting one or two books for free, I ended up with a whole bag - Logic, English, Math Reasoning, practice books, etc...SCORE!

I think I've decided to drop BJU English and Writing Tales in favor of FLL and WWE, though. We started with FLL a couple years ago, but at the time, I felt like it wasn't 'meaty' enough - my kid just seemed to fly through it, compared to his other subjects. (I know that's kind of the point, but I guess in my head, I convinced myself it wasn't enough or something?) I never really looked into WWE seriously.

Until tonight. :P

Another thread on a different board got my wheels turning again - and now I think I'm going to swap. We just started last week and haven't added in grammar and writing yet - planned to this week. Barnes and Noble has it on sale about 10 dollars off of the regular price, so I'm going to go look at it a little more in-depth tomorrow.

I also need to decide which Latin to use for sure, too. I have LfC A, which is the one I think I want to use, but I also have Prima Latina. I have at least a whole week before this is added to the schedule, though, so who knows? I should go back and re-read the reviews that compared the two, if I can find them again.

Gah. Curriculum junkie much?
post #33 of 211
popping in here!

We started officially for this year last week. Meant to go all summer but ended up taking August off. I am only officially schooling 1- the 6 y.o. have a 3 y.o. and 9mo but they are along for the ride.

currently doing:
Reading: I See Sam 4-5 x a week
Literature: Alternating Aesop's, Shakespeare for Children, Lang's Fairy Tales and Poetry(AA Milne this quarter)
Writing: Handwriting w/out Tears Kindergarten book 4x a week
Math: RS Lvl B 4-5 x a week
Science: BFSU 1x a week
Nature Study: Following Outdoor Hour Challenge- haven't picked out focus areas yet- just getting ready to start journalling
Art: Discovering Great Artists 1x a week- small study of artist and project based on their work.
Picture Study: Come Look w/ Me 1x a week
History: Am. History- First Book of Am History by Eggleston- spine w/ d' Aulaires biographies 1x a week
Latin: Song School Latin- haven't started yet trying to settle in a bit and I need to figure out how to schedule it all
Geography: Gallopping the Globe- STILL waiting on this book that I ordered months ago! Currently doing mapwork w/ history and other things
Religion: Bible 2x a week, Catechism 1x a wk, Saints 1x a week

I think it is going great so far and enjoying our current schedule it is currently taking us about 1:45-2hrs.

Right now between 9a-10am we do Religion, Writing, Literature, and Math.

10amsnack and a few chores

10:30am: Project time- History/Art/Science/Nature Study depending on day

11am: Reading
post #34 of 211
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
History: Am. History- First Book of Am History by Eggleston- spine w/ d' Aulaires biographies 1x a week
What is the Eggleston book like? It looks interesting from what you can see on Amazon, but I'm wondering if it needs some "editing" while reading (for instance, I don't teach that Columbus was a hero or that the Native Americans were savages ... not saying that this book does this, but others I have thought would be good to use did and thus became banned from our house ).
post #35 of 211
Well, my insidious plans are working . . .

Just kidding. But my idea of setting up "stations" for the non-core stuff is really working well for dd. We've been reading a little section of our Human Body books, and then I leave it to her to further explore, and she's been spending about an hour or so after each "presentation" to dig further into the books and hands-on material, YEAH!! I hope it works just as well when we get our Geography stuff set up. Plus, this lets me focus on teaching the core work and, well, taking care of our family, of course.

She is really flying through the lessons so far.

I mentioned she was struggling with reading and that we were giving it extra attention--well, she's doing about two lessons in both books every day, so that is great! If we keep going at this rate, I am hoping she will be fluently reading by the end of the year.

Ditto with math. I am going to run out of materials before our new stuff arrives if she keeps up with it.

She's been spelling words and making short sentences with the Greek magnet letters on the fridge--this is way more than I expected; we are just working on one new letter a week, but somehow she has absorbed most of the alphabet and is asking how to say sentences. Mater emoi boiethos, she says--"my mother is my helper" thanks, kid, that's what I'm here for!

And the greatest part is . . . . .. ... .. . . she loves it! Every day she's been saying; I love our school and I can't wait for tomorrow, yada yada. So I think we are right on with the level of challenge and keeping up her interest level---I never want it to be a drag for her.

I love hearing how everyone else's plans are going, too. Keep the updates coming!
post #36 of 211
Today was our local "back to school" day. I'm so glad we don't have to go!!!
We spent the day just having fun and getting the animals ready for the big storm that's ripping through here now. We're going to settle down on the couch and do some reading together soon. I'm letting the kids blow off some stored energy first.

How was everyone's day?
post #37 of 211
We had a typical school day on Monday. After which I fed my freezer. I'm really getting into doing this, lol. It feels good to be feeding everyone not sandwiches or cereal most days to save time. I made chicken and rice soup, chicken enchildadas, and chicken quesadillas for the freezer and chicken fried rice for dinner.

Yesterday we went on a field trip to our local art museum. My oldest dd 10 enjoyed it most I think. They had some fun little stations set up for kids. A place to draw an animal and hang it up, a question to write a comment about and hang it up, rubber duckie checkers, a puppet theater. Also a gift shop with lots of neat stuff. Dh bought 216 small round magnets that are very cool to play with. Afterward we went to the downtown library. My dd 2 loved this. She'd been begging to go to the library all weekend, lol, but I had to tell her no because she had a cold and I didn't want to share the germs. When we got home she starting tiredly begging to go to the library again, lol! Too cute . Today we are going to the zoo! They have a new polar bear exhibit and also some rescued youth manatees that weren't there on our last visit. Should be fun .
post #38 of 211
Thread Starter 
Today the local kids go back to school. I have to say I am a wee bit glad as our neighbor boy (a friend of my boys') from around the corner would come over almost every day, usually by noon, even after being told not to come until after 2pm because we were doing school. Plus, his personality and ds#2's personality don't always mesh (he's very ingrained with what I consider the "public school mentality" in terms of views of younger kids, girls, etc.) Monday I actually had to correct him when he was teasing another kid who was over playing for being tagged out by a girl. So, it's nice that he'll really only be around on the weekends.

That said, yesterday was not a fun day around here. All of us were unmotivated and somewhat cranky. We had had a very busy weekend with a baseball tournament Saturday and Sunday, and spent Monday cleaning out the garage. Plus we had a full day of school, as well as needed to go to the library and grocery store. I think being almost 28 weeks pregnant wasn't helping. But, we all managed to get through it.

Last night, though, I weeded through what was planned for the week realizing I only had 3 days to complete 4 days of school (we got very, very little done yesterday), and so I ditched WWE and FLL for the rest of the week. We still have a packed 3 days, but it's much more doable without those assignments in there.

MissRubyandKen - your field trip sounds like it was so fun! And the zoo today sounds great too. We are planning on going to our local zoo this fall ... we're waiting to see if they have their special Halloween days in late October (they feed some of the animals their treats inside jack-o-lanterns, for instance), or if some of the new babies will be out on display soon. Plus I told the boys that we probably need another adult going with us ... our zoo is hilly and I'm starting to waddle!
post #39 of 211
Zoo trips rock!! I wish we had a zoo within 50 miles from here. We have Petsmart. I call that our local zoo.

MLW, if I make dinner for you all, would you come over and clean my garage??

We've done nothing for school now for a couple of days other than vocabulary lists. I've got one more week of legal yuck to survive and then we're going into school more deeply. I feel so much mama guilt for this.
post #40 of 211
Thread Starter 
LOL Jennifer! It has taken me all summer to get dh to finally work in the garage, and we didn't even have a hot summer to use as an excuse. I'd do it myself, but I don't want to lift heavy boxes or move stuff, so I needed his help.

I'm sitting here listening to ds#1 fuss and complain about his work. I think he's having a hard time being a 4th grader - his math is a bit more, his spelling is a bit more, his reading is a bit more. For the last couple years, it's been pretty good because their work load was fairly even as ds#1 was still working about a year behind in L/A. But, he's pretty much on grade level now (not quite, but almost) and things are picking up for him. Ds#2 is done before he is (plus ds#2 is much more on task and much more motivated to get to work), and he's not liking it and letting us all know.
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