fall term, part 1 review 2

This is the second review of our Fall Term, part 1. If you missed the first part, you can go here to see what things we did together & read an overview of our educational approach.

To keep my sanity somewhat intact, I group various children & teach them together. Often, my head wants to explode with so much going on but very careful planning, coffee, date nights with Eric, prayer, girls nights, wine... they all help. So does keeping some of our topics similar even if each group is studying a different book. For example, we are all studying the Middle Ages for history this year. During the first two terms, most of the children are all studying Physics & Biology. Below is what each of these groups focused on learning during our Fall Term, part 1.


Littles Lessons: my littles are Katherine (age 4), Josiah (age 2) and now Timothy (newborn). They spent a lot of time outdoors playing (older siblings rotate taking them outside so I can teach... or drink coffee in silence) and also time indoors destroying my house- I mean playing. Seriously- these two can wreck havoc in seconds & often they're helped by a few other siblings. (Any guesses who?) Just look:


We read aloud some (again, not enough), usually at bedtime but I did not keep track of what. Picture books are so much fun though! Emily is learning the violin so I tried to meet with her consistently. It's happening more now that Timothy is here. I'll be real. These littles also spent far too much time watching movies. Pregnancy & mama's poor health - reality. Next interval, I've set aside time just with them because I've missed my little people & I want to soak in these early years before they're gone! I'm excited to try some new things & if it succeeds, I'll share next time. 


Young Ones Lessons: my young ones are Abigail (age 8) & Emily (age 6). I meet with the girls for 1.5 hours each day (except co-op day) where we loop Bible memory, phonics (Primary Language Arts + reading aloud for Abigail), copywork, math (we use Singapore Standards but add enrichment activities), history (the girls are following our co-op history at home), map blobbing, mapwork (following our readings) & AO reading + narration from year 2. Both girls sit with me and we either do their lesson together or while I work with one, the other does some kind of independent work (or goes outside with the littles). Often, we do our AO reading at other parts of the day: nap time (want to stay up? ask mama to read!), before bed & Saturdays. (btw, Katherine is usually present for AO readings & this little girl is sharp- she follows along, remembering the storyline & narrating well. She reminds me of her other two redheaded sisters.) When I say LOOP it means we never do all these things in one day- we pick up where we left off the next day. I make phonics & at least one AO reading/narration a priority, trying to do those each day. At some point each day, Abigail meets with Patricia for a piano lesson. Yahoo! 

CM takes the approach of short lessons when children are young to help them focus. 1.5 hours isn't short but I break it up into various different lessons & alternating who I work with to help keep it short. CM also requires reading slowly so we do not plow through books. That's okay because I see the ideas soaking in when we read this way + the level of reading is much more difficult with AO. At these young ages, I'm still reading aloud everything. They're only required to narrate (tell back) orally but they often want to illustrate their narrations. Sometimes I write down what they narrate & the girls often ask to copy it into their journals themselves. Here's a list of what they read during Fall Term, part 1:

  1. The Burgess Animal Book for Children
  2. Tree in the Trail
  3. Understood Betsy
  4. Little Duke
  5. Chanticleer and the Fox (finished!)
  6. A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys
  7. Heidi  (audiobook; finished!)

Mama's Assessment of Young Ones Lessons: I need to add in Spelling for Abigail (All About Spelling, Level 1) & also be more consistent with map blobbing. We also started a history timeline during our break & will continue that throughout the year.

Middlings Lessons: I refer to Elizabeth (age 9) & Jonathan (age 11) as my middlings. We meet for 1 hour each day (except co-op day) where we loop Bible memory, math (Singapore Standards), science experiments, writing/grammar (Language Lessons for Grammar Students: Fable & Song), copywork or dictation, reading aloud to mama, reading together Age of Fable + narrations from AO year 5. (Remember LOOP means we never do all of this in one day! My priority is math each day.) Last year, I had to read aloud almost all of their material. This year, I'm only reading aloud one AO book (Age of Fable); they read the rest independently. I'll be honest, it makes me a little sad to not be reading more together but I know it's better for them (they have to pay closer attention + there's a sense of work well done in doing it yourself- they own it) & gives me more time with other children.

Jonathan & Elizabeth have independent lessons which they keep track of thanks to Pam's student planner & handy clipboards. They never do everything every day. Math & co-op is priority. These lessons include personal Bible reading & journaling, math homework, Latin (Latin for Children, book B taught at co-op), history (from co-op), mapwork from various readings + learning to draw the USA (Draw the USA), science (Physics, form 3-4), music (violin for Jonathan & piano for Elizabeth; both have lessons once a week), free reading for half hour & AO readings + narration from year 5. They are required to do one written narration per day & orally narrate every other reading to me. Often, they choose to do more than one written narration. I fit listening to narrations & looking over their independent work throughout the day. Here's a list of what they read during Fall Term, part 1 (we did not finish any of these this term):

  1. Storybook of Science
  2. Wild Animals I Have Known
  3. Magnets
  4. Always Inventing: A Photobiography of Alexander Graham Bell
  5. The Story of Inventions
  6. A Child's Geography Explore the Holy Land
  7. King Arthur & His Knights of the Round Table
  8. Free Reads (which means they do not have to narrate to me me nor are the assigned what to read when; its sometimes "fluff" and I'm good with that): Little Women & Heidi (Elizabeth; finished both!) & Robot Wars, book 5 (Jonathan)

Mama's Assessment of Middlings Lessons: I'd like to see more careful work (penmanship, spelling, detailed illustrations) in their written narrations/keeping journals. We will add in Book of Centuries & a Century Chart next interval. 


Upper Lessons: Matthias (age 13) & Benjamin (age 15) make up this group. They work almost completely independently, meeting with me in the afternoon for discussion & to show me their work. Eric meets with the boys for logic, theology & Benjamin's math. Yahoo! The boys also use Pam's student planner & clipboards also. They never do everything every day. Math & co-op is priority. There lessons include personal Bible reading & journaling + a Romans Bible study from co-op with our Pastor, math (ChalkDust), Biology & Physics science & experiments (this guide for biology; this guide for Matthias physics; this guide for Benjamin's physics), Spanish (co-op), writing & literature (co-op), grammar (Jensen's Grammar), logic (Matthias: Art of Argument; Benjamin: will begin next interval), history (co-op with Daddy as teacher: Christendom), mapwork from various readings + learning to draw USA (Draw the USA), music (Matthias: piano with lessons each week; Benjamin: guitar at home), free reading (at bedtime) & AO readings + narration.  

Matthias is using AO year 7 & Benjamin is using AO year 9 but I've combined several of their readings. They are required to do one written narration per day + writing/illustrations for science. They must orally narrate every other reading to me. Often, they choose to do more than one written narration. In addition, they look up one current history event each day & write a summary on Friday. They also look up a scientific discovery or news event & write a summary on Friday's. Here's a list of what they read during Fall Term, part 1- remember, we haven't finished these yet:

  1. The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life (Matthias only)
  2. Mere Christianity The God Who is There (Benjamin only)
  3. Church History in Plain Language
  4. The Brendan Voyage: Across the Atlantic in a Leather Boat
  5. Bulfinch's Medieveal Mythology: the Age of Chivalry
  6. The Once Future King
  7. Watership Down
  8. Ivanhoe
  9. Ourselves
  10. How to Read a Book
  11. The Story of Painting (Matthias only)
  12. Dune Boy: the Early Years of a Naturalist (Matthias only; this is a favorite!)
  13. The Land of Little Rain (Benjamin only)
  14. Men, Microscopes, & Living Things
  15. Liquid & Gases: Principles of Fluid Mechanics (Matthias only)
  16. Objects in Motion: Principles of Classical Mechanics (Matthias only)
  17. For the Love of Physics (Benjamin only)

Mama's Assessment of Upper Lessons: I'd like to see more careful work (penmanship, spelling, detailed illustrations) in their written narrations/keeping journals. We will add in Book of Centuries & a Century Chart next interval. Also, their co-op lessons need more attention- I think mama being on break from baby lead to some sloppy habits that we're addressing. 


Patricia (age 17): this year started a new journey of dual enrollment for this girl. Sniff, sniff- that came quick! The days are long for a homeschooling mama but the years are quick!!! Patricia desires to get a degree in literature & writing from Toccoa Falls College. We're grateful that Georgia provides free dual enrollment to any in-state school (they do not pay for Bible classes) up to age 19! We're hoping Patricia can complete about two years of college before graduating!

While her main focus in studies is her dual enrollment classes (Freshman Composition I & American Government), Patricia also studied music (piano & mandolin at home + she teaches Abigail piano), math (ChalkDust), ACT prep & assigned reading. Plus, lots of art. We chat about her college courses (Eric is loving talking politics for her current government class) & books + Eric helps her with math. Here's a list of her assigned books she read (the girl reads way beyond this list!)- none of them are finished yet:

  1. Rob Roy
  2. State of the Arts
  3. Economics in One Lesson
  4. The Truth About Vaccines videos

PHEW! Home educating is not for the faint at heart but the riches to behold are beautiful & worthy of the effort! I'm sure they'll be some adjustments to make as Timothy gets older- life changes so quickly with babies in the house! I KNOW that our next interval will not happen as smoothly with a newborn in the house but that's okay- it will be much sweeter with him here!

If you stuck through this entire post, you deserve a medal!!! I'll see you at the end of our second term to give {a much shorter} update.