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My Curriculum Choices for 2016-2017: Morning Time, 3rd Grade & 5th Grade

Curriculum Choices Picture

For the first several years that I homeschooled, I would spend the spring and summer searching for curriculum sales on the things I wanted for the upcoming year. As time has moved on, I have drastically simplified to the point that I don’t really buy that much prepared “curricula,” and, therefore, don’t have to work so hard to find deals. Our morning time has made our homeschool much easier, and, I believe, much richer. However, there are obviously still things I need to buy and resources that we will use. Here’s my plan for the fall.

Resources for Morning Time (all ages together):

Bible Study:
I’m considering using The Ology by Marty Machowski for a short reading each morning. (I haven’t looked through this in person yet–so please comment below if you have!–but we’ve used and enjoyed both The Gospel Story Bible and Long Story Short by Machowski.) I’ve also considered drawing from The Cloud of Witness.

History:
We will move into The Story of the Romans by H.A. Guerber and Christine Miller. (Following on the heels of this study of Roman history, in the spring semester I hope to begin Plutarch readings using Anne White’s guides.)

Hymn Singing:
We’ll be slowly going through the free collection of great hymns from Religious Affections, working on familiarity and memorization of at least one stanza of each.

Literature: I have a long, long list of books that I want to read aloud to the kids. It really just deserves its own post. We read aloud, we discuss the books, they “play” the books–we enjoy great books together. And we continue this all year round, not just during the formal school year. Right now I’m reading aloud Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers while they do jigsaw puzzles with Dad, The Father Brown Reader: Stories from Chesterton in the mornings, and Kate and I are reading the Betsy-Tacy books aloud together in the afternoons while Caleb and Scott are reading The Silmarillion aloud together. (I also got An Atlas of Tolkein just yesterday at Costco to help them along while they navigate this one.) And we listen to audio books on Audible while we eat lunch.

Memory Work:
We’ll continue using the Scripture Box app for our rotational memory work–includes catechism, poetry, and Scripture passages/verses. I’ve also recorded my timeline song so that we can listen to that daily. (I’ll be sharing the recording here soon.)

READ
History Curriculum Evaluation 1: Veritas

Poetry:
We will read about the life of and memorize some works of Robert Frost using Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy EveningPapa is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frostand other books that I may find along the way.

Shakespeare:
To go along with our Roman history studies, we’ll be reading aloud and watching Julius Caesar this fall. I like Mystie Winckler’s Shakespeare recommendations (though we do also like Lamb and Nesbit around here, and we generally do Lego sets and characters rather than puppets). The kids love it!

See this post to read about our entire morning time liturgy, including the way I’ve specifically ordered these elements (“subjects”) to best draw my children to worship.

Fine Arts Fridays:
Our Friday morning time looks a little bit different. On Fridays we will still sing and pray and recite memory work (and keep our general order), but instead of history and literature and poetry and Shakespeare, we alternate reading about a composer and an artist and enjoying their works through CD’s and picture study, and we also read about and draw nature. We’ll also be joining with some friends for occasional nature study field trips.

Resources for 3rd Grade Individual Study: 

Bible (independent): Kate will continue to read and narrate the 5-day per week read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program that our whole family is doing.

History (independent):
To complement our morning time readings, Kate will continue reading independently Story of the World: Ancient Times.

Language Arts (with Mom and independent parts):
We will use Language Lessons for Children: Primer Two series from Cottage Press (not to be confused with Susan Wise Bauer’s First Language Lessons by Well-Trained Mind Press). This is the first beautiful, story-formed elementary language arts program I have found–incorporating excellent literature, Scripture, and great hymns–and it’s also the first time my kids have really enjoyed language arts. Additionally, we will continue with All About Spelling, which everybody also loves. (Kate is currently on level 4.)

READ
History Curriculum 2: Story of the World

Latin (DVD and with Mom):
We’ll be finishing up Prima Latina this year and moving into Latina Christiana I. We’re taking a slow approach to Latin–festina lente–as recommended by Mystie Winckler in this post at Simply Convivial.

Literature (independent): Both kids are supplied with a liberal selection of living books–excellent general literary selections and living history and science books that complement our other studies.

Math (with Mom and independent parts):
We will continue to use Singapore Math, which, after trying several other programs early in our homeschooling journey, has brought us the most joy and the most success. I buy the Textbook, Workbook, and Home Instructor’s Guide for each level, and I order from Mardel when they run a sale. We also use Xtra Math for drill practice.

Resources for 5th Grade Individual Study:

Bible (independent): Caleb will continue to read and narrate the 5-day per week read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program that our whole family is doing.

Greek (independent on the computer and with Dad):
My husband will be starting Living Koine Greek with Caleb this summer and continuing into the school year.

History (independent):
To complement our morning time readings, Caleb will independently read Famous Men of Rome from Greenleaf Press. (I prefer the Greenleaf editions over the Memoria Press editions because of Christian worldview.)

Language Arts (with Mom & independent parts):
Language Lessons for Grammar Students: Fable & Song by Cottage Press (not to be confused with Susan Wise Bauer’s First Language Lessons by Well-Trained Mind Press). This is the first beautiful, story-formed elementary language arts program I have found–incorporating excellent literature, Scripture, and great hymns–and it’s also the first time my kids have really enjoyed language arts. Additionally, we will continue with All About Spelling, which everybody also loves. (Caleb is currently on level 6.)

READ
A Homeschool Mom Reads: My Book List for 2016

Latin (DVD and with Mom):
After Latina Christiana we prefer to use Classical Academic Press’ Latin program. This year Caleb will finish Latin for Children A. We’re taking a slow approach to Latin–festina lente–as recommended by Mystie Winckler in this post at Simply Convivial. I also bought Winnie ille Pu for some fun translation practice. (Note: I may or may not be renewing our subscription to Headventureland this year. Caleb did enjoy it, but it’s not very user friendly if you don’t have a mouse–we were working with touchscreen and touchpad–and I felt it was a little expensive for what you get. However, it did aid our Latin review.)

Literature (independent): Both kids are supplied with a liberal selection of living books–excellent general literary selections and living history and science books that complement our other studies.

Math (with Mom and independent parts):
We will continue to use Singapore Math, which, after trying several other programs early in our homeschooling journey, has brought us the most joy and the most success. I buy the Textbook, Workbook, and Home Instructor’s Guide for each level, and I order from Mardel when they run a sale. We also use Xtra Math for drill practice.

Typing (independent on the computer):
Caleb is starting the free typing program at Typing.com (formerly Typing Web) this summer and will continue into the school year.

All in all, we almost always get this done by lunchtime. During lunch we listen to audio books, and after lunch the kids practice their instruments. Then they’re free to play and exercise their imaginations!

P.S. If you’re wondering what a “liturgical-poetic” classical Christian homeschool is (in my header), stay tuned for the rest of my series on the Four Approaches to Classical Christian Education. (I know a lot of you have asked for the rest of the installments. I promise that I’m working on them, and they will be coming soon!)

Becky Aniol

About Becky Aniol

Becky holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and music and a master's degree in Christian education. She taught classical upper school grammar, literature, and history and lower school composition and grammar for two years, elementary school music for one year, and Kindermusik classes for four years before the birth of her children. She now loves staying home with her three children, Caleb, Kate, and Christopher, and homeschooling them classically.

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