I have really had it on my heart to streamline curriculum and to stick with what works for our family instead of doing what one philosophy says I should do. The bulk of my ideas come from Charlotte Mason and the Latin Centered Curriculum. I also have been greatly influence by Sarah McKezie’s book Teaching from Rest. My goal with curriculum choices this year was that next year we would continue on the same path.
English and Grammar- Rod and Staff English (My daughter will be doing grade 3 and my Son grade 4)
Math- Rod and Staff (Rod and Staff is my plan until Algebra in 8th or 9th grade. For my 6 year old this year I am using Charlotte Mason’s arithmetic book from Simply Charlotte Mason. I needed my older two to work more independently. We will add manipulatives as needed.)
Latin- Latin Christiana ( Following Memoria Press’ Latin scope and sequence is my long term plan. As I prayed about it I realized I wanted a Latin program that focused on Christian Latin and added prayers and hymns. I wanted it to be more than just Latin, but also something that effects the heart.)
Phonics/ Spelling- Memoria Press/ Rod and Staff. I have tried different reading programs and my favorite is First Start Reading. I believe that my 6 year old is dyslexic, but this does not require a completely new reading program. I ordered the Simply Classical 1 phonics plans, which give specific ways to teach First Start Reading to a dyslexic student. My 3rd and 4th grader will be doing Rod and Staff Spelling. My long term plan is to do Memoria Press Reading and Spelling from 6-8 and then have my kids work through the Rod and Staff workbooks.
Piano/ Music- Hoffman Academy. We have had great success with this. It does not only teach your kids to plan piano,but is a full on music program.
“Subjects”- Ambleside Online for Groups. The ideal Ambleside Online sequence is to do individual years, but I am so thankful for the groups option, which is geared towards Cottage Schools, Co-ops, and Large Families. Ambleside online covers, history, science, geography, music appreciation, art appreciation, literature, poetry, hymn singing, folk songs, nature study. The groups options groups together 1st-3rd grade, 4th-6th, and 7th-9th. They plan on coming out with a plan for 10th-12th. We are doing Groups 1a and 2a. I have picked only one scripture reading plan which we will do as a family. We will also be doing Shakespeare as a family; spending three weeks on the retelling and 9 weeks on the play. Below is a list of some things I am using with Ambleside Online
- Geography: We are adding Visits to North America from Simply Charlotte Mason for maps skills. There are 6 of these and the goal is for your children to be able to memorize where all the countries are and their capitals. I plan on having my kids cycle through these from grades 4-9.
- Book of Centuries- Once my children can copy a sentence well, they get one of these. When they come across a date in their history reading, they enter the date and major event in their B.O.C. which is a timeline.
- Picture Study- I diverted a bit from the A.O. plan, because I didn’t feel like printing art prints. I orderered prints by three different artists from Riverbend Press.
- Spanish- We are choosing to do this as a family rather than an individual study. I will be using Cherrydale Press, Getting Started with Spanish, Spanish Songs, and a Spanish folk Tale.
- Solfa- I am also going to do Children of the Open air for singing lessons
- Nature Study- Calendar Book from Christian Liberty Press. I am also going to use these books to assist our special studies rotation; All about Weather, Plant Life in Field and Garden, and Insect Life
- Hymnal- Hosanna Loud Hossanas Student Hymnal
- Composer Biographies- The Three composers this year from Ambleside Online had a biography available my Opal Wheeler
Handwriting/ Copywork- A Reason for Handwriting/ Memory Books. My scope and sequence is A Reason for Handwriting A (6 year olds), A Reason for Handwriting T, which transitions to Cursive (7 year olds), A Reason for Handwriting C, which is cursive (8 year old). Then keep a book with all their recitation pieces copied in cursive. My oldest two are already at this point. I got them a cursive sheet to keep in their binders. They will be working on copying for the year Three Hymns, Three Psalms, Three Old Testament Passages, Three New Testament Passages, and Three Poems in cursive. I use the Memoria Press composition/ sketchbooks for this.
Writing- Written Narrations and oral narrations. Rod and Staff teaches basic writing, but this is all I wanted. I don’t believe in teaching composition per se, I want my kids to write about what they have read about and use great books as their model for writing. My daughter will have to do one written narration on a history reading a week. My son will be doing one written narration a day, which I will require at least four sentences for. This will also give me a chance to evaluate his spelling, grammar, and writing format skills. Every scheduled school reading needs to be retold in some way, whether orally or written, this is how information is assimilated.
Reading Practice- My older two that can read are each assigned three poets a year. They spend twelve weeks reading a poem a day aloud by their poet. Poetry is complex language and gives me an opportunity to help them with words they struggle reading or miss pronounce. They will also read aloud their memory pieces.
Pre School- Peaceful Pre-School. I am not creative! I needed some ideas of things to do with my son who will be 4 this fall, because he asks to do school. My other son that will be two in the fall also already shows an interest in letters and enjoys reading books. Peaceful Preschool was exactly what I was looking for. Instead of feeling like I need to check every box, I am using this as my go to for creative ideas with my soon to be 4 and 2 year old. We tried the first week this week and got to about half of the activities, which we greatly enjoyed.