Thursday, September 22, 2016

Great Books Preschool Story Time

So, I am finally getting to sit down and publish the next set of plans.  I really wondered how much I should do with Little Man this year and what type of curriculum would work best for him.  Then I thought of one of his favorite activities, sitting on my lap and reading. Every time I sit down, he grabs a book he wants to read.  This could be why I haven't gotten much posted lately.

I didn't want to just read, though. I wanted to read him great books.  So, I sat down and looked through our collection, what was available at the library, and what I wanted to order online.  Here is the list of what I chose.  Certainly, there are more great books to read, but I am only one mama and have only so much time.

We are keeping a small stack of books (I really want to get a basket) next to the upstairs sofa, so that we can read while the other kids are doing their independent work.  I let Little Man choose what to read and then swap out the ones we have read over and over again at the end of the week.  This way it puts him in charge, but makes sure that we cover all the books I've chosen.

That's it, that's all we are doing.  No fancy projects, no workbooks, no formulaic study, just reading from great books. And you know what?  He's learning!  He is already learning to recognize some of his letters, making comparisons between stories, and telling me about different animals.  It isn't happening quickly, but it is happening joyfully and that, for me, is more important!

So here it is my " Great Books Preschool Story Time."  Enjoy!

**Please note that most of these links are for If you have not joined them, I highly recommend that you do.  They have made homeschooling so much more affordable. On top of great prices, they offer free shipping on orders of $10+, and a $5 coupon off your next order, every time you spend $50 cumulatively. Can't be beat! Click here and sign up for a 15% off coupon for your first order, any size. (I will receive a small reward for you signing up to help my family keep reading! Thanks.)


On Christmas Eve by  Brown

Miss Rumphius by Cooney

Owl Moon by Yolen

Ox-Cart Man by Cooney

Rembrandt’s The Story of Christmas

Mother Goose Rhymes and Poems  (I have several vintage collections we are using)

Scuffy the Tugboat by Crampton

The Rooster Crows by Petersham

Nicolini’s Song by Wilcoxen


One is 1 by Tasha Tudor

One Tractor by Siy


The Bible in Pictures by Rev Kirby

Tasha Tudor First Prayer


Autumn Leaves by Robbins

Five Senses by Tasha Tudor

Have any you would add?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Seven Super Quick Takes: First Week of School Lessons

I am linking up with Kelly--a little late but I hear late is better than never--to share what I learned this first week of schooling!

Scheduling two birthday parties within five days is kind of crazy.  Scheduling two birthday parties within five days when it is the first week of school and you are six months pregnant should be considered criminally insane!!!  What was I thinking?  

Buddy had a party on Sunday which included an "old fashioned, proper, sit-down family dinner" with his best friend (and future bride) and her family.  Cowgirl is currently downstairs in the family room making s'mores on the fireplace with dad and two of her best friends (camping got rained out) and we will be doing a campfire breakfast in the morning.  All good kids, all great memories, still one tired mama!

The curriculum I planned for the year seems to be working well, but I got all the plans together too late and am struggling to catch up with the prep work--like reading all the books I assigned my children.  Next year, I will be going back to my usual plan of having a rough plan done by the middle of June.

If you write an article outlining all your grandiose plans to make this year super special, but forget to write these plans in your planner--they probably won't happen.  I am going to make up for it on the feast of St Therese.  

Audio books of all sorts are a homeschooling mom's best friend!  I know I haven't gotten the rest of my plans posted--see number 5--but I have added in audio books for Buddy and Cowgirl, along with audio textbooks for Buddy.  It really has made schooling so much easier.  I still need to supervise their progress, but it gives them independence and me a little more time to work with the other children. A bonus is, they WANT to do the subjects on audio more than any others.  SCORE!  Oh, and if you have never heard of Phonetic Zoo, check it out, best spelling program and completely hands off for the mom.

Pipe dreams and delusions, I say! I somehow thought I would not only accomplish a week of school with all new curriculum, write five blog posts, host two parties, and get my garden weeded this week.  I blame the hormones.  So the plans are still coming, but at least I got this up!

To eliminate the glut of "not-me's" glasses that would fill up the table and sink each day, we got each person their own, distinctive glass. Amazingly, not-me stopped showing up and raiding our glasses.  I am thinking that I need the same thing for plates.  The amount of dishes we have been going through as my boys eat eight meals a day is mind boggling.  I just can't keep up.  Anyone ever try this?

A "Great Books Story Time" curriculum was the perfect fit for Little Man.  However, I need to discover some clean, hands-on, engaging activities for when I can't be reading stories.  Coloring with markers was great, until he colored most of his hands and then started running through the house as I chased him envisioning red hand prints on every wall and piece of furniture from now until the end of time.

 Also, I found all these great documentaries that go along with our curriculum so I could have some time off when I needed it when baby comes--or when I am just too uncomfortable to deal with it all as I wait for baby to come.  However, Murphy is a cruel companion.  Our Wii has decided to stop working and that was our source of "TV."  Now, I need to research other options or figure out how to fix the Wii, however, I know if I call customer service they will laugh that I want to fix a Wii that "we just got" six years ago!

How did your week go? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Let's Get Planning: Cowgirl's 7th Grade

Wow, 7th grade.  How did that happen?  Seems like we were just wrapping up second grade a few months ago.  The jump to schooling older children in upper grades has taken a lot of adjusting for me and to be honest, I'm not completely there yet.

I had contemplated signing Cowgirl up for Homeschool Connections, but it just wasn't the right time to do that for any of us.  The amount of anxiety that she and I were experiencing just thinking of starting led me to realize it wasn't the right choice for us.  That's the great thing about homeschooling, lots of flexibility.

I decided, instead, to take a Great Books/Charlotte Mason approach.  Here is our extensive list of plans for the year.  I mixed print books, e-books, and audiobooks to give us the most options and make life with a newborn more bearable.

This is a fairly lengthy list of books, and our budget is tight presently.  I used Thriftbooks to find most of my books, as well as Librivox, and the library.  In the end, I spent about $120 on curriculum total and will have it for future years, since most is not consumable.  


Royal Diaries:

10 American Girls From History

9 Great Horse Stories

A Child's History of Art

In Art: Horses



Choose one Gospel to Read

Read about four saints of your choice that you know nothing about



Copy two paragraph of literature each week

Write a narration of what you read once a week




Sign Language resources

Continue Independent Study of Horse Anatomy


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Let's Get Planning: 2016-2017

It's September.  IT'S SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Did you hear the collective gasp across the country side as homeschool moms everywhere woke up to the reality!!

I really have been planning, it has just taken me so long to get settled on my plan this year.  I didn't want to post my dithering and million updates and changes. However, seeing as school starts for the Academy of St Therese for the Glories of God next Tuesday, I have been dotting my i's and crossing my t's in a digital age sort of way.

In the next week I will have all our plans posted, including my Great Books Story Time curriculum for Little Man.  Please come back and be willing to lend your input.  Have a great school year everyone!

Coming posts:
Cowgirl's 7th Grade Curriculum
Buddy's 3rd Grade Curriculum
Little Man's Preschool Story Time Curriculum
History--Civil War to World War I
Morning Basket Plans

How's your planning going?