Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Get Planning: 4th Grade

Summer is rapidly coming to a close and I am still working on planning!  Here is my plan for Buddy who will be in 4th grade next year.  It is mostly based on Mater Amabilis but I have adapted and added as I saw fit.  Hope you are having a great week. Linking up with Kelly, again, this Friday.


Faith and Life 4
57 Saints-- This is a family favorite!

The First Christians: Acts of the Apostles for Children
Stories of the Child Jesus from Many Lands
My Path to Heaven
St Francis of Assisi
Karol from Poland

I am adding a book to supplement Life of Fred this year. It is a very boring workbook, but it reviews all the basic concepts in mathematics.  I am feeling that Buddy needs more practice in mechanics because he has sped along so quickly in concepts. It is an old workbook that I picked up second hand but is solid in practice. 

Life of Fred Jellybeans and Kidneys
Basic Math Concepts Level E for supplement
How Math Works

I know this looks like an awful lot but we are not doing every book, every day Also, many of these books we will not necessarily do every page.  I followed MA's guide and pulled in a couple of more items to round it out.  The four language arts are speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  I wanted to have a full curriculum that addresses each of these well.  The books marked (I) are for independent reading. A (N) means it is for narration.  I have marked read aloud books with (RA). We will be doing copy work, dictation, and narration, along with poetry memorization.  I have a schedule worked out if anyone would like to see how we rotate among them.

Language Arts:
The Ideal Catholic Fourth Reader (I) OOP
The Catholic Youth Fourth Reader (I) OOP
The Harp and Laurel Wreath-- this is a supplement for days when copy work or dictation is scheduled but not in the lesson plan for Intermediate Language Lessons. It also has poems to memorize.
Intermediate Language Lessons
The Good and Beautiful Creative Writing
Shakespeare Audio Dramas from Library
The Children's Homer
The Aeneid for Boys and Girls (N)
Pollyanna (RA)
Heidi (audio book) (RA)
Swallows and Amazons (RA)

We always do a family history study as part of read alouds, however, my children really enjoy history so they each do some private history study as well.  Buddy enjoyed the Story of Civilization so much last year, I decided to continue with the series. Our Island Story is also available as a free download through Librivox.

Our Island Story (audio book)
Story of Civilization: The Medievel World (audio) 
Famous Men of Greece (RA)
Herodotus and the Road to History (I)

We are going to do some map work and basic geography as part of our read aloud time each day.  In addition, Buddy will be reading/listening to the literature listed to give him a better understanding of the Americas and the people who live there.

Map Work
Paddle to the Sea
Elementary Geography (RA)
An Illustrated Atlas of South America and Antarctica (I liked this books so much, I bought it 3 times!)
An Illustrated Atlas of North America
Maya Quest: Interactive Expedition (I)
Secret of the Andes (I)
Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampas (I)

Last year, Buddy enjoyed Swimming Creatures from the Apologia series so much, he can't wait to do Land Creatures this year. Having the audio book to go along with the program made it so much easier to get through, however it will only play on our computer.  We will still get the audio, even though it wasn't convenient.

Archimedes and the Door to Science
The Librarian Who Measure the Earth
Apologia: Exploring Creation Land Animals 

 As I mentioned previously, Buddy will be helping Little Man with his nature study while doing his own.  I am very loose on nature study requirements, mostly because my children are so intrigued by nature they need very little prompting.  I am filling a basket with nature guides, including ones for younger children and some supplies.  The boys are already excited.

In addition, I purchased two Thinking Tree journals as supplements to the general curriculum.

Teach Yourself to Draw Forest Animals
Thinking Tree All About Animals

Lastly, we have "electives" if you will to round out his education.  

Seton Art 4

Latin for Children

Computer Science with Kano computer kit

Abeka Developing Good Health

Guitar instruction at fine arts school

Drama class at fine arts school

Chimes choir at fine arts school

Irish Step Dancing at dance school

Soccer at our parish school

Basketball through local Christian intramural league

This seems like a lot of books, and in some ways it is.  I have managed to get all of them by shopping Thriftbooks and using our local library. It was fairly affordable and still so mcuh cheaper than private school.

How is your planning going?

Friday, August 11, 2017

7QT: Let's Get Planning Preschool

Linking up with Kelly to share my plans for next year. Be sure to check out my curriculum sale post if you haven't.

Last year, I shared my Great Books Preschool program for Little Man.  We did enjoy it but never made it through all the books with the new baby and all.  This year we will be continuing with the program, and soon I will be sharing the new additions to make up for the books we have already read 20,000 times.  Little Man surely had some favorites.

My new 4 year old want some school work like the big kids, so I have also chosen some fun workbooks for him to use.

We are also going to add a time for play dough, painting, and other hands on projects.  I hope to create a rotation to keep him occupied while I work with the older kids. Some ideas to include in this time:
  1. play dough
  2. watercolors
  3. wiki sticks
  4. tangrams
  5. beading
  6. Popsicle sticks and glue creations
  7. scissor projects
  8. stamp work
  9. coloring

I am still finalizing a schedule but one thing that will definitely be included is slots for Cowgirl and Buddy to work with Little Man one on one. This will free up time for me to get one on one time with each of the older children while still giving Little Man the attention he needs.

 Time with Cowgirl will be spent on simple handicrafts. She really enjoys crafting so this will be a diversion for both of them.  I plan on focusing on the following handicraft skills:
  1. loom knitting
  2. potholder weaving
  3. basic sewing--this is per Little Man's request
  4. cooking
All of these will require some guidance and supervision. I believe Cowgirl is up to the task.

Since I have adopted Mater Amabilis curriculum for Buddy, I hope to school the two younger ones in the Charlotte Mason style as well.  A large part of Charlotte Mason for the early years is Nature Study.  Mason advocates long hours spent outside in any weather and guided nature study.

This is where Buddy comes in.  He is a bit obsessed with nature.  So it is perfect for the boys to explore outside together.  My plan is to get each boy a nature journal to complete. I have a small block of time planned each week for me to provide some nature study guidance  and feedback.  I wish it could be every day but there are only so many hours.

When the weather is inhospitable to going out, as happens here in the northeast, there will be a basket of age appropriate nature books for the Buddy to read/explore with his brother.  I will share the basket's contents soon.  

The last part of preschool for Little Man is going to consist of learning to play games.  My older children and Hubby really enjoy board games. Little Man really wants to play along but is still learning how to participate. So, there will be a time each week to play a simple game that we can then play as a family once he has gained understanding of how it works. 

So, not too many bells and whistles, but there it is.  How do you do preschool?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Feature Thursday: Carmelite Scapulars

UPDATE: Aurelius Cabrini is changing platforms. We are in the process of moving the store to our Facebook page.  If you would like to order a scapular, please contact me.  They should be listed in the Facebook shop very soon. Thank you.

I have closely been considering what my shop needs and why it exists.  It is part of my business plan to further its development through careful planning.  In the end, it's mission is the same as this blog, to further God's Kingdom through promotion of vocations and service to the LORD.  This shop is for Jesus, more than for me.  I have fully given it over to Him.  Yes, the profit benefit my family, but I want it to benefit my soul more.

That is why I am so happy to feature our Carmelite nun made brown scapulars today.  These scapulars are lovingly made by hand by the sisters. They are selling the scapulars to earn money and build a special project.

The sisters are seeking to raise funds in order to build a modern convalescence home for patients with dementia. The home will also provide palliative care, rehabilitation, and assisted living. This home will serve 133 seniors.

At present, the sisters are in desperate need of funds to keep their current mother house open as well as to pursue this initiative.  All profits from the scapulars will be disbursed to the sisters.  I am donating all etsy fees incurred to give the sisters a bit more.

I ask you to please consider purchasing a scapular and supporting these beautiful brides of Christ.

Each scapular is hand made with reinforced stitching and pure wool backing.  Each scapular has a St Bendict medal sewn safely inside. We will include instructions of enrollment as well.

If anyone has any questions or would like to place a bulk order, please contact me for more information.

Thank you so much for supporting this effort and may God bless you!

Friday, August 4, 2017

#7QT: Let's Get Planning Tips and Curriculum Sale

Linking up with Kelly for some more getting started tips.

If you are discerning homeschooling or just getting started, you have no doubt seen the big catalogs full of curriculum and asked friends which curriculum you should choose.  Are you experiencing sticker shock?

Homeschooling can seem overwhelming enough, the the cost of a box curriculum can turn many away.  I am here to tell you that you don't need a fancy, expensive boxed curriculum.  If that is what works for your family, then that is fine.  However if money is an issue keep reading for some tips on saving money.

First, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  You don't need textbooks to teach.  Gasp!  It's true.  Historical fiction, quality literature, well done non-fiction, and a good poetry book can give you excellent spines for your school.  Textbooks have their place, but if money is tight, especially if you are teaching 6th grade and below, opting for good books instead of textbooks is the way to go.

If you need help assembling your books into a year's curriculum, I am happy to answer questions.

Invest in good, hard covered books and texts that can be used multiple times with all your children.  This may be a little more expensive in the beginning but in the long run will save you so much money, especially since these can usually be bought used and resold.  Workbooks are expensive and consumable.  You will need to repurchase them every year for every child.  While I do use some workbooks, my main focus is durable books.

Check out your library!  Your library may already have a number of books you can use.  If you don't see what you need, request an interlibrary loan.  I have even hear of libraries specially ordering books that have been requested.  While that is not a given, it never hurts to ask.  I have found at least 10 books that Buddy is using for next year available at the local library.  That is saving my close to $100!

Find printables, downloads, ebooks, and audiobooks online.  I'm not a fan of ebooks, but there are some desirable ones available, often for free.  Public domain books are available as ebooks and audiobooks on several websites.  For example Grammar Land by Nesbit, a vintage grammar books that is on Buddy's school list this year, is available free via ebook, audiobook, and I found worksheets to compliment the book which I had printed for less than $1.

Do a little searching and you will be amazed at what you find.

I have written before about the importance of a community.  Find a homeschool buddy or two and split the cost of some bigger curriculum purchases.  For instance, my friend, Mary, and I have built a library of Apologia Exploring Creation books.  By buying them a little at a time and taking turns, we now own all of the books.  We are currently working on purchasing the audio versions.  These have and will continue to be used by all of our children. A little joint investment can go a long way!

Shop used curriculum sales, such as the one that Jessica sponsors every year.  Her sale is actually what got me blogging so this is an anniversary of sorts for Veils and Vocations.  Below are my items for sale.  Please comment if you would like to purchase one or more.  Shipping is $4 the first book, $1 each additional.  Any questions, please ask.  Thank you for looking and helping to support my homeschool. Be sure to check out all the other books available on Jessica's bloghop!
Wii game, like new, used twice. $3
Homemade recipes from Amish country, new $2 shipped
Seton readers, good condition, shelf wear, $3 each
These Are Our Horizons--Sold

Mysteries of Ancient America, HC, DJ, some wear, GC $2
How People Lived in the Middle Ages, HC, GC, $1

Problem Solving, sc, gc, no writing $1
Mental Math, sc, gc, $1

Easy Grammar, Like New, no writing, EC, retails $23, asking $10--Sold

Set of New Cathedral Readers, from 1950s.  
Bindings are worn, some more than others. A couple of books have writing on the covers, and a couple of the title pages are damaged. I tried to show this in the pictures.  However, all of the story pages are in excellent condition.  I went through every book, no marks or damage to actual reading pages.  These were in a friend's family for 3 generations, she has decided to pass them on.
Asking $65 for entire set, some of these sell for $20 each!

New Arabian Nights, SC, GC, $1

Lenten Adventure workbook from Holy Heroes, SC, LN, no writing, $3

BJU Spelling grade 1, LN, no writing. Text and workbook. Given to us but we aren't going to use it. Asking $3 for set

Concepts and Challenges set, 2nd edition, EC, minimal shelf wear, asking $20 for set --Sold

Thanks and God bless!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Feature Thursday: Printable Stationery

Did you miss Beauty Tuesday?  If so, please check it out.

Today is another Feature Thursday where I tell you more about the items in our etsy shop.  Have you seen our new line of printable stationery?  These were designed by Cowgirl. She has been taking graphic design classes and so enjoying them.

A few months ago, she asked if she could design something for the shop.  After a bit of brainstorming and so intense computer time, she showed me her first set of designs.

These are currently available at the shop and I will soon be adding another batch that she just finished.

Single design downloads are $2.99.  Muli-design packs are $5.99.

If you have not joined our Facebook page, please do.  We post secret sales, coupon codes, and more.  In a couple of weeks we will be hosting a giveaway package of several of the stationery downloads.  Please join in on the fun!

Also, we really enjoy custom orders and the opportunity to serve our customers in that way.  If there is a particular design you would like for stationery, please just drop us a line.  For only $1 more, you can have a personalized download of your very own.  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beauty Tuesday: Children in Church

I'm pretty late getting this up.  To be honest I have been a bit discouraged with the blog.  My time is so short all the time and the whispers of doubt keep making me toy with quitting.  Is there anyone out there that wants me to continue?  If you do, please comment so I know these words are reaching somebody.

Sunday is a workout.  Getting everyone up, dressed, and out the door is a Herculean effort every week.  It shouldn't be, we get dressed every day.  Why is it so hard to even just find socks and underwear on Sunday?  Why are the same dress shoes that you have tripped over three times during the week now no where to be found? Why?  Why is it so hard?

Then there is making it through Mass.  I regret to say that as much as I love the Mass and thrive on its nourishment, I am often just surviving it until the final blessing.  Sweaty and tired, I silently rejoice when the priest extols us to "go in peace." Alleluia, no more wrangling little ones in the pew praying no one sees the antics that are going on.  How it would hurt my heart to think my little ones are disrupting others' Mass prayers as well.  Gospel?  I think there was one.  Homily?  Oh, did I miss it.  Consecration? There must have been, it's a Mass, but honestly for me it's just a blur.

This Sunday was particularly rough.  We got to the van and the gas light was on, I promise you there had been a quarter tank the night before or I would have stopped.  Little Man was irritable and uncooperative.  Lovie-Lu was clingy and easily upset.  I was tired going in, praying for a good soul quenching Mass. I needed it so badly.  I think I heard the Second Reading, the Gospel I apparently missed because when the Homily began and our priest began to preach on the Gospel I had to figure out which one he was even referencing.

Then Lovie-Lu lost it.  She cried and screamed.  I attempted to nurse her but she couldn't settle and Little Man was suddenly so intrigued by my nursing cover that I use practically every day!  I quickly exited just before consecration. Discouraged that I am not better at managing this.  Fatigued by the lack of quiet in my life.  Standing just outside the baptistry where there are windows to look in on the altar.  I swayed and rocked the baby for the rest of Mass.  At the final blessing, I sighed a breath of resignation and relief at the same time.

That is when it happened.  Our priest hushed the choir from beginning the recessional and spoke to the parish. He acknowledged that there were a lot of children who had not been happy and had been very noisy through Mass.  (Oh dear, the screaming had been one of mine.) He invited all the children who had struggled through Mass to come up to the altar for a minute. 

Fr R proceeded to grant them a special blessing.  He turned to the full church and praised the beautiful sounds of the vocal children.  He thanked God for the blessings of each little one who had come to Mass, and he asked all the parishioners to pray for the parents who had brought them because they were working so hard to just be there each week. Fr R said, "Parents, please, bring your children to church.  This is your home.  Do not ever be ashamed to be here with these little ones.  You belong here and we welcome you always.  Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me!' You are bringing your children to Jesus and you deserve our deep appreciate and love.  Always bring your children to church. We want them here and so does God."

Thunderous applause arose throughout the church.  Those few moments were such balm to my soul, I don't know that Fr R will ever know just how much. After the Mass, I approached Father and thanked him.  I admitted that my little girl was the screamer and he blessed her so tenderly. He looked at me, said he loved hearing her beautiful voice and thanked me for coming.

Children are beautiful. They are little snips of heaven. Each is a gift, a glorious gift from our LORD.  They are His, and we owe it to them to bring them to Jesus at every opportunity. I will most likely miss a good portion of Mass this week again due to distraction and the need to discipline a very active little boy.  However, I know that my fellow parishioners, my brothers and sisters in Christ, love me and applaud my effort.  How sad it must be to have a church with no children.  They are our future and our primary mission in this life to is lead the little one to heaven.  How can we do that apart from the Mass? Let the little children come to Me....

Today is Beauty Tuesday as we have been doing this summer on Veils and Vocations.   If you have a blog post you would like to share, please add it in the comments.  Thanks.