Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Basic Homeschool Helps

With local schools sending kids home to learn for the next few weeks, I figured there might be some parents who struggle with the transition. Any new routine for a kid is likely to lead to a struggle, so I’ve put together some advice and resources you may find helpful. These would also be helpful during long school breaks, as well.

Transitions Are Hard

Know that transitions are hard. What is novel at first quickly wears off and becomes a little difficult. You aren’t doing it wrong. The kids aren’t doing it wrong. It is just hard to get into new routines, especially when you know they are temporary. If your kid’s school isn’t requiring work to be done, feel free to take a full break or look at the activities suggested here to keep the days from becoming drudgery. Give yourself and the kids some grace.

Routines Help

Creating a routine or a rhythm to the “off” days can help make them flow more smoothly. Breaking up the day into sections, even if they are flexible, will help kids not get bored and also not wallow in misery at the never-ending hours to fill. You can model your day after their school day, or you can make something else up entirely. Even just having a “breakfast time”, “snack time”, “lunch time, “tea time”, etc. can help break the day up into manageable chunks.

Work before Play

If your kids will be expected to complete work on break, as I know many will be, set the habit, from the start, of putting the work first. Once they get into a video game, it can be hard to bring them back out to boring old math work. For us, we don’t allow TV or video games before school. (We actually don’t allow video games on school days at all.) If they want to do something before school, they can read, write, or create art. We try to limit the “fun” stuff before work because work becomes such a drudgery when you feel like you’re missing out on fun things to do it.

Time Is Different at Home

At home, time is different. What might usually take them 40 minutes to do at school may only take 15 at home. There aren’t other kids asking questions. There aren’t ducks to line up before work can be done. You didn’t miss anything just because the lessons seem shorter.

Similarly, it may take longer for some kids at home. They’ve been trained to work in a specific environment in a specific way. It can be difficult to transition from that. Think about being used to working in the quiet of an office and suddenly being thrust into the middle of a busy coffee shop— or vice versa. It may take a kid more time to settle into doing work in a different place with different sounds and smells. If it takes a little longer, you’re not doing it wrong and neither are they. Adjustments can be hard.

Activities

You may be fine with letting your kids be a couch potato on break. If you are, cool. Do what works for you and your kids! If your kids are the “I’m boooored” type, here are some ways you can break up your days.

Documentaries

TV doesn’t have to be bad. There are some really interesting documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime that can be educational and fun. Definitely check out The Riot and The Dance on Amazon! There are also some fun educational shows like the Magic Schoolbus. Also, some movies that were made from books might be worth checking out. You may have time to read the book and watch the movie. Or perhaps you can choose movies based on books they’ve already read. That comparison is always fun. We’ve also had fun comparing two versions of the same story.

Read Aloud

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we love reading in our house. My kids, even those old enough to read, really enjoy us reading to them. Grab a book and read together. Not sure what to read? What do you want to read? Is there a book you read as a kid that really sticks out in your mind? Maybe read that. Is there a book that has been of interest to you that you haven’t taken the time to read? Maybe read that. Is there a book your child is itching to read? Might be a good one!

Audiobooks

Listening to an audiobook while drawing, crocheting, or just sitting and cuddling is a great way to spend some time. Your local library likely has a good selection using the Overdrive or Libby app and putting in your library card number. You can also get some great audiobooks from Audible through Amazon. You don’t have to be an Audible member to buy books. (Nick Offerman reading Tom Sawyer is better than reading the book. Will Wheton reading Ready Player One is better than reading the book.) You can also sign up for Scribd, which is like Netflix for audio- and ebooks. They have a great selection.

Reading

Reading books that aren’t for school is a fun way to spend time. My boys love Nathan Hale books. They are historical graphic novels that tell the stories of famous wars and things in a very engaging way. Recently, they’ve also really enjoyed reading the Last Kids on Earth series (which is now a show on Netflix). There are also some Teen Titans graphic novels that are coming out, though currently I think Raven is the only one available. Whatever your kid is into— I’m sure there is a book to pique their interest. Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book and Fortunately, the Milk have also been big hits here.

Worksheets/Activities

You may have a kid who loves workbooks and activities that they do in school. I was one of those kids. TeachersPayTeachers.com is a website devoted to teachers sharing the resources they’ve created, and you can buy the PDFs and print them at home! There are some free worksheets available, or you can buy any specific worksheets for any subject. My younger ones enjoy The Moffat Girls worksheets. My older ones have loved the interactive notebooks from Lovin Lit.

You may find you want little unit study type activities for your kids. Check out Chickie and Roo, Firefly Nature School, Twig and Moth, Exploring Nature with Children, Fiddlestick Kids, and Brave Grown Home. They all offer various lessons, cards, and tools to supplement a fun unit study.

It would also be a great time to try out Skillshare. (This link will get you two months free for a trial.) You can take classes on a phone, tablet, or computer on virtually anything. My kids really enjoy the drawing and illustration courses.

There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest of fun, hands-on activities you can do with kids. You can also check out my post on Kindergarten Math Boxes for some ideas of hands-on activities for younger kids.

Nature Study

If you aren’t sick, get outside and study nature. Grab some colored pencils and drawing paper or a notebook. Just learn to observe and draw what you see. The trees are blooming, there are plenty of fun things outside to draw and record. If you have watercolors, it can be fun to break those out and practice getting colors you see in nature onto the page. Not sure where to start? Grab a leaf. What do you notice about it? Can you draw the shape? Is the color even and consistent? What do the veins look like? Nature study is really about capturing what you see and learning to see those things.

Games

Board games and card games are a lot of fun when a parent is involved. I have enough kids that they can manage a full board game on their own. But even still, the fun really ramps up when my husband or I get involved in the game. Dust off the Monopoly, Scrabble, Sorry, Uno, or Candyland and get playing! There are also some new games out there you may not have played that are pretty fun. Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, King of Tokyo, Munchkins, and Dungeons and Dragons might be fun to learn.

Puzzles are also a fun family event in our house. The littles love puzzles, but when we get a big, complex puzzle, the whole family gets in on the creating. There isn’t a single person in our house who can resist putting a few pieces into an unfinished puzzle.

Bonding and Creating Memories

I know it can be frustrating to have such a long, unplanned break. Especially when there is really nowhere to go during the break. But you have the chance to create some really awesome memories and bond with your kids in ways that wouldn’t ordinarily be possible. How often do we wish for a break in the busyness of modern life and never can find a space to take one? We’ve been given the break. It is definitely not the way any of us would want it, but let’s take advantage anyway! Don’t stress yourself out trying to make every moment perfect and magical. Memories are made in all-day pajama-days, movie marathons, and yelling over Uno. No magic required— just presence.

** This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links do benefit me but don’t cost you more to use. Using affiliate links is a way to thank your favorite content creators. **

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Godbold Academy 2020-2021: Rhetoric Stage Plans

The rhetoric stage is essentially the high school stage. This level bumps up in difficulty quite a bit, as students are able to handle deeper and more difficult books. I expect my rhetoric students to be fully independent, except they do join us for Morning Basket. I keep all my kids running along the same history timeline, though they may be at a slightly different pace and very different difficulty levels. I give my rhetoric students a checklist of work for the week and they are responsible for doing it and checking it off. I usually check their work only weekly, though we do discuss their readings over dinner daily.

Bible

The Bible Among the Myths (1 chapter per week; weeks 1-11)

The Epic of Eden (1 chapter per week; weeks 13-23)

The Epic of Eden Small Group Study (daily reading plus weekly video and discussion; weeks 25-36)

History

The History of the Ancient World (1-3 days per week; weeks 1-31)(Keep a list of important people and dates in history notebook)

The Iliad with Memoria Press Student Guide (weeks 1-24)

The Odyssey with Memoria Press Student Guide (weeks 25-36)

The Epic of Gilgamesh (weeks 25-36)

Science

Nature Study: The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (weeks 1-36)

General Science 2: Survey of Geology and Archaeology (weeks 1-36)

Language Arts

Grammar: 180 Daily Teaching Lessons for grade level (5 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Writing: The Creative Writer (weeks 1-36)

Literature

Till We Have Faces (weeks 1-6)

The Lightening Thief (weeks 1-17)

The Hobbit with Memoria Press Study Guide (weeks 7-11)

The Lord of the Rings (weeks 13-30)

The Sea of Monsters (weeks 18-30)

The Titan’s Curse (weeks 30-34)

Logic

Introduction to Logic (weeks 1-36)

Languages

Latin: Canon Press Latin Primer (weeks 1-36)

French: Rosetta Stone French (2-3 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Math

Life of Fred at level

Character

Plutarch Lives, Volume 1 (2 days/week; weeks 1-21)

Plutarch Lives, Volume 2 (2 days/week; weeks 21-35)

I keep everything planned out as seen above for each week.

** This post contains affiliate links. Using affiliate links is a great way to support your favorite content creators. **

I encourage you, don’t feel like you have to buy all your school books new! Check out ThriftBooks.com for some great deals on used books. (That link is my referral link!) Also, check out Scribd, which is like Netflix for ebooks and audiobooks. (That link is my referral link!) There are so many great books available through both that will save you money. Also, remember to check your library. Libby is a great app that many library systems use where you can get ebooks and audiobooks through your local library. Of course, you can also max out your library card checking out great books, as well.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Godbold Academy 2020-2021: Logic Stage Plans

The logic stage in homeschooling lasts from about fifth or sixth grade through eighth grade, depending on the child. This is what we’d all typically call “middle school”. The logic stage is a bump up in difficulty, and I expect my logic aged children to be pretty much independent. I do not read the scheduled books to my logic students, they read all their books on their own except for Morning Basket. For the logic stage, I give the child a list of the work they need to do each day and they check it off as they complete it. I do check it at the end of the day or week, depending on the child. And we do discuss it, usually over dinner.

Bible

Herein is Love: Numbers (weeks 1-24)

Herein is Love: Deuteronomy (weeks 25-34)

History

Story of the World, Volume 1 (weeks 1-34)(This is the history spine for both the grammar and logic stages. If you have grammar aged kids and are reading the chapter to them, you can include the logic student in the reading. Logic students keep a list of the important people and dates from this reading. I plan 1-2 chapters each week to complete the entire volume in three 12-week terms.)

Story of the World, Volume 1, Activity Guide (weeks 1-34) (This activity guide has questions about each chapter and outlines to complete, along with activities and book suggestions should you choose to do them.)

Book of the Ancient World with Memoria Press Study Guide (2-3 days/week; weeks 1-12)

Famous Men of Greece with Memoria Press Study Guide (1-2 days/week; weeks 1-20)

Book of the Ancient Greeks with Memoria Press Study Guide (2-3 days/week; weeks 13-23)

Famous Men of Rome with Memoria Press Study Guide (1-2 days/week; weeks 21-35)

Augustus Caesar’s World (3-5 days/week; weeks 23-36)

Science

Nature Study: The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (weeks 1-36)

Core: General Science 2: Survey of Archaeology and Geology (weeks 1-36)

Language Arts

Grammar: Easy Grammar Plus (5 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Writing: The Creative Writer (weeks 1-36)

Literature

The Hobbit with Memoria Press Study Guide (weeks 1-10)

The Lightening Thief (weeks 1-11)

Imagine… The Great Flood (weeks 1-15)

The Bronze Bow with Memoria Press Study Guide (weeks 13-21)

The Sea of Monsters (weeks 13-22)

Imagine… The Ten Plagues (weeks 16-30)

The Children’s Homer (weeks 22-32)

The Titan’s Curse (weeks 23-36)

Logic

The Thinking Toolbox (2 days/week; weeks 1-19)

The Fallacy Detective (2 days/week; weeks 19-36)

Languages

Latin: Canon Press Latin Primer (weeks 1-36)

French: Rosetta Stone French (2-3 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Math

Strayer Upton Arithmetics (5 days/ weeks; weeks 1-36) (Book: 1, 2, 3)

Character

The Radical Book for Kids (1-2 days/week; weeks 1-35)

I keep everything planned out as seen above for each week. For the grammar stage, I try to plan the majority of the work Monday-Thursday and add extra subjects in on Fridays.

** This post contains affiliate links. Using affiliate links is a great way to support your favorite content creators. **

I encourage you, don’t feel like you have to buy all your school books new! Check out ThriftBooks.com for some great deals on used books. (That link is my referral link!) Also, check out Scribd, which is like Netflix for ebooks and audiobooks. (That link is my referral link!) There are so many great books available through both that will save you money. Also, remember to check your library. Libby is a great app that many library systems use where you can get ebooks and audiobooks through your local library. Of course, you can also max out your library card checking out great books, as well.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Godbold Academy 2020-2021: Grammar Stage Plans

The grammar stage in homeschooling spans from about kindergarten or first grade through fourth or fifth grade, depending on the child. I include my young ones in our grammar schooling, as they usually want to keep up with their siblings and they enjoy the readings and such. Some things are specific to the actual place the child is in a subject, some things are more universal. If you’ve never seen planning by stage, this may seem confusing that first and fifth graders can go by the same curriculum plans. But trust me, I’ve been combining ages for a long time and can tell you, even with the same sources, kids work and understand at the level they are.

Bible

The Ark, The Reed, and The Fire Cloud (4 days/week; weeks 1-17)

The Dreamer, The Schemer, and The Robe (4 days/week; weeks 18-32)

History

Story of the World, Volume 1 (1-2 days/week; weeks 1-34) (This is the history spine. There are additional readings for history, but this is the main portion of history. I cover 1-2 chapter each week to get through the entire volume in our three 12-week terms.)

Story of the World, Volume 1, Activity Guide (weeks 1-34) (This book is used for weekly activities and contains coloring pages and suggestions to “beef up” Story of the World.)

It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! (week 1)

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pyramid Builder (weeks 2-3)

You Wouldn’t Want to be a Sumerian Slave (weeks 4-5)

Gilgamesh the King (week 6)

The Revenge of Ishtar (week 6)

The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (week 6)

One Grain of Rice (week 7)

The Story About Ping (week 7)

Anasi the Spider (week 8)

Temple Cat (week 8)

Baby Moses (week 9)

In Search of a Homeland (weeks 9-14)

Tales of Troy and Greece (weeks 13-20)

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (weeks 21-36)

Classical Kids (activity guide for making history activities)

Old Testament Days (activity guide for making history activities)

Science

Nature Study: Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader on Student’s Level (1-3 days/week; weeks 1-36)(individual readers availble for sale on Christian Book)

Core Science: General Science 2: Survey of Geology and Archaeology (just using the books for the grammar stage. The logic and rhetoric stages are using the full curriculum. This is our main science curriculum. We’re adding some more books to further study the topics found in these books.) (weeks 1-32) (Individual books: Archaeology, Geology, Fossil, Cave)

Geology Lab for Kids (weeks 33-36)

Rocks, Rivers, and the Changing Earth (weeks 1-28)

Archaeologists Dig for Clues (weeks 1-2)

The Street Beneath My Feet (weeks 3-4)

What is an Archaeologist? (weeks 5-6)

Ancient Civilizations (weeks 7-10)

Planet Earth Inside Out (Week 11)

Rocks, Fossils, and Arrowheads (week 17)

A Rock is Lively (week 19)

Rock Collecting for Kids (weeks 20-21; 28-32)

Caves and Caverns (weeks 22-25)

Jurassic Poop (week 26)

Let’s Go Rock Collecting (week 27)

Language Arts

Once kids can read, they start grammar. I do read the Literature books out loud for the younger kids. Free Reads are for kids old enough to read chapter books alone. If you’ve got a great reader, check out the books for the logic stage. If you’ve got ones learning to read, reading Bob books during the free reading time is a great option.

Grammar

Beowulf Grammar (4-5 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Literature Reads

The First Dog (week 1)

A Cry from Egypt (weeks 1-8)

Mummies Made in Egypt (week 3)

Mummies in the Morning (weeks 4-8)

Hour of the Olympics (weeks 9-12)

The Children’s Homer (weeks 13-20)

The Trojan Horse (weeks 15-18)

Romulus and Remus (weeks 21-22)

Aesop’s Fables (weeks 22-36)

Free Reads

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Runaway Ralph

Ralph S. Mouse

Fortunately, the Milk

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

James and the Giant Peach

The Boxcar Children

Handwriting

Draw, Write, Now (1-2 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Logic

Creative Problem Solving (1 day/week; weeks 1-36)

Languages

My kids have been learning French. I usually don’t start Latin until the Logic stage.

My First French Lesson (1 day/week; weeks 1-36)

Math

Use whatever math works for your child. This is just what we use for this stage.

Math Mammoth on child’s level (4-5 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Character

The Mess Detectives and the Case of the Lost Temper (week 10)

Junior Comes Clean (week 11)

Bob and Larry and the Case of the Missing Patience (week 12)

Larry Makes a Choice (week 23)

All is Fair When We Share (week 24)

I keep everything planned out as seen above for each week. For the grammar stage, I try to plan the majority of the work Monday-Thursday and add extra subjects in on Fridays.

** This post contains affiliate links. Using affiliate links is a great way to support your favorite content creators. **

I encourage you, don’t feel like you have to buy all your school books new! Check out ThriftBooks.com for some great deals on used books. (That link is my referral link!) Also, check out Scribd, which is like Netflix for ebooks and audiobooks. (That link is my referral link!) There are so many great books available through both that will save you money. Also, remember to check your library. Libby is a great app that many library systems use where you can get ebooks and audiobooks through your local library. Of course, you can also max out your library card checking out great books, as well.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Godbold Academy 2020-2021: Morning Basket

I mentioned in my review of A Gentle Feast that we aren’t going back to it this coming school year. I figured I’d share our full curriculum plans for this coming year, which include all three classical stages or all four Charlotte Mason forms, whichever way you want to look at it. We’ve got a lot of kids spanning a lot of grades around here. Our history cycle this coming year will be Ancient History, which I’m pretty excited to get back into. For the sake of length, I’m splitting the posts on the curriculum up, so be sure to check out the Grammar (K-4/5), Logic (5/6-8), and Rhetoric (9-12) plans, as well.

Morning Basket

I like to start the day with all the kids together. We will add poetry memorization and Bible verse memorization to this book list. I’ll choose one poem per kid/stage and one Bible passage for all the kids for each of the three terms. All weeks are approximate, as sometimes we read faster and sometimes we read slower. I should also note that this is not the entirety the kids will learn in these subjects, just what we are reading together.

Bible

I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God (3 days/week; weeks 1-14)

I Am Devotional: 100 Devotions About the Names of God (3 days/week; weeks 14-36)

Action Bible Guess-It Game (1 day/week; weeks 1-12)

Apples to Apples Bible Edition (1 day/week; weeks 13-36)

Character

I am N (2 days/week; weeks 1-36)

Manners

Emily Post’s Etiquette (1 day/week; weeks 1-36)

History

Unveiling the Kings of Israel (1 day/week; weeks 1-20)

Unwrapping the Pharaohs (1 day/week; weeks 8-36)

Science

The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible (1 day/week; weeks 1-7)

Dinosaurs: Marvels of God’s Design (1 day/week; weeks 8-36)

Read Alouds/ Literature

The Mysterious Benedict Society (4-5 days/week; weeks 1-12)

Nooks and Crannies (4-5 days/week; weeks 13-24)

Wonder (4-5 days/week; weeks 25-36)

Fun

Mad Libs (1 day/week; weeks 1-36) (We usually got through 3-4 Mad Libs books per year. I generally grab ones I think the kids will enjoy, since it is for fun. It does help, especially with the younger ones, to learn the parts of speech.)

Mother Culture

This year, I’m adding the category of Mother Culture to my Morning Basket. These aren’t books I’ll be reading with the kids, they are books I’m assigning myself to read to grow and expand. Your choices for this may vary, and your reading speed may vary. I wanted some homeschool encouragement, but feel like I need a lot of mom encouragment this year. You might find you want something different. Choosing the books ahead of time keeps me from making excuses not to do it and it sets a path forward for me. For me, a book a month is a fairly leisurely speed that will allow for other reading as it comes, as well.

The Brave Learner

The Ministry of Ordinary Places

Theology of Home

Mere Motherhood

The Life-giving Home

Why Motherhood Matters

The Call of the Wild and Free

Mama Bear Apologetics

A Mother’s Rule of Life

Extras

These are extra things I keep on hand for after school play or during reading quiet play for the littler ones.

Imhotep Board Game

Temple Trap Game

Zeus on the Loose Game

Greek Gods and Goddesses Coloring Book

Life in Ancient Egypt Coloring Book

Dinosaur Coloring Book

Ancient Rome Toob

Ancient Egypt Toob

Mythical Realms Toob

Greek Mythology Top Trumps

Ancient Egypt Top Trumps

Heir of Egypt Game

Alphabetimals Coloring Book

Animal Alphabet Coloring Book

Sea Life Alphabet Coloring Book

I set up a chart for each week that looks similar to this. I haven’t chosen the specific poems or memory verses just yet, so I’ll fill that in once I decide. If I’ve already printed it, I’ll just write that in. I’ll print these out and put them in a binder with our Morning Basket of books.

** This post contains affiliate links. Using affiliate links is a great way to support your favorite content creators. **

I encourage you, don’t feel like you have to buy all your school books new! Check out ThriftBooks.com for some great deals on used books. (That link is my referral link!) Also, check out Scribd, which is like Netflix for ebooks and audiobooks. (That link is my referral link!) There are so many great books available through both that will save you money. Also, remember to check your library. Libby is a great app that many library systems use where you can get ebooks and audiobooks through your local library. Of course, you can also max out your library card checking out great books, as well.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Godbold Academy 2020-2021 Curriculum

This school year, we’re going back to me fully planning the year. My home education ideals fall somewhere between Classical and Charlotte Mason. We’ve fully done both, and find that a mix between the two works best for us. I rely heavily on real books, but we don’t rely heavily on narration.

I wanted to share my plans with you because I know this isn’t something everyone likes to do. I know a lot of homeschool moms aren’t comfortable crafting an entire curriculum, or they don’t have the time or energy to do so. It just isn’t everyone’s “thing”. It is my “thing”, so I figured I’d share it, since I have it.

This year, we’re cycling back to Ancient History, which I am very excited about. We’ll have kids in all Classical stages and all Charlotte Mason forms. Essentially, I’ll have kids from elementary school to high school, so the plans for this year are for all grades. For simplicity’s sake, I’ve broken down the curriculum into four posts: Morning Basket, Grammar Stage, Logic Stage, and Rhetoric Stage.

Stages are not a one size fits all. You may notice the Logic Stage plans are too easy for your 8th grader, and you want to challenge them in certain areas. Go for it. You may think the Rhetoric assignments are too difficult for your 9th grade, bump them down in whatever subjects you choose or all of it. Swap out the books you don’t want for ones you do want. There are plenty of options out there, I’m just sharing with you what we’ll be doing.

You may notice I include some books that pure Charlotte Mason enthusiasts would consider twaddle. I try to include plenty of difficult great books for my kids to consume, but also know that I personally read twaddle from time to time for my own enjoyment. I’m just not opposed to letting kids read “fun” books (we’ll call them that instead of twaddle) to give them a break from the intense mental load of some great books. If you don’t like a book choice of mine, cool, don’t use it.

I’m simply putting this out there for anyone who wants to take a peek. Use it for your own curriculum. Use it for ideas to craft your own curriculum. Use it to look over and see options that exist. I’m just sharing.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, On The Reading Chair

A Gentle Feast- Full Review

This year, I deviated from my usual homeschool planning. Being in school full-time and trying to homeschool 5 kids, I didn’t have the time to put into planning my own curriculum out like I usually do. So, I turned to A Gentle Feast.

I initally chose A Gentle Feast because it has four cycles, where each child is working at their grade level within each cycle. That is a very familiar form for me, as I have always done a four-year history cycle with everyone on the same page. I opted to implement A Gentle Feast fully, using it for Morning Time, Core Subjects, and Langauage Arts. This program is one where you can just add math.

If you’re new to Charlotte Mason, A Gentle Feast offers a lot of guidance along the way to help you implement the philosophies. There are scheduling helps, including how to schedule for a 4 or 5 day school week. For the Children’s Sake is a good book to help you understand the philosophy of a Charlotte Mason education, as well.

A Gentle Feast uses forms instead of grades. Grades 1-3 are in form 1. Grades 4-6 are in form 2. Grades 7-9 are in form 3. And grades 10-12 are in form 4. With A Gentle Feast, you get all forms in your purchase of the main curriculum. So, if you look at your 5th grader’s history book and think, “This is way too difficult.” You have the option to look at the form under the one they are currently in and swap in that book instead. If you look and think, “This is way too easy.” You can easily move up a form. Additionally, buying 4 cycles is buying an entire 12 years of education. So, let’s say Little Jimmy is starting in 1st grade. In 1st grade, you buy Cycle 1. LJ does Cyle 1 Form 1. The next year, LJ is in 2nd grade. You buy Cyle 2 and do form 1. The next year, LJ moves to Cycle 3, form 1. The following year, LJ moves on to Cycle 4, form 2. The next year, you don’t buy curriculum. LJ goes back to Cycle 1 and does form 2. Each cycle has plans for grades 1-12, so once you’ve purchased all 4 cycles, you don’t have to buy more.

I really love the Bible memory portion of Morning Time. It isn’t something we’d added to our Morning Time, and I certainly didn’t think to add big chunks of passages to learn over a term instead of a single verse here and there. I wasn’t sure my kids could handle it, but it turns out they are masters of memory, especially the younger ones.

We have also really enjoyed poetry memorization. I was surprised at how well they memorized poems and how much they seem to enjoy it. Even Daisy, who is 2, memorized a poem in the first term.

I also really like that the program in literature based. I’ve been utilizing literature to build up our education in the home for years, so it is something I’ve grown to love incorporating into our learning.

When you buy A Gentle Feast, you can choose to get a printed teacher’s manual (which is what the pictures are from) in addition to the online resources or you can opt for the online resources only. The printed manual is pretty and makes organization easy, but it isn’t as all encompassing as I would like and you still have to utilize the online resources. The online resources aren’t organized in the best way, often using Google Documents instead of PDFs, which I find to be more time consuming and less user friendly. As a whole, it could be much more user friendly and better organized. You’ll get all the information you need by purchasing the print or digital option, but you’ll need to spend some time navigating and putting it all together.

Now, I have several complaints about A Gentle Feast, which I will outline in detail so that you can see if it’d be an issue for you. A Gentle Feast has many users and it works beautifully for many families. It is working for my family. It isn’t that it isn’t functional. It is. I just have some issues that will likely be the reason I choose to go back to compiling my own curriculum next school year.

Morning Time

My issues with Morning Time are really a matter of preference. I like to have all my kids together for Morning Time. While I love the addition of Bible Memory and poetry memorization, I’ve disliked some of the other portions.

Each form has different recommendations for Morning Time. To keep everyone together, we’ve been utilizing the books from all the forms. For example, in term 1 of cycle 1, younger students are reading one of Aesop’s fables each week. Form 2 students are reading a Norse myth once a week. Form 3 students are reading Shakespeare once a week. Form 4 are reading a different book once a week. To keep everyone together for Morning Time, we read one form’s suggested reading each day. The result is that we’re never really making much progress in any of them, but we are hitting all of them each week.

I also really liked the balance we had going in our Morning Time and feel like we’ve lost balance with A Gentle Feast. Morning Time just isn’t flowing as well as it has before, and I can’t quite put my finger on anything other than we’ve spread very thin and there is little cohesion day-to-day.

Language Arts

The Language Arts portion of A Gentle Feast goes along with the readings from other portions of the feast. If you’re skipping Morning Time, History, or Literature, the Language Arts packet will have content that is foreign for your child. I really liked this aspect of the Language Arts program and chose it for that reason. However, the excerpts aren’t always aligned with their reading. So, they may have an excerpt from a book they’ll be reading in a couple months or one they finished weeks ago. I don’t know why it doesn’t all align with their weekly reading.

Additionally, I don’t think there is enough grammar instruction in the Language Arts packets. Charlotte Mason is typically light on grammar, but I tend to find myself somewhere between Charlotte Mason and classical education (even though many will say Charlotte Mason is classical, there are clear differences), so this falls a bit short for me. There also isn’t a lot of writing. That might be wonderful to hear for some people. My older kids do all their narrations for each subject in writing, so they are getting writing practice in somewhere. I would say this program is grammar and writing light. There is a little of each, probably enough for most people’s taste, but it was a definite step back in difficulty and comprehensiveness for my kids. My kids have had more comprehensive grammar instruction, so the light review has been fine for them for this year, but I wouldn’t want that every year.

For the youngest kids, there is 100 Gentle Lessons for both reading and handwriting. I find both to be significantly lacking. The handwriting moves so slowly and offers no variety or interest. The reading is just a disjointed mess. My kids have had such a hard time following along and staying engaged. I ended up switching them back to An Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading, as it just does a better job at teaching the basics.

The handwriting isn’t really necessary if you’re using the Language Arts pack. There is weekly copywork included there, so they get plenty of writing practice. Also, if you’re using the student pages for Exploring Nature with Children (which is part of the receommended curriculum for A Gentle Feast), there is copywork available there, as well.

History

This is my main issue with A Gentle Feast. In classical education, history rotates through a chornological cycle. Charlotte Mason taught an individual out history model. Instead of starting history at the beginning, you start with the child. So, A Gentle Feast has American history (or Canadian history) as the four-year history cyle. Form 1, which is grades 1-3, only has American history. Form 2, grades 4-6, add in British history alongside American history. Form 3 and 4, grades 7-12, also have Ancient history along with British and American history. This has been so confusing and scattered. So, even though my kids are all on the same cycle, they are not on the same history schedule.

Additionally, there is no history spine. You just skip from book to book, but there is nothing really tying it all together or keeping the path clear. Keeping a Book of Centuries is a necessary component because without it, the kids would have no clue where everything fits together. I just find that I prefer a classical chronological history rotation over the haphazardness of this history method. That is a completely personal preference.

Geography isn’t tied into history at all in this program. It stands on its own and kids work through their geography work as a completely seperate subject. My kids have been doing fine with geography. There is nothing wrong with how it is done, I just prefer more tie-ins between subjects and tying history to geography is so easy.

Literature

The literature readings have been very hit or miss for my kids. I like to tie history into literature, and while there is some of that in this program, it isn’t as merged as I usually make it. There is nothing wrong with the book selections in A Gentle Feast, I think I’d just prefer to choose my own. And while you can do that with this program, just input what you want where you want, you’ll disjoint Language Arts even further by doing that. And why buy a comprehensive curriculum if you’re going to tweak it in the big areas anyway?

Science

This program is really weak in science. Using living books is very hard to create a science program that is deep and interesting. Form 1 has no science other than nature study. That is fine with me as our nature study tends to be pretty deep, especially for the younger kids who have lots of questions. It isn’t that I love textbooks, but using living books for science with no spine is quite difficult to get a decent depth. I also like to keep everyone moving together through science, which isn’t possible with this program. The upper level science plans utilize Sabbath Mood curriculum, so this isn’t included in your purchase of A Gentle Feast.

Nature Study

Forms 1 and 2 utilize Exploring Nature with Children curriculum in their Nature Study. I was already utilizing this resource before beginning A Gentle Feast and I really like it. I do not like the alternative plan A Gentle Feast uses for Exploring Nature with Children and stick to the original plan.

Another complaint of mine falls in this category. Instead of reading one book, form 1 are splitting between two unrelated books each week, making it difficult for the little guys to really keep track. They learn about small mammals one day and birds on another. I would prefer to read each book quicker, rather than adding more unrelated content onto the table each week. I’d rather stick to small mammals for half the term and then move onto birds for the other half of the term. This curriculum just spreads the net too wide and too shallow, especially for the younger kids. I constantly feel the need to supplement for the younger ones because I don’t think the curriculum provides as adequate coverage of anything. I feel like it is just spread thin in an attempt to be gentle. I’m all for young kids being exposed to nature, science, and history and not forced into the world of facts. I just felt that with so much jumping around, a lot of the interest and wonder was lost.

Older forms have a single book for Nature Study, but only read it once a week since they are also involved in other science learning. I have been pleased with the book choices for the older forms.

Citizenship

I have always called this “character” and have typically included it in Morning Time. Form 1 have no lessons in this subject. I did swap out the Form 3 Charlotte Mason reading for something that they would find more interesting. I have a hard time slogging through Charlotte Mason’s writings and my 8th graders were having a hard time with it, as well. I usually make them keep at hard books, but I really couldn’t blame them on this one. We swapped it out for The Great Divorce, which they both loved and got a lot more out of. My form 2 student has loved the reading option for his citizenship and says it is his favorite book of the program so far.

Extras

There is no math included in A Gentle Feast. There are suggestions, but it is ultimately up to you what you do for math.

There are languages and singing lessons for A Gentle Feast. There are Spanish, French, Latin, and German options for languages. I opted for Rosetta Stone instead. My form 1 kids have been using the book suggestions for learning French, but my older kids have been using Rosetta Stone and really enjoying it.

There are drawing and art lessons, as well. We haven’t utilized those since I include watercolor painting in our Nature Study. My older kids also like to use Skillshare to learn art skills that interest them. We’ve been really happy with that, so we have stuck to Skillshare and Nature Study instead of utilizing the art lessons from A Gentle Feast.

Prep Time

I have been able to make A Gentle Feast largely independent for my older kids. I do Morning Time and Tea Time at the same time to keep my afternoons open for working on my own school work. My younger kids are finished very quickly, as there isn’t much to do for them in this program. My older kids do all their work outside of Morning Time independently and keep a narration notebook where they write their narrations for each subject down instead of telling me orally. Even if I had the time to listen to their oral narrations, this program is so light on writing that I think I’d still prefer written narrations.

Overall, this curriculum has been a big step back from our usual education. I’m not sure I’d call it gentle, I think light and spread thin describes it more accurately. For some people, this would be absolutely ideal. I just happen to lean a bit more toward the classical side and need a little bit more than this curriculum offers.

Additionally, this program was pretty expensive for me to implement. Now, there are ways to make it more afforable. Many of the books can be found on Scribd or in your local library. You absolutely don’t have to buy every single book. Some of the books are hard to find. Like most Charloote Mason programs, there aren’t a lot of new books suggested.

Overall, this is a good program, despite my plethora of complaints. It is a usable program that we’ve been successfully using during a very busy time in our lives with minimal modifications. The curriculum does work. I’m glad we have it for this year, even if I do plan to go back to creating my own curriculum next year. A Gentle Feast allowed me to take a step back and still have the kids’ education pretty well handled. It is similar enough to what they are used to that there was no big transition. There are aspects of A Gentle Feast that I will be adding to our own currilum next year, including written narrations, Bible memory, and poetry memorization.

The only part of A Gentle Feast I’d flat out not recommend is their 100 Gentle Lessons reading and handwriting programs. That has been the only complete flop of the program for us. Everything else is worth getting if you’re looking for things to be done for you. If you’re used to a box curriculum but want to switch to a Charlotte Mason method, this is a great option.

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Posted in Among The Homeschool, On The Reading Chair, With The Kids

Homeschool Resources

I realized that I haven’t shared my favorite homeschool resources lately. I have been finding some really awesome things for the kids that we have all really enjoyed. I’ve also found a few things I thought would be awesome that were complete duds.

Firefly Nature School

I happened to get a resource from Firefly Nature School in a bundle pack I purchased. It was so beautiful and so well done. I immediately went and did a full year subscription. If you sign up for emails, they do send out coupon codes, so keep your eyes open for that. The lessons are really beautiful and fun. They can be used for a wide range of ages. You can incorporate them in as science or nature study curriculum or you can just use them as a fun, planned outdoor activity.

Twig and Moth

I have been loving the Twig and Moth resources. I print the cards onto cardstock and my kids absolutely love them. They are so beautiful with lots of information. They go well with our Nature Anatomy books and Exploring Nature with Children.

Exploring Nature with Children

This guide is such a good resource for science or nature study. It would also make an excellent and fun co-op, for anyone inclined toward that sort of thing. I have the guide, the print guided journal, and the cursive guided journal. The guide contains a year round curriculum for nature study. It includes book recommendations and activities. The guided journal has a poem for the child to copy each week and papers to go along with activities. We’re using it again this year because one year wasn’t enough.

Brave Grown Home

We have been loving the nature guides from Brave Grown Home. I highly recommend the Full Nature Guide sets. For weeks when we have some more time for nature study or science, I love pulling and printing these lovely cards and posters for the kids to enjoy.

A Gentle Feast

I know I’ve already talked about it on the Facebook page, but we are going full in with A Gentle Feast this year. Being in school full time, I didn’t have the time to plan every detail of our curriculum myself, which is what I usually do. A Gentle Feast has all the planning done for me. I’ll give a full review in the future, but I am really happy with the choice and it fits our family really well. This is a Charlotte Mason curriculum that is meant to work well for people who have kids in multiple grades at the same time. The main curriculum has all the plans for history, science, literature, grammer, French, Spanish, and more. Just add math. The Language Arts add on pack gives all the copywork and dictation right there on the page so you aren’t pulling it for them each day. The Morning Time packets are for poetry, Bible, fables, art, and music. If you’ve never started your days with Morning Time, I highly recommend it. A Gentle Feast also has a reading program and handwriting program.

Our Handcrafted Life

This website has several beautiful free printables you can use for science or nature study. They are really lovely when printed onto cardstock. (My kids adore cards, can you tell?)

The Peaceful Preschool

This site only has resources for up to age 12, but they are beautiful. They have full curriculum, but also several unit study type packs. They also have some really nice free resources, including the book lists for their full curriculum!

Intentional Homeschooling

This one is actually in the dud category for me. I really thought I would enjoy several of her paid resources, and I was really disappointed in what I got. I bought the Guide to Annotating Books, thinking it would be great for my 8th grader. It was a 17 page document that was really just a glorified blog post. It should have been a free blog post. There was no technical information, just pictures and rambling about how she highlights and writes in her books. It was not helpful at all and I felt pretty ripped off. I also bought her mini planner, which I think I actually bought in a bundle pack with other brands and things. It was okay. Nothing spectacular. Most of the things in it were things I already have bullet journal spread for. It was just very basic. I just feel the content of her work isn’t necessarily worth the price.

Teachable.com

I’ve actually purchased a few things lately that use the Teachable.com platform. I’m just not a fan of things that come in the format. It is obnoxious. I’m usually just looking for PDFs. If I want to listen to something, I’ll listen to a podcast. These Teachable classes are just cumbersome and not the best way to get ideas out there. I’m sure some types of learners love these. But I have my current load of online classes with being in school full time and don’t want to waste my time on this.

As usual, this post may contain affiliate links. These links help me and they don’t cost you more to use.

Posted in Among The Homeschool, With The Kids

Kindergarten Math Box

Last school year, in addition to our Kindergarten Math book that we used, I also made a Math Box for my little guys. I was super pregnant at the beginning of the year and then had a newborn, so I knew I would need something easy to grab and execute to help them with math. I found so many awesome ideas for math games and activities on Pinterest, so I simplified what I found and put everything in these neat little drawer system.

I had some specific pre-made activities, but I also had extra supplies for additional ga,es and activities. This is at the end of the school year, so you can see it held up quite well. And it was super easy to pull out and use.

My first drawers were for these little containers that I found at Hobby Lobby, colored Pom-poms, and little grabbers I found in the kitchen section at Wal-Mart. I colored a side of each box, so we could dump the Pom-poms out and sort them by color. Or we could practice making patterns. Or we could practice counting or adding. They were a lot of fun and the grabbers made it even more fun.

I had another drawer with a similar activity. It was my ice cream counting. I got these wooden cards at Hobby Lobby and drew an ice cream cone and number on each with a Sharpie. (I used the front and back of the card to use less cards.) Then we used our fancy grabbers to “scoop” the Pom-Pom ice cream onto the cone. They loved this one. We used it for some adding, too.

I used more of the wooden cards to make these number cards. One side had the number written out, the other side had the numeral with dots. We used clothespins to cover the dots as we counted. We also used these for addition and subtraction.

I purchased pre-colored popsicle sticks for this drawer. I wrote on the sticks with a Sharpie. We used these to make shapes and count the sides of shapes.

My pipe cleaner drawer was a bit of a mess. I maybe should have put them inside a sandwich bag. Live and learn. Some pipe cleaners were labeled with washi tape with numbers on them. You put the number of beads on the pipe cleaner that the tag says. We also used beads and pipe cleaners for patterns. And we used pipe cleaners to make numbers.

One drawer just had card games in it. We would pull out the cards and play a game! This was one of their favorite drawers. And miraculously, the cards ended up all together and in really good condition.

I also had some extra supplies. I did make wooden tags with each of their names and then write the letters of their name on clothespins so they could learn to spell their own names. We used the Pom-poms as manipulatives. They used clothespins and extra popsicles sticks to build three dimensional shapes. Overall, the math boxes were a big hit.

Posted in Among The Homeschool

2017-2018 Morning Basket Curriculum Review

You can find the post of my plans here. This was my first year incorporating a morning basket into our homeschool routine. It was something I picked up from Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. And while we generally stick to The Well Trained Mind, morning basket sounded like something I wanted to adapt to our homeschool routine.

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This school year, I had a wide range of ages. And from here until people start graduating, the range will continue to expand. I really wanted something to keep them all together while they are all going their own ways. That makes no sense, but maybe you follow. I ended up not getting as much covered as I expected. I did not account for how much time would be spent either reading with a distracting toddler or while trying to nurse a new baby. I was pretty okay with relaxing my standards a bit. So, some books I planned to read didn’t get touched.

History

We are sticking with The Story of The World for history. Younger kids jump in wherever we happen to be in the history cycle. This year, we were on Year 3. I read a chapter once or twice a week during morning basket. We actually ended up finishing it in term 2, so term 3, we went back and read some supplemental materials we didn’t get around to in the first pass instead of proceeding on to Year 4.

I used The Activity Guide, The Well Trained Mind, and Ambleside to make up our supplemental reading list. I will get into the grade specific supplements in later posts. For this post, I’m just focusing on the ones we used in our Morning Basket.

The Landing of the Pilgrims was a bit dry, but it did give a good picture of what was going on with the pilgrims as they settled North America. Diving into this gave a better picture of how America was built with certain aspects of life in place. It gave a better understanding of what “religious freedom” would have meant to these people. The kids recalled the details of the book really well, despite only listening to me read it. It ended up taking up an entire term to read this because of the whole having a baby thing.

George Vs. George is a picture book with lots of information. We actually spread this out over a week of reading. My older kids were later found rereading it in their own time. Apparently they liked it.

Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? is another info packed picture book. The kids really enjoyed it.

If You Can Keep It is not a book written for children. It is a very interesting read. It pretty much went over the heads of the younger crew, but the older three did seem to understand much of what we read and it lead to some very interesting dinner table discussions about liberty, freedom, and religion. It made a good read aloud supplement to the American Revolution for my logic aged kids. It would make a good independent reading book in the rhetoric stage. It deals with lofty topics, but it written in a very approachable way.

John Wesley: The World and His Parish was an excellent read. Anyone in the Wesleyan tradition should read this to their kids. It is a bit on the dry side, but it is really interesting. It doesn’t sugar coat the situation at all. You’ll better understand Wesley’s ideas and intentions through reading about his life. This probably falls more in line with character development than history, but we ended up having a good bit of cross over with John Wesley’s world our history studies.

Operation World was again a big part of our geography studies. We focused in on the Caribbean islands this year since The Pastor made his first trip down to Haiti to teach at a seminary there. We also read Under The Storyteller’s Spell, which is a collection of Caribbean folk tales. We found them pretty interesting and they sparked discussions of the culture of these people. It ended up overlapping into history as we were talking about the slave trade and the revolutions of South America and the Caribbean islands a bit.

Science

We started the year using the Berean Builder‘s curriculum.  But really, I couldn’t keep up with the experiments with a newborn, so we had to switch gears a little bit.

It Couldn’t Just Happen ended up taking most of the year to get through. It wasn’t the length or difficulty so much as I didn’t want to throw too much out at once. I felt like taking it slower gave them more time to process the information. This book is essentially answering the question, “Did the universe and all that is in it just happen or is their a Creator?” The book is not dogmatic about creationist issues (literal 7 days, young earth/old earth, etc.) It simply points out the evidence that supports that there is an intelligent design to our world. It is an argument against Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It does allow for natural evolution, but not the Theory of Evolution. It is a very interesting look into the scientific process and about how we “know” something to be scientifically true, only to find out later it isn’t as true as we thought. Science exists in theories, so we have to have some flexible system of working through the evidence as it arises. My 10 year old said this was his favorite part of the school day.

We also read excerpts from The Handbook of Nature Study. We also grabbed up library books to explore topics as they came up. When talking about the gold rush in history, the topic of gold and geology arose, so we investigated it through library books.

Prayer

I had this plan of the prayers we would learn as a family. I picked too many. I picked 3 prayers per term, meaning we’d learn one prayer each month. At the end of the month, they were just getting to the place of memorization of the prayer. I felt like I was pulling the rug out from under them when we switched. So, for term 2 and 3, we went with one prayer per term. Getting much more familiar and comfortable with the prayer before moving to the next. That worked much better, even though we weren’t memorizing as much.

Truth

For Bible memorization, we simply chose a verse each week. The older kids would look it up and read it each morning. The little kids would repeat after me. By Friday every week, they had all memorized the verse. It was a very simple process. I did have the kids who could write keep a list in their binder of all there verses. So, the older kids did write the verse out once a week.

For Bible study, we started with Herein Is Love: Genesis. I really love this series. It does go through Genesis at a snail’s pace. For the younger kids, I would read whatever story we were on in one of our storybook Bibles. (Jesus, Jesus Calling, Character, Adventure, Friends)

Once we finished that, we moved into doing The Talk once a week. I’m not entirely sure what I think about that particular book. First, it is very small. 7 lessons total. They recommend them once a week, so that is what we did. They are very scientifically accurate, which I liked. Very straightforward, which I liked. I’m just not entirely sure about the order of the lessons and I am not entirely sure about the skimpiness of the lessons. There are recommended videos, which are free. I used my iPad to screen share through our Xbox Air Play app to show the videos. My kids had questions way beyond what were in the lessons. The first three lessons are learning the differences between male and female, sex, and fetal development. It then gets into the moral issues around sex and bodies. I think the order I would have liked to have seen would have been differences between male and female and then respecting other people’s bodies, good touch/bad touch sort of thing. Then move on to sex and the moral issues around adultery and sex outside marriage. Then fetal development and birth. That would have made more sense in how the conversations took my crew. I also have to note that my oldest daughter was very uncomfortable with the questions her younger brothers were asking. I think if I were to do this again, I would split up my boys and girl since they had entirely different questions and ways of looking at it.

We also read Indescribable during the days we weren’t reading The Talk. My kids really enjoyed it, but I think it is more devotional reading than a Bible study. I think it would be awesome for Family Devotion time. Just for a homeschool Bible class, there isn’t nearly enough meat. Though all my kids absolutely love it. It is really quick, under five minutes.

I included our character study in with Truth. First, we read 7 Men. This is not a kid’s book. This is a biography of seven different men written for adult readers. However, for a read aloud, it was quite appropriate for children. Now, there were some issues with Jackie Robinson, as there are some very harsh words to be reading aloud to kids. There were also issues in reading about Pope John Paul II in terms of sex. These items are easily glossed over or skipped if you choose, or you can have a conversation about them, which is what we chose to do. The kids really enjoyed 7 Men. They immediately asked me to read 7 Women.

We also really enjoyed Manners class once a week with Modern Manners. I did skip around a little bit, because my 8 year old has no interest in email etiquette at this point. But the kids really enjoyed it.

Beauty

This was a mixed bag. Turns out that my kids are not the biggest fans of poetry. I ended up only doing poetry for one term. I’ll introduce some more next year and see how it goes.

Art appreciation, they loved. 50 Artists You Should Know was a little on the dry side. It was also not conducive to be looking at tiny versions of the art in one book when you have 6 or 7 people gathered around. What I ended up doing was picking one artist. I’d read from the book and throw the art onto our TV from my iPad via the AirPlay app on our Xbox. This way the kids could all see the pictures we were talking about. Some weeks, I gave them the opportunity to recreate some of the art. They particularly enjoyed making a Chinese Bridge in watercolors and painting with scissors like Matisse.

We ended up stopping the hymns after one term. My kids were just too jacked up to do it. If I did the music at the beginning, it took me forever to calm them back down. If I did it at the end, it took forever to calm them down to move onto their independent work. They just lost their ever-loving minds with the simple move from around the coffee table to around the piano. I don’t know what happened, but for sanity, we removed it. It was a lovely idea. It just didn’t work out for us.

Goodness

I had planned to read so much. We didn’t make it beyond 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. I ended up reading one chapter a week, spreading each chapter over two or three smaller readings. Which meant the book took the entire school year to read. The kids really enjoyed it. I didn’t think they were into it, but then they told me they loved it and wanted to reread it. So, I guess it went well. It just wasn’t the pace I had originally planned. But this is definitely a read aloud kind of book. Though brush up on your latin or you’ll be stumbling all over the Latin names for every sea animal and plant mentioned in the book. I’m kind of wishing we had done an audio book instead. But my kids listen to me reading aloud so much better than they listen to audio books. It is the weirdest thing. But I would have enjoyed the audio book more.

the crew

Overall, morning basket went really well for us this year and I definitely plan to incorporate it next year. I’m glad I had planned a lot, even if I didn’t get to use it all. It gave me something to choose from when we were finishing up in one area and moving to the next.

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