Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mt. Hope Academy ~ Lesson Plans and Resources 2012-13


“Only the curious will learn and only the resolute will overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.”

~Edmund S. Wilson (1895-1972) U.S. author, literary and social critic

I like that. The Quest Quotient.

Why homeschool? Because learning is a constant and essential component of a deep, rich life in God’s huge and fascinating world. Homeschooling is the best way for us to embrace that.

(I posted a much longer ‘why homeschool’ post at this link.)

I think I have most of our plans and resources lined up for this next school year. It looks like a lot on paper, but we are much more relaxed in practice. It amazes me how far we have already come on this educational journey!



LEVI ~ 5th grade
LUKE ~ 3nd grade
LEIF ~ 1st grade
LOLA ~ preschool
(okay, toddlerhood and general entertainment/distraction/chaos)

Classical Conversations (Cycle 1) Foundations: One morning each week for 24 weeks; includes social time and public speaking. Essentials: (Levi) One afternoon each week for 24 weeks; includes grammar, vocabulary, writing, public speaking, and challenging math games. Essentials: language arts and challenging math games (Levi).

This will be our 3rd year with our Classical Conversations community. It has been a tremendous blessing in our lives. I am amazed that we will have learned all 3 cycles of memory work at the end of this next year! (I shared about the value we’ve found in the memory work in this post.) Levi will be participating in the afternoon Essentials class for the first time this year while the other boys go to a play class.


CC Memorize Exodus 20 (10 Commandments)
God Our Provider (CD) (Bible memory songs)
Independent Bible reading
The Children’s Illustrated Bible (read through together, again) 
Victor Journey Through the Bible (supplemental context information)
Telling God's Story- Year 2 (Life of Jesus, one lesson weekly)
Buck Denver Asks…What’s In the Bible? (DVD series)
Hymns For a Kid's Heart (Vol. 1, 2)
(one lesson weekly)
(Luke and Levi: weekly hymns on piano)
(Christmas: The Handel's Messiah Family Advent Reader and The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean) 

Teaching Textbooks (Leif: finish 3, Luke: finish 4, Levi: 5/6)
The Critical Thinking Co. math workbooks (for supplemental fun)
Life of Fred ((LOVE!!) All boys: Elementary series, Levi: Fractions and Decimals & Percents. They all enjoy Life of Fred for free reading!!)
Beast Academy (Luke: level 3. We’re going to try out this new program from Art of Problem Solving. I think Luke will do really well with it!)
Khan Academy (free online tutorial videos)
Exploring the World of Mathematics by John Hudson Tiner
Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Luetta and Wilbert Reimer
Why Pi? by Johnny Ball
[and other history-integrated math studies, including The Story of Science by Joy Hakim]
Various computer/online games
(I shared a little more about our math approach at this link.)
CC weekly memory work (skip counting/measurements/formulas/laws)
Challenging math games in Classical Conversations Essentials (Levi)

Christian Kids Explore Physics (finish)
Exploring the World of Physics by John Hudson Tiner
Eureka Physics (online videos)
Bill Nye and Eyewitness DVDs
Khan Academy (free online tutorial videos)
CC weekly science memory work (biology and earth science)
CC weekly science projects and experiments
Christian Kids Explore Biology
Real Science 4 Kids Biology 
Exploring the World of Biology by John Hudson Tiner
Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Lesie & Charles E. Roth
The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia
What’s Science All About? (Usborne) (covers Chemistry, Physics, and Biology)
The Story of Science series by Joy Hakim (history-integrated science studies)
Science in Ancient Egypt, Greece, Islamic Cultures, China, and Mesopotamia (series) (history-integrated studies)
Supplemental books and DVDs

Swim Team (3x week, plus swim meets and family swim nights)
(mini trampoline, bike riding, and outdoor play)

Fine Arts:
CC drawing, tin whistle/music theory, fine art/art projects, composers/instruments of the orchestra
The Story of Classical Music (CD)
Beethoven’s Wig (CD series)
Classical Kids (CD series)
13 Art Inventions Children Should Know (and others in the series by Prestel, one book each month)
Draw and Write Through History: Greece and Rome
Cave Paintings to Picasso (history-integrated art studies)
Piano practice

Language Arts:
Classical Conversations Essentials of the English Language (grammar, IEW writing (theme-based: Ancients), vocabulary)
IEW Poetry Memorization
MCT Poetry, Grammar, Writing, Vocabulary (continue and review Town level)
Writing With Ease (Leif: level 1, Luke: level 3, Levi: level 4 and Writing With Skill level 1)  
CC grammar memory work (lists of prepositions, helping verbs, and linking verbs)
All About Spelling (Levi and Luke: level 4 and 5?, Leif: level 2) 
Handwriting Without Tears workbooks
Copy work using custom handwriting worksheets
(I shared more details about our Language Arts line-up at this link.)
Typing (Levi)

Latina Christiana I (continue)
(First Form Latin if/when finished with LC1)
CC Latin memory work (declensions)

La Clase Divertida (finish)
El Espanol Facil Jr. (with Spanish-speaking Grandpa!) (probably won’t start until January)

The Complete Book of Maps and Geography (workbook)
CC geography (extensive world geography and map drawing)
Geography games (free online)  
Geography games and puzzles 
(review CC cycles 2 and 3 geography)
(history related maps)

The Story of the World: The Modern Age (finish) (with Activity Guide)
The Story of the World: Ancient Times (with Activity Guide)
Begin creating our own history timeline (Add-a-Century Timeline) integrating all subjects
CC weekly history memory work (Ancients and world civilizations) 
The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (Luke)
The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (Levi)
CC Veritas History Timeline Cards and new CC Timeline Cards (memorize) 
Many supplemental books and DVDs

Literature Study (Ancients, using lists from The Well-Trained Mind) including:
Stories of Ancient Egypt
The Iliad and The Odyssey (Homer)
The Aeneid (Virgil)
Greek Mythology
Roman Mythology

Great children’s classics
Book Detectives (Parent-child monthly book club focusing on literature analysis via Socratic dialogue a la Deconstructing Penguins and Teaching the Classics)
Lots of free reading and library visits

Review CC memory work from cycles 2 and 3 


Kellie said...

I think I'll be studying this post over the next few weeks since I'm working on our plans too. I added MCT to our language arts program after reading your post on your LA "symphony" and found it to fill a gap I wasn't even aware we had. My kids are begging to study anatomy next year, so I've been looking through various anatomy and biology books. Have you used the RS4K series before?

Heidi said...

I hope you like MCT!

I haven't used RS4K before. We'll see how it goes. One of the comments I've heard about it is that each of the books is fairly short (which is fine by me, LOL), and that it costs quite a bit for what you get (but the distance learning program we are with will pay for it, so that isn't a concern for me). It is so difficult to find the perfect science program!

Cari said...

Hi Heidi.

I so appreciate your presence online and all that you share with the rest of us.

I love everything that you've chosen. Here is my are you doing this with a toddler in the mix? I have an eight year-old and a two year-old and if the little didn't nap I just don't know how I'd do school life. I'd love any insights you have regarding how you structure your day/times with the boys and your sweet girl.


Danielle said...

Um yeah. . .you do realize we haven't finished THIS year yet, right??? over-achiever. . .(mutter mutter mutter)

GAPTERRA said...

I see you're using both VP timeline cards and the CC timeline cards. Do you suggest learning both or just focusing on one set? My son is 5 yrs old and already has the VP cards memorized. So he is just starting out in the CC program but not yet attending a cc class until 1st grade.

Hannah said...

OK, I'm going to be REALLY impressed if Levi can manage WWE, WWS, AND Essentials. In fact, just don't tell me if he can. :-) All we could do this year was Essentials, and it felt like a lot! We did exactly one week of WWE Level 4 before we started Essentials, and then I quickly went, "What was I THINKING?!" OTOH, Levi has much more background going into Essentials, so he may be more efficient with his homework ...

Heidi said...

Cari~ I'm working on a 'get it all done' routine which will look awesome on paper and which we will promptly discard when life happens. ;-P It helps that my boys do quite a bit on this list as independent reading. I'm very lucky in that regard. And math they do independently, as well. We listen to CDs in the car (poetry, Bible, and CC memory work). We talk all the time. We read a bunch and skip busy work and time-consuming projects. And fit in everything else in the gaps. We school some over the summer, as well. I'll soon be posting more about what this looks like from day to day.

Danielle~ Yes, we're still working on this year's stuff. But this gives me the motivation to finish up strong so we are able to move on to new things in September. :)

GAPTERRA~ The VP cards are nice because they combine so much Biblical history with world history, but the CC cards have more events and include a much wider range of world history and civilizations (Asia, Africa, South America, etc.). I really like the new timeline song as well. Could you review the VP timeline until he begins CC and then learn the new CC timeline? There is value in both, but I would choose the CC timeline if we only focused on one of them. And he will have *years* with the CC timeline if he continues in the program.

Heidi said...

Hannah~ We'll certainly make Essentials/IEW the priority. I was thinking WWE/WWS more for December, May, and June. I'm going to get both levels and see what works best for him. I doubt we'll do both within a week. Certainly not at the beginning of the year. But I'd like him to have more than 24 weeks of writing, and it would be nice to get a break from IEW.

Anonymous said...

You and I have a lot in common. I chose many of the same resources and books and have them on our shelves. Our reading has been light in the last school year with reading instruction taking most of our school time. Getting back into the living books now. :)

Laura at By the Bushel said...

I love when you post this stuff. :) Have a super week.

Katherine said...

Thank you for sharing your selections. Your website inspires me often as I begin the homeschooling journey with our four children (all girls, ages 6,4,2, and 11m).
katherine in SC

Cari said...

Thanks for following up. I will look very forward to reading more when time permits.

One thing I'm immediately gleaning from you is that I can feel okay about letting much of the reading/math to be truly independent (we do TT as well). My daughter is an avid reader but I will sometimes find myself feeling guilty for not being completely involved with all the books she's reading if they feel like part of our curriculum. I tell you, that Mom-guilt can wreck a person.

Take care.

GAPTERRA said...

Thank you for answering my question. That helps a lot!

I love your blog and how you homeschool your children. I am continually amazed by all that they learn.

Hannah said...

Oh, OK ... Yes, we are doing WWS Level 1(the free download from SWB's site) right now to prevent writer's rust from accumulating. During the year ... not so much. But that's just us. ;-)

Amy said...

Looks like an amazing year! We started Life of Fred and my kids also love it! I like how you listed Khan Academy. I will do that too when I do a comprehensive post as we use it a lot too!

Have a great year,
Amy @ Missional Mama

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for answering my questions about RightStart Math. I can already tell that this was a good choice for us! My oldest child is 5 1/2 and just completed the OPGTTR. She can read multi-syllable words fairly well, but has no "rules" to apply when breaking up the words. We will be using All About Spelling and First Language Lessons this year. Will either of those address how to break words into syllables? If so, did either use the traditional way of breaking up syllables?
Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways!!!
Sarah Little Rock, Arkansas