Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mt. Hope Academy Curricula ~ Latin, Fine Arts, and Extras


If you are just now checking in or would like quick links to previous posts in my curricula series, this is what we have so far:

This post should wrap it up (though I have one in the works with a few new additions for the coming school year).


I love Memoria Press. I really do. I love their products. I love their articles. I love their magalog. And I love their Latin.

We’ve (slowly) worked through Prima Latina and half of Latina Christiana I. “The plan” is to finish up Latina Christiana I and head into First Form Latin this fall. I’m really hoping Levi can finish it before he heads into Henle the following year in Challenge A with Classical Conversations. I love the prayers and songs. I love the ecclesiastical pronunciation (though CC uses classical pronunciation which drives me crazy!).

Levi and Luke have stayed together in Latin for the most part. I think I’ll be going through Song School Latin with Leif this next year since I have it on the shelf.

The boys also have memorized Latin declensions, conjugations, and some vocabulary, as well as John 1:1-7 in Latin through Classical Conversations.



We didn’t do much this past year, but I like several of the workbooks from The Critical Thinking Co. such as Balance Benders and Red Herring Mysteries. Levi and Luke will be attending a logic academic camp with CC this month, using The Fallacy Detective: Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning. I’ve purchased the book as well as the DVDs, so we’ll be reviewing and using the book throughout the year. I’m really looking forward to some interesting discussions with the boys!


Fine Arts

Classical Conversations Foundations classes include four fine arts units. Six weeks of drawing basics, six weeks of music theory and tin whistle, six weeks of famous artists and art projects, and six weeks of composers and instruments of the orchestra.


:: The Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! is a fantastic all-in-one book for learning about the instruments and composers (chronologically by period).


The Classical Kids CD series is a family favorite. Titles such as Mr. Bach Comes To Call, Mozart’s Magic Fantasy, Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Hallelujah Handel, Song of the Unicorn, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, and A Classical Kids Christmas have delighted us all for years. The recordings include a dramatized fictional story centered around each composer, including details about the composer’s life and his music.

This year we have also been listening to Opal Wheeler’s composer series on audio book, including Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia. For an all-in-one title, The Story of Classical Music audio book with music is well-done. For silly educational fun, my boys love the Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies audio series.


:: For free online composer education, Classics for Kids cannot be beat. Their radio shows about the composers are excellent.

The beautiful composer picture books by Anna Harwell Celenza are also favorites: The Farewell Symphony, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Bach's Goldberg Variations, and others.


:: The boys have not been in piano lessons this past year, but I really want them to keep up their practicing. Honestly, Lola has been the single biggest deterrent. I don’t want them practicing while she’s napping, and she simply won’t leave them alone if they are playing the piano while she is awake. We are going to work more on that discipline issue this coming year. Sigh.

Both The Artists' Specials and the The Composers' Specials DVDs have been a fun addition to our fine arts studies. The period films are fictionalized stories with historical details. (You can get the DVDs individually or discounted as a set at Rainbow Resource. Our library carries most of them.) 



My boys love the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series. We have a collection of them that they pour over—especially Luke. (The author also has a series of composers, presidents, and scientists!)


13 Artists Children Should Know and others in the series by Prestel are beautiful hardback books. They include timelines at the tops of the pages for history integration. Cave Paintings to Picasso: The Inside Scoop on 50 Art Masterpieces is a great all-in-one resource for studying the history of art (chronologically) with children. 

And, of course, there is an abundance of beautiful picture biography books about artists, as well as lovely books about art. It would take forever to list them all here! (Check your library.)


A quick mention here of poetry: Three resources I love are A Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry (a fantastic all-in-one resource that explains different types of poetry and then covers famous poets chronologically—with an audio CD), Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD), and the Poetry for Young People series (each book covers a specific poet with a short biography, a selection of poems, and illustrations). 


We have La Clase Divertida and Rosetta Stone. Did we ever get to them? Nope.


I really want to have Levi working through a typing program regularly, but it is another thing we just haven’t made time for…

Physical Education

Levi and Luke (and Russ) swim on a local year-round swim team. Leif took swim lessons this spring and did very well. He’s so close to being able to swim for the team.


I think that sums up the rest of our basic curricula and resources (though I’m certain I’ve forgotten a few things).

I have a couple more posts in the works with plans for this coming school year.

Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments.


Unknown said...

Hi, Heidi! Hope you and your family are doing well! I just wanted to say "thanks" again for posting your favorite resources. I've often found new favorites for our family because of your recommendations!


Rebecca said...

Well. I posted a comment on your last big post about things you've been reading/enjoying, etc. but it seems to have been swallowed up whole by the comment monster.

It said something to the effect of...these posts make me want to simultaneously kiss you and strangle you. Because I LOVE THEM (they are so informative! They are so helpful! They are so how I want our educational journey to be!) but I hate them because they remind me how much of a slacker I can be! I am always amazed at how many different resources you are able to put together. How DO you find them all?!?

Also in that comment was a question about whether or not, when you read articles about education, you end up beating yourself up about them. I have found, when I read articles expressing the importance of creativity in a childs' life, I feel like I err too far perhaps on the whole 'classical' memory work style. Then, if I read an article about classical education (or read the LISTS of memorization your boys have already accomplished!) I feel like perhaps I haven't been working on memory ENOUGH.

Do you ever feel this way too?

I also said, in that monster-swallowed email, how much I appreciate all the work that you put into your educational posts. They are so enlightening and so helpful. I can't tell you how much I have gleaned from you and I have REALLY enjoyed these specific curriculum posts. I am only sad that they are coming to a close.

I know how much work it is to blog these things, and I just wanted you to know I REALLY appreciate that you do it. You are great.

Since you asked about questions- here are a few.

1) You have an overwhelming list of books/dvd's/resources that you use for your kids. I LOVE that. But my question is- where do you find them all? Do you search the internet by topic to find additional resources?

2) And WHEN do you find said resources? The school year is so full of TEACHING for me, and then blogging, and then cooking and cleaning...I find it very hard to eek out time to find additional resources. Do you try and get all your titles in line before the school year? Before that particular months' teachings? Or do you search as the topics are being taught?

3) How do you plan for the school year? If you do (which I am betting you do). In the summer before school starts? Monthly? Weekly?

Thanks again for all the work you put forth in this blog. It is incredible and I appreciate it so much.

Rebecca said...

wow. Sorry for the book. I didn't realize how chatty I was before I hit publish.

But hey. That's what you GET when you ask for questions. ;-)

Heidi said...

Rebecca~ Yes, all the articles often make me feel like I'm not doing enough or doing it right. But I know that *in general* I'm on the right road, and there is a whole lot of reality going on at my house. ;) I'm a total slacker, too. Although, I've read your blog and you get waaaaaaay more things done outside of school lessons than I do!!! I don't farm. I don't garden. I don't preserve stuff. I'm not even that consistent with cooking dinner for my family! My house is rarely tidy and clean. I'm rarely on task...

I just happen to adore the resource discovery part of homeschooling. I get ideas from all over. Catalogs, articles, online lists or blogs, and tons searching on Amazon. My library has a great selection of picture books on all subjects (especially biographies). Often one thing just leads to another... I've also been collecting and planning for *years*. And my sister and I share resources.

I don't do much in the way of formal planning. I have a general idea of what I want to work through. Most of my time is spent on gathering picture and chapter books to correspond with our studies. I'm so glad my boys enjoy reading, because that is a huge part of our homeschool and allows us to be much more relaxed with our time. I do gather most of my books at the beginning of the year, but then I hit the library every few weeks with our current topics in hand (I search online and put the books on hold so I can just run in and grab them).

I really wish I had some miracle system to share with you, or could tell you that I am amazing and am capable of doing it all perfectly (bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!!!), but I'm flying by the seat of my pants and letting a lot of things go...

Rebecca said...

Thank you for this! I really love the discovering resources bit too- except I wait until the topics are practically upon us and then am scrambling. And, of course, I have a Heidi. Since you ARE Heidi, I am pretty sure you don't have a Heidi for yourself! :-)

I think if I can get the topics for the year in line before the school year, then I can research the supplemental resources beforehand.

ILL rocks.

Stephanie said...

Hi Heidi,
I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of the time and energy you pour into these resource posts!! Invaluable. Truly! Thank you!