This year we have a variety of ages and stages in our home: preschool, 2nd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade, and 9th grade. I so much wanted us all to be on the same page for history. So, I turned to Simply Charlotte Mason. Sonya Shafer encourages teaching different ages together, and I like that.
“One of my main goals is to show you how you can teach the same historical time period to all of your children at the same time, no matter what grades they are in. I firmly believe in the advantages that a one-room schoolhouse approach can bring. You will save time in both planning and teaching, and your children will grow together in community as they learn together and help each other.” ~Sonya Shafer
For History, Geography, and Bible, we will be using Simply Charlotte Mason’s Early Modern & Epistles Family Study Handbook.
We’ll be keeping up with a Book of Centuries (printed for free here), and using these timeline figures.
For Science, we’ll be using Science in Colonial America and Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany. My older daughter is using Exploring Creation with General Science. She started it a couple of months ago, and she’s enjoying and learning a lot from it.
Math: Teaching Textbooks for the older three, and various hands-on resources for my 2nd grader (Inchimals, Flip-Over Math, worksheets, etc.). I’m considering adding Life of Fred for everyone, too, but haven’t decided on that yet.
Grammar: My oldest daughter is continuing with an Abeka Language Arts book (her choice!), and the younger ones will be doing Queen Homeschool’s Language Lessons.
Scripture Memory: We’ll continue on with SCM’s plan, which I think is one of the most effective I’ve ever seen.
Bible/Copywork: My older daughters are using a Journible to write their own copy of the book of Proverbs.
Spelling: SCM’s Spelling Wisdom for my two middle children. My older daughter is a natural speller and doesn’t seem to need more formal practice, and my younger two aren’t quite ready for that subject yet.
Nature Study: In addition to our formal science books above, I also hope to focus more on nature study, and keep up with our nature journals.
Art and Hymn Study: As Charlotte Mason recommends, we’ll be focusing on some specific hymns to learn during the year, in addition to the hymn singing we do during family worship.
We’re using various Dover postcards for art study, as well as a couple of Simply Charlotte Mason’s Picture Study Portfolios. For actual art instruction, I usually come up with my own ideas from various places online, but especially Deep Space Sparkle. We’re also using these chalk pastel lessons.
Preschool: Before Five in a Row I first heard of Before Five in a Row twelve years ago at my first homeschool convention. I immediately fell in love with it, and used it with my daughter, who is now fourteen years old! And I’m now returning to it with my fifth child, who just turned four.
We actually started this already, and we’re having so much fun with it! My youngest begs me each day, “Can we please do my school?” I’ll be sharing more about Before Five in a Row as we go along.
We’re also embarking on a fun introduction of letters and simple counting, using this Big Book of Things to Spot and Montessori Letter Work (he loves both of these books, too!).
We’ve also been using these Plan Toys Preschool Alphabet Cards and Letters, and these Uppercase and Lowercase Tactile Letters. I also added some wooden letter stamps (I bought mine at Walmart for a dollar each!).
Edited to add: In the middle of the year we started using All About Reading, and we absolutely love it! If you have a beginning or a struggling reader, I would recommend giving this a try.
We also added some fun (and free!) ABC snack lessons for our preschooler.
Sometime last year I purchased this great homeschool planner, and I love that it’s reuseable, so I don’t even need to look for another one this year! It’s a pdf document that you can edit and type in your information and then print it off and put in in a binder (that’s what I do with mine). It even includes forms for planning preschool days. I highly recommend it!
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