Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Wrapup

We've finished week 5 and things are still rocking and rolling at a pretty good pace.  The kids have been working hard on so many different thing and getting adjusted to the more busy schedule and each week I have been adding one extra assignment to the schedule to ease them into the heavier workload.  We are still, for the most part, following a Charlotte Mason style learning structure and it has been such a blessing for us.  The kids have been working on reading and writing a lot more than they did in the past few years and while the first few weeks so a bit of tears, they've quickly come to expect and dare I say enjoy both much more.

For the month of August, we have been working on the folk song Loch Lomond, using the version with the vocals by Rosalind McAllister.  I chose this particular version of the song because we previously used McAllister's version of The Skyboat Song and Garrett really liked her voice. This week was spent learning the third verse.   For our hymn/worship song, I choose El Shaddai by Amy Grant.  They kids have done awesome on proper pronunciation of the Hebrew words in the chorus and we watched a clip of the movie "The Prince of Egypt" where the Exodus is shown as there is a section where the kids are singing in Hebrew and the word Adonai is used. We then looked up the Hebrew translation so that we could see what the children were singing.  (We had previously looked up the Hebrew translations in El Shaddai and discussed how there were various words and expressions used to name God).  Both songs are coming along well and I look forward to allowing the kids to sing both songs for their dad and older sister at the end of the month. I might even make a recording of it for family members to be able to see as well.

For our daily poetry selections we have been reading from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Lewis Stevenson.  On Monday we read "Marching Song" which the kids had lots of fun marching around the living room waving a flag made of a stick and a bandana while we read.  For the rest of the week we read "The Cow", "Happy Thought", "The Wind" and "Keepsake Mill". For Keepsake Mill we were able to do a short bit of research to see how a waterwheel works. Out of this weeks selections of poems, I think we all enjoyed "The Wind" the most.

Garrett's letter F's
In cursive writing, the kids have been working on the letter F.  Handwriting is coming along really well and the kids have been trying to write their names in cursive, improvising with the letters they haven't learned yet.   They really enjoy cursive lessons and this is one of the lessons they ask for us to work on before other subjects.

This week was a VERY good week for our math lessons.  We started Multiple Digit Subtraction this week and the kids aced their lessons and made really high marks on their weekly math test.  Ashleigh received a 100%.  Garrett received an 93% but did not miss any of the subtraction problems - on a review question on skip counting by 2's he skipped the number 12 as he was rushing through it.  We have 9 more weeks of our current math book so I will be purchasing Math U See Gamma next month to have it on hand for them to start once we're done.
Garrett's Spelling Test

Spelling was a HUGE surprise for me this week as the kids both did way better than I expected them to do with our current spelling words.  This week, they worked on the words certain, barking, thinking, kept, mouth, piece, night, thief and fierce.  For their spelling test, we did an activity where they watched a video that showed all their words, and then they had to write as many words as they could remember from the video, not necessarily in order, and try to spell them correctly. Both kids scored 100% on this activity!!!

For our sciences, we have been revisiting Geology with Science Shepherd as well as working through Apologia Astronomy. For Geology we discussed the Earth's layers, rocks, soil and landscapes.  This was basically a review for us.  In Astronomy this week, we discussed galaxies, the northern and southern skies, and constellations.  The kids had a blast going outside and looking up at the various constellations we've been discussing, even though viewing hasn't been the best due to the full moon this week.  However, this is an activity that we will be doing more and more in the upcoming months.  We also did a bit of writing involving life science as we discussed the life cycle of a ladybug and the kids had to write and illustrate a book involving the different cycles.

This week we combined two character studies into one: Grateful and Greedy.  For our study, we read
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien.  We had a very good discussion in regards to how being grateful is being happy for the things that we have and that being greedy is the constant want for more.  This was perfectly displayed in The Giving Tree as the tree was grateful for the friendship for the boy, but the boy was never happy with what he had and constantly demanded more from the tree, to the point nothing was left but the stump and still, the tree was happy to give that as well.  I had to laugh though, as on their written assignment on being Grateful, Garrett admitted that No, he doesn't display being Grateful because he constantly wants more stuff.

Learning about the Gutenberg Printing Press
For history, we read the Story of Regulus and then started our two week unit study about Ben Franklin.  During our discussion of Franklin's early life as a printer apprentice, we decided to see if we could find a video about how the Gutenberg printing press worked and were lucky to find a really great one on Youtube.  The kids got to see how the printer would use the ink balls to apply ink to the type and then use the press to transfer the ink to the paper pages.   If possible, I'm hoping to find someplace nearby that might have a press that they can see in person (fingers crossed). We also did a bit of mapwork to follow Ben's travels from Boston to New York to Philadelphia to London and back to Philadelphia.

In addition to the mapwork, we've also been doing both Everyday Geography from the Christian Homeschool Hub (where we also got the Ladybug book printout - review coming soon) as well as reading the book Paddle to the Sea.  This week with Everyday Geography, we covered lines of Longitude and lines of latitude as well as the Equator and the Prime Meridian.   With Paddle to the Sea, we discussed Lake Superior and have been following Paddle's route as he circles around the western side of the lake.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Flip it and Turn it and Spin it Around (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

One of the joys of being a member of the Review Crew is that we get to put on hands on some pretty
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cool items that I never would have heard of otherwise. Not everything is curriculum - some things are just for fun. Such as the case when members of the review crew got the opportunity to review various versions of the FlipStir puzzles from Enlivenze LLC.  Member got to choose from the two difficulty levels of these puzzles. Our family opted to review the Level 2 Solar System puzzle and it's been a fun and challenging opportunity for us.

FlipStir is a self contained, 10 piece 3D puzzle that uses a small stir style paddle attached to a wand that poked out of a clear plastic tube. To solve the puzzle, one must manipulate the puzzle pieces into place by using the wand to flip, stir, and move the pieces into place. But don't let the idea of only 10 pieces deceive you, it's much harder than it sounds.  The tube does not allow for much movement of the pieces which means to solve the puzzle, you have to really use some problem solving skills to figure out how to get the pieces into their proper order.

puzzle, puzzles, games, 3D, travel, family, flipstir, wandAs mentioned above, we opted to try the level 2 puzzle.  There are two different levels to try and each level had the same amount of pieces. However, level 1 puzzles use bold colors and clear, defined images as well as straight edged pieces where the level 2  pieces have more complex designs and wavy shaped pieces, making them harder to manipulate. For level 1, there is an option of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton or pencils arranged in rainbow colors while the level 2 options are the Solar System, the Statue of Liberty or the Periodic Table.

Each FlipStir puzzle comes in a box that shows what the finished puzzle looks like. But don't expect the puzzle to be already assembled - that would be too easy.. The puzzle is already shaken and stirred and ready to go.  (You wouldn't expect it to be easy, right? Nope, you gotta work for it!!)
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So, how did our family like the FlipStir puzzle?  It's a mixed reaction.

Right out of the box, my son grabbed the puzzle and started working towards manipulating the pieces.

Garrett loves puzzles to begin with and this hands on experience was perfect for him.  It took him a bit of time, but Garrett eventually figured out the design and solved the puzzle.

Ashleigh tried for about 5 minutes, put it down and didn't bother to pick it up again.  Puzzles aren't really her thing though, she would rather play with her stuffed animals.

My oldest, Alyssa, also gave up after about 20 minutes and deemed it "impossible".  We had a really good laugh at he fact that her 9 year old brother was able to solve it but she could not.

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My husband also tried for about 30 minutes and gave up.  Again, the fact that Garrett could solve it but a 30 year old man who works on a $340 Million dollar aircraft every day couldn't figure out a simple puzzle designed for ages 7 and up provided many laughs in our household.

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Charles Trying to Work the Puzzle
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And Charles Giving Up on the Puzzle

Being that both Alyssa and Charles could not figure out how solve the puzzle and gave up on it yet did not see the humor in the fact the 9 year old could solve it, they both decided that they would shut me up by challenging ME to solve the puzzle.  I'm proud to say that I solved it several times, each time in less that 10 minutes.

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Garrett presents me with the completed puzzle
Overall, it's a fun little tinkertoy that one can easily keep on hand to challenge their friends or just to play around with.  It's plenty challenging for all ages and I love the fact it is self contained so there's no risk of losing pieces. Also, in a world where electronics and video games reign, it's nice to have something for the kids to do that requires them to actually use brain power without staring at a screen. while it helps to improve motor skills as smaller children have to use the wand to manipulate the piece.

#hsreviews #shakestirsolve

For More Information about Enlivenze LLC and the FlipStir Puzzles, be sure to visit their website or any of their various social media sites at:

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FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

But He Won't Sit Still... (Throwback Thursday)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

But He Won't Sit Still!!!! (Homeschooling Through Special Needs)

Day 3 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop sponsored by the Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection and today I thought I would change the pace just a bit and talk about something I've had many problems with in the beginning and am willing to bet that a few of you might to - trying to homeschool a special needs child.

If you're newly discovering my blog because of the blog hop, I'll fill you in a bit. My son, age 8, is a special needs boy.  Garrett is the reason I started homeschooling to begin with - the school where I live did not have the necessary resources in which to teach him. Rather than to ship him to a school 45 minutes away, I opted to instead keep him home and teach him myself.

It's been a long road of discovery for the both of us.  My first year of "Kindergarten" was wrecked with tears and frustration and Garrett wasn't so happy either.  He wouldn't sit down, he wouldn't write, he wouldn't try to read. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything we were doing.  I kept beating my head against the brick wall and kept trying to throw the same things at him over and over.  I ended up wonder if I was making a huge mistake and doubting I was going to be able to teach him at all.

It took two years til I realized my approach with my son was completely wrong..  We adjusted and and it has made a world of difference.

But He Won't Sit Still...

My son physically can't sit still during school.  To try to make him usually results in tears and frustration.  So he stands up.  He stands at the table while doing his writing. He stands  while we're going over math problems. He stands and paces while we are doing our reading.  But I've realized he retains much more information when he stands then when he's being forced to sit and instead fidgets. 

The second thing we do is we use a diffuser to aerosolize essential oils while we're having class.
 Lavender, Vetiver, and other calming oils makes a huge difference in his concentration. We also use a blend that we call Squirrel :  In a roller ball bottle I mix 22 drops of Atlas Cedarwood, 20 drops of Lavender, 10 drops of  Vetiver, 30 drops of Grapefruit, 20 drops of Bergamot, 10 drops of Frankincense, 10 drops of Sandalwood and 20 drops of Sweet Marjoram and top it off with a carrier oil.  Then I rub a small amount on the bottom of his feet.  My husband thought oils were a crock until I used Squirrel on both kids during our cross country road trip. He quickly became a believer.. LOL

Third thing is to run his energy off.  There are times when he's literally got way too much energy to try to concentrate on trying to do mathematics. By watching for the signs (fidgeting, rocking back and forth in his chair, pacing), he will make it obvious that he's just too wound up to concentrate on what we are trying to work on at that moment.  There's no timetable that says you have to be done with schoolwork - take a break.  I like to bring the kickball outside and let him run around for a good 20-30 minutes blowing off his excess energy. Sometimes I make him and his sister run relay races against each other.  Then, after a 15 minute cool down with a glass of ice water, he's usually back to a frame of mind to try to concentrate on our lessons.

Probably the biggest thing that has made all the difference for our homeschool is changing the way in which we learn.  We've slowly moved away from multiple worksheets and boring textbooks and headed more into the general direction of both Charlotte Mason style learning along with lots of Hands On experimentation.   Constructing models of ancient ziggurats,  working in the garden, educational games and teaching textbooks have all helped to pull his interest into the subject at hand enough to allow him to concentrate for much of the lesson.  I can throw worksheets and textbooks at him all day and he won't learn anything but if I can make the learning hands on, he quickly gets it down.

Teaching a special needs kid can be challenging but by being adaptive in the manner in which you approach learning as well as being open to therapeutic tools such as essential oils and physical activities, it can be such a rewarding experience. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

¿Hablas español? (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Hablas espanol?  I took two years of it in high school and I'll be honestly, I learned very little of it.
 Studies show that children are more likely to have success in learning a second language when they are exposed to it at an early age.  Other studies also show that it's much easier to learn a language when they are immersed into it rather than from a structural teaching style.  This is the belief of Foreign Languages For Kids by Kids believes when they created their Spanish Starter Set 1.  Garrett (and Ashleigh as well) have been using the Spanish Starter Kit 1 for the last few weeks and we have seen much success in their retention and understanding.

What We Received 

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The Spanish Starter Set 1 includes a DVD that includes three videos (Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast, The Little Magic House Part 1 and The Little Magic House Part 2), a complete 20 week program teachers curriculum guide, flashcards for all three videos, three full color student workbooks (one for each video), vocabulary stickers that accompany the Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast video, and a limited time bonus "Go Squish!" card game.  

The DVD video consists of three videos, each roughly 15 minutes long. Students are told that these are "in flight movies" being shown on a flight to a spanish speaking country - the first video is travelling from Washington DC to Lima, Peru, the 2nd is travelling from Lima to Bogata, Columbia and the 3rd is from Bogata to San Jose, Costa Rica.  In each video, viewers observe a conversation and situation that immerses them in the Spanish language in a real life setting involving the activities of a family as they go about their day. The video we concentrated on the most, Basketballs Aren't For Breakfast allows students to watch the interaction between three brothers and their mother as they go about their morning breakfast routine as the students learn the Spanish words for many common breakfast foods, items such as books and basketballs, terms such as "I like" and "Where is" and "Thank you/You're Welcome".

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Garrett Watching Video 1
The Guide for Teachers and Parents is a  booklet that includes lessons that take roughly 45 minutes. Each video has it's own Teacher's guide with lessons specific to it's particular video. These lessons expand on the vocabulary that students learn from watching the videos. A knowledge of the Spanish language is not necessary for parents to teach the program, as the guide walks parents through everything they need to teach the lesson to their students.   In addition with the Spanish lesson, activities are provided that expand on what has been learned as well as to familiarize students with the country the flight is heading to.  Each lesson also lets the parents know when it's time to open the student workbook and complete an activity page.  A really cute full color certificate for completion of each video is included at the end of the guide.

In addition to the Teachers/Parents guide, each video has it's own individual Student workbook.  These student workbooks are full color and include activities that reinforce what the student is learning both in the videos and the lessons, as well as engaging culture lessons.  The activities include things like crosswords and word searches as well as matching and fill in the blank style questions and feature images from the video that the students are already familiar with.

How We Used It

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Garrett Working A Lesson in the Workbook
Originally, I planed on only using this program with Garrett, as Ashleigh has already been working independently with her Latin lessons. However, the very first time I turned the video on for Garrett, Ashleigh wanted to watch as well.   I found that the short videos were perfect to turn on for the kids while I made their lunch each day and they quickly looked forward to watching them each day.

Per the teacher's guides suggestion, I did not explain anything about the video to them and instead told them to just watch the video, listen to the interaction with boys, and see what words they could figure out.  The first time they watched the video, they were pretty confused as to what was going on.  As they continued to watch the video daily, they quickly started figuring out what the Spanish words they were being exposed to translated to in English. This became very apparent when about two weeks into the program, my husband was heading to the grocery store and Ashleigh asked him to pick her up some "pequenas manzanas" as she preferred them to "grande manzanas" (Small apples as opposed to large apples).

Since we were only going to use the workbook with one student, we used them with Garrett. Both kids were able to participate in the lessons and have learned so much already.  We were also able to expand on the lessons about South America as we included the Olympics in Brazil with our lessons.  While the teachers guide recommend doing one lesson twice a week, we are moving through the lessons a bit slower - Garrett has pretty much memorized the first video but I am finding that he
spanish for kids, learn Spanish, Spanish for homeschoolers, homeschool Spanish
Ashleigh Pointing Out Lima, Peru On Our Map
struggles with the lessons if we try to do one lesson a week. Instead we concentrate on the lesson for two weeks at a time and this seems to work perfect for him.  Since there is no time constraints on the program unlike an online program, this allows us to take our time so that I know Garrett is retaining the information rather than feeling rushed to complete it on schedule.

In the past, we have used an online language program and were not terribly impressed with it.  I did not feel that the children were learning or retaining anything from the lessons and honestly, if I were to ask them anything in regards to those lessons, they stare at me like I have a third eye.  This Spanish program is different!!  It's engaging, it keeps the kids interested and they are even using what they are learning outside of school time.  If the kids misplace one of their toys, hearing them calling out "Donde?" is pretty common.  When I ask what they want for breakfast or lunch, they will tell me "Me gusta (fill in food) or Ashleigh commonly tells me "No me gusta huevos".  In the few weeks that we have been using this program, I can say that I am VERY impressed.  My oldest daughter has taken Spanish in public high school and I can honestly say that the kids have learned the language much faster and efficiently in a couple of months than that she has in a year of instruction.

Fore more information about Foreign Language for Kids by Kids and their Spanish program, including the Spanish Starter Set 1, be sure to visit either their website or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ForeignLanguagesForKidsByKids.

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids was very generous and provided 90 members of the Review Crew with their Spanish Starter Set 1 for us to review. Be sure to click the banner below and read the other crew members reviews and see how they used it with their students. 

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday, Counting Pinecones

Alyssa starter her Senior Year this week and came home with reward for her accomplishments for her last three years of JROTC.  She was promoted to 1st Lieutenant  and made Flight Commander and was awarded her beret.  We are so proud of you sweetheart!! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tips for Planning Your School Year (5 Days of Homeschool 101)

One of the things I struggled the most with when I began homeschooling was what one would have thought was the simplest - planning.  I honestly thought that that would be the easy part - that I would basically just start each book at the beginning and continue throughout each day til the end of the school year.  Ooh how naive I was!!

We are in our third year of homeschooling and if I want to be completely honest with you, it was only since January of this year that I actually learned how to plan ahead of time and keep those plans organized. Most importantly, it's taken me those three years (actually, four if you count how miserably I failed teaching my son Kindergarten and decided to hold him back!!) to actually follow that schedule and now have it completely thrown out the window in the first week. 

These are a few tricks that I have learned over the last few years that can hopefully help you with your planning as well.

#1 Don't Wait Til the Last Minute

There's nothing more unnerving then to spend your Sunday night frantically trying to figure out a lesson plan for the next morning, or figure out how your going to do a certain activity without a necessary ingredient that you just realized you need.  I've been there, I know how it is. 

I try to schedule my school weeks at least 3 weeks in advanced, sometimes more. By scheduling a few weeks in advance, it allows me to make sure I have all materials needed for special projects or to allow time to get those materials before I need them. 

#2  Allow for Uninterrupted Time for Planning

Sometimes, this one is easier said than done... But it is very hard to make a lesson plan with three kids
screaming "MOM!! She's looking at meeeeee!!" every 5 minutes.   Because I do plan lessons a few weeks in advance, that allows me to only need to spend about 30 minutes each week to schedule for the following week. Typically, I can accomplish this while catching up on TV shows once the kids are asleep but there are times I can get my husband to watch the kids for 30 minutes so I can sit at the Starbucks nearby, enjoy a latte macchiato or a white chocolate mocha and knock out my planning while enjoying some me time without the stress of interruptions.  While my initial planning might take me a few days to schedule out, once I have the backbone of my planning done, 30 minutes is more than enough time to knock out what I need and be done with it.

#3 Research and then Purchase a Good Planner

There are MANY planners on the market right now, from the luxury of the Erin Condren style planner to a simple Walmart special and even a print your own planner, and no two people use any of these planners in the same way.  To complicate it even more, there are many various digital planners available online.  Some of these various planners are generally designed for classroom teachers while others are very specifically designed for the needs of a homeschool class.  Before purchasing a planner sight unseen from a website, be sure to read reviews and look at their sample pages to see which style you like, sign up for the free trials for the digital programs and check out how they work.  Once you find the planner that fits your style, it will make things so much easier. 

#4 Create You Planner's Backbone

In almost every planner, there are weekly scheduling pages that have a column on the top and another column on the side.  I call the side column my planner's "backbone" and this is where I line up the subjects that I plan on teaching each week.  As these subjects do not change and they stay consistent, they help me to make sure I have scheduled all necessary courses each week.  My current "backbone" schedules as : 1.Spelling/Phonics/Reading and Poetry, 2. Math  3. Handwriting, Copywork and Foreign Language  4. Natural History/Science/Nature/Bible  5. History and Tales  6. Literature and Tales and 7. Geography/Music/Art  .  By having this backbone, I am able to see if I have too much planned for one day or not enough planned on the next day. It also allows me to quickly fill in the next week by following the same format each time I plan.  

#5 Keep Two Planners

I keep two planners at all times - my "ugly" planner and my official planner.  The "ugly" planner is basically my rough draft planning. In it, I write down all that I want to do each week, the projects I hope to fit in, ect.  The Official planner is what I use to write down what we actually did at the end of each day.  Typically, I use a printable planner (I got mine as part of my membership from SchoolhouseTeachers.com) and I will just print out a few weeks at a time and I save my store bought planner as my official planner.  The "ugly" planner allows for me to make spur of the moment adjustments while avoiding having to mark out or make corrections in the other planner.  That way, if I am ever asked to show documentation as to what the kids worked on throughout the school year, I have a planner that shows EXACTLY what was accomplished on each day. 

#6 Keep On Track By Checking Off Things As You Go

Once I have my weeks scheduled out, I do my best to follow what I've scheduled.  As we complete each task, I always put a check mark next to the assignment in my planner to know that it's completed.  This keeps me from accidentally skipping over something absentmindedly. At the end of the day, I double check to make sure everything either has a check next to it, a circle indicating that I need to fill it in elsewhere during the week, or boxed to show that we started it but I need to allow for a few minutes the following day to allow for completion.

Everyone finds their own way of doing things when it comes to planning, but hopefully a few of these tips will help make planning your homeschool year less of a chore.  And be sure to check out many of the other postings from the Crew today as they each give their own suggestions, recommendations and helpful tips on Planning as well.  

5 Days of Homeschool 101

Monday, August 8, 2016

Gearing Up For AO Y3

Back in January, we made a trial switch to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.  I admit, it was a very scary change for us as I had it in my head that the kids needed to a certain amount of worksheets and busy work each day to meet some imaginary line for being a quality education. But the truth is, trying to do all that wasn't productive for us - the kids fought against me, they were unhappy and each week we were getting further and further behind.  During our Christmas break I spent time researching a better way of doing things and the Charlotte Mason method seemed interesting.  We tried it, the kids liked it and we have decided that Charlotte Mason is indeed for us.

Here we are now about to start our 3rd Grade year and I'm trying my best to get some scheduling done for our upcoming school year.  After going back and forth between both Simply Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online, I have settled on AO.

 I'm just really wishing I had discovered AO earlier on as I feel like we will be doing a lot of catch up with some of the recommended books.  Many of the Year 1 books we can easily fit into our schedule on top of the Year 3 stuff, as those weekly lessons are pretty short and we could probably add them without adding a whole lot of extra time to our schedule.   Instead of jumping into the Year 3 right off the bat, I think we jump into many of the Year 2 books and then get caught up as many of the books in Year 3 are started in Year 2.

So far, this is what we will be using in our upcoming school year:

     Trial and Triumph  by Richard Hannula
     An Island Story  by H.E. Marshall
     Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by James Baldwin
     Viking Tales  by Jeanie Hall
     A Child's History of the World  by Virgil Hillyer

American History:
     This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall
     Benjamin Franklin by Ingri D'Aulaire
     George Washington by Ingri D'Aulaire
     Buffalo Bill by Ingri D'Aulaire

     Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
     Tree in the Trail  by Holling C. Holling
     Seabird by Holling C. Holling
     Home Geography for Primary Grades  by C.C. Long
     Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason
     Everyday Geography (3rd-5th Grade) from Christian Homeschool Hub

Natural History/Science:
     Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
     The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
     A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick
     Introductory Science by Science Shepherd
     Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright
     Experience Astronomy Field Guide from Intoxicated On Life
     Close to Home (Things to Know and Things to Do) by Elizabeth P. Lawlor

     The Aesop for Children by Mike Winter
     Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit
     Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
     Parables from Nature by Margaret Gatty
     The Blue Fairy Tale Book by Andrew Lang
     Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan  (All In One Curriculum from Answers in Genesis)
     Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for My Children by Charles Kingsley
     American Tall Tales by Adrien Stoutenburg

     A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
     Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization from IEW

     Math U See - Beta and Gamma
     CTC Math

     Spelling - Lower Elementary List 2 from SchoolhouseTeachers.com
     Essentials - Logic of English

     New American Cursive Penmanship Program from Memoria Press

Foreign Language:
     Olim, Once Upon a Time..in Latin (for Ashleigh)
     Foreign Language for Kids by Kids Spanish  (for Garrett)

     Grapevine New Testament Pt 2
     Firmly Planted:  The Gospels Pt 1 and Pt 2

Art and Music
     Music Appreciation for Elementary Grades by Zeezok Publishing
     Studying the Masters:  12 Great Artists from SchoolhouseTeachers.com 
Character Building
    Laying Down the Rails by Sonia Shafer
    Laying Down the Rails For Children by Lanaya Gore

As long as this list may look, I know that as the year progresses, much more will be added to this list.. We're already on Week 4 of our new school year and we are already flying through our lessons.  But overall, this is what we have planned at this point in time :) 

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