The 2012 – 2013 School Year

We started up school again in the first week of August.  I knew we’d have to give things a test run to figure out what was going to work the best with a new baby.  My oldest is 12 and is in 7th grade this year.  The other children are in 5th, 2nd (but doing mostly 3rd grade work), kindergarten (doing mostly 1st grade work), and preschool.  Below I’ve listed what each child is doing this year.

“Jane” — 7th Grade

  • Grammar:  Analytical Grammar (seasons 1 and 2–next year will be season 3)  Jane has had previous experience with formal grammar, but I am liking this approach better than what she’s done in the past.  She is improving.
  • Spelling:  Spellbound  We haven’t started this yet.  I specifically chose it because it reviews the phonics rules in a succinct way.
  • Vocabulary:  Vocabulary from Classical Roots A  We haven’t started this yet, either.   We will be starting formal Latin next year and I want her to have more explicit exposure to word study first.
  • Literature:  Classical House of Learning Literature: Early Modern (Logic Stage)  Obviously.  Jane read Robinson Crusoe a couple of weeks ago.  One day after she finished the assigned chapters, she asked if she could keep reading.  Of course I said yes. 
  • Science:  Elemental Science Biology and BYU Independent Study 7th Grade Science Part 1 and Part 2   Jane attends a homeschool program at a charter school.  When we registered for classes last month, we intended her to use the BYU independent study class.  We later decided to do Elemental Science Biology and changed our registration, but apparently that got mixed up and she’ll be doing two science classes.  She may drop Elemental Science if the workload gets to be too much, but the BYU course doesn’t seem too intense.
  • Logic:  The Art of Argument  We started this a few weeks ago and we are enjoying it.  It’s fun to analyze commercials and political arguments to check for fallacies.
  • Math:  Christian Light Education Sunrise Math 700  This math program has been such a great fit for a few of my children.  The workbooks include all of the instruction written directly to the student.  I actively teach the new portions of each lesson and then the children work on the review problems alone.  Today Jane told me that she thinks she may be ready to work more independently, asking me for help when she needs it.  We’ll see how that goes.
  • Foreign Language:  Rosetta Stone Greek  She started this last year through our charter school program and has chosen to stick with Greek this year.
  • History:  Drama of American History series by Collier and Collier, The Story of Mankind, Uncle Josh’s Outline Maps, Hammond Historical World Atlas, Story of the World Vol. 3, and lots of supplemental books  Jane does Story of the World with us as a group and studies DOAH and SOM on her own.
  • Writing:  We were using Writing with Skill Level 1 (which I loved), but Jane wanted to drop that in favor of improving her writing across the curriculum.  Her writing assignments for literature, history, and science will be our focus this year.
  • Art:  Artistic Pursuits Junior High Book 1  So far so good. 
  • Music:  Meet the Great Composers Book 1 and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music History  Most of the composers in the first book are from Early Modern Times.  She’s reading the first 8 chapters of the history book.
  • Fun Extras:  Discovery Education Streaming Plus, and Ko’s Journey  I’ve been creating lessons in DE that supplement science, history, and literature.
  • Charter School Classes:  Sports & Fitness, Karate, Shakespeare Conquest, and Musical Theater  Today was her first day of classes.  Shakespeare and Musical Theater will require extra work at home.  This week she needs to prepare an audition piece for the musical (Seussical). 

“Lizzy” — 5th Grade

  • Grammar, Phonics/Spelling, Vocabulary, Reading, and Writing:  The Phonics Road Level 4  I am still impressed with this program!  I love the all-in-one approach and how inter-connected all the components are.  Lizzy accelerate through levels 1 and 2 in third grade and did level 3 in fourth grade.  We are still in the first four weeks of level 4, which is a review of level 3, but I am excited for what I see ahead!
  • Literature:  Classical House of Learning Literature: Early Modern (Logic Stage)  Lizzy will be doing some lessons from Logic Stage and some lessons from Grammar Stage, depending on the difficulty of the Logic Stage selection.
  • Science:  Elemental Science Biology  Lizzy loves science.  She experiments and reads more on her own.
  • Logic:  The Art of Argument  She is doing this with me and Jane.
  • Math:  Christian Light Education Sunrise Math 500  We switched to CLE math when I asked for recommendations for my perfectionist daughter.  Posters on the’s bulletin boards said that CLE is very gentle and a good fit for anxious students.  They were right!  She stopped crying during math and gained confidence as well as proficiency in math.
  • Foreign Language:  Rosetta Stone French  This is Lizzy’s second year with Rosetta Stone French.
  • History:  Story of the World Vol. 3 and lots of supplemental books  We use the Activity Book for Story of the World, which includes maps, books suggestions, review questions, sample narrations, and activity ideas.
  • Art:  Artistic Pursuits Grades 4-6 Book 1  Lizzy seems to be enjoying this.
  • Music:  Meet the Great Composers Book 1 and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music History  Lizzy is studying these books as well.  She will also start piano lessons again next month.
  • Fun Extras:  Discovery Education Streaming Plus, and Ko’s Journey  Lizzy tested DE for me and told me it was a good resource.
  • Charter School Classes:  Destination Imagination, sewing, cooking, science lab, a class about different cultures in the world, art, sculpting/pottery, and musical theater (Seussical)  Her first day was last week and she had good things to report.

“Mary” — 2nd Grade

  • Grammar, Phonics/Spelling, Vocabulary, Reading, and Writing:  The Phonics Road Level 3  Mary was the first child to use The Phonics Road.  It is still a great fit for her.  Because the school enrollment cut-off in our state is September 1st, she is technically a second-grader, but with a fall birthday she is more mature and doing more advanced work.
  • Literature:  Classical House of Learning Literature: Early Modern (Grammar Stage) Mary will read some of these independently and others with me as read alouds, depending on the difficulty of the selection.  She really enjoyed Robinson Crusoe, which she read last week.  We are currently reading Gulliver’s Travels.
  • Science:  Magic School Bus DVDs and Magic School Bus Science Club Kits  I needed Mary to have a fairly independent science course.  When the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-Op showed a deal on the science kits, I decided that would fit the bill.  Our first kit (“Water”) arrived a few days ago.  Mary will complete the experiments later this week.
  • Logic:  Building Thinking Skills Book 1  Mary likes the exercises so far.
  • Math:  Math Mammoth Level 3 (Light Blue Series)  Mary is my most “mathy” child.  Math Mammoth is another work text program (all instruction is written to the student), which makes it easy for us to use.  Math Mammoth is more of a mastery approach and makes bigger leaps than CLE.  There is a sale on Math Mammoth at the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-Op.  We have the .pdf files, which makes this a very inexpensive program.  I’ve sent the files to a copy shop to be printed and bound, printed them at home, and used them on the iPad with the Notability App.
  • Foreign Language:  Rosetta Stone Spanish  This is Mary’s second year with Rosetta Stone Spanish.  Her rolled Rs are impressive.
  • History:  Story of the World Vol. 3 and lots of supplemental books  We use the Activity Book for Story of the World, which includes maps, books suggestions, review questions, sample narrations, and activity ideas.  We do history as a group.
  • Art:  Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book 2  We just started this today and had fun with watercolors.
  • Music:  Mary will start piano lessons again next month.
  • Fun Extras:  Discovery Education Streaming Plus, and Timez Attack Mary loves searching for fun educational videos on DE.
  • Charter School Classes:  karate, Lego Robotics, sewing, cooking, science lab, art, and sculpting/pottery  Mary was most excited for karate and Lego Robotics!

“Kitty” — Kindergarten

  • Grammar, Phonics/Spelling, Vocabulary, Reading, and Writing:  The Phonics Road Level 1  We will finish up Level 1 this year and possibly start Level 2.
  • Literature:  Hewitt Homeschool Preschool Plus  This program uses some of our favorite children’s books.
  • Science:  Magic School Bus DVDs and Magic School Bus Science Club Kits  Kitty does these with Mary.
  • Math:  Christian Light Education Math 100  We will finish up this level and possibly start level 200.  Kitty loves math and does very well with CLE.  Her favorite problems are story problems and counting the coins for the “money cup” exercises.
  • Foreign Language:  Rosetta Stone Spanish  Kitty did her first session with Rosetta Stone today.  She liked it.
  • History:  Story of the World Vol. 3 and lots of supplemental books  Kitty does this with her sisters.  She likes cutting out our timeline figures (History Through the Ages) to stick in her Book of Centuries (each child has her own).
  • Art:  Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3 Book 2  She does this with Mary and Lydia.
  • Fun Extras:  Discovery Education Streaming Plus  Kitty watched a cartoon about a historical figure on DE today.
  • Charter School Classes:  letters, numbers, sports, science, musical theater, and literature  Kitty was so excited to go to classes.  She showed me that she learned how to kick a soccer ball.  It reminded me a bit of the Karate Kid’s flying crane kick.

“Lydia” — Preschool

“Bennet” — Babyhood

Our baby boy keeps us entertained with his sweet smiles.  He rolls over occasionally and I am sure he will be delighted once he masters the art of rolling or crawling to get where he wants to go.


About Laura

I've been homeschooling since 2005. I have six children (born 2000 - 2012). We are eclectic in our approach with a bit more Well-Trained Mind philosophy over anything else.
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4 Responses to The 2012 – 2013 School Year

  1. Robin says:

    I was wondering if you are doing a similar notebook for SOTW 3 that you did for SOTW 2? We are doing SOTW 2 and I am in the process of working to put together some sort of notebook for us to use.

    • Laura says:

      I didn’t get around to it for this school year. We are back to doing history as a group. I print the maps and coloring pages from my .pdf download of student pages purchased from Peace Hill Press.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Just inquiring about your LA choice…we use PR also (dd 8 is in PR 3 and ds 6 is doing PR1), but I’m wondering whether to continue…have you ever considered Classical Conversations Essentials or IEW? Any thoughts. BTW, I really appreciate your thoughts on home education…thank you.

    • Laura says:

      I haven’t considered Classical Conversations. There aren’t any groups in our area. Even if there were, the cost/time/benefit analysis doesn’t work out to be a net positive, IMO. We used IEW briefly, but have found Phonics Road and Susan Wise Bauer’s Writing with Skill programs to work better for us. 🙂

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