Monday, July 13, 2015

2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum


It's been quite a while since I've posted anything at all here on the blog, and even longer since I've shared anything about our homeschool journey. I've been deep in the teaching trenches with not one, but two of my kiddos homeschooling now. Last November (for a variety of reasons) we pulled Caitlin from public school and the Ruhl Academy enrollment instantly doubled. Since then, we've been trying to "just keep swimming" in the words of the wise Dori. 

With the better part of a year under our belts, we've all adjusted to the new school situation and are looking forward to the upcoming year. Last year was a bit like learning to swim by jumping in the deep end, but this year I have the luxury of time to plan and prepare.  We are continuing to  use a classical approach to education but with one big change. We are using Tapestry of Grace for the first time. I'm excited and a bit nervous to take on this ambitious curriculum.  Here's a quick run-down of each kid's curriculum for 2015-2016:

Caitlin, 8th grade


We are using Tapestry of Grace, year 3, dialectic level for the following subjects:
  • history
  • literature
  • writing
  • geography
  • church history
  • government
  • fine arts
For math, we will be finishing up Saxon 8/7 and beginning Algebra 1. I will definitely be investing in the Dive CDs or something similar to supplement my teaching. 

For science, we are using "Biology for the Logic Stage" from Elemental Science.

For grammar, we are continuing to use Rod and Staff. Caitlin had almost no grammar instruction in public school, so I had her jump in with Hunter in book 5 last year. It is such a rigorous and thorough program (if a bit boring), that I am keeping them at the same level. We will finish up book 5 and continue with book 6 this year. 

Foreign language- Caitlin will continue to receive private tutoring in Mandarin Chinese and will be taking the HSK level 3 language proficiency test this fall. We will also be studying Latin, albeit at a very basic introductory level.

Hunter, 6th grade


We are using Tapestry of Grace, year 3, upper grammar level for the following subjects:
  • history
  • literature
  • writing
  • geography
  • church history
  • government
  • fine arts
For math, we will be using Saxon 7/6.

For science, we are using "Biology for the Logic Stage" from Elemental Science.

For grammar, we are continuing to use Rod and Staff book 5, moving into book 6. 

Foreign language- We will be studying Latin, albeit at a very basic introductory level.



As you can see, there is a lot of overlap in the kids' curriculum. I tweak their workloads and assignments to the appropriate level and it seems to work well for everyone. We will also continue a group study of Shakespeare's work using this book as a guide. Last year we read, studied, and memorized from "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Twelfth Night." This year, I hope to get through "Romeo and Juliet", "Hamlet", and "The Tempest." This has been a favorite activity for both kiddos and I've really enjoyed it too. We went to a beautiful production of Midsummer at the Guthrie Theater in the early spring and it was so fun to see how much both kids enjoyed it. 

We also attend a weekly co-op for a variety classes. Last year we did gym, art, drama, science, and business. I'm not sure what this year's co-op will entail but I know the kids look forward to it every week. 

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I'm linking up here

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Tour 2014


Well, despite the fact that I still have a Halloween post in my drafts, I thought I better get on the ball and share a few pictures of my Christmas decor. I like going back and looking at my previous years' photos while I'm decorating; otherwise, I can never remember where I put everything. 
You'll see lots of plaid and pops of red throughout the house this year- I found the red tartan ribbon at Michael's before Thanksgiving and bought out their stock because it sold out last year at my local store. I waited and missed out before, but not this time!
I didn't change too much on my mantel- just a new message, the garland and stockings (hung with care, of course).
I finally found a tree skirt that I love. Mine was a TJ Maxx score, but it is identical to a much spendier one featured in this season's Ballard catalog.
The "Happy Holidays" ribbon is also from Michael's. 

Even though it doesn't quite "go" with the look I'm after, my son's musical Pooh Bear figurine is always displayed front and center at Christmas time. What are traditions for, after all?
On to the kitchen...
My burlap wreath is once again looking festive for a new season. This time I added red ribbon, a big antler, and a few natural elements to compliment the snowy woodland scene on the mantel.
Caitlin painted a little snow-scene watercolor and it was the perfect backdrop to our Trader Joe gingerbread chalets. **check out my phony gingerbread man… I hadn't baked any yet, so I added him in PicMonkey!
I hope your Christmas is ...
and the season is full of magic.
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I'm sharing here:
My Romantic Home A Stroll Thru Life
French Country Cottage My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Savvy Southern Style DIY by Design
Between Naps on the Porch
 Under the Table and Dreaming
The Nester
Dixie Delights

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Simple Autumn Mantel


 In the past, I've waxed poetic about the glorious abundance of fall and decorated my mantels in a suitably festive fashion. They were swagged and festooned within an inch of their lives, and I loved them in all their harvest glory. But, as you can see, I went in a different direction for this mantel.


It's bit more simple, even {comparatively} understated. Without miles of garland to distract the eye, the chalkboard pumpkin takes center-stage and it's simple message will remind me to count my blessings, right through Thanksgiving.



Tolkien and Lewis, my literary lions, had to have their autumnal crowns, of course. No amount of simplification would keep me from bedecking their noble brows. {I like to think they tolerate my seasonal shenanigans with quiet dignity.}


Of course, there are a lot of days between now and November. I don't know if I'll be able to resist bedecking the mantel with banners and bunting forever. For now though, I am satisfied with its simplicity.
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I'm linking up here:
My Romantic Home A Stroll Thru Life
French Country Cottage My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Savvy Southern Style DIY by Design
Between Naps on the Porch DIY Showoff
Jennifer Rizzo Under the Table and Dreaming