Logos School Curriculum Choices 2010

by Edie Wadsworth on August 8, 2010

If you’re new here and visiting from Bring the Rain or from Heart of the Matter, welcome.   You can visit more of my homeschool links here or find out why in the world we ever decided to homeschool in the first place here.  We use the classical model with a blend of The Well Trained Mind, Charlotte Mason and the Thomas Jefferson Education.

I have an unnatural love for books.

When I moved from my beloved suburban house with the garage turned schoolroom to the lakehouse {with no schoolroom}, the movers commented more than once that they had never moved anyone with so many books.   I tried to pare our library down a little but I have a very difficult time parting with books.  I want my own copy and I want it in the flesh and I don’t want to get rid of it.   Period.   It’s makes curriculum shopping my favorite activity of the year.   I want to use EVERY possible program and book.  I want to try My Father’s World and Tapesty of Grace and Sonlight and Calvert.    And I would except that I don’t want someone telling me exactly what to do because I want to decide what books we read and what passages we memorize and how long we spend on The Renaissance.   I want to be in charge of the books.

Hello Mr. UPS man, my name is Edie and I love books.

So this year we will continue on our classical homeschooling journey using a mish-mash, a hodge-podge of books and programs.  For my own teacher-training, I’ve been reading The Seven Laws of Teaching by Milton. I’ve gleaned a few pearls from it and it has reinforced some things I read in A Thomas Jefferson Education.

Namely, that you can’t teach anyone anything.

You can only motivate and inspire  them to learn.   I pray I’ll do more inspiring and less requiring this year.

My 8 and 9 year old are both doing 4th-ish grade and we’re in our third year of following the basic outline laid out in The Well-Trained Mind. I have tweaked our program every year to find what works perfect for us.  I finally feel like I kinda-sorta know what I’m doing.  Kinda.  Sorta.

Here’s what we’re using:

New for Us:

1.  Writing–Institute for Excellence in Writing by Andrew Pudewa

I bought the parent CD’s and am about half way through them.  I love this program already.  And I especially love that we will use the content for writing from our history and science and literature books, which will just enforce the things we’re already learning.   Although we don’t start our formal lessons until next week, we practiced the key word outline a few days ago and my reluctant writer said,  ”I love writing now mom.”   Wow.   I hope that continues.

2.  Apologia Science Exploring Creation

We tried out the Astronomy book last semester and loved it.   We’re doing chapter one of the Human Anatomy book (cell structure and function) and then moving on to Zoology I—Flying Creatures of the 5th day.   We also plan to memorize Psalm 104 which goes along well with the learning about God’s creation.

3.  Bible—A Bible History by Concordia Publishing House

We have previously used Veritas Press and have completed Genesis Through Joshua and the Life of Jesus.   This year we plan to do Judges through Malachi from the Bible History book and then memorize Luther’s small catechism for the Lord’s prayer.  We will listen together to teaching on the articles of the Lord’s Prayer beginning with the first petition on IssuesEtc.  We also will memorize the books of the Old Testament and possibly the baptism catechism.   In preparation for teaching my girls from this portion of the Old Testament, I’m working my way through this series of wonderful lectures from iTunes university.    For any christian interested in a Christ centered Old Testament class, this one is phenomenal and of course, you can listen at your leisure.   I highly recommend it.  You can find it by opening iTunes university {from the main menu of iTunes} and searching “Concordia Old Testament”.   It consists of video lectures that span Genesis to Malachi.

What we’re still using:

4.  Saxon 4/5

We have a few lessons to finish from book 3 and we’ve been working on flash cards for multiplication.  I bought the DIVE CD and hope my girls can learn to be a bit more independent with math.  Neither of my girls is math minded so we will continue to look for ways to make math come alive.   We’re currently accepting any and all suggestions.

5.  History–Story of the World 3  Early Modern Times

We have about 6 weeks of Story of the World 2 to finish beginning with The Reformation/Renaissance.   I love Story of the World.   Susan Wise Bauer inspires me and has been my constant companion during my homeschooling journey whether from her history books or her books on education.   I recently came across these set of videos from her own homeschool and they were so comforting to me.   She’s washing the dishes while she does dictation with her son or she’s making mac and cheese before she sends her teenagers off to rest time.    I know, amazing isn’t it?   She requires ‘rest’ time  even for her teens.   I consider her my mentor, my teacher—-the master of all things homeschooling—and her school doesn’t look that different from mine.    At least at a glance.  I really appreciated that look into her world.

6.  Grammar–Rod and Staff 4

We switched from Shurley Grammar to Rod and Staff during the middle of last year.   I like it so much better and I’m hoping that this new writing program will help apply more of what we’re learning.

7.  Memory Work

We will memorize:

A portion of Martin Luther’s speech at the Diet of Worms, A Bird Came Walking Down the Walk by Emily Dickinson,   There is No Frigate Like a Book by Emily Dickinson,  ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson,   Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll (thank you Mrs. Brown),  Elizabeth I’s speech at Tilbury (thank you blog friend),  the preambles to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence ,  Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,  the presidents of the United States, a history catechism,  Psalm 104, portion of the Sermon on the Mount,  Luke 12:22-32.

We will also continue to review all the memory work from the past two years which is a quite a thick stack of poetry and scripture.

I’ve written about my thoughts on memory work and how important I think it is.   It’s also deeply gratifying to have some ‘tangible’ evidence of your learning.   There are so many benefits to memorization and it’s one of my favorite aspects of home schooling.

8.  Literature

Our curriculum is centered around history and we try to correlate some of our literature to that.    We will start this year by reading a biography on Martin Luther and a historical fiction work about the Mona Lisa (we’ll be studying daVinci first in art) called The Second Mrs. Giaconda.  Some of our other books include  The Princess and the Goblin, King of the Wind,  At the Back of the North Wind,  Just David, Stories of Don Quixote,  The Happy Prince and Other Tales,  The Enchanted Castle,  English Fairy Tales, poetry of George Herbert, The Witch of Blackbird Pond,  Johnny Tremain and excerpts from Paradise Lost.    I use Ambleside Online as a resource for good literature and have recently been visiting the Tapestry of Grace website to find additional classic literature.    We also will continue to read an abridged Shakespeare play per week by Charles and Mary Lamb and will also continue to work our way slowly through the unabridged Pilgrim’s Progress.   The girls will be reading books on their own during rest time and free time and having just finished the Harry Potter series, we’re starting the Chronicles of Narnia.  {we’ve never read them all in order.}   The Narnia series will be our leisure read-aloud which we tend to read while having breakfast, after lunch, and at bedtime.

The importance of literature and in particular reading aloud to children has been recently reinforced again.   In my prep for the writing course, I’ve heard Andrew Pudewa say several times that the single most important thing we can do for our kids is read aloud to them and to continue doing so long after they are old enough to read to themselves.     I hope to continue our habit of spending 2-3 hours a day reading various books and passages aloud.

9.  Languages

We are hoping and praying that we’ll have our wonderful Latin/Spanish tutor again this year, Mrs. Harms.   We used Latin for Children towards the end of the school year and will continue to do so.

10.  Fine Arts

The girls take about 7 hours of ballet instruction each week and will again be taking piano lessons.  We will be studying Chopin and Handel  in music history and Leonardo daVinci, Michealangelo and Rembrandt in art history.

11.  Spelling

We’ve been using Spelling Workout but I’m not sure it’s the right program for us.  I’ve been looking into Spelling Zoo and All About Spelling.  I think we need something more auditory.  For now, we’ll finish up our Spelling Workout books and try recording the words on a tape recorder and using that audio recording to help us practice the words.  Any thoughts?

Whew!  Now if we get through all that, it’ll be nothing short of a miracle.

Wish us luck, we start tomorrow!

If you homeschool and would like to share your curriculum resources or would like to find out what others are using, visit the Heart of the Matter blog hop or Angie at Bring the Rain.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 duchess August 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

We’re starting tomorrow, as well. We’re trying something completely different this year with our 7th grader – Abeka Academy & I’m praying it does the trick. He’s not a self-motivated learner. If I could hold classes on the baseball field every day maybe he’d like it better. Our daughter is 4th grade as well – that is a fun age. Hope everything goes well for y’all tomorrow & throughout this academic year.

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2 Ami D August 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Your quote ” I want to be in charge of the books.” made me chuckle because I can be the same way. The tech side of me wants badly to embrace a kindle or nook, but unless and until they come with that brand new book smell, I think I am sticking with real books.

I also fall into the “not math minded” category. I do recall in one of my algebra classes having to write a paper on someone’s real life use of math, which did help to put it into perspective for me- you don’t have to love math, but you do need to know how to use is as a tool. This may help your girls too to make math less about formulas and more tangible.

Hope ya’ll have a great first day of school!

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3 lolobye5 August 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm

I am so glad you posted this, I think I ask you awhile ago but maybe I meant to :). This will be both of my daughter-I-L’s first year homeschooling and I was wondering what curriculum you use. Have a great time tomorrow and I pray that you will have a blessed & fun school year.

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4 Tara August 8, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Edie! I’m so excited to read what you are doing this year with your girls.

You will LOVE IEW….I did it last year with my oldest and will do it again this year. Last year, we focused on The Ancients which went along with our Story of the World..and this year we are focusing on the Medieval time pd which will correlate perfectly with our Story of the World.

You would also LOVE Essentials of the English Language for Grammar…I know you use Rod and Staff…and they are wonderful, but EEL is beyond anything I’ve EVER experienced. I can finally say that I know more about the English language than I ever have before….

I read A Thomas Jefferson Education and LOVED it. You’ll be happy to know that I’m in a book club with some other homeschool moms and we’re reading something to spur us on in our homeschooling one month (like Thomas Jefferson or A Well Trained Mind or The Core…) and then we’re reading a Classic the next month!
Have I said how much I LOVE homeschooling? I L.O.V.E. homeschooling…learning is for a lifetime!!!
praying for a wonderful year for you and the girls…

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5 Melanie August 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Sounds divine Edie! Of course it’s late winter here for us and so we are half way through this years curriculum choices. Maybe that’s why I loved reading this post so much – you reminded me to stay enthusiastic and keep on being inspired! :) We are also using IEW for the first time this year and my 4 older children are loving it! Other things we have in common- Lamb’s tales from Shakespeare (my 13 yr old loves this and has begun reading the unabridged plays on her own) SOTW (I LOVE this!) Spanish lessons ( we use Rosetta Stone) Rod and Staff grammar books, and OF COURSE a love of books!! Must say I’m inspired by your memory work….will be off to follow that link soon. We’ve enjoyed memorising poetry this year but I could do with some fresh ideas!

Thanks for sharing! Melanie x

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6 Patti Brown August 9, 2010 at 12:15 am

Hi Edie…have you ever heard of Precept Bible Study….I Completed a two year study of the Torah and it was fabulous. They do offer children’s studies too and they have boot camp for teens during th summer at the home office in Chattanooga….just thought you might want to check it out. Have a great school year…Patti B.

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7 Jessica @ These Are The Days August 9, 2010 at 1:12 am

Sounds good, very similar to our choices. I liked that Rod & Staff book but unfortunately Jaxon didn’t (but it’s probably my fault) I will try it with Kade and do a better job this time around. I loved having the Math 5/4 Dive CD but Jaxon still gave me a run for my money with math that year. Stinker!! I haven’t got around to posting my pics yet…I’ll try and get on it. Good luck, we were scheduled to start tomorrow too but my boys are still in Utah until Wed so we are already behind schedule. HA! :) Have a fabulous first week. Luvs.

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8 Kathleen Jaeger August 9, 2010 at 6:13 am

Hi! I have recently found your blog (don’t remember how, thought) and enjoy your pictures and your thoughts & have even made one of your recipes (the blueberry coffee cake & can’t wait to make the mocha chocolate cake). Your list of curriculum inspired me to list what I am doing — although it is a much looser plan than yours at the moment. I can so relate to the love of books and not wanting to part any!!

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9 Kathleen Jaeger August 9, 2010 at 6:14 am

Oh, I forgot to mention that I linked to this post on my blog about my curriculum choices & liked the links you gave to the other homeschoolers!

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10 Southern Gal August 9, 2010 at 11:52 am

I, too, am a book lover and can’t bear to part with a book. Which is why I try to avoid book sales, library sales, etc. My house it to the point of overflow.

I have the The Seven Laws of Teaching. Thanks for the reminder that I need to read it. It’s been a while.

We have some of the same curriculum choices although I do use Sonlight. I have to figure out spelling, too. All About Spelling comes highly recommended by a few friends in my homeschool group. We have to do something. My boys have not been natural born spellers like my daughter. It’s a tough subject to teach.

Thanks for sharing.

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11 Meagan August 10, 2010 at 2:09 am

Hello! Love your blog! I was very curious as to what resources you use in determining your memory work for the year…I love what you have picked! Thanks so much.

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12 Sandy Toe August 10, 2010 at 2:10 am

When I read this post…I almost want to homeschool :)-

We are in a unique situation…my kids go to a true classical school. Every parent is required to read the Well Trained Mind upon “entry” acceptance. It truly is an amazing method…amazing!

Sandy Toe

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13 Melinda August 10, 2010 at 2:33 am

This will be my first year of homeschooling, and I’m looking forward to it! I am enjoying the classical style of teaching, and started reading The Well Trained Mind. We are using The Story of The World, and Apologia science as well, and I am so excited about being able to share this with my children!
This being our first year, I have decided to wait till September to start, and try a year round style of schooling. I may be using your blog as a source of information! Thank you for sharing your experience!

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14 Leslie Cude August 10, 2010 at 2:35 am

I have been reading your blog for a while and your writing on homeschooling was a great encouragment to me last year when I was struggling with my first grade son in public school in Birmingham. By all accounts he was doing well but he was bored, unchallenged, and his sweet, inquisitive nature was changing before my eyes. I knew we had to do something different and I am so appreciative of mothers like you who share their stories and encourage strangers! We have just started homeschooling this year and both of my boys (7 &3) are loving it! Thanks for sharing your curriculum choices, it’s so helpful to read what others are doing!
Leslie

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15 Ellen August 10, 2010 at 3:51 am

Yes! I’ve been waiting for you post the “homeschool update”. To me, it’s like the starting flag on a Nascar race. I started Sequential Spelling with my 4th grade girl today. No boring spelling lists or workbooks. We do all the work together on a dry erase board. It’s really more of a game to her, and she loves the interaction with me. Check it out if you haven’t yet. For grammar, we are going to try Winston. Less intense, more interaction. Looking forward to making this journey in homeschooling with you.

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16 Becky August 10, 2010 at 4:30 am

I just finished classically homeschooling my youngest this past summer (finished high school). Personally, we both found Saxon math boring…even with teh DIVE cds! We had better luck with Math-U-See. My youngest still dislikes math, but at least he understood it with the Math-U-See program. Something to think about as you journey on the homeschool path.

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17 Trina@JoyAndContentment August 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Last week, I was looking into of Story of the World and stumbled on SWB’s youtube page. I haven’t made it through all the videos yet, but what I did see, I soaked right up! I can see why you find her so inspiring! We’re starting the Apologia Biology this year (Zoology 1) and can’t wait!

Thanks for sharing your list!

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18 kristen August 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm

hi Edie! Thank you for this post! My kids are just a pinch younger than yours, so I am always looking ahead. Your year sounds amazing! I know that you’re probably (extra) busy now that your school year has started, but would you consider posting on your daily schedule? I would love to read how you structure your school day!

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19 Sophia Bunn August 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm

My sister gave me your blog to visit and I have to say that I see so much of myself in you. I have been laughing as I look at your curriculum choices and your desire to do them all and love of books because it is so like me.
We use all of the above, except this year we are doing a co-op that requires Beautiful Feet for history for the K-4 graders and Sonlight History of Us for the 5-8. I used Spelling Workout for a few years and liked it but…. Then I found Sequential Spelling and the kids took off in spelling. It takes about 20 minutes for me to test all 3 kids, but it is worth it. We are also adding Apologia’s Worldview this year. Latin–we have done it for the past two years, but I am still not sold on it.
I love the quote–I am going to try to inspire more this year, but it will take every ounce of strength I have and daily prayer.
Have a wonderful fantastic schoolyear.
Blessings,
Sophia

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20 jess@studio3z August 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Can you see me bowing to you right now?? Because I AM. Good gracious woman!!! You have sooooo put me to shame. I need to whip my butt into shape…thanks for the inspiration. P.S. A little tidbit: When posting a link, select “make link open in new window” so people are not redirected from you page when they click. ;) Much love to you and the girls!

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21 Angela August 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I just wanted to thank you for posting the peacehillpress video link. I had no idea those were out there. It’s nice to see them at work. I like it equally when you post videos of your girls’ memory work and photos of them doing history projects. My girls get a lot from watching them recite things they are learning (or will learn).

I like when people say when they recognize a program isn’t working for them and switch things up. I find the best program for ME (that I like to use) and then make the kids adapt (if they need to). I also get attached and don’t want to change even if there may be something better out there. Part of it is the stress of decision making. I like to hear about things others do because it helps reinforce in my mind the decisions I’ve made about products I use.

I use all PeaceHillPress products, Saxon, Spelling Workout, Zaner-bloser handwriting, Robinson Curriculum (for lit and vocab), Power-glide French, and Prufrock Press differentiated curriculum for science materials.

Oh and I like the tidbit Jess gave you about opening a new window on a link. That would make going back to reading your post so much easier.

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22 Penny Lane August 11, 2010 at 3:41 am

excited to read about your homeschool year! Your love for teaching your daughters has really made me appreciate homeschooling and I love to hear about what the girls are learning and memorizing!

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23 Kristi August 11, 2010 at 4:28 am

Love this post Edie! Not sure if I ever updated but Johnny will be attending the private school (smmmmaallllll k-8th grade and only 50 kids!) And Kris will be attending the same school but in the “homeschool program” he will attend 2 or 3 (haven’t decided yet) days and then be homeschooled the other days. Might start out with 2 and work up to 3. We will see!

I stayed up wayyyyyyyy too late last night reading every.single.one. of your “faith” posts. Some I had read before but I was really looking for your story of becoming Lutheran. Would you please post it?!?! Or you can email me too, wink wink!
I have to tell you that you REALLY opened my eyes to the “I” versus “Him” in contemporary worship. I am going to be truthful, growing up Catholic I DO miss the liturgy and order of service. It was hard at first to concentrate on the sermons (as a child) and that is what drew me to the non-denominational church we started attending.
I love hearing your point of view because you weren’t brought up in the “catholic” faith (and by catholic I mean the mass which I understand is used by Episcopalian, Lutheran and Catholics?). A friend of mine is the same as you, grew up in Baptist then more a more evangelical church and is now a DEVOUT Catholic. I find it oohhhhhh so interesting.
So I will quit gabbing, but would LOVE to hear your story. And will quit blog stalkin’ for now! ;)
xoxo

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24 Kristi August 11, 2010 at 4:33 am

ps- I have a million books too, they are SO HARD TO PART WITH!!! I got rid of some, but have already warned my sweet hubby that I am NOT getting rid of anymore of them and we will be moving them in a few months :)

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25 Kristy August 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I wanted to make sure to say, thank you! Your homeschool posts are always so encouraging, but the links in some of your posts really helped me out with some tough decisions. We’re traveling gypsies, at the moment, and I needed something a little bit different for this term. (Read: didn’t know how I was going to lug around all the books we needed for school.:) ) But, between Ambleside online texts and some wisely chosen Well Trained Mind books, I couldn’t be more excited about our little traveling school! So, thank you! Our good God provided for this little family through you. :)

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26 Chavala August 12, 2010 at 1:49 am

I want to see kitchen pics!!!

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27 denice August 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

You are such an encouragement to me. People keep telling me that blogging is the modern version of staring at your bellybutton and then being prideful enough to share what you found. WRONG! Thank you for this blog. I finaaly have one of my own but can’t quite figure out some of the details. When I do, I’ll send you a link cuz I reference you in it a couple of time! Thanks again Edie!
Denice

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28 Ashley Hill August 17, 2010 at 2:42 am

I’d love to know how it’s going with IEW. I’m considering ordering it for my 3rd-ish grader. Do you like it?

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29 Sara October 30, 2011 at 2:16 am

I want you to know Edie, how much you have INSPIRED me on the homeschooling and homemaking front!  I have a graduate level credential in Education from a Lutheran College, but it took your blog to point me in the right direction of homeschooling.  Because of you I was introduced to and read TWO of the TJEd books, and am now delving into Charlotte Mason.  I had an amazing Holy Spirit guided moment one morning and Nester’s blog led me to your blog.  From there, I realized how much I had yearned to homeschool and provide my children an individualized, Christian education.  Thank you, Edie, you are a kindred spirit!
Sara, mother of 3

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