Homeschooling Curriculum::5th Grade

by Edie Wadsworth on January 20, 2012


I’ve been meaning to do this post since September. A lot of you have asked about our curriculum and though it hasn’t changed drastically since the beginning, I do tweak it every year in a effort to find what best suits my girls and their learning styles and our classical education goals.
This is our fourth year at home,  learning together. It has gotten progressively easier every year, partly because I’m more confident about what we’re doing but mostly because my girls are older and easy to teach. It took me FOREVAH to do this post so I sure hope it helps some sweet poor soul who’s trying to figure out this whole homeschooling thing :)

Bible

Lectionary/Small Catechism/Church Festivals

Our church follows the 3 year lectionary and we are currently on Series B.  I print the readings for the year so that we are able to read the next Sunday’s readings at least 2-3 times before church on Sunday.   Since we’ve been doing this, I find that the girls pay more attention to the readings and almost always nudge me to remind me that,  ”Hey, we’ve read that this week.”    We also read about/talk about the church festivals on the day they occur.   St. Lucia day was December 13 and the girls and I made crowns of light and Santa Lucia rolls.   January 18th was the festival of the Confession of St. Peter so we talked about the importance of Peter’s confession for the church.   Issues Etc. is very helpful in this regard because they also follow the church year and have several years of podcasts on the various church festivals.  We talk about the current ‘season’ of the church year (currently Epiphany) and how that season reflects something unique about the life and work of Christ.   We’re also STILL memorizing the Small Catechism.   We take one portion each year or semester and memorize it/talk about it/study it.   We are currently finishing up on the Lord’s Prayer petitions.

We’ve done Old Testament stories twice and New Testament stories twice so I’m thinking of doing church history next year.   I’d love your thoughts on Bible curriculum, especially as your children age and are ready for more ‘meat’.

Memory

Poetry/Scripture/Historical Documents/Lists

I’ve written about my passion for memory work before.  We spend about 30-40 minutes per day on memory work—most of that time on learning new memory. But we also continue to review things we learned in our first 3 years of homeschooling. I know my girls get tired of it sometimes but we have a huge notebook of works we’ve memorized over the past four years and it’s one of the few subjects where there’s instant, tangible evidence that we’re learning great stuff.   We are usually working on 4-5 new pieces at one time along with a comprehensive history timeline that spans the ancient Isrealites through current times.   It has 170 events (corresponding to the Veritas history cards) and sometimes seems daunting.  However, we will repeat it every year and as we get to those topics in history and Bible, the timeline will come alive and be ‘pegs’ on which to  hang more information.    ”The destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, 70 AD”  may not mean that much to them right now.   But when we get to that story in history, it won’t be the first time they’ve heard it and they will understand it better as it relates to the history of the Romans and the Jews.   I LOVE the timeline.  This little video clip will give you a ‘feel’ for the timeline and how it CAN be done, despite the fact that there are lots of dates and people and events.

We try to coordinate our memory work with things we’re studying in history, science, math,  and Bible.   So far this year, we’ve memorized:

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
After the Party
The Cow
A list of the 13 colonies
The Presidents
The States and Capitals
Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Romans 8:18-39
George Washington by Stephen Vincent Benet
Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pater Noster (Lord’s Prayer in Latin)
The World is too Much With Us by William Wordsworth
Introduction to the Declaration of Independence
The Children’s Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Santa Filomena by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
John 1:1-7 in Latin and English
Gettysburg Address
Matthew 5: 1-20
History Timeline

Math

Saxon–We just finished Saxon 5/4 and are starting 6/5.

Literature

The girls spend an hour a day reading their literature books. Books they read so far this year:
Black Beauty
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
The Secret Garden
The Princess and the Goblin
Anne of Green Gables
Peter Pan

to be read:

The Little White Horse
Anne of Avonlea
The Treasure Seekers
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
The Prince and the Pauper

We also read together at night (Little Women) and they listen to audio books during their quiet time (currently, Hunger Games).   We love books.  It’s the center of our curriculum.  During their reading time, they read aloud to me (usually a page or two) and sometimes I read a few pages to them.  We read classical books and I use Ambleside Online along with The Well Trained Mind to furnish us with good book choices and good authors.

Grammar

We’re still using Rod and Staff and I love it.   We do a lot of diagramming and a lot of review.   They’re finally getting the hang of it!!!!   They can predictably find subjects/verbs/direct objects/predicate nouns/predicate adjectives/prepositions/object of prepositions.   The hard work is finally paying off!   I am passionate that my girls (along with their mother) become proficient at Grammar so I very actively teach it.  We don’t do worksheets very often but instead work through most of it on the board together.   I’m pretty sure this is why they like Grammar.   I hope it continues!

Writing

This is our 2nd year to use Andrew Pudewa’s Excellence in Writing. It’s a great, step-wise program for teaching writing and we use his method (keyword outlines) to write one good paragraph a week based on something from our history or science curriculum.  For instance, this week, we studied the Transcontinental Railroad so the girls read a few short paragraphs about the railroad and then made a keyword outline from the reading.   The next day, we use the outline to write a paragraph and then use the next day or so to edit the paragraph and add writing elements such as -ly words, strong verbs, ‘which’ clauses, sentence openers, adjectives, etc.   On Fridays,  I often have the girls give a short oral presentation where they basically recite their paragraph back to me.    By the end of the week, they’ve really learned a few key things about a pertinent topic and they get to practice their oratory skills along with their writing and editing skills.

Latin

This is our first year without Mrs. Susan, our Latin tutor and it’s been a learning experience for all of us.   I’m very committed to my girls’ learning Latin.   I think it’s so valuable for vocabulary building and even for better understanding English grammar.   We use Latin for Children and are almost finished with Primer A.   We take it slow, usually a chapter a week, and then do lots of review.   We memorize prayers and scripture in Latin which helps to reinforce what we’re learning.  I’ve been checking into online Latin classes for the future because I’m not sure I can learn it fast enough to teach them.  I’m glad I’ve ploughed through it this year though because at least they haven’t lost any ground.   I’d LOVE it if my girls were translating famous Latin works by the time they’re in high school.  It’s just a good foundation for language of all types and I don’t see us giving it up anytime soon.  If you do Latin at home, I’d love to know what works well for you!

French

We use Rosetta Stone and the only thing I provide is the computer and the software.   They seem to really like it and  do a  lesson a day whenever we can fit it in around our other work.  It’s very low key but again, I love the exposure to language at an early age.

History

We are still using Story of the World and are on unit four.  I can’t wait to start the repeat next year where we start over again with ancient times.   I’ve used Mystery of History as a supplement and these wonderful books while studying the Civil War.   We often use historical figures as a topic for our writing and our read-alouds.   We chose Little Women as our nighttime read because it’s set during the Civil War and we read a biography on Lincoln during that study as well.   We do history in the afternoons and call it our ‘fun’ school.   We don’t test history but just try to enjoy it.   We discuss what we’ve read and I’ll  occasionally have them narrate it back to me but usually, we just read and discuss.

Science

We’re doing Jeannie Albright’s Human Anatomy this year and have thoroughly enjoyed it.   It’s been a perfect segue for discussing all things ‘body’ with the girls.   They’re at the perfect age for it and usually sit spellbound when the topic gets a little juicy.   We’ve memorized the bones and have used topics such as digestion for larger writing projects.   We also do this in the afternoons and don’t do testing. We really only test Grammar and Math and Spelling at this juncture but we do participate in standardized tests every year so I can see how I’m doing. So far, so good! Enjoy some of our memory work and a little scrapbook of sorts of the girls and their days.

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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angel Eagen January 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I love reading through their reading list.  And wow, that’s a lot of books they’ve ready already this year. Way to go!   My girls are only in kindy this year, but they are at a charter school that teaches Latin and uses the Saxon math curriculum and we love that.

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2 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

angel,
i should have clarified that they don’t read the same books at the same time so that’s a combined list—they haven’t each read each of those.  my younger daughter has read most of them though—she’s a speed reader!
good luck with those girls!!

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3 Anonymous January 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm

This really must have taken forevah!  I appreciate you taking the time to put it all down.  
I have a question about the memorization passages. Do you ever use songs to do this or just learn it by reciting it verbatim?  Any resources you use for those type things?  We have a song for the presidents that my older two learned with the A Beka curriculum.  It’s  the “Peter, Jame and John in the Sailboat” tune.  Ethan seems to do much better when it’s set to music.  I’m looking for one for states and capitals now.  

Alos, do they do any type of keyboarding?

(The last video isn’t working for me.)

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4 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

we used music for the presidents but that’s about it.  i should use music more, i know.  the girls love it when we do!  we did keyboarding last year and then lost our cd in the fire and i haven’t replaced it.  i need to reorder it–they really like it but i can’t remember what it was called.  i’ll have to ask the girls, they probably remember!
much love,
edie :)

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5 Anonymous January 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’d love to know what it was if they remember. We use some free programs on the internet plus Mavis Beacon (which is acting up lately on my computer).

I can see the video now.  I love the spirit of your home, Edie.

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6 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 12:36 pm

that’s it renee—mavis beacon! thank you ma’am, i’ll add it to my amazon list! have a great weekend :)

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7 Michelle Starling January 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

I love to see what other do in regards to homeschool.  We have homeschooled for 13 years, graduated 2, and have 2 left.  My 2 girls have graduated and they were easier and more fun to homeschool.  Boys don’t care for poetry and Anne of Green Gables.  We also have been doing Latin but we use Memoria Press.  The boys do enjoy that.  We use Math-u-see, Apologia for science, and Beautiful Feet for history.  I also really like Ambleside Online. It’s a great resource.  At some point I want to introduce Greek.  As far as Bible, we read through different books of the Bible and memorize scripture.  I also use scripture as copy work.  Sounds like you are doing a great job.  Keep it up. 

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8 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm

michelle,
i’d love to introduce greek too but i feel like my plate is full!  i really like a lot of things from memoria press–we use their handwriting books which are full of Latin phrases etc.  what an accomplishment—to have graduated 2 already!  soldier on my friend :)

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9 Jenica January 21, 2012 at 12:18 am

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  We are just starting the wonderful world of homeschooling this year and I am completely overwhelmed.  I have bookmarked your post for future reference.  My kiddos are much to young for it now (ages 4 and 2) but it won’t be long before I am pouring over your post again! 

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10 Tara January 21, 2012 at 1:11 am

This is our 4th year, too, and I love it.  Those first couple of  years were so hard for me and the kids, but were starting to really enjoy it.  They still grumble…maybe just boys?  But, neither one of them want to learn anywhere else but home. :) That makes mama happy!

We know the entire timeline….and we also continue to go back over it every week of every year.  It is amazing to follow along in History (SOTW) and see them light up when they already know about what we’re reading about on any particular day.

I feel sure that they want fully appreciate their education until they are older.

WE LOVE IEW & EEL.  Have you ever looked at EEL for your grammar?  I use Rod & Staff K-3rd grade and then make the switch for 4th-6th grades.  I can’t say enough great things about the whole program!!!

Loved the videos.  You might be the only person in blogland that sounds as Southern as me.  One day, I’ll brave a video!!

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11 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

is eel the grammar counterpart to iew?  i’ll have to check that out!  
and don’t you feel that you’re just now starting to see the fruit of the classical method? i think it takes a while!
do you go to cc or just use their stuff? i thought you told me  before that y’all actually are enrolled with them?
i’ve thought about it but it’d be an hours’ drive each way so we haven’t done it yet.
i don’t even think i sound southern until i listen to myself—–mercy, it’s bad!!!!!!
xoxo,
edie

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12 Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I am actually going to a CC info meeting next week thanks to Tara who makes it sound so amazing!!!  Im very excited!!!!  Edie, I wanted you to know that it does seem to be info meeting/open house season in the CC communities, so if you are thinking about it, this may be a good way to check it out.  AND if I understand it correctly (which I totally may not…been known to happen a time or two) the CC cycle will be beginning again with Ancients in the fall which would fit perfectly with your history schedule!!!   They do much of what we are already doing at home, so Im interested to see how it all works together!!! Just thought I would pass the info along to you!!!

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13 Tara January 27, 2012 at 3:23 am

I just re-read my comment, and I had at least TWO grammatical errors….Lord, help me. I type as fast as I talk, so mistakes are bound to happen. :) 

We have been part of the CC program for the past three years.  I’m not sure that we’ll always do it, but it was such a great accountability for me starting out with my kids.  I knew that I wanted to classically teach them, but I didn’t know enough to feel confident on my own.  

EEL is the grammar counterpart to IEW….you’d love it.  

You’re so diligent, though, that I feel sure you could teach it to your girls at home if you never choose to enroll in CC.

FYI…..CC will be offering their own version of the timeline cards next year with a song to go with it.  They have added several things to the timeline that are missing from the ones that we are using from Veritas.  Check them out if you are interested. :)

Girl…I NEVER think I sound Southern UNTIL I hear myself.  Your accent is priceless.  Stand tall and be proud. love ya girlie.

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14 Tara January 27, 2012 at 3:23 am

I just re-read my comment, and I had at least TWO grammatical errors….Lord, help me. I type as fast as I talk, so mistakes are bound to happen. :) 

We have been part of the CC program for the past three years.  I’m not sure that we’ll always do it, but it was such a great accountability for me starting out with my kids.  I knew that I wanted to classically teach them, but I didn’t know enough to feel confident on my own.  

EEL is the grammar counterpart to IEW….you’d love it.  

You’re so diligent, though, that I feel sure you could teach it to your girls at home if you never choose to enroll in CC.

FYI…..CC will be offering their own version of the timeline cards next year with a song to go with it.  They have added several things to the timeline that are missing from the ones that we are using from Veritas.  Check them out if you are interested. :)

Girl…I NEVER think I sound Southern UNTIL I hear myself.  Your accent is priceless.  Stand tall and be proud. love ya girlie.

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15 Tara January 21, 2012 at 1:11 am

last video isn’t working, Edie…just wanted to let you know. :)

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16 Kristen January 21, 2012 at 1:21 am

Great reading! As a Lutheran school teacher and musician myself, I’d love to recommend “Sing the Faith” by CPH for your Bible curriculum. It’s a wonderful cd of the entire catechism set to music. It’s very well done! Since I’ve been using it, I’ve watched my third through fifth graders truly learn the catechism by heart. I’ve truly learned it too…and I’m a Pastor’s daughter! :-)

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17 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:56 am

thanks kristen–i’ll put it on my next cph order!!
music makes everything better :)
xo,
edie

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18 Kristen January 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Indeed! I’m glad to be of help. I know how challenging it can be to find good, theological correct resources. What a blessing CPH is, in that regard. And yes, music does indeed make everything better! :-) Blessings to you and the girls as you continue your homeschooling journey. 

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19 paige January 21, 2012 at 2:06 am

oh good gracious…may i come join your homeschool? i feel ever so uneducated uncool & yet completely inspired by those two WIZ kids!!! go edie!

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20 Lizabeth January 21, 2012 at 2:08 am

What a gift you are giving your girls. I am so inspired by the education you are giving your girls and am considering homeschooling my children. My first will be in Kinder this fall. Do you have any suggestions for a classical education for Kinder or know of blogs that will give me insight to a classical education for Kinder?

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21 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

you can probably find some good blogs on ‘heart of the matter online’.  i think a lot of those ladies use classical curriculum.  search for their blog hops that feature curriculum choices and you might find some goodies!  the well trained mind is also a good resource—the book and the website!   thanks for the encouragement!

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22 Anna January 21, 2012 at 2:39 am

Thanks for this post, Edie! I love reading your home school updates! I am home schooling a fifth grade girl this year, as well! Our curriculums are very similar. Excellence in Writing, the Veritas timeline, translation of John1:1-15, Saxon 5/4…. I could go on! Anyways, I love peaking at your book lists, so thank you for listing them! Your girls are just lovely! Keep up the amazing work! =) 

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23 Amyecallahan January 21, 2012 at 3:08 am

Edie,
I love the last video! What is the music playing in the last one? Anxious to check out your science curriculum; I’ve given up on Apologia. I was really excited about it, but I was disappointed with a lot of “their” science if you get my drift. I’m looking for something a little more objective. We are looking into the Rosetta Stone too. Do you have the homeschool version?

Amy Callahan

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24 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

the song is ‘glorious’ from mamuse—that whole cd is fabulous.  nester introduced me to them with her video song and i love them.   the books we use for science are actually a branch of apologia i think?  i have loved them though.   i’m not sure about rosetta stone–i think i have the regular version though?  i’ll see if i can find out!
much love,
edie

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25 Anonymous January 21, 2012 at 3:42 am

This is our second year, my girls are in 4th and 6th grade, but we kind of settle on 5th for grammar and spelling so we can do most things together.  We are watching The Waltons now (old TV show from the 70s) and as we watched tonight I was thinking that maybe I should test them on history and science, but I really want them to relax and just learn for the sake of learning…I like the idea of memorizing things and I think that is something we might add.  I was looking for the Veritas cards or some kind of outline, would you share where you got yours?

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26 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

i will post our timeline as a pdf later today and make it available as a link in the post!  i ordered the veritas history cards from veritas press online but then just typed out my own list from the cards, adding dates and some additional details.
much love and blessings to you and the girls!
xoxo

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27 Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 1:03 am

Thank you, Edie!  That would be great!

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28 Desirae January 21, 2012 at 4:08 am

I am married to a Lutheran Pastor and I have my degree in elementary education from Immanuel Lutheran College.  We  belong to the Church of the Lutheran Confession.  As far as Bible Study, I would highly recommend “Teaching Law and Gospel” by Fisher.  You would LOVE it!  I’ve so enjoyed reading your blog the last year or so.  I’ve had an interesting life, living in 4 different states as a Pastor’s wife.  I am working now to provide Health Insurance for our family, but my husband and I share in homeschooling our 5 child.  We also homeschooled our 4 older children.  Jesus bless you.  

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29 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

so nice to *meet* you desirae and thanks for introducing yourself.  i will definitely check into that book–i don’t think we have it.   i appreciate the encouragement and i’m so impressed that you’re sharing the schooling with your husband!  many blessings to you and your family :)
xoxo,
edie

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30 sarah January 21, 2012 at 4:13 am

Thanks for sharing!  It’s so nice to see what fellow homeschoolers are using.  I also enjoyed the videos and a peek into your day.  With two girls, it makes me look forward to the close relationship they will continue to have as they grow older.  Thanks for taking the time for this post.

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31 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

the 3 of us together is my favorite part!!

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32 Anonymous January 21, 2012 at 4:14 am

You don’t know how happy I was to see this post!!!!  Im so sorry that it took you FOREVAH!!!  My girls are in 5th and 3rd grade and our curriculum is very much like yours, so each year I look so forward to seeing what is happening in your neck of the woods!!!!!  It all looks so wonderful!!!!!  PLEASE post if you find online latin classes.  We are doing Latin For Children as well, but I just cannot keep up.  We are in like Chapter 10 but Im going to have to do something different because I just cannot understand it fast enough!!!!   Thank you so much again for posting!!!!  You are such the homeschooling rock star so you know that we are all over here just waiting to see what is happening over there!!!!  House is beautiful too by the way!!!

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33 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

i know what you mean kellye!  i feel like i start to ‘get’ it in Latin and then my girls correct me for doing something wrong :)
xoxo

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34 Samantha M January 30, 2012 at 5:12 am

We absolutely love love love our Latin through Memoria Press. We use the First Form series. I’m teaching it myself with the help of their very well-written teacher’s guide, but they also have DVD lessons and online classes available.

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35 the farmer's wife January 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

We have almost identical curriculum, but I have a 2nd grader and pre-k (and then there’s the baby).  Anywho,  thank you, thank you, thank you for this most excellent post.  

One question,  you referenced Veritas, but you said you use Story of the World.  Do you just reference the timeline cards from Veritas or have you also looked at their curriculum.  I’m at a crossroads for next year regarding History.  Story of the World or Veritas online or some mixture if that’s possible???  

Any advice?

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36 edie wadsworth January 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

Yes, I only use Veritas for the cards but I’ve been checking into some of their online classes for Latin.  I will probably use SOTW + Mystery of History but I’m still looking around for history too!   Thanks for the encouragement :)

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37 www.lovebeinganonny.com January 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I love how home teaching brings a family together and how they are spending their days with you…the one who knows them. I did not home teach. My three went to a christian school at that age and it worked for us. But, if I could go back and do it over…………………………….

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38 Veronica Hill January 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Wow! It is so fun to read about all the different things you and your girls are doing. My jaw literally dropped open when I saw the list of things they have memorized this year. I taught 4th grade for a few years at a private school and my many students STRUGGLED to memorize 1 Bible verse per month! My husband and I would like to homeschool our kids (we do not have any kids yet..) and this post is definitely going to be book marked for future reference :) Thanks so much for taking the time to write down all this valuable information! 

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39 Mimi January 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for sharing all of this, Edie! Your girls are adorable. You must have such fun with them! Your plan is lovely and you’ve given me some good ideas. I appreciate it! We have been attempting to memorize the VP timeline (and some other memory work) as well. I am surprised how much my boys enjoy it. What do you do for spelling? Which program from IEW do you have. I’ve been eyeing that, but haven’t fully wrapped my head around it yet. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

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40 Mimi January 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for sharing all of this, Edie! Your girls are adorable. You must have such fun with them! Your plan is lovely and you’ve given me some good ideas. I appreciate it! We have been attempting to memorize the VP timeline (and some other memory work) as well. I am surprised how much my boys enjoy it. What do you do for spelling? Which program from IEW do you have. I’ve been eyeing that, but haven’t fully wrapped my head around it yet. Thanks, and have a great weekend!

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41 Megandtheboys. Blogspot.com January 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Hey Edie! Thanks for teaching me how to comment ;) LOVE your curriculum. My son goes to a classical core knowledge charter school where since kindergarten he’s been learning economics and Latin. Love it. It seems so dreamy to have two precious girls home to linger with and read and teach. Enjoy it :) xoxo meaghan

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42 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

i am so blessed to spend this time with these girls and i’m trying to enjoy every minute!
thanks so much meg!  so glad you’ve found a great path to education too :)
xoxo

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43 Polishkid22 January 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi Eddie,
I’m a frequent “secret” reader.  My name is Izabela and I just love your blog and spirit.  Although my daughter is only 2.5 years-old, I have been thinking a lot about home-schooling, and this post is just great.  Also, your daughters are adorable :) I do have a question…where did you get that version of the Anne of Green Gables?  The cover melts my heart every time I see it.  Although I am 30 years-old, Anne will forever be my favorite :)

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44 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

They are Puffin Classics with cover design by Coralie Bickford-Smith and can be purchased on Amazon!  They are wonderful and perfect in every way :)
xo

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45 sara's art house January 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Edie! I loved this post. Such an encouragement- and so good to see what other 5th graders are doing. Love your literature list as well as your memory work list- I need to make a copy of those- great stuff :)

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46 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

hugs and thanks to you sara!
xoxo

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47 tiffany kraght January 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm

oh edie, you are such an inspiration.  really.  thank you for all the work you did to put together this post.  we haven’t done any memorization work, but seeing your girls was so awesome.  i’m going to have to look into the veritas cards.  i’ve not heard of them before.  we also are on volume 4 of story of the world.  we love it too!

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48 Ruth Emond January 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

Edie- I love this post. Everything you do for homeschooling is an inspiration. I am only homeschooling my son now. Our daughter graduated and is now in college for nursing. I miss her at home. There are so many things I want to do with our son before he graduates and Latin is on our list. He is in ninth grade now. But time goes too fast.
Hugs to you,
Ruth

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49 Marie January 22, 2012 at 2:14 am

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this, Edie! We use a lot of the same things, but we need to kick up our memorization efforts. Also, we’ve been reading through history and outlining/summarizing/plotting on a timeline as recommended in The Well-Trained Mind. I’m afraid the rigid structure has sucked some of the fun out of history for my 5th and 8th graders. I’m so glad you mentioned Mystery of History! I checked into it, and it looks like a fantastic addition to our history study. I love all the extra project ideas with each lesson. Sometimes my brain is too drained to be creative with supplemental learning!
Quick question…do you have your girls write reports on the books they’re reading? I know classical education places a strong emphasis on writing, but I’m trying to find the right balance for my boys. Thanks so much for sharing a peek into your school! ;)

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50 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

We don’t usually write book reports but we do talk about each chapter and then usually discuss the prominent themes from the books.   I’ve been thinking  that soon we should start official book reports.  I kinda dread it—hope it’s not a kill-joy!
Thanks for sharing Marie!
xo,
edie

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51 Samantha M January 30, 2012 at 5:01 am

I think you can write about/in response to what you’re reading, still keeping it interesting and not a kill-joy. Actually, I think it is essential to. An example a friend shared the other day–they were reading the Narnia book with the creation account in it. So they wrote a paper comparing/contrasting the Narnia creation account with the Genesis creation account(s). That sort of writing is more interesting and hopefully less of a kill-joy than the typical book report. We do IEW too and I think there are many ways to respond to books using the IEW units. I’m planning to get the Teaching the Classics videos for further ideas in this vein. 

I loved peeking into your homeschool. We have transitioned into a classical approach over the past two years, but I haven’t gotten to a point with memory work that I’m satisfied. I loved seeing what y’all are doing in this area! I want to get those Veritas cards or the new CC ones that are coming out and do the timeline. We already do Latin recitation that goes with that curriculum. I need to look at our catechism and possibly add that on. I’d love to know what your other sources for memory work are. Is your John 1 Latin/English translation from a particular source?  Love it! Thanks so very much for the inspiration. It helps so much to see what others are doing.

Samantha

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52 Gretchen January 22, 2012 at 2:37 am

Edie, what a lovely gift this post–and your homeschooling–is. I love to see your girls reciting together! They are not only adorable; but they’ll be smart in all the things that matter. I savored every word of this post, and the videos, too.

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53 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I’m was so happy to have time to catch up yesterday.   You don’t know how much we’re going to miss you!  And your encouragement means a lot.  Homeschooling is so wonderful but can be lonely at times, so it’s fun to share it and find kindred spirits who can appreciate it!
Love to your whole sweet family,
xoxo,
edie

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54 Iris January 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

Wow Edie!!!!  You are incredible!  Your passion is incredible! Your love for your family is incredible!  Thanks for this post, really enjoyed reading about this as I wondered about how you home schooled your girls.  xx 

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55 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

And you are so sweet to me!  What a blessing, this encouragement is.   Thank you, thank you :)
xoxo,
edie

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56 Kathy January 22, 2012 at 10:48 am

I am beyond impressed!  It is amazing what those two girls have learned/read and January isn’t even over yet.  What a great thing you are doing!

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57 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

thank you so much kathy!
xoxo

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58 Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I have a 5th and a 6th grader and am a CC tutor. We LOVE CC!  We’d been schooling classically using much of what you do.  I’d looked into CC but the closest one was an hour from us.  So we just kept on with our usual and loving it too.  Then I happened to chat with some CC folks at a convention and loved it all the more and decided maybe the hour was worth it. So I got on their site to find contact info and low and behold there were two communities now super close to us and I then had to choose…..This year we’re part of a new group 6 min from our house.  It’s growing by leaps and bounds faster and faster.  I’m amazed at how many CC groups there are around us this year compared to 2 years ago.  I highly recommend it though!  It’s so much fun!!  My kids will pop out of bed on those mornings so excited to go and spend that time with their friends.  They’ve little realization or care that is educational.  ha ha!!  Love all your curriculum Edie!! GREAT stuff!!  

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59 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I ordered their memory work stuff and have been using it some this year—I do love it but I’m not sure about driving an hour each way.  We’ll probably look into it again though!   I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.  THanks so much for sharing :)
xo,
edie

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60 Anonymous January 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm

“It took me FOREVAH to do this post so I sure hope it helps some sweet
poor soul who’s trying to figure out this whole homeschooling thing “  Oh Edie, what a Godsend you are.  My goal is to start homeschooling this year and today I decided I would sit down and start researching.  To be honest, I’m slightly terrified that I won’t be able to do it, that I don’t possess the ability to teach my own children or command their attention or to find a way to balance their instruction with my own life and responsibilities.  This post has left me inspired and while I’m relatively certain I won’t be able to hold a candle to you, I am so excited to try.  Thank you dear friend.

P.S.  I just redid my blog design and got a little inspiration from you there as well.  So double thanks!  Will I see you this year at Blissdom?

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61 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Oh sweet Ruth—you are such a blessing to me!  And you’ll be teaching the homeschoolers how to do it before long because you are so dedicated to what you do.  I can’t wait to see you in action :)   I love your 365 blog and just bookmarked it!  (I love all your blogs!)  And your design is booteeful!  I don’t think I’m gonna make it to Blissdom and I will sooo miss seeing you.   
Much love,
xoxo,
edie

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62 Amanda January 23, 2012 at 1:20 am

Wow!  What a wonderful and well rounded education you are providing for your girls.  I teach 5th grade, and how I would love to transport my 25 children to your home for the day.  I am such a advocate for public education, but it seems our country has gotten of course.  I try my hardest to provide a creative and engaging classroom for my students.  You are doing a fabulous job cultivating young minds it seems, and what a blessing you are to your daughters and the others that will benefit from their knowledge.  If you ever need an idea for some fifth grade activities you can peek into our classroom at http://whitakerclass.blogspot.com.  It seems you have this down, but just in case!  Thanks for the inspiration!

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63 edie wadsworth January 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm

How wonderful Amanda!  And thank you for the sweet words of encouragement—such a blessing coming from a teacher!  I can’t wait to check out your blog and thanks for the link!  Much love to you and those 5th graders :)
xoxo

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64 Laura January 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

Inspiring, Edie! I’m looking forward to downloading the PDF. (P.S. I think my second grader was inspired by your girls too.)

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65 Kerry January 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Edie, 
Thank you so much for this post! I have so enjoyed your blog and this post is SO encouraging and helpful. I homeschool my fifth grade boy and my 1st grade girl. I really want to implement your memorization ideas. They are fabulous. We love homeschooling and I am always looking for ways to improve and grow. Thank you!!! I am going to show my kids these videos for some inspiration!
Sincerely 
Kerry

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66 Kerri Galluzzo January 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Edie, I love this post! You are on my blog’s blogroll, frugalandvintage, but I don’t often leave comments for you. You are truly an amazing and RICH  woman.  You are filled with grace and have so much to offer to so many of us and for that I am truly BLESSED. I know  I have commented before that it was through your loss (of your home) that I found your blog because so many others posted about it and for that I am so grateful.  I just ordered The Privilege of Being a Woman and I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail! I also have been searching for  a bible study in my area and have asked other bloggers how they found theirs. I am still searching, however, I found Women of the Bible today in a local thrift store and I know that is a sign from God that I am on the right track.
Thank you my friend for all that you do!

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67 Sarah Harris January 24, 2012 at 2:02 am

This is great! I loved watching the videos. We plan to classically homeschool our children, but have a while to figure it out since my boys are almost 3 and 14 months! (And I’ve talked to enough homeschool parents to know that you never really figure it out–love that freedom to change!) Your daughters are adorable and I love their “desk”! Please tell me where that scarf came from. It is beautiful!

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68 Lori B. January 24, 2012 at 4:06 am

Edie – thanks so much for this! My 5th, 3rd and kindergartner are doing some of this, but I need to up my game! We’ve been using Treasury of Daily Prayer and memorizing the small catechism for Bible, but I’m not sure TDP is working for us. The readings are really long, and my kids eyes’ start to glaze over. I’m thinking about going to a story format instead. What Did you use for Old and New Testament? I know it came from CPH and I know I saw it somewhere, but I can’t find it on the blog.

As for Latin, we are using Visual Latin when I work it in. I really need to be more diligent about it. It is a video curriculum that has three ~ 10 min videos per lesson and worksheets to go along with it. In a good week, we do a lesson per week and review. The instructor has a quirky sense of humor that cracks us all up. The first 6 lessons can be downloaded for free if you want to check it out. There’s a Facebook page and website. He also offers online classes throughout the year and a Latin boot camp in the summer in Nashville.

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69 RHome410 January 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

I’ve homeschooled for 17 years and I don’t think we’ve done this much yet!  ;-)  You bowl me over.  Think I’ll go hide now. –Really, though,  just a different approach, but I’m in awe.

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70 jen January 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Thank you so, so much for this well-timed post.  I know you said you wanted to get it out sooner, but this was perfect for where we are at.  Thank you for sharing what is working for you!  We do several of the same things as you and love them as well.  I am looking to change a few things, and this was just the little idea boost I needed!
Blessings,
jen

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71 Terrylynnjerry January 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Edie, when you said you supplemented with Mystery of History and “these wonderful books” (in the History paragraph),  I wasn’t sure to what you were referring when you mentioned “these wonderful books.”  Did you mean some books associated with MofH, or something altogether different?  Since I have never personally used MofH, I didn’t know if they had a suggested/included book list, or if there was some other source you were using to find great books.  I use several different resources to find great literature, but I’m always on the lookout for more.  :)  Thanks!

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72 edie wadsworth January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I meant to link to a series of books we’ve been using for the Civil War called “A History of the U.S.” by Hakim.  They have been a great addition since SOTW only had a chapter or two on the war.   Hope that helps!
xo,
edie

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73 Terrylynnjerry January 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Oh, thanks so much! (I actually did think that was supposed to be a link, but I didn’t want to sound presumptuous!)  Thanks again for the response.  I’ll definitely check those out.  We aren’t to American History yet, but I don’t want to wait until the last minute to gather our book list.  It always seems like I’m flying by the seat of my pants — trying to change that!  :(

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74 Glenda Childers January 25, 2012 at 11:57 pm

While my girls are grown … I still love hearing about homeschool curriculum. So fun.

Fondly,
Glenda

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75 Mary January 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I love that you make them memorize…. that’s awesome.   What do you think about adding.. “I hear America Singing”  Walt Whitman  it’s one of my favorites and one that talks about such a different time in America.. but also (my interpretation) reminds us to take the time to listen and look at the things around us. 

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76 edie wadsworth January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I love it Mary, thanks for introducing me!  We may just have to add it to the (very long) list :)
xoxo

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77 Julie January 27, 2012 at 1:40 am

You are pretty sneaky as I’m sure lots of readers, me included, will be wanting to come to your defense about your post today. Sorry I had to find a way to write. I admire your courage. You keep doing what you do. It is your blog and this is what blogging is all about. We don’t always have to agree, we are human. We do have to respect. We choose to come here and read what you write. If someone doesn’t like it, they are not being forced to read your blog. Am I right?? You keep writing exactly what you feel, what you believe! 
ps… you can delete this after you read it as it has nothing to do with homeschooling, and God bless you +: )

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78 Elizabeth Highsmith January 27, 2012 at 3:26 am

i am really hoping that i’ve been out of school for so long that I’ve forgotten the context of words like “this year” apply to the school year that started back in August or what have you and that “this year” does not indubitably apply to “this year” the past twenty days of it. cause if those sweet wee things memorized all of that in january i’m going to go put the tv and com’puter on the curb and go check myself into the library, permanently. law, ya’ll is going to be smarter n butter n biscuits-you is learning them babies good!

Big Hug!!!!

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79 Gretchen January 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

This post was such an encouragement.  This is the time of year that I tend to get, um… lazy for lack of a better word.  (grimace) Your post was such a boost for me!  I’m ready to make school exciting again!  Hugs!!!

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80 {darlene} January 31, 2012 at 2:04 am

loved these videos, and seeing you all LIVING the thing! loved hearing that Latin. What precious darlin’s you got there. Miss you!

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81 Kristi February 3, 2012 at 3:56 am

LOVED reading this Edie!  Thank you for taking the time to post all the details!!  We are homeschooling 6th grade next year and I am a little intimidated, but I know we can do it!  We’ve done it before and decided after public 5th grade (this year) that homeschooling is what they need (and I want!)   I’m not sure which math program I’m going to use yet.   I’m intrigued that you do the standardized tests! Although I could maybe see why because you are testing what they know, not taking 2 months to TEACH the test and then give it …. :) 
   I have watched my son Johnny go from his nurturing environment at his VERY small private school (with a homeschool program, however they fired the director and went into a completely different direction with the school this year, hence why we didn’t go back) to public school where he seems distracted, rushed and so unsure of himself.  Very hard to watch :(   He’s doing ok and we are letting them both finish the year together but I’m looking very forward to having them home with me next year.  Our biggest obstacle is our 3 yr old daughter!! :)
   I am currently teaching the Small Catechism at home as well.  They love and thrive on the repetition and love learing it that way.  My children say the same thing about the liturgical service as well!  I thought for sure they would say the opposite (after leaving a non-denominational church), but boy was I wrong!   They are making their First Communion in 2 weeks, we are all thrilled! :)
blessings my friend! So glad I stopped by! :)Kristi

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82 Kritt17 February 3, 2012 at 3:58 am

*learning*  I’m the typo queen!  Type wayyyy to fast when I’m excited :)

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83 Anonymous February 7, 2012 at 2:33 am

Loved this post Edie! Can you share a little more about your memory notebook? I want to incorporate Memory work into our day but it seems to never get done. Thanks, Jacquelin

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84 Stacy February 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

The video at the end is precious!

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85 Beverly February 25, 2012 at 10:52 am

As a public school educator and advocate, I’d like to congratulate you on the depth of your curriculum.  I would also like to make a suggestion for you to consider when it comes to teaching writing.  These are resources which a plethora of teachers I have come into contact with have found supportive and effective.  Some of the inspirational writing go-to folks I have implemented are books from Ralph Fletcher like Live Writing and his suggestions for writer’s notebooks in Breathing In Breathing Out.  I also suggest you look into works from folks like Aimee Buckner’s Notebook Know-How, Jeff Anderson’s Mechanically Inclined, and most any of Kelly Gallagher’s works.  What I really like about these folks is that they work to embed the grammar and mechanics into a student’s creative writing which makes studying something that isn’t always ‘fun’ feel more important because it becomes personal.  I am passionate about reading and writing and love it when I see somebody else who wants to share this sort of passion with our future!

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86 kristen June 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm

hi sweet edie!

i wondered if you might be able to give a little more info about your history timeline? thank you thank you!

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87 kristen June 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I thought that maybe I should explain my comment a little more! :) Can you share your resource, i.e. did you compile it yourself, or is there a copy for sale somewhere?

thanks!

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88 Stacie Webb-Keller August 7, 2012 at 1:11 am

INSPIRED!!!!

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89 Yvonne Rinehart August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Have you ever had that feeling of serendipitous grace? A virtual kindred spirit discovered only because of He who superintends all encounters has today led me to your blog and now my heart is so full of joy it is racing to write to you.
Click by click, here i am, in Middle Tennessee, surrounded by three large boxes full of the very curriculum, or books mentioned in your Homeschooling blog. Everything about your blog spot jived from the start, but it was several minutes before i realized that the thread stitching together my interests with yours was the beauty of teaching at home.
I too am a very flawed mother. I am the very blessed mother of six children, their ages are all over the map of my life, beginning at the ripe age of 25 till the time i was 43, God saw fit to allow me to know his grace in blessing us with children who are now 28-10 years old. One son, who is the oldest, had the misfortune of bearing the weight of this mother’s frailty and ineptness at what comes so naturally for many mommas. He was followed by five sisters. Three girls are now here at home on our “farm” in Columbia, another daughter, an opera-singer/student, is on a home sabbatical, after contracting mono while at the University of Alabama last year. I am so glad she is here, home for another moment in what i am sure will feel like forever to her.
I will continue my clicking and following, but as you manage this wonderful spot, i had to stop and swap “howdies,” and give thanks for this sweet visit.
yvonne

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90 Sarah October 6, 2012 at 1:55 am

Can I pretty please know more about how you do memory work? Specifically, what’s in those handy-dandy binders? How do you cycle through review? Do you play games? Sing songs? Am I using enough question marks??? :)

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91 kristen October 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Yes, please, Edie! I second what Sarah asked! :)

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92 Heather November 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

We are in our second year of homeschooling our 6th, 3rd, and 1st graders. Thank you for sharing your curriculum. It’s always nice to see some similarities and to believe for a moment that you are on the right track. Blessings on this year!

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93 Christi {Jealous Hands} December 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

We are learning history chronologically, too. My question about is: if I am already teaching a particular history period (we’re learning Creation to Greeks this year) how would that work? If we memorized the whole timeline, is that beneficial or detrimental – how would I go about expanding on the topics that are outside of the period of time I’m teaching?

I am fascinated by the memorization aspect and understand the Classical model & the “pegs” aspect. Just wondering how it would all work together.

And, how do you decide your memorization pieces for each period?

Sorry for rambling. I really appreciate any help you can give!

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94 Cheryl May 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Well, I read your plan for your girls and so much of it seemed familiar. I, too, am a fan of having a “memory book” with the various areas to memorize. Some of ours are Bible, Geography (map of Mexico for us is in addition to their curr), Art (we used Dover Art stickers randomly placed on card stock for Art Bingo–cheap!) Poetry (haven’t done much), etc.

And I also love the History timeline and the CC foundations materials. We find them very easy to use.

Here’s my thing, I have 4 kids, 4, 6, 8. 10. And I feel like this ‘plan’ of classically teaching my kids is leading me to burnout. But I don’t want to go to just workbooks with everyone doing their own thing. Do you have any advice for me?

What we are doing:
D10: Michael Clay Thompson LA (Town series, Caesar’s English)
Mammoth math Gr. 4
Memory Work CC Cycle 1 (EOY review)
IEW Writing fell by the wayside (after I had a surgery in November)

S 8: FLL 2
MMath Gr 2
CC Cycle 1 EOY review)
Reading (Basic Phonics and Read aloud)

D (6): FLL 1
MMath Gr 1
Reading(Basic Phonics and Read aloud)

So, here’s my question. What happens when mamma can’t keep up and feels burned out? IE. I have a dining room table full of math papers that I am sifting thru feeling guilty about… we letting up on school in one week. That will bring a break. But I need a plan going into next year so that I don’t burn out early. Any thoughts?

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97 Veronica August 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Hi. I just decided to home school my 5th grader. I do mean literally just decided yesterday. He always has hated school. Although he is quite bright, he has always struggled with staying organized and gets behind with things. I was to this last school a few times and the days were just packed to the gills with stuff. They literally ahd trouble getting their books and papers ready. Anyway, I am freaked out about this. I don’t know where to start. How did you decide on the curicculum you used? What about subject covered? I don’t wnat to do this wrong but i feel overwhelmed. Did you use a comprehensive program or pick and choose different systems? Finally, what mat program did you go with? I can’t afford to mess ths up as my husband is already sooo against homeschooling. Can you help me out? Thanks, Veronica

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98 kristen August 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm

hi Veronica, I just saw your comment on this post. If Edie doesn’t get back to you – you are welcome to email me and I could share what I know as far as homeschooling stuff goes. This will be our 8th year homeschooling, and I’ve got a 5th grader coming up this fall, too. klpeirce at yahoo

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100 Kellie February 10, 2014 at 9:26 am

Is the Rosetta Stone a worthwhile purchase for homeschoolers? I am considering it for my boys, but the cost keeps me from purchasing. :)

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102 Leah July 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

very helpful! i found your site searching for suggestions for passage suggestions for memorization for my fifth grader. I think I’ll check out Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. Thanks!

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