Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fourth Grade Booklist 2011-2012

Since I am nosy interested in other homeschoolers plans and booklists, I thought I'd go ahead and share mine. I hope all you find it interesting/useful.

  • Teaching Textbooks 4 (and moving on to 5 sometime next semester) This program took the fight out of math for us, which was great last year.
  • Life of Fred: Apples (While my oldest has used Life of Fred for a few years, this is the first year that there is a new set of books for younger kids. We're going to begin at the beginning, because a little fun review never hurts.)

Language Arts
  • Michael Clay Thompson's Island series for grammar, vocabulary, poetry, and some writing
  • Writing With Ease 3 I was very happy with this program last year and love the downloadable .pdf workbooks where all the lessons are planned out. Although one can also buy The Complete Writer book as a guide and choose your own lessons, which is cheaper, but not simpler.
  • Spelling Workout D
  • Various literature related to history, good books as well as some reading comprehension based on the Father Brown Reader and questions.


History & Religion


She'll use this for the first semester. In the second, I want to get into more specifics of where things are, but I haven't decided how to teach that yet.

Art & Music
  • I had planned on just using our collection of art books to do a little art history, but then I found this site and this site, which I may well use instead.

How will all this fit together? We'll also do circle time in the morning, which I have yet to map out for next year and here's a link to my first quarter lesson plans.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sixth Grade Booklist 2011-2012

Since I am nosy interested in other homeschoolers plans and booklists, I thought I'd go ahead and share mine. I hope all you find it interesting/useful.


Language Arts
  • Michael Clay Thompson's Voyage series for grammar, vocabulary, poetry, and some writing (We used the Town level last year, and it was the first year that my oldest truly loved grammar. And he wrote some good poetry too.)
  • WriteShop (We haven't tried this one before, but so far I like the looks of it, once I figured out how it worked.)


History & Religion
  • It uses a lot of different books (probably too many, but we'll see how it goes). The main spine for my sixth grader will be A Light to the Nations.

This may be too easy for him, but since we did take a year off from Latin and since my brain can only handle scheduling one Latin class right now, he's going to be doing with his sisters. If it is way too easy, we'll either reconsider next semester or he can teach it for me.

"Mom, why'd you get a book to teach us how to argue?" As if they needed any help...

He'll use this for the first semester. In the second, I want to get into more specifics of where things are, but I haven't decided how to teach that yet.

Art & Music

How will all this fit together? We'll also do circle time in the morning, which I have yet to map out for next year and here's a link to my almost completed first quarter lesson plans (I haven't yet scheduled in logic, since the book arrived just today).

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Takes in July


Yesterday morning, my newly minted three year old came down stairs and announced that she wanted to learn to use the potty. I hate potty-training, but I'll be happy to only have one child in diapers -- and she is three -- so I jumped on that. Though two pairs of wet underwear immediately after sitting with her on the potty for long stretches made me doubt myself.  So I did what any lazy brilliant mother of many would do -- offered to pay my 8 year old $5 if she takes her sister to the potty for me. I'm getting off cheap, and we've actually started making progress, because the 8 year old is far bossier than I am.

In the midst of pneumonia, potty training and the such like (I just love that Southernism), I've been in full school planning mode. First I decided to write my own history plans, which took over a month. Then I started planning the first quarter's schedule for the oldest, which took weeks. Yesterday, I started the schedule for my 4th grader and was done in hours. Does that mean when I get to the 2nd grader and preschoolers, the timing will drop to minutes and seconds? Some how I doubt it. I'll be posting lesson schedules for this year, as they develop.

It was so helpful to me to have them last year. We stayed on track, even when we got off schedule, and since I typed the schedule, rescheduling wasn't all that daunting a task.


Speaking of which, look in the links above for the name we finally decided on for our homeschool. The children are fine with St. Bede, but they disagree that they are wayward.  We have wanted to pick a saint for our school name for a while now, and nothing quite seemed to fit, until we finally remembered St. Bede. We are very fond of all things English. We are very fond of St. Benedict (and St. Bede was a Benedictine). I think he picked us. Now to make a good t-shirt design.


Have I mentioned that he's The World's Worst Baby? He's been walking since he was 11 months old and even before that climbing. He already can climb my very high bed, all chairs, etc. Fortunately for his head, he seems to be pretty decent at climbing down too.  Even the pediatrician noted the wicked gleam in his eye as he grinned at her.  And everyone thought my 4 year old was the wild one.
From early in the spring

My garden is terrible this year. It looks beautiful. My husband built lovely raised beds from our scrap lumber and has mulched everything well. But nothing is growing well. My tomatoes are doing terribly. The okra is growing, but not producing like usual. I got not a single zucchini before the squash borers killed the plants. It's been a frustrating year, and now it's so hot I don't even feel like tending to such recalcitrant plants.

When it is so hot outside or when your kids are really sick, I have been very glad to have Netflix. I'm very annoyed that they are raising their rates so dramatically, but it's been such a good thing to have at times -- and we aren't big TV watchers around here.  That said, my kids love Inspector Gadget cartoons, Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, and, of course, The Addams Family tv show -- so they always have something they actually can agree on watching, when I let them have video time.

A good friend of mine started a new blog about her preparations for a home atrium. So nifty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Better Things Ahead

My oldest daughter is home from the hospital. Her lungs are sounding much clearer and she's full of her usual energy.  Actually, by the time I got to see her in the hospital on Friday, I could already tell she was feeling much better.  We went for a walk around the hospital and she posed for the picture above with dancing statues. Other than the hospital bracelet on one wrist and the IV heplock on their other, you'd never have known she was sick. She told the nurse that she'd taken a vote and that, "the disease lost." Although coughing a lot at that point, her snarkiness was back and I knew she was recovering.

All those prayers certainly helped, as well as the albuterol, oxygen and antibiotics they filled her up with.

As for the rest of the crew -- my oldest never got sick, my middle daughter got pneumonia as well, but not as bad, and the other three all got fevers but it didn't attack their lungs.

In the midst of all that, the radiator on my husband's car blew and our air conditioning went out, but everything is fixed now. We certainly got a big dose of misery all at once, but it is nice to be out from under the cloud for a few days and with the hope that the sun will shine for a while.

Two bright spots -- birthdays for my two youngest, who are now three and one!  I say it every year, but where does the time go?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Missing My Girl

I'm a pretty hands-on Mom, most of the time. I'm here with my kids all day long. I take them places and see that stuff that needs doing gets done. I teach them. I feed them. I take care of them when they are sick.  I try to anyway.

These last several weeks have been a struggle, because I haven't been able to do much other than dose child after child. Hardly anyone is hungry. No one has energy for more than watching TV. Life has slowed way down and not in the pleasant, old-fashioned way.

But things are on the mend. Five of my children are not feverish, do not have sore throats, and aren't coughing either. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter is not in that number. She's the child of 105 degree fevers and a cough that has had me worrying a lot. Today I took her in for a recheck of her lungs, and all was not well. We went for a chest x-ray, and all was not well. They checked her oxygen levels, and all was not well. They did a breathing treatment and checked her oxygen again, and all was not well.

She's in the hospital. I'm here at home. I know she'll be fine. Her dad is just as capable as I am to watch her in the hospital, but it pains me not to be there. It seems wrong not to be. What kind of mother am I? But my other children need me too. I tried several times to get out the door to be there with her, but something always seemed to stop me -- even with two friends in the house to watch the other kids and allowing me to go one little thing after another came up. Then I discovered the air-conditioning upstairs had come to a complete halt, and as I called and waited for the repairman, I had a feeling that the hospital was not where I was needed most.

My little girl is at the hospital, and I'm not there, but she's in good hands.  I want to hold on to her, watch her take easier breaths and get better, but not tonight. Tonight, I pray at home, but her father and her Father are watching over her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

In the House of Pestilience

The good news:
Today is my youngest daughter's third birthday. She's adorable, and not currently feverish. The oldest isn't yet sick and is very helpful. We have a good pediatrician. We have a car to get us to the doctor. We have insurance (crummy insurance, but insurance). We have wonderful friends; one baked a birthday cake and another brought us dinner.
The bad news:

My oldest daughter is still (8 days and counting) highly feverish. She has pneumonia and, based on the fact that the doctor heard both crackles and wheezing, may have asthma as well.

My middle daughter, who started it all, developed a new high fever yesterday. She and my middle son, who has been feverish since Sunday, are complaining that it hurts to eat or swallow anything. I think I might see white spots in the back of their throats, so I'm thinking strep.

My baby son also is feverish, and we noticed on Sunday night that one of his ears smelled as though something had died in it. He has a burst ear drum. He also woke up last night at 11:45 and nursed all night long.

Now I'm waiting for the pediatrician to reopen after lunch, so I can call about those throats.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I'm not planning on killing the old blog, though appearances might suggest otherwise. It's simply that I have not one, but two children with pneumonia at the moment -- and the second child, being prone to one-upmanship, is running a fever of over 104 every time the ibuprofen wears off. We were trying to finish up our school year (done, finally!). And I am busy writing my own Medieval history plans for 3 kids, which is pretty much taking up any unused brain cells. Add to this an almost 1 year old who walks and climbs, and you have a recipe for little time to blog.
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