Our Curriculum

We currently use a smash-up of Ambleside Online and a classical approach, and do co-op with five other families twice per week.

Our co-op meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings at our house and covers history (I teach this, using Story of the World volume 2), science (Apologia Astronomy), Spanish and art. We also do memory work together – right now we’re memorizing High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., the Our Father in Spanish, our 2 and 3 times tables and the rulers of England (we’re up to Edward the Confessor). During the co-op, our little ones do ‘Super K’ with another mom (who is amazing).

Since we have co-op twice per week in the morning, we do our ‘together’ work on Monday and Wednesday mornings. That leaves afternoons for individual subjects like math, and we stay fairly consistent.

Monday mornings we review our memory work and do Latin, composer study, artist study, poetry and Shakespeare. Wednesday mornings are for memory work, Latin and Spanish and astronomy homework.

In the afternoons we do math (I’m using MEP), language (LLATL), reading (from the Ambleside lists) and copy work. Our copy work varies but is either something we’re memorizing, a poem, a scripture verse or some piece of great literature. I use handwritingworksheets.com.

Besides these things, we are reading aloud two books – Storybook of Science and Adam of the Road. They’re literature but they double as a science and history book. I aim for one chapter per day, which gets us through two chapters per book, per week. I try to get them outside at least once a week for nature study, and we read extra books about our current history topic if we can fit it in.

As for ‘extra-curriculars’, we’re at church four days per week, one kid is in a Christmas play, and we go to the chiropractor three times per week. I know that’s not an activity, but it takes so much time out of our week that other things have been pushed out. Normally they’re involved in some kind of sport, but because of the chiropractor we’re skipping that for now. My oldest is on the kids’ worship team at church and is taking a basic Christianity course. They’ve all taken piano, but that’s been suspended for the present as well.

Up until this year I’ve had a very specific schedule outlining who is doing what at all times. This year it’s much more relaxed. We know what needs to get done and work through it as best we can each day. Most days we start around 8:30 and end sometime between 4 and 5, but I’m the only one working the whole time. While I work with one child, the rest get a break if they’re done with whatever they can do on their own.

They each have chores they’re assigned for the day also. They usually do these either at lunch time or after their school work is done.

Here’s a lineup from a couple weeks ago:

Together:

  • Review memory work
  • Latin lesson 54
  • Storybook of Science chapter 15
  • Adam of the Road chapter 7
  • composer study – listen to a piece by Haydn
  • Shakespeare – finish Twelfth Night (we use Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare)
  • artist study – look at “Boy With a Squirrel” and talk about it (John Singleton Copley)
  • poetry – read a few pages of Favorite Poems Old and New

Sixth grader:

  • MEP Year 5, Lesson 22
  • Read Matthew 27:1-2, 11-31 and narrate
  • Copy 1 John 4:7
  • LLATL (sixth grade book) lesson 7 part 2

Fourth grader:

  • MEP Year 4, Lesson 22
  • Read two chapters of Robinson Crusoe and narrate
  • Copy 1 John 4:7
  • LLATL (fourth grade book) lesson 8 part 1

Third grader:

  • MEP Year 3, Lesson 22
  • Read Pagoo, chapter 4 and Princess and the Goblin chapter 11 with mom and discuss
  • Copy 1 John 4:7
  • LLATL (third grade book) lesson 7 part 2

On Monday and Wednesday mornings my two preschoolers hang out with us, playing and absorbing what they can. They do preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but apart from that they don’t do any formal schooling. We sing songs, read books, explore and play. This is consistent with Charlotte Mason’s ideas about early childhood, and is backed up by recent findings. 

School around here isn’t as organized as I’d like it to be – but with constant interruptions from little ones and a desire to leave room for life’s interruptions, it’s hard to maintain a rigid schedule or atmosphere. For a look at how this particular day went in real time – check this out.

What does your homeschool look like?

Brieana

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