Our Curriculum

We are still loving learning with Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason's methods.  This year we will be in 3rd grade, 2nd grade, and kindergarten.  If you are interested in learning more about the living books approach to homeschooling, visit Ambleside Online.  They also have a free, complete curriculum based as closely as possible on Charlotte Mason's original ideas.


Hailey will be in third grade this year.  She will be studying the Renaissance and Reformation up to the revolutionary war.  Her geography will follow the travels of Marco Polo through Asia, mapping and learning as we go.  For science we will be exploring earth science, animals, and insects, along with nature study every week.

Hailey is loving our math.  We are using Life of Fred as a guide, and adding fun puzzles, mental math, and other delightful reinforcements as we find them.  For the first time ever she likes math!

For reading, Hailey is working on transitioning from learning to read, to reading to learn.  This is tough for any child, but because of the harder books in Ambleside Online, it takes longer with this curriculum.  Children aren't expected to be reading all of their own books until fourth or fifth grade, and even then Shakespeare and Plutarch are still read aloud to them.  Yes, they start both of these in fourth grade.

Here are some of the delightful books we will be exploring this year:



Caiden is going to be in second grade this year.  He will be learning all about knights, crusades, and castles as he goes through the Middle Ages.  He will follow the travels of two unlikely heroes, a cottonwood tree and a carved ivory seagull for a literature-based geography study.  For science he will be learning about all of the mammals of North America, along with our nature study excursions.  

Caiden is learning advance addition and subtraction, as well as working on memorizing all those facts.  He is enjoying Life of Fred and the other fun things that I find for him to do, although he still hates writing in both math and language arts. 

For reading, Caiden is working through the second half of our reading program, Funnix.  He is past the phonics lessons and now is reading real stories and learning about advanced sound combinations and spellings.  

This is a sampling of Caiden's second grade books: 


Abby will be starting kindergarten.  Her first official-unofficial year of school.  Because she doesn't have to do school this year, but desperately wants to, all plans are subject to change.  Abby will be learning about some of the great stories and legends from around the world as an introduction to history.  She will be hearing about some little girls from other cultures for geography, as well as finding their countries on a map.  We will be using several different living picture books to learn some new things about science, although the biggest part of her learning will be done hands-on, exploring nature.  

Abby will be doing some beginning logic puzzles and critical thinking games for an introduction to math.  Life skills such as counting, baking, and building will also help her get ready for first grade.  

Because she knows almost all of her letters and sounds, Abby will start doing some fun word-building games  and learning sight words.  She won't be learning to read, but will be getting all ready to learn to read!  When she is ready, we will start her reading program.  

All of Abby's lessons and stories are optional, as kindergarten is not supposed to be a scheduled, structured learning environment. Next year, because of her later birthday, she will either go on to her first year of Ambleside Online, or she will do a second year of kindergarten like the children in the Netherlands do!

Here are some of Abby's books for this year:

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All of the children will continue to enjoy our family activities together.  We do artist and composer study every morning, and listen to poetry for each age.  We also practice our Spanish and our memory work together.  Every week we work on piano lessons, drawing, nature study, and learn more about our composer.  We also watch educational movies together and work on our timelines and maps.  Yes, Mom does this too.  You should never stop learning!  

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