What do you think it is about February that gets the brain thinking ahead toward the next school year? While this post is intended to be a planning ahead details for what we will do in the next school year, at the same time, I suppose, it is also a what’s up from what’s working and what’s not from the current school year. Hmm… or maybe this should be two posts? I guess I will just start typing and see how things work out in the end.
The 2016-2017 school year for us included an advanced seven-year-old book loving third grader and a spirited attention-span of a butterfly fresh kindergartener with not a lick of interest in school. While we started enrolled in a partially online, partially at-home, distance-learning style accredited program – the entire experience was abysmal. Veritas Press, the publisher, has awesome curricula and we will continue to buy from them and their book lists. The one live online class we are doing is phenomenal for my daughter. Also, the two online self-paced courses are fabulous and we wouldn’t hesitate to come back for more year after year. However, as a whole with the changes they added (the day before classes began!) to their Diploma program could not send us and about five (at least!) other families that I know of running for the hills. If you want busy work filled, school-at-home, go for it. But if you want to adapt and work on the level of your child, following rabbit travels and continuing an amazing classical Christian education for your student the Diploma program is not where it’s at, at least not anymore, not with the changes installed in fall 2016.
Don’t get me wrong, as I mentioned, most all of their curricula is amazing, and I will continue to look forward to their catalog and buy some of their materials. Veritas Press is wonderful. Veritas Scholars Academy, does not get my vote. But that’s enough of that…
As of the beginning of February, we dropped our enrollment with VPSA (now VSA) and headed off to an umbrella of HLA (Homelife Academy) to go back to what we really love about schooling. It’s a tough spot, because in a way we are starting over to leave some of the not for us bits behind. While I’m sure I could skip ahead for her in other books, I don’t want to miss the treasures we are discovering along the way. So, can you guess what’s coming? Well Memoria Press for 90% of our curriculum of course!
I am still a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, and every once in a while that brings us a jewel to add in, but for the majority of our studies we are glad to work with the recommendations and published materials from Memoria Press in their Classical Core Curriculum.
For the rest of the Spring 2017, we are looking at continuing Memoria Press Third Grade Moderated (3M) Classical Core Curriculum for The Grammar Stage for my seven-year-old (eight in the end of July) advanced eldest daughter. While we have not given up on Classical Academic Press’ Latin for Children A program (review pending), we are not doing it as fast as we once started. My daughter enjoys it, but gets overwhelmed. LFCA is still our main latin program, but we are slowly following behind there with Memoria Press’ Latina Christiana I (two-year sequence, first year). In math, we have put Saxon 5/4 on hiatus and have returned to Rod & Staff Exploring Arithmetic 3, and my daughter is thriving again. We also throw in a little of Math-U-See Gamma and IXL for practice. We are loosely doing Logic of English Essentials 2ed Volume 1 Level B (use our affiliate link!) for a continued study of Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling. Composition is directed by the newly updated Memoria Press lesson plans featuring English Grammar Recitation and Institute of Excellence in Writing’s (IEW – please use our affiliate link –>) All Things Fun & Fascinating. In cursive, we are catching up from what we did not complete last year in New American Cursive 2, Prima Latina Cursive, and Copybook Cursive 1. I plan to continue her along into NAC3, as soon as she finishes the others. She is also completing Christian Liberty Press’ Adventures in Phonics Level B, and I fully intend for her to continue in Level C when she is complete here.
In Literature, we did spend a good amount of time and delight in the original choices from the Veritas Press Third Grade list, including Charlotte’s Web, Homer Price, Misty of Chincoteague, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter Pan, Grimm Bros. Fairy Tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Stuart Little. Right now, she is working through Memoria Press’ first third grade choice in Farmer Boy. We fully intend to also read the left over VP choices of The Dragon of Lonely Island and The Treasure Seekers, as well as, the entirety of the Narnia books. For the rest of our plans, we are planning to continue with the MP list including A Bear Called Paddington, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and adding The Moffats. In addition to it all, I have her working on reading through the Mensa book list also in random free time. This kid, loves to read. She is just not a big fan of comprehension exercises. As a matter of fact, I have my eye on the new Apologia Readers in Residence program… but it is on the wishlist!! It may be what we need to really get her on board. We are also enjoying the Read Aloud list included in the MP Third Grade plans.
If you want to call it History, we are still working through New Testament, Greece & Rome self-paced online history from Veritas Press and she still loves it. We’re still completing our Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport Ancient Egypt and Activity Pak Old Testament studies, but would love to eventually continue working through their new Greece Project Passport and New Testament Activity Pak as well. Specifically, for Classical and Christian Studies we are slowly working through Memoria Press’ Christian Studies 1, D’Aulaires Greek Myths with the (aff) Audible audiobook. Both of these on a two-year sequence, working currently on year one. In Modern History, Geography, and Science we have really switched it up. She is now enthralled with her new books including Memoria Press’ States and Capitals, Memoria Press Third Grade American Studies Discussion Guide and Readers, and Memoria Press Mammals.
In addition to all this, we’ve started collecting, but not started studying yet the new Little Passports (wonderful affiliate!) Science Expeditions and Little Passports USA Edition. Give the gift of Adventure! She absolutely loves these from what we did the last two years with Early Explorers for 3-5 year olds! She also has quite a few Dover coloring books, especially a Greek set we picked up at the Nashville Parthenon, American History set, and a few Bible and Egyptian ones she is still working on from time to time. We have really enjoyed what we have found in the affordable Dover Publications books, and I’ll definitely be looking to get her sister her own sets in the future.
I have to confess that I am one of those people that labels the spines of our books per level. Preschool, JrK, and all alpha-levels of Simply Classical are purple labels. Kindergarten and Simply Classical 1 are orange labels. First Grade and Simply Classical 2 are pink labels. Second Grade (including elementary Ancient Egypt and Old Testament books) and presumable Simply Classical 3 are red labels. Third Grade (including elementary Ancient Greece and Rome and New Testament books) as well as Australian, Asian, and South American readers are yellow labels. Lastly, so far, Fourth Grade is mostly neon green. However, I’m unsure as to what else may classify here as I doubt we will continue on into Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation as an official study next year. I plan to hold off as guided by the Memoria Press plans until sixth grade. This leaves fourth grade as more of a continuation of third grade (Greek) with additional new literature and more time to complete what we’ve started and the same with fifth (Rome).
Since it is now March, and we only have a toe-hold into Memoria Press Third Grade, I haven’t a clue as to when to expect us to finish these studies. As I mentioned, most of our studies will continue on in the 4M lesson plans as well. But with a new baby expected in May/June, and this delayed re-start… only time will tell.
For AppleBlossom we blissfully worked through Memoria Press Junior Kindergarten at age three, Memoria Press Kindergarten at age four, and then at age five Memoria Press First Grade. Make sure to check back to read all those details and crazy reviews in the archives, and check back in the future to catch everything that I have to say about the overall Memoria Press Second Grade at age six.
As with AppleBlossom, we had started the Princess with the full VSA Diploma curriculum in the fall of 2016. We adore the Veritas Press Phonics Museum and art readers, but everything else we can leave behind. I desperately missed the wonderfully chosen vintage children’s classics and glorious Enrichment from Memoria Press Kindergarten.
Before this year, she has loosely been working in workbooks as planned from Memoria Press Simply Classical A, B, C, and SC1. But she hasn’t had any real interest in school-like activities until very recently. She is a spirited child and is only five-years-old (birthday in August!) so I have not really been willing to push her yet. We plan to finish out the Veritas Press Phonics Museum materials, but for now she has gone back to working in First Start Reading A-D (we may add E, but I haven’t had it in hand yet), Beginning Arithmetic 1 part 1, Simply Classical Copybook 1, and Memoria Press Kindergarten Enrichment (read-aloud, music, art, poetry, history & culture, and science). She is not quite read for the regular Christian Studies and Copybook 1 studies, so she gets Bible stories here there and yonder (lots of Adventures in Odyssey, I might add!) and is working through the more simplistic and better for her Simply Classical Copybook 1. She is also working through Christian Liberty Press’ Adventures in Phonics Level A. When Memoria Press was trying to find more phonics practice in a workbook, I decided on Adventures in Phonics, before they picked Core Skills: Phonics. So while I have never seen nor worked with the Core Skills series, I do adore Adventures in Phonics.
Well… that was a bit wordy. I suppose I will come back another day with a post discussing Planning Ahead (2017-2018) and won’t that be exciting… With a new baby an preschooler in addition!