August is upon us, which means it is nearly time to begin another school year in our home. I have been in planning prep for a couple of months (I take it slow!) and I'm happy to share our booklists with you here!
How I Plan a New Homeschool Year
My planning process typically follows three movements:
- Pray (you can learn more about that here)
- Make booklists (jot down all my ideas and resources, then heavily edit)
- Put it all together in a rhythm
First, I'll share our booklists. Then, I'll share a loose idea of our rhythm!
My oldest kids are entering the 4th and 1st grades, and my youngest two are 3 years and ten months old.
While each child does their own level of phonics, math, copywork, and logic, most of our subjects are done family style in a loop rotation (more on that later). This fits our family best in this season and we all really enjoy this setup.
My three-year-old will not do any formal preschool work; however, he likes feeling "big" and has asked for his own school work this year. I've picked up A is for Art to go through with him as interest dictates.
My main priority each morning is to snuggle him and read picture books to fill his cup before our school day begins.
Our Homeschool "Curriculum" | The Booklists
***Unless otherwise linked, all books can be found on this Amazon list!***
Like I mentioned, we have family subjects and individual subjects. Only the older two have individual work. These children have different learning styles, so we use different resources for each.
Our Morning Time will consist of The Daily Feast + any memory work (like poetry, Mass parts, and longer dictations for my oldest).
P.S. already using my Daily Feast notepad and it's a game changer for organization!
We will also do our fun read alouds during this time. I don't have a final list yet, but I've shared some definites in the Amazon shop!
We will be using Into the Deep Level Two this year, taking pauses to do the picture studies on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary during Advent, the Luminous + Sorrowful during Lent, and the Glorious during Easter.
We used The Story of the World last year and it was a family favorite all around! We are moving to Volume 2 this year. I use the student guide for extra reading, map work, and projects.
Additionally, I'll be reading one story each week from American Tall Tales so they have a touch point with their national history.
We use the geography prompts in the SOTW above.
I'll also pepper in Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography.
It's a water year for us! I'll be using Among the Pond People in the fall semester and Ocean Anatomy and Watercolor with Me in the spring.
I picked up The Good and the Beautiful's Wind + Waves. We used their Little Hearts and Hands last year and it was a great resource to have on hand for days when I needed extra support (like when a kid was sick or the baby didn't sleep). Excited to have that in my back pocket again this year.
My fave! Well, alongside catechesis and history.
We will ease into the first semester by revisiting A.A. Milne's When We Were Very Young. Aligned with our history studies, we will also read some Norse Myths!
In the second semester, we will read a couple of Shakespeare plays (the kids have loved these—not yet sure if we will revisit old favorites, read new, or a combination of both).
Our main focus this spring semester will be fairy tales. I've snagged some fairy tale picture books from Will Moses, and I have a couple of collections here at home I will pull from. (A note on finding books on fairy tales: be sure they are the original text, not adaptations!)
I have some perfectionistic students (no idea where they got that 😬), so we are working on growth mindset with Mistakes that Worked.
We will also be reading through A Book of Golden Deeds.
In the spring semester, we will revisit Connoisseur Kids. We used it this year and it was a roaring success, so the kids want to go through it again!
Each year, we study two artists. In the fall we will study Van Eyck and use the picture studies from Simply Charlotte Mason.
In the spring, we will deep dive Michelangelo. I'm pumped. We will use SCM's picture studies, along with The Stone Giant, Michelangelo for Kids, Mike Venezia's Michelangelo, and a giant coffee table book of his complete works.
As with the artists, I select two composers to study each year. In the fall, we will study Handel and, in the spring, Paganini.
I'm an Opal Wheeler fan girl, so I just use her books. Mike Venezia has a book on Handel, too, so we will use that as well.
I don't stress about this much yet. My energy is focused more on reading fluency at this stage and, with a toddler and baby, I don't have much overflow to devote to foreign language.
I have Prima Latina and we will use those DVDs each week in "car school" when we drive a small distance to pick up our farm food and dairy.
Our family functions best with a rhythm rather than a strict schedule. But we typically begin around 9 a.m. (this gives us time for personal prayer, breakfast, morning chores, and getting ready).
Typically, we school Monday-Thursday, as Fridays are set aside for errands, Mass, and cleaning.
With that, here are the family subjects we will loop throughout the week:
- Mondays || catechesis, character building, history, nature study, and composer
- Wednesdays || catechesis, character building, history, literature, and nature study
- Thursdays || catechesis, history, literature, and artist/drawing
Like I mentioned, all of this will be tested by actually living it, and we will adjust as needed!
I always enjoy reading other people's homeschool plans, so I hope this has brought you some entertainment and solidarity! God bless your new school year!