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Our 2023-2024 School Lineup | Booklists + Resources

Our 2023-2024 School Lineup | Booklists + Resources

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:

  1. Pray (you can learn more about that here)
  2. Make booklists (jot down all my ideas and resources, then heavily edit)
  3. Put it all together in a rhythm

First, I'll share our booklists. Then, I'll share a loose idea of our rhythm!

The Groundwork...

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.

Family Subjects

Morning Basket

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!

Catechesis

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.

History

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.

Geography

We use the geography prompts in the SOTW above.

I'll also pepper in Charlotte Mason's Elementary Geography.

Nature Study/Science

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.

Literature

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!)

Character Building

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!

Artist

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.

Composer

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.

Language

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.

On Rhythms...

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.

Weekly Loops

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!

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What about Memorization in Catechesis?

What about Memorization in Catechesis?

Memorization in catechesis can be a surprisingly divisive topic. I can understand why.

Some people have childhood scars from being required to recite long prayers in Latin in front of a class, perhaps being physically reprimanded upon a mistake.

Others grew up post-pendulum swing, and were hardly required to memorize anything about the Faith beyond the Hail Mary (and whatever else they needed to pass the multiple choice tests).

The former tend to shun memorization and a question/answer format for learning the Faith because they don’t want their children to suffer the same empty talk and humiliation.

The latter tend to crave the unrelenting presence of Truth that fills one’s brain when memorizing and place highest priority on knowing the details of the doctrine, period.

So what are we to do?

What the Church Teaches about Memorization

The Church, per usual, offers a both/and approach.

"The blossoms—if we may call them that—of faith and piety do not grow in the desert places of a memoryless catechesis" (Catechesi Tredendae 55).

We must memorize. We were made to memorize—even brain science reveals that.

But we aren’t meant to memorize for its own sake.

The Purpose of Memorization 

Memorization is meant to lead to transformation.

What we commit to memory about the Faith should compel us to commit our lives to it.

That’s why, here at Into the Deep, we emphasize meaningful memorization.

We want our kids to memorize Scripture so that, when they face giants throughout their lives, they’ll have an arsenal of the Living Word at the ready for spiritual battle.

We want our kids to memorize doctrine so that their consciences are well-formed and they’re trained to choose the good.

We want our kids to memorize prayers so that, when words fail them, they fall back on the words that were whispered over them as children.

We wants our kids to memorize truths about the Faith so that their brain and heart pathways lead them to the One Who created them.

"What is essential is that texts that are memorized must at the same time be taken in and gradually understood in depth, in order to become a source of Christian life on the personal level and on the community level" (Catechesi Tredendae 55).

Memorization is key and, when done with depth and intention, waters the blooms of devotion.

What has been your experience with memorization in catechesis? How has that colored your approach to memorizing the Faith with your own kids?

 

how to memorize the catholic faith

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What Made Scott Hahn Become Catholic

What Made Scott Hahn Become Catholic

What made Scott Hahn became Catholic?

Two words: the Liturgy.

Of course, there was more to it than that, but in The Lamb's Supper, he reveals why attending his first Catholic Mass was a major step toward communion with Rome.

Scott Hahn walked into that parish as an interested but a slightly critical, casual observer. He left as a convert. Granted, he didn’t immediately drop everything and say “I want to be a Catholic!” But his conversion was largely founded upon his understanding of the biblical roots of the Mass.

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Pray the Rosary as a Family with these Six Tips

Pray the Rosary as a Family with these Six Tips
We have heard about the importance of praying the Rosary, especially as a family. But family life can be chaotic, especially with multiple children. The family Rosary, at least in our house, is not quiet, focused, or at all what I idealize. But the grace is in that. Our efforts to pray a family Rosary are not futile and not without merit.  Continue reading

How to Plan + Present a Catholic Hymn Study

How to Plan + Present a Catholic Hymn Study
“He who sings prays twice,” Saint Augustine once said. Singing—and understanding that which we sing—is vital for a deeper understanding of our own Faith. Sadly, many of today’s young Catholics are not acquainted with hymnals and rarely pull them out during the Mass. For us as parents, we have to opportunity to set an example of participation when it comes to singing. Continue reading

What is The Daily Feast? (And Why It Matters)

What is The Daily Feast? (And Why It Matters)
The Daily Feast is a great way to share prayer time with family. The Daily Feast is a compilation of synthetic prayer and memory work aimed at teaching our children to pray. It is quite literally a “feast” for the mind! The Daily Feast is a system of prayers best incorporated into your morning prayer and/or evenings (or spread throughout both). If encouraged from a young age, this could build to be habitual for your children throughout their lives. This would fit wonderfully into morning time. Before the busy-ness of the day begins, gathering together for prayer and connection is a wonderful day to cultivate connection amongst your family.  Continue reading

Our Favorite Liturgical Living Resources

Our Favorite Liturgical Living Resources
If you want to match the rhythm of your home to the rhythm of the Church year, liturgical living resources make that task much easier. There are many great liturgical living books out there, but how to choose from the masses? I often quip that crafting is not my charism, and liturgical living is a place in which I'm grateful for extra hand-holding. So today, we will share some of our favorite liturgical living resources for you and your family. These books are an absolute treasure trove and should be included not only in your school day, but day-to-day life! Continue reading

The Importance of Sacred Art in Catechesis

The Importance of Sacred Art in Catechesis
Since the beginning of time, art has been employed by all cultures as a means to express themselves. In the history of the Catholic Church, art has always been a contributing factor in catechetical formation. Sacred art expresses some Truth about the Faith in picture form. The Nativity scene, for example, can be described verbally, but when it is captured in a beautiful picture, frozen in one moment for all time, it has a profound impact on the human mind and heart. Continue reading
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