Hitting the Books

Lake TahoeWe are in our second piecemeal week due to Labor Day and Dad and Mom taking an anniversary trip  and things are going fairly well.  Recently I came across a suggestion to ease into the school year and wondered why that never dawned on me.  Well, this year it happened because of circumstances and I like it!

Last year we were in a co-op and although we loved the social aspect it was not a good fit for our family.  This year we are back to what we know and love.  Because of my health struggles (read about that here) we are clearing clutter and focusing on living books.  Here is a basic explanation of the subject we are covering.


candyBasic economics is where we are starting math this year.  Twins are currently reading “Whatever Happened to Penny Candy” and loving it!  They have asked to read ahead a couple times.  We are also watching the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University DVD’s.  They like them also, but Dad and Mom not so much.  His info is good, but his personality is a little condescending for us.  After Penny Candy we will move into Life of Fred.  This curriculum I love and the twins not so much.  They would rather skip the story part, which I think is worth reading.  😉  We’ll see how it goes this year.


The time period we are studying this year is Renaissance and Reformation and are almost Renaissance Faireexclusively using living books.  What do I mean by that?  Authors who are passionate about their subject write great books that stand the test of time.  Think classics, but broader.  Right now they are reading “The Beggars Bible” and once again, loving it!  We got the kindle edition so there is no waiting on the other person. 😉  For a framework we are using “Truthquest History“.  Obviously we’re using the Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration series.  It covers history from an event/famous person perspective.


Literature we all do together.  Right now we are listening to “Animal Farm“. I know I read this in high school, but don’t remember much of it.  They are also required to read a time period related historical fiction at night.  These came from the library.  One of them choose “Daughter of the Red Queen” and one “Nine Days a Queen”.  I provided choices and they picked the book they wanted to read.


electronic screensBecause character is a life long pursuit we made it a subject this year.  Honestly I thought this would be the one they would moan and groan about.  They are reading “For the Children’s Sake” and narrating to me what they read.  Surprisingly there has been no moaning, but there has been several “when I have kids” discussions.  Twice they have told me that their kids will not spend a lot of time on screens…… very interesting!


This was the hardest subject for me to let go of from a textbook mindset.  DNA strandsThis year Biology is the scheduled science class.  I’ve had to get over my fear of leaving gaps, which has been one of my soapboxes in the past!  So we are trying the same living book approach.  Ask me at the end of the year how it went. 😉  We are starting the the book “Biography of a Germ“, which just happens to cover borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria we know as Lyme disease.  Talk about hitting close to home!  After that they will read “Microbe Hunters” and “King Solomon’s Ring” with other book in between.  our plan is to cover Botany, Zoology and Anatomy.  We also bought a microscope, our first after 26 years of homeschooling.  We are using the book “Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments”.

 Nature, Art & Music

Tea setIn keeping with a Charlotte Mason style curriculum we are doing tea time while we read poetry.  This is Not a favorite with one of the girls.  I’m hoping adding tea changes that. We are working valiantly to listen to period music which has been a challenge for the Renaissance period.  Spotify to the rescue! We hope to study one artist and composer per month.

Because we all love wildlife, Nature is easy.  We have bird feeders and houses in the back yard and a hummingbird feeder in the front.  We are composing a notebook on native birds for our area along with sketching them.  After birds we’ll move onto other native wildlife.  We are using “Nature Study Handbook” as a guide.bird in tree

That’s the core of what we do as far as schooly subjects.  Add to this bible study, chores and animals and it’s a pretty accurate picture of our day.  This post is by no means a judgment on what everyone should do in their homeschool, it’s merely what we are trying this year.   As always plans are subject to change. 😉

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