2019-2020 School Year Preparation
I always feel a sense of relief and peace when my plans come together for a school year. I'm also reminded of the Bible verse each year: "A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." -Proverbs 16:9
And that's the truth! My homeschool motto of creating an education that is a life, discipline, and atmosphere is summed up in Proverbs 16:9 because it is the Lord that directs our steps...even when that means that something on the schedule might not happen!
Fortunately, the atmosphere of a Charlotte Mason education and the planning that I do love to do has made for some smooth and easy days these past 4 years of homeschooling! I absolutely treasure every day and love this time of year! (Our Ticonderoga pencils just arrived in the mail today!)Maybe the homeschool mom's Proverbs 16:9 looks like this:
As tradition continues, this is my planning post of the year when I review all of our amazing books and planning for 4th grade and 2nd grade! Last year was our first year combining subjects for two kids in school! You can see the post here: 2018-2019 School year. (And, if you'd like to keep going back, here's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017. I didn't blog Christian's K year because it was very light with some fun co-op opportunities, field trips, and I was still teaching Music with Mommie once a week!)
OUR HUMONGOUS SPREADSHEET
The first link I'll give is to a copy of our spreadsheet. I shared about this system last year and love how it has worked for our family. I also have a few videos on my YouTube channel on how I use this through the year. I'm not changing it up since it is a method that works well, but I am adding in more notebooks for Christian because he is now considered Form 2B. That means, he'll have more writing and language art assignments and more reading on his own.
I have bought the Delectable Education Lesson Planning Templates and enjoy how they group lessons into the three categories of "Knowledge of God" "Knowledge of Man" and "Knowledge of the Universe." They also have a wonderful history rotation that we follow!
Knowledge of God
This is also a lifestyle as we live by example through prayer, Christian living, and family worship. I love that we memorize scripture together in our Morning Basket and memorize a hymn each month. To download our scripture recitation and hymns, click here and here! We also will have:
Daily Bible Readings in Mark and Judges (with commentary discussions that I'll lead after I pre-read from Smyth's commentary.)
Christiana's Journey from Pilgrim's Progress
Missionary Biographies from YWAM
Knowledge of Man
I have to be honest that this is my favorite group of subjects! History and the Liberal Arts are my jam! As I mentioned before, A Delectable Education has amazing history advice for the homeschool mom and I have found their suggested rotation to be very helpful! We've loved our history readings the past several years! This year we will be focusing on the Revolutionary War in American History. Christian will be doing some citizenship readings that include some Roman history, and both of the kids and I will be adding in some Chinese history as we learn the language! Here are the books we will be using for history:
People and Great Deeds (I talk about it in this post) - we have several great biography tales
Hero Tales from History
America First (will use as a supplement to the timeline along with First Lessons in American History both by Lawton Evans)
The Story of the 13 Colonies (our main spine for the year)
Christian will also have readings from early Britain history (book by RJ Unstead) as well as a Tennessee history curriculum I made for a tutorial we will have at our house. I'm also really excited about combining both our American history timeline with BraveWriter. Christian will read Carry On Mr. Bowditch and complete the Arrow program for the book as part of his language arts. George Washington's World will also be a free read for him with 9 pages read a week. Eva Mae's specific American History book is America Begins by Daglidesh and the biographies by D'Aularie, Leif the Lucky, and Buffalo Bill. I'm also adding in the biography of Joan of Arc since Christian read it in 2nd grade! (Eva Mae loves knowing that she is doing what he did when he was the same age!)
In our "Knowledge of Man" we also have our amazing artists and composers! I have listed the composers we will be studying here: (Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Mozart) and our artists here: (Kahlo, Howe, Turner.) I have written so much on the topic of Composer Study and I'm really excited to have a product that you can order today to help you in your homeschool! Check it out at http://composerstudy.home.blog. Folk songs are also a delight in our homeschool! You can download our lyric sheets for this year here: and we also have our solfege lessons along with piano lessons! Here are my free Solfa lessons online! If you need a piano teacher and want to be on my waiting list let me know!
Literature is a huge section within our homeschool and the spreadsheet is pretty self explanatory of what we will be reading as "school" and also some free reads will be added throughout the year. I love the book "The Read-Aloud Family" by Sarah McKenzie and plan to use audio books and our afternoons to immerse in beautiful literature! We also have some really fun book parties planned for this year with our Wild + Free group! We also have a poem to memorize a month that you can download our choices for the year here: We also will be doing more poetry tea time together! It's so much fun!
Since Christian is now Form 2, he will be doing more written narrations and also a lesson in grammar each week. His work in learning Chinese has really helped with grammar! I love his teacher and that he's learning about English rules along with the Chinese rules of grammar!!! (If you're local and want a great teacher, let me know and I will send his Chinese teacher's contact details to you! He is an American that is fluent in Chinese and lived/studied in China for years where he met his sweet wife! She teaches the advanced students!)
Our handicrafts were hit or miss last year. I really want the kids to be self sufficient on the sewing machine and will be doing some more focused work with sewing patterns this year with both of them! (Matching Christmas PJs!!!) I also want to do more physical exercises and will look for a daily HIIT that we can do at home while finding some fun dance opportunities with friends! I really want to teach more folk dances and miss that from the public school classroom! I think I'll implement that in our Tuesday music/art tutorial!
Knowledge of the Universe
I feel like I kind of lied saying that Knowledge of Man is my jam, because nature study is just SO COOL!!! I love getting out with the kids and learning more about God's world as we hike and explore and READ! I have so many amazing reference books for kids that we love to read. Golden Guides, Handbook of Nature Study, Exploring Nature with Children, How&Why Wonderbooks, and more that feed that desire to learn more about our world! Specifically for our "school," we will be studying lizards and amphibians in the first term, insects in the second term, and fish in the third term. However, we're also doing monthly nature events where each month will be a specialized lesson on our Tennessee heritage species! Read about it here!
We'll also have readings on electricity, magnetism, and weather. Christian will be focusing on a series of science books by Friedhoffer (one per term) and he also has a subscription to Action Lab that does amazing physics and other science experiments. I'm also assigning him Secrets of the Woods to read through the year. Eva Mae will still just count our nature readings and lesson events as her science but she will be reading more Burgess literature that has nature themes. They both will also have readings from Parables From Nature - this counts more as literature than it does science. However, lots of connections are made!!!
Our geography will include working with maps during some of our nature hikes as well as studying maps during history readings. We'll have specific geography topics while reading about China, Norway, and Alaska in our book Countries and Their Children. I also found some amazing picture books about cities that I plan to leave out on the coffee table and use them as afternoon free read and interest driven books. Christian will read Pagoo this year to finish out the Holling C. Holling set! Eva Mae will read Tree in the Trail and Seabird. (Geography is usually with Knowledge of Man but I think it falls into both categories as we learn the science of geography!)
Our math will continue to be daily work as we finish the Miquon series and jump into Beast Academy for Christian. I've been so impressed with both the kids and their ability to do mental math. I'm going to make some skip counting songs for the car to keep helping in their quick recall.
I would love to sit down with you if a Charlotte Mason education sounds like something you would like to implement in your home! It's taken me a little each year to feel more confident and less overwhelmed in the planning of our curriculum! I love sharing and am happy to let you come check out the books we have at home to see if you would like to use them for your homeschool! Just let me know!!!
If you would like to download a tri-fold informational pamphlet on Charlotte Mason, click here! I made this for our informational meeting at the end of the school year!
If you are local, don't miss out on hanging with like minded friends at our Kind + Cultivated gatherings! There are several FB groups too that make homeschooling such a wonderful adventure with community! There is so much support and encouragement!
Thanks for reading!!! I would love to read about your homeschool planning and year! Share share share!