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These types of posts have been some of the most helpful personally, and to share with friends. By the end of the year, I often forget at least some of the plans I made for our homeschool a year ago. In light of this, I am referencing the post I wrote about the 2021-2022 school year in order to make sure that I cover all the bases I told you about last June!
Greeks & Romans (and Physics)
I sure had a LOT planned for this family subject! In truth, we ended up getting a lot done with The Story of the Romans and Ancient Greece. These were the two titles that seemed the most fitting for what I wanted the kids to learn about, and they are written in the traditional Waldorf main lesson style.
Books I planned that we actually used:
- Ancient Greece, Kovacs (Steiner College Bookstore)
- The Story of the Romans, Guerber
- Caesar’s Gallic War, Coolidge (about to begin this one)
- String, Straight Edge, & Shadow, Diggins (not far into this)
Changes during the year
What I was not expecting, and didn’t really even understand at the beginning of the school year, was that we ended up leaning more into the offerings from Memoria Press. Their classical curriculum contains many many Greek & Roman offerings, which are part of the “classics” branch of study that is included in their approach. (Please note: Memoria Press is a Christian based company, so many of their items are very religious. We do not use any of their curriculum that is patently Christian. There has been some tweaking, such as with Latin, which I’ll get to later. But we have been able to use their curriculum in a more secular way.
What we used from Memoria Press:
Additionally, towards the end of the year, I decided to purchase the Level 4 Language Arts curriculum from Blossom & Root, which includes studies of Greek & Norse Myths.
You can find samples, as well as other info about the Heroes & Myths here.
Description from Blossom & Root:
“Fourth grade language arts has three themes. The first focuses on mythology from around the world, and how our storytelling continues to be inspired by it. It explores many creative expressions of both ancient and modern mythology, from sculpture to literature to film and more! The second theme explores the hero’s journey, in literature and in film. The third theme is focused on stepping into our own voices and honoring our own unique gifts, even in the face of adversity. Fourth grade focuses less on reading instruction than previous years, and more on writing and other forms of personal expression.”
It has been slow going, as I work this with both of my sons, ages 8 & 10, but they really liked the first book about Greek Mythology. I plan to continue working through this with them slowly.
My boys have LOVED the Blossom & Root Wonders of the Physical World, also from the 4th Grade offerings. You can find the samples for that here. Similar to last year, they have especially enjoyed the videos. In case you are not familiar with Blossom & Root, she gives more than 5 different ways to study the individual topics. For example, a basket of library books, a hands on activity, labs, and of course videos. This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. We worked through the Physics & Engineering lessons only. (This curriculum also has 18 human anatomy lessons, which we were not planning to do and did not begin.) We have even done some of the experiments, which are always a big hit around here! While we are not yet finished, this was a big W for us.
Oak Meadow Physical Science— my 8th grader worked through this, and has been loving it. She especially appreciates that many of the examples involve skateboarding, her favorite pasttime. (See below.) I was worried she might be bored by Physics, but she has had a great time doing the labs, and working through her assignments. Definitely recommend.
My 7th grader worked through Focus on Middle School Physics (f/k/a REAL Science 4 Kids) and enjoyed it. She has since been working through their Geology curriculum, her pick. She writes a summary at the end of each section, and looking through her notebook, it has been really neat to see which topics she finds the most interesting. Highly recommend their curriculum. (If you are looking for secular science, please do your own research. This curriculum meets my criteria in selecting secular science, but other people have raised concerns. I have not personally experienced any issues with the kids of critiques that have been made, but other people feel that they are important to point out.)
Moving Beyond the Page age 4-5 – we largely completed this curriculum. My daughter really liked the projects! I made a video about our completed projects and some insights.
She did a whole lot of art! I ended up signing us up for an online art class with Waldorfish called Weekly Art Foundations. All of my kids do it together, and we have really liked it! At the beginning of the year we were doing a lesson each Monday, but with the move our schedule kinda fell apart. I look forward to getting back to it soon, and I definitely plan on signing my kids up for other classes, like this one. They offer many free lessons, if you would like to “try before you buy.” It has been a great relief for me to not have to figure out a plan for art. I merely source the supplies and hit play, and pause, and the kids work at their own ability levels.
Here are some examples of the kids’ work:
She has had little to no interest in academic pursuits since we moved, so she has been doing LOTS of play! (see) We have moved to an area that does not have a nearby library option, but we make it work. We have also gotten into a rhythm of attending park days, when they are held (though sporadic).
I still am completely undecided as to what to do for her Kindergarten. My two front runners are Oak Meadow, Memoria Press (through the charter site), and certain aspects of Bookshark (science & language arts).
What he did as planned (that I haven’t mentioned already)
- Learning Without Tears Grade 2 Student Package Plus
- Spelling Workout B
- G.U.M. Grade 2
- Saxon 2 (as well as extra practice on Khan Academy)
As for history, we ended up scrapping all of our other plans, and going with 180 Days of Social Studies: Grade 2. I was not happy with having this as his main history, but I wasn’t able to find anything that worked well. We did get access to Studies Weekly Online towards the end of the year, and he enjoys doing that. I also got him something similar for Science and Geography. This kid prefers simple & discrete tasks, so workbooks were the way to go. He also did lots of supplementary reading about baseball history, so there’s that. 🙂
The only Brave Writer Dar we made it through was The One and Only Bob. Due to our move, and house reno, this was a rough year for Read Alouds. I am very much looking forward to the release of a level for younger kids this year. We will be watching both of the Brave Writer book announcements.
Song School Latin Book 1 went fairly well, though often neglected. Towards the end of the year he enjoyed making connections with the meaning behind the Latin words for muscle and to write, and their English counterparts.
Lastly, towards the end of the year, he really got back into Art for Kids Hub, on Youtube Kids.
What we actually used (that I haven’t previously mentioned):
This has been very slow going, but it is going well enough. He likes answering the discussion questions, and I type them up for each book, so that he can write his answers. This is way outside of his comfort zone, but I feel like it has really helped with his reading stamina and comprehension. Plus, this is his main history curriculum. I meant to get him a 180 days of Social Studies book for this year, but I apparently forgot.
- Memoria Press States & Capitals — he whipped through this rather quickly due to interest and relative ease due to his age. We will definitely revisit this next year, as he moves on to the next level of Memoria Press’s Geography, which comes with a solid review.
- Saxon Math 5/4 & lots of practice on Khan Academy. Next year I will sign him up for a Math class, since he can use the extra instruction.
- MP Lassie Come-Home Set— still working on this, but going well enough.
- Spelling Workout 2001 Level E Student Edition
- Zaner-Bloser GUM: Grade 5 Student Edition
- Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Grade 5 Student Edition (2012 edition)
- Copywork Lessons From Leaders (he really like this, I will try to find something similar for next year. I am also going to get him, and the other kids, one of these.)
- Song School Latin 2– I think he’s nearly finished with this one!
I also got him a Science workbook, which he liked having as an option, although he found it less than riveting. I liked that he had something to do on the days when we couldn’t get to the Physics together. The MP insects stuff never got opened. Will see if we use that next year.
Build Your Library Year 7: Exploring Your World, A Year of World Geography– she LOVED this. There was a mid year update which threw us for a bit, but we decided to stick with the prior version we had already started. I had an ok time finding most of the books through our local library systems, but once we moved to a library desert, I ended up having to buy the books from either amazon or thrift books, which wasn’t too bad. It was nice being able to buy the one at a time as needed. She finishes this week, and will be on to another thing to bide her time until the new BYL level 8 is released, soon! She keeps telling me that she wants to do “the same thing” next year, so she is definitely a huge fan. Would definitely recommend BYL year 7!
She did end up reading several of the Brave Writer Arrows, but we did not have the funds to purchase the curriculum this year. Next year should be another story.
She also worked on:
She did not like the Anne of Green Gables situation whatsoever. Her older sister ended up taking it over, lol! My 7th Grader is zero into the Memoria Press literature approach so far, although she has liked reading the Famous Men of Greece Book.
She upgraded to Saxon 7/6, in addition to daily practice on Khan Academy. I will be enrolling her in a math class next year as well, to ensure a solid math foundation. (I think she also enjoys the camaraderie of live math instruction classes.)
She zero percent was interested in any Latin, so stuck exclusively to Spanish, first with IXL and now with Duolingo, which she loves! (She has an 11 day streak going, woohoo!)
This child has decided that she would like to attend an Ivy League school, so we made some adjustments (upwards) in light of those goals. To date she is the only one of our kids that has such high aspirations, academically, which is pretty clearly reflected in their individual courses of study. The beauty of homeschooling, amiright?!
She persevered through UC Scout Pre-Algebra Class after having a ridiculous time with their exam proctor, ProctorU. It took hours just to get the exam launched, and she was thoroughly stressed out. I gave her the option of trying a different provider, but she decided to continue through the spring semester, and has had a somewhat smoother time. She will be continuing with them in the fall for Algebra I, and other classes. We largely dropped Saxon 8/7 as it was no longer necessary with the full on math class.
She did not like Lightning Lit, and we figured that out within the first few weeks. I had a feeling it would be daunting, but she also found it boring. So we made a big switch to Memoria Press, and eventually I realized what all of the pieces to their literature program entailed.
She is currently finishing up:
She is also working through:
She read through some of the Brave Writer Boomerangs, but once we got the MP literature, she became overwhelmed with books. Towards the end of the year she started checking out books about skateboarding, and reading a new YA series, so that was a nice change for her.
She also did:
We ended up dropping Worldy Wise as there were some bizarre reading passages. I am going to screen the next level for 9th grade, if there is one, to make sure that the passages are normal.
The biggest change we made was the decision to drop Bookshark’s History of Science and to switch over to Oak Meadow’s Civics! I had a suspicion she might not be so interested in the History I chose, so I gave her the option of making a change after she had done some of the reading. She previously used Oak Meadow in 6th Grade, and like the format of the text, so this was completely her decision. She has really enjoyed the lessons, and is considering taking a course on Law & Society as one of her electives for next year.
You can find my (rather in depth) take on the curriculum here:
(Her use of Oak Meadow this year reminded me of some of the aspects of the curriculum which I really like, so I am considering using more OM for my kids for next year. I will keep you fully posted on that!)
She really liked this, and we will seek something similar out for the future:
This worked out really great, until she got to some sections with extensive religious terms. At first she tried switching over to some Song School Greek, but after that also had some Christian terms, we collaboratively decided that she should just skip over the Christian words and move on, so she did. I think we will likely continue with that approach for next year, with Second Form Latin. She plans to take Russian online as her second language for high school, so she will likely start that her sophomore year.
I think that pretty much sums everything up. If you have any questions about the curriculum we used, or didn’t, please feel free to ask in the comments, or by using the contact box! I hope to write up our plans (which are very much in flux) for next year some time soon. Until then, thanks for reading!
P.S. apologies for typos, I haven’t had time to go through and proof read thoroughly, as of publishing!