School Plans, 2014-5

Several of you have reminded me that I never posted this year’s lesson plans.  Sorry to be tardy.

But hey– this is no pinterest page. Don’t start thinking we’re actually going to get all this done.  At the end of the year, I will share where we ended up isn’t what I planned.

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” –J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister

Here goes:

Daily Subjects


  • Jonah (9th grade) Teaching Textbooks Pre-Calculus
  • Owen (6th grade) Singapore New Elementary Math, Book 1
  • Moriah (5th grade) Singapore Primary Mathematics 5B, 6A
  • Phoebe (1st grade) Singapore Primary Mathematics 1B, 2A


  • Owen/Moriah: Writing Prompts 1x/week, Simply Grammar 1x/week, Copywork 1x, Dictation x1 (this will flow more than this list suggests)
  • Phoebe: Copywork x3, and beginning later in the year Dictation x 1
  • Jonah’s writing will include journaling, essays for his English class (see below), and poetry

Foreign Language     

  • Jonah, Owen & Moriah will do Rosetta Stone Spanish 3-4 days/week and Grammar x 1/week (though I still haven’t found what I want for a grammar supplement)
  • Jonah will continue in Henle Latin and will take the National Latin Exam (year 2) this winter
  • Phoebe will read books in Spanish with me and continue to learn random vocabulary I throw at her
  • I keep saying we’re going to have a weekly Spanish immersion meal, but [because I’m lazy] it never happens. Maybe this year…


  • Owen Game programming 1x/week, scratch 1x/week


  • Moriah Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 1-2x/ week

Learning to Read

  • Phoebe Study Dog (level 2) 1-2x/week, Explode the Code levels 1 1/2 and 2, and daily reading (a page at a time of easy readers)



  • Jonah, Owen & Moriah all will be reading from our history list (late 19th and 20th centuries) and from a selection of other good books I’ve chosen.  I’m shooting for 30 to 90 min/day, depending on the child
  • The older three each read independently in the Bible as well, and Phoebe and I read as many picture books as we can fit in the day (which is fewer than I’d like but more than zero)
  • Read alouds planned include selections from our history list as well as The Mysterious Benedict Society (2 & 3), The Penderwicks (2-4), How to Train Your Dragon (we have a few road trips planned, and the books on CD are so good!), Flora and Ulysses (di Camillo), Number the Stars (Lowry), The Trumpet of the Swan (White), By the Shores of Silver Lake and Little Town on the Prairie (Wilder),

Weekly Subjects


  • Jonah chose Apologia Chemistry (at home) and Physics (at his enrichment school)
  • Owen, Moriah and Phoebe are doing Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics (Young Explorer Series)


  • I have both a selection of high school books and elementary school books (both picture books and chapter books) spanning the 20th century
  • We’ll begin with a review of the 19th century (making timeline figures) and then add to the timeline as we read.  We haven’t done a timeline before, and I’m hoping it helps with retention
  • We will do regular narration to help us with pulling together the threads of history and how they interlock.

High School English

  • Fall: What Makes a Hero?  Jonah will read at his own pace through a selection of books (I don’t in any way expect him to read them all) including The Odyssey (Homer), Jane Eyre (C. Bronte), Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Lansing), Code Name Verity (Wein), The Doomsday Book (Willis), Antigone (Sophocles), Beowulf, To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee), Unbroken (Hillenbrand), Blackout and All Clear (Willis), Amazing Grace (Metaxas).
  • Spring: Revenge v. Mercy Our book list for Spring will include The Tempest (Shakespeare), Les Miserables (Hugo), The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas), Wuthering Heights (E. Bronte), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (A. Bronte), The Iliad (Homer), The Hunger Games (Collins), Cry, the Beloved Country (Paton), Baking Cakes in Kigali (Parkin), and A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens).
  • Most of our “class time” will be in the form of one-on-one discussions (hopefully involving tea) with Sam or me to discuss questions such as [in the fall]  Is a hero born or made?, What about “fatal flaws”?, and How do a hero’s circumstances affect his or her legacy? or What made someone choose Mercy (or revenge)? What were the consequences?  How do we become people who choose mercy? How do we form a society where mercy plays a great role than revenge?  What about justice? 
  • My hope is that we can pull his other readings from history into our discussions.


Picture Study

  • I have all the prints I made last year and didn’t get to because of time, and because other exhibits at the Denver Art Museum guided the limited study we did.
  • Hopefully we’ll get to some of these, as well as jumping in with the DAM’s exhibits.

Nature Study

  • My goals here are few: to get outside every day and to pay attention.
  • If we put anything in our nature journals, it’s a plus.


  • Everyone takes piano lessons.
  • We listen to music.


  • The kids want to do Chopped at home, but they have very few cooking skills
  • So I’ve designed a cooking “class” based on our favorites, in which I teach them knife and stove safety, basic kitchen skills, and two of our favorite breakfasts and dinners.  Once they’ve mastered those, we can talk about Chopped.


  • The younger three joined swim team.  The girls take weekly dance classes. Jonah is riding his bike and beginning to run a little.
  • I’m teaching them Frisbee.  We play soccer and volleyball.  Please say that’s enough.

It’s a lot.  Right now I’m having trouble keeping up with my end of the reading, but Sam’s engagement totally helps.

If you’re looking for more on school planning, here are my thoughts on high school at home and keeping track of lesson plans, how to get school done with toddlers around, and what your preschooler can be doing while your older child is having math tantrums.  Also, our lessons plans year-by-year are always available in the the pages at the top (by year), and these plans will be logged there eventually, too.


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