Here’s a sneak peak into our Catholic Charlotte Mason Year 2 – Term 2. We just finished up this term and are began term 3 this past week.
Here’s a recap of Year 2 – Term 2 in our home. You can view our Year 2 – Term 1 here.
We homeschooled over the summer so we are almost finished with our Charlotte Mason Year 2 Term 1, but I thought I would share with you what we have used for this term. We use Ambleside Online with a Catholic twist. I have added and subtracted a few things to make them more fitting to our faith and have really loved the way it has been working for our family. Here’s a peek into our curriculum.
As you probably know, we homeschool year round. So planning and organizing our homeschool for the year, begins around Christmas. This allows me to plan the entire next year and be ready to begin it when we finish the previous year.
Basically, over the Christmas holiday when my hubby is home a bit more and there are more down days, I take a few days to focus on the next year’s schedule. This year we were in the middle of Year One of Ambleside Online and so I was scheduling out my Year Two of Ambleside Online over the break.
We need structure.
Our family works so much better with a set daily structure. In order to make this easier on us all, we continue to do school throughout the summer.
I can’t believe it, we finished our second year of homeschooling last Friday!
The kids and I are ready for a little break and I feel like we accomplished a lot over the last year.
We started the year with lessons of mostly workbook activities. The kids were not loving school time and were getting extremely frustrated with the amount of workbooks we were using. I felt something wasn’t working and so I started rethinking our plan. I had been feeling a call to use Charlotte Mason’s ideas especially the living books more. And after researching, reading and praying, we made the switch to Ambleside Online after Christmas. I used our Christmas break to rework the schedule for Year One so we could fit it into the last 4 months of our year and be able to start Year Two over the summer (slowly) so that we would get to Year Three sometime next year and be caught up at Year four the following year. Fitting Year One into a few months was a lot of work, but the living books were amazing and the kids were always asking for more which was in complete contrast to the previous few months.
Here is a look at what we used in our second year (first/second grade).
Horizons (First Grade – Mister Man, Second Grade – Little Miss) – beginning of the year
Math-U-See – (Beta) – Second half of the year – this change proved to be one of the best decisions I had made. Mister Man was excelling at math and Sunshine was struggling, so I pulled Sunshine back to help her grasp the concepts better and Mister Man kept excelling. A few weeks after the switch, Sunshine started loving math and was excelling as well! I am so very glad I decided to make this switch!
Mystery of History – Volume 2 – This just wasn’t working for us.
Story of the World – Volume 2 – Better but still not what I was looking for.
Burgess Bird Book – Loved this book!!!!
Apologia Exploring Creation – Flying Creatures of the Third Day– This was a great reference for the Burgess Bird Book.
Northeast Study – We went through the states in the Northeast one by one, reading books about each, eating their famous food and locating them on a map.
Paddle to the Sea – We read this and loved it! As we read we mapped Paddle’s journey from Canada, through the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence River eventually to France.
First Language Lessons – (Level 1 – Mister Man, Level 2 – Sunshine)
Copywork (Bible Verse and from readings)
Redwall (AudioBook – from the library)
A Child’s Garden of Verses – Robert Louis Stevenson
When We Were Very Young – A. A. Milne
Now We Are Six – A. A. Milne
Artistic Pursuits – Book One – Review Coming Soon
We are reading a ton around here as usual. Here are the books we’ve been working on this month.
White Fang – We’re still working on this one. Almost finished, but it’s taken a bit to get through. Sunshine is ready to move on to the next read-aloud but Mister Man is still loving it, I am as well.
Parables of Nature – This is a fun morning time book that the kids are enjoying. Anytime we combine nature into a book the kids are excited about it.
Blue Fairy Book – The kids have been enjoying all the fairy tales they thought they knew from Disney and then some fun extras. It’s been a joy to read them the stories they really only knew from the Disney movies. To see them realize the connection and differences has been a lot of fun from my end.
Just So Stories – These are fun stories about how animals became the way they are now. The kids are having fun guessing what the story will be about just from the title. They get excited when they are right or wrong because it’s fun to hear a funny reason why the elephant has a long trunk, for instance. These are fun morning time stories and the kids enjoy hearing them and narrating them.
Tales from Shakespeare – I never thought my kids would enjoy Shakespeare as much as they do. They beg to hear another Shakespeare story. It’s been a lot of fun reading these with them. The characters are easy to confuse so we are using a whiteboard to keep everyone straight but the kids are eating them up! This version has been great because it is an easy to read and understand version of his plays so that later when they really read Shakespeare they will have an understanding of the stories and be less intimidated by his writings.
James Herroit’s Children’s Treasury – These stories are timeless. Sunshine adores this book because it involves animals and the stories are beautifully written and illustrated.
Aesop – This has been a fun addition to our mornings as well. The kids enjoy the short stories and are starting to understand that they are not just a literal story, they can dig a little deeper. It’s fun watching them realize this.
A Child’s Garden of Verses – We just finished this collection of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and we all really enjoyed it. This was our first real attempt at reading poetry daily and the kids and I all loved hearing the poems first thing in the morning.
When We Were Very Young – This collection of poems by A. A. Milne has been a fun morning read and a great way to get our minds working.
Moo Baa La La La – Sandra Boynton may be my favorite author for babies. Her books are simple, catchy and my kids have always loved them. In fact it’s a favorite for Mister Man and Sunshine to read to Sugar Plum as well.
First Words – This is a fun one for the kids to do with Sugar Plum. They have a good time pointing to the pictures and telling Sugar Plum about the images.
Corduroy – One of my very favorite picture books. The story just touches my heart. This has been a fun one to read to Sugar Plum before bed.
Magic Tree House Series – I believe Mister Man is close to finishing all of these, it takes him about an hour to read the whole book and he is loving them.
House at Pooh Corner – He was into the Pooh series this past month, finishing Winnie The Pooh and then completing Return to Pooh Corner. He enjoyed these.
Paddington Bear – Mister Man just started this after finishing both Return to Pooh Corner. He seems to be enjoying this one as well. Paddington always made me smile and he is laughing and smiling along with the book.
Misty Inn Series – This is a child’s version, inspired by Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague. Sunshine picked it at Barnes and Nobles as her book this month and she seems to be enjoying it. She is still working through it but has been telling me all about it as she reads a few chapters.
We are still working through Paddle to the Sea for our Geography and the kids are constantly asking for another chapter. We are learning so much about the Great Lakes and the surrounding areas. These are two reasons I am loving the Charlotte Mason – Ambleside Online curriculum; the books are amazing and spreading them out over a long time, makes the kids want more and more but making them wait really makes them crave more and take in more of what we are learning. This concept never occurred to me until now and I wish it would have sooner.
Benjamin Franklin – We just finished this and the kids loved it. We learned a lot about Ben Franklin and they were already begging for another similar book to read.
We also added in an audio adventure The Dragon and the Raven – this was a great supplement to our King Alfred studies.
In addition to our Bible readings we are also continuing to read Our Island Saints. We are still enjoying this one as well! I’ll be reviewing the audio adventure this week. So look for that soon!
That’s what we have on our bookshelf this month. Most of these will continue for another month or so which has been working really well for us.
What’s on your reading list this month?