Homeschooling 2012-2013

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's an exciting time of year as we plan for the coming homeschool year.  I love it - new beginnings, new plans, new opportunities.

I spent several months researching a general curriculum that would work within our Charlotte Mason/Unit Study learning structure.  I like to use a base for learning and then springboard from there.  I've found boxed curriculums do not work for our family or our method, so I tend to piece together several resources and programs.

This year we are using Galloping the Globe as our main curriculum.  GTG takes us on a journey to every continent on the globe.  Within each continent, we study various countries, their people, cultures, landscapes, climates, animals, religion, political structure, etc.

Unity Study based homeschooling is a really fun and engaging way to learn.  Our children will be incorporating many aspects of their schedule to whichever unit we are studying.  This includes - Bible/Faith Studies, Science, Nature Study, Languages, Music and Art Appreciation, Visual Art, Cultures, Life and Practical Skills, History, Geography, and more.  For example, when we study Kenya, we will be learning about traditional African Art, studying African instruments and ancient traditional music, reading East African tales, and memorizing poetry from an African poet.  They will learn about the climate, land structure, and wildlife in this region.  We will take a look at the Maasai people and make diagrams of traditional Maasai homes.  The children will be making paper beads and stringing traditional East-African necklaces and bracelets. We will also be shopping in cultural grocery stores and preparing African foods and meals. 

A study of Italy will include famous historical places, language studies, and artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Giotto.  The Netherlands study includes learning about Van Gogh, Rembrandt, windmills, and Dutch cooking.  Canada includes looking at Mounties, Henry Hudson, Jacques Cartier, democracy, Moose, Maple Syrup,  Native American culture, and Inuit culture.

Each child is working on their own "Passport to the Globe" which will be a large binder/scrapbook of all their work this year.  It includes maps, journals, facts, stories, lap-books,  and whatever else we decide might work well for documenting our journey.   At the end of each country unit study, we celebrate with a cultural meal showcasing that country's traditional food.

I'm really looking forward to this year!

Galloping the Globe
Five in a Row, Volume 1
Considering God's Creation
A Child's Geography, Ann Voskamp
Africa, Land of Hope (Compassion Int'l)
Resource Books from the GTG book list:
Answers in Genesis Aquarium Guide
Answers in Genesis Zoo Guide
Eat Your Way Around the World
Missionary Stories with the Millers
Desert Animals, Grassland Animals, Troical Forest Animals
Canada Activity Books

Other Resources for Galloping the Globe:
The Great Global Puzzle Challenge w/ Google Earth
Children's Atlas of the World
Usborne Children's Encyclopedia
Usborne Book of Peoples of the World
Usborne World of Animals
Usborne First Encyclopedia of the World
Usborne First Encyclopedia of Animals
World of Animals (Usborne)
Wild Places (Usborne)
Essential Atlas of the World (Usborne)
“Taking Your Camera To” Series – Brazil, Spain, Canada, France, Panama, Australia, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Israel.

Art and Music Appreciation
Curriculum -Harmony Fine Arts Grade 1 by Barbara McCoy
The Usborne First Book of Art
Live of the Musicians by Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt
Oxford First Book of Art
The Children's Book of Art by Rosie Dickins
The Usborne Book of Famous Artists
The Usborne Book of Art

Now We Are Six, A.A. Milne
The Llama Who Had No Pajama, Mary Ann Hoberman
All Day Long, Mrs. Mark Yoder
The Usborne Book Of Poems for Young Children
Tales- Clever, Foolish, and Brave
A Visit to William Blake's Inn by Nancy Willard

Bible and Faith Based Curriculum
Hands-On Bible Explorations by Janice VanCleave
The Dig by Patrick Schwenk
Bible reading, scripture memorization
I Heard The Good News Today (global missionaries)
Ergermeier's Bible Story Book, Children's Bible Storybook, Usborne Illustrated Children's Bible

Literary Studies and Read-a-loud Novels
Literary Studies -
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Read-a-loud Novels -
A Grain of Rice by Helena Pittman
Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
In Grandma's Attic by A. Richardson
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Mario, A Belizean Boy and Mario and His Friends by E. Wagler
The Happy Hollisters On a River Trip by Jerry West
Tales from Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter
The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport by Laura Lee Hope
Storytime with the Millers by Mildred A. Martin
Aram's Choice by M. Skrypuch

Science Centers (grade 1-2)
The Usborne Pocket Scientist Blue Book
The Usborne Pocket Scientist Red Book
50 Science Things to Do Cards (Usborne)
The Handbook of Nature Study (Nature Studay and ourdoor Science)

Simon - Teaching Textbook 3
Audrey - Math-u-See Primer

Phonics and Reading
For Alex and Audrey -
Jolly Phonics Program and workbooks 1-4 and 1 and 2
Letter Sounds Drawers
Take It To Your Seat Phonics Centers
Usborne Very First Reading Program books 1-15
I Can Read Reading Program
Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons

As a side-note, I'm not a huge fan of 'workbooks' as I feel they are so often just 'busy work'. I do, however, have several on-hand throughout the year. The children do go to them and complete various activities. These are not, however, central in our learning.
Simon (age 7):
Crossword Challenges
Word Puzzles
Audrey (age 5):
Math Basics grade 1
Phonics Workbooks 1,2,3 (Usborne Very First Reading Program)
Ladybird Phonics Books – Fox in a Box, Duck in a Truck, Sheep in a Heap
Grade 1 Phonics, The Clear and Simple Workbooks.
Big Book of Sticker Maths (Usborne)
Alex (age 4):
Preschool Scholar
Beginning Math
Preschool Skills
Shapes and Colors
Rhyming Words
Brainquest Pre-K

Travel plans for the year 

September: Africa- South Africa, Kenya, Uganda
October: Africa- Nigeria, Egypt Morocco
November: Asia- Japan, South Korea (Five in a Row - Grandfather's Journey, A Pair of Red Clogs)
December: Christmas Around the World, a cultural study of the season
January: Asia- India, Israel
February: Europe- Russia (FIAR - Another Celebrated Dancing Bear), Great Britain
March:  Europe- France, Italy (FIAR- Papa Picolo, Clown of God), Netherlands
April: Europe- Spain, South American- Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina
May: Oceania- Australia, New Zealand
June: North America- USA, Mexico
July/August: Canada

We already studied The Poles unit studies in the Spring of this year.  So, that covers it!

Our School Room - because so many people are curious, I thought I'd share a peek at our 'discovery room'.  It's in our back sun room/mud room and I love it. 

Now... to actually start!

Linked In:
The Better Mom Mondays
Becoming a Strong Woman of God
Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. Looks lovely! I can see why you love that room - perfect for learning.

    Thanks for sharing your plan for the year - it's always inspiring and motivating for me to read what fellow homeschool families are using.


  2. Wow! Looks like you're heading into a wonderful year! Beautiful books! I love your "discovery room". What a great way to describe it - DISCOVERY!

  3. Ooo how fun! I can't wait to see how the year goes for you. Your discovery room is wonderful! Have a great year.

  4. Wow. You've inspired me. I've been struggling to decide what curriculum to use this year and hadn't even thought of GTG which we have sitting on our shelf. We adopted our third child five months ago and are still in transition and still haven't completed the last school year. So planning for the next school year hasn't happened yet. I love what you're doing and I already have a lot of these resources. Will definitely be looking into this more over the next week. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Kate. I'm happy to have inspired... haha... I love drawing inspiration from other Moms' blogs and plans. Galloping the Globe is very much a springboard. On it's own, it's good... but not amazing. I'm adding a LOT to the mix to really beef up what we'll be doing. To be honest, we haven't completed a 'school year' yet. ha. I'm really, really aiming for this year to be 'that' year. Keep in touch because I do plan to post about each country as we study it. I don't usually blog a lot about homeschooling, but I think these units are very interesting and I've love to provide resources for other parents who wish to study cultures in this way. Much love, good luck.

  5. What a wonderful room you have to teach in, and how exciting. All the new books, studying the world. This is what school should be about - an appreciation of the world we live in. :) well done

  6. I love big windows! Our main school room has one too! If I had started homeschooling when our kiddos were younger I think I would have sold Usborn books just to get lots of free ones!! I love yours!

    1. Hi Shelly - I sold Usborne for 2 years. I'm still technically a consultant, but I've stopped selling as I have so many other commitments. I do, however, LOVE their books and plan to host a party this fall. Their resources are just far beyond what any other books offer. I'm so glad I had the chance to earn an amazing non-fiction library like this... :)

  7. Wow, looks like you have a great plan! We are doing University Model schooling, our first year... excited! Usborn looks like they have some great books! And LOVE your discovery room, been seeing that Ikea furniture everywhere, no close ones tho! Blessings!

    1. We scored most the furniture in this room for free or really really cheap second hand. The table is just a 30 dollar table that I painted with chalkboard paint and green. :) I'm all about doing things on a dime. :)
      Thanks for reading.

  8. We are studying World Geography with GTG and FIAR with the littles (K/3rd) and Around the World in 180 Days with the bigs (8th/12th). We share a love of Usborne books too. I became a consultant not long after we started homeschooling over 12 years ago. :)

  9. Wow! Your room is such a bright and cheery place to learn! I love all of it!

  10. Amazing organizational skills! Where did you get the vertical file folders from (the ones that are housing different books on your bookshelves)? They look like the perfect thing to organize my shelves. ;)

  11. Your room is GORGEOUS! It looks like you love Usborne as much as we do!

  12. We used GTG for the 2nd half of last school year and loved it. I had a 1st grader and preschooler. We had so much fun with it.

  13. Nice Blog. I like your colorful curriculum for 2012/2013. Very Inspiring!


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