6th Grade Book List

In no particular order.. here is Aidan's 6th Grade Book List for 2016-2017:

  1. I Am David
  2. The Hardy Boys, Double Jeopardy
  3. The Hardy Boys, The Secret of the Soldier's Gold
  4. Old Yeller
  5. Hatchet (Book 1)
  6. The River (Book 2)
  7. Brian's Winter (Book 3)
  8. Brian's Return (Book 4)
  9. Gentle Ben
  10. Sounder
  11. The Trumpet of the Swan
  12. Grasshopper Summer
  13. We Were Heroes
  14. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
  15. The Hobbit
  16. The Last Battle, The Chronicles Of Narnia
  17. Dolphin Tales
  18. Star Wars, Jedi Apprentice
  19. Holes
  20. Across Five April's

Family Scripture Study

Our family has been using the Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System. We have been using the system for a few months now and we have already memorized many scriptures. We believe that memorizing scriptures is very important to our families spiritual growth. We want to hide the word of the Lord in our children's hearts and minds. 

Psalm 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

As a family we work on memorizing scriptures during dinner time and again at bedtime. We spend 5-10 minutes working on our memory verses. This system is easy to set up and easy to use. All you need is an index card box, 41 tabbed dividers, index cards and a sharpie. (Or you can print scriptures from HERE).

How to set up your memory system:   

Label the dividers as followed: 
  • 1 divider - DAILY
  • 1 divider - ODD
  • 1 divider - EVEN
  • 7 dividers - DAY OF THE WEEK (SUNDAY, MONDAY.. ETC)
  • 31 dividers - NUMBERED 1-31

Now you can begin filling the box. If there are verses your family already knows, you can start with those. Place the verses you already know behind the numbered dividers. Next, write verses you want to memorize. Put one card behind the daily divider (you will start learning this verse first), place the rest of the cards in front of the daily divider to learn at a later date. At the beginning you won't have any verses in the ODD, EVEN or DAYS OF THE WEEK tabs. You will begin filling them in soon. 

Each day you will say together the verses behind 4 dividers: DAILY, ODD or EVEN, DAY OF THE WEEK, DAY OF THE MONTH (numbered tabs). So if today is Tuesday, the 3rd, you will say the verses behind Daily, Odd (because 3 is an odd number), Tuesday, and 3. The next day (Wednesday, the 4th), you will say the verses behind Daily, Even, Wednesday, and 4. Keep in mind that only the verse behind Daily is a new one that you are memorizing; all the others are just review. (from simplycharlottemason.com)

As you memorize the verses behind DAILY you will move that card on back to the ODD or EVEN tab and add a new memory verse behind DAILY. Move the verse that was in ODD or EVEN back to the DAY OF THE WEEK. And move the verse behind DAY OF THE WEEK back to a numbered tab. 

Below is a video to explain this system in more detail! 


How does your family memorize scriptures? 

Morning Time Basket

This year we will start using our "Morning Time Basket". This is a great way to get all the homeschool extras done during our school year. 

What is a Morning Time Basket? Morning Time is our special time together each morning that includes extra subjects we love incorporating into our school. It's also been called family time, circle time, morning meeting.. we keep all of our books in what we call our Morning Time Basket. Every single day our family will be spending time together reading and learning meaningful things. It's a wonderful way to bond and educate your children.

This is not wasted time.. it's the best time! We will be learning Shakespeare, Art, Music, Poetry, enjoying Read Alouds, scripture study, church history, nature study and much more! Before we focus on our core subjects we will begin our day with a lesson from our Morning Time Basket. Then we will have a snack and move forward with Math, Spelling and all the rest. 

NOTE: We do not teach each subject daily (except Bible). The rest are rotated during the month. 

Along with our Morning Time Basket I have also made binders for myself and my sons. My binder includes ideas, lessons... all that I need to teach the morning subjects. Aidan and Noah's binders are for them to keep everything together they learn.    

What is in our Morning Time Basket? The books.. lessons.. in our basket may change through out the year but as of now here is what we will be using:: 

How does your family begin each morning? 


Living A Mighty Faith - Book Review

Book Description: 

A simple potato farmer with a mighty faith and a willing heart—God steps in and changes everything, just like He can do for you.
Internationally bestselling author and ministry leader Angus Buchan is the author of Faith Like Potatoes and the founder of Mighty Men Conferences, which have drawn more than 500,000 attendees to Buchan’s Shalom Farm Ministry in South Africa, with additional Mighty Men Conferences drawing thousands more worldwide.
Although Buchan speaks to thousands all over the world, he and his wife, Jill, are simple potato farmers who know what it means to allow God to do more through them than they could ever imagine. They founded Beth-Hatlaim, a ministry that aims to provide a permanent home for children who have been abandoned or orphaned, with no known relatives. Buchan travels and leads crusades similar to the likes of Billy Graham.
This 365-day devotional will help you see what God can do in your life when you believe big and open your heart. Devotions focus on sharing your faith, serving others, and becoming a little more like Jesus each day.

My Review:

This is a hardback book with nice sturdy pages. It is a yearly devotional and the daily readings are truly a blessing. Reading this book would be a wonderful way to start or end your day. The book goes into many different topics, such as: hardship, righteousness, helping others and God's love. This is a great way to pull you closer to the love of our Lord. 

Colors Of Goodbye - Book Review

Book Description: 

What happens after the worst happens?
Before May 31, 2008, September Vaudrey’s life was beautiful. But on that day, with one phone call from the ER, her whole world―everything she knew and believed―was shaken to the core. Katie, her 19-year-old artist daughter, had been in a car accident and would not survive. How does a family live in the wake of devastating tragedy? When darkness colors every moment, is it possible to find light? Can God still be good, even after goodbye?

With the depth of C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed and the poignancy of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical ThinkingColors of Goodbye offers a moving glimpse into a mother’s heart. Combining literary narrative and raw reflection, September Vaudrey walks through one of life’s worst losses―the death of a child―and slowly becomes open to watching for the unexpected ways God carries her through it. It’s a story of love and tragedy in tandem; a deeply personal memoir from a life forever changed by one empty place. And at its core, Colors of Goodbyecalls to the deepest part of our spirits to know that death is not the end . . . and that life can be beautiful still.

My Review:

I have to say I couldn't put this book down. It was heart wrenching.. raw.. real... I recommend this book to anyone who has lost a loved one. September Vaudrey shares her heart as she tells about the love and life of her daughter, Katie. As she tells her story we are reminded of the love of Jesus and how we have to draw close especially in the time of sadness and loss. This book is a memoir of holding on and letting go... 

Wonderland - Book Review

Book Description: 
Follow the White Rabbit into this imaginative coloring book inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, featuring intricate pen-and-ink drawings by acclaimed artist Amily Shen. Meet the Cheshire Cat, attend the Mad Hatter's tea party, and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts in this evocative tale that invites you into a strange and beautiful new world of coloring.

My Review: 
Such a wonderful adult coloring book. The pictures are amazing and the I love how the book is actually written as a book. It tells the story of Wonderland as you color each beautiful page. This would be a great gift for any adult or child who likes to color. This book has a total of 80 pages and is paperback with a dust jacket. I love this coloring book and the style of the artist, Amily Shen. Come along and follow the white cat from the beginning to the end... 


Homeschool Planning

If you take a look at our Curriculum Choices you will see that our homeschool does not consist of just one box curriculum for all subjects. We have tried a box curriculum in the past but it just wasn't right for our family. To describe our homeschool we are Eclectic with a mix of Charlotte Mason/Classical Approach. If that makes any sense at all, haha! 

To explain: Eclectic Homeschooling is basically using a little of this and a little of that when it comes to our curriculum. I search for what is best for our boys learning styles and that's what I choose. 
The Charlotte Mason Method is based on Charlotte's firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate the whole person.. not just his mind. She loved using living books in her teaching approach, not just dry textbooks.. and our family loves learning by living books.
Classical Education is where we first began. We still use many classical curriculum's and we still use memorization a lot in our homeschooling.. as well as reading good literature and keeping our history in a 4 year continual order. 

So that's us.. a little of this and a little of that! Since we do homeschool differently I have been asked many times before how I plan my homeschool year. So here is a little run down of how I put it all together. 

~ I choose our curriculum... 

I probably spend the most time on this step. I start researching curriculum choices right after our school year begins. I save things that look interesting, jot down notes when something catches my interest and that goes on for a few months until it's time to truly get serious and see what we need. Some of what we are using is simply a continuation of what we used the year before, however, there are always new things as well. Finally, I make my decision and order the books. You can see our curriculum choices HERE for this year.

~ Next, I turn to my handy planner and I choose how many weeks we should have school... (I also plan Field Trips and Vacations during this time. Making a list of where we want to go and when. We try to have at least one field trip a month.) 

This year I have planned for 40 weeks of school (we school 4 days a week, Tuesday-Friday.. because my husband is off on Mondays). I go through my planner and I write in the days I want to be off (holidays, birthdays, vacations, field trips and just need a break days). Then I pencil in those days through out my planner so that when I'm ready to write down curriculum I know what days we will be in school that week. 

~ I divide up the curriculum... 

I know how many days we will have school for the upcoming year, so I look in our curriculum and see how many lessons there are. For example if I homeschool 180 days and there are 182 lessons then I know that two days during the year I will need to double up on lessons. Or if there are 150 lessons then I know we can extend this curriculum and only have it once or twice a week instead of daily. 

~ I start adding curriculum to my daily planner... 

I write my lesson plans for the whole year in my lesson planning book. That's my messy book.. the book I don't mind to have pages all marked up, not written in pretty handwriting.. you get my point. Then I write a month worth of lessons in my nice, pretty homeschool planner. I only write our plans by the month in case things need to be changed due to sickness, appointments or life (during the year) then I can just change things in my messy lesson planning book and my nice, pretty homeschool planner stays looking good.

~ I make a read aloud schedule and a Grade level schedule for each of the boys... 

Read Alouds are very important in our home. We use living books to teach lessons and to enjoy as a family. With our Read Alouds I like to type up the order they will be read since many of them go along with our history lessons. For the boys grade level reading books, I pick a few books I want them to read for the year and I let them choose a few books as well. I place them in their bookshelves in their bedroom and they choose which order they want to read them. 

~ Next is a step that might scare some people. I tear all the pages out of every workbook... 

No matter how the workbook is bound, I rip those pages out.. then I hole punch them all. I place all of the boys worksheets in my black box and it is organized by the week. That way when school starts all I have to do it pull out Week 1 and I have all the worksheets, stickers, manipulatives, etc.. all ready for us. It makes our school year go much easier. ((I will add that this year I did not rip up their Math workbook. There are many pages that ask you to turn to another page in the workbook.. so it was just too confusing to rip those pages out.))

There are a few papers that I do not add to our black box. Papers I jot down notes on about field trips we could take, teaching ideas, also answer sheets and certain pages I may need to teach a lesson that goes longer than one week. For all those pages I add them into my Curriculum Binder. Nothing fancy.. but it gets the job done. 

~ I create binders for the school year...

This is where Aidan and Noah keep the work they are currently doing and also pages that have been graded and we want to keep (such as stories they have written, test taken and more). This year the boys have four binders: Morning Time Binder - for all their morning work, History/Geography/Science Binder, Writing Binder and a Big White Binder that holds all of the other subjects.

~ This year I have one more step for my homeschool planning. Our Morning Time Basket !

I write down the subjects we want to complete.. print out all of pages we will need and store them in our black box by the week. I have also created myself a Morning Time Binder with teaching ideas, poetry and numerous things to memorize and a list of what will be completed each month. 

So this is how I plan our curriculum for an entire year. This process usually takes me around two to three months to get everything printed, organized and written down.... but it sure does make our homeschool year run smoothly! 

How do you plan for your homeschool year? 

Homeschool Curriculum Revealed

Homeschool Curriculum Revealed:
Our 2016-2017 Curriculum Choices

For me this is my most exciting post of the year, the post where I get to show you all of new curriculum we will be using. We will start back to homeschool on Wednesday, July 6th. I am currently in the process of planning our new school year. You can click HERE to see how I plan it. 

Independent Reading: I have created a 4th Grade book list for Noah to choose from during the school year. He will also be completing several "fun" book reports. 

Writing & Vocabulary: Writing & Rhetoric Book 1: Fable Program and                                                 Book 2:Narrative I

Independent Reading: I have created a 6th Grade book list for Aidan to choose from during the school year. He will also be responsible for completing Book Report Forms and keeping a Reading Log. (printables created by homeschoolcreations.net)  

Writing & Vocabulary: IEW, All Things Fun & Fascinating 

Penmanship: He will continue with cursive practice. 

We try to do as many subject as we can together.

Bible: Each of the boys have a, My Bible Journal: A Journey Through The Word. They will work on them independently each morning. As a family we continue working on Family Scripture Study. (The History we are using this year also incorporates Bible study).   

History & Geography: Modern Times, Epistles & Revelation (We have been learning history in order since we began homeschooling. We have now made it to Modern Times. We are excited to finish our 4 year history study this year!)

Music Lessons: The boys have been learning to play the guitar. They take lessons from their Daddy and will continue to learn during the school year.  

Morning Time Binder: This is different for us and we are excited to try it out in our homeschool. To sum it up quickly we will be rotating what we learn each morning, such as: Nature Study, Art, Health, Shakespeare, Music Study, Poetry, Virtues, Church History, Critical Thinking and much more! This is a great way to get all those "extra" subjects taught without being overwhelmed. You can see more about it HERE!  

Typing & Computer Skills: The boys will continue working on their typing skills by playing Typing Instructor For Kids and also typing reports during the school year. I have also created a Computer Skills Unit Study for them to work through. The unit study includes Internet Safety, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint Introduction.    

Foreign Language: This year we will begin learning Latin. However, I am still undecided on which curriculum I would like to use. If you have any suggestions please let us know. Thanks! 

We will also be taking many field trips this year and enjoying many read alouds. What will your homeschool year look like? 


Tennessee - Day Trip

Last Sunday we decided to go on a little day trip. I love day trips... just a chance for us to get away for a day and have a little adventure. We headed toward Pigeon Forge, TN and had to stop at Smoky Mountain Knife Works. Our oldest son, Aidan, loves collecting knifes and he was on the hunt for a new one.

After running around in Pigeon Forge for a while we headed to Ripley's Aquarium Of The Smokies. They are currently having a Pearl Harbor exhibit and it was a great educational experience for the boys. 

We also spent a few hours running around downtown Gatlinburg. The boys loved taste testing at Pepper Palace... I do believe my boys would eat anything, haha!  

We ended our day trip with a wonderful dinner at Cowboys On The Water in Dandridge, TN. If you have never been there... you must! There is nothing better than eating delicious food, sitting on the porch, overlooking the river. 

We had a wonderful little day trip and we can't wait to do it again! 

Noah & Aidan at Ripley's Aquarium in 2014 and 2016. 
Our boys are growing up so fast!