Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Our Curriculum, 2012-2013 Not Back-to-School Blog Hop

For those of you that have been following my blog, you know about our grand adventure. For those of you that don't, I will tell you that we have moved out of our home we have been trying to sell in hopes that it might sell better if empty. We are now living in a small two-bedroom home of my best friend's. It is a little like camping out, sleeping on camping mattresses on the living room floor that get stacked against the wall during the day. It has been fun. It has been hard. It has been an adventure.
Now, we face the new school year, with most of my usual curriculum packed in boxes in our attic in Maryland. Is it worth the 1,000 mile round trip to unpack and sort through boxes to find what I want to use, or is it easier to purchase new materials? Or, do I decide on a new plan?
Living in a small, shared space has made some new practical changes in many aspects of our life, and schooling is one of them. We don't have the space for all the projects we are used to doing. We don't have the space for the tons of curriculum that I enjoy choosing from. Does this mean that we are miserable and upset? To be sure, it has been an adjustment, but with many adjustments in life, it is how we approach the situation that makes all the difference in the world.
at  Osceola Island, Cherokee National Forest
We had to sit down and think about how the small space could be a blessing instead of a burden. Once we did that we could see that we didn't have to rely on shelves and shelves of curriculum. We could use what can be accessed via computer such as e-books, audio stories, pinterest activities and activities  from other blogs. We have a kindle, computers, a DVD player and a CD player which all could be used for schooling. We now have a library that is about a 1/2 mile away instead of 12-20 miles away. What was once an all-day project is now a wonderful trip that just takes as long as we want to stay at the library. The last time I was there, we picked out books and my youngest two , in addition to picking out books, played educational games on the computer there. 
at Farmfest, Kingsport TN
As you will notice, we are taking many more field trips. They are learning first hand about history from historical museums and sites. They are taking nature study walks and learning about science topics from museums and nature centers. The are learning first hand about our culture, our heritage. They are learning by seeing artifacts, watching re-enactments, seeing and touching. We are following these up with narrations, and it is wonderful to see their personal connections to what they learned. Learning, we have found, is not limited to a table, a computer monitor or any particular curriculum.
Does that mean we have switch to a purely unschooling style of learning? No, we do still want to follow a general plan, we still want to see the course of our schooling plans for the year in front of us, to be able to have the sense of accomplishment when what we planned to learn about is now a part of our base of knowledge.

We will be creating our own journals and notebooks for all subjects.
With all of that said, here is our general plan for the 20012-2013 school year...

Sam will be going into 10th grade.
MATH: He will be continuing with Videotext Algebra  and Traditional Logic I, which we brought with us. 
SCIENCE: Apologia's Physical Science and Biology, which we brought with us.
HISTORY: Modern World History, using internet and library resources
GEOGRAPHY: World Geography, using internet and library resources
ENGLISH: Our focus will be on writing essays and grammar, using internet and library resources. The essays will mostly be on topics covered in history and science.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: He will begin a modern language, with a local person as his teacher/tutor. We will be using the book he suggests.

Alex will be going into 10th grade but he is special needs (autism) as his reading/comprehension level is more that two grades below his grade level.
MATH: Basic Math Skills, no textbook. I will just give him a few problems each day.
SCIENCE: Apologia's Physical Science and Biology lapbooks
GEOGRAPHY: World Geography, using internet and library resources
ENGLISH: Basic Reading and Writing Skills, no textbook

James will be going into 5th grade but he is struggling with LDs that affect his reading ability, so we will be doing a lot of younger grade reading activities.

MATH: Mathematics, A Way of Thinking,  Videotext Algebra
SCIENCE: Biology, Real Science 4 Kids, Level 1 (10 weeks)Human Anatomy and Physiolgy, Apologia
GEOGRAPHY: World Geography, using internet and library resources
ENGLISH: Copywork, writing narrations and grammar, using internet and library resources.

Quentin will be going into 3rd grade.

MATH: MATH: Math Their Way, Mathematics: A Way of Thinking, 
SCIENCE: Biology, Real Science 4 Kids, Level 1 (10 weeks)Human Anatomy and Physiolgy, Apologia
GEOGRAPHY: World Geography, using internet and library resources
ENGLISH: Copywork, writing narrations and grammar, using internet and library resources.

Not Back to School Blog Hop


  1. You are a strong woman! I pray that you all have a successful school year and will offer up important intentions for the quick sale of your house in Maryland! What is the new catch phrase compliments of those who suffered in WWII? Stay calm and carry on!

  2. Wow! Way to make the best of a tough situation! Is there a local library where you could go to do some of your school work?

  3. It sounds like you have a wonderful plan. Enjoy all of those wonderful field trips. Exploring the world around you is an awesome way to learn.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. Isn't amazing how many blessings there are in any situation?! I am impressed that you can so readily find the positives in what could be very stressful circumstances. The internet and the library really are the two best resources for learning. How great to live so close to a library now :) I am betting you all will have an awesome school year!!

  5. Wow Phyllis, I love how you can make the best of a hard situation. That is what is so great about homeschooling. We can adapt it to fit OUR needs instead of the other way around. Love your choices and I can't wait to see what this year brings you and your family. Praying your house will sell quickly.

  6. I am SO looking forward to your upcoming school year! You are making some wonderful lemonade out of the challenges you were given.

  7. I love your attitude and positive outlook! Hope you have a blessed school year...I'm thinking you will:)

  8. I get this. Big time. When we moved to this home, it was furnished. We sold everything to move over here. Purged the home library down to a few basics. I think we will be on Ancients this year, but almost always doing biology. ;) We'll stay on with the outdoor hour challenges, just took a break this summer. We too rely on online resources, library. We found a local book store that will order in for no shipping and give us a cash discount, so it is cheaper than Amazon and one day delivery usually. (pick up at her store). Looking forward to another year of learning together my online friend!


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