Well, now that the Kansas City Catholic Homeschooling Conference is over, I’m in the final stages of getting everything rounded up for school.
This means packages are arriving on my doorstep which is one of my most favorite times of the year–GLORIOUS SCHOOLBOOKS!
Many people who asked me about Catholic Schoolhouse this year wanted to know how/what we do in our home school. So, I thought I would write a post about what this year holds for each child.
Catholic Heritage Curricula’s Handwriting for Kindergarten. I got a little annoyed looking at different writing book for kids her age, and I figured if I end up buying this book again next year…and again the next year, I’m okay with that. She learns both uppercase and lowercase letters in this book, so it’s a great start for her since she is so eager. We’re on day four of this book, and she couldn’t be happier in the mornings to do school.
Rod and Staff’s Counting with Numbers. Seeing her older brothers working on math, she has been asking for a math book. I really like this book by Rod and Staff as it teaches her to write the numbers 1-10, and there are simple exercises like, “Count how many turtles are in the box. Circle the correct number below.” She la-la-la-LOVES this book four days in.
Catholic Schoolhouse. E loved doing CSH last year (2 years-old going on three!), and she’s VERY excited to do it again this year. She will pick up Geography, History, Art, Music, Latin, and more in Year 1 this year, and I love that she loves it!
(Disclaimer: If your 3 year-old does not want anything to do with school, let it go, and don’t freak out. I’ve had moms tell me that starting the kids too early ruins them, but all I’m doing is going with what their interests are. If E decides she’s done in a few weeks or months, I will not be pushing her. For now, she’s excited, and I’m running with it.)
D (5): First grade
Modern Curriculum Press Phonics Level A.
Here’s the deal. I la-la-la-LOVED the Little Angel Readers and workbooks for my first son. He loved them, I loved them–they were great. My second born, however, decided that the “g” and the “a” in the Little Angel Readers were NOT real letters because that was not how he wrote them.
So, the search was on to find some readers and Phonics workbooks that showed the “g” and the “a” in a normal font that resembled how he wrote the letters.
As for readers? I think I’m just going to type up the stories out of Little Angel Readers using a better font. For Phonics, enter MCP’s Phonics Level A book. Guess what? Regular letters.
The word “playing” below illustrates what I’m talking about:
Case closed. Problem solved. He hugged me when I showed him the book, so I will take that as a positive sign.
Our Lady of Victory’s Living in God’s Love, Book 1: Our Heavenly Father for religion along with Catholic Schoolhouse’s religion.
Why do we like Our Lady of Victory? Way back when we decided to go with Mother of Divine Grace as a curriculum (what? Three years ago? Feels like forever ago.), we were unsure if the religion books could possibly start confusing our kids as they have attended the Traditional Latin Mass as opposed to the Novus Ordo Mass. So, we came upon Our Lady of Victory who bases all of their religion books on the Traditional Latin Mass.
Once again, case closed. Problem solved.
D will be working with the “Living in God’s Love” book this year as it is based on the St. Joseph’s First Holy Communion catechism, which is what we prep our kids with before receiving their First Holy Communion. At this point, D will be able to memorize the answers, however, we’re pretty sure the maturity level he’s at right now might mean he will be seven before he receives for the first time.
Saxon Math 1. He is halfway through this book/workbook already, so our pattern seems to be ordering new math books around January.
Maps, Charts, and Graphs: Neighborhoods, Book B. He enjoys maps, and we look at maps so often with Catholic Schoolhouse, so we thought this would be a great way for him to work on basic map skills. It’s his favorite book to work in.
Catholic Heritage Curricula’s My VeryFirst Catholic Speller. No, I’m not giving the child spelling tests yet. This CHC book works on short vowel sounds at first and then goes to long vowel sounds, and guess what? No weird fonts that confuse him. It’s basically a good reinforcement for his reading.
Catholic Heritage Curricula’s Handwriting: Level 1. Working on printing his lowercase letters better this year, and this book is perfect for it.
Catholic Schoolhouse. He is VERY excited to learn what’s going down in Year 1 this year: American History from the 1400′s to modern day. He has seen the art and science projects, talked about fieldtrips with me–he’s excited. He loves the songs on the CD’s and can still sing them from last year.
P (7): Third grade
Seton’s English 2 and 3 for Young Catholics. We started English 2 this last January when I noticed that he had memorized all of the Catholic Schoolhouse Memory Work when it came to Language Arts. He could tell me that “a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea,” or the rules for capitalizing letters or the different types of sentences. When I would ask him to apply that, however, he struggled. So, I bought him English 2 in January to start applying everything he was learning in CSH. He is FLYING through this book, and now he knows not only the rules (thanks to CSH) but how to actually use them when writing. He will start English 3 whenever he finishes English 2.
While perusing the Seton table and trying to explain to the nice man working there that I did NOT wish to enroll, but thank you, I noticed they had a book entitled “The Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas.” In Catholic Schoolhouse this year, we will definitely be talking about this exact topic, so I thought this would be a great little supplemental book he could do every once in awhile since he is my kid who will sit down with workbooks and actually LIKES them.
Catholic Heritage Curricula’s My Catholic Speller Levels A and B. When he finishes Level A, we’ll head right on into Level B. I really like the way CHC does their spelling books.
Cursive handwriting book. I can’t remember off the top of my head which one I bought, but the kid wanted to learn cursive last year, so we bought a book. He’s ready for another one to keep going. First born, much?
Saxon Math 2/3. Once again, we ordered Saxon Math 2 around January, and he’s halfway through. He’ll be ready for Saxon Math 3 probably around January.
Our Lady of Victory’s Living in God’s Grace. This is what we will be doing to add to the Catholic Schoolhouse religion, and he will also be attending catechism class each week taught by our priest who uses the Baltimore Catechism as his basis. This book from OLOV is based on questions from the Baltimore Catechism, it’s definitely easy for him to read, and there are great stories in the book to reinforce the catechism questions.
Catholic Schoolhouse for art, music, science, latin, geography, etc. He is so excited and asks if we can start already every…single…day.
As for a book list, here is a list I’m currently compiling. Most are historical fiction because they go perfectly with what we will be learning in Catholic Schoolhouse. Some will be read-alouds at breakfast, lunch, and after dinnner, and some will be books for P to read on his own as they are right up his reading alley at the moment.
- Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha by Father Lovasik, S.V.D.
- Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton by Father Lovasik, S.V.D.
- Father Marquette and the Great Rivers by August Derleth
- Christopher Columbus: Discoverer by Alberta Powell Graham
- Mother Seton and the Sisters of Charity by Alma Power-Waters
- George Washington: Boy Leader by Augusta Stevenson
- The Story of Thomas Alva Edison by Enid Lamont Meadowcroft
- Mother Cabrini: Missionary to the World by Frances Parkinson Keyes
- Phoebe the Spy by Judith Berry Griffin
- Kit Carson and the Wild Frontier by Ralph Moody
- The Muddy Road to Glory by Stephen W. Meader
- The Building of the First Transcontinental Railroad by Adele Nathan
- St. Katharine Drexel: Friend of the Neglected by Ellen Tarry
- The Story of George Washington by Enid Lamont Meadowcroft
- The Story of Robert E. Lee by Iris Vinton
- The Story of Ulysses S. Grant by Jeannette Covert Nolan
- The Wright Brothers: Pioneers of American Aviation by Quentin Reynolds
- The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Richard L. Neuberger
- John James Audobon by Margaret and John Kieran
- Everyday Things in American Life, 1776-1876 by William Chauncy Langdon
- Everyday Things in American Life, 1607-1776 by William Chauncy Langdon
- All About Electricity by Ira M. Freeman
- Great Men of Science by Sanford Simmons