Yes, you read that right. We are no longer Preedy Academy! When we moved to our new house, I had to update our address for our school registration, and thought I might take advantage of the opportunity to give us a more creative name that reflects our style more. Spero is a Latin word that can mean "I hope, I dream, I wonder, I Imagine." That about sums it up. Latin, Wonder, Imagination.
So. These curriculum pick posts may be becoming a bit redundant, as about three years ago I really found our sweet spot and the people and companies we trust. There's not much deviation now. But I suppose each year we're doing a new grade level for the first time, and are figuring that out as we go. :) So here it is:
Time Period as a Family: Antiquity
Meryn: 3rd grade
-All About Spelling Level 3
-McGuffey Reader Book 1 & 2
-Writing Through Ancient History by Brookdale House
-Song School Latin 2
Levi: 4th grade
-All About Spelling Level 4
-Writing & Rhetoric Books 1-2: Fable and Narrative 1
-McGuffey Readers 2 &3
-Writing Through Ancient History for cursive copy work/practice
Combined Subjects for Levi and Meryn together:
-Berean Builders Science in the Ancient World (last year we did a lot of nature study on animals, ecosystems, habitats, plants and trees. They want some active experiments this year!)
-History: A Picturesque Tale of Progress vol. 1-4
Various projects with books like: Ancient Israelites and Their Neighbors, Tools of the Ancient Greeks, Explore Ancient Rome
-The Story: a narrative version of the Bible. This will be a family Read-Aloud.
Literature Book List:
-Famous Men of Greece
-Famous Men of Rome
-Gilgamesh Trilogy by Zeman
-The Golden Goblet
-The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum
-D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
-Ulysses by Charles Lamb
-City by David Macaulay
-Mystery of the Roman Ransom
-Galen: My Life in Imperial Rome
-Cautionary Tales by Hillaire Belloc
-The Phoenix and the Carpet by Nesbit
-The Cat of the Bubastes
-My Bookhouse vol. 6 & 7
Luke and Kiryn: 8th and 7th
-Latin Alive! 1: I will be teaching an online class with one other family.
-The Argument Builder by CAP: The other mom is teaching this. It's a good trade-off. :)
-Writing & Rhetoric Book 9: Description and Impersonation
-Magic Lens 1 and Poetry and Humanity by Royal Fireworks Press.
-Jacob's Geometry with Dr. Callahan's videos
-MUS Algebra 1 with Honors lessons
-Geography III by Memoria Press
-Ancient History: Streams of Civilization and The Story of Ancient Greece, The Story of Ancient Rome by Suzanne Strauss Art, covering pre-history through the Roman Republic.
-The Bible as Literature: A House for My Name by Peter Leithart, and The Bible Project videos as aids to reading through a good portion of the Old and New Testament over the year
-Close Reads: Antiquity
This will be a class at co-op in which we will read:
-Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Greene
-Gilgamesh the Hero by Geraldine McCaughreon
-Bulfinch's Age of Fable
-Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliffe
-The Odyssey, translated by T.E. Lawrence
-The Aeneid for Boys and Girls by Alfred Church
-The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henry
-Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
The kids will continue practicing close reading with the tools in the CiRCE Reading Guide and discussion with the tools in Teaching the Classics. I also would like for Kiryn and Luke to read with Paul and me:
-Classical Me, Classical Thee by Rebekah Merkle
-How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
-The Screwtape Letters by C.s. Lewis
In addition to this, they will both be enrolled at the local middle school for 8th grade Orchestra, as well as choir. So two hours a day at the middle school again!
Friday Schole Day
On Fridays I hope to have most of the book work done, and have a lot of rest and beauty infused into the day. We'll do artist and composer studies, spiritual formation read aloud. We'll spend time on our quadrivium studies with A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, watching the videos and drawing the constructions. Fridays will also be discussion days for history and Bible, as well as time set aside for Keeping. The older kids will keep a commonplace and/or timeline/journal of their studies this year across any and all subjects.
For some comments on 8th grade picks:
-Math: I took the Liberal Arts Atrium class last year. I came away from that fully convinced that Euclidean geometry is the only way to go. I could really only find two options: Jacob's Geometry, and Classical Math 1 by Polymath Classical Tutorials. As CM1 is reading Euclid's Elements and some Nichomachus and keeping a journal of the proofs, I didn't really think that Luke was ready for that, since he's only 14 and starting geometry in 8th grade. So based on the advice of Mr. Steve and some folks in the Atrium class, we're doing two years of geometry. :) This first year will be a normal textbook, but still Euclidean geometry. Next year, with that as a background and foundation, he will hopefully be ready to do Classical Math as an Honors Euclidean Geometry course. I gave Luke the option of doing either Math-U-See Geometry or Jacob's. He took a look at both and picked Jacob's! I got the textbook and answer key for $20 at a used sale, found the DVD's on homeschoolclassifieds.com for super cheap, and then found an extended Teacher Guide and My Father's World Lesson Plan for the year on eBay. It's the whole book planned out over 34 weeks. Easy button!
Language: Typically we do two books of Writing & Rhetoric each school year. But since The Argument Builder covers Aristotle's Five Common Topics and is a good bit of writing, I opted to do one book of W&R. Also, to spread it out evenly, we'll do the whole Magic Lens in about 6-7 weeks at the beginning of the school year, and once it's finished, we'll begin Writing & Rhetoric. We'll take three weeks for each essay, giving them plenty of time to write a good one. Poetics will be the last 8-10 weeks of the year after we're done with W&R. So just two things at a time
Science: So last year about halfway through Novare Earth Science (which I loved), it was just a bit of a stretch for them, so I looked and realized... Novare intends Physical Science for 7th grade, and Earth Science for 8th grade! It was a stretch for my 6th and 7th graders for good reason. The good news is, we finished it, and the kids are in for an easier year of science this year! A shorter text with more engaging labs. :) I grabbed the $5 lessons plans from Memoria Press for another major easy button. No thinking about how much to do or when. Just follow their plans!
Humanities: I'm really excited about all of this this year! I wanted a simple, but more analytical approach to history. After pre-reading several different books, to my surprise I settled on Streams of Civilization. One big thing that persuaded me is I already have the Tapestry of Grace lesson plans, weekly questions, and evals for all of the years. They schedule Streams in as an alternate spine book. So, that's my history planning basically done. Questions written, tests ready, discussion prompts, creative writing assignments on the reading all ready to go. I decided to make it as easy on myself as possible. Streams has a really good scope of ancient civilizations all around the world. And we'll dig a little deeper into Greece and Rome with the Suzanne Strauss Art books.
It's a a constant challenge as a homeschool mom to give our kids the education we envision while also living and operating within our real limitations as one mom to many kids, many grades, all the subjects, all the books, all the plans, all the grading. As we move forward into high school, I'm going to be relying more on trusted programs from master teachers, and on my kids to be self-driven learners. I want to be more of a learner alongside them in a few areas like Latin, history and literature, and then just hold them accountable to all the other things they have to do while providing the support they need in thing like math and science. :)
I'm basically ready. All the plans are printed, my planner is done, I've done a whole lot of the pre-reading for history and literature already. I'm praying for a restful year and for my kids to grow in knowledge and wisdom!