Friday, April 15, 2016

Seven Quick Takes on School Planning for 2016-2017

I won't have a School Ramblings post this week. I've started planning for the 2016-2017 school year and I wanted to share what I'm working on. Maybe this will help someone or maybe a reader can help me.  : )

The crab apple is blooming! It's a feast for all the senses. It looks beautiful, is full of fragrance, and you should hear all the bees doing the pollinating . .. . Lucy says the crab apples are yummy in the fall, and if I was brave enough to get my hand near the tree I'm sure the petals would be soft. I think that covers all the senses!

1) Here are the main resources I'm using for planning 10th and 7th grade (there are many more wonderful ones too!):
Ambleside Online 
Mater Amabilis-A Charlotte Mason Style Curriculum for Catholics 
A Delectable Education (AWESOME podcast for teacher training on Charlotte Mason methods!!)
Sabbath Mood Homeschool (this has a living books science list)  

2) We changed the way were doing history at the beginning of this year and we have been very pleased with the changes. We will keep doing history this way in the future. It does make using AO difficult and AO will just be a resource next year and not used as our curriculum. My feelings are mixed on this one, but the joy of the wonderful history we have enjoyed since January finalizes that decision! We will be continuing along with many titles for history that were in our term 3 plans.


3) I'm 100% convinced and no longer question my decision to do an integrated science with Caleb in high school. I came to this conclusion after watching A Delectable Education Podcast on middle and high school science. I was really struggling with that decision before hearing from someone else that this way would work. I don't know what else to say about it, but listen to the podcast and all my reasons for choosing an integrated approach to high school science is in there.  ; ) I'm using many books already on our shelf for Tyler's science. I did purchase this middle school biology guide (and book). I'm leaving some wiggle room for science plans in case I really need to purchase some of her future guides.

4) I may have placed a Rainbow Resource and ordered a couple of books from Amazon today. Just a few books for me to start reading. My nitty gritty lesson planning session is scheduled for late June, but it's helpful to have most of the books picked and purchased before that time and some I need to start reading

5) My books to purchase list is much shorter this year. I'm focusing on using resources we already have. This is cutting down on some stress and making decisions easier (not to mention the budget likes it too and we are running out of bookshelf space).  

Lucy sitting very still so she doesn't get stung by the hundreds of bees pollinating the crab apple.

6) I have not sat down with the calendar to plan out dates. Some do this first (and I use to) but I've been doing it last and I like this approach. I assume we will start at the very end of July. This allows for much needed weeks off during the school year. I also like to keep summer break short.

7) We are still classical Catholic homeschoolers using Charlotte Mason methods to meet the education goals of our family. We are still learning and tweaking. I'm very grateful for all the resources out there for self education on CM and classical methods. It is all wonderful!  


  1. HI Cassie
    Totally intrigued, so some questions to understand further :-)
    Pt 2 - What exactly are you doing for history now?
    Pt 3 - What is integrated science?

    sounds like I really need to listen to a Delectable Education.

    1. Yes, listen to A Delectable Education. I'm loving them. ; ) Most are short (30 minutes or less) and I'm learning so much! We are for the most part following the history model that was laid down in this episode . We are doing three different streams of history at once. American history, British (older doing more of a Western Civ.), and Ancient. This was about how Charlotte Mason did history. That history episode would give you all the details and there are more episodes on history.

      I may be using the wrong word to explain science. It's just doing biology/chemistry/physics/earth science together. This episode explains for middle and high school ages (there is one for elementary too)

      In the US science is a full year of bio. or chem. or phys. or earth starting around 7th grade.

      We are planning to follow very closely to how the above podcast lays it out. This is pretty much what we were already doing this year anyway. A quick recap of the podcast: always doing a biology book and then 1 term of chemistry, 1 term of physics, and 1 term of earth science (or the older child's specific science interest). (Using a three term school year.) So, you would be reading two science books together, maybe a biography, plus experiments in each term.


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