I just had a little freak out moment typing two-thousand and nineteen in the title. The years really flow in rapid succession. Each year made of moments good, bad, and many shades in-between. Today, my head is a little too full. Emotions, impressions, thoughts, words are filling in my being. I’ve lost my internal balance this morning. Yesterday was not easy on me and all of the feels about it are hitting me now.

But all of that mental loss of equilibrium aside I did want to post about our book choices for the new school year which began for us last week. This year we have a high schooler, two middle schoolers and an elementary kiddo.

Oldest entered his first year of high school. I opted to seek guidance through the high school years instead of blazing a trail on my own. We enrolled Oldest with Hewitt . I liked that I could still choose most of our curriculum if I wanted too and that they have a number of prepared syllabi from which to choose. We went with most of their recommendations except for math since we already started Algebra 1 with Math without Borders. Hewitt sent us a nice High School Handbook full of information about the high school years and forms to send in for his credits. His counselor will grade and guide Oldest through all of his composition work. I really felt that was what I needed the most help with concerning Oldest’s education. Each syllabi we ordered has a number of papers, projects and exams to be sent in for grading. I still do the daily grading. High school is certainly a heavier workload than he is accustomed to but he is adjusting well.


English 1: American Literature Mid to Late 19th Century and British Literature Mid to Late 19th Century . He opted to pull his vocabulary work out of his literature books instead of a separate program. For this he types up a list of four to six words per chapter and then uses the word in a sentence.

Kentucky history: There is only a syllabus for this course. He will be producing several maps, projects and papers for this course. We’ve never done a formal state history course though I have incorporated it over the years in bits and parts. If you are looking for a state history their syllabus is great (just add some good literature from or about your state).

Sparkles cell project

Keyboarding: Though an easy course I think it is going to be the most tedious for him. We found a program on Amazon to use and the syllabus includes tests and projects.

Health: Hewitt recommended Total Health by Elizabeth Kamath and I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. I was pleasantly surprised by this health text. So many of the books out there are either too secular or too religious for my taste and this one seems to be in the Goldilocks zone. I’m not sure about the Harris book but Oldest will write a position paper on it instead of having to regurgitate what someone wants him to write/believe. He’ll have to think about where his own beliefs lie and that is what these years are about anyway.

Science: Physical Science from Dr. Wile. Hewitt has a syllabus for this course and all labs and quarterly tests are sent to them for grades.

Oldest is also taking guitar lessons and his recital is coming up at the end of June. He will also be taking an outdoor survival skills summer camp this year.

Group studies: We are still continuing to read aloud together. Though I still haven’t chosen all of our read-alouds for the year the topic will be modern world/American history after 1870. We are still watching The Gospels from Drive Thru History and reading the assigned chapters from the Bible. Once we finish this we will roll into reading aloud Jesus: A Pilgrimage by Fr. James Martin and watching the entire Gospel Collection. Several years ago I had the opportunity to review the first film produced. My husband and I thought it was excellently done and I am glad all four are out now. We’ll do art as a group as well but I do not have a particular curriculum in mind…yet.

Our second group study will be Shakespeare and his play The Taming of the Shrew. I found a wonderful guide at the homeschool convention. This study will replace our poetry and tea time but will be done in the same manner…once a week with yummy treats. Shakespeare is meant to be heard and not approached like literature. Exactly like poetry.

Sparkles is in the middle of middle school. She is continuing to work hard in math and will be where she needs to be by high school. She’s had a rough couple of years with her illness and therapy is really throwing some shockers at the two of us as well. For Language Arts she is working through Easy Grammar Plus and The Essay from Blackbird and Company.  For civics she is enjoying Uncle Sam and You. This book from Notgrass really appeals to her and isn’t boring at all. Her science is human anatomy and the notebooking journal from Apologia. She likes this as well and led us through an edible cell lesson yesterday. She has a book basket to choose for her quiet read time. She is currently reading through Moby Dick…not an easy choice. I’ll keep this basked filled with a variety of books and magazines for her. Littlest also has a selection in the book basket. Since we could not find a local art teacher we are looking at various art programs to try with her or maybe you tube videos. I am also considering picking up Beautiful Feet Books History of the Horse for her this year. She is also continuing her piano lessons.

Middle Boy is beginning his first year of middle school. He does the same grammar program as Sparkles but a writing program isn’t necessary this year since his science and history include lots of writing and essay opportunities. His history this year is Ancient from Beautiful Feet Books. I learned at the convention that they are republishing the guide later this summer so I may get the new guide for him to use or we’ll just go with what we have. Rebecca Berg Manor is revamping the guide so I know the study will be FANTABULOUS! Most likely I’ll be getting it and the new books list. His science is Aristotle Leads the Way from Joy Hakim and the accompanying quest guide. He also has a mechanical physics lab kit to work through this year from Thames and Cosmos. His math is from Christian Light Education grade six. We use their math until high school. He will not be using the book basket since his history has a huge selection of literature for him to read. He is also continuing piano lessons and has a homeschoolers only summer camp coming up.

Littlest is in second grade. He is working through a cultural study with Beautiful Feet Book’s Around the World with Picture Books part 1. This is an enjoyable study that includes social studies, geography, history, and nature studies. His language arts is from The Good and the Beautiful which includes everything from spelling to literature and a bit of geography and art as well. His math is from Christian Light Education grade two. For science we are working through a habitat study using the One Small Square series. I haven’t found any lessons I can use with these lovely books so we’ll just wing our way through. I’ve got a few science kits in mind to add to the study. Right now we are just waiting on some warmer, non-rainy weather to start a few plant projects.

These are our main choices for this academic year. I’ve got a few things in mind to add to our year and an epic upcoming road trip to plan. I think we have the basics in place for a really good and productive year.