our learning year

this Spring, i enjoyed reading the curriculum posts at Simple Homeschool…they made me want to list out what exactly we’ve been doing.  our children are young–almost six and three.  come September our oldest will be proper school age.  still, our formal academic work is quite light and quite fun.  here’s what we’ve been up to.

Reading Aloud

  • The Saturdays by  Elizabeth Enright (4 in series)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 in series)
  • Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (2 times through)
  • The Invention of Hugo Caberet by Selznick (2 times through)
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
  • Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
  • Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
  • 26 Fairmont Avenue by Tomie dePaola (8 in series)

this reading happens seamlessly in our day, at nap time and bed time.  but the stories get talked about, played, and told over and over again.  we do lots of other reading together too.  we read stacks of picture books gathered for Advent and Christmas, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday, St Patrick’s day, and Presidents Day.

Circle Time

gathering together in the morning to learn about an aspect of the church year is the spine of our day.  we worked on a Jesse Tree throughout Advent and have had a wonderful Easter season celebrating with The Garden of the Good Shepherd.  from our time together, we move into a focused academic pursuit: working on pattern blocks or a puzzle, reading practice, or maybe just coloring together.  after this our day is much more fluid.  we take it as it comes!


M does lots of organic writing: letters and cards, writing on the chalk board.  she also wrote and illustrated a graphic novel about Mary and Jesus (who else?!)  


M has been very reluctant to work on reading.  this sort of surprised me because so much reading happens at our place.  she is young, so there are  no worries.  just sort of curious!  we have lots of beginning readers (most of which use a whole word approach and so are frustrating unless you’ve memorized the right list) and a neat old edition of a reading book from ABecka called A Handbook for Reading.  many homeschoolers have recommended Starfall for reading instruction.  the idea of a computer based reading program just rubs me the wrong way.  but actually there is very little animation.  and the flashy blinking things are minimal.  and M loves working on it.  go figure!


the Bard gets his own category!  plain and simple, we love Shakespeare. we go to plays.  we read storybook versions.  we read graphic novels.  we watch movies.  we practice insults.  this season we have already seen a production of Hamlet that’s done in a graveyard, a very funny Romeo and Juliet and a (lackluster) production of As You Like It. and  Twelfth Night still waits at the very end of the season.

most work that happens is mental math–M and Andy talking together, figuring things out.  she loves to work with him, is very patient, and does the most focused school work.  we also play with pattern blocks and Cuisenaire Rods.  we have Miquon books, but haven’t used them too much.


  1. thank you for the book recommendations! i,too, have young school age kids (6 and 5) and enjoy reading about how others go about their homeschooling days. your inclusion of shakespeare with your kiddos is also inspiring, as we’ve also been trying to weave him into our school days.

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