Monday, June 30, 2008

Biology for the Grammar Stage

If you purchased my Biology plans before 6/28/08, there was an error that made it through the editing process in the teacher's guide. All the page numbers scheduled for Kingfisher's First Animal Encyclopedia were wrong. Please email me at for the corrected version or visit our website at The current version available on Lulu has been corrected. Thanks for your patience!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer report

We are continuing to do math and reading this summer just to keep her skills up. Princess has been working through Singapore 1B along with Miquon. She sailed through multiplication and division and we are now working on Halves and Quarters. I'm also surprised how many of her math facts she is remembering. We haven't done alot of specific math fact practice, just alot of addition and subtraction. It seems to work for her.

Princess's reading has been improving and she loves being able to check out books and read them herself. We just finished reading Paddington aloud and I'll post her review later!

Princess has also been taking a bi-weekly art class which has been alot of fun for her since mom is not that art inclined! I will be better next year, promise! They have been learning about different art materials and ways to use them.

Princess has been begging me for months to teach her to cross-stitch and this week I finally gave in. I have been thinking that she is too young and it would just frustrate her and then she wouldn't want to learn. Wow, was I wrong! She loves it! She woke up yesterday asking to stitch more. She's about a third of the way finished a butterfly and I'll post the finished project when she's done. For now, here's a picture of her hard at work.

We have also been taking walks, swimming and picking (mostly eating!) cherries and black raspberries. Our library has had some great programs this summer and princess is enjoying that! When I write it all down, it seems we are very busy, but really so far it has been a relaxing summer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Language Arts Notebook

It's almost done! I just have to finish the vocab sheets which I will do later. It's time for mommy's summer break!

The LA notebook has eight sections: reading narrations, spelling rules, grammar rules, copywork, read-aloud narrations, vocabulary, original works(such as journals) and finally poetry memorization. Can you tell I like to be organized? It looks like alot, but most of it will be done orally, so I guess it is alot of writing for me! Anyways here's what the sheets look like...

The reading narrations (which I call Tabitha's reviews, these are for the books she will read) and the spelling rules sheet(the grammar sheets look just like this).

The copywork sheets which I made at Zane Blouser website and a sample of our read-aloud narrations from last year (I plan on doing the same thing next year).

These are the vocabulary sheets (I got the words from Core 1 read-alouds and my biology program, we will do these orally over a week) and the poetry (we are using the poems laid out in FLL).

It looks like it will be a good year and I'm anxious to get started!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Long Way Home by Ishmael Beah

The Long Way Home is a biography of a boy who lives in Sierra Leone during war times. He is forced to be a soldier and then rescued and rehabilitated. (My two sentence summary :-)!) This is a great book for understanding what went on in Sierra Leone at that time. Beah writes in an easy to read conversational style. It gets alittle gory at times, but I get the feeling that he didn't write all of what he saw. There were sections of the book when I had a hard time reading, but overall I liked the book. It was very informative and left me wanting to know more about child soldiers. I reccommend that you read this book if you don't have a sensitive stomach and want to learn more about the plight of children around the world.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Update on the tree post from Monday...

Turns out it was a cherry tree and a very good one if that! I made cherry crisp from scratch last night and it was delicious! I am however sick of pitting cherries and I have a new found respect for the convience of canned cherry pie filling! In the end, I feel it's worth it to have a more "natural" dessert. Thanks to all of you who helped me figure out what it was!

Next year and our SOTW history notebook

I have been busy planning, planning, planning. Which I do love to do! I have all the books now and my teacher's notebook is put together. It includes the Core 1 IG, my plan sheets for math, LA, SOTW and electives, plus my science plans sheets. They are divided by week and all the important resource info for that week is behind the plans. I'm hoping this will make my life easier! I like the idea of having it all in one place. You can see our curriculum plans for 2008-2009 on the sidebar to the right.

Princess will have 3 notebooks; science, history and LA. Her science notbooks is put together, since we are using my biology plans. You can see what the notebook looks like here, it's the second two pages. I just finished her history notebook. Since I always enjoy see what others have done, here is our SOTW History Notebook (you can see my SOTW plans here)...

The cover and book review page (this is for the books we read in addition to Story of the World).

The narration page(for each section of SOTW, I got most of the pictures from here, its a very useful website!) and the copywork page (for each chapter-I can't remember where I got the list, but thank you for whoever put it together! I just typed them out on Zane-Blouser website and here they are) Finally, the project page(these are to document the projects we will do from the activity guide).

I am looking forward to seeing these completed! Now, I'm off to finish the LA notebook!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Princess's first dance recital!

Reading Lists

The following lists are what I hope to read as part of my Education of Me project. The books coincide with our history studies and most of them are books I hope to have her read at a later date. I have put my thoughts about them in parenthesis.

Late Renaissance/Early Modern Literature (10-11)

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Other Poems by Samuel Coleridge
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • Grimm's Fairy Tales
  • Benjamin Franklin: The Autobiography and Other Writings
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (currently reading)
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and American Slave, Written by Himself
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Medieval/Early Renaissance Literature (09-10):

  • Stories from Beowulf by HE Marshall (DONE, very enjoyable retelling, definitely will use for her next rotation)
  • The Song of Roland by Charles Scott Moncrieff (DONE, The full version was a bit hard to understand since I'm lacking the background knowledge, so I switched to reading Stories of Roland by HE Marshall-this is a very readable version and I think that we will use this or Sons of Charlemagne for her next go around and save the real Song of Roland for high school)
  • Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle (DONE, This book was wonderful! It was full of insights into what life was like during medieval times. It's definitely on our list for the next go around.)
  • Stories from Dante by Mary McGregor (DONE, I thought this was a very well written adaptation of Dante's Allegory. However, it's a bit young for logic stage, so we are going to use it as a read aloud for this year.)
  • Piers Plowman by William Langland (DONE, I really enjoyed this poem/allegory. I'm sure that we will read the full version for high school, but I'm considering reading excerpts for the logic stage. As a side note, there is a fair amount of Latin in this, most of it was translated in my version, but some was not. I'm thinking that I might use portions of it as we get further into our Latin studies.)
  • Tales from King Arthur by Andrew Lang (DONE, I had a hard time getting into this, so I'm not sure if I'll use the one for her, I'll probably look at Rosemary Sutcliff's version)
  • The Chaucer Storybook by Eva March Tappan (DONE, I enjoyed reading this. We are going to use it for our next rotation, although I think that you could easily use it as a read-aloud for your first run through.)
  • MacBeth by William Shakespeare (DONE, I love Shakespeare and this play was no different. It's a bit dark, so we may save it for high school.)
  • The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo (Ran out of time for this one, hopefully I'll be able to read it over a break because it looks very interesting)
  • Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift (Read half before I decided that this will definitely be waiting for high school. I don't remember it being so dark and quite frankly I found it a bit boring. I'll continue to try to finish it, but we'll see...)
Ancient History Literature List (08-09):

  • History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer (Read Half before it had to go back to the library!, what I saw I loved and we may use this as a spine in high school)
  • Gilgamesh the Hero by Geraldine McCaughrean (DONE, good retelling, will probably use with for her next rotation)
  • The Pharaoh's of Ancient Egypt by Elizabeth Payne (DONE, good book, full of information, will use for her next rotation)
  • Mara Daughter of the Nile by Eloise McGraw (DONE, wonderful book!!! will use for her next rotation)
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (DONE, interesting read, but definitely for high school, maybe not as it has a fair amount of adult content)
  • The Iliad by Homer (Read The Iliad by Nick McCarty (children's version) first, then read half of the real version, not sure that I'm going to finish it this rotation; as for her next rotation she'll read Black Ships before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff)
  • The Sayings of Confucius translated by Lionel Giles (DONE, quite an interesting read, may have her read portions of it for her next rotation)
  • Antigone by Sophcles (DONE, I had no idea that Sophcles wrote plays and good ones at that!, I still may save it for high school for her though)
  • Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (DONE, Shakespeare does history well!, may use this for her next rotation if she's ready)
  • The Aenid by Virgil (probably not going to make it to this one!, I'm going to make a point to pre-read In Search of a Homeland by Penelope Lively before her next rotation)

Free Stuff

I enjoy planning and scheduling (I know, hard to believe, but still very true). This post is to share some of the files I have created. All the files are pdfs and for now they are hosted at my HSLaunch page. (If you have difficulty downloading these from HS Launch, all of the files are also available at my yahoo group-link in the side bar.) Here's a list of what I have there, I will continue to update these as I create them, so check back for more!

Artist/Composer Studies:
Shakespeare Study:
Story of the World:

State Study:


Curriculum We've Used

2010-2011 School Year (3rd grade)
  • Language Arts-Classical Writing Aesop A, Spelling Workout B & C, Read-Alouds and readers that coordinate with history
  • Math-Singapore Math 3B & 4A
  • Science-Chemistry for the Grammar Stage
  • History-Story of the World 3: Early Modern Times and US State Study
  • Latin-Prima Latina
  • Other-Artist/Composer Study, Poetry, Shakespeare, Art Adventures at Home, Typing Instructor for Kids, Recorder, PE class
2009-2010 School Year (2nd grade)

  • Language Arts-Writing with Ease, Dictation day by day (switched to Spelling Workout), Good English Book 1 (switched to First Language Lessons) Read-Alouds & early chapter books
  • Math-Singapore Math 2B & 3A
  • Science-Earth Science/Astronomy for the Grammar Stage
  • History-Story of the World 2: The Middle Ages and selected literature
  • Other-Artist/Composer Study, Poetry, Shakespeare and Art Adventures at Home
2008-2009 School Year (1st grade)

  • Language Arts: Easy Readers, Explode the Code, With Pencil and Pen & First Language Lessons, Copywork & Narrations
  • Math: Singapore Math with alittle Miquon for good measure
  • Science: Biology for the Grammar Stage by Elemental Science, Nature study
  • Sonlight's Core 1 along with Story of the World: Ancient Times for History, Bible & Read-Alouds
  • Others: Art Adventures at Home, Artisit/Composer Study, Lamb's Shakespeare, Fairy Tales, Ballet

2007-2008 School Year (Kindergarden)

  • Language Arts: Hooked on Phonics, Explode the Code, Sonlight LA
  • Math: Singapore Math
  • Science: library books & experiments
  • Sonlight Core K

2006-2007 School Year (K-4)

  • Abeka K4 program

Elemental Science

Elemental Science is my company that offers science curriculum with a classical bent. Each program features narration pages with pictures, vocabulary, experiments and ongoing projects. The teacher's guide lays out the plans for you; while the student workbook contains all the sheets you will need to create a beautiful notebook full of lasting memories. Each level is written with the goal of making science fun for you and your student! The following levels are currently available...

Chemistry for the Grammar Stage

Physics for the Grammar Stage (coming in early 2010)

I also plan on writing logic stage and rhetoric stages plans. Click here to go to our order page!

At this time I am also working on compiling the information out there about great scientist throughout the ages. So far two of these titles are available...
For now, these can be downloaded for free from the Great Scientists Blog.

About Me

I am a lover a science who has decided to homeschool! I am married and have one daughter(princess) and one son (little man). We have chosen to homeschool using the Classical method as laid out by Susan Wise Bauer in the Well-Trained Mind.
I also love to plan! Out of these two loves (science & planning) was born my company Elemental Science. It provides plans and student notebooks for the classically minded teacher. Visit our website to see samples and the latest news on upcoming products.
If you have any questions about what you see here, you can email me at Thanks for visiting us!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

So for the summer I am posting "reviews" of the books I am reading and the books I am reading aloud to princess. My first selection was The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twian. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read for me. Also, it was way, way better than the movie! I enjoyed reading about the prince's struggles and seeing him realize that life for his people was not what he thought. Twain did a wonderful job of weaving his own moral opinions into the book without overdoing it. I highly recommend this book!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Help me find out what this is?

We have this tree near our apartment, it belongs to the complex. Nobody has sprayed it and nobody, except the birds, has picked off of it. Are they cherries? If so what kind? Help, I have never seen a cherry tree in real life!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

James and the Giant Peach by Ronald Dahl

This wasn't as big of a hit as The Trumpet and the Swan, but princess grew to love this book too. She was alittle scared in the beginning. She really didn't like to two aunts and cheered when they were rolled over by the peach! I had read this book as a child, but had forgotten most of it. It was funny and strange all at the same time. It took a wierd twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but it ended well and maybe one day princess will read it on her own. Here's her assesment of the book...

Was the book good or bad?

Who was your favorite character?

What was your favorite part of the book?
When the peach kept growing and growing and growing

Would you read this book again?
Yes, if mom read it to me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

wordless wednesday

Summer Reading Program

We went yesterday to sign up princess for our libraries summer reading program. Somehow, I got signed up for the adult summer reading program. Not sure how that happened but I do need some encouragement to get off the net and read! So, my first book is The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. I didn't even know Mark Twain wrote this!(I probably shouldn't admit that) I've seen at least three movie versions and I'm hoping the book is better. My goal is to read at least 5 books of my own(read-alouds don't count!) this summer. This is big for me since I have only read two books for myself in the last year, I just haven't had the time for more.

For the children's reading program they are counting hours instead of books. They can read themselves, listen to books on tape or be read to. In reality princess gets about 1 1/2 to 2 hours a day that fit all that criteria, but I don't think it's fair to give her that much a day. So we will just count time that she actually read. I'm such a mean mom! Anyways, princess's goal will be 20 hours of reading time for the summer. She will be reading out of various early readers.

I have posted our summer reading plans and will add to the list as we complete books.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008