Sunday, October 29, 2023

Homeschool Update: September 2023

Group Activities


Dad is reading aloud geography this year from The Complete Book of Marvels by Richard Halliburton. This month, he read the sections about the Transbay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. After each section, the kids all watched a related video. The videos were:  

The architectural landmarks covered in this book are our focus for art this year.


We completed the first 20 lessons of Getting Started with Latin: Beginning Latin for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age by William E. Linney, and it's going well so far. E. (almost 6) struggled at first, but she is holding her own. The girls take turns translating the exercises each day, and we use the audio recordings to help with pronunciation. Even the twins have picked up a little bit. 


Our play this month was Macbeth. We read the children's version from Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield, and the girls started to memorize the "double, double toil and trouble" passage in parts. 


We are doing two read-alouds at a time this year. Dad reads a historical fiction novel and I read an additional novel. September's books were Attar of the Ice Valley by Leonard Wibberley, The Axe of Bronze by Kurt Schmeltzer, The Crystal Tree by Jennie D. Lindquist, and Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (which we finished on St. Francis's feast day owing to his role in the end of the book.) 


M. and C. memorized the answers to the questions in Lesson 1 of the New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism Volume 1 and E. memorized the answers to the questions in the first few lessons of The St. Joseph First Communion Catechism


C. and E. are having science with me every morning before breakfast. We're reading The Golden Treasury of Natural History, and we have covered the formation of rocks, early animals (such as trilobites), and creatures of the seashore (including mollusks). 

M. and I read two chapters from Secrets of the Universe: "What is a natural law?" and "Archimedes' Principle." She watched a Demonstrations in Physics video with Julius Sumner Miller and did two experiments from Janice VanCleave's Physics for Every Kid, one about electricity and one about magnets. 


E. watched the KidsHealth How the Body Works videos about the ear, nose, eye, and teeth. M. read some of the later chapters in The Body Book for Girls (she's almost done) and C. started reading it. C. and M. also both had orthdontist visits. 


E. and I read the first four chapters in A Child's History of the World by V.M. Hillyer. We also read They Lived Like This in the Old Stone Age by Marie Neurath and The First Farmers by Leonard Weisgard, and she created some cave art with crayons on brown paper. 

M. and I read all but the final 5 chapters in The Early Human World. She wrote a narration about archaeologist Mary Leakey. She also watched supplemental videos: 

  • Science Odyssey: Origins 1
  • First Peoples - Africa
  • Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life
  • Becoming Human Episode 1
  • Science Odyssey: Origins 2
  • Dr. Leakey and the Dawn of Man
  • Life on Earth Episode 13
  • Becoming Human Episode 2
  • First Peoples - Europe
  • Becoming Human Episode 3
  • Neanderthals: Meet Your Ancestors 
  • Lapedo Child 
  • First Peoples - Australia
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams
  • Lascaux: How to Save 18,000 Years of History
  • Ice Age Art
  • First Peoples - America
  • Prehistoric Animals of the Tar Pits

C. and Dad are reading The World of Captain John Smith by Genevieve Foster. They have covered these sections: The Queen's Little Pirate; Queen Elizabeth; Philip II; A Declaration of Independence; The Virgin Queen and Her Frog Prince; Mary Stuart; The Three Henrys and the Queen Mother of France; Young Walter Raleigh and Virginia; No Gold - But Tobacco; Little John Smith; To and From Holland; Mary Stuart and the Honest Man; James; Lord Roanoke and Virginia Dare; Spanish Armada; War of the Three Henrys; The Lost Colony; John Smith, Schoolboy; The Faerie Queen; The Upstart Crow (Shakespeare); The White-Plumed Henry (of Navarre); El Greco and Philip II; John Smith, Would-Be Knight; El Dorado, City of Gold; Akbar of India; Mr. Pilot in Japan; Entrance to China; Sun, Moon, and Stars; A Star Gazer, Tycho Brahe and His Dog; Gustav Adolf, Star of the North. 

Independently, C. read The Lost Colony and she wrote a narration about Roanoke as well. 


M. worked on Vocabulary from Classical Roots A. C. started working in the Beginning book of Sentence Diagramming. E. did the first three chapters of Grammarland and the corresponding worksheets. 

All three girls read independently pretty much every day.


M. continued working on Challenging Word Problems 3 and started doing the reviews in Singapore Primary Mathematics 5A. She is also working on Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents and she drills math facts with flashcards online every Friday. 

C. is working on Singapore Primary Mathematics 3B and Life of Fred: Farming, and she also does flashcards online. 

E. is working on Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A as well as Khan Academy Early Math.

M. and C. also continue to work on Khan Academy.


All three girls practiced piano and recorder daily. 

Physical Education

The girls rode bikes many afternoons and played on the playground across from our house. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Read-at-Home Report: September 2023 Wrap-Up

September Favorites

I only had two five-star reads in September, and both were 2023 releases. 

Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other by Bethany Turner 
This enemies-to-lovers small-town celebrity romance has great characters and a charming setting. I had an ARC from Netgalley but ended up listening to the audiobook, which was excellent. I'm looking forward to the companion book coming out next year!

Fire and Rain (Country Club Murder Book 16) by Julie Mulhern
This series is always fun, and it never stops making me laugh. This was another great installment. 


  • Old Mother West Wind by Thornton Burgess (3 stars)
  • The Crystal Tree (Golden Name Day Book 3) by Jennie D. Lundquist (4 stars)


  • Death Checked Out (Larkspur Library Mysteries Book 1) by Leah Dobrinska (4 stars)
  • Commit by Kortney Keisel (The Sweet Rom"Com" Book .5) (3 stars)
  • Compared (The Sweet Rom"Com" Book 1) by Kortney Keisel (4 stars)
  • In the Company of Others (Mitford Book 11) by Jan Karon (3 stars)
  • The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Book 17) by Louise Penny (2 stars)
  • Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Book 12) by Jan Karon (4 stars)
  • And All Between (Green Sky Trilogy Book 2) by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (3 stars)
  • Come Rain or Come Shine (Mitford Book 13) by Jan Karon (4 stars)
  • Just Don't Fall (Sweater Weather Book 1) by Emma St. Clair (3 stars)
  • The Vanderbeekers Ever After (The Vanderbeekers Book 7) by Karina Yan Glaser (3 stars)
  • The Fall Back Plan (Sweater Weather Book 2) by Melanie Jacobson (4 stars)
  • Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad Book 3) by Tana French (4 stars)

Stand-alone Books

  • Paradise Lost by John Milton (3 stars)
  • Frederica by Georgette Heyer (4 stars)
  • Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar (3 stars)
  • When Sharks Attack With Kindness by AndrĂ©s J. Colmenares (4 stars)
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (3 stars)
  • The Only Purple House in Town by Ann Aguirre (2 stars)

Family Reading Lists

M. (girl, 9 years, 10 months old)

  • The Fall of the Soviet Union by Miles Harvey
  • Three Margarets by Laura Richards
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards
  • Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw

C. (girl, 8 years)

  • Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter
  • More Wishing Chair Tales by Enid Blyton

E. (girl, 5 years 11 months)

  • The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann 

R. (boy, 3 years, 6 months)

  • In the Sea by David Elliot, illustrated by Holly Meade
  • Little Blue Truck's Valentine by Alice Schertle 

A. (girl, 3 years, 6 months)

  • Old Babybug magazines 

My husband 

  • Attar of the Ice Valley by Leonard Wibberley
  • The Axe of Bronze, a Story of Stonehenge by Kurt Schmeltzer
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford