Breathe!!! Homeschool Planning & Family Studies - DONE!

I am coming up for air . . . ah, oxygen is good!  Oxygen is good for everyone, I highly recommend breathing.

So, why do I need oxygen?  HOMESCHOOL PLANNING!!!  Yikes, what an undertaking this year has been, but I am ready and excited about this academic year.    

Here is a brief look at what we are planning to use for the upcoming school year as a family.  I have a separate plan for each grade level, of course, but this is our overall plan for Family Studies.  

We are essentially "year round" home educators, so once we have completed the school year at cooperative with a two week break and then, back to business.  We take breaks during the summer, only for Scout camp, church camps, quick vacations and short family visits.  This helps keep the dreaded disease of "mushy-brained" children at bay at all times!  We will actually not be taking classes at cooperative this year, but more on that later.

I prefer a Charlotte Mason teaching method, while incorporating the Principle Approach with Notebooking for each of our students.  This approach is a great combination for my children and the way they individually learn.  Notebooking has especially helped instill better self-government, responsibility and organizational skills in each of our children.

Our Academic Year begins June 2012 and ends May 2013 - our grading terms are as follows: 
Term 1 - June, July, August; 
Term 2 - September, October, November; 
Term 3 - December, January, February; 
Term 4 - March, April, May

A Word On Family Study Time - We feel that learning together, in a multi-generation format, is essential in teaching and instructing our children.  This also helps their Dad to feel needed and included in our studies.  Too many times we have had difficulties, in the past, with the "Us vs. Dad" homeschool formula.  We are a family and a team, we need to learn together.  We will typically conduct these studies in the evenings or on Saturday afternoon, depending on my husband's schedule and extracurricular activities.

Here is what we will be studying together as a family:
  • Math: Monthly - Fun Family Math Night!  Here is my Pin Board of Math Activities that we are using to celebrate math.  Believe me, it needs a bit of an "enthusiasm push" around these parts!
  • Science: Weekly
Nature Study: Handbook of Nature Study with Outdoor Hour Challenges  AND Nature Study Pins

Weekly Creation Science and Apologetics Multiple Grade Level Instruction with Dad in the evenings.    
  • History:  Mystery of History, Volume I (Bi-Weekly)  The big kids have already been through the first two volumes, so we are letting the Bug join in this year for Volume 1 and Volume II next year.  We LOVE this curriculum and the big kids are excited to share the experience with their little sister.  
We will also be studying American Exploration as a unit study together, but I will blog more on that later . . . 
This is where we stick with the Charlotte Mason approach the most.  We study an Artist, coupled with a Composer each school term.  Shakespeare is studied at each grade level, typically one to three plays per year.  We are huge fans of the Bard, even the kids, so we definitely try not to skip or scrimp on this subject.  This could also be a direct effect of having a mother who was a Theater Arts major and an uncle with a Masters in Musical Theater . . . yuh think?

Artist/Composer Study (Weekly) - 
*Notebooking using Harmony Fine Arts* I recently purchased the Harmony Fine Arts Medieval and Renaissance - Middle School which we will use in conjunction with the Mark Kisler's Draw Squad book.  The kids are very excited and mommy too!
This year's scheduleTerm 1 - Di Bondone/ Vivaldi, Angelico/Bach; Term 2 - Da Vinci/Handel, Raphael/ Haydn; Term 3 - Botticelli/Mozart, Michelangelo/Beethoven; Term 4 - Bruegel/Schubert, Durer/Berlioz

*Notebooking using Practical Pages* (Sketch Tuesday) each week using Drawing with Children by: Mona Brookes.

Shakespeare Study (Bi-Weekly) - We will be starting the year by reading Bard of Avon, by: Peter Vennema to give the kids a refresher.  For each play we will be using these resources: Tales from Shakespeare and Here is is on Librivox The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit, and this is a great post on Shakespeare for Children from Jimmie

Term 1: Henry V, Term 2: Merchant of Venice, Term 3: King Lear

Hymn Study: We will be following the Ambleside Online Schedule
. . . AND, of course, THE BIBLE!  We enjoy these translations for in-depth study of God's Word.

Learn about the various methods we use in Bible study: Family Worship TimePersonal DevotionScripture MemoryBiblical Gender Roles

So, What is your favorite homeschool planner or organizer?

Happy Homeschool planning to you all!

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom     
Where are we at?  We are linking up at NOT Back-to-School at the iHomeschool Network
Not Back to School Blog Hop

Homeschool Planning in your future???
Hands-down our favorite planner!
Weekly Homeschool 

(This post does contain affiliate links, thank you for your consideration)


  1. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog this morning in my search for homeschool inspiration as the beginning of school approaches. I'm new to homeschooling, starting fresh with my kindergartener. I've actually taken my blog design hobby full time just to be able to quit my teaching job and be able to stay home and homeschool. Anyways, thanks for this post! I love that you do Answers in Genesis- as a science teacher (well, former) I am passionate about Creation and our family loves AIG newsletter emails!


  2. I came across your blog from the "NOT" back to school blog hop. I want to say I really like how you have organization your home-school and the way you have gotten your husband/day involved in the learning. I've always wanted to learn more about notebooking and now I can. :) Looks like you will be having a great year.


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