This is the level where we really start to launch into more intentional learning. Again, like the previous 2 years, we have used Sonlight’s Core Package (A for this year) as a base, then customized it accordingly. We love the focus this particular Core has on looking at other cultures, and so have added in other titles and expanded on the theme with supplementary resources. We still use the Instructor’s Guide for this level somewhat (but not for the schedules), although I find I prefer to find supplementary resources for the different book titles than I do to read Sonlight’s study guide notes.
History & Geography
- Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia
- I Heard Good News Today
- Living Long Ago – Everyday Life Through the Ages (Usborne)
- Wild Places (Usborne)
- Timeline Book and Timeline figures (from Homeschool in the Woods)
Bible and Character
- The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose
- James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
- The Boxcar Children
- Dolphin Adventure
- A Grain of Rice
- The Hundred Dresses
- Johnny Appleseed (Moses)
- The Light at Tern Rock
- Little House in the Big Woods
- The Llama Who Had No Pajamas
- Mary on Horseback
- Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank you Book
- The Story of Dr Dolittle
- The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Five True Dog Stories
- The Story of Ping
- Handwriting Without Tears – Grade K
- Explode the Code, Book 1
- Explode the Code, Book 2
- Explode the Code, Book 3
The Explode the Code books I have start somewhere during Grade K year, and depending on the child, they have either finished them that year, or I’ve carried them over into Grade 1.
We also love the Learn to Draw (downloadable) series, and Funschooling Journals from Thinking Tree.
- Fun Tales – Sonlight (set of 27 books)
- Jolly Phonics – Level One (Complete Set 18 Books)
- My First Picture Dictionary
- Discover and Do DVD (Inquisikids)
- How Flowers Grow (Usborne)
- Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion
- Suzy’s World Science Series DVDs
- Nature Journal
- Come Look With Me series:
- Usborne: Children’s Book of Art
SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
What makes us a Charlotte Mason ‘inspired’ homeschool? Have a read of this post on Our Charlotte Mason Homeschool, and these are the principles we mostly follow. Note however, that we aren’t going to use all aspects of a method if they don’t work for us though, so we prefer take a flexible approach as well!
What makes us a Classical ‘leaning’ homechool? Some might say that because we aren’t following the trivuim exactly then we aren’t Classical. However, I like to think we can take the best out of a method and make it work for us. We’re a little Classical in that we’re moving through stage one of learning rules of grammar, spelling, and phonics, also stories of history and literature, and the building blocks of Maths, and so forth. This is setting us up for the next stage of learning, which is developing analytical thinking, and how things fit into a framework. The final stage we aren’t near yet, but is what is known as the ‘rhetoric’ stage. A Classical education is language-focused, and all knowledge is inter-related.
What makes us Eclectic? Quite simply, we are using the aspects of different methods that suit our family. Sometimes we do unit studies and lapbooks that aren’t on our official schedule, or take a delight-directed approach where the children have found something they enjoy learning and we find a way of tailoring our learning accordingly. We don’t plan to become a slave to any particular method or philosophy, as adding that sort of pressure doesn’t help anyone! The idea is, learning is supposed to be enjoyable, and we keep the overall end goal in mind, which is that our children have a rich education and childhood, and are also well-equipped for life in what they chose for themselves to do.