Derby Style

This combination of the dancing horse print Jenny skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing and a big, fancy hat immediately made me think of English Derbies, Stakes, and horse races of all kinds.



Summer is winding down (even though it’s still ridiculously hot outside!), so this will probably be the last time I wear this hat this year. It will be waiting for me next spring, however, and maybe I’ll even wear during the Royal Ascot!

Third Grade: Week One Wrap-Up

I’m hoping to write more consistently about our homeschool experiences this year, by way of a weekly wrap-up. Instead of giving a summary of everything we’ve done in a given week, though, I’m going to share curriculum I particularly like using, or a good story from the week, or a field trip we’ve had…that sort of thing.

Now that we’ve finished our first week of third grade, I have a better feel for some of the new materials we’re using this year. So far, I’m very impressed with the curriculum I purchased from Beautiful Feet Books.

I really love the History of Science. The whole approach to this program is great. Turkey and Bunny are reading, (and from a pretty wide selection of books, too!), and discussing, drawing, mapping, doing copywork, and creating a timeline. It’s such a great variety of activities that it doesn’t feel boring like some other programs tend to. Turkey and Bunny, (and, I confess, their teacher), have really enjoyed learning about Archimedes and his world this week–we’re looking forward to learn more about ancient Greek scientists next week!

The History of the Horse is very similar in layout. Readings from a wide variety of sources, drawing, (we have a whole book dedicated to learning how to draw horses), copywork, etc. I know it’s kind of a strange topic to study in school, but I thought it would be a fun elective. It’s an interesting combination of history, zoology, and literature. Even Ladybug, who is way too young for the notebooking activities, is enjoying following along in the books, (especially the Handbook of Horses, which has lots of great photos), because she loves horses.

I really wish I could try out some of Beautiful Feet’s general history programs. From what I understand, however, they teach a Providential view of American history, and I won’t be teaching that in our school. I am hoping to use their History of Classical Music program in a few years, though, which I’ve heard is just as good, if not better, than the two we’re using this year!

The First Day of Third Grade

Today Turkey and Bunny went “back to school.”

For today, anyway, the school room is organized, books are on the shelves where they belong, the table is free of clutter–a week from now, it’ll probably be a completely different story, but today it looks good!

Turkey and Bunny are very excited about the things they’ll be learning this year, especially American History and writing in cursive. Here’s a brief rundown of our daily schedule:

In addition to all of that, we also have elective Fridays, where we’ll be learning about musical instruments, (we’ll be going through Those Amazing Musical Instruments, plus a coloring book), and composers, (we’re still using the Classical Kids Collection volumes one and two CDs), as well as horses, with Beautiful Feet’s History of the Horse. Plus we’ll use Fridays for playing educational games, such as Reading Roadway USA and the Scrambled States of America, and even the occasional Lego building activity, like the Lego White House from the Architecture series.

It’s going to be another great year–I’m so excited to get started!

While I’m At It

As long as I’ve been pondering curriculum, I’ve been looking at another set of lessons, (this time unit studies), from another new company, one that I’ve heard of but never actually looked at before–Beautiful Feet (BF).

In the interest of full disclosure, because of their particular viewpoints in regards to history, (especially American history), I wouldn’t use them for our history core for a full year. They appear to teach history from a Providential viewpoint (which is something I had never even heard of before this month), and I definitely don’t want to teach that.

That being said, when researching classical music studies, their name kept coming up, and so I checked out their “History of Music” pack. It looks awesome! We’ll be getting almost all of the CDs it uses from MFW over the course of a few years, anyway, and I already have one of the books, so it won’t even be that big of an investment to pick up the study guide and additional books. My children have a natural love of classical music (which I definitely did *not* have at their age), and an ear for composers, and I really want to encourage that. This program looks like it will be great for us in a few years, to really delve into classical music, composers, and musical instruments.

While browsing the BF website, I also found a unit study on the “History of the Horse.” I know it sounds really random, and it definitely wasn’t something I was looking for, but I also think this would be another really cool elective. There are many classic books included in the pack that I’ve either read or heard of (most of them written by Marguerite Henry, of course!), and a few of them are books I was hoping to read with the children soon. There is also a great deal of science in this program (learning the biology of the horse, for example), as well as art, (learning to draw horses).  If we use it as an electives program on Fridays, it will last us a good three years, which is a great return on a rather small investment.

Both of these programs are heavy on notebooking, which I think will be great practice for Turkey and Bunny, and also makes for a nice portfolio at the end of the year, or years, as the case may be. I was hoping to find something more structured than even MFW for classical music, and BF definitely fits the bill, and has gotten great reviews on top of it. I never would have gone looking for a study on horses, but I do love finding unique things to study, and Bunny is always asking to learn about animals, anyway (too bad there’s no bunny unit!), so I think this will be a great addition to our school!