|A cowgirl at heart!!!!|
|The girls are great friends! The little Doodlebug loves her big sister!!!! Here they are sharing popcorn in front of one of our Friday afternoon movies (I think we were watching the 1938 Robin Hood with Erroll Flynn).|
|Hard at work!|
|She caught me!|
My Granny told me time would fly. She said I’d blink and they’d be grown. She told me to treasure each and every moment – and I have! Our little Sweet Pea hardly fits into that name any more – she’s a lovely young lady, with roots deep in the heart of the country; she has big ideas and a spunky spirit. She’ll tell you she’s a country girl, and intends to have her own ranch one day. She loves animals, and especially horses!
So…you’re wondering what our 9th grade year looks like? I hope this year is the beginning of a panorama of ideas and landscapes, inspiring stories, noble thoughts, and interesting studies for the first of her high school years. The following plans are spread out over a period of 4 terms of 8 – 9 weeks each. As of this post, we have completed our first term!
**NOTE** For some of the books listed only a portion will be read this year – I note that next to the book like this – (not the entire book)
** Religion – This year our studies spring from an amazing Catholic high school series which was gifted to me – Our Goal and Our Guide by Father Clarence Elwell. This is a fantastic course in Catholic religion written originally in 1945. The first book in the series which we’re using this year is Our Quest for Happiness. What’s wonderful about these books is that they are heavily cross-referenced with Father John Laux’s religion series (which is also on my shelf), as well as a few other Catholic high school series (of the time), and the books offer amazing literary reading choices that underpin the chapters and units covered. An absolute gold mine! The writing is beautiful, there are many AMAZING illustrations throughout (in color if you have the 1945 edition), and the content is outstanding! My daughter has no trouble narrating the reading to me from this text! The original series is out of print, but the book was revised in the 50’s and Lepanto Press now sells reprints of the entire series in hardback!
In addition to the above, Sweet Pea will be taking a course from our priest which he is offering for high school students using Father Laux’s book, Chief Truths of the Faith.
A few of the living religion books I have on her course of studies this year are:
- Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament, edited by Scott Hahn (amazing concordance in this!)
- Baltimore Catechism #3 with commentary by Father Connell
- The Catholic Girls Guide by Father Lasance (not the entire book)
- The Faith Explained by Leo Trese
- The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfl
- Dominic Savio: Teenage Saint by Peter Lappin
- Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: An Ordinary Christian by Maria Di Lorenzo
- Examination of Conscience for Specific Ages & Temperaments by Mary Ann Budnik
- Some sermons by Father Ripperger available from Sensus Traditionis
** History & Literature – Studies this year cover the period of the Middle Ages (5th century through the 15th century, but we’ll read a little up through the 18th century). American History is not a focus this year save informal mentions as it might relate contextually to something being read. The focus for this period is the significant impact the Catholic Church had on the preservation of culture in Europe, particularly during the Dark Ages, with coverage of the Crusades and the Reformation. Toward that end:
- Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill (an alternate option is this one volume paperback arranged and condensed by Henry Steele Commager. (not the entire book)
- Celebrating 2000 Years of Christian History by Gloria Thomas and Warren Carroll (not the entire book)
- How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas Woods – Sweet Pea is listening to the Audio CD of this book and narrating back to me. The book is very good, but the narrator of the book is less than engaging. Just be forewarned if you order the CD. It’s still great content though!
- The Crusades by Hilaire Belloc
- The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton
- Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
- Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
- Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
- The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day by Scott O’Dell
- Outlaws of Ravenhurst by M. Imelda Wallace
- Lepanto by C.S. Lewis
- Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
- How the Reformation Happened by Hilaire Belloc and if there is time, Characters of the Reformation by Hilaire Belloc
- Ourselves by Charlotte Mason (not the entire book)
- Catholic World Report – for current events
The following are books that Sweet Pea has chosen to read on her own:
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (with a supplement of Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre by Stewart Ross just for fun!)
- Emma by Jane Austen
- The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de’Angeli
- Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada by Francis Winwar
- …and probably more!
There will be oral and written narrations of these books, along with additions to her Book of Centuries. Our favorite and only reference at this point is the book, The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun. Amazing reference! Wonderful!
** Geography – springs from History studies. This year we’re using Why Greenland is an Island, Australia is Not – And Japan is Up For Grabs by Joyce Davis. It’s a great book for uncovering the why of certain boundaries which makes it super helpful in approaching Current Events! It’s a fantastic book! If you’re interested, you can view my plans: Why Greenland Is – Geography plans. We only work with this book one day a week, so the plans are written assuming 1 day a week, over 8 week terms, with 4 terms in a year. In addition to this book, a good atlas is essential! For cost, size, and content, my preference is The National Geographic Collegiate Atlas of the World. Many of our Natural History/Science books cross subject boundaries and fit under a Geography heading as well.
** Natural History/Nature Study – We’re continuing our studies here by following along with a few naturalists. At this point, Nature Study is not a formal topic, though I do still make time in the day for a 10 minute nature walk and a 10 minute nature sketch. This is pretty simple and straightforward, and is something that Sweet Pea very much enjoys. Her sketching is becoming quite lovely, and she enjoys the use of color pencils as well as watercolor as her preferred mediums.
- Audubon by Constance Rourke
- Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear (a great book for a younger reader about Beatrix Potter is Country Artist: A Story About Beatrix Potter by David Collins)
- Wild Animal Ways by Ernest Thompson Seton (just because she hasn’t read it yet…and really wants to!)
- Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton
- The American Seasons by Edwin Way Teale
- She’s continuing to add to her Wildflowers, Weeds, and Garden Flowers notebooking pages at least through the summer and fall.
- We continue to find more Carol Lerner books to enjoy and learn from – she’s one of our favorite naturalist/author/illustrators:
** Alabama Natural History – As part of connecting with and learning more about our local natural history, I’ve written a course for Alabama Natural History that both my 5th grader and my 9th grader (and I!!!!) are really enjoying! (If you’re in Alabama and would like a copy of the lesson plans email me and I’ll be happy to share them!). The series springs from a set of programs entitled Discovering Alabama narrated and written by Doug Phillips. They’re just wonderful – we’re all learning so much about our state’s natural history!! The programs cover an amazing and wide variety of topics. They are available through the library system, viewable on PBS, and downloadable (for free) from itunesU. I downloaded all of the programs we needed to complete the year of Alabama Natural History as I’ve written it, put them on CD’s, and we watch a program every 2 – 3 weeks, completing projects and special *themed* nature walks in between.
** Science – This year Sweet Pea is digging into Physical Science…with an ever present emphasis in one of her passions – Meteorology! We’re going to continue using living books to approach high school sciences:
- Twelve Catholic Men of Science (oop) by Bertram Windle
- The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday
- The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin Wiker
- The Flying Circus of Physics by Jearl Walker (not the entire book)
- Basin and Range by John McFee
- Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist by Guy Consolmagno
- Creator and Creation by Mary Daly
- Copernicus, Galileo, and the Catholic Sponsorship of Science by Jane Meyerhofer
- The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies by Richard Hamblyn
- Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics by Craig Bohren
- What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks: More Experiments in Atmospheric Physics by Craig Bohren
Intimidated by high school science? I’d like to do a longer post reviewing an AMAZING NEW RESOURCE for CATHOLIC high school-homeschoolers in SCIENCE!!!! But, I don’t want to forget to mention this resource to you, and it’s so appropriate to mention right now!!! How long have we been waiting for this???? A Catholic science teacher with a tremendous passion for and knowledge of the SCIENCES!!! Do check out CatholicScience.com!! The online classes offered are written for and to Catholic high schoolers home schooling science. Mr. Baruzzini has a number of classes already available online! WONDERFUL!! And, so needed!
- Help For Highschool: Expository Essay Writing by Julie Bogart
- Format Writing by Frode Jensen
- Spelling Wisdom series for Dictation selections, compiled by Simply Charlotte Mason
** Math – We’re continuing to plod along with Saxon Algebra I. To quote my brother, it’s adequate. LOL!! Please don’t write to tell me all the issues with this program, I’m very familiar with them! However, it’s also got some good points – it’s content is thorough, if nothing else. We do hit walls occasionally, but (so far) we’ve been able to brainstorm creatively, work hard, and find ways around those walls! We’ll just keep rolling as long as we can achieve mastery without insanity! LOL!! In addition to regular algebra work this year, I’m incorporating some math logic games that used to belong to my brother and sister. These are all Wff’n Proof logic games:
The instructions for these games are not for the faint of heart – so be forewarned!!! But, they are challenging, exciting, and engaging math and logic games!
** Logic – I’m still working on this one! Right now, we’re using The Art of Argument by Classical Academic Press. Too soon to tell on this one. I’ll let you know!
** Latin – We’re finishing up Latina Christiana I (I know…we’re so behind the curve with Latin!). We should finish this up mid-year and from there we’ll either pick up with The Book of Roots or Latin Grammar: Grammar Vocabularies and Exercises in Preparation for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary by Cora and Charles Scanlon.
- Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican
- Artistic Pursuits – continuing work in the Junior High/Book 1 book with some lessons
- Deep Space Sparkle art blog – some lessons from Line + Color = Fun and Fun With Portraits
- The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson – INVALUABLE!!!
- The Story of One Hundred Great Composers by Helen Kaufmann (oop) (not using entire book)
- The Little Guide to Music Appreciation by Helen Kaufmann (oop) (not using entire book)
- The Little History of Music by Helen Kaufmann (oop) (not using entire book)
- The Little Dictionary of Musical Terms by Helen Kaufmann (oop) (not using entire book)
- **NOTE** often you can find these 4 above books as a set as they were originally offered. Though out of print, they are not difficult to find, nor are they expensive. I discovered Ms. Kaufmann’s excellent writing through several Signature Series books she wrote on various composers. A little search turned up these jewels!
- Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
For an idea of how this all works – how such a wide and varied curriculum can fit into a day, read over our plans:
“It (the Charlotte Mason method of education) is twice blessed, it blesses him that gives and him that takes, and a sort of radiancy of look distinguishes both scholar and teacher engaged in this manner of education…” (Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education, Volume 6, p. 27)