Home Education Plans 2014~2015


It has been a long time since my last post…

It has been an even longer time since I posted about the plans for my children’s education at home…I think the last time was at my old blog.

My plans for our up coming year are pretty much done and dusted. We still follow a Charlotte Mason approach. I am not a purist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do appreciate the joy and gentle pace she brings to the every day.

This year is a milestone for us, as Elianna enters ‘high school’ ~ Year 7/grade 6


Rose will be going into Year 4/grade 3


Family Read Alouds:

Under blankets on the sofa, cuddled up in bed, or lazing in the sunshine, read aloud time is my favourite part of ‘school’.

~ Lots of Fairy Tales

Aesop’s Fables

The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe

The snow queen

The Trumpet & The Swan

The Merry Adventures Of Robin Hood

~ The Story of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table

~ A Christmas Carol (ours is a vintage, unabridged version)

~ The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

~ Little Women

History Read Alouds:

The World Of Columbus & Sons


Good Queen Bess

Starry Messenger

I, Galileo

Degas & the little dancer

Science Read Alouds:

The mystery of the periodic table

Mathmaticians are people too V1

Great scientists & their discoveries

Mathmaticians are people too V2

Great inventors & their inventions

Nature Study Read Alouds:

Nature Lover’s Book 3

By pond & river

Silverstein’s World in a Drop

The Stream I know

There will be *lots* of discussion around our reading..


The Story Of The Romans

Bulfinch’s Greek & Roman Mythology – The Age of Fable

These books I had planned as historical fiction; I may switch out for more ‘classic’ lit.

Twilight Child

Rider in the dark

The Pirate’s son

The Orange Trees of Versailles

Stink Alley

The minister’s daughter

Marie Curie (Giants of science)

Watchers at the pond

Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity by Robert Cwiklik


Khan Academy

Life Of Fred

Origami maths

Various games & living maths



Primary language lessons ~ Rose

Intermediate language lessons ~ Elianna

Spelling Wisdom

For Elianna:

Daily sentence diagramming 

Reading through The Sentence Family at our leisure as review.

Keeping a Common Place Book

Figuratively Speaking


Poetry tea once a week

Memory Work

Reading a poem a day, focusing on one poet per term. (Walter De La Mare, William Blake, Sara Teasdale)

Nature poems in our nature notebooks (yes, I have one too!)

Poetry analysis 1 x month

With Elianna:

Rose, where did you get that red?

Wishes, lies and dreams


Macbeth (coville)

Never Say Macbeth

Shakespeares Storybook

With Elianna

No fear Macbeth

PLUTARCH ~ Elianna

Poplicola / Publicola


LATIN ~ Elianna

Getting Started With Latin

Usbourne Sticker Book

The Story of the Romans

LOGIC ~ Elianna

The Art Of Argument

Mind Benders


 Poetry & Shakespeare

Poetry of their own choice

Various Shakespeare

 Grammar –

Parts of speech

 Maths – times tables

Multiplication facts in 7 days ~ We need to get this down – Elianna struggles with some facts. I plan to take 7 weeks to use this resource!

Sci – periodic table

Periodic table song 

colouring book

Making our own Periodic table

 Latin ~ Elianna

Flash cards from Getting Started With Lain

Map Work – wkly

Keeping up our wall Time Line


 Bi-Weekly Experiment – cool chemistry concoctions

Basher The Periodic Table

Basher Chemistry

Albert Einstein & the theory of relativity ~ Elianna

Galore Park – SYRWTL Science book 1 ~ Elianna (This I am undecided about. Maybe, maybe not)


As well as our regular journal keeping, I plan for us to undertake a year long study of our local pond!

We have multiple resources:

Natural science through the seasons

Concise Pond Life

The World of the Microscope

One Small Square – Pond

Rivers Ponds & Lakes

Tell me Tree

First Book Of Pond Life

Elianna will be reading: Watchers at the pond

Rosie: Pond LifePond & River BirdsWhat to look for in AutumnWhat to look for in WinterWhat to look for in Spring

What to look for in Summer, amongst many others…


Artist tea once a week:





~ Elianna: Outlining & summaries using:

The Medieval and Early Modern World: Primary Sources and Reference Volume

Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Rose will be reading & narrating.

 A great resource: What on earth


 Following the liturgical year & seasons


Learning as we walk along the way..

Typed out like this, my lists look overwhelming. But with short lessons, some subjects for only a term & lots of time for contemplation I know this is going to be a beautiful year…





Whitsun is fifty days after Easter Sunday, also known as Pentecost.

Acts 2 tells the story of the original Pentecost:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.


Spring goeth all in white

Crowned with milk-white may:

In fleecy flocks of light

O’er heaven the white clouds stray.

White butterflies in the air;

White daisies prank the ground;

The cherry and the hoary pear

Scatter their snow around

Robert Bridges

From Festivals, Family & Food:

In Northern Europe the connection is also a natural one, with the blossoming of white May, Hawthorn and Lilac at this time. For children this can be the time to celebrate the blossoms, bringing a few into the home if possible, or finding white daisies to place on a saucer of water for the table or weave into chains.


Last week we harvested lots of Elder flowers to make cordial. Already the tree has replenished!

Elderflower Cordial

~20-25 flower heads rinsed
~ 4 lemons, zested & roughly chopped
~1 KG of sugar
~1.5 litres water
~ 50g citric acid (used as a preservative, so useful, but not essential.
In a large bowl add the 1.5L boiling water to the sugar & citric acid. Stir well.
Allow to cool
Add the flower heads, lemons & zest
Allow to steep for a day or two (two days for a good, rich Elderflower flavour)
Strain through a jam strainer, muslin or an old (clean!) tea towel.
Pour into sterilised bottles.
Dilute & enjoy!

It’s That Time Of The Year…



Each year in my home I have three decluttering & deep cleaning sessions. Advent, Lent & toward the end of the school year. This week has been the time for the latter. So at a time when the earth exhales, the sun shines and the air is fragrant, I choose to become terribly inverted and stay at home :)

This deep clean & declutter is preceded by planning, for the new upcoming homeschool year (we start afresh in September). Lots of lists, planning sheets and calendar pages are covered in my scribbles and typed notes. This is followed by the urge to clear out any resources and books that we no longer need and order in new supplies! Pencils are sharpened, play dough and paper refreshed. We have a few more weeks to go before we are finished with our current school year ~ and I am already anticipating with great excitement the next year! This is my first year with a high schooler!

I would highly recommend the ebook – Teaching from Rest by Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things. It is a very quick, but deeply meaningful read. Quite perfect!

To continue the theme of deep cleaning – for those who would like to turn inward & do some ‘deep cleaning’ of the mind, read this wonderful post by Carrie at The Parenting Passageway.A super post to help us focus on what we need to parent peacefully.

Remember Remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.

By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

Today has been all about Guy Fawkes. Between our regular maths and grammar lessons, we read stories about him, made acrostics about fireworks and Rose made a smashing firework painting.

For dinner there was Tomato Soup eaten by the firesideImage

Followed by delicious, sticky home made Lancashire Parkin. Which was followed by s’mores :)


We watched the fireworks from the vantage point of our living room window, whilst I knitted on (what will become) an adorable baby bonnet.


The girls went out doors and we lit their sparklers…





Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the new year in Celtic times.  A time for us to set new intentions, think new ideas and formulate plans…to incubate those ideas over the cold winter months and birth them into the warm sprain time breezes…

Our Hallowe’en moments

: : Carving pumpkins


: : Pumpkin maths

: : Reading our familiar Hallowe’en stories

Mousekin’s golden house


The Pumpkin Blanket

Scary Stories

When my children were younger, we kept away from the ‘scary’ aspect of Hallowe’en and focused on the Autumn aspect – hence the first three lovely, cosy books. Despite being older now, they still love to read these books (and even better, have them read aloud!) They also enjoy a good scary story and I find the last book to be perfect for their appetite.

: : Made ‘Hallowe’en Soup’ (onions, pumpkin, orange peppers, sweet potato, carrots) all served up after dark in a big pumpkin :)


: : Created Hallowe’en art

: : Decorated our home


: : Had oodles of fun at our local Book Cycle party


: : Trick or Treating

: : Supper with good friends

Today (November 1st) is All Souls Day. I will be remembering loved ones passed in my prayers today and we are going to visit the cemetery where a loved friend rests. We shall be tidying the graveside and Rose will be leaving a special gift.

Poorly Little Person


The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed, I had two pillows at my head, And all my toys beside me lay, To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills, Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets All up and down among the sheets; Or brought my trees and houses out, And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still That sits upon the pillow-hill, And sees before him, dale and plain,

The pleasant land of counterpane.

We have had a week of it here :)

A poorly mummy and a very poorly little person. A mystery virus which swept into our home bringing headaches, sickness and temperatures, then disappeared as quickly as it came.

At it’s worst, there was much sleeping. But on that ‘inbetween’ day, I brought out our ‘Poorly People Bucket’. This is a large tub which only comes out when someone is sick. We have had it for several years and it always helps to occupy those small people who have been relegated to bed, or a cosy bed made up on the sofa. It contains playdough, colouring books, puzzle books, a little box containing lots of die cut paper shapes to make tangrams, a small pair of scissors and a stick of glue and, of course, our most favourite story to read when some one is poorly: When Vera Was Sick (there is nothing like reading about someone who is more poorly that you are to lift the spirits!)

We also have ‘Poorly Peter’, a softie I made when the girls were tiny. He is made from the most wonderful, soft, plant dyed wool felt and again, he only makes an appearance when someone is unwell.

I always try to support my children through illness, rather than rushing them to get better. I do not use homeopathy, but have salways found encouragement in this article by Donna Simmons : Practical suggestions for Sick Children

Happy Healing!


Brave Saint Michael is my guide

As free and fearless forth I ride

With courage of Saint George of old

I dare to face fierce dragons bold

Did you have a lovely Michaelmas? It was such beautiful autumn weather here – blue, blue skies with a light breeze. We enjoyed a late afternoon stroll in our local park before returning to a feast of beef stew, Dragon bread and blackberry jam tarts. (Remember – no more blackberry picking from now on; the old legend says that when Michael cast the Devil out of heaven, the Devil landed in a blackberry patch and promptly spat on them!)





The girls and I have also begun to prepare our ‘Courage Balm’ – a home made balm to rub on to any wee cuts or grazes, stings or rashes. We shall be giving this as Christmas gifts and also keeping a supply for ourselves – it is wonderful stuff!

Firstly we have to soak the herbs for a few weeks to make an infused oil – the recipe is very fluid to allow for what you have on hand from your garden. But make sure to dry your herbs first, or the oil may go bad with the presence of the moisture.

We have used lavender and calendula from our garden, plus some organic chamomile that I purchased. The herbs we covered with Organic olive oil and will be left in a sunny spot for a few weeks, then we shall make the balm.


We had a couple of recitations of the poem we have been learning this month ‘Brave Saint Michael’ along with stories of our brave Saint. (Stories, always stories!)

The inner work of this time of year is always challenging – taking stock, what needs to be left behind and finding the strength to face my own dragons….

Saint Michael has helped our family in a very personal way, however. Do you remember how we struggled to find a name for our new kitten?

He has now been named Michael. Our very own fierce and fearless warrior!