Not ~ Back to School Blog Hop–Curriculum Week


Howdee!  I have loved the Not Back to School Blog Hop the past couple of years – I’m excited that it is going strong this year! Visit their page by clicking the link above, or an extra link below –  so that you can get the whole picture, freebies, encouragement and the links to see all of the blogs.  Many types of families participate – it is a great place to hook up with some homeschoolers that will encourage you right where you are in your journey!

Curriculum Week –

We focus more on learning goals – than curriculum goals.  Even before hooking up with some some great review opportunities – we sit at the beginning of the year and pray about our learning goals for the boys, and then wait on the Lord to show us the resources. He has been faithful these past 9 years and has always provided exactly what he wanted for me as the leader, and for the boys in their journey of discovery.

We reviewed over 90 products in the last year and a half. I may like a resource for many reasons, but the tell tale sign is if it makes it on our shelf in the ‘current’ section of our learning library.

This year we purchased a new industrial style shelving unit, and this summer I redid our books in the learning library – come take a peek at what got to stay as we enter:

6th and 9th Grade Levels.




Our main math this year will be no-Nonsense Algebra and enVisionMATH 6.  We always have our Miquon Rods and Math Dictionary on the ready at an arm’s reach. I’m not sure that enVisionMATH will stay with us for the whole year but it is the supply we have now. We may try a bit of Saxon 7/6 to see if he likes it, we do have the DIVE CD. We are finishing up Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra and finished JUMP at HOME 5.


We will have a day of reading out of the McGuffey Readers for narration and great vocabulary, Phonetic Zoo, Spelling from the Wise Guide, and Writing from Create Better Writers – Essay and The Write Foundation.  We use a lot of written and verbal narration in our notebooking, if we are not doing a lot of writing in our notebooks, then we shift over to these resources to fill the gaps.




We will continue on with Learning American Sign Language and Visual Latin.  We have a few Spanish resources as well, but have seen the benefit of focusing on Visual Latin for our vocabulary and second language choice. We LOVE  love LOVE Visual Latin. (love)


Ahhh. Science.  What can I say? We love science.  We love the task cards from Creek Edge Press, World of Science, our living books – our Nature Notebooks, Sigh. We never seem to have to ‘try’ to fit in science. We flow between Biology, Chemistry, Physical, and Marine Biology. We will be back on track with intentional Nature Study in the fall – we’ve been observing so many things this summer that we haven’t had time to share all of the wonder. I’d say, on any given week, every one of these books has hit the kitchen table. Still love my Discovery Scope for field work!


Hard to see what our Character Studies are – we enjoy For Instructions in Righteousness and Plants Grown Up from Doorposts. A few texts from AIG, Contenders of the Faith, and the Squire and the Scroll. Our main Bible Study and Character comes from the Word. The Bible. It is our #1 Resource.




Geography– Time line maps, The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, Galloping the Globe Recipe Books, Letterboxing, Map Quest, We love it all!

P1090616History – We are still a bit in the Middle ages, studying a bit about Spain, and will move on to the Ancients this year. We have a lot of classics on our Kindle from Heritage History, love Truth Quest History for the how to study history, and try to blend it with Science, Art, Music and Geography.


One of our favorite days is Wednesday – Art and Composer Day.  We are continuing on with Harmony Art Mom’s curriculum, incorporating ARTistic Pursuits, Draw Write Now, and Drawing Textbook.  An ample supply of Acrylics, Markers, Pastels, Pencils and markers make the day a joy. I have been reading Harmony Art Mom’s High School Squidoo pages and downloaded her free 9th grade package – setting it in my my mind to have the write words of encouragement for my 9th grader to take the next step with more notebooking with his studies. (Using tips from Create Better Writers to make this easier.)


Whew. Still with me? Wow. It’s going to be a good year, ‘eh?

  On to Robotics. We are not going to participate in the First Lego League this year, but will continue to incorporate their core values into all we do, and will have an NXT Challenge book to work out tasks at home. The boys will have have one challenge a month to complete, write about, & video the results. Speaking of Video – Jon will be taking a Stop Motion Course and we will be joining the Film Maker’s Course at the Schoolhouse Teachers.


Replacing FLL for our fall team event is something I haven’t really shared with my regular readers yet – Tigersharks 4H Surf Club!  We’re staring a 4H club for Surfing!  We have about 15 active members now, and have had a great few weeks learning about the Ocean, Physical Fitness, Paddling, Controlling and Moving our Boards. This mom has participated a lot and has had her ears open the whole time. We’re off to the beach this afternoon for some Surf Time!!! We’ll be diving deep into Ocean Currents, Storms, Weather, and Waves.


Wrapping it all up!

We have our Workboxes in the Learning Library stowed for the summer, but come fall they will be under the bench in the dining room. I’ll pull out the resources we will be using for a week to a month and make up lesson plans for us. I make up 6 months of plans twice a year, to keep focused on our goals. When we have opportunity to review 3 different Middle Ages History curriculums – we just dive into the topic that is on the list. Same with Math or Writing – keep our goal in mind, and see how the curriculum helps us read those goals. I could write a huge long epic novel of a post of how the Lord provides just the right resource at just the right time to take us to the next step of our journey. I am looking forward to what He is thinking up for us for High School!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ll be posting about our learning adventures this year. The Schoolhouse Review Crew has a full bucket of reviews for us through 2013. I’ll continue on with Timberdoodle as well. I purposely did not post any links with this Blog Hop. I just want to share what we are doing. You may search my site, or Google for further information – or as always – feel free to drop me a line, and I’d love to share.

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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3 Responses to Not ~ Back to School Blog Hop–Curriculum Week

  1. carreannjoe says:

    Hi! I was referred to your blog, and I love what I see! I wanted to ask, if I may, a few questions:

    What is letterboxing?? How do you do that?

    Where did you get your Discovery Scope? I looked at their website and wondered if you purchased that through them or someplace, cheaper?!

    What are ‘workboxes’ ?

    I JUST started homeschooling. I like the idea of Charlotte Mason. Or, I should say, I love the idea of learning through reading (living books) and of spending as much time as possible doing things ‘hands-on’ and TOGETHER! My son is 12. He’s been in public school up until this years. My daughter just turned 5. We just moved so we’ve jumped into this not only new, but a little unorganized and busy with packing/unpacking etc. We’re pretty much settled now. I had purchased a boxed SECULAR curriculum through Timberdoodle for both kids. It’s OK..My son grabs his workbooks and does what he’s suppose to, and that’s it! I want to get out more together, do more together. I love the idea of your little discovery scope. We live in a beautiful area of Northern California and would have many uses for this little thing to take along on hikes. Do you guys have specific goals in mind you do your nature studies or just explore? I saved Harmony Art Mom’s site, Creek Edge, and Visual Latin on my computer, but haven’t had time yet to read those sites. I feel bad that I’m spending time trying to figure out a good routine (I like a bit of a routine so we don’t blow the whole day off with my lack of specific ideas in mind – lol) while at the same time my daughter sit’s here bored to death! I just want to get a good, daily, agenda set up so we can wake up, eat, and go! I have sooo much to learn it’s overwhelming kind of!! Cori over at Wonder In The Woods referred me to you because your boys are close to my son’s age! Thanks in advance! I will be scouring your site for many weeks to come, I’m sure!


  2. Wow, what an excellent homeschool you have! Just very good curriculum. I like the idea of work boxes also and think I’d definitely be going to that if I had more than one student this year. They really weren’t given that term till more recently, or at least I hadn’t heard of them when my two adult kids were schooling. They would have been great when I was teaching all three!
    I have a science lover too so we are really getting excited about science. As he gets older I can see us having a science shelf like yours.
    Very complete learning program for your kiddos.

    • pebblekeeper says:

      Thanks Stephanie! And thanks for stopping by! In the past, I’ve spent the whole month of August fretting about September, getting every scrap ready. I’ve decided not to do that this year. We start late on the Oregon Coast, the High School doesn’t start school til September 5th. So we will have a Not Back To School Part on the 4th (when elementary busses roll) and then get into the groove. I am thinking the first week of school will be a purge party for the dining room/kitchen and library. Ha. We definitely have a lived in feel. We have rented this home from a family who has owned it since 1944. It came furnished. So all of the eclectic furniture and decorations are theirs. I love the feel of the home! Well – Thanks for stopping by.

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