Saturday, April 23, 2016

Grace - 6th Grade, or it started that way...

    Grace will be sixth grade by age. She is precocious and academically aggressive. She's also a whimsical, outgoing ten and a half year old who loves dancing and forensics. That little girl chasing the guys with a sword at homeschool park day, in a miniskirt with matching accessories, that's her.  She's competed on a Math Olympiad team this year and wants to continue that next year. For next year she's torn between joining a Future City team or taking ballet. She's always ready for an adventure and constantly defying stereotypes. She's desperately trying to leave little kid-dom behind and spread her big kid wings. This can lead to some frustration when it goes unacknowledged, but some wonderful leaps as well.

    It chaps her hide some days that I make her stick to her grade by age, when everything but spelling is well ahead of her by age grade. We're strongly considering allowing her to officially grade skip to join a cadet program early, which certainly won't help that aggression. LOL She has been tagging along as an honorary cadet for awhile, and the person in charge of registration offered to let her officially join if we'd declare her a grade ahead. She's obviously mature enough to handle the meetings and advanced enough academically that it does make sense. MhoncaiDad and I hashed it out and agreed she may as well give it a shot. When we told her a fire was ignited and she's taking it Very Seriously. Most of The Plan for next year was already plenty strong enough for a seventh grade distinction, but we made a few tweaks. She's even less happy with spelling now, added some oomph to her science, and decided on a formal literature plan instead of just reading a random pile of classics and discussing.

   Here's the New and Improved Plan.


  • Bite-size Theology by Peter Jeffery, alongside a Catholicism unit to help the middle ages history make a lick of sense
  • then she'll start a chronological pass through the Bible using Veritas Press' Bible curriculum, aiming at completing Genesis through Joshua and Judges through Kings this year, she'll only do the advanced readings and projects, and I'm going to write more mapping and research into her schedule
  • History Lives church history series woven into history 


  • Stewart English book 1, with the option to do book 2 this year or next (grammar will be Done after book 2)
  • Cover Story composition
  • Rod and Staff spelling 6, *if* she doesn't finish it this summer. She's pretty determined to finish it this summer, but that's a serious squishing for that book. I've offered a crash course through the spelling rules with Writing Road to Reading, but she seems to think that's a terrible idea.
  • Annotated Hobbit literature study, homegrown, I'll start with the base I built some years ago for Justice and build a plan around Grace. If I recall correctly Hobbit lasted nearly a school year, and we'll do a Shakespeare unit at the end.
  • The girl wants a Shakespeare year. How does one keep up with a kid like this?? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking...
    • read a retelling together
    • read portions of the original aloud, probably memorize a passage here and there
    • lots of videos, and mock acting around the house
    • lighter spin-offs for reading in the middle
    • historical context as needed
    • designing sets, clothing, and props for a paper doll set 
    • Shakespeare biographies

History of Ireland and England 

  • The Young Oxford History of Britain and Ireland - primary spine
  •  History Lives church history series
  • Illustrated Queens and Kings of England
  • The History of Scotland for Children
  • Famous Men of the Middle Ages
  • Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs
  • Step into the Celtic World
  • Castles, Palaces, and Stately Houses of Britain and Ireland
  • Animals, Birds, & Fish of the British Isles
  • Medieval Medicine and the Plague
  • Good Masters, Sweet Ladies
    Obviously this one is homegrown. I've put together the ancient and medieval period so far, and I'll add to the book list as I go.


  • Exploring the Way Life Works by Hoagland - primary spine
         This is a "nonmajor" flavor of high school text that she already flips through for fun. It'd make a good read all by itself.
  • Blood and Guts for some hands on activities
  • The Way WE Work
  • various extra readers to be determined
  • some units from Bioethics and Medical Issues in Literature, Frankenstein, Rappacinni's Daughter, etc
  • forensic tie-ins somehow??
  • joining Honor and Joy for high school biology labs
  • Biology: Exploring Life by Campbell - select portions
         This is a fairly standard 9th grade text, sometimes called "light." I'm going to try blending a few chapters into her schedule just to work on how to learn from a textbook.

Algebra 1

  • Art of Problem Solving with the videos and Alcumus and/or Khan for extra practice

Spanish 2

  • Duolingo
  • Spanish for Children B
  • reading to Mom from Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish a couple times a week


  • Argument Builder from Classical Academic Press, after Cover Story is completed (28 weeks or so) so it won't add to the schedule, if we don't get it finished we'll work on it orally through the summer


  • Mapping the World With Art (strong interest, she really, really enjoyed working on the United States with the Brookdale Press book this year)
     That looks like a ton, but broken down it looks very doable.  I think it's her asynchronous quirks that give me pause.
Religion = 30 min
Grammar = 10-20 min
Composition = 20-40 min, some random days will be heavier
Literature = 40-50 min
History = 40-50
Science = 40-50 
Math = 60 min (I know AoPS can use more, but that's about all her brain can take.)
Spanish = 30 min
Logic = 0
Art/geography = 20-30
Grand total = 4.5 - 5.5 hours, with transitions and squirrel chasing
     That's still on the low side for a seventh grade day.

Reading list for literature, very incomplete
  • comparing retellings from our collections by Matthews, Lamb, and Garfield
  • bits and pieces of our favorite scenes from our complete works collection
  • Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times (biography and activities)
  • Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bryson (I think, haven't read it yet)
  • The Shakespeare Book
  • actual plays covered and related spin-offs are to be determined

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