Month: June 2016

School Supplies, and Books, Books, BOOKS!

Jacek Yerka 1952 - Polish Surrealist painter - Tutt'Art@ (5)

painting by Jacek Yerka

I have a big spreadsheet for all the books, and some of the supplies that I have planned so far. It is slightly large for the blog format, but I am posting it for those of you who like spreadsheets. (you know who you are, Stiles Brainery)

America Axel Elvis Vegas Shelley Supplies
Math Ray’s Primary $0 Ray’s Primary $0 Strayer-Upton Book 1 $14 Harold Jacobs Geometry $53 Geometry Solutions Manual $35 Scientific Calculator $16
Books 2 & 3 $29
Science BFSU Vol. II $35 BFSU Vol. II $35 BFSU Vol. III $29
Biology II $0
Grammar Reading: McGuffey $0 Harvey’s Elementary Grammar {pdf} $0 Harvey’s Revised Grammar $20 Harvey’s Elementary Key $10
Language Lessons, Evans $0 Elements of English Grammar, Evans {pdf} $0 Harvey’s Revised Key $6
A New English Grammar, Harvey {pdf} $0
Language Arts Get Ready for the Code $4 Get Set/Go for the Code $13 Explode the Code 6-8 $15 Magnetic boards $10
All about Spelling $15 All about Spelling 1 $30 All about Spelling interactive Kit $23
History Story of the world 3 $10 Story of the world 3 $10 Story of the world 3 $10
Great Courses Western Civ $50
Language N/A N/A Latin’s Not So Tough 2 $20 Wheelock’s Latin & workbook $24 Latin’s Not So Tough CD $5
French 1
Art Art Camp Art Camp Art Camp Rendering in Pen and Ink $16
100 flashcards 100 Flashcards Kahn Academy Art History
100 flashcards
Music Elementary Music Elementary Music Elementary Music
Drums with Elvis Piano Violin Orchestra
Violin Drums w/Nick $50/mo PYCO $765
PYP Class Private Lessons Sketchbooks $25/each
Other Elementary Education Elementary Education Leuchtturm Notebooks $20/each
copy paper $20
Home Skills Home Skills $30 for all 3 Home Skills Home Skills
pencils/pens $45
Handwriting Magna-doodle 3-5 Handwriting Guide 3-5 Handwriting Guide Spencerian Penmanship Penmanship copybooks $15
Total:$4 Total: $95 Total: $ 110 + $50/mo Total: $190 + PYCO fees Total: $ 55 Total: $ 175 Total for All: $735(less music classes and fees)

Here are the books and supplies we need to purchase, in list form, for each student.


Get Ready for the Code $4 {phonics and letter formation}


BFSU Vol. II $35 {also used by Elvis}

Reading: BOB $10-$30

Get Set/Go for the Code $13 {phonics and reading}

All about Spelling $15

Story of the world 3 $10 {also used by Elvis}


Strayer-Upton Book 1 $14

Books 2 & 3 $29 {depending on how fast they go}

Harvey’s Elementary Grammar  The PDF is $0, Book is about $10

Explode the Code 6-8 $15 {phonics and vocabulary}

All about Spelling 1 $30

Latin’s Not So Tough 2 $20


Harold Jacobs geometry $53

BFSU Vol. III $29

Harvey’s Revised Grammar $20

Great Courses Western Civ $50

Wheelock’s Latin & workbook $24

Rendering in Pen and Ink $16

Shelley {teacher’s manuals}:

Geometry Solutions Manual $35

Harvey’s Elementary Key $10

Harvey’s Revised Key $6

Supplies and materials:

Scientific Calculator $16

Magnetic boards $10

All about Spelling interactive Kit $23

Latin’s Not So Tough CD $5

Sketchbooks $25/each {X4}

Leuchtturm Notebooks $20/each {X2}

copy paper $20

pencils/pens $45

Penmanship copybooks $15

*If additional books or supplies are needed, I will amend this spreadsheet, and write a new post.

Having some Steven Smith tea, Shelley


A New Year on the Horizon

Over the last few months we have been pushing to finish our work for the 2015-2016 school year. There are about 5 science lessons to go, and a few odds and ends for the younger kids, while Vegas has a full summer of Algebra and Biology to chip away at. At the beginning of this last year, I planned for working through the summer, and I am so glad I did. The stress of finishing everything by June is gone, and an easier pace has allowed for us to go on several unplanned field trips, and work on household skills that might have been pushed aside otherwise.

The natural product of one year ending, is to think about the next year, and to begin planning for it. Having our struggles and successes fresh in mind as I am looking through potential textbooks is key to choosing wisely for each child. I recently read through For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay and was struck by how different our American education system is from how a child’s mind actually learns or processes. I was challenged to change my mentality from a segmented, goal oriented, test based plan to a long-range, whole child, preparing for life, holistic approach.

The book that has been the most successful this year with the younger kids has been Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, by Bernard J. Nebel. Because of it’s popularity within our family, I ordered Nebel’s Elementary Education, Creating a Tapestry of Learning, also by the same author. I was surprised to find his philosophy of learning and teaching to be so close to that of Charlotte Mason, who Susan Macaulay writes about in For the Children’s Sake. It was very satisfying to find two seemingly unrelated books that were in complete agreement.

With these books on my mind, I set about carefully reading through different reviews and samples from textbooks in all subjects.  Using the resulting books, I have been putting together a curriculum for the next few years that I hope will serve each child well. The goal being to build a broad structure of thinking, and consequently implementing those subjects into meaningful tools for life. I cannot put it as eloquently as these other authors, but what I can say is, I am excited to be thinking outside of the grade level box.

With that said, next year Vegas will be in 9th grade, Elvis in 4th, Axel in 1st, and Meri in PreK.

By age.

Each child has areas of exellence that surpass that ‘grade level’, as well as areas that they are still working through. Rather than feel pressure to meet certain ‘normal’ levels across the board for each one, I am motivated to use those areas in a complimentary fashion, recognizing that each strength and weakness is part of a unique and wonderful person, who is exactly who they are meant to be.

I am hopeful to steer each child in the direction of mastery and passion that is particular to them, not create a ‘jack of all trades, and a master of none.’

Making extra coffee, Shelley

P.S. My next post will be a school supply and book list.