Monday, April 13, 2015

Published Books...Coming Soon!

I'm currently working on making my first book/guide available in print form and I'm very excited about it! I have so much to learn, so I hope that my mistakes can be withstood. Please be patient with me. :) I might try and use this post as a reference place for a running list of all that I complete and make available at Lulu. Here is a link to my Author's Spotlight page. I still have much work to do even with this, but if you keep checking back it should begin to take shape soon.

Author Spotlight at Lulu

Current Books Coming Soon:

The Book of the Ancient Greeks Lesson Plans

I do hope to offer it as an eBook which can printed as soon as I can.

Monday, March 23, 2015



Here is a list of Handcraft suggestions from the PNEU Curriculum:
  • gardening
  • sewing
  • knitting
  • Scouts
  • paper folding
  • charity work
  • woodcarving
  • cooking
  • embroidery
  • weaving
  • woodwork
  • clay modeling
Here are some additional suggestions:
  • flower arranging
  • flower press
  • pottery
  • origami
  • Zentangle
  • scrapbooking
  • photography
  • calligraphy
  • card/notecard/bookmark creations
  • jewelry making
  • quilting
  • model kits
  • knot tying
  • electronics
  • mechanics
  • soap carving
  • herbal creations (soaps, sachets, etc.)

I'll use this section (below) for links to resources for some of these handcraft suggestions. This will be a continual work in progress, so while I will include only a couple of links at this time, I will add to this list as I can.

  • The Mary Frances Garden Book  Archive
  • Origami Instructions  Here
  • Flower Press Here
  • The Art of Zentangle by Bremner, Burnell, Raile and William
  • Easy Carpentry Projects for Children by Leavitt
  • The Morrow Guide to Knots by Bigon and Regazzoni
  • See and Sew: A Sewing Book for Children by Tina Davis
  • Look and Cook: A Cookbook for Children by Tina Davis
  • Sow and Grow: A Gardening Book for Children by Tina Davis
  • Grow It, Cook It (DK Publishing)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Charlotte Mason's Preparatory Level

I've recently found some PNEU schedules for what Charlotte Mason called the Preparatory Level.

Here is a sample schedule that she included:

Monday: Bible, Reading, Painting, Number, Handwork, Geography, Writing
Tuesday: Tales, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Nature Study
Wednesday: Poetry, Reading, Nature Study, Number, Handwork, History, Writing
Thursday: Bible, Number, Handwork, Reading, Singing Games, Writing, Tales
Friday: Tales, Reading, Picture Study, Number, Handwork, Nature Study, Writing

Notice how she intersperses skill work with content work keeping the child from becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. A short period of concentrated work such as Numbers, Writing, etc. should be followed with a different type of work such as Handwork, listening to stories, singing, etc. This schedule should be followed with time allotted for outdoor play, nature study, gardening, etc.

Tales/Literature/Reading Aloud

Some books that might be used for Tales included:
  • English Fairy Tales by J. Jacobs
  • Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A Milne
  • Fairy Tales of Long Ago edited by M. C. Carey
  • Anatole by Eve Titus
  • The New Pet by Marjorie Flack
  • The Fairy Caravan by Beatrix Potter


Here is a link to one of several books used for history:

A Nursery History of England by Elizabeth O'Neill

Days before History by E. G. Hume and Stories of Great People, Stories of Great Deeds by K. Conyngham Greene were also used.

These books were used for biographies, particularly Alfred the Great and Sir Walter Raleigh.

 Natural History

Here are just a few of the many selections used for natural history. Many of these books are not available for free downloads, but are available for purchase.
  • Tales of the Wild Folk by Cicely M. Rutley
  • In the Wilderness by Derek McCulloch
  • Walnut Tree Meadow by David Severn
  • Zoo Days by H. Golding

Seeing the books that CM used helps me to have a better understanding of which books I can use today as replacements. I often can get a better sense of her fundamental goals by looking at her books over reading her theories.

CM also included poetry, picture study, Bible, geography and singing along with a great emphasis on physical exercise and outdoor time. I'll try to post more about this level sometime in the near future. I'd like to do a couple of posts on Handwork and I'll include this level in one of these posts too.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Our Island Story, Book Notes and Alternative Texts

I'm currently working on more notes for Our Island Story. At this time, I have notes from Chapter 52 until the end that are ready. I've started the notes for Chapters 1-4 and will continue onward until I complete the book.

I've noticed over the years that a number of people do not care for H. E. Marshall's books, such as Our Island Story, English Literature for Boys and Girls and This Country of Ours. While I would agree that Marshall sometimes inserts her personal perspectives towards the topic at hand into the narratives, I would also agree that her works overall have a completeness and accessibility that is very lacking in other books for these areas.

I have chosen not to include This Country of Ours into this curriculum and to replace this book with books by Betsy Maestro, Genevieve Foster and Daniel Boorstin. One of the strengths that Marshall's This Country of Ours offered was a focus on the early development of America. Many books written for younger children today tend to include a chapter on Columbus, a chapter on Jamestown, a chapter on Plymouth and then it moves into colonial times from a social/cultural perspective and then onward to the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. Much of the early development of the first colonies are left untold. I felt that using the books by Maestro inserted chronologically between books by Foster and adding books such the The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by Alderman (Landmark) would make up for the loss of this strength.

I do keep Our Island Story in the curriculum, but it is designed to be used when children are in the early years of learning (Years 2-3). I have made notes of some of the questionable sections from this book and these are included with the Book Notes.

I also use English Literature for Boys and Girls, but I include notes for this book as well.

If you are interested in replacing Our Island Story with a Catholic book, then you may like this one:

The History of England for Catholic Children

NOTE: I've just realized that there are pages missing from the version of this book linked above. The book pages skip from 251 to 268. I'll try to find another version and will edit the above link if I can.

Here is a review of this book:

Review of The History of England for Catholic Children

If you would like to replace English Literature for Boys and Girls, then you may like this one:

A History of English Literature with Teacher's Manual

Monday, January 19, 2015

January Update

I'm currently at the beginning stages of starting a website. I'm not very computer savvy and I have much to learn. The website, hopefully, will have all that I have here already, an Amazon bookstore with books categorized by each individual year needed for this curriculum and the ability to download the lesson plans/schedules for each year for a small fee. The Amazon bookstore would be there for your convenience. If you can find or have better methods for obtaining the books, that would be ideal. Many of the books used in this curriculum are available as free online books, too.

I've decided to go ahead and re-post the booklists. I do this with some caveats:

  • I will be substituting, adding and removing books as I continue to work on the Year by Year lesson plans. This is one reason I had originally taken the yearly booklists down.
  • The new lessons plans, and the revised original lesson plans/guides will be less reliant upon additional resource links.
  • I will not be putting up the booklists by time period, for now, because I intend to more dramatically change this work.
  • Some of the booklists are already showing changes. I use the pages on this blog as a workplace for myself...a sort of quick look at what I have laid out with the links ready-to-go. This may cause some sections of some years to look cluttered until I'm ready to streamline the list with final decisions. (For example, I'm currently still working on poetry selections: both books and recitations for each year. In some years, there are too many books and in some years there are not enough recitations.) Please remember that I'm only posting the booklists to be helpful. They are still a work in progress and should not be judged as they are yet. :)

I love feedback of any kind. If you wish to point out an error, to offer a suggestion, to question anything that is confusing or any other type of feedback, please feel free to do so here, in the comments section, or at the WTM forums. I'm know as Kfamily there and you can send me private messages there as well.

P. S. I also wanted to add that I hope to design the website so that you can download guides/lesson plans by year, by time period, by book and maybe even by individual subject. I'm not sure how this will look in the end, but I'm going to strive for a great deal of flexibility. This would allow you, essentially, to take a yearly plan or a family plan (by time period) and add and subtract books/subjects as needed, while still keeping in mind the larger goals set out by this curriculum.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's time to say good-bye.

Okay, so I'm thinking that it's now time to say good-bye.

Thanks to all of you that offered me such kind comments. :)