Happy Hearts in Planning Mode


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It has been a busy summer here at our house, but it’s time I nail down our plans for this upcoming Happy Hearts homeschool year. I feel like we’ve come full circle. We started out homeschooling with just the two of us (my youngest son and I), and here we are, seven years later, back to just the two of us, now that both of my daughters are homeschool graduates.

So here goes… this will be Marcus’ eighth-grade year. I have already registered him as a distance student through the amazing Liahona Academy. His online classes will cover earth science, American government and civics, and a combined Geometry/Algebra 2 class. The best part about these classes is that they are filmed live, but the recordings are available anytime, and they are only Monday-Thursday. So, there’s a lot of flexibility for homeschoolers. Also, these classes are gospel based, which I love. This will be Marcus’ fourth year with Liahona.

That was the easy part! Now for the rest…

English/Language Arts- I want to cover more poetry this year. I purchased three poetry books to give us variety:

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The first is called, Pocket Book of Poetry and it contains select poems by several poets, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lewis Carroll and Robert Frost. The second book is called, The Bridge Across the River by Shepherd Thorleif Halvorsen, and the third book is from Simply Charlotte Mason’s Enjoy the Poems collection (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

We have yet to try any Shakespeare, so with my daughter’s help, I chose, Much Ado About Nothing and I found some free online resources to accompany it, which I’ve downloaded into a folder.

We will also cover grammar and essay writing.

For our read-alouds, so far I have, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, and the third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series, and the second, Nightmares! (The Sleepwalker Tonic), by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. And then, we’ll go from there, but I want to include a novel by Jules Verne (Last year we read, Around the World in 80 Days).


Geography/History- I love geography so we have already learned the states and capitals twice, and having lived in Peru, we experienced another culture, but I want to go deeper this year and do a state history unit in order of the statehood dates, as well as a seven continent (with select countries from each continent) unit. This is where I’m still planning, but I have ideas swirling around my head (and jotted down), plus, I’ve purchased a couple of goodies to get us started. The first is this set of 50 state postcards. The second is this decorative USA map which I’m going to frame.


Art and Music- We will continue with our set of Maestro Classics, which we started using last year. Since the only art my son currently enjoys is chalk pastel art, I purchased a couple of e-books from chalkpastel.com. One is American Landmarks so that will go nicely with our state history unit.

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I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more resources/curriculum as we go, but for the most part we keep things simple and leave time for new pursuits. As for our schedule, I can’t plan that in detail until I know his online class times. I only know the starting day is Aug. 30th. I’m also checking out different homeschool planners to see if one appeals to me.


18 thoughts on “Happy Hearts in Planning Mode

  1. I really like the way your year’s curriculum is shaping up. I’m thinking about my rather loose curriculum for the next year for 3.7 yr. old #1 Grandson. So far I have weekly visits to the Library for Story-time, and book picking with most books his choice, and at least 3 my choice, and I bought All About Reading Pre K level which we’ve been doing for over a month. We’ve completed the Capitol Letters and will be moving to Lower case letter recognition and sounds next week. He’s really into it and has learned the sounds of all the letters and only confuses C and G by sight, and I worried and W and Y sounds but this week it all clicked and he’s got it!

    It’s so exciting seeing him recognize letters when we’re out and about, and I’ve heard him trying to put words together when he’s looking at his books. Such an amazing time for me as I know the power and doors reading can unlock. 🙂

    I want to get a globe to start geography. I think he’ll get a kick out of seeing our planet and learning the continents and bodies of water.

    Math and Living Science is pretty easy right now, but by the time he’s 4 I want to step that up as well as writing. He has no interest in writing or coloring right now so, I’m not pushing that.
    I’m encouraging painting instead. 🙂 He likes watercolors because he can play in the water which is fine. We count everything so math is a no brainer right now. Easy. 🙂

    Music… we sing, and I let play my piano when ever and how ever he wants. He’s pretty good without trying! I hope he has the gift that skipped me.

    History. I’m a bit lacking there at the moment but think I have time before I have to start really working on that. I hope our lifestyle, traditions, and values are enough for the moment.

    Thank you for sharing your curriculum it will help me down the road.

    I’m going to check out the Liahona Academy. I’ve been thinking about Kumon too. I had my youngest enrolled in Kumon for Math for a few years which helped her quite a bit through Fractions and early Algebra. Fractions! To this day my weakest area of math!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so impressed! It sounds like what you’re doing with your grandson is just right, just enough. The library was our favorite resource when my son was his age and he loves books to this day. A globe is a fun addition. And my son has always been a reluctant writer. I didn’t push it until his 5th grade year and then we still kept it light, but I found he eventually wrote on his own when it interested him. Now he keeps a journal which is nice.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It looks like this school year will be quite fun! My kids and I really enjoyed reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The fact that there were fairies in it hooked my kids from the start, although since we’re talking about your SON here, that may not be as appealing to him. I’m sorry to say that we really don’t focus on poetry all that much. We’ve read some Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and others, but usually just as an aside to whatever unit we’re working on. My 14 yr old is starting to develop an interest in it, though, so she’s checked out several poetry books from the library. We’ll see where it takes us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have a copy of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” because I remember liking the fairies, also. I think I’m more excited about the poetry lessons than he is 😉 but he was introduced to some poetry when he took a 5th/6th grade online English class. In fact, he wrote an impressive “Magic Box” poem that I posted (it’s under the poetry category). And when we read The Hobbit he made up a riddle. So, we’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE your homeschool plans! Sounds like a great year together. Congratulations on two homeschool graduates! I am putting the final touches on our schooling. I will have to check out the live classes. Sounds like something I may be able to use next year. Thank you for sharing the details of your schooling. It is always nice to see what others are using for curriculum. Blessings on your school year!

    Liked by 1 person

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