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Book Binding
Going on four years with the RC curriculum, I haven't tried binding a book yet until this week.

And you know what? It is F-U-N! I only did two, but I am looking forward to doing more.

Usually I try to find the book at used bookstores, thrift stores, etc. If I can't find it that way, I will print it and put it in a small binder.

I like the binding SO much better.

Robinson Curriculum Book Binding

The first two I did were Do and Dare, and Bob, Son of Battle. I followed the instructions at this website.

I made the spines and covers and reinforced them with packing tape.

Robinson Curriculum Book Binding

Yip, I am proud of my work. Now to bind some more!

Book Binding





Donnie's ReadingList

Donnie will, like MaryEllen, read down the list this year, one book at a time. I am not sure if this will work for him because his attention span is shorter. He might like reading about a few different topics. We will try it and see how he likes it.

I just noticed that Donnie's pattern is textbook, literature, biography instead of textbook, biography, literature like I did MaryEllen's booklist. 🙂

I found some nice biographies at our local used bookshop. They are easy reads, but I wanted them more for the Godly example in these men and women.

Donnie's 7th Grade Reading List



The Story of Liberty - Finish Charles Coffin
Robin Hood J. Walker McSpadden
The Pilgrim Who Made Progress William Deal
Sweet Land of Liberty Charles Coffin
The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
A Man Sent of God Merle McClurkan Heath
A Beka Geography
The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain
Air Adventures Graeme Cook
Notgrass World History Volume 1
The Case For Christ For Teens Strobel
The Case For a Creator For Teens Strobel
The Case For Faith For Teens Strobel
White Fang Jack London
Frontier of the Heart Reverend Ralph W. Beiting
God Can Move Mountains Reverend Ralph W. Beiting
Notgrass World History Volume 2
The Impossible Journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton William Bixby
A Beka Biology
Carry On Mr. Bowditch Jean Lee Latham
The Call of the Wild Jack London
Harriet Beecher Stowe Jean Fritz

Donnie's list is also long, but whatever he doesn't finish will also be rolled over either to the summer or next years booklist.

What is your 7th grader reading?



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Well, it is that time of year once again, planning the next years curriculum. Here is a breakdown of what we will be doing.

Our style is the Robinson Curriculum (RC). I love the RC because of its simplicity, the 3r's.

I will start with Bible. Bible isn't part of RC, but most users add it in. This year we will use Student of the Word (SOW) for Bible. Like many others, I like how SOW has the student do different types of studies each day. They start by writing a prayer letter. Then each day they either do an outline, a topical study, character study, vocabulary or word study, setting, and commentary. This is actually the Language Arts of the SOW curriculum.


That isn't to say that we will not do other Bible Studies. We will actually begin the year with Because You Are Strong by Daniel Forster. I plan on doing Beauty and the Pig by Pam Forster too.

Because You Are Strong Bible Study

Next comes math. The kids have been having success with Saxon, so they will continue using Saxon. They will continue with Saxon Algebra 1/2.

After math, comes writing. Along with writing, we include vocabulary. The kids will continue with English From the Roots Up Volume 2 and also begin SAT: And College Preparation Course for the Christian Student, one lesson a week. I like this because it has it all. In the beginning, it gives a list of vocabulary words, but then it has the student build their vocabulary by the books they read, noting words that they do not know the meaning of. It also has them defining words in context. There are also writing and essay assignments. They start out simple and get harder as the student progresses through the book. There are also reading comprehension assignments. Each lesson starts out with Scripture reading and applying it to everyday life. The author recommends doing a daily devotional, which he provides an outline for and Scripture selections to get you started. Even if my kids aren't college bound, I think this book will benefit them.


SOW has a nice creative writing section, so I am going to include the assignments for the kids daily writing along with their Bible and SAT.

This year they will begin writing a current events paper every two weeks. We subscribe to World, Answers by Answers In Genesis, the local newspaper, Top Story from World, and other news magazines that they can utilize for their current events.

Book summaries will also be required during writing time. After they finish a book, not including a textbook, they will write up a book summary.

During writing, they will also answer the chapter Bible questions from Notgrass World History, answer the SOW Bible related science questions for A Beka Biology, and do the mapping from A Beka World Geography.

Reading follows writing. They will read for 1 1/2 hours. Within that time, they will read history, science, geography, (auto)biographies, and literature. They are also working their way through the Bible, so they read a couple chapters of that too.

History will be Nograss World History, Science will be A Beka Biology, and geography will be A Beka's World Geography.

They never did get much typing in last year, so this year NEEDS to be the year. I am planning on giving incentives when they reach certain speeds. $$ always works. 🙂

We will continue with our evening story hour. During this time, I am hoping to implement Getting Started With Latin. This will be our second attempt at a Latin program, so I am hoping we have success with this one. I know that once we finish, we will need to find another program that will go further, but at least we will have a foot in the door so to speak and we can decide if we want to pursue it further. I do think it would be beneficial, I guess I am not very confident that we will get to it. I should change my outlook, okay, my attitude, and give us more credit.

Getting Started With Latin

I think that about covers the basics with academics. June has been hit or miss with studies. They got a few lessons of math in and some reading, but not much else. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine. I say routine loosely, because it seems like we are always trying to get into a routine. lol!

So how is your yearly planning going? Are you trying something new this year or sticking with what you are use to or what is working? For us, RC works. I tried adding things or going another route, but we always come back to RC, so it is where we are staying. It is not a comfort zone, just what is working.

Happy planning,




Tissue BoxThe bug hit us this week. 🙁 We all had sore throats, stuffy noses, and coughs. With all the coughing, came a headache. Of course this made us all tired and not really in the mood to study.

I couldn't even read aloud because too much talking put me in a coughing fit. But, today I decided to look for our current book as a download so that we can at least get some reading in. We are reading The Cat of Bubastes
so I was going to order the mp3 from Jim Hodges, but then I found the one from Librovox. I listened to a bit of it and found it sufficient, so tonight we will listen to a few chapters of that. 🙂

When I felt my sore throat coming on, I made me some of this Spiced Honey Tea and it helped prevent my sore throat from becoming anything more. It never got unbearable and was better the next day.

The first sip of this tea was like...WOW! The cayenne made it strong. I sipped it throughout the day and once I got half-way through, I added more water. 😀 Not sure if that was cheating. The sore throat didn't end up like last time.

teaSpiced Honey Tea
from Honey Fanatic
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a cup and mix with hot water.

The kids didn't want to try it, and their throats would hurt when they coughed. I should have made them, but they saw how my throat felt better the next day and never really hurt. I drank it when I first felt it coming on. So, maybe next time they will try it, although I will put a little less cayenne for them...maybe a little less cinnamon too because it was really like WOW!

I also made us some cough syrup which helped with the coughing. I took it whenever I noticed myself coughing more or after a cough attack. I also used Ricola cough drops. The kids didn't like the syrup, but they took it. Luckily, they never got cough attacks like I did.

For our stuffy noses I was going to try making a vapor rub, but I didn't have any beeswax...maybe next time. Hopefully it isn't for a long time. 🙂

Instead, we tried this breathing technique which worked, but the stuffiness would come back, so we would do it every so often. I am guessing it came back because our noses are stuffed from being sick and not allergies or sinus issues, the kids anyway. I always have sinus issues, so when I get better, I will try this again for my sinus problem.

I just checked Donnie, and he has a small fever. We'll let it ride unless it gets too high. I think I'll make some chicken soup tomorrow.

Oh and the down side to all this is Don was also sick, but he still had to go to work. He didn't get it as bad thankfully. 🙂

We have two more school days in this week, so I'm going to just call it a week and start fresh on Monday.

Can you tell I am having fun with this homemade, natural, diy stuff? 😀

Oh, and don't forget to enter my Trail Guide to U.S. Geography giveaway if you haven't already.


MaryEllen's Reading Basket
Here are the books in MaryEllen's Book Basket for 7th grade. Some are from the Robinson Curriculum book list (RC), others go along with our history curriculum (SM), and the rest are ones I added in. She will do two literature studies this year using the Any Novel Novel Study Guide.




The Swiss Family Robinson Johann Wyss  RC
Charles Spurgeon J.C. Carlile
Charles Finney Bonnie C. Harvey
The Exact Truth Isabella Alden
We Twelve Girls Isabella Alden
Six O'Clock in the Evening Isabella Alden
Emma Alston Unknown
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens  RC
The Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan  RC
A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burnett Any Novel
The Bronze Bow Elizabeth George Speare SM History
Augustus Caesar's World Genevieve Foster SM History
Up from Slavery Booker T. Washington Any Novel, RC
Case for Christ for Kids Lee Strobel
Shaping of a Christian Family Elisabeth Elliot
A Pilgrim Who Made Progress  William Deal


Donnie's Reading Basket
These are the books I have planned for Donnie this year (6th grade). I am not sure if he will get to them all, but it is a good goal.

Some are from the Robinson Curriculum (RC) book list, some I added and some go with the history curriculum we will be doing this year (SM). He will do two literature studies using the Any Novel Novel Study Guide.




Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson  RC
Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe  RC
The Captain's Dog Roland Smith
Teddy's Button Amy Le Feuvre
Alone In London Hesba Stretton
Christy's Old Organ Mrs. O.F. Walton
Little Faith: The Child of the Toy Stall Mrs. O.F. Walton
A Hedge Fence Isabella Alden
Christian Conquests A.L.O.E.
Charles Finney Bonnie C. Harvey
Charles Spurgeon J.C. Carlile
The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain Any Novel, RC
Side By Side Isabella Alden
Robin Hood J. Walker McSpadden Any Novel
Six O'Clock in the Evening Isabella Alden
Her Mother's Bible Isabella Alden
Detectives in Togas Henry Winterfeld SM History
Mystery of the Roman Ransom Henry Winterfeld SM History
Cleopatra Diane Stanley SM History
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine Jeanne Bendick SM History


Another homeschool year is upon us. This is what I have planned.

Our core will be the Robinson Curriculum(RC). I will break it down by subject.

Bible: MaryEllen and I will be doing Foundations in Romans: A Romans Bible Study together. Donnie will finish his study in Genesis using Abraham--God's Brave Explorer.  After Genesis, I will assign him some studies out of Plants Grown Up.

Math: We will continue with Saxon Math. Both kids will be finishing Saxon 76 and going into Algebra 1/2.

Writing: We will continue with The Writing Course. The kids listen to Dr. Lybrand, watch his videos, and do the daily assignments. After the 21 days or so, they then write filling a piece of paper front and back, double-spaced. What they will write varies.

We will also use the Write Thinking Series a couple times a week in place of the filling a piece of paper front and back.

Grammar: The Robinson Curriculum doesn't stress grammar every year and neither does Dr. Lybrand. We will use IEW's Fix It Grammar which is short and sweet. We began it last year and the kids really enjoy it. There is a short passage in which they find grammar and punctuation errors. It is more of an editing program and will help when they have to proof read their own writing in the future.

Vocabulary: We will continue with English From the Roots Up, finishing volume 1 and going into volume 2.

Literature: I really like the Any Novel Study Guide and plan on having the kids do two novels each this year. This will teach them about plot and setting. It will also teach them how to analyze a book. It is great because it is a study guide you only have to buy once.

Science: Our science is not from RC. MaryEllen will use Apologia's General Science this year and Donnie will use Super Charged Science, which is full of hands on experiments and videos.

History: They will get some history from their reading list, but we will also be using Simply Charlotte Mason's Matthew through Acts & Ancient Rome. You can see the book list here. We will supplement with Drive Through History DVD Series on the Holy Land and watch The Life of Christ DVD.

Reading: They will read for 1 1/2-2 hours a day. Take a look at MaryEllen's 7th grade reading list and Donnie's 6th grade reading list. Their books will include books from RC, SM History and others I want them to read.


Typing: This year the kids will really begin typing. I bought Christian Keyboarding a few years back, which we started but never finished. With MaryEllen entering 7th grade, it needs to get done this year. They will also use Typing Web. This website will keep track of their progress and wpm, plus there are some games, which they might enjoy.

Drawing: I've been wanting to get a nice drawing program so MaryEllen can further her talent. Donnie can also benefit from a good drawing program too. I was SO excited when I found See The Light Art Class. The kids watched the free videos on the website and really liked them.

That looks like it so far. I am excited about what we will be learning this year.

Not Back to School Blog Hop


Our first week back went wonderful. The kids took to their schedules real well.

They did have 2 months of nearly doing no studies, so like my sister said, maybe they just needed a break.

Here is some of their work that they ended the week with.

Study of John
MaryEllen's Bible Study on John


Anatomy Cell
MaryEllen's Cell Drawing For Anatomy


MaryEllen's Narration For Anatomy Chapter 1
MaryEllen's Narration For Anatomy Chapter 1


Donnie's Genesis Study
Donnie's Bible Study on Genesis


Donnie's Cell For Anatomy
Donnie's Narration For Anatomy Chapter 1


Donnie's Cell For Anatomy
Donnie's Cell Drawing For Anatomy


Week 1 Schedule
Most Everything Got Marked Off For Week One


I can't say it enough how pleased I am with the kids jumping right back into studies. Yes, I was expecting some resistance. 😉 Especially after a few months off. We were suppose to do Summer School, but it didn't happen. The kids enjoyed their free time. Although I couldn't wait to get back into a routine, especially on the days when they just moped around.

I am thankful for routine.

Have a great school year,



A few days ago, Donnie finished Saxon 65 and has graduated to Saxon 76! Yay! He did very good in his Saxon 65 edition.

Donnie Starting His New Math Book: Saxon 76


Yes, he let me take a picture! He is happy with his new math book, mostly because the beginning is easy with lots of review. But I was told that it is beneficial to have them start from the beginning even though it is mostly review.

For finishing his math book, he earned a Free Study Day Pass. Needless to say he is excited. I am too! 😉

Free Day Pass





This is MaryEllen's Book List for this coming year 2011-2012. We will add to it if necessary.

MaryEllen’s Book List



What Your 6th Grader Needs to Know E.D. Hirsch Jr.
McGuffey Fourth Reader McGuffey
Christian Conquests Charlotte Maria Tucker
In His Steps Charles M. Sheldon
Swiss Family Robinson Johann Wyss
Up From Slavery Booker T. Washington
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Kate Douglass Wiggin
Gladyss Aylward Janet & Geoff Benge
Robert E. Lee Lee Roddy
Mahalia Jackson Evelyn Witter
Frontier Living Edwin Tunis
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Susanna Wesley Sandy Dengler
Amy Carmichael Sam Wellman
Teresa of Calcutta D. Jeanene Watson
Corrie Ten Boom Janet & Geoff Benge

We use the Robinson Curriculum method, so she reads for 1 1/2 hours right now. The other half hour goes toward science, which she will be reading Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology by Jeannie Fulbright.

Only about five books are actually from the Robinson Book List. I usually take away and add some others. I try to keep books that are both educational and well written. This year, I want MaryEllen to focus on Missionaries, so I will be adding more as she goes.