Our School Year: Harvest Term Content

posted in: extra 2

After Labor Day we start our full load. We’ve had some trial-run weeks and made some tweaks to the plans, and I think we’re ready to really roll now. After the push to finish my course, I am ready for steady rhythms and routines to prevail. Time to live it out myself (again), and I am looking forward to it. I think we’re going to have a great year.


Circle Time

We always open with prayer, but I started opening our prayer time with one of the very brief but rich prayers from Lifting Up Our Hearts: 150 Selected Prayers from John Calvin. I love it when the right time and use is suddenly found for a book that’s been on the shelf for awhile. Brandy, cover your eyes: I do amend on the fly all the thees and thous to you and your. :)

Two-thirds of our morning memory work time is spent in review, but this is our new content we’ll cover daily all six weeks:


Every day we’ll open our binders after prayer and begin with the Apostle’s Creed.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.

New Hymn:
  • Lord, Our Lord, Thy Glorious Name (blue Psalter Hymnal, #13)
New Memory Work Content
  • Psalm: still doing 34
  • Passage: Hebrews 2:14-18
  • Proverb: 6:16-19
New Poems
  • Me: Happy The Man by Dryden
  • Hans (11): Henry V’s speech at Agincourt by Shakespeare
  • Jaeger (9): Song of Drake’s Men by Noyes
  • Ilse (6.5): Brown and Furry by Christina Rosetti
  • Knox (4.5): Purple Cow

I never saw a purple cow; I never hope to see one. But I can tell you anyhow, I’d rather see than be one.

All-Year Memory Work

This year I’m trying something a little different. I put some new content behind the day-of-the-week tabs in our Memory Work binders that we’ll recite on that day of the week all year. It adds up to a similar number of times recited, and I’m curious to see how it plays out.

I want us to learn and internalize the 10 Commandments this year, so I broke it up like this:

The Catechism for Young Children Q&As include “What is the x commandment? The x commandment is:…” and the commandment from Exodus 20 verbatim.

Simple K-1st Lessons

In addition to the picture book they get to choose for reading aloud, I want to read through Leading Little Ones to God with Ilse & Knox. We’ve gone through bits and pieces of the book, but I want to be more consistent with it this term and next and try to read the whole thing with them before the end of the year.

What I have to remember is that if it doesn’t work out to do it during our couch time (because I don’t push them beyond having to repeat their current letter sounds – we just do what they are excited to do, because that’s when they’re in learning mode, which I can’t force), we can still do it some other time, even at bedtime. I tend to slot in too much for one block and then just throw it out if it doesn’t fit, but the truth is that I can find other times to fit it in throughout the day if I am open to it.

Elementary Lessons

We’ll be reading some great books this term:

Covenantal Catechism Book 4 - Exodus BooksStory of the Renaissance and Reformation - Exodus Books

We’ll do some simple artist study with DaVinci this term. I’m still waiting for the library books to be held for me, but in addition to simply strewing some books about him and his art, we’ll spend 5 minutes (with a timer!) looking at a famous piece then talk about what everyone saw. I was really surprised last year how much conversation and noticing they all got out of this simple, short activity. Artist study doesn’t have to be involved.

We’ll also start each class with a word-of-the-week, and this terms words are incorrigible, ponderous, solicitous, petulant, and bombastic. I can’t wait to see the kids’ sentences as we go along.

I’ll be posting next week about some of the changes to our plan I made after a few weeks’ trial run. After all, we, the mothers implementing the plan, are the ones in the driver seat, as I wrote about this week at Scholé Sisters: On Driving Your Curriculum.


2 Responses

  1. www.aspiredliving.net
    | Reply

    Okay, I just ran across the Mystery of the Periodic Table it is sitting in my Amazon Shopping Cart. So if you are studying that you may be interested in the Book Elements by Spangler. I really need to work on our Memory Binder to make it more helpful. Looks great Mystie! :D

  2. SarahD
    | Reply

    I grew up with the blue Psalter, so I know that one! Your plans sound great. I love your idea of a word of the week. I will steal that one.

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