Monday, April 14, 2014

Cycle 3 Just-the-Reading Plans

And... as a follow up to our reading plan planner, here is just the reading plan for those who would rather use a different planner format. {Yahoo subscribers most likely missed the post with our reading plans because Yahoo went through an update recently that interfered with our automatic email distribution last week.}

Cycle 3 Weekly Reading Plan XLS
Cycle 3 Weekly Reading Plan PDF

This is simply a gift from me to you!  Thanks for reading Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood!

To read my lengthy list of disclaimers about this reading plan, be sure to read this post!

Related Posts:
Cycle 3 Weekly Planners
Cycle 3 Reading Plan Planner and SOTW/AHH/etc. Correlations
Unofficial Cycle 3 Booklist
Supplementing CC on a Shoestring

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Prophets and Kings of Israel: Grapevine Bible Studies Review & Giveaway

This year we've been drawing stick figures as we work our way through the Old Testament using a series of Old Testament studies from Grapevine Studies. We are now finishing up our study of the people and events in the Old Testament from The Prophets to Nehemiah, which includes lessons on:
  • The Prophets
  • The Kings of Israel
  • The Divided Kingdom:  Israel
  • The Kings of Judah
  • The Divided Kingdom:  Judah
  • Daniel and His Friends
  • Daniel and His Enemies
  • The Second Temple
  • Esther
  • Ezra and Nehemiah
Written for ages 3 through adult, each of the Grapevine Studies Old Testament studies starts with a Timeline Overview, followed by 10 lessons that delve deeper into the main events recorded in that portion of the scripture, followed by a Final Review that wraps up the study.  

The first lesson, or timeline overview, guides the student through the big-picture of what will be studied using stick-figure drawings. 

Subsequent lessons include a timeline and memory verse review from past lessons, a storyboard that guides you through a portion of scripture, and some discussion questions:

At the end of each lesson, there's a "my favorite part" student drawing page with memory verse copywork/recitation.  

Each day we spend about 20 minutes reading, drawing, and discussing the scriptures, so each lesson (Review, Storyboard & "My Favorite Part") takes our family about 2 to 3 days to complete.

The detailed Teacher's Guide gives the scriptures to read aloud, a discussion prompt, and a description of what the students are to draw for each scripture passage, along with an example of one way the student can draw it.  [The example in the Teacher's Guide is what I draw on the board, but one of my children sometimes prefers to draw his own interpretation.]

What's the difference between the Grapevine Studies Levels? 
Click here to find out!

You can download sample lessons from each level of Old Testament Part 4:  The Prophets to Nehemiah to compare:

Student eBooks:
Level 1 Traceable Old Testament Student Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 1 Traceable Sample
Level 1 Old Testament Student Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 1 Sample
Level 2 Old Testament Student Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 2 Sample
Level 3 Old Testament Student Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 3 Sample
Level 4 Old Testament Student Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 4 Sample

Teacher eBooks:
Level 1-2 Old Testament Teacher License eBook Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 1-2 Sample
Level 3-4 Old Testament Teacher License eBook Pt 4: The Prophets to Nehemiah  |  Level 3-4 Sample

We have successfully used Level 1 even with our 5th grader, as this level works for children across a wide age range. In the past, we've also used Level 3 because we wanted to include geography as part of our Bible study, but our 5-year-old has continued to work in the Level 1 traceable version for all studies we have completed.  Click here for all Old Testament Studies for all levels (use drop-down menus to filter results)

What we love about Grapevine Studies:
  • It's simple to use and requires little preparation on my part.
  • The Prophets to Nehemiah study not only includes details about the better known stories of Daniel and Esther, it also includes lessons on the Prophets, the Kings of Israel and Judah, and the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, topics which are often overlooked in Sunday School. 
  • Now… how many times have we reviewed the portion of our timeline starting with: "Israel falls to Assyria…" as a part of this study?  I love that we are able to connect our Bible study to our memorized timeline!  Not only that, this study is helping us to understand the non-chronological organization of the Books of the Bible. We've also been memorizing the Kings of Judah using the video toward the bottom of this post.
  • The program uses a layered approach in learning.  There's plenty of repetition as we use a stick-figure-on-the-paper approach.
  • Our children can draw the Bible timeline independently and recite memory verses and important facts from the Bible regarding that particular part of the Bible.  
  • We're practicing our elements of shape as we learn to express Biblical truths with drawing. 
  • I enjoy looking back through their finished products.
To see all the Grapevine Studies we have completed, click here.

Download the following eLesson to try out Grapevine Studies for free:
The Gospel in Stick Figures
(This eLesson was free as of April 12, 2014)

You can also view samples of the various products offered by Grapevine Studies at the Grapevine Studies Sample Page.  

Which Bible study should I choose?

Click here for a flowchart to assist in choosing which Bible study you would like to start with in your own home or classroom!  To see how you would teach using these studies, visit Grapevine's How to Teach page.

A giveaway!!

I'm excited to announce that the folks at Grapevine Studies are offering a Grapevine Studies Teacher/Student eBook set (winner's choice!) to a reader of Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood!  Enter via the Rafflecopter form below (options include leave a blog post comment, share this post on social media, and like our Facebook page):

Click here to enter this Rafflecopter giveaway!

Many thanks to all of you who read, share, and comment to enter this giveaway!

Freebies for our readers:  

Learn the Kings of Judah with the Bentley Brothers!  {THEY ARE A FAMILY FAVORITE!!}

For more of the Bentley Brothers songs, visit BuckDenver's Bentley Brothers Playlist on Youtube.

Learn the "Books of the Bible" song from Readeez! {ALSO A FAMILY FAVORITE!!}

For a list of free Bible study resources (like this NIV Dramatized Audio Bible), visit our post on Bible Resources and Character Study

Click here to follow us on Facebook, or click here to subscribe via email.

This post contains affiliate links.  Affiliate links are used to support the cost of maintaining this website, after which proceeds go to supporting ministries around the world.  Please read our full disclosure policy for more information.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cycle 3 Reading Plans

I've finished our own personal reading plan for Cycle 3 and am sharing it here in hopes that it is helpful to others.

But first, I present a whole bunch of disclaimers…

Disclaimer #1:  For those in the Classical Conversations Foundations program, you do not need lesson plans, or booklists, or lists of links. 

All you really need is:
:: A Bible (No fancy curriculum needed!)
:: The Foundations Guide
:: A tin whistle
:: If possible, the Classical Acts & Facts History Timeline Cards. (If your children ask who, what, when, where, how, or why about Monroe Doctrine, take out the timeline card and read it together!)
:: A math program (We use Saxon, but that's another story.)
:: A language arts program (until your children are old enough for Essentials). We use a spelling program that teaches phonics and then we teach sentence structure, punctuation, parts of speech, and so on via copywork and dictation. Our family no longer uses a formal English grammar program before Essentials. We found it is not necessary for our family. The Foundations English Grammar memory work will prepare students for Essentials.
:: A library card. Your book selections need not even match up with your history or science memory work. Just read anything that your children enjoy!
:: Paper and pencil.
For more about why I state the above, read this article.

Disclaimer #2:  My own personal preference is to have an aggressive reading plan in place (aggressive for us, anyway). Over time, I've discovered how much better it is for our family to spend time reading together. We had what I thought was an aggressive reading plan for us this year, only to find that we added several books to that list. And I've discovered how much more our children's imaginations have flourished (among other things). It has been absolutely astounding!
"As Lewis got to know the children, he was surprised by how little they read and how dull their imaginations seemed to be. Remembering the books and make-believe world of his childhood, he knew how much they were missing. One day, one of the girls, busy exploring the house, grew curious about a large, old wardrobe in a spare room upstairs. 'May I go inside of it?' she asked Lewis. He opened the door and let her poke around the heavy coats hanging inside. 'I wonder if there is anything behind it,' she said. The girl left the room and rushed outside to play, but her question sent his mind to work. He decided to write a story for the children to encourage their imaginations and point them to Jesus Christ. Lewis entitled the story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe… Lewis wrote many books and nearly all of them became best sellers. But Lewis was not a wealthy man because he gave away the money he made on his Christian books to ministries and charities. Although C.S. Lewis died in 1963, his books continue to show people the way to Jesus Christ." -from Trial and Triumph, p. 280-282
Disclaimer #3:  I am one of those obsessive planner types. I like to have a plan laid out before me, and usually my plans are too ambitious - not because I think we will do everything, but because I need everything in front of me or very little will get done. We usually do not finish everything we plan. But I absolutely mean it when I say I am incredibly absent-minded and forgetful. I have to have a checklist, or nothing will get done. (This will especially be the case with a newborn and the resulting lack of sleep next year.)

Disclaimer #4:  Please do not order everything I have listed here!  As I said before, you need not supplement CC with books that correlate with the history, geography, or science. You can use the extra time in the grammar stage to pursue interest-led learning with your children! We personally own a ton of books and act as a sort of library for our local homeschooling friends (because we are somewhat lacking in the library options in our neck of the woods).

Disclaimer #5:  Please do not judge Classical Conversations based upon anything that we plan or do as a family! Classical Conversations works for those who are creative or not, for those who are extreme-planners or utterly disorganized, for avid readers or structured notebookers. You don't have to be someone you're not - just add the memory work to your schedule each day and enjoy your children. Seriously, be the person God has made you to be and resist the temptation to make comparisons!

Disclaimer #6:  As with any plan, this isn't perfect. It certainly won't suit everyone. But perhaps it can help at least one other person, to which I would exclaim, "To God be the glory!"

I'm sure I need other disclaimers, but I'm drawing a blank. (I'm sorry! I didn't have a checklist in front of me!)  

So here goes nothing!

First, a correlation for just the Acts & Facts History Cards, Acts & Facts Science Cards, Lyrical Life Science Volume 3Everything You Need to Know about American History Homework, and Story of the World.

Also included in the above download is a page that includes some reading correlations using free ebooks that can be found on Amazon, Google ebooks, and (The links to those are in the document, but there are many, many more free ebooks you can use. Visit Supplementing CC on a Shoestring.)

For those wondering if Story of the World is a good fit for your family, download this sample of Story of the World Volume 3 from Peacehill Press.  You can also download a sample of the Story of the World Volume 3 Activity Book here.

For those wondering about Lyrical Life Science Volume 3, click here to see book samples and listen to the audio samples.

Our reading correlations use the following resources:
If you would like to Bring-Your-Own-Book (BYOB) - meaning you want to choose your own read-alouds, readers, and/or picture books - here's our BYOB planner:

Cycle 3 Planner with Just Reading Correlations (no read-aloud, reader or picture book selections) XLS
Cycle 3 Planner with Just Reading Correlations (no read-aloud, reader or picture book selections) PDF

After I made and uploaded the above planners, I remembered a book that I wanted to include in our reading plans, one that can be used in lieu of picture books and readers (or can be used as a read-aloud for the entire year for younger children). That book is William Bennett's Children's Treasury of Virtues. The planners below include my personally-selected reading correlations for that book. (If our reading schedule proves to be too overwhelming for us next year, we will likely just use the readings from the Children's Treasury of Virtues in place of some of the others listed.)  If you have trouble finding a copy of the Children's Treasury of Virtues, the large volume, The Book of Virtues, includes all of the readings (plus a whole lot more) but lacks illustrations. (We own both: I love the Children's Treasury because of its beautiful illustrations, and love The Book of Virtues because it contains such a wealth of virtuous stories that span all of time.)

Cycle 3 Weekly Planner with Treasury of Virtues (no read-aloud, reader or picture books) XLS
Cycle 3 Weekly Planner with Treasury of Virtues (no read-aloud, reader or picture books) PDF

If you would like to follow some of our reading plan (as the library allows), here's our planner with the reading plan and schedule:

NOTE:  Our reading selections are taken from many other sources, including (but not limited to) suggested resources from Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, Veritas Press, and Classical Conversations, as well as the 1000 Good Books List, IEW's Books for Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather Build Forts All Day, and Ambleside Online. (I have a ream-of-paper I reference along with an assortment of catalogs - and my trusted friend Tina over at Chasin Raisins - when I make my booklists.)

Finally, here's everything but the kitchen sink. It's my set up for our personal planner with our curriculum choices (to eliminate the need for writing out things that will be the same every week).  This is just for those who wish to see a plan in place (since it's not likely that others have three children the same age as ours using the same math, spelling, and writing books)… 

Each of the planners has an expanded list of books for reference (because I could not fit the entire names of books on the planner pages), along with a suggested notebook schedule (for those who would like to use a notebook), and a list of free resources that can be used for Cycle 3.

If you're just looking for some empty planners (in a variety of formats), please visit our Cycle 3 Planners Page!  For our Unofficial CC Cycle 3 Booklist, click here.

Here is just the reading plan for those who would rather use a different planner format:

Cycle 3 Weekly Reading Plan XLS
Cycle 3 Weekly Reading Plan PDF

Finally, I offer a sample activity plan for those who would like to supplement Classical Conversations with free resources but are unsure of how to do so.  Over time we have collected many free resources that are on our Cycle 3 Resources page, but it's not necessarily obvious on how to use them. Our family does not use our lists of links on a consistent basis. We use our Cycle 3 Resources Page as a reference for when we're wanting to do some extra research.

In closing, I leave you with a list of free resources that are referenced in the planner. May God abundantly bless your homeschooling endeavors!

Free Resources:
The Ultimate Guide to Free Copywork
Supplementing CC on a Shoestring (list of free books available in ebook and audio format)
Librivox Audiobook Recordings  (Click here for dramatic readings)
American History Biographies, Nonfiction, and Historical Fiction
Drawing Practice Drills by Donna Young
Drawing for Kids Tutorials
Other Drawing/Art Resources
SQUILT Composer/Classical Music Study Lessons
Ultimate Guide to Free Copywork
John 1 Latin/Bible Copywork
Art Study
Multiplication Fact Drill Sheets
Skip Counting Circle-and-Write
Skip Counting Mazes
Skip Counting Number Line
Egg Carton Math
Online Math Drill -
Geography - Seterra Software
Sheppard Software
Notebooking Printables
Classic Elementary Life Science Curriculum (Student & Teacher Text w/ Reading & Experiments)
50 States Coloring Pages & Fact Files
State Notebooking Pages
English Grammar Worksheets
Cycle 3 Resources - All Subjects

My motivation:
Our family offers my creations as a ministry to other homeschooling families. Supporting other families in their homeschooling endeavors is one of the few ways I can minister to others at this point in my life.  It gives me great joy to share my work and to make this small offering of myself for my friends and for my precious Savior Jesus Christ.  

This post contains affiliate links. To find out why we use affiliate links, I encourage you to read our disclosure policy. By using our affiliate links, you not only allow us to invest in this site and provide Half-a-Hundred-Acre-Wood-funded giveaways to our readers, but you also support ministries around the world.  

CC Blogroll: 2014-2015

In light of our focus on Classical Conversations Community, let's get to know one another!

If you are a blogger, blog about homeschooling, and use Classical Conversations (at home or in a community), please share a link to your site!  (CC Community sites are welcome to link-up with us as well!)

In case you'd like to include a button on your blog:

Classical Conversations Blogroll

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Classical Conversations Blogroll" width="225" height="225" /></a>

For email subscribers, click here to go to this blog post to see who has linked up or to add your link via the "Add Your Link" button at the bottom of the post (which may not show up in this email).

When you share your link to your blog, please include the name of your blog.

Also visit the Classical Conversations Weekly Link-up to see week-by-week what others are doing on the CC homeschooling front and/or the CC Monthly Blog Carnival to read about or share special projects and ideas that span across several weeks.

Thank you for connecting to our Classical Christian Community!

Cycle 3 Weekly Link-Up

The Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Weekly Link-up is a place for bloggers to share their ideas and activities with other CC parents and tutors for each week during Cycle 3 (2014-2015 school year). Unlike most weekly link-ups, this link-up will not be organized according to date but will be organized according to the week of CC. As such, these weekly link-ups will remain open for several months to accommodate for all the different schedules implemented by various CC Communities.  

This Link-Up is for Cycle 3:  Week 1

If you are looking for a different week, click here.*
*Other weeks will be posted closer to the start of the school year.

If you are looking for the Cycle 2 Weekly Link-Up, click here.
If you are looking for the Cycle 1 Weekly Link-Up, click here.

For bloggers who'd like a button, just copy and
paste the following html code into your webpage.

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

<a href="" target="_self"><img src="" alt="Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood" width="225" height="225" /></a>

Would you like to participate? 
For bloggers:  Feel free to share either 1) your plans for the week listed above or 2) what you did for this particular week of CC. When submitting your entry, please include the name of your blog or blog post and link directly to your post for the week noted in the post heading (so we can find it!) rather than to your entire blog. Also please link back to this page in your blog post so that your readers can check others' websites who are participating as well.  My hope is that this link-up encourages a feeling of community and friendship in the CC blogging world.

For non-bloggers:  Bookmark or pin this page and remember to visit the fabulous Cycle 3 blog entries that will be posted in the near future - all kinds of ideas for supplementing Classical Conversations. Check back often to see if others have submitted their ideas!

Bloggers:  By participating in this link-up, you agree that you will not post the words (in text, audio, or video format) of the history, science, timeline, or other specific wording found within the Foundations Guide in your blog post. You also agree to not post links to youtube videos, on-line Quizlet flashcards, or any other material containing memory work sentences from the Foundations Guide.  Please do not post any material you have downloaded from CC Connected if it is not your own creation. You may include a reference to a specific file you have found useful by stating the name of the file so that it may be searched on CC Connected. This website strives to maintain the highest degree of integrity in honoring copyrights owned by Classical Conversations (or any other person or company, for that matter). Thank you for being honorable and trustworthy in your participation in this link-up!

This link-up is intended to be used with the Foundations Guide 4th Edition.  

For those receiving this in your email inbox, just click on the heading of this post to access the "Add Your Link" button or to access links that have been submitted. (But be patient, as it will take some time for bloggers to get their posts written and their links up!)

This will help all of us to easily find the ideas others have shared for each week of Classical Conversations! Thank you for participating!


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