St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Update to Curriculum 2013-14

Our December update on home school and curriculum we have made it to about weeks 10-14 of our studies, depending on the courses..high school taking infinitely longer :)   I thought I'd take a moment to update our highlights so far (using my original post from months ago, below, that you may refer to).

We are still LOVING the Cambridge Latin course for high school even more now that we are further into it.  We will definitely be doing Unit 2 next year.   My plug for studying Latin: first, it's part and parcel of classical studies; it involves history which all the more helps the student form a broad view of the world and it's heritage; it involves LOTS of grammar and your students, growing up through the grammar stages using Latin, will have all they need for ACT - SAT testing. Parsing apart words, and learning subjects, verbs, direct objects, prepositions, is all included in Latin study.  By 6th - 7th - 8th grade you can do a regular analytical English grammar course (like Easy Grammar, and Easy Grammar Plus) to sync the mechanics, etc.,, but Latin study is so marvelous for analytical thinking, vocabulary and grammar.  There I've said it!  :)   Mirabilis!

Our 4th grader loves the Abeka science text that covers nature (especially a big way; my dad would have loved this course)....we are going through each chapter thoroughly, and I have him sketch into his "bird journal" the special bird that is featured throughout the text. He is my budding nature artist :)  If anything, he is certainly learning a lot about birds and we are nurturing a love of the natural world: God's creation.  

Math is going well for both my grades this year;  it's just a course you have to stay aggressive with and keep on board with continually.  My algebra son is taking an algebra help class at our co-op that is benefiting him -- they are using Abeka Algebra, which doesn't provide a lot of teacher help resources (non- DVDs, or CD roms) it's not a math text I would recommend for struggling math students, without a knowledgeable teacher to assist with.  I keep around the Saxon Teacher DVDs (Algebra 1) in the event we need to look something over.  But so far...he's stayed within the 87-100% range, mostly around 95/97% on most tests.  

My 9th grader, is also doing so well with the Earth Science courses this year also; it is such a process, but a wonderful scientific one. The course is rather eclectic.  First, using the particular Milliken text worksheets [1](and transparencies for visual help) to acquire the pertinent information about the topic, then constructing a well written scientific essay (and on occasional illustrating it).  He has done the first 9 weeks of the Geology course and is now into the Oceanography one.  This course, per Mother of Divine Grace, provides a lot of good formation in study skills and writing skills.  Plus, they are learning science.....all so integrated.  I love courses like this.  (The Solar System,  Weather)   I highly recommend following the Modg Syllabus for this course as it's packed with your day by day lesson plan, hands-on learning (you will need a rock kit!)...and other pertinent information to engage fully in earth sciences).

OKAY: added cool points.  When Michael wrote his essay on Volcanoes and Dome Mountains for earth science, he was able to cite information from his Cambridge Latin text on Mt. Vesuvius eruption and aftermath, there was an excellent article regarding the history of Pompeii contained in the text.   Again, I love integration of crossing courses like this.  

So, there you have it. You can see several of the other courses per my original post, but just wanted to take a "moment" to update how our progress has been, as we near the end of our first semester and look forward to taking a winter break soon.  


It's been a while since I posted our curriculum, so I will take the opportunity to do that now.  This year I am overseeing 9th grade and 4th grade.  A world of difference!  A 9th grade student well into the analytical stage and a 4th grade student still very much in the grammar stage.  It makes life interesting!  And how wonderful to follow a classical method of education that respects their stages and uses those stages to the benefit of the student's learning; so it is with Mother of Divine Grace's classical study.

So, for 9th grade, we are doing:

Faith & Morality:
    Chief Truths of the Faith, Fr. John Laux
    Catholic Morality, Fr. John Laux
Algebra 1 (we use ABeka)
Earth Science 
US History & Geography & American Literature
Warriner's Grammar & Composition, Third Course
Cambridge Latin, Unit 1
Fine Arts  (as described in the first paragraph at the link; it is an on-line course provided by Modg)

We are loving the Latin -- it is such a nicely done book and rather fun with stories about the whole family including the Cerberus, (the dog!)

4th grade studies: (for my autism spectrum disorder son)

FOURTH GRADE SYLLABUS - covers all these subjects:
Bible Stories & Catechism
Our Pioneers & Patriots/geography (map skills)
Intermediate Language Lessons
Science: Understanding God's World
Math 4 (ABeka)
Music: Let's Learn Music Hayes music book (and classical selections)
Art: Childhood Masterpieces, Mommy It's a Renoir series
The Writing Road to Reading, Spelling/phonograms
Beginning Latin 1 (a specialized Modg course)

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