Our Homeschool Year in Review

Today's the day when we turn our homeschool portfolio in to the local school district for review. It's a lot of work putting these binders together, but I love looking back on all we've learned together.

Here's a summary of all that we did this school year:


Saxon Math 2 for Moses

Singapore Dimensions KA and KB for Abigail

Life of Fred Apples, Butterflies, and Cats all together


Moses did about 2/3 of Spelling Workout B before we decided to switch to Spelling You See

We started at Level A in April and are very glad we made the change.


We continued to work our way through The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. At this moment, Moses is about 5 lessons away from finishing this 230 lesson behemoth that we've been working our way through since he was 4. We will definitely be celebrating when he's done! And then the torch passes to Abigail.

We also did a lot of practicing with easy reader type books this year. Here are some of our favorites:

Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Amelia Bedelia series by Peggy Parish

Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant

Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel

Aunt Eater Loves a Mystery by Doug Cushman

Greg's Microscope by Millicent Ellis Selsam

Abigail Takes the Wheel by Avi

The Big Balloon Race by Eleanor Coerr

Mice at Bat by Kelly Oechsli


Moses started working on cursive with Zaner Bloser Handwriting 2C and Abigail continues to practice her printing with Zaner Bloser Handwriting K

We also started to dabble every so slightly with copywork. More of that next year, I hope.


We wrapped up working our way slowly through First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level One. I have mixed feelings about this one and haven't decided whether I want to continue on with Level Two or just let grammar go for next year. We'll see where we come out!


This year we started baby stepping our way into oral Latin lessons with Prima Latina.  I wrote in more detail here about how we implemented this program with kiddos so young. I'm really happy with this program and looking forward to continuing on with it little by little.


We started with Beautiful Feet Books Early American History as our spine, taking frequent forays into other topics of interest.

Here are some of our favorite history topics and titles from this year:

Leif Erickson and the Vikings

Leif the Lucky by Ingri D'Aulaire

Who Was Leif Erickson? by Nico Medina

Viking Adventure by Robert Clyde Bulla

Into the Unknown by Stewart Ross

Christopher Columbus

Columbus by Ingri & Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

In 1492 by Jean Marzollo

Encounter by Jane Yolen

The Oregon Trail

Roughing It on the Oregon Trail by Diane Stanley

Westward to Home by Patricia Hermes

Gone West by Jim Weiss

The Civil War

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

John F. Kennedy

Jack's Path of Courage by Doreen Rappaport

Who Was John F. Kennedy? by Yona Zeldis McDonough


Moses started the year telling us that all he wanted to learn about was astronomy, electrical engineering and robotics. We did pretty good on the astronomy, using the Book of Astronomy by Memoria Press as our guide.

We also supplemented with these additional titles:

Planetarium by Raman Prinja

See Inside Space Stations and Other Spacecraft by Rosie Dickens

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

The Stars by H. A. Rey

The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole


Reading aloud remains the bulk of our homeschooling. Here are some of the books we enjoyed as a family.

Chapter Book Read Alouds

The Mysterious Benedict Society series (we made it through this whole series twice!)

The Story of Dr. Dolittle and The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

The Chronicles of Narnia (except for The Silver Chair and The Last Battle - too intense for this time around!) by C. S. Lewis

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

My Father's Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

Picture Book Read Alouds

Too many to list, but these were some of our favorites from the year.

The Anatole series by Eve Titus (out of print, but worth searching for at your used book store)

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Island Boy by Barbara Cooney

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck

Kate Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon

The Harry the Dirty Dog series by Gene Zion

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Doctor De Soto by William Steig

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean

Comet's Nine Lives by Jan Brett

Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman

The Raft by Jim LaMarche

Andrew Henry's Meadow by Doris Burn

Learning Adventures

This is some of our favorite learning! Exploring, seeing new places, asking questions, and pursuing passions. Hands down the best part of homeschooling!

Appleton Farms, Ipswich

Stevens-Coolidge Place, North Andover

Insectarium, Philadelphia

Ecotarium, Worcester

Agassiz Rock, Manchester-by-the-Sea

Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation

Breakheart Reservation, Saugus

Plymouth Rock & Plimouth Plantation

Whale Watching Cruise, Plymouth

Coolidge Reservation, Manchester-by-the-Sea

That's all for the 2018 - 2019 school year! Now we're onward and upward to third grade and first grade.


  1. What an amazing year! Here in New Zealand, we don't have many requirements for the year (other than sign a piece of paper twice a year that says we're still homeschooling). Though there is great freedom in that, sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming. Doing the binders would be stressful at times for me, but at the same time, having that accountability would also be a blessing. What faithful work, Mama!

  2. What a wonderful homeschooling year! Thanks for sharing at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.


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