Tuesday 13 August 2013

It's new in our school . . .

Last week I shared our proposed curriculum for the year ahead. It was so encouraging to write out a list of our year ahead and plan.

This year there are four new things we are adding to the mix. My aim is to add more Fine Arts study to our weekly rhythm.

I learnt the hard way last year not to add it all into the mix at once or it soon gets left on the sidelines and forgotten.  My aim this year is to slowly add in one thing at a time.  We follow a five week learning cycle (four weeks school one week rest).  I will be adding music appreciation / study in cycle two and then Nature Journaling in cycle three.

A few months back Mary over at Homegrown Learners released her first eBook SQUILT.  I am really excited about this product because it's written for every day mom's at home who have no classical training or personal understanding of the classical genre. SQUILT stands for Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time.

Volume 1 covers composers/music from the Baroque era. Over the course of working through SQUILT we will be learning about 5 types of instruments, dynamic, rhythm, and tempo.  There are plenty of links sprinkled through out the eBook to help you explore the music more fully.

It also contains note booking pages for you to print and use.

World's Greatest Composers

This unit study has been compiled by Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  We will be using the parts of this that coincide with the composers from SQUILT Vol I.

Each composer covered has approximately 10 lessons available in it.  Once we have completed SQUILT we shall finish the balance of the year using this and compiling a lapbook covering The Orchestra and Composers.

This study uses the books by Mike Venezia to complete the study.  I am looking forward to completing this study.

You can see a few pictures of the completed lap pack over at Erica's online store. There is also a full list of all the composers covered in the pack.

Classical Composers Monthly
I Have a little bit of a love affair with online resources and sometime spend too much time on YouTube trying to find just the right clip to enhance our learning.

I discovered this gem of a site via Pinterest and have purchased a couple of volumes.  Each volume covers 12 composers. There are currently three volumes available.

For each composer you are supplied with a few YouTube clips, links to FREE resources, down loadable music links, Fun activities and notebook printables.  You can see a FREE sample of a study: George Fridric Handel.

Each Volume is purchased separately for $14.95 and you have lifetime access to the resource purchased.

I really would like to settle down and complete Vol I of The World's Greatest Artists this year.  I had so many good intentions but alas they never came to pass last year.
Recently Monet's Garden came to Melbourne which inspired some in depth artist studies.  Sir N and I had such a wonderful time learning together that I am really keen to keep going.

We explored the life and work of Claude Monet and did some great art following his style.

This unit study is available for FREE from Confession of a Homeschooler.

Nature Journal
I have a total love affair with the very idea of Nature Journaling after reading Karen Andreola's chapter on Nature Journaling in the Charlotte Mason Companion.

So much so in fact that I collected a whole page of resources and a stack of books (Nature Journals, Keeping a Nature Journal  and The Decorated Journal ) to help me get started.

Well this year is going to be the year that I take the plunge. Our books are purchased and the digital camera is ready.  We will wait about a month by then spring should have arrived and we will take the plunge and attempt to journal our way through nature...I will keep you posted.

These are a few new resources to me.  I would love to hear what you are using that is new to you.


This week



  1. I love the idea of nature journalling too. I'm not very good at sticking with it but I always enjoy it when we do it!

    I agree it's a good idea to bring in one thing at a time. We are always good at getting round to composer and artist study at the beginning of the year. It sounds like your cycles are a good way to experience that "fresh start" feeling more often.

    1. I ♥ our 5 week cycle. I used to school by term but we all became far too tired. This works well. We always have time to rest :)

  2. Chareen,
    What age would you say SQUILT is aimed at?

    We have completed both Confessions Art and Composers studies and they were brilliant but really a bit young for my kids (who were 8 and 10 at the time) and they got a bit bored so we had to sort of squish them up a bit to make them go quicker and modify them. I am now looking for something aimed at tweens, which is really not easy.

    Any advice much appreciated otherwise I think I may end up making my own curriculum. Was wondering if the squilt book would help in that process ;)

    1. SQUILT is aimed at primary to intermediate. It's more for music appreciation than composer study.

      I would recommend Classical Composers Monthly. Have a look at their sample.

      Have you seen the Great Musician Series by Zeezok Publishing ? I LOVE these books along with the companion CD's


  3. We started Mystery of History last term, it is great, the Timeline ensures NO Gaps. So loving it!

    Also started Downunder's Australian Book Traveller with my youngest.....this has been good too, but we keep diverting! That is ok though!

    I am also doing Shakespeare in a Lapbook style this term......very new though!


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