St. Atahansius Academy

Monday, August 29th, was the official start to our school year (altho, truth be told, we really never stop learning … just officially move up a grade!)

Some of you have asked what we’ll be using this year for Hambone (12, 7th grade), Kit (11, 6th grade) and HotRod (almost 9, 3rd grade). Here are the resources/spines we’ll be using this year, never forgetting that hands-on and real-life experiences always more than compensate for book-learning.

These are the books we’ll use to keep us organized … but we’ll be having lots of adventures and activities which we’ll talk about as the year progresses.

The subjects we’ll do together:
Religion (4.5 hrs/week) — Catholic Chrisitianity: a complete catechism of Catholic Church beliefs based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Peter Kreeft — Hambone will be prepping for his Confirmation early next fall, so we’ll start really delving into the catechism. Kit and HotRod will be along for the ride both to ensure they know the faith and to keep Hambone actively interested in “knowing more” than they do. This book is a bit weighty, which should increase the discussions and questions from the kids and keep ME on my toes.
A Guide to the New Translation of the Mass by Edward Sri — we’ll be using this in November to prep for the new translation which will take effect on the first Sunday of Advent. Not only do we need to learn the new responses, I want my children to know WHY they have been changed (and why other things haven’t been). Sri’s book is a small overview that has clean, concise explanations. We’ll also practice the Latin responses (see below).

Writing (6 hrs/week) — we will be working through Andrew Pudewa’s Student Writing Intensiveprogram. We’ve done two days of this and it is amazing how much the kids like it and what they’ve already gotten from it. I highly recommend this program (especially after hearing Mr. Pudewa at the IHM conference this year) — the cost is DEFINITELY worth it!

Science (3 hrs/week) — Zoology 1: Flying Creatures from Apologia Science. I’m excited to do this book, with it’s lovely companion journal, with the kids. The text looks very detailed and the experiments and journal topics will make for a very memorable science year; each of the kids will have their own journal, which will become a scrapbook of their year with flying creatures. I’m hoping we might finish this one early and be able to move on to Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures towards the end of the year and into the summer. HotRod has petitioned dh to teach him the science of ballistics on Saturdays — so they’ll be using Backyard Ballistics while I’m off working at the knit shop (sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it?).

Music (1 hr/week) — Meet the Great Composers book 1 and Book 2 will focus our music literacy study this year. These textbook/music cd sets are excellent with a few pages about each composer and then selections to hear their signature styles. The booklet includes an activity/game to help reinforce the information taught.

Art (1 hr/week) — we’ll be watching and working our way through the Christian Heritage Art Program produced by the Dominican Sisters of Nashville. We have had the complete set for a few years now but have never really used it. I’m determined this will be the year we at least get a start! It’s a very creative, beautiful program that spans Grade 1 through Grade 8 art history (if a bit low-tech); I’m sure we’ll all get quite a bit out of the information contained as well as the projects suggested. [BTW, Sacred Heart Books and Gifts has the BEST price on this resource!]

Latin (2 hrs/week) — we’ll be working our way through two separate Latin programs: Latina Christiana and Lingua Angelica. Learning Latin is such a great supplement to our learning the new responses (especially since our pastor has said he wants to add more Latin to the regular Masses). LC and LA our gentle introductions to the language of the Church … and that’s what I want for my kids!

Individual, level-based courses:
Math (5 hrs/week):
Hambone: Saxon 7/6 (finishing) than Saxon 8/7 — I don’t like Saxon math, but he does and it works for him.
Kit: Life of Fred Fractions — she is mathe-phobic and Life of Fred is so darn gentle. She’s loving this (especially since it’s NOT Saxon!).
HotRod: MCP Math (level C and then level D) — this is my math whizkid and I bought two levels this year so when he smokes thru the first, he’ll have something to keep him busy the rest of the year!

Grammar/Spelling/Vocabulary (3 hrs/week) — in addition to the IEW writing program detailed above, I’m also having the kids do separate Language Arts workbooks to keep up their skills.
Hambone: Vocabulary from Classical Roots A and Fix It!
Kit: English for the Thoughtful Childand Spelling Work-out F
HotRod: Exercises in English (level C)

History (3 hrs/week) — CM-style history with lots of living books (resource listing to follow) but here are the spines they’ll be using:
Hambone: Usborne’s Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans; Famous Men of Greece and Famous Men of Rome
Kit: Story of the World: Early Modern Times and Modern Age
HotRod: Catholic Faith Comes to the Americas

I’ll be back soon with our living books used for our history classes … but for now, that should give you a good idea of what our days will look like. We’ll also have the St. Brigid of Ireland Literary and Crafting Society for the girls and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Boys’ Club for the boys … lots doing!

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