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May 22, 2006

The Tentative Plan

I've been trying to take everything I've learned and read over the past few years, and put it into a plan for our kids.

So voila! Here is The Plan So Far. Click if you want all the gory details.

Question marks further down in the math, Latin and Greek areas are largely because so much is going to depend on ability and aptitude up to that point. It's too soon to tell if high school is going to see us zipping through calculus, or finally mastering algebra. And who knows how long it will take to get through the Latin texts - not I! Maybe Greek will be a bust. Maybe we'll be sick of Latin by 9th grade. If we only get through CW Herodotus, that will be FINE. There is much to be seen. I am going for "ambitious, but doable" here.

No science is on the list. That doesn't mean we won't study science. It does mean I have no idea, yet, what we'll study when. I think, though, that a good, solid grounding in math, logic, and Latin and Greek vocabulary will put us in a good position for science.

This is pulled largely from the Highlands Latin School curriculum, with input from The Latin-Centered Curriculum, and keeping with The Well-Trained Mind four-year history rotation. Whew. This is also based on Connor's school years; the other kids will be folded in as their time comes. I do not yet know to what extent I can combine Connor and Aidan for literature studies, or how long I will be able to keep them in the same level of the progymnasmata.

I reserve the right to change anything, at any time, or to scrap the whole thing and go bowling. This plan is not meant to be thought of as exhaustive or complete. In fact, it's meant to be a bare minimum tied to the kite tail of hope. This plan does not represent the fact that there will be lots of reading happening outside the plan (Stevenson, Poe, Orwell, Heinlein, Calvin and Hobbes).

Plus, this is the first time that their father will have seen The Plan, and I imagine he might have some comments.

5th Grade:

Math - Singapore 4B/5A, Right Start D
Connor surprised me by working more quickly through math, and is in Singapore 5B at midyear. Aidan is in Right Start D almost exclusively, and Singapore 3 is a supplement for him.

Latin - Latin Book One (Scott and Horn)
We've switched to Using Latin Book One, by the same authors. The text moves at a slightly slower pace. At midyear, we're about a quarter of the way through the book. It's going well.

Writing - Progym Fable and Narrative (Classical Writing - finish Aesop, possibly begin Homer),
Updated to remove Spell to Write and Read as a separate program. No need, we can use the techniques to spell words from our Classical Writing assignments. Also updated to rearrange the sequence to start CW Poetry later, so that Aidan can join in as well. 3rd grade will be a bit young to start this, apparently.

Second update: I'm an idiot, Connor needs the spelling. Aidan does not - Aidan frequently tells Connor how to spell words. Connor has zipped through Aesop B. After the start of the year, I'm going to try starting him in Homer, and Aidan in Aesop B, using the same models.

Literature Studies - Connor: Narnia, Shakespeare Stories, The Children's Homer
Aidan: Narnia, Tanglewood Tales/A Wonder Book. Aidan may perhaps do Shakespeare Stories with us.

At midyear, we've finished the Narnia series. Aidan's read Charlotte's Web and Black Ships Before Troy, and Connor's read The Hobbit. We've read some of Bruce Coville's Shakespeare. And Star Trek. They've both read lots and lots of Star Trek. Connor has read Timothy Zahn's Thrawn series (Star Wars).

Classical Studies - Caesar's Gallic War, Famous Men of Greece or Herodotus for Children

Mmmm ... we're still trying to finish D'Aulaire's Greek Myths and Famous Men of Rome. After those, we're going to move into Famous Men of Greece and D'Aulaire's Norse Myths. Connor might read Caesar's Gallic War on his own. Or not.

History - Ancient History (History Odyssey) (The Children's Homer is scheduled in the history readings)

However, Connor hates History Odyssey. I'm reading Story of the World to the younger ones, and Connor is reading through the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia - his choice. Along with that he wants to study World War II, so that's what he's doing.

End-of-Year Assessment: We ditched our Latin plans. At year's end, Connor's doing Unit 1 of Henle, Aidan has completed Latina Christiana I, and both are working through Lingua Latina (in Cap. IV).

Connor has completed Singapore 6A, and says math is his favorite subject. Aidan is 3/4 through Right Start D, and is bored, so is also working through Singapore 3.

Connor has finished through Week 5 of Classical Writing Homer; Aidan is about a quarter of the way into Aesop B. Classical Writing is Aidan's favorite subject.

We've pretty much read what we set out to read. I also read "Archimedes and the Door of Science" to them. Aidan is currently reading "Theras and His Town," and Connor is reading "Caesar's Gallic Wars." We didn't finish "Famous Men of Greece," but, eh, we will.

We worked through Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry.

Connor is still working on his independent study of World War II. Both boys ended up in an American history class this semester, quite by accident. It was a good class, though. Aidan and Griffin did SOTW 1.

And there you are.

6th Grade

Math - Singapore 5B/6A, Right Start E Singapore 6B/Dolciani Pre-Algebra. 4th Grade Aidan will be doing Right Start D and E, along with Singapore's Challenging Word Problems. 2nd Grade-ish Griffin and K-ish Lachlan will be doing Right Start B. Everyone will be doing living math lessons.

8/26/07 Well, right off the bat we've ditched Right Start, the math program I love so dearly. I still love it. However, Aidan wanted a break from it. I ran into an odd problem with Griffin; Right Start, with its manipulatives and brilliant concrete teaching, could not help Griffin understand place value. He simply doesn't get it. I was not able to teach it to him (a first). We cannot move forward with RS until he gets it. So we've all moved back to the (comparatively) more conventional Singapore.

Latin - Latin Book One continued, or Two, depending on our pace Henle I Units 2-5, with readings from Using Latin Book One Lingua Latina. 4th Grade Aidan will continue with Latin for Children and/or Latina Christiana is currently using Using Latin Book One and Lingua Latina. Frankly, I imagine we'll hop from program to program until he starts Henle in 5th. whenever he's ready for it.

Writing - Progym Narrative (Classical Writing, Homer A) Classical Writing Elementary Poetry 4th Grade Aidan will do Classical Writing Aesop B and Poetry. It's entirely possible that Aidan will move into Homer A. Lachlan and Griffin will do copywork.

Greek - Elementary Greek I (Aidan might start this too.) Haven't even bought this yet, don't know if I will. I'm considering waiting for Galore Park to finish their Greek program.

Literature Studies - Horatius at the Bridge, The Hobbit, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Beowulf.

Classical Studies - Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Horatius at the Bridge

History - Medieval History for everyone but Connor. Connor will do whatever he wants to.

7th Grade

Math - Singapore 6B, Right Start Geometry NEM and Dolciani Algebra, taking it very slowly. 5th Grade Aidan will finish Right Start and go into Singapore 4A. Griffin will do Right Start C. B.

Latin - Henle I, Units 6-10, readings from Using Latin Book Two. Aidan will move into Henle 1, Units 1-2. If he's ready, Griffin (3rd) will begin Latina Christiana. Lively Latin.

Well, our original Latin plan is shot. A quarter into 7th grade, Connor is finishing up book one of Galore Park's "Latin Prep." A quarter into 5th grade, Aidan is nearly done with Henle Unit 1. And Griffin is in 2nd grade this year, not 3rd.

Greek - Elementary Greek II I

Logic - Traditional Logic I We have decided to not start logic yet.

Writing - Classical Writing Homer B Diogenes Maxim. Aidan will be doing CW Homer A/B. If he's ready, Griffin will begin Classical Writing Aesop. Shoot me now. On second thought, we could always push this off to next year. We pushed this off until next year. At least.

Literature Studies - Iliad and Odyssey

Classical Studies - Readings from Cambridge History of Mankind series We ditched this, figuring that the Lit readings cover Classical Studies.

History - Early Modern. Griffin and Lachlan will use SOTW, which will likely be over Lachlan's head, so ...

We've started using Tapestry of Grace for history, for all the children.

8th Grade

Math - NEM, more Dolciani's Algebra, play around with ideas from Gelfand's Algebra and Introduction to Number Theory. Aidan - Singapore 6. Griffin should be in Right Start E, which means Lachlan would be somewhere around B or C.

Latin - Henle I, Units 11-14. For Aidan, Henle I, Units 3-5. For Griffin, more Latina Christiana.

Greek - Elementary Greek III

Logic - Traditional Logic II

Writing - Progym - Maxim (CW Diogenes), Intermediate Poetry. Aidan will work on Homer B. (This year should also see us beginning Fable/CW Aesop with the two younger children)

Literature Studies - Lord of the Rings (Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings)

Classical Studies - The Aeneid

History - Modern History (History Odyssey)

9th Grade

Math - Euclid. Aidan - Dolciani pre-algebra. Griffin - Singapore 5. Lachlan - Right Start C.

Latin - Henle I I. For Aidan - Henle I, Units 6-10. For Griffin, Henle I Units 1-2. Theoretically time for Lachlan to begin LC I.

Greek - First Greek Book or switch to Spanish or other modern language. Possibly start Griffin in Elementary Greek.

Logic - Material Logic I

Writing - Progym CW Chreia and Shakespeare
Younger children will finish CW Aesop and begin Homer. Or something.

Literature Studies - Gilgamesh and undecided

Classical Studies - Sophocles, Euripides

History - er ... two younger children will do History Odyssey ancients this year. Aidan may do so as well.

10th Grade

Latin - Henle II (Caesar). Aidan - 11-14 of Henle I. Griffin - 3-5 of Henle I. I will be so sick of Henle that I will want to scream. Lachlan - Latina Christiana.

Math - NEM and Algebra II, Dolciani. Griffin - Singapore 6. Lachlan - RS E.

Greek - First Greek Book or modern foreign language

Logic - Material Logic II

Writing - Progym CW Herodotus and Shakespeare
Younger children will finish Homer and begin Diogenes

Literature Studies - Macbeth, Henry IV, Henry V, Hamlet

Classical Studies - Thucydides (Peloponnesian War), Tacitus or Cicero or Aristophanes

History - Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples. The three younger children will do History Odyssey Level 2 medieval.

11th Grade

Latin - Henle III (Cicero)

Math - ??

Greek - Anabasis or modern foreign language

Logic/Rhetoric - Rhetoric with Aristotle

Writing - CW Plutarch, Poetry

Literature Studies - The Divine Comedy

Classical Studies - Aristotle - Nichomachean Ethics, Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

History - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Common Sense, The Rights of Man, Federalist/Antifederalist Papers, Churchill

12th Grade

The same question marks as before. The goal for Latin is to read a little Cicero and Virgil in the original, or possibly to study for the AP Catullus exam. If we're still going strong in Greek, we'll attempt a little Homer this year.

Latin - Henle IV (Virgil)

Modern foreign language

Writing - CW Demosthenes, Poetry

Literature Studies - I suppose we need some American authors in here somewhere, for the transcript

Classical Studies - Plato's Republic, Gibbon (abridged, for the love of God).

History - The Communist Manifesto, Churchill

Are you scared? I am. Some of you are laughing. Some of you are overwhelmed. Some of you think I'm insane. Some of you think I'm being too highbrow. Some of you are impressed. And SOME of you have planned twice as much. I know who you are.

I encourage the impressed and inspired ones to leave the most comments :)

I had some trouble with the more advanced classical studies, because ... I haven't read most of these things. I had to look the authors up to see what in heck we'd be reading, because people tend to list "Thucydides" with the understanding that everyone knows that means the history of the Peloponnesian War. And now so do you. I'd like a good mix, and I hope I've done that.

Updated 5/28/06 to add Euclid in 9th grade, and to fill out the high school Latin plan.

Updated 3/07 for progress, to change our math plans, and to flesh out some plans for the other kids.

Posted by lynx at May 22, 2006 10:23 AM


That blasted book sent me on a planning spree, too. My oldest son is *9* for cryin' out loud, and I suddenly became convinced this weekend that I needed to plan through high school RIGHT NOW. :)

I had a fairly basic idea in mind already, which didn't change too drastically after reading LCC. Like you, I've been planning a combination of Highlands, LCC, and TWTM, theoretically tossing in some of the Veritas Omnibus selections for "just reading." I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to teaching *any* Great Books, but I figure: Hey, if Cliff Notes helped me pass tests on books I'd never read, surely they'll help my boys (and me) to understand books we really are reading. :D

OTOH, bowling could be nice... :)

Posted by: KathyJo at May 22, 2006 2:04 PM

Yeah, I don't really know what I'm doing either. I look at some of these books and wonder who I'm kidding? I am going to order Teaching The Classics. That should help. Did I mention I have a degree in literature?

Posted by: MamaLynx [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 22, 2006 2:13 PM


I spent the weekend doing long term planning too. I waver (depends on caffeine intake and toddler chaos levels) between being inspired and energized and hiding under my bed whimpering "can't we just put them on the bus?!"


Posted by: andie at May 22, 2006 2:25 PM

Can you give me more info on Teaching the Classics, please? :) I searched Amazon, but came up with 1000+ results.

Posted by: KathyJo at May 22, 2006 2:54 PM


I don't know that I'd get to a seminar, but I am planning to buy the DVD. I have heard great things about this.

Posted by: MamaLynx [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 22, 2006 3:24 PM

Gratias tibi ago. :) Benigna es juvare.

Posted by: KathyJo at May 22, 2006 3:37 PM

Have you read Aristophanes? It's funny stuff.

I'm impressed and inspired.

Posted by: Shawna at May 22, 2006 3:40 PM

Will it be easier or harder on them doing Latin and Greek at the same time?

I think that reading Euclid in 8th grade would be good - both for using their Greek and for learning Geometry well. There's a reason why pretty much every Geometry book that really digs into it (ie, not public school textbooks, necessarily) still lists Euclid in its bibliography.

For algebra, there are a couple of good approaches. Is Jacobs the program you just recently showed me? That sounded good. Also, the Saxon stuff really worked for me; YMMV.

After algebra, if the kids want to continue math, I'd go with Principia Mathematica. Not only is it Latin practice, but it's a work of utter genius that really lays out calculus as a process of reasoning, rather than as a math textbook per se.

Somewhere in there (maybe 8-9 grade) would be a good time to do how to lie with statistics.

May I suggest doing both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in the same year? The correspondences and differences would prove, I think, wonderful to work with. (That's how I first read them, and it had a huge impact, larger than when I went back later and read them both individually.)

For history, I would suggest biographies of great men, in-depth topical readings on parts of history that interest them, and James Burke's Changes and Day the Universe Changed series. (Videos, not the books; the videos are actually quite a bit better since that's how the series was designed.)

The Story of English should be on there, shouldn't it?

For economics, The Wealth of Nations is wonderful, but there are probably some more modern texts that can better it (not as dense, and taking account of things we've learned since). I suggest looking into Ludwig von Mises in particular, especially Human Action, and Murray Rothbard, especially Ethics of Liberty and Man, Economy and the State. Or just google "Austrian school" economics.

At some point, Churchill's history must be on the list. Oh, wait, there it is.

Darwin's Descent of Man should probably be on the list.

For American authors, how about Mark Twain?

Plus I still think taking apart Zinn's history or something of Chomsky would be a good exercise in logic, rhetoric and how to spot being lied to.

Posted by: Jeff Medcalf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 22, 2006 5:36 PM

I am inspired...impressed...and yeah, I'll admit it, a little overwhelmed.

I, too, had planned on a mixture of Highlands, Drew's book, and TWTM. I tried to go all Highlands this year, but decided in November that I cannot let go of the four-year history cycle. And I keep on finding reasons for putting off the progym.

Do you know anyone that has gone with Classical Composition over Classical Writing?

Posted by: Staci at May 23, 2006 12:12 AM

Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--

Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.

Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

Sorry, just reminiscing about the kind of schooling I received in comparison to what you're laying out.

Posted by: Brian Medcalf at May 23, 2006 1:15 AM

Wow. That's about all I can say. I'm all about the short-term, and so proud of myself for figuring out what to do next fall, and here you are all the way through high school. And the only part of your plan I can really follow is your math progression, since I'm clueless, absolutely clueless, about classics and lit.

The only coherent comment I can make: dd adores RightStart Geometry and wants to continue it all summer whether we do any school or not.

I'm going to go hide my head under a pillow now, weeping in fear.

Posted by: GailV at May 23, 2006 8:04 AM

Shawna, I've never read Aristophanes. That's good to know! I've read Sophocles, and, well ... not so funny. If Aristophanes is funny, he can stay. I like funny.

Brian - I'm educating myself here too, you know!

Staci, I know lots of virtual people who use Classical Composition instead ... there are a few on the Latin Classical Ed Yahoo group, and I think maybe Drew is planning on using it for his daughter. And the first level of the progym is REALLY easy.

It's okay, Gail. It's easy to make a plan. Lit I know, but I'm clueless about classical works myself and rely on what others say. I'd go ahead and tackle some of them on my own to know better, but I may be reading Don Quixote for the rest of my life. We could open betting on how the actual education of my kids ends up ... what does your dd like about Right Start Geometry? Do they do any work with proofs?

You should also know that it took me three or four months to read "A Little Princess" to them this year. And that's not a long book.

Jeff - Ludwig von what?

They'll be fine doing Greek and Latin at the same time. Having a couple of years of Latin under their little belts will make Greek easier. And then with the Latin study, Spanish ought to be a breeze.

We need to make a separate list for "Things to study if The Plan is going really, really well." I forgot to mention that, probably starting next year, I'll start Connor (and myself) on reading the Uncle Eric books.

The Day the Universe Changed and Connections might be a good framework for high-school history study.

Would we be ready for Euclid in 8th grade?

Posted by: MamaLynx [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 8:42 AM

I just got home from our used book sale (denim jumpers galore, thanks) and realized I bought a copy of the Latin text you are using in 5th grade year, except mine was published in 1948. I thought it looked good for a dollar!
Your plan is inspiring...thanks.

Posted by: Anne at May 23, 2006 5:14 PM

You've sure been doing your homework lol. Thanks for laying it all out for the rest of us :). I haven't even thought much about next year, when the youngest will be in first grade and tackling the learning-to-read thing; for the moment I'm just busy dealing with farming, gardening, and the weather...

Posted by: Becky at May 29, 2006 9:40 AM

This thread is so old that I hesitate to add to it -- but I just discovered this site and have to comment on Jeff's suggestions (von Mises, Rothbard, etc.). I actually read "Human Action" in high school -- a brilliant book, but *very* tough sledding even for advanced students.
Mises is the dean of "Austrian economics"; "Austrian economics" is a school of thought in economics which focuses on economics as relating to actual choices and decisions made by human beings instead of pretending that econ is a branch of mathematical physics.
I'm a Ph.D. physicist myself: believe me, pretending that econmics is a part of physics is indeed a bad idea.
Rather than starting with "Human Action," I'd suggest starting with Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson," probably sometime in grades 5-9. This book is basically von Mises' ideas in a form comprehensible to ordinary people.
"Man, Economy, and State" was meant to be a textbook version of "Human Action" and is much more readable than "Human Action." It is very long, but might work at the high-school level, after reading Hazlitt. Make sure to get a new edition (availalbe from the Mises Institute (www.mises.org) that includes the "Power and Market" section taken out of older editions.
I agree with Jeff on "Ethics of Liberty," probably upper-high-school level for bright kids. But I'd start out with Rothbard's "For a New Liberty," which is much more readable. His "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays" -- depsite the forbidding title! -- is also readable and quite interesting.
I should probably add that "Ethics of Liberty" and "Egalitarianism..." are both less about economics than about the idea of "natural rights" that was the foundation of the thought of the American founding fathers. The books are therefore of historical as well as philosophical interest.
I knew Rothbard personally by the way; he was a fascinating -- as well as jovial and fun-loving -- guy. He was the main person who got me interested in homeschooling years before I had any kids of my own.

Dave M.

Posted by: Dave M. in Sacramento [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 31, 2006 9:50 PM