• Newsletter

  • Copyright Information

    © Katie's Homeschool Cottage 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katie's Homeschool Cottage with an appropriate link to the original content.
  • The Ultimate Homeschool Blogroll

  • Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Learning about Charlotte Mason

For those of you considering using Charlotte Mason’s methods in your homeschool, you might be interested in reading this short biography of her life and her intent in developing her methods. I found it written in a different slant than others I have read before and enjoyed it very much. Perhaps you will too. It is written by a homeschool mom who has homeschooled through high school and has offered workshops sharing ways in which you can use Ms. Mason’s with your children.  Here’s the link to receive your own pdf file of this biography. Get your own copy of “Meet Charlotte Mason” here

If you are interested in an easy course where you receive weekly tips and practical advice in how you can incorporate Charlotte Mason’s methods in your days, you may want to check out a new online course. Charlotte Mason Made Easy E-Course

Well, that’s the latest from here for the moment. Just thought I’d share these new resources with you! Happy Homeschooling! And, Happy New Homeschool Year!

Our Student Pictures Not Back to School Blog Hop

Instead of regular school pictures for the year, which we haven’t taken yet – we do that the first day back to school for us – I decided to share pictures of my kids depicting what our homeschool can look like.

My younger son is in the process of writing his own novel, similar in nature to Lord of the Rings, which he has read, lived, and breathed in the past. Its title at the moment is “The Quest of Two Kings.” Part of writing his book is the illustrations. Instead of drawing them, he decided he and his older brother should dress as different characters in the story and photograph various scenes from the plot.

Below are some pictures from this project:


Mom’s Home Journal – Getting and Staying Organized for the School Year

It’s that time of year when “organization” is a goal and the main focus as we start a new school year. Many of you are familiar with notebooking pages from notebookingpages.com and the great formats and artwork that goes along with them.

Last month, they introduced some wonderful home planning forms that not only help you to organize your planning for your homeschool, but also many areas of your home life.

Now those forms are available at a new website with a membership to that site for only $15.95 for the first year, only $5 for renewing each year after that. All forms that you download during that year are yours to keep forever. There are always updates with new forms, so you will receive a full year from the start of your payment of newly introduced forms.

These are some of the categories on this site so far, with more to come:

  • Original Full-Themed Sets
  • At-a-Glance Planning Pages
  • Calendar Pages
  • Contact Information Pages
  • Divider Title Pages
  • Homeschooling Pages
  • Household Planning Forms
  • Journaling Pages
  • Lists, Lists, Lists
  • Routines
  • Seasonal Cover Pages & Spines
  • To-Do Pages
  • Check out a sample of their many kinds of planning pages here.

    I’m really impressed by the formats of the forms and the fun artwork! I think you will be too!

    Our School Room Not Back to School Blog Hop

    We are a bit late posting about our school room for the Heart of the Matter Online Not Back to School Blog Hop due to technical difficulties that I hope I will have resolved soon. Anyway, here are some pictures and descriptions of how we do “school” in our home.

    Unfortunately, we do not have the space for a separate room for our classroom, which I would love – even if it was just for the storage to keep everything together and out of our daily living area. We have a very open floor plan with no distinct separate rooms other than the bedrooms and bathrooms.

    We do our “schooling” or “learning” all over the house, but for serious “we need to focus and concentrate” the dining room table is the mainstay. You might notice a credenza to the left of the dining table. That serves as a storage desk for me for different folders of notebooking pages, lapbook pages, spiral notebooks, different kinds of paper, microscope, and baskets for assignments. Love to be able to slide the doors and drawers open and closed for easy access that you can’t see when we enjoy our evening meals together.

    Fortunately, we have a huge closet that serves as our storage space for all educational games, crafts, books and school supplies, my sewing supplies, files etc. that we can open up and use during the day and from which we can hang posters and other reference materials. (It’s a tad messy at the moment. The carts in front of the bookshelf are on wheels and behind them I have plastic tubs with math, science, social studies, and language arts manipulatives.)

    We also have a bookcase that holds our encyclopedias (that I bought for $30 from a library book sale) – gotta love it! And tons of other books that we have read repeatedly or look forward to reading in future studies. Next to it on the floor, we have two crates that serve as our “desks” for easy access to the current notebooks we are working on or textbooks we may be using. It is a lot easier for my guys to quickly take them in and out from there than looking for them on a bookcase or sliding them in and out from a row of other books. You might also notice a red chair in front of the book case. It is part of a set in front of a fireplace where we do a lot of our reading aloud in front of a fire sipping hot chocolate or tea – very cozy.

    Other places we do our schooling is the family room just on the other side of the fireplace I mentioned where we have two cozy reclining couches and my sons’ rooms when they want quiet to read with no distractions. So, we are all over the house.

    We also go out on the back deck, pictured in photo of the dining area, the car, the library, wherever we happen to be. You get the idea.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to share to get some ideas to improve our setup! If you wish to share anything you have found helpful, please make a comment in the comments box!

    For other ideas, visit the Not Back to School Blog Hop.

    Our Curriculum Selections for this Year


    This is my first installment for the Heart of the Matter Online Not Back to School Blog Hop. I’d like to share what we are doing this year for curriculum, which will be quite different this year due to having a son entering his first year in high school.

    First, let’s look at my Sixth Grader:

    Math – Teaching Textbooks Grade 7

    English – A mixture of Easy Grammar and Daily Grams for 6th grade with Mosdos Literature Jade (Grade 7), Vocabutoons for Middle School (there’s vocabulary in the literature program as well, but thought he’d enjoy to pictures and mnemonic devices for some variety and fun), Spelling Power, and for writing – Writing Styles Gr. 6 and Writing Wizardry (2 writing workbooks about word choice, quality sentence structure, and different kinds of writing. (We’ll be adding some Shakespeare study and Poetry study and memorization for added interest and recitation for public speaking practice and presentation, as well as oral and interpretive reading when we visit a nursing home for 4-H visits and assemblies for the residents.)

    Science – Life Science and Human Anatomy using a variety of living books including books from the list at this site http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/science/otters_science/science_human_body.html
    as well as a variety books from the list here http://www.livingbookscurriculum.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=LBC&Category_Code=Life_Science

    He will also be reading the second half of the Exploring General Science book from Apologia for the part that deals with human anatomy. He will read the second half dealing with scientists and the scientific method in the first half next year.

    Social Studies – For Geography as we study the United States as they entered into the union, we will be using Trail Guide to United States Geography. For the study of US History up to 1877, we will be reading A History of the United States and its People and This Country of Ours. (And, the best part – lots and lots of field trips to historical sites and places with interactive simulations)

    Latin – Latin Minimus and Secondus

    Spanish – Learnables

    Bible – Various books for reading and study including Made for Work and Beyond Boyhood

    Art and Music – We will be looking at music and artwork from the time period as well as making our own with Basic Drawing with Thomas Kinkade and learning to play the recorder and piano. We’ll also participate in a local community theatre for a musical as well as attend several in children’s series at local theatres.

    Swimming lessons and 4-H round out the school year.

    For the 9th Grader: We usually did a number of subjects together as a family, but this year, the 9th grader will be working a lot more independently at a higher level.

    Math – Jacobs Algebra

    Science – BJU Biology

    English – Warriner’s Complete English Course (12th gr.) (we’ll probably use this off and on depending on our needs next year as well), James Stobaugh’s Interpreting and Analyzing Literature from Such A Time As This (this would be a quick overview since we have done this task since 7th grade) and focus then on the first half of James Stobaugh’s American Literature textbook to cover literature up to 1877 (our historical time period of study). We’ll also be referring to the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP test prep book from REA to prepare for taking the CLEP for this exam (to substantiate the grade I give him for this course since it will at an honors level of study and maybe give him college credits depending on the college he goes to later on.) Writing practice with Write Shop.

    History – Geography – Trail Guide to United States Geography (wonderful program that has 3 levels of learning) and a combination of James Stobaugh’s American History series to accompany his American Literature series (it’s brand new), American History for Dummies (love it) and the CLEP study guide for American History to 1877 and following the lesson plans from this homeschool CLEP website http://clepprep.tripod.com/cleplessonplans/. (My guy took a homeschool american history class last year with an AP teacher and text – but it was more of an enrichment for him as we were finishing our study of the Renaissance at the time – so we are studying it more in depth this year and he can really delve into it)

    Foreign Language – Arabic from Auralog and Latin (for vocabulary and grammar review as well as language syntax) Latin in the Christian Trivium ( I really like this program because it cuts to the chase at a high school level and if you keep going to the next couple of levels you are prepared to take the Latin Exam if you read mythology on your own.)

    Bible – Story of the Bible (an old text found at a library book sale) that really tells in narrative form the story of the Bible from start to finish for older children. Dig Deep, a study of Proverbs.

    Art – An Art class taught by a pastor’s wife with other homeschooled children combined with art appreciation courtesy Sister Wendy and The Teaching Company.

    Physical Education – Presidential Fitness training via Civil Air Patrol and personal training and study of health/food/nutrition/healthy life habits.

    Round off with riflery team, 4-H shooting, 4-H, Civil Air Patrol and community theatre.

    I hope this gives you a picture of our program for the year. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments box, or share what you are using and have enjoyed.


    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 1,949 other followers

    %d bloggers like this: