Our 2016-2017 Book Lists

I grew up loving books. I got to pick Little Golden Books instead of candy after a good shopping trip with mom. We would go to the mall and spend half the day in the book store. I am thankful for my mom for doing this and instilling this love in me. I am trying to aim for the same goal with my kids. We love book lists. We love seeing what books go with what lessons. This year I am actually sitting down and writing our own book lists out for each child! And I want to share them with you!

Our 2016-2017 Reading Lists

Since this is the first year of making a book list, I am going to make it easy on us. I have planned one book per month. I don't plan on scheduling which book for which month, but each month I want to have the boys reading one off of the list. Besides the list I have picked out, I plan on having the boys pick at least one other book to read. The books they pick need to be at their reading level or higher and they will have a book report or project to work on for each book. Of course, they can read more, and I hope they do, but this is what I am requiring them to do.

Little Miss will have her own books. Of course they won't be chapter books and there will be more. I plan on making seasonal lists for her, and will be getting them planned and written up to share with you soon. But now, onto the lists for the boys!

10th Grade Reading List

For Moe Man I wanted to find interesting books that went with the time period he will be studying in his history lessons. Moe Man has always been a struggle when it comes to reading. He likes what he likes, and rarely opens up to something new. However, I have won in the last three picks that I did for him, so he is more open to letting me pick books. That means that I work harder at finding his books, but with this list, I hope to have found a good selection.

  1. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dpstpevski
  4. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  7. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  8. The Sea Wolf by Jack London
  9. The Thousand Year War in the Mideast by Richard Maybury and Jane Williams
  10. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  11. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  12. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

10th Grade Reading List

2nd Grade Reading List

Ray Ray, my little reader. This kid taught himself how to read when I wouldn't read him EVERY Goosebumps book in the house. I taught him the basics, but one thing I didn't do was push him. I didn't make him read because of how old he was, or what grade he was in. He didn't want to read, and I knew he would one day, so we went on to other things. Next thing I know, he won't stop reading. However, now that he is busy reading, I want to get him focused on his reading. While doing this, I want him to read some good classics and yet have them be just as interesting as the new ones on the market these days. Here is the list I came up with for his 2nd Grade year.

  1. Paddington Bear by Michael Bond
  2. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol
  3. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  4. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  5. Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers
  6. The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
  7. 39 Clues Series
  8. Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  9. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
  10. Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  11. Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning
  12. The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

2nd Reading List

I am super excited to see what the boys think of these books. I remember reading a lot of them and the joy they brought me. I am hoping that they will enjoy them like I did.

What are the books you are looking forward to reading this year with your kids?

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Daily 6-Trait Writing ~ A Review

Writing, it is something that is especially important, but yet hard to teach at the same time. Ray Ray loves to come up with stories, but taking the time to sit down and write them is a whole other feat. When we were given the chance to review Daily 6-Trait Writing, Grade 2 from Timberdoodle's 2nd Grade Curriculum Kit, we figured it wouldn't hurt to try it out.

Daily 6-Trait Writing, Grade 2

What Is It

Daily 6-Trait Writing, is a daily writing program that will work with your kids on a daily basis to build their writing skills using the 6-Traits. What are the 6-Traits of writing? They are; Ideas, Organization, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Voice, and Conventions. Each of the six units will take the time to teach each of these traits.

There are 25 weeks of 125 daily lessons. These lessons cover all the traits and work to make your child a better writer and only take about 15 minutes each day. Each week, you will first see the teacher pages. On these pages you will see the Trait Skill that is being worked on that week. You have the lesson plan to help you teach the lesson to your child. You have reduced pages of what your child will see along with sample answers.

Daily Writing Review

Days 1-3 will work on using models to analyze, revise or add to. This is a great way to introduce the new ideas to your child and make sure they understand them. Day 4 is a prewriting activity that will get your child ready for the writing activity on Day 5. These lessons are short and simple and work well with any language arts program that you may already be using.

How We Used It

We were able to use this program while still using our current language arts curriculum. I loved being able to use this before our regular lessons as a way to warm up. We would talk about the lesson and get started on it right away on Monday. Most of the time Ray Ray would be able to do his lesson on his own and I would just check it after he was done.

Daily Writing

What We Thought

This was a great workbook. While I don't agree that the traits will tell you whether or not your child is a strong writer, I do believe that these are needed to write well. Ray Ray loves how quick these writing lessons are. He does not care about writing, yet I have seen him grow as a writing with these short lessons. I loved that I didn't need to plan, it was an open and go book. This made it easy for a homeschool mom of 3 with a 4 running at our feet! Ray Ray was able to open this in the morning while I was busy with breakfast. This is an added bonus to me!

Ray Ray with Daily Writing

We loved adding this book into our daily homeschool schedule. It did not take up too much time and fit perfect into everything else we were already learning. I love finding things that add learning without stress and this book does just that!

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Our 2016-2017 Second Grade Curriculum Choices

Is it really time to start a new school year? I am not ready for this, but I know that it needs to happen. This year Ray Ray is going into the second grade. While this is not always a huge deal, to me it is. Ray Ray is my first fully homeschooled child. Everything he knows, I taught him at home. This gets me every time…

2nd Grade Curriculum Choices 2016-2017

We have spent some time thinking about what we were going to use for each subject. We finally came up with this list. While this is what we are starting out with, I cannot guarantee that it will stay this way…we homeschool and things change as they need to. There are some that I love and won't change, and there are others that I am using for now to see how they work. Either way, this is what we will be using when we start our new year on August 1, 2016.


We love Mammoth Math for Ray Ray. While it did not work for Moe Man, this curriculum is perfect for Ray Ray. We have used their First Grade program and have plans to continue using this program. I don't foresee a change for him at all when it comes to math. Mammoth Math has a strong focus on mental math, which Ray Ray is good at and I love that he is able to read and/or watch the YouTube videos to help him learn each one of the lessons. They even give us a list of fun activities or games at the beginning of each chapter that we use as a warm up each day. Ray Ray loves it, and so do I, so we will keep using this again this year.

Mammoth Math

Language Arts

While we love using our Daily Writing workbook each day, we also love the Language Arts lessons over at Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool. These lessons work on our reading, writing and spelling skills. The lessons are effective and easy at the same time. This is just what I need for Ray Ray in this area of learning. Plus, it is all free, so I won't be complaining about this at all!

Easy Peasy


This year we had the chance to work on a review of Apologia's Exploring Creation With Astronomy. This program is better than I expected! I can't wait to share the review with you soon!


Once again, we are going to Easy Peasy with this one. I love their rotation and this year we will be learning all about Ancient History. This year we get to learn about ancient Egypt, the Mayans, the Vikings the renaissance and even some early explorers! Everything is a mix of reading and hands on fun! We are so excited to be doing this with Easy Peasy!


Art is going to be a mix of things this year. I plan to use the ideas given on the Easy Peasy page. I like the ideas under Ancient that goes along with what we are learning in our history lessons. I also plan to pull some other projects out of the Early Elementary Artistic Pursuits, remember our review of this?


We will be adding and taking away during the year. We will have our music and PE classes. We will also have a few other extras throughout the year.

What are some of the curriculum choices you will be looking at using this year for 2nd grade? Are you using some of the same, or do you have something different you are using? Let me know, I would love to hear from you!

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