Simple Schooling for December


I am striving for TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS in our homeschool - and in our lives. 

To that end, December is simple, and hopefully memorable.  We are reading, doing memory work, including good music, keeping up with math - but that's IT. 

(My 9th grader is doing a mix of Classical Conversations Challenge I and online classes and is very independent  - this post is about my Foundations/Essentials student.)

*Disclaimer:  Please don't think I have it all together.  Notice everything in this post is SIMPLE.  It takes very little preparation and is mostly about ROUTINE.  I strive to be an encouragement to moms -- never a DISCOURAGEMENT -- and I hope you read this post thinking "now that's achievable for MY homeschool!"

Simple Schooling for December -- memory work review and other goodies

Morning Time

Morning Time is our anchor. You can read all about our simple morning basket here

I've put in holiday music appreciation for a touch of beauty. 

Some days in December we ONLY accomplish morning time.  And that's OK.  

I'm learning that my kids learn a lot through the living of our days. 

Memory Work Review

Reviewing the CC memory work over Christmas break


My son wants to be a Memory Master this year - his choice, not mine. (I'm thrilled, but I also know it has to be the CHILD'S choice, not the parent's.)

We always incorporate memory work review during our Morning Time, but in December I do add MORE review throughout our day. 

Each day we review pieces of memory work , using our flipbook, the CC Cycle 1 app, and quizzes on the whiteboard. (I really like the Memory Work Review System from Homeschool Story).

We use the whiteboard mainly for writing our Latin declensions and times tables/squares/cubes.

Christmas CC Memory Work Review


I also like to keep track of Grant's progress with these memory work sticker sheets.

We've been playing JENGA (saying a piece memory work for each piece we pull out), using the Simple Dice Review Game, and listening to the CD any time we get in the car. 

JENGA: simple memory work review game

Math and History

Every day I try to have Grant complete a Saxon math lesson. 

Math is one of those things that will slide if we let it go for too long.  

We're also playing Yahtzee a lot, just because I think it's fun!  

I've been talking a lot about the Veritas Self Paced History Course. This is perfect for us, because it requires NOTHING from me, and Grant loves to work on the computer.  We even ordered the Medieval course for next year! 


Reading is important in our homeschool, and I like to provide a few books during December that will help Grant get a jump on his Faces of History project in the Spring. 

Just one trip to the library gave us some books that he's been reading this month so far. 

Reading over December "break"

We are also reading Ishtar's Odyssey as a family each evening.  

That's it. 

I'm not knocking myself out for Christmas read alouds this year.  

I'm not knocking myself out for anything except preparing for the birth of Jesus! 

This mama needs a break. 


What about you?  What does December look like in your homeschool? 

Join the community!   I love to share free lessons, encouragement and more in a weekly newsletter.  I hope you join us!  

Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 5th Grade

I have hesitated to post our curriculum choices for this school year until we had all of the kinks ironed out. 

Are you ever guilty of planning TOO MUCH for your homeschooler?  

(That's me.)

After four full weeks of school I believe we are in an excellent groove, so I am ready to share our official PLAN for Fifth Grade! 

Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 5th Grade

I'll be sharing this in collage format (since it IS Collage Friday here on the blog). 

*The book, Teaching From Rest, has greatly influenced how I planned for and approached this school year. I think it is a MUST READ for all homeschool moms. I also am using a loop schedule this year - you can learn more about that by watching this FREE webinar: The Quickstart Guide to Loop Scheduling for Homeschoolers)

Our Homeschool "Spine" - Classical Conversations

We happily use Classical Conversations as the spine for our learning.  

(If you are interested as to how we arrived at this decision, you can read about why we chose Classical Conversations.)

My fifth grader attends Foundations class each Tuesday morning from 9-12, and then attends Essentials class from 1-3 that afternoon. 

Foundations consists of six areas of memory work (English Grammar, Latin, Geography, History, Science, Math, and Timeline).  There is also a time for art and music instruction, as well as presentation skills and science experiments. 

I believe the memory work is enough and rest in the fact that in these early years Grant is getting just what he needs. 

Essentials consists of formal grammar instruction, and writing lessons (using IEW materials), followed by math games. 

Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 5th Grade

Each morning our family starts the day together at breakfast. I created a simple morning basket, which is working SO WELL!  We have devotions, memory work review, a music or art lesson, and CNN Student News.  It all takes about 30-45 minutes and is my favorite part of the day. 

(In case you are wondering, I created the flipbook  in the collage about using files on CC Connected from users melodystroud and TiernyTribe.  The maps for tracing also come from TierneyTribe. To see more about our organizing for CC - check out my Cycle 1 Organization post.)

More Curriculum Choices

Grant was ready this year to branch out on his own a bit. He watches his sister (who is quite independent in Challenge I) and longs to do more himself this year.

The Veritas Self-Paced History Course - Old Testament and Ancient Egypt - has been a SUPERB addition to our homeschool!

It has lessons, quizzes, games, maps, a timeline, and suggested readings at different levels. I purchased the suggested chapter books, so Grant is getting a lot of great reading this year! 

We are reading Pages of History, Volume 1 - Secrets of the Ancients (also from Veritas Press) together as a family this year. We had always been big Story of the World fans, but wanted a change this year. 

Homeschool Curriculum Choies - 5th Grade

D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Mythology

We are reading through this lovely book together, and also using the study guide from Memoria Press. Mythology is of great interest to Grant right now, hence this choice! 

Grant also LOVES art, so we use a lot of the tutorials from Art for Kids Hub.

We have plans to also start the Art of Fall: Mixed Media Workshop for Kids (we used the winter mixed media last year and it was EXCELLENT!) 

The Art of Fall: Mixed Media Workshop for Kids

Also pictured in the collage above is Grant typing. I am a FIRM BELIEVER in teaching kids to type. We have used Dance Mat Typing and Typing Instructor for Kids along the way. 

Saxon Math

Grant is finishing Saxon 6/5 and will be moving into 7/6 soon. 

Math isn't anything fancy in our house. Grant completes a lesson each day and we occasionally will play a math game. I am lucky because he's a math kid and enjoys math! 

We are a house divided in math this year. Saxon still works very well for Grant, but Anna is doing Algebra I with Mr. D Math online (and we couldn't be happier!). 


I'm very happy with the Classical curriculum we have in place this year.

We've added in a couple of extracurriculars to round it all out.

Homeschool Curriculum Choices - 5th Grade

My guy is a ball player - baseball in the fall and spring and basketball in the winter. I think EVERYONE needs a physical outlet, don't you?

Piano lessons are a big part of our homeschool, too. Grant's been playing for two years now. 

I also try to leave ample down time so both of my children can read the books they love, play LEGOS, games, or craft. Part of the beauty of homeschool is that my children are learning to schedule their OWN time and if they use their time wisely they have more time to pursue FUN. 

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