How We Use Picture Books and Reading Aloud: History

What if I told you that teaching history in your homeschool could be so much fun?! Here is a quick look at how we have enjoyed Classical Conversations Cycle 2 living books + more.

Disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I may earn a commission from the purchase of these books, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Classical Conversations History Cycle 2 covers Medieval to Modern History.  Here is a quick breakdown of curated books to pair nicely with various topics of history study, by week.  Notice that not every week is covered, but these are some great books to supplement your morning time or time learning about each of these subjects. I have also included the school supplies we have found helpful in learning history together.

History “Spine” (the book telling the big story of history)

History “Spine”: Story of the World, Vol. 2: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer

Picture Books/Chapter Books (recommended ages and page count included)

Legends of Charlemagne by Thomas Bulfinch (rec. Ages 10-18 years, 284 pages) Week 1

Crusades: Kids @ the Crossroads by Laura Scandiffio (rec. Ages 9-11 years, 72 pages) Week 3

Rupert’s Parchment: Story of Magna Carta by Eileen Cameron (rec. Ages 5-12, 38 pages) Week 4

Michelangelo by Diane Stanley (rec. Ages 5-12, 48 pages) Week 6

Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World (rec. Ages 4-8, 42 pages) Week 7

Encounter by Jane Yolen (rec. Ages 6-12 years, 32 pages) Week 8

Peter the Great by Diane Stanley (rec. Ages 5-12, 32 pages) Week 9 and Week 10

Who Was Catherine the Great? By Pam Pollack (rec. Ages 8-12 years, 112 pages) Week 10

A Picture Story of Napoleon by J. de Marthold (rec. Ages 5-12 years, 53 pages) Weeks 11 and 12

A Boy Called Dickens by Deborah Hopkinson (rec. Ages 4-10 years, 40 pages) Week 13

Stubby the Dog Soldier: World War I Hero by Blake Hoena (rec. Ages 4-10, 32 pages) Weeks 12 and 15

Bear and Fred: A World War II Story by Iris Argaman (rec. Ages 4-8, 48 pages) Week 17

Song of the Mekong River: Vietnam by Na-mi Choi and Sinae Jo (rec. Ages 6-10, 32 pages) Week 20 

Richard Wurmbrand: Love Your Enemies by Janet Benge and George Benge  (rec. Ages 8-12, 208 pages) Weeks 21 and 22

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (rec. Ages 6-10)  Week 24

Supplies Used in History:

A book of centuries


Globe beach ball

Story of the World Activity Book 

We try to relate our field trips to various places we’ve learned about in history, if possible. 

Some examples of thematic field trips related to the Medieval to Modern time:

-Visit a fort (local war memorials or living history exhibits work nicely for this)

-Visit a museum with an exhibit on Medieval period

-Visit an art museum that houses original art or copies of art from the Renaissance 

-Host a “Medieval Feast” as based on Aliki’s A Medieval Feast. For reference, you can look at the “feast” our little family had in 2020.  It’s nothing too fancy! We just turned out the electric lights, lit our own candles, and cooked a few themed dishes which were probably modern versions of the actual dishes.  We used soda for “ale”. So, clearly we were just trying our best.

-Read a book that is set in a kingdom far away (i.e., Kingdom Tales, The Castle Diary: Journal of Tobias Burgess, Castle, George MacDonald’s Fairy Tales, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sundiata: Lion King of Mali, Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali, The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History, Famous Figures of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a puppet book)

Ideas for Using These Books

  • Use your family “morning time” to read from either your history spine, your favorite picture books, or read from both. This will ensure you read about 20 minutes total about history each day. That’s pretty do-able. What is morning time? Go around the group of students and have each child narrate aloud from the reading.
  • Use your history reading time to connect with your book of centuries. A book of centuries is a book, divided into centuries, starting around 4,000 B.C. and proceeding to A.D. 2100. Think of it as a timeline in a book. Pictures can be drawn next to dates and event titles to represent the recorded events, as well. Maps that are made or used (as with Story of the World) can be inserted into the book of centuries, as well.
  • Use your children’s independent study time to read from history books of your choice, different ones geared toward each student. This might work better when you have a very large gap in ages in your homeschool. Have your students narrate to you, either orally or written, depending on their ability. It is recommended that narration start out as oral, and proceed to written (in tandem with oral) about age 9 or 10, when a child has more stamina to write.
  • Go on field trips! Read up on the places you will visit and pick out books from the library that will correlate with your destinations. Did you know that October is “Field Trip Month”?
  • Make handicrafts that correspond to your time period of study. Check out a book to explain handicrafts and trades of the time you are studying. Speak with someone in the modern day about the trade or craft you are hoping to make. There are still blacksmiths and woodworkers around, if you look in the right places! Example: make candles out of wax as they did in the early modern times (dipping)

History is Fun

Please do not forget to have fun in reading about history with your kids. Why history would ever be considered “dry” is beyond me, but when I give it some thought, I realize that teaching history the textbook-only way is pretty dry. Here is a related article that explains how I attempt to teach history: A Textbook-Free History Curriculum: It Is Possible!

What Classical Education Has to Say

All parents homeschool.  I’ll explain that later. To jump straight to the video, scroll down to the bottom of this post, or just click this link.

It’s been a while since I’ve introduced myself on the world wide web. I’m Holly, a homeschool mom of three under the age of nine.  My husband, kids and I live in a big town/small city in eastern NC.  If you haven’t already visited my website, I’d be happy to have you at!   My Little Brick Schoolhouse was initially a creative outlet for me.  It has evolved into (I hope) a service for you.

My mission is four-fold:

  1.  Deliver resources to allow families the chance to read living books together.
  2. Create content that fosters engaging narration and discussion about living books.
  3. Connect parents with Classical and Charlotte Mason methods
  4. Help parents strategize homeschool solutions.

I started homeschooling back in 2018.  Ask me anything, yet I am still roughly new to this.  I have so much I’m learning, and today, I’d like to share with you some things I took away from the Classical Conversations Area Practicum I attended this weekend, in addition to some of my own thoughts.

Justin Nale delivered the excellent presentation at practicum.

First of all, before I even talk about the practicum, I want to acknowledge a huge problem we have in society today.

Usborne Books and More cites that interest in reading a book outside of school drops from 100% in kindergarten to 54% in fourth grade.  What happened between K and 4th grade?  Parents. You guys need to know the reason.
Did you know that reading aloud to your children builds their “want” to read?

A more recent, 2022 survey found that more than half of 2,003 American adults surveyed had not finished a single book in the past year.

So, what happened?  Parents stopped reading to their kids.  This is a crisis.

What has replaced books in the home?  It’s the elephant in the room, guys.  Screens. Oh, don’t get me started there.  Too much time spent with screen media is associated with: childhood obesity, sleep disturbances, attention span issues… oh and I am sure there are emotional implications, too.  Adults are not immune to these effects, either!

Oh, and since we’re talking about time, where does your child spend the most time annually?  AT HOME.  You have him for 7,800 hours.  School: 900 hours.  Which teacher is more influential?

That’s why I have created some resources for you to use on my website: booklists, free resources, and unit studies.  We all should be reading with our kids.  It’s about binding hearts together in the family, not about leaving the kids. 

All Parents Homeschool

If you have breath in your lungs and also have offspring, you are a homeschool parent.  Since birth, you’ve been teaching your child.  Did you teach him to feed himself?  How about to put on his clothes?  Have you been speaking to your child since she was born?  You get the picture.  You are your child’s first teacher, and you have a tremendous impact.  Each day, we have so many things we are learning together alongside our children, if we are spending time with them.  Homeschooling is nothing new! 

Now, I’m not advocating homeschool for everyone because you have to do what God is calling you to do for your family.  Seasons of life, full-time ministry jobs, and other situations could preclude homeschool from being a good, God-glorifying option for your family.

That said, there is so much to unpack.  Where do we begin?

Classical Education is where my family’s journey began.

Well, since our family is a part of a Classical Conversations community, I’m talking from my unique perspective.  Classical education can be characterized in various ways, but I’ve heard two distinct lists. 

One list goes like this: 

1) classical education pursues virtue

2) uses tools to learn in layers (knowledge, understanding, then wisdom)

3) celebrates the integration of knowledge

Another list goes like this:

1)follows the pattern of the trivium

2) is language-focused rather than image-focused

3) is centered around the story of history

Define the terms: TRIVIUM

The trivium is a three-part pattern: the mind must first be supplied with facts and images.  This is called the grammar stage. 

Next, the mind must be given the logical tools for organizing those facts and images, called the dialectic stage or logic stage.

Finally, the mind must be equipped to express conclusions.  This is called the rhetoric stage. 
Each stage correlates with an age range. 

  • Grammar Stage: Kindergarten through fourth grade
  • Logic Stage: Fifth grade through eighth grade
  • Rhetoric Stage: Ninth grade through twelfth grade

Now that we’ve defined trivium, does it make some sense?  You probably have some questions. Do all children in any given stage fit nicely into that box and never utilize thinking skills outside of their prescribed stage?  No.  When you think about it, we adults go through the entire trivium any time we are learning something new, from start to finish.  Take baking cookies, for example.  I must learn the correct grammar (terminology) for the ingredients, tools, methods I will be using.  Next, I move on to the logic stage when I realize that one of the ingredients, say, baking soda, can be increased to make my cookies more fluffy.  I am starting to understand the way the process works.  Then, if I decide to tweak a recipe and rewrite it to reflect my preference for chocolate chip cookies, I am in the rhetoric stage. 

Okay, now that you know the trivium, those of you who are new to classical education, let me give you three things to take away. 

  • Education is not the same as training.

I was a lifeguard in high school during the summer.  We know that when you apply for a lifeguarding job, they have you watch training videos, complete worksheets, practice saving people in the pool.  I even remember swimming to the bottom of the pool to pick up bricks, delivering them safely to the surface! You are training for a job.  You are learning specific skills, for a certain future.  I was going to lifeguard that summer. I needed to learn x, y, and z. 

Now, education, that is different.  You educate for an uncertain future.  What does your future hold? If you have lived, you know that it will at some point hold suffering.  Is training about shaping the soul, and giving kids tools they’ll need across callings?  No.  It’s specific and very finite.  Education is for life.  It’s a good distinction to keep in mind. 

  • Teaching character is paramount to academics.

I have said this before.  I ask you, is the most important thing in a childhood academics? Think.  You remember what your childhood was like. 

How about this? How will you be in old age?  Grumpy and discontent, or joyful and full of life?  How are these two types of old people so distinct?  Habits.  Character.  When were their character habits developed?  Early in life.  So think about that and how you will train your children.  Character is paramount.

  • Lastly, this is my own musing.  I am noticing the shift in our culture, aren’t you?  I am specifically talking about interconnectedness, globalization and technology. Has social media and AI technology made us better as individuals? How about smarter?  First of all, the constant bombardment of images has wreaked havoc on our attention spans.  Next, do you realize how various tech companies use people like you and me to perfect their algorithms and tap into the human mind, making us no higher than dehumanized objects?  We are their product.  We help other companies sell their products because our behavior is being heavily monitored and analyzed constantly.  Okay, so what does this have to do with classical education? 

Charlotte Mason, have you ever heard of her?  She was a British education reformer from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was heavily influenced by classical thought. Many people who love her methods love classical education.  Charlotte Mason defined students as persons.  A person has a soul, a will, and possibilities for good and for evil.  A person is more than a mind. We do not fall into the ditch of intellectualism.  No, we are not just teaching a mind, disconnected from a heart.  We are teaching a whole person.  We also do not fall into the ditch of emotionalism, where everything is about the heart of a child, and we forget reason.  These are two ditches to avoid.  We are to teach the whole person.  And persons are people of words.  Our world deals in words.  Not images.  As much as Instagram would like you to think image is everything, and look how dumb we are becoming in the process, we must go back to being people of words.  We have a language to be used for God’s glory.  May we learn to communicate well with our words to bring him honor and to help others.  

Classical education points to the study of this world, and how it is all connected to God.  Just like we cannot dissect a person into mind versus heart, we cannot separate the unity of truth that is God’s truth.  All truth is connected. We are also people of words.  Technology can be used for great things for God’s glory, but let us be wary. 

May God bless you this year! If you’d like to hear more from me, sign up to join my email community.

One Month of Narration Ideas, Three Years’ Worth of Books!

Narration Ideas for Days… Book Ideas for YEARS!


I designed a narration resource back in June and wanted to give it a little facelift for you. I am linking it below. Narration is the “art of knowing” and retelling what you have learned after reading something. You can retell a reading in spoken words, in written words, or in another creative way. My aim in designing this matrix is to give you ideas in the case of brain cramp. We all get those at the most convenient moments, don’t we?


I want to bless you with three years’ worth of book recommendations. Each selection is carefully chosen based on the criteria for a living book.

A living book:

  • is written in narrative form by someone who is passionate about his or her subject
  • fires the emotions
  • ignites the imagination
  • is well-written
  • is written more like a chat with an expert in her field of expertise!

*90% of the books on my lists are living books. I denote the books that do not meet living book status, because there are some. I think you’ll love all of them, though. You can use them in any way you’d like. The content areas for the three Classical Conversations Cycles are present here in every book list. Enjoy, friends!

Year 1 Booklist

Year 2 Booklist

Year 3 Booklist

Make sure you don’t miss out on MORE resources and booklists! Sign up to be a part of our email community. It’s one way I encourage and show support to my most engaged audience.

People of Words and Traditions

How does a homeschool parent make the time to soak in the good ideas, the ones worth retelling? Living books: picture books, classic literature, biographies, poetry, living geography narratives, living science narratives, etc. Maybe we can be the monks of this age, preserving the ideas in the form of written words. I would like to think my home library is a treasure.

Disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I may earn a small commission from the books I’ve listed here, which will come at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

The Dark Ages

I am not a history buff. I consider my children’s classical education a sort of re-education for me. I love it. So when I attended the Classical Conversations area practicum back in June and heard an historical analogy, I got kind of giddy.

The “Dark Ages” refers to the time of the Early Middle Ages in the area of the Roman Empire in Europe, when *it is said that* human civilization saw a decline in intellectual, cultural, and economic progress. Now, I am not sure how “backward” this time period was in actuality; modern scholars have found evidence of noteworthy accomplishment, perhaps enough evidence to debunk the “Dark Ages” term. However, that period in history was considered “dark” because of the idea that the written word was sub-par.

At any rate, the written word that was kept and developed during that time between 400 and 900 AD was preserved by a few people: the monks, the Holy Roman Emperor’s court, and perhaps some select others (I am not an expert and do not pretend to be). The general population was illiterate, right? But, why? After all, there are only 26 letters in an Anglo-Saxon alphabet. How hard would it be to learn to read?

The Romans had papyrus, which rots in the damp European clime. So, after the paper and documents had rotted and the “dark ages” were in full swing, the main types of “paper” were birch bark, parchment, and vellum. That was probably hard to come by, especially for the common person (my own inference, so do not take it as fact). So, if you do not have anything on which to write, your literacy rate is going to plummet.

When paper as we know it first appeared in Spain in the 12th century, literacy increased. Read more about it here.

What does this have to do with our MODERN society, where words are everywhere, in fact, written and spoken information can be found in just about every corner of the planet?
I think it says a lot. We are inundated with images every day. Social media has done this. I surmise that we are exercising our literacy as a society by PRODUCING written words. But how good are these written words, really? What kind of ideas are we putting forth into the world?

Preserving the Words

How does a homeschool parent make the time to soak in the good ideas, the ones worth retelling? Living books: picture books, classic literature, biographies, poetry, living geography narratives, living science narratives, etc. Maybe we can be the monks of this age, preserving the ideas in the form of written words. I would like to think my home library is a treasure. As for our libraries, we can try to influence them with good recommendations of books they can lend, but let’s face it… society is changing. There is a narrative out there that I for one do not agree with. I digress… When good literature is hard to come by (and one day it might be a little bit harder than it is now) a home library seems almost imperative. In the meantime, we can try our best to be like the monks of the “Dark Ages”.

If you’d like to hear my thoughts on how classical education and Charlotte Mason methods support the idea that we are created “persons” of words, watch my 7-minute video here!

A Family’s Traditions

So, we can all hopefully agree that reading living books is great! Let’s aim to read them together with our children. Sarah Mackenzie from Read Aloud Revival Podcast has devoted a lot of her work to supporting this idea: reading aloud to children has emotional, social, and mental benefits. It also can be a wonderful thing for the relationship between the parent and children. As Sarah so sweetly puts it, “You are the best person to help your kids learn and grow, and home is the best place to fall in love with books”.

Can we start some new traditions? I cannot wait to read this book, Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids

From what I gather, cultivating faith in the family takes more than just teaching them about our faith. Traditions hold the family together. What are your traditions? I love a good meal with the family. A friend of mine recalls her mom declaring every Friday the 13th a family celebration. Other friends have an extended family pizza night every Friday. Maybe you like to do handicrafts with your kids, or have them cook with you. Whatever it is, I bet you’ll think of something fun.

Some Fun

Here are some titles of books that contain these kinds of “traditions”: family cooking, handicrafts, reading aloud to each other, things to do together. I think you’ll love looking at them! All of them happen to be on sale until September 24th. No matter what ages are represented in your family, you are sure to find something worthwhile doing… together.

The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things (Highlights Books of Doing)
The Maine Farm Table Cookbook: 125 Home-Grown Recipes from the Pine Tree State
Make 24 Paper Planes: Includes Awesome Launcher Kit!
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: A Mister Rogers Poetry Book (Mister Rogers Poetry Books 2)
Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner: The Society for All Artists (Absolute Beginner Art)
Wood Shop: Handy Skills and Creative Building Projects for Kids
My Very First Cookbook: Joyful Recipes to Make Together! A Cookbook for Kids and Families with Fun and Easy Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and More (Little Chef)
Tolkien Fantasy Tales Box Set (The Tolkien Reader/The Silmarillion/Unfinished Tales/Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)
Autumn Recipes from the Farmhouse (Seasonal Cookbook Collection)

We went through a soap-making phase!

A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations, YEAR 3 of Little Brick Schoolhouse

One obvious way we can cultivate a living education in our homeschool is by introducing our kids to living ideas found on the pages of living books…

Looking For a Booklist?

Disclaimer: If you are here to find a booklist that incorporates good, living books into a 24-week-long study of multiple content areas (aligned with Classical Conversations Foundations), you are in the right place! Scroll past the brief post, “Six Tools to Use in a Living Education”. If you are curious about Charlotte Mason methods, you might want to take about 5 minutes and read my post.

Six Tools to Use in a Living Education

  • read living books
  • observe
  • tell it back/narrate
  • record it
  • memorize (this comes AFTER guided discovery)
  • create something new from what you have learned

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about a living education. I have experienced bits and pieces of this, but I still strive to make it part of the basic fabric of our homeschool. More continuity, more of an atmosphere. Here I write briefly on each of these tools for a living education. My thanks goes out to Simply Charlotte Mason. The Charlotte Mason Together Retreat was unforgettable, unhurried, life-giving.

living books

One obvious way we can cultivate a living education in our homeschool is by introducing our kids to living ideas found on the pages of living books. If I had it my way, we would probably buy all of our books, but frugality matters, too. So, we use our local library. However, when a book cannot be found there (unfortunately, this is the case more often than I’d like to admit), we either borrow it from a friend or buy it. And once we have it added to our library here, we have even more opportunities to seek out the living ideas found within, spread out like a feast on the pages. Time and time again. What is a living book, you might ask? I have created a cheat sheet for you here.


Picture Study. Nature Study. Composer Study. The list goes on, and in a Charlotte Mason education, we take the time to form a living, personal acquaintance with what we observe. The mere question, “What do you see? …hear?” without any interjection by the teacher can ignite the spark that allows a child to possess what he or she is beholding. To truly tell about, to put it into words, what he or she is taking in allows that child to form that living, personal acquaintance with something created by God.

Narrate/Record it

Know. Tell.

It begins with building oral fluency. It culminates with the goal of learning formal writing. Narration lays the foundation for writing well. When narration is done well, one possesses what he is beholding. This is a form of knowing, truly knowing. Therefore, narration is also a training exercise in thinking well. It’s an art. It builds relationships. If you are interested in starting this journey of narration with me, look no further than right here. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, take a look at the narration resource I made for those who are wanting to “test drive” narration.


Charlotte Mason taught IDEAS first, memorizing facts later. A common thread found throughout a Charlotte Mason education is “taking something into the mind’s eye”.

You can find this thread woven into the “spelling” lessons. What we call “spelling” Charlotte incorporated into the larger skill of reading and using language. Charlotte didn’t formally teach spelling as one might encounter it today in an institutionalized setting, but exercised this habit of attention to eventually have students write down a passage that was dictated to them. They would have to possess the passage in their minds’ eye, before attempting to write the dictation. This comes from memorization of words, yes, but usually within the context of a larger passage, after the students have already encountered the rich ideas found in the passage. Dictation would not be expected until around 10 years of age. Before that age, students would be practicing copy work and memorizing short phrases, pieces of a large poem or proverb.

You find this thread woven into the picture study our family has come to love.

You find this thread woven into the composer study, the nature study, the foreign language study, the list goes on.

It has taken a shift in thinking for me, to put such emphasis on the habit of attention. I will have to get used to short lessons. Only saying the directions once. I do believe it will reap benefits, not just for my kids, but also for me.

create something new

I think this is self explanatory. How could you create something new from ideas? You have surely done this before. Inspiration arises while one is living life. It usually doesn’t arise from anxiety or pressure to meet a deadline.

Let’s use my own blogging as an example. Create something new. I am starting to learn what this might be for myself. Cultivating habits that foster creativity, I hope to take incremental steps and be faithful in my writing, for example. It does not take an hour a day. It might take just 5 minutes a day. Inspiration arises from living life. So, I live my life. For me, a reliable writing routine is more about the life I live as a person, as a person who writes. I am not just a writer. So, I look for good ideas, but I am not in a frenzied state of searching. I admit, my mind does get caught up in some kind of crazy rumination at times! Nonetheless, I remember to pause and write. I remember to do something with my hands. I remember to play with my kids. I remember to go for a walk.

A Charlotte Mason Approach to Classical Conversations Cycle 1

CYCLE 1, Quarter 1(Weeks 1-6)

Subsequent quarters to come!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases of these CC Cycle 1 books using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Year-Round Resources


The Story Book of Science (Yesterday’s Classics) by Jean Henri Fabre
Pond and Stream by Arthur Ransome
Pond and Stream Companion by Karen Smith
R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Earth & Environment 1 by Blair Lee, M.S.
Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail: What Will You Find? by Editors of Storey Publishing
Look Up!: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Science Encyclopedia Paperback Book w/Internet & QR Links
We are looking forward to using Pond and Stream as part of our Science study this upcoming 2021-2022 year.

Science Encyclopedia Paperback Book w/Internet & QR Links is also something we have on our shelves for quick reference or longer reading sessions.

Fine Arts:

Website: (Exploring Art Elements in Picture Books)
Art from Simple Shapes: Make Amazing Art from 8 Simple Geometric Shapes! Includes a Shape Stencil
An Introduction to Art History: A Classical Approach to Art Part II by Barry Stebbing (Ancient Art: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Egypt (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Greece (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Stuff They Left Behind from the Days of Ancient Rome (Simply Charlotte Mason)
Picture Study Portfolios: Michelangelo (Simply Charlotte Mason)
The Arts: A Visual Encyclopedia
Music Study with the Masters (Simply Charlotte Mason) We will be studying Bach.
Singing the Great Hymns (Simply Charlotte Mason)
Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too by Mona Brookes
Foreground, Middle ground, Background (PERSPECTIVE) in CC Cycle 3


The Story of the World also has map work, narration, review questions, and coloring sheets in resources you would buy separately.
Other components of Story of the World

Classical Conversations has a Bookstore that would be helpful in finding comprehensive history resources. We are currently in the FOUNDATIONS Program. History cards, Trivium Table (for Cycle 1), Cycle 1 Audio CD for reciting memory work and timeline, History cards for Artists and Composers, and Ancient World Echoes are some examples of good resources we have used or are going to use in the future. If you are looking to save some money, look into joining Classical Conversations Connected. The Foundations Learning Center has a FILE SHARING feature that has helped me find resources like history sentence copy work, memory work flipbooks, and more.

Engaging overview of history, A Short History of the World
This book pulled me in, as I saw history through the eyes of children from around the world and from different times. It is so good. How Children Lived A First Book of History


My Pop-up World Atlas
Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason
A Child’s Geography: Explore the Holy Land Knowledge Quest
Eat Your Way Around the World by Jamie Aramini


Mathematicians Are People, Too: Stories from the Lives of Great Mathematicians by Dale Seymour Publications
The Math Chef: Over 60 Math Activities and Recipes for Kids
Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations by Laura Purdie Salas
Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series) by Laura Overdeck
The Lion’s Share by Matthew McElligott
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
The Greedy Triangle (Scholastic Bookshelf) by Marilyn Burns

Sites that promote mathematical thinking

Marcy Cook Math

Charlotte Mason Poetry (Math Resources)

Kate’s Homeschool Math Help

Free Number of the Day Worksheets

Lifestyle/Personal Development:

Embracing Screen-Free Life: When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan
The Bible is God’s Word

We have loved this Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible, for as long as our kids have been here.
Sophie and Sam: When to Say “Yes” and When to Say “No”

Week 1

Science (Classification):

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything
Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner
Animalium: Welcome to the Museum
Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon (Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12) is one of my personal favorites (Holly). The illustrations are fabulous.

Fine Arts (5 Elements of Shape):

When a Line Bends . . . A Shape Begins by Rhonda Gowler Green
The Greedy Triangle (Scholastic Bookshelf) by Marilyn Burns
If You Were a Polygon (Math Fun) by Marice Aboff & Sarah Dillard
My Heart Is Like a Zoo Board Book by Michael Hall

History (Commandments 1-5):

Exodus from Egypt (Bible Stories) by Mary Auld
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones (10 Ways To Be Perfect chapter)
Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide (Hands-On History) by Nancy Sanders

Geography (Fertile Crescent):

One Small Blue Bead by Byrd Baylor
Chapter 1 Map, The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times – From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor
The Tigris and Euphrates: Rivers of the Fertile Crescent (Rivers Around the World (Paperback)) by Gary G. Miller
Ancient Agriculture: From Foraging to Farming (Ancient Technology) by Michael Woods

Math (1s and 2s):

Since I do not have any specific read aloud books for this topic of 1s and 2s, I think it might be a good idea to share how we will try to incorporate Math into our Morning Time this upcoming school year. I have a 7 and 4.5 -year-old who will be joining me, and our 2.5-year-old will be around.

introducing the math loop

Note: A loop schedule allows you to complete any activity on any particular day, just picking up where you left off the next day you get to the list. Once all the activities on the list have been “run through”, you repeat the loop from the top.

DayActivity (roughly 10 minutes)
1Counting exercise on the hundreds chart
2Number of the day from Kindergarten Mom (trace, count, frame, draw, tally, write)
3Word Problem from Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late (Bedtime Math Series)
4Practice telling time on analog clock like DHCHAPU Student Learning Clock Time Teacher Gear Clock 4 Inch 12/24 Hour
5Charlotte Mason Math Tables
6Marcy Cook Math Game – Turn Over Tiles to Find X or Bearly Balanced Tiles

week 2

Science (Kingdoms):

A Mammal is an Animal by Lizzie Rockwell
About Fish: A Guide for Children (About…, 6) by Cathryn Sill
About Amphibians: A Guide for Children (About…, 5) by Cathryn Sill
The Burgess Animal Book for Children (Dover Children’s Classics) by Thornton Burgess
The Burgess Bird Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
NewPath Learning – 94-3502 The Six Kingdoms Bulletin Board Charts, Set of 5

Fine Arts (Mirror Images):

Mirror Play by Monte Shin

History (Commandments 6-10):

Exodus from Egypt (Bible Stories) by Mary Auld
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones (10 Ways To Be Perfect chapter)
Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide (Hands-On History) by Nancy Sanders
These are the same suggestions from Week 1.

Geography (Assyrian Empire):

Map Trek The Complete Collection (I would only get Map Trek VI: Ancient World)
Gilgamesh the King (The Gilgamesh Trilogy) by Ludmila Zeman

Math (3s and 4s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 3

Science (Animal Cell):

All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World by Lori Alexander
Cell Biology Diagram
Newton’s Workshop Bug Safari / Cell – A – Bration DVD by Moody Video (January 01,2010) (TRACK #6)
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling (one of our very favorites)

Fine Arts (Upside-Down):

Optical Illusions In Art: Or–Discover How Paintings Aren’t Always What They Seem to Be by Alexander Sturgis
Imagine a Day by Sarah L. Thomson

History (Greek and Roman gods):

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
The Illustrated Book of Myths : Tales and Legends of the World by Neil Philip
Roman Myths by Geraldine McCaughrean
Classic Myths to Read Aloud: The Great Stories of Greek and Roman Mythology, Specially Arranged for Children Five and Up by an Educational Expert by William F. Russell

Geography (Hebrew Empire):

The Phoenicians: Mysterious Sea People (Ancient Civilizations) by Katherine E. Reece
Ten Best Jewish Children’s Stories by Daniel Sperber

Math (5s and 6s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

These place mats of the U.S.A. worked really well to reinforce CC Cycle 3 geography this past year.

week 4

Science (Plant Cell):

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring The Earth To Life by Molly Bang
Cell Biology Diagram
The World of Plants (God’s Design) by Debbie and Richard Lawrence
Newton’s Workshop Bug Safari / Cell – A – Bration DVD by Moody Video (January 01,2010) (Track #6)

Fine Arts (Abstract Art):

Touch the Art: Catch Picasso’s Rooster by Julie Appel
Touch the Art: Make Van Gogh’s Bed by Julie Appel
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock
Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky (KNOPF BOOKS FOR) by Barb Rosenstock

History (7 Wonders):

How the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Were Built by Ludmila Henkova
The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World: A Pop-Up by Celia King

Geography (Hittite Empire):

The Archaeology Book (Wonders of Creation) by David Down
How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale by Margaret Read McDonald

Math (7s and 8s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

week 5

Science (Invertebrates):

The Bug Safari and The Cell-A-Bration DVD (Track #5: Entymology)
1001 Bugs To Spot (Usborne 1001 Things to Spot) by Emma Helbrough
Where Butterflies Grow (Picture Puffin Books) by Joanne Ryder
The Big Book of Bugs (The Big Book Series) by Yuval Zommer
Seashells: More Than a Home by Melissa Stewart

Fine Arts (Perspective):

How To Draw 1,2,3 Point Perspective: For Beginners | Perspective Drawing For Kids Made Easy by Square Root of Squid Publishing
Perspective Drawing for Kids: A Perspective Drawing Guide for Kids, Including Detailed Explanations and Step By Step Exercises by Liron Yanconsky

History (Romans):

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction by David Macaulay
Rome Antics by David Macaulay
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine (Living History Library) by Jeanne Bendick
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield
Danger in Ancient Rome (Ranger in Time 2) (2) by Kate Messner
The Story of the Romans (Yesterday’s Classics) by H.A. Guerber
Animals in Rome: A Latin Vocabulary Coloring Book and Primer Titvs Classics

Geography (Egyptian Empire):

Mummies Made in Egypt (Reading Rainbow Books) by Aliki
Of Numbers and Stars by D. Anne Love
The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
Tutankhamen’s Gift by Robert Sabuda

Math (9s and 10s):

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

Week 6

Science (Vertebrates):

The Snake Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series) by Sy Montgomery
Match a Track: Match 25 Animals to Their Paw Prints (Magma for Laurence King) GAME!
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Box Turtle at Long Pond by William George
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins
Bones, by Steve Jenkins

Fine Arts (Final Project):

Take a look at the Picture Study Portfolios from Simply Charlotte Mason. Choose one portfolio to focus on for the next term. Revisit the fine arts principles of shape, mirror images, upside-down, abstract art, and perspective as you study these full-color works (8.5″ x 11″ prints) by an original artist of your choice! Picture study is simple. Each portfolio includes a 5-step process to explain how picture study is conducted. Portfolios also include an artist biography, leading thoughts, Charlotte Mason inspiration regarding picture study, and specs on each masterpiece.

For first quarter, our homeschool will by doing its picture/history study on Ancient Egypt and for second quarter, Ancient Rome. Since these are not conventional artist picture studies, we will follow them with a true, artist picture study third quarter.

We will be doing our picture study in the third quarter on Michelangelo.

History (Ancient Greeks):

Geography (Ancient Greece):

Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago (Yesterday’s Classics) by Julia Darrow Cowles
Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago (Yesterday’s Classics) by Julia Darrow Cowles
The Aesop for Children (classic fairy tales for children): illustrated with MP3 Downloads (Dover Read and Listen) by Milo Winter
Geography Matters in Ancient Greece (Geography Matters in Ancient Civilizations) by Melanie Waldron

Math (11s and 12s)

See the above Math Loop resources from Week 1 Math.

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”

Charlotte Mason
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