2019-2020 Curriculum

Here it is November 3rd, and I’m finally writing up our curriculum choices for the year. Partly because I’m a procrastinator, but also partly because over my previous 8 years of homeschooling I have learned that my original plan always changes.

Captain – 8th Grade

Stark – 5th Grade

  • English: CLE English 5 – I pick and choose which parts of each lesson to do, as I find it to be a little overwhelming for my 10 year old.
  • Composition: Writing and Rhetoric Book 1 Fable
  • Math: CLE Math 4
  • History: Mystery of History Volume 1 We like it ok, but only use the text book, no other activities. He’ll switch to Biblioplan Medieval next year, and Flash will join him.
  • Science: Physics with Captain (see above)

Flash – K/1st

  • Flash technically started kindergarten last year. His birthday is late summer, and I debated holding him back to start K this year. In the end, we went ahead with it. We dropped most book work about halfway through the school year, he just wasn’t ready for it. We did some preschool packs from Pinterest, and he took a weekly PreK class at ChickFilA that was surprisingly great. That said, his main focus this year is on learning to read, write, and some math.
  • Reading: The Reading Lesson
  • Writing: HWOT Letters and Numbers for Me
  • Math: Abeka K5 Number Skills
  • Misc: He’s getting practice with literacy, math, and more using 1+1+1=1’s Kindergarten Literature Units
  • History: No official curriculum, instead using living books to learn about important Americans, American Holidays, and events.

On Adding a Puppy

My sweet boy, Rosco

This past July, we had to say goodbye to Rosco, our nearly 16 year old Australian Cattle Dog. My husband and I adopted him as an eight week old puppy. He was here to welcome our three boys to the family. He went on numerous vacations and road trips with us. As a heeler, he was literally with me every second of the day. And if I dared go into the bathroom and close the door without him, he was waiting to greet me when I came back out. Losing him was HARD. His last several months were also hard, as he had lost the use of his back legs. We did everything that we could for him, but in late July, we knew it was time to let him go.

Our new baby, Dozer

It’s hard to know when you’re ready to accept a new pet into the home after losing one that you love so much. I spent several weeks after Rosco’s passing in tears. I couldn’t sleep. It’s been 3 months, and I still miss him terribly. You never want to feel like you’re replacing a beloved animal. I don’t see it as replacing – a living thing that was loved so much could never be replaced. To me it’s moving to the next chapter. Continuing that love. I truly think that Rosco would want us to. I truly think that he would want us to bring in another protector for our family. Another sweet dog to be here for us, to continue the hard work and love that he gave us.

So about a month after we lost Rosco, we adopted Dozer. Adding him to our family has been challenging at times, but so worth it. The boys are learning how to care for a pet. They’re learning responsibility. They’re learning how important it is to keep toys picked up and hidden away from a puppy 😉

Neabsco Creek Boardwalk

Recently, we decided to visit a new nature trail in our area, the Neabsco Creek Boardwalk. The board walk has two entrances, one by Leesylvania Park, and another by Rippon Lodge. I had been told that the Leesylvania entrance is short on parking, so we headed for the Rippon entrance.

This entrance boasts a large parking lot, a playground, pavilion, and a couple porta-potties.

There is a wide paved trail that begins at the parking lot, and leads you to the Board Walk entrance. The board walk entrance has a couple of benches, and beautiful views.Most of the boardwalk is over water, and has a hand rail bordering it. A few spots are lower, and I believe over land.The board walk is 3/4 of a mile long. There are some benches along the way, but not a lot. The walkway is perfect for little ones and strollers. Be sure to wear sun protection and bring water! There isn’t any shade other than at either end of the walkway.

We unfortunately didn’t see much wildlife. We did spot a crane, and either a snake, large lizard, or alligator (kidding, no gators here, but the kids were hopeful) hanging out just below the surface of the water.

Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium

While on our trip to Emerald Isle, NC in November we took a trip to the local Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium. It wasn’t our first time visiting, we tend to go every 2-3 years while on vacation. However, this was the first time going during the off season, and it was a completely different experience compared to the crowds that we’re used to during our summer visits. It wasn’t empty, but it was a low enough crowd that we were able to really spend time at the exhibits, and even had a chance to talk with some of the aquarium workers about the sea life.

Tickets for the aquarium run at about $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and military, and $11 for kids ages 3-12. 2 and under, along with NC aquarium society members, are free.

I would consider this to be a “smaller” aquarium, but there are still plenty of exhibits, including an outdoor area. Our favorite exhibits were the otters, large tank with sharks, and stingrays.

The stingray tank is open on the top, and the stingrays appear to enjoy being touched. They will often swim up to people standing around the tank. All three of my guys were brave enough to put their hands in the water and pet the rays as they swam by. I even worked up the courage after watching for awhile 😉

The aquarium is stroller friendly, and is all on one floor. The outside exhibit area is a wooden walkway. Beware as you walk in, someone will be ready to take your picture in front of a green screen. As you’re leaving, they will have pictures ready to sell to you of our kids/family posed in front of sharks, otters, etc. I find them to be very pricey, and you can get even better pictures of your kiddos at the different exhibits with your own camera.

Fort Macon North Carolina

This past November we were blessed with a trip to the beach, for most of the month. It was just warm enough to go to the beach most days. We did have a couple rainy days, a couple really cold days, and one really wild day where a tornado touched down a few houses from us. But for the most part, we had beautiful weather and were able to enjoy the local sights.

We brought our school work with us, and did school most days. There were a couple of days where we went on field trips instead of hitting the books.

Our first field trip was to Fort Macon State Park. Fort Macon is a Civil War era fort that has been restored, and is now a source of both education and recreation in the Bogue Banks area. We were there during the off season, but visitors can even swim along the shoreline. We were also there not long after Hurricane Florence came through, and many of the exhibit rooms were closed due to flood damage.

There is no admission fee to the fort or surrounding parks. There aren’t any concession stands or places to eat, but you can bring a packed lunch. There is a gift shop that has a small selection of bottled drinks and snacks.

The fort is stroller friendly. There is an upper level of the fort that can be accessed by stairs, but there is also a way to get to the upper level without using the stairs, as you enter the fort area. Beware though, there are several large drop offs, including staircases, in the main walking area. They were not enclosed.

Stairs of Doom

Outside of the fort, there are trails that can be walked. We stuck with the shorter one, which led down a sandy path to the beach area.

I would highly recommend Fort Macon to anyone visiting the Emerald Isle area of North Carolina. It’s a beautiful, inexpensive, way to spend a day learning local history and ecology.