Recap and Review Sixth Grade Charlotte Mason Homeschool Plans 2021-2022

We have just wrapped up another fruitful year of homeschooling. My plans for Peter worked well, but of course, we all grew and changed throughout the year (including me) and so adjustments were made. I'm going to recap mostly what we did accomplish, but you can check out my original plans to compare all the things that we didn't get too this year!

Daily Checklist / Flexible Timetable for Student in Form IIA
This schedule worked pretty well as originally planned. After Christmas, we made some changes and let a few things go while adding some others, which I'll discuss below.

Peter used his free time to annotate a map with family-friendly hiking spots, to take an online financial literacy course, to read many fiction and nonfiction books, and play his instruments. 

Plans by Subject
I love to consult Ambleside Online, a Catholic Charlotte Mason curriculumA Gentle FeastWildwood Curriculum,  A Delectable Education, Sabbath Mood Homeschool, and Heritage Mom for book ideas, but I put our plans together in my own way. I have tried to note in [ ] whether I'm using a free book or how much I paid for each of the resources we are using. I am committed to homeschooling with free or really cheap books as part of our journey to be debt-free while living on one income. I have also listed all of the subjects we do as a family here.

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Language Arts
Peter is an avid reader for pleasure, but I assign him books to keep him always reading new things. He read the following assigned fiction books this year:

The Illiad (Fagles translation)
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift

He also decided to push hard on his own to complete the remaining titles on the Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading List for grades 4-6. Fortunately, he was able to find all the books that weren't available to borrow from our library (as books or ebooks) on He sent off his list to Mensa and they quickly sent him back this nice shirt for free:
We read three Shakespeare plays together as a family this year:
Term 1: The Tempest 
Term 2: Henry V (and watched the Kenneth Branaugh movie version) 
Term 3: King Lear (we plan to watch this version soon)

Peter worked through selected language arts pages from Brainquest Grade 6 [$5.18 from Target with coupon] and Sentence Diagramming: Beginning [$10.40 with Amazon promo credit]. 

Once per week, he selected a sentence to copy in cursive into a wide-ruled composition notebook. But we dropped this practice by Term 3. I just didn't feel like it was essential. 

Written narrations
While Peter continued to narrate orally via voxer's note to self feature, he also wrote 2-3 narrations each week on a private blog. He much prefers typing to handwriting. 

Peter recited the following poems, plus 6 additional poems of his choosing, at our poetry teas:

The Cloud by Sara Teasdale
The Star by Sara Teasdale
Prospero monologue from The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Going for Water by Robert Frost
Tree at My Window by Robert Frost
Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more from Henry V by William Shakespeare
The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake
I heard myself proclaim'd from King Lear by William Shakespeare
The Ecchoing Green by William Blade
To Althea, from Prison by Richard Lovelace

Social Studies: History & Geography
Peter's history plans went off without any changes. For his History of the Americas stream, he read:

A Picturesque Tale of Progress, Vol. 8: Explorations by Olive Beaupre Miller [$8.39 from Thriftbooks
The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde by Caroline Arnold [$4.24 from Thriftbooks
Cahokia Mounds by Timothy Pauketat and Nancy Stone Bernard [$5.69 from Thriftbooks]

For his Colonial History stream, he read: 

Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People, Intro to page 73 only [$12.59 new from Amazon with multi-buy discount] to be continued next year
America is Born p.10-126 only* (see below) by Gerald W. Johnson [$14.95 new from Yesterdays Classics]
A Young People's History of the United States, Intro-Chap 2 Only by Howard Zinn to be continued next year [$10.59 used from Amazon and purchased with a gift card]
Bound for America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World, to page 23 [$6.39 from Thriftbooks] to be continued next year
Keys to American History: Understanding Our Most Important Historic Documents by Richard Panchyk (First Charter of Virginia and Mayflower compact) [$9.49 from Thriftbooks] to be continued next year

*Note that I don't recommend this book. I liked the 3rd book in the series enough to include the majority of it in my son's plans last year, but I am not satisfied with books 1 or 2 for various reasons and I don't plan to use it again. 

For his Ancient History stream, he read A Picturesque Tale of Progress: Beginnings I by Olive Beaupre Miller [$7.49 from Thriftbooks

Peter's also read the following assigned biographies

Famous Modern Men of Modern Times, to page 88 by John H. Haaren & A.B. Poland  [$9.39 from Thriftbooks
The Sea King: Sir Francis Drake and His Times by Albert Marrin  [$4.19 from Thriftbooks
Pocahontas by Joseph Bruchac [$4.19 from Thriftbooks
Vitamin Pioneers by Herbert Bailey
Blood Brothers: Four Men of Science by Emma Gelders Sterne
Great Rulers of the African Past by William A. Dobler

He kept a Book of Centuries this year with weekly entries. We use the ones from Riverbend Press

He participated in family morning time where we read the following books about history and social studies:

Turtle Island: The Story of North Americas First People, Chap 2 to page 92 [$11.99 from Target with book coupon] to be continued next year
Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters [already owned - $1 book sale find!]
Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners by Lucille Recht Penner [already owned - $1 book sale find!]
Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling [already owned - used book gifted by a friend]
Pyramid by David Macaulay [already owned - $1 book sale find!]
Mummies Made in Egypt by Aliki [library]
Mosque by David Macaulay [$6.59 from Thriftbooks
Encounter by Jane Yolen [Library]
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherin O'Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters by Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick L. McKissack
The New Americans: Colonial Times: 1620-1689 by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro, to page 29

Peter read Richard Halliburton's Book of Marvels: The Orient [$16 from Living Book Press] and watched the companion videos from Wonder and Wildness

He alternated Book of Marvels with selected worksheets from 180 Days of Geography for Sixth Grade [$12.09 from Rainbow Resource Center]. He also began using Seterra for map drills--first working on Ireland (to prepare for his November trip there) and then Africa and Asia. 

Although I had planned to read 3 of Plutarch's lives this year, we only accomplished 1.5 before giving it up. Peter listened to and narrated Coriolanus and half of Publicola. 

Personally, I got a lot out of reading Plutarch's Lives, but the boys really disliked it and I couldn't justify why we were putting the energy into it. It doens't seem important to me, so I'm letting it go. If I want to read Plutarch, I need to make time for reading it on my own.

Peter finished AOPS Prealgebra and then begin working through AOPS Algebra [$45 used from homeschool Facebook group], getting through about 1/2 of the book. He also worked with a local college student majoring in math and secondary education to explore interesting math topics. He prepared for and took the AMC 8 in January, earning a merit certificate for being a high scoring student in 6th grade or below. 

In March, he paused his Algebra work to enroll in the AOPS class Introduction to Counting and Probability which has been really good for him, if sometimes frustrating! He does not love having deadlines when the problems can be quite difficult. 

Experimental science
Peter studied a new science each term with the following books and materials:

Astronomy: Stars: A New Way to See Them by H.A. Rey [$1 book sale find] with activities from Astronomy for All Ages by Phillip Harrington [already owned], continued from when he studied astronomy in 4th grade.

Physics: Secrets of the Universe Set by Paul Fleisher [gift from grandparent] along with experiments and activities from or inspired by the text.

Electronics: Electronics Study from Sabbath Mood Homeschool using Electronics for Kids by Oyvind Nydal Dahl

I had planned for him to study Botany using The First Book of Plants by Alice Dickinson, but swapped it out for Electronics. We will save the Botany study for next year. 

Special Studies
Peter read for 20 minutes per week in this area, completing the following books:
He also listened to the following nature and science books in morning time:

The Moon of the Mountain Lions by Jean Craighead George
The Moon of the Deer by Jean Craighead George
Beaver Tales by Audrey Tournay and the Aspen Valley Beavers
The Snake Scientist by Sy Montgomery, Photographs by Nic Bishop
The Moon of the Chickarees by Jean Craighead George
Moon of the Bears by Jean Craighead George

Nature Journaling
Peter journaled two nature prompts per week from Exploring Nature Around the Year in his nature journal for half of the year. This was something I took off of his schedule after Christmas to make room for more passion projects and free time.

Wild + Free
Peter attended our year-round all-weather nature group at a rural property every week that he did not have band class on a Friday. He would prefer that our group did more long hikes and more exploring new places, but that is something that we try to do as a family on the weekends.

4-H Outdoor Club
New to us since January, Peter and his sibings joined a local 4-H club that focuses on hiking and nature. And Peter and his brother are attending 4-H camp this year in June. 

Art & Music

Artist study, music appreciation, and folk singing 

As planned, we used picture study aids from A Humble Place during morning time to study

Term 1: Waterhouse
Term 2: Michelangelo
Term 3: Brugel

We subscribed to SQUILT for July-August and November-February. The last few months we continued to listen to SQUILT calenders that we hadn't already completed. It was not focused on particular composers, but we listened to great music and learned a lot.

We learned a few new folk songs, including
The Golden Vanity 
Brown Girl in the Ring
King John And the Abbot of Canterbury 
The Happy Wanderer
Heath to the Company 

We also sang our old favorites in the car, on hikes, and whenever the mood struck us. 

Peter continues to move forward with Hoffman Academy and is almost done Unit 16. He doesn't love waiting for new lessons to come out to move forward, but I think that this format suits him as he enjoys playing but isn't competitive or perfectionistic about it. 

Band Class
Peter has marched off to middle school all year and been a member of the band class, learning to play the trumpet and performing in two concerts with his bandmates. 

Physical Education
Peter participated in the following this year
  • Swimming lessons (summer)
  • Ice skating (winter)
  • 4-H Outdoors Club hikes
  • Wild + Free nature group
  • Hiking, biking, and frequent walks around our town
Of course there was so much learning happening outside of these plans too, but I'm happy to see how everything worked out. 

I've been planning and thinking about next year already, but for now, it is great to reflect on the broad feast that I was able to offer to Peter this year.