Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Paddy -- Mostly Memoria Press for Year 5

You may notice a theme here with Paddy's curriculum choices.

  • Simple -- check
  • Structured -- check
  • Memoria Press -- mostly check

I haven't bought curriculum for several years before this year, and Memoria Press has really grown since the day when I acquired my comb-bound first edition of Latina Christiana I, like, around the time Paddy was born?     They have all kinds of things now, as you all probably know.  

I was looking for resources that were simple to use, nice in layout, and formative (covering the fundamentals thoroughly and with a mastery rather than grade-level type orientation).    MP turned into pretty much my One-Stop Shopping Center for 5th grade for this year, with a few exceptions.  

Christian Studies I 
Quite a substantive look into Bible History, with maps and memory verses and more. 

Famous Men of the Middle Ages

We started Famous Men of the Middle Ages last year and are halfway through, so I am trying to finish during this summer so we can start US History some time in the fall.

New American Cursive

This program is designed for first graders, but I wanted to start from the beginning.   All my kids are late writers.

Greek Myths

Paddy has loved D'Aulaire for years now (our first copy of the book fell to pieces) but the guide will let us go through it more slowly and thoroughly. 

Farmer Boy

Memoria Press recommends various books per grade and Farmer Boy is recommended for third grade, but I am not too concerned about that.   Paddy is all over the map with books, which is totally appropriate for a 5th grader.    I think this is a good year to share this story, which I listened to Cindy Rollins discuss in a podcast recently. 

I got the study guide so we could use it for discussions. 

English Grammar Recitation and Composition

This Recitation book is sort of a catechism of English grammar.  I like it because of the simplicity of the Question/Answer format.    I find that my kids easily grasp "how to's" of grammar exercises but then don't retain the concepts, so this resource lets me focus on what is the most important part -- remembering the definitions and so on.  Once those are locked it, it's very simple to practice the concepts on any sample sentence (the resource does include some simple exercises, which we do orally). 

Writing with Ease Workbook 3

Paddy needs to get where he is writing more fluently, so I decided to get this Peace Hill Press resource.  It's geared towards 3rd graders, but the story excerpts are good, and I don't want to move ahead too fast since he is not a fluent writer yet. 

First Form Latin.  

I like this Latin program and it reminds me of the way I started Latin in junior high myself (whereas I did not particularly care for Latina Christiana and mostly used it just to memorize vocabulary and paradigms with my kids).   At first sight it looked too steep for my 10 year old.  However, I think we'll be able to do it, though we may not go as fast as an older student might. 


I am using two resources for Math for Paddy.

One is Ray's New Practical Arithmetic (free download at Google Books)  I have this teacher's manual by Ruth Beechick,  It has tests and some suggestions on how to use the Ray's series. 

Then we have the Life of Fred Elementary Series

LOVE these.    Last year, we read Life of Fred:  Fractions and Decimals.   During the summer, we went all the way back to Life of Fred:  Apples and are now on Farming.      It was well worth going back to the beginning (though expensive, I admit) because though the core math was easy, it introduced concepts like set theory that even the high schoolers around here don't necessarily know all there is to know about.

The rule is that Paddy can't read ahead on his own, but when we've finished reading a Life of Fred together, it's open season on the completed book.  So my math-hating boy has a stack of Fred books on his bedstand. 

Credo I Believe

This was one of my very first homeschool books.  We got the whole series when our church went to the Benziger workbook series instead of this Ignatius set.

I must admit I haven't found the perfect catechism book yet, but these ones are classy and non-twaddly.   But the main reason I decided to go with it this year was the excellent downloadable resources at the Ignatius site. 

Last but not least --
Classically Catholic Memory Alpha

and Timeline Cards.

I have a few supplemental resources that I may bring out as time provides, but right now, I feel like I will be fortunate even to get through the core ones.     You may notice that I don't have anything listed for geography or science.    That is because I want to see how the other things go first, and in a pinch, the Science and Geography categories in Classically Catholic Memory, along with a few library books, would suffice for fifth grade. 


  1. Looks good. I am mildly jealous. I love the Writing With Ease books.......Malachy liked them as well......but, he is a fluent writer now, so we had to let them go......

    Now, if we get him to be a fluent reader.....that would be nice.

    I would love to touch and peek into a few of these, if you come by at any time....not when I have no water ;)......could you please bring a few.....

    1. We went by your house last Saturday and Monday! Too quick a trip to really mention it. But we saw your mountain.

  2. I love the school years we spend time reading D'Aulaires' Greek Myths and any book by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I am looking to start fresh this year with my non high school kids and was considering ordering all from CHC, with some reservation. Thanks for pointing these out, I hadn't realized Memoria had so much more to offer. I think I need something a little new and different to get excited about a new year starting.

    1. Hi Mary,

      That was my motive for buying a bunch of new stuff -- starting fresh (and having lots of help -- tired this year of designing everything on my own!). Seems required when you are a longtime homeschooler, to try to do some things to regain some of the excitement. I suppose homeschooling conferences can help with that too, but I've never been to one.

      I almost went with CHC but MP is a better fit with the way I teach and the kind of books I like to use. I did get CHC's Second Grade Lesson Plans for my other son Aidan in order to have something to round out the corners, but I'm obviously not following it very closely.

      One thing: I found out that many Memoria Press resources are on Amazon, which means free shipping on orders over $25. Some people don't like Amazon much, I know, but I thought I would mention it just in case shipping costs are a factor in deciding what to order.

      Thank you for commenting!

    2. Thank you, I'll look on Amazon. I noticed they were also in Rainbow Resource at a discount. Free shipping always gets my attention. :)


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