Our Cycle 2 CC plans

***Edited to add:  THANK YOU everyone who has expressed interest in the planner!  Now that our year has officially started, I will not be able to send out the emails anymore.  It takes me about an hour every night to get the emails sent out and the comments edited, and that’s just time I don’t have anymore now that school has resumed.  I appreciate your enthusiasm and I wish everyone a great school year!***

After living like nomads for the first month and a half of the summer (seriously, from May 18-July 7, we were only home for about 25 of all those days), I’ve been working really hard to get prepared for our school year this year.  I know at some point that call from DCFS will come, we’ll get our first placement, and if I don’t have our year planned out… well, it ain’t gettin’ done.

(I’m sure you’re wanting to know where we are in the foster care certification process.  Here’s what we’ve heard about our status:

There you have it.  Nothing.  That was mean of me, wasn’t it?  Sorry.)

So, to keep myself busy from going insane organized, I’ve been working really hard to get ourselves prepared for the 2013-2014 school year and Cycle 2 in Classical Conversations.  And I’m almost finished – which, if I may say, is an incredible feeling.

I had wanted to reread The Core this summer and you would think with all our traveling I would have had some moments to do it.  Alas, that hasn’t happened.  This has by far been the busiest summer on record for our little ol’ family.

Another thing that has kept me super-motivated (other than the impending addition of another child to our home) is the fact that I’m not a Foundations tutor this year.  Over the last several months, I have been working really hard to know my own limits and to make sure that I perform well at the things to which I’ve committed.  Last year I was, in the words of Bilbo Baggins, like butter spread over too much bread.  I did a lot of things OK, but nothing great.  I know the Lord has called me to tutor and I believe in doing everything we undertake with excellence.  I know the Lord equips His people to do the things that He’s called us to do, but at the same time, we’re not all gifted in the exact same areas.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  (I know Paul was not talking about tutoring a CC class, but you get the what I’m trying to say here.)  So I prayed for months about what to do and, after hashing it out with the Lord and my hubby, decided it was best to cut some things back and really focus on the specific areas in which God is calling me to be active, and seeking the Holy Spirit’s strength and empowerment to do the work as best I can by His grace.

Now that I’m only tutoring Essentials, the awesome overload of info and preparation I got last year from tutoring Foundations has disappeared.  Thankfully, though, my wonderful new director has told me I’m welcome to come to all tutor meetings, even if we’re not discussing anything about Essentials. *fist pump*

Today I am going to share what we are personally doing for CC this year.  I’m really excited about the year ahead and very much look forward to my daughter growing in her knowledge of the Lord and His created world.

Our plan is (obviously) tailored to my sweet girl’s learning style.  I believe she is gifted in both visual and auditory learning (hence the reason she absolutely thrives at CC), and while she’s not one who I would say likes to learn via her own discovery, she constantly wants to have her hands busy.  She always wants her them on something.  She wants something to manipulate, something she can touch.  So our game plan this year is a cross between the classical model of education (drill, drill, drill memory work) and hands-on (lapbooks and projects).  I have tried to find a way to keep everything simple and memory work-focused but still fun and active for her.

{Sidenote: Can I just stress how homeschooling is such a two-parent job?  Even though I am the one who sits at the desk with my girl, I could not do any of this without my amazingly supportive, wonderfully selfless hubby.  I can’t even tell you how many days I have spent preparing for the upcoming year, and my hubby has gone out of his way to make sure I have time, peace & quiet, and supplies (hello, printer ink & paper!) to make sure I get it all done.  You’re amazing, babe, and I could not do a speck of this without you!}

So without further ado, here’s our plan by subject (and links to materials we’ve bought).  If it is a C3 document, I will post the name of the file so you can search for it.  Some items I’ve purchased, some I’ve downloaded from C3, and some are my own creations.

Each week we will do the memory work activities found in both the Wisdom & Righteousness memory work lapbooks and also the A Journey Through Learning Cycle 2 Binder Builder.  We have also purchased a few topic-specific lapbooks from ATJL, found in their Cycle 2 section.  We will also (of course!) be using the audio songs put out by CC and the ones created by moms who can actually carry a tune (not me!) on C3.  The items/ideas below are additional activities and ideas we’re incorporating.


Lapbook printables that pertain to the memory work of the week from A Journey Through Learning misc. lapbooks

History Sentence fill-in-the-blanks (found on C3: History Sentences – fill-in-the-blanks by bbanas)

Listen to applicable chapters on Story of the World

BrainPop videos (our campus has a group subscription – see if your campus has something similar!)


Practice putting the timeline together with the mini-timeline cards I made

Place timeline images in our book of centuries (free download from SCM!)

Incorporate additional timeline figures pertaining to the week’s cards from Homeschool in the Woods

Make our giant timeline foam board -OR- timeline on an adding machine tape using our mini-timeline card images

Read and notebook the back of the timeline cards using printables from Notebooking Pages


Lapbook printables that pertain to the memory work of the week from A Journey Through Learning misc. lapbooks

New science printables from Grismar/The Wise Nest (fingers crossed she’ll be making more printables for Cycle 2 because her Cycle 1 printables were amazing!)

Corresponding activities from Considering God’s Creation

Magic School Bus episodes that correspond to memory work

BrainPop videos


Use the locate & color maps I made for this year’s geography memory work (on C3: Cycle 2 Blackline Maps with Labels to Color Wks 1-24.pdf)

Cycle 2 Geography lapbook I created (on c3: Cycle 2 Geography Lapbook – ALL WEEKS.pdf)


Use Operation World to pray for specific locations from each week’s memory work

Trace the geography locations using tracing paper laid over laminated enlargements of the CC maps (we order these at our campus)


Hand motions: (C2_eng4th_wk01-24_Ideas_sk.pdf)

Flashcards of definitions for drill   **these were given to me last year when I began tutoring Essentials.  I found similar cards on the Essentials tier of C3, so if you have a subscription to the Essentials tier, you can search for the flash cards on there.  There are several versions from which you can choose.

First Language Lessons – modified slightly to make sure all definitions align with memory work and the EEL Guide (my daughter will begin Essentials next year so I’m prepping her as much as I can!)


Using the Foundations 200’s chart for skip counting  **I cannot find this on C3; it was given to me by my director last year when I tutored Foundations and I saved the file to use each year.  Maybe ask your director for a similar chart?

Grismar’s math printables

The super-fun file folder games for weeks 12-24 (search C3 for items created by kkillingsworth – she has GREAT file folder games!)


Conjugation fill-in-the-chart I created (on C3: Cycle 2 Latin Conjugation Chart.pdf)


Conjugation File Folder game I created (on C3: Cycle 2 Latin File Folder Game.pdf)  **no pic because I haven’t printed it yet :)

Latin songs & activities from Headventure Land

WHEW.  And that doesn’t even include the regular math (Math-U-See), spelling (All About Spelling), and Bible study (Discover 4 Yourself, What’s in the Bible, and her memory verse box my pastor’s wife inspired us to begin!) we’ll also be doing!

So how in the world am I keeping this all organized?  Simple – two ways.  1, I have my trusty file box divided up by week (the extra weeks are places to store extra material; Louisiana requires 180 days = 36 weeks):


and 2, I have my custom-made Cycle 2 planner (custom made by yours truly):





(My apologies for the lame-o phone pics.  I could get my professional photographer hubby to get out his fancy-schmancy camera and take some top-notch pics of everything, but frankly it’s late and I’m not all that concerned about stellar photos right now.  I’m sure ya’ll understand.)

I made this planner earlier in 2013 because I wanted something that would keep me organized but was also tailored to what I wanted in a planner.  I needed a daily column for planning ideas for each subject, a to-do list area, and a “books to check out” list area.

The most important piece, however, in this planner is the section of Cycle 2 planning pages in the back (see second photo).  See, last year I made my own planner.  I got the start date for CC and got to work planning out our year.  I wrote everything we were going to do each week at CC.  And it worked great.  For two weeks.

Then Hurricane Isaac hit.  And we had to evacuate for an entire week.

Guess what that meant?  A break in CC where we didn’t originally have one (our CC campus closes when the local parish schools close).  And all the work I’d done to prepare ahead of time went down the drain.  Sure, I could have just scratched out the dates at the top and moved everything forward a week.  But something about the calendars not matching up made me feel a little sucker-punched by Isaac.  I lost the steam and motivation to plan and prepare.

(I realize how ridiculous this sounds – my voicing complaints about my planner not working out right – when we had a few families on our campus whose homes flooded during Isaac.  I am in no way trying to make this into a gigantic ordeal; I’m simply giving backstory to why I changed up the planner design for this year.)

So this year I decided that no hurricanes or other unexpected closures were going to stop me.  Hence the planning pages in the back of the planner.  Here is where I jot down every idea I have for a certain week.  Then, as the week draws closer (and hopefully there are no hurricanes in the Gulf), I transfer the information to the appropriate week in the calendar section.  It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! (said in my best Yzma voice… Emperor’s New Groove?  Anyone?)

So my gift to you today is this: if you would like a copy of my planner, I’ll send you a link to download it.  I cannot upload it on c3 (too large, and I don’t have time to break up the file for multiple downloads) and I won’t post the link here because it has memory work information in it and I don’t want to do anything that violates CC copyright.  But I will be happy to email you a link to download it.  If you would like a copy of the planner, leave me a comment with your email address and either your C3 username (what shows up when you upload files to C3) or your CC campus city & state.  I will then send you an email with the download link.

I’m so looking forward to this year!  I can’t wait to be back in my girl’s Foundations class with her in the mornings and I cannot wait to get in Essentials again with some of my favorite students on our campus!  The Lord has blessed our campus with a beautiful new facility and I really think this year is going to be amazing.  I hope you are as excited about your upcoming CC year as we are!

Linking up with Trivium Tuesdays at Living and Learning at Home and the CC Blog Carnival at Half-a-Hundred-Acre Wood!

Classical Conversations Carnival

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