A Gentle Feast: Cycle 4 Term 1

We have been enjoying this last taste of summer as August is coming to a close. Harvest is rolling a little later this year and it still feels very "summer" - especially today. It's hot and sunny! No complaints here though.

Currently we are in week 3 of our school year and getting into the school routine again has been refreshing. While public school starts here after Labor Day, I debated on if we wanted to start early again this year. It's worked in our favor over the last couple years but we didn't "need" to this year and we did just move this summer.

My justification for starting a few weeks early is that we are able to take off an entire week here and there - for holidays or travel... or sick - throughout the school year and it doesn't throw us off track with the material we're covering. It's also nice to be done with school a week or so before Memorial Camping in the spring!

I was a little unsure of how it would look with teaching three different grades but the current strategy seems to be working.

E - 4th Grade, Form II in A Gentle Feast
W - 1st Grade, Form I in A Gentle Feast
C - Preschool, using a mix of things :)
S - Babyschool, absolutely destroying the house during school but we love him
We are now in our fourth year and Cycle 4: Modern Times of the A Gentle Feast curriculum and really enjoy it. I would say one of the only challenges I have had with this curriculum is getting my hands on a few special books here and there. For this term, the Book of Marvels by Halliburton. I did borrow it from the larger library system for the first two weeks and then thankfully found our own on Ebay for $17 when I had to return the library copy. This book is a gem for Geography and it is worth every penny!

With a few rare books on the list, the curriculum's author Julie Ross does a great job of noting titles that have audiobook options, free online versions or possible thrift deals available. We definitely use that audiobook option often (for Among the Pond People and Rootabaga Stories in Form I) and we are using a PDF verison of All About Chemistry also. And book thrifting... I love thrift shopping for books!

For Language Arts, the older two boys are using the Upper Elementary and Lower Elementary Language Arts books. I'm reusing our God's Little Explorer curriculum for preschooler (and baby) and have been pretty selective about what we do. I'm not the crafty mom... so we do a little here and there, but definitely not "all the things". 

We are continuing on with Singapore Math's Dimensions Math and then preschooler is taking the Earlybird Kindergarten Math book (both other boys loved these!) nice and easy - as in, a couple days a week. He likes to do "his own math" while the brothers do theirs. 
Here's the ticket for this term so far - while I write down a weekly plan for all the subjects in my school planner, I'm also writing a list for each of the older boys in their notebooks. Now I write their weekly chores on the top of the page (they just repeat the same chores daily for that week) and note the school work they need to get done that day. 

I have been writing out narrations for the 1st grader in his notebook and now the 4th grader is writing his own narrations in his. I don't correct grammar on these. The main point is that I ask him to write a sentence on what he took away from the reading... cursive or print :) All of his copywork is cursive so I left this one as an option for either.

This seems to help answer the "Are we done with school yet??" question. You're done when your list is done for the day!

(Quick note... you know who needs to practice more copywork? Mom. Look at my chicken scratch!)  
Lastly, we are dabbling in LATIN this year! This is a little earlier than the curriculum would introduce Latin but, because we are covering Latin in our co-op, we swapped out Spanish for Prima Latina. The lessons aren't long and they had a good time with lesson #1. It's been a great learning experience for all of us! The goal isn't to speak Latin fluently but to learn the Latin alphabet, numbers, pronunciations and some expressions. This will be a help for our language understanding, as English words are derived from Latin. 

So, here we go, Latin. Benedic, Domine nos!

Explore the A Gentle Feast curriculum here and feel free to email me or comment here with any questions! Disclaimer: This post contains my A Gentle Feast affiliate link. If you click it, and make a purchase I will receive a commission.


  1. This is our first year doing AGF with a 2nd grader and a preschooler. I love your idea of them having their own notebooks and including their chores! Genius! We are just finishing up Term 1 (Cycle 1) and I’m curious if you have ideas for how to wrap up the term/do a “showcase” of what they’ve learned so far this year?

    1. Sorry I took so long to respond! I'm playing catch-up on my blog now :) I hope your school year went well! For a term showcase, my kids usually have some work they are proud of and they present it to dad. This isn't necessarily at the end of the term though; whenever they have something they feel is present-worthy! They also do presentations for our co-op throughout the year.

      I would like to get better at the end-of-term showcase and am curious what other families do! Did you come up with something that works for your family?


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