Our Academy

Welcome to Olive Plants Home Academy! 

We are so glad you took a minute to stop by.
Come on in and pull up a cyber chair.
We can sit round about our virtual table
and talk about all things homeschool.

Before we get started, please allow us to introduce ourselves.
We are a Christian homeschooling family from Georgia.

He's our headmaster,
and magnolia tree trasher.
  A Spanish maestro
Who won't wear a sombrero.
Hunky hub, fun Dad,
Keeps us all laughing like mad...

Lead Teaching Momma,
Did not vote for Obama. 
Curriculum Junkie,  
Domestic, but not flunky,
Tutor, Soap Maker,
Accident-prone toe breaker...
Homeschool Dawn

Wants to run for president one day,
and always has something more to say.
Super-brainy guy,
not the least bit shy.
Likes most things that fly
and eatin' cherry pie...
a.k.a. Orville

Likes to paint and draw,
And time with Nohnie and Papaw,
Travels by bike,
Enjoys birding hikes.
Imaginative, energetic boy,
fills our home with lots of joy...
a.k.a. Wilbur

Together they are
The Write Brothers!
These are our plans for the 2013-2014 school year. 

Group Studies
     Bible:    Each day all members of our family have a personal "quiet time".  During that time, we will follow a Bible-in-one-year reading plan.  We meet together in the evenings to discuss what we read earlier in the day, sing a hymn or Psalm and pray. Our history studies will incorporate a lot of Bible reading, too, as we are focusing on Antiquity. We regularly read pick a book of the Bible to read and then read Matthew Henry's commentary on it. We also read a number of Christian living books each year to help us in our growth. A couple of my recent favorites are the following:

     Literature:  Each year* Michael and I select 5-10 books that we want our sons to have in their personal libraries (these are collections for them to take with them to their own homes one day).  We purchase two copies of each title, one for each boy, and check two more copies out from the library.  This gives each member of the family a copy so that we can read round robin.  We spend between 2 and 6 weeks on each book, reading 3-6 times per week, 1-2 chapters per night.  Our list this year includes:
  • The Hobbit  (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare)
  • Macbeth (William Shakespeare)
  • Henry V (William Shakespeare)
  • The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Leigh Sayers)
  • The Dragon and the Raven (G.A. Henty)
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Howard Pyle)

The boys will read from the Side by Side editions of each Shakespearean work.  We will attempt to read the original first but can jump over to the modern translation as needed.

*This is actually last year's list, and we have had to suspend this practice this year due to my recent lupus diagnosis and treatment plan. You just can't do it all, all the time. :) However, I wanted to keep this listed on our academy page because it has been a very important part of our education plan every other year.

     Additional Resources:  I will select audio files from My Audio School throughout the year.  This paid membership site offers oodles of downloadable audio content.  For $15 per year, our entire family has complete access to the site and can download many works, such as Stories of King Arthur’s Knights Told to the Children by Mary MacGregor, a title that fits our history and literature studies perfectly!  The boys can carry this great selection of literature (and other audio files such as music, radio broadcasts, and speeches) with them on their iPods and listen while we travel, wait at the doctor's office, or need to have a "zero noise" break- 'cause we never need one of those at OP Academy! ;) ;)

Ben's Studies

     Literature:  I am teaching a high school literature class at our co-op. The class will read nine novels this year and write a major paper for each. I am following the plan set out in Excellence in Literature, Year 2.
    History:  Oh dear, we love history and have gone a little overboard! Ben will complete King's Meadow Study Center's Humanities Curriculum on Antiquity AND Western Civilization I from Ron Paul Curriculum. KMSC's curriculum is a pure classical humanities course which offers rich teaching that we love. However, the course at Ron Paul, taught by Tom Woods, offers a more straight teaching of history. I love how the classical model emphasizes reading primary source texts, critical thinking and world view development at the high school level (rhetoric stage); however, I don't believe (at least it has not been our experience) that students retain enough of what they memorized in the grammar stage to be able to accomplish that. I think the two programs balance each other nicely.

     Writing, Grammar, and Word Study:   In my co-op class, he will complete Analytical Grammar and The Lost Tools of Writing. His vocabulary words will come from the novels he reads.  At home, he will also complete DGP 9 and Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots.

    Math:  Ben will complete modules D-F of Videotext Algebra to complete his credit for
Algebra II.

     Logic:  He is completing Introductory Logic by Wilson and Nance. The video course is very helpful.

     Science: Ben's papaw is teaching a high school biology class at our co-op. He will complete BJU's curriculum.

     Art: Ben will take art lessons at a local gallery for his Fine Arts credit. 

    Foreign Language:  He completed Spanish I and II while in middle school, so he will move on to Spanish III. Michael will continue to teach him from the Avancemos curriculum.

This is level 1. He will complete level 3.

Note: This is not the edition Michael will teach from.  If you are a parent of one of his students, please do not purchase through this link.  Amazon does not have the correct edition.  If you need help, please email me.  Thanks!

Brian's Studies 
      Reading:  I am also teaching a class for Brian's age group at the co-op. He will complete a monthly book report using the format provided in the Beyond the Book Report Curriculum. He plans to read the entire Redwall (Jacques) series this year.

     History:  He is completing Critical Thinking Co.'s History Detective. Although this curriculum is not from a Christian publisher, the format it uses (with a lot of graphic organizers) is a great fit for his learning style.

    Writing and Grammar:  As part of his co-op class, he will write a monthly book report, review some IEW stylistic techniques and complete Analytical Grammar. I will use the same workbook as with my high school class, but my middle schoolers will complete it at a slower pace.

   Word Study:  He has completed all the All About Spelling levels, so I will review all the rules and words with him. 


     Math:  He finished all the Singapore levels last year. This is one of few curricula that I have started in early elementary school and stuck with until completed. I decided against moving into the elementary units (those for Jr. and Sr. high) because they are just so very challenging and do not offer much teacher support. Instead, we opted for Glencoe's Pre-Algebra this year.

     Science: Brian will also take a science class from Papaw at the co-op. He will complete BJU's Earth and Space science curriculum.


      Foreign Language: Brian will complete Spanish A and B for middle school. He will use the same text listed in Ben's FL section above.

     Art:  Wilbur will take art lessons from a local art teacher with Ben.

  • Karate (both boys)
  • Science Fair (both boys)
  • National History Day project (Ben only)
  • Drama club/Forensics (Ben only)
  • Field trips (We usually take one per semester.)
  • Teen Group (This includes social events, ballroom dance lessons, a spring formal, field trips, and an annual fund raiser. Both Boys)
*All plans listed on this blog assume Lord willing.*

Disclosure:  I am an affiliate for Amazon.com and for All About Spelling.  If you purchase anything through the links to their websites that I have provided in this post, or elsewhere on this blog, I will receive a small commission.  Thanks!  I have not been otherwise compensated and have offered my unbiased opinion.

I do not have an affiliation with any of the other companies mentioned or linked to in this post and have not and will not benefit financially from any purchases you make from them.