Summer Hiatus

As many of your probably already saw, we posted Ursa Minor Learning Year 7 a while ago. Before we could announce it, Kate had to have emergency surgery and we never got around to posting it.

Bad news, Kate has to have another surgery next week, though we are hopeful that afterwards everything will be taken care of and she will be back up on her feet in no time. We, however, will be taking a summer hiatus from working on this project, so that she can recuperate and do a lot of physical therapy.

We know that we promised many of  you that we’d finish a lot of stuff that isn’t going to happen now. We are sorry that we won’t be able to meet those deadlines, but we want you guys to know we aren’t ignoring you and that we aren’t abandoning the project. We’re both just a little overwhelmed right now. Thank you for understanding.

Update, Year in Review

Year end round up and what we’re doing in the new year…

We hope you are all having a great start in this new year.

Last year we:

  • Published reading lists for 5 year levels.
  • Had 1,798 unique visitors to our site.
  • Created a Facebook and Instagram account.
  • Made 12 blog posts.
  • Saw a project that we were mainly doing for ourselves become a resource for our community.

Things we are working on in the first half of the year:

  • Completing Years 6 and 7.
  • Completing weekly schedules for Years 6-12.
  • Creating printable book lists for each grade for ease of trawling used bookstores and such.
  • The science curriculum for Years 6-12.
    • We plan on including lesson guides to help both create a more Charlotte Mason style approach in the sciences, and to decrease the amount of work parents need to do in preparation.
    • For each year we will include a lab supply list and a lab guide, a lesson guide, and a list of optional and extended resources.
  • A three option math track. Option 1 is the currently suggested math, though we are working to include notes on modifying it to different paces. We have a plan for a moderately paced Option 2, but Option 3 for those struggling with math is currently going slower than hoped, as we have not yet identified a math curriculum that seems ideal to us.
  • The optional and expanded lists for all subjects 6-8, and in history and citizenship for Year 9-12 (the optional and expanded lists for math and science are already up.)
    • We’ve found a volunteer with a much broader experience in World Religions than we have and with her help, and putting together two options for different approaches to World Religions.
    • Don’t worry! We’ve decided that all versions of the curriculum will stay available on the site, so if we make curriculum changes you will still be able to see older versions.
  • Creating a forum or Facebook group for discussion on using the curriculum. If you have a preference on a forum vs. Facebook, please let us know in the comments.

Anything else you all would like to see on our to do list? I know quite a few of you are waiting on Years 1-5, and we still hope to have them done before August. Once Year 1-5 are up to our standards, we’ll be focusing on creating non-US national history lists, suggestions for Masterly Inactivity and Adult learners, as well as creating resources on using the Charlotte Mason methodology in a secular setting.

We’d also really like to hear your feedback. I know most of you aren’t using this curriculum full time yet, but if you’ve used one of our book suggestions, done some of our suggested handcrafts, or have been inspired by us in some other way, we’d love to hear from you.


The Good and the Bad

The good news: The basic outline of  Year 8 is up!

The bad news: while we hope to have Year 7 up before January, our original schedule was too ambitious. We didn’t put in enough time for unforeseen circumstances and opportunities and we significantly underestimated how much time our science stream work would take.  We are focusing on finishing Years 6 and 7 and once that is done, on weekly schedules before moving on to Years 1-5


handwork, Update

Handwork and Life Skills updated!

We updated the Handwork and Lifeskills page for year 6-8 and added the skeleton outline for year 1-5. There are a few areas that a still a bit low on resources, but we will keep adding resources as we come across them.

We also wanted to ask you guys if there was anything you’d like to see in the are of handwork and life skills? Got a burning question or a great idea? Leave us a comment!

books, Uncategorized

Where to find free, cheap, or fast books

We are all a little behind on everything around here, sorry in advance. There was a funeral, a wedding, and unexpected Turkey Day guests, as well as some paid freelance work that we couldn’t turn down. We planned on doing a whole week of books that didn’t quiet make the curriculum, but we ran out of time. This post, however, while intended for the end of the week, was written first. We still think it will be helpful, so without further ado: Where to find free, cheap, or fast books to use when homsechooling.


First, check the library. Not only is your local library an amazing resource, but you’re actually helping them out when you check books out since many local libraries depend on check out numbers for funding. Plus it’s free!

If they don’t have what you need, ask a librarian about inter library loan. This is a program that lets you check out books from libraries across the country. If you need a longer check out period, ask your librarian if they do an educator card or have a homeschool program. Some libraries have programs, but you almost always have to ask.

If you use e-books, check and see if your library uses an e-book system. My smaller public library system is sort of terrible about having print books I need on hand, however, they have a huge e-book collection.

If you have a university near you, look into getting a library card from them. Most public institutions have some sort of program for the public to use their resources. They usually have a bigger selection of books on hand, and they also are part of local and national networks of libraries for inter library book loans. Also, they often let you check out books for longer than the public library would.

Shop your shelves! I own three different translations of the Iliad, and Sam kept all her college textbooks. Check and see if you already happen to own the books you need.


If you want to buy a book, look into buying used.

Powell’s Books

If you are in Oregon, go visit. Heck, I might just plan a vacation around going to Powell’s, its that great. It also has an amazing selection of used books for sale online.


This is good if you’ve struck out elsewhere. While we are only listing in-print books for the curriculum, this is the place to find some really hard to locate stuff as well as more common used books.

Daedalus Books

These guys specialize in remainder books, so you can occasionally get a really good deal on last year’s popular books.


And, of course, if you want that book new and at your house tomorrow, there’s always Amazon. Or, if you like e-books, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited has a pretty large selection of e-books that is sort of on a Netflix model and can be in your hands immediately.


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