Ambleside Online 2017/2018 Music Playlists

I wrote in a previous post about creating playlists to share for our Composer Study, Hymn, and Folk Songs, and I've just remembered I never shared them!

You can find the Composer Study playlist by clicking HERE.  Please note: this playlist is only for Term 1, not the entire school year.  Since you may want to do additional reading about the composers (2 per term) that we are studying, I thought it best that I keep the playlist restricted to who we are covering for this term to avoid confusion for the kiddos. 

You can find the Folk Song playlist by clicking HERE.  This list contains all of the recommended Folk Songs for the 2017/2018 school year.  I chose the versions that appealed to me, though with some I was lucky to find any version at all.

You can find the Hymn playlist by clicking HERE.  There are some duplicates on this playlist because I wanted to show my children how hymns can be sung traditionally, soulfully, or in a more modern fashion and all still be wonderful.  
*Please note:  I was born in the 80's.  Sister Act 2 was HUGE when I was 11.  Joyful, Joyful is one of this year's hymns.  You can bet your bottom dollar I included the scene from Sister Act 2 as one of the versions of Joyful, Joyful.  If you don't like it, you're welcome to skip over it (but how could you not?!).

I will add the Term 2 Composer Study playlist soon!  

Thanks Irma

Hurricane Irma may just be the strangest hurricane experience we've ever had.  I think because the media was coming off the devastation of Harvey, they may have gone overboard on sensationalizing the apocalyptic nature of Irma.
Please know that I'm well aware of the devastation left by Irma, neighborhoods near our beach are still flooded, and friends and family are still without power.  Irma was not, however, a world changing catastrophe the way the media hoped said it would be, and at no point, even once the storm had been reduced to a Category 3 (something most Floridians have been though many times), was the media willing to admit that it was anything less than the apocalyptic Cat 5-type storm they had originally hyped everyone up over. I just think of people with anxiety issues, people who couldn't afford to evacuate - but did anyway for safety and are now behind on their bills, people who cannot buy groceries because the stores are empty of many items, people who could not make it to work because there was no gas at many stations even after the storm had passed.  I am truly grateful that the storm was not the apocalyptic beast that it could have been, but it will be a while before I place as much trust in the weather reports as I did in the past.
 As of Tuesday before the storm, I (and many others) truly believed that when we evacuated, there'd be no home to come back too.
We were bombarded with reports of "the worst storm EVER," but the track was changing daily (sometimes twice daily).  By the time the track had Irma coming up the east side of the state, where we live, all the hotel rooms in Georgia and SW Alabama were all booked.  We ended up booking a hotel room in Orlando, which seemed like it would be safer than being on the coast according to the forecast.
Since the track was all over the place and the weather people seemed to have no idea what was going on, we ended up being in our evacuation hotel a day earlier (maybe even 2 days earlier) than we actually needed to be.  On top of everything, Irma ended up shifting west, and the eye of the storm traveled right over us in Orlando!
Thankfully, we made it through safely, and though we had a couple of days worth of manual labor to get our home and yard back to its pre-storm state, no major damage was done, and for that we are very thankful.
Though we've been on a minimalistic path for the past few years, Irma did a great service to me by helping me realize that I don't actually need anything.  When a catastrophic storm is headed your way, it forces you to take an assessment of your home, your belongings, and what's important to you so that you can decide what to try and "save" and what to leave behind.  
Do you know what we "saved?"  Important papers (birth certificates, mortgage paperwork, etc), family albums, my camera, and our current year school books.  
That's it.  
Everything else, we can live without.  
What if our T.V. is destroyed?  
Then we have no T.V.
What if our furniture is ruined?
We head down to goodwill and get a $20 couch.
Our clothes?
We'll just live with the ones we're wearing for a while.
None of it really matters.  
None of it. 

It can be replaced.  
Or we can just do without.  
Either option works for me. 
So I'm actually thankful to Irma, for helping me solidify this mindset.  
 Plus, the kids got to go up on the roof to help clear fallen limbs - which is like, the coolest thing ever.

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. ~ Matthew 6:21

Bad-For-You, but Oh, So Good! Biscuits

cheesy biscuits recipe

We generally eat a pretty "whole foods" diet around here.  I guess that's why there's been a box of Bisquick sitting in our cabinet since last December (when I used a bit of it to make a Sausage Bread for Christmas Brunch).

I recently scored some KerryGold Ballyshannon cheese, and while it's a bit, um...cheesy to be eaten outright for our taste, I hated to waste it knowing all the nutritional benefits of grass-fed cheese.

Cue the lightbulb.  Cheesy-biscuits!  I used the Bisquick directions as a base, and then added in a few of my own to make these delicious, Garlic-Buttery Cheese Biscuits.  The way I look at it, the nutritional benefits of the cheese cancels out the terrible-for-you-ness of the Bisquick....(just roll with it..).

biscuit recipe with cheese
biscuit recipes
red lobster biscuit recipe

If you want to make your own batch of soft, warm, deliciousness, here's what you'll need:

2 and 1/4 Cups Bisquick mix

2/3 Cup Milk

1/2 stick melted Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter - Unsalted (8 ounce)

2 cups shredded Kerrygold Ballyshannon Cheddar Cheese

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar Jug, 3 Pound


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients.

Fold in cheese.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (wash less dishes!!)

Scoop dough into 1/4 cup sized biscuits and plop onto pan

(**I use coconut oil spray and just spray my 1/4c measuring scoop before every couple of scoops.  They plop right out of the scoop onto the parchment paper in perfect little mounds).

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

This will yield 10 biscuits at this size.


red lobster biscuits
Pin this recipe so you don't forget!!  Your tummy with thank you!

red lobster biscuits

Tried this recipe?  Let me know how you like it or if you made any changes in the comments section below!


Daily Schedule for AO Year 4 - Term 1

We love Ambleside Online, and have been using parts of it in our homeschool for 3 years, but this is the first year that we are really, truly following the entire curriculum.  I'll admit - it's not for the faint of heart.  I'm equal parts scared to death and totally excited.

Bent is 10 years old and a "5th grader" by regular school standards, so we will be working through AO's Year 4 for this school year.

The website provides you with a glorious curriculum that would have Charlotte Mason tap dancing in her grave, but the load is quite heavy for the average "regular schooled" child.  All books are linked to from the site - a great many of which can be found in the public domain.

Ambleside provides us with an extremely helpful weekly schedule for each year's curriculum, but in order to keep my sanity, and stay on top of Bent (whom I don't feel is ready to be given a weekly checklist just yet), I needed to find a way to turn that weekly schedule into a daily schedule.

I've skimmed through all the required reading for the year, and used my own judgement to decide which books I though would be appropriate for him to read independently and narrate to me afterwards, and which I'd like to read with him during our formal "sit down together" school time.

The day will start with Breakfast and Morning Chores, after which he will move to the school room and begin to work on his Morning Basket.

The Morning Basket will contain:

* Easy Grammar (one lesson per day)

* Copywork

* Drawing (I found this really fun book called Oodles of Doodles (Drawing Books) that has a different creative task on each page, so he will do one page per day).

* Math (he will work 20 minutes on Khan Academy)

* A Rotation of either Story Book of Science, Robinson Crusoe, or Poor Richard.
          *He will be listening to Robinson Crusoe on Librivox while reading along on his kindle, as I've            heard that Robinson Crusoe can be a bit daunting to read independently.

Since I've gone through and divided the weekly work into daily work, I thought I'd make the schedules available for you as well!  Simply Click on the link to download the PDF for Term 1 (12 weeks).

Download the Daily Schedule for  AO YEAR 4 - TERM 1  HERE

Please note that the page breakdowns for Madam How and Lady Why are different than listed on the AO Site, as I purchased a different edition (the one pictured below).  I went through and marked off the starting and stopping points for the edition that I purchased, and used those in the daily schedule. 

I also thought it would be fun to imagine what the little fairies Madam How and Lady Why might look like, so I made these posters to hang on our school room wall.  Just right click on the image to save if you'd like.

As for Plutarch, I just printed out this school year's first term (Julius Caesar) from the Ambleside website, hole punched it, and added it to a binder.  The version on AO's site is broken down into a easy to follow, 3 parts per lesson, one lesson per week format.  I intend to do this for each term.

Enrichments are not listed on the schedule, as I don't want those to feel like part of school "work." I've printed out the first picture for this term's Artsit: Peter Paul Rubens, and hung it in the school room to be observed and talked about as often as we like.

For Composer Study, Hymns, and Folksongs, I am working on creating a YouTube Playlist for learning the songs and searching the songs on Amazon Music to play in the car.

As for Nature Study, that's something that we incorporate into our lives, rather than schedule on a calendar.  I will be steering our attention towards birds this term, but we will be observing nature as it presents itself to us, and learning all the time.
Something that I've found really helps us pay attention to details and be more mindful of the natural world around us is to keep a nature journal.  We simply use a sketch book, and while we are out, either bring home our specimen (ie. flowers, shells, leaves), or take a picture with our memory or with my phone and draw when we get home.

I'm also hoping to add this wonderful Bird Bingo game that I found on Amazon to our collection to help us increase our Bird Knowledge in a fun way!

Not included in the schedule are Recitation (we will work on that when the opportunities present themselves), and Poetry (we hope to follow the AO Year 4 Poetry on our Kindle and read the scheduled poem a day).

I hope you found this post helpful!!  If you use Ambleside Online, please leave me a comment with any tips you may have, or links to Year 4 related posts!  I'd love to connect with you!

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