World History From Axis Powers to Ziggurats: The 4.0 Version

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Since we start our new school year with the calendar year and since I’ve already blown my original plans for Chipette out of the water because I broke the #1 rule of homeschooling: if it works, don’t change, I thought now would be a good time to share Chipette’s updated and corrected homeschool curriculum plans for 2014.

World History from Axis to Ziggurat 4.0

{Skill Subjects}


Math in Focus: This program works well for Chipette so we are going to keep on keeping on! This year I am planning on covering books 3B and 4A.

Life of Fred Elementary Math: This is new to the lineup this year. I’m not sure why I never thought to try this math program with my story-loving girl, but we’re diving in for fourth grade. I decided to start with Goldfish for her (I know you’re supposed to start every kid with Apples, but I’m a rebel). I’m hoping we can make it through Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, and Jelly Beans.

Reflex Math: I discovered this gem last year and it’s helped Chipette with her math facts tremendously! I thought she’d never learn them, but this program has made it virtually painless.

Language Arts

Introductory Lessons in English Grammar: This is a vintage grammar book by William Henry Maxwell that is free on Google Books. I needed something to fill in a gap year before we continued with Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts (which we love!). This book fit the bill since it was 1) free and 2) would cover things nicely. I’m going to turn some of the exercises in this book into worksheets which I will link for free on the blog.

Writing and Rhetoric by Classical Academic Press: We started this program right after it was released (in fact I pre-ordered it!), and I still love it just as much as when we started the program. It has been an amazing addition to our homeschool. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Apples and Pears Spelling Book C: Since finding this spelling program, Chipette has been making great progress with her spelling. I worried that she’d never be a good speller, but with Apples and Pears, she’s getting there. We’re definitely continuing with this program until the end.

K12 Fourth Grade Literature: I chose to use this program in third grade mainly because I could find all the pieces so cheaply used. The surprise was that it is a really great, engaging literature program for elementary. Chipette loves this program and all of the fun activities that you use to extend the stories.

Independent Reading List: I created this list for Chipette for her fourth grade year. These are books that I would like her to read, but we aren’t going to do any kind of in-depth study. She will read through this list as part of her independent work every day, and I’ll just ask general questions about the books to make sure she read it.

Mythology and Tales: To go along with our world history program this year I made a schedule to read through mythology and tales from different civilizations throughout time. We will spend eight weeks reading through each of the following books Tales of Ancient Egypt, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, Stories from the History of Rome, and D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths. For the final three weeks of our school year, we’re going to do a study of three of Washington Irving’s short stories: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle, and The Devil and Tom Walker.

{Content Subjects}


Heart of Dakota Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Chipette thrives with Heart of Dakota and, even though I wanted to fit her into a different box early on this year, it was a colossal mistake. So we are back with Heart of Dakota and Chipette is greatly enjoying her studies. I have made some modifications to Heart of Dakota to make it more Charlotte Mason, such as including the mythology and tales readings mentioned above plus some other tweaking that I’ll mention in a later post. We will be using Heart of Dakota for history, science, poetry, and personal Bible study.

Time Travelers Activity-Based U. S. History Studies: One thing I’m adding to Heart of Dakota is a simple, project-based American history study using Time Travelers from Home School in the Woods. First, we’ll complete a unit study on Native Americans using History Pockets: Native Americans and an American Girl Unit Study about Kaya which should take us 11 weeks. Then we’ll do Time Travelers: New World Explorers for 12 weeks and Time Travelers: Colonial Life for the last 12 weeks of the year.

Beautiful Feet Geography Through Literature: Last year we completed Seabird and this year we are going to work through Paddle to the Sea. Chipette really loves this geography program so much, and it takes such little time.

Sheppard Software: Chipette does this on her own as part of her independent work. I’m having her work on locating the state of the U.S., and once she has those down, we’ll work on capitals.  I love using Sheppard Software because it teaches and quizzes, plus you can set the program to cover only certain regions at a time so that the states are introduced by the handful instead of all at once.


Sassafras Science Adventures: Zoology: We didn’t quite finish this book last year and I had planned on just dropping it and heading into the next book, Human Anatomy, but Chipette was adamant that she wanted to finish it. We will spend the first 10 weeks finishing Zoology. I’m going to have Chipette reading My Life with Chimpanzees by Jane Goodall, A Life in the Wild: George Schaller’s Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts by Pamela Turner, and Tooth and Claw: Animals Adventures in the Wild by Ted Lewin to go along with Zoology.

Baltimore Curriculum Project: This is a really awesome website that uses the Core Knowledge books as the basis to build an entire curriculum for K-6th grades. The best part is that it’s FREE! I love the science plans most of all, so we’re spending 7 weeks studying matter, energy and force, and chemistry using the plans found under the fourth and fifth grade science. I haven’t decided what biographies I’ll have Chipette read along with this study yet.

Otter’s Botany from Guest Hollow: A wonderful homeschool mother offers a lot of curriculum on her website for free and we’re going to be using her botany curriculum for the last half of the year via the one semester option. It will take us 18 weeks to complete it and looks like so much fun. For biographies, Chipette will be reading Luther Burbank: Nature’s Helper, The Story of George Washington Carver, and Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine 1845-1850.

The Nature Connection: The only way that nature study gets done around here is by using this book. It makes nature study super simple and enjoyable! Back on the line up this year.



Getting Started with Spanish: This workbook gets rave reviews from a lot of homeschoolers so we’re trying it this year. I plan on using half of it this year and half next year.

R.E.A.L Homeschool Spanish: I purchased this years ago and we’re really diving into it this year. There is a lot of stuff in this program! Games, vocabulary, cultural studies so you can go as deeply as you wish.


Mindbenders A2: Chipette loves logic problems and she’ll easily do these three workbooks on her own this year.

Logic Safari 2

Logic Countdown

Shakespeare Studies

We will be covering the following plays this year: Twelfth Night, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Timon of Athens, Measure for Measure, Two Gentleman of Verona using the following resources:

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare: One of my favorite Shakespeare resources for elementary grades. This book contains a retelling of many Shakespeare plays in prose.

Twelfth Night: If you haven’t discovered Bruce Coville’s picture book adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, then now is the time! We are slowly collecting all of these books because Chipette loves to read and reread them.

A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream: Another Coville picture book and Chipette’s favorite Shakespeare play.

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare: This is more of a reference book for me, but I’m looking forward to utilizing this book to it’s fullest for helping Chipette understand Shakespeare and memorizing some passages.


Bible Study Guide for All Ages: Our tried and true favorite and the one thing I haven’t changed since we started homeschooling. This program is responsible for the amazing Bible knowledge that my kids have. Love it!

Growing Up in God’s Word: The Book of Exodus: This is a new product that I’m so excited about using this year with the girls. Look for a review about it coming the next few months!

What to Do When Your Temper Flares and Choosing Kindness: Both of these books are part of Chipette’s character training studies this year. She goes through the books one-on-one with me and I try to choose things to study that I’ve noticed her struggling with.


Check out Magpie’s First Grade Curriculum as well.




  1. Wow this looks like a great plan! I added the D'aulaire book of Greek Myths to CtC this year. My son absolutely loved it :) I dug out my R.E.A.L Spanish. I want to make it work for next year. I can't wait until we get to our Shakespeare studies next year in RtR. There are just so many great choices here. I hope you have a great year!

    1. Thanks so much! The myths has been her favorite part so far, and we always do Shakespeare because she enjoys it!