Today’s Real Homeschooling for Real Families post is written by an anonymous homeshool mom with permission to share her thoughts on the Charlotte Mason Homeschool Method.
Have you considered using the Charlotte Mason homeschool method or approach to your homeschool? The Charlotte Mason method is based on Charlotte’s firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind. So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.” (from Simply Charlotte Mason website). You can learn more about the CM Method by visiting Ambleside Online for free resources.
For younger ages I would absolutely not do anything else! Maybe you are not quite sure how to set-up a routine for your day.
Here’s how a day might look:
1. You start off with a bible verse (make it a memory verse weekly if you like) and prayer. Encourage everyone to add a request to the prayer. Kneel together and spend that time before the Lord– you will be blessed!
2. A Hymn Study– read the history behind a hymn (you might kind of paraphrase for the sake of the little’s). A recommended resource for this: the book Then Sings My Soul.
3. Art Study– look at a famous painting, sculpture, etc. Ask the kids to really pay attention, that they will only have 45 seconds to look (sharpens attention). After the time is up, have them describe what they saw, and then you point out things about the work that make it unique. Over the course of the week, you can read the artist’s bio together, view other pieces, learn to look for specific techniques, etc. You can find neat resources (puzzles, coloring sheets, etc.) to extend this.
4. Composer Study– pick a famous music composer, listen to one of his/her most famous works, do a bio. There are some cool movies on the composers– I found mine at Library and Educational Services website. You might also check Amazon.
5. Nature Study– go outside, look for a specific plant, bird, tree, whatever that you might expect to see in your area/season. Have your children take sketchbooks and colored pencils with them. Have them study the thing, draw it to the best of their ability, jot down notes, etc. Get some good nature journals and show them how to keep one. If you are unsure of the how or what of nature study you can check out some free nature study resources that are shared on this site.
6. Read Aloud: EVERY day, great books (the kind that fill your soul, make you laugh or cry, and are written masterfully). All of the books that you never read when you were in school, but wish you had. All of the Little House books, all of the Chronicles of Narnia books, all of George MacDonald‘s books, all of the fairy tales, etc. If you don’t want to read them aloud yourself, get Audible. Also include G.A. Henty books when the kids are a bit older. For more book suggestions check out the Read Aloud Revival Podcast or The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.
7. Play math GAMES. You don’t need to get a curriculum for anyone but the older elementary student(s). You can learn all math operations with Right Start math games (over 300 games covering all topics!)
8. Do the history/science stuff that’s fun, not from a workbook. I recommend Aurora Lipper’s DVDs, if you can find them. Also anything that involves an experiment. You don’t have to do a ton of it at the younger ages. Books about science and scientists are great. Try watching Magic School Bus or a fun science kit for a topic that interests them.
9. Bake things, make things, do Stem activities if you like, go on field trips, for goodness sake play in parks, build forts, have fun.
Your homeschool day does not need to be scheduled every minute but if you have a basic routine to follow then your days will go much more smoothly.