Sunday, 24 October 2010

Our Charlotte Mason Inspired Curriculum

In this post I hope to share with you my Charlotte Mason inspired home school plans.

Our study begins at the breakfast table with Bible reading.
I am following a basic plan for our readings this year:

Mon - Thurs - we read the same reading each day. I am working through a long list of scriptures that teach about the life & gospel of Jesus Christ.
After i have read to my girls, on monday they begin a drawing of what we have read. They have the whole week to finish it, so they have created some masterpieces!
On tues I require my 7 yo to give a narration of the reading.
Wednesday is usually writing a title for the drawing.
Thursday is completing the picture & sometimes acting out a little skit, depending on the reading.

Friday - I have decided to work slowly through Leading Little Ones To God I used this as a daily devotional when my now seven year old was three.
There are 14 Parts in the book, split into 86 chapters. Each chapter begins with an introduction from the author, which the parent is to read to the child. Then 'Something to talk about' - questions to prompt discussion between the parent & child(ren)
A memory verse & scripture to read & finally a hymn.
I shall use this book as a spine for discussing our beliefs. We shall not be reading all of the chapters - some I do not agree with from a theological point of view & some, in my opinion contain ideas too old for my children.
We shall begin by reading the suggested scripture & then & shall read the devotional by the author, & use the discussion questions when appropriate, but we will not be using the memory verse or hymn.

Saturday - I read Genesis 1:1-2:7

Sunday - I read the psalm & gospel reading that will be read later that morning at our church.

Each morning after Bible Study we practice our memory verse for the month.
Here is a wonderful system that we use to aid our Bible recitation.

After breakfast & morning chores comes circle time

Prayer & hymns
We begin with prayer & then sing our hymn that I have chosen for the month. The girls used to add music with a shaker, or tambourine or some such thing, but they have their own hymn book now, of which they are very proud & has produced a more studious atmosphere!

We then have a poem or two that we are reciting together & a finger play.
I then read a poem from each childs poetry book.
Elianna has A Child's Garden of Verses
Rosie has Mother Goose

Maths Facts
Times tables, counting, skip counting etc is learned via movement - jumping, clapping, throwing beanbags, bouncing balls. We use a lot of energy here : )

We are still learning french via songs & rhymes. I am now on the lookout for a french program for us to follow next year, so if anyone has any suggestions, please do let me know!

Reading & phonics instruction
I am using Word Mastery for both my girls.
Elianna also reads from a reader & has spelling words that she learns - I give her five at a time - she writes them out each morning & when she knows them, she knows them! No race : )

We then take a wee break while Elianna makes a snack for both girls & I read from When we were very young for Rose.

Read Alouds
While the girls have their snack I begin the read alouds.

The Story of the World: Ancient Times v. 1
Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales
Little House in the Big Woods

The Story of the World: Ancient Times v. 1
Parables from Nature
Little House in the Big Woods

The Story of the World: Ancient Times v. 1
A Childs geography of the world
Little House in the Big Woods

A Childs geography of the world
The Aesop for Children
Little House in the Big Woods

Fairy Frisket, Or, Peeps at Insect Life

On mondays, after read alouds we do an experiment from Science Arts: Discovering Science Through Art Experiences
I cant recommend this book highly enough! Simple , quick fun experiments that can be carried out with supplies from around the home.
Fridays are Nature Study days!
We love nature study in our home : )
We use various read alouds & go on nature walks at least once a week.
I have found Handbook of Nature Study & Barb's Handbook of nature study blog
invaluable. Nature study is such a simple thing to do, with little or no preparation, but reaps great rewards.

In between read alouds, mon to thurs, we a have a copywork lesson. I am using Peterson Directed Handwriting to teach cursive to both my girls. I decided to teach Rose cursive first as she is left handed. This was a freebie I found on a blog (& I cannot remember for the life of me whose blog!)
As it was a freebie, it cannot be printed out, but this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise!
We begin the week with me writing the letter on our blackboard
This method uses lots of movement & also rhymes to teach the letters. My 7 yo is whizzing along & producing lovely writing & my 5 yo is slowly building up her cursive too.

Maths Maths Maths!
Every so often I dither about our maths! I am not using a curriculum & have decided (I think! LOL!) to keep it that way for this year.
My goals are to commit to memory the 10, 5 & 3 times tables, master addition, subtraction, division & multiplication, Learn to tell the time for my 7 yo (who is only just beginning to ask about time - so far she has been wonderfully unaware & burdened : )
She is great with the four processes, but I intend to really work on these this year & also mental arithmetic.
We shall be doing a lot of abacus work. Here is a great PDF I would like to share that is very helpful for getting started.

Well, I hope this is clear. I am sure to have missed some parts of our school day out, I am sure - they will come to me if I have!

Picture study & music appreciation will come in another post!

One last thing I would like to mention - here is a great resource for those who are planning their own Charlotte Mason inspired home school:
Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education

I am off to bath my girls - they have just arrived home from the cinema & pizza with daddy : )
Bath time, supper & story for them & off to bed. A little knitting & a G&T for mummy!

Have a great Sunday!

Nature Study At It's Best

On Saturday Elianna & I attended our monthly Spinning Guild meeting. This means that my younger daughter has a 'Daddy Day' - a whole day with daddy all to herself.

My husband filmed this clip of her in our local park - I was a very proud mummy when I saw this clip & resulting drawing : )

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men....

Here is my happy wee girl, just over a month ago on her fifth birthday. Since my last post, things have been so different.

We have all had a run of colds, throat & ear infections & coughs over the last two weeks.

Then on wednesday, my darling girl developed very bad mouth ulcers. Which got worse & worse, to the point that she couldnt drink. I had spent an exhausting night syringing water into my wee girl mil by mil.

We returned to see our doctor the next day who admitted her to hospital because the ulcers were so severe, her temp was very high & she was dehydrated.

She was deemed fit to go home later that day, but it has been an exhausting battle to get any fluid & pain relief into her. Watching her in so much pain has been the worst thing.

Today she has turned a huge corner & whist she is still in pain, she is quite grumpy, which, is a massive relief for this heartbroken mummy! She has been too lethargic up until this point to show any emotion.

I was hoping to post about our new Charlotte Mason style curriculum this weekend. I still hope to get that up as soon as I am able.

I cannot let this moment go by without a huge thank you to my dear friend Andrea - who let me garble worried thoughts & swear far too much.
Thank you Andrea :)

Well, i have a big pot of chicken broth on the stove top that I must attend to for my poorly girl.

Thank you all for your kind words to my 'comeback post' - hoping to chat with you all soon.


Thursday, 14 October 2010

A Tentative New Post...

I miss my blog!
I miss reading & responding to all the lovely comments left for me. I made some great friends via the blogging world. But at the same time, blogging takes time!
So, cautiously, I am beginning my blog again.

The last year has brought some great challenges for my family. I am very tired now. Very tired! But I am delighted to be in the new place that I am.

The changes have caused me to re-think a lot of things, including our education plans. And it is with great delight that I have met with an old friend - Miss Charlotte Mason!

We are nearing the end of our first week 'Charlotte Mason Style'. A week beset with illness & appointments & other interruptions that would normally reduce this home-bird to a quivering wreck. However, our easy pace, short lessons & wonderful read alouds have wrapped beautifully around our family life, like the sumptuous wrappings around an expensive gift.


I soon shall be posting our plans for the first 'term' of school. We actually began back in September, but have decided to plan our books etc counting this as our first week.

I also would like to share the following quote, which has really got me thinking:

‎"In this way: give your a child a single valuable idea, and you have done more for his education than if you had laid upon his mind the burden of bushels of information."

Vol 1, Part V Lessons As Instruments Of Education, p.174
The Original Homeschooling Series by Charlotte