Our Homeschool ~ Charlotte Mason Style

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Over my 14 years of homeschooling, I’ve tried a lot of different approaches and curriculums, but even from the start, I always had an idea in mind of what I wanted our schooling experience to be like. It would be Christ-centered, simple, nurturing, and would encourage a love for learning. My love for books – especially storybooks – fit in beautifully. As I read more over the years about different methods of homeschooling, I saw that I agreed with many of the ideas that Charlotte Mason wrote about in the late 1800’s. Some of these ideas included copywork for writing, reading of great ideas in living books, narration, short lessons, and nature study. I have been incorporating several of these into our homeschool for the past 5 years or so.

This year, the Lord has taken us a step further in our journey. I have added in some new studies on a regular basis that always seemed to fall through the cracks before. Some of these include artist and composer studies, Shakespeare, nature stories, and character studies. Another difference is that we are reading living books for science, history and geography that take us on wonderful journeys every week.

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Here is our weekly schedule as it stands right now – I’ve been tweaking it since September 1st, but for now, this is working for us. Every day we do:

Bible & Scripture Memory
Read-aloud classic novel
History (M-Th)/Geography (F)
Copywork
Spelling
Reading (independent assigned)
Phonics (Anna)
Math

Some of these we do together, and others are done independently. Tommy and Sarah also add in a short daily grammar exercise.

In addition to the subjects we study daily, we have others that are only studied from 1-3 times a week –

Monday – Poetry
              Science (older kids)
Tuesday – Character studies
              Composer study
              Shakespeare
Wednesday – 
Missionary story
                  Nature Stories
                  Science (older kids)
 Thursday – Artist study
                 Drawing
Friday – Book of Centuries (Timeline)
            Map Drill
           Science (older kids)
           Nature Study (outdoors)

Along with these, I am doing the Bible/Science (fun) portion of My Father’s World Kindergarten curriculum with Anna and Michael – this includes many classic children’s stories and fun, easy crafts set up around the alphabet (A-Apple, B-Butterfly, C-Cow, etc.) four or five days a week.

Does that look like a lot? Well, it is, but remember – we do all of these in short lessons, many about 15 minutes each – some less, some more. We average around 3-4 hours for our school day, although that may not be all at once, depending on life – it may be spread throughout the day, and if we don’t get to something, I either make it up later in the week, or start there the next time we are scheduled to do that subject. Also, not all of the children do all of these studies – Anna does the least amount, being Kindergarten age this year. Michael joins us for most subjects, but isn’t doing formal grammar yet or Shakespeare. Laura (10th grade) does most of her work independently, except for a few of the family subjects. In fact, the 3-4 hour day usually refers to my time, as I work with each of the children individually and as a group.

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I have really enjoyed this year so far, and feel like we are having the richest learning experience we’ve ever had. We have laughed over Shakespeare, enjoyed classical music, travelled down the river with “Paddle to the Sea”, gone into outer space as we study the planets, had fun with drawing exercises, marveled at Monet paintings, and spent a little time each day in the Big Woods with Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I hope to share more about each of our studies, and how we do them, in future posts.

Blessings,
Nancy

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6 Responses

  1. Your homeschool sounds wonderful, Nancy! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Where is that schoolhouse? Tell me it isn’t in your backyard and that is where you do school?!

  3. No, it’s not in my backyard, although I’d love to have it there if just to play in it! That picture was taken at a local Heritage museum that we visited a few months back.

    Congratulations, Cindy, on your wonderful new blessing! I was so excited to read about it on your blog and see that your prayers had been answered!

    Love,
    Nancy

  4. Thank you Nancy, we are very excited too. God is faithful. I am feeling a little old though…..:) It would be neat to have that house in our backyard!

    You have really inspired me to do more with my kids in school. I used to be very creative when my older kids were younger. With all that our family has been through in the last 5 years, I have found myself in a sort of “survival mode” in which we are just now coming out of. You have given me some good ideas. We all need that, you know? Do you still do FIAR?

    I was wondering how old you were when your last child was born. I will be 43.

    Thanks for your encouragement,
    Cindy

  5. I’m so glad to be able to share ideas – we certainly do all need that! I have been inspired by so many of the blogs I read, too, and my family has benefited from many of your delicious recipes!

    I have spent many years in survival mode myself – sometimes that’s just where we are, and it’s okay. Academics aren’t the main reason we homeschool anyway, but it does feel good when we can do the fun and enriching things that so often must be put on hold. I think that’s why I’m enjoying this year so much – we’re finally reading so many of the wonderful books that I’ve been collecting over the years!

    Right now FIAR is on hold, since we’re doing the My Father’s World book, but I will probably be back to it next year with Anna and Michael. I really love Five In A Row, and don’t ever stray too far from it.

    Let me think – I was 44, about to turn 45 when David was born. I am now 48 and I would love to have another, but wonder more and more if the Lord is telling me I’m done. I went through a low time for awhile when I realized that I might be finished having children, but now I am more accepting of the fact. Of course, I’m still willing, if the Lord is! 🙂

    Thank you for your sweet words. I will keep you and your little one in my prayers.

    Love,
    Nancy

  6. Your school is wonderful. I wish every child could be home schooled. Doylene

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