We decided to home educate year around because of my husband’s awesome schedule, so we take our breaks at odd times and start our “year’s” at odd times. We just started our first grade work with my oldest son who recently turned 6. I know this is not a completely Charlotte Mason attitude, but it works for us because we go at our own pace.
We are only a few short weeks into our “school” year, but so far I’m loving our choices. Simply Charlotte Mason is our main resource for choosing curriculum though I have also enjoyed Ambleside Online and their suggestions and am completely open to choosing different curriculum in the future should I feel any of our choices are not meeting our standards.
History, Geography, Bible:
We are really enjoying this however I should disclose there are many supplemental purchases and optional reading included. This many not be the most cost effective program, but the additional books we have purchased are beautiful, educational and will be used in our family for years to come.
Math: Math U See
We really struggled most with choosing a math curricula. Our son loves math and seems to pick up on concepts quickly. We considered Right Start as an alternative CM friendly option and even Saxon, but eventually settled on Math U See. I’m impressed with the concept layout and the teaching DVD. We actually watch the teacher present the material together and pause to work out questions. My son loves and works really well with this approach. The offer tons of practice worksheets and encourage mastery before moving on in lessons, so I don’t know how well we are pacing ourselves but we are happy.
Though, I’m still on the fence about this program, and it has not really made anything delightful, I do think if I had started this earlier with my children (and am implementing with younger children now) this would be a really great program. It’s gentle and easy to pace. We are using Delightful Handwriting to encourage neat penmanship. It may be a little young for my son, but I do like to re-enforce quality work and we are finding this a good way to encourage diligence in this area.
Literature: We are using Book Group 2 from Simply Charlotte Mason suggested literature. I am reading aloud to the children 10-15 minutes every day during “school” hours from our chosen literature book. . We just finished Stewart Little by E.B. White and my 3, 4 and 6 year olds all looked forward to the reading each day. I was encouraged by this because they all seemed to stay interested even though there were so few pictures.
Reading List for Year:
- Stuart Little by E. B. White
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
- The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Science: Nature Studies and Science Projects
Though we did purchase Hours Out of Doors and Natures Notes I haven’t found either to be very great in solidifying any sort of structure. This makes sense since CM method advocates a relaxed atmosphere in learning about nature. I think Outdoor Secrets was more of what I was looking for, and will most likely purchase soon.
- use our Bird Book to identify birds in our yard.
- are working on tree and plant identification on our property and in our neighborhood.
- intend to include the children in all aspects of our garden this year for the purpose of teaching.
I am looking into Apologia for some anatomy because the boys seem very interested.
Foreign Language: We are casually learning Spanish and review daily. I’m also allowing the children to watch Signing Time videos once a week for ASL.
In my opinion, this is the best money I have ever spent. These resources are amazing! The Handbook gives an overview of all the reasons to establish good habits and is full of wonderful information, but the Companion is my favorite!! It is actual lessons broken down by habit to work on with your children. We are working on the various aspects of cleanliness at the moment and will move on the Neatness and Order, all weak areas for me and so we are all learning and growing. My husband is the most grateful for these purchases as they are helping our family so much with creating and/or teaching good habits.
- Term 1: Leonardo da Vinci
- Term 2: Michelangelo
- Term 3: Botticelli
- Term 1: Amazing Grace
- Term 2: Holy, Holy, Holy and Crown Him with Many Crowns
- Term 3: To God Be the Glory and O Come All Ye Faithful
- Term 1: Tchaikovsky
- Term 2: Joplin
- Term 3: Gershwin
- Term 1: Robert Frost
- Term 2: Types of Poems
- Term 3: Variety of Poets
We really don’t include this much in the school day, but I’m working on giving my 6 year old more freedom to choose projects, cut and sew. We hope to make a blanket, aprons for all the children and pillows for friends this year.
Physical Education: Baseball, Tennis and proper form for exercises.
We also jog and often do push ups and jumping jacks. My 4 year old even does burpees!!!
Please link up with what your curriculum looks like for the year!!!
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