Friday, April 1, 2016

A little bit about how we have started Charlotte Mason in our educational program in our home:

After reading many books and websites about or by Charlotte I started by asking my teens what they thought about narration and making personal time lines. We practiced narration, we would read a section in a book we were currently using, like my 16Girl was in a new economics book, and we read together then practiced narration. I worked with my two kids who will be freshman in the fall of 2016 and we read book lists together and decided on which ones to purchase for our literature section to supplement geography, autobiographies, science, music and art.

When the books arrive in the mail we put a label in the front cover that says what grade it goes with and what time period it is about. This helps us keep them easy to use and not loose.

We slimmed down the schedule from and made it lighter to use. So we printed their book list and highlighted on it the ones we decided to buy. We printed their schedule of daily reading and use it as a guide to structure our time, but again, in a lighter version.  So we have an organized list of which book to use which semester and a schedule of reading to refer to. If students want other books they could get them from the library or buy them.

The teens also got binders and hole punched card stock to begin a time line. We divided our time periods and marked the line in the center, doing fold outs so we can view four pages at a time. As they read about a person, event or invention they mark it on their time line. I too made a time line and am enjoying it a lot.

To implement CM with my 10 year old we began with narration, which he hated but eventually got the hang of and now sees the value. He may still dislike it but he sees that his memory is much better and long term.

To add history into our day with a 5girl, 7boy and 10boy we began with the recording of Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall and read by Karen Shallenburg. Charlotte's schools read this aloud to the kids a couple pages at a time from k to 4th when it was completed. There is a free recording on and the history is amazing, simple and interesting. My husband is a major historian and he said, after listening to some of the stories, that they are accurate and sum it up pretty well. As kids get older it will be easy to add to what's missing. Marshall wrote in story form and the kids enjoy the readers voice and we listen to two or three at a time, they beg for us to listen to more. Marshall moves through the islands history from the beginning at a nice pace, she says things like "many years later and many kings later" such and such happened. It covers the main points and everyone can learn much from it.

As a side note: many Americans that have left comments on CM sites and blogs say they are skipping English history, that it is not necessary. I would like to point our that It is necessary for Americans to understand England's history and by default that of Rome where they overlap, we won't understand our government or past if we don't know England's history. It's the basis of our language and our law structure and much more.

So here is the link : island story&search_form=advanced

Another way I am studying CM and using it is to read the amblesideonline summary of each year and I'm organizing it by subject not year, so I noticed that the same nature observation book is used for many elementary years and that other books are used for multiple years also, this made it easier to implement in our educational system, we have home educated for 16 years and needed fun new but easy ways to bring life into our curriculum. The kids are all happy and willingly participating with the changes, subtle yet deeply impacting us all. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

Some of our books that are working well for CM curriculum are the following:

Abeka science for 6th grade, it's a great book and has lots of botany  and tries to work in as much narration, description, biographies and life as is possible for a text book, it is Christian and teaches that God's hand is able to be seen in nature.

Phil G. Goulding Classical Music is one for teens, I took it and marked on the index what historical period each composer falls into. So as the highschoolers move through their curriculum they can study four composers a year. Charlotte Mason has every grade work on artists and composers, knowing their sound or art and being familiar and able to recognize it when seen or heard. Some years it's suggested to do six of each. We are setting the goal at four of each. So this means that in highschool they will learn about 12 artists and composers. This is 12 more than I or my husband learned about in all our years of public school put together! I am so excited to have an attainable goal that is going to show us big time rewards.   
heavy list and overwhelming but useful for  book lists     
 nice summary of Charlotte's teachings, makes it easy to see the goal           
 great for starting home school and to get ideas and questions answered

I will post my cross reference CM book list for the grade levels soon! still working on it

A day where nothing was learned is a lost day - something I read from Miss Mason