Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Week in the Life of our Charlotte Mason preschool

My previous post was about the resources and tools we are using for each "subject" in our kindergarten, so you can start there if you like. 

As a bit of a disclaimer: Charlotte Mason didn't begin formal training or advocate for beginning formal schooling until age 6. She did offer suggestions for earlier ages though and I have based our schooling off of that. 

Here is what a week of our home school looks like right now. 

We only do school about 2-3 days a week total. My 2 oldest go to their grandparents' house twice a week and my oldest goes to a literature class one morning a week. That leaves us about 2-2.5 days a week, and we also do a few things on the weekends sometimes. Home schooling is just becoming part of the rhythm of our life so it doesn't even always feel like "school." Actually most of the time it doesn't feel like "school" because it is so natural and enjoyable. 

  • Morning 1
    • Start off with the calendar and weather. 
    • Bible story
    • Review Catechism, review Songs for Sapplings verses
    • Introduce new S for S song and verse and corresponding letter of the alphabet. We listen to the song, talk about the verse, then color the sheet and letter that goes with it. We sometimes talk about words that start with that letter and review the sounds that letter makes. 
    • We find a country to pray for that begins with our letter and if I have any corresponding missions material for that country we may read that as well. We find our country on the map. We pray. 
    • If either of them is still interested (the 2 year old usually is in and out or completely done by now or earlier) we will read some living books on a variety of subjects. We also try to do some preschool books or toys with the 2 year old to help her with colors, numbers, shapes, etc. The older one may sometimes pick out several books and sometimes pick out zero. We're done when they decide we're done. 
  • Afternoon 1 (during 2 year old's nap time)
    • We do our Language Lessons for Little One and our Math Lessons for a Living Education. We alternate which one we do first. We spend no longer than 15 minutes on each and sometimes shorter, depending on my 4 year old's attention. Sometimes she wants to do more so we do a bit more on some days. 
    • We end with a story from one of our read alouds, which is currently our Treasury of Children's Literature
  • Morning 2
    • start off with calendar and weather
    • Bible story
    • review Catechism and verse
    • Coloring the Classics (composer study)
    • Art study 
    • Living books/playful learning, etc. 
  • Afternoon 2 (same as afternoon 1)
  • Afternoon 3-- Tea Time (currently during 2 year old's nap)
    • I want to try to have a habit of tea time once a week with my kiddos. It is a lost art form that I want to learn more about and serve tea properly. :)
    • During tea time we read poetry, do our devotion (For Such a Time as This), and end with reading from a read aloud. We are reading through 20th Century Children's Book Treasury during this time currently. 
  • Weekends
    • I try to do something fun during one of the weekend afternoons, like math and reading board games, or play cards. We also go over the Habit we are working on during the weekend so daddy can talk about it too. 
    • This is also a good time for my oldest to do art, nature study, or a handicraft. 
    • We do our family devotions on Sunday nights currently, and we do our hymn study, catechism, and will soon be introducing a missions moment. 
  • Afternoons: We will do Little Pim Spanish in the afternoons once or twice a week after the toddler naps. 
(Disclaimer: a lot of our "extra" schooling comes from the wonderful folks at PBS. I have a 6 month old right now know how that it!)

That's it! It's pretty simple right now and we are all enjoying it! 

The morning school time takes about 30-45 minutes total. I should mention we try to do this time outside as much as possible so on the days that we are outside we will throw in a nature study as well.
The afternoon school takes about 30-45 minutes as well. So we are only doing about 1-1.5 hours of structured school time each day. Of course throughout the day we may be listening to our hymn or playing math games or talking about nature and God's creation as well, going on a walk, etc. We often listen to folk music or classical music while we eat or play. Then we get outside whenever possible to play and explore nature. 

  • We are part of a Charlotte Mason of Memphis facebook group that is talking about getting a co-op together. 
  • I also have a good buddy that I have walked the mothering journey and now am walking the homeschooling journey with. We hope to get together and do nature studies and maybe some other subjects as well. 
  • Classical Conversations. Before you alert the firing squad, I know! CC is not Charlotte Mason. I will go ahead and tell you now I am not a CM Purist, I am a "whatever meets the needs of my family"-ist. CM resonates most with me so we will be using CM at home, but I personally think that CC can be a good co-op for us to join that has many similarities to CM. We won't be emphasizing memorization and we will stick to CM as for how we teach and implement things. We may use some CC or classical resources, but we will use them in a CM way or in whatever way meets the needs of my children the best. We will evaluate each year if CC is still a good supplement for us. It is one morning a week so it will basically replace the literature class my oldest is currently in. 
You can feel free to follow any of my Spotify playlists.  Music is a big part of our day! We often break out in dance as well and grab instruments to play with! :)

For more ideas on what a Charlotte Mason preschool/kindergarten can look like you can check out my pinterest board. 

Hope some of that helps!!! Check back for my next post on general Charlotte Mason resources that have been helpful to me, or get a sneak peak by looking at my pinterest board. 

Actually, I have several CM boards on pinterest so feel free to check all of them out. 

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