a day in the life of our charlotte mason homeschool
Day in the life of our Charlotte Mason Homeschool!
I cannot contain my excitement for my newfound hope in our homeschool. The methods of Charlotte Mason have, and will continue, to transform our homeschool and our home life.
As I shared in my last post, Why I needed a schedule and how Charlotte Mason has opened my eyes and my heart (not its real name, but it surely could have had that long of a titles), I needed a push to stay on track and give my children a consistent day and week.
Since implementing our schedule, things are not “smooth” by any means (we are not perfect and I pray I never pretend to be in my humble words here!). But they are smoother. Much smoother. Each week, I look at the schedule and see how can I tweak it. The children know what to expect, which means less complaining, more cooperation, and dare I say excitement, about the books we will read.
Each day we emphasize some of the Charlotte Mason core tenets:
- Morning lessons, no more than two hours (though putting the baby down for a nap does interfere with this and make that time longer)
- Each reading lesson is followed by narration time
- Lessons are short, most of them only 10 minutes long, and maximum 20 minutes.
- The afternoons are meant for the child to explore the world around — we include Nature Study and one short Science or Geography lesson.
Today I am sharing the basics with you, the nuts and bolts of what we do, with affiliate links. Each lesson is 10-20 minutes long. We try to move quickly! And yes, the baby gets in the way constantly! But she is a part of the family and the other two help with her as much as they can. In the coming weeks, I’ll share better details of what I am doing with my Pre-Kindergarten daughter and now First Grade son!
Day in the Life of our Charlotte Mason Homeschool:
Breakfast (along with listening to Classical Music and our Composer of the month). Here is the baby cooking up some mischief….
Morning Meeting: I have the children sit in front of my big leather chair. We read one each: a Nursery Rhyme (recognizing the rhymes out loud), a Poem (also recognizing the rhymes), an Aesop Fable, reviewing our Picture Study, and finally, working on our Habit Training with the Bible.
Phonics & Word Study: This time is focused on phonics rules is for my son. My daughter is given coloring pages based on our letter of the week, sticker book, special activity or toy or baby duty task. I’ll detail more about the specifics in my upcoming First Grade post. We use a bit of a couple different curriculums.
Reading out loud: John reads to me from one of his readers. We write down words we don’t know in his notebook. You can see our complete list of early readers here.
History Reading: We read from five different books, one per day. Sometimes we don’t get to all five that week and that’s okay. Our spine is Our Island Story (British history), followed by our American History selection (right now that is The Matchlock Gun), Boys and Girls of Colonial Days, Fifty Stories Retold, and Trial and Triumph.
Always ensuring to narrate at the beginning (“what did we read last time?”) and after the first page and second page and at the end (as we are slowly working our brain muscles to learn what narrating means for our family).
“The act of knowing.”
Copywork: John copies his Proverb verse for the week, two lines only, always emphasizing his best work. (This week he has struggled, though in weeks past he has done much better, if you follow my Instagram!)
Literature Reading: We read from one of our five selected books, one per day of the week, narrating what we read up to that point and asking him to narrate the passage as we go. Books right now include Shakespeare, Winnie the Pooh, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, Just So Stories, and picture book selections.
(Our baby goes to her nap about this time, 11:30 or so, so there is a break in the day here that isn’t ideal but such is life with multiple little ones!)
Math work: Both children get their math work out on the floor together. John with his Math-U-See Alpha using Montessori Beads and May works through a couple different workbooks or Montessori Math activities, as well as Spielgaben.
Handwriting & Letter Work with May: John has a break while I work with May on her letter sounds, either with her workbook or her letters. She loves this time, so I must remember to make it a fun time and not get too tired out!
Many of our printables are from 1plus1plus1equals1 and This Reading Mama. We also bought a thick Costco Spiral bound Kindergarten book — I used to despise these types of things but May LOVES having a book of her own, so we do a couple pages as she is interested. They are never required.
Lunch time includes eating and my reading of our current free read chapter book. Right now we are reading The Hundred Dresses. This is more of a leisurely time and I don’t require narration all the time, but we do try to have lively discussions. We have many we are pulling from. I will make a list in our first grade curriculum!
Music: Before or after lunch, I try to have our Composer or Hymn lesson. It is difficult to fit everything into the morning so sometimes this is pushed into the afternoons, which is fine with me!
We spend the afternoons outside playing and having Nature Study time. I will write more about this in the future! Our Nature Journals are from Memoria Press.
We enjoy nature with our nature journals and books and always coming together mid-afternoon for our Science or Geography Lesson. We currently are reading Elementary Geography, Buckley’s Eyes No Eyes series, and Burgess’ Bird Book.
We have Dinner, always together, at the table as a family
Bible story is in the evenings just before bed; the children love to snuggle on the couch together and this has worked lovely for our family. We are currently using The Story Bible.
I hope that gave you a quick glimpse into our days…. we try to do 2-3 days of learning in the summer time, to keep to a “year round” schooling as much as possible. We like to take breaks here and there as well! This is life! This is normal for the children! Snuggling on the couch with mom in the mornings and playing outside in the afternoons.
I look forward to sharing our current First Grade (Form 1B) Charlotte Mason Schedule and complete book list with you soon.
I loved reading about your day! Ours are pretty similar, I’d say, but with slightly older children (mine are 9, 7, 4 and 2). Also, I love the way you hang your art prints! I need to try that. So far I’ve kept them in binders, which we pull out on our picture study day, but I want to find a way to keep the pictures out so we can look at them throughout the term.
Hey! I just found you! How do you like CM’s Elementary Geography? I am debating whether or not to get it.
Hi Alana! I would say it is fine. The children don’t love it, but we are only on the fifth chapter. i think it is useful and goes back to teh basics of the earth being round, directional learning, etc. I love that they are learning directly from CM’s words!
Hi! I am new to CM Method, hasn’t even started yet. Thanks for sharing how you spend your day and some book titles. If I may ask, do you follow a book list for your reading or narration? I’m confused if I can just pick book titles or there should be a certain book list to read with kids. Please advise. Thanks in advance.
There are many wonderful book lists out there that contain living books!! I love the books lists at Ambleside Online, Memoria Press, My Father’s World! I would highly suggest A Gentle Feast curriculum if you’re just starting out, as we are starting that in the Fall! The best CM curriculum I’ve seen!!