We have tried so many different curriculums within the Charlotte Mason approach, and they have all been lovely… I just like to switch things up to be honest, and to be even more honest, I end up doing my own thing a few months in anyways haha! I taught high school English for 6 years before having children, and we have been homeschooling for 9 years… since the very beginning! None of our children have ever attended school, and I find that with each year, we just learn and grow and settle more into our groove.
If you are new to homeschooling, don’t worry too much about all the particulars… just focus on reading aloud, letting them learn through exploring and play, challenge them but never compare them to anyone else, and remember that they are each their own individual person with amazing things to offer, learn, and become! Expose them to beautiful literature, and let open conversations sail from the pages. Walk outside and be still and quiet and let them talk all about what they are observing. Focus on “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8. Homeschooling offers us such an amazing opportunity to be the north star in our children’s lives. To guide them as they navigate this big and sometimes overwhelming world. It allows us as parents to offer them a soft place to land, a place to ask all the questions and receive answers that align with our values and beliefs, and to find that all things point to the Lord.
This year we are using The Peaceful Press as a guide for our year. We’ve done The Playful Pioneers, and the Kind Kingdom vol 1 in the past, (this year we are doing the Kind Kingdom vol 2), and I find that it is a great way to structure our days and the booklists are wonderful and geared from kinder to 8th grade. You can use code “peaceful” at checkout for 20% off if you would like to try any of their offerings as well!
I went through the book lists for the first 12 weeks of lessons and sadly nothing was available at our library, so I purchased everything used through either thrift books.com, eBay, or abebooks.com.
All the children also have lined notebooks for narrations, grammar lessons, and history, as well as watercolor paper notebooks for nature journaling. Along with our family read aloud, the older two have a similarly themed independent reading book that they will read each day for about 4 weeks before switching. Right now we are actually still in the midst of our most recent unit and will finish that up before we begin the Kind Kingdom, so together we are reading Pagoo, and the Burgess Seashore book for children, and my oldest is ready Swiss Family Robinson, and my 9 year old is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Here is a an example of our schedule for the day:
6:30am -8:30am – wake up, chores for the big two, get ready for the day, breakfast, free play for the little two ( I get a little bible reading in here with a cup of tea as well)
8:30-10am – morning time : consists of bible reading, verse memorization, hymn, read aloud from our current chapter book, narrations (written for older kids, illustrated for my 6 year old), artist and composer study.
10am-11am – history and science (this varies but consists usually of reading, nature walks, observing, naturing journaling and writing in their history notebook – all kids do it but they have tasks according to their various ability levels)
11am-12pm – math ( I love Horizons and Abeka for kinder-2nd grade, we’ve done math-u-see, the good and the beautiful, and this year while my 1st grader does horizons, my older two (7th and 4th) are doing teaching textbooks. *A note about tt – I found very quickly that teaching textbooks feels like it’s a year behind, so although my children’s math skills are appropriately on grade level, I bumped them up to 5th and 8th grade lessons for teaching textbooks.
12pm – lunch
1-1:30pm – Toddler goes down for a nap, older two do independent reading, and I read with Marigold
1:30-2:30pm – kids can play outside or have quiet time inside while I do house chores, prepare for dinner, answer emails – whatever needs to be done or caught up on.
2:30-3:30pm tea time – snack, tea, poetry (kids will work on a memorized recitation piece every few weeks) – and if the weather is really nice we will do this outside on a blanket
3:30-5pm – free play
5pm-7pm – make dinner, eat dinner, clean up dinner, evening chores
7pm – hang outside if weather allows, the younger two go to sleep around 7:30pm, and the older two go to bed about 8:30pm. I typically go to be about 9:30pm.
*I try to prep what I can the night before to ensure a smoother morning
I wrote a little resource on homeschooling for younger children a couple of years ago and you can purchase that for $29 HERE. And photographers, I have another email going out Saturday morning for you where I will share all about how I structure our family rhythm to stay aligned with our family’s needs, while also pouring into my photography business! If you are not already on my email list, you can join HERE.