Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Educational Symphony

We had the pleasure of taking our first field trip this week. We were entertained by the Johnson City Symphony during an educational symphony for students.

I was pleased that Lily remembered the instrument families and her favorite, "the conductor." Those living books are paying off!

JJ and Grant waiting for the music to begin
And how do I end up with concerns about going to the symphony? Lily has been upset about the very scary "March to the Scaffold." She actually had problems sleeping last night! Note to conductor, it may not be a good idea to tell a room full of kids, many who were six, that Berlioz had a dream his head was cutoff and that we can hear his head rolling down the steps being played by one of the instruments. Especially MY very attentive and imaginative six year old!

Either way, it was a memorable experience!

Monday, October 21, 2013

What we are doing

My sweet momma wanted to know why I haven't updated lately. My response...we've been busy.

We've been busy being sick.
We've been busy learning math facts.
We've been busy babysitting Guinea pigs.

And busy learning to read!
We've been busy dancing!

We've been busy buying good books...

and reading good books.

We've been busy having a mother-daughter night out...

and seeing Little House for someone's first time in the theater.

We've been busy being Spiderman.

And someone has been busy moving and crawling and climbing!

We've been busy taking pictures with sweet sister.

And we've been busy learning about sourdough!

And truth be told we have a busier season ahead. Hopefully, we'll find time to share for you, Mammaw. (And even more hopeful...we'll see you soon!)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nature Study: Pets

We're babysitting our cousins Guinea pigs. Mommy calls this built-in nature study.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our Reading Adventure, Part 1

Homeschool life continues on and we get more and more into the groove each day. Each week that passes I am more pleased with this decision to have our children home with us. As a friend recently said, “The days are long, but the years are short.” I’m glad these short years get to be spent hanging out with my favorite people.

This week I want to start sharing our reading adventure. Reading has been a difficult area and probably the scariest part of homeschooling for me. Why it seems so hard to teach someone to read is beyond me. Charlotte Mason says, “Whereby it is plain, that this notion of the extreme difficulty of learning to read is begotten by the elders rather than by the children. There would be not little books entitled Reading without Tears, if tears were not sometimes shed over the reading lesson; but, really, when that is the case, the fault rests with the teacher.” (Vol. 1, p. 200, emphasis added) And over the last couple of years, tears have in fact been both my little one and myself. I, the teacher, pushed too fast and too soon. Lesson down, three to go.

Last year we started with Reading Made Easy. Which I believe is a good program but too much busy work for Momma with making a lot of cut up index cards. We learned some site words and it helped with word building. Lily learned her alphabet along the way using Leap Frog magnetic fridge letters. We would match the uppercase magnetic letters with lowercase wooden ones. We played games of “find the letter that makes the sound ____” until she was proficient at all the most important sounds.

This particular curriculum just didn’t excite either one of us very much. I purchased Delightful Reading, which is based on Charlotte Mason’s own ideas for teaching reading. I adore this curriculum and can’t wait to get more into the lessons. (I’ll share more on this later in Part 2.) To begin this school year we reviewed the harder letter sounds and did CVC word building. Lily finds reading hard but I believe it is due to the pressure I placed on her when I thought she should “get it” and she just wasn’t ready. Last year she had problems blending sounds even though she knew all the sounds. It was so frustrating but I now realize it is perfectly normal. She still was able to read some easy readers like Bob Books and Biscuit books.

As we began this year she whizzed through CVC word building. My sole purpose in going slow was to be her cheerleader and to build her confidence in reading. Delightful Reading’s list of possible CVC combinations is very large. Once we spent time in word building, I felt we could move beyond this word building and go a little faster but were not quite ready for the more in depth reading lessons in the program. I also began to realize Lily possibly learns a little more visually; and in fact, she was actually reading right on level for her age, (whatever that means).

So, I jumped the gun. I did something I swore I would never do. I bought Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I possibly can’t explain to you how much I hated this book. To me, everything about it was anti-Charlotte Mason. Guess who loves it? Yes, Lily. She’s flying through this book. We quickly breezed through the first 15-20 lessons to get her to a point where I felt we could do one lesson a day. She gets excited about reading. She pulled Dr. Seuss's  Hop on Pop off the bookshelf and began to read it. How wonderful it was to see the excitement in her when she recognized the words on the page! Earlier this week, I decided to pick up A Storybook Treasury of Dick and Jane. Once again, she loved it. She really enjoys being able to read a book to me for a reading lesson. And I really enjoy watching her learn!

Once we are finished with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, I plan to move onto the full Delightful Reading program. (Remember, I’ll explain in Part 2, when the time comes.) My plan is also to have her practice reading out of the Treadwell Readers.

Why did I fret so when we started down this road? It truly is a beautiful thing to see this learning take place! My advice to anyone who is just beginning down this road is just what others told me, “don’t rush it.” When they are ready it will happen.


Monday, September 9, 2013

On The Go Nature Study

Our nature study happens more like this. We had a doctors appointment this morning so I packed up lunch and we stopped by a small park on the way home. (I planned ahead and took bread to feed the geese, which I knew would be there.)

Not only did we see geese, but we saw ducks, too. We got to observe the differences in their calls and the differences in their bodies, feet, and beaks. They'll take the bread right out of your hand. JJ was thrilled he was able to pet a goose!

Lily noticed the metal band on this guys leg. Can you see it?
Nature is all around if we just take the time to look. We got up close and personal with a variety of flowers, centipedes, and a squirrel who spied us quietly while we ate our lunch. We've spent enough time doing this sort of thing it has become habit for the kids to find subjects to observe without my prompts. They found the white, fuzzy centipede and the squirrel.

We also got to walk across the river on a suspension bridge. This was exciting and scary for the little ones!

Nature study: no journals or lectures required.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Nature Study for Real People

I considered titling this "Nature Study for Dummies." Because that is often how I feel when I'm doing Nature Study. Right now, I do Nature Study for myself more than the kids. I feel like I need to learn all these wonderful things about God's creation that I missed growing up.

So many people, including myself, are at a loss when it comes to Nature Study and how to do it. I pretty much wing it. I figure that is better than not doing it at all. Let me show you how maddening, (or amusing), nature study can be at our house. This is what it looks like...

I think there may be some goldenrod growing on the other side of our fence out back so I decide during naptime Lily and I will head out to draw it and get in our nature study. I remind Lily to only draw what you see and take your time to look before drawing. We commence to drawing with several interruptions about what are lie bumps and why do we get lie bumps. And are lie bumps contagious? After several prompts to focus on what we're drawing, we finally get results.


We go inside and take a peak a the Handbook of Nature Study. Only to realize this is probably not goldenrod like I thought. Oh dear then! What is it? So begins my search to find out just what this sweet, yellow flower is that is growing in our field. After a few Google attempts and visits to wildflower identification websites, I think I figure out it is actually a species of goldenrod called skunk goldenrod. I'm still not sure about this and after wasting away half of an afternoon trying to figure it out...I decided to say it is goldenrod, just some unknown species, possibly skunk goldenrod. Skunk goldenrod is only found in East Tennessee and North Carolina so the chances are high that this is what we have found, or at least a hybrid of some sort.
This is goldenrod. The real deal. I found it on the side of the road and stopped and picked some for us to see.
I also found these Asters on my road trip. At least that's what I think they are. There are over THIRTY species of Aster in Tennessee. Along with these I found another type of asters right beside them. They were a paler purple and all the flowers grew from one stem, on the stem. Sorry no picture, they withered away before I got home.
I hope to invest in some good field guides soon so I don't have to Google everything. The amount of species of every bug, tree, weed, and flower sometimes seems exhaustive. There are some really nice, free sites to help you identify your subjects. I hope to get better at this through the years! Hey, maybe one day I be like the Edwardian Lady. ;)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

After thoughts: One Month Later

As we finish up our first month of homeschool ever, I definitely see a different picture than I did four weeks ago. Allow me to just get them out there. They may be sporadic and random so bear with me.

At this season in my life, I just can’t do all I want to do. I’m holding onto the humanities/liberal arts for dear life though. The cultural perspective of the arts is something I want my children to learn, to value, and to carry on with them.

I felt relieved when a more experienced mom told me Nature Study was all my little ones need for science right now. She said “observation” is the beginning of all science. I thank God for that brief moment when through her I got the point that I don’t have to do a formal Science three days a week.

Habits. Habits. Habits. Habits are so much more important than academics. When I say habits I mean not just “clean your room and brush your teeth” but also “treat others with kindness” and “be diligent and glorify God in all you do”. We’re still working on the habit of obedience. And we are still working on our morning chore routine.

The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children (Vol. 1, p. 136). Oh how very true this is!!!

I realize at this moment in my life I am not what some would call a Charlotte Mason “purist.” I believe that if something works for my child that isn’t specifically considered Charlotte Mason, I haven’t broke some educational law and that my child is still going to be fine.  I really believe in her philosophy of education. This philosophy of education speaks to me and I want to learn more and more.  But I also know she was human and everything she said might not be what God wanted for each and every one of my children.

I’m learning that despite the crazy kids, the moody mom, the bad habits, and the not so “smooth and easy days,” by the grace of God my children are going to be fine. In the end, it is not what philosophy of education I use, what curriculum I use, how much scripture we have memorized, or what method we use for discipline...but only the grace of God that will get us through this.

And most importantly, despite the hard days, crazy kids, and moody mom, I am so completely thankful to get the opportunity to see and be with my kids every day. It is hard and it is tiring but I can’t imagine them not being here with me. I can’t imagine sending them to school and not being able to watch them grow every day. I am really getting what it means to enjoy being with my children.

Now...on to month two.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 4: A Day in the Life, Kindergarten

Although I missed the official “Blog Hop,” I thought it would be a neat idea to share a typical day in our homeschool. I especially thought this would be great to look at from year to year as our homeschool grows and changes.

5:50AM: Alarm goes off. I turn it off and lie there and think about how I should get up and go for a walk. Or go ahead and get ready for the day. I've been up 2-3 times during the night and fall back asleep.

6:45AM: Wake up to Anna and JJ’s feet pattering, or stomping, into the room. Cuddle up and tell them to be quiet so they don’t wake anyone else up.

7:00-7:15AM: Finally get up and get ready because I have to.

7:30AM: Wake up Nate who has to be at work at 8:00AM and iron his clothes. Make the bed. Meander out to the family room to pick up and check email and Facebook. (Remind myself after 2 minutes what a waste of time Facebook is and remind myself to not check it again.)

7:45AM Kiss Nate good-bye and help him find his belt, wallet, and/or phone. Try to figure out what I’m going to fix these kids for breakfast and remind myself I need to work on a new menu plan. Tell the kids to get out of the kitchen and into the big room so they don’t wake the baby up. Greet Lily good morning.

8:00AM Start breakfast. Remind Lily and JJ of their pre-morning chores. (Get dressed, clean room, make beds.) Tell Anna to quit crying and/or to quit grabbing stuff of the cabinets and/or “No, you can’t wake Christian up.”

8:05AM Get Christian out of bed because Anna woke him up. Hopefully, find the time to nurse him and not forget to...

8:30ishAM-9:00AM Eat Breakfast. Read a chapter from The Child’s Story Bible, review catechism, and work on scripture memory. (Currently the Nicene Creed.) Tell Anna to sit down and be quiet. Tell JJ he’ll have to wait for seconds until I’m finished eating. Possibly wipe up spilled milk.

9:15AM-9: 45AM: Lily and JJ finish morning chores. (clear table, brush teeth, Lily-clean bathroom sink, JJ-sweep floor). Tell Anna to quit getting into the toothpaste without asking. Change any diapers that got missed before breakfast and cloth the little littles. Stop Anna from splashing her feet in the bathroom sink. Help kids with chores and attempt to clean kitchen during this time.

10:00AM- Realize Christian has been following me around for 15 minutes crying and he’s ready for a morning nap. Lay him down for nap. Start school with Lily. Lock JJ up to play with his Playmobil without being bothered by Anna. Explain to him that if he didn’t get so upset about her playing with it she would leave him alone. She’s just doing it because she knows it bothers him. Put up baby gate so Anna can’t get to Christian’s bedroom door.

10:05AM-10:20AM Math with Lily. Ask Anna what she’s supposed to do during school. Anna whispers, “Kyiat.”

10:20AM-10:25AM Handwriting with Lily. Redirect Anna to be quiet, possible pull her up in my lap.

10:25AM-10:35AM Reading lesson with Lily. Encourage Anna to sit quietly on the couch with a blanket and a book.

10:35AM: Lily runs to play with JJ. Read books to Anna and play with her. She loves patty-cake. She also loves to be tickled. Check off what I’ve done so far and try to do some chores before lunch.

11:00AM Continue daily housekeeping or go outside. Break up squabbles. Keep Anna busy. Check SCM forum and email. Try not to check Facebook but do it any way.

11:30AM Begin figuring out what we’re going to eat for lunch. Decide my kids eat peanut butter and jelly entirely too much...but that’s what they’re having again. Heat myself up some leftovers. Peel and cook Christian some apples.

11:45AM Talk to Nate on the phone. Finish making lunch. Get Christian up if he isn’t up yet. Change diapers.

12:00PM Have lunch. Feed Christian. Depending on the about Picture Study or read poetry or a fairy tale. Or forget that I’m actually supposed to do this.

12:30PM Clean up kitchen while kids dance around the living room. Tell Anna to quit climbing on the school table.

12:45PM Change out laundry and wonder if it’s 1:00 yet.

1:00PM Decide to wait on laying Anna down to match up her and Christian’s naps more. Relax and play with the babies.

1:30PM-2:00PM Lay babies down for naps when they’re ready. Usually Anna goes first.

2:00PM Read a chapter of a literature reading with Lily and JJ.  Read JJ a book of his own.

2:15PM Practice Piano with Lily.

2:30PM Tell JJ he can play with Lily a few more minutes.

2:45PM Put JJ down for a nap and sing to him.

3:00PM Read History with Lily. (We’re trying to work in science some as well.)

3:30PM-4:00PM Quiet time if no babies are up. Otherwise, keep babies happy while I piddle around folding clothes, cleaning up, looking on computer....

4:00PM-4: 30PM Start dinner. Keep kids quiet. Tell Anna not to wake JJ up.

5:30PM- Nate’s home. Sigh. We spend the rest of our evening eating dinner, cleaning up, and playing outside at home or at a park.

As I typed this out, I couldn’t help but think...this is the way it normally goes but I really don’t have as much free time as it appears. I also spend a lot of time walking around and getting distracted by all there is to do! (Like feeding the cats, dog, and bunny rabbit, or cleaning off the porch where the dog drug in a rabbit, or picking up a bag of whatever that Anna dumped out, or getting crayons out of Anna and Christian’s mouth, reminding Lily to keep her crayons get the point..) I spend so much time disciplining and redirecting and keeping little people out of stuff that much of my day seems rushed. After putting it out there, it does seem I could make better use out of some of my time. I also realize, every day is different. Like on Fridays after the babies are asleep we work on our composer study...listening to the orchestra. On nice weather days, when Christian wakes up from his morning nap, I decide we need to get away and head to Crockett Springs Park for lunch. We usually play there for a couple hours. And Saturdays are completely different although we do things that could be considered “school.”

So there it is. I believe it will be interesting to see how it changes over the years. I know it will change drastically as the kids get older. And as much as I hate to admit it now, I’m sure I will miss these days. Even amongst all the daily stress, each child of mine is such a blessing in his or her own little way. I really do enjoy them...most days.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sounds of the Orchestra

Here is a nice little resource we found today while reading Meet the Orchestra. We enjoyed listening to the instrument sounds while we read about them and looked at them in the book. It was fun to imagine the animals playing the pieces that demonstrated the instruments' sounds.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Drawing with Children: Lesson 1, Part 2

For our art lesson this week we are still on Lesson 1. The entire lesson would be too much to cover for a typical five-year old in my opinion. I try to aim for thirty-minute lessons. We still haven’t actually gotten into the drawing lessons yet. We’re still learning how to look and identify parts of the picture.

This week I gave Lily her chart for the Elements of Shape. Using the Monart method a picture can be broken down into these five elements of shape.
  • The Circle Family- anything roundish that is empty with no color. (i.e., the top of a glass, looking through a paper towel roll.)
  • The Dot Family –anything that is roundish that is fill in with color. (i.e., a coin, the bottom of a cup)
  • The Straight line Family – a line without a bend. (i.e., a yardstick)
  • The Curved line Family – a line with a soft bend. (i.e., a rainbow, the letter “C”)
  • The Angle line Family- a line with a sharp bend. (i.e., a spider’s leg, a staple)
Our lesson consisted only of illustrating the different elements of shape. We discussed each element of shape and then spent time drawing it. Throughout the next week we will move around in our environment, look at a picture, and analyze what we observe to see what elements of shape we can find while we look at the objects.
This lesson was difficult due to circumstances and not content. It is very important to have minimal distractions and I had a baby crawling up my knee and time running against me. I hope to plan better in the next lessons to give us a better experience. I, personally, am impressed at my ability as I begin to draw two dimensional objects by breaking the image down into these elements of shape.
Next week I will introduce Lily to a few different warm-ups that we will complete before each drawing lesson.
Just for fun, here are a couple of Lily's "pre-drawing lesson" drawings.
She drew this looking at the back of a marker box.

This is the bird she drew after watching me do the first lesson for Drawing with Children on my own.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Week Two Review: Still Tweaking

This week I continued to tweak my original plan a bit. I notice as the days go by I become more and more relaxed and remember that one of the reasons we want to homeschool is flexibility. I’m gradually doing away with a firm schedule of subjects to cover on particular days and flowing more with what the day allows depending on the circumstances. I am also realizing the importance of getting into Charlotte’s actual books more on my own to understand her philosophy better.

During week 2 we covered math (writing numbers 0-20), a reading lesson (word building with –ug, -it and review), handwriting, and catechism daily. Along with our catechism we are memorizing the Nicene Creed. Which we are all still working on...except Lily, who I’m quite sure could memorize the entire Constitution and Amendments if it was read to her a few times. We also sang our hymn before, during, or after breakfast. I found this version I like particularly well.

Piano is also an every day “must-do.” She is continuing to pick it up quickly and I can see her confidence building.

For our arts studies, we looked at a couple of pictures in Come Look with Me by Gladys Blizzard. I highly recommend this book and will probably buy it.  We listened to The Carnival of Animals on Friday before rest time and read pieces of My First Book of the Orchestra by Peter Smith. (Which I can't find a link to on Amazon and makes me even more thankful for our living books library!)

I ditched Little Pilgrims History because it seemed too text-booky...yes, I know that is not a word. We read two chapters out of Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans and enjoyed this book more than LPH.

Geography has been X-ed out temporarily. I was kind of just flopping around aimlessly and have decided to just do it briefly along beside history pointing out different places in our readings. I hope to combine Lily and JJ next year and do Paddle to the Sea and a more AO-like geography.

In Science we are on Day One of Creation and are studying light. We spent a day tracing our shadows on the driveway at different times to see how they changed as the sun moved across the sky. Lily then drew a picture for her Creation Notebook. We are continuing our study of the moon phases this month and have located the North Star. We also got to spend a couple of days playing in the creek and that’s just Nature Study disguised as fun!

Lily only did the Spanish app a couple of days this week. I hope to find some way to get foreign language in because I think this is the best time to learn a new language. However, it is not a priority or a necessity in our life.

We will finish up All of a Kind Family this upcoming week. With our literature readings and our other readings, I’m holding off on narration. Lily is only five and the CM approach would say wait until they are six. Even when she turns six I plan to only do one a day or even every other day and gradually work her into it. I can tell what we read is settling on her little brain by her comments on the book when we pick it up the next day or the questions she asks when we are reading a new chapter.

And that I believe was our week! (Other than art, which I will post about later.) JJ is doing great keeping himself occupied with his “school only” Playmobil(r) Roman Coliseum and Anna is just meandering aimlessly around prayerfully staying out of things. She has school activities to keep her busy, she just can’t manage to pay attention for five minutes or not dump them out everywhere. She is doing MUCH better than the first week though.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Drawing with Children Lesson 1 Part 1

We found some time on Saturday to do our art lesson we weren’t able to do on Thursday. Nate was home and the other children were napping so it was the perfect opportunity for Lily and I to get thirty minutes of quiet time. I hope to journal our way through the lessons because this isn’t a “open-your-book-and-draw” type of art lesson.

Briefly, I’ll just explain that Drawing with Children uses the Monart Method for drawing. If you want to know more about this particular method, the book has an excellent explanation on the theory behind it. You could also just follow THIS link.

I am using Donna Young’s breakdown of the lessons in Drawing with Children for guidance. If you own the book, you will find it can be very overwhelming and confusing to figure out exactly how to teach each lesson. I’ve owned the book for a year, have read up to and through Lesson 1 twice during that time. I was so grateful to find Donna’s lesson plans for the book.

Our first lesson was to determine Lily’s starting level. I pretty much knew it would be Level 1, which is appropriate for five year olds. However, I allowed her to “test” through Level 2 to see how she would do. I was very surprised. Below are photos of her results. She did very well on Level 1 and almost completed Level 2. The starting level exercises are to duplicate the general structure of the image with the same components. Exact size and confidence of line are not important. Each image gets progressively harder as you can see. The top line is what she was duplicating in each of the lower lines. I made our own sheets with more space to give her an opportunity to fix it if she didn't like it.
Level 1 Exercise

Level 2 Exercise
After determining her starting level, we experimented with our supplies. We are using broad tipped color markers, fine tipped color markers, and a couple of very fine tipped black Sharpies. I hope to eventually buy some better supplies, but I thought starting out what we have is sufficient.
The purpose of this exercise was to see the different techniques the different markers can make. For example, do they blend and smear together? Do they make thick lines or thin lines? What happens when you use the side of the marker? What happens when you hold the top tip down on the paper for a few seconds?
We “experimented” for a little while. We had to make an agreement not to make any particular shapes but to just scribble lines. After a little while I caught Lily making hearts so we finished the exercise and she made a note for her daddy since all the supplies were already out.

I still have high hopes for the lessons in this book. And did I say how surprised I was at Lily’s duplicated drawings?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Kindergarten- Week 1: Our First

We have officially finished our first week of school. Truth be told, we had a very rough start. The two year old wasn’t having it. When attempting “room time” she knocked the baby gate down twice trying to get out. The pipe cleaner and bead activity I had for her resulted in dumped out beads and beads in the mouth. She lost her privileges needless to say. Each day got a little easier along the way and before I knew it, I praised my sweet two year old for how well she did during school that day. I say we still have some rough days ahead but all is well and it is all worth it.

Through the first week, I noticed things that I needed to do differently or leave out. I’ve noticed on most days my daily check off list is not completely finished and I’m actually OK with that. I could see Lily getting considerably tired through the afternoons and realized I needed to back up and ease in a little. She even took over a two-hour nap on Thursday and skipped drawing. That’s big because art was for sure going to be her favorite part. (Actually much to my surprise, building things with science is going to be her favorite part. I’ve even considered dropping everything and just building stuff. She asks every day!)

Lily, 5, playing with her baby doll after school

We managed to do scripture memory and catechism, math, a reading lesson (word building with –at, -en), handwriting, and literature reading every day. She made a 100 on her first math test, which is great! We did place value and that just seems hard for her little brain.

 For science she started her creation notebook for 106 Days of Creation and read Yellow and Pink. After reading we talked about evolution.

For history we began reading History for Little Pilgrims. We didn’t finish the chapter as I only have it scheduled for one day a week. I’m considering dropping it and just reading a chapter from Stories of Great American for Little Americans once a week. If I do this, that chapter will replace our literature reading for the day.

We also did a quick geography lesson by completing a floor puzzle of the United States and reviewed what a compass was and direction.

We met Edouard Manet and listened to Peter and the Wolf. We also read Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes (I keep catching JJ staring at Concert in the Tuileries that is hanging on the fridge. :) ) I introduced our hymn of the month, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. They all loved having their own sheet music and sang loud and proud during breakfast! We also managed to read poetry three days during lunch.

Lily played with an app on my phone for Spanish a few days. I actually let her do this on her own so she doesn’t feel so pressured. I really do see how her little brain is trying to grasp all this change of schedule and want to give her room to breath.

Lily had her first piano lesson this week! She was very excited and has picked it up very well. I’m not sure she thinks so and had a little “break down” on me yesterday during practice about how hard it was. We were able to have a discussion about not giving up and that it’s fine to mess up as long as we pick back up and try again.

We hope to do some observation of the night sky starting tonight for nature study. We’re going to record the moon phases and find the North Star.

I have been most impressed by Lily and JJ’s morning chores routine. They’ve been working on getting dressed, making their beds, and cleaning their room all before breakfast. After breakfast, they’re clearing the table, brushing their teeth, and each have an assigned chore to complete. They have really been doing an exceptional job at this. Habit training is a very necessary part of a Charlotte Mason education and we have much needed work in this area! We are also continuing work on the habit of obedience.
Although we had a rocky start, I’m very pleased with our first week. Getting it all recorded makes me realize how much we actually accomplished. My goal is to give my children a feast of ideas to make their own relations with the world around them. I believe God has given us a good start and my prayer is the Holy Spirit will plant the seeds of knowledge in their minds and hearts!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

2013-2014 Year Overview

The following is an overview of our upcoming year. For those not familiar with Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education this may seem a bit much for a six year old. Keep in mind, lessons are short and only certain subjects are covered everyday.


Single-digit add and sub; calendar
Math U See Alpha, blank monthly calendar
Word Building
CM based reading
Beginner Reading practice
Delightful Reading
Trumpet of the Swan
All of a Kind Family
The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

106 Days of Creation

Nature Study
Handbook of Nature Study Grid and ebook
History for Little Pilgrims
History for Little Pilgrims, supplement with CLL
Study US map as we read, puzzles
Continue to copy letters in print
Introduction to cursive strokes
Start Write
Oral narration
Scripture Memory and Catechism
Gospels and continue morning memory box
Selected poetry at lunch (Milne, Stevenson)

A Child’s Garden of Verses

When We Were Six
Physical Ed
Time outside

Drawing with Children Mona Brooks

Picture Study
John Singleton Copley
Eduard Manet
The Hudson River School: Cole, Church, Cropsey, Durand (American)
Composer Study
Instrumental Lessons
Tuesdays w/ Dr. Bart
Foreign Language
Life skills
Little Keepers of the home
Hymn Study
(See Liberal Arts schedule)


Liberal Arts Schedule 2013-2014

Term 1:

q       Picture Study: Edouard Manet (French Impressionism)

o       Week of August 5: Concert in the Tuileries

o       Week of August 19: The Old Musician

o       Week of September 2: The Races at Longchamp

o       Week of September 16: The Fifer

o       Week of September 30: The Railway

o       Week of October 14: Le Bar au Folies-Bergere

q       Art: Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks

q       Composer Study: Symphony, Bernsteins Favorite Children’s Classicss CD

q       Piano: Dr. Bart Tuesdays

q       Hymn Study

o       August: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

o       September: When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

o       October: Holy, Holy, Holy

Term 2:

q       Picture Study: The Hudson River School: Cole, Church, Cropsey, Durand (American)

o       Week of November 4: Niagara

o       Week of November 18: Heart of the Andes

o       Week of December 2: Kindred Spirits

o       Week of December 16: Autumn – on the Hudson river

o       Week of December 30: The Oxbow

o       Week of January 13: Childhood, Youth, Manhood, Old Age (Thomas Cole series)

q       Art: Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks

q       Composer Study: Ballet, The Nutcracker

q       Piano: Dr. Bart Tuesdays

q       Hymn Study

o       November: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

o       December: Joy to the World

o       January: Alleluia, Sing to Jesus

 Term 3:

q       Picture Study: John Singleton Copley

o       Week of February 3: The Red Cross Knight

o       Week of February 17: Saul Reproved by Samuel for Not Obeying the Commandments of the Lord

o       Week of March 3: The Nativity

o       Week of March 17: Paul Revere

o       Week of March 31: Watson and the Shark

o       Week of April 14: The Death of the Earl of Chatham

o       Week of April 28: The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 1782

q       Art: Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks

q       Composer Study: Opera Introduction, Pet of the Met, other picture books, Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’

q       Piano: Dr. Bart Tuesdays

q       Hymn Study

o       February: And Can It Be

o       March: Crown Him with Many Crowns

o       April: It Is Well with My Soul