Shortly after posting my weekly Charlotte Mason schedule for the current fall term, I began reading Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooer's Guide to Unshakable Peace. Sarah is a Catholic mother of six, and she writes at the blog, Amongst Lovely Things. Who wouldn't wish to have unshakable peace, yes?
Last night I encountered this idea of "looping subjects", and my world was rocked! As I mentioned in the previous post, I often end up doing a particular subject on a different day than I have planned in my schedule. I have been finding it very useful to have the schedule nonetheless, so that I make sure to work everything in during a given week. In reality, I have been looping and didn't even realize it!
Sarah explains on p. 41, "The concept of looping is simply this: Instead of assigning tasks to certain days of the week, list tasks and then tackle them in order, regardless of what day it is." In my opinion, it isn't even necessary to do them in order. Simply check each item off as you do it, and the next day choose another one from the list.
Sarah advocates using short loop schedules, with three to five items on each. You can also put an item in a loop more than once. I was up late last night working this out--so excited! I typed it up today and made copies for myself, so that I can start a fresh list each time I get through all the loops. Sarah says the time frame will likely be one or two weeks.
As you can see, my Daily Core items are reading, math, piano practice, literature read alouds, and writing, which has its own loop. The Extended Loops are for subjects in religion and the humanities, which are basically what remains to round out our liberal arts curriculum. You can read the details of the resources we use in the original schedule. Most likely, in addition to the Daily Core, we will include a task from each of the Extended Loops, for a total of seven subjects worked on per day. Today we did two in religion and none from the humanities. Sarah emphasizes that every subject does not need to be done every day, for the whole year long. Don't you feel more restful already?
In case you are not familiar with the "tea time" concept, that will be forthcoming in the next installment! I do hope this inspires you to create your own loop schedule. For ideas on how to accomplish such a thing with a large family that includes very little ones, get Sarah's book. I highly recommend it!!
American Cardinal Reader
Literature read aloud: Leif Erickson the Lucky (for lesson time, with narration and/or discussion); Anne of Green Gables (bedtime)
word making w/ movable alphabet and sentence writing
The Baltimore Catechism
The Rosary in Art (picture studies)
New Testament Bible reading (Rosary mysteries and decade prayers)
The Guiding Light (Old Testament Bible stories)
The Saint Book or Loyola Treasury
The Story Book of Science
A Child’s Geography of the World (or map work/visual enrichment)
Nature walk or nature notebook
The Care & Keeping of You
The Care & Keeping of You
Tea Time: poetry, music, Spanish, baking, correspondence, handicrafts
Religious Ed. Class at parish church on Wednesdays
Gym and art classes at Catholic school & piano lessons on Thursdays
Art, lunch and recess at Catholic school on Fridays