Friday, April 1, 2016

Charlotte Mason Spring Term 2016

We are at the end of our spring break week at my house. It's hard to believe that there are only two more months left of the school year! It feels like there is still a lot to accomplish, but the time off has been productive. My mom has been visiting and continuing a cleaning and decorating project of miraculous proportions in Beezy's bedroom. In her closet I found these zoological picture cards from the 1970s that I bought years ago at an antiques show, which I think were produced by Time-Life. Some of you may remember them. There is a picture of an animal on the front, and on the back its classification information and other pertinent details.

I have organized them all and plan to use them for nature studies. I'll have Beezy do a picture study and read the information on the animal, then draw it and write a narration in her nature notebook. Also this week while antiquing I found a fabulous book on the U.S. National Parks, a topic we have explored this year in the wonderful A Child's Geography of the World (Hillyer). I had a fun conversation with my dad about geography and history while looking at the globe at my house. My parents are well-traveled, but I didn't know Dad had such a strong interest in history.

I was so excited by these events that I reorganized our entire homeschooling bookcase! Everything is now arranged by subjects. On the top are literature, writing, and art books; plus our math workbook, the American Girl health book, Spanish flashcards and workbook; the clipboard we use on a daily basis, and my notebook for record keeping. The middle shelf is for nature studies and science, with all of the Time-Life animal cards in the cute boxes. Not visible is an edible chemistry kit. The bottom shelf has everything we need for religion, history, and geography. The drawers contain math manipulatives, prayer books, and other smaller items.

I don't think I will actually have to buy too many books for next year at all. That is the beauty of a Charlotte Mason education. Many books can be used over a period of years. I have given an update of our current loop schedule. Not too much has actually changed, but one notable is the working of more Bible reading into the curriculum. I have reverted back to Spanish instead of French for our foreign language. I know, I'm a flip-flopper! But I was inspired hearing the Spanish teacher, a native of Mexico, speak in her beautiful accent at the Catholic school where Beezy takes a la carte art and gym classes. I may have her take Spanish there next year as well.

Please feel free to ask anything about this schedule and how it is used in the Charlotte Mason method in the comments section below! And happy spring!!

Daily Core:

- Reading: Book of Gratitude (Seton) or Rover (Jackie French, Viking historical fiction) 
- Math lesson
- Piano practice
- Literature read aloud: Saint Isaac and the Indians (for lesson time, with oral narration and/or   
   discussion); Anne of Windy Poplars (bedtime)     
- Old Testament: Psalms (opening reading) and Proverbs (closing reading)

Writing Loop:
- copy work
- dictation
- grammar workbook
- written narration
- cursive writing (Seton Handwriting 3)

Extended Loops:

Religion Loop:
- The Baltimore Catechism
- The Rosary in Art (picture studies, Seton)
- New Testament Bible reading (Rosary mysteries and decade prayers);
   John 21 & 22 and the Acts of the Apostles
- Saints: The Saint Book (Newland) or Journeys with Mary (De Santis)

Humanities Loop:
- Nature Notebook: zoological cards or The Story Book of Science
- A Child’s Geography of the World and map work or visual enrichment
- Memory work/recitation
- The Care & Keeping of You (American Girl, health)

Tea Time Fridays:  Spanish, poetry, and music appreciation

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

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