Monday, May 30, 2016

Fall 2016 CM Loop Schedule Prep

Today I worked out a loop schedule for the first term of our Catholic Charlotte Mason homeschooling curriculum for the fall. This might seem like jumping the gun, because May isn't even over yet. But after I wrote up my curriculum plans for submission to our local superintendent, and then added a few more things to it, there did seem to be quite a formidable list of books, despite my efforts to streamline. Then it occurred to me that this curriculum list could be used for the entirety of Level 3 in a CM education, which is grades 6 & 7, roughly ages 11 to 13. (See Mater Amabilis for guides to the levels.)

In other words, I can be thinking in terms of the next two school years overall. And when I decided to determine which books I would use to begin the first upcoming term, things suddenly seemed more manageable. I update my loop schedule whenever there is a change in books or materials being used, printing it out and checking off the items as we go along. The Writing Loop is part of the Daily Core, rotating through the five types of writing each week. The Extended Loops may take up to two weeks to complete.

For the coming school year I added a "morning basket" to the Daily Core, in order to be sure to work in poetry, art, and music appreciation, and some informal dancing. It still all fits on one printed page! And who knows, maybe we will accomplish everything on the curriculum list in one year after all. At any rate, the important thing is that I have a solid plan and a way to implement it, and I won't be worrying all summer about the logistics. So I hope this is helpful to those who are trying to work out a similar type of CM schedule, to see how all subjects can be fitted in. I look forward to feedback and questions in the comments section! 

Catholic Charlotte Mason Loop Schedule, 2016-2017 Term 1 

Daily Core: (open with prayer & devotions)

- Literature: King David and His Songs (Windeatt); Anne of Green Gables series (bedtime)  
- Morning Basket: poetry, music, & art appreciation; dance
- Book of Gratitude reader (Seton vintage reprint)
- Hamilton’s Arithmetic
- Piano practice
- Spanish

Writing Loop (using poems, hymns, prayers, Bible verses, and passages from reading books for copy work and dictation):
- copy work
- dictation
- grammar workbook
- written narration or letter writing
- cursive writing (Seton Handwriting 3)

Extended Loops:
Religion loop:
- The Baltimore Catechism
- The Rosary in Art (Seton): picture studies; Rosary prayers and mysteries from New Testament
- The Loyola Treasury of Saints or Journeys with Mary (De Santis)
- Bible History for Young Catholics (Old Testament, Seton)

Humanities Loop:
- Natural science: nature walks & nature notebook; animal classification cards; The Story Book of Science (Fabre)
- A Child’s Geography of the World (Hillyer) and map work/visual enrichment
- The Care & Keeping of You or The Feelings Book (American Girl, health)
- Fifty Stories from Ohio History (Martzolff)
- Memory Work

Gym & art classes at Catholic school; piano lessons; religious ed. class


  1. (Forgive if this is a repeat comment; first one isn't showing up for me.)

    I love planning ahead, too, and get giddy as I order and arrange everything for the fall.

    Upon your suggestion years ago, we've been reading Loyola Kids Book of Saints (and are about to move onto the next book, Loyola Kids Book of Heroes). I'm always looking for new things to incorporate into our lives! I am so curious about the book, Fifty Stories from Ohio. Is it this one?

    1. I already returned the book to the library, but I do believe the author is Martzolff. Next time I go there I will double check for you. Thanks for reading, Monica! Good luck with your planning!!

    2. Monica, just to confirm, the book is indeed Fifty Stories from Ohio History by Clement Martzolff!

  2. Thank you for this, but I have a very hard time "seeing " how the different loops work out. I will have a 4th , 6th and 9th grader (plus, my then 3 year old). Last year we started Morning Basket with everyone but somewhere along the first term I lost my daughter, who much rather read the assigned work on her own, rather than wait for me to be ready, (ie: helping toddler with various needs!!!!!) Maybe I can just use your suggestions for my almost 9 and 11 year old.

  3. It's really very simple, and once you get going with it, it will fall into place. It should work great with the 4th and 6th grader. I'm not to the high school level yet with homeschooling, but I think you could use loops in that case as well. I go the idea from Sarah Mackenzie's Teaching from Rest, which is an excellent book. Reading that might help the looping idea to make more sense. Good luck!


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