“The mother is qualified,” says Pestalozzi, “and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child; … and what is demanded of her is––a thinking love ….Maternal love is the first agent in education.”
We are waking up to our duties and in proportion as mothers become more highly educated and efficient, they will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children during the first six years of life is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own. And they will take it up as their profession––that is, with the diligence, regularity, and punctuality which men bestow on their professional labours.”
I have found that many, many homeschooling moms want one thing: “Just tell me what to do!“ I’ve heard new homeschooling moms tell of their frustration because a veteran mom wouldn’t give her a detailed plan to follow.
I understand both sides. If you are one of those new homeschooling moms, it can be downright scary to suddenly find yourself solely responsible for the education of your children. Especially with so many people waiting to see how you do It’s natural to want a fool-proof plan!
But those who have homeschooled for a while know the danger in submitting a one-size-fits-all prescription. Homeschooling is not the same as a school program where everything does look similar, and all the students are squeezed into one mold. But we consider this an advantage and we want you to capitalize on that freedom too, not “hindering” you by offering a plan that may work for us but stifle you!
Still, we all really do need to have a guideline, at best, and sometimes it’s helpful to see another schedule or see how someone else fits a certain style into a workable daily plan.
If you would like to try to implement the Charlotte Mason method, you may consider looking at the following general guideline, but be sure to make it work with your family, your style and your time demands. Don’t forget…this is your freedom and there are many, many ways to properly educate a child!
Note: We aim to center most of our reading around a certain time period and study that time period for a while. Finding a good history book in a narrative form is a great place to start in pulling together your daily plan. You can also coordinate your artist and composer studies within that historical period.
Sample daily plan for the Charlotte Mason method:
Morning reading (gauge time to fit your ages…we let little ones color/play blocks, and older ones draw during this time):
- Book #1 read aloud–Could be a selected history book or missionary biography (this is what we are using for geography), or any other read aloud.
- Poetry reading (some find it helpful to read from an anthology, but poetry could be gleaned from any source)
Morning Chores-1 hour
Having a simple chart for each child to check off helps alleviate repeating and thinking about who needs to do what. Revisit chore responsibilities every few months if needed.
In our home, this means the three older ones do math, English, copy work and silent reading. Right now this silent reading covers science, and the two below my oldest are reading from Christian Liberty Press’ Nature Readers. (They will narrate after lunch.) The 6-year-old practices writing letters (general writing book) and reads aloud to me from her readers (CLP readers)
Little ones can color, be read to, play, etc. during this time.
Sometimes I read to them from a poem or another selected book during lunch; sometimes I just try to keep the peanut butter out of hair
Any seat work not finished gets done during this time, along with narration from science readers.
Book #2 read aloud–I usually choose a book for this time that is a bit more advanced since the little ones are napping.
Silent reading. This book is one each reading child has picked, with my help, to read on his own.
(Also my blogging time if time permits.)
This time may include one of the girls making bread for supper or helping the oldest with a sewing project. I try to encourage something productive. Legos count as productive. And on a rainy day, productive might be an educational video
Afternoon pick up before supper.
“Composer study” is not planned in; we simply listen to different composer, randomly throughout the week. But it is helpful on Friday to discuss a selected composer, his background, his era and geographical details.
This is a guide to us. It doesn’t mean we follow it strictly. From my personal experience, if we feel the need to strictly follow anything, it squelches spontaneous learning opportunities which are sometimes the best ones. If we get “off track” while studying one thing to study another, I don’t think of it as “off track” at all.
It helped me to construct our daily plan by writing down a list of everything I wanted to get done, and then find a place to fit it in. We change our schedule fairly often, as well, adjusting to family changes.
I will officially end the CM series here. But we’ve only scratched the surface!!! I would urge you to get your hands on the “Charlotte Mason Original Homeschool Series” (I think you can find the entire manuscript on line) and dig in. She has a wealth of information about all things parenting and children and I have found it an invaluable resource!