Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A New Year, New Plans

I am moving more towards a Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling this year. I have always had a CM flavor to my school, but with the help of some resources I have recently come across I am going that way almost entirely

Simply Charlotte Mason This web site offers some great informational videos, and lots of resources. I am especially looking at two different areas;

Language Arts- Spelling Wisdom "Learn today’s 6,000 most frequently used words presented in the writings of great men and women of history! Now you can have the confidence that you’re teaching the words your student needs to know, using the Charlotte Mason method of prepared dictation.
  • Easy — Teaches spelling and punctuation in just a few minutes each week. (See our simple how to use Spelling Wisdom instructions.)
  • Thorough — Incorporates more than 12,500 words, including 6,000 most frequently used words in the English language.
  • Effective — Uses the tried-and-true method of prepared dictation, (study the phrase to be dictated over the course of a few days, practicing copying it, before doing the dictation) which Charlotte Mason endorsed.
  • Interesting and inspiring — Presents beautiful and fascinating ideas from great men and women of history that encourage and motivate children as they learn to spell the words.
  • Flexible — Allows you to progress at each student’s pace.
  • Saves Time — Can be used for copywork as well."
This "Spelling" curriculum gives beautiful phrases and quotes to use for dictation. Each word in each week's quote is studied to learn it's spelling. What I have always had a problem with is deciding what quote to use after the first day or two. This book takes care of that, carefully progressing from easy to hard.

 Using Language Well gives a grammar lesson to go with each spelling lesson in Spelling Wisdom. You need both the Student and Teachers books, but the three together forms a complete Language Arts curriculum. Since my grammar education was so lacking, I can't just pull grammar lessons together myself (though I've learned enough spelling rules to do that, sort of). I am hoping this curriculum will help us all since each lesson is used in "real life," instead of abstract workbook samples.

I am also interested in their Artist, Composer, and Poet studies.  The author put together all the resources you need to do each of these studies into one package. The Artist study come with prints of the artist's work and a biography. The Composer study comes with a CD of his music and a biography. The Poet study comes with the biography plus his best poems. The cost of these studies is about what I would spend on Amazon just for biographies, but these are laid out with Charlotte Mason's method in mind.Great deal :-)

A Modern Charlotte Mason- I will use this company as my guide for most of the other subjects. I won't follow it exactly, but it will help a lot in putting everything together. this author gives a layout per day for you to follow and check off as you do each item. She gives page numbers and narration ideas (draw? Oral? Write? Sketch?) as well as a very rich curriculum copying many subjects with several books that went on my person "to read" list as soon as I heard about them.

All Ages are included together, making it much easier for a mom of many. Each age group just has its own assignments.

The bundle also includes book lists, supply lists and many other helps.  (The online versions of her book lists has live links to the right books on Amazon.)

My Plain, Ole, Bible Study- We will continue with Bible study as we have done since my oldest was five. 
  • We all practice our memory verses, one at a time, outloud. 
  • We sing a hymn together.
  • I read a verse from Proverbs outloud and everyone either copies it or translates it into their own words, depending on their age.
  • I read a chapter from the Bible out-loud and everyone draws a picture and writes a caption of that chapter. (Actually, this is almost identical to what A Modern Charlotte Mason requires for Bible Study, but I was doing it long before her curriculum was ever written.)

So, I am changing things once again.  For the first time I feel confident I can actually pull together a CM type education in every area. I am really looking forward to startign our school year next week. :-)

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