Saturday, November 12, 2011

Creating an Atmosphere of Learning

We have revamped our homeschooling. It was going well, but seemed a bit rushed and forced to just finish. I spoke about character study and Charlotte Mason style a while back. I have always loved her method but never fully put it into practice.

So, I took a few weeks just getting in Bible, math, reading, and writing to really explore CM and this time apply what I was learning.

We started about 2 weeks ago, and are days have been SO much nicer. The work is gentle and fun for all of us. It's a perfect fit.

We still get up and do chores first thing in the morning along with breakfast and Bible reading.

Reading and Copywork
(We dropped Explode the code, because after 2 years, my son was starting to hate it. We had already finished our first ETC book of the year, I didn't buy the next one).
*While we do this, I play our hymn and composer of the month in the background, simply saying the name of the song or composer and just listening while writing). This has added to a pleasant atmosphere to learn.
Our composer study found here
Our Hymn Study Found Here
We enjoyed Dear Lord Father of Mankind the last few weeks.

We also loved the folksong: The Ash Grove

I have him read small books or poems and write them from memory sentence by sentence. He also copies scripture.

We are working through Delighful Reading. He is doing so much better with this approach!

We have started MEP (Mathematics Enhancement Programme) free online math. I printed the year 1 lessons and we've been doing a few lessons a day. It's pretty easy for Tristin, but we do come across some things I find is good for him to work on. We still supplement with Singapore Math.

We have still been reading the books I had lined up for History this year.

The boys absolutely LOVE reading these books. I have him narrate back to me.

We have pretty much dropped any Science curriculum. We are sticking with Nature Study and Ambleside's schedule and are stuying mammals as we go.

We do have science afternoons or evenings to do experiments and such.

I picked up English for the Thoughtful Child for a few bucks. I had a hard time deciding between that and First Language Lessons. I decided to stick as close to the CM style for now and see how we like it. A few lessons in and Tristin is doing great! We are doing it orally for now. It's gentle and simple enough for him to comprehend, but teaches a lot more than I would have imagined.

Art and Fine Arts Study and Geography

I have to admit I haven't done much at all with these. We are slowly working it back into our schedule.

Reading List

The Aesop for Children

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare

Parables From Nature

Little House in the Big Woods

We have read or are currently reading:
Charlotte's Web
Peter Pan
A Child's Garden of Verses

We are also saving to buy a Kindle

I know! We love books and building a library, but I read a post by Quinn about all the free books you can get for the Kindle that are on my list. Plus when we bring Jaiden home for school, this will be nice to have him sit and listen while I work with the other boys.

Just for fun Reading List
Heidi over at Mt. Hope Chronicles has a great book list. Definitely books our boys will love!

Habit Training
We are continuing right along in our habit training. Here is a great article on habit training.

We are still working on ABC's, 123's, and shapes etc. Mostly through reading and some crafts. He is mostly learning through just living through our daily lives. We do chores, color, read, cook, and play. He is learning a lot and is happy.

This is one of my favorite videos of why I love Charlotte Mason's method so much. I do love homeschooling, but this school looks dreamy, and Fredericksburg (here in Texas) is one of my favorite places on earth! It sets a pleasant tone that inspires me in my own home.

If you are interested in reading more on the Charlotte Mason method, please stick around! I'll be posting more about what we're doing. For now, you may want to read these wonderful articles about it:

Charlotte Mason @ Practical Pages

Jimmie's Squidoo articles are always a huge help

Reformation Acres' CM series is always a delight.

And of course Ambelisde Online


Heather said...

I loved this post, Jeana. Very helpful and fun! I love seeing a glimpse into your day and how you do things. I just purchased the CM DVDs because they looked so simple and lovely. Although we do quite a bit CM style, I feel I need even more simplicity. Thank you!

Liz @ said...

yes! post more about what you are doing!!! :)

i am still searching and learning all the different homeschool styles. i have a friend that loves and teaches by the charlotte mason principles.

Kari said...

Our children are still too young to begin actual schooling, but my husband and I are seriously considering homeschooling when they reach that age. I enjoyed this post and all the information you gave!

It makes me excited to homeschool =)


Tricia said...

Great post Jeana. I too have slowed down the pace of our school curriculum and was bouncing ideas around in my mind to blog about it. We slowed down a lot while we were traveling recently, and I enjoyed the slower pace. And I think my boys grasped so much more. Thank you for the inspiration!


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