It's hard to admit it, but I have a bit of a problem. I love ALL the homeschool methods. I can't pick just one I love.
I have that Shiny Curriculum/Method syndrome. I want to try it all. Now.
Can you relate? Or am I alone...? *sniff sniff*
Last December I decided Charlotte Mason was our official, and final way to go.
I had seen Charlotte Mason in my early research of Homeschool methods and thought, "oh, that’s nice...," but I was determined to do Classical and ignored everything else.
Then classical didn’t work out for us.
That's a long, boring story. I still love the Classical Method though.
Then we switched to Unit studies, using Konos.
I really did enjoy using Konos. There were great things about it and things I didn’t like about it. Mostly, it came down to three deal breakers:
- Too much work upfront for me.
- Too much money for gathering up supplies.
- Too easy to fall behind.
Also, the kids were using me as a crutch.
Back to the research arena. Truth be told, I love and live to research.
I don’t even remember what brought me to Charlotte Mason, probably a fleeting thought, a touch of inspiration.
I loved learning about Charlotte Mason. Mr. Barlow says I only switched to it because Charlotte was British. If you didn’t know, I’m obsessed with England.
Not so, but it was a faint check in the pros column.
What was it that I loved about Charlotte Mason?
- Short lessons
- Classic, living books (Previously I would snort at that term. Living books? Get real.)
- Nature studies.
- Time set aside each day for their own projects and self-led learning.
It was a rich lifestyle that my family dearly needed.
Fast forward a few months and I started to really focus on getting my health under control. I had no idea what it was, something with my thyroid, at least. It could’ve been cancer (there was a nodule), it could’ve been hypothyroidism, or hashimotos, or worse. Well, cancer is pretty bad, obviously,
I wanted to keep homeschooling, but my energy and motivation levels were dropping rapidly. I was wiped out and worried. That’s not a fun place to be in. We were entertaining the thought of public school.
Which made me sick sick sick to think about.
To sum it all up… we are still homeschooling, but with some big changes.
We’re still going to do as much Charlotte Mason as my health and our lifestyle allows, but we’re going to be doing a lot more independent, self-taught learning.
I’m a big believer in self-teaching and independence.
I re-found Robinson Curriculum. I remember seeing it years back and thinking these people had lost their minds. Oh, what a silly girl I was… am.
Robinson Curriculum is where you focus on the 3 R’s - Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.
You are given a HUGE ginormous reading list for all 12 grades. They start at the beginning and get to reading. You dedicate 2 hours every day to reading, 2 hours to math, and 1 hour to writing. After that, you can add in whatever you want, within reason. He doesn’t encourage a lot of extra stuff.
You work up to that time, and younger kids don’t get that large amount of time to work.
Now, Charlotte Mason believes in short time chunks and build up to larger time chunks. This is going to have to be let go of.
What I’m NOT going to drop:
- Nature Studies
- Fine Arts
- Self-Led Learning Time (including handiwork)
What Our Day Will Look Like
7:00 Wake and Breakfast
10:00 PE + Snack
1:30 - 3:30 Extras/Self-Led Learning
We’ll meet up each day for Circle Time.
- Memory Work (scripture, poem, and song)
- ASL (practice/review outside of lessons)
Once (or twice) a week we’ll have Tea Time
- Classical Music
- Artist Study
Once a week we’ll have Nature Study.
Walk or hike somewhere and examine nature and draw a picture in our nature journals.
After that, they’ll work on piano and anything else they’d like to work on.
Electronics are limited to 1 hour a day.
We’ll be doing 1 hour of math and 1 hour of reading on Saturdays.
Robinson Curriculum says to do a full day of school on Saturdays, but I am not sure if we will do this.
We do have co-op for the older two on Mondays that lasts all day, so they won’t be able to do their extra stuff those days.
We’ll be tweaking the schedule a bit as we start it up, so look for that post later. But, since we’ll be short on time for Mondays we’ll definitely do some work on Saturdays.
I love Charlotte Mason. With five young kids it’s hard to do since so much of it has to be read aloud. It was becoming overwhelming and my throat hurt by the end of the day.
The thing I love about Robinson Curriculum is that you sit with your children as they learn. I don’t go off doing my chores while they’re working. I sit there and model proper behavior and work. This works perfectly for my blog and business as well. I can blog, create ASL materials, and transcribe while my kids are hard at work.
Plus, it allows for me some freedom to work quietly with Sweet Cheeks and play time with The Baby. Which is always awesome.
My kids are early risers so they’ll be done by lunch. After lunch they can do their own thing, plus any extras we have. It’ll leave us time for chores, cooking, exploration, and fun.
I’m excited to be able to marry the two needs we have: a quality education with greater independence and responsibility from the kiddos.
Now I've got some major planning and scheduling and prep work to do before we start up school again! Yikes! I feel so behind, even though, it really is only July.
Plus, we're starting Year Round this year so I need to figure out the final schedule for our terms and weeks off.
What method do you use? Do you use any bits of Charlotte Mason? How do you help your kids be independent learners?