I was tempted to name this post homeschooling-on-the-cheap-2.0, but I didn’t because I realize that because I already had a lot of the resources listed and even though it’s still going to be very cheap for anyone to do this exactly, (it’s next to nothing for us). Plus I wanted to focus on the Charlotte Mason-ness of it all. Firstly, if you do not know who Charlotte Mason is, take a look here: What is CM?. In short though, Charlotte Mason was a Christian British Educator that believed that Education was more than Education but it was a Discipline, a Life, an Atmosphere. So, In essence it’s a lifestyle over a curriculum. I’ve loved Miss Mason for many years know and am learning more through her writings and my Charlotte Mason Peers and Elders. So, there are a few things I adding this year that we didn’t get to in the last and hoping for a really well rounded CM Education this year. We will call last year our Grace Year because there was a lot of Grace given and desired, so we have got to get on it this year with a better plan of action. I am also writing out this blog post not just for anyone who cares about Charlotte Mason-Year 2 but to help me to break it all down in my head for the very soon School Year. *AO means Ambleside Online. We use Ambleside Online as a Charlotte Mason guide and substitute only a few selections. Unless otherwise stated everything is from the Ambleside Year 2 Schedule and not from my own brain, just so you know.
Bible– We are going to stick with Gospel Story Bible and Long Story Short Devotional for this year and I may backtrack a little because we grazed over a few weeks quickly last year. The Bible and the Devotional are a wonderful tool for Parents wanting to paint the stories of the Bible truthfully and make beautiful connections from Old and New Testament. The Long Story Short version is for Old Testament and there is version for the New Testament, but it will be a while until we are there, although it teaches a lot of the New testament along side the Old, and that’s what I like about this study. We do use more of a Charlotte Mason-Narration approach with the reading and I use the questions as more of a guide. We will also be using Sojourn’s North Star Catechism for our Bible Memory Work and because I really wanted to go through a Catechism for Children with Emma so she has very clear answers to questions she may have or encounter.
Character– O.k. so most Charlotte Mason families do one Character per month to Study and move on. We’ve realized that just doesn’t work in the Benson Household, Soooo…We do one Character until Emma gets it, like really gets it and then moves on. Last Year towards the end of the year we we’re doing Obedience (Doing what you are told with a happy, submissive spirit). We talk about First-time Obedience here a lot and that is what is expected of Emma. Meaning that we don’t tell her time and again to do something, if she doesn’t listen that first time there are usually some light consequences that will come of that. TV is the first to go and let me tell that usually is enough. She has the concept down now and can tell me the meaning of Obedience and that is what is important, so we are moving on. Anyways, We will start the Year with “Contentment” (Happy with what I have), because we’ve got a bit of a whining problem in regards to not being happy with things and then move on to “Joyfulness”. The Definitions come the Child’s Book of Character Building.
History– This is where we differ with the AO schedule quite a bit because I needed something to ease into History with the last two years and the Beautiful Feet guides are very nice and just self-explanatory for this Mom-Brain. We bought the Early American guide two year ago and held it until last year to start and we are continuing in Jamestown. I usually borrow the books or find them used. You can purchase the book pack but I save a lot of money this way.
Literature– More Shakespeare this year with about six more plays, I already own the Lamb’s Shakespeare edition and we will just continue with that version because it tells the plays in story form. We are also still going through Parables of Nature but will let her listen to the Audio Books this year so I don’t have to read yet another book aloud. We will also be reading Pilgrim’s Progress, Robin Hood, Understood Betsy, and Wind in the Willows, which I’m excited about all of those selections.
Geography– We will use these free CM and Long’s Geography for the year based on the AO schedule.
Natural Science/ Nature Study-We will read the Burgess Animal Book along with Tree in the Trail and Seabird, both by Holling. We also be Nature journaling weekly together, we do Nature study at our yearly co-op and plan to review at home as well.
Copywork/Phonics/Reading– Emma is a slow-to-read child and that is ok, no guilt here. We do a reading lesson a day and intersperse copywork. Right now we have moved on from only doing the McGuffey’s Primer for Phonics/Reading to doing Explode the Code because she actually needed something a bit more worksheet-y, against all my CM judgement. It’s not as twaddle-y as I suspected and she seems to be really improving. We will still use readers like the Mcuffey’s Readers or Pathway Readers (just the readers, no workbooks) as we go through the year, but they are free or very cheap and I am not to worried at the cost. We will also start copywork in a copywork book, something like this from Simply Charlotte Mason. Math- We will still use MEP Math, which is a free program that is highly recommended, but I also ordered the first Life of Fred book called Apples and am considering rotating between the two for variety because the MEP math can get tiresome for us.
Poetry, Art and Composer: I combine all of these because we will be doing these at co-op and just reviewing at home. Our schedule for these are as follows (from the AO schedule): Poetry-Walter De La Mere, Shel Silverstein (this is a replacement for Witcombe-Riley), and Christina Rossetti, Art-Fra Angelico, Velasquez and Degas, and Composer- Hildegard Von Bingen, Children’s Classics (assorted classics for children), and Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Free Reads: We definitely plan on finishing a few Summer reads like Peter Pan and Mr. Popper’s Penguins beside that (from the Ambleside site) I am not sure if we will get to all these but we will try, we also own quite a few of these books already so between those, the local library and the local bookstore I don’t imagine the cost being that high:
Heidi by Joanna Spyri, A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney, Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Pied Piper of Hamlin by Robert Browning, Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry, Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater (currently reading), Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle, Chanticleer and the Fox (various authors), Along Came A Dog by Meindert De Jong, and The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
Handicrafts: I did a lousy attempt at teaching Emma sewing last year because we had a baby most of the year and things like Handicrafts and Piano took a backseat to Reading and Literature. We are going to start over this year with the Mary Frances Sewing Book. It’s online and free and reads like a Story Book that has sewing projects in it. I am going to put together a dedicated Sewing Basket for Emma but that will be the only cost. The file of the book is a scan of an old copy archived digitally and has a signature in it of the author, “For all the girls who love to make pretty things. Jane Eayre Fryer”, that’s just lovely.
Piano: We will continue with My First Piano Adventures, a fun hop through Piano basics and music reading.
Drawing: Kenny has recommended this for the year and since he’s also an atrist and pretty darn good illustrator, we are doing it. How to Draw Amazing Animals
Foreign Language: Spanish is our foreign language because Im Half-Latin and I really wished I was more fluent growing up. We will do a mixture of the Gouin Series we did successfully last year and Mango languages which is free through our local Library.
Well now that I completely overwhelmed you with all of that information I am going to tell you its not as hard as it seems, the AO schedule rotates readings and material and it really is very easy to follow. When it comes to putting my head on straight for the year and planning the order of the day, I go to this very wise post by Nancy Kelly, my favorite Charlotte Mason blogger: Our Schedule, Our Atmosphere. It’s a breath of fresh air and I’ll talk more about ordering the homeschool day as the year progresses. So take a deep breath friends and know if we cover only half of this material I think we are in a wonderful place still. I mean can you say you did half of this stuff in second grade? It really is a lovely education and Emma will be introduced to a lovely feast this year. Posts your thoughts and comments, I’d love to hear what you are doing this year.
You can see a visual catalog of all the resources on my Pinterest Board-Charlotte Mason- Year 2