It was only a little over a year ago that I began to read For the Children’s Sake and fell in love with Charlotte Mason. Susan Schaeffer Macauley had summed up what I had always wanted my homeschool to look and feel and sound like. But it sounded too lofty, too good to be true-especially for a mom of five living in rural Arkansas! With the help of A Delectable Education podcast, a consultation with ADE, and those fabulous scheduling cards I have slowly built our days to reflect those lofty ideals espoused by Charlotte Mason over 100 years ago. I truly love our new rhythym and feel a peace and satisfaction in our days that I have never had before.
As I reflect over our past #mediocrewholehog year I realize that our days tend to fall within 3 categories: according to schedule, off schedule, and scheduled interruptions. I thought it would be fun to show what a Charlotte Mason day looks life in real life! A few little details: I have five girls-two of them are in form 1A, one of them is in form 1B, and there are two little tagalongs. I had a consult with the ADE ladies and while I strive to implement Charlotte Mason’s philosophy and practices as faithfully as I can there is sure to be areas where I deviate due to my limited knowledge. I am not an expert, I don’t have it all together, and I am constantly tweaking our schedule as I learn more. Please don’t think your days should look like my days!
Today’s post will show a school day that has gone according to the schedule and then next week I will share an ‘off schedule’ day! This a compilation of pictures taken over many days but is a faithful interpretation. In any given week we have 2 or 3 of these days. They are wonderful days because my girls and I enjoy a complete feast!
So join me as a share a typical Tuesday in our life that has gone according to schedule.
We begin our day with breakfast and morning chores. The girls are very familiar with this routine-eat, dress, brush hair and teeth, and make your bed.
At 8 am CST the alarm sounds on my phone, and we all gather in our living room. We pray over our day then begin our Bible time. The 3 year old usually ends up in my lap, and the rest are on the couch. I have tried to instill that Bible time is reverant-we sit quietly and listen. No wandering around, no fidget toys.
French is next on our schedule. We review our series from Cherrydale Press, and then we turn to the laptop to help us with our poem “Dame Suri Trotte”. I found an audio file online for this. We then listen to “Brown Bear” in French. Sometimes we will end with a fun song like L’araignee Gypsie (Itsy Bitsy Spider).
Tuesday is for Music Appreciation. This term’s composer is Beethoven. We read a bit from our Mike Venezia biography and then listen to a bit of his music. There is usually dancing involved.
Time for the little girls to go play quietly. They usually choose to go outside. We live on 2 acres in the country so they are quite safe.
My older girls quickly transition to our school room and begin copywork. I let them choose the passages to copy. I stay close and watch for poor pencil grip, sloppy work, and that they are ‘visualizing’ the whole word. I truly cannot believe how much progress has been made this year in regards to their handwriting-particularly in my oldest.
Next up-Poetry and History! On this day my oldest reads us a few poems. Each day I pick a different subject for her to read aloud to us.
I scaffold our history lesson by asking the girls to recall what we read last and defining a few words we will come across in the text. Then I read a small section and choose someone to narrate. I read another section and the other child narrates. I call on them randomly as we go along. When it’s time to stop, we sometimes have a discussion or look at a map.
Math time! We use a Charlotte Mason math resource called Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Education. It has revolutionized our math time! They have boxes with manipulatives so they grab those and their notebooks, and we get started. Today we are working on money concepts.
Play break-Charlotte Mason truly understood children. She allowed for a play break in her already short morning lessons! I shoo them all outside and tell them to run, jump, and yell for 10 minutes. I prepare their snack while they play.
The older girls are called in to practice their recitation work. Today we are working on Psalm 100.
I let them eat their snack while I read geography. Our ‘tale’ this year is set in our state-Cotton in My Sack by Lois Lenski. We love this story!
Reading lesson for my 8 year old is next on the schedule. My 11 year old finds a quiet spot to read her historical fiction.
Our last subject for Form 1A is handicraft-needlework. Everyone joins in on this! Even the 3 year old. It is such an enjoyable time for us all.
I shoo everyone outside again and fix myself a cup of coffee. It’s my break time! I have found this short breather to be absolutely vital to my sanity. I always drink a cup of coffee. Then I either pop onto the Soirée group, return phone calls, check email, go for a walk, switch laundry, or just sit. Every day is different.
I call my Form 1B girl in to begin her lessons. My 5 year old always tags along. I include her the best I can without shortchanging my 6 year old. We start with her copywork lesson. And sometimes this happens.
Then we move on to reading the Charlotte Mason way.
Next we work through our math lesson!
Lunch Time! I keep it simple! Sandwiches, raw veggies, and fruit are a typical lunch for us.
As they eat I remind them of their afternoon occupations-practice instrument, make an observation related to our special study, draw something, and play outside. They are quick to run outside and play together.
I have my own afternoon occupations-bible reading, 10 minutes of Charlotte Mason, social media, and writing/research. Then I head outside and walk around our property.
At 2 pm we all head inside to do our afternoon chores. Everyone has a ‘zone’ that they are responsible for-except the 3 year old. She is our assistant.
Tea time comes next! Our current read aloud is Understood Betsy. I check in on the girls’ occupations and remind them that time is fading.
They all go back outside to play until supper time (unless they haven’t done their occupations). I prepare supper and do a quick social media check in.
After supper its bath and bed time. I read my novel, watch tv with hubby, and check in on the Soirée.
There you have it! A typical day in my Charlotte Mason life. But please do not be deceived! Next time I will share a day that has gone off the rails!
Tell me about what your “good days” look like!
And if you enjoyed this sneak peek into my day then check out our new Instagram account @cmsoireeathome!
Several of the Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook co-hostesses and I are sharing our days over there. My day to post is Tuesday! You can also follow me at @cminthenaturalstate for more Charlotte Mason inspiration!