Friday, August 27, 2010

Week 1: Charlotte Mason & the Newbie

Can you say sleep deprivation?! That's what the first week back to homeschool always means to me. We're night owls and its hard to switch your body from staying up til 2 am or whatever all summer and now getting up at 830 for homeschool. I am still going to bed way too late and wanting to take naps after our day is done! Hopefully I work that out soon.

Charlotte Mason method is a new concept to us. This was our first week trying it out. I was thinking it would be more like unschooling but I did a fair amount of prepping for our first week. Although now, I have us all set up for several weeks in advance. Okay, I say that, but don't have any illusions it won't all fall apart next week.

Enthusiasm Level:
Very high right now. We worked well for 4 days and now she has today (Friday) 'off'.' We did make plans: library visit in the morning and all afternoon board game playing but to her, that's 'off'. ' I know I will still be counting this day according to what subjects the games covered.

Week's Questions:
"How do you draw an ankh?"
"How would a mist come up from the ground? Is that like fog?"
"I was practicing J and F in typing and it says I have trouble. (me) What did you miss? (child) J and F."
"What is a wretch?"
"Can I learn Dari language? What about Greek?"
"Can I look up the Egyptian god of death?"
"What does ren-dez-vooz mean?"

What's Working:
Shorter lessons. Genius! My daughter may not like to do cursive (copywork) practice but she knows its only for a 1/4 hour so she is able to handle it. She's really enjoying the learning of new hymns, the foreign language and latin and the history book we're reading: The Door In The Wall. I also ordered some books on monks, nuns and a disc on gregorian chants we are going to listen to.

What's Not:
I find our hardest obstacle to overcome is the get up and go hour. We set a goal of up by 830, school by 900 and be done with everything by 245. That way the little one would have several hours in the afternoon for more reading, playing, inventing, baking, outdoor playing, library visits, etc... We are so not morning people! But we've stuck to the plan almost every day. Except for one day I woke up with a migraine and the little one did 2 hours of reading in the morning before I finally started her on the other schooling. She also did some of the things we have scheduled to do on her own, such as foreign language, typing, grammar and piano. All are on the computer and the piano. I like that there are subjects she knows exactly what to do and doesn't need me. Not that I don't like helping her and working along side her. But she is learning independence.

I'm thinking math time might need to be extended from one 1/2 hour slot in the morning to two 1/2 hour slots, one at the end of our day. I printed out worksheets covering the topics we learned last year. Kind of a review to get us ready for the next learning but at this rate of one sheet per day, we won't start 6th grade math until December! Gotta speed us up a bit.

Being a definite CM newbie, I'm only cautiously optimistic about how this week turned out. I'm praying that next week will hold even more exciting times and discoveries for us. I'll report again after week 2.

Some helpful Charlotte Mason links I've found:
Ambleside Online (free curriculum that closely follows CM methods)
Charlotte Mason & Dictation (also list of links)


Anonymous said...

Ok, here are my thoughts on your first week (and they are just *my* thoughts). We have done CM homeschooling for three years now and are starting our 4th year. I don't think we have ever had a school day run more than 2.5-3 hours, and that's often with more than one child. When I it was just my son in the beginning, we spent about 1.5-2 hours tops. So I am wondering where all this time is coming from?? We were doing Ambleside Online which is incredibly full and still finished up fairly quickly. I haven't gone over your schedule really, but perhaps there is just a bit too much. I worry about burn out.

Some subjects really only need to be covered a couple times a week. I am also not sure how old your daughter is...that does make a difference. My 5th grader is approaching 2.5-3 hours of work on his own now. Afternoons were meant to be primarily free for outdoor time and handcrafts.

So I am just curious really. I am going to go back and see what I can find of your days. :-)

Rhonda said...

We've used the CM method in the past and I love it. I'm too nervous about the upper years to commit to it at this point, but that's my own insecurities talking. I hope you have a wonderful year!

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