Our 2015-2016 Homeschool Curriculum {Charlotte Mason/Classical}

 photo 12861f5a-649e-4a7d-910b-a74c05ecd4d7.png

This marks our third year homeschooling. It’s a learning process each year as I try to find what works best in our current season, but I continue to be drawn to both the Charlotte Mason and Classical approaches because of my love of good literature and the variety of subjects presented to the children.

I’ll share what curriculum we’re using for 2nd grade, Kindergarten, & Preschool later in the week. For today, I want to share what we’ll be doing 4 days a week with all 3 learners. 

Homeschool Curriculum 2015-2016 {Charlotte Mason/Classical}

This year we will primarily be using Ambleside Online’s free online curriculum, which is “designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own schools” with some Classical elements added in. Last year we went through Year 1 in first grade, and this year we’ll be starting Year 2 since Kate will be starting second grade.

While we school year round, I have broken our academic year into 4 terms, by season: August-October (Fall), November-January (Winter), February-May (Spring), and our Summer term from June-August. We take a week off between terms to rest, play, clean house, go for appointments, and to plan for the next school term.

I have divided our curriculum into 2 categories: (1) the subjects we do together and (2) those subjects we do separately. I’ll share with you the curriculum we’ll be using for independent subjects later this week or next.

Content-Rich Subjects:

These are the subjects and lessons we do as a group with all of the children (except the baby of course) participating. I’ll refer to these as our content-rich subjects because they provide the bulk of the content we’re learning. These subjects include Bible, Morning Time, Latin, Read-Aloud Time, and our Afternoon Learning Loop.

Bible – Daily

Every morning before we start school we begin with Bible. All of my children sit on the couch (except the baby) where we sing hymns, pray, recite memory verses, and read our Bible story. This year we’ll continue using Bible Road Trip. We were in the book of 1 Samuel when we last stopped, and I’m eager to get started with this program again. (To find out what Bible Road Trip is and how we use it with our little people, read this post and this one.)

On Wednesdays, we participate in Community Bible Study where my children attend Bible classes, and I facilitate a small group of ladies. This year we’ll be studying Isaiah.

Morning Time – 4x/week


Just after Bible we move into Morning Time. The two could be combined, but I really think it’s important for the children to see the significance of daily worship. Morning time this year consists of:

  • Calendar
  • Poetry
  • Memory Work
  • Shakespeare
  • Subject on the loop (History, Geography, Science)

Morning Time generally lasts 45 minutes to an hour. During this time, we discuss the days of the week, weather, upcoming holidays, and anything else pertinent. We read one poem from this book. Then, we work on memorizing and reciting the poem we’re learning for the month as well as any history facts. Next, we read a few pages from our Shakespeare book. Finally, we spend the last 30 minutes on the subjects on the loop: History, Geography, and/or Science.

The goal of the loop isn’t to do all three subjects every day — I doubt that would even be feasible — but to move from one subject to the next each day. For example, if we do History one day, then the next day, we’ll move on to Geography, and the next day, we’ll do Science. Then, we’ll start our loop back over again with History. In the past I have assigned specific days of the week to History and Science, and for some reason, we never got to Science. Putting the subjects on a loop ensures that doesn’t happen. We just keep moving forward regardless the day of the week. Does that make sense?

For History this year, instead of Story of the World, we’re using the books recommended by AO. I do really like SOTW, but I want to be consistent and use exactly what AO suggests — at least for this term. We’ll see how it goes.

Here are the books for History we’re using:

For Geography, we’ll be reading:

For Science, we will be reading through Thornton Burgess’s The Burgess Animal Book for Children and using our field guide to North American mammals for further research.

What I like about AO’s book recommendations is that they’re living books, meaning they aren’t dry old text books but real works of literature.

Latin – 4x/week

Another subject that’s new to us this year is Latin. This would be the Classical side coming out. Although most “people” don’t recommend starting Latin until 3rd or 4th grade, I had a bazillion years of Latin and LOVE it. Plus, we’re going to use a really FUN curriculum with music and a DVD and games that I know the girls will enjoy. It is a gentle introduction to the language.

We’ll be using Song School Latin 1. I’ll let you know how we like it.

Read-Aloud Time – Daily

Read-Aloud1

Every afternoon before naps and quiet time have a 30-minute read-aloud time. This year we have a list of books to read each term. I’ll be sharing those soon. I’ve found that having assigned books to read helps us avoid some of the junk my kids pick up at the library on their own. They can read that stuff during other times of the day but not during RA time.

Afternoon Learning Loop – 3x/week

After naps and quiet time, we have a snack and work on subjects in our Afternoon Learning Loop, namely Art, Music, Folk Song, Spanish, Nature Study, and our Timeline. Just like with our Morning Time Loop, we work for 10-15 minutes on a subject, then move on to the next one on our list. The next day we start with the very next subject so that we go through the entire loop at least one time per week.

The Afternoon Learning Loop is shorter, at 30 minutes, because I want the afternoons to be free for the children to play.

Art

Music

  • Learn about the parts of the orchestra using this book as well as visiting our local orchestra for real-life experience
  • Studying AO’s recommended composers, their music & lives: Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, and Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina

Folk Songs

We will be listening to and learning the AO recommended Folk Songs. This may sound hokey but it’s really fun. Last year we learned “Barbara Allen” and my kids still ask for the Art Garfunkel version. You can find all these songs easily on YouTube.

Spanish

Eventually, I want to invest in Rosetta Stone, but for now, we’re going to start learning vocabulary words using this book.

Nature Study & Timeline – 1x/week

We will do both Nature Study and Timeline on Fridays. Fridays are my days for catching up on assignments we didn’t get to during the week, but primarily, they’re more restful, relaxing days. We like to have tea parties, go on nature walks, read good books, and just slow down on Fridays, so Nature Study and Timeline work will fit nicely.

  • We’re going through Handbook of Nature Study‘s 10 Outdoor Challenges. We’ll be making Nature Notebooks, using Comstock’s book as our primary text.
  • This year we’re starting our first Timeline. I want the children to have a cohesive understanding of the world, and a timeline will help them visualize what happened when. I’ve modeled ours after Celeste’s from Joyous Lessons. It’s a Binder Timeline. Very simple and inexpensive to make and a great way to record the important events and people we learn about throughout the week.

Whew! That seems like a lot — and it is! As with everything, we will commit each day to the Lord and be obedient to His will. If we are doing too much, then we will cut something out. If we need rest, then we will spend the day reading good books. Learning goes on daily, whether I am providing instruction or not, because God has created our children to be learners, giving them a natural curiosity and a desire to know and understand more. So I will rest in that.

In the coming weeks, I will share our homeschool curriculum for each of my students.

Additional Curriculum by Grade Level

(to be posted in the coming weeks)

Gentle preschool

Kindergarten

2nd Grade

What does YOUR school year look like?

Keri.Signature

This Post Has Been Viewed 987 Times

Get email updates & exclusive subscriber freebies

Comments

  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  2. It sounds like you’ve got a great plan! I’ve never really dived into AO, but I’ve heard wonderful things. We will be using SOTW as part of our history this year, we just finished Song School 2, and we are currently reading the Burgess Bird Book. Those are some similarities I see in our plans =) I love how you prioritize read aloud time! Thanks for linking up to Trivium Tuesday!

    • Thanks, Amy! We have used SOTW in the past and really like it, so we may be switching back. I’m trying to be consistent across the board with using AO at least for our first term. We are excited to start Song School Latin! Thanks for your link-up.

Trackbacks

  1. […] addition to her daily work, Annabeth will also sit with her sisters for the Content-Rich Subjects like Bible, Morning Time, Latin, Read-Aloud Time, and Afternoon Learning. It’s amazing what […]

  2. […] will do all the Content-Rich Subjects listed including Bible, History, Geography, Science, Latin, Literature, Nature Study, Read-Aloud […]

  3. […] do all the Content-Rich Subjects listed including Bible, History, Geography, Science, Latin, Literature, Nature Study, Read-Aloud […]

  4. […] we transition into a new school year, we’re getting back into our daily reading and read-aloud times, and I can’t think of […]

  5. […] though, we take a more relaxed approach to our studies, and memory work is not stressful. As Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, I try to present my children with a feast of ideas and use (limited) curriculum that encourages […]

  6. […] posted our 2015-2016 curriculum back in August, and since then, we have {of course} made some changes. I simply cannot continue […]