A CHARLOTTE MASON SUMMER
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO …
I’m preparing to teach my oldest son his first, formal year of school at home. In November, he will turn six.
Where did the time go?
I have been planning for this moment for many years and I’m beyond blessed to teach him his first year of school at home.
SUMMER TIME PLANS
In an attempt to ease into formal homeschool later this year, I’m going to begin to implement NOW some parts of his future formal education, yet in a fun and casual way.
Charlotte Mason calls this type of learning “by the way” (Home Education pg. 72).
All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. I HIGHLY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.
ELEMENTS OF EDUCATION
SUMMER MORNING SCHEDULE
+ Work on Morning Habits (Brush teeth, Make bed)
+ Read Bible Stories at Breakfast … My favorite Bible for Preschool Age Children
+ Free playtime
SUMMER AFTERNOON SCHEDULE
+ Nature Play and Free Time
+ Learn a few French and Spanish words each day … We use this audio French CD in the car
+ Free playtime
+ Clean up Toys Before Bed
+ Read Aloud at Bedtime … My favorite stories for preschoolers
OUTDOOR TIME BASICS
All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason.
“…the chief function of the child-his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life-is to find out all he can, about whatever comes under his notice, by means of his five senses; that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge got in this way; and that, therefore, the endeavor of his parents should be to put him in the way of making acquaintance freely with Nature and natural objects…” (pg. 96).
I love this quote because it takes the pressure off us Mamas to “entertain” the little ones. It is perfectly
fine NOT to keep up with the pressures of society that implore the youngest of children must be shuffled
around from activity to activity, as if they are adults! I believe it is more important to protect this sweet, innocent time for our littles…and allow them the freedom to explore, move, and be in nature as much as possible.
“…Never be within doors when you can rightly be without” (pg. 42).
Before I had heard of Charlotte Mason, we were already spending copious amounts of time outdoors. We
are fortunate to live on acreage, and we live in the country outside of Austin, Texas. There are so
many lovely nature opportunities that surround us – many that we have visited, and so many more that we
It is so calming and encouraging to spend time outdoors. We aim to spend time in Nature daily!
“As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child” (pg. 54) and “While he is quite young (five or six), he should begin to illustrate his notes freely with brush-drawings” (pg. 55).
My children are only four and five, and we have begun to keep a nature diary. However, I have not been
consistent with it, and I plan to work on more consistency throughout the summer. I was recently gifted the Diary of an Edwardian Lady and its a stunning example that I believe Charlotte Mason would have approved of! The book includes mostly notes from the author’s time in nature with beautiful watercolor illustrations. I look forward to keeping a diary of my own alongside my children!
“…I venture to suggest, not what is practicable in any household, but what seems to me absolutely best for the children; and that, in the faith that mothers work wonders once they are convinced that wonders are demanded of them” (pg. 44).
This quote is in response to the fact that children and mothers should spend four to six hours outdoors on
a tolerably fine day. We are currently not spending that much time in this Texas heat, but I do attempt for
us to get outdoors in the morning and we always take a walk in the evening after dinner. When the
weather is more mild, we spend much longer outdoors and its a blessing for ALL of us.
“…she will point to some lovely flower or gracious tree, not only as a beautiful work, but a beautiful thought of God, in which we may believe He finds continual pleasure, and which He is pleased to see his human children rejoice in” (pg. 80).
I delight in seeing how excited my children are when they discover a new flower outdoors! Occasionally,
it is nice to remark how beautiful God made the world. Its so amazing to hear my children talk about God
as if he is an old friend sometimes.
OUR FAMILY OUTDOOR TIME
1. Allow children one or two hours of free time to play and explore in nature daily. This is a great opportunity for ME to sit outdoors with them to read more on the teaching philosophies I will be implementing, prepare for lessons, write out meal plans, list of house chores, or simply read for pleasure.
2. Send them off to a sight seeing game to paint a mental picture of what they see…so they can hold the
image in their minds forever (about 15 minutes).
3. Observe the flowers, birds, trees, or insects. Watch the creatures’ habits and learn something new simply by paying attention for a few minutes.
4. Jot down any notes in our Nature Journals to remember.
5. Note the weather and date in the Journal.
FAVORITE NATURE JOURNAL AND SUPPLIES
- Nature Journal or Mixed Media Journal
- Watercolors or THIS beautiful, quality, and long lasting set
- Chalk Pastels or THIS higher quality version
- Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors (HINT: If you click on this link, make sure you click “Preview” to check out the preschool curriculum!)
Finally, here are my favorite Preschool Supplies all in one, comprehensive list.