First, I share what thoughts I had as we finished up our first term in a Charlotte Mason education. Next, I write a list of living books we will use during the second term. Finally, I include Charlotte Mason exam resources.
Thoughts About our First Term
When we finished our first term exam week, I sat down and reflected on both how my son narrated what he knew, and I also thought about how I would like to personally push myself farther in educating him well. Here are the notes I came up with:
Subjects and Takeaways
Bible: In the beginning, I was most reserved about our Bible lessons. My fear came from within, because growing up, I did not read the Bible much. However, as we moved into our third week, I relaxed and found a groove. We looked forward to this lesson more and more.
- Takeaway: In the beginning, I was consistent in finding beautiful art pictures to go along with our Bible readings. However, I slipped in the last couple of weeks and didn’t present those beautiful images to him. So, I would like to bring that practice back.
Writing: We first focused on forming the letters – first the capital letters, and then the lower case letters. By the end of the term, my son was writing a few words and small phrases.
- Takeaway: I would like to continue to find encouraging and beautiful words from his school books for him to practice writing, and also begin dictation.
Nature Study: We had a good start to nature study. By the end of the term, we certainly were in a regular rhythm of stepping outdoors and taking a walk in nature daily.
- Takeaway: I would like us to develop a regular practice of nature journaling at least two times per week. Additionally, I plan to ask my son to specifically draw twigs, birds, and bugs he observes. Even thought we loved one of our nature study books, and didn’t quite get into another one, I felt like I may change to a different book for the change in season. Also, personally, I would like to read in the Handbook of Nature Study for ten minutes per day to help with the nature study lessons.
Math: I loved the math curriculum we choose. It is very open and go, which is nice to have as a busy mama.
- Takeaway: I feel like I may need to move slower and require full attention a bit more with this subject. I’m also moving the math lesson to earlier in the morning, so his mind is more fresh, and he is likely to pay attention a bit more. When we resume lessons, I plan to review math symbols with him and the concept of subtraction, until I feel he has a solid understanding of it.
Reading: We began by simply learning the sounds for letters – first the capital letters, and then the lower case letters. By the end of the term, we had moved onto making words together, and reading them. While this seems challenging for my son, we are enjoying it and he is recognizing more words in print.
- Takeaway: I plan to continue alternating learning sight words, and then word building, using words from previous lessons. I found this took a few minutes of planning the day before, but was fun for my son, for the most part, in his reading lessons.
French: French was fun to learn! I have to admit I don’t have any experience learning French, so I was rather intimidated in the beginning. However, we really enjoyed looking at pictures together, learning vocabulary, singing French songs, and listening to Little Red Riding Hood in French.
- Takeaway: Since we enjoyed the short story, I plan to continue using the same story until we finish it. Also, we will learn two new french poems and two new french songs this term, as well as new vocabulary.
Drawing: Drawing is a delight for my son and I to do together. However, that was no surprise to me!
- Takeaway: As mentioned before, I would like my son to draw twigs, birds, and bugs specifically during the winter months. Also, in general, I would like to encourage him to use charcoal and his watercolors more frequently.
Recitation: My son enjoyed reciting a poem last term, as well as a Christmas hymn and part of a Bible verse.
- Takeaway: We didn’t cover quite as much scripture recitation as I would like. So, I plan to make sure to focus a bit more on reciting Bible passages beautifully and carefully.
Literature: Anything that involves a good read aloud story is typically enjoyed by my family. My son really learned narration well with Aesop’s Fables and often asked for more and more of them.
- Takeaway: I would also like to instill a daily reading of poetry in the afternoon for fun. It is a delightful respite in our day, and I simply need to focus on making it happen daily. We will also add in new free read aloud books for afternoon time.
History: History was easily one of my son’s favorite lessons this term. The D’Aulaire Biography books were a favorite of his!
- Takeaway: While I did show him maps on occasion, I would like to be consistently show him a map/globe of what we will be reading through before the daily lesson. We will be also continuing with our History spine, Native American book, and add in a new Native American book to read.
Geography: Geography was another subject I was apprehensive about teaching in the beginning. I’m still a little nervous about it. However, my son seemed to really enjoy the books we read about other children living in far off lands, and we did look at the globe quite a bit in geography lessons.
- Takeaway: I plan to continue with a bit more focus on the afternoon lessons in Geography. First, beginning with observing the position of the sun, observing the weather, measuring our footsteps, talking about directions and beginning to use a compass. We did some of this last term, but it wasn’t as consistent as I would like.
Poetry: Although we read poetry often in the afternoons, I aim to include poetry teatime as a daily habit. My children delight in this time of reading a few good poems and maybe a chapter of a book together. Also, including snacks and tea is always helpful!
Some Subjects We Are Simply Changing Materials
Music Appreciation: We enjoyed listening to Peter Tchaikovsky immensely last term! We will simply continue with a new composer this term.
Picture Study: We are studying a new artist in the second term. I also thought we could perhaps visit our first museum.
Singing: Singing was such a delight in our days. We plan to continue in the same manner, just singing new songs for the new term.
Music/piano: My husband is a musician and a Recording Engineer. Since he is an expert in music, I asked him to teach my son piano lessons once a week. My intention was also to work with him at home most afternoons.
- Takeaway: Since my husband is extremely busy working, he didn’t give him lessons regularly. Therefore, I’m hoping we can keep our goal of piano lessons once a week, with me working with him in the afternoons at home.
Handicrafts: The handicrafts lesson was a joy for all of us. We really enjoyed having this break in the midst of harder lessons.
- Takeaway: We will continue some from the first term (origami, finger knitting, chores such as making bed, brushing teeth, putting away laundry), and add in new ones like folding laundry, wood working, and knitting or weaving.
New Books for our Second Term
Quick Note: this is not even close to a comprehensive list of books we are using this term. This is simply the new books we are adding in this term. Also, booklists are so subjective! Finding the right books for your child is so enjoyable and can make lessons joyous as well.
Nature Study: Burgess Bird Book for Children and Among the Meadow People
Read Alouds: Peter Pan, Pinnochio and Peter Rabbit (we are re-reading Pinnochio and Peter Rabbit!)
History: Children of the Earth and Sky
Geography: Carmen of the Golden Coast and Little Folks of Many Lands
Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson.
General Charlotte Mason Resources
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Educator Courses (free and amazing!)
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook Support/Discussion Group
- Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education
- Volume 2 Charlotte Mason’s Parents and Children
- A Delectable Education Scheduling Cards
- A Delectable Education Curriculum Templates
Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:
- A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson
- Our First Week in Charlotte Mason Exams
- 29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books
Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.
One stop shop for all of our favorite resources:https://www.amazon.com/shop/nourishedchildren
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. Finally, I TRULY 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.