Poetry Teatime

Why You Need the Nourished Children Early Years Guide

A Charlotte Mason Preschool Guide

Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

A Sweet Moment


A few afternoons ago, my oldest son was quietly bringing books and stacking them on the table. Then, he went and grabbed a plate and began filling it with snacks. He asked for me to cut a red pepper, and then said, “Mama, let’s read some poems.” Oh my heart! It was one of my goals this term, to include a daily habit of poetry in the afternoons. It’s so lovely to see that habit making an impression on these little people.

In the Nourished Children Early Years Guide, we talk about good habit suggestions to begin with, how to set up poetry teatime and also SO MUCH more.

Keep reading below to find out WHY you need this Charlotte Mason preschool guide for your family!

Purchase the Guide

Testimonials

“I really loved the guide! A lot of good info and suggestions- plus you can see the love and dedication you poured into it! Thanks so much for writing it!” – Amy

“I appreciate the real-life suggestions, all of the links and book suggestions. They were extremely helpful. There were even a few tips in there that I never thought of doing! So even for a mother who prides herself in this type of lifestyle, I was still able to learn from it.” – Keri

“Thank you so much for making such a wonderful resource. I’m so blessed to have found you.” – Kristina

preschool with charlotte mason
Preschool with Charlotte Mason

Who 

This preschool guide is inspired by Charlotte Mason.

Who was she?

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, turned principal of her schools. She housed teacher trainings and offered support to home educators and public schools through a Parents National Education Union School. She deeply cared about educating the child as a whole, and her education philosophy is second to none, in my opinion. You can read more about her here or here.

The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is based off of Charlotte Mason because the more I found out about her, the more she COMPLETELY made sense. She aimed to present an inviting, life-giving, and beautiful education. She wanted to nourish the mind of each child with living ideas.


Healthy Snacks
Healthy Snacks

What

This guide encourages you (dear mama) by providing lifestyle tips on how to implement a Charlotte Mason education during the early years. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is a wonderful starting point. The elements included in this guide will not only provide you with a strong foundation but also carry over into the time of formally educating your child. This Charlotte Mason Preschool guide is different from a standard school curriculum, because it is focuses on the whole child. It meets the child, and the family, right where you are. It takes into account, “education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.”

What’s Included

Encouragement

Lifestyle Tips

Connection with your Family

Real Life Examples

Preschool Booklist

Plus So Much More!

NCEYGtableofcontents
NCEYGtableofcontents
Play with Natural Materials
Play with Natural Materials
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When

Preschool is a perfect time to begin a gentle education with your little ones. Since the guide introduces concepts that are geared towards a lifestyle, you could begin as early as you want. Personally, I want to preserve my children’s childhood, so I don’t want to pressure them, or force them into something they aren’t ready for. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide is the PERFECT method for a gentle introduction into learning. Also, it provides a wonderful foundation to set them up for success once formal learning takes place (around age six).


Children's Bible
Children’s Bible

Why

While I knew I wanted to keep my preschoolers at home with me, I wasn’t quite sure how to begin education with them. I needed to come up with a plan for the precious preschool years. I valued family connection, quality time, and preservation of childhood. At the same time, I sought to provide them with a wholesome educational foundation to develop their character. I searched the internet for a curriculum to use, and while I found one that was nice, it felt like too much, and yet not enough of the right kinds of lessons I wanted.

Often, we want to begin educating our children in the preschool years, yet an immense or intense education is not necessary. The Nourished Children Early Years Guide offers a gentle beginning to a Charlotte Mason education.


Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

Where

You can find a sample of the Nourished Children Early Years Guide here, by clicking “Preview“. When you are ready to purchase, simply click on the green ‘Purchase the Guide’ button. You can also find us at our Etsy shop.

Purchase the Guide

Outdoor Time
Outdoor Time

How

Many of you already have children you are already home educating. This guide is not meant to burden you with another to-do list. It is meant to encourage you to slowly add in your preschool children where appropriate.

Since my children are just entering into their time of formal education, they have been home with me their whole lives. So in that sense, I’m bringing six years of experience of using the methods suggested in this guide. Eventually, I plan to add seasonal specific guides, with more concrete ideas, as a compliment to the Nourished Children Early Years Guide.  

The elements included in this guide will not only provide you with a strong foundation but also carry over into the time of formally educating your child. Therefore, many of the ideas laid out in this guide will seamlessly blend into your formal homeschool years. If you already have school-age children doing a Charlotte Mason style homeschool with you, some of these points may encourage you to simply add in your preschoolers where it is appropriate.

Beautiful Art for Children
Beautiful Art for Children
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I hope this introduces you and peeks your curiosity about the Nourished Children Early Years Guide. Have any questions? Please comment away below or send me an email!

As always, I like to conclude with my favorite Charlotte Mason resources. I hope these are inspiring and as helpful to you as they are to me!

Charlotte Mason Resources for the Early Years

Nourished Children Early Years Guide
Nourished Children Early Years Guide
outdoor time

Thoughts Going Into Our Second Term and Booklist

chalkboard side
going into our second term

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 termFinally, 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

Daily Lessons

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.

Delightful 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!

Poetry Teatime
Poetry Teatime

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.

The Riches

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.
Second Term in a Charlotte Mason Education
Second Term in a Charlotte Mason Education

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

Favorite Resources

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

favorite living books
favorite living books

Our Picks

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

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.

charlotte mason exams

Our First Week in Charlotte Mason Exams

Our First Week in Charlotte Mason Exams

charlotte mason exams
charlotte mason exams

First, we discuss what Charlotte Mason exam week is. Second, we explore the significance of why to use this different method of examinations. Next, I write a list of living books we used this term. Then, I offer some exam questions we used. Finally, I include Charlotte Mason exam resources.

Charlotte Mason Exams

Since this spoke true to my heart, I want to open with this passage from a Parents National Educational Union (PNEU) article:

“First in Charlotte Mason’s mind, and heart, came insistence upon the Person in each child, however young. To her, this was sacred…each young person was invited and enabled to develop, as a flower unfolds, according to his nature; yet with such direction as would fit him for his work in life. Teachers and parents are strongly urged to think about the all-round person in each child, and to comment upon his development in school and out.” (Examinations in the Parents Union School, archive.org)

Characteristics of Charlotte Mason Exams:

  • oral and written narration (to child’s ability)
  • no review of previous material
  • follow the timetables of typical lessons
  • lasts for one week, at the end of the term
  • meant for the child and mama to see what he knows
  • an atmosphere of joy
  • about two or three questions are asked for each subject

Helpful Notes:

Since my son is very young, I asked him to narrate his responses, and then I wrote them down. I recorded his answers on my phone, so that I could write them in full detail. Also, I used a piece of white butcher block paper spread out on the table. I have seen other mamas do this as well, and it was a fun way to accomplish our exams. My son enjoyed drawing in narrations after telling me verbally.

charlotte mason exams
charlotte mason exams

Why Implement a Charlotte Mason Exam?

“As Mr. Ruskin has said, ‘they cram to pass, and not to know; they do pass; and they don’t know.’ Knowledge, as an abiding joy, comes only to those who love her for her own sake, and not to those who use her to get on in school or in life.” (Ourselves, Vol. 4)

Some parents are concerned about public schools placing heavy emphasis on standardized testing. I recall completing my volunteer teacher hours in a kindergarten class. Unfortunately, three things stuck out as unnatural to me:

  1. No recess period.
  2. There was nightly homework.
  3. Finally, standardized testing began with these five and six year olds!

There were large bifolds around each child, so they wouldn’t cheat. I remember the children had a certain amount of time to complete the answers. Also, it felt like a long time to sit still, and complete this serious task!

Now, this is not a comprehensive basis for all kindergartens. I am confident some do not have these elements listed above. However, since I am fortunate enough to homeschool my boys from the beginning, I sought out completing exams, therefore, in a manner that made sense to all of us.

Living Books We Read This Term

Examples of Charlotte Mason Exam Questions:

While there are many resources you can pull from to create your exam questions, here are sample questions I came up with:

  • Bible: “Tell the story of Noah and the Ark or the Tower of Babel.”
  • Writing: “Write the letters of the alphabet in upper case and lower case.”
  • Literature: “Tell the fable of the City Mouse and the Country Mouse.”
  • History: “Tell me a story about Christopher Columbus or Lief the Lucky.”
  • Geography: “Draw mountains or rivers with chalk.”
  • Natural History: “Tell me about snakes or frogs.”
  • French: “Tell me the french words for these pictures.”
  • Math: “Answer one math problem and then write it down.”
  • Picture Study: “Describe your favorite picture.”
  • Drawing: “Draw a butterfly or a twig.”
  • Handicrafts: “What handicrafts did we complete?”
  • Music: “Hum your favorite song by Peter Tchaikovsky.”
  • Recitation: “Recite a poem to Dad.”
  • Music piano: “Play a tune you learned to Dad.”
  • Singing: “Sing a french song you learned to Dad.”

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

Charlotte Mason Exam Resources

OUR PICKS

I’m sharing some of the living books we used this term because these are my son’s FAVORITES. He always asks for more when we pick these books up!

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

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.

favorite living books

Ten Favorite Living Books for First Grade

Ten Favorite Living Books for First Grade

Top 10 Living Books
Top 10 Living Books

First, we discuss the definition of living books. Then, we explore the significance of why we choose living books for educating our children. Next, read on for our favorite living books, so far, by subject. Finally, I list resources. Also, if you are interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason education in general, I list more information about her educational philosophy at the bottom.

Living books definition

In Parents and Children, Charlotte Mason says:

“They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told.” (Mason, Vol. 2)

Living books are becoming more of a known idea. According to Living Books Library, living books contain “literary power, ideas, virtuosity, inspiration, narrative, imagination, and span generations.”

  • This is a great podcast describing more about living books.
  • Ambleside online also describes living books in this article here.

Why choose living books?

Charlotte Mason states:

“Therefore, the selection of their first lesson-books is a matter of grave importance, because it rests with these to give children the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful.” (Mason, Vol. 1)

Our favorite living books are the kind that make my son request chapter after chapter, or section after section, after we have read our portion for school time. They are the type of books that allow him to retain the facts, details, and storyline, often many days, or even a week, after we have read it. I can ask him to tell what he heard me read, and although sometimes he doesn’t feel like giving me a narration, he often surprises me to the extent of what he remembers. A living book allows learning to take place; not just learning is happening though, a lifelong love of learning is also fostered.

NOW FOR THE RECOMMENDED BOOKS…

LIVING BOOKS

I have always had a love affair with books. Books introduced me to various lands and lives that I otherwise would have not encountered. Books offered me refuge and respite when I needed it as I was growing up. It was easy to get lost in a good story. I’m so thankful to share this love of great literature with my children too.

TEN FAVORITE LIVING BOOKS FOR FIRST GRADE

Geography

Children of Foreign Lands – This book is a collection of stories written about children living in foreign lands. There are eight different countries included, and the illustrations are amazing. Both of my children are captivated by the stories, therefore, this book comes highly recommended.

favorite living books
favorite living books

History

D’Aulaire Biography Book Set – We have read Leif the Lucky and Columbus so far. My oldest son really pays attention to these stories (even when I think he may not be listening). Beautiful Feet Books sells the biography pack, and they are a better price when they are on sale.

Natural history

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children – This may be my oldest son’s all time favorite collection of stories. If I had allowed it, I’m sure we would have read through the entire chapter book in one sitting. Each story is written about a different animal, and told from the perspective of the town veterinarian. The illustrations that go with the stories capture my son’s interest. Also, my youngest son is sure to cuddle us with us while we are reading this book.

Tommy Smith’s Animals – Another book in this series was used in Charlotte Mason’s day. After reading a bit about recommended ages, I decided to begin with Tommy Smith’s Animals. This book hit the nail on the head, and my son is captivated. The story is about a young boy who is not kind to animals. After having a meeting to discuss what should be done about Tommy Smith, the animals settle on encountering with him one by one. They teach them about themselves, and encourage Tommy to respect the animals.

favorite living books
favorite living books

Literature

Aesop’s Fables for Children – I have to really slow down reading these to my son, because he wants to read ALL of the fables! I have two versions of this book since we love it so much. We also love this one for the illustrations.

Read alouds

Heidi – First, we watched Heidi on netflix during one weekend where we had been very physically active. My son was super interested when I then told him we had the chapter book of Heidi. My husband’s mother had a collection of classic books, which my husband inherited. I’m so grateful to share these rich stories with my children in our free time.

Boxcar Children – My oldest son especially is fond of trains. From the time he was two, he was building wooden train sets and configuring them in different ways.  He loves taking train rides, and hearing train stories. So, naturally, reading the Boxcar Children was a good fit for my family. I have great memories of reading the Boxcar Children series when I was growing up, and its fun to re-read them with my boys.

Billy and Blaze – I first saw these books at a Christian bookstore in Homestead Heritage Farms. After browsing through a few books, I knew my horse-loving son would love these books. So, I purchased this series, and my youngest son just loves them too!

Charlotte’s Web – Growing up, I loved the book and movie Charlotte’s Web. My son has seen the movies on netflix, and we have read the chapter book many times through together. The first time we read it aloud, he was four. I clearly remember him almost in tears when after reading one chapter, when I wanted to end the reading until the next day. He loves it so much!

favorite living books
favorite living books

Poetry

When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six – We began afternoon poetry readings before we started our official first year of school. I can remember being shocked at how both of my boys asked for more poetry after reading a couple of poems from this book. The illustrations are delightful. We have also enjoyed Winnie the Pooh together, and this collection of poems by the same author, A. A. Milne, is a great book to add to your rich read aloud collection.

favorite living books
favorite living books

Drawing

Brush Drawing Course – While this is not a living book, I wanted to include it here because my son loves art. This has been a great practice in learning basic brush drawing, or watercolor, technique. We thoroughly enjoy this time together, because we are completing the lessons side by side and are learning together.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

LIVING BOOKS RESOURCES

favorite living books
favorite living books

OUR PICKS

I’m sharing these here because these are my son’s FAVORITES. He always asks for more when we pick these books up!

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON

First Week Review in First Grade with Charlotte Mason

Our First Week

WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO …

After much careful planning and consideration, we started Form 1B (roughly First Grade) last Monday.

Finally, we did it! One of the hardest parts is over, because last week, we began our First Week in First Grade with Charlotte Mason.

FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON
FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON

First Grade with Charlotte Mason

“Nothing is trivial that concerns a child; his foolish-seeming words and ways are pregnant with meaning for the wise.” (Mason, Vol. 1

For many months, off and on, much effort was placed on learning to teach my son. So much went into this preparation because it is currently the most important thing to me. Also, it is his first formal year of education at home.

WHAT TO EXPECT

I have a lot to say about our First Week, so if you are simply interested in the resources, please scroll down to ‘Our First Week.’

  • First, I outline six basic ideals for early lessons.
  • Then, I include educational resources we used for our first week. I emphasize materials my son enjoyed. I also highlight books or supplies I felt would be a huge resource to us as we move through the year.
  • Then, I show a sample of a day of morning lessons.
  • Next, I share some of my takeaways from our first week.
  • Finally, I end with our favorite resources in summary.

INSPIRING QUOTES

All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason.

In the beginning, Charlotte Mason states on the first page of Volume 1 of Home Education:

“Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing-up and instruction of the children-in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more than anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman.” (Mason, Vol. 1

This could be discouraging, since it ways heavily on the parents. However, Ms. Mason quickly encourages Mothers, saying:

“The mother is qualified…by the creator Himself…” (Mason, Vol. 1

There are many subjects I’m not well educated on myself, therefore, I’m also learning alongside my children.

first grade with charlotte mason
first grade with charlotte mason

SIX IMPORTANT POINTS FOR LESSONS

  1. “That the knowledge most valuable to the child is that which he gets with his own eyes and ears and fingers (under direction) in the open air.” (Mason, Vol. 1
  2. “That the claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child’s right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation.” (Mason, Vol. 1
  3. “That the child should be taken daily, if possible, to scenes-moor or meadow, park, common, or shore-where he may find new things to examine, and so add to his store of real knowledge.” (Mason, Vol. 1
  4. “That play, vigorous healthful play, is, in its turn, fully as important as lessons, as regards both bodily health and brain-power.” (Mason, Vol. 1
  5. “That the child, through under supervision, should be left much to himself-both that he may go to work in his own way on the ideas he receives…” (Mason, Vol. 1
  6. “That the happiness of the child is the condition of his progress; that his lessons should be joyous…” (Mason, Vol. 1

first grade with charlotte mason
first grade with charlotte mason

PREPARING THE FEAST

“The parents’ chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture-books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother’s love.” (Mason, Vol. 1

I’m seeking to nourish my children in the best way and I can. Charlotte Mason’s philosophy has provided me guidance because I feel more equipped with tools to begin my son’s formal education.

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast.

NOTE

We did not cover ALL of these everyday.  However, we DID cover these subjects this week, using these resources. Please keep in mind also, we only read a few pages in some of these books!

Our First Week

Overall, my son’s favorites are the above resources listed for: Geography, Math, Singing, Natural History, History, Literature, Poetry, Nature Study, and Read Alouds.

first week with charlotte mason
first week with charlotte mason

MORNING SCHEDULE

+ First, make beds, brush teeth and free play.

+ Then, enjoy breakfast and help Mama with dishes.

+ Finally, Morning Lessons, which should last about two and a half hours for a little one. In reality, we were taking about three hours. So, I know I need to tighten up our transitions a little better.

+ Lunch. Then, after lunch, we move into the afternoons.

Preschool with Charlotte Mason
Preschool with Charlotte Mason

AFTERNOON SCHEDULE

+ First, we have playtime; so I encourage them to spend a couple of hours outdoors.

+ Then, during late afternoon, we come back inside. I read aloud good literature stories and a couple of poems. Typically, I play music from their Music Appreciation on while I ask them to clean up their toys.

+ One day this week, I introduced piano to them. I plan to increase this steadily as we move on, since it is suggested to work on this daily.

+ As we find our rhythm, I plan to also add by-the-way Geography lessons as we spend daily time outdoors.

+ Also, one afternoon this week, we went to a creek to spend time outdoors in a special nature spot.

FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON
FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON

Charlotte Mason was a big advocate for outdoor time in the afternoon. She said,

“…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…” (Mason, Vol. 1).

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.

FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON
FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON

FIRST WEEK LESSONS FOR MAMA

I learned so much in these first days teaching my littles in a formal education. Additionally, I have much more to learn.

  • First, say a quick prayer before lessons (either with kiddos or alone). On the day I didn’t make time for this, we had a chaotic morning.
  • Next, spend a few minutes preparing for your morning lessons. I usually spend less than ten minutes on this each morning, however, on the day I didn’t, I didn’t feel at peace.
  • Observe my son for signs of weariness. When my son was fidgety, wandering off, or not listening, it was time to have either a small break, or switch to the next lesson. This is hard for me because I want him to soak up ALL OF THIS GOODNESS.
  • Next, I need to lower my expectations. In my mind, my son, at six, should be the next Einstein. Woah! I had no idea that my perfectionist tendencies would come out (mostly as an internal dialogue). These are not helpful to anyone, so I’m working on finding the joy instead.
  • Finally, I took about five minutes or less each day, to write what we had specifically done in lessons. This was like a journal entry. Mostly, I wrote down what ideas he understood, and where we left off so we know where to pick back up again.

FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON
FIRST GRADE WITH CHARLOTTE MASON

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

FIRST WEEK RESOURCES

  • Morningtide to Eventide Homeschool Planner. I love this planner because it has suggested daily Bible readings for Mama, daily planner space, as well as daily lesson spaces for the boys.
  • Art Images to go along with our Bible readings.
  • Simply Charlotte Mason Podcast on Starting a Charlotte Mason Education from Scratch. This was encouraging to listen to on my final day of the first week because it solidified some thoughts I was having about our first week.

OUR PICKS

I’m sharing these here because these are my son’s FAVORITES. He always asks for more when we pick these books up!

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

charlotte mason singing lesson

A Charlotte Mason Singing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Singing Lesson

charlotte mason singing lesson
charlotte mason singing lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Singing Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.” (Mason, vol. 6)

 

A Charlotte Mason Singing Lesson

WHAT

“Hymns with a story, such as: ‘A Little Ship Was on the Sea,’ … are perhaps the best for little children.” (Mason, vol. 3)

Hymns that tell stories are a great beginning. Therefore, I’m choosing some hymns that seem to have a story quality about them, such as Silent Night.

charlotte mason singing lesson
charlotte mason singing lesson

WHAT WE ARE USING

These are all FABULOUS FREE Resources. Therefore, this is our beginning point for singing!

charlotte mason singing lesson
charlotte mason singing lesson

WHY

According to A Delectable Education, music lifts the mood. It brightens our spirit. Singing also builds a child’s lungs. It also hones the habit of listening attentively.

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Singing Lesson as occurring four times a week, for ten minutes each lesson. Also, singing lessons typically occurred before the afternoon play break, during morning lessons.

HOW

“I should like, in connection with singing, to mention the admirable educational effects of the Tonic Sol-Fa method. Children learn by it in a magical way to produce sign for sound and sound for sign, that is, they can not only read music, but can write the notes for, or make the proper hand signs for, the notes of a passage sung to them. Ear and voice are simultaneously and equally cultivated.” (Mason, vol. 1)

It is recommended to find voice teachers for students if the mother feels like she cannot manage the task. For our beginning year, however, we are going to give it a go together. We sing songs informally already, and I’m always surprised at how quickly my children pick up on the lyrics and tone of the songs. They seem delighted to learn and hear music, so we are beginning our singing journey together. Also, my husband is a singer, recording engineer, and musician, so he will be joining in when he can.

Since the resources mentioned here are all created by musicians, I feel confident using them as a reference for our beginning lessons.

“If possible, let the children learn from the first under artists…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Each term, it is recommended to enjoy:

  • Two English Folk Songs
  • Two Hymns (Christmas Hymns during the Fall Term)
  • Two Foreign Language Folk Songs (we are focusing on French)
  • Solfa Lessons

Since there are three terms in a Charlotte Mason education, we will cover six English folk songs, six French folk songs, and six hymns during our entire first school year.

NOTES:

  • Primarily, we will be enjoying the songs!
  • My children will be encouraged to sing along, and if appropriate, clap the melody.
  • We will learn Christmas songs during the Fall term because we will be singing as a service to an elderly community with a Charlotte Mason co-op.
  • Also, we will be listening to French songs because it helps us to learn French.

charlotte mason singing lesson
charlotte mason singing lesson

FAVORITE RESOURCES

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 Singing Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON SINGING LESSON RESOURCES

Finally, ALL resources mentioned below are FREE!

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

charlotte mason music appreciation

A Charlotte Mason Music Appreciation Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Music Appreciation Lesson

charlotte mason music appreciation
charlotte mason music appreciation

 

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Music Appreciation Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.” (Mason, vol. 6)

 

A Charlotte Mason Music Appreciation Lesson

 

charlotte mason music appreciation
charlotte mason music appreciation

WHAT

“Use every chance you get of hearing music (I do not mean only tones, though these are very nice), and ask whose music has been played, and, by degrees, you will find out that one composer has one sort of thing to say to you; and another speaks other things; these messages of the musicians cannot be put into words, so there is no way of hearing them if we do not train our ear to listen.” (Mason, vol. 4)

Music Appreciation programs and resources were published in the Parent’s Review articles for parents. However, I have difficulty finding them. However, I did see in on article that “a program of Brahm’s, as well as Bach’s music was to be heard” for beginning students.

WHAT WE ARE USING

Also, we may try to go see a live performance of the Nutcracker this year!

COMPOSERS WE ARE APPRECIATING

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    • 3 Pieces from the Nutcracker
    • 1 Piece from Swan Lake Op. 20
    • 1 Piece from Sleeping Beauty
    • 1812 Overture Op. 49
  • Antonio Vivaldi
    • 4 Pieces from the Four Seasons
    • Gloria (choral work)
    • 1 Violin Concerto Piece
  • Johannes Brahms
    • Piano Concerto No. 2
    • Symphany No. 1
    • Variations on a theme of Haydn
    • Violin Concerto in D
    • Wiegenlied (Lullaby)
    • Hungarian Dance in G Minor

WHY

“Hearing should tell us a a great many interesting things, but the great and perfect joy which we owe to him is music.” (Mason, vol. 4)

Music Appreciation is a beautiful lesson. Listening to music provides value such as helping hone a child’s attention skills. It also provides a nice change of a subject in the morning lessons (perhaps in between two tougher subjects such as math and literature.

“But Musical Appreciation had no more to do with playing an instrument than acting had to do with an appreciation of Shakespeare, or painting with enjoyment of pictures. I think that all children should take Musical Appreciation and not only the musical ones, for it has been proved that only three percent of children are what is called ‘tone-deaf’; and if they are taken at an early age it is astonishing how children who appear to be without ear, develop it and are able to enjoy listening to music with understanding.” (Mason, vol. 6)

Also, Mrs. Howard Glover states in one Parent’s Review Article: “It is also necessary to training the ear to an understanding of the classics, in order that a child may enter into the heritage which genius has bequeathed to him; in order, too, that he should understand and love the literature of music, in the same way that we try to imbue him with an appreciation with all the great masterpieces of writers and painters.”

She goes onto say: “With this end in view, it is suggested during the coming three months the teacher…should play the following compositions to the children, beginning with one movement if necessary, and gradually extending the repertoire, until they become well-known and loved.” 

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Music Appreciation Lesson as occurring once a week, for ten minutes. Additionally, it is recommended to also listen to music each afternoon, or as much as possible.

HOW

Charlotte Mason recommends to study one composer per term. There were three terms in a Charlotte Mason education, therefore, there are three composers studied each year.

 

charlotte mason music appreciation
charlotte mason music appreciation

STEPS TO A MUSIC APPRECIATION LESSON

  • First, tell your children the composer’s name and briefly mention a biography about him.
  • Then, play the piece you have picked out.
  • Next, ask the child to listen attentively to the music.
  • Charlotte Mason’s programs recommend to have the child listen to name, form, and pulse of the music.
  • Maybe point out instruments or one or two musical terms appropriate to the piece.
  • Also, listen to the piece outside of the school morning lessons as much as possible during afternoons.
  • Finally, sit with the piece until the child knows the piece well. Perhaps the child can hum the piece.
  • You could also choose to attend concerts, orchestras, or ballets with your children.

NOTES

  • Nicole Williams from A Delectable Education urges mothers to prepare and have resources together before beginning the term. Therefore, I have selected three composers, printed some biography information, and created a playlist on Spotify so our pieces are ready to listen to. Since the lesson is super short, and only once a week, time management will be crucial here.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

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 Music Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON MUSIC APPRECIATION LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

a charlotte mason music lesson

A Charlotte Mason Music Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Music Lesson

a charlotte mason music lesson
a charlotte mason music lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Music Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Music Lesson

WHAT

First, Charlotte Mason does not devote much writing to the music lesson, nor can I find many resources elsewhere. However, she does include it as a significant part of the educational feast, therefore, we are trying our hand at it. It seems to me that most mamas choose to provide outsourced music lessons for their child. My husband is an accomplished guitar player, and is self-taught on many instruments, so we are beginning with him (hooray)!

I’m using Mrs. Curwen’s Teacher’s Guide to educate myself because Ms. Charlotte Mason references it as a great resource. However, I will only be supplementing this as my children are ready, and when my husband is unable to teach the lesson. For the most part, my husband will be teaching them their music lessons, because music is his passion. Ms. Mason says:

“Mrs. Curwen’s Child Pianist method is worked out, with minute care…the child’s knowledge of the theory of music and his ear training keep pace with his power of execution, and seem to do away with the deadly dreariness of ‘practicing’.” (Mason, vol. 1)

WHAT WE ARE USING

 

ANOTHER RESOURCE TO CONSIDER

The Suzuki Method also seems recommended, because it appears in line with Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. It has wonderful reviews, and seems to be pretty readily available.

WHY

Mrs. Curwen says, in a Parent’s Review Article on Music Teaching:

“…the piano is the best medium for teaching a child the theory of music easily, and that no time spent in learning the theory on the piano is really wasted, even if another instrument is later taken up.”

Therefore, even if the child moves onto another instrument eventually, piano serves as a strong foundation to begin his music lessons.

Perhaps most important, the benefit of introducing children to music is vast. The benefits range from: more language development, higher test scores in English and Math, increased brain activity, and appreciation for art, among others, according to this PBS article.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH MUSIC

I learned to play piano in upper elementary school. I played for about two years. Then, I stopped piano lessons, because I grew weary of practicing. However, I was quite good at playing piano, according to my parents.

Then, in middle school, I played the flute. I was able to learn to play the flute and read music fairly easily. This was directly related to my exposure to piano lessons.

As a result of my early piano lessons, I was able to excel playing the flute. I mostly tied for ‘first chair’ in eight grade band. Additionally, the high school marching band wanted me to play flute with them so greatly, they entertained the idea of me double dressing in a band uniform over my dance uniform. Ultimately, I decided to forego music so I could focus on dancing. However, I was surprised about 15 years later, when I picked up my flute, I was able to play a few songs and still read music.

 

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Music Lesson as occurring every day, during the afternoons. They are not part of the morning lessons. Also, each lesson lasts about twenty minutes.

 

HOW

Mrs. Annie Jesse Curwen recommends beginning to expose your child to music in babyhood.

  • First, sing lullabies to your children, or sing nursery rhymes. These are an excellent start.
  • You can then begin playing and singing simple children songs several times a week to expose children to hearing music by ear.
  • She also recommends to introduce the Sol-Fa singing method to children because it will help build their vocal, instrumental, and theoretical education.

“If possible, let the children learn from the first under artists, lovers of their work: it is a serious mistake to let the child lay the foundation of whatever he may do in the future under ill-qualified mechanical teachers, who kindle in him none of the enthusiasm which is the life of art.” (Mason, vol. 1)

I’m very blessed because my husband is a recording engineer. He fluently plays guitar, and has taught himself how to play bass guitar, piano, drums, among others. Thankfully, he has agreed to teach music lessons to our boys. Also, I’m delighted because he has already begun. He has taught my oldest son Mary Had a Little Lamb, and a little about music notes, which my oldest son (almost six) has been able to understand.

Mrs. Curwen also says: “For the longer I live the more convinced I am that in music teaching the key to the whole situation is ear- training, ear-training, ear-training.” 

a charlotte mason music lesson
a charlotte mason music lesson

 

Therefore, I plan to begin learning more about the piano lesson by reading: The Teacher’s Guide by Annie Jesse Curwen (Child Pianist). Also, I will continue to spend time teaching singing in order to build a foundation for instrumental music lessons.

FAVORITE RESOURCES

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 Music Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON MUSIC LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

a charlotte mason narration lesson

A Charlotte Mason Narration Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Narration Lesson

a charlotte mason narration lesson
a charlotte mason narration lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Narration Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Narration Lesson

WHAT

“They must read the given pages and tell what they have read, they must perform, that is, what we may call the act of knowing.” (Mason, vol. 6)

Firstly, narration is the act of knowing. It is the work of a child’s education. Simply put, narration is: read, tell, and consequently, know.

“He must generalize, classify, infer, judge, visualize, discriminate, labor in one way or another, with that capable mind of his, until the substance of his book is assimilated or rejected, according as he shall determine; for the discrimination rests with him and not with his teacher.” (Mason, vol. 3)

Charlotte Mason thought a child should do the work of his own education. We are training them to be critical thinkers and to stand on their own two feet.

“Narrating is an art, like poetry-making or painting, because it is there, in every child’s mind, waiting to be discovered…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Oral narration often comes naturally to a child, even at a very young age.

WHAT WE ARE USING

All of our school books! Living books with a narrative quality will be suited best for beginning narration. Charlotte Mason recommends beginning with the Bible, animal stories, or fairy tales, so this is where we will begin.

 

FABULOUS LIVING BOOKS

WHEN

“Until he is six, let Bobbie narrate only when and what he has a mind to.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason describes the Narration Lesson as occurring after every lesson. Also, each lesson lasts about ten minutes.

You can begin requesting a narration from your child when they are six. Start with one narration per day and work up to eventually narrating after every lesson.

WHY

Carroll Smith from childlightusa.com says, “For knowing to be real, we must be able to give it back…This richer, deeper way of knowing in which the child processes, assimilates, and gives back what she has read has a vital transformative power to nourish, grow, and steady the student for life.”

Ms. Mason seems to demonstrate that a child can easily learn the art of narration.

“’Let him narrate,’ and the child narrates, fluently, copiously, in ordered sequence, with fit and graphic details, with a just choice of words…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Oral narration has practical value for the child. It serves as the basis for public speaking. Typically, someone who can communicate very well orally, can also write well. Some suggest writing skills are enhanced by the ability to proficiently speak.

“On the whole, it is more useful to be able to speak then to write, and the man or woman who is able to do the former can generally do the latter.” (Mason, vol. 3)

A charlotte mason narration lesson
A charlotte mason narration lesson

HOW

“When the child is six, not earlier, let him narrate the fairy tale which he has been read to him, episode by episode, upon one hearing of each, the Bible tale read to him in the words of the Bible; the well-written animal stories; or all about other lands…” (Mason, vol. 1)

The ladies from A Delectable Education point out narration may come naturally to a child, but may not come easily.

STEPS TO NARRATION

  • First, scaffold the lesson. Talk briefly about the last lesson, in order to recall to mind the story.
  • Then, mention a few words that a child should pay attention to.
  • Possibly write names or terms on the board that are new or challenging to remember.
  • Next, read the short passage. Read it only one time. This hones the habit of attention.
  • After reading the passage, ask the child to tell back what he has heard.
  • Mama is to listen attentively.
  • Don’t interrupt or correct. This would be disrespectful and the child may lose their train of thought, just as you would if someone interrupted you.
  • Finally, Liz Cotrrill from ADE suggests to say, “thank you” to the child for the narration.

“Before the reading for the day begins, the teacher should talk a little (and get the children to talk) about the last lesson, with a few words about what is to be read, in order that the children may be animated by expectation; but she should beware of explanation and especially, of forestalling the narrative. Then, she may read two or three pages, enough to include an episode; after that, let her call upon the children to narrate,-in turns, if there be several of them. They not only narrate with spirit and accuracy, but succeed in catching the style of their author. It is not wise to tease them with corrections…” (Mason, vol. 1)

NOTES ABOUT NARRATION

  • First, read one time to a child.
  • Then, ask them to tell what they heard. If they can follow in sequential order, that is wonderful.
  • Start when the child is six because this is when Charlotte Mason proposed a formal lesson should begin.
  • Start with Bible stories, fairy tales, and animal stories, since these stories generally have a narrative quality.
  • Lessons are short; they are no more than 15 minutes and are probably much shorter as you begin.
  • When beginning narration for the first time, ask your child for one narration per day or per week. Gradually build up from there.
  • Eventually, you want every lesson, every subject, everyday to be narrated by the child.
  • Finally, a child in the upper elementary years will begin adding written narrations. However, the oral narrations are expected to continue daily.

 

FAVORITE RESOURCES

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 Narration Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON NARRATION LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.

a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson
a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson …

First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be awe inspiring and helpful.

Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.

PREPARING THE FEAST

“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)

There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.

Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.

“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)

a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson
a charlotte mason pre-reading lesson

A Charlotte Mason Pre-Reading Lesson

WHAT

My son is five, almost six. According to Charlotte Mason’s methods of learning to read, he will be in the pre-reading category when we begin formal lessons. So, if your child is not yet reading proficiently, this post may be helpful to you! As my son progresses, I plan to compose an additional post with some ideas for A Charlotte Mason Reading Lesson (Reading by Sight and Sound).

“But the learning of the alphabet should be made a means of cultivating the child’s observation: he should be made to see what he looks at.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason recommended that a child be able to visualize the words, learning from sight, in addition to learning phonics.

“Accustom him from the first to shut his eyes and spell the word he has made.” (Mason, vol. 1)

WHAT WE ARE USING

  • Home Education by Charlotte Mason – there are about 30 pages devoted to the reading lesson. Its gentle, effective and delightful.
  • Discover Reading by Amy Tuttle – this book was also recommended by Ambleside online as a reading resource. Here is a description from her website: Discover Reading will help you and your child develop vital skills such as phonemic awareness, mental imaging, auditory blending and word building. It will serve as a guide for you as you lead your child through the stages of pre-reading, beginning reading, and fluency.
  • Also, here is another FREE resource using Ms. Mason’s methods for reading, written by Jennifer Spead.
  • A good alphabet book or four (I LOVE these: B is for Bear, A to Z Picture Book, In A Pumpkin Shell, An ABC Book).
  • Wooden Moveable Alphabet
  • Or, these wooden letters

FABULOUS ALPHABET BOOKS

WHEN

“When should he begin? Whenever his box of letters begins to interest him.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason describes the Pre-Reading Lesson as occurring five times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about ten minutes.

You can begin pre-reading activities when a child begins to be aware of letters. A typical age of a child may be anywhere from two to six years old when you begin pre-reading.

WHY

Reading is important. It is also required to teach reading in the state of Texas. I vividly remember books playing a vital role in my education. They shaped me to be the person I am today. Living Books Library defines characteristics of a Living Book as: full of ideas, virtuous, inspiring, narrative, generational and imaginative.

“It is better that children should receive a few vital ideas that their souls may grow…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Some of my happiest times with my children are sharing good books with them. Therefore, I look forward to the day when my children discover the joy of reading for themselves.

Pre-Reading Lesson
Pre-Reading Lesson

HOW

“A tray of sand is useful at this stage.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Charlotte Mason says a child can first learn the sounds of letters and then recognize the upper case and lower case letters. Additionally, the child should practice “air writing” the letters or drawing them in a tray of sand.

“There is no occasion to hurry the child: let him learn one form at a time, and know it so well that he can pick out the d’s, say, big and little, in a page of large print.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Here are some suggested activities to introduce the concept of reading to children.

STEPS TO PRE-READING

  • First, playfully teach your child the sounds for each letter of the alphabet.
  • He should be familiar with upper case letters first, and then lower case letters.
  • Teach all consonant sounds and at least the short vowel sounds.
  • While your child is learning sounds, he should take a mental picture of the letter.
  • Then, your child can trace the letter in the air.
  • Finally, take any word and stretch out the sound of the first letter. Amy Tuttle from Discover Reading, writes to think of Dori’s whale language in Finding Nemo. One example here could be: “Can you find the /S/ for Sssssnake?” using your box of letters.
  • An alternate pre-reading learning game is to have him search for the letter sound /d/ on a magazine page. You could ask your child to point out the letters, or sometimes circle them.

IDEAS FOR A PRE-READING LESSON

PART 1

  1. Introduce the letters and sounds one per day or several per day if your child can master them. Review all letters until the child knows each letter/sound combination.
  2. When a child can recognize the letter by sight and sound, and can draw the letter in the air, the letter is learned, and he can put it in a letter box.
  3. This could happen in one week’s time, or last over several weeks, depending on your child. I love how Amy Tuttle reminds us to enjoy the process, because he only learns to read once.

PART 2

  • Once a child is confident with all letter sounds, begin with short words that are as interesting as possible. Use simple consonants and short vowel sounds to introduce blending. Pick letters that will make words he knows.
  • He should place a letter before “at” for example, to make b-at, c-at, h-at. Repeat the sounds slowly, and let him discover the word.
  • Ask him to see the letters in his mind, with his eyes closed. Then, trace the letters in the air.
  • When he can do all of these steps, Mama writes the word on a chalkboard (or the child can if he is writing already).
  • Next, ask him to dictate the words that you learned for the lesson, and write them down in a notebook.
  • Finally, the next day, review the words from his notebook, and begin with new word blends.
  • Repeat with all short sound vowels before moving onto long vowel sound word blends. Example: “ate” to make h-ate, l-ate, m-ate, and r-ate.

Ms. Mason says,

“This is not reading, but it is preapring the ground for reading; words will no longer (be) unfamiliar, perplexing objects, when the child meets them in a line of print.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Also,

“Require him to pronounce he words the makes with such finish and distinctness that he can himself hear and count the sounds in a give word.” (Mason, vol. 1)

One final quote:

“Accustom him from the first to shut his eyes and spell the word he has made.” (Mason, vol. 1)

FAVORITE RESOURCES

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 Pre-Reading Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON PRE-READING LESSON RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

 

Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List

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.