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!

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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
A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Drawing 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 SO 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 Drawing Lesson 

Charlotte Mason Drawing Resources
Charlotte Mason Drawing Resources

WHAT

Here is one of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes about Art:

“This is what we wish to do for children in teaching them to draw-to cause the eye to rest, not unconsciously, but consciously, on some object of beauty which will leave in their minds an image of delight for all their lives to come.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First and foremost, drawing provides a child with valuable skills, such as: observation, memory, and fine motor skills. Perhaps more importantly, however, learning how to draw gives a sense of beauty and expression. This allure can last throughout a child’s whole life.

Occasionally, in order to inspire this artistry, Mama can point out beauty in nature to the child, By observing things like sunlight, shadows, colors, and forms of all things lovely of earth and sky, the child can use these as inspiration for appreciation of art.

“Children have art in them.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Since my oldest son already enjoys painting, I decided to get him a few basic art supplies. My aim is to foster his natural love and ability of art. I’m hoping to watch it blossom, as we learn more about brush drawing as an educational subject.

WHAT WE ARE USING

“Children are worth of the best, and some half-dozen tubes of really good colors will last a long time, and will satisfy the eye of the little artists.” (Mason, vol. 1)

While you do not have to purchase the most expensive supplies, choosing good quality supplies that will last over the years, and across many children, is sensible.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

The resources listed below come recommended, so they are the drawing supplies we will use:

  • WATERCOLOR COURSE.

Brushdrawing: A Basic Course by Emily Kiser and Richele Baburina. Here is the description about this course: This watercolor course in brush drawing features carefully prepared lessons that take students step-by-step from the most basic brush exercises to beginning painting from nature.

  • DRAWING BOOK.

What to Draw and How to Draw It by E.G. Lutz

Or, HERE it is FREE on archive.org

  • WATERCOLOR TUBES.

Daniel Smith 6 Tubes of Essentials Introductory Watercolors or 30 Economical Professional Watercolor Tubes

  • NOTEBOOK.

Canson Mixed Media Notepad

  • WATERCOLOR ROUND BRUSHES.

Watercolor Wooden Brush Set

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Drawing Lesson as occurring two times a week. Also, each lesson lasts about twenty minutes. Additionally, it is recommended to have one afternoon drawing lesson per week, lasting about twenty minutes.

WHY

A Parent’s Review article written by Miss K. Loveday says: “And yet Art, when rightly directed, is educational…for it trains the hand and the eye, and it trains the head and the heart; it teaches us to see and to see truly…it disciplines the emotions.”

Drawing is useful because it trains exactness and decision. So many useful skills are learned by honing art skills, yet it is also such a rich subject to study. Therefore, we are looking forward to this subject immensley.

A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Drawing Lesson

HOW

Ms. Mason says that a child may not produce a beautiful work of art at the beginning, however, the study of drawing is beautiful in itself.

“Children of six or seven draw budding twigs of oak and ash, beech and lark, with such tender fidelity to color, tone, and gesture, that the crude little drawings are in themselves things of beauty.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Children have a natural desire towards observing beauty in nature, therefore, it seems fitting to focus in the beginning, on drawing objects observed in nature.

Charlotte Mason also observed that children should start out with easy materials in drawing, such as chalk and watercolors. She believed by avoiding pencil and pen, it would allow the child to more easily produce well-observed drawings, which could allow their interest in art to continue. She says:

“…also, he should work in the easiest medium, that is, with paint brush or with charcoal, and not with a black-led pencil.” (Mason, vol. 1)

One more note about brush drawing indicates the brush should be held with the tip facing the child. This ensures that the child can view the brush more carefully, as he is adding color to the paper. Also, the child can move his arm from the wrist more freely, in order to have better control over his drawing.

“We must show the children how to hold their brushes and how to use them; they must see the whole, not only the tip.” (A Parent’s Review Article)

Drawing GoalS Per Term (about 12 weeks)

  1. Six brush drawings from nature

    • (Six wild fruits in fall, Six twigs in winter, and finally six wildflowers in spring)
  2. Six drawings from memory of animals they have observed

    • (Examples: dog, cat, birds, insects, squirrel, rabbit etc.)
  3. Original brush or chalk drawings of characters from their tales readings

  4. Drawings in nature notebook entries

NOTES ABOUT DRAWING

  •  A typical lesson could be: First, spend a few minutes on a drawing lesson. Perhaps, show your child how to hold the brush, and make a few simple strokes. Next, attempt to draw a natural object they can see before them. (A Parent’s Review Article(Examples: simple leaves, birds)
  • Another idea is to take a walk in nature. Then, bring home objects from nature, copy them in brushwork in a Nature Journal, record the date, weather, and location.
  • One article also points out to lay objects on a white piece of paper, in order that the child can more easily see true depth of colors and shadows, and the main shapes.
  • It is also suggested to keep the object you want to draw, at a distance to avoid over focusing on details.
  • Also, I plan to update this post with more ideas once we receive the Brushdrawing: Basic Course.

MORE NOTES ABOUT A DRAWING LESSON

A Parent’s Review article written by Juliet Williams, mentions a process for drawing:

  • OBSERVE. First, ask the child to see the object in nature. Ask your child to look carefully at the shape and colors of the object. Then, ask them to notice the shadow, and where they come from.
  • DIGEST. Second, is a lesson in memory and reflection.
  • EXPRESS. Finally, a child can express himself using the brush drawing to depict a careful observation of the object. One article mentions above all, we should encourage imagination and originality of expression.

Also, the act of observing is mentioned many times because of its importance.

“We must be sure that the children paint what they really see and not what they imagine they see; a great deal depends on making them look properly and carefully before beginning to paint, especially when it comes to considering light and shades in colors.”

Finally, Mr. Ruskin, whom Charlotte Mason references frequently in her Home Education volumes, says:

“It is only by the habit of representing faithfully all things, that we can truly learn what is beautiful and what is not.”

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 Drawing Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON DRAWING 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.

Spiralizer and zoodles food prep

Favorite Tools To Use in the Kitchen

Favorite Tools To Use in the Kitchen

We rely on some essential kitchen tools to cook meals at home. My five favorite tools are below. I hope this list inspires and helps you in your home cooking!

Kids in the Kitchen
Kids in the Kitchen

COOKING AT HOME

I began cooking in college. I started off very simple – hearty breakfasts with bacon, eggs, grits and fruit and canned spaghetti sauce with spaghetti noodles. When my husband and I dated in college, we often cooked simple meals together. He was interested in cooking to save money and loved being creative with inventing meals. I loved cooking to nourish our bodies with healthy foods.

We meet many goals when we make meals at home: budget, creativity, and health.

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.
Helping hands peeling vegetables in the kitchen.

DESIRE FOR HEALTHY FOODS

I earned a 500 Hour Yoga certification shortly after we were married. This education charged my desire to dive deeper into the concept of food as fuel. My desire to consume healthy foods was renewed once again when I was pregnant with my two children. Now that they are preschoolers, I’m even more passionate about providing strong nutrients to their developing bodies.

Kids Peeling and Cutting Banana
Kids Peeling and Cutting Banana

We make the majority of our meals at home. Therefore, its important to us to make cooking easy, fun, and healthy.  The following kitchen tools below are the most important ones to me. In fact, if we were going on a long, extended vacation, I would take these with me if I could!

MY ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOLS

  • CHEF’S KNIFEA good quality chef’s knife, such as the Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Chef’s Knife, is probably the item I use and love the most in the kitchen. I use it to chop and slice through anything! Sometimes I remove it from the dishwasher and hand wash it to use it, because its that good. They will last a lifetime and are totally worth it, in my opinion.
  • FOOD PROCESSORMy husband surprised me with a Cuisinart Food 8 Cup Food Processor for Christmas one year. We use this versatile machine to make hummus, pesto sauce, salsa, cole slaw, and cauliflower rice among many other tasty meals.
  • CAST IRON SKILLETI purchased a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet from Target on sale for about $9. Did you know the iron from the pan actually is absorbed by the food you are cooking? So when you cook with cast iron, its a great natural way to assimilate iron into your body. This is especially helpful if you are like me, and can be more at risk for becoming anemic. The cast iron skillet will last you a life time if you season it properly. You can move the cast iron pan directly from the stove top to the oven for dishes such as hashes or quiche, which is convenient.
  • DUTCH OVENMy husband knows me well. One Christmas, he gave me a Staub Dutch Oven. This is my other well-used cooking work horse. We use it to make delicious soups, stews, roast, homemade tomato sauce, and chilis. The dutch oven is made of enamel on the interior of the pot. So, if absorbing too much iron in your body is a concern, than enamel coated cookware is a great option for you. This dutch oven can transfer easily from cooktop to oven and it holds heat very well.
  • VEGETABLE PEELERWe use vegetable peelers for peeling lots and lots of vegetables. We are part of a CSA and each week, we bring home a box of fresh, local farm, organic vegetables. The Oxo brand peelers are great. My boys use the ones with the long handles when they help in the kitchen.

I hope this inspires you to get in the kitchen with good tools since they make cooking easier. What are your favorite kitchen tools?

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Simple learning. Preschool homeschool.

Five Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers

5 Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers
5 Amazing Art Supplies for Preschoolers

FOCUS ON GOOD QUALITY ITEMS

Homeschooling is a blessing. We spend quality time together, read classic books, and play with art! My boys are spontaneous and creative working with various art supplies.

HOMESCHOOL STYLE

Our homeschooling style is a mix of Charlotte Mason, Montessori, and Waldorf. Probably, you will notice emphasis on beautiful and natural materials when following a Waldorf homeschool style. We seek beauty in our surroundings. We value nature outings, a minimal home atmosphere, and quality children’s toys and materials. We prioritize beautiful and nourishing foods. However, it can be expensive to choose quality! Therefore, we include both quality items and affordable items.

Top Preschool Art Supplies
Top Preschool Art Supplies

CREATIVITY WITH WATERCOLORS

First, we used watercolors. My oldest son made a rainbow. He is very curious about rainbows. Together, we choose different colors paints and therefore, he had a great time creating art! He enjoys painting his name, and creating different shapes. He has re-created watercolor pictures from books.

Our boys are pictured below. I created some donuts with a piece of left over cardboard and my younger son is intensely focused while he paints frosting.

Water Color Art Donut Craft
Water Color Art Donut Craft

GLITTER GLUE PENS AND FUN LEARNING THE ALPHABET

We began our preschool learning with the Peaceful Preschool. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue to create sensory, textured alphabet flashcards. At first, I thought the glitter glue ran out too quickly. However, we have used them with all of the letters thus far. The glitter glue is one of my children’s favorite parts.

I have witnessed their fine motor skills improve. Their hand writing skills have begun to emerge by using these glitter pens. They love picking and choosing different colors to trace their letters. My oldest son has recently taken an interest in writing!

watercolor of brown bear
watercolor of a brown bear

ALPHABET LETTER STAMPS AND LEARNING

Simply Learning Kids recommends these alphabet letter stamps. I ordered some from Amazon. The boys have loved using them to stamp the letters they are focusing on.

We have some other alphabet stamps from Michael’s also, but these particular ones above have a great shape and structure. They are perfect for little hands to hold onto while stamping letters. My children also have fun putting these away. They find the correct place holders for them and put them back in the box when they are finished using them. We were so excited to discover this item since its a great practical life skill!

watercolor and art
Finally, Watercolor arts

CREATIVITY AND BEAUTY WITH OIL PASTELS

SaltyTribe recommended these oil pastelsWe have so much fun using them! I have created simple Winnie the Pooh drawings with them and the boys love to use them. My boys love to freely draw with the pastels and usually make a big mess. I don’t mind the mess since they are creative!

My children make large, sweeping shapes with the pastels and add various colors on the page. They are the best crayons we have every used. We decided to purchase them since they were so affordable. We are thankful we have these amazing pastels since they have turned into so many interesting art projects.

WATERCOLOR GLASS JAR HOLDERS

The glass jars and cherry wood holder are on my list of future purchases since they are beautiful! They are a beautiful addition to any child’s work space (or adults for that matter). They would store the paints very well and also be a beautiful and functional item. It seems like nice quality Stockmar paints are often paired together with these.

Finally, what are you favorite preschool art supplies?

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Lowercase Alphabet Stamps
Watercolor Paper
Modeling Clay
Natural Eco Dough and Tools
Chalk Pastels

Need quick art supplies all in one spot? Check out our Nourished Children Amazon Shop!

Playing with Nature and Homemade Playdough Recipe

Essential Homeschool Preschool Supplies

HOMESCHOOL PRESCHOOL SUPPLIES

My children are at home for preschool. I enjoy keeping them close, and because I love learning and teaching, this is a good fit for our family. While you don’t need a ton of materials to get started teaching your children, there are some key supplies very useful to have on hand. I love online shopping on Amazon because it is so convenient, especially when you have littles. I like to click on items we need, and then click on “Save it for Later” because it will save in my Amazon cart. Then, when financially possible, I move it to my cart so we can purchase what we need!

letter b preschool unit
Then, letter b preschool unit supplies

ORGANIZATION SUPPLIES

First, find a yearly planner you love to use because you will use it often. I like the ones without dates because you can customize it to fit your needs. We use the curriculum from thepeacefulpreschool.com since it has been amazing for us! I can’t wait to share with you some lovely lessons we are moving through from the Peaceful Preschool since they have been fun and filled with learning. You can also download unit A for FREE to see if it is a good fit for your family! Finally, we use both our dinner table and a child sized table for our preschool needs.

 

ARTS AND CRAFTS SUPPLIES

We mostly spend our time together, reading classic books, and playing with art! We value nature outings, a minimal home atmosphere, and quality children’s toys and materials. However, it can be expensive to choose quality! Therefore, we include both quality items and affordable items when we choose our homeschool supplies. My boys love to freely draw with the oil pastels and usually make a big mess. I don’t mind the mess because they are creative!

 

LETTER LEARNING

 

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES FOR LEARNING

We purchased our wooden calendar fromJennifer Etsy shop since it is adorable. This may be one of the most expensive purchases yet, but it is such a great and beautiful learning resource. We enjoy talking about change of seasons, months, weeks and days with this beautiful resource. We also bought the small wooden clock and this wooden alphabet tracing board. I could purchase one of each item from their shop since they are so beautiful and well made.

I also purchased the nature themed play dough set from the Montessorirestore shop for my son’s birthday. My children could play with this for hours daily. The set allows for their creativity, and I love they are playing with items from nature. They use the play dough to form letters and also reinforce concepts from the stories they are hearing.

 

BOOKS

We stick close to the books that are part of the Peaceful Preschool curriculum because they are typically classics. You can find the books listed below on Amazon. You can also choose to check them out at the library for free! Below are some books we love that are additional to the curriculum we use. My children bring these to many over and over to read aloud because they are so good!

 

BOOKS FOR MAMA

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

 

butterfly symmetry art
Then, butterfly symmetry art supplies because we love art

preschool nature counting
Finally, Preschool Nature Counting

 

Also, here are five amazing art supplies for preschoolers.

OUR PICKS


While there are tons of useful learning supplies for your homeschool preschool, these are the ones I have found to be necessary for us.

Finally, what are your favorite homeschool supplies?