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 ideas 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, though 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 every day.  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 the 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 the 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 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.