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.

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Geography 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 Geography Lesson

WHAT

First, Charlotte Mason discusses the educative and practical purposes of geography:

“for educative purposes, the child must learn such geography, and in such a way, that his mind shall thereby be stored with ideas, his imagination with images…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Geography supplies the child with an education, yet it also gives beautiful ideas and pictures for the mind.

Then, Charlotte Mason goes onto say, “…for practical purposes he must learn such geography only as, the nature of his mind considered, he will able to remember; in other words, he must learn what interests him.” (Mason, vol. 1)

It is not necessary to simply have children recite facts and names of places, since a child may not remember dry facts. Instead, we can seek to make geography interesting, so that the child retains more knowledge.

“The first ideas of geography, the lessons on place, which should make a child observant of local geography, of the features of his own neighborhood, its heights and hollows, and level lands, its streams and ponds, should be gained, as we have seen, out of doors..” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, the geography lesson can be very simple to accomplish, since you can simply use whatever outdoor situation you have in your own yard. It is not necessary to travel daily to a beautiful natural park, though that is always nice to work in when you can!

A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson Pack

WHAT WE ARE READING FOR GEOGRAPHY

Since I trust these two resources immensely, we are following A Delectable Education and Ambleside’s recommendations for geography.

ELEMENTARY GEOGRAPHY

For the first year of formal education, Form 1B (First Grade), we will read 40 pages of Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Geography. This includes Lessons 1-13. Examples of lesson topics include: Our World, The Star, The Sunshine, Day and Night, and Poles and Axis.

  • Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason – I prefer to have an actual hardcopy of the book to hold, and read, therefore, I choose to purchase this book. It is only $9, and will serve us for a few years as a geography resource.
  • Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason – Also, if you prefer, this is a free version of the book.

BOOK OF CHILDREN LIVING AROUND THE WORLD

Additionally, it is recommended to read a book about children living around the world. Since we live in Texas, I choose books written about places close to home. Therefore, we will be reading:

  • Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling – I’m so excited for this book, because the illustrations are lovely! The story begins with an Indian boy and the tree. Here is the description from Beautiful Feet Books: The history of the Great Plains and the Santa Fe Trail is told in text and pictures by focusing on a cottonwood tree and the events that happen around it. The 200 year pageant of history on the Santa Fe Trail will acquaint readers with the story of the earliest American Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, French Voyageurs, buffalo stampedes, and finally the Conestoga wagons moving west.
  • Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski – This book tells the story of Birdie, a young girl, who has moved with her family to the backwoods of Florida. She is excited to begin their strawberry fields. This tale shows the life of living on a farm. I was born in Tampa, FL, and we have been growing small strawberry plants, so I’m eager to share this story with my children!
  • Children of Foreign Lands by Elizabeth McCrady – A classic collection of stories about the everyday lives of children from around the world, lavishly illustrated in full color and black and white. The stories include stories about Norway, China, Holland, Mexico, Hawai’i, Siam, Spain, and Arabia.
  • Little Folks of Many Lands by Lulu Maude Chance. Since my boys have loved Children of Foreign Lands so much, we will read this one next!

 



Here are all of the wonderful Holling C. Holling books. I’m slowly acquiring them all because we will eventually read through them.

    

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes a Geography Lesson as occurring twice a week. Each lesson should last about 15 minutes.

WHY

“But the peculiar value of geography lies in its fitness to nourish the mind with ideas, and to furnish the imagination with pictures. Herein lies the educational value of geography.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason education seeks to supply rich ideas for the child, to carry him through life. She says, “the question is, not how many things does he know, but how much does he know about each thing.”(Mason, vol. 1)

Next, here is a beautiful CM quote that I just adore.

“But let him be at home in any single region; let him see, with the mind’s eye, the people at their work and at their play, the flowers and fruits in their seasons, the beasts, each in its habitat; and let him see all sympathetically, that is, let him follow the adventures of a traveller; and he knows more, is better furnished with ideas, than if he had learnt all the names on all the maps” (Mason, vol. 1)

This quote above is perhaps one of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes because it shows clearly and visually what the child can gain in the geography lesson.

HOW

“In the first place, the child gets his rudimentary notions of geography as he gets his first notions of natural science, in those long hours out of doors of which we have already seen the importance.” (Mason, vol. 1)

After morning lessons, Charlotte Mason advocated ample time spent out of doors on a daily basis. Thus, geography study would continue in the afternoons.

FORMAL GEOGRAPHY LESSONS

Formal Geography lessons for a young student can be very simple since they can occur outdoors, in whatever environment you have on hand. In addition to reading the above books for our morning geography lesson, we will continue to explore the ideas gained from our lessons, outside in the yard.

  • First, the child gains a “pictorial geography” (Mason, vol. 1). The child can easily imagine a forest by observing the trees outside, a lake from a small creek, and the mountains from the hills. Since the child has access to trees, creeks, and hills, (or whatever your particular landscape outdoors looks like) the child can use these to understand larger concepts such as a forest, lake, or mountains.
  • Then, have the child make islands, isthmuses, mountains, straights, and lakes in a tray of sand. This was taken from A Charlotte Mason Plenary’s resources, therefore, I believe it be essential.
  • The child can next draw maps in the sand with sticks, or a simple rough sketch of a map with pencil and paper. Ms. Mason suggests to “always give a rough sketch-map of the route you took in a given journey” (Mason, vol. 1)
  • Then, read books of travelers or “give him next intimate knowledge, with the fullest details, of … any county or district of his own country” (Mason, vol. 1).
Geography Pack
Geography Pack

INFORMAL AFTERNOON GEOGRAPHY LESSONS

Afternoon lessons can cover a multitude of geography learning because the child is encouraged to be outdoors as much as possible. These lessons make up Physical Geography.

These are great topics to touch on throughout the year…not necessarily on a daily basis.

It is easier for a child to think about concrete ideas, and then advance to more abstract thinking. Therefore, the steps Ms. Mason lays out, follow this sequence:

  • First, learn to observe the position of the sun, in order to tell the time of day. (Mason, vol. 1
  • Next, observe the weather (ex. clouds, rain, snow, hail).
  • Third, learn about distance by measuring the child’s steps or the steps of a sibling.
  • A child can also learn about directions – north, east, south, and west. Teach your child the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Then, a child can learn to use a compass.
  • Once the child understands directions, you can move onto learning about boundaries, such as the boundaries of this field, the boundaries of my front yard, etc.
  • Finally, they can learn to draw rough sketches of maps of what they see. The plan is “done with chalk on a rock, or with walking-stick in the gravel.” (Mason, vol. 1)

 

MAPS

First, Ms. Mason says:

“…geography should be learned chiefly from maps” (Mason, vol. 1).

We can, therefore, include maps to compliment living books, because they allow the child another means to explore geography. Maps provide such useful tools for a child, therefore, a child must learn to use a map well.

Ms. Mason states: “Maps must be carefully used in this kind of work,–a sketch-map following the traveller’s progress, to be compared finally with a complete map of the region” (Mason, vol. 1).

Since we have Maps and The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. , we may pull these out from time to time! I was lucky to find these at Half Price Books, since the price is so good!

“At the same time, he gets his first notions of a map from a rude sketch, a mere few lines and dots, done with pencil and paper, or, better still, with a stick in the sand or gravel” (Mason, vol. 1)

A child should learn:

…the meaning of a map and how to use it” (Mason, vol. 1).

Also, I have this LOVELY map, and this magnetic chalkboard. I love the magnetic chalkboard because we can display our children’s artwork on it, as well as use it for a chalkboard.

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

CHARLOTTE MASON GEOGRAPHY RESOURCES

OUR PICKS

Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information,

check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! 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. 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.

History Lesson Biography Pack

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

History Lesson Biography Pack
History Lesson Biography Pack

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason History 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 History Lesson

WHAT

“The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times–a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story-books.” (Mason, vol. 1)

First, Charlotte Mason reiterates we should begin with the child. Then, we work outward from there. Since we live in America, this is where we will begin for a Charlotte Mason History lesson.

The first year student should hear Heroic Age tales from his own country. Therefore, the time explored in History spans 1000-1600 AD. So, this period covers tales during the time of Discovery of America, which is before colonization.

WHAT WE ARE READING FOR HISTORY

While there are many good quality Living Books, this is what we are reading:

These seem like appropriate selections for a six year old. Also, I’m including picture books, and inspiring tales to hold their interest.

HISTORY SPINE

Charlotte Mason used a History spine. In other words, one book was used to cover a large period of time. Therefore, a spine is often used for several years. I choose America First: One Hundred Stories From Our Own History since it was recommended and was affordable.

While there will be only a few stories covered in our first formal year of education, the remainder of the book will be used for the upcoming early elementary years as our History spine.

OTHER HISTORY SPINE RECOMMENDATIONS

Also, you can find And There Was America for free here: archive.org.

America First History Lesson

BIBLIOGRAPHIES

“Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Next, Charlotte Mason advocated to read Biographies, in addition to the History spine. I choose Leif the Lucky and Columbus by Ingri D’Aulaire to start with, since they fit in the time period.

Also, I choose to order from Beautiful Feet Books. Right now, they are offering a D’Aulaire Biography pack 40% off! These books are such a great resource because they will be read for several years to support the History spine.

A Charlotte Mason History Lesson
A Charlotte Mason History Lesson

Also, one more recommended History Biography: The Book of Indians.

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes a History Lesson as occurring twice a week. Each lesson should last about 20 minutes.

WHY

Charlotte Mason placed the History Lesson second in importance behind the Bible Lesson. Therefore, it was very important to her.

“Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers” (Mason, vol. 1)

History lessons should inspire the child with wonderful concepts and ideas.

“Here, too, is a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas…” (Mason, vol. 1)

According to Living Books Library, “The best books reveal the living ideas of another mind that was very much alive when the potent ideas were put into words. We read and our living mind grabs hold of and runs with those ideas, feeds on them, is nourished by them.”

“Moral teaching falls, no doubt, within the providence of history…” (Mason, vol. 1)

Another article written by Living Books Library defines Living Books, “exemplify virtuous living.”

HOW

  • First, the parent reads to the child. For a six year old, many parents can expect to read the school books to the children. Once the child is able to read the materials on their own, they can begin reading their own school books.
  • Second, the parent asks the child to tell back what he heard. This is called narration.
  • Finally, through this process, the child knows the materials.

This process of reading, narrating, and knowing was the typical method of a lesson in a Charlotte Mason education.

Charlotte Mason used a child’s natural “narration” skills as a starting place. She observed even very small preschool age children want to narrate their life, their play, their stories, and their experiences. So, Ms. Mason builds on this inherent capability in children.

Though I have not yet read this, I have heard Know and Tell: The Art of Narration by Karen Glass is a great resource. It shows a deeper understanding for the process of narration as a valuable tool for education. So, it may be worth a look.

MAPS

Additionally, we can include maps so our children can visually see America. This could occur before reading the lesson. Then, the lesson continues with the reading and narration.

Since we have Maps and The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. , we may pull these out from time to time! I was lucky to find these at Half Price Books, since the price is so good!

Also, I have these LOVELY maps, and I can’t wait to decorate our Homeschool space with them!

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 History Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON HISTORY RESOURCES

  • A Delectable Education podcast on Why Study History
  • Another A Delectable Education podcast on History Chronology
  • Suggestion of History Books podcast from A Delectable Education
  • Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (pg. 279-295)

OUR PICKS

Additionally, if you are interested in additional Charlotte Mason information,

check out these previous blog posts in the series:

Thank you so much for checking in! Also, 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. 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.