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.”

Nourished Children Early Years Guide
Nourished Children Early Years Guide

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
Purchase the Guide

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.

Purchase the Guide

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
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 Special Studies Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

PART 3

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

 

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Special Studies 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 Special Studies Lesson 

WHAT

“In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part out in the fresh air.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Above all, Charlotte Mason advocated time in nature as essential. The child who spends ample outdoor time gains much, such as: physical growth, observational skills, sense of beauty, reverence for life, classification skills, and a basic foundation for science. Therefore, daily outdoor time is beneficial.

She goes onto say:

“…here is the mother’s opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child, which shall germinate, blossom, and bear fruit, without further help, or knowledge of hers.” (Mason, vol. 1)

This takes some pressure off of the mother, or teacher, since it is best if the child observes, attends, questions, and consequently learns for himself. Besides that, the goal eventually, is for the child to provide a self-education.

PRACTICALITY OF SPECIAL STUDIES

Next, Charlotte Mason discusses the educational practicality of sight-seeing in nature:

“This is all play to the children, but the mother is doing valuable work; she is training their powers of observation and expression, increasing their vocabulary and their range of ideas by giving them the name and the uses of an object at the right moment–when they ask, ‘What is it?’ and ‘What is it for?’” (Mason, vol. 1)

While experiencing Special Studies, a child will learn how to investigate, question, and explore, as a result. They will also increase their vocabulary skills, plus gain valuable ideas exploring nature.

 

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

WHAT WE ARE USING

 

SPECIAL STUDIES

Next up, the book list!

First, since we plan to use these for many early elementary years, I made sure to include a nice variety! Charlotte Mason refers to a wide feast, so I sought out many good authors to include over the next few years for Special Studies books.

Hopefully, you find some of these books at your local library, since tons of books can be expensive.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) I have a love affair with good books. Therefore, I have been collecting books since my boys were babies. Many of these we have already enjoyed in our preschool years. However, since they will be great for Special Studies, I’m pulling them out again!

Consequently, because we will use these books for many years, they are a great investment.

Since it is recommended to pay attention to the seasons, I have broken up the books we are reading by term.

FALL SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS

(Wildflowers, Fruit, Spiders, Birds)

WINTER SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS

(Evergreen Trees, Birds in Winter)

 

SPRING SPECIAL STUDIES BOOKS 

(Wildflowers, Trees, Insects)

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

OBJECT LESSON

Additionally, I’m using the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock, because this is such a valuable tool for Nature Study. A Delectable Education, Ambleside Online, and Exploring Nature with Children all recommend this book. Mamas read the relevant parts of the book to prepare for a Special Studies or Object Lesson. Therefore, its going to be a staple for the years to come!

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Special Studies Lesson as occurring one time a week. Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes. Typically, you could read about 30-40 pages per term. Therefore, you would read about 4 pages out of your book per lesson.

Additionally, Charlotte Mason describes the Object Studies Lesson as occurring one time a week. Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes and should occur outdoors, if possible.

WHY

“Consider, too, what an unequalled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun–the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for?” (Mason, vol. 1)

Nature Study is so valuable for children; perhaps it is the most valuable lesson. A child gains so much by studying nature because the acquired skills easily assist him into adulthood. Since Natural History (Nature Study) serves as a foundation for all Sciences, we will be spending time in nature daily.

“It would be well if all we persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in.” (Mason, vol. 1)

BENEFITS OF SPECIAL STUDIES

There are many benefits of spending time in Nature, so Special Studies is a vital lesson.

  • First, according to this article, nature supports mental health.
  • Second, physical activity outdoors helps improve academic performance.
  • Third, nature helps one manage stress.
  • Fourth, spending time outdoors is good for physical health, because it lowers blood pressure and supports longevity.

“Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight for life.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Perhaps most important, as children observe Nature, it allows them to begin to build a relationship with God. When a child observes nature, he observes the magnificence of God’s creation. I wish to provide my boys a full, rich, and interesting life, therefore, observing nature daily is one way to do this.

Finally, Ms. Mason states:

“And, pari passu with his knowledge of things, his vocabulary grows; for it is a law of the mind that what we know, we struggle to express. This fact accounts for many of the apparently aimless questions of children; they are in quest, not of knowledge, but of words to express the knowledge they have.” (Mason, vol. 1)

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

HOW

 

SPECIAL STUDIES LESSON READINGS

  • 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.

Also, a sample of a Charlotte Mason Lesson Notes from a 1B Class is shown on Charlotte Mason Poetry.

OBJECT STUDIES LESSONS

“Children should be encouraged to watch, patiently and quietly, until they learn something of the habits and history of bee, ant, wasp, spider, hairy caterpillar, dragon-fly, and whatever of larger growth comes in their way.” (Mason, vol. 1)

  • First, go outside. This could be a park, a field, or even, your own backyard.
  • Then, observe an object from your Special Studies. Depending on what season you are in, this could be wildflowers in bloom during Spring, or evergreen trees in winter. Since these are just examples, you would choose what makes sense for where you live.
  • Next, Mama could say something like, “Wow, look at the interesting flowers!”
  • Then, let the child observe the flowers.
  • Finally, Mama could then say, “What shape are the petals?”

NOTES ABOUT OBJECT STUDIES LESSONS

  • First, try to allow the child observe as much as he can on his own.
  • Then, let the child have time to ask questions from what he is noticing.
  • It is okay for Mama to not know the answers. For example, I’m prepared to say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out together.”

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies 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 Special Studies Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON SPECIAL STUDIES LESSON RESOURCES

A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson

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. 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 Nature Lore Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson

A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson

PART 2 

A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore 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 Nature Lore Lesson 

WHAT

“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)

First, a Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson uses stories about science which include scientific facts, according to A Delectable Education. These books are often written by Naturalists.

“It is in no sense a text-book, although the fundamental principals underlying the sciences treated are here laid down. Its main object is to help the child to understand the material world about him.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, one of my favorite quotes about Nature:

“An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing.” (Mason, vol. 1)

TYPES OF BOOKS COVERED EACH TERM

  1. NATURE BOOK 1 (GENERAL OR ECOSYSTEM)
  2. NATURE BOOK 2 (PLANT OR ANIMAL)
  3. NATURE BOOK 3 (SPECIAL STUDIES)
  • The first type of book covers a general topic. An example could be THIS book.
  • The second type of book specifically looks at narrowed down types of plants or animals. Also, an example of a specific book could be THIS.
  • Finally, the third book, covers Special Studies, which is the topic of the next blog post! We have checked THIS book out before, and we would do so again, because it would be perfect for Special Studies!

NOTES ABOUT NATURE LORE BOOKS

 

Charlotte Mason mentions Nature Lore Books should be written by a Naturalist, because they are experts in their field. Yet, the books can also be engaging and interesting to the child.

“There are many (Nature Lore Books) to be had, all pleasant reading, man of them written by scientific men, and yet requiring little or no scientific knowledge for their enjoyment.” (Mason, vol. 1)

I choose books that would support Nature we have close to us in our yard, since this would be more attainable.

Also, I looked closely to the seasons to use books that would support what would be naturally occurring throughout the year. Therefore, we should be able to go outside, and observe what we are reading about during our Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson.

WHAT WE ARE USING

Since we plan to use these for many early elementary years, I made sure to include a nice variety! Charlotte Mason refers to a wide feast, so I sought out many good authors to include over the next few years for Nature Lore books.

A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Nature Lore Lesson as occurring one time a week. Each lesson lasts about 10 minutes. Typically, you could read about 30-40 pages per term. Therefore, you would read about 4 pages out of your book per lesson.

WHY

First, Charlotte Mason advocated using Naturalist Books because:

“The real use of naturalists’ books at this stage is to give the child delightful glimpses into the world of wonders he lives in, to reveal the sort of things to be seen by curious eyes, and fill him with desire to make discoveries for himself.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Also, Nature Study in general, was such a significant part of a Charlotte Mason Education because:

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Finally, Ms. Mason mentions the importance of Nature Study because it serves as the basis of Science.

“That the child’s observation should be directed to flower or boulder, bird or tree; that, in fact, he should be employed in gathering the common information which is the basis of scientific knowledge.” (Mason, vol. 1)

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.

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 Nature Lore Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON NATURE LORE LESSON RESOURCES

  • A Delectable Education Podcast on Nature Lore
  • One more A Delectable Education Podcast on Nature Lore lesson with a seven year old
  • Sabbath Mood Homeschool Nature Lore Book List – an AMAZING resource of Nature Lore books per Form (Grade)
  • Exploring Nature Curriculum with Children – A Nature Topic for each week, based on a Charlotte Mason education. Each week, she includes lovely books that could easily serve as Nature Lore books, so I wanted to include it here! (HINT: If you click on this link, make sure you click “Preview” to check out the curriculum!)

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. 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.

Nature Study

A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson

Exploring Nature
Exploring Nature

Part 1 

Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Nature Study 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 Nature Study  

WHAT

“We were all meant to be naturalists, each in its own degree, and its inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” (Mason, vol. 1)

When I think about Charlotte Mason, I think about Nature Study, because it was such a big part of her educational philosophy.

WHAT WE ARE USING 

MIX MEDIA JOURNAL

Since Charlotte Mason advocated keeping a Nature Journal, we are using this simple one to record our outdoor findings. This is a mix media journal, so it will accommodate our notes, drawings, and watercolors. It is also compact enough to pack in a backpack when we go to a natural park, or the playground, or simply outside in the yard.

This Nature Journal looks amazing too, and I have seen many people purchase it!

WATERCOLORS

Although Charlotte Mason said children are worthy the best, we are using these great, inexpensive watercolors. These do a nice job, and since we already have them, we use them until they are used up. Then, we will probably purchase a nicer quality set, per Ms. Mason’s suggestions, and purchase these: Stockmar Watercolors. Also, I have this beautiful Cherry Wood Paint Holder, which we love to use when we are drawing.

Nature Drawing
Nature Drawing

HANDBOOK OF NATURE STUDY

In Home Education, Charlotte Mason says, “The mother cannot devote herself too much to this kind of reading, (Nature Study) not only that she may read tid-bits to her children about matters they have come across, but that she may be able to answer their queries and direct their observation.” (Mason, vol. 1)

Although the Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock is intimidatingly large, it holds a wealth of knowledge on Nature Study. This is meant as a resource for Mama to read, in order to prepare for Nature Study Lessons.

WHEN

Charlotte Mason describes the Nature Study Lesson as occurring daily. The goal should be to spend two to three hours outside in tolerably fine weather. Therefore, we plan to spend two hours outdoors per day in the afternoons, after finishing morning lessons.

A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson
A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson

WHY

Charlotte Mason volumes say it best, so here are three AMAZING quotes pertaining to Nature Study.

“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)

Nature Study lays the groundwork for Science.

“…the children will adore her (Mama) for knowing what they want to know, and who knows but she may give its bent for life to some young mind destined to do great things for the world.” (Mason, vol. 1)

The ladies at A Delectable Education note that Nature Study is the foundation for all school work: Reading, Math, Writing, Art, Geography, Language Development, and finally, Science. Therefore, Nature Study is not to be missed.

“…there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life.”(Mason, vol. 1)

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, Nature Study would occur daily, in the afternoons.

NATURE STUDY LESSON

  • First, go outside! This can take place in your own yard!
  • Next, the child observes nature. 
  • A very young child tells about the time they spend outdoors and his observations. This is narration. Or, the child can simply record observations in his Nature Journal.
  • Then, the child notes the month or date. Mama can write this in for the child if needed.
  • Sometimes, the child can include a drawing if they want to support their notes.
  • Keep a flower list and a bird list in columns in the Nature Journal.
  • Also, keep a list of anything interesting to the child (ex. mushrooms, trees, leaves, plants).

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT NATURE STUDY

  1. First, keep formal lessons short.
  2. Allow the child plenty of time to observe nature on their own.
  3. Also, Mama goes with the kiddos when possible! It is as nourishing for Mama as it is for the children.

NATURE JOURNAL

“As soon as he is able to keep it himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child. ” (Mason, vol. 1)

Often, we see beautiful drawings and illustrations used for Nature Journals. In reality though, the drawings are used to support the field notes and observations. Its amazing if the child can create beautiful drawings, however, it is not necessary.

Therefore, the purpose of a Nature Journal is to support observations in nature.

In the beginning, the mother writes notes for the child, until the child is able to record his own notes in his Nature Journal. The child is encouraged to take notes, and draw in his journal anytime, because this is such a valuable part of their education.

Eventually, it is suggested to keep lists of flowers and birds, and of anything interesting to the child. Also, a child could also additionally include poetry in their Nature Journal.

Also, this Parent’s Union article suggests the schedule would have been:

  • Find and describe six wild fruits
  • Watch and describe, if possible:
    • Ten birds and
    • Five other animals

tree study
tree study

SOME HANDY RESOURCES TO SUPPORT NATURE STUDY

 

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 Nature Study Lesson.

GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES

CHARLOTTE MASON NATURE STUDY LESSON 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.